Will Calvin Johnson Break Jerry Rice’s Career Receiving Yards Record?

August 14, 2014 Receiving

Over the last three seasons, Calvin Johnson has caught 5,137 yards of passes. That’s an incredible amount, and the most by a player over any three-year span in NFL history. That stat by itself isn’t proof of Johnson’s greatness – after all, Detroit has thrown 2,040 passes over the last three years, also the most […]

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James Lofton is the Yards Per Catch King

July 27, 2014 Receiving

Yesterday, we looked at which quarterbacks were the best at yards per completion after adjusting for league average. Today, we’ll do the same thing for wide receivers and yards per completion. A small tweak is necessary to the formula. You can skip down to the results section if you don’t care about the math, but […]

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The Top Quarterbacks And The Receivers They Threw It To

July 22, 2014 Receiving

Last week, I looked at the top receivers and the quarterbacks who threw it to them. Today, we flip that question around and look at which receivers the top quarterbacks threw to. I used the exact same methodology from the previous post, so please read that for the fine details. For Peyton Manning, 20% of […]

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Yards per Route Run, Yards per Target, and Targets per Route Run

July 21, 2014 Receiving

Yards per Route Run, a metric tabulated by Pro Football Focus, is one of my favorite statistics to use to examine wide receiver performance.  To me, it’s the wide receiver version of yards per pass, as it takes production and divides that by opportunity.  However, there are some folks who prefer Yards per Target to […]

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The Top Receivers And The Men Who Threw It To Them II

July 14, 2014 Quarterbacks

One of my first posts at Football Perspective was one of my favorites: the top receivers and the men who threw it to them. I like referencing that post from time to time, so I decided to update the numbers through the 2013 season. I looked at all regular season games since 19601, and calculated […]

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Joint Post: Talking Wide Receiver Size With Matt Waldman

June 12, 2014 Draft

Friend-of-the-program Matt Waldman had some thoughts on the topic of wide receiver size, and then asked if I could contribute with some data. Matt posted our joint effort on his Matt’s site, but I’m reproducing it below for the Football Perspective readers. On twitter, some asked if I could do a separate study on wide […]

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Yards per Target Relative to Teammates

June 4, 2014 Receiving

Josh Gordon led the league with 1,646 receiving yards last year. That’s impressive: perhaps even more impressive is that he did it on “only” 159 targets, meaning he averaged 10.35 yards per target.1 But the most impressive part, of course, was that he did it for the Browns. You know, the Browns, quarterbacked by a […]

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Analyzing the leaders in targets in 2013

June 2, 2014 Receiving

Comparing wide receivers across teams is tricky. Pierre Garcon led the NFL in targets,1 but that’s partially because Washington didn’t have much help at wide receiver.2 Vincent Jackson was 2nd in percentage of team targets (we’ll get to who was first in a few minutes) for a similar reason: Jackson is a very good receiver, […]

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Trivia: Receiving Yards per Game Over a Three-Year Period

June 1, 2014 Receiving

Over the last three years, Calvin Johnson has 5,137 receiving yards in 46 games.  That’s an average of 111.7 receiving yards per game, the most by any player over a three-year stretch in NFL history.  That mark comes with a bit of an asterisk, of course, as the Lions have attempted 2,040 passes since the […]

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How to Project Receiving Yards in 2014 (FBG)

May 24, 2014 Fantasy

Last year, at Footballguys.com, I looked at the best starting point for wide receiver projections. Well, I’ve re-run the numbers and come up with the best starting point for wide receiver projections in 2014. The general philosophy is that receiving yards can be re-written using the following formula: Receiving yards = (Receiving Yards/Target) x (Targets/Team_Pass_Att) […]

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Turnover Among Targets, Part II

April 27, 2014 History

Yesterday, I looked at team turnover in the passing game for every team in 2013. You can review the pretty complicated1 formula in that post, but the short version is to give each player credit for the lower of two values: his percentage of team receiving yards in Year N and his percentage of team […]

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Turnover Among Targets, Part I

April 26, 2014 History

The Carolina Panthers have experienced a lot of turnover this offseason. Steve Smith (Baltimore), Ted Ginn (Arizona), Domenik Hixon (Chicago), and Brandon LaFell (New England) are all gone. Those four players were the only wide receivers to catch a pass for Carolina in 2013, and they accounted for 59% of the Panthers receiving yards. last […]

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Youngest and Oldest Receiving Groups in 2013

April 17, 2014 Receiving

In January, I calculated the AV-adjusted age of every team in 2013. In February, I looked at the production-adjusted height for each team’s receivers. Today, we combine those two ideas, and see which teams had the youngest and oldest set of targets. To calculate the average receiving age of each team, I calculated a weighted […]

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Wide Receivers and Weighted Team Pass Attempts

April 10, 2014 Receiving

In his seven-year career, Calvin Johnson has already recorded 9,328 receiving yards. And for those curious about these sorts of things, he’s the career leader in receiving yards per game at 88.0, too. But Johnson has also benefited greatly from playing on teams that have thrown a weighted average of 635 pass attempts per season. […]

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How will DeSean Jackson age?

March 25, 2014 History

If you believe the rumors, the Eagles are desperately trying to trade wide receiver DeSean Jackson; absent an eligible suitor, and Philadelphia may even cut the three-time Pro Bowler. This is a pretty weird situation; what’s even weirder is how few tangible reasons have been given as to why the Eagles desire to remove him […]

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Which Quarterbacks Produced Peak Years For Their Receivers?

