Quick Reads Decade in Review: WR Games

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins
Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Welcome back to the Quick Reads Decade in Review! Longtime Football Outsiders readers will be familiar with Quick Reads, our regular in-season feature that runs down the best (and, just as fun, the worst!) passers, runners, and receivers of every week. That's 210 columns since 2010 covering each week's results, but aside from the occasional year in review piece, we rarely look at things in the big picture. That changes today!

Today we're going to look at the most remarkable wide receivers of the 2010s (20-teens?) with the best and worst games of the past 10 years. Later we'll examine the best and worst players in total value.

Prior pieces in this series:

Best Games

We found 95 games in the past decade where a single wide receiver accumulated at least 80 DYAR. Julio Jones had the most with seven, followed by T.Y. Hilton with five, then the trio of Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, and Calvin Johnson had four each.

Not surprisingly, those five men dominate the list of top 20 games as well. The following table shows the 20 best games of the 2010s. We're including the original comments that ran in Quick Reads at the time, written by myself or by my predecessor Bill Barnwell, along with notes with current updates or observations where relevant. (Remember that opponent adjustments will have changed since some of these games were covered at midseason.) We've also added the pass defense DVOA of each opponent so you can see which games came against stout units, and which were dominant performances against bad teams. Playoff games are highlighted in blue.

