Good morning football fans. Time for another chapter in the series “The Last Time”. In keeping with the theme of the first edition of “The Last Time” now we get to see the last time that each franchise featured its own 200 yard single game receiver. The order will be from the most recent to the ones that have gone a few decades. You may be surprised at some of the teams that have not had a 200 yard receiver in a very long time.
So, let us begin with the first 16 teams. Where does your favorite team rank?
1: 0 Games – New York Jets. Eric Decker hit the 200 yard mark in the final game of the season with 10 receptions for 221 yards and a score. The Jets defeated the Miami Dolphins 37-24 to finish the season 4-12. Decker scored his only touchdown of the game, a 74 yard bomb, in the third to take the 10 point Miami lead down to three. For Decker, it was his second 100 yard game of the season (the first was two weeks prior) and he ended the year 38 yards short of his third straight 1,000 yard season.
T2: 3 Games – Atlanta Falcons. Julio Jones went wild over the Green Bay Packers during a Monday Night slug fest December 8th that Atlanta lost 43-37. The first half was dominated by the Packers but Atlanta came roaring back after being down 31-7 at halftime. Jones led all receivers with 11 catches for 259 yards and a 22 yard touchdown to start the fourth quarter and reduce the Green Bay lead to 10. For Jones, it was his sixth of seven 100 yard games during 2014 as he finished third in the league with 1,593 yards.
T2: 3 Games – Cincinnati Bengals. A.J. Green hit the two century mark for the first time in his career in a 42-21 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday December 7th. Green grabbed 11 passes for 224 yards and scored on an 81 yard toss in the third quarter that gave Cincy a 21-17 lead. The Steelers rattled off 25 straight points in the fourth to get the victory. It was Green’s fifth 100 yard game of the season and helped him to reach 1,000 yards for the fourth straight year despite missing three games.
4: 4 Games – Houston Texans. DeAndre Hopkins became only the second Texan to gain 200 yards receiving in a game back in the 12th match-up of 2014, November 30th in a 45-21 win over the Tennessee Titans. The youngster caught nine passes for 238 yards and scored twice on plays of 58 and 34 yards. It was his fourth 100 yard game of the year and helped Hopkins reach a career high of 1,210 yards. 208 more than his previous (and rookie) year.
5: 6 Games – Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Rookie Mike Evans continued his domination in the Bucs 10th game of 2014, November 16th in a 27-7 victory over the Washington Redskins. Evans ended the game with seven receptions for 209 yards and two scores. His touchdowns showed his incredible ability scoring on 36 and 56 yard plays in the third and fourth quarters to help give the lead for good to Tampa. It was the third consecutive 100 yard game for the rookie as he ended the season with 1,051 yards to lead the Buccaneers.
6: 10 Games – Indianapolis Colts. The blazing speed of T.Y. Hilton was on full display Thursday Night in week six of 2014 in a 33-28 win over the Houston Texans. Nine catches for 223 yards and a 33 yard third quarter touchdown helped put the Colts ahead for good and improved Indy to 4-2 for the year. For Hilton it was his second of six 100 yard games in 2014 and his first career game over 200. Hilton finished the season with a career high 1,345 yards averaging 16.4 per catch.
7: 12 Games – Denver Broncos. Demaryius Thomas got off to a slow start in 2014 with 13 catches for 141 yards and a score through the first three games, but then exploded on the Arizona Cardinals October 5th. Thomas grabbed eight passes for 226 yards and scored twice on plays of 31 and 86 yards in the second quarter on the way to a 41-20 win. It was the first of seven straight 100 yard games (10 in all for ’14). Thomas ended the season with career highs with 111 catches and 1,619 yards which was second in the NFL.
8: 14 Games – Green Bay Packers. Jordy Nelson got the barrage of 200 yard games for 2014 started in the second week, September 14th in a 31-24 win over the New York Jets. Nelson had eight catches for 129 yards before catching an 80 yard bomb from Aaron Rodgers to give Green Bay the win and put Nelson over 200 yards for the first time in his career. It was Nelson’s first 100 yard game of seven for the year. All Packer wins. Nelson ended the year with career highs 98 catches for 1,519 yards.
T9: 20 games – Chicago Bears. December 1st of 2013, Alshon Jeffery hit the two century mark for the second time of the season in a 23-20 overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Jeffery had a career day with 12 receptions for 249 yards and scoring plays of 80 and 46 yards. The second year wideout ended 2013 with five games over 100 yards with two over 200. Jeffery finished the season with 1,421 yards.
T9: 20 Games – Cleveland Browns. The same day that Jeffery had his second 200 yard game of 2013, so did Josh Gordon. Gordon exploded in 2013 despite the fact the Browns kept losing. In two consecutive weeks Gordon eclipsed 200 yards first in a 27-11 loss to Pittsburgh and then a 32-28 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Gordon grabbed 10 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns of 21 and 95 yards. Despite missing two games for suspension, Gordon registered seven 100 yard games and led the league with 1,646 yards.
11: 24 Games – Detroit Lions. Over a three season span from 2011 to 2013, Calvin Johnson’s name became synonymous with a 200 yard game. Five times in 46 games Johnson destroyed opposing defenses. The last one came in a narrow 31-30 win over the Dallas Cowboys October 27, 2013. Johnson ended the game with 10 grabs for an almost record 329 yards and one score. Even though Megatron wasn’t the one getting into the end zone he kept coming up with the big play to keep the Lions going. Over the three year span of ’11 through ’13 Johnson gained 5,137 yards. An NFL record for three seasons.
12: 31 Games – San Francisco 49ers. Anquan Boldin opened up the season in his first game with the 49ers the same way he opened his career back in 2003 with the Arizona Cardinals with a 200 yard game. September 8, 2013 Boldin was the workhorse on offense for San Fran with 13 catches for 208 yards and a 10 yard touchdown in a 34-28 victory over the Green Bay Packers. Boldin ended the season with his sixth 1,000 yard season (now has seven) and his first since 2009 his final year in Arizona.
13: 33 Games – Dallas Cowboys. We go back to the end of the 2012 season December 23rd as Dez Bryant dominated the New Orleans Saints with nine receptions for 224 yards and two touchdowns. But it was Drew Brees who got the final say in a 34-31 overtime loss for the Cowboys in a game that featured a combined seven touchdown passes. For Bryant it was his fifth 100 yard game of the season and first career 200 yard game.
14: 38 Games – Jacksonville Jaguars. Another young receiver was beginning to make his mark in 2012 as Justin Blackmon went off on the Houston Texans November 18th. Blackmon caught seven passes for 236 yards with an 81 yard score. But the Texans would get the win in OT 43-37. For Blackmon it was his first and only game over 100 yards during his rookie campaign. Unfortunately for Jacksonville it would only get two more games over 100 yards in 2013 before suspensions led to a flame out of an amazing talent. Blackmon has not played since October 27, 2013.
15: 44 Games – Miami Dolphins. September 30, 2012 Dolphins receiver Brian Hartline gave rookie QB Ryan Tannehill a reliable target who was open all day. Hartline snagged 12 passes for 253 yards with an 80 yard TD grab in the fourth quarter to give Miami the lead. Arizona tied the game with 22 seconds remaining and pulled out a 24-21 win in overtime. Despite the loss it was a career day for both Hartline and Tannehill. That game is still the only time that Tannehill has passed for over 400 yards (431). and remains the only 200 yard game of Hartline’s career.
16: 61 Games – New England Patriots. Even with The Gronk and Tom Brady’s ability to throw receivers open, the Patriots have not had a receiver over 200 yards since September 25, 2011 with Wes Welker in a 34-31 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Welker caught 16 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns. The Bills scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to grab the win. It was the 12th time that Welker finished a game with 10+ receptions but his first 200 yard game. Wes ended 2011 with his fourth (of now five) 100 reception seasons and a career high 1,569 yards.
Stay tuned as teams 17-32 will be featured next.