Understanding just how absurd A.J. Brown's performance has been originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Jerry Rice never did it more than twice in a row. Neither did Randy Moss, Reggie Wayne or Tyreek Hill. Larry Fitzgerald never even did it two consecutive games.
T.O. did it three games in a row while he was with the Cowboys, and that’s a remarkable achievement. But only half what A.J. Brown did.
Nobody else has ever done what Brown just did, and maybe nobody else ever will.
Brown on Sunday continued his mind-blowing and unprecedented stretch with his NFL-record sixth consecutive game with at least 125 yards. Two former Lions – Pat Studstill in 1966 and Calvin Johnson in 2012 – had recorded five straight.
“He’s doing really impressive things,” Jalen Hurts said. “He’s playing at a very high level and consistent and as a friend, I know what his mentality is and where it's coming from.
“It's no surprise in the way he works, what he does in the offseason, where his mentality is. … I'm proud of him as a friend and as a quarterback and I’m proud that he's truly invested into winning and putting the team first and doing whatever he needs to do in his role to win.”
To put Brown’s achievement in perspective, nobody in Eagles history had ever recorded more than three consecutive 125-yard games. Harold Jackson did it the first three games of 1972.
Brown's at six. And still going.
Studstill’s streak in 1966 ended when he had 74 yards in a game against the Colts at Tiger Stadium. Johnson’s ended just seven yards shy of 125 when he had 118 in a game against the Packers at Lambeau. He then had 121 yards in Arizona and 225 against the Falcons, so he was only 11 yards shy of eight in a row.
Only eight other receivers have had six total 125-yard games in their entire Eagles career. Tommy McDonald had 13, Mike Quick and DeSean Jackson 12, Pete Retzlaff 10, Harold Jackson eight, Jeremy Maclin seven and Ben Hawkins and Harold Carmichael six apiece.
Brown has six in 35 days.
It’s an astonishing achievement, even if he doesn’t look at it that way.
“I know people come up and tell you (about it), but you know, you’ve got to be humble in this game,” Brown said after the Eagles beat the Commanders 38-31 at FedEx Field. “You’ve got to come out and prove it each and every week. That's what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to come in and work and strive to be better each and every day."
During these six games, Brown is averaging eight catches and 139 yards and has five touchdowns. He’s put himself squarely in the MVP race and goes into Week 9 only 61 yards shy of 1,000 for the season.
His 939 yards are 6th-most in NFL history through eight games. He’s also the first Eagle in history with six or more catches in six straight games.
And while Brown isn’t going to get too hyped up about his NFL-record streak, his coach sure is.
“I want that jersey,” Sirianni said post-game. “I want that jersey before the NFL can get their hands on it.
“Yeah, that's awesome. That's cool. The history of this league and the history of this game is special to me. And when you do something that no one's ever done in history, and one of your players does that, that's pretty cool.
“So A.J. has done it better over a six-game stretch than anybody ever to play this game. And that's pretty special.”
Along the way Sunday, Brown made one of the most spectacular catches you’ll ever see, a miracle one-hander late in the second quarter with an acrobatic move to get both feet – and knees – in bounds.
"That's something I’ve seen him do for a very long time," Hurts said. "He made a hell of a catch.”
But that’s how it’s been going for Brown.
He’s basically uncoverable right now. He beats double teams with his physicality and runs past corners when he has single coverage. And Hurts has such a high level of trust in Brown that he’ll just chuck it up to him even when he is covered and watch Brown out-muscle d-backs and come down with the ball.
Just about halfway through the season, Brown is on pace for 127 catches for 1,995 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Those are absurd numbers. Nobody has ever had 1,995 yards in a season (although Hill is on pace for 2,154), and only eight receivers have ever caught 127 passes. Brown is also averaging 15.7 yards per catch, 6th-highest among receivers with at least 32 catches.
Sirianni raved Sunday about Brown the wide receiver but he raved even more about Brown the person.
“He did so many unsung things that were outstanding, and he’s a great leader,” Sirianni said. “Like I had to pull him off the field at a timeout when we were on defense. I'm like, ‘You ain't going in!’ He was on the field encouraging our guys, believing in our guys.
“I've said this to you guys before. I think I said it after there were some questions about the penalty he had last time we played Washington, that there's not a better person on our team than A.J. Brown. There might not be a better player on our team than A.J. Brown, but there’s not a better person.
“And I love these guys in there. And that's high praise. … Shoot, I'm happy to (say that about) somebody who's as top-notch as A.J. as a worker, as a person, as a teammate. Everything. Everything that he is. A son, a father, all those different things. I’ve just got so much respect for him and who he is on that field and off the field.”