Jerry Rice will forever be remembered as one of the best wide receivers to play in the NFL. One stat in particular, that circulated around social media on Sunday, helped speak to the former great’s longevity in football.
After Rice turned 40, he remained one of the best pass-catchers in the NFL. In fact, he made 185 catches for 2,509 yards and 12 touchdowns in the final three seasons of his career, all over the age of 40. He made the Pro Bowl with the Raiders in 2002 and proved that he could still produce at a high level until his eventual retirement before the 2005 season.
Maybe even more impressive about Rice’s production at the age of 40 is how the rest of the NFL has never been able to replicate his success. Only two other players have made catches at that age and neither one was a wide receiver.
Tom Brady and Brett Farve are the only others in NFL history to have made a catch at 40 years old. Each of them made just one reception and combined for just four yards, a full 2,505 yards behind Rice’s totals.
After turning 40, Jerry Rice had 185 catches, 2,509 receiving yards and 12 TD.
All other players in NFL history after turning 40 have combined for 2 catches and 4 receiving yards (catches by Tom Brady and Brett Favre). https://t.co/yiy3rHovLK
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 11, 2021
The statistic isn’t exactly surprising for anyone that followed Rice’s 20-year career in the NFL. When he retired after the 2004 season, the former San Fransisco 49ers wideout had made 1,549 catches for 22,895 yards and 197 touchdowns. To this day he still holds the records for most career receptions, most career receiving yards and most career touchdown receptions.
Plenty of other pass-catchers have tried to duplicate Rice’s success, but no one has gotten all the way there. It’s possible that the NFL will never see another player reach the heights that he did during his Hall of Fame career.
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