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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WOWY: Which Receivers Elevate Their Quarterbacks the Most?

September 5, 2013 G.O.A.T.

In 1998, 21-year-old Randy Moss made a stunning NFL debut, racking up 17 touchdowns and 1,260 True Receiving Yards, the 2nd-best total in football that season. The Vikings’ primary quarterback that year, Randall Cunningham, was a former Pro Bowler and MVP, but all that seemed like a lifetime ago before the ’98 season. He’d been […]

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Ben Roethlisberger and Receiving-Corps Quality

August 28, 2013 History

While the state of the Steelers’ receiving corps isn’t as shaky as say, that of the New England Patriots, it could certainly be called an area of potential concern for Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh offense going into 2013. One of the biggest moves on the first day of free agency involved Mike Wallace departing […]

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True Receiving Yards, Version 2.0 – Career Rankings

August 19, 2013 Receiving

On Thursday, Neil and I introduced you to the concept of True Receiving Yards. That’s required background reading, but in a nutshell, True Receiving Yards is designed to place all receivers since 1970 into the same environment. It starts with receiving yards, but gives a bonus for receptions and touchdowns, adjusts for how frequently a […]

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Single-season Leaders in Receiving Yards per Team Pass Attempt

August 11, 2013 Receiving

When I wrote my ode to Steve Smith earlier this week, I discovered an incredible stat. In 2008, Smith played in 14 games and gained 1,421 receiving yards. But the more incredible part is that the Panthers passed only 352 times in 2008, meaning Smith averaged an absurd 4.04 yards per team pass attempt. At […]

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The Biggest Fluke Fantasy Seasons Ever (Part II)

August 10, 2013 Fantasy

Yesterday, I set up a method for ranking the flukiest fantasy football seasons since the NFL-AFL merger, finding players who had elite fantasy seasons that were completely out of step with the rest of their careers. I highlighted fluke years #21-30, so here’s a recap of the rankings thus far: 30. Lorenzo White, 1992 29. […]

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The Steve Smith Post

August 7, 2013 Random Perspective On

Over the last decade, Carolina’s Steve Smith has been one of the best receivers in the NFL. He’s also been the most under-appreciated. Let’s stroll down memory lane: As a rookie, Smith was a first-team All-Pro returner but caught only ten passes. In his second year, he caught 54 passes for 872 yards and three […]

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Is Wes Welker the Most PPR Receiver Ever?

August 1, 2013 Fantasy

If you don’t play fantasy football, you probably have no idea what this title means. Of course, it’s 2013, so if you don’t play fantasy football, you’re now the oddball. “PPR” stands for points per reception. About half of all fantasy leagues do not give any points for receptions, while the other half includes some […]

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Julio Jones and Roddy White star in Stealing The Torch

July 31, 2013 Coaches

Randy Moss and Cris Carter. Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce. Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison. From time to time, a franchise with a star wide receiver manages to draft another one. At that point, we just wait and see how long it takes the young pup to steal the spotlight. Everyone succumbs to age, and […]

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Wes Welker and playing with two HOF QBs

July 13, 2013 Passing

Last summer, I wrote a post on the percentage of each player’s receiver yards that came from each quarterback. Aaron Schatz asked the following trivia question yesterday that made me think of that old post. Wes Welker will become the fourth player to catch passes from both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Can you name […]

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Can Kenny Britt become the next great wide receiver?

July 9, 2013 Random Perspective On

Kenny Britt’s story is hardly a secret. As a freshman at Rutgers in 2006, his 64-yard catch turned the tide in the biggest win in school history. The next year, he was part of a dynamic offense: Ray Rice rushed for 2,012 yards, Tiquan Underwood caught 65 passes for 1100 yards and 7 touchdowns, and […]

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Franchises Nemeses: Receiving Stats

July 5, 2013 Receiving

On Wednesday, I looked at the players who threw for the most yards and touchdowns against each franchise. Yesterday, I did the same with rushing statistics. Today we will close out the series with a look at the key receiving stats. Let’s again start with some trivia. Which player has the most career receptions against […]

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Another way to examine the best wide receiver seasons ever

June 28, 2013 Receiving

We don’t rank quarterbacks by passing yards because “passing yards” is largely a function of pass attempts. The same is true for receiving yards, as the number of times a team passes the ball has a big impact on a receiver’s yardage total. I’ve spent some time this year looking at ways to rank wide […]

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