San Francisco 49ers logoSan Francisco 49ers

Cris Carter's Induction Makes Terrell Owens a Slam Dunk Hall of Fame Receiver

IRVING, TX - DECEMBER 8:  Wide receiver Terrell Owens #81 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates in the end zone after scoring a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys with 12 seconds left on December 8, 2002 at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas.  The 49ers beat the Cowboys 31-27.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
Ryan MichaelSenior Writer IIIFebruary 15, 2013

Cris Carter's rightful induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame means more than a great receiver finally receiving his just due. It also validates another receiver's spot as being worthy of Hall of Fame induction.

Credit to Carter, he's one of the best to ever play the game.

He just wasn't as good as Terrell Owens.

Known to many simply as T.O., Owens took over the NFL by storm—becoming an unstoppable production machine capable of producing with virtually any team, with any quarterback in any system.

His longevity and ability to succeed despite his surroundings simply cannot be overlooked.

If Carter is now a Hall of Famer, Owens deserves to be selected on the first ballot.

To substantiate my point, I'll begin with the obvious—comparing the career production on the football field of both legends.


Cris Carter (209 starts):

1,101 receptions for 13,899 yards and 130 touchdowns.

Terrell Owens (201 starts):

1,078 receptions for 15,934 yards and 153 touchdowns.


Then break it down by dividing the total production by the amount of games started—multiply the results by 16 to calculate a seasonal average and then compare.


Cris Carter (per-start times 16 games-rounded):

84.3 receptions for 1,064 yards and 9.95 touchdowns.

Terrell Owens (per-star times 16 games-rounded):

85.8 receptions for 1,268 yards and 12.18 touchdowns.


Across the board: Owens was the more productive receiver.

He caught more passes for more yards and more touchdowns than the man who was all but known by the slogan—"All he does is catch touchdowns."

Carter achieved most of his success with the Minnesota Vikings.

He was able to produce with multiple quarterbacks—the likes of Randall Cunningham, Warren Moon and Daunte Culpepper.

Impressive, but not as diverse as Owens' resume.

Owens began his career playing with Steve Young for a brief period before having to catch passes from Jeff Garcia, Ty Detmer, Jeff Brohm, Tim Rattay, Donovan McNabb, Brooks Bollinger, Drew Bledsoe, Tony RomoTrent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Carson Palmer (past his prime).

Carter was a two-time First Team All Pro selection.

Impressive, especially considering the fact that Tim Brown, Andre Reed, Isaac Bruce, Jimmy Smith, Irving Fryar and Hines Ward combined for zero First Team All Pro selections over the entirety of their careers.

Owens though was a five-time First Team All Pro selection.

Did you know: Owens is the only receiver in NFL history to be named a First Team All-Pro with three different organizations.

That's incredible.

Carter hit the prime of his career when playing with Randy Moss and Jake Reed to draw away defensive coverages.

Owens hit the prime of his career with nobody but J.J. Stokes and Todd Pinkston to play wingman. 

From 2000 to 2010, Owens was the leading receiver on every single team he played for in every single season. That's five different organizations for 11 consecutive seasons.

 Both receivers were great, but Owens was in a league of his own.

With production superior across the board—T.O. stands out.

If Carter is a Hall of Famer, Owens should have his own wing.

It may not be the popular opinion, but it's a good one.


Ryan Michael is a Senior Writer for Bleacher Report. Any questions, comments or professional inquiries can be directed to his email at:

Follow him on Twitter at: @theryanmichael

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices