List of National Football League season receiving touchdown leaders

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In American football, passing, along with running (also referred to as rushing), is one of the two main methods of advancing the ball down the field. Passes are typically attempted by the quarterback, but any offensive player can attempt a pass provided they are behind the line of scrimmage.[1] To qualify as a passing play, the ball must have initially moved forward after leaving the hands of the passer; if the ball initially moved laterally or backwards, the play would instead be considered a running play.[2] In addition to the overall National Football League (NFL) receiving champion, league record books recognize the rushing champions of the American Football League (AFL), which operated from 1960 to 1969 before being absorbed into the National Football League in 1970.[3]

The NFL did not begin keeping official records until the 1932 season.[4] Since the adoption of the 14-game season in 1961, only one season (the strike-shortened 1982 season) has had a receiving touchdowns league leader record fewer than 10 touchdown catches.[5] The record for receiving touchdowns in a season is 23, set by Randy Moss during the 2007 season; only one other player (Jerry Rice) has recorded 20 or more receiving touchdowns in a season.[6]

Don Hutson led the league in receiving touchdowns nine times, the most of any player in league history; Jerry Rice ranks second with six league-leading seasons. Hutson also holds the record for the two longest streaks leading the league in receiving touchdowns, doing so for four consecutive seasons (1935 to 1938) and then doing it for five consecutive years from 1940 to 1944. The next longest streak is three seasons, accomplished by Rice from 1989 to 1991. The Green Bay Packers have had a player from their team lead the league in receiving touchdowns 14 times, the most of any team in the NFL; the San Francisco 49ers rank second with 12. The most recent player to lead the league in receiving touchdowns is Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints, who caught 16 touchdown passes during the 2013 season.[5]

NFL season receiving touchdowns leaders[edit]