Best Wide Receiver Games, Total DYAR 2010-2019

Year Player Team Rec Att Yds Avg TD Total
Week Def Pass
2014 DeAndre Hopkins HOU 9 9 238 26.4 2 135 13 TEN 19.1%
(We did not write a comment for Hopkins' game in 2014 because our entire essay was dedicated to it, including several screenshots demonstrating just how he burned Tennessee's secondary so badly.)
2010 Kenny Britt TEN 7 10 225 32.1 3 127 7 PHI -0.4%
Britt took the first quarter and a half off as punishment for his involvement in a nightclub brawl. He didn't need it, apparently. Although the Eagles had the league's tenth-best pass defense heading into the game, their undersized secondary lacked the height or bite to challenge the 6-foot-3 Britt on deep balls or while running after the catch. Free safety Nate Allen, a promising rookie, had a particularly awful performance against Britt downfield. In addition to his 225 yards, Britt also picked up a 21-yard pass interference call against Ellis Hobbs. (He did pick up a 10-yard offensive holding penalty, though.) While the Titans have fooled around with Damian Williams and Justin Gage in a starting role, Britt is the team's best offensive weapon aside from Chris Johnson, and he needs to be given a commensurate amount of targets. Just keep him out of clubs. Doesn't he know of the joy of a night spent in with instant Netflix? (That's right, we had to specify the glory of INSTANT Netflix. A lot has changed in the past decade.)
2017 Julio Jones ATL 12 15 253 21.1 2 126 12 TB 26.4%
So this was the week when wide receivers went off. Jones' 119 DYAR (including 108 DYAR receiving, 11 DYAR rushing for his one carry for 15 yards) is the best for any receiver in a single game this year. Eleven of Jones' catches resulted in first downs, including five third-down conversions; the other was a 10-yard gain on second-and-11. Seven of his catches gained 20 yards or more; the Chargers and Rams were the only other teams with seven 20-plus-yard gains this week. (Jones' final splits: 116 DYAR receiving, 10 DYAR rushing.)
2014 T.Y. Hilton IND 9 9 223 24.8 1 120 6 HOU -0.1%
(Here's another one where our main essay was completely devoted to a wide receiver's big game, complete with screenshots.)
2019 Mike Evans TB 11 12 198 18.0 2 118 8 TEN 11.0%
If this DYAR holds till the end of the year, it would be the best wide receiver game since Julio Jones' 126 DYAR against Tampa Bay in 2017 -- and that's despite losing a few DYAR due to opponent adjustments. Eight of Evans' catches resulted in first downs, including two red zone touchdowns plus a pair of 40-plus-yard gains, one of which picked up a first down on third-and-17. He also drew a DPI for 43 more yards. (This was, in fact, the best game since Jones' game in in 2017. In the end, Evans lost 7 DYAR due to opponent adjustments.)
2011 Calvin Johnson DET 11 17 244 22.2 1 118 17 GB 10.6%
Johnson's last game of the season was the best game of the season -- not just for him, but for any receiver in the league. Johnson surpasses Wes Welker's 16-catch, 217-yard game against Buffalo in Week 3. Yes, five of the passes thrown Johnson's way were incomplete, but all of his catches gained at least 12 yards and a first down. Seven of them gained at least 20 yards, capped off by a 41-yarder. Nobody else had more than five 20-yard catches in a game this year. On top of all that, he also drew a defensive pass interference flag for a 36-yard gain.
2013 Josh Gordon CLE 14 17 237 16.9 1 117 12 PIT 8.1%
Gordon's only failed completion was a 2-yard gain on first-and-10. He also had gains of 8 and 9 yards on first down, but all of his other catches picked up first downs. Ten of them gained 10 yards or more, four gained 20 or more, and two gained 40 or more. His lone touchdown, though, covered just 1 yard. (It's worth pointing out that Gordon put up these numbers for a Cleveland offense that got 22 throws out of Jason Campbell at quarterback, then turned to Brandon Weeden for 30 more throws after Campbell was injured.)
2013 Eric Decker DEN 8 12 174 21.8 4 115 13 KC -7.0%
Decker's touchdowns gained 41, 37, 15, and 1 yard, respectively. Three of his other catches gained first downs; the fourth was a 7-yard gain on second-and-8. Oh, and he had a 19-yard DPI too.
2015 Antonio Brown PIT 16 18 189 11.8 2 115 15 DEN -28.0%
(Yup, it's another game covered extensively in our main essay that week. The numbers listed here don't even include his longest play, a 26-yard DPI. All told, he had 11 first downs against the Broncos.)
2018 Calvin Ridley ATL 7 8 146 20.9 3 114 3 NO 10.6%
Ridley's totals include 112 DYAR receiving, 7 DYAR rushing for his one carry for 9 yards. Each of Ridley's catches gained a first down, the longest a 75-yard touchdown. He also drew a 45-yard DPI. (Ridley's final splits: 106 DYAR receiving, 9 DYAR rushing. That does not add up to 114 DYAR due to rounding.)
2016 Julio Jones ATL 12 15 300 25.0 1 113 4 CAR 1.1%
