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Cooper Kupp and Jonathan Taylor shined throughout the NFL’s first 17-game common season, making record-setting pushes. Trying again to the 12-, 14- and 16-game eras, listed here are one of the best seasons by a skill-position participant for every of the NFL’s 32 groups.

 

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Arizona Cardinals: Larry Fitzgerald, 2008

Arizona Cardinals: Larry Fitzgerald, 2008

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A crew that completed twentieth in DVOA and ranked twenty eighth defensively represented the NFC in Tremendous Bowl XLIII. The Cardinals earned their solely Tremendous Bowl berth in franchise historical past largely as a result of Fitzgerald reached a stage few receivers ever have. Fitz made 11 Professional Bowls however landed only one All-Professional honor, climbing to this tier in 2008. Within the playoffs, the franchise icon shattered NFL data by posting 546 yards — on high of 1,431 within the common season — and scoring seven touchdowns. Fitz powered the Playing cards previous the Eagles to achieve the large stage and practically KO’d the No. 1-ranked Steeler protection as soon as there. 

 

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Atlanta Falcons: Jamal Anderson, 1998

Atlanta Falcons: Jamal Anderson, 1998

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Julio Jones’ profession laps Anderson’s in Falcons lore, however for one season, all of it got here collectively for the “Soiled Chook” flock chief. Establishing a working again showdown for the ages in Tremendous Bowl XXXIII with MVP Terrell Davis, Anderson rushed for 1,846 yards and 14 touchdowns to drive a Chris Chandler-quarterbacked crew to a 14-2 file and the primary Tremendous Bowl in franchise historical past. Anderson suffered a significant knee harm in 1999 to stall his momentum, and he by no means topped 1,100 yards in some other season. However the former seventh-round choose’s 1998 masterpiece won’t ever be forgotten in Atlanta.

 

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Baltimore Ravens: Jamal Lewis, 2003

Baltimore Ravens: Jamal Lewis, 2003

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A run-oriented franchise acquired its greatest speeding season 19 years in the past when Lewis turned the fifth participant to surpass 2,000 speeding yards. Lewis’ 2,066-yard season nonetheless sits third in NFL historical past, and he carried an offense restricted by Kyle Boller and Anthony Wright at quarterback. The Ravens ranked final in passing that season. Fortuitously, their fourth-year energy again was on a mission. Among the many highlights: a then-record 295-yard day towards the Browns and a 114-yard Week 17 outing towards the Steelers to clinch the Ravens a playoff spot. Regardless of Lewis being a seven-time 1,000-yard rusher, this was his solely Professional Bowl yr.

 

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Buffalo Payments: O.J. Simpson, 1975

Buffalo Bills: O.J. Simpson, 1975

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This isn’t Simpson’s 2,000-yard season, however reasonably a barely superior encore two years later. Simpson didn’t fairly attain 2,000 in his seventh season. Nonetheless, he did rating an NFL-leading 23 touchdowns (seven receiving, in comparison with zero in 1973) to go together with 2,243 scrimmage yards — a complete additionally north of his storied 1973 season. The Payments went 8-6 this season. A type of wins got here at Three Rivers Stadium that September when Simpson gashed the Metal Curtain for a season-high 227 yards in a 30-21 Payments win. The Steelers went on to win their second straight Tremendous Bowl 4 months later.

 

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Carolina Panthers: Steve Smith, 2005

Carolina Panthers: Steve Smith, 2005

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Earlier than Cooper Kupp notched his triple-crown efficiency, Smith was the earlier wideout to finish the receptions-yards-TDs first-place sweep. Smith suffered a damaged leg that restricted him to only one recreation in 2004, and Muhsin Muhammad signed with the Bears in ’05. Smith responded by dominating and carrying the Panthers to the NFC championship recreation. Whereas the Panther star’s 1,563-yard, 12-TD season impressed, his torching of a No. 1-ranked Bears protection within the divisional spherical (12 catches, 218 yards, two TDs) represents one of many nice exclamation factors to a season in NFL historical past. 

 

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Chicago Bears: Walter Payton, 1977

Chicago Bears: Walter Payton, 1977

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This mainly boils all the way down to selecting one of the best “Sweetness” season. Payton’s legendary sturdiness allowed him to smash Jim Brown’s profession speeding file, and he topped 1,500 speeding yards at age 30 and 31, the latter coming for the famed 1985 Bears squad. The enduring again’s greatest stuff, nonetheless, got here in his third season. The Bears began 3-5 and gained their remaining six to make the playoffs, doing so with the NFL’s Twenty first-ranked move assault. A flu-ridden Payton broke the single-game speeding file with a 275-yard recreation towards the Vikings. The all-time nice completed with 1,852 yards in 14 video games en path to MVP honors.

 

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Cincinnati Bengals: Chad Johnson, 2005

Cincinnati Bengals: Chad Johnson, 2005

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Not solely did Ja’Marr Chase make this shut, however the Bengals’ historical past of impression wideouts — from Isaac Curtis to Eddie Brown to A.J. Inexperienced — made this a tough name. So did James Brooks. However Johnson, at his pre-Ochocinco apex, led the way in which to the Bengals snapping a 15-year playoff drought. The previous Oregon State cog joined Steve Smith as a 2005 first-team All-Professional by posting 1,432 receiving yards — then a Bengals file — and catching 9 TD passes. Because the Bengals transitioned from Corey Dillon, Johnson emerged as Carson Palmer’s high chain-mover. The Bengals gained the AFC North at 11-5, although Palmer’s playoff ACL tear cruelly halted this rise.

 

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Cleveland Browns: Jim Brown, 1963

Cleveland Browns: Jim Brown, 1963

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Just like the Bears, this can be a one-player competitors. Probably the most dominant again in NFL historical past gained eight speeding titles in 9 seasons. In 1958, his second season, the Syracuse-developed fullback gained an astounding 1,527 speeding yards in 12 video games, breaking the NFL file by greater than 300 yards. In 1963, Brown averaged extra yards per recreation and broke his personal file by amassing 1,863 yards. Cleveland’s all-timer led the NFL by more than 800 (!) rushing yards that yr, with just one different again even reaching 1,000 on the bottom. This got here in Blanton Collier’s first season as head coach; the next yr, the Browns gained the championship.

 

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Dallas Cowboys: Emmitt Smith, 1993

Dallas Cowboys: Emmitt Smith, 1993

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The Nineties’ central backfield debate pitted Smith’s benefits — primarily on the O-line — towards Barry Sanders’ capability. However the Cowboys began 0-2 in 1993, with Smith engaged in a holdout, and had fourth-round rookie Derrick Lassic as an emergency starter. Smith returned in Week 3 and rolled to MVP honors. A stark disparity emerged between Dallas’ offense with and with out Smith. The longer term speeding kingpin completed with 1,486 yards and delivered his signature recreation to shut this season. Enjoying via a separated shoulder to complete 229 scrimmage yards (on 42 touches) in Week 18 towards the Giants, Smith gave the eventual champion Cowboys the NFC’s No. 1 seed.

 

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Denver Broncos: Terrell Davis, 1998

Denver Broncos: Terrell Davis, 1998

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Mixing an progressive run scheme with a dynamic again, the Broncos churned out one of many NFL’s signature speeding seasons. The Davis period peaked in his fourth season when the previous sixth-round choose turned the fourth member of the two,000-yard membership and the second Bronco to win MVP honors (after John Elway in 1987). Davis’ undersized O-line gave him prime actual property, and the cutback maven bedeviled linebackers en path to 2,008 speeding yards and 23 complete TDs within the Broncos’ 14-2 season. Davis completed the yr with three extra 100-yard playoff outings to run his streak to seven. His mixed scrimmage yards complete (2,762) stays an NFL file.

 

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Detroit Lions: Barry Sanders, 1997

Detroit Lions: Barry Sanders, 1997

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Selecting a greatest Sanders slate is like selecting a “Frasier” season throughout its five-year Emmy run. The period’s premier again averaged greater than 5 yards per carry 5 occasions (to Emmitt Smith’s one) and did it on full workloads. Whereas Sanders hit 1,883 yards in 1994, he topped that three years later. Barry entered Week 3 with simply 53 speeding yards, including an excessive degree-of-difficulty problem. Sanders’ subsequent 14 video games produced precisely 2,000 yards, along with his grand complete wrapping up at 2,053. The ninth-year Lion averaged an astounding 6.1 yards per carry and lifted the Scott Mitchell-piloted Lions to the playoffs.

 

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Inexperienced Bay Packers: Don Hutson, 1942

Green Bay Packers: Don Hutson, 1942

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Hutson tallied 1,211 receiving yards in 1942. The NFL’s greatest non-Hutson complete to that time: Gaynell Tinsley’s 675-yard season in 1937. The Babe Ruth-ian hole between Hutson and his friends is wider than anybody else included right here. Receivers weren’t requested to catch passes like they have been in future generations, and the NFL did see World Warfare II drain its expertise pool. However, “The Alabama Antelope” dominated earlier than and throughout the conflict. Hutson led the NFL in receiving seven occasions and in TD receptions on 9 events. When Hutson retired, his 99 TD grabs have been a cool 63 greater than anybody else had compiled.

 

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Houston Texans: Arian Foster, 2010

Houston Texans: Arian Foster, 2010

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In 2009, the Texans’ main rusher gained 437 yards; the crew ranked thirtieth on the bottom. In Foster’s first season as Houston’s starter, he gained the speeding title with 1,616 yards. A former undrafted free agent, Foster added to the Gary Kubiak speeding lineage, following the likes of Terrell Davis, Mike Anderson, and Clinton Portis. Save for Davis, Foster outrushed all of them and added 604 receiving yards. The Texans quickly centered their offense round Foster, making the playoffs in 2011 and ’12. These showings didn’t high Foster’s breakthrough slate, which made him the one All-Professional again in Texans historical past.

 

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Indianapolis Colts: Marvin Harrison, 2002

Indianapolis Colts: Marvin Harrison, 2002

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Presenting a troublesome alternative that additionally entails Edgerrin James, Lydell Mitchell and Raymond Berry, Harrison’s greatest stuff wins out. The Harrison-Peyton Manning rapport by no means flashed because it did within the Corridor of Fame wideout’s age-30 slate when he popped for a then-unfathomable 143 receptions and a career-high 1,722 yards. Harrison broke Herman Moore’s single-season catch file by 20, initially going previous it in Week 15. Second place in catches that yr: Hines Ward with 112. Harrison additionally topped the NFL’s No. 2 receiving yards finisher (Randy Moss) by practically 400, serving to the Colts to the playoffs in Tony Dungy’s first yr.

 

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Jacksonville Jaguars: Jimmy Smith, 1999

Jacksonville Jaguars: Jimmy Smith, 1999

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Like Harrison, Smith’s greatest season got here at age 30. The highest receiver in Jaguars historical past was important in one of the best exhibiting in franchise annals. The Jags’ 14-2 season included a 1,636-yard yr from Smith, who caught an NFL-high 116 passes. This solely resulted in six touchdowns, however the former Cowboys castoff made a relentless impression for the AFC’s No. 1-seeded squad. He contributed to the Jags’ astonishing second-round efficiency — a 62-7 rout of the Dolphins to finish Dan Marino’s profession — with 136 yards and two scores. 

 

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Kansas Metropolis Chiefs: Priest Holmes, 2002

Kansas City Chiefs: Priest Holmes, 2002

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From Travis Kelce and Tony Gonzalez to Jamaal Charles’ yards-per-carry insanity, the Chiefs have some selections. Nothing got here collectively fairly prefer it did when Holmes was buzzing within the early 2000s. Working behind an O-line that rivaled Emmitt Smith’s greatest Cowboys quintets, Holmes delivered among the best mid-career breakouts in fashionable NFL historical past. After main the NFL in speeding in his first Chiefs season, Holmes paced the league with 2,287 scrimmage yards and 24 TDs. He did this regardless of lacking the Chiefs’ remaining two video games, giving this a slight nod over Holmes’ then-record 27-touchdown 2003 season.

 

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Las Vegas Raiders: Marcus Allen, 1985

Las Vegas Raiders: Marcus Allen, 1985

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Earlier than Bo Jackson’s arrival and a feud with Al Davis led Allen out of Los Angeles, the versatile playmaker delivered an MVP season. Narrowly edging Walter Payton’s work for the eventual Tremendous Bowl champions, Allen compiled 2,314 scrimmage yards and scored 14 touchdowns for a 12-4 Raiders crew. The sleek runner closed the season with 9 straight 100-yard speeding performances and was a constant aerial choice for iffy first-round QB Marc Wilson. Allen wouldn’t produce one other 1,000-yard season, however the future Corridor of Famer performed 12 extra years in L.A. and Kansas Metropolis.

 

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Los Angeles Chargers: LaDainian Tomlinson, 2006

Los Angeles Chargers: LaDainian Tomlinson, 2006

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Due respect to Lance Alworth and the Chargers’ top-shelf tight ends, Kellen Winslow and Antonio Gates, Tomlinson broke not solely the single-season landing file however a 56-year-old scoring commonplace as properly. The Chargers tailback delivered his common mix of floor dominance and receiving manufacturing by tallying 2,323 scrimmage yards. The sixth-year again performed the lead position within the Chargers going 14-2 with first-year starter Philip Rivers, who was not but a prolific passer. Tomlinson’s 31 touchdowns broke Shaun Alexander’s new file by three, and his 186 factors eclipsed Paul Hornung’s decades-long mark, which was achieved with TDs and kicks.

 

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Los Angeles Rams: Elroy Hirsch, 1951

Los Angeles Rams: Elroy Hirsch, 1951

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This competitors is stacked, because the Rams rostered the NFL’s best dual-threat again at his peak and the NFL’s single-season speeding file holder. A long time earlier than Marshall Faulk and Eric Dickerson, a Corridor of Fame wideout put his title far above others within the file ebook. Utilizing an offense with two Canton-bound QBs (Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin), the Rams had set a still-standing scoring file in 1950. However Hirsch was a much bigger a part of Los Angeles’ 1951 assault, catching 66 passes for 1,495 yards and 17 TDs. “Loopy Legs” broke Hutson’s yardage file by practically 300 and led the NFL by 600-plus that yr, serving to the Rams to a title.

 

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Miami Dolphins: Ricky Williams, 2002

Miami Dolphins: Ricky Williams, 2002

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Whereas the working again place has decreased in worth as this century has progressed, the early 2000s nonetheless represented a bull marketplace for the hallowed gig. Williams ripped off his signature season in his first Miami slate, main the NFL by greater than 200 speeding yards. The previous Mike Ditka draft prize gained 1,853 in his first season away from the Saints. Though the Dolphins went 9-7 and missed the playoffs, Dave Wannstedt’s crew was restricted at quarterback. Williams led the crew to wins over the AFC champion Raiders and the playoff-bound Jets and Colts. Workload considerations led Williams to take a controversial sabbatical in 2004.

 

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Minnesota Vikings: Adrian Peterson, 2012

Minnesota Vikings: Adrian Peterson, 2012

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If we’re judging by sheer dominance, Randy Moss could be the choose. Manufacturing-wise, Peterson can’t be missed after going bonkers on the bottom in a pass-tilted period. Coming off his 2011 ACL tear, the sixth-year again made a speedy restoration and dragged a Vikings crew constrained by Christian Ponder to the playoffs. Peterson made one of the best run at Dickerson’s file, ending with 2,097 yards — eight shy of the ex-Ram nice’s 1984 complete. Peterson’s 199-yard Week 17 exhibiting each threatened Dickerson’s mark and led the Vikes to a playoff-clinching win over the Packers, besting Aaron Rodgers’ 365-yard, four-TD day.

 

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New England Patriots: Randy Moss, 2007

New England Patriots: Randy Moss, 2007

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Moss is included elsewhere, being the primary variable in Tom Brady going from not making the 2006 Professional Bowl to setting the NFL landing move file a yr later. Stolen from the Raiders for a fourth-round choose, Moss shredded secondaries all through and didn’t cease till he broke Jerry Rice’s 20-year-old file by catching 23 TD passes. Rice set that file in simply 12 video games, however Moss turned Brady right into a monster and led the Patriots to their perfection push. For the reason that rejuvenated phenom’s age-30 dominance for the 16-0 Patriots, which additionally included 1,493 yards, no wideout has made a severe pursuit of his TD file. 

 

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New Orleans Saints: Michael Thomas, 2019

New Orleans Saints: Michael Thomas, 2019

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Like Harrison in 2002, Thomas was a tier unto himself in 2019. The mid-range goal monster didn’t obliterate the reception file just like the Colts Corridor of Famer had, however his 149 receptions led the NFL by 43. Whereas accidents have dogged the All-Professional New Orleans goal within the years since he was in a zone for the 13-3 Saints throughout his final wholesome yr. Thomas’ 1,725 yards additionally paced the NFL by greater than 300. Thomas performed a vital half in Drew Brees remaining a high-end quarterback till age 40.

 

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New York Giants: Tiki Barber, 2005

New York Giants: Tiki Barber, 2005

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Geared up along with his late-career high-and-tight carrying method designed to curb his fumbling behavior, Barber delivered his greatest two seasons on the way in which out. Barber’s penultimate season, at age 30, drove the Giants again to the playoffs after two lean years. The do-it-all again totaled 2,390 scrimmage yards — nonetheless fourth-most in NFL historical past. The Giants improved from 6-10 to 11-5 in Eli Manning’s second season, and Barber cemented their first NFC East championship in 5 years by going for 200-plus on the bottom in Weeks 15 and 17 — wins over the Chiefs and Raiders.  

 

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New York Jets: Don Maynard, 1968

New York Jets: Don Maynard, 1968

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A yr after aiding Joe Namath’s record-breaking passing season, one of the best huge receiver in Jets historical past supplied an encore with an important ending. At 33, Maynard reached again and posted a 1,297-yard season, with the deep menace averaging an AFL-best 22.8 yards per catch. Maynard punctuated the second-best yardage season of his profession with a clutch exhibiting within the AFL championship recreation. Lifting the Jets to their first and solely Tremendous Bowl, Maynard caught two TD passes on a windy day at Shea Stadium. His over-the-shoulder deep-ball seize arrange his game-winner towards the Raiders, forward of the Jets’ Tremendous Bowl III upset.

 

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Philadelphia Eagles: Steve Van Buren, 1949

Philadelphia Eagles: Steve Van Buren, 1949

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Due respect to LeSean McCoy or Wilbert Montgomery, Van Buren stays one of the best working again in Eagles historical past by a large margin. “Supersonic Steve” gained the speeding title for a fourth and remaining time in 1949, however he each surpassed the single-season speeding file and supplied a storied championship efficiency. After his 1,146-yard, 11-touchdown common season, the bulldozing runner ripped the Rams for 196 yards to guide the Eagles to their second straight title. Van Buren’s remaining 1949 exhibiting — on a muddy discipline in Los Angeles — remained an NFL Championship/Tremendous Bowl file for 39 years. 

 

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Pittsburgh Steelers: Antonio Brown, 2017

Pittsburgh Steelers: Antonio Brown, 2017

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Brown was practically on his strategy to burning bridges at each flip, beginning along with his sturdiest one in Pittsburgh. However he was additionally on an MVP path in his penultimate Steelers season. Brown dropped a Steelers-record 1,834-yard season in 2015, however his 2017 effort had the Steelers on observe for the AFC’s No. 1 seed over the defending champion Patriots. Brown’s harm throughout the first half of a Week 15 recreation swung that controversial contest’s final result and ended his common season two video games early. He nonetheless led the league with 1,533 yards after which added 132 extra, with two snazzy TD grabs, in Pittsburgh’s playoff shootout loss to the Jaguars.

 

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San Francisco 49ers: Jerry Rice, 1987

San Francisco 49ers: Jerry Rice, 1987

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Rice might have authored superior general seasons, however his strike-shortened submission stands out. In his third NFL marketing campaign, the receiver GOAT broke the single-season receiving landing file by 4. He unseated Mark Clayton from atop that listing by catching 22 airstrikes from Joe Montana and Steve Younger and did so in simply 12 video games, because of the 4 the strike nixed. Rice’s tempo would have seen him push for 30 TD grabs in a normal 16-game season, and it actually would stay the file right this moment. Rice added a speeding rating, upping his complete to 23 in a 13-2 49ers season. Nobody else scored greater than 11 TDs that yr.

 

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Seattle Seahawks: Shaun Alexander, 2005

Seattle Seahawks: Shaun Alexander, 2005

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Working behind a two-Corridor of Famer left aspect of the offensive line, Alexander capitalized and performed the central position within the Seahawks voyaging to their first Tremendous Bowl. Alexander delivered a no-frills working again season, ending with simply 78 receiving yards in 16 video games. His lack of involvement in Seattle’s passing recreation maybe makes his speeding season extra spectacular. Behind left deal with Walter Jones and left guard Steve Hutchinson, Alexander amassed 1,880 speeding yards and scored a then-record 28 touchdowns. His 132-yard, two-TD NFC championship recreation efficiency buried the Panthers en path to Tremendous Bowl XL.

 

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers: James Wilder, 1984

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: James Wilder, 1984

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Eric Dickerson’s 2,105 speeding yards nonetheless stand because the NFL commonplace. In 1984, nonetheless, Wilder was proper behind him in scrimmage yards. Dickerson edged the Buccaneers halfback by simply 15 — 2,244-2,229 — as Wilder put collectively a time-capsule season for utilization fee. The Bucs gave their workhorse runner an incomprehensible 492 touches. The previous second-round choose turned 13 of them into speeding touchdowns and caught 85 passes for 685 yards, lapping Dickerson in aerial contributions. The Bucs went 6-10 in John McKay’s remaining season, however Wilder nonetheless holds the NFL’s single-season touches file — by 35.

 

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Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers: Charley Hennigan, 1961

Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers: Charley Hennigan, 1961

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Earl Campbell and Chris Johnson motored previous superior competitors, however Hennigan’s second-year explosion performed a central position in a championship. Hennigan’s finish end result was to date forward of his friends it took a long time for his file to fall. The highest George Blanda pass-catcher hauled in 82 passes for 1,746 yards and 12 touchdowns. That yardage complete was 500 greater than any AFL or NFL receiver’s work that season, and Hennigan’s file stood till Jerry Rice toppled it in 1995. The Oilers went 10-3-1 that yr and defeated the Chargers for his or her second straight AFL title.

 

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Washington: Bobby Mitchell, 1962

Washington: Bobby Mitchell, 1962

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Traded in a deal that ended up weakening Cleveland’s backfield and strengthening Washington’s receiving corps, Mitchell led the NFL by a large margin in receiving in his first season enjoying the flanker spot. Moved from his working again publish after the commerce, Mitchell caught on instantly. Whereas he later teamed with Corridor of Famers Sonny Jurgensen and Charley Taylor, these standouts weren’t but in Washington in 1962. Mitchell exploded for 1,384 yards and 11 TD receptions en path to All-Professional acclaim. The longer term Corridor of Famer added a kick-return rating as properly, with this season establishing his path to Canton.



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