Fact or Fiction? Don Hutson was the NFL's first 200-yard receiver

Fact or Fiction? Don Hutson was the NFL's first 200-yard receiver

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It is not at all surprising that it was the Green Bay Packers’ legendary receiver Don Hutson who recorded the first 200-yard receiving game in National Football League history. After all, he recorded numbers during an 11-year career from 1935 to 1945 that stood for decades and took multiple receivers to individually break his plethora of receiving records.

When he retired, he held 18 NFL records. Actually, it was 19 if one counts the mark for “most records held!”

One of his finest years came in 1942 when he earned league MVP honors for the second straight time after becoming the first player in NFL history to record 1,000 yards receiving. Helping that yardage total were the NFL’s first AND second 200-yard games.

Hutson made history when he racked up 209 yards on 13 catches and scored a pair of touchdowns (and also kicked five extra points) during the Packers’ 45-28 win over the Cleveland Rams on Oct. 18, 1942. That single-game yardage bested the previous record of 180 yards set by the Philadelphia Eagles Don Looney versus Washington in a game in 1940.

Hutson recorded the league’s second 200-yard effort two weeks later when he had five catches, three of which went for scores, and amassed 207 yards as Green Bay bombarded the Chicago Cardinals 55-24 on Nov. 1, 1942.

Only six times since then has a player had multiple 200-yard games in the same season. The Detroit Lions Calvin Johnson is the only player to achieve that feat twice. Charley Hennigan of the Houston Oilers holds the distinction of being the only receiver with 200 yards receiving in a game three times in the same season (1961).

For the record, every one of the current 32 NFL clubs has a 200-yard receiver except one. The Cleveland Browns’ top single-game receiving total stands at 191 yards recorded by Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome.

NFL Record Book: Most Games, 200 or More Yards Pass Receiving, Season
3 Charley Hennigan, Houston Oilers, 1961
2 Don Huston, Green Bay Packers, 1942
Gene Roberts, New York Giants, 1949
Lance Alworth, San Diego Chargers, 1963
Don Maynard, New York Jets, 1968
Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions, 2011
Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions, 2012


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