Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Evans, VJax Lead NFL in 1st Down Percentage

Stat Shots presented by Air Force Reserve: No wide receivers in the NFL are better at moving the chains than Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans.

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Player

Team

Rec

1st

1st%

Vincent Jackson

TB

32

28

87.5

Mike Evans

TB

54

45

83.3

DeAndre Hopkins

HOU

86

69

80.2

Ted Ginn Jr.

CAR

35

28

80.0

Alshon Jeffery

CHI

47

37

78.7

Andre Johnson

IND

28

22

78.6

James Jones

GB

31

24

77.4

Kenny Britt

STL

26

20

76.9

John Brown

AZ

51

39

76.5

Kamar Aiken

BAL

49

37

75.5

Incredibly, this is not the best season that Jackson has had in terms of first-down percentage on his receptions. In fact, it's not even his second-best. Jackson recorded a first down on 90.0% of his grabs (54 of 60) in 2011, and on 88.1% of his catches (52 of 59) in 2008; in both seasons, he played for the San Diego Chargers. This particular statistic has been tracked since 1994. If one includes Jackson's current campaign, there have been 25 individual seasons since then in which a qualifying player recorded a first down on at least 87.5% of his receptions, and three of them would belong to the Buccaneers' standout. Only two other players appear on the list twice: Henry Ellard of the Rams and Redskins, with five such seasons; and Malcolm Floyd of the Chargers, with two.

Given that, it's not surprising that Jackson is one of the top first-down producers of his generation. Only Ellard has a higher percentage of catches that turned into first downs since 1994, when the data began to be tracked.

Player

Team(s)

Seasons

Rec.

FDs

Pct.

Henry Ellard *

LAN, WAS, NE

1983-1998

814

346

88.0

Vincent Jackson

SD, TB

2005-2015

524

425

81.1

Michael Irvin *

DAL

1988-1999

750

539

80.2

Vincent Brisby *

NE, NYJ

1993-2000

221

177

80.1

Malcom Floyd

SD

2004-2015

314

251

79.9

James Jett

OAK

1993-2002

256

198

77.3

DeAndre Hopkins

HOU

2013-2015

214

164

76.6

Justin Gage

CHI, TEN

2003-2010

201

154

76.6

Santonio Holmes

PIT, NYJ, CHI

2006-2014

389

296

76.1

Calvin Johnson

DET

2007-2015

713

542

76.0

** Data not tracked for some of the seasons played by Ellard, Irvin and Brisby.

Both Jackson and Evans are averaging more than 15 yards per reception, with Jackson ranking sixth in the league among qualifiers at 16.8 and Evans ranking 14th at 15.7. The Buccaneers are one of only four teams with two qualifying pass-catchers averaging more than 15 yards per reception, along with Pittsburgh (Martavis Bryant, 20.1 and Markus Wheaton, 18.7), Jacksonville (Allen Robinson, 16.6 and Allen Hurns, 15.8) and Arizona (John Brown, 16.0 and Michael Floyd, 15.7).
*

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