Home » Sports » Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday …Todd Christensen

Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday …Todd Christensen

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Christensen the raiderChristensen jerseyTodd ChristensenChristensen after footballAfter being unclaimed, he was signed by the Oakland Raiders in 1979 and became a key player on special teams. After three seasons of unspectacular statistics (including the Raiders’ Super Bowl winning campaign in 1980), Christensen broke out in 1982, catching 42 passes for 510 yards and four touchdowns during the strike-shortened season, helping the Raiders to the best record in the NFL. The next year, Christensen caught 92 passes for a career high 1,247 yards and 12 touchdowns and earned the first of his five trips to the Pro Bowl for his efforts. His total catches led the NFL, making him the second tight end to ever do this (Kellen Winslow was the other). The Raiders finished the season with a resounding 38–9 victory over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII. Christensen topped 1,000 yards again in 1984, catching 82 passes in the process.[1] He hit 80 receptions again the following year, missing 1,000 yards by just 13 yards.[1] The 1986 NFL season was Christensen’s last big one statistically. He ended the year with a career-high, league-leading 95 receptions for 1,153 yards and eight touchdowns. He also became the first tight end in history to catch 90 passes in each of two consecutive seasons.

Christensen’s 1987 campaign was cut short, but in 12 games he still managed to catch 47 balls (a little fewer than four per game). His 663 yards averaged to 14.1 yards per reception, a career high in seasons where he caught at least 40 passes. In Christensen’s final year, he missed more than half the season with injuries. He only caught 15 passes, with none going for touchdowns, and then he retired from pro football.

In his career, Christensen caught 461 passes for 5,872 yards and 41 touchdowns. In eight postseason games, he caught 31 balls for 358 yards and only one touchdown. He led the league in receptions twice, and his 349 receptions from 1983 through 86 (four seasons) was an NFL record.

On a very sad note, Todd Christensen died at age 57 on November 13, 2013, from complications during liver transplant surgery at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, near his home in Alpine. He had battled liver disease and related illnesses for about two years, though his son, Tory, said his liver issues began with a “botched” gall-bladder operation 25 years earlier.

Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday salutes… Raiders TightEnd  Todd Christensen.

Career history
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions 461
Yards 5,872
TDs 41
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