Every NFL team has a number one wide receiver, but few have receivers that are close to equals in talent. I’m talking about wide receiver tandems. It’s nice to have Roddy White, but you add Julio Jones and you have a force to be reckoned with. If you’re team is on this list, than you should pat yourself on your back, because a great wide receiver tandem is a sign of success on offense. So let’s find out who will be the best wide receiver tandems going into 2013.
5. Indianapolis Colts: Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton
Surprising, but Colts’ Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton combined for 156 catches, 2216 yards and 12 touchdowns. That’s what happens when Bruce Arians orchestrates a “throw it deep” offense with a near future Hall of Fame wide receiver in Reggie Wayne, a upstart rookie in T.Y. Hilton and of course the 1st overall pick in the 2012 draft in Andrew Luck. Wayne and Hilton will continue to improve on their success in 2013 and it would be surprising if they don’t get better in year two. Wayne has proved he still has something to prove and Hilton can best his sophomore season. They are the most surprising tandem on this list, but Wayne isn’t new to being on a list of wide receiver tandems.
4. Dallas Cowboys: Dez Bryant and Miles Austin
Hate on the Cowboys all you want, but Dez Bryant and Miles Austin are a terrific tandem. They combined for 158 catches, 2,325 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2012. Yet everyone continues to bring up Austin’s injuries and Bryant’s off the field concerns. It should be pretty clear now, that Bryant and Austin deserve more respect. These guys will certainly need to have a repeat performance in 2013, but they still deserve to be on this list for now.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams
The Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams tandem weren’t talked about much in 2012, because they play on the Bucs, but they still put up 135 catches, 2,380 yards and 17 touchdowns combined. If you don’t believe they should be on this list, remember that Josh Freeman was throwing them the football in 2012. Imagine if Jackson and Williams actually had an Elite quarterback? Freeman is in his contract season this year and that can only improve Jackson and Williams in 2013. The bottom-line is you need to know who these guys are, because otherwise they will embarrass your team on Sunday.
2. Denver Broncos: Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker
I’ll admit this is based purely on what they did in 2012, and Wes Welker’s presence may change this tandem forever. However, you can’t ignore 179 catches, 2,498 yards and 23 touchdowns combined in 2012. They still have Peyton Manning throwing the football and this tandem did well with Tim Tebow at the helm. The odd man out is Eric Decker, who is in a contract year, but if this is the last season, so be it. Thomas and Decker will continue to be one of the best tandems in the NFL and could be a “Super” one in 2013.
1. Atlanta Falcons: Roddy White and Julio Jones
People that slept on the Atlanta Falcons forgot about the combined 171 catches, 2,549 yards and 17 touchdowns Roddy White and Julio Jones put up. White in particular doesn’t get a lot of love, when he actually led this tandem in receiving yards and catches. Both of these players are special. Jones continues to get the love, but White shouldn’t be forgotten. They will continue to dominate NFL defenses in 2013, and there is not much anyone can do about it. That’s why they’re the number one tandem in the NFL for 2013.
James Cobern is a Division Leader for TPF and can be contacted at JCobern@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com or follow him on Twitter @Jmcobern1