In a passing league, a quarterback runs the show on offense, and his favorite wide-receiver is his reliable safety blanket.
The NFL has seen great quarterbacks and great wide receivers. When a combination of a great quarterback and wide receiver are on one team, an offense can become very dangerous. Certain teams and their fans have been fortunate enough to see outstanding duos. This list includes record breakers, Super Bowl MVPs, and Hall of Famers
10. Stabler to Biletnikoff
Ken Stabler and Fred Biletnikoff were typical Oakland Raiders. Rule breaking characters who only cared about winning. The Raiders' victory in Super Bowl XI was the peak of the Raiders dominance of the 70s. MVP Biletnikoff reflected on their years in Oakland and his friendship with Stabler.
9. Namath to Maynard
In the 60s Broadway Joe Namath captivated football fans in the American Football League. He and Don Maynard were bombs away on the field. In 1968 the Jets upset the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. If it was not for Namath and Maynard, the Jets might not have been in the big game.
8. Staubach to Pearson
Roger Staubach and Drew Pearson made it on the map when Staubach hit Pearson for the first Hail Mary touchdown. They won Super Bowl XII with the Cowboys in 1977 and played in 3 Super Bowls all together in the 70s. Pearson has been overlooked by the Hall of Fame. He deserves to be in Canton along with his quarterback.
7. Brady to Edelman
For the past decade, Tom Brady and Julian Edelman have tormented secondaries and defensive coordinators. They just won their 3rd Super Bowl together and each has left their mark on the NFL. Brady's best receiver in his career may have been Hall of Famer Randy Moss, but Edelman has been the most reliable weapon for the Patriots.
6. Kelly to Reed
The K-Gun offense was perfect for Bills quarterback Jim Kelly. The fast-paced, no-huddle offense was a headache for defenses. Andre Reed was the perfect deep threat for Kelly. The Bills went to 4 straight Super Bowls in the early 90s, something that has not been done before or since. Kelly and Reed are both Hall of Famers despite not winning the Super Bowl.
5. Aikman to Irvin
Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin won three Super Bowls together in Dallas. In their first Aikman hit Irvin for two touchdowns in an MVP performance by Aikman. The Dallas dynasty of the early 90s would not have been possible without this duo.
4. Unitas to Berry
Johnny Unitas and Raymond Berry were the best at their positions in their time. The prolific combination of these two legends brought the Colts back to back championships in the late 50s. Their on the field chemistry started before game days. Unitas and Berry would stay after practice and run pass patterns to prepare for Sunday afternoons in Baltimore.
3. Montana to Rice
Jerry Rice entered the league in 1985. By then Joe Montana was a two time Super Bowl champion and two time Super Bowl MVP. Montana and Rice would lead the 49ers to two Super Bowls in the late 80s. Each would win a Super Bowl MVP and San Francisco became the team of the 80s.
2. Young to Rice
By the Early 90s, Jerry Rice had been established as one of, if not, the best wide receiver in NFL history. When injuries led to Joe Montana being traded from the 49ers Steve Young took over the offense. During the transition, Rice would practice catching passes from a left-handed ball boy on the 49ers. Young and Rice would lead the 49ers to three straight NFC championship appearances and a victory in Super Bowl XXIX.
1. Manning to Harrison
Peyton Manning's career makes a compelling argument for him as the best quarterback of his generation. Marvin Harrison may have been the best wide receiver of the 2000s. The fact that they were on the same team was like the stars aligning. Manning and Harrison combined for 12,766 yards and 112 touchdowns - two records that may never be broken. Together, they led the Indianapolis Colts to the Super Bowl in 2006.
The importance of a good quarterback-receiver duo cannot be understated. The better the chemistry is between the two, the better the offense will run. All of these duos brought different things to the table. But they all caused headaches for opposing secondaries.