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NFL's Greatest Wide Receivers of the Decade
Not a bad list... i like the average breakdowns
NFL's Greatest Wide Receivers of the Decade
Jan 4th, 2010 by visionquest 1 comment
In a decade where more balls were caught than anyother, here are the top 10 receivers of the decade.
For the NFL, this decade will forever be known as the decade of the wide receiver. In no other time has so many footballs been thrown and caught. Wide receivers in this decade obliterated the record books and several achieved well over 100 receptions per season, with stalwarts such as Torry Holt averaging an unbelievable 92 receptions a season over the last 10 years. In order to keep the comparisons relative to the decade, we have removed any totals for those receivers prior to the 2000 season. We have also provided a per season average for each receiver so everyone can decide for themselves whether they warrant a higher rating. In such an unbelievable run, here are the top 10 receivers of the past decade.
# 10) Isaac Bruce: St. Louis Rams (1994-2007) San Francisco 49ers (2008-2009)
4 Time Pro-Bowler and 1 time All-Pro
Per Season Average over 10 years: 63 receptions, 938 yards, 5 TD’s
Coming in at #10 is the ageless wonder Isaac Bruce. Starting his career with the then LA Rams in 1994, Bruce was part of the “Greatest show on Turf” along with fellow wide receiver Torry Holt, running back Marshall Faulk and quarterback Kurt Warner in St. Louis when they captured Super-Bowl XXXIV in 2000. While playing somewhat of a second fiddle to Holt in the latter part of his career, Bruce was still a solid receiver in the Rams offense of the past decade.
#9) Andre Johnson: Houston Texans 2003-2009
3 Time Pro-Bowler and 1 time First Team All-Pro
Per Season Average over 7 years: 83 receptions, 1126 yards, 6 TD’s
Playing in a relatively smaller market than their cousins in big Dallas, is Andre Johnson who could easily have easily placed within the top 5 if he had played with a better compliment of players on his team. Despite playing with quarterback bust David Carr at the beginning of his career, and not having any real complimentary receiver to take some of the coverage off him, Andre Johnson has still managed to put up very impressive numbers.
#8) Larry Fitzgerald & Anquan Boldin: Arizona Cardinals
Larry Fitzgerald: 2004-2009
3 Time Pro-Bowler & 1 time First Team All-Pro
Average: 13.6 yards/catch
Per Season Average over 6 years: 86 receptions, 1175 yards, 9 TD’s
Anquan Boldin: 2003-2009
3 Time Pro-Bowler
Per Season Average over 7 years: 83 receptions, 1068 yards, 6 TD’s
Coming in at #8 on our list is the dynamic duo of Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin of the Arizona Cardinals. Both are favorite targets of Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner and its high power pass first offense. The duo helped propel the Arizona Cardinals to their first ever Superbowl appearance in 2008, and one that they had the talent to win.
#7) Chad Ochocinco: Cincinnati Bengals (2001-2009)
5 Time Pro-Bowler and 2 time First Team All-Pro
Per Season Average over 9 years: 76 receptions, 1105 yards, 7 TD’s
Once referred to as simply Chad Johnson, Ochocinco has at times been more of a distraction in Cincinnati than a Pro-Bowl wide receiver. Always one to come up with new and interesting touchdown celebrations, Chad changed his name to Ochocinco because it was Spanish for his #85 number on his uniform. He had a down year in 2008, but has rebounded well in 2009 and has developed into a favorite target of Carson Palmer in Cincinnati as they gave the Bengals their second division title in 5 years.
#6) Reggie Wayne: Indianapolis Colts (2001-2009)
3 Time Pro-Bowler
Per Season Average over 8 years: 83 receptions, 1171 yards, 9 TD’s
Playing behind Marvin Harrison for most of his career, Wayne has come into his own the last couple of seasons as Harrison’s career and totals tailed off. He is now the #1 target for Peyton Manning and the Colt’s high power offense. The two helped capture the 2006 SuperBowl, and have lead the Colts to the playoffs in 9 of the 10 years this decade.
#5) Hines Ward: Pittsburgh Steelers (1998-2009)
4 Time Pro-Bowler
Per Season Average over 10 years: 81 receptions, 1002 yards, 7 TD’s
Not the biggest or the fastest receiver, Hines Ward is still a constant threat every game. Considered one of the more dirty players in the NFL, which in itself is surprising considering he plays on offense, Ward has been a model of consistency over his career in Pittsburgh. However, it’s hard to appreciate a player who questions the commitment of a two time Super Bowl winning quarterback for not playing because of a concussion.
#4) Marvin Harrison: Indianapolis Colts (1996-2008)
8 Time Pro-Bowler & 3 Time First Team All-Pro
Per Season Average over 9 years: 88 receptions, 1159 yards, 10 TD’s
A perennial Pro-Bowl player, Harrison will surely be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. Despite not playing in 2009, Harrison still amassed enough yards and touchdowns to crack the top 5 receivers of the decade. A favorite target of Peyton Manning during his career, Harrison’s totals tailed off the last couple of years of his career. Neither tall, nor big, he was a lanky and fast receiver who found ways to get open.
#3) Terrell Owens: San Francisco 49ers (1996-2003) Philadelphia Eagles (2004-2005) Dallas Cowboys (2006-2008), Buffalo Bills (2009)
6 Time Pro-Bowler & 5 Time First Team All-Pro
Per Season Average over 10 years: 78 receptions, 1158 yards, 11 TD’s
A problem receiver everywhere he’s played, Owens polarizes fans who either love him when he plays for their teams, or hate him outright. A “me first” player who has clashed with every quarterback he’s ever played with, he became too big of a distraction to keep in San Francisco, Philadelphia and even Dallas. From his accusing 49ers quarterback Jeff Garcia of being a homosexual, to his on field battles with Donovan McNabb and constant clamoring for the ball in Dallas, nobody ever did enough for Owens, at least in his mind. Despite having a propensity to drop easy balls, Owens was still a great receiver with a rare combination of size and strength that allowed him to box out most corners covering him.
#2) Randy Moss: Minnesota Vikings (1998-2004) Oakland Raiders (2005-2006) New England Patriots (2007-2009)
6 Time Pro-Bowler & 4 Time First Team All-Pro
Per Season Average over 10 years: 77 receptions, 1166 yards, 12 TD’s
While there is no denying his ability, Randy Moss is much like Owens. They both share a natural talent for getting open, but both have displayed a complete lack of respect for teammates, and the organizations they’ve played for. Controversy has followed both Owens and Moss over the years, and is the main reason that’s kept them from reaching #1 on this list. However, of the two, Moss seems to have at least matured over the years. A tall and lanky receiver, Moss excelled in Minnesota, winning the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year award, and took his show to Oakland where it appeared as if his career was ending. However, in 2007 he enjoyed the greatest year of his illustrious career in New England when he caught over 98 passes for 1493 yards and 23 touchdowns, which broke the previous NFL record of 21 held by Jerry Rice.
#1) Torry Holt: St. Louis Rams (2000-2008) Jacksonville Jaguars (2009)
7 Time Pro-Bowler & 1 Time First Team All-Pro
Per Season Average over 10 years: 92 receptions, 1338 yards, 7 TD’s
For maintaining a high level of play, year in year out, and being the consummate professional, Torry Holt claims the #1 position on the top 10 receivers of this decade. While not having as many touchdowns as Moss and Owens, his average number of receptions and yardage per season is astonishing. This is especially incredible considering how bad the Rams teams have been the last several years. Holt is often a forgotten receiver when discussing the best of this decade, but when you look at his performance and longevity, nobody comes close to his totals. Torry Holt is simply the best receiver of this decade and his numbers support that. He never had a bad year, and has consistently been at the top of all receivers, year in, year out.