The NFL in 2022 is not the run-heavy based game your father and grandfather grew up with. Teams are now slinging the rock on a consistent basis, and top passers and receivers are shattering air records on an annual basis and that lead me to write a Top 3.
An efficient passing game is more integral to team success than ever before, and rosters that have possession of an elite passer and pass-catcher are at a distinct advantage. The most recent example of this came in the Super Bowl, where the passing combination of Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp proved to be unstoppable.
Where does the duo of Stafford and Kupp rank among the best quarterback/receiver duos in football. This article will explore the Top 3, including one that will debut in 2022.
Derek Carr and Davante Adams
The newest QB-WR combination in the AFC, Derek Carr and Davante Adams have the potential to take the number one spot by the end of the season. The two already have a built chemistry together, as the two dominated the Mountain West Conference as Fresno State teammates.
Derek Carr completed his best season as a professional to date, throwing for over 4800 yards and leading the Raiders to a wildcard berth despite off-field drama in Las Vegas. Unlike other top quarterbacks, Carr did not have a true number one receiver in 2021, largely due to the arrest of Henry Ruggs and injuries from Darren Waller.
Now, in 2022, Carr is given the best wide receiver in all of football to throw to in Davante Adams. The former Packer scored at least 10 touchdowns in five of the last six seasons, and eclipsed 1500 yards receiving in 2021. Although they compete in a division that includes quarterbacks such as Justin Herbert, Russell Wilson, and Patrick Mahomes, the Raiders now have the firepower to score with any top-flight offense.
Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp
If this list was strictly based on production from last season, the duo of Stafford and Kupp would run away with the number one ranking. In their first season as teammates, Kupp won the receiving triple crown, leading all receivers in catches, yards, and touchdowns.
This connection did not slow down in the playoffs either. Kupp scored a touchdown in each postseason game, and even walked away with Super Bowl MVP and that is why they need to be in the Top 3 discussion.
Stafford and Kupp’s signature moment of the season came in the divisional round, where Los Angeles was in danger of letting up a 27-3 lead to Tom Brady. With seconds left on the clock, Stafford completed a 44 yard pass to his number one target, effectively putting the team in field goal position and winning the game.
Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce
Over the past four seasons, Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce re-written record books, and remain at the top of their game. Both players are on a one-way track to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and continue to shatter records together and that is why the are my pick out of the Top 3.
Patrick Mahomes established himself as the best quarterback in football in his first season as a starter, throwing over 5000 yards and 50 touchdowns. He is one of three quarterbacks in history with three seasons of 4700+ yards and 35+ touchdowns, and he did this in four NFL seasons.
While Travis Kelce is the only tight end on the list, he is used like a wide receiver in Andy Reid’s offense. He owns the record for most 1000 yard seasons by a tight end, and has eclipsed the yardage mark in six straight seasons now.
The duo’s signature moment of the season came against the Buffalo Bills, where Mahomes and Kelce miraculously drove the ball down into field goal range in just thirteen seconds to send the divisional round matchup to overtime. Although Tyreek Hill is now in Miami, as long as the tandem of Mahomes and Kelce is intact, the Chiefs’ offense will continue to terrorize opposing defenses.
If you are looking to read more NFL articles, check out my latest article on the Top NFL Defenses.