NFL Receiving TD Leaders By Year—1990s
Along with the names you would expect to find when you talk about great wide receivers of the 1990s, such as Jerry Rice, Cris Carter and Sterling Sharpe, there were a few others that hauled in a lot of touchdown passes. This is a list of each NFL leader in TD receptions by year in that decade:
1999-Cris Carter, Minnesota Vikings (13)
I can hear ESPN's Chris Berman saying this about Carter: "All he does is catch touchdowns." It's not that Carter didn't put up big yardage numbers in his career either, but he was definitely a touchdown machine, in particular on those great Vikings' offenses of the late ‘90s. In 1999, Carter led the NFL in TD catches for the third time, hauling in 13 of them. Carter caught 90 passes in all that season for 1241 yards.
1998-Randy Moss, Minnesota Vikings (17)
It's almost hard to believe that Randy Moss has been playing in the NFL for 10 years, but he has, and he's always put up huge numbers (except for a couple of down years in Oakland). In 1998, Moss was a 21-year-old rookie with the Vikings, and that season he caught 69 passes for 1313 yards, leading the NFL in touchdown receptions with 17.
1997-Cris Carter, Minnesota Vikings (13)
In 1997, Cris Carter once again led the NFL in touchdown receptions, with 13. Carter caught 89 passes for 1069 yards in all, and it was the second time in five years that he led the league in TD catches.
1996-Michael Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (14) and Tony Martin, San Diego Chargers (14)
You might say, who and who? Most people would ask that, because Baltimore's Michael Jackson and San Diego's Tony Martin were the NFL leaders in 1996 in TD catches, with 14 each, but it was the only time either player led the NFL in that category. Jackson was with the Cleveland Browns before this, and 1996 was his first year in Baltimore after Art Modell moved the team. He caught 76 passes for 1201 yards and the 14 TDs. Martin, meanwhile, was a journeyman receiver who had a few really good years, including this one. In 1996, Martin caught 85 passes for 1171 yards and the 14 TDs. His previous high in TD catches was 7 in 1994.
1995-Cris Carter, Minnesota Vikings (17) and Carl Pickens, Cincinnati Bengals (17)
In 1994 and in 1995, Cris Carter caught 122 passes in consecutive seasons, breaking the NFL record and then tying his own record. But in 1995, 17 of those 122 catches were for touchdowns; the first of three times that Carter led the NFL in TD receptions. He also had a career high of 1371 receiving yards in 1995. Pickens, meanwhile, caught 99 passes for a career high of 1234 yards and the 17 TDs, which were also a career best.
1994-Sterling Sharpe, Green Bay Packers (18)
Though his career was cut short by injury, Packers' wide receiver Sterling Sharpe put some great years together, including the 1994 season (his last in the league) when he caught 94 passes for 1119 yards. Sharpe led the NFL in TD catches that season with 18.
1993-Jerry Rice, San Francisco 49ers (15) and Andre Rison, Atlanta Falcons (15)
In his illustrious NFL career, Jerry Rice led the NFL in touchdown catches six times. The sixth of those times was in 1993, when Rice tied Atlanta's Andre Rison in that category with 15. Rice caught 98 passes for 1503 yards (which also led the NFL) and the 15 TDs, while Rison had a great year of his own: 86 catches for 1242 yards and 15 scores.
1992-Sterling Sharpe, Green Bay Packers (13)
While none of his numbers in 1992 were career highs, Sterling Sharpe put together a great season in leading the NFL in touchdown receptions with 13. In all, Sharpe caught 108 passes for 1461 yards and the 13 TDs that year.
1991-Jerry Rice, San Francisco 49ers (14)
By his lofty standards, the great Jerry Rice had sub par receiving numbers in 1991, with 80 catches for 1206 yards. But Rice led the league in touchdown receptions with 14, the fifth time out of six that he would lead the NFL in that category.
1990-Jerry Rice, San Francisco, 49ers (13)
In 1990, Jerry Rice caught 100 passes for the first time out of four times in his career. 13 of those 100 were for touchdowns, which led the NFL, and Rice had 1502 receiving yards in all that season.