The Green Bay Packers have had some of the most prolific wide receivers in NFL history dating all the way back to Don Hutson in the 1930s and 40s. Other great pass catchers include Boyd Dowler, Max McGee, James Lofton, Sterling Sharpe, Antonio Freeman, Jordy Nelson, and Davante Adams. Despite this talent, the Packers have only reached this rare receiving milestone a handful of times in franchise history.
This year’s receiving corps will feature some very talented but inexperienced players like Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and rookie Jayden Reed. It remains to be seen how many of these players will become established NFL players or if any of them can become the next elite receiver in Packers history.
But despite having Hall of Fame quarterbacks like Bart Starr, Brett Favre, and Aaron Rodgers (who is a certain HOFer after he retires), the Pack has only had two receivers go over 1,000 yards in a season six times in their history. Here is a look at those six seasons and the receivers that helped reach that milestone.
The Packers First Thousand Yard Receiving Duo
The Packers had two receivers reach 1,000 yards in a season for the first time in 1997. The team was the defending Super Bowl champions that year and Favre and company returned to the Super Bowl for the second straight year in 1997.
Freeman led the Packers in 1997 with 81 catches for 1,243 and 12 touchdowns. This was the first time he reached 1,000 yards receiving in a season although he likely would have reached that plateau the previous season had he not missed four games. He still gained 933 yards in 1996.
Wideout Robert Brooks also topped 1,000 yards as he was healthy again after missing most of 1996 with injuries. This was the second and final 1,000-yard season for Brooks.
A Tough Season but Another Milestone
Ray Rhodes served as head coach of the Packers for only one season and the team finished with a disappointing 8-8 record. But while the team struggled, the Packers finished with two 1,000-yard receivers who had nearly identical statistics.
Freeman had 74 catches for 1,074 yards and six touchdowns. He was complimented by Bill Schroeder who also caught 74 passes for 1,051 yards and five touchdowns.
This would be Schroeder’s only 1,000-yard season although the Wisconsin-Lacrosse alum topped 900 yards the next two seasons including 999 yards in 2000.
Two New Star Receivers
The Packers won the NFC North in 2004 behind the running of Ahman Green and Favre throwing to two new star receivers in Javon Walker and Donald Driver.
Walker remains the last wide receiver the Packers drafted in the first round and that was back in 2002. He enjoyed a career year in 2004 and made his only Pro Bowl after catching 89 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Donald Driver also went over 1,000 yards that season, catching 84 passes for 1,208 yards and nine touchdowns. The Alcorn State product rose from a seventh-round draft pick in 1999 to become the Packers all-time leading receiver.
The 2004 campaign was his second 1,000-yard season and the first of six straight seasons he would top that mark. This would be the final time a Favre-led team had two thousand-yard receivers.
Rodgers First Season as the Packers Starter
The Packers struggled to a 6-10 record in Aaron Rodgers’ first season as the starter, but Rodgers threw for more than 4,000 yards, the team featured a 1,000-yard rusher in Ryan Grant and two 1,000 yards receivers.
Greg Jennings led the way with 80 catches for 1,292 yards and nine touchdowns while Driver continued his successful run of great campaigns with a 74-catch, 1,012-yard season.
This was a learning season for Rodgers and the Packers who lost seven games by four points or less while Rodgers learned what it took to win in the NFL.
Back to the Playoffs
The 2009 season gave the Packers a pair of thousand-yard receivers in back-to-back seasons for the only time in franchise history.
Jennings and Driver got the job done again. Driver led the team with 70 catches with Jennings close behind with 68. Jennings outgained Driver and led the Pack with 1,113 yards receiving followed closely by Driver’s 1,061.
The Packers returned to the playoffs in 2009 and won the Super Bowl after the 2010 season.
The Last Time the Packers Reached this Receiving Milestone
The last time the Packers had a pair of thousand-yard receivers was 2014. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb both had career years, and both earned Pro Bowl honors.
Nelson caught 98 passes for 1,519 yards and 13 touchdowns. Cobb caught 91 balls from Rodgers for 1,287 yards and 12 scores.
The Packers finished 12-4 and reached the NFC Championship game that season.
Hope the Packers Can Get Reach This Receiving Milestone Again
Despite having some great receivers, the Packers have not had a pair of thousand-yard receivers since 2014.
That may have been due to having one dominant receiver in Davante Adams. While the Pack had some quality wideouts opposite Adams, none were nearly as good as the All-Pro receiver from Fresno State.
With a young and talented receiving corps this year without a dominant and established star, this could be the year the Packers once again have a pair of thousand-yard receivers.
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