NFL Playoffs 2011: Power Ranking Divisional Round Wide Receivers
The NFL is a passing league, and while quarterbacks drive the passing game, receivers make them look good.
There are some marquee receivers in these playoffs, including Roddy White, Greg Jennings and Mike Wallace. However, this list is more about which team has the best collection of receivers, not just the single best.
Let us know what you think. Does your team have better receivers than we give them credit for?
8. Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears have a solid receiving corps, but they suffer from a lack of top-tier talent at the position. There isn't one guy that teams have to gameplan for specifically.
Johnny Knox: Knox is a speedy receiver with big-play talent, but this team needs a possession guy that can be an easy target for Jay Cutler. Stats: 51 receptions, 960 yards, five touchdowns.
Earl Bennett: Bennett has come into his own this year with career highs in every category. However, he is just an average receiver. Stats: 46 receptions, 561 yards, three touchdowns.
Devin Hester: Hester's primary use is as a kick returner, not really a receiver. He is a much better weapon when that is his first priority. Stats: 40 receptions, 475 yards, four touchdowns.
7. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks have a hodgepodge group of receivers. While they might not be considered really talented, there is some skill among the players on their roster. If they can get a speedster on the outside like a Johnny Knox, they would be fantastic.
Mike Williams: The former first-round pick from USC has found a rebirth playing for his old college coach. It seems hard to believe this is the same guy that dropped out of the league and ballooned up to 280 pounds before making a huge comeback this year. Stats: 65 receptions, 751 yards, two touchdowns.
Ben Obomanu: Obomanu is a guy that not many people have heard of, but he is one of the most underrated receivers in the NFL. He has big play potential, but is under utilized. Stats: 30 receptions, 494 yards, four touchdowns.
Brandon Stokley: Stokley is a former 1,000-yard receiver for the Colts. He is a solid slot receiver and reliable third-down target for Matt Hasselbeck. Stats: 31 receptions, 354 yards.
6. Atlanta Falcons
While the Falcons might have the best receiver, the receivers around him are not as strong as one might hope.
Yes, the Falcons have Tony Gonzales, but he is not a wide receiver. If this list were about tight ends, it would be another matter.
Roddy White: White might be the most underrated player in the NFL. He led the league in receptions this year and has helped Matt Ryan jump another level as a quarterback. However, the Falcons don't really have another receiver to help take the pressure off White. Stats: 115 receptions, 1,389 yards, 10 touchdowns.
Michael Jenkins: Jenkins is the second leading wide receiver on the Falcons, although he is probably a third receiver at best. Stats: 41 receptions, 505 yards, two touchdowns.
Harry Douglas: Douglas is dangerous in the open field and he is a great punt returner, but he is not a great receiving target. Stats: 22 receptions, 294 yards, one touchdown.
5. New England Patriots
Ever since the Patriots parted ways with Randy Moss, they seem to have made a leap on offense. For some reason, it seems like Tom Brady and Deion Branch are just better together.
The only reason they are not higher on the list is because I still feel like they are missing something in the receiving corps—height.
Wes Welker: Welker has been great this season considering just how badly he wrecked his knee during the playoffs last year. Stats: 86 receptions, 848 yards, seven touchdowns.
Deion Branch: Ever since Branch left the Patriots a few years back, they have not been able to recreate a Super Bowl winner. Branch and Brady just seem to have a great relationship and make each other better. Stats: 48 receptions, 706 yards, five touchdowns.
Brandon Tate: When Moss was traded, the proverbial wisdom was that Tate would be the guy to step into the starting lineup and be the new primary receiver. However, he has stayed in the third receiver role behind their stud tight ends. Stats: 24 receptions, 432 yards, three touchdowns.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers receivers have been fantastic this year. Led by Mike Wallace, they have weapons that can do just about everything needed by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Mike Wallace: Wallace could be considered a poor man's DeSean Jackson. He is a speedster that can outrun nearly everyone in the NFL. Stats: 60 receptions, 1,257 yards, 10 touchdowns.
Hines Ward: Ward has been around the NFL forever, and he never seems to slow down. While this year he hasn't been Roethlisberger's favorite target, he still was highly productive. Stats: 59 receptions, 755 yards, five touchdowns.
Emmanuel Sanders: Sanders is a no-name guy that has burst onto the scene this year out of SMU. While many thought Antwaan Randle El would have an impact this year, Sanders has been the guy that Big Ben has turned to. Stats: 28 receptions, 376 yards, two touchdowns.
3. Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens addressed their receiver needs this offseason. With the reliable Derrick Mason already on the roster, they traded for Anquan Boldin from the Arizona Cardinals, then picked up T.J. Houshmandzadeh when he was released by the Seahawks.
Anquan Boldin: Boldin has lost a step of speed and does his best work out of the slot when matched up with linebackers, but he still has great hands and is a reliable third down receiver. Stats: 64 receptions, 837 yards, seven touchdowns.
Derrick Mason: I have been extremely impressed with Mason this year. Just a few years ago, he retired after the death of friend Steve McNair. This year he has been great with Boldin and Houshmandzadeh taking some of the pressure off. Stats: 61 receptions, 802 yards, seven touchdowns.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh: It seems shocking that Houshmandzadeh was available as a free agent just before the start of the season, but after being released by the Seahawks, he was. He has been a great addition to the Ravens passing attack this year, and he will continue to help them next year. Stats: 30 receptions, 398 yards, three touchdowns.
2. New York Jets
The Jets added former Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes this offseason. With Holmes and Braylon Edwards, New York has the makings of a skilled receiving corps. However, they can be somewhat inconsistent at times.
Braylon Edwards: Edwards has had some boneheaded moments during his career, but when he is making plays, he is as good as any receiver in the NFL. This year he has been good. Not great, but good. Stats: 53 receptions, 904 yards, seven touchdowns.
Santonio Holmes: Holmes coming to New York was a great move by the Jets' brass. He has playoff experience and can be a big-play guy. He hasn't had as good of a year as they were expecting, but he is still a solid weapon. Stats: 52 receptions, 746 yards, six touchdowns.
Jerricho Cotchery: Cotchery has been sort of the forgotten man in the Jets offense this year, but that doesn't mean he isn't a dangerous piece that could come up big in the playoffs. Stats: 41 receptions, 433 yards, two touchdowns.
1. Green Bay Packers
The Packers have the the best group of receivers left in the playoffs. They have guys that can do it all—burn you deep, make tough catches over the middle or play the possession role.
Greg Jennings: Jennings is one of the best receivers in the NFL right now. He plays much bigger than his 5'11" frame. He is a guy that can attack the ball in the air and bring down balls thrown into coverage. Stats: 76 receptions, 1,265 yards, 12 touchdowns.
James Jones: Jones benefits greatly from playing across the field from Jennings. While he does have a tendency to drop some balls, he also makes some great plays. Stats: 50 receptions, 679 yards, five touchdowns.
Donald Driver: Driver is one of the most consistent receivers in the NFL over the past decade. He is a great possession receiver that can break tackles like a running back. Anytime the Packers need a big conversion, Driver is the guy they look to. Stats: 51 receptions, 565 yards, four touchdowns.