(pictured: Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson and Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant) (photos by: nfl.si.com)
There was a ton of hype going into this week’s matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions because both teams have a receiver that can change the game instantly.
Those receivers are none other than Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant. In interviews heading up to the game, Bryant made some remarks about the comparisons between he and Calvin Johnson.
“Truth be told, I don’t compare myself to nobody,” Bryant confirmed Monday during an appearance on 103.3 FM ESPN in Dallas. “I think Calvin’s the best at what he does. I think I’m the best at what I do”(Tim MacMahon, ESPNDallas.com).
Johnson didn’t seem to have much to say. The 6’5” stud for the Detroit Lions was going to let his play on the field do the talking when these two superstars squared off on Sunday. From the looks of the box score, man, Johnson did a lot of talking!
Johnson struck first with a two-yard touchdown catch from Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford in the first quarter. Bryant answered back with an acrobatic five-yard touchdown snag in the corner of the end zone in the second quarter. From then on, this game was an absolute shootout. Johnson was racking up yards left and right. You will never guess how many yards he had? Johnson had a career-high 329 receiving yards on 14 receptions to be exact! Johnson’s remarkable performance gave him the second most receiving yards ever in a single game( 1st is former St. Louis Rams wide receiver Flipper Anderson with 336 yards in 1989). After all, Johnson is no stranger to breaking records. Johnson broke Jerry Rice’s record for most receiving yards in a season by accumulating 1,964 yards last year.
Dez Bryant didn’t back down from the challenge though. After having words with Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo for not getting him the ball enough, Dez Bryant hauled in a pass, scampered down the sideline and took it to the house for a 50-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Bryant finished with just three catches but his 72 receiving yards and two touchdowns were key moments in the game.
The Cowboys took a 30-24 lead with just over a minute to go in the game. The Lions put together a great drive to come back. Johnson did what he does best. He made a great effort and caught a great pass to get the Lions to the 1-yard line. Stafford then ran a quarterback sneak, hopped over the defense and into the end zone with twelve seconds left in the game to push the Lions past the Cowboys 31-30 in thrilling fashion.
Bryant and Johnson really played their hearts out in this game. They showed why they are praised so highly and regarded as two of the best receivers in the game. Johnson’s season stats now stand at 7 receiving touchdowns, 47 receptions and 821 receiving yards. Bryant’s numbers are pretty impressive as well at 8 receiving touchdowns, 45 receptions and 641 receiving yards. These two wide-outs are setting themselves apart from many other great receivers in the game. The scary thing is that number 81 for the Lions and number 88 for the Cowboys keep getting better and better. Bryant did pretty good but let’s just say that on behalf of a video game performance of 329 receiving yards, Johnson may have proved that he is still the best receiver in the game.