My friend and I were talking the other day about our favorite teams. He is an Eagles fan. I always make fun of him and the Philadelphia Eagles and make jokes about how great of a passing combination McNabb to T.O. was. He then said that Peyton Manning to Marvin Harrison hasn't been that great this season.
I think about the Peyton to Marvin combination and I start thinking about how great they have been in the past. You look at both of their stats and you are just amazed. I start to think where they rank among the greatest combinations ever and that's how I came about to make this list. You'll also be surprised who in my opinion was the greatest quarterback with Jerry Rice.
5. Unitas to Berry—Timing routes and two minute drills are things that in this day in age are something that is coached into the mind of young receivers and quarterbacks from the point they start high school football. Anybody that changed the game deserves recognition and this combination basically invented the two minute drill. They don't have the stats of many passing combinations but their impact was just as great.
The unique thing about this pair is that they weren't supposed to be on the Colts. Johnny Unitas was cut by the Steelers and Raymond Berry was a very late draft pick. There was a point in their career when they only wanted to be on the team yet both are now in the hall of fame.
4. Aikman to Irvin—You can't have two more different personalities. Micheal Irvin is flashy, showy, and flamboyant. A very deep, unique and real character. His hall of fame speech has been replayed over and over and shows what an honor it is to be in Canton. His great size allowed him to shove around defenders and leap up high to get the catch.
Troy Aikman is not flashy or showy. He was very humble, even shy and reserved, he was pinpoint accurate even if he wasn't big and didn't have the huge arm. As different as they were, they are supposedly the best of friends and to this day keep in touch. This great combination lead the Cowboys of the 90's to a dynasty.
3. Kelly to Reed—Jim Kelly is a great quarterback, everyone knows that and knew that. Not everyone knew Andre Reed was a great receiver but when you look a the numbers you say "wow Andre Reed did that". This combination is unique and special.
Until very recently this combination had the records for most yards and completions every by a passing combination. The Bills ran an effective, fast paced, no huddle offense which couldn't be possible without these two. They lead the Bills to four Super Bowls and they are No.3 on this list even if they couldn't win one of those four games.
2. Young to Rice—Steve Young was trained to be great. You sit under Joe Montana, you get to play with the greatest wide out ever, and you inherit one of the greatest offensive systems ever. How can you not be in Canton?
Jerry Rice is the greatest Wide receiver ever, and he had his best games as a 49er but under Steve Young not Joe Montana. With Young, Rice has 85 receiving touchdowns, 50 more than with Joe Montana. He even had his best Super Bowl performance with Young.
Everyone remembers Young passed for six touchdowns in the Super Bowl and Jerry Rice caught half of them. This pair was greater than the Montana to Rice combination.
1. Manning to Marvin—Look at the statistics. Peyton Manning has the second highest passer rating ever, more 4000 yard seasons than any other quarterback, and has over 300 touchdowns. He is also on pace to break every other passing record. The former No.1 overall pick looks great on paper and even better in games.
Marvin Harrison has lots and lots of catches. In 2002 he shattered the receptions record with 143 and per season has 10 more catches than Jerry Rice. Until very recently Marvin Harrison has always been the No.1 receiver on a team full of explosive play makers.
Together they have secured every single QB to WR major record. They further raise the bar with finally earning their first Super Bowl ring. How good is this passing combination, just ask opposing defenses or Chad Ocho Cinco and Carson Palmer. After all, they both have been to Hawaii so many times. Even though over the past two years they have slipped they may still raise the bar for future passing combinations.
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