The NFL’s Top 10 receiving tandems
If football and the NFL in particular has evolved directly towards the sky and become a game rooted in the passing game, we should be rightfully paying attention to both the quarterback and receivers that reel the ball in.
Innovations such as using tight ends as legitimate vertical threats that stretch the field and rules changes that favor the offensive side of the ball have picked up the pace of the current game for better or for worse.
In most offenses that are successful going this route, there are not one but two targets that put up huge numbers.
Let’s look at the 10 tandems that will break defensive hearts in 2012-2013. Tomorrow, we’ll do the same thing for the defensive backs.
#10 Randy Moss & Michael Crabtree –San Francisco 49ers
There has never been a point in Randy Moss’ career where he has not destroyed opponents when he had his mind right.
Moss’ numbers have only trended downwards when he has surrounded himself in self-inflicted drama and/or allowed himself to give in to the darker side of his controversial nature.
The word coming out of the Bay Area is that Moss is as good as he has ever been both physically and mentally and that is a problem for every team in the NFC West in particular.
Moss’ impact as a mentor is reportedly rubbing off Crabtree who is sitting in the front row during film sessions and other meetings and will be forced to live up to his hype as he enters his fourth year in the NFL.
His buzz has cooled off somewhat, but Crabtree either as a number one or number two guy can work the intermediate routes as Moss takes it deep.
San Francisco has bulked up their receiving corps with additional help from ex-Giant Mario Manningham and first round pick A.J. Jenkins.
Manningham in particular has made a living spreading out defenses that attempt to double-up on key receivers.
This pair could reach higher of limits if Alex Smith can shake the game manager tag off his reputation and prove himself to be a true top-gun that can fit the ball into tight spots, make the most of his downfield shots and take bigger risks that yield higher rewards.
If Alex is the same old Alex, this duo will still reach elite status based on a 49ers running game that will lean on the pass as RB Frank Gore is predicted to take on fewer carries in 2012.