List of National Football League annual receiving yards leaders

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Don Hutson led the NFL in receiving yards a record seven times with the Green Bay Packers.

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 number 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. Hutson 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 Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons, who recorded 1,677 receiving yards over the 2018 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.
Antonio Brown led the league with 1,698 receiving yards in 2014.
Julio Jones led the league in 2015 with 1,871 yards and again in 2018 with 1,677 yards.
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 Ray Flaherty^ New York Giants 350 12 [9]
1933 Paul Moss Pittsburgh Pirates 283 10 [10]
1934 Harry Ebding Detroit Lions 264 12 [11]
1935 Charley Malone Boston Redskins 433 11 [12]
1936 Don Hutson^ Green Bay Packers 536 12 [13]
1937 Gaynell Tinsley Chicago Cardinals 675 11 [13]
1938 Don Hutson^ (2) Green Bay Packers 548 10 [13]
1939 Don Hutson^ (3) Green Bay Packers 846 11 [13]
1940 Don Looney Philadelphia Eagles 707 11 [14]
1941 Don Hutson^ (4) Green Bay Packers 738 11 [13]
1942 Don Hutson^ (5) Green Bay Packers 1,211 17 [13]
1943 Don Hutson^ (6) Green Bay Packers 776 10 [13]
1944 Don Hutson^ (7) Green Bay Packers 866 10 [13]
1945 Jim Benton Cleveland Rams 1,067 9 [15]
1946 Jim Benton (2) Los Angeles Rams 981 11 [15]
1947 Mal Kutner Chicago Cardinals 944 12 [16]
1948 Mal Kutner (2) Chicago Cardinals 943 12 [16]
1949 Bob Mann Detroit Lions 1,014 12 [17]
1950 Tom Fears^ Los Angeles Rams 1,116 12 [18]
1951 Elroy Hirsch^ Los Angeles Rams 1,495 12 [19]
1952 Billy Howton Green Bay Packers 1,231 12 [20]
1953 Pete Pihos^ Philadelphia Eagles 1,049 12 [21]
1954 Bob Boyd Los Angeles Rams 1,212 12 [19]
1955 Pete Pihos^ (2) Philadelphia Eagles 864 12 [21]
1956 Billy Howton Green Bay Packers 1,188 12 [20]
1957 Raymond Berry^ Baltimore Colts 800 12 [22]
1958 Del Shofner Los Angeles Rams 1,097 12 [23]
1959 Raymond Berry^ (2) Baltimore Colts 959 12 [22]
1960 Raymond Berry^ (3) Baltimore Colts 1,298 12 [22]
1961 Tommy McDonald^ Philadelphia Eagles 1,144 14 [24]
1962 Bobby Mitchell^ Washington Redskins 1,384 14 [25]
1963 Bobby Mitchell^ (2) Washington Redskins 1,436 14 [25]
1964 Johnny Morris Chicago Bears 1,200 14 [26]
1965 Dave Parks San Francisco 49ers 1,344 14 [27]
1966 Pat Studstill Detroit Lions 1,266 14 [28]
1967 Ben Hawkins Philadelphia Eagles 1,265 14 [29]
1968 Roy Jefferson Pittsburgh Steelers 1,074 14 [30]
1969 Harold Jackson Philadelphia Eagles 1,116 14 [31]
1970 Gene Washington San Francisco 49ers 1,100 13 [32]
1971 Otis Taylor Kansas City Chiefs 1,110 14 [33]
1972 Harold Jackson (2) Philadelphia Eagles 1,048 14 [31]
1973 Harold Carmichael Philadelphia Eagles 1,116 14 [34]
1974 Cliff Branch Oakland Raiders 1,092 14 [35]
1975 Ken Burrough Houston Oilers 1,063 14 [36]
1976 Roger Carr Baltimore Colts 1,112 14 [37]
1977 Drew Pearson Dallas Cowboys 870 14 [38]
1978 Wesley Walker New York Jets 1,169 16 [39]
1979 Steve Largent^ Seattle Seahawks 1,237 15 [40]
1980 John Jefferson San Diego Chargers 1,340 16 [41]
1981 Alfred Jenkins Atlanta Falcons 1,358 16 [42]
1982 Wes Chandler San Diego Chargers 1,032 8 [43]
1983 Mike Quick Philadelphia Eagles 1,409 16 [44]
1984 Roy Green St. Louis Cardinals 1,555 16 [45]
1985 Steve Largent^ (2) Seattle Seahawks 1,287 16 [40]
1986 Jerry Rice^ San Francisco 49ers 1,570 15 [46]
1987 J. T. Smith St. Louis Cardinals 1,117 15 [47]
1988 Henry Ellard Los Angeles Rams 1,414 16 [48]
1989 Jerry Rice^ (2) San Francisco 49ers 1,483 16 [46]
1990 Jerry Rice^ (3) San Francisco 49ers 1,502 16 [46]
1991 Michael Irvin^ Dallas Cowboys 1,523 16 [49]
1992 Sterling Sharpe Green Bay Packers 1,461 16 [50]
1993 Jerry Rice^double-dagger (4) San Francisco 49ers 1,503 16 [46]
1994 Jerry Rice^ (5) San Francisco 49ers 1,499 16 [46]
1995 Jerry Rice^ (6) San Francisco 49ers 1,848 16 [46]
1996 Isaac Bruce St. Louis Rams 1,338 16 [51]
1997 Rob Moore Arizona Cardinals 1,584 16 [52]
1998 Antonio Freeman Green Bay Packers 1,424 15 [53]
1999 Marvin Harrison^ Indianapolis Colts 1,663 16 [54]
2000 Torry Holt St. Louis Rams 1,635 16 [55]
2001 David Boston Arizona Cardinals 1,598 16 [56]
2002 Marvin Harrison^ (2) Indianapolis Colts 1,722 16 [54]
2003 Torry Holt (2) St. Louis Rams 1,696 16 [55]
2004 Muhsin Muhammad Carolina Panthers 1,405 16 [57]
2005 Steve Smith Carolina Panthers 1,563 16 [58]
2006 Chad Johnson Cincinnati Bengals 1,369 16 [59]
2007 Reggie Wayne Indianapolis Colts 1,510 16 [60]
2008 Andre Johnson Houston Texans 1,575 16 [61]
2009 Andre Johnson (2) Houston Texans 1,569 16 [61]
2010 Brandon Lloyd Denver Broncos 1,448 16 [62]
2011 Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions 1,681 16 [63]
2012 Calvin Johnson (2) Detroit Lions 1,964 16 [63]
2013 Josh Gordon* Cleveland Browns 1,646 14 [64]
2014 Antonio Brown* Pittsburgh Steelers 1,698 16 [65]
2015 Julio Jones* Atlanta Falcons 1,871 16 [66]
2016 T.Y. Hilton* Indianapolis Colts 1,448 16 [67]
2017 Antonio Brown* (2) Pittsburgh Steelers 1,533 14 [65]
2018 Julio Jones* (2) Atlanta Falcons 1,677 16 [68]

