List of National Football League season receiving yards leaders

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Don Hutson, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, led the NFL in receiving yards a record seven times.

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] A player who catches a forward pass is a receiver, and the amount of receiving yards each player has recorded in each season is a recorded stat in football games. In addition to the overall National Football League (NFL) receiving champion, league record books recognize statistics from the American Football League (AFL), which operated from 1960 to 1969 before being absorbed into the NFL in 1970, Although league record books do not recognize stats from the All-America Football Conference, another league that merged with the NFL, these statistics are recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The NFL did not begin keeping official records until the 1932 season.[3] The average the yards the leader has gained has increased over time – since the adoption of the 14-game season in 1961,[4] all but one season saw the receiving leader record over 1,000 yards. No player has ever finished with over 2,000 receiving yards in a season; the current record is 1,964 yards, set by Calvin Johnson during the 2012 season. Wes Chandler, who led the league with 1,032 yards in the strike-shortened 1982 season, averaged 129 yards receiving per game, an NFL record.[5][6]

Don Hutson led the league in receiving yards seven times, the most of any player; Jerry Rice is second with six. Huston also recorded the most consecutive seasons leading the league in receiving, doing so for five seasons from 1941 to 1945, while Jerry Rice ranks second with three consecutive league-leading seasons from 1993 to 1995. A Green Bay Packers player has led the league in receiving yards eleven times, the most in the NFL; the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams rank second with nine league-leading seasons. The most recent receiving yards leader was Josh Gordon of the Cleveland Browns, who recorded 1,646 receiving yards over the 2013 season.[7]

NFL season receiving yards leaders[edit]

