Packer wide receiver Sterling Sharpe is thrilled with the offense installed by new coach Mike Holmgren. "No reason he wouldn't be excited," says Holmgren, the former 49er offensive coordinator. "He knows he's going to get balls in this offense the way Jerry Rice got them in San Francisco." In a 27-7 loss to the Giants on Sunday, Sharpe, 27, caught 11 passes to vault into the league lead with 61 receptions after nine games. He's now on pace to break Art Monk's single-season record of 106 catches.
Here arc the five 100-catch seasons in NFL history, and where Sharpe stands by comparison with seven games to play this year.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
Sharpe is also only 17 catches shy of the mark for the most receptions in the first five years of an NFL career. Roger Craig, the former San Francisco running back who's now with the Vikings, holds the record with 358 grabs.
One more Sharpe stat: Sterling and his younger brother, Bronco tight end Shannon Sharpe, arc the first pair of brothers ever to have 100-yard receiving games on the same day. On Oct. 4 Sterling made nine catches for 108 yards and Shannon made nine for 117. The only other brother tandem to have 100-yard receiving games did it on different days: Jimmy Thomas of the 49ers, in 1969, and Earl Thomas, of the Cardinals, in 1974.