- iHaveNet.com: NFL Football
Last season, wide receivers Andre Johnson of the Houston Texans, Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions and Brandon Marshall of the Chicago Bears reached historic milestones.
All three players recorded at least 1,500 receiving yards, marking the third time in NFL history three or more players accomplished the feat in the same season.
Andre Johnson ranked second in the NFL with a franchise-record 1,598 receiving yards in 2012 and reached the 1,500-yard mark for third time in his career.
In Weeks 11 (273) and 12 (188), Johnson totaled 461 combined receiving yards, the most receiving yards over a two-game span in a single season in NFL history.
"I've been around this league a long time and I've been fortunate to be with some Hall of Fame football players, and I think you're looking at one of the all-time greats," says Texans head coach Gary Kubiak on Johnson. "He's a special player, and a special person." Calvin Johnson led the league with 1,964 receiving yards last season, an NFL single-season record, and became the first player in NFL history with at least 1,600 receiving yards in consecutive seasons (1,681 in 2011).
|Season||Players With At Least 1,500 Receiving Yards|
|Source: NFL *Pro Football Hall of Famer|
|1995||Jerry Rice* (1,848), Isaac Bruce (1,781), Herman Moore (1,686), Michael Irvin* (1,603)|
|2011||Calvin Johnson (1,681), Wes Welker (1,569), Victor Cruz (1,536)|
|2012||Calvin Johnson (1,964), Andre Johnson (1,598), Brandon Marshall (1,508)|
"He's the best," says Arizona Cardinals All-Star wide receiver LARRY FITZGERALD about Johnson. "He's so big, so physical. He's got all the physical tools you can ask for, and mentally he's honed in. He's a good guy, a competitor. He's got the whole package."
Marshall recorded 1,508 receiving yards, the most in a single-season in Bears history, and became the fifth player in NFL history to record a 1,000-yard receiving season with three different teams. The other four to accomplish the feat are Irving Fryar, Tony Martin, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens.
In 2012, Marshall recorded at least 100 receptions for the fourth time in his career, tying Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, Marvin Harrison, Andre Johnson and Reggie Wayne for the second-most such seasons in NFL history.
"We call him 'The Beast,'" says ESPN analyst and former NFL head coach JON GRUDEN. "He's a go-to-guy that needs the ball to survive. He's a bad matchup for a lot of guys. The more you get him the ball, the better he is."
Yards After the Catch
Additional yards after the catch are an important part of an offense's success.
"I've developed some great chemistry with receivers over the years," says New England Patriots quarterback TOM BRADY. "Body language is really important -- when to sit, when to move, when to give me your eyes, when to give me your hands. All those little cues that you're using to try to anticipate things as players are very important."
Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius ThomaS was third in the NFL in yards after the catch (561) and ranked fourth in the league with 1,434 receiving yards.
"Demaryius has done some good things," says Broncos quarterback PEYTON MANNING. "You can't just throw down the field every time, you've got to take a five-yard or a 10-yard hook route and turn it into a 20- or a 30-yard gain, and he's shown those type of plays. It's a real credit to him."
Thomas' new teammate, wide receiver WES WELKER, led the NFL in yards after the catch (719) in 2012 for the second consecutive season. Welker also led the AFC in receptions with 118 and finished fourth in receiving yards with 1,354.
"Today, in a passing league, high-completion percentage throws are what quarterbacks need to stay healthy," says NFL Network analyst SOLOMON WILCOTS. "The guy who moves the chains is Wes Welker. That's what he brings to the table."
The players with the most yards after the catch in 2012:
|Source: NFL *Now with Denver **Now with Seattle|
|Wes Welker*||New England||719||118||1,354||11.5||6|
|Darren Sproles||New Orleans||674||75||667||8.9||7|
Moving The Chains
A precise route can be the difference between a game-changing play and an appearance by the punt team.
On third down, the top receivers carefully gauge each step to ensure their routes finish beyond the firstdown marker.
On his way to setting the all-time record for receiving yards in a single season (1,964), Detroit Lions Pro Bowl wide receiver Calvin Johnson was among the league leaders last year on third downs with 28 first-down catches.
"You can't just match up with him one-on-one," says Denver Broncos Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey. "You definitely have to get your hands on him at the line. You have to be physical with him because if you let him build up any type of speed, it is hard to stop him."
The receivers with the most first-down receptions on third down in 2012:
Third-Down Receiving Totals: Most First Downs
|Michael Crabtree||San Francisco||22||30||355||5|
|Victor Cruz||New York Giants||22||27||375||3|
|Jimmy Graham||New Orleans||22||26||291||2|
On Target Receivers
Elite wide receives earn plenty of attention from opposing defensive backs. They get plenty of it from their quarterbacks, too.