Key
Symbol Meaning
Leader The player who recorded the most receiving touchdowns in the NFL
Games The number of games that the player's team played during the year[A]
Tds. The total number of receiving touchdowns the player had
^ Pro Football Hall of Fame member
* The player is an active player
dagger Player won the AP Most Valuable Player award in the same year
double-dagger Player won the AP Offensive Player of the Year award in the same year
List of National Football League (NFL) single-season receiving touchdowns leaders
Year Leader Team Tds. Games Ref.
1932 Ray Flaherty ^ New York Giants 5 12[7] [5]
1933 Dale Burnett New York Giants 3 14[8] [5]
Ernie Caddel Pittsburgh Pirates 11[9] [5]
Luke Johnsos Chicago Bears 13[10] [5]
Bill Karr Chicago Bears 13[10] [5]
Shipwreck Kelly Brooklyn Dodgers 10[11] [5]
Johnny McNally ^ Green Bay Packers 13[12] [5]
Kink Richards New York Giants 14[8] [5]
1934 Bill Hewitt ^ Chicago Bears 5 13[13] [5]
1935 Don Hutson ^ Green Bay Packers 6 12 [5]
Bill Karr Chicago Bears 12 [5]
1936 Don Hutson ^ Green Bay Packers 8 12 [5]
1937 Don Hutson ^ Green Bay Packers 7 11 [5]
1938 Don Hutson ^ Green Bay Packers 9 11 [5]
1939 Jim Benton Cleveland Rams 7 11 [5]
1940 Don Hutson ^ Green Bay Packers 7 11 [5]
1941 Don Hutson ^ Green Bay Packers 10 11 [5]
1942 Don Hutson ^ Green Bay Packers 17 11 [5]
1943 Don Hutson ^ Green Bay Packers 11 10 [5]
1944 Don Hutson ^ Green Bay Packers 9 10 [5]
1945 Frank Liebel New York Giants 10 10 [5]
1946 Billy Dewell Chicago Cardinals 7 11 [5]
1947 Ken Kavanaugh Chicago Bears 13 12 [5]
1948 Mal Kutner Chicago Cardinals 14 12 [5]
1949 Tom Fears ^ Los Angeles Rams 9 12 [5]
Ken Kavanaugh Chicago Bears 12 [5]
Hugh Taylor Washington Redskins 12 [5]
1950 Bob Shaw Chicago Cardinals 12 12 [5]
1951 Elroy Hirsch ^ Los Angeles Rams 17 12 [5]
1952 Cloyce Box Detroit Lions 15 12 [5]
1953 Pete Pihos ^ Philadelphia Eagles 10 12 [5]
Billy Wilson San Francisco 49ers 12 [5]
1954 Harlon Hill Chicago Bears 12 12 [5]
1955 Harlon Hill Chicago Bears 9 12 [5]
1956 Billy Howton Green Bay Packers 12 12 [5]
1957 Jim Mutscheller Baltimore Colts 8 12 [5]
1958 Raymond Berry ^ Baltimore Colts 9 12 [5]
Tommy McDonald ^ Philadelphia Eagles 12 [5]
1959 Raymond Berry ^ Baltimore Colts 14 12 [5]
1960 Sonny Randle St. Louis Cardinals 15 12 [5]
1961 Tommy McDonald ^ Philadelphia Eagles 13 14 [5]
1962 Frank Clark Dallas Cowboys 14 14 [5]
1963 Terry Barr Detroit Lions 13 14 [5]
Gary Collins Cleveland Browns 14 [5]
1964 Bobby Mitchell ^ Washington Redskins 10 14 [5]
Johnny Morris Chicago Bears 14 [5]
Bucky Pope Los Angeles Rams 14 [5]
1965 Bob Hayes ^ Dallas Cowboys 12 14 [5]
Dave Parks San Francisco 49ers 14 [5]
1966 Bob Hayes ^ Dallas Cowboys 13 14 [5]
1967 Home Jones New York Giants 13 14 [5]
1968 Paul Warfield ^ Cleveland Browns 12 14 [5]
1969 Lance Rentzel Dallas Cowboys 12 14 [5]
1970 Dick Gordon Chicago Bears 13 14 [5]
1971 Paul Warfield ^ Miami Dolphins 11 14 [5]
1972 Gene Washington San Francisco 49ers 12 14 [5]
1973 Harold Jackson Los Angeles Rams 13 14 [5]
1974 Cliff Branch Oakland Raiders 13 14 [5]
1975 Mel Gray St. Louis Cardinals 11 14 [5]
Lynn Swann ^ Pittsburgh Steelers 14 [5]
1976 Cliff Branch Oakland Raiders 12 14 [5]
1977 Nat Moore Miami Dolphins 12 14 [5]
1978 John Jefferson San Diego Chargers 13 16 [5]
1979 Stanley Morgan New England Patriots 12 16 [5]
1980 John Jefferson San Diego Chargers 13 16 [5]
1981 Alfred Jenkins Denver Broncos 13 16 [5]
Steve Watson Atlanta Falcons 16 [5]
1982 Wes Chandler San Diego Chargers 9 9[B] [5]
1983 Roy Green St. Louis Cardinals 14 16 [5]
1984 Mark Clayton Miami Dolphins 18 16 [5]
1985 Daryl Turner Seattle Seahawks 13 16 [5]
1986 Jerry Rice ^ San Francisco 49ers 15 16 [5]
1987 Jerry Rice ^ double-dagger San Francisco 49ers 22 15[C] [5]
1988 Mark Clayton Miami Dolphins 14 16 [5]
1989 Jerry Rice ^ San Francisco 49ers 17 16 [5]
1990 Jerry Rice ^ San Francisco 49ers 13 16 [5]
1991 Jerry Rice ^ San Francisco 49ers 14 16 [5]
1992 Sterling Sharpe Green Bay Packers 13 16 [5]
1993 Jerry Rice ^ double-dagger San Francisco 49ers 15 16 [5]
Andre Rison Atlanta Falcons 16 [5]
1994 Sterling Sharpe Green Bay Packers 18 16 [5]
1995 Cris Carter ^ Minnesota Vikings 17 16 [5]
Carl Pickens Cincinnati Bengals 16 [5]
1996 Michael Jackson Baltimore Ravens 14 16 [5]
Tony Martin San Diego Chargers 16 [5]
1997 Chris Carter ^ Minnesota Vikings 13 16 [5]
1998 Randy Moss Minnesota Vikings 17 16 [5]
1999 Chris Carter ^ Minnesota Vikings 13 16 [5]
2000 Randy Moss Minnesota Vikings 15 16 [5]
2001 Terrell Owens San Francisco 49ers 16 16 [5]
2002 Terrell Owens San Francisco 49ers 13 16 [5]
2003 Randy Moss Minnesota Vikings 17 16 [5]
2004 Muhsin Muhammad Carolina Panthers 16 16 [5]
2005 Marvin Harrison Indianapolis Colts 12 16 [5]
Steve Smith * Carolina Panthers 16 [5]
2006 Terrell Owens Dallas Cowboys 13 16 [5]
2007 Randy Moss New England Patriots 23 16 [5]
2008 Larry Fitzgerald * Arizona Cardinals 12 16 [5]
Calvin Johnson * Detroit Lions 16 [5]
2009 Vernon Davis * San Francisco 49ers 13 16 [5]
Larry Fitzgerald * Arizona Cardinals 16 [5]
Randy Moss New England Patriots 16 [5]
2010 Dwayne Bowe * Kansas City Chiefs 15 16 [5]
2011 Rob Gronkowski * New England Patriots 17 16 [5]
2012 James Jones * Green Bay Packers 14 16 [5]
2013 Jimmy Graham * New Orleans Saints 16 16 [5]

