Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson had a record-setting season in 2022. In fact, the twenty-six year old set a record four seasons into his career that isn’t likely to be broken for a long, long time. The only problem? This record isn’t exactly the type he’ll be happy to have his name beside in the record books.
Johnson set the record for most targets in one season (147) without scoring a touchdown, a testament to the scoring woes which the Pittsburgh Steelers faced without Ben Roethlisberger at the quarterback position for the first time in eighteen seasons. The Steelers scored only 18.1 points per game in 2022, ranking them 26th in the league overall. The following tweet from Davis Mattek puts Johnson and the Steeler’s scoring inefficacy into perspective, with the previous record holder being Michael Timpson of the 1996 Chicago Bears, who scored zero touchdowns with 109 targets.
Diontae Johnson just broke potentially the most unbreakable record in professional football.
147 targets with ZERO touchdowns. No one else is within 20 targets of him on the historical leaderboard with no scoring plays.
Unbelievable stuff. pic.twitter.com/8cNCBFJCr0
— Davis Mattek (@DavisMattek) January 10, 2023
Ironically, Johnson led the league in two-point-conversions, tying for first place with Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz and Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockensen with 2 two-point-conversions on the year.
“Maybe next year might be my year to get in the end zone, 10-plus or whatever,” Johnson told media. “I have to keep my head down and just keep leading. That’s the more important thing, but it’s frustrating to not get in there. But really at this point, it is what it is.”
Johnson led the Steelers in 2021 with 107 receptions on 169 targets, 1161 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. In 2022, Johnson had 86 receptions on the aforementioned 147 targets, 882 receiving yards and zero touchdowns. While Johnson’s overall stats were still serviceable for a WR2 in fantasy football leagues, as he saw an average draft position of 46th overall, varying between WR15 and WR18 off the board, zero touchdowns is not an anomaly he’s likely to repeat in the 2023 season — we’re hoping he falls in average draft position next season as a result so we can nab him as a sleeper pick in fantasy drafts if he drops anywhere past the sixth round.
What do you think of the disheartening record that Diontae Johnson set in the 2022 season? Can you chalk up his scoring woes to personal performance or the Steeler’s paltry scoring average? Let us know in the comments.