The NFL season is kicking off on Thursday night with the Green Bay Packers facing the Chicago Bears. In that match-up the Packers have one of the best quarterback and wide receiver duos in the entire league in Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams. The Bears have Mitchell Trubisky and Allen Robinson leading the charge. That had me thinking, where do these two teams duos rank against the rest of the league?
So let’s ranks the NFL’s best duos. The following criteria were used to determine the rankings:
- How good the quarterback and wide receiver are compared to their peers
- The offense they play in
- Big play potential
1. New Orleans Saints- Drew Brees and Michael Thomas
Brees and Thomas play in an offense that is dynamic enough to spread the ball around. Thomas caught a league leading 125 passes at an 85% catch rate last season. That should tell how comfortable they are with each other.
2. Atlanta Falcons- Matt Ryan and Julio Jones
Since Jones’ rookie season in 2011, this duo has connected 698 times for 10,731 yards (2nd best during that period). Don’t expect that production to drop off any this year.
3. New England Patriots- Tom Brady and Julian Edelman
This combination has been around forever and their chemistry is undeniable. Edelman has three 90 plus catch seasons with Brady throwing him the ball. Only Edelman’s missed games due to injury keep them at third.
4. Kansas City Chiefs- Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill
This duo had seven 25 plus yard or more pass plays last season. Hill is the best deep ball receiver in the game right now. It doesn’t hurt that his quarterback might have the strongest arm in the league as well.
5. Houston Texans- Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins
Hopkins didn’t drop one pass thrown in his direction from Watson last season. Now that the Texans have traded for left tackle Laremy Tunsil, their numbers could increase even higher as Watson has more protection.
6. Los Angeles Chargers- Phillip Rivers and Keenan Allen
The Chargers duo has injury concerns. Keenan Allen has a history of missing games in previous seasons. However, over the last two seasons, Allen has caught 102 ans 97 passes, respectively.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers- Ben Roethlisberger and JuJu Smith-Schuster
Big Ben and Ju-Ju are in their first year with Smith-Schuster being the number one target in Pittsburgh. Smith-Schuster’s numbers were phenomenal last season in a different role. It’s going to be interesting to see the numbers with Antonio Brown in Oakland.
8. Green Bay Packers- Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams
Green Bay has a new head coach in Matt LaFleur, so it will be interesting to see how he will use the running game in complement to this duo. If they run the ball more, Adams numbers might slide a bit. Randall Cobb is now in Dallas, so that means more passes thrown to the Pro Bowler Adams.
9. Cleveland Browns- Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr.
The newest dynamic duo on this list is in Cleveland. Beckham is a top five receiver in the game today and he has a quarterback that is mobile and can extend plays with his feet. Since it’s their first season together, it might take a few games to find that chemistry. When they do, ninth could be way too low.
10. Minnesota Vikings- Kirk Cousins and Adam Thielen
Minnesota added Kirk Cousins last season to open up the passing game and Thielen benefited from it. After his breakout 2017 season, Thielen’s numbers increased as he caught 22 more passes from the previous season on 11 more targets. Impressive considering he shared targets with Stefon Diggs.