The Atlanta Falcons earned home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs on a night Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson set multiple league records.
DETROIT — The Atlanta Falcons earned home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs on a night Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson set multiple league records.
Matt Ryan matched a career high with four touchdown passes, two to Roddy White, and the Falcons beat the Lions 31-18 Saturday to improve to 13-2.
Atlanta will have a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Detroit (4-11) lost its seventh in a row despite a spectacular game by Johnson, nicknamed “Megatron.”
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Johnson, who had 11 receptions for 225 yards, surpassed Jerry Rice’s league record of 1,848 receiving yards in a season — set in 1995 with San Francisco.
The 6-foot-5, 236-pound Johnson has 1,892 receiving yards. He also became the first league player with at least 100 yards receiving in eight consecutive games and the first with at least 10 receptions in four games in a row. He has 117 catches this season, with one game left.
“I’ve seen a lot of Hall of Famers, but I’ve never seen a better player than Calvin Johnson,” Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said. “He just broke a record set by Jerry Rice, who is arguably the best player in the history of this league.”
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was 37 of 56 for 443 yards, no touchdowns and one interception.
Ryan was 25 of 32 for 279 yards and didn’t have a turnover.
• Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis won’t play Sunday against the New York Giants.
Lewis, who hasn’t played since Week 6 against the Dallas Cowboys because of a torn right triceps, was not activated before Saturday’s deadline, making him ineligible to face the reigning Super Bowl champions. It will be the ninth straight game Lewis, 37, has missed.
• Quarterback Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins has been cleared to start Sunday’s game against Philadelphia, two league sources told ESPN.
Griffin missed last Sunday’s 38-21 victory at Cleveland because of a sprained right knee.
• League sources say it is virtually certain Tim Tebow, New York Jets reserve quarterback, will play for the Jacksonville Jaguars next season, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported.
Tebow won the 2007 Heisman Trophy as Florida’s QB.