Chad Johnson Isn’t a Hall of Famer Right? Or Maybe He Is: A Statistical Look at Chad’s Career
By: Tyler Dugan
The NFL came out with guys who are up for their first run at getting into the Hall of Fame. Some of the major names this list includes is Ladainian Tomlinson, Derrick Mason, Donovan Mcnabb, Joey Porter, Bob Sanders, Jason Taylor, Hines Ward, and of course Chad Johnson.
Now when looking at this list, I get it. This list is stupid good. LT is a no doubter. He is in. Jason Taylor is a no doubter. The others probably aren’t as much of a lock. The wild card of this class is T.O. will be up again to get in the hall after missing out last year. Now, I’m a big believer that if you don’t get in on the first ballot, you shouldn’t get in. Your numbers didn’t change. If you weren’t good enough the first time, I don’t know how you can be good enough the second time. But that is how it works, so my measly opinion doesn’t matter.
After immediately looking at this list, people scoffed at the fact that Chad was even mentioned for the Hall of Fame. I was even one of those people, like Chad Johnson Hall of Fame?? No way.
After actually thinking about it, I came to the realization that Chad was really fricken good. Chad’s TD celebrations, name changing and mouth always kind of overshadowed his game. I don’t think people really understand how good Chad was. So here are some fact bombs for you.
According to Profootballreference.com in 11 seasons, Chad finished his career with 766 receptions, 11,059 yards and 67 TDs. He was a 6 time pro bowler, 4 time first team All Pro, and in 2006 he led the league in receiving yards. He had 7 seasons with 1000+ yards, and in 2008 he probably would’ve had another if it wasn’t for injury. Those are some pretty damn impressive numbers.
Now lets check out the receivers Chad is going up against in this class. First up Derrick Mason.
Mason played 15 seasons with 4 different teams. He had 943 receptions for 12,061 yards, and 66 touchdowns. Impressive numbers no doubt. But it took Mason 4 more season to accumulate those numbers. Now playing longer isn’t a knock on Mason, but it should show how good Chad was. Mason only had roughly 1,000 more yards, 177 more receptions, and Chad caught 1 more touchdown! 4 more seasons than Chad and he isn’t really that far ahead of him in numbers.
Next up is Hines Ward.
Hines again played a few more seasons than Chad did. Through 14 seasons Hines racked up 1,000 receptions (freaky that he ended exactly on 1000), 12,083 yards, 85 touchdowns and 36,000 cheap shot hits. Again these numbers are extremely impressive. But the same argument still stands, it took Hines 14 seasons to rack up those numbers. Now Hines’ numbers are more impressive than Mason’s, but I’m still fairly confident in the fact that if Chad played 3 more seasons his numbers would stack right up with Hines, maybe even better. Hines does have the 2 rings, but if we are gonna throw rings into the consideration for making the Hall of Fame as a receiver than we have officially jumped off the deep end.
According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s website, they have inducted 25 “modern era” wide receivers. List includes names like: Michael Irvin, Jerry Rice, Cris Carter, Tim Brown and Marvin Harrison, among many others. Pretty impressive and select group.
We will take a look at Michael Irvin’s numbers first. He played 12 seasons, so only 1 more than Chad. Let’s start with the fact that Irvin played every year besides his rookie season with Hall of Famer Troy Aikman tossing him the rock. He had 750 receptions for 11,904, and 65 touchdowns. Wait those numbers look pretty familiar right? Yeah they look pretty much identical to Chad’s. Irvin put up almost the same exact numbers as Chad playing 1 more season, and a Hall of Fame quarterback throwing it to him.
If you look at the other guys that are already in, their numbers are staggering. Don’t get me wrong, they all were really good, but they all played more seasons than Chad. Now that is not a knock on those guys, it is extremely impressive that they could play 15 or so seasons, but I think it is ridiculous that people just write off Chad like he doesn’t even belong in the same picture.
He definitely belongs in the same breath as those Hall of Famers. The biggest knock on Chad is the same one on Barry Sanders: he didn’t play long enough.
Now, I’m not saying Chad is a sure fire Hall of Famer, but he was a helluva player. Let’s keep in mind that he spent his first couple seasons with crazy legs Kitna throwing the ball. Chad deserves a fair look at it, and unfortunately I don’t think he will get it.
Chad will always be a Hall of Famer in TD dances tho.