Prior to the 2015 NFL season, only one player in NFL history had caught more than 130 passes in a season, and only two players in NFL history had more than 1,800 receiving yards in a season. Now there have been three players with more than 130 catches in a season, and four players with more than 1,800 receiving yards.
Falcons receiver Julio Jones and Steelers Antonio Brown had two of the greatest receiving seasons in NFL history in 2015.
Jones and Brown finished the season tied for the NFL lead with 136 catches, second all time behind Marvin Harrison’s NFL record of 143 in 2002. Jones led the league in receiving yards with 1,871 and Brown was right behind him at 1,834. That puts Jones at No. 2 all time, behind Calvin Johnson’s NFL record of 1,964 in 2012, and Brown at No. 4 all time, behind Jerry Rice’s NFL record of 1,848 in 1995.
As NFL passing offenses grow more sophisticated and rules change to protect quarterbacks and receivers, the numbers we expect to see from wide receivers are changing. There was a time when 100 catches and 1,500 yards were incredible receiving standards. Now Jones and Brown make those numbers look ordinary.