No Denver fan inside or outside the Broncos organization is pleased with the results of the team’s lopsided loss to the Ravens at Baltimore Sunday, but the team’s amazing early-season passing statistics continued in that loss.
While much has been written and said about quarterback Kyle Orton’s tremendous early season numbers, those being put up by wide receiver Brandon Lloyd are just as eye-popping.
Lloyd went over the 100-yard reception mark again Sunday and scored both Denver touchdowns on long strikes from Orton.
He became one of just five Bronco receivers ever to have three straight 100-yard reception games, joining Rod Smith (2000), Anthony Miller (1994), Mark Jackson (1988) and original Denver star Lionel Taylor (1961). So in a period spanning 51 years of play, this is just te fifth time ever for a Bronco to accomplish that feat.
Broncos’ Executive Director of Media Relations Patrick Smyth took the research one step further, asking the Elias Sports Bureau for some perspective as to how Lloyd’s recent performance stands among all players, all time.
Brandon Lloyd has become just the 18th wide receiver in National (or American) Football League history to have 100-yard reception games in four of his team’s first five games, joining an illustrious list that includes current and recent stars (Randy Moss, Marvin Harrison, Jerry Rice, Michael Irvin, Isaac Bruce, Jake Reed), players slightly more removed from the game (J.T. Smith, Stanley Morgan, Mike Quick), and six from back in the day (Taylor from the Broncos, Charley Hennigan from the early 1960′s Oilers, Pro Football Hall of Famer Don Maynard from Joe Namath’s Jets), and three from the day before the day.
Those three would be Bob Boyd from the 1954 Los Angeles Rams, Hall of Famer Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch from the 1951 Rams, and Hall of Famer Don Hutson from the 1945 Green Bay Packers. Hutson has been at times described as the best receiver in football history, and as perhaps the greatest single player in Green Bay Packers history.
So the company Brandon Lloyd is keeping is quite the impressive group.
Lloyd has 589 reception yards so far in five games, the most by a Bronco receiver ever through this stage of the season.
Hirsch had two Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterbacks throwing to him ( the Rams at that time alternated the great Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin, and both are in the Hall), which brings us to the guy doing the slinging for the Broncos at this time.
Orton Sunday had his fourth consecutive 300-yard passing game to plant his own name in the Denver record book as well, and his five-game passing yardage total of 1,733 is not only staggering, but trails the performances of just four quarterbacks in NFL history through the first five games.
Only Kurt Warner (1,947 in 2000), Joe Montana (1,792 in 1990), Dante Culpepper (1,766 in 2004) and Drew Bledsoe (who twice had exactly 1,762) have surpassed what Orton has done thus far this year.
Certainly, the Broncos have other issues which they constantly are working on improving, but the burden of moving the ball has to fall somewhere, and the way Orton and his receivers have carried the baton for the offense has been tremendous thus far in 2010.