2008 loaded with great wide receivers
Posted Jan. 27 at 02:32 AM
Larry Fitzgerald is getting a lot of pub right now as the new greatest receiver in the NFL – and deservedly so, considering the red-hot run he’s been on in the playoffs.
And Andre Johnson and Calvin Johnson earned a lot of accolades in the regular season as young, up-and-coming wide receivers.
But yet another receiver put up some eye-popping numbers in 2008. Look at the body of work of Steve Smith of Carolina: 102 receiving yards per game for a team that finished in the bottom 10 in passing yards. Remarkable.
Had Smith not been suspended for the first two games for punching out Ken Lucas at training camp, Smith might have become the first player ever to account for half of his team’s receiving yards. From the time Smith took the field in week 3, he was involved in 49 percent of his team receiving production. That’s far better than anything we’ve seen from any receiver in the last 30 years. Even having missed two games, Smith accounted for 43.2 percent of Carolina’s receiving production, which is 7th-best by a receiver in a 16-game season.
Smith shouldn’t feel too bad about missing out on this record, however. The guy who set the all-time mark at 44.8 percent happens to be Smith himself – three years ago.
Below, see the list of the 21 receivers who’ve had over 40 percent of their team’s receiving production in the last 30 years. That’s in a 16-game schedule – omitted is Stanley Morgan, who went for 41 percent of New England’s production in the nine-game season of 1982. Three receivers appear twice on list – Smith, Michael Irvin and Isaac Bruce. Also note that 2008 is the first year with three different receivers going over the 40 percent mark.
RECEIVERS: PERCENTAGE OF THEIR OWN TEAM’S YARDS
(since the NFL went to a 16-game schedule in 1978)
Yds Pct Team
1563 44.8% 2005 Steve Smith, Car.
1483 44.3% 2005 Santana Moss, Wash.
1636 44.0% 1999 Jimmy Smith, Jck.
1598 43.7% 2001 David Boston, Ariz.
1398 43.5% 1997 Yancey Thigpen, Pitt.
1781 43.3% 1995 Isaac Bruce, St.L.
1421 43.2% 2008 Steve Smith, Car.
1072 43.1% 1978 Harold Carmichael, Phil.
1603 42.8% 1995 Michael Irvin, Dall.
1338 42.6% 1996 Isaac Bruce, St.L.
1292 42.3% 2006 Lee Evans, Buff.
1377 42.2% 2003 Anquan Boldin, Ariz.
1343 41.9% 2001 Rod Smith, Den.
1461 41.8% 1992 Sterling Sharpe, G.B.
1523 41.6% 1991 Michael Irvin, Dall.
1722 41.0% 2002 Marvin Harrison, Ind.
1287 40.6% 2005 Joey Galloway, T.B.
1331 40.3% 2008 Calvin Johnson, Det.
1382 40.2% 2008 Roddy White, Atl.
1372 40.2% 1984 Art Monk, Wash.
1584 40.1% 1997 Rob Moore, Ariz.
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