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Farewell to one of the greats

Farewell to one of the greats

Detroit Lions superstar wide receiver Calvin Johnson has likely retired. He had a pretty incredible six-year peak: Megatron gained 8,548 receiving yards in his last six years, the most by any player during their age 25-30 seasons. I don’t think there’s much of a debate that Johnson is a Hall of Famer, although I do think he’s not quite an inner circle member of the Hall.

The big reason for that is Johnson’s numbers have always been inflated by playing on a pass-happy team.  I’ve looked at this before, but (a) those numbers are now two years stale and (b) I want to use a different methodology today. So here’s what I did:

1) Calculate the number of pass attempts per game for each team in every season.

2) For the top 200 players, I then calculated the number of career games for that player.

3) Then, in each season, weight the number of team pass attempts per game by the percentage of games that player played relative to his entire career. For example, Johnson played 11.9% of his career games in 2012, and that year, the Lions threw 46.3 pass attempts per game. Therefore, for Johnson’s career, 46.3 pass attempts per game will be given a weight of 11.9%. Do this for every season of each player’s career, and you will derive the average pass attempts per game for that player.

By this methodology, Megatron has been on the 2nd-most pass-happy offenses among these 200 players. The only player ahead of him is Marques Colston, who ranked 49th in career receiving yards despite never making the Pro Bowl in any season.

