While all the attention heading up to this year's Hall of Fame class for the wide receivers was being focused on the Indianapolis Colts' Marvin Harrison or the Oakland Raiders' Tim Brown, reality turned out to be in Andre Reed's favor. It was announced earlier today that Tim Brown would not be inducted into the HOF today, and that Andre Reed instead was elected.
Heading up to the announcement of this year's honorary class Levi Damien published an article comparing Harrison and Timmy to see where each player stood against each other. It had seemed like Marvin was going to be the most likely to get in if a receiver that wasn't Tim Brown got in. Since it turned out that the receiver that got in instead of Mr. Raider was Andre Reed, here is a chart comparing their credentials now too.
|Career receiving yards||14934||13198||Brown|
|Career yards per catch||13.7||13.9||Reed|
|Career yards per start||73.9||56.4||Brown|
|Career All-purpose yards||19679||13710||Brown|
|Playoff yards per game||48.4||58.5||Reed|
|Playoff All Purpose ypg||60.8||59.8||Brown|
|Super Bowls (in/won)||1/0||4/0||Reed|
|QB Pro Bowls||5||6||Brown|
For those of us keeping score at home that gives Tim Brown an advantage of 10-4 with one category even against Andre Reed for this comparison, but let's go a little deeper.
It is clear that Tim Brown has the superior stats for the overall regular season stats, he won those categories 7-2 and many of them were not even close. He had 143 more receptions while playing 1 more season than Reed, along with 1,736 more receiving yards and 5,969 more all-purpose yards. Tim also had 17.5 more yards per game started than Reed and 17 more touchdowns.
Not to be completely outdone, Andre Reed did win two of the regular season categories as he had 15 more games started and .2 yards more per reception. Of course having started more games than Tim arguably strengthens Brown's case more than his own and .2 yards more per reception is not exactly blowing away the competition.
Where Reed does definitely win though is with his playoff statistics. He did get to play in 21 playoff games compared to Brown's 12, but he also was a big reason why the Bills played so many playoff games during his tenure. He averaged 10.1 yards more per game in the playoffs (though 1 less all purpose yards per game) and he had 6 more playoff touchdowns. The biggest win though is also probably the largest reason for his election coming first and that was appearing in 4 Super Bowls to just 1 for Tim.
It was already hard to fathom Reed getting into the Hall of Fame before Brown, but it becomes even more surprising when you compare their stats side by side. It becomes even more perplexing when you realize the parade of QB's that Tim Brown worked with throughout his career and that Reed had the luxury of playing with a Hall of Fame QB in Jim Kelly and a Hall of Fame RB in Thurmon Thomas. I mean seriously, you better succeed with those quys being as good as they were!
The important thing to remember about it though is that Andre Reed does still have HOF worthy stats and deserved to get in, plus he has been waiting longer than Tim as he has been eligible since 2006 while Tim's first year of eligibility was in 2010.
The receiver position has been notoriously log-jammed and a large reason why has been the voters' reluctance to let more than one in for each class. This year's choice was Andre Reed leaving Tim Brown on the outside looking in but it was only going to be one of the two and both were deserving of the honor.
Realistically Andre getting enshrined is a good sign that Tim Brown will also eventually get in considering the similar stats between the two. Hopefully Tim Brown will get in next year though over Marvin Harrison (or along with him) because it is already getting really old watching him get passed up for the Hall. If Tim were to have to wait as long as Ray Guy had to though then the entire process would deserve to be investigated thoroughly.