Joe Morgan: Bang for the touch

If you’re a frequenter of this site, you know I’m always on the lookout for the oddball game — the “snowflake.” Saints wide receiver Joe Morgan had one of the all timers Monday night against the Ravens.

Here’s what Morgan did the first time he touched the ball:Morgan 1

And here’s what he did the second time he touched the ball: Morgan 2That’s it. There was no third time he touched the ball. He finished with one rush for 67 yards and one reception for 62. Do the math and you get 129 yards from scrimmage — again, on two touches. That’s insane. It’s also something no one else has done since at least 1960.

In fact, only eight other players in that period have had even a 20-yard gain both rushing and receiving, never mind a 60-yarder, in a two-touch game. It’s just really unusual. (Note: I’ve excluded anybody who might have returned a punt or kickoff in the same game. I’m being strict about this: two touches — period.)

ONE RUSH FOR 20+ YARDS, ONE RECEPTION FOR 20+ YARDS IN A GAME

Date Player, Team Opponent Rush Catch Total
11-24-14 WR Joe Morgan,Saints Ravens 67 62 129
12-12-71 WR Mel Gray, Cardinals Eagles 38 80* 118
9-3-95 WR Leslie Shepherd, Redskins Cardinals 26 73* 99
10-1-00 WR Eddie Kennison, Bears Packers 52 21 73
12-17-60 RB Nyle McFarlane, Raiders Broncos 23 49* 72
11-2-03 WR Donald Driver, Packers Vikings 45 26 71
11-15-09 WR Robert Meachem, Saints Rams 41 27* 68
11-10-96 WR Rocket Ismail, Panthers Giants 35 30 65
11-2-80 WR Leonard Thompson, Lions 49ers 30 30 60

*touchdown

(In a 1981 game against the Saints, the Cardinals’ Roy Green had one rush for 44 yards, one reception for 28 and one interception for 29. A performance like that certainly deserves mention, even if the pick disqualifies him from this list.)

What makes Morgan’s night all the sweeter is that touches have been so rare for him in his two NFL seasons. He’s had just 14 — 12 catches, 2 rushes. But he’s gotten a lot of yardage out of those opportunities, including 10 gains of more than 25 yards. Average gain on receptions and rushes combined: 36.9 yards (14/516).

Nobody does that. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Joe Morgan.

Source: pro-football-reference.com

The Saints' Joe Morgan doing what he does best, making big plays.

The Saints’ Joe Morgan doing what he does best, making big plays.