Other receiving touchdowns leaders[edit]

List of AAFC and AFL receiving touchdowns leaders by season
Season League Leader Team Yds. Games Ref.
1946 All-America Football Conference Alyn Beals San Francisco 49ers 10 14 [5]
1947 All-America Football Conference Alyn Beals San Francisco 49ers 10 14 [5]
1948 All-America Football Conference Alyn Beals San Francisco 49ers 14 14 [5]
1949 All-America Football Conference Alyn Beals San Francisco 49ers 12 12 [5]
1960 American Football League Art Powell New York Titans 14 14 [5]
1961 American Football League Bill Groman Houston Oilers 17 14 [5]
1962 American Football League Chris Burford Dallas Texans 12 14 [5]
1963 American Football League Art Powell Oakland Raiders 16 14 [5]
1964 American Football League Lance Alworth^ San Diego Chargers 13 14 [5]
1965 American Football League Lance Alworth^ San Diego Chargers 14 14 [5]
American Football League Don Maynard^ New York Jets 14 [5]
1966 American Football League Lance Alworth^ San Diego Chargers 13 14 [5]
1967 American Football League Al Denson Denver Broncos 11 14 [5]
American Football League Otis Taylor Kansas City Chiefs 14 [5]
1968 American Football League Karl Noonan Miami Dolphins 11 14 [5]
American Football League Warren Wells Oakland Raiders 14 [5]
1968 American Football League Warren Wells Oakland Raiders 14 14 [5]

Notes[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ The NFL did not have a set number of games for teams to play until the 1935 season, instead setting a minimum.
  2. ^ The 1982 season was reduced from 16 to 9 games due to a 57-day players' strike.[14]
  3. ^ The 1987 season was reduced from 16 to 15 games due to a 24-day players' strike.[14]
Footnotes
  1. ^ "Beginner's Guide to Football". National Football League. Retrieved September 30, 2012. 
  2. ^ Brinson, Will (December 31, 2013). "NFL, Elias reviewing Peyton Manning passing record: lateral or pass?". CBS Sports. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  3. ^ "2012 NFL Record and Fact Book". NFL.com. pp. 625–626. Retrieved June 19, 2013. 
  4. ^ "NFL's Passer Rating". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 19, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq cr cs ct cu cv cw cx cy cz da db dc dd de df dg dh di dj dk dl dm dn do dp dq dr ds dt du "NFL Year-by-Year Receiving Touchdowns Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved June 15, 2013. 
  6. ^ "NFL Single-Season Receiving Touchdowns Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  7. ^ "1932 New York Giants". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "1933 New York Giants". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  9. ^ "1933 Pittsburgh Pirates". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "1933 Chicago Bears". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  11. ^ "1933 Brooklyn Dodgers". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  12. ^ "1933 Green Bay Packers". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  13. ^ "1934 Chicago Bears". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "NFL History by Decade: 1981-1990". NFL.com. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 

General references[edit]

External links[edit]