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Which Quarterbacks Produced Peak Years For Their Receivers?

by Chase Stuart on March 23, 2014

in History, Quarterbacks, Receiving, Statistics

Wazzup????

Wazzup????

Some quarterbacks and wide receivers just go together. Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison. Dan Marino and Mark Clayton and Mark Duper. Joe Namath and Don Maynard. John Hadl and Lance Alworth. But quarterbacks play with lots of receivers, and receivers generally play with several quarterbacks. We don’t remember most combinations, but that doesn’t mean they were all unproductive. So I thought it might be interesting to look at every wide receiver since 1950, find his best single season in receiving yards, and record who was his team’s primary quarterback that season.

Jerry Rice’s best year came with Steve Young, not Joe Montana. Randy Moss set the touchdown record with Tom Brady, but his best year in receiving yards was with Daunte Culpepper. Lynn Swann’s best year was with Terry Bradshaw, but John Stallworth’s top season in receiving yards came with Mark Malone. James Lofton’s best season was with Lynn Dickey, Isaac Bruce’s best year was with Chris Miller, Torry Holt’s top season came with Marc Bulger, and Tim Brown’s top year was with Jeff George.

This is little more than random trivia, but this site does not have aspirations for March content higher than random trivia. In unsurprising news, 25 different players had their best season in receiving yards (minimum 300 receiving yards) while playing with Brett Favre. That includes a host of Packers, but also a couple of Jets and Vikings, too (including one future Hall of Famer).

After Favre, Marino is next with 22 players, and he’s followed by Manning and Fran Tarkenton (20). From that group, I suspect that Tarkenton might surprise some folks. That is, unless they realized that he was the career leader in passing yards when he retired and played for five years with the Giants and thirteen with Minnesota.

The table below shows every quarterback who was responsible for the peak receiving yards season of at least five different receivers (subject to the 300 yard minimum threshold). For each quarterback, I’ve also listed all of his receivers.

Num
Quarterback
Receivers
25Brett FavreRobert Brooks; Sterling Sharpe; Antonio Freeman; Javon Walker; Sidney Rice; Donald Driver; Bill Schroeder; Don Beebe; Mark Chmura; Edgar Bennett; Ahman Green; Donald Lee; Dorsey Levens; Antonio Chatman; Robert Ferguson; Bubba Franks; Adrian Peterson; Anthony Morgan; Harry Sydney; Ed West; William Henderson; Chansi Stuckey; Ruvell Martin; Leon Washington; Tony Fisher
22Dan MarinoMark Clayton; Mark Duper; O.J. McDuffie; Oronde Gadsden; Jim Jensen; Tony Nathan; Lamar Thomas; Ferrell Edmunds; Troy Drayton; Fred Banks; Bobby Humphrey; Charles Jordan; Tony Paige; Troy Stradford; Lorenzo Hampton; Bruce Hardy; Dan Johnson; Andre Brown; James Pruitt; Stanley Pritchett; Bernie Parmalee; Joe Rose
20Peyton ManningMarvin Harrison; Reggie Wayne; Demaryius Thomas; Eric Decker; Dallas Clark; Brandon Stokley; Julius Thomas; Marcus Pollard; Austin Collie; Anthony Gonzalez; Jerome Pathon; Jacob Tamme; Edgerrin James; Terrence Wilkins; Knowshon Moreno; Troy Walters; Ben Utecht; Joseph Addai; Blair White; Dominic Rhodes
20Fran TarkentonHomer Jones; John Gilliam; Paul Flatley; Aaron Thomas; Jerry Reichow; Bob Tucker; Rickey Young; Bill Brown; Chuck Foreman; Jim Lash; Tommy Mason; Ron Johnson; Ed Marinaro; Gordie Smith; Tucker Frederickson; Bobby Duhon; Charley Ferguson; Stu Voigt; Tom Hall; Freeman White
19John ElwayShannon Sharpe; Vance Johnson; Mark Jackson; Derek Russell; Ricky Nattiel; Mike Young; Butch Johnson; Glyn Milburn; Gerald Willhite; Steve Sewell; Arthur Marshall; Cedric Tillman; Reggie Rivers; Clarence Kay; Clint Sampson; Rod Bernstine; Aaron Craver; Terrell Davis; Orson Mobley
17Warren MoonCris Carter; Haywood Jeffires; Drew Hill; Ernest Givins; Curtis Duncan; Mike Pritchard; Butch Woolfolk; Lorenzo White; Jamie Williams; Leonard Harris; Gary Wellman; Tony Jones; Chris Dressel; Christian Fauria; Adrian Cooper; Carlester Crumpler; Andrew Jordan
17Kerry CollinsAmani Toomer; Jerry Porter; Ike Hilliard; Jeremy Shockey; Willie Green; Kenny Britt; Tiki Barber; Joe Jurevicius; LaMont Jordan; Bo Scaife; Doug Gabriel; Rae Carruth; Brandon Jones; Eric Guliford; Ron Dixon; Tim Carter; Courtney Anderson
17Y.A. TittleDel Shofner; Billy Hillenbrand; Billy Wilson; Kyle Rote; Frank Gifford; Lamar Davis; Billy Stone; Paul Salata; Bill Jessup; Joe Walton; John North; Alex Webster; Hugh McElhenny; J.R. Boone; Phil King; Windell Williams; Carroll Hardy
16Drew BreesJimmy Graham; Marques Colston; Lance Moore; Devery Henderson; Reggie Bush; LaDainian Tomlinson; Eric Parker; Robert Meachem; Darren Sproles; Kenny Stills; Pierre Thomas; Stephen Alexander; Terrance Copper; Joe Morgan; David Thomas; Kassim Osgood
16Matt HasselbeckKoren Robinson; Darrell Jackson; Bobby Engram; Nate Washington; Jared Cook; Mike Williams; D.J. Hackett; Damian Williams; Jerramy Stevens; Itula Mili; Ben Obomanu; Lavelle Hawkins; Shaun Alexander; Deon Butler; Justin Forsett; Leonard Weaver
16Donovan McNabbKevin Curtis; Brent Celek; Anthony Armstrong; Chris Cooley; James Thrash; Reggie Brown; Todd Pinkston; Brian Westbrook; Chad Lewis; L.J. Smith; Duce Staley; Greg Lewis; Freddie Mitchell; Hank Baskett; Correll Buckhalter; Keiland Williams
16Phil SimmsLionel Manuel; Mark Bavaro; Johnny Perkins; Bobby Johnson; Zeke Mowatt; Stephen Baker; Dave Meggett; Stacy Robinson; Byron Williams; Gary Shirk; Odessa Turner; Phil McConkey; Tom Mullady; George Adams; Mike Friede; Danny Pittman
15Troy AikmanMichael Irvin; Rocket Ismail; James McKnight; Alvin Harper; Jay Novacek; Billy Davis; Kevin Williams; James Dixon; Deion Sanders; Eric Bjornson; Jason Tucker; Emmitt Smith; Daryl Johnston; David LaFleur; Stepfret Williams
15Tom BradyWes Welker; Rob Gronkowski; Troy Brown; Julian Edelman; Deion Branch; Aaron Hernandez; David Givens; David Patten; Reche Caldwell; Aaron Dobson; Kenbrell Thompkins; Brandon Tate; Shane Vereen; Daniel Graham; Sam Aiken
15Carson PalmerChad Johnson; T.J. Houshmandzadeh; Michael Floyd; Darrius Heyward-Bey; Brandon Myers; Denarius Moore; Chris Henry; Jordan Shipley; Marcel Reece; Rob Housler; Andre Caldwell; Michael Bush; Kenny Watson; Andre Ellington; Chris Perry
15Dan FoutsJohn Jefferson; Kellen Winslow; Wes Chandler; Charlie Joiner; Lionel James; Gary Anderson; Pete Holohan; Bobby Duckworth; Pat Curran; Harrison Davis; Dwight Scales; Bob Klein; Chuck Muncie; Clarence Williams; Don Woods