Last season, Detroit Lions Pro Bowl wide receiver Calvin Johnson set an NFL single-season record with 1,964 receiving yards and led the league in targets (204) and receptions (122).
"I love throwing to him," says Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. "He's a great worker. He deserves all of it. He's a guy that puts forth the effort during the week that people don't see to accomplish those goals."
Johnson has been targeted 787 times since 2008 and has amassed more receiving yards (7,080) and receiving touchdowns (50) than any other player during that stretch. Among active players, only Brandon Marshall (815), Roddy White (815) and Larry Fitzgerald (790) have been targeted more times than Johnson during the past five seasons.
The most targeted receivers in 2012:
|Source: NFL *Now with Denver|
|Wes Welker||New England*||175||118||1,354||11.5|
The most targeted receivers since 2008 among active players:
|Source: NFL *Now with Denver|
|Wes Welker||New England*||782||560||6,284||11.2|
- Team-By-Team Look at the 2013 QBs in the AFC
- Team-By-Team Look at the 2013 QBs in the NFC
- EJ Manuel Gets Nod as Bills Starting Quarterback
- Texans Give Brian Cushing Six-Year Extension Worth $55.6M
- Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin Says Back Isaac Redman to Start
- Tom Brady Enjoyed Time with Tim Tebow
- Player Milestones: What to Look For in 2013
- Double-Threat Running Backs
- The NFL's Undrafted Stars
- High-Profile Small-School Stars in the NFL Today
- Joe Flacco: Calm and Cool
- Adrian Peterson: Rushing into the Record Books
- Big Play Excitement in the NFL
- Excitement Abounds as New Coaches Take Over NFL Teams
- The NFL's Big-Time Wide Receivers
- Megatron Makes History: Calvin Johnson Sets Receiving Record
- Tom Brady is Tom Terrific
- Cool Brees: QB Drew Brees Leads Saints
- Ravens & Broncos Kick Off NFL 2013 Season
- NFL 2013 Kickoff Weekend Notes
- NFL Strength of Schedule Team Rankings
- NFL 2013 Total Team Miles Traveled
- What to Look For in 2013
- NFL Ratchets Up the Excitement
- Remembering the Ravens Super Bowl XLVII Victory
- Super Bowl Victory Follow-Ups
- Winning Traditions in the NFL
- Quarterback Success in the NFL
- NFL Quarterbacks of the Future
- Offensive Tackles Protecting the Quarterback
- Spread Offense
- Good Running Backs Come in Pairs
- NFL Tight Ends on the Rise in 2013
- Exciting Plays in the Return Game
- Turnovers Key to Victory in the NFL
- Return to Sender
- Importance of the Ground Game
- Excelling on Third Down
- Fourth-and-One Situations
- The NFL's Sack Attack
- From Worst to First
- The Value of Football
- NFL Touchdown Streaks
- Peyton Manning and the NFL Record Books
- Aaron Rodgers Continues to Build His Legacy
- Young Quarterbacks on the Rise in 2013
- NFL Rookies Excelled in 2012
- Colin Kaepernick Off to an Outstanding Start
- Randall Cobb: Mr. Versatility
- Devin Hester: NFL Game-Changer
- New NFL Rules for 2013
- NFL Rules: A Constant Evolution
NFL Continues to Emphasize Player Health and Safety
- Thigh and Knee Pads Mandatory in 2013
- New York / New Jersey to Host First Super Bowl
- NFL Championship Weather
- Opening Day 1947: A Record 87 Points
- The 'Holy Roller' Game - Chargers vs Raiders - 1978
- NFL 2013: Best NFL Records, Past 10 Years
- NFL Football Still America's Favorite Sport By Far in 2013
- NFL to Play Two Regular-Season Games in London for First Time
- Bills Toronto Series Carries On
- 2013 NFL Draft Goes International
- Lawrence Okoye: From Discus to D-Line
- Best NFL Kickoff Weekend Performances, 1933-2012
- Best NFL Kickoff Weekend Performances, Past Ten Seasons
- Colin Kaepernick Tops NFL Jersey Sales
- Offseason Moves: Same Faces, New Places
- NFL 2013: Overtime Excitement
- Modified Sudden Death Overtime
- Jets Rookie Lineman Says He's Not a Radical Muslim
Article: Copyright ©, iHaveNet.com
The NFL's Big-Time Wide Receivers