Jones' four longest catches alone gained more than 200 yards. Marvin Jones is the only other receiver this year with even 200 yards in a game. (Odell Beckham and Adam Thielen eventually also had 200-yard games in 2016. We had a lot more to say about Jones' game and why it didn't rank higher in our main essay that week.
2013 Andre Johnson HOU 9 13 229 25.4 3 112 9 IND 1.8%
Each of Johnson's receptions picked up a first down. He converted two of his three third-down throws, and scored on his only red-zone target.
2011 Wes Welker NE 16 20 217 13.6 2 112 3 BUF 11.1%
In addition to his receiving numbers, Welker also had a 19-yard run. It all works out to 124 DYAR, the eighth-best day for a wide receiver in our database going back to 1992. The names on the top ten read like a list of the best wideouts of the past 20 years. The top game of all was a 291-yard, three-touchdown performance by Jimmy Smith against Baltimore in 2000. After that, you've got Jerry Rice, Chad Ochocinco (back when he was just a Johnson), Terrell Owens, and Randy Moss. Kenny Britt makes the list with his 225-yard, three-TD game against Philadelphia last year, then Andre Reed. Welker comes next, followed by Kevin Williams and Reggie Wayne. Wait, Kevin Williams? The Cowboys' kick returner from the mid-'90s? Yup. On Christmas Day 1995, he had nine catches, 203 yards, and two touchdowns in 11 targets against Arizona. It was the only 100-yard receiving day of his career. (Welker's final splits: 100 DYAR receiving, 12 DYAR rushing. This is now the 30th-best wide receiver game by DYAR, partly because of fluctuating opponent adjustments, partly because it has been passed several times since, and partly because we have added data on more games from the 1980s.)
2013 Calvin Johnson DET 14 17 329 23.5 1 111 8 DAL 20.7%
Four of Johnson's first six targets came on third or fourth down. (He converted two of them, including a touchdown.) After that, they stopped waiting to throw to him -- the rest of his targets all came on first or second down. Seven of his catches gained 20 or more yards. Oh, and the Lions threw him nine deep balls, resulting in seven receptions for 187 yards. That does not include his 87-yard reception, which technically was a "short right" pass. In other news, did you know the Cowboys have lousy safeties? It's true.
2011 Calvin Johnson DET 12 15 211 17.6 2 109 WC NO 16.7%
Johnson had something of a slow start, catching three passes in five targets for 43 yards in the first quarter. He then caught seven passes in a row, for 18, 13, 21, 15, 21, 42, and 9 yards. His next pass fell incomplete, but in his last two plays he made good with catches of 17 and 12 yards. He had ten catches for 10 or more yards. Only one man could match or top that this year: Johnson himself, who had 11 10-yard gains against Green Bay in Week 17. That's 21 10-yard gains in back-to-back weeks. Cowboys receiver Miles Austin only had 21 10-yard catches in his 10 starts this season. In 2011, Calvin Johnson was the best receiver in the game, and he went out on top of his game. (You'll find Johnson's Week 17 game a few spots up in this table. Yes, Megatron had two games in back-to-back weeks that were among the top 20 in the decade. Everything was fodder for Johnson in the NFL.)
2019 Chris Godwin TB 12 14 172 14.3 2 109 4 LAR -1.3%
Each of Godwin's catches gained at least 3 yards and a first down, the longest a 30-yarder, including conversions on all four of his third-down targets.
2013 T.Y. Hilton IND 5 6 140 28.0 2 107 5 SEA -34.2%
In addition to the numbers listed here, Hilton drew two DPIs for 55 yards. His incompletion came on third-and-8, but he converted four other third downs, including a third-and-22.
2018 Amari Cooper DAL 10 13 217 21.7 3 106 14 PHI 6.7%
This was the second-best wide receiver game of the year behind Calvin Ridley's performance in Week 3. All but one of Cooper's catches gained first downs; the one exception was an 8-yard gain on first-and-10. He converted three of his four third-down opportunities. (In the end, yes, this was the second-best game of 2018.)
2014 Jordy Nelson GB 6 6 152 25.3 2 105 10 CHI 22.6%
This was the second-best day for a receiver this year. Save for a 5-yard gain on first-and-goal at the 9, each of Nelson's receptions gained a first down, and he also picked up 53 yards on a DPI. (In the end, this was the third-best game of 2014.)
2012 Julio Jones ATL 11 13 182 16.5 2 105 20 SF -10.4%
This was, by far, the best game for a wide receiver in the 2012 season. The prior leader (with updated opponent adjustments) was Michael Crabtree's eight-catch, 173-yard, two-touchdown day against Arizona in Week 17. That game "only" scored 83 DYAR, and only three other players all season (Dez Bryant, Reggie Wayne, and Andre Johnson) passed the 80-DYAR mark. Jones had two touchdowns and six other first downs, with four gains of 20 yards or more. His other three receptions (8- and 6-yard gains on first-and-10 and a 5-yard gain on second-and-7) were still successful plays. He converted all of his third-down opportunities, with gains of 27 and 13 yards on third-and-10 and 5 yards on third-and-4.

