By: Herman Moore
Ford Lions Report Analyst
Matthew Stafford's chase of 5,000 passing yards has been entertaining to watch.
Calvin Johnson is on the verge of history, just 303 yards away from NFL legend Jerry Rice's single-season record of 1,848 yards (set in 1995). The Stafford-Johnson duo is one of the most potent and prominent offensive combinations in the game today.
But, as thrilling as the chase of individual achievements has been to watch, I'd much rather see a 9-4 Lions team – not a 4-9 team left with nothing else but to celebrate personal milestones.
Yes, it's been a tough season for Detroit -- personnel issues, player and coaching miscues, topped with the inability to finish has been the undesirable calling card for a team that went 10-6 a year ago.
There is nothing wrong with cheering on Megatron as he attempts to catch Rice, a player's player who struck gold with the San Francisco 49ers in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Johnson's climb has been one of the few positives for the Lions over the past handful of tumultuous and often disappointing football seasons.
If any player deserves the recognition, it's certainly Johnson, who should end up owning many franchise and league receiving records in just a few short years. Barring injury, he'll go down as one of this franchise's best players and NFL elite at the receiver position.
But after such a promising 2011, it's been somewhat difficult to watch Stafford and Johnson play high level football without a winning result. Perhaps "frustrating" would be more of an appropriate word to use.
Johnson needs to continue his average of 118.9 yards per game to eclipse Rice with 1,902 yards.
Stafford, though, is on pace for 4,989 yards, according to a recent estimate by the Detroit Free Press staff.
It's all but certain that one of Detroit's current stars will etch his name in the NFL record books. However, it's with a heavy heart that Lions fans watch Stafford, Johnson and late season breakouts by a few defensive linemen thrill, while the team as a whole plummets.
Herman Moore joins Tom Leyden and Rob Rubick on the Ford Lions Report Live every Sunday at 11am throughout the season. You can follow Herman on Twitter @HMAN84 | Tom on Twitter @TomLeyden | Rob on Twitter @RRubick