Jerry Rice’s Statistical Dominance
There is no question that Jerry Rice was one of the best football players, not just wide receivers, to ever play the game. When Rice retired after his long career with the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, and Seattle Seahawks; he held almost every known receiving record in the NFL. But, to better illustrate how dominant Jerry Rice was; let’s take a look at the difference between Rice’s records and the second place player’s numbers.
Jerry Rice holds the record for most career receptions with 1,549. Minnesota Vikings great Cris Carter is in second place with 1,101 receptions; a difference of 448. Cris Carter was great, but to put this in perspective if he were to average 80 receptions a year he would have had to play an additional five and a half years and he would still be just short of Rice’s numbers.
Jerry Rice also holds the record for most seasons with 50 or more receptions, he was able to accomplish this 17 different times. Second place? Andre Reed with 13.
The record for most receiving touchdowns in a career is also a record owned by Jerry Rice with his 197 touchdowns. Second place again belongs to Cris Carter, though he is 67 touchdowns behind with an impressive 130.
Running backs are known to be some of the most reliable touchdown scorers in the NFL. Emmitt Smith, one of the best running backs ever, retired with 175 touchdowns… leaving him in second place on the all-time touchdowns scored list behind Jerry Rice who retired with 208 touchdowns.
One of the best measures of a wide receiver’s productivity is their career receiving yards. During his entire career, Jerry Rice amassed 22,895 receiving yards. Tim Brown was a very impressive receiver with a very impressive career spent mostly with the Raiders, he is second place in career receiving yards however to Rice with his total of 14,934 yards. Tim Brown would have had to put together another eight 1,000 yard receiving seasons to have accumulated more yards than Jerry Rice.
Jerry Rice also holds the record for most seasons with over 1,000 yards receiving. Second place is a tie between Tim Brown and Jacksonville Jaguars great Jimmy Smith who each had 9 seasons of 1,000 yards or more receiving… the only problem is that Rice did it 14 times.
Jerry Rice was amazingly durable during his career, setting the record with catching a pass in 274 consecutive games, 91 straight games more than Art Monk’s prior record of 183 consecutive games.
The fact that Jerry Rice holds all the major and most of the minor receiving records is evidence enough of his dominance, but when you see that he also is head and shoulders ahead of the second place person in a lot of these categories, it is impossible to argue that there is another receiver in the same class as the great Jerry Rice.