Andre the Giant


Andre Johnson is the greatest player in the history of the Houston Texans franchise. Not a very controversial statement. However if I took it a step further and said that Andre Johnson has a chance to be considered one of the five best receivers in the history of the NFL, that might cause a stir. For all of you that agree with me this will be your bible for the church of Andre. For all the naysayers and doubters you may come across preach to them, show them the errors with grace and humility. For Andre is with us now, but not forever.

In my search for truth and all things Andre Johnson I suddenly had an epiphany. Matt Schaub is the best quarterback that Andre has ever had. Matt Schaub. Andre Johnson, being the saint that he is, rarely complained for he had faith in the Texans and he hoped they would take him to the Promised Land.

After twelve oftentimes painful years with Houston and with the end of his career only a few years down the road I decided to compare his body of work with that of Reggie Wayne and Jerry Rice. One is a current contemporary, a peer. The other is arguably the greatest receiver in the history of the league.

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Andre Johnson is a man of few words, even fewer when it comes to talking about himself. To honor him I will do the same and keep my rambling to a minimum. Johnson 81.7 yards per game, 6 receptions per game, 13.6 yards per reception. Wayne 69 yards per game, 5.1 receptions per game, 13.4 yards per reception. Rice 75.6 yards per game, 5.1 receptions per game, 14.8 yards per reception.

Let the rambling commence, Andre Johnson is a machine. Like an actual robot that has been designed to quietly catch footballs for years. Even if his numbers continue to decline he’s on pace to end up incredibly high on a lot of “all-time” lists. He is currently 13th all time for receiving yards and is only 2,722 yards away from being the sole owner of second place.

When it comes to receptions he is ranked 11th with 973. Time for some fun math, if Johnson finishes this year and plays two more seasons he’s in line to be right behind Rice in both of those categories. If we assume his numbers for these last few seasons will be in line with his career averages then he will end his career with exactly 1,213 receptions and 16,480 yards receiving. Typically an athlete’s performance declines with age. But nobody has disproved my “Andre Johnson is a robot” theory yet so I’m sticking with those numbers.

Oct 9, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson (80) catches a touchdown pass in the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

At this point someone might point at Johnson’s lack of touchdowns and declare that Andre Johnson is good but not great. I would have to follow that up by repeating an earlier statement. Matt Schaub is the best quarterback to ever throw Andre Johnson a football. In order to put some perspective on Andre Johnson’s achievements I took the top five players in receiving yards and looked at who their two best quarterbacks were throughout the entirety of their career.

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Jerry Rice is amazing at catching footballs, but you know what helps? When you have two hall of fame quarterbacks in Joe Montana and Steve Young throwing those footballs. If it makes you feel any better, or worse, the stats Rice put up without Young or Montana would have been career highs if spread out over a season. So, there’s that.

Owens got to enjoy playing with McNabb in Philly before heading to Dallas and catching passes from Tony Romo. Neither of these guys are sure things for the hall of fame, but if you put either of those guys in a Texans uniform they instantly become the two best quarterbacks in franchise history. After rereading that sentence I need a minute to collect myself.

During his career Randy Moss has had some quote worthy moments and he never lacked confidence. For a long time however he did lack a solid quarterback. Before his stint in New England with Tom Brady Daunte Culpepper was the best Moss had to work with. After setting a few records and having a couple laughs in New England we should all have less sympathy for his early lack of quarterback talent.

I had completely forgotten about Marc Bulger before I decided to write this. That guy was a pro bowler twice and he put up massive numbers while with the Rams. Kurt Warner was fresh off destroying scoreboards in Arena football before chucking bombs to Isaac Bruce. Also with Kurt Warner you got the feel good story of an undrafted player starting from the bottom. Fitzpatrick’s only feel good story is being a Harvard graduate.

Rounding out our top five is Tony Gonzales whose two most talented ball throwers were Trent Green and Matt Ryan. Definitely two above average quarterbacks who got to take advantage of having the greatest tight end of all time on their team.

This might be a bit longer and more drawn out than it needed to be, but I have to go ahead and say it for a third time. Matt Schaub is the best quarterback Andre Johnson has ever had. It may be silly, and he’ll definitely never read this but thank you Andre Johnson. You made this team watchable in the worst of times and although you may (a big maybe, he’s a robot remember) one day retire you’ll be a Texan for life.

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