Over the last 13 seasons, all Reggie Wayne has been doing is catching footballs. He has consistently shown some of the best hands in all of football, and that has helped him to bring in over 1,000 catches.
On Monday night, he reached that milestone, becoming the 9th player in NFL history to catch 1,000 passes. And, to top it off, he passed Hines Ward for sole possession of 8th place all-time.
It is a great moment in a great career that is more than likely headed for Canton, Ohio. In addition to his 1,001 catches, Reggie has racked up 13,516 yards and 71 touchdowns. In four different seasons Reggie caught more than 100 passes on the year, and in 8 of the last 9 years he has topped 1,000 yards receiving (the exception being in 2011, when he had 960 yards). Three times has he caught double-digit touchdowns in a season. In addition, he is one of the greatest postseason receivers of all time. He ranks second only to Jerry Rice (151) with 92 career postseason catches.
He has long been a fan favorite since coming into the league as the Colts' first round pick in 2001 and especially as he began to emerge from fellow receiver Marvin Harrison's shadow. Go to Lucas Oil Stadium on any given Sunday that the Colts play home and you'll hear the crowd chanting, "Reggie! Reggie! Reggie!"
In fact, some of those moments are some of the moments that Colts fans will remember for a long, long time. What has been the most memorable of his 1,001 catches? Here are a few of mine.
2007 AFC Championship Game - Catch, Fumble, and Catch
This one might as well have gone down as two catches in the record book, because that's exactly what happened. After the Colts had mounted the now famous comeback against their rival New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game in 2007, they had to drive one last time in the last few minutes for the winning score, trailing 31-34. On a crucial play, Reggie Wayne caught a pass from Peyton Manning over the middle, and after running a little bit the ball popped straight up in the air out of the arms of Reggie. It seemed like forever, but Reggie Wayne ended up reaching his hands into the air and pulling down the ball, securing possession for the Colts, who would go on to score the winning touchdown.
2007 Super Bowl - Touchdown Catch
This one is in here because of the magnitude of the situation. Playing in the Super Bowl on a rainy night in Miami after a slow start for the Colts, Peyton Manning hooked up for Reggie Wayne for what proved to be his only touchdown pass of the game in route to being named Super Bowl MVP. Manning was wrapped up as he heaved a pass downfield - to a wide-open Reggie Wayne, who took it into the end zone for a 53-yard score. It proved to be a big play in the game, and it also is Reggie's only career Super Bowl touchdown reception to date.
2008 @ Houston Texans - Game Winner
In a span of just 2:10, the Indianapolis Colts scored 21 points to win a game that the Colts trailed by 17 with less than 5 minutes left. Capping the comeback and providing the game winning score was none other than Reggie Wayne, who hauled in a 5 yard touchdown pass from Manning using one hand.
2009 New England Patriots - Game Winner
In the now famous 4th-and-2 game, Patriots coach Bill Belichick decided to go for the first down on 4th and 2 deep in his own territory, up six. The Colts had mounted another great comeback and Belichick felt he couldn't stop Peyton Manning - and indeed he couldn't. With just 13 seconds left in the game, Manning hit Reggie Wayne on a quick slant for the game-winning touchdown. Bob Lamey's radio call summed it up perfectly: "REGGIE WAYNE! OH YES YES YES!"
2011 Houston Texans - Game Winner
In what many thought was his last home game in Indianapolis, Reggie Wayne caught a 1 yard touchdown pass from Dan Orlovsky with just 19 seconds left to win the Colts' second game of the season. The crowd erupted in perhaps the most impressive "Reggie!" chant there has been and, if just for a moment, things felt right for the Colts in 2011. In such a forgettable year, that catch won't soon be forgotten.
2012 Green Bay Packers - the Best Game of his Career
There are two memorable catches from this game that will be remembered for a long, long time. In the ChuckStrong game and with so much facing the team, Reggie Wayne turned in the best performance of his career. He caught 13 passes for 212 yards and a score. One of those catches was a phenomenal one-handed catch over Charles Woodson. Another was the game winning catch with just 35 seconds left after the Colts mounted (yet another) massive comeback. On the winning score, Wayne fought the last few yards to get into the end zone.
2013 @ San Diego Chargers - Number 1,000
It was just a route out to the right, but Reggie Wayne made a shoe-string catch to haul in a low Andrew Luck pass and the play went for 21 yards and a first down, but more importantly it gave Reggie Wayne his 1,000th catch. Congrats to one of the all-time great receivers and one of the all-time great Colts.
Those are some of my favorite Reggie Wayne catches. What are yours? There has been plenty to choose from - 1,001, to be exact.