April 7, 2016

Highlighted Year: Cris Carter, 1994

Wide Receiver, Minnesota Vikings

Age: 29 (Nov. 25)
8th season in pro football, 5th with Vikings
College: Ohio State
Height: 6’3”   Weight: 197

Carter caught 168 passes for 2725 yards (16.2 avg.) and 27 touchdowns in college, including 69 receptions for 1127 yards and 11 TDs in 1986, when he was a consensus first-team All-American. Declared ineligible for the 1987 season due to having signed a contract with an agent, he was chosen by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth round of the ’87 NFL supplemental draft. He saw little action as a rookie but caught 39 passes for 761 yards (19.5 avg.) and six TDs in 1988 and scored 11 touchdowns among his 45 receptions for 605 yards in ’89. However, he had off-field substance abuse issues, clashed with Head Coach Buddy Ryan, and was waived in 1990. Picked up by the Vikings, Carter backed up wide receivers Anthony Carter (no relation) and Hassan Jones that year but had a 72-catch, 962-yard season in 1991. While missing four games due to a broken collar bone in ’92, Carter still led the club with 53 catches and in 1993 he caught 86 passes for 1071 yards and 9 TDs, earning his first Pro Bowl selection. Lacking speed, Carter provided height, excellent jumping ability, and reliable hands.

1994 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 122 [1]          
Most receptions, game – 14 (for 167 yds.) at Arizona 10/2
Yards – 1256 [7]
Most yards, game – 167 (on 14 catches) at Arizona 10/2
Average gain – 10.3
TDs – 7 [11, tied with four others]
100-yard receiving games – 5

TDs – 7
2-pt conversions – 2 [4, tied with six others]
Points – 46

Postseason: 1 G (NFC Wild Card playoff vs. Chicago)
Pass receptions – 8
Pass receiving yards – 61
Average yards per reception – 7.6
Pass Receiving TDs – 1

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, Sporting News
1st team All-NFC: UPI, Pro Football Weekly
Pro Bowl

Vikings went 10-6 to finish first in the NFC Central while leading the conference in passing yards (4324). Lost NFC Wild Card playoff to Chicago Bears (35-18).

Carter’s record-breaking 1994 season was the second of eight in which he both exceeded a thousand pass receiving yards and was selected to the Pro Bowl. He matched his total of 122 catches in ’95, when he achieved career highs with 1371 yards and a league-leading 17 touchdowns – his first of five consecutive seasons reaching double figures in receiving TDs. Carter had 90 or more catches three more times and departed the Vikings after the 2001 season, having caught 1004 passes for 12,383 yards (12.3 avg.) and 110 TDs with Minnesota, all franchise highs. He finished up with the Miami Dolphins in 2002. Overall, Carter had 1101 pass receptions for 13,899 yards (12.6 avg.) and 130 TDs; the receptions and receiving TDs ranked second in NFL history at the time, and the yards placed fourth. He received first-team All-NFL honors twice, second-team All-NFL or All-NFC recognition after two other seasons, and was chosen to eight Pro Bowls. His #80 was retired by the Vikings and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2013.


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970