Other receiving yards leaders[edit]

List of AFL receiving yards leaders by season
Season League Winner Team Yds. Games Ref(s)
1960 American Football League Bill Groman Houston Oilers 1,473 14 [69]
1961 American Football League Charley Hennigan Houston Oilers 1,746 14 [70]
1962 American Football League Art Powell New York Titans 1,130 14 [71]
1963 American Football League Art Powell Oakland Raiders 1,304 14 [71]
1964 American Football League Charley Hennigan Houston Oilers 1,546 14 [70]
1965 American Football League Lance Alworth^ San Diego Chargers 1,602 14 [72]
1966 American Football League Lance Alworth^ San Diego Chargers 1,383 13 [72]
1967 American Football League Don Maynard^ New York Jets 1,434 14 [73]
1968 American Football League Lance Alworth^ San Diego Chargers 1,312 14 [72]
1969 American Football League Warren Wells Oakland Raiders 1,260 14 [74]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

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  2. ^ Brinson, Will (December 31, 2013). "NFL, Elias reviewing Peyton Manning passing record: lateral or pass?". CBS Sports. Archived from the original on January 2, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
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  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. Archived from the original on March 30, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  7. ^ "NFL Year-by-Year Receiving Yards Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on June 12, 2013. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  8. ^ "NFL Career Receiving Yards Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on January 13, 2014. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  9. ^ "Ray Flaherty NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on January 29, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  10. ^ "Paul Moss NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  11. ^ "Harry Ebding NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on January 19, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  12. ^ "Charley Malone NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h "Don Hutson NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on June 22, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  14. ^ "Don Looney NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  15. ^ a b "Jim Benton NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  16. ^ a b "Mal Kutner NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on January 19, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
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  18. ^ "Tom Fears NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  19. ^ a b "Elroy Hirsch NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on February 18, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  20. ^ a b "Billy Howton NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on January 7, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  21. ^ a b "Pete Pihos NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  22. ^ a b c "Raymond Berry NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on November 13, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
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  28. ^ "Pat Studstill NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on January 30, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  29. ^ "Ben Hawkins NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on January 10, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
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  39. ^ "Wesley Walker NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on January 19, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
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  42. ^ "Alfred Jenkins NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on April 2, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  43. ^ "Wes Chandler NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on February 18, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  44. ^ "Mike Quick NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  45. ^ "Roy Green NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on March 31, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
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  64. ^ "Josh Gordon NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on January 23, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  65. ^ a b "Antonio Brown NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on February 18, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  66. ^ "Julio Jones NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on December 31, 2017. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  67. ^ "T.Y. Hilton NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on January 1, 2018. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  68. ^ "Julio Jones NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on December 22, 2018. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  69. ^ "Bill Groman NFL & AFL Football Statistics". Archived from the original on January 6, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  70. ^ a b "Charley Hennigan NFL & AFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on April 11, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  71. ^ a b "Art Powell NFL & AFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on March 31, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  72. ^ a b c "Lance Alworth NFL & AFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on February 17, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  73. ^ "Don Maynard NFL & AFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on February 18, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  74. ^ "Warren Wells NFL & AFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on January 19, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.

References[edit]

External links[edit]