RkReceiverFirst YrLast YrGRec YdsAtt/GPass Ratio
1Marques Colston20062015146975939.9117.3%
2Calvin Johnson200720151351161938.9113.8%
3Julio Jones2011201565620138.7110.8%
4Kellen Winslow19791987109674137.9120.5%
5Demaryius Thomas2010201585662136.9105.6%
6Wes Welker20052015160992436.4108.3%
7Larry Fitzgerald200420151861336636.4108.5%
8Charley Hennigan1960196695682336.4113%
9Reggie Wayne200120142111434536.3109.3%
10Pierre Garcon20082015116602735.8104.6%
11Mark Duper19831992144886935.7113.7%
12Torry Holt199920091731338235.7109.1%
13Mark Clayton19831993158897435.7113%
14Haywood Jeffires19871996132633435.7111.8%
15Wes Chandler19781988150896635.6115.3%
16Antonio Brown2010201586709335.6102.1%
17Dez Bryant2010201584582535.5102.3%
18Donald Driver199920122051013735.4107.5%
19James Jones20072015136586135.4103.6%
20Sammy White19761985128640035.4121.1%
21Jeremy Maclin2009201590585935.3102.6%
22Isaac Bruce199420092231520835.2106.9%
23Deion Branch20022012140664435.1106.1%
24Troy Brown19932006182636635.1106.6%
25DeSean Jackson20082015112781435.1102.8%
26Marty Booker19992009157670335.0106.9%
27Greg Jennings20062015143829135.0103.3%
28Jeremy Shockey20022011136614334.8106%
29Ernest Givins19861995147821534.8109.8%
30Sterling Sharpe19881994112813434.8110.5%
31Larry Centers19912003192679734.8106.1%
32Dwight Clark19791987134675034.7110.9%
33Jake Reed19922002154699934.7105.2%
34Roddy White200520151711086334.6102.3%
35Marvin Harrison199620081901458034.6105.9%
36Webster Slaughter19861998162811134.5107.7%
37Antonio Freeman19952003132725134.5104.1%
38Chad Johnson200120111661105934.4104.8%
39T.J. Houshmandzadeh20012011144723734.4104.7%
40Frank Sanders19952003136674934.4103.8%
41Jordy Nelson20082014105610934.4101%
42Derrick Alexander19942002126697134.2103%
43Tony Gonzalez199720132701512734.2103.2%
44Jerry Rice198520043032289534.2105.7%
45Anquan Boldin200320151861319534.0101.7%
46Brandon Marshall200620151521127334.0100.1%
47Cris Carter198720022341389934.0104.6%
48Darnay Scott19942002124619334.0101.7%
49Terry Glenn19962006136882333.9103.6%
50Jason Witten200320152071121533.9101.3%
51Roy Williams20042011115571533.9103.4%
52Bobby Engram19962009176775133.8103.1%
53Vance Johnson19851995128569533.8106.4%
54Mike Quick19821990101646433.8106.1%
55Ricky Sanders19861995134647733.8106.6%
56Marshall Faulk19942005176687533.8102.5%
57Lionel Taylor19601968113719533.7105.9%
58Mike Wallace20092015111630733.697.4%
59Charlie Joiner196919862391214633.6116.2%
60Rob Moore19901999153936833.6103.6%
61Keyshawn Johnson199620061671057133.6102.6%
62Jeff Graham19912001160817233.5102.4%
63Joe Horn19962007163874433.5102.3%
64Michael Haynes19881997147658833.5104.1%
65Ike Hilliard19972008161639733.5102.6%
66A.J. Green2011201576617133.595.7%
67Tony Martin19902001177906533.4103.2%
68Amani Toomer19962008190949733.4102.1%
69Anthony Miller19881997155914833.3103.6%
70Randy Moss199820122181529233.3101.2%
71Shawn Jefferson19912003195702333.3101.9%
72Gary Clark198519951671085633.3104.1%
73Wayne Chrebet19952005152736533.3100.7%
74Andre Rison198920001861020533.3102.8%
75Terrell Owens199620102191593433.2101.3%
76Art Powell19601968105804633.2103.5%
77Ozzie Newsome19781990198798033.2107.4%
78Andre Johnson200320151851410033.298.8%
79Curtis Conway19932004167823033.1100.3%
80Irving Fryar198420002551278533.0102.1%
81Jessie Hester19851995147585033.0103.4%
82Shannon Sharpe199020032041006032.9101.6%
83Darrell Jackson20002008123713232.8100.7%
84Ricky Proehl19902006244887832.8101.3%
85Johnnie Morton19942005182871932.899.3%
86Keenan McCardell199220072091137332.899.5%
87Antonio Gates200320151901064432.897.8%
88Heath Miller20052015168656932.796.7%
89Carl Pickens19922000129712932.799.3%
90Dwayne Bowe20072015125720832.695.8%
91Brandon Lloyd20032014142598932.698.1%
92Steve Jordan19821994176630732.5103%
93Eddie Kennison19962007176834532.599.4%
94Nate Washington20062015158695432.595.7%
95Rod Smith199520061831138932.598.7%
96Stephone Paige19831991125634132.5102.5%
97Vincent Jackson20052015150890732.495.9%
98Santonio Holmes20062014112603032.496.8%
99Jabar Gaffney20022012158569032.498.2%
100Terance Mathis19902002206880932.399.3%
101Al Toon19851992107660532.3102.6%
102Greg Olsen20072015142629232.394.7%
103John Jefferson19781985102571432.3106.6%
104Ahmad Rashad19721982139683132.2116.4%
105Santana Moss200120141971028332.296.6%
106Art Monk198019952241272132.2101.7%
107Steve Watson19791987126611232.2102.6%
108Drew Hill19791993211983132.1102.8%
109Carlos Carson19801989126637232.0100.9%
110Joey Galloway199520101981095031.996.9%
111Jerricho Cotchery20042015175662331.994.7%
112Jimmy Smith199520051711228731.996.7%
113Mark Carrier19871998177876331.899.1%
114Chris Chambers20012010153764831.897.3%
115Plaxico Burress20002012148849931.896.8%
116Laveranues Coles20002009153860931.797.3%
117Todd Christensen19811988108587231.799.6%
118Ed McCaffrey19912003185742231.796.7%
119Eric Moulds19962007186999531.796.8%
120Derrick Mason199720112301206131.796.7%
121Sean Dawkins19932001140629131.795.8%
122Muhsin Muhammad199620092021143831.696.6%
123Anthony Carter19851994137773331.5100%
124Roy Green19791992175896531.4100.4%
125Herman Moore19912001145917431.495.8%
126Andre Reed198520002341319831.497.5%
127Bill Brooks19861996169800131.497.9%
128Todd Heap20012012145586931.395.4%
129Tim Brown198820042551493431.396.4%
130Tony Hill19771986141798831.2103.7%
131Ronnie Harmon19861997181607631.297.1%
132Steve Smith200120152051393231.293%
133Brian Blades19881998156762031.196.6%
134Quinn Early19881999179644831.196.1%
135Steve Largent197619892001308931.1103.4%
136Michael Irvin198819991591190431.096.4%
137J.T. Smith19791990160697431.098.7%
138Cris Collinsworth19811988107669830.997.1%
139Freddie Solomon19751985151584630.8104.2%
140Don Maynard195819731861183430.8102.3%
141James Lofton197819932331400430.799%
142Henry Ellard198319982281377730.695.5%
143Wesley Walker19771989154830630.6100.4%
144Vernon Davis20062015148584130.489.7%
145Brett Perriman19881997153658930.394.2%
146Pat Tilley19761986147700530.3102.6%
147Hines Ward199820112171208330.291.8%
148Eddie Brown19851991102613430.094.5%
149Reggie Rucker19701981159706529.8109.6%
150Eric Martin19851994153816129.793.9%
151Lance Alworth196219721371026629.5100.2%
152Henry Marshall19761987165654529.398%
153Lee Evans20042011118600829.289.1%
154Harold Carmichael19711984182898529.1105.4%
155Gary Garrison19661977134753829.1105.4%
156Del Shofner19581967113647029.1106.2%
157Lenny Moore19561967143603929.1108.8%
158Charley Taylor19641977165911029.0107.7%
159Isaac Curtis19731984167710129.0101.6%
160Sonny Randle19591968120599628.9104.9%
161Alfred Jenkins19751983110626728.899.2%
162Louis Lipps19841992110601928.790.9%
163Jackie Smith19631977198791828.6106.4%
164Billy Howton19521963142845928.6107.4%
165Tommy McDonald19571968152841028.5104.7%
166Raymond Berry19551967154927528.4106.8%
167Nat Moore19741986183754628.495.6%
168Mel Gray19711982145664428.3103.9%
169Jimmy Orr19581970149791428.2103.1%
170Bobby Joe Conrad19591969144590228.2102.5%
171John Gilliam19671977149705628.2106.3%
172Drew Pearson19731983156782228.2100.5%
173Stanley Morgan197719901961071628.192.4%
174Bobby Mitchell19581968148795428.0101.7%
175Fred Biletnikoff19651978190897428.0101.7%
176Cliff Branch19721984179868527.999.3%
177Elroy Hirsch19461957127702927.9109%
178Gene Washington19691979140685627.9105.4%
179Roy Jefferson19651976162753927.8103.7%
180John Stallworth19741987165872327.693.8%
181Pete Retzlaff19561966132741227.6103.1%
182Haven Moses19681981199809127.6100.8%
183Red Phillips19581967119604427.5100.2%
184Riley Odoms19721983153575527.499.8%
185Jack Snow19651975150601227.3101.3%
186Willie Gault19831993170663527.386.6%
187Mike Ditka19611972158581227.299.7%
188Gail Cogdill19601970122569627.197.9%
189Frank Lewis19711983155672427.096.7%
190Ken Burrough19701981156710226.9100.8%
191Bob Hayes19651975132741426.598.5%
192Harold Jackson196919832051037226.496%
193Billy Wilson19511960100590226.399.2%
194Otis Taylor19651974129730625.089.5%
195Max McGee19541967148634624.690.5%
196Paul Warfield19641977157856523.788.7%
197Carroll Dale19601973189827723.687.1%
198Don Hutson19351945116799123.0124.4%
199Boyd Dowler19591971162727022.983.6%
200Dante Lavelli19461956123648822.287.9%

