Brian Burke of AdvancedNFLStats.com has done extensive studies of those statistics that correlate to winning with the most significance and consistency. His exhaustive research found that Offensive Pass Efficiency was the most correlative stat reflecting back upon victories in the National Football League.
Offensive Pass Efficiency is defined as net yards per attempt, and net yards per attempt is yards per attempt minus sack yardage. Three positional components (in my opinion) help formulate NY/A; Quarterbacks, Left Offensive Tackles, and Receivers.
It’s imperative to have a receiver corps that is flexible and deep. With flexibility comes the ability to stretch a defense and to create separation underneath; size, speed, quickness, intelligence, route running all play a vital role. Depth requires having enough skilled players with the physical tools to execute your scheme, week after week. That in itself appears “common sensical”, yet look at how many teams whose passing games come to a screeching halt when the injury bug bites their top player or two at the position.
Nathan Jahnke of ProFootballFocus.com continues his weekly looks at the various positional components of all 32 NFL Clubs and focuses his analysis on one of the three variables in the OPE equation – RECEIVERS.
Here’s his detailed look after Week 5.
The Football Educator
32 Observations, Week 5
The 32 Observations series has covered passing and rushing over the past two weeks, so the next logical step is to look at receiving. This week you can see various situational statistics on receivers so you can learn a little bit more about them. In order to qualify for this article, a player (regardless of position) must have 20 targets.
Buffalo Bills: Plenty of tight ends are lining up frequently as wide receivers, and getting a lot of their stats playing like a WR. Scott Chandler is more of a traditional tight end who has seen only two of his 24 targets while lined up in the slot. He has 17 catches on 24 targets for 185 yards coming from a traditional tight end position. Those 185 yards are third-most in the league.
Miami Dolphins: The players with the most receiving yards on go routes are mostly the receivers you would expect, but one man on the list is Charles Clay. He has five catches on go routes which is the most in the league, and has 174 yards which is the second-most.
New England Patriots: Of Danny Amendola’s 98 snaps, there has been a defender in press coverage lined up across from him on only 13. That 13.3% rate is the lowest for wide receivers.
New York Jets: For most teams it is easy enough to figure out their best wide receiver. The Jets on the other hand, have Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley and Santoino Holmes who have 1.88, 1.86 and 1.83 Yards Per Route Run respectively, which makes it look like they have three receivers who have produced at around the same level.
Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals have yet to find much success from receivers lining up in the slot this year. The receiver with the most slot yards is Mohamed Sanu with 73 yards on 10 catches. His 73 yards from the slot is the second-lowest amongst receivers who lead their team in slot yards.
Cleveland Browns: Each of the Browns’ top three wide receivers are among the bottom fifth of the league in terms of drop rate. Greg Little is at 22.2%, Davone Bess at 19.2% and Josh Gordon at 14.3%.
Pittsburgh Steelers: In the first half of games, Jerricho Cotchery has caught two of eight passes thrown his way for 19 yards with one drop. In the second half he has caught 13 of 17 passes thrown his way for 229 yards, two touchdowns and no drops.
Houston Texans: There are 11 receivers in the league with at least 20 catches and no drops. The one with the most catches in the league without a drop is Andre Johnson, with 37. DeAndre Hopkins is another one of the 11, with 22 catches without a drop.
Indianapolis Colts: During the season both T.Y. Hilton and Darius Heyward-Bey have seen snaps as the Colts No. 2 receiver. Yards Per Route Run shows Hilton should receive more snaps in the two receiver sets. He ranks sixth among receivers at 2.50, while Heyward-Bey is 10th-worst at 0.95.
Jacksonville Jaguars: When Chad Henne is the quarterback of the Jaguars instead of Blaine Gabbert, Cecil Shorts sees a higher percent of the targets (36.8% to 30.2%), a higher Catch Rate (54.3% to 46.2%), and a higher Yards per Catch (14.5 to 11.3).
Tennessee Titans: A big reason why Nate Washington has had a noticeable season is his great play in the fourth quarter. He’s caught 10 of 15 passes thrown his way for 200 yards and a touchdown. The 200 yards is second-most in the league.