Originally posted on The Colts Authority  |  Last updated 10/8/12

Reggie Wayne entered Sunday’s game just 41 days away from his 34th birthday.

Traditionally, that would mean his best days are behind him. That would mean that he was about 3-4 years past his peak.

This of course is even more expected when you consider that during that Wayne lost his quarterback last season, and produced the statistically worst season since 2003. With Peyton Manning leaving for good this past offseason, and rookie coming to Indianapolis, Wayne’s numbers were very likely going to keep declining as he aged. A better career move may have been to find a contender to finish off his career with.

Reggie Wayne decided not to take that route.

Instead, he signed a three-year, $17.5 million contract with the Colts, and opted to return to help lead the team into a new era.

Wayne has been an unquestioned leader, a fan favorite and a key part in the development of the Colts’ young players, but that was expected. What wasn’t expected was for Wayne to start the 2012 season better than he has for his entire career, culminating with a record day in a comeback win versus the Packers.

After the emotional win, Wayne told reporters that he wanted to put his heart and soul into the game for head coach Chuck Pagano, much like the Kellen Winslow Sr. did in the fabled Epic in Miami.

Looking at the numbers, he did a pretty good job of it.

On that humid, injury-filled night in 1982, Winslow ended the emotional game with 13 catches for 166 yards and touchdown, seven of those passes for first downs. He also had a blocked field goal to send the game into overtime, a remarkable play to epitomize a remarkable performance.

Wayne may not have suffered the same physical torture that Winslow, who was treated for pinched nerves, dehydration, cramps, and a gash, but Wayne performed just as well as the Hall of Fame tight end, amassing 13 catches for 212 yards and the game-winning touchdown.

The ability to continually pull down catch after catch, especially in the fourth quarter when everybody in the stadium knew the ball was going to the 12-year vet, was incredible. It was fitting that the game-winning play would come with Wayne reaching, fighting to just barely cross the ball over the goal line.

Wayne became just the 22nd player in league history to record a game with 13+ catches and 200+ yards. More impressively, he became the oldest player to ever achieve such a feat, surpassing Jerry Rice’s age in 1995 by 268 days.

Perhaps even more impressively, such an accomplishment has only been achieved by five players over thirty years old in NFL history; Reggie Wayne has now done it twice (2010 vs Dallas: 14 catches, 200 yds).

But this isn’t something that Wayne’s just started doing this week; he’s been dominating all season.

Through four games, Wayne has 36 catches for 506 yards and two touchdowns. He’s just the third player in NFL history to have such a start to a season, and once again, he’s the oldest.

Since 2000, Wayne is the leader in 4th quarter receiving yards with over 3200, and he added to that total on Sunday with 90 more on six catches, bringing his total to 165 so far this season.

Wayne is on pace for over 2000 yards; the league record is 1848 by Jerry Rice in 1995. He’s on pace for 144 catches, which would be one more than former teammate Marvin Harrison’s record in 2002.

What are the best seasons for somebody Wayne’s age? Rice’s 1995 season is close, with 1848 yards and 122 catches, but Rice was about 9 months younger than Wayne (and it was only his 11th season). The best for anyone who was actually Wayne’s age would be Rice’s 108 catches in 1996, and Marvin Harrison’s 1366 yard season in 2006.

I don’t expect Wayne to keep up with his current pace all season, but the fact that it’s been so good for these first four weeks is phenomenal, and a testament to how great of a receiver, even into his twilight years, he really is.

The pure logjam at receiver may keep Wayne from ever getting in to the Hall of fame, but he’s in the top 20 in both yards and receptions for a career, and if he keeps playing like he has for the last four weeks, he could feasibly get into the top 10 in catches by the end of the season, and in the top 15 in yards.

I’m not advocating for his HOF spot here, but I am advocating for people to keep watching Reggie Wayne.

Even at 33, going on 34, he’s not letting age slow him down.

In fact, he’s doing exactly the opposite.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker