Theo Riddick is continuing his excellent season by cementing himself into the Detroit Lions record book. After his team-leading seven receptions against the San Fransisco 49ers, he was able to accumulate 63 yards through the air. The yardage was just enough to break a 31-year-old franchise record. Riddick passed former Lions fullback, James Jones, in single season receiving yards by a running back. Jones held the previous high mark with 662 yards, only to have Riddick pass him with 668 yards and a game to spare.
Head Coach, Jim Caldwell, gave Riddick praise after the game for his outstanding season,
“He’s been playing extremely well. He’s tough to handle. Every, single time he gets the ball in his hands, he usually makes something happen, comes up with a big play for us. He’s a pretty remarkable player and pretty versatile. So anytime you can set a team record during the course of a season, those things aren’t easily broken,” said Caldwell.
There is a good chance that Riddick can break another team record next week at Chicago. Currently, Riddick stands at 76 catches in 2015, one behind Jones’ record of 77 set in 1984. Jones and Riddick are the only two Lions running backs to ever have over 70 catches in a season.
Not only is Theo leading the Lions, he is also first in the entire NFL for receptions out of the backfield. Riddick admitted during his postgame interview that teams have started to gameplan and change their strategy to defend the shifty pass catcher. No matter the defensive scheme, Matthew Stafford has developed a rapport and is very comfortable getting Theo the ball. Stafford was questioned about his running back’s performance and had nothing but great things to say.
“The way he makes people miss, he’s got great feel in the pass game. In zone, he does a great job of sitting down and then, you know, I throw it to him three or four yards away and he makes it 10 or 12 almost every time. So, you know, he’s a smart football player, he’s got great instincts and as a quarterback, somebody that makes sense when they’re running routes, somebody that’s easy to throw to, so it’s nice,” Stafford claimed.
What might be the most impressive aspect of his sensational season is the zero dropped passes on 94 targets. That is a truly amazing feat. He makes spectacular one-handed grabs look routine, all while having the most reliable hands on the team.
In addition to his on the field performance, Riddick is a selfless player who puts the organization as the top priority. He made sure to highlight that the team comes first when asked about his record-breaking day.
“It means a lot, man. You obviously work your behind off in the offseason to achieve things like that, and obviously victories as well. But overall it’s a huge accomplishment, but I’ll take a ‘W’ any night over a record-breaking thing. So, it’s not who I am,” said Riddick.
Riddick’s done nothing but work hard and fully commit himself into developing from a sixth round project into a legit NFL threat. Based on stats alone, it’s safe to say that the Detroit Lions have the best pass-catching back in the league.