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Where does the New Orleans Saints receiving trio stack up to their predecessors?

Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomas, and Willie Snead have been a tremendous receiving trio for the Saints, but where do they stack up to the others from the past 10 years?

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe the NFL Network just wanted to put on a troll job, but it certainly got the attention of the New Orleans Saints wide receiver trio of Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomas, and Willie Snead. The Giants receiving corps of Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and Victor Cruz were featured in the NFL Network tweet, which certainly caused some reactions from the Saints players.

In particular, Snead’s responses were both hilarious and spot on.

When you stop and think about it, just how good is the BMW trio? After all, they’re the NFL’s top receiving trio at 2,731 yards, with the next closest being the Packers at 2,569 yards (Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, Randall Cobb). The Giants aren’t even in the Top 5, as the Falcons, Redskins, and Dolphins round it out. I went back to 2006 to find the top three Saints receivers by season (yardage), tallied the total amount of catches and touchdowns, and listed each player’s individual stat lines.

Top 3 Saints Receiving Trios

Year Top Trio Catches Yards TDs Individual Stats (Rec-Yards-TDs)
Year Top Trio Catches Yards TDs Individual Stats (Rec-Yards-TDs)
2006 Colston-Henderson-Bush 190 2,525 15 Colston (70-1038-8), Henderson (32-745-5), Bush (88-742-2)
2007 Colston-Patten-Bush 225 2,411 16 Colston (98-1202-11), Patten (54-792-3), Bush (73-417-2)
2008 Moore-Henderson-Colston 158 2,481 18 Moore (79-928-10), Henderson (32-793-3), Colston (47-760-5)
2009 Colston-Henderson-Meachem 166 2,600 20 Colston (70-1074-9), Henderson (51-804-2), Meachem (45-722-9)
2010 Colston-Moore-Meachem 194 2,444 20 Colston (84-1023-7), Moore (66-783-8), Meachem (44-638-5)
2011 Graham-Colston-Sproles 265 3,163 26 Graham (99-1310-11), Colston (80-1143-8), Sproles (86-710-7)
2012 Colston-Moore-Graham 233 3,177 25 Colston (83-1154-10), Moore (65-1041-6), Graham (85-982-9)
2013 Graham-Colston-Stills 193 2,799 26 Graham (86-1215-16), Colston (75-943-5), Stills (32-641-5)
2014 Stills-Colston-Graham 207 2,722 18 Stills (63-931-3), Colston (59-902-5), Graham (85-889-10)
2015 Cooks-Snead-Watson 227 2,947 18 Cooks (84-1138-9), Snead (69-984-3), Watson (74-825-6)
2016 Cooks-Thomas-Snead 213 2,731 20 Cooks (70-1056-8), Thomas (76-883-8), Snead (67-792-4)
Saints Top Receiving Trios Since 2006 John Hendrix

The BMW trio has two games left, and need a combined 447 yards to take out the top spot held by 2012’s trio of Marques Colston, Lance Moore, and Jimmy Graham. They’d need 53 receptions to edge out 2011’s trio of Graham, Colston, and Darren Sproles. Lastly, they’d need seven touchdowns over the final three games to beat out the 2011 squad.

Clearly, there’s an argument that could be made since Sproles is obviously not a wide receiver and Graham is a tight end (or, is he?). If you base it off of just receiving talent, then you’d likely conclude that Cooks, Thomas, and Snead could be the best trio the Saints have ever had. In the Sean Payton Era, the Saints have had two 1,000-yard receivers in back-to-back seasons (2011 and 2012). Thomas would need just 117 yards to eclipse the mark, while Snead needs a bit more at 208 yards.

Although there’s been a lot of noise out there with Cooks’ situation after speaking up about his lack of targets concerns following the blowout victory over the Rams in Week 12, keeping these three intact for 2017 will easily make the offense a scary threat and hopefully keep the Saints on top as one of the league’s best offenses.