In every NFL season, a multitude of teams claim to have the best wide receiver duo in the league. There is no debate that the NFL is a passing league today. Records are being broken or nearly broken like never before. After years of subpar play at the wide receiver position, New York Jets fans have been dreaming about a time like this. A time where their wideouts are quality players like Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.
Eric Decker started off his career with the Denver Broncos and didn’t make much noise in the first two years of his career, then Peyton Manning came along. In 2012 and 2013, Decker became one of the top wide receivers in the league notching 2,352 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns.
A free agent in 2014, Decker left Denver and signed with the New York Jets for 5 years. If a player is in position to play with one of the best quarterbacks not only in the game but in history, why would they leave? No one knows the answer but most labeled Decker as a ‘product of Peyton Manning’. We can understand why because of how greatly his numbers changed with the arrival of Eli’s older brother.
Personally, I didn’t like the signing at all when it initially occurred. At the time, the Jets were still searching for their number 1 receiver and I, too, labeled Decker as a ‘product of Peyton Manning’. Now, Decker is exceeding everyone’s expectations. Since 2012, Decker has played in 59 games and has recorded 38 touchdowns. This is what we call consistency.
In his first year with Gang Green, Eric had 962 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns all with a lingering hamstring injury. But how about now? He currently has 875 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns with 3 games to go. Moving Decker to the slot was the best for him and the team. He is proving he is no product of anyone and quickly becoming a top-tier WR as he was in Denver.
Brandon Marshall aka ‘The Machine’ has had a wonderful career thus far, making stops in Denver, Miami, Chicago and now New York. Marshall became the first wide receiver in history to have over 1,000 receiving yards with 4 different teams. You might ask yourself, why was a receiver of his quality on so many different teams? According to his teammates and coaches, he is a head case. Brandon admitted he has some mental issues that he is overcoming but he has started his own charity called Project 375 to help others with the same problem.
During the 2015 free agency period, New York traded their 5th round pick to the Bears for Brandon Marshall. He was a salary cap issue for them and the Bears wanted to rebuild. For him to be willing to come to a 4-win team in the previous year was shocking. I don’t think any star player would ever do that but Marshall saw room something in the Jets organization and wanted to be a part of it.
Since 2006, ‘The Machine’ has recorded 1,000 yards in 8 out of 10 seasons. Now, he is on pace to have his 2nd best season of his career. He has 1,187 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns with 3 games to go. In Marshall’s best season, he had 1,508 receiving yards. Marshall is a true number 1 wide receiver in this league. He is the first Jet since 1968 to have 4 straight games with 100+ receiving yards and is also the first Jet to accumulate over 1,000 receiving yards since 2007.
We can sit here and talk about the old days about Laveranues Coles and Wayne Chrebet but Decker and Marshall are for real too. Believe it or not, they are better than both of them and arguably the best in the league.
The Best healthy Wide Receiver Duo’s in each division for the 2015 season:
AFC East: Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker – Jets
AFC North: Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant – Steelers
AFC South: Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns – Jaguars
AFC West: Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree – Raiders
NFC East: Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon – Redskins
NFC North: Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate – Lions
NFC South: Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson – Buccaneers
NFC West: Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown/Michael Floyd – Cardinals
Based off of each division’s duo, the top 2 are the Jets and Cardinals. Both teams have amazing WR talent and since it’s very hard to pick which one is the best, I’ll call it a tie.
Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker are having one hell of a season and with 3 games to go, they can only improve upon their great year.
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