If we sort by pass ratio, Don Hutson jumps to the top of the list. That may be the one example, though, where he was actually causing his teams to pass more: every team was a run-oriented team during Hutson’s time, until he was so effective he caused the Packers to pass more frequently.

Sammy White and Ahmad Rashad played on the late ’70s/early ’80s Vikings teams that threw a ton. From 1976 to 1982, the Vikings threw 3,605 passes, over 25% more than the average team. Kellen Winslow, Charlie Joiner, and Wes Chandler were on the Chargers during that same era, and of course San Diego was super pass-happy, too. After those players and Colston, you get to Johnson.

On the other side of the ledger, Football Perspective heartthrob Steve Smith played on teams that passed only 93% of the time, putting him near the bottom of the list. Hines Ward will get overrated because he was a Steeler, but he gets underrated by some because he played on run-heavy teams. And, of course, Paul Warfield ranks 196th on the list, whether you sort by raw numbers or era-adjusted ones. But we’ve discussed him already, too.

  • sacramento gold miners

    Couldn’t agree more about Calvin Johnson not being an inner circle HOF receiver, the career was too short. Nothing wrong about being an outer circle HOF WR, that’s the destination for some of this era’s top receivers. A player can still be great, both in the context of his era, and historically, without being an inner circle guy.

    Through not fault of his own, Johnson,(like Andre Johnson), benefited from being on losing teams where they had to pass more frequently. Warfield, Michael Irvin, and eventual HOF receiver Ward, would have certainly had better individual numbers playing on mediocre teams. Playing on run-heavy teams with HOF backs do reduce the opportunities.

    • Do you think Andre Johnson is a fare comp? Note that he is at 98.8% in the above table.

      • sacramento gold miners

        Yes, he played with Arian Foster, and that must have affected his opportunities somewhat.

    • Adam

      What makes you think Hines Ward is a legitimate HoF candidate? His numbers are good but not spectacular. Does his supposed blocking prowess carry that much weight? Or is it just Steelers love?

      • sacramento gold miners

        A player doesn’t need to spectacular numbers to enter Canton, Larry Csonka is a good example of that. At the time of his retirement, Ward’s numbers were good enough. Let’s also remember Ward played outside without a HOF caliber QB until 2004. We also have to factor in the postseason performance, and Ward did redefine the WR position with his blocking excellence. NFL Films is as objective as it gets, and they acknowledged how Ward changed the game. I understand the angst, because we don’t have the stats to quantify the outstanding blocking Ward did during his career. What we do have is the video, and how those blocks helped a HOF back, eventual HOF QB, and others produce yardage and wins, which is why football is played.

        It’ll take several years, but he’ll get in, mark my words. The yards per catch is low when compared with other HOF receivers, but the career TD totals are high. An outer circle WR, but worthy if we look at the entire resume.

        • bachslunch

          Best I can tell, Larry Csonka ended up 5th all time in rushing yards behind Jim Brown, O.J. Simpson, Joe Perry, and Jim Taylor, so it’s not at all surprising he was elected; that can be seen as elite level compilation at retirement. Plus, he was named a 1st team all pro three times, which suggests that he was indeed elite in relation to his peers for a few years. Best I can tell, Ward ended up 8th in career catches, 18th in career receiving yards, and tied for 14th in career receiving TDs; it’s a definite stretch to see that as elite level compilation at retirement. Plus Ward was never named a 1st team all pro at any point by any organization. And if WR blocking were unknown prior to Ward, one might give him some kind of of pioneer credit for it — but I don’t think that’s the case. If memory serves, blocking-related arguments were actually used to bolster Art Monk’s HoF fitness. And if NFL Films is responsible for the poor quality top 10 HoF snubs list broadcast on the NFL Network (the one that among other things listed Jim Marshall as one of the biggest all time snubs at #2), I would not take their word on anything as gospel truth. That all being said, Ward might well make the HoF anyway — and there’s no question Steeler fans will squawk holy hell until he gets in — though I for one am not convinced he belongs in.

