All-Time NFL Receiving TD Leaders
More and more football fans have become enamored with fantasy football, and therefore are paying more attention to statistics than ever before. Here, we take a look at all-time leaders in the NFL for receiving touchdowns. As always with these lists, some will surprise you, and some will not surprise you at all:
Many consider Jerry Rice to be the greatest wide receiver every to play in the NFL. Rice played for those great San Francisco teams of the 80s and 90s, and in all played from 1985-2004 with the 49ers, Raiders and Seahawks. Rice leads all receivers by a mile in touchdown receptions, with 197 for his career, and also leads all-time in receiving yards with 22,895. Among a spectacular career, Rice had a career high of 22 TDs in 1987, and in 1995 he had his best season overall with 122 catches for 1848 yards and 15 touchdowns.
"T.O." has been in the media more for his off-the-field antics and touchdown celebrations, but amid all of that, many forget that he's simply a great football player. Owens has played for the 49ers, Eagles and Cowboys from 1996 until 2008, and he's already racked up 139 touchdown catches for his career. Owens had a career high of 16 TDs in 2001, and his high in yardage came in 2000 with 1451 yards. If he plays long enough and keeps his head in the game, Owens could surpass Rice in several categories as well.
Randy Moss has only been in the league since 1998, but already ranks third all-time with 135 touchdown catches playing for the Vikings, Raiders and now Patriots. Moss had 17 TDs in his rookie season, but in 2003 with Minnesota, he duplicated that feat and also had a career high in receiving yards with 1632. Then he caught 23 TD passes in 2007 to break the all-time NFL single-season record. Like Harrison and Owens, Moss has the potential to break several records, especially now that he's part of a great combo with QB Tom Brady in New England.
I can still hear ESPN's Chris Berman saying "All he does is catch touchdowns," and it's pretty much true. Cris Carter played for the Eagles, Vikings, and Dolphins from 1987-2002, and over that time caught 130 touchdown passes to rank second in NFL history. In 1995, Carter had a career high of 17 TD catches, and that set off a string of five straight seasons that he was in double digits in that category.
Marvin Harrison has played his entire career with the Colts (1996 to 2008), and he could challenge Jerry Rice's records before he's done. Harrison already has 128 touchdown catches and 14,580 receiving yards. He holds the NFL record for receptions in a season with 143, set in 2002. That same season, Harrison also had 1722 yards, and his best season for TD receptions was 15, set in both 2001 and 2004. He's also had eight straight seasons with double digit TD catches.
Tim Brown was a great receiver for several years, mostly with the Raiders. He played for them from 1988 to 2003 and then finished his career with Tampa Bay in 2004. Brown finished with 100 touchdown catches and also with 14,934 receiving yards. He had a career high of 11 TDs in 2000, but his highs in receptions (104) and yards (1408) came in the 1997 season.
Steve Largent played his entire career with Seattle, from 1976-1989, and is tied with Tim Brown for sixth place all-time with 100 career TD catches. In 1985, Largent had career highs of 79 catches for 1287 yards, but his high in touchdown receptions came in 1984, with 12.
Don Hutson played for the Green Bay Packers from 1935 to 1945, and though he only tallied 7991 yards receiving in total, he ranks eighth in NFL history with 99 touchdown receptions. Hutson pulled in a career high of 17 TDs in 1942, and had double digits in TD catches from 1941-1943.
After many years with the Rams for the Greatest Show on Turf, Bruce played for the 49ers in 2008 and had 7 touchdown catches to give him 91 for his illustrious career and ranking him ninth all-time.
Don Maynard played for the New York Giants, Titans (who became the Jets), Jets and also the St. Louis Cardinals from 1958 to 1973. Maynard had his best years with the Jets, including a career high of 14 TDs in 1965. He finished with 88 touchdowns for his career, as well as 11,834 yards receiving in all.