With the Texans starting training camp today, I thought I would start writing more football specific posts. My question for you today; will Andre Johnson make the Hall of Fame? For most Texans fans, that's a very easy question to answer. However he might not be a lock; yet. Critics will point to his low touchdown total and a league that's become pass happy with inflated numbers for receivers. Both points are fair but I don't believe either fact will keep him from getting to Canton.
His highest season touchdown total is just nine; ten players got ten or more just last season. His low touchdown number is an issue, but his totals for yards and receptions should make up for it. Not to mention that his quarterbacks have been David Carr, Sage Rosenfels, Dave Ragone, T.J. Yates, and Matt Schaub; not exactly the elite passers of this generation.
The other problem is people have become desensitized to the big numbers posted by receivers in recent years. Teams are passing more, teams are using the spread more often with three and four receivers, so Hall of Fame caliber seasons are becoming more common and the standard players have to reach is now higher. However, even during this era of inflated passing numbers, I believe Andre Johnson has stood out among his peers.
Johnson has led the league twice each in receptions and receiving yards and is on pace to finish with better totals in those numbers than nearly every other player in league history. Currently Johnson has 818 career receptions (22nd all-time) and 11,254 yards which ranks 27th on the all-time list. If he's able to stay healthy and play for another four or five years at his average level of production; he'll get one of those ugly gold jackets.
Over ten seasons he's averaged 1,125 yards and 81 receptions per year. If he plays another four seasons with those numbers (he's certainly capable of playing for longer and with better numbers so that's a conservative estimate), he'd end up with 15,755 yards and 1,145 receptions. Listed below is where he'd rank on the career lists with those numbers.
Career Receiving Yards:
1. Jerry Rice - 22,895
2. Terrell Owens - 15,934
3. Andre Johnson - 15, 755
4. Randy Moss - 15,292
5. Isaac Bruce - 15,208
Moss, if he plays, would rack up more yards but likely not enough to keep Johnson from passing him.
1. Jerry Rice - 1,549
2. Tony Gonzalez - 1,242
3. Andre Johnson - 1,145
4. Marvin Harrison - 1,102
5. Cris Carter - 1,101
He still has work to do to reach Canton, but Johnson is on pace to join some elite company. He has a chance to have more yards and receptions than every receiver in history who is not named Jerry Rice. There's no doubt in my mind that he'll be the first Texans player to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.