Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
The Thursday item about potential NFC West receiving leaders for 2009 sent me back through league-wide stats for last season.
A few tidbits for those seeking ammo for future discussions:
The Rams' Donnie Avery gained at least 40 yards on four of his 53 receptions, or 7.5 percent of them. Only six receivers with at least 50 receptions gained at least 40 yards on a higher percentage of their receptions: Vincent Jackson (11.9), Greg Jennings (10.0), Calvin Johnson (9.0), Terrell Owens (8.7), Donald Driver (8.1) and Steve Smith (7.7).
The 49ers' Isaac Bruce gained at least 20 yards on 14 of his 61 receptions, or 23 percent of them, 10th-best in the league among receivers with at least 50 catches. Terrell Owens (21.7) and the Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald (20.8) were 11th and 12th on the list. Smith led the way with 23 of 78, or 29.5 percent.
Seattle's T.J. Houshmandzadeh had 92 receptions and zero fumbles for the Bengals last season. Only Tony Gonzalez had more receptions (96) without fumbling. The Cardinals' Steve Breaston was seventh on the list with 77 receptions and no fumbles. The Rams' Torry Holt was ninth (64 receptions, no fumbles). Bruce was 11th (61 receptions, no fumbles). Seattle's John Carlson was 18th (55 receptions, no fumbles).
Houshmandzadeh, Breaston, Holt, Bruce and Carlson combined for 349 receptions without a fumble. Anquan Boldin had three fumbles on 89 receptions. Only the Cowboys' Marion Barber had more fumbles (four on 52 receptions). The Rams' Dane Looker had two fumbles on 23 receptions.