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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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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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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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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How Many Extra Receiving Yards Should Come on Extra Passes?

August 18, 2013 Thought Experiments

On Thursday, Neil and I introduced you to the concept of True Receiving Yards. True Receiving Yards is designed to place every receiver into the same environment. TRY starts with receiving yards, but gives a bonus for receptions and touchdowns, adjusts for how frequently a player’s team passes, adjusts for the league passing environment, and […]

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True Receiving Yards, Part I

August 15, 2013 Statgeekery

As you guys know, Neil Paine is the man. Here’s the latest reason: he came up with a metric called True Receiving Yards, the latest in a long line of thoughts in our Wide Receiver Project. So, what are True Receiving Yards? We start with Adjusted Catch Yards, defined as 5 * Receptions + Receiving […]

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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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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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Ranking wide receivers by percentage of team yards

May 25, 2013 Receiving

Seven years ago, Doug wrote this post analyzing wide receivers by team receiving yards. That post was overdue for an update for three reasons: (1) it was written seven years ago; (2) Doug only went back to 1978, while we now can go back to 1932; and (3) I think using Adjusted Catch Yards (which […]

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Examining Paul Warfield’s career

March 12, 2013 Receiving

Paul Warfield has been confounding stat heads for years. Warfield was a rare first-ballot Hall of Fame wide receiver and one of the most athletic and talented wide receivers in history. However, his statistics look downright unimpressive to the modern eye. That’s not too surprising, though, since he played the prime of his career in […]

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Career Receiving Numbers Translated to the 2012 Passing Environment

March 6, 2013 Receiving

I’ve written several posts about how to grade wide receivers and did a three-part series on one ranking system two weeks ago. Grading wide receivers requires one to adjust for era, but there are many different ways to do that. Calvin Johnson caught 122 passes last year for 1,964 yards and five touchdowns. In 1973, […]

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The Greatest Wide Receivers Ever Version 2.0: Part III – Career Rankings

February 20, 2013 G.O.A.T.

On Monday, I explained my methodology for ranking every wide receiver in football history, and yesterday, I presented a list of the best single seasons of all time. Today the career list of the top 150 wide receivers. As usual, I implemented a 100/95/90 formula, giving a player credit for 100% of his production in […]

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The Greatest Wide Receivers Ever Version 2.0: Part II – Single season leaders

February 19, 2013 G.O.A.T.

Yesterday, I explained my methodology for ranking every wide receiver in football history. Today I’m going to present a list of single-season leaders, which presents some problems. I think the method I described yesterday does a good job adjusting for era, as receivers are only given credit for their yards above the baseline, which is […]

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The Greatest Wide Receivers Ever Version 2.0: Part I – Methodology

February 18, 2013 G.O.A.T.

Regular readers know that one of my projects this off-season is to come up with a better way to grade wide receivers. I first attempted to rank every wide receiver four years ago. That study, which I will reproduce this week, has some positives and negatives. My goal is to eventually come up with four […]

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The predictive value of target data, part II

February 15, 2013 Fantasy

On Monday, I argued that target data has some predictive value. I wanted to update that post with a few observations. Wide Receiver Targets In the original post, I looked at year-to-year data for all players with at least 500 receiving yards in Year N and at least 8 games played for the same team […]

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Analyzing the leaders in targets in 2012

February 12, 2013 Receiving

Reggie Wayne led the NFL in targets last year, but that’s a little misleading since the Colts ranked 6th in pass attempts. As a percentage of team targets, Wayne ranked second in the league, but he was a distant number two to Brandon Marshall, who saw two out of every five Bears passes in 2013. […]

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The predictive value of target data

February 11, 2013 Passing

In 2007, Doug Drinen and I wrote a pair of articles discussing our views on targets. I’m working on a wide receiver project this off-season, and a complete discussion of receiving statistics includes a discussion of targets. Let me start with the prevailing few: targets are important, and if two receivers have the same production […]

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Trivia: Single-season Leaders in Yards per Target

February 10, 2013 Checkdowns

San Diego’s Danario Alexander caught 37 passes for 658 yards and 7 touchdowns in 10 games last year. Those might not look like great numbers, but when Philip Rivers looked his way, Alexander tended to produce. Alexander only saw 62 targets last season, but led the league with a 10.6 yards-per-target average (minimum 50 targets). […]

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Which team had a better passing offense in 2012: Houston or Detroit?

February 6, 2013 Receiving

The off-season is here. But Football Perspective isn’t going anywhere. I prefer off-season writing to in-season writing, as football theory and history is more compelling to me than figuring out whether to rank the Lions ahead of the Bills. At the old Pro-Football-Reference Blog, we did some of our best work in the off-season, and […]

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