Another tight end runs amok

If you don’t think the Era of the Tight End is upon us, consider this: When Julius Thomas caught three touchdown passes in the Broncos’ Week 1 win over the Colts, it was the 18th time in the 2000s a tight end had done that. What’s more, we’re talking about 16 different tight ends, everybody from Mark Campbell (Bills, 2004) to Greg Olsen (Bears, 2009) to Dante Rosario (Chargers, 2012 — his only three scores that season). The only ones who’ve had two of these games (playoffs included) are the Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski and the Chargers’ Antonio Gates.

Thomas also had 104 yards receiving. Three TD grabs and 100 receiving yards in a game aren’t so common for a tight end. In fact, there have been only 10 such performances in the last 25 years. The roll:

TIGHT ENDS WITH 3 TD CATCHES, 100 RECEIVING YARDS IN A GAME SINCE 1989

Date Tight end, Team Opponent Rec Yds TD
9-7-14 Julius Thomas, Broncos Colts 7 104 3
1-14-12* Rob Gronkowski, Patriots Broncos 10 145 3
10-22-06 Alge Crumpler, Falcons Steelers 6 117 3
10-30-05 Antonio Gates, Chargers Chiefs 10 145 3
11-16-03 Shannon Sharpe, Broncos Chargers 7 101 3
9-29-02 Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs Dolphins 7 140 3
12-14-97 Ken Dilger, Colts Dolphins 5 100 3
10-6-96 Shannon Sharpe, Broncos Chargers 13 153 3
10-3-93 Johnny Mitchell, Jets Eagles 7 146 3
9-17-89 Keith Jackson, Eagles Redskins 12 126 3

*playoffs

For sheer economy, you can’t do much better than Lions tight end Joseph Fauria did last season against the Browns: three catches, 34 yards, three touchdowns. The only TEs since the merger who’ve topped him — that is, scored three times in fewer yards – are, well, see for yourself:

FEWEST RECEIVING YARDS IN A GAME FOR A TIGHT END WITH 3 TD CATCHES 

Date Tight end,Team Opponent Rec Yds TD
10-12-75 Mack Alston, Oilers Browns 3 22 3
10-14-90 Eric Green, Steelers Broncos 4 28 3
10-13-13 Joseph Fauria, Lions Browns 3 34 3
11-21-04 Mark Campbell, Bills Rams 4 37 3
12-18-88 Damone Johnson, Rams 49ers 4 42 3

I’ll say it for you: Stats don’t get any more obscure than that.

Source: pro-football-reference.com