Reggie Wayne on Pace for a Historic Season

On September 28, 2014, Reggie Wayne played in his 200th career regular-season game, the third player to do so in an Indianapolis Colts uniform (after Peyton Manning and Johnny Unitas).

Less than two months from his 36th birthday, the veteran receiver took the field as a starter for the Colts in their game against the Tennessee Titans. 

On the surface, this matchup was simply another early-season divisional battle. Maybe it was just that. Maybe the Colts' 41-17 domination of the Titans was just another blip on the radar in the grand scheme of things. 

But for Reggie Wayne and his seven-catch, 119-yard, one-touchdown performance, it was something else entirely. 
It was historic, for one. 

In addition to playing in his 200th game, something just 17 active players have done (including Adam Vinatieri and Manning), Wayne surpassed a few other benchmarks during his big day. 

Wayne passed Henry Ellard to move into the top 10 on the all-time career receiving yards list, with 13,873. At his current pace, he'll gain over 920 more yards this season, passing Cris Carter, James Lofton and former Colt Marvin Harrison for sixth on the list. Carter and Lofton are just 26 and 31 yards ahead, respectively, and could be passed next week in the Colts' matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. 

Wayne also passed former St. Louis Ram Isaac Bruce to move to seventh on the all-time career receptions list, with 1,029. On pace for 69 more receptions, Wayne has a chance to pass Terrell Owens (1,078) this season as well. 

With his touchdown, Wayne tied Art Powell for 22nd on the all-time career receiving touchdowns list. Given the logjam on the list, Wayne needs just five more to move into the top 15. 

Of course, Wayne continued his streak of at least three receptions in the game, extending it to 75. The second-longest streak was Cris Carter's 58-game streak from 1993 to 1997; the longest active streak is Wes Welker's 36-game streak, which began in 2011. 

Where Wayne's place in history will be is yet to be determined, but he'll finish in the top 10 in at least yards and receptions, and touchdowns is definitely a possibility. Is he a top-10 wide receiver? Critics will point to the fact that he played with Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck and most likely wouldn't put him among the top 10 most talented receivers to have ever played the game. 

But nobody can take away production. Regardless of who he's played with, the fact is that Wayne has done his job, every day, week and year since being drafted 30th overall in 2001. He produced top-10 numbers despite the fact that he was the No. 2 receiver on his own team for the first six seasons of his career. He oversaw the potentially tumultuous transition from Peyton Manning and Bill Polian to Andrew Luck and Ryan Grigson (with some Curtis Painter in between), smoothing the road for the young, inconsistent team. 

Sunday's game, with all its momentary greatness, was historic in Wayne's ascension on the all-time lists, but it was also a reminder of the smaller picture: 2014. 

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