It’s not exactly a news flash, but the numbers Jerry Rice posted during his Hall of Fame career are pretty astounding. Whether it’s the career catches, the total yards or the number of touchdowns, some of the things Rice accomplished in the NFL aren’t likely to be duplicated anytime soon. That and more will be part of this week’s edition of “A Football Life“.
For instance, Elliot Harrison took a look at Rice’s incredible 1987 campaign. In just his third season, the young receiver scored 23 total touchdowns (22 receiving) — in just 12 games! That year, Rice averaged nearly 21 fantasy points per game. By contrast, Drew Brees averaged 22.4 points per game during the 2013 season while Jamaal Charles posted 20.5 ppg.
What perhaps gets overlooked is how much of a volume scorer Rice was during the prime years of his career with the San Francisco 49ers. It probably shouldn’t be surprising; after all, in order to become the league’s all-time leader in touchdowns scored, you’ll have to post them in bunches. But when you look at the stats and see ten straight seasons of double-digit touchdowns, it boggles the mind. Beginning with his breakout 1986 season and going through the 1995 league year, Rice averaged 15 end zone visits per year. The current king of wide receivers — Calvin Johnson — has scored 15-plus TDs just once in his first seven seasons in the league. That’s the reason Rice was frequently a first-round fantasy pick during his heyday.
While the Hall of Famer never scored ten or more touchdowns again after 1995, he did post nine scores on three different occasions (the final time coming in 2001 with the Oakland Raiders). Nonetheless, he had long since cemented his place in the Hall of Fame — both real and fantasy.
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