Statistical curiosities of 2014 (Part 1)

Every NFL season has its statistical curiosities. In fact, if I can find a publisher, my next book might be Statistical Curiosities and the Fans Who Love Them (like me). Anyway, I just noticed one while scanning the final receiving stats. Ready? Here goes:

In 2014 Broncos tight end Julius Thomas became the first player in NFL history to catch 12 or more touchdown passes while gaining less than 500 receiving yards. (Quite a mouthful, huh?)

Thomas’ final numbers in 13 games — he missed three with an ankle injury — were 43 catches, 489 yards, 12 TDs. Others have had 12 or more TDs on fewer than 43 receptions. In 1985, for instance, the Seahawks’ Darryl Turner had 13 on 34 grabs. But nobody, not even in the early days, gained as few as 489 yards. That’s mind-boggling.

Of course, if Thomas had played all 16 games, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. But since he didn’t, we have a terrific Statistical Curiosity for an Offseason Day. The details:


Year Receiver, Team Rec Yds Avg TD
2014 Julius Thomas, Broncos 43 489 11.4 12
1951 Leon Hart, Lions 35 544 15.5 12
1962 Chris Burford, Texans (AFL) 45 645 14.3 12
1985 Daryl Turner, Seahawks 34 670 19.7 13
1963 Gary Collins, Browns 43 674 15.7 13
1977 Nat Moore, Dolphins 52 765 14.7 12
2004 Randy Moss, Vikings 49 767 15.7 13
2012 James Jones, Packers 64 784 12.3 14
2013 Julius Thomas, Broncos 65 788 12.1 12
1965 Art Powell, Raiders (AFL) 52 800 15.4 12

As you can see, Thomas made the list twice. Last season he had 12 touchdowns on just 788 yards. I have no idea what his career holds for him, but I do know this: The man scores a lot of TDs and — just as important in this Recycling Era — he doesn’t waste yards.


I could have run yet another photo of Julius Thomas here, but how often does Daryl Turner's name come up?

I could have run yet another photo of Julius Thomas here, but how often does Daryl Turner’s name come up?