The deep ball—it’s the pass that SportsCenter producers can’t wait to splice into highlights, the moment that announcers love to lose their voices over, and the play that gets fans and fantasy owners alike off the couch. If you’ve never flipped out and damaged private property after a monster pass completion, then you have no football soul. In today’s vertical passing game (helped on by physical freaks at receiving positions and receiver/quarterback-friendly rule changes), it’s arguably the single-most satisfying play to see executed; it’s the one that offensive coordinators chase, and the one that disheartens the defense the most.
In 2014, we’re blessed to see Calvin Johnson body defenders away from shots via Matthew Stafford—those completions border on the inhumane. But context is important for any keen NFL observer, and the Stafford-to-Johnson deep-threat connection has a select few historical peers. Remember when Randy Moss and Tom Brady laid waste to everyone but the Giants in 2007? Going back further, guys like James Lofton and Fred Biletnikoff were bringing in bombs from Lynn Dickey and Daryle Lamonica, respectively. Join us as we go from the OGs to the new age of big passing duos in The Most Deadly Long-Distance Combinations in NFL History.