Which NFL team has the best WR tandem in 2017
In Green Bay – when healthy, anyone with eyes and common sense could say Adams & Jordy can easily be called the best
when they are on the field. 26 TDs and 2254 YDs between them in 2016 certainly makes a strong case for them to be called the best WR tandem. But, this season, under some extenuating circumstances, they have just an avg of around 48 YD/game between them and only a handful of combined big plays so far, for Green Bay takes them quickly out of the discussion for this season.
In 2016 everyone was all about Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. A couple of players who have both shown their awesome skills when playing. In 2017 – Crabtree has put up only 601 yards receiving and Cooper is adding just 42 YDs/game. Not great numbers to me. TE Jared Cook is leading the team in receiving yards, 1st downs, and YDs/catch for any player with 25 or more for the team.
What happened? The Oakland OC Todd Downing – messed up the Raiders offense up in a strange way this year. Cooper can play like a man against boys, at times on the field, with his skills and speed. For fans who don’t like Crabtree – will always find a low end flaw – but honestly they are ignoring his skillset. Solid, it is not even close how steady he has been, and you can’t ignore the 30 year old’s career numbers.
How about mentioning DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller? Hopkins is getting 94 YDs/game. And Fuller is chipping in with 16/YPC. The huge advantage that Hopkins has over many top WRs is really very obvious to me. As we all have seen this WR play with 10+ different QBs in 5 seasons, and continue to put up 1000 YD seasons and produce TDs. One genuinely could argue the case that Hopkins isnt truly one of the top 3 WRs in the league. He is the biggest and the most serious difference maker on a Houston team when it comes to wide receivers. Hopkins always makes his QBs better, and Fuller is that 15+ YPC guy that every team needs.
Philly has a pretty nasty combo in Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. Yes – it was just 1 year ago, no one cared about Agholor. When he came out of USC, he was watched with very lofty expectations, including by myself. After only 36 receptions and just a pitiful 10.1 YD/catch – along with a huge dropsy problem – it was getting easy to toss him by the wayside thinking he was just yet another WR bust. Not so fast. In 2017 – Agholor has gotten the Eagles a 52 YDs /game, and Jeffery has been nothing but excellent with his nose for the end zone. And if we are being honest – no team has really stopped them. Maybe not the biggest numerical WRs in the game, but they have been unstoppable as a tandem so far. Alshon is one of the strongest WRs in the league, at 6-4 and 230lbs, he seems to find a way to catch the ball at the 10 and can drag it along another 3-4 more yards, with DBs draped on him.
But, Minnesota has some special things going on up North, in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. They have a few guys who have been nothing but a blessing for OC Pat Shurmur. With 9 games of 90 YDs receiving or more between them, they both have awesome and precise route running and loading up a hefty total average of about 145 YPG – how can it be possible to look passed these deadly Minnesota WRs
Thielen has been more productive in yards than the high priced Jeffery, and Diggs has been far more productive than big prospect Cooper this season. We are looking about play production. On a back to the wall situation, 3rd and long, :05 seconds left – your going to want Diggs and Thielen getting open for your team. No disrespect to any of the other WRs listed and many other excellent players, but I am going with these 2 based on their ability to split DBs, and find the pockets to get the ball. They are also really good blockers. They are guys that are playing with a QB in Case Keenum who before this 2017 season, was averaging just 6.7 YPA and around 205 YDs passing/game. One could argue he has turned the game around and the game has finally slowed down for him after 6 seasons, yes. But, for the sake of argument, lets also consider the fact that in 2017 – Keenum is throwing for 20 TDs and around 248 YPG, based on his WR threats.
When Diggs is in the game – it allows Adam to get more one on one coverage – which means more opportunity. Thielen is a true student of the game (which is always a great respectful thing to see) and seems to also be very well liked by his teammates. Which says a lot for his personality to go along with the “Great Adam Thielen story”.Thielen has the best hands in the league, in my opinion – and he is an unbelievable route runner and clutch performer. With 12 games with 5 or more catches and 7 games of 10+ targets this season for the Vikes. As well as Diggs running great routes, which are always crisp and clean. When Diggs came out of Maryland – he was not seen as a genuine WR1 but he has shown with hard work and determination, a player can succeed. No one has been able to really shut down this combination. As they have stacked up a total of 10 games of averaging 15+ YDs/catch between them.
After so many recent years of 2 yard swing passes and running the ball for what seemed like 40 carries/game – Minnesota has something very special going on Diggs and Thielen have arrived, at just 24 and 27 years old, their assault on DBs should stay around for many, many seasons to come, bringing many happy seasons to Minnesota fans. As long as they stay healthy, and the Vikes keep the play calling as good as it has been, these guys are the beast of the NFL.