Because the Detroit Lions lost on Sunday, the performances by Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson have sort of been overlooked by the national media. I realize what Matt Flynn did was impressive, but Stafford and Johnson deserve some serious praise as well. Stafford went 39-of-59 and threw for 520 yards (a new Lions single-game record), five touchdowns and two interceptions. Johnson had 11 catches for 244 yards and one touchdown.
Stafford and Johnson especially deserve praise for what they did over the course of the regular season. Stafford, for example, passed the 5,000 yards mark on Sunday and nearly passed Dan Marino's former single-season record. Stafford had 5,038 yards (good for third in the NFL this season behind Drew Brees and Tom Brady and fifth all-time), 41 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He also started all 16 games, which should hopefully put the whole idea that he is injury prone to rest.
As for Johnson, he finished first in the NFL with 1,681 receiving yards this season. He had 96 receptions and 16 touchdowns. All of these numbers set new career highs, and the receiving touchdowns number set a Lions franchise record. (Johnson entered Sunday tied at 15 with Cloyce Box.)
It goes without saying, but Stafford and Johnson make for quite the combo on offense. The numbers they put up this season are just flat out amazing. With these two on the team, the future is very bright.
For more from Pride of Detroit, make sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.