15Drew BledsoePeerless Price; Ben Coates; Terry Glenn; Vincent Brisby; Michael Timpson; Shawn Jefferson; Bobby Shaw; Will Moore; Tony Simmons; Kevin Turner; Leroy Thompson; Ray Crittenden; Mark Campbell; Robert Edwards; Travis Henry
14Norm SneadBobby Mitchell; Ben Hawkins; Pete Retzlaff; Harold Jackson; Fred Dugan; Ray Poage; Rich Houston; Lee Bouggess; Tom Woodeshick; Dick James; Delvin Williams; Fred Hill; Jim Kelly; Ron Goodwin
14John BrodieDave Parks; Gene Washington; R.C. Owens; Clifton McNeil; Monty Stickles; Dick Witcher; Jimmy Johnson; Bob Windsor; Clyde Conner; John David Crow; Doug Cunningham; Jimmy Thomas; Ken Willard; J.D. Smith
14Ken AndersonCris Collinsworth; Isaac Curtis; Dan Ross; Chip Myers; Billy Brooks; M.L. Harris; Don Bass; Steve Kreider; Essex Johnson; Archie Griffin; Doug Dressler; Boobie Clark; Stanford Jennings; Pete Johnson
14Roman GabrielHarold Carmichael; Bernie Casey; Jack Snow; Charle Young; Wendell Tucker; Billy Truax; Tom Moore; Les Josephson; Norm Bulaich; Don Zimmerman; Dick Bass; Jim Bertelsen; Larry Smith; Tom Sullivan
14Steve DeBergStephone Paige; Gerald Carter; James Wilder; Paul Hofer; Paul Palmer; Earl Cooper; Tim Barnett; Robb Thomas; Emile Harry; Todd McNair; Jerry Bell; Mike Shumann; Wilbur Jackson; Kenny Harrison
13Vinny TestaverdeMark Carrier; Michael Jackson; Wayne Chrebet; Bruce Hill; Richie Anderson; Lawrence Dawsey; Dedric Ward; Brian Kinchen; Ron Hall; Drew Carter; Curtis Martin; Jeff King; Willie Drewrey
13Ron JaworskiMike Quick; Charlie Smith; John Spagnola; Keith Krepfle; Kenny Jackson; Wilbert Montgomery; Tony Woodruff; Ron Smith; Hubie Oliver; Herman Hunter; Michael Haddix; Billy Campfield; Junior Tautalatasi
13Jack KempElbert Dubenion; Dave Kocourek; Glenn Bass; Bill Miller; Don Norton; Paul Costa; Ralph Anderson; Keith Lincoln; Bobby Crockett; Howard Clark; Bobby Burnett; Paul Lowe; Cookie Gilchrist
13Joe MontanaDwight Clark; John Taylor; Roger Craig; Freddie Solomon; Willie Davis; Brent Jones; J.J. Birden; Tom Rathman; Lake Dawson; Mike Wilson; Jeff Moore; Renaldo Nehemiah; Jonathan Hayes
13Bobby LayneCloyce Box; Dorne Dibble; Dave Middleton; Bill Chipley; Jim Doran; Doak Walker; Leon Hart; Tom Tracy; Ralph Heywood; Preston Carpenter; Jug Girard; Lew Carpenter; Steve Junker
12John HadlLance Alworth; Gary Garrison; Willie Frazier; Ken Payne; Jacque MacKinnon; Billy Parks; Cid Edwards; Jon Staggers; Jerry Robinson; Mike Montgomery; Pettis Norman; John Brockington
12Matt SchaubAndre Johnson; Kevin Walter; Owen Daniels; DeAndre Hopkins; Arian Foster; Andre' Davis; Jacoby Jones; Garrett Graham; Joel Dreessen; Steve Slaton; David Anderson; James Casey
12Jim EverettHenry Ellard; Flipper Anderson; Quinn Early; Torrance Small; Robert Delpino; Aaron Cox; Ron Brown; Irv Smith; Derek Brown; Jim Price; Buford McGee; Damone Johnson
12Jeff GeorgeTim Brown; Terance Mathis; Eric Metcalf; Bert Emanuel; Reggie Langhorne; Jessie Hester; Rickey Dudley; Albert Bentley; Kerry Cash; Anthony Johnson; Napoleon Kaufman; Craig Heyward
12Joe TheismannArt Monk; Charlie Brown; Calvin Muhammad; Danny Buggs; Terry Metcalf; John McDaniel; Clarence Harmon; Virgil Seay; Ricky Thompson; Nick Giaquinto; Don Warren; Alvin Garrett
12Johnny UnitasRaymond Berry; Jimmy Orr; Lenny Moore; Willie Richardson; John Mackey; Eddie Hinton; Jim Mutscheller; Tom Matte; Dee Mackey; L.G. Dupre; Joe Perry; Jerry Hill
12Joe FergusonFrank Lewis; Byron Franklin; Jerry Butler; Bob Chandler; Reuben Gant; Joe Cribbs; Lou Piccone; Jim Braxton; O.J. Simpson; Curtis Brown; Mark Brammer; Mitchell Brookins
12Sonny JurgensenTommy McDonald; Charley Taylor; Jerry Smith; Timmy Brown; Bob Long; Pat Richter; Angelo Coia; A.D. Whitfield; Charlie Harraway; Clarence Peaks; Walter Roberts; Ted Dean
11Daunte CulpepperRandy Moss; Nate Burleson; Jermaine Wiggins; D'Wayne Bates; Byron Chamberlain; Moe Williams; Kelly Campbell; Jim Kleinsasser; Onterrio Smith; Michael Bennett; Robert Smith
11Eli ManningVictor Cruz; Steve Smith; Hakeem Nicks; Mario Manningham; Rueben Randle; Jake Ballard; Domenik Hixon; Kevin Boss; Derrick Ward; Jerrel Jernigan; Ahmad Bradshaw
11Tony RomoDez Bryant; Miles Austin; Jason Witten; Laurent Robinson; Terrance Williams; Patrick Crayton; Kevin Ogletree; Marion Barber; Cole Beasley; DeMarco Murray; Sam Hurd
11Jim KellyAndre Reed; Chris Burkett; Thurman Thomas; Russell Copeland; Pete Metzelaars; Trumaine Johnson; Lonnie Johnson; Robb Riddick; Keith McKeller; Steve Tasker; Flip Johnson
11Jon KitnaRoy Williams; Mike Furrey; Sean Dawkins; Shaun McDonald; Derrick Mayes; Peter Warrick; Kevin Jones; Felix Jones; Ron Dugans; Matt Schobel; Dan Campbell
