NFC South: targets

Atlanta's Roddy White stays perfect

October, 13, 2010
10/13/10
9:29
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Atlanta’s Roddy White continues to be a perfect wide receiver.

UPDATED: According to ESPN Stats & Information, White is one of 19 receivers in the league with a perfect catch percentage (this includes only receivers who have at least 10 catches). White hasn’t dropped a pass while coming up with 37 catches. He also ranks third in the league after being targeted 56 times.

New Orleans’ Lance Moore also has 100 percent catch percentage on his 15 receptions. Teammate Marques Colston is No. 22 at 96.2 percent. Some other NFC South receivers of interest: Tampa Bay’s Mike Williams (90.5 percent), Carolina’s Steve Smith (86.7 percent) and New Orleans’ Devery Henderson (85 percent).

Check out Meachem's best stat

December, 9, 2009
12/09/09
9:00
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New Orleans wide receiver Robert Meachem has been getting a lot of attention recently because he’s having a breakout season. But let me throw out a statistic that really jumped out me about how good Meachem has been.

This comes from ESPN’s Stats & Information. Out of 109 receivers charted by our stats people, Meachem ranks No. 6 in the league with a 76.3 catch percentage. What that means is Meachem has been targeted 38 times and has 29 catches. He also doesn’t have a drop this season.

That’s by far the best catch percentage in the NFC South. Here’s a list of the NFC South receivers on that list:

NFC South TEs are popular targets

November, 18, 2009
11/18/09
4:15
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We talked a lot in the preseason about how tight end had become such a prominent position in the NFC South. We’re a little past the halfway point and the numbers are backing up that theory. And we thank ESPN's Stats & Information for passing along the following information.

First off, Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez and Tampa Bay’s Kellen Winslow rank fourth and fifth in the league in targets among tight ends. Here’s a look at the league leaders:


For the record, New Orleans’ Jeremy Shockey isn’t far off. He ranks No. 13 in targets with 50 and has 37 catches for 444 yards. Carolina is the one NFC South team that doesn’t have a strong pass-catching presence at tight end. Dante Rosario leads Carolina’s tight ends with 21 targets.

In another category, Winslow is fast becoming a clutch player. He wasn’t even on the list for fourth quarter and overtime targets last week, but rookie quarterback Josh Freeman suddenly is looking to Winslow as a go-to guy.

Posted by ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas

Some interesting numbers from ESPN Stats & Information on targets.

I like to think of the Saints as having the deepest group of receivers in the NFL and I still think that, but this number made me think a little bit. In the grand scheme of things, the Saints don’t rely very heavily on their wide receivers. In fact, they rank third in the NFL in smallest percentage of throws to their wide receivers.

Fewest throws to wide receivers (as percentage of team total)
Team Total To WR Pct.
49ers 241 109 45.2
Raiders 195 98 50.3
Saints 263 133 50.6
Buccaneers 262 133 50.8
Lions 277 142 51.3
Eagles 257 134 52.1
Chargers 264 139 52.7

