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A Photographic Representation Of The 1967 Receiving Stats

Posted by Matt Terl on July 15, 2011 – 12:50 pm

A quick glance at this picture might lead you to believe that Bobby Mitchell is slightly confused. As quarterback Sonny Jurgensen looks on, his top three receivers hold up fingers — Charley Taylor with one, tight end Jerry Smith, and Mitchell, somewhat incongruously, with four.

But once you put the picture together with the NFL passing and receiving stats for the 1967 season, everything makes a lot more sense.

Jurgensen was the number one passer in the NFL that year; in 14 games, he completed 288 passes for 3,747 yards and a whopping 31 touchdowns. He was so far ahead of number 2 (one Johnny Unitas) that he doesn’t even need to hold up fingers in this picture.

On the receiving side of things, Charley Taylor led the NFL with 70 receptions for 990 yards and 9 touchdowns. Jerry Smith came in second in the league, with 67 catches, 849 yards, and 12 touchdowns.

And Bobby Mitchell, as you’ve probably guessed, finished fourth in the league with 60 catches, 866 yards, and 6 touchdowns. If Baltimore’s Willie Richardson had just missed one game, Mitchell probably would’ve overtaken him for third and the photo wouldn’t have seemed so peculiar.

(Not pictured: Redskins running back A.D. Whitfield, holding up 27 fingers.)

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