Worst Games

As for bad performances, we found 64 wide receiver games of the decade at -50 DYAR or worse. Demaryius Thomas had the most with four, followed by Amari Cooper with three, then Davante Adams, DeSean Jackson, and Brandon Marshall with two each.

The following table lists the worst wide receiver games of the 2010s. And for some reason, it includes six games from 2018, including the worst game we have ever measured, the second-worst game we have ever measured, and two other games in the bottom 10. What can we say? It was a bad year for wide receivers.

Worst Wide Receiver Games, Total DYAR 2010-2019

Year Player Team Rec Att Yds Avg TD Total
Week Def Pass
2018 Stefon Diggs MIN 8 15 33 4.1 0 -86 7 NYJ 8.8%
Diggs' totals include -58 DYAR receiving, -9 DYAR rushing for his two carries, a 6-yard loss and a 1-yard loss. Two of his catches also lost yardage, which means in 16 combined attempts to get Diggs the ball, he totaled just 26 yards and gained positive yardage only six times. He had only one first down, a long catch of 10 yards, and failed to convert on four plays with 6 yards or less to go for a first down.(Updated numbers: -74 DYAR receiving, -11 DYAR rushing. This is the worst game for a wide receiver we have ever measured.)
2018 Chris Godwin TB 1 10 13 13.0 0 -85 14 NO 10.6%
(We discussed Godwin's game in detail in our main essay that week. This is the second-worst game for a wide receiver we have ever measured.)
2010 Andre Roberts ARI 4 11 23 5.8 0 -78 17 SF 10.9%
Your winner for worst receiving game of the year! It's reasonable to suggest that the Cardinals probably weren't expecting their Week 17 to include 11 targets of Andre Roberts by the combination of John Skelton and Richard Bartel. Roberts only caught four of those passes, none of which yielded more than 8 yards, and he had as many fumbles (one) as first downs. There are better days ahead for the rookie third-rounder from the Citadel, if only because he's probably already played with the two worst quarterbacks he'll ever huddle up with as a pro. (There were, in fact, better days ahead for Roberts. Many of them, in fact. He has played for a decade now for Arizona, Washington, Detroit, Atlanta, the Jets, and Buffalo, for whom he had three catches for 20 yards last season.)
2018 Randall Cobb GB 4 11 23 5.8 0 -75 3 WAS 2.1%
Only two of Cobb's catches resulted in first downs, none gained more than 11 yards, and one was fumbled away after a 1-yard gain. He was also the target on a fourth-and-2 incompletion.
2018 Nelson Agholor PHI 5 12 26 5.2 0 -72 4 TEN 9.4%
You can't spell Agholor without "AGH!" Only two of his catches went for first downs. None gained more than 10 yards. On first-and-goal from the 8, he lost 2 yards and fumbled.
2016 Brandon Marshall NYJ 1 11 16 16.0 0 -71 15 MIA 5.8%
Well at least that one reception converted a second-and-13.
2014 David Nelson NYJ 3 7 20 6.7 0 -70 3 CHI 22.6%
Nelson's raw numbers are bad enough on the surface, and he also fumbled twice.
2014 Kelvin Benjamin CAR 3 11 40 13.3 0 -68 5 CHI 22.6%
We all know that Benjamin is Carolina's best receiver, but that doesn't mean that forcing the ball to him on every play is a good idea. His longest reception was a 20-yarder, but it ended in a lost fumble. Only one of his catches resulted in a first down. He also drew a 6-yard DPI.
2016 Tavon Austin LAR 4 12 13 3.3 0 -68 1 SF 21.7%
[Referring] to PFR, Austin is apparently one of three men to get 12 targets in a game and fail to amass even 15 yards. Austin had a 5-yard gain on third-and-4 in the third quarter with the Rams down by 14 points. It was the longest play and his only first down on the night. In fact, it was his only successful play of the night, including his one rush for 2 yards. That's 13 total yards on 13 plays from scrimmage. A few weeks ago, the Rams guaranteed Austin $30 million. Yeah. (PFR now lists four games where a player had at least a dozen targets for fewer than 15 yards.)
2019 Parris Campbell IND 5 8 25 5.0 0 -67 4 OAK 30.2%
Campbell had just one first down, a 7-yard gain on third-and-5. His longest catch was a 15-yard gain on third-and-20, and he fumbled the ball away at the end of it.
2018 Jarvis Landry CLE 2 10 11 5.5 0 -66 6 LAC 1.2%
Landry's two catches gained 4 yards on first-and-10 and 7 yards on second-and-10.
2014 Cecil Shorts JAX 2 10 3 1.5 0 -65 14 HOU -5.3%
His two receptions: 6-yard gain on first-and-10, 3-yard loss on first-and-10. The two catches gained a combined -7 yards through the air and 10 yards after the catch.
2015 Demaryius Thomas DEN 1 13 36 36.0 0 -65 12 NE 5.7%
Well, at least his one completion was a good play. (Yes, this is very similar to the comment we wrote for Brandon Marshall in 2016. It is similar to a lot of comments for a lot of wide receivers who end up in last place in a given week.)
2015 Harry Douglas TEN 1 8 9 9.0 0 -65 2 CLE 22.7%
Douglas' only catch was a 9-yard gain on first-and-10. He was the target of incomplete passes on second-and-1, third-and-2, and third-and-6.
2011 Damian Williams TEN 1 11 16 16.0 0 -64 11 ATL -1.8%
Congratulations, Damian Williams! Your game against Atlanta on Sunday was the worst of any receiver so far this season! Seven of his 11 targets came 10 or more yards downfield, but Williams also failed to catch a pair of passes thrown to him inside the 5-yard line. If you're curious, five of his targets came from Matt Hasselbeck and six from Jake Locker, so Williams spread his misery around. (The previous worst game of the year: Kevin Ogletree's 29 yards and two fumbles in eight passes for Dallas against Washington in Week 3.) (This was, in fact, the worst game for a wide receiver in 2011.)
2012 Brandon Marshall CHI 5 14 42 8.4 0 -64 17 DET 12.0%
(This game did not get a comment in our tables because we did not run comments in Week 17. Only two of Marshall's catches pickd up first downs; two others were a 2-yard loss on second-and-11 and a 1-yard gain on third-and-10. He did pick up a third first down on a 3-yard DPI.)
2014 Robert Woods BUF 3 12 17 5.7 0 -63 4 HOU -5.3%
Woods' three receptions all came on first-and-10. The first gained zero yards, and the second gained 4. His lone successful play was a 13-yard gain that came on his 11th target, in the last two minutes of the game. The Bills' next play was another pass thrown Woods' way. It was intercepted.
2016 Dez Bryant DAL 1 9 10 10.0 0 -63 14 NYG -6.7%
Bryant fumbled away his only reception. Also, though we count interceptions against passers, not receivers, it's worth pointing out that two of Bryant's incomplete targets were in fact interceptions.
2018 Amari Cooper DAL 5 11 31 6.2 0 -63 17 NYG 16.0%
(This game did not get a comment in our tables because we did not run comments in Week 17. Only three of Cooper's catches picked up first downs. One of his catches went for no gain and a lost fumble on first-and-10.)
2019 Jamison Crowder NYJ 2 9 8 4.0 0 -61 13 CIN 25.0%
Neither of Crowder's catches -- a 1-yard loss on second-and-19, and a 9-yard gain on the following third-and-20 -- produced first downs or counted as successful plays.