          • sacramento gold miners

            Yes, being eighth in career catches is a significant achievement, and Ward’s TD total compares favorably to about 15 receivers already enshrined. Like Csonka, Ward was an elite postseason player, and wasn’t a burner. All he did was keep drives alive with difficult shorter receptions, getting blasted by safeties and linebackers. Ward didn’t have sprinter’s speed, so the yards per catch was going to be low anyway.

            Art Monk was a fine blocker, but Ward took it to another level. His skill set and influence paved the way for more attention to blocking at the WR position. When announcers talk about Larry Fitzgerald adding value from the slot receiver position, there’s a reason they say “the Hines Ward role”.

            And winning matters anytime we talk about HOF candidates. Ward was a strong contributor to two SB winning teams(including MVP in SB 40), a conference champion. Blocked for a HOF back, and was the number one option for years from a future HOF QB. All time franchise leader by a wide margin, sounds like a HOF player to me, regardless of the team involved.

            • bachslunch

              Several things. You’ll have to convince me that Ward’s finishing 8th all time in receptions is HoF worthy on its own given that he was a possession type wide receiver. All the other HoF WRs who are considered to best fit that description finished no lower than third all time in catches when they retired and most finished first: Ray Berry, Art Monk, Charlie Joiner, and Charlie Taylor finished first, Cris Carter finished second, and Andre Reed finished third. None had finished as low as 8th when they retired. Note also that all of the HoF WRs Ward’s career TD numbers “compare favorably to” appear to have retired long before he did. I’m also not sold on blocking as being very important in HoF WR cases — especially given that it doesn’t even seem to matter much in the case of TEs, who traditionally are expected to block (none of Kellen Winslow, Shannon Sharpe, or Ozzie Newsome were much good at this, yet they all waltzed right into the HoF). If being an “all time franchise leader in catches by a wide margin” at some point automatically made one a HoFer, Terance Mathis, Herman Moore, Lionel Taylor, and Johnny Morris would have been elected long ago. Finally, “winning” (presumably postseason success is meant by this) doesn’t necessarily matter in HoF cases, otherwise players like Sonny Jurgensen, Warren Moon, Dan Marino, Barry Sanders, Jackie Slater, Merlin Olson, Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers, Ernie Stautner, Dan Dierdorf, Roger Wehrli, John Hannah, Ken Houston, Claude Humphrey, Earl Campbell, Eric Dickerson, and Cris Carter wouldn’t be in.

              • sacramento gold miners

                Ward’s depth of qualifications will be enough, although it will take several years. 1000 catches is still a landmark total, and it’s important to note the Steelers were more of a run-oriented team during part of Ward’s career. There was a story on this site about WRs on run oriented teams on this site, and Ward fares well in this category(along with Paul Warfield).

                Blocking by receivers really gained more emphasis during Ward’s career, that’s how he affected the game, and it went deeper than the NFL. The ability of receivers to block not only at the line, but downfield, helps create those big plays. It’s not a coincidence we saw more attention during TV coverage of WR blocking, I strongly suggest anyone who doubts this watch a game from decades ago.

                Don’t mean to sound elitist, but not all franchises are equal, and the higher achieving teams have better players historically than others. Ward has more catches than both Stallworth and Swann combined, plus was a standout postseason player. Without the postseason, he’s on the outside looking in.

                Agree players from losing teams have earned HOF induction, but some of the players you listed did have some postseason appearances. And when a player is a key part of an extended run, that contribution must be valued. Eight playoff berths and two super bowls is one heck of a run, and Ward was a key part of most of that success. It’s not luck, and more than good timing.

