Blog Entry

1000 Yard Receivers, Thrice

Posted on: April 6, 2010 4:40 pm
Edited on: April 16, 2010 6:47 pm
In the history of the NFL there have been four seasons where a quarterback has had three receivers catch over 1000 yards apiece. In 1980, Dan Fouts led the Chargers to the first such season. In 1995, Jeff George became the second quarterback to accomplish the feat for the Falcons. In 2004, Peyton Manning broke records while completing the task with the Colts. Finally, Kurt Warner accrued the achievement in 2008 with the Cardinals.

Among the four seasons, only Peyton Manning had his top three receivers account for less than 75% of his total yardage that season. Yet, he split over 65% of his total completions between the same set of targets. Dan Fouts and Jeff George had 70% of their total completions go to their favorite three options, while having 79% of their total yardage accumulated among those same receivers. Kurt Warner had just over 75% of his total yardage come from Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and Steve Breaston, but only 62% of his completions hit among those hands.

The most surprising difference between these seasons was the running support. Manning had the most support with a leading back rushing for 1548 yards, George had 1083 yards of support from the main back, while Fouts only got 659 yards of rushing attack. The lowest rushing total came in Warner's case, to the tune of 514 yards out of the backfield. Not only did Warner have the fewest support in the form of a running game, but he relied the least on his top three receivers in the bulk of his season.

As a side note, in 1989 the Washington Redskins accomplished the feat, however, the quarterback Mark Rypien did not start all 16 games so it goes undocumented in the record books. Gary Clark had 1229 yards, Art Monk had 1186 yards, and Ricky Sanders had 1138 yards receiving.

Since: Jan 28, 2010
Posted on: April 7, 2010 12:09 pm

1000 Yard Receivers, Thrice

First off, thanks for the reply. Moving forward, the 'receiver' in this case is any skilled position including the tight end and running back. However, Dan Fouts is the only one to accomplish the feat with a different skilled position; he had the Hall of Fame talents of Kellen Winslow at tight end. Kurt Warner, Peyton Manning, and Jeff George did manage to use all wide receivers in this instance, though.

The next order of business, do I think any offenses will accomplish three 1000-yard receivers this next season? No, but I will agree that the possibilities to do so are increasing as the passing game progresses in the NFL. A handful of teams have potential, but I don't think the talent pool will allow such things, yet.

The Steelers were the closest last year with Santonio Holmes(1248), Hines Ward(1167), and Heath Miller(789), but the emergence of Mike Wallace(756) will keep them at bay. The Chargers had Vincent Jackson(1167), Antonio Gates(1157), and Malcom Floyd(776) for the next closest. I believe with the progression of the passing game over the last few years with Philip Rivers, San Diego has the best shot. I think the Colts are definitely another contender, as you mentioned, but with so many targets it will be a daunting task. Finally, I would put the Packers in the conversation with Aaron Rodgers becoming a stellar passer in the league. He already has Greg Jennings(1113) and Donald Driver(1061), but needs Jermichael Finley(676) to stay healthy.

Since it has only been accomplished four times in the history of the NFL, it's a special achievement. But, as the trend of passing becomes even more popular I can only see this happening more frequently down the road.

Since: Jul 16, 2009
Posted on: April 6, 2010 9:55 pm

1000 Yard Receivers, Thrice

Very interesting, nice post.

Does "reciever" include TE's and RB's or is it limited to WR's?

Also do you think there are any offenses that have a chance at acomplishing this feat in 2010?

Peyton Manning may be able to repeat. Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark and Anthony Gonzalez all have the tallent to do it. Although Austin Collie and Peire Garcon may take to many balls away from those three for them to all eclipse 1000 yards.

I can't think of any others off teh top of my head, what are your thoughts?

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