Notable Playoff Games

As it turns out, very few playoff games qualified for the best and worst games of the decade. So we looked up the best and worst Super Bowl performances of the decade (funny story about that...), as well as the worst playoff game overall.

Notable Wide Receiver Playoff Games, 2010-2019

Best Wide Receiver in a Super Bowl
Year Player Team Rec Att Yds Avg TD Total
Week Def Pass
2017 Chris Hogan NE 6 8 128 21.3 1 60 SB PHI -6.9%
Hogan's totals include 57 DYAR receiving, 3 DYAR rushing for his one carry for 4 yards. Five of his six catches resulted in first downs, including a 26-yard touchdown, plus gains of 43 and 28.
Worst Wide Receiver in a Super Bowl
Year Player Team Rec Att Yds Avg TD Total
Week Def Pass
2018 Chris Hogan NE 0 6 0 0.0 0 -48 SB LAR -0.1%
Yeah, that's no good.
Worst Wide Receiver in a Playoff Game
Year Player Team Rec Att Yds Avg TD Total
Week Def Pass
2016 Amari Cooper OAK 2 10 10 9.0 0 -51 WC HOU -4.7%
Cooper's total includes -48 DYAR receiving, -4 DYAR rushing for his zero-yard gain on first-and-10. (In defense of Cooper, due to injuries to Derek Carr and Matt McGloin, his quarterback in this game was Connor Cook, in what proved to be the only start of his NFL career.)


