32 Observations, Week 16

This being the season of giving (and receiving), Nathan Jahnke's theme for this latest installment falls in step to center on receiving in the NFL.

| 3 years ago

32 Observations, Week 16

32-Obs-WK16For most of December, everyone is focused on what they will be giving for the holidays. Now that the holidays have come and gone, we are becoming more focused on what we received. This weeks 32 Observations is sticking with the theme of receiving by looking at the running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends for each team with an interesting bit of information on their receiving.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills: Of all the tight ends to run at least 15 pass routes from an in-line position, Lee Smith is the only one to not run a single route in the slot or out wide.

Miami Dolphins: If Mike Wallace would have caught the 11 passes he dropped, he would have had at least 195 more receiving yards without counting any additional yards he could have had after the catch. Those 195 air yards on dropped passes are the most in the league.

New England Patriots:  Running back Shane Vereen has 3.09 Yards Per Route Run when lining up in the slot or out wide which is the most for backs. When he lines up in the backfield, his YPRR is down to 1.64 which is just 13th-best.

New York Jets: Although Santonio Holmes only has 20 receptions on the year, eight of those 20 catches have gone for 24 or more yards which is the highest rate in the league for those with 20 or more catches.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens: Receiver Torrey Smith has 60 or more yards in 11 games this season, which is tied for the second most for all players.

Cincinnati Bengals: On passes that are in the air for at least 40 yards, A.J. Green has six catches for 324 yards and two touchdowns. That is 80 yards more than any other receiver.

Cleveland Browns: There have been 221 pass routes where Josh Gordon has had a defender line up in press coverage across from him at the snap of the play. On those routes, Gordon has 30 catches for 764 yards and seven touchdowns. His yardage total and his 3.45 Yards Per Route Run in those situations lead the league.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Receiver Antonio Brown has 16 catches for 128 yards on plays where the time to throw was one second or less, both of which are the most in the league.

AFC South

Houston Texans: Running back Ben Tate has not had a catch for more than 10 yards. Every other player with at least 20 catches — regardless of position —  has at least four catches of more than 10 yards.

Indianapolis Colts: Over the first six games of the season, Darrius Heyward-Bey had 14 catches compared to just two drops. Over his last seven games he has 15 catches and seven drops. That is a drop rate of 31.8% which is the worst for those with 15 catchable passes since Week 7.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Just 47.5% of the Jaguars receiving yards have come from their top two receivers of Cecil Shorts and Ace Sanders. That is the second-lowest percentage in the league. The league average is 60.0%.

Tennessee Titans: Running back Chris Johnson has 53 routes run either in the slot or out wide which is eighth-most for all running backs. On those routes, he has just one catch for five yards.

AFC West

Denver Broncos: Receiver Demaryius Thomas has had a defender line up in press coverage against him on 48.5% of snaps which is the most in the league. When Thomas hasn’t had a defender in press coverage he has 54 catches for 832 yards and nine touchdowns. When he has, he’s logged 35 catches for 534 yards and three touchdowns.

Kansas City Chiefs: Over the first six games of the season, Dwayne Bowe had 20 catches and no drops. Over the last nine games he has had 37 catches and nine drops. Those nine drops are tied for the most since Week 7.

Oakland Raiders: Marcel Reece is the only player in the league with over 100 routes run from the backfield, more than 100 routes run out wide or in the slot, and more than 20 routes run from an in-line tight end position.

San Diego Chargers: Tight end Ladarius Green has 85 routes run in the slot or out wide compared to 50 routes run as an in-line tight end. When lining up in-line he has 11 catches for 257 yards and a touchdown. His 5.14 YPRR is by far the most for tight ends when in the line.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys: Receiver Dez Bryant is one of two receivers with three games with 140 or more yards as well as three games with multiple touchdowns. The only other receiver is Calvin Johnson.

New York Giants: Receiver Victor Cruz has 10 catches for 133 yards on comeback routes, both of which lead the league.

Philadelphia Eagles: Of Brent Celek’s 29 catches, 11 have gone for 24 or more yards for a rate of 37.9% which is second-best in the league. Third on the leaderboard is Riley Cooper at 27.3%.

Washington Redskins: Receiver Pierre Garcon has 2.68 Yards Per Route Run when there is not a defender lined up in press coverage against him. When there is a defender lined up in press coverage against him, his YPRR is just 1.24. The difference of 1.44 is the largest in the league.

NFC North

Chicago Bears: All of Alshon Jeffery’s 86 catches have gone for three or more yards. There are only two other receivers with more than 40 catches that can say the same, and both have fewer catches than Jeffery.

Detroit Lions: Receiver Calvin Johnson has been the king of both post routes and slant routes. He has 14 catches for 412 yards and three touchdowns on post routes. That is over 100 yards more than any other receiver. He also has 23 catches for 397 yards and three touchdowns on slant routes, which is over 160 yards more than any other receiver.

Green Bay Packers: Receiver Jordy Nelson has 13 catches for 436 yards and two touchdowns on go routes. His yardage total on go routes is the most in the league.

Minnesota Vikings: Receiver Cordarrelle Patterson has 19 catches for 179 yards and one touchdown on passes that have been thrown behind the line of scrimmage. That is over 40% of his total catches and yards coming on passes thrown behind the line of scrimmage.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons: When Tony Gonzalez lines up in the slot or out wide, he has 74 catches for 797 yards and seven touchdowns for 1.52 Yards Per Route Run. He has only run 71 pass routes as an in-line tight end, and he has just seven catches for 30 yards and a touchdown. His YPRR as an in line tight end is 0.42.

Carolina Panthers: Of 47 qualifying running backs, nine have one or fewer drops. The Panthers own two of them in Mike Tolbert with no drops and DeAngelo Williams with one.

New Orleans Saints: Tight end Jimmy Graham has five multiple touchdown games this year, and is the only player regardless of position to do so. He is also the only tight end with more than two multi-touchdown games.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Buccaneers have only two players with 30 or more catches (Vincent Jackson and Tim Wright); the fewest in the league. The average for a team is 4.5.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals: Receiver Michael Floyd has seen 44 of his 59 catches go for 10 or more yards, which is the highest rate in the league for those with at least 35 catches.

St. Louis Rams: The Rams are one of just two teams without a receiver with more than 50 catches.

San Francisco 49ers: Tight end Vernon Davis has six touchdowns from corner routes. No other receiver regardless of position has more than six catches on corner routes.

Seattle Seahawks: Receiver Golden Tate has had an average of 0.29 players miss tackles on him per catch, which is the most in the league.


Follow Nathan on Twitter: @PFF_NateJahnke

| Director of Analytics

Nathan has been with Pro Football Focus since 2010. He is the Director of Analytics, an NFL analyst, and a fantasy writer.

  • LightsOut85

    Would LOVE to get route-breakdowns for receivers in the premium section. There’s not really a way to determine who the most elusive receiver is, like there is RB. They can catch the ball in the endzone – ie: no MT or YAC, not all routes are even capable of a MT/YAC (or good YAC) (like a tip-toe catch falling out of bounds).

    Maybe MT/rec ends up being close enough (to “real MT%”, where certain types of catches are removed), but you can’t be sure. You can look at just the YAC of shorter passes (to eliminate deep passes where they were already past any defender when catching the ball)….but there’s still too many variables (play-by-play YAC would help, but the NFL could do that in their official play-by-play).

    If routes-run are already being kept, that would be the easiest way to compare apples to apples for receivers – see who’s the best on screens or slants (etc), while not looking at things like hooks/come-backs where it’s often catch-&-be-tackled.