Dec 22, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) tals to wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) during the second quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Top NFL Quarterback-Wide Receiver Duos


NFL.com saw fit to look back on the great quarterback-wide receiver tandems of the 1990s.  So which pairings are among the best of today?

Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson

There probably is no more productive pair in the NFL today than Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions.  Together they have literally broken records.  Stafford topped 5,000 yards passing in 2011.  Johnson went over 1,900 yards receiving in 2012, including over 300 yards in a single game.  Since 2011, the first time Stafford completed a full season, they have since connected 302 times for 5,137 yards and 33 touchdowns.

Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall

It’s very rare that a passing combination can span two different teams but apparently nothing could keep Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler apart from All-Pro receiver Brandon Marshall for long.  The two actually started out together in Denver.  It didn’t take long for a connection to develop.  By the time Cutler was traded to Chicago they had amassed 224 reception for 2823 yards and 14 touchdowns in just 36 games.  Since their reunion with the Bears, the connection is deeper than ever and should continue for years to come.

Eli Manning and Victor Cruz

Few quarterbacks have seen more turnover at the wide receiver position than Eli Manning of the New York Giants.  He accomplished the rare feat of winning two rings with two completely different groups.  However, he would be the first to say the second one was never a possibility until the Giants gave him Victor Cruz.  The former undrafted free agent didn’t wait long to become the go-to guy for Manning.  In three full seasons together they have racked up 3,626 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Andy Dalton and A.J. Green

They came in as rookies together and swiftly turned around the fortunes of the Cincinnati Bengals.  People like to say Andy Dalton doesn’t have the ability of an elite level NFL quarterback.  Still, he is smart enough to know where to go with the football.  He saw right away what A.J. Green would be.  There is not a player he trusts more to go get the football, as evidenced by the 260 connections for 3,833 yards and 29 touchdowns.

Matt Ryan and Roddy White

The arrival of Julio Jones made a lot of NFL fans forget how amazingly productive the tandem of Matt Ryan and Roddy White were before his arrival.  Prior to 2013, the Atlanta Falcons stars never had a season with under 80 catcher, 1,100 yards and seven touchdowns together.  That sort of efficiency is hard to come by in modern pro football, be it because of free agency or injury.  Whether they have another couple runs in them is debatable, but over the past six years there have been few better.

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Tags: Brandon Marshall Calvin Johnson Eli Manning Jay Cutler Matthew Stafford NFL Victor Cruz

  • trinity

    ……..lol I was waiting and waiting for Peyton and Demaryius. I’m stunned they aren’t on here since i would have them locked at the top. What happened?

    • Erik Lambert

      Longevity. They’ve only been together two seasons.

      • trinity

        Ah, ok. I would still put them first, but i see now that everyone on the list has been at it for years. All good picks. Keep these lists coming :).

        • Erik Lambert

          Of course they deserve it but part of being a great duo is being able to do it over a long period of time. That remains to be seen. Thanks for reading!

    • Chad Jensen

      This

  • Teddy C

    Tony Romo and Dez! Check the stats! You let Eli and Cruz really!

    • Erik Lambert

      Dez and Romo have the stats advantage but Eli and Cruz have the head-to-heads and the ring.

  • Jacob Barefoot

    Lol brady and edelman were the most productive qb wr tandom in the league last year with edelmans 105 catches, he was by far and away the most targeted reciever on the team at over 70%. Hes no C-Johnson or D-Thomas but he did tear it up..

    • Erik Lambert

      No question that tandem was productive last year, but they’ve only been together one season. They need to play longer together to make this list.

      • Jacob Barefoot

        Yea its a shame it has taken edelman this long to blossom (wes didnt help with that) because hes been with brady since 2009, except from that little 2012/13 release and resign

        • Erik Lambert

          Indeed. Hopefully they stay together and can climb up the list.

  • Michael Lamb

    What about Cutler and Jeffrey?

    • Erik Lambert

      Haven’t been together nearly as long as Cutler-to-Marshall.

      • Michael Lamb

        True they haven’t and I also didn’t take into account that McCown threw a lot of this passes to Jeffrey but he’s still a beast!

        • Erik Lambert

          They don’t call him “The Show” for nothing.