Bob Mann was the NFL's receiving yards leader in 1949, and the third player to lead the league in receiving while recording over 1,000 yards.
Elroy Hirsch, a Pro Football Hall of Fame member, led the league in receiving yards in 1951, recording 1,495 yards over a 12-game season.
Future US Congressman Steve Largent led the league in receiving yards twice during his Hall of Fame career.
Hall of Fame member Jerry Rice, the NFL's all-time receiving yards leader,[8] led the league in receiving yards six times over his career.
Marvin Harrison was the NFL's receiving yards leader twice over his career.
Calvin Johnson led the league in receiving yards in 2011 and followed it up by setting the league record for receiving yards in 2012.
Josh Gordon is the NFL's current receiving yards leader, having recorded 1,646 receiving yards in 2013.
Key
Symbol Meaning
Winner The player who recorded the most receiving yards in the NFL
Games The number of games that the player participated in during that season
Yds. Total receiving yards
^ 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 yards leaders
Season Winner Team Yds. Games Ref(s)
1932 Flaherty, RayRay Flaherty^ New York Giants 350 12 [9]
1933 Moss, PaulPaul Moss Pittsburgh Pirates 283 10 [10]
1934 Ebding, HarryHarry Ebding Detroit Lions 264 12 [11]
1935 Malone, CharleyCharley Malone Boston Redskins 433 11 [12]
1936 Hutson, DonDon Hutson^ Green Bay Packers 536 12 [13]
1937 Tinsley, GaynellGaynell Tinsley Chicago Cardinals 675 11 [13]
1938 Hutson, DonDon Hutson^ Green Bay Packers 548 10 [13]
1939 Hutson, DonDon Hutson^ Green Bay Packers 846 11 [13]
1940 Looney, DonDon Looney Philadelphia Eagles 707 11 [14]
1941 Hutson, DonDon Hutson^ Green Bay Packers 738 11 [13]
1942 Hutson, DonDon Hutson^ Green Bay Packers 1,211 11 [13]
1943 Hutson, DonDon Hutson^ Green Bay Packers 776 10 [13]
1944 Hutson, DonDon Hutson^ Green Bay Packers 866 10 [13]
1945 Benton, JimJim Benton Cleveland Rams 1,067 9 [15]
1946 Benton, JimJim Benton Los Angeles Rams 981 11 [15]
1947 Kutner, MalMal Kutner Chicago Cardinals 944 12 [16]
1948 Kutner, MalMal Kutner Chicago Cardinals 943 12 [16]
1949 Mann, BobBob Mann Detroit Lions 1,014 12 [17]
1950 Fears, TomTom Fears^ Los Angeles Rams 1,116 12 [18]
1951 Hirsch, ElroyElroy Hirsch^ Los Angeles Rams 1,495 12 [19]
1952 Howton, BillyBilly Howton Green Bay Packers 1,231 12 [20]
1953 Pihos, PetePete Pihos^ Philadelphia Eagles 1,049 12 [21]
1954 Boyd, BobBob Boyd Los Angeles Rams 1,212 12 [19]
1955 Pihos, PetePete Pihos^ Philadelphia Eagles 864 12 [21]
1956 Howton, BillyBilly Howton Green Bay Packers 1,188 12 [20]
1957 Berry, RaymondRaymond Berry^ Baltimore Colts 800 12 [22]
1958 Shofner, DelDel Shofner Los Angeles Rams 1,097 12 [23]
1959 Berry, RaymondRaymond Berry^ Baltimore Colts 959 12 [22]
1960 Berry, RaymondRaymond Berry^ Baltimore Colts 1,298 12 [22]
1961 McDonald, TommyTommy McDonald^ Philadelphia Eagles 1,144 14 [24]
1962 Mitchell, BobbyBobby Mitchell^ Washington Redskins 1,384 14 [25]
1963 Mitchell, BobbyBobby Mitchell^ Washington Redskins 1,436 14 [25]
1964 Morris, JohnnyJohnny Morris Chicago Bears 1,200 14 [26]
1965 Parks, DaveDave Parks San Francisco 49ers 1,344 14 [27]
1966 Studstill, PatPat Studstill Detroit Lions 1,266 14 [28]
1967 Hawkins, BenBen Hawkins Philadelphia Eagles 1,265 14 [29]
1968 Jefferson, RoyRoy Jefferson Pittsburgh Steelers 1,074 14 [30]
1969 Jackson, HaroldHarold Jackson Philadelphia Eagles 1,116 14 [31]
1970 Washington, GeneGene Washington San Francisco 49ers 1,100 13 [32]
1971 Taylor, OtisOtis Taylor Kansas City Chiefs 1,110 14 [33]
1972 Jackson, HaroldHarold Jackson Philadelphia Eagles 1,048 14 [31]
1973 Carmichael, HaroldHarold Carmichael Philadelphia Eagles 1,116 14 [34]
1974 Branch, CliffCliff Branch Oakland Raiders 1,092 14 [35]
1975 Burrough, KenKen Burrough Houston Oilers 1,063 14 [36]
1976 Carr, RogerRoger Carr Baltimore Colts 1,112 14 [37]
1977 Pearson, DrewDrew Pearson Dallas Cowboys 870 14 [38]
1978 Walker, WesleyWesley Walker New York Jets 1,169 16 [39]
1979 Largent, SteveSteve Largent^ Seattle Seahawks 1,237 15 [40]
1980 Jefferson, JohnJohn Jefferson San Diego Chargers 1,340 16 [41]
1981 Jenkins, AlfredAlfred Jenkins Atlanta Falcons 1,358 16 [42]
1982 Chandler, WesWes Chandler San Diego Chargers 1,032 8 [43]
1983 Quick, MikeMike Quick Philadelphia Eagles 1,409 16 [44]
1984 Green, RoyRoy Green St. Louis Cardinals 1,555 16 [45]
1985 Largent, SteveSteve Largent^ Seattle Seahawks 1,287 16 [40]
1986 Rice, JerryJerry Rice^ San Francisco 49ers 1,570 15 [46]
1987 Smith, J. T.J. T. Smith St. Louis Cardinals 1,117 15 [47]
1988 Ellard, HenryHenry Ellard Los Angeles Rams 1,414 16 [48]
1989 Rice, JerryJerry Rice^ San Francisco 49ers 1,483 16 [46]
1990 Rice, JerryJerry Rice^ San Francisco 49ers 1,502 16 [46]
1991 Irvin, MichaelMichael Irvin^ Dallas Cowboys 1,523 16 [49]
1992 Sharpe, SterlingSterling Sharpe Green Bay Packers 1,461 16 [50]
1993 Rice, JerryJerry Rice^double-dagger San Francisco 49ers 1,503 16 [46]
1994 Rice, JerryJerry Rice^ San Francisco 49ers 1,499 16 [46]
1995 Rice, JerryJerry Rice^ San Francisco 49ers 1,848 16 [46]
1996 Bruce, IsaacIsaac Bruce St. Louis Rams 1,338 16 [51]
1997 Moore, RobRob Moore Arizona Cardinals 1,584 16 [52]
1998 Freeman, AntonioAntonio Freeman Green Bay Packers 1,424 15 [53]
1999 Harrison, MarvinMarvin Harrison Indianapolis Colts 1,663 16 [54]
2000 Holt, TorryTorry Holt St. Louis Rams 1,635 16 [55]
2001 Boston, DavidDavid Boston Arizona Cardinals 1,598 16 [56]
2002 Harrison, MarvinMarvin Harrison Indianapolis Colts 1,722 16 [54]
2003 Holt, TorryTorry Holt St. Louis Rams 1,696 16 [55]
2004 Muhammad, MuhsinMuhsin Muhammad Carolina Panthers 1,405 16 [57]
2005 Smith, SteveSteve Smith* Carolina Panthers 1,563 16 [58]
2006 Johnson, ChadChad Johnson Cincinnati Bengals 1,369 16 [59]
2007 Wayne, ReggieReggie Wayne* Indianapolis Colts 1,510 16 [60]
2008 Johnson, AndreAndre Johnson* Houston Texans 1,575 16 [61]
2009 Johnson, AndreAndre Johnson* Houston Texans 1,569 16 [61]
2010 Lloyd, BrandonBrandon Lloyd Denver Broncos 1,448 16 [62]
2011 Johnson, CalvinCalvin Johnson* Detroit Lions 1,681 16 [63]
2012 Johnson, CalvinCalvin Johnson* Detroit Lions 1,964 16 [63]
2013 Gordon, JoshJosh Gordon* Cleveland Browns 1,646 14 [64]