11Craig MortonSteve Watson; Haven Moses; Rick Upchurch; Riley Odoms; Walker Gillette; Ray Rhodes; Dave Preston; Jack Dolbin; Jim Jensen; Joe Dawkins; Doug Kotar
11Ken StablerCliff Branch; Dave Casper; Mike Siani; Mike Barber; Raymond Chester; Jeff Groth; Morris Bradshaw; Mark van Eeghen; Mike Holston; Bob Moore; Rob Carpenter
11Archie ManningHenry Childs; Tony Galbreath; Bob Newland; Paul Seal; Guido Merkens; Joel Parker; Jubilee Dunbar; Tinker Owens; Wayne Wilson; Brooks Williams; Larry Burton
10Chris MillerIsaac Bruce; Michael Haynes; Shawn Collins; John Settle; Johnny Bailey; Gene Lang; Todd Kinchen; Keith Jones; George Thomas; Ron Heller
10Jason CampbellJosh Gordon; Jordan Cameron; Antwaan Randle El; Louis Murphy; Darren McFadden; Jacoby Ford; Clinton Portis; Malcolm Kelly; Chris Ogbonnaya; Devin Thomas
10Cotton DavidsonArt Powell; Chris Burford; Clem Daniels; Bo Roberson; Johnny Robinson; Abner Haynes; Dobie Craig; Max Boydston; Ken Herock; Dick Dorsey
10Brad JohnsonJake Reed; Keyshawn Johnson; Michael Westbrook; Albert Connell; Michael Pittman; Mewelde Moore; Troy Williamson; Charles Lee; Stephen Davis; Billy McMullen
10Steve McNairDerrick Mason; Mark Clayton; Kevin Dyson; Justin McCareins; Frank Wycheck; Erron Kinney; Ben Troupe; Eddie George; Demetrius Williams; Chris Brown
10Boomer EsiasonEddie Brown; Tim McGee; Johnny Mitchell; Rodney Holman; James Brooks; Johnny Johnson; Adrian Murrell; Mike Martin; Pat Carter; Marcus Dowdell
10Charley JohnsonSonny Randle; Bobby Joe Conrad; Dave Williams; Rod Sherman; Taz Anderson; Floyd Little; Billy Van Heusen; Bill Triplett; Billy Masters; Mike Richardson
10Brian SipeOzzie Newsome; Dave Logan; Reggie Rucker; Ricky Feacher; Greg Pruitt; Bobby Jones; Mike Pruitt; Harry Holt; Calvin Hill; Willis Adams
9Steve YoungJerry Rice; J.J. Stokes; Ricky Watters; Derek Loville; Calvin Magee; Garrison Hearst; William Floyd; Marc Logan; Keith Henderson
9Jake PlummerDavid Boston; Rob Moore; Frank Sanders; Ashley Lelie; Jeb Putzier; MarTay Jenkins; Marcel Shipp; Darius Watts; Jason McAddley
9Jay CutlerBrandon Marshall; Alshon Jeffery; Eddie Royal; Johnny Knox; Martellus Bennett; Devin Hester; Earl Bennett; Tony Scheffler; Matt Forte
9Jeff GarciaTerrell Owens; Antonio Bryant; Dennis Northcutt; Tai Streets; Jed Weaver; Alex Smith; Greg Clark; Earnest Graham; Kevan Barlow
9Josh FreemanVincent Jackson; Mike Williams; Preston Parker; Doug Martin; Arrelious Benn; Dezmon Briscoe; Maurice Stovall; Cadillac Williams; Sammie Stroughter
9Lynn DickeyJames Lofton; Paul Coffman; Phil Epps; Aundra Thompson; Gerry Ellis; Steve Odom; Eddie Lee Ivery; Ollie Smith; Barty Smith
9Gus FrerotteGermane Crowell; Chris Chambers; Bernard Berrian; Visanthe Shiancoe; David Sloan; Jamie Asher; Brian Mitchell; Chester Taylor; Larry Bowie
9Len DawsonOtis Taylor; Frank Jackson; Fred Arbanas; Frank Pitts; Curtis McClinton; Elmo Wright; Gloster Richardson; Morris Stroud; Mike Garrett
9Dave KriegSteve Largent; Larry Centers; Tommy Kane; Daryl Turner; John Williams; Paul Skansi; Paul Johns; Anthony Edwards; Curt Warner
9Chad PenningtonLaveranues Coles; Jerricho Cotchery; Ted Ginn Jr.; Greg Camarillo; David Martin; Jerald Sowell; Chris Baker; Anthony Becht; Brad Smith
9Jim McMahonAnthony Miller; Dennis McKinnon; Walter Payton; Emery Moorehead; Ron Morris; Dennis Gentry; Matt Suhey; Tim Wrightman; Wayne Walker
9Frank TripuckaLionel Taylor; Bob Mann; Al Frazier; Bob Scarpitto; Al Carmichael; Gene Prebola; Bo Dickinson; Ken Carpenter; Donnie Stone
9Billy WadeJohnny Morris; Mike Ditka; Leon Clarke; Willie Galimore; Jon Arnett; Lamar Lundy; Bo Farrington; Joe Marconi; Ronnie Bull
9Philip RiversAntonio Gates; Keenan Allen; Malcom Floyd; Danario Alexander; Danny Woodhead; Vincent Brown; Ryan Mathews; Mike Tolbert; Ladarius Green
9Tommy KramerAhmad Rashad; Joe Senser; Sammy White; Steve Jordan; Leo Lewis; Ted Brown; Mike Jones; Terry LeCount; Allen Rice
9Ryan FitzpatrickKendall Wright; Steve Johnson; David Nelson; Delanie Walker; C.J. Spiller; Donald Jones; Fred Jackson; Roscoe Parrish; Justin Hunter
9Terry BradshawLynn Swann; Theo Bell; Ron Shanklin; Jim Smith; Dave Smith; Bennie Cunningham; Randy Grossman; John Fuqua; Dennis Hughes
9Bob GrieseJack Clancy; Nat Moore; Karl Noonan; Howard Twilley; Larry Seiple; Jim Kiick; Doug Moreau; Andre Tillman; Jim Mandich
9Sammy BaughSteve Bagarus; Hal Crisler; Eddie Saenz; Bob Nussbaumer; Dick Todd; Wilbur Moore; Jimmy Johnston; Gene Brito; Bob Masterson
