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Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Austin off the charts in YAC

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

I've spent the morning going over some numbers from ESPN's Stats & Information group. The yards after catch (YAC) totals caught me eye -- and it looks like the pride of Bergen (N.J.) County, N.J., Miles Austin, is climbing the charts. Of the players in the top 10, Chargers running back Darren Sproles and Austin have accomplished the most with the least amount of opportunities.

The folks in Stats & Information have Sproles with 19 catches for 268 yards after the catch and Austin with 21 for 225. Obviously, Austin's numbers are more impressive because he's catching the ball downfield and then escaping defenders. Sproles is a talented player, but he's often catching the ball on the run out of the backfield.

By comparison, it's taken Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker 46 catches to have 266 yards after the catch. As you might expect, four of the top five leaders in this category are running backs. Ray Rice and Steve Slaton rank first and second.

Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson checks in at No. 10 overall with 21 catches for 208 yards after the catch. Redskins tight end Chris Cooley (187) and Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (173) are also in the top 20 in YAC. That means that Nicks is in front of Falcons wideout Roddy White and Panthers All-Pro Steve Smith.

Lest you think that great YAC totals translate to wins, here are the top YAC teams in the league:

1. Raiders

2. Rams

3. Redskins

4. Seahawks