Lions' Amon-Ra St. Brown sets franchise's rookie record for receiving yards

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Detroit — With a 17-yard catch in the first quarter of Sunday's season finale against Green Bay, Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown passed Roy Williams, setting the franchise record for receiving yards by a rookie.

St. Brown was fully aware of the accomplishment in the moment. 

"I'd be lying to you if I said no," he said after the game. "I knew it was 14 yards, so once I caught that first pass, I thought it was over 14, but had to make sure and waited to see where the ball was going to be spotted. ...I just tossed the ball back to our ball boy, because I want to keep that ball. That's something I'll never forget."

St. Brown, a fourth-round pick out of USC, has been one of Detroit's biggest surprises this season. After a slow start saw him sitting at 39 catches for 352 yards and zero touchdowns through 11 games, he's surged to the finish line, setting the NFL rookie record and besting Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson for the franchise mark by recording eight or more receptions in six consecutive games. 

During that six-game stretch, St. Brown more than doubled his season's production, hauling in 51 balls 560 yards and five touchdowns. He added a sixth touchdown on a 26-yard touchdown run as the team has expanded his usage out of the backfield in recent weeks. For his efforts, St. Brown was named the NFC offensive rookie of the month for December

It's worth noting that St. Brown benefitted from the extra game the NFL added on the schedule this season. In 2004, Williams accomplished the previous mark with 54 catches for 817 yards in 14 games. He missed two contests that year due to an ankle injury. 

After catching eight passes for 109 yards in Sunday's victory over Green Bay, St. Brown finished with 90 receptions, 912 yards and five receiving touchdowns. 

"Listen, it speaks for itself," Lions coach Dan Campbell said. "This kid is — I mean, he’s better than gold."

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers