Buccaneers: Wide receivers on pace for historical season
Tom Brady has been receiving praise for his historical start to the 2021 season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, playing better at age 44 than he was at age 24, and having the most fun doing it. However, the Buccaneers’ receivers also have history in their grasp and are also benefiting from this offense’s hot start.
Throughout the 100+ year history of the NFL, only five teams have ever had three players each receive for at least 1,000 yards. The “Air Coryell” Chargers were the first to do so in 1980 lead by Hall of Famer Dan Fouts at quarterback with fellow Hall of Famers Kellen Winslow at tight end and wide receiver Charlie Joiner each going over 1,000 yards with All-Pro wide receiver John Jefferson joining them.
Washington was next to accomplish the feat in 1989 with wide receivers Ricky Sanders, Gary Clark, and Hall of Famer Art Monk accomplishing the feat. Perhaps the unlikeliest bunch came in 1995 with hybrid offensive weapon Eric Metcalf and receivers Terrance Mathis and future Buccaneer Bert Emanuel gaining the 1,000 with the Atlanta Falcons with Jeff George of all people throwing them the rock. None of them have Canton in their future.
Finally, Peyton Manning’s record-setting 2004 season with the Indianapolis Colts saw Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, and Brandon Stokley each get 1,000, with the most recent team to accomplish this being the 2008 Arizona Cardinals with Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and Steve Breaston.
The Bucs have an excellent chance to become the sixth team, especially with the way Brady has been playing.
The Los Angeles Chargers were close in 2019, with Austin Ekeler only needing a mere seven more yards. The Buccaneers more likely than not won’t have this issue, especially since they won’t be relying on a back.
The crazy thing is, all three staring Bucs receivers are on pace for 1,000, and all have almost identical stats. Mike Evans, who has reached 1,000 yards receiving each of his first seven years in the NFL, currently sits at 420 yards on 31 catches out of 49 targets and four touchdowns. Chris Godwin has caught 34 of 46 targets for 409 yards and two touchdowns, with Antonio Brown continuing his career renaissance with 29 catches on 42 targets for 418 yards and four touchdowns.
While the touchdowns, yardage, and receptions all being so similar is amazing, the remarkable aspect of this is how close in targets all three are. Brady has always been a master of spreading the ball around, and with this being the most talented, and deep, bunch of receivers he’s had, it’s no wonder he’s having himself a historical season.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense is on pace to make history, at least through the air, and it’s an added bonus that wins are coming along with it.