Matt Ryan got what he wanted, helping the Atlanta Falcons win a game they needed to earn home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
Calvin Johnson had to settle for having a record-breaking night in yet another Detroit loss.
Ryan matched a career high with four touchdown passes, two to Roddy White, and Atlanta led from start to finish in a 31-18 victory over the host Lions on Saturday night.
Johnson broke Jerry Rice's NFL single-season yards receiving mark of 1,848. Johnson also became the only player with 100 yards receiving in eight straight games and the first with 10 receptions in four games in a row in league history. He had 11 receptions for 225 yards, giving him 1,892 this season.
"When Matt (Stafford) and I are on the field together, some special things can happen," Johnson said, referring to the Lions quarterback. "We said before the game that we wanted to try to get it tonight."
The Falcons (13-2) pulled away with Ryan's fourth TD pass -- to wide-open tight end Michael Palmer in the fourth quarter -- and Matt Bryant's 20-yard field goal with 3:05 left that gave them a 15-point lead.
Ryan was 25 of 32 for 279 yards without a turnover.
Detroit (4-11) dropped its seventh straight game.
The Falcons hope playing at home, potentially throughout the conference playoffs, helps them more than it did after the 2010 and 1980 seasons. The Falcons failed to win a game in either postseason.
"We didn't play well in the third quarter," Atlanta coach Mike Smith said. "Matt made some big throws on that drive (that ended with the touchdown pass to Palmer)."
Johnson began the night 182 yards receiving away from breaking Rice's NFL single-season mark of 1,848 yards receiving set in 1995 with the 49ers. His eighth straight 100-yard receiving game broke a record set by Charley Hennigan in 1961 and matched by Michael Irvin in 1995. Johnson's 11th game with 100 yards receiving this season tied Irvin's NFL mark.
Jets: Citing league sources, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that it's a "virtual certainty" quarterback Tim Tebow will land with his hometown Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013. According to ESPN, the sources say the Jets are expected to "honor Tebow's forthcoming request to be released and therefore become an unrestricted free agent."
Steelers: Franco Harris and the dynasty Pittsburgh Steelers -- and even former Raiders linebacker Phil Villapiano -- returned to the spot of the Immaculate Reception on Saturday to unveil a monument on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the play.
The monument is at the exact site of Harris' famous touchdown reception at Three Rivers Stadium in a 13-7 victory over the Raiders in an AFC playoff game on Dec. 23, 1972.
"Franco and I have talked about that play a million times," Villapiano said. "So many of those guys from the Steelers are my friends. I never thought that play would lead to so much talk and a statue. I love it. I'm really glad I came here."
Ravens: The NFL Network's Ian Rapoport has learned that Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis is not expected to return from his triceps tear before the end of the regular season. A return for the playoffs remains a possibility.
The Ravens later announced they will not add Lewis to their 53-man roster ahead of Sunday's pivotal matchup against the New York Giants.
It was reported Friday the Ravens were optimistic Lewis would play against the Giants.
Jaguars: The team activated linebacker Daryl Smith from injured reserve and placed safety Dwight Lowery, a former San Jose State star on IR with a foot injury.
Newsday contributed to this report.