- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The raves about Marcus Mariota ’s accuracy throughout offseason work left me thinking the team’s yards-after-catch ranking should skyrocket.
Better accuracy should put players in better spots to turn upfield after they get the ball, after all.
Per Evan Kaplan of ESPN Stats & Information, the Titans had 1,611 yards after the catch last season, which was 24th in the league.
Washington had the most with 2,481 yards and its cumulative completion percentage was .665, much better than the Titans’ .583.
“If you have an accurate quarterback, it allows us to get more yards after that catch,” said Harry Douglas, the receiver who moved from Atlanta to Tennessee as a free agent and classified Mariota as having “unbelievable accuracy.”
“And that’s one thing that makes a receiver dynamic -- first being able to catch the ball and then being able to do some things with it after you catch it. I feel like [to this point] Marcus has done everything he needs to do to get the ball to his receivers.”
But completion percentage and YAC don’t necessarily correlate, which punches a hole into that theory.
Only two teams ranked in the top five in both categories the NFL last year.
The Steelers had a very good offense last year, ranking second overall, second in passing and 16th in rushing. Pittsburgh was a good third-down team with a 44.7-percent conversion rate. The Steelers averaged 27.3 points a game.
But the other team that was good at both completion percentage and YAC was not a good offense.
Washington ranked 13th in offense, 11th in passing and 19th in rushing. It converted third downs at a 31.5-percent rate and averaged only 18.8 points a game.
The Titans would certainly like a better completion percentage and more yards after the catch.
Context from last year suggests those won’t be the factors that key an improvement in offense (29th last year), third down conversions (30.1 percent) or points (15.9).