5 Moments that Defined Calvin Johnson's Hall of Fame Career



Before he takes the Enshrinement stage this August, we’ve selected the five moments that best tell the story of Calvin Johnson’s epic journey to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


5. Insane Jump Ball Touchdown

WHEN: October 20, 2013

FINAL SCORE: Cincinnati Bengals 27, Detroit Lions 24

If there is a play that best personifies Johnson’s career, it’s his stunning jump ball catch against the Bengals.

With the Lions trailing by a touchdown with 12 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Matthew Stafford chucked a ball 50 yards into the endzone on 3rd-and-18. The ball was the equivalent of a “Hail Mary,” searching for Johnson in a sea of orange and black.

Johnson was swamped by triple coverage and somehow came down with the ball in the endzone, effectively tying the game.

4. Longest Touchdown of Career

WHEN: October 19, 2008

FINAL SCORE: Houston Texans 28, Detroit Lions 21

The longest touchdown of Johnson’s career came early and was a part of the dreaded, winless 2008 campaign for the Lions.

In a midseason meeting with the Texans, Johnson ran a simple “go” route with the Lions just four yards from their own endzone and took the ball 96 yards to the house. The electrifying play was an early example that Detroit had a once-in-a-lifetime receiver on their hands.

3. Earns a Record Extension

WHEN: March 14, 2012

How much does a Hall of Fame career cost?

After five seasons in Detroit, the Lions already saw Johnson as a Canton-bound player and paid him like one. The two sides agreed to a seven-year, $132 million extension during the 2012 offseason, making Johnson the highest paid receiver in the NFL at the time.

2. Explodes for Massive Game Against Cowboys

WHEN: October 27, 2013

FINAL SCORE: Detroit Lions 31, Dallas Cowboys 30

Johnson was no stranger to breaking records.

In a 2013 game against the Cowboys, Johnson erupted for 329 receiving yards and one touchdown on 14 catches.

The 329-yard tally was the highest for any receiver in a regular season game, giving Johnson another record to add to his book.

1. Johnson Surpasses Jerry Rice

WHEN: December 22, 2012

FINAL SCORE: Atlanta Falcons 31, Detroit Lions 18

To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best.

The biggest moment of Johnson’s career came in the winter of the 2012 season, when he recorded a 26-yard catch against the Falcons to surpass Jerry Rice’s record of 1,848 receiving yards in a single season.

Johnson ended the season with 1,964 receiving yards, a record that he still holds. Julio Jones came close in 2015 with 1,871 yards but wasn’t able to top Johnson’s mind-numbing tally.

Attend Calvin Johnson’s Enshrinement This Summer

Official Ticket Packages for 2021 Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls are on sale now and include Enshrinement Ceremony access, exclusive parties, interactive experiences and much more.


Class of 2021 Enshrinement - Single-Event Tickets 


Limited single-event tickets remain for the Class of 2021 Enshrinement (8/8/21). Pricing starts at $29.



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