Who Are the NFL Players with the Most Receiving Yards in a Season?

Who Are the NFL Players with the Most Receiving Yards in a Season? Photo by Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Players with the Most Receiving Yards in a Season

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The modern NFL is a passing league, and that means receivers have more opportunities than ever to rack up those yards. Over the years, a few talented NFL players have gone above and beyond the call of duty during a season and put up some pretty crazy receiving yards numbers.  Get free NFL Picks and NFL Predictions for every game all season long at Sports Chat Place. 

These are the NFL players with the most receiving yards in a season. 

1. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions, 1,964 (2012) - Affectionately known by fans worldwide as “Megatron,” Johnson is one of the best NFL receivers of all time. In addition to his 1,964 receiving yards in the 2012 season (an average of nearly 123 yards per game), Johnson also made six Pro Bowls and racked up 83 receiving touchdowns during his career with the Lions. 

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2. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons, 1,871 (2015) - At 6 ft 3 in and 220 pounds, Jones is a strong and intimidating presence on the field. He came out of Alabama as a first-round pick (no. 6) in 2011, and promptly began dominating among NFL receivers. Jones also had a decorated college career, winning a BCS national championship in 2009. 

3. Jerry Rice, San Francisco 49ers, 1,848 (1995) - Ask anyone who the best NFL receiver of all time is, and chances are you’ll hear Rice’s name mentioned first. Though best known as a San Francisco 49er (where he won three Super Bowls), Rice also spent time with the Raiders, Seahawks and Broncos (though he didn’t play a game with Denver) during his Hall-of-Fame career. Rice managed 197 receiving TDs and 22,895 receiving yards total in that NFL tenure. 

4. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers, 1,834 (2015) - Brown appears twice on this NFL season receiving yards list, and though he was a complicated person off the field and in the locker room, there’s no denying his receiving talents. One of Brown’s stellar games during the 2015 season produced 284 receiving yards off 17 catches, both career highs. 

5. Isaac Bruce, St. Louis Rams, 1,781 (1995) - The leading wide receiver in St. Louis’ “Greatest Show on Turf,” it was must-see television anytime Bruce stepped onto the field. A four-time Pro Bowler, Bruce won Super Bowl XXXIV and posted 15,208 receiving yards with 91 receiving touchdowns during his career. 

6. Charley Hennigan, Houston Oilers, 1,746 (1961) - Hennigan isn’t necessarily a household name among younger NFL fans, but he’s an influential figure in the league’s story. He caught the first touchdown pass in Houston Oilers history, courtesy of legendary QB George Blanda, and helped the team win the AFL title game that year. The next season, Hennigan set the receiving yards record of 1,746, and it would stand for 34 years. 

7. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints, 1,725 (2019) - The newest entry on our NFL season receiving yards list is Thomas, who also set an NFL record for the most receptions through his first four seasons with 470, and also the record for receptions by a player in a single season with 149. Thomas led the league in receptions during the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and caught 32 touchdown passes during his first four seasons as well. 

8. Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis Colts, 1,722 (2002) - After playing for Syracuse in college, Harrison was drafted in the first round by the Colts, and he spent his entire 13-year career in Indianapolis. Harrison won Super Bowl XLI, was an eight-time Pro Bowler and led the league in season receiving yards twice. 

9. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers, 1,698 (2014) - Here’s Brown again; he had another great season in 2014, finishing with NFL-highs in yards and receptions (129). Over his NFL career, Brown posted 841 receptions with 11,263 receiving yards and 80 total touchdowns. 

10. Torry Holt, St. Louis Rams, 1,696 (2003) - Torry Holt finishes off our NFL season receiving yards list, and as another member of the “Greatest Show on Turf,” he put up some big numbers on a consistent basis. Holt played for both the Jaguars and the Patriots as well, but is best remembered as a St. Louis Ram. He racked up seven Pro Bowls, 13,382 receiving yards and 74 receiving touchdowns during his career. 

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