Targeting Smith, other NFC South receivers

October, 29, 2009
10/29/09
3:00
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas

Steve Smith may feel like he’s no longer an asset to the Carolina Panthers. But the numbers show the Panthers are trying to get him the ball.

ESPN’s Stats & Information just sent out a large packet of statistics related to how often wide receivers have been targeted and there’s a lot of interesting stuff on the NFC South.

Smith still is one of the league’s most targeted receivers. He’s been targeted 55 times. Only seven receivers have been targeted more than him.

Most targeted WRs through Week 7
Player Team Targets
Andre Johnson Texans 67
Randy Moss Patriots 67
Steve Smith Giants 64
Chad Ochocinco Bengals 63
Larry Fitzgerald Cardinals 62
Wes Welker Patriots 61
Reggie Wayne Colts 57
Hines Ward Steelers 55
Santonio Holmes Steelers 55
Steve Smith Panthers 55


Smith also is one of the most targeted receivers on deep balls (passes of more than 20 yards), although he’s caught only three of those.
Most targeted WRs passes of 20+ yards
Player Team Targets Receptions Yards TD
Ted Ginn Dolphins 13 2 74 1
Vincent Jackson Chargers 12 6 254 1
Donald Driver Packers 12 5 156 1
Steve Smith Panthers 12 3 98 0
Mohamed Massaquoi Browns 12 4 126 0
Terrell Owens Bills 12 2 82 1


We’ll move away from the Panthers now and on to New Orleans receiver Marques Colston, who has been productive on deep balls and in the red zone. First, here’s where Colston stands among league leaders in deep passes.
Best catch percentage on passes of 20+ yards, minimum 5 targets
Player Team Targets Receptions TD Catch%
Marques Colston Saints 6 4 1 67
Jabar Gaffney Broncos 6 4 0 67
Steve Smith Giants 10 6 1 60
Torry Holt Jaguars 5 3 0 60
Miles Austin Cowboys 7 4 2 57
Earl Bennett Bears 7 4 0 57


Next, we move to some red zone numbers, where Colston has been very productive.
Most targeted WR in red zone, 2009 season
Player Targets Receptions Catch%
Larry Fitzgerald 11 5 45
Chad Ochocinco 9 6 67
Randy Moss 9 4 44
Marques Colston 8 6 75
Wes Welker 8 5 63
Nate Washington 8 7 88
Austin Collie 8 5 63
Calvin Johnson 8 2 25

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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