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Lions vs Falcons: Limiting Calvin Johnson is a must

Johnson is on pace to break Jerry Rice's 17-year old record for receiving yards in a single season.

USA TODAY Sports

In his first five seasons in the NFL, Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson earned two trips to the Pro Bowl and a spot on the cover of the Madden NFL video game. Yet, somehow he's breaking some of the best numbers in his career in 2012, despite his team's disappointing 4-10 season thus far.

The Falcons players know that limiting Johnson is going to be difficult, but in order to earn a much-needed second straight win, they'll have to do so, Thomas DeCoud told Daniel Cox of AtlantaFalcons.com:

"He's going to get his," safety Thomas DeCoud said. "You always have to be aware of where he's at and that's no different for us, but if we can limit him, we can't let other guys beat us."

With 1,667 receiving yards on 106 receptions in the first 14 games, Johnson is on pace to break Jerry Rice's record for receiving yards in a single season. That record, 1,848 yards, was set in 1995 and is more than 60 yards than any other season in NFL history.

The Falcons rank No. 17 at stopping the pass, but have allowed fewer passing touchdowns than any team in the NFL. In a 2011 game between the Falcons and Lions, Johnson accumulated 115 yards receiving and a touchdown on five receptions.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.