This past weekend fans were treated to exceptional performances put on by a pair of MVP candidate quarterbacks and their elite No. 1 receivers. In the early time slot on Sunday, Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams carved up the Houston Texans defense, connecting on 13 out of 16 targets and the highest yardage total of the season up to that point. Unfortunately for them, their 196 yards would be outmatched only a few hours later by the combo of Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett, who put up 200 yards on 15 completed targets.
Performances such as these are exciting to watch and spark endless debates on which team has the best quarterback/receiver combination. Using Sports Info Solutions’ Total Points value metric, we can take an in-depth look at how each team’s top combo has performed through the season’s first seven weeks. The following rankings are based on the combined Total Points of each team’s starting quarterback and most targeted receiver.
1. Matt Ryan & Calvin Ridley: 49 Total Points on 63 Targets
It has been a rough start to the season for the Falcons, as they sit at 1-6 and have shown a disturbing pattern of blowing fourth quarter leads. But, one of the bright spots has been the connection between Matt Ryan and third-year receiver Calvin Ridley. Ridley currently ranks third in receiving yards (615) and tied for third in receiving touchdowns (6). As a combo, Ryan and Ridley are providing similar value, with Ridley contributing 26 Total Points when targeted and Ryan contributing 23 Total Points. They have dominated zone coverages this season, as 43 of their combined 49 Total Points have come 42 targets against zone.
2. Russell Wilson & Tyler Lockett: 48 Total Points on 58 Targets
Second place in overall value is actually the most efficient combo, Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett. Their impressive Week 7 connection rated as the third best game by any passing combo this season, producing 17 Total Points. That performance helped them jump from eighth place in these rankings a week ago to contending for the top spot. The only things holding them back from a runaway lead are Lockett’s five drops on the season, which has resulted in him contributing only 18 Total Points compared to Wilson’s 30 Total Points on their targets.
3. Kyler Murray & DeAndre Hopkins: 47 Total Points on 72 Targets
It should surprise no one that mixing the reigning offensive rookie of the year, an elite receiver, and a pass-happy offense has resulted in one of the best passing combos. Murray and Hopkins have connected for over 100 receiving yards in four of their seven games together so far, with Hopkins currently leading the NFL in targets (72), receptions (57), and yards (704). The sheer volume of efficient targets has helped this connection provide value, though they have also combined for 13 Total Points on vertical routes. Overall, Murray has contributed 25 Total Points and Hopkins has contributed 21 when targeted.
4. Josh Allen & Stefon Diggs: 44 Total Points on 69 Targets
Josh Allen has been much improved all around this season, and the addition of Diggs has no doubt played a significant role. As a combo, they have both been elite, as each of them has contributed 22 Total Points, though Diggs does have 5 drops on the season. They have especially dominated on curl and crossing routes, combining for 15 and 10 Total Points respectively. They are also the only top-10 pairing to have zero interceptions on their targets.
5. Joe Burrow & Tyler Boyd: 41 Total Points on 61 Targets
It has only been seven games, but it seems the Bengals hit on first overall pick Joe Burrow. He has looked the part as a franchise quarterback and has teamed with Tyler Boyd to be a valuable combo. Burrow has contributed 19 Total Points and Boyd has contributed 22 Total Points on their targets. They have excelled in the short and intermediate range, combining for 21 Total Points on passes under 10 yards and the most Total Points on passes 10-19 yards (22). However, they have struggled on throws down the field, combining for -3 Total Points on throws of 20+ yards. Deep passes have been a struggle for Burrow overall, as he has completed only 5 of his 31 total attempts.
6. Patrick Mahomes & Travis Kelce: 40 Total Points on 55 Targets
Over the past three seasons, it has become unusual to see Patrick Mahomes outside of the top five of any leaderboard. But, looking at the total value created by a passing combo is a little unfair to him since he has so many weapons to spread the ball to. It turns out Mahomes-to-Kelce is actually the third most efficient combo on our list. They are also the top quarterback-to-tight end pairing, combining for almost twice as many Total Points as the second place pairing of Derek Carr and Darren Waller.
7. Teddy Bridgewater & Robby Anderson: 38 Total Points on 61 Targets
Two newcomers to Carolina, Bridgewater and Anderson have become a top tier passing combo. They average 10.5 yards per target and rank second in total receiving yards (640). Despite Bridgewater’s reputation as a game manager, this pairing has excelled down the field, combining for 13 Total Points on vertical routes. Anderson is also doing his part by adding value after the catch, ranking second in receiving yards after contact behind only Alvin Kamara.
8. Aaron Rodgers & Davante Adams: 32 Total Points on 46 Targets
Despite a huge game Sunday—which was the second-best game by a QB-WR combo this season at 19 combined Total Points—, Rodgers and Adams are still lower on the total value leaderboard due to Adams missing time with a hamstring injury. On a per-target basis, they rank as the third-best pairing. They have connected all over the field, but have been exceptional on deep passes, combining for 12 Total Points on passes 20+ yards downfield.
9. Kirk Cousins & Adam Thielen: 32 Total Points on 49 Targets
Even after trading away Stefon Diggs in the offseason, the Vikings still have a top tier passing combo in Kirk Cousins and Adam Thielen. They have combined for 7 touchdowns, but Cousins has also thrown 3 interceptions when targeting Thielen. They have been most efficient against zone coverages, combining for 23 Total Points on 29 targets.
10. Jared Goff & Cooper Kupp: 31 Total Points on 51 Targets
Rounding out our top 10 is the Rams pairing of Jared Goff and Cooper Kupp, who slightly edged out the Giants combo of Daniel Jones and Darius Slayton. Goff and Kupp have relied heavily on the short passing game, as their ADoT is only 6.7 yards and 23 of their combined 31 Total Points have come on passes under 10 yards. They have been extremely efficient against man coverage, combining for 21 Total Points on 21 targets.