Washington’s recent acquisition of DeSean Jackson instantly gives the team a dangerous 1-2 receiving punch, which is hard to find in the NFL. Most teams are fortunate if they have one standout receiver. Having two dynamic pass-catchers is like getting an extra sandwich for free at a drive-thru.
Redskins receivers Pierre Garcon and Jackson could create a Batman and Robin threat for opposing defenses. Instead of just focusing on one player, defenses will be forced to play honestly or suffer the consequences.
However, that is not the league’s best receiving combo.
Here is a list of the NFL’s top 10 receiving duos, excluding tight ends (sorry, Jimmy Graham, Vernon Davis, Jordan Cameron and a few others):
1. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery (Bears) – Jeffrey had a breakout season with 1,421 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in 2013. He was backup quarterback Josh McCown’s favorite target, and a reliable option for Jay Cutler. Marshall had over 1,000 receiving yards for the seventh consecutive season, and these standouts are matchup nightmares.
2. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb (Packers) – There is a reason why Green Bay didn’t blink when Greg Jennings or James Jones departed in free agency during the past two offseasons. Nelson is one of the NFL’s best receivers, and Cobb was enjoying a breakout season prior to fracturing the tibia in his right leg last season. Both players are capable of having 1,000-yard seasons in 2014.
3. Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker (Broncos) – Thanks for the memories, Eric Decker. Thomas has carried Denver’s offense the past two seasons, and at 26, he is entering his prime. Wes Welker played well during his first season in Denver, recording 778 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. Of course, having Peyton Manning does not hurt either receiver.
4. Roddy White and Julio Jones (Falcons) – It has been hard to keep both players healthy over the past three seasons, but they are potent together. White had only 711 receiving yards and three touchdowns in 13 games last season, snapping a six-year streak with at least 1,000 yards. As long as White is not on the downside of his career, do not underestimate this pair.
5. Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate (Lions) – Finally, Detroit found a young receiver with speed to complement Johnson. Nate Burelson, Titus Young and Ryan Broyles are the notable receivers who failed to take enough pressure off Johnson. Tate, a former Seahawks standout, should make Detroit one of the most exciting teams to watch.
6. DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon (Redskins) – A few things must fall in place for this combination to work. Washington quarterback Robert Griffin must show improvement, Jackson has to embrace a new offensive system, and Garcon must develop chemistry with a new receiver. If it occurs, Washington will have a high-powered offense to keep pace with Philadelphia in the NFC East.
7. Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins (Texans) – Last season, Johnson had 1,407 receiving yards and five touchdowns, while Hopkins had 802 yards and two touchdowns. They were successful despite Matt Schaub, Case Keenum and T.J. Yates under center. Both players will have a chance to excel if Houston selects a good quarterback in the upcoming draft.
8. Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd (Cardinals) – Fitzgerald is no longer viewed as the NFL’s top receiver, but he does not have to be. Fitzgerald finished with 954 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, while Floyd had 1,041 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Arizona finished 10-6, and nearly made the playoffs.
9. Steve Smith and Torrey Smith (Ravens) – Steve Smith seemingly never had receiving help in Carolina, but he should thrive in Baltimore. Torrey Smith has improved each season, and his newest teammate should aid that development. If Steve Smith has anything left in the tank, Baltimore can finally open up its passing game.
10. Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree (49ers) – It sounds good on paper, but Crabtree missed most of last season with an Achilles injury. When healthy, Boldin and Crabtree are a great combination, regardless of what Seahawks receiver Richard Sherman thinks.
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