18 comments, Last at 28 Jun 2020, 12:13pm

#1 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jun 22, 2020 - 12:21pm

Lot of bad QB play in that worst-of list.

How many QBs have more than one receiver on the best-of list?

Points: 0

#5 by ssereb // Jun 22, 2020 - 4:58pm

Jameis Winston (Chris Godwin and Mike Evans) and Matt Ryan (Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley). I though Case Keenum was also on the list, but the Deandre Hopkins game that tops the table was quarterbacked by Ryan Fitzpatrick so Keenum only gets credit for the Andre Johnson game from the year before.

EDIT: You can also add Tom Brady if you want to include Chris Hogan's appearance on the best SB performances table, though 60 DYAR isn't even close to making the main table.

Points: 0

#2 by theslothook // Jun 22, 2020 - 2:48pm

I doubt he will be remembered much( playing for the sad sack Lions will do that), but Calvin was different wide receiver than his peers. He was big and speedy and could contort his body to make any catch. I think Julio on net was the best receiver of the decade, but Calvin was a better player at his peak.


Ive written this in other threads. There are Hall of famers and then there are players who transcend the position. Aaron Donald is one. JJ watt another. And Calvin was as well.


As an aside,  I will forever curse Jon gruden for basically ruining the commentary in Calvin Johnson's record-breaking game. He wouldn't shut up saying all these yards and production were meaningless because the team was bad. It was like hearing Skip Bayless call a football game.

Points: 0

#7 by Chuckc // Jun 23, 2020 - 12:24pm

It's kind of odd to say you doubt he'll be remembered when he holds the record for most receiving yards in a season

Points: 0

#8 by theslothook // Jun 23, 2020 - 12:26pm

Sure that's fair. But I don't think he will get mentioned among the all time great receivers like he should. In my time watching the nfl, there is only one receiver I saw in his prime that I would take over CJ

Points: 0

#9 by dbostedo // Jun 23, 2020 - 12:39pm

I'll bite on that bait. Who would you take? Don Hutson? Tim Brown? Marvin Harrison? Terrell Owens? Randy Moss? Lance Alworth? Randy Moss? Steve Largent? C'mon... don't keep us in suspense!! 

Points: 0

#10 by theslothook // Jun 23, 2020 - 1:11pm

Lol. Sorry I promise that post wasn't meant to be bait!

I didn't see the primes of any receiver pre 2000. So I missed the meat of Rice's career and am perfectly willing to defer to people who saw Rice and say he's the best receiver ever. However, the receiver I would take over anyone is Randy Moss. And I say that as someone who:

a) didn't think Moss was particularly great at half of the things you want a receiver to be great at 

b) I didn't like as a person either

And yet, if I had the ability to draft one non qb player in the time I have followed the league, it would be Moss. He is the NFL version of Steph Curry.

Points: 0

#11 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jun 23, 2020 - 1:51pm

I look at receivers thusly:


If I need one game, I want Rice.

If I need one play, I want Moss.

Points: 0

#13 by DisplacedPackerFan // Jun 23, 2020 - 6:04pm

This is what I was coming to say as well.

Motivated Moss was terrifying to face. You could game plan for him, execute that plan at a high level and still fail, he would still make a play. It was possible, though nearly impossible to stop Rice, it meant you would get burned by someone else on that team but you could at least stop him on a play if you had to, and roll the dice on letting someone else burn you. If you did it for a whole game you would lose. 

Watching the Packers scramble in the draft (and fail miserably) because of him is all I need to say about how Moss affected how teams played him.

Calvin Johnson belongs in the conversation in my mind. He wasn't quite as scary as Moss for that one play. He wasn't quite as scary as Rice over the course of a game. He was amazing to watch play, I may not have been as worried about facing him because of how bad the teams around him were most of the time so even failing completely against like they would against Moss wouldn't always be as costly. We got to see him with a very good QB, but Stafford isn't a hall of famer that we've seen Moss and Rice with. He's not even Matt Ryan level that we get to see Julio play with. So maybe CJ is better than I'm giving him credit for. 

