Michael Thomas currently holds the single season receptions record with 146 in 2019.
Michael Thomas currently holds the single season receptions record with 146 in 2019.

In American football, passing, along with running (also referred to as rushing), is one of the two main methods of advancing the ball down the field. Passes are typically attempted by the quarterback, but any offensive player can attempt a pass provided they are behind the line of scrimmage.[1] To qualify as a passing play, the ball must have initially moved forward after leaving the hands of the passer; if the ball initially moved laterally or backwards, the play would instead be considered a running play.[2] The act of catching a forward pass is a reception. The number of receptions each player makes is a recorded stat in football games. In addition to the overall National Football League (NFL) receiving champion, league record books recognize statistics from the American Football League (AFL), which operated from 1960 to 1969 before being absorbed into the NFL in 1970, Although league record books do not recognize stats from the All-America Football Conference, another league that merged with the NFL, these statistics are recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.[3][4][5]

The NFL did not begin keeping official records until the 1932 season.[6] The total receptions of the leader has increased over time due to the increase of the number of games within an NFL season as well as the increase in the prevalence of passing in the NFL.[7][8] Don Hutson has led the NFL in receptions a record eight times. The first player to record over 100 receptions in a season was Art Monk in 1984. The NFL record for single season receptions has changed on 16 occasions, with Michael Thomas holding the current record of 149 receptions set in 2019.[9]

List of NFL annual receptions leaders

Don Hutson led the NFL in receptions a record 8 times in his 11 year NFL career.
Don Hutson led the NFL in receptions a record 8 times in his 11 year NFL career.
Tom Fears broke the single season receptions record in consecutive years in 1949 and 1950.
Tom Fears broke the single season receptions record in consecutive years in 1949 and 1950.
Kellen Winslow became the first tight end to lead the NFL in receptions in 1980.
Kellen Winslow became the first tight end to lead the NFL in receptions in 1980.
Art Monk became the first player to record over 100 receptions in a season with 106 in 1984.
Art Monk became the first player to record over 100 receptions in a season with 106 in 1984.
Marvin Harrison led the NFL in receptions twice in his career including a then-record 143 receptions in 2002.
Marvin Harrison led the NFL in receptions twice in his career including a then-record 143 receptions in 2002.
Wes Welker led the league in receptions 3 times in his career, the most of any player in the 21st century.
Wes Welker led the league in receptions 3 times in his career, the most of any player in the 21st century.
Cooper Kupp is the most recent player to lead the NFL in receptions.
Cooper Kupp is the most recent player to lead the NFL in receptions.

As per The Football Database.[10]

Key
dagger Pro Football Hall of Fame member
^ The player is an active player
* Set record
(#) Denotes the number of times a player appears in this list