March 23, 2014 History

Some quarterbacks and wide receivers just go together. Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison. Dan Marino and Mark Clayton and Mark Duper. Joe Namath and Don Maynard. John Hadl and Lance Alworth. But quarterbacks play with lots of receivers, and receivers generally play with several quarterbacks. We don’t remember most combinations, but that doesn’t mean they […]

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Meaningless receiving yards

March 21, 2014 Receiving

Which player led the league in meaningless receiving yards last year? Wait, what are meaningless receiving yards? I am defining a meaningless receiving yard as one where: On third or fourth down, a player gained fewer yards than necessary for the first down. The receiving yard(s) came in a loss and when the player’s team […]

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Homer Jones Is the Leader in Average Length of Receiving Touchdown

March 16, 2014 History

In November, I noted that Chris Johnson was the career leader in average length of rushing touchdown. Since then, he’s actually dropped to number two, as his six rushing touchdowns covered “only” 84 yards in November and December. But what about the career leader in average length of receiving touchdown? That title belongs to former […]

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How Have Previous Eric Deckers Fared?

March 13, 2014 Receiving

Just a few minutes before press time, the Jets signed Eric Decker, generally considered the best wide receiver available in free agency. But for weeks, the #hotsportstake on Eric Decker has been pretty clear: he’s a product of playing with Peyton Manning and alongside Demaryius Thomas (and Wes Welker and Julius Thomas). It would take […]

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Antonio Brown led the NFL in True Receiving Yards in 2013

February 24, 2014 Receiving

Wide receiver is a notoriously difficult position to analyze using statistics. Era adjustments are arguably more important here than at any other position, but even within the same season it is not easy to compare wide receivers. Most people, myself included, would probably say that Josh Gordon or Calvin Johnson was the best wide receiver […]

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Tallest and Shortest Wide Receiver Groups Since 1950

February 8, 2014 Receiving

Yesterday, I looked at the average height of the receivers of each team in the NFL in 2013. Today, we’ll use the same method but look at every NFL team since 1950. As it turns out, the 2013 Bears rank as one of the third tallest group of receivers in history. The only thing Chicago […]

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Which Teams Have the Tallest and Shortest Targets?

February 7, 2014 Receiving

In Marc Trestman’s first year as head coach, the Chicago Bears quickly turned into one of the most explosive offenses in football. Even after losing Jay Cutler, backup quarterback Josh McCown came in and seamlessly executed Trestman’s offense. Chicago ranked in the top 5 in passing yards, passing touchdowns, net yards per pass attempt and […]

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Marvin Harrison Should Be A First-Ballot Hall of Famer

January 14, 2014 HOF

In a couple of weeks, the newest class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be announced. Only five modern-era wide receivers have been selected enshrinement on their first ballot: Jerry Rice, Paul Warfield, Steve Largent, Raymond Berry, and Lance Alworth. This year, in his first year of eligibility, Marvin Harrison is one of […]

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Josh Gordon sets two-game receiving record

December 1, 2013 Checkdowns

Cleveland’s Josh Gordon caught 14 passes for 237 yards and a touchdown against the Steelers last week. Against the Jaguars this afternoon, Gordon caught 10 passes for 261 yards and two scores. In the process, he became the first player to ever record back-to-back 200+ yard receiving games, and set an NFL record with 498 […]

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Tavon Austin’s Record Setting Day

November 10, 2013 History

The Tavon Austin breakout game is here. First, the #8 pick in the 2013 draft returned a punt off a bounce 98 yards for a second quarter touchdown. A few minutes later, Kellen Clemens hit him for a 57-yard touchdown pass. With St. Louis up 28-0 in the third quarter, Austin caught an 81-yard touchdown. […]

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Calvin Johnson And Getting Tackled At the One

November 2, 2013 Receiving

In the last two years, Calvin Johnson has been tackled at the one yard line an incredible seven times. Ronnie Brown is the only other player to record such a dubious feat even four such times since 2012, and Eric Decker, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez are the only other players to get tackled on […]

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Was Calvin Johnson’s 329-yard Game The Best Ever By a WR?

October 29, 2013 Receiving

On Sunday, Calvin Johnson picked up 329 receiving yards against the Cowboys, the second most receiving yards in a single game after Flipper Anderson’s 336 yards in 1989 against the Saints. But when I think of the greatest games by a receiver of all time, my mind instantly goes to a performance by Kansas City’s […]

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Receiving WOWY Extended Back to 1950

September 24, 2013 Data Dump

Last week, we announced that our True Receiving Yards metric has now been calculated back to 1950, so it’s only fitting that we also compute WOWY (With Or Without You) for all of those receivers as well. Skip the paragraph after this if you don’t care about the gory mathematical details, and just know that […]

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The Most Inexperienced/Least Accomplished Receiving Corps Ever

September 21, 2013 Data Dump

As Jason Lisk and I wrote about before the season, Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger have become something of the poster children so far this year when it comes to veteran QBs working with inexperienced and otherwise less-than-notable receiving groups. And, lo and behold, each has put up career-low RANY/A marks through 2 games. But […]

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True Receiving Yards (v2.0) Extended Back to 1950

September 19, 2013 Checkdowns

About a month ago, Chase & I developed a stat called True Receiving Yards, which seeks to put all modern & historical receiving seasons on equal footing by adjusting for the league’s passing YPG environment & schedule length, plus the amount the player’s team passed (it’s easier to produce raw receiving stats on a team […]

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