While Moss may have been the most talented and most game plan affecting receiver I've seen, his lack of reliability means I would draft Rice and CJ before him. But I'd still take him if I needed one play over anyone else. 

Points: 0

#14 by theslothook // Jun 23, 2020 - 6:52pm

Here are a short lists of players I would consider with the first overall pick of a non qb draft( and to reiterate, this list is really about 2000-present)

Moss(assuming fully motivated), Faulk, Donald, Watt, Justin Smith, and Revis.

This list omits some fabulous players, but they are omitted because a) the difference between them and the next best players isn't that much(this happened with DE)  or b) they played a relatively less impacting position(Left Tackle, Middle Linebacker, Safety).

Offense dictates more than defense does so I leaned offense and then it came down to Faulk or Moss. I might lean Faulk on some days but generally lean Moss on most days.

Points: 0

#15 by dryheat // Jun 24, 2020 - 7:11am

I probably post this once a year, so apologies if you're tired of me making the point, but with the possible exception of Bo Jackson, Randy Moss is the best athlete I've ever seen -- and I'm pushing 50.  There is zero doubt in my mind that he would be in the Hall of Fame of whichever sport he decided to concentrate on, including ice hockey had he been raised in certain parts of the U.S. or in Canada.

That being said, I agree with the general sentiments of this thread.   I think Jerry Rice is the greatest football player of all time.  But nobody was as unstoppable as an in-prime, motivated, Randy Moss.

I don't think history will forget Calvin Johnson.  For about a half-dozen years he was unquestionably the best WR in the league, and the prototype of the "too big to be that fast" WRs that seem to be entering the league these days. 

Now Andre Johnson....well...I think he was overlooked even when he was in the league, and may well be one of those players history forgets about.  Sucks for him that his career didn't overlap more with Watson's.

Points: 0

#16 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jun 24, 2020 - 8:54am

I'm not sure Stafford and Ryan are really all that different. Ryan has certainly played for much better teams, but that's not Ryan's doing or Stafford's fault.

CJ was an easier cover in part because there was no threat from the running game and it was often, although not always, a big step down to the #2 receiver.

Points: 0

#12 by dbostedo // Jun 23, 2020 - 5:57pm

Ah! I assumed it was Rice, and left him off my list as a crappy attempt at a joke. In reality, if given one guess I'd have said Rice. Two guesses would have been Rice and Moss.  

Points: 0

#17 by Spanosian Magn… // Jun 27, 2020 - 5:49pm

For what it's worth, there was a fan poll on Twitter a few months ago, "Name the 4 best receivers of all time," and Calvin Johnson was on most of them. He hasn't been forgotten yet.

It's almost too obvious a comparison, but he really is the Barry Sanders of wide receivers: inarguably one of the best ever, arguably the best ever, but retired early without any postseason hardware because he was stuck on the Lions.

People still remember Sanders, I have to think they'll remember Johnson as well.

Points: 0

#18 by dbostedo // Jun 28, 2020 - 12:13pm

I think the big difference there is hidden in the phrase "one of the best ever". I think Sanders would be in a lot of people's top 3, and decent portion at #1... I think CJ would not be nearly that high for most people for WRs in the long run. I guess we'll see. 

Points: 0

#3 by young curmudgeon // Jun 22, 2020 - 3:05pm

"It was like hearing Skip Bayless call a football game."  Now that, my friends, is a cutting remark! 

Points: 0

#4 by MarkV // Jun 22, 2020 - 3:47pm

I only watched 5 of these games.  Probably my favorite was antonio browns demolishing of the no fly zone.  That was a thing of beauty.

Points: 0

#6 by Joseph // Jun 22, 2020 - 6:21pm

2018 Saints defense in week 3 gave up the 10th-best WR game of the decade. By week 14, the same defense held Chris Godwin to the 2nd WORST of the decade.

Points: 0

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