The single-season NFL receiving yards record was set by Calvin Johnson in 2012 when he totaled 1,964 yards. This record has been under pressure ever since, with Cooper Kupp coming the closest in 2021, falling just short with 1,947 receiving yards — albeit in a 17-game season. Through eight weeks in, 2023 two wideouts are currently on pace to break Johnson's mark: Miami Dolphins speedster Tyreek Hill and the master of the contested catch, Philadelphia Eagles receiver A.J. Brown.

Hill leads the league in receiving yards, having already surpassed 1,000 yards on the year, while A.J. Brown has broken Johnson's record with six consecutive games of at least 125 receiving yards. Will either player break Calvin Johnson's single-season yardage record in 2023? Let's find out.

Tyreek Hill

Dolphins offense, Tua Tagovailoa, Eagles, Tyreek Hill, Dolphins

A year after finishing second in the league with 1,710 yards last season, Tyreek Hill has already eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark after just eight games this season. With a league-leading 1,014 yards, Hill is on pace not only to beat Megatron's record but also to easily eclipse the 2,000-yard barrier with 2,154 yards.

Hill's production this season has been predicated on big games. He has four contests with at least 155 yards receiving and even eclipsed 200 yards in the season-opener against the Los Angeles Chargers. Last year, Cheetah had a respectable running mate in Jaylen Waddle, who had 1,356 yards, but this year, there is Tyreek Hill and then every other pass-catcher in the Dolphins offense. Waddle does not even have half as many yards as Hill, and Hill has more than five times as many yards as number three wideout Braxton Berrios.

This Miami offense has been unstoppable so far, as the Dolphins lead the NFL both in passing and rushing yards as well as scoring. Tyreek Hill has been at the forefront of this South Florida attack, with no signs of slowing down. Two of his top three performances this year even came in games where the Miami running game posted fantastic numbers. Hill should be the odds-on favorite to take down Calvin Johnson's record.

Verdict: Yes

A.J. Brown

AJ Brown, Philadelphia Eagles


While Tyreek Hill's season has been about explosiveness, A.J. Brown has built his year around consistency. Brown has surpassed 100 receiving yards in each of his last six games, posting between 127 and 137 yards on five of those occasions. He currently has 939 yards on the year, putting him on pace for 1,995 yards across the 17-game campaign. Brown's production is a surprise considering how much of a factor teammate DeVonta Smith was in the passing game in 2022.

Brown and Smith were very much options 1A and 1B for the Eagles last year, garnering 145 and 136 targets respectively. And though Brown had 300 more receiving yards, Smith ended the year with seven more catches. This season, following a heated early-season discussion with quarterback Jalen Hurts, Brown has been the clear number one target for the Eagles QB. Brown has 83 targets to Smith's 57 and has nearly doubled up his pass-catching partner in the yardage department.

Another variable to consider to Philly's prowess in the running game. The Eagles have 257 carries on the year, second-most in the NFL, and they lead the league with 76 rushing first downs. The team also ranks in the top 10 both in passing yards and attempts, but as the winter weather slowly moves in, will Philadelphia continue to throw the ball with the same frequency?

A.J. Brown has been excellent to start this season but with the Eagles' strong rushing attack and the presence of DeVonta Smith, it seems unlikely that he will continue to wrack up receiving yards at his current clip.

Verdict: No