Lions Weekly Progress Report: How Far Do You Go to Get Johnson His Record?

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 16:  Wide receiver Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions watches from the sidelines during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 16, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Lions 38-10.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2012

There isn't much for the Detroit Lions to crow about this season, but the possibility that Calvin Johnson could break Jerry Rice's record for receiving yards in a single season is the one thing they can hang their hat on.

He's just 182 yards shy of the mark and the Lions should do everything within their power to get him over the hump.

Listen, Johnson is already the go-to guy in the offense and his targets dwarf everyone on the team. So you know he'll get targets.

But in a season where anonymous GMs and players around the league are taking shots, players are being suspended for insubordination and the franchise quarterback's mechanics are in the tank, that record is the only thing left you can build on.

A win or two could help, but ultimately it's probably too much to ask that this team beat Atlanta or Chicago.

You want to go into the offseason with something positive to build on, to point to and say "Hey, we did this even though we struggled, and we're capable of great things".

The Lions need a win and I'm not talking about an actual win. I mean a win in the morale department.

Getting Johnson that record could be it.

It seems like it's all on Johnson and Matt Stafford but it's a team effort. It means other wide receivers need to make catches when thrown their way to pull coverage off Johnson. It means the running backs need to make every carry count and force the defense to play closer to the line of scrimmage.

The coaches need to do their part too by getting creative with Johnson. Don't just throw a go route or a fade, have him run short slants, do some screens, get creative.

Nothing else is working anyway, so why not think outside the box and find unexpected ways to get Johnson the ball.

At the end of the day, it's not going to take the sting out of this season. It doesn't make it all OK and doesn't salvage the year.

It does give you something to build on, to get momentum so you have some positivity going on in 2013.

The Lions need as much of that as they can so that they can avoid a repeat of this season ever again.

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