                • bachslunch

                  Sorry, not sold on the uniqueness of WR blocking and Hines Ward, as they have always been expected to do so — and I’m not sold that any supposed prowess Ward had is significant enough to vault him into the HoF. We’ll have to agree to disagree here. Also saw the adjusted WR ranking of Stuart’s, and several other non-HoF WRs rank higher than Ward, including Henry Ellard and Torry Holt (both of whom I think belong in and have faced tough sledding so far) as well as HotVG types like Herman Moore, Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith, and Chad Johnson. Re the postseason, it’s actually hard for a player not to make the postseason at all, especially in the expanded playoffs scenarios we’ve had over the last several decades — was talking about those who did not have postseason success. Also not necessarily sold on the idea that making the postseason 8 times in a career is something solely restricted to HoFers — certainly making two SBs isn’t. Plus the Bears have historically been a successful team comparatively and Johnny Morris leads that franchise in catches and has since the 60s — yet he’s not in, nor should he be.

                  • sacramento gold miners

                    HOF voters have historically gone for a candidate which has brought something different to the table, and the highly respected NFL Films has already said Hines Ward changed the game, which is correct. In the past, blocking was seldom talked about from the WR position, but the success of #86 really brought focus to this skillset. I strongly suggest watching a pro or college game from the 80s compared to today, and you’ll hear the difference during the course of a game.

                    Of course, blocking is only one facet of Ward’s considerable resume, and Chase Stuart ranked him highly at #22 all time in his 2-20-13 wide receiver rankings, saying Ward has a compelling case for Canton. The major problem is that Ward was a blue collar receiver, didn’t have an ACL in one of his knees, hence the lack of breakaway TD catches. It wasn’t spectacular, and the perception is that somehow it didn’t require a special talent. Unlike Wes Welker, Ward usually held onto the ball in big moments. And while Chris Carter’s specialty was those sideline catches, Ward often had the ten yard first down catch in traffic.

                    This is where watching the games becomes so vitally important, I’m not referring to you, but there are fans across different sports who are using the box scores for analysis, instead of spending the three hours required to watch football. In the context of winning football, it’s not always who has the most yards or catches which makes the difference. Ward often had a game stat line of roughly 8-88, but those catches included third down conversions, or key blocks, which kept drives alive. It’s factual, we saw it during these games.

                    Yes, there are expanded playoffs today, but Ward played a key role on divisional champions, and was superior to many HOF receivers already enshrined in terms of postseason performance. It’s what you do with the opportunity, not how many you acquire. In Super Bowl 43, Ward started the game with a busted knee from the AFC TG, but helped get the offense off to a good start with a significant catch on the initial scoring drive. That sums up the value of a HOF caliber player who can perform on the biggest stage. As long as champions are crowned, the HOF must recognize the value of postseason performance.

                    Now let’s get to some of these players you mentioned. Johnny Morris only made one Pro Bowl, and his numbers just weren’t strong enough for the HOF. And the Chicago Bears didn’t have a HOF set of wide receivers before him like Stallworth & Swann. Jimmy Smith and Chad Johnson did things off the field which damaged their teams, and who did they ever mentor? Antonio Brown credits Ward for his career development. Henry Ellard didn’t really standout in the postseason, but I do feel Torry Holt should get in(after Issac Bruce). Rod Smith also has a strong case, but he didn’t emerge until his age 27 season.

                    It may take a dozen years, but Hines Ward will definitely take his rightful place in Canton. It’s going to happen, despite the uproar. I’m convinced time will be the decider, and his career will be more appreciated down the road. It’s going to be some time before we see another wide receiver with the physicality and performance of #86.

                    • bachslunch

                      We agree about Johnny Morris, which means leading a relatively successful franchise doesn’t automatically guarantee HoF fitness. Anything Jimmy Smith or Chad Johnson did off field should not affect their HoF case since the HoF doesn’t have a character clause and is explicit about it — not sure they belong in anyway, and that goes for Wes Welker also. I don’t buy NFL Films as a HoF fitness expert if they back Jim Marshall for enshrinement. And Henry Ellard has kick return credit to factor into his case — it certainly helped Tim Brown and is plenty fair to consider. But at least we agree on Torry Holt.

