After another NFL regular season, the record books were rewritten both league-wide and for their respective franchises. Tom Brady broke the season record for most passing attempts and completions. Justin Jefferson set the Minnesota Vikings franchise record for receiving yards, surpassing the great Randy Moss.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson also set a record, but it’s not one he wants to brag about to his peers.
Pittsburgh has struggled to score goals this season, averaging just 18.1 points per game to finish 26th in the league overall. And Johnson got a bad deal because of the Steelers’ inefficiency in the red zone.
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Johnson rewrote the record for most goals in a season without scoring a touchdown with 147.
To put that in perspective, the next player was Michael Timpson with the 1996 Chicago Bears on 109 goals. And even though Johnson played a 17-game season, he would still have outplayed Timpson by a good margin in 16 games as he hit 137 goals overall.
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Johnson likely knew there would be a regression on the stat sheet as Ben Roethlisberger would retire after the 2021 campaign. He was Big Ben’s favorite target and had 107 receptions on 169 goals for 1,161 yards and eight touchdowns last season.
But Johnson tallied the second-most goals of his career this season with Mitchell Trubisky and rookie Kenny Pickett under center, though he caught just 86 of them for 882 yards, which led the Steelers. Johnson was still the clear top receiver of the group.
He also had 17 goals in the red zone that year, which accounted for 30.36% of the Steelers’ goal share in that area.
Instead, rookie receiver George Pickens led Pittsburgh through the air with four touchdowns while running back Najee Harris had three, tight end Pat Freirmuth two and Chase Claypool, who was later traded to the Chicago Bears, Derek Watt and Connor Heyward had one score each.
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To add insult to injury, Johnson caught a two-point conversion against the Cleveland Browns in Pickett’s final game of the season. A catch in the end zone, but it only counts for two points.
It was still a productive year for Johnson, who remains under contract for the next two seasons before reaching free agency in 2025.
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He’ll just have to save those touchdown celebrations for next season.
https://www.foxnews.com/sports/steelers-diontae-johnson-sets-unfathomable-nfl-record Steelers’ Diontae Johnson sets unfathomable NFL record in 2022 season