The following is a list of the players with the most receptions in a NFL game. The players who have caught the most passes in a game in NFL history.
In all likelihood, every wide receiver and tight end on this list of players with the most catches in a NFL game will end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. One of the players is already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the fact that he held the NFL record for most receptions in a game for 50 years probably helped his chances of being selected.
Players with Most Catches in a Game in NFL History
1. Brandon Marshall (2009) – 21 catches
Brandon Marshall holds the NFL record for most catches in a game with 21. Marshall set the record on December 13, 2009, while playing for the Denver Broncos in a game vs the Indianapolis Colts.
In the game, Brandon Marshall had 200 receiving yards and two five yard touchdown catches. He caught all 21 catches from quarterback Kyle Orton, but the record did not help the Broncos enough in the game, as the Colts won, 28-16.
2. Terrell Owens (2000) – 20
Terrell Owens has the second most catches in a NFL game with 20. Owens had the 20 catches while playing for the San Francisco 49ers in a game vs the Chicago Bears played on December 17, 2000.
In addition to his 20 catches, Terrell Owens had 283 receiving yards, including a 27 yard touchdown. The 49ers won the game, 17-0. I remember this game very well, as I had Terrell Owens on my fantasy football team, and his great day helped me win my league’s championship in 2000.
T-3. Jason Witten (2012) – 18
On October 28, 2012, Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys caught 18 passes from quarterback Tony Romo in a game vs the New York Giants. Despite Witten’s great game, he had 167 receiving yards but no touchdowns, the Giants won the game, 29-24.
T-3. Brandon Marshall (2008) – 18
Before he had his record setting 21 catch game, Brandon Marshall had an 18 catch game on September 14, 2008, while playing for the Broncos vs the San Diego Chargers. Marshall’s 18 catches went for 166 yards and a six yard touchdown, and helped the Broncos pull out a 39-38 win.
T-3. Tom Fears (1950) – 18
When he caught 18 passes in a game on December 3, 1950, while playing for the Los Angeles Rams vs the Green Bay Packers, Tom Fears set the NFL record for most catches in a game. Fears record lasted for 50 years, until Terrell Owens broke it in 2000.
Fears had 189 receiving yards in the game, as well as touchdown catches of 11 and four yards, helping the Rams crush the Packers, 51-14. Two Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterbacks, Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin, threw the touchdown passes to Fears in the game.
Norm Van Brocklin holds the NFL record for most passing yards in a game.
6. Clark Gaines (1980) – 17
On September 21, 1980, Clark Gaines of the New York Jets caught 17 passes in a game vs the San Francisco 49ers. This game is notable because Clark Gaines was a running back, and he holds the NFL record for most catches in a game by a running back.