                    • sacramento gold miners

                      I do think Terrell Owen’s antics affected his vote this last time, and hopefully it will delay his selection longer. When a player repeatedly makes a fool of himself, or commits a crime, he should be held accountable. The HOF is an honor, not just a museum.

                    • bachslunch

                      I’m not surprised TO wasn’t first ballot. There have only been five such WRs (Berry, Alworth, Warfield, Largent, and Rice), and no way TO was going to be seen as an equal even with pristine behavior. But the PFHoF has elected all sorts of folks who might flunk a character clause including ex-drug users (L. Taylor, C. Carter, Irvin), folks who gambled on NFL games or are suspected of things like point shaving/game throwing (Hornung, Schmidt, Layne, Stabler), an owner who was a legal bookie (T. Mara), another owner who was a heavy gambler (Rooney Sr.), owners with questionable associates (Bidwill, DeBartolo), and folks notorious for dirty play (J. Greene, Butkus). And expect Ray Lewis (guilty plea to obstruction of justice in relation to a double slaying) to be elected first ballot as well as Kevin Williams (steroid use) to get in after a few years wait. And players like Billy Howton (fraud conviction), Alex Karras (gambling on NFL games), Walt Sweeney (steroid use), and Jim Tyrer (murder/suicide) remain viable Senior candidates. The PFHoF isn’t kidding when it says character issues don’t matter — bad behavior seems to be at worst a delaying issue if you’re otherwise deserving. And as long as they’re consistent, that’s fine with me. Beats the sanctimonious hooey connected with BBHoF voting.

  • TN

    “On the other side of the ledger, Football Perspective heartthrob Steve Smith played on teams that passed only 93% of the time, putting him near the bottom of the list.”

    Passing 93% of the time seems like an awful lot to me.

    • Four Touchdowns

      I am also confused by the percentages — but from what I can infer, I think an average team/receiver is supposed to be 100%. That’s why the chart has players that are above 100%, like Colston with 117%, Megatron at 113%, etc.

      • VonSwenson

        I’m pretty sure the pass ratio is the number of passes thrown per game by that team, compared to the average of all teams in the league for that year, then weighted appropriately per year and averaged for that player’s career.

        So Calvin Johnson’s tams would have thrown 13.8% more passes per game than average teams. That’s a “pass-happy offense”.

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  • sunrise089

    Late to the party, but I’ll be the bad guy again and suggest Calvin shouldn’t make the HOF. Solid though not spectacular numbers, and more negatives than positives on the intangibles side of the ledger. There are five guys ahead of him on the active receiving yards list and somewhere between three and all five are more deserving without even factoring in that Smith, Fitzgerald, and Boldin will add additional counting stats.

    Plus in five years when he’s eligible some of the Green/Julio/Demaryius/Marshall/Dez/Brown tier players are going to make his numbers look like less of a standout for his era.

    • sacramento gold miners

      While it was disappointing to see Johnson end his career early, we’re starting to see other players pay more attention to their quality of life after football. Johnson’s peak was good enough for me, he passes the eye test as well, In terms of the younger receivers, so much can happen which will derail their HOF goals. And receivers like Bryant and Marshall will be damaged by their off field issues. I’m glad to see Terrell Owens wait a few years for his HOF call.

      • bachslunch

        It’s of course far too early to say about Dez Bryant’s and Brandon Marshall’s HoF fitness. But if they end up with good enough career numbers, any off field issues short of the type committed by Darren Sharper will end up as a blip in their HoF case. Lawrence Taylor was first ballot, Ray Lewis surely will be, and neither Marvin Harrison nor Michael Irvin waited very long. The PFHoF doesn’t have a character clause anyway and is explicit about that. As for Megatron, my guess is that he gets in eventually but waits a good while; his relatively short career will delay him, though his peak will likely be just enough to get him elected.