Panthers WR DJ Moore on pace for special season

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Carolina Panthers fans have known how good DJ Moore is. They’ve already seen three years of it.

This fourth year, however, may be the one where everybody else starts to recognize him.

Moore, like his 3-0 Panthers, is off to a monstrous start here in 2021. He’s amassed 22 receptions over 31 targets for 285 yards and, in what could be his most impressive stat thus far, 16 first downs.

That got us thinking . . . how torrid of a pace is Moore currently on? Well, we dusted off the ol’ calculator and, turns out, he could be headed for territory that very few men have ever reached before.

Now, of course, this year is a tad different. Remember, we’re now playing off a 17-game schedule. So we have to keep it all relative.

But, whether it be 17 or 16 games, Moore is pacing for something quite special.

Pace for a 17-game season

Receptions: 125
Receiving yards: 1,615
Touchdowns: 6
First downs: 91

Pace for (what would have previously been) a 16-game season

Receptions: 117
Receiving yards: 1,520
Touchdowns: 5
First downs: 85

If we’re working off his 17-game numbers, he’d be just the eighth player in NFL history with a season of at least 125 catches and 1,615 yards. If it’s his 16-game numbers we’re looking at, he’d be the 13th to get to those 117 grabs and 1,520 yards.

His first-down pace, regardless of the gauge, would send him into an even more exclusive club. Only five men have recorded at least 85 receiving first downs since 2000. He, with the 91 or 85, would be the sixth.

Here, by the way, are the five members of that group:

Julio Jones (2015): 93
Marvin Harrison (2002): 92
Calvin Johnson (2012): 92
Michael Thomas (2019): 91
Antonio Brown (2014): 85

Moore is also on track to become the Panthers’ single-season franchise leader in receptions and receiving yards. If everything stays in place and intact (which it, like, definitely will because football is always a very stable and predictable sport), he’d pass running back Christian McCaffrey in catches (116) and mentor Steve Smith in yards (1,563).

Those are a few decent names to join and/or pass in the record books, right?

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