8George BlandaCharley Hennigan; Bill Groman; Charley Frazier; Jim Dooley; Ode Burrell; John Carson; Bob McLeod; Sid Blanks
8Mark BrunellJimmy Smith; Santana Moss; Keenan McCardell; Kyle Brady; Pete Mitchell; Ladell Betts; Fred Taylor; James Stewart
8Neil LomaxRoy Green; J.T. Smith; Ottis Anderson; Doug Marsh; Robert Awalt; Stump Mitchell; Earl Ferrell; Troy Johnson
8Norm Van BrocklinElroy Hirsch; Bob Boyd; Tom Fears; Glenn Davis; Bob Carey; Dick Hoerner; Billy Ray Barnes; Skeets Quinlan
8Joe NamathDon Maynard; George Sauer; Rich Caster; Eddie Bell; David Knight; Pete Lammons; Bill Mathis; John Riggins
8Kurt WarnerLarry Fitzgerald; Anquan Boldin; Marshall Faulk; Steve Breaston; Az-Zahir Hakim; Jerheme Urban; Ernie Conwell; Tim Hightower
8Steve BartkowskiAlfred Jenkins; Stacey Bailey; Wallace Francis; William Andrews; Alfred Jackson; Billy Ryckman; Junior Miller; Lynn Cain
8Aaron RodgersJordy Nelson; Greg Jennings; Randall Cobb; James Jones; Jermichael Finley; Jarrett Boykin; Brandon Jackson; Andrew Quarless
8Bobby HebertAndre Rison; Eric Martin; Floyd Turner; Lonzell Hill; Dalton Hilliard; Jamal Anderson; Tyrone Brown; Erric Pegram
8Bernie KosarWebster Slaughter; Brian Brennan; Earnest Byner; Leroy Hoard; Herman Fontenot; Clarence Weathers; Kevin Mack; Scott Galbraith
8Don MeredithBob Hayes; Frank Clarke; Lance Rentzel; Dan Reeves; Lee Folkins; Pete Gent; Amos Marsh; Craig Baynham
8Stan HumphriesTony Martin; Ronnie Harmon; Mark Seay; Nate Lewis; Andre Coleman; Terrell Fletcher; Derrick Walker; Alfred Pupunu
8Ken O'BrienAl Toon; Mickey Shuler; Jo-Jo Townsell; Kurt Sohn; Freeman McNeil; Mark Boyer; Johnny Hector; Keith Neubert
8Randall CunninghamFred Barnett; Keith Jackson; Keith Byars; Calvin Williams; Andrew Glover; Ron Johnson; James Joseph; Anthony Toney
8Billy KilmerDanny Abramowicz; Frank Grant; Jean Fugett; Al Dodd; Mike Thomas; Larry Brown Jr.; Tony Baker; Jimmy Hester
8Jim HarbaughWendell Davis; Jermaine Lewis; Tom Waddle; Ken Dilger; Neal Anderson; Brad Muster; Aaron Bailey; Terry Obee
8Sid LuckmanJim Keane; Ken Kavanaugh; Ray McLean; Harry Clarke; George McAfee; Bob Margarita; Connie Mack Berry; Hampton Pool
8Bart StarrBoyd Dowler; Max McGee; Ron Kramer; Elijah Pitts; Donny Anderson; Marv Fleming; Jim Taylor; Paul Hornung
8Chris ChandlerChris Sanders; Randal Hill; Tim Dwight; Clarence Verdin; O.J. Santiago; Bob Christian; Harold Green; Reggie Kelly
8Steve GroganDon Hasselbeck; Hart Lee Dykes; Cedric Jones; Russ Francis; Darryl Stingley; Eric Sievers; Andy Johnson; Sam Cunningham
8Trent DilferJacquez Green; Jackie Harris; Reidel Anthony; Warrick Dunn; Mike Alstott; Karl Williams; Steve Heiden; Reuben Droughns
8Gary DanielsonLeonard Thompson; Mark Nichols; James Jones; David Hill; Billy Sims; Horace King; Dexter Bussey; Luther Blue
8Charlie ConerlyBob Schnelker; Gene Roberts; Bill Swiacki; Ray Poole; Ken MacAfee; Bob McChesney; Joe Scott; Eddie Price
8Sam BradfordChris Givens; Brandon Gibson; Danny Amendola; Lance Kendricks; Tavon Austin; Austin Pettis; Daniel Fells; Brian Quick
8Vince FerragamoBilly Waddy; Greg Bell; George Farmer; Eric Dickerson; Cullen Bryant; Eason Ramson; Mike Guman; Victor Hicks
7Matthew StaffordCalvin Johnson; Brandon Pettigrew; Titus Young; Joique Bell; Kris Durham; Kevin Smith; Ryan Broyles
7Jake DelhommeSteve Smith; Muhsin Muhammad; Keary Colbert; Nick Goings; DeShaun Foster; Kris Mangum; Dante Rosario
7Tony EasonStanley Morgan; Derrick Ramsey; Tony Collins; Stephen Starring; Lin Dawson; Craig James; Greg Baty
7Andy DaltonA.J. Green; Jermaine Gresham; Marvin Jones; Andrew Hawkins; Giovani Bernard; Mohamed Sanu; Tyler Eifert
7Aaron BrooksJoe Horn; Willie Jackson; Donte' Stallworth; Deuce McAllister; Ricky Williams; Boo Williams; Zachary Hilton
7Matt RyanRoddy White; Julio Jones; Harry Douglas; Michael Jenkins; Jacquizz Rodgers; Jerious Norwood; Jason Snelling
7Trent GreenTony Gonzalez; Eddie Kennison; Leslie Shepherd; Priest Holmes; Snoop Minnis; Dante Hall; Marc Boerigter
7Jeff BlakeCarl Pickens; Darnay Scott; Travis Taylor; Tony McGee; David Dunn; Jamal Lewis; Eric Bieniemy
7Babe ParilliBilly Howton; Jim Colclough; Gino Cappelletti; Art Graham; Tony Romeo; Larry Garron; Ron Burton
7Jim HartJackie Smith; Pat Tilley; Mel Gray; Ike Harris; Earl Thomas; Dave Stief; J.V. Cain
7Matt CasselDwayne Bowe; Jerome Simpson; Tony Moeaki; Kevin Faulk; Cordarrelle Patterson; Jarius Wright; Jonathan Baldwin
