The early 1990s were a simpler time. That’s doubly true when it comes to passing statistics, and triply true for tight ends. In week 2, the Bills and 49ers played a famous game in which neither team punted. In week 4 of the 2014 season, the Bears and Packers played just the second game in NFL history with no punts. A streak of 22 years and 2 weeks is pretty long, but that’s not even the longest streak to come out of that Buffalo/San Francisco game.
The Bills defeated the 49ers in no small part thanks to Pete Metzelaars, who caught four passes for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns. And until last Sunday, that was the last time a Buffalo Bills tight end gained 100 yards in a game. In 1993, Metzelaars had a 98-yard game; Lonnie Johnson had an 86-yard game two years later, and gained 90 yards in a 1996 game. Jay Riemersma had three 80+ yard games for the Bills, but that was about it. For over 22 years, no Buffalo Bills tight end hit the hundred yard mark until Scott Chandler caught 6 passes for 105 yards against New England.
In between Metzelaars and Chandler, there were 289 games where a tight end gained at least 100 receiving yards in a game. Unsurprisingly, the Patriots lead the way with 29 of those games, with Rob Gronkowski and Ben Coates responsible for 22 such performances. The table below shows — for each franchise — the number of tight ends who gained 100 receiving yards between week 3 of the ’92 season and week 5 of this year. I have also included (in parentheses) the number of 100-yard games recorded by each tight end for that franchise: [click to continue…]