Other receiving yards leaders[edit]

List of AAFC and AFL receiving yards leaders by season
Season League Winner Team Yds. Games Ref(s)
1946 All-America Football Conference Lavelli, DanteDante Lavelli^ Cleveland Browns 843 14 [65]
1947 All-America Football Conference Speedie, MacMac Speedie Cleveland Browns 1,146 14 [66]
1948 All-America Football Conference Hillenbrand, BillyBilly Hillenbrand Baltimore Colts 970 14 [67]
1949 All-America Football Conference Speedie, MacMac Speedie Cleveland Browns 1,028 12 [66]
1960 American Football League Groman, BillBill Groman Houston Oilers 1,473 14 [68]
1961 American Football League Hennigan, CharleyCharley Hennigan Houston Oilers 1,746 14 [69]
1962 American Football League Powell, ArtArt Powell New York Titans 1,130 14 [70]
1963 American Football League Powell, ArtArt Powell Oakland Raiders 1,304 14 [70]
1964 American Football League Hennigan, CharleyCharley Hennigan Houston Oilers 1,546 14 [69]
1965 American Football League Alworth, LanceLance Alworth^ San Diego Chargers 1,602 14 [71]
1966 American Football League Alworth, LanceLance Alworth^ San Diego Chargers 1,383 13 [71]
1967 American Football League Maynard, DonDon Maynard^ New York Jets 1,434 14 [72]
1968 American Football League Alworth, LanceLance Alworth^ San Diego Chargers 1,312 14 [71]
1969 American Football League Wells, WarrenWarren Wells Oakland Raiders 1,260 14 [73]

Notes[edit]

  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. ^ "NFL's Passer Rating". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 19, 2013. 
  4. ^ "NFL Regular Season Games Played per Season". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  5. ^ Cobbs, Chris (August 15, 1986). "Don't Mess With Wes : Chandler Uses Fear to His Own Advantage Against Pain, Pressure". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on September 13, 2011. 
  6. ^ "NFL Single-Season Receiving Yards per Game Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 2, 2014. 
  7. ^ "NFL Year-by-Year Receiving Yards Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved June 15, 2013. 
  8. ^ "NFL Career Receiving Yards Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 9, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Ray Flaherty NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Paul Moss NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Harry Ebding NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Charley Malone NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h "Don Hutson NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Don Looney NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b "Jim Benton NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b "Mal Kutner NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Bob Mann NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Tom Fears NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  19. ^ a b "Elroy Hirsch NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  20. ^ a b "Billy Howton NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  21. ^ a b "Pete Pihos NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  22. ^ a b c "Raymond Berry NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Del Shofner NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Tommy McDonald NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  25. ^ a b "Bobby Mitchell NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  26. ^ "John Morris NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Dave Parks NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Pat Studstill NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Ben Hawkins NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Roy Jefferson NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  31. ^ a b "Harold Jacks NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  32. ^ "Gene Washington NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Otis Taylor NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Harold Carmichael NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Cliff Branch NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Ken Burrough NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  37. ^ "Roger Carr NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Drew Pearson NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  39. ^ "Wesley Walker NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  40. ^ a b "Steve Largent NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  41. ^ "John Jefferson NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  42. ^ "Alfred Jenkins NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  43. ^ "Wes Chandler NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  44. ^ "Mike Quick NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  45. ^ "Roy Green NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  46. ^ a b c d e f "Jerry Rice NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  47. ^ "J. T. Smith NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  48. ^ "Henry Ellard NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  49. ^ "Michal Irvin NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  50. ^ "Sterling Sharpe NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  51. ^ "Isaac Bruce NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  52. ^ "Rob Moore NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  53. ^ "Antonio Freeman NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  54. ^ a b "Marvin Harrison NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  55. ^ a b "Torry Holt NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  56. ^ "David Boston NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  57. ^ "Muhsin Muhammad NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  58. ^ "Steve Smith NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  59. ^ "Chad Johnson NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  60. ^ "Reggie Wayne NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  61. ^ a b "Andre Johnson NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  62. ^ "Brandon Lloyd NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  63. ^ a b "Calvin Johnson NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  64. ^ "Josh Gordon NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  65. ^ "Dante Lavelli NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  66. ^ a b "Mac Speedie NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  67. ^ "Billy Hillenbrand NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  68. ^ "Bill Groman NFL & AFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  69. ^ a b "Charley Hennigan NFL & AFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  70. ^ a b "Art Powell NFL & AFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  71. ^ a b c "Lance Alworth NFL & AFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  72. ^ "Don Maynard NFL & AFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  73. ^ "Warren Wells NFL & AFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]