Good evening folks. This morning I took a look into the first half of the teams in the NFL allowing 200 yard receivers and just how long it has been since the last time. It ranged from the Miami Dolphins who gave it up to Eric Decker in the final game of the season, to the Buffalo Bills who last allowed Wes Welker do go for 217 yards 61 games ago.
Of the bottom 16 as it were, the majority of the teams were from the AFC. Nine in fact with Buffalo, Houston, Indy, Jacksonville, Miami, New York Jets, Oakland, Pittsburgh and Tennessee. Every team from the AFC South was represented with Houston, Indy, Jacksonville and Tennessee all in fewer then 25 games. Three teams came from the AFC East (Buffalo, Miami and the Jets) and only one each from the AFC North (Pittsburgh) and AFC West (Oakland). Then the seven from the NFC were Arizona, Atlanta, Dallas, Green Bay, Minnesota, New Orleans and Washington. No more than two teams from a division came up here with the NFC East (Dallas & Washington) the NFC South (Atlanta & New Orleans) and the NFC North (Green Bay & Minnesota) leading the way so to speak. Arizona was the only team from the NFC West.
So now on to the Top 16. The teams that have gone the longest without allowing a player to gain 200 yards receiving in a game. The team at the top that has gone the longest will surprise you.
17. 73 Games – Philadelphia Eagles: The first time Philly allowed a player 200 yards receiving in a game even since 1960 came in 1979 from Tony Hill of the Cowboys. 28 seasons later the Eagle Defense bent but didn’t break as Roy Williams went over the two century mark in a 56-21 Philly win. But the most recent game did not take as long to come up as just three years and one month later the Tennessee Titans Kenny Britt became the second youngest player since 1960 to gain 200 yards receiving in a single game (he is now the 3rd as Mike Evans is the youngest passing Jerry Butler by 259 days). October 24, 2010 Britt blew through the Eagles secondary with seven grabs for 225 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-19 Titans win.
18. 74 Games – Cincinnati Bengals: The second team from the AFC North comes up at the 18th spot. The Bengals have given up four such games in the franchise’s history and two have gone to Hall of Famers (Art Monk & James Lofton). It took almost 20 years for another receiver to break the 200 barrier in a game. October 24, 2010 Roddy White of UAB (who will thankfully be bringing football back) cracked through the Bengal D with 11 receptions for 201 yards and two scores. Cincy lost the game after mounting a furious comeback being down 24-3 at the half scoring 22 unanswered points in the third quarter. Atlanta finally responded and scored two touchdowns in the fourth including White’s second of the game to take the lead and eventually the win. All of Cincinnati’s 200 yard games allowed have been away from the confines of The Jungle and all four have been losses. Another odd figure for you, the Bengals have only won two games out of nine in which one of its own players gained 200 yards receiving and both wins came against the Steelers (1988 Eddie Brown & 1998 Carl Pickens). Cincinnati does not have much luck with 200 yard receiving days.
19. 76 Games – Cleveland Browns: Another AFC North team pops up next, and the majority of the 200 yard games have come against a division foe. Even a cross-state foe as the Bengals have nabbed three of the four 200 yard games given up by Cleveland since the 1970 merger. Hall of Famer Charlie Joiner was the first in 1975. 14 years went by before another player did it again to the Browns and of course it came in the team’s first season back after the move. Terry Glenn for the Patriots gained 214 in 1999 and is so far the only player not in a Bengals uniform since 1970. Chad Johnson was next in 2007 but the most recent was none other than Terrell Owens during his only season by the Ohio River. Owens became the oldest to gain 200 yards receiving in a game (going back to 1960) at 36 years and 300 days October 3rd of 2010 with 10 catches for 222 yards and one score. Cleveland won the game 23-20 despite Cincy scoring the final 10 points.
20. 80 Games – Kansas City Chiefs: The AFC keeps it rolling here with the second from the West. KC has allowed five games of a 200 yard receiver since the 1970 merger with four coming after the turn of the century. However, the Chiefs are getting on a bit of string lately in holding off opponents from huge games. A great pass rush helps out a lot but it was in the final game of the 2009 regular season, January 3rd of 2010 when Jabar Gaffney did it for the Broncos. Gaffney had the best game of his career grabbing 14 passes for 213 yards. Kansas City kept Gaffney out of the end zone, and picking off Kyle Orton three times along with 259 yards on the ground by Jamal Charles, the Chiefs won the game 44-24 helping to knock Denver out of the playoffs. KC finished the season 4-12.
21. 87 Games – Detroit Lions: The NFC finally makes another appearance as Detroit, normally a bottom of the league team has made significant improvements over the passed several years. Especially to its defense. The Lions have allowed five different players to gain over 200 yards in a game through the air with three of those games coming between 2003 and the 2009 seasons. However, the last time the Lions have given up a 200 yard game to a receiver was the last season that we saw Brett Favre at his best in 2009. November 15th, Sidney Rice caught seven passes from the future Hall of Famer for 201 yards. Rice didn’t get into the end zone but it didn’t matter as Adrian Peterson scored twice and the Vikings beat the hapless Lions 27-10. Detroit ended the year 2-14 one year after going 0-16.
22. 91 Games – San Francisco 49ers: The second team from the NFC West comes up at the 22nd spot with the 49ers. San Fran has a big history with 200 yard receiving games as the franchise has been a part of it 18 times (regular season and playoffs) since 1960. The 49ers have allowed eight games of an opponent’s receiver going over 200, and have had one of its own players accomplish it 10 times. After allowing 200 yard games in back to back seasons in 2008 & 2009, San Fran has worked to clean up its defense and it has been a dominant one during that time frame. The last player to gain 200 yards receiving against the Niners came October 11th of 2009 as Roddy White for the Falcons comes up once again on the list. In this game White caught eight passes for 210 yards and two scores as the Falcons blew out the 49ers 45-10.
23. 99 Games – Carolina Panthers: Just one more game and the Panthers will hit triple digits since the last game giving up 200 to a receiver in a game. It has only happened twice to Carolina in franchise history with Washington’s Rod Gardner being the first in 2001. The last time was in an important division matchup at home against the Buccaneers December 8th of 2008. Both were teams battling for playoff positioning and getting into the last month of the season. Antonio Bryant in a comeback season after not playing at all in 2007, had nine receptions for exactly 200 yards and two touchdowns. It wasn’t nearly enough as the Panthers got a combined 301 yards on the ground from DeAngelo Williams and Johnathan Stewart, and an additional 117 yards from Steve Smith to take the game 38-23.
24. 135 Games – San Diego Chargers: The first team on the list at over 100 games the Chargers have only allowed three 200 yard games since 1960 and always manage to put more then 20 years in between each one. The first was to the Houston Oilers’ Charley Hennigan (who was a lot of teams’ first in giving up 200 yard games) in 1961 in the old AFL. The second time came in 1985 to Stephone Paige of the Chiefs who set the then record of 309 yards. Then the last time the Chargers gave up a 200 yard game to a receiver was November 12th of 2006 to Chad Johnson. The Bengals wideout caught 11 passes for 260 yards and two scores in a shootout loss for Cincy 49-41. 90 total points and 976 total yards gained in this contest as San Diego scored 42 points in the second half, on its way to a 14-2 finish. The Chargers lost in the Divisional Round meeting with the Patriots.
25. 156 Games – St. Louis Rams: We go back further for the next team as the Rams despite some bad years have not allowed a big receiving game to an individual in nine seasons. Since 1960, the Rams have only given up four 200 yard games and San Fran claims two of those. Jerry Rice was the first in 1985 and John Taylor followed him up with a record setting day in 1989 as the first player with two 90 yard receiving touchdowns in the same game. The third came in 1996 as Keenan McCardell for a young Jaguars team crossed the two century mark. But the last time it happened, October 2nd of 2005. Plaxico Burress for the Giants had 10 catches for 204 yards and two touchdowns in a 20 point Giants win. The Rams D in recent seasons has been the leader in keeping the team in games and also in stopping receivers from reaching 200 yards.
26. 225 Games – Chicago Bears: For years the Bears did not allow a single 200 yard receiver. It has happened four times since 1960 but there was a long time in between. Bernie Casey of the 49ers hit up Chicago for 225 yards back in 1966 but then the Bears tightened up for over 30 years. And then gave it up it chunks. The Bears allowed two 200 yard games in 1999 including one of only two such games by a RB (Marshall Faulk). And then another in 2000 that was a record breaker by another 49er. December 17th of 2000 Jerry Rice was the star of the day in his final game at Candlestick Park. But Terrell Owens would end up the Headliner catching a new record 20 passes for 283 yards and a score. Owens broke the old record of 18 receptions in a single game held for 50 years by Hall of Famer Tom Fears. The Bears lost the game 17-0. The Bears have not allowed another 200 yard game since, even with some rather bad defenses in the past few years.
27. 238 Games – Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens have been known for a tenacious and ravenous Defense during its rather short tenure in the NFL. But yet two receivers have gained over 200 yards in a game against this nasty D. Isaac Bruce was the first during the Ravens inaugural season in Baltimore in 1996. Then Jimmy Smith of the Jaguars was the second and so far the last. September 10th of 2000, Smith exploded on the eventual Super Bowl Champs for 15 receptions for 291 yards and three scores. The Ravens would still get the victory 39-36 behind five touchdown passes from Tony Banks (yes I said Tony Banks). Smith caught a 40 yard TD from Mark Brunell with 1:45 left in the game. Baltimore responded with a quick striking drive ending with Banks finding Shannon Sharpe for the 29 yard game winning score with 48 seconds remaining. Corey Harris intercepted Brunell with 4 seconds left to secure the win.
28. 320 Games – Denver Broncos: We now get to the teams that have gone 20 seasons or more without allowing a player to gain 200 yards receiving in a single game. For the Broncos you have to go all the way back to Christmas Eve 1994 in a game against the Saints. Third year wideout Torrance Small torched the Broncos for six catches gaining 200 yards and two scores. Small’s two touchdowns accounted for 111 of his yards including a 75 yard bomb in the third quarter that gave the Saints a 10 point lead. New Orleans pulled out the win 30-28 and both teams finished the year 7-9. Small had never had even a 100 yard game in his career to this point, and would even go another four years before having a 100 yard game while in a Colts uniform in 1998. A few players have been close since that day in 1994 but Denver has kept the string going.
29. 335 Games – New England Patriots: The Pats streak is just 15 games longer then Denver’s as the last time New England allowed a 200 yard receiver was also back in 1994. And it was to one of the franchises former Number 1 Overall Draft Picks. Irving Fryar, the top pick in the 1984 draft, came back to haunt the Patriots as a member of the Dolphins and finally displaying the downfield speed and great hands that made Fryar a top prospect. September 4th, Fryar at the age of 31 grabbed five passes for 211 yards and three long scores. His touchdowns covered 54, 50 and 35 yards with the last one being the winning score. Marino threw for 473 yards and five scores while the Pats young gunslinger Drew Bledsoe passed for 421 yards and 4 touchdowns. It was the only game that New England allowed a 200 yard receiver since 1965.
30. 456 Games – New York Giants: The Giants have been historically a team known for a tough defense. Even in the days of not having a Hall of Famer or a household name on that side of the ball, New York still seemed to represent hard nosed defense. And this is part of that proof as you have to go all the way back to 1986 to find the last time the Giants gave up a 200 yard receiving game. October 27th in a divisional showdown with the Washington Redskins, Gary Clark in only his second season in the NFL after spending some time in the USFL had a field day with 11 catches for 241 yards and a touchdown. The small and speedy Clark ran circles around the G-Men but New York would get the last laugh winning the game 27-20 and then later eliminating Washington in the NFC Championship Game 17-0 to advance to the Franchises’ first Super Bowl appearance and win. It has been 28 full seasons since the last time the Giants allowed a 200 yard receiver. Can New York make it 29?
31. 478 Games – Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks have been a bit of an oddity when it comes to this stat. For many years Seattle has been a bad team. An expansion team in 1976, the Seahawks have had some stars on offense but defense was never really its calling card. Not until recently under Pete Carroll. In its 39 season history the Seahawks have had a Top 10 overall Defense only 12 times with four of those coming in the past four seasons. There was a three year stretch from 1984-1986 in which the Seahawks ranked 5th, 8th and 8th in overall D, and that is where you have to go back to find the only time Seattle has allowed a 200 yard receiver regular season or playoffs. September 15th of 1985, the Chargers Wes Chandler wrote his name into the Seahawks record books as the first and the last to record 200 yards receiving in a single game. Chandler grabbed 13 passes from Hall of Famer Dan Fouts for 243 yards and a score. But it was another receiver from Seattle who would take the lead in this game, and no it wasn’t Steve Largent. Daryl Turner, a tall second year receiver out of Michigan State had the game of his life with seven catches for 121 yards and four touchdowns. Seattle scored four straight times from the third to the fourth quarter, including three touchdowns from Turner, and took the lead for good getting the win 49-35.
And now for the team that has gone the longest time without allowing a 200 yard receiver.
32. 612 Games – Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The 612 games played by the Bucs are the team’s entire franchise history. That is correct, so stop rubbing your eyes and pinching yourself to see if you have imagined this information. Tampa has yet to allow a single player to have a 200 yard receiving game. Even in 15 playoff games no player has achieved this mark. Through the 0-26 franchise start, 23 seasons of double digit losses and 19 seasons of the Defense ranking 20th or worse the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have never allowed anyone a 200 yard receiving day. And so in the Buccaneers Media Guide, on page 410 under the heading “Opponents Records/Individual” you will see this
That’s right the best receiving game ever against the Bucs is a 199 yard game by Hakeem Nicks for the Giants September 16th of 2012 in a 41-34 New York win.
So now you have a great piece of info that you can amaze your friends with. How much longer will the Buccaneers go before someone, anyone can gain 200 yards receiving against the Franchise from west Florida? Ah part of the fun of watching.