The Race is On: Why Andre Johnson Is on Pace To Pass Jerry Rice

Kyle McMorrowCorrespondent IDecember 23, 2009

HOUSTON - OCTOBER 04:  Wide receiver Andre Johnson #80 of the Houston Texans gives safety Michael Huff #24 of the Oakland Raiders a stiff arm after making a 62 yard reception at Reliant Stadium on October 4, 2009 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Perhaps one of the least talked about stars in the NFL is Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson.

Throughout the years the Texans star has turned heads and opened eyes, but what many people have not realized is the accumulation of his numbers over the past seven seasons have added up and are about to be record setting. 

Johnson, who is coming off a nine-reception, 196-yard performance against St. Louis, has found his name on a very exclusive list, one that includes the names of Tim Brown, Marvin Harrison, and the incomparable Jerry Rice.

In only 100 games played, Johnson is currently tied for third with Tim Brown for most games with at least 10 receptions and 100 yards with 13 total. The other two receivers ahead of Johnson are Marvin Harrison and Jerry Rice, who have 14 and 15, respectively, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

Even more remarkable is the fact that Rice played in 303 career games in the NFL and yet has accomplished this feat only twice more.

While all these stats are following the merger in 1970, enough cannot be said about what Johnson is accomplishing in such a short period of time.

In addition to his impending milestone, Johnson is also on the verge of leading the league in reception yards for back-to-back seasons—a feat only Jerry Rice has accomplished since 1970, this also according to McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

The Texans wide-out has 1433 yards on the year, more than 200 yards than the next receiver in Reggie Wayne, and with the Colts having locked everything up, Wayne will get less playing time in the weeks to come.

Along with Johnson, there are some receivers such as Wes Welker who have begun to creep up the all-time leader boards as well.

While Welker has put together an outstanding career since joining the New England Patriots, and has accumulated five of his own 10/100-yard performances this season alone, he has been accompanied by some of the greatest people to ever roam the field. Future Hall of Famer's such as Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and Randy Moss, are certainly huge factors in Welker's success. 

Not taking anything away from Welker and all the accomplishes he has obtained in New England, but he is the product of a well-oiled machine, while Johnson is more of a lone wolf.

Houston's next game is at Miami. If history repeats itself, Johnson can expect to find himself one step closer to Rice, as last year he torched the Dolphins secondary for 178-yards on 10 catches.