The Philadelphia Eagles recently released wide receiver DeSean Jackson after a 1,332 yard season on 82 receptions with nine touchdowns. It was the best season of his career, but how does the season compare to other Eagle wide receivers over the years? I’ve ranked the top 10 seasonal performances by an Eagles wide receiver since I started watching football in 1977. It’s difficult to compare statistics from different eras due to the increased complexity of today’s offenses and the mere fact that the passing game is much more emphasized than it ever has been. The rankings are based on a few criteria. Touchdowns scored is weighted the highest, along with percent of total team touchdown receptions for the team that season. Next I consider yards per catch and percentage of total receiving yards for the team that season. Finally, I look at the receiver’s percentage of total receptions for the team that season. Enjoy the list and as always, debate is welcome.
10. Fred Barnett, 1992
Fred Barnett was in his third season out of Arkansas State in 1992. A favorite target of quarterback Randall Cunningham, Barnett caught 67 passes for 1,083 yards and six touchdowns. He had three games with 100 or more receiving yards, but also had three games with just a single reception. Barnett’s best game came in week two, when he caught eight passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Cardinals. He also caught nine passes for 161 yards in a win over the Seahawks.
9. DeSean Jackson, 2009
Jackson emerged as one of the more explosive receivers in the league during a season in which he caught 62 passes for 1,156 yards and nine touchdowns. He had five games with 100 or more receiving yards and a five-game streak with a touchdown reception. But Jackson also had a few games in which he was practically non-existant, including four games with two or less receptions. His top game of the season was against the New York Giants in which he caught six passed for 178 yards and a touchdown.
8. Mike Quick, 1986
In Quick’s fourth consecutive All-Star season, he caught 60 passes for 939 yards and nine touchdowns. Although his overall numbers were less than in 1984, his percentage of total team receptions was much higher, as he was a favorite target of Ron Jaworski and Randall Cunningham. Quick had just two 100-yard games but was the go to receiver on a team that won just five games. His best game of the season was against the Raiders when he caught eight passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns.
7. DeSean Jackson, 2013
Jackson enjoyed the best season of his career catching 82 passes for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns. He had four games with 100 or more yards receiving, including a high of 195 yards on 10 receptions against the Minnesota Vikings. As great of a season he had, his nine touchdown receptions and percentage of overall receiving yards (although highest number of yards of his career) were relatively low compared to the top seasons on this list.
6. Mike Quick, 1984
From 1983 through 1986, Mike Quick was one of the top receivers in the NFL. His career was cut very short due to leg and knee injuries, but he had some stellar seasons. In 1984, he caught 61 passes for 1,052 yards and nine touchdowns. Quick had five games with 100 or more yards receiving and scored at least one touchdown in eight of the 12 games he played.
5. Terrell Owens, 2004
Terrell Owens helped the Philadelphia Eagles reach the Super Bowl for the first time in 24 years. In his fifth consecutive All Star season, despite missing two games, Owens caught 77 passes for 1,200 and 14 touchdowns. He had five consecutive games with over 100 yards receiving and seven for the season. Owens also had two games with three touchdown receptions and the Eagles were 13-1 in games in which he played.
4. Irving Fryar, 1996
Irving Fryar was in his 13th NFL season in 1996, but had perhaps the best season of his career. His 88 receptions were a career best, and his 1,195 yards was second best. He would have made this list for 1997, but he only scored 6 touchdowns that season, a relatively low number when touchdowns considering that touchdowns are weighted heavily. Fryar had four games with 100 or more yards receiving, including a four touchdown game against the Miami Dolphins.
3. Harold Carmichael, 1978
Carmichael was in his eight NFL season in 1978 and he helped the Eagles make the playoffs for the first time since 1960. He caught 55 passes for 1,072 yards and eight touchdowns. He had three games with 100 or more receiving yards and three games with two touchdowns. Although those numbers are relatively modest by today’s standards, football was different in the 1970’s. The passing game wasn’t nearly as prevalent. The Eagles only threw the ball 401 times for the entire season and at the time of Carmichael’s retirement, he was in the top ten in career receptions with 590. He now ranks 68th on the all-time reception list.
2. Mike Quick, 1985
Quick set a career high in receptions in 1985 with 73. He added 1,247 yards and 11 touchdowns. The highlight of the season was an NFL record tying 99-yard touchdown reception in overtime from Ron Jaworski to defeat the Atlanta Falcons. Quick had four games with over 100 yards and six consecutive games with at least one touchdown reception. Quick was a Pro Bowler and first team All-Pro.
1. Mike Quick, 1983
In Quick’s second season in the NFL, he developed into one of the top receivers in the NFL. He caught 69 passes for 1,409 yards and scored 13 touchdowns. His 1,409 receiving yards lead the league and is a single season record by an Eagles’ receiver. Quick also lead the league in average yards receiving per game with 88.1. His 20.4 yards per catch is the highest of any player on this list. Quick also had four consecutive games with 100 or more yards receiving and six for the season. If not for injuries, Quick may very well have gone down as the greatest receiver in franchise history. He tops this list at number one.
Honorable mention: Calvin Williams (1993), Jeremy Maclin (2010), Irving Fryar (1997), Harold Carmichael (1981)