Written by: Ryan Lippert
In today’s NFL, the passing game has taken over. We are seeing more high profile receivers than ever, along with many elite quarterbacks. Only a handful of teams are lucky enough to say that they have a All-Pro type of player at both of these positions. With that being said, I will focus on five teams who have the best of both with my top five quarterback-wide receiver duos in the NFL.
1. Ben Roethlisberger/Antonio Brown (Steelers)
The top spot on this list is a no-brainer for me. The Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the most explosive offenses in the league, which can be attributed in large part to the connection between Roethlisberger and Brown. With Brown, the Steelers have arguably the top receiver in the league. In 2017, AB led the league with 1,533 receiving yards and also had nine touchdowns.
Although Brown is a very outstanding talent, it also helps that he has a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger throwing him the football. Roethlisberger finished fifth in the NFL in passing yards in 2018 with 4,251 yards, and threw 28 touchdowns while leading the Steelers to the AFC Championship Game. I look for these two to continue this success in 2018 and lead the Steelers to another long playoff run.
2. Deshaun Watson/DeAndre Hopkins (Texans)
Unfortunately for Texans fans, they didn’t get to see as much of this duo as they had hoped for in 2017. Watson’s rookie season had gotten off to a hot start but it unfortunately was cut short due to a torn ACL. In just nine games in 2017, Watson accounted for 1,699 passing yards and 19 touchdowns. His impact on this Texans teams was shown as their season went extremely downhill after his injury.
Even without his starting quarterback, Hopkins proved once again that he is one of the top wide receivers in the league. Hopkins finished the 2017 season fourth in the NFL in receiving yards with 1,378 yards, and also led the NFL in receiving touchdowns with 13. I can only imagine how those numbers will increase with a healthy Watson in the picture.
3. Matt Ryan/Julio Jones (Falcons):
Ryan and Jones have been one of the top quarterback-wide receiver duos in the league for the past several seasons. Jones has been in the discussion as one of the top five wide receivers for quite some time. In 2017, he finished second in the NFL in receiving yards with 1,444 yards and also had three touchdowns.
While Julio is a future Hall of Fame wide receiver, he also has a very solid starting quarterback throwing him the ball. Matt Ryan may not be one of the top passers in the league, but he has proven to be a winner in the past and gets the job done. Ryan finished sixth in the NFL in passing yards in 2017 with 4,095 yards and also threw 20 touchdowns. I look for this duo to continue to be explosive in 2018 and hopefully for Falcons fans, make some noise in the NFC.
4. Drew Brees/Michael Thomas (Saints)
Next on this list is another future Hall of Fame quarterback and a rising star in the NFL. Thomas showed a lot of promise in only his second NFL season in 2017, finishing sixth in the NFL in receiving yards with 1,245 yards and had five touchdowns.
Brees continued to show that he is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league in 2017. With the help of Thomas, Brees finished fourth in the league in passing yards with 4,334 yards and also threw for 23 touchdowns. I look for this duo to continue their dominance and help lead the Saints to another NFC South title in 2018.
5. Philip Rivers/Keenan Allen (Chargers)
To finish off this list, I have a very productive duo out of the AFC West. Both of these players dominated statistically at their positions in 2017. Allen came back from missing the 2016 season and proved that he is one of the top receivers in the league. He finished third in the NFL in receiving yards with 1,393 yards and had six touchdowns.
Rivers had an outstanding year of his own in 2017. He finished second in the league in passing yards with 4,515 yards and threw 28 touchdowns. I believe that this duo could move up this list in 2018, and I look for them to lead the Chargers to playoff contention in the AFC.
Kirk Cousins/Stefon Diggs/Adam Thielen (MIN)
Aaron Rodgers/Davante Adams (GB)
Russell Wilson/Doug Baldwin (SEA)
Jameis Winston/Mike Evans (TB)