Most Efficient QB-WR Tandems to Trust by @GN_Godfather
It’s a special bond of passing chemistry that’s not easy to grow. Once you’ve got an elite quarterback to wide receiver connection, draft the pair and cherish the possibilities. Based on 2018’s stats and Pro Football Focus grading, let’s narrow down the top-five most efficient QB-WR tandems you can trust this season and hopefully beyond.
1. DREW BREES – MICHAEL THOMAS/NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
The future hall-of-famer QB earned the highest PFF overall grade at his position (94.0), completing 74% of his passes and finishing with a 32-5 TD-INT ratio. Drew Brees is a fine wine we don’t appreciate enough. His young stud receiver Michael Thomas graded out second in the NFL in the PFF receiving category (91.9), catching 34% of Brees’ completions (125 receptions/NFL best) and 35 percent of his passing yardage (1,405 receiving yards). Thomas didn’t put up double-digit touchdowns (9) but this tandem is incredibly efficient and plays indoors at least nine times a year. Brees to Thomas is fool-proof.
2. PATRICK MAHOMES – TYREEK HILL/KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Before breaking down this tandem, yes – Tyreek Hill is facing a potential suspension (reportedly 4-game maximum) but when he and Mahomes are on the field, magic happens. The 2018 NFL MVP who threw 50 touchdowns to just 12 picks has a high bar to keep up but he earned the second-highest passing grade per PFF (92.3) in his first full season as a starter. Now he should evolve in Andy Reid’s offense. Hill graded out as the fifth-best receiver (89.8) and caught 29% of Mahomes’ 5,097 yards. Bottom line – 87 receptions with more than 1,400 yards in this high-powered offense is too sweet. This tandem has longevity is Hill stays out of trouble.
3. ANDREW LUCK – T.Y. HILTON/INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
This pair comes with less off the field risk. Luck graded out third overall per PFF (91.2) and that was only his first year in Frank Reich’s offense. He completed a career-high 67.3% of his passes for nearly 4,600 yards. Hilton may be aging but he still finished with an 87.7 offensive grade, good for ninth-best in the league. A 76/1270/6 receiving line is nothing to yawn at. Hilton’s career YPC average is 16.0. Expect big chunk gains between Luck and Hilton to continue.
4. AARON RODGERS – DAVANTE ADAMS/GREEN BAY PACKERS
We’ve been spoiled by A-Rod for a long time. The Packers franchise QB threw 25 touchdowns to only two interceptions for 4,442 yards. He quietly graded out as the fifth-best quarterback according to PFF (89.7). He’s nowhere near done in the NFL. Meanwhile, Davante Adams made a career statement in 2018 with 111 catches and his first 1,000-yard season (1,386) and 13 touchdowns (career-high). His 87.8 overall grade ranked eighth at his position. Adams has officially earned Rodgers’ full trust and should be his locked-in go-to-guy.
5. PHILIP RIVERS – KEENAN ALLEN/LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
The last time Philip Rivers threw for less than 4,200 yards was back in 2012. Time may be running out on his career but he’s been ultra-efficient. Rivers’ overall grade in 2018 was 89.7, ranking him seventh at the QB position. Give credit to Chargers OC Ken Whisenhunt who Rivers has flourished with, averaging 4,421 yards, 31 touchdowns to 13.5 interceptions and a 65.2% completion rate over four seasons in Whisenhunt’s offense. Rivers’ WR1 Keenan Allen doesn’t get enough credit. Even after two-straight seasons with more than 96 catches, 135 targets and 1,100-plus receiving yards. Allen doesn’t jump off the stat sheet in the TD category but his QB leans on him to move the chains. Allen graded out at 89.3 overall, the sixth-best receiver per PFF.