7Joe FlaccoTorrey Smith; Ray Rice; Dennis Pitta; Ed Dickson; Marlon Brown; Kelley Washington; Tandon Doss
7Roger StaubachDrew Pearson; Billy Joe DuPree; Preston Pearson; Golden Richards; Walt Garrison; Otto Stowe; Scott Laidlaw
7Steve BeuerleinPatrick Jeffers; Mervyn Fernandez; Donald Hayes; Ricky Proehl; Wesley Walls; Mike Dyal; Tim Biakabutuka
7Alex SmithVernon Davis; Josh Morgan; Jamaal Charles; Arnaz Battle; Dexter McCluster; Frank Gore; Sean McGrath
7Jim ZornSam McCullum; Sherman Smith; Dan Doornink; Ron Howard; John Sawyer; Duke Fergerson; Steve Raible
7David GarrardMike Sims-Walker; Mike Thomas; Matt Jones; Marcedes Lewis; Reggie Williams; Maurice Jones-Drew; George Wrighster
7Bob BerryKen Burrow; Jim Mitchell; Art Malone; Jerry Simmons; Ray Ogden; Wes Chesson; Todd Snyder
7Tom FloresDoug Asad; Billy Lott; Bob Coolbaugh; Charlie Hardy; Alan Miller; Tony Teresa; Alan Goldstein
7Bubby BristerVictor Bailey; Merril Hoge; Derek Hill; Weegie Thompson; Mike Mularkey; Charles Lockett; Rodney Carter
6Ben RoethlisbergerAntonio Brown; Mike Wallace; Santonio Holmes; Heath Miller; Emmanuel Sanders; Le'Veon Bell
6Ed BrownBuddy Dial; Harlon Hill; Gary Ballman; Willard Dewveall; Red Mack; Bill McColl
6Doug WilliamsKevin House; Ricky Sanders; Jimmie Giles; Isaac Hagins; Gordon Jones; Jerry Eckwood
6Otto GrahamMac Speedie; Dante Lavelli; Pete Brewster; Dub Jones; Bill Boedeker; Horace Gillom
6Danny WhiteTony Hill; Mike Renfro; Doug Cosbie; Ron Springs; Kelvin Edwards; Jay Saldi
6Bill NelsenPaul Warfield; Milt Morin; Fair Hooker; Clendon Thomas; Chip Glass; Bo Scott
6Mike TomczakCharles Johnson; Andre Hastings; Troy Edwards; Lawyer Tillman; Keith Ortego; James Thornton
6Chad HenneCecil Shorts; Justin Blackmon; Davone Bess; Anthony Fasano; Ace Sanders; Mike Brown
6Michael VickJeremy Maclin; Alge Crumpler; Brian Finneran; Jason Avant; LeSean McCoy; Trevor Gaylor
6Eddie LeBaronHugh Taylor; Bill Anderson; Jim Podoley; Charlie Justice; Dick Bielski; Bert Zagers
6Frank RyanGary Collins; Rich Kreitling; Jim Brown; Johnny Brewer; Ernie Green; Leroy Kelly
6Frankie AlbertGordie Soltau; Alyn Beals; Johnny Strzykalski; Alex Loyd; Jim Cason; Len Eshmont
6Greg LandryRay Jarvis; Joe Washington; Don McCauley; Reese McCall; Larry Walton; Steve Owens
6Mike LivingstonWalter White; MacArthur Lane; Larry Brunson; Barry Pearson; Tony Reed; Ed Podolak
6Bill MunsonBucky Pope; Earl McCullouch; Charlie Sanders; Marlin McKeever; Billy Gambrell; Mel Farr
6Colt McCoyBen Watson; Greg Little; Josh Cribbs; Peyton Hillis; Evan Moore; Brian Robiskie
6Tobin RoteGary Knafelc; Ray Pelfrey; Howard Cassady; Howie Ferguson; Carl Elliott; Fred Cone
6Glenn DobbsJoe Aguirre; Len Ford; Dick Wilkins; Saxon Judd; Joe Davis; Herm Wedemeyer
6Mike PagelTracy Porter; Curtis Dickey; Wayne Capers; Bernard Henry; Pat Beach; Tim Sherwin
5Brian GrieseRod Smith; Ed McCaffrey; Michael Clayton; Dwayne Carswell; Adrian Peterson
5Mark MaloneJohn Stallworth; Louis Lipps; Jamie Holland; Walter Abercrombie; Rich Erenberg
5Elvis GrbacDerrick Alexander; Sylvester Morris; Tony Richardson; Kevin Lockett; Ted Popson
5Bill KenneyCarlos Carson; Henry Marshall; Anthony Hancock; Theotis Brown; Walt Arnold
5Robert GriffinPierre Garcon; Leonard Hankerson; Jordan Reed; Aldrick Robinson; Logan Paulsen
5Jim PlunkettTodd Christensen; Randy Vataha; Mack Herron; Rod Barksdale; Carl Garrett
5Bert JonesRoger Carr; Ray Butler; Glenn Doughty; Lydell Mitchell; Randy McMillan
5Tim CouchKevin Johnson; Quincy Morgan; Darrin Chiaverini; Jamel White; Aaron Shea
5Milt PlumGail Cogdill; Ray Renfro; Gern Nagler; Jim Gibbons; Bill Malinchak
5Jay SchroederWillie Gault; Clint Didier; Ethan Horton; Kelvin Bryant; Anthony Allen
5Paul ChristmanMal Kutner; Billy Dewell; Babe Dimancheff; Charlie Trippi; Ed Rucinski
5Rich GannonCharlie Garner; Hassan Jones; Terry Allen; Doug Jolley; Jon Ritchie
5George RattermanAl Baldwin; Chet Mutryn; Dan Edwards; Art Weiner; Bill O'Connor
5Cam NewtonGreg Olsen; Brandon LaFell; Legedu Naanee; Jonathan Stewart; DeAngelo Williams
5Dave BrownMike Sherrard; Thomas Lewis; Howard Cross; Charles Way; Aaron Pierce
5Pat HadenPreston Dennard; Willie Miller; Wendell Tyler; Terry Nelson; John Cappelletti
5Pete BeathardAlvin Reed; Jerry LeVias; Mac Haik; Hoyle Granger; Roy Hopkins
5David CarrCorey Bradford; Billy Miller; Domanick Williams; Derick Armstrong; James Allen
5Tommy ThompsonJack Ferrante; Dick Humbert; Neill Armstrong; Fred Meyer; Bosh Pritchard

I’m in the very large ocean of folks who can’t stand Phil Simms the analyst, but his presence near the top of this list reminders me of a larger point. When Neil and I were working on True Receiving Yards, some of Neil’s research quantified just how poor Simms’ receivers were. Maybe that’s not shocking, but it really stood out to us behind the scenes when we compiled the lists. One potential conclusion from the data was that Simms was underrated for maintaining an above-average ANY/A despite being saddled with such a terrible receiving corps.

In a very general sense, this post supports that idea. Simms was the trigger man for the best receiving season for 16 different players, which is a pretty high number for a man who ranks 27th on the career passing yards list. The quarterbacks with 15 different receivers include Tom Brady and Dan Fouts, who are in the top 11 in career passing yards, and Carson Palmer, who ranks 25th and has played for three teams. For Simms, I think his “16″ reflects two facts: there was a good amount of turnover at the skill positions for the Giants (due to a lack of quality) and those players did not fare very well outside of New York.

Similarly, Donovan McNabb is tied with Simms at 16 players. Three of those players came during his time in Washington, but McNabb played with a lot of below-average wide receivers over the course of his career. That fact has been lost to history as the narrative switched to McNabb becoming a caricature of himself, but in his prime, he was the rare quarterback who put up great numbers despite below-average receiving talent. I won’t spoil it for Neil in case he wants to put that data into a fun post at 538, but I’ll just note that McNabb and Simms were probably the two top (using that word a bit loosely) quarterbacks most hurt by the quality of their receivers, based on Neil’s preliminary findings. This post lends a bit of additional support to that point.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

curt durt March 23, 2014 at 8:31 pm

Not an Eagles fan at all but never got why they couldn’t get McNabb a better receiver and then when they did it blew up in their face but I think it kept them from getting over the hump. Him and Jim Johnson made those teams look like they were more talented than they were.

Reply

Kibbles March 24, 2014 at 12:49 pm

You didn’t have to say that you are not an Eagles fan. The fact that you spoke positively about Donovan McNabb made that clear enough already. ;)

Reply

curt durt March 24, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Very true.

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DavidinBellingham March 24, 2014 at 8:59 am

This is a hell of an interesting list and also some good analysis.

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Chase Stuart March 24, 2014 at 10:20 am

Thanks!

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Bryce March 24, 2014 at 5:49 pm

Kerry Collins really jumps out on this list….

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Richie March 25, 2014 at 2:23 pm

I’m surprised Brady is so low on the list. When I think of Brady’s Patriots, I think of teams that seem to plug in new guys to play receiver every year, and guys who usually aren’t that good. This turnover, combined with guys who usually didn’t have success elsewhere seems like a recipe for being higher on this list.

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Chase Stuart March 25, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Since ’01, 15 Patriots receivers have gone over the 500-yard mark in a season. Ten of them had their peak years with Brady: Welker, Branch, Gronk, Givens, Patten, Brown, Hernandez, Caldwell, Dobson, and Edelman.

The following did not: Moss (Culpepper), Amendola (Bradford), Lloyd (Orton), Stallworth (Aaron Brooks), and Ben Watson (Colt McCoy!!)

On the less than 500-yards crew, Kevin Faulk (Matt Cassel), Jabar Gaffney (Grossman), Woodhead (Rivers), Tim Dwight (Chandler), and Doug Gabriel (Kerry Collins) also had their best seasons outside of Brady years.

Reply

dbrower August 6, 2014 at 12:18 pm

I’m thinking ranking by number of receivers overrates QBs with more games played (longer careers).

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