NFL: 25 wide receivers that should have been league MVP

(Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacobsohn /Allsport)
(Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacobsohn /Allsport) /
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San Francisco 49ers
Wide receiver Jerry Rice #80 of the San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Joseph Patronite/Getty Images) /

NFL wide receivers that should have been league MVP: 7. Jerry Rice, 1995

Jerry Rice deserves a lot of praise on this list. He’s the best receiver of all time. It’s not even close. He was so good for so many years. He led the league in yards six times. He led the league in touchdowns six times. He had the most yards per game seven times in his career. Rice found a way to take it to another level in 1995.

Rice had a career-high 122 catches for a career-high 1,848 yards. The 49ers were deep into the Steve Young era, but things were starting to go wrong for the team that season. Young got hurt, and they were forced to go with Elvin Grbac for five games. That didn’t stop Rice from dominating. He would often fact double teams, and sometimes teams would put three defensive backs on Rice. It didn’t matter. He would still get more catches than anyone, and he hit paydirt 15 times this season.

Despite the injuries, the 49ers were an 11-win team and won the NFC West. That’s a testament to Rice, who was leading his team no matter who was under center. His 1,848 yards broke an NFL record, and he was dominating the league in just about every category.

His impact on the game was well known in the receiving game, but it was even better when looking at the total package. On top of Rice’s 15 receiving touchdowns, he added a rushing touchdown, a passing touchdown, and he even recovered a fumble for touchdown. Rice was always in the end zone this season. He was impacting the game in every possible way, and that’s why he deserved to be the most valuable player in the league.