Through 2021 season

NFL Annual Receptions leaders by season
Year Player Receptions Team
1932 Ray Flahertydagger 21* New York Giants
1933 Shipwreck Kelly 34* Brooklyn Dodgers
1934 Joe Carter 16 Philadelphia Eagles
Red Badgrodagger New York Giants
1935 Tod Goodwin 26 New York Giants
1936 Don Hutsondagger 34 Green Bay Packers
1937 Don Hutsondagger (2) 41* Green Bay Packers
1938 Gaynell Tinsley 41 Arizona Cardinals
1939 Don Hutsondagger (3) 34 Green Bay Packers
1940 Don Looney 58* Philadelphia Eagles
1941 Don Hutsondagger (4) 58 Green Bay Packers
1942 Don Hutsondagger (5) 74* Green Bay Packers
1943 Don Hutsondagger (6) 47 Green Bay Packers
1944 Don Hutsondagger (7) 58 Green Bay Packers
1945 Don Hutsondagger (8) 47 Green Bay Packers
1946 Jim Benton 63 Los Angeles Rams
1947 Mac Speediedagger 67 Cleveland Browns
1948 Mac Speediedagger (2) 58 Cleveland Browns
1949 Tom Fearsdagger 77* Los Angeles Rams
1950 Tom Fearsdagger (2) 84* Los Angeles Rams
1951 Elroy Hirschdagger 66 Los Angeles Rams
1952 Mac Speediedagger (3) 62 Cleveland Browns
1953 Pete Pihosdagger 63 Philadelphia Eagles
1954 Pete Pihosdagger (2) 60 Philadelphia Eagles
Billy Wilson San Francisco 49ers
1955 Pete Pihosdagger (3) 62 Philadelphia Eagles
1956 Billy Wilson (2) 60 San Francisco 49ers
1957 Billy Wilson (3) 52 San Francisco 49ers
1958 Pete Retzlaff 56 Philadelphia Eagles
Raymond Berrydagger Baltimore Colts
1959 Raymond Berrydagger (2) 66 Baltimore Colts
1960 Raymond Berrydagger (3) 74 Baltimore Colts
1961 Jim Phillips 78 Los Angeles Rams
1962 Bobby Mitchelldagger 72 Washington Redskins
1963 Bobby Joe Conrad 73 St. Louis Cardinals
1964 Johnny Morris 93* Chicago Bears
1965 Dave Parks 80 San Francisco 49ers
1966 Charley Taylordagger 70 Washington Redskins
1967 Charley Taylordagger (2) 70 Washington Redskins
1968 Clifton McNeil 71 San Francisco 49ers
1969 Danny Abramowicz 73 New Orleans Saints
1970 Dick Gordon 71 Chicago Bears
1971 Fred Biletnikoffdagger 61 Oakland Raiders
1972 Harold Jackson 62 Philadelphia Eagles
1973 Harold Carmichaeldagger 67 Philadelphia Eagles
1974 Lydell Mitchell 72 Baltimore Colts
1975 Chuck Foreman 73 Minnesota Vikings
1976 MacArthur Lane 66 Kansas City Chiefs
1977 Lydell Mitchell (2) 71 Baltimore Colts
1978 Rickey Young 88 Minnesota Vikings
1979 Joe Washington 82 Baltimore Colts
1980 Kellen Winslowdagger 89 San Diego Chargers
1981 Kellen Winslowdagger (2) 88 San Diego Chargers
1982 Dwight Clark 60 San Francisco 49ers
1983 Todd Christensen 92 Los Angeles Raiders
1984 Art Monkdagger 106* Washington Redskins
1985 Roger Craig 92 San Francisco 49ers
1986 Todd Christensen (2) 95 Los Angeles Raiders
1987 J.T. Smith 91 St. Louis Cardinals
1988 Al Toon 93 New York Jets
1989 Sterling Sharpe 90 Green Bay Packers
1990 Jerry Ricedagger 100 San Francisco 49ers
1991 Haywood Jeffires 100 Houston Oilers
1992 Sterling Sharpe (2) 108* Green Bay Packers
1993 Sterling Sharpe (3) 112* Green Bay Packers
1994 Cris Carterdagger 122* Minnesota Vikings
1995 Herman Moore 123* Detroit Lions
1996 Jerry Ricedagger (2) 108 San Francisco 49ers
1997 Herman Moore (2) 104 Detroit Lions
Tim Browndagger Oakland Raiders
1998 O.J. McDuffie 90 Miami Dolphins
1999 Jimmy Smith 116 Jacksonville Jaguars
2000 Marvin Harrisondagger 102 Indianapolis Colts
Muhsin Muhammad Carolina Panthers
2001 Rod Smith 113 Denver Broncos
2002 Marvin Harrisondagger (2) 143* Indianapolis Colts
2003 Torry Holt 117 St. Louis Rams
2004 Tony Gonzalezdagger 102 Kansas City Chiefs
2005 Steve Smith Sr. 103 Carolina Panthers
Larry Fitzgerald Arizona Cardinals
2006 Andre Johnson 103 Houston Texans
2007 Wes Welker 112 New England Patriots
T.J. Houshmandzadeh Cincinnati Bengals
2008 Andre Johnson (2) 115 Houston Texans
2009 Wes Welker (2) 123 New England Patriots
2010 Roddy White 115 Atlanta Falcons
2011 Wes Welker (3) 122 New England Patriots
2012 Calvin Johnsondagger 122 Detroit Lions
2013 Pierre Garçon 113 Washington Redskins
2014 Antonio Brown^ 129 Pittsburgh Steelers
2015 Julio Jones^ 136 Atlanta Falcons
Antonio Brown^ (2) Pittsburgh Steelers
2016 Larry Fitzgerald[11] (2) 107 Arizona Cardinals
2017 Jarvis Landry^ 112 Miami Dolphins
2018 Michael Thomas^ 125 New Orleans Saints
2019 Michael Thomas^ (2) 149* New Orleans Saints
2020 Stefon Diggs^ 127 Buffalo Bills
2021 Cooper Kupp^ 145 Los Angeles Rams

AFL reception leaders

List of AFL receptions leaders by season
Season Winner Team Receptions Games Ref(s)
1960 Lionel Taylor Denver Broncos 92 12 [12]
1961 Lionel Taylor (2) Denver Broncos 100 14 [12]
1962 Lionel Taylor (3) Denver Broncos 77 14 [12]
1963 Lionel Taylor (4) Denver Broncos 78 14 [12]
1964 Charlie Hennigan Houston Oilers 101 14 [13]
1965 Lionel Taylor (5) Denver Broncos 85 14 [12]
1966 Lance Alworthdagger San Diego Chargers 73 13 [14]
1967 George Sauer New York Jets 74 14 [15]
1968 Lance Alworthdagger (2) San Diego Chargers 68 14 [14]
1969 Lance Alworthdagger (3) San Diego Chargers 64 14 [14]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Beginner's Guide to Football". National Football League. Archived from the original on February 16, 2011. Retrieved September 30, 2012.
  2. ^ Brinson, Will (December 31, 2013). "NFL, Elias reviewing Peyton Manning passing record: lateral or pass?". CBS Sports. Archived from the original on January 2, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  3. ^ Pavlick, Ed (1980). "Opinion: Pro Football Records Should Include the AAFC" (PDF). The Coffin Corner. 2 (7).
  4. ^ NFL Communications Department (2022). 2022 NFL Record and Fact Book. United States of America: National Football League. p. 544.
  5. ^ NFL Communications (2022). "2022 NFL Fact and Record Book" (PDF). NFL.com. Retrieved October 12, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "NFL's Passer Rating". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on October 3, 2015. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  7. ^ "NFL Regular Season Games Played per Season | Pro Football Hall of Fame Official Site". Pro Football Hall of Fame. January 1, 2005. Retrieved October 11, 2022.
  8. ^ "NFL Season By Season Passing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 11, 2022.
  9. ^ "NFL Receptions Year-by-Year Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 11, 2022.
  10. ^ "NFL Yearly Leaders – Receptions". footballdb.com. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  11. ^ Beacham, Greg (January 1, 2017). "Palmer, Fitzgerald lead Cardinals' 44-6 rout of LA Rams". The Washington Times. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  12. ^ a b c d e "Lionel Taylor NFL & AFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  13. ^ "Charlie Hennigan NFL & AFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  14. ^ a b c "Lance Alworth NFL & AFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 28, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ "George Sauer Jr NFL & AFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 28, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)