Is Stevie Johnson the Bills’ first true number one receiver since Andre Reed and Eric Moulds, or is he the next Lee Evans?
The first two names mentioned were seen as true number one receivers in the eyes of Bills fans. Since Moulds left in 2005, many fans have been looking for their next true number one receiver.
While the Bills did have Lee Evans from 2004-2010 and while some saw him as a number one receiver, Evans was more of number two wide receiver forced to play as a number one.
Where does Stevie fit? Let’s look inside the numbers of his career thus far.
Through Four NFL Seasons:
Evans: 233 receptions, 29 touchdowns, 3,727 yards
Reed: 229 receptions, 22 touchdowns, 3,096 yards
Moulds: 181 receptions, 18 touchdowns, 2,935 yards
Johnson: 170 receptions, 19 touchdowns, 2,189 yards
I need to be honest here; I chose these stats for a reason. It’s because the stats are misleading. Looking at these numbers it seems that Lee Evans was on his way to a hall of fame career as his numbers are better than Andre Reed, a wide receiver who belongs in the H.O.F, Eric Moulds, and Stevie Johnson.
But in football and many times in life, it’s not how you start but how you finish.
Evans went on two have two more decent seasons before declining sharply in 2009.
Reed’s brilliant career was just starting. In 1989, year five, Reed eclipsed 1,000 yards for the first time and did so for the last time in 1996. During his career in Buffalo, Reed finished with under 800 yards only six times in fifteen year career in Buffalo.
Moulds started his career in Buffalo slow, but by year three he went over 1,300 yards receiving and finished with over 1,000 yards receiving three more times after this.
Johnson is the slowest start of the bunch. After his first two seasons, Johnson only had 12 receptions and 112 yards. However, in years three and four Johnson did something that no other Buffalo Bills wide receiver has ever done: Finished with over 1,000 yards receiving in back-to-back seasons. In the last two seasons Johnson has finished with 158 receptions and 2,077 yards.
Is Johnson a true number one receiver? The jury is still out in my opinion. His last two seasons have been impressive, but he needs to continue to produce. Through four games in the 2012 season, Johnson currently has 15 receptions, 195 yards, and three touchdowns. The stats don’t jump off the page, but a lot of the blame can be placed on the uneven play of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Johnson has actually been targeted 36 times this season, an average of nine targets a game, but only has 15 receptions on these throws. As someone who watches Johnson closely, I can state that he is open on most of his targets this season. He can run his routes to the best of his ability, but there is nothing he can do about terribly inaccurate throws.
Can Stevie Johnson be a number one receiver for the Buffalo Bills? Absolutely. Is he currently? No, but he’s a lot closer than some Bills fans think.
Bills fans, what do you think? Is Stevie Johnson a true number one receiver right now? Let me know here or reach me on twitter @bonasbillsfan.
The post Is Stevie Johnson a True Number One Receiver for the Bills? appeared first on Queen City Sports.