In Sunday’s loss to the St. Louis Rams, Buccaneers WRs Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson caught seven passes each, Williams for 132 yards and Jackson for 108. The duo had pulled off a similar feat in Week Four against Washington, with Jackson nabbing six passes for 100 yards and Williams adding four catches for 115.
Those performances made Jackson and Williams the first Buccaneer receivers to pull off that dual feat twice in the same season since Mark Carrier and Bruce Hill did so in 1989. On the face of it, that’s more of a statistical oddity than a hugely meaningful achievement, but it does underscore the idea that Jackson and Williams may very well be the best WR tandem the franchise has ever had.
They’ve already assumed that mantle from a purely statistical standpoint. Jackson has 1,334 receiving yards through 15 weeks and Williams has added 931. That combined total of 2,265 yards is the most by any pair of Buccaneer teammates in a single season, breaking the old mark of 2,095 set, unsurprisingly, by Carrier and Hill in that same ’89 season. Jackson and Williams have also combined for 16 receiving touchdowns, with an even eight apiece. That ties the single-season record for a pair of Bucs set by Williams and Kellen Winslow in 2010, and of course Winslow was a tight end. The top total for a pair of wideouts is 14, which Carrier and Hill accomplished in both 1988 and 1989.
The Buccaneers haven’t been strangers to the 1,000-yard receiving season. With the torch passing from Keyshawn Johnson to Keenan McCardell to Michael Clayton to Joey Galloway to Antonio Bryant, the team had a player reach that milestone every year from 2001 to 2008. However, the Bucs have never had two 1,000-yard receivers in the same season, and they could do that in 2012 if Williams can gain 69 yards in Atlanta next Sunday. He is averaging 62.1 receiving yards per game this year.