STAT OF THE WEEK: Keyshawn The Chain-Mover

October 31 - This week's Stat of the Week takes a look at Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson's productivity at producing first downs.

Do you think Tampa Bay Buccaneers fullback Mike Alstott is a chain-mover on offense?

You should check out what Bucs wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson is doing this year. He's a real chain-mover.

Out of Johnson's NFC-leading 46 catches, an amazing 32 of them have gone for a first down. He's also usually the team's top option on third down, where he has nine catches for 125 yards this season.

On the year, Johnson has tallied a team-leading 610 yards on 46 catches, which tops the likes of Minnesota's Randy Moss and Cris Carter and St. Louis' Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce - all of whom made the Pro Bowl last year except, of course, for Johnson. Look for that to change this year. All he needs to do is catch a couple of touchdowns.

Johnson is on pace to record 123 catches for 1627 yards this season. That pace may slow down over the next week or two if Johnson's bruised knee bone doesn't respond to treatment. The injury occurred right before the half in last week's game against Minnesota, and he's listed as questionable for this week's game at Green Bay.

Johnson is a fast healer, and hasn't missed a game this year despite getting two deep thigh bruises this season. The last time he missed a game was his rookie year in 1996 when he suffered a knee injury that cost him two games. But since then Johnson has a string of 70 straight starts for the Bucs and the New York Jets over the last five years.

Copyright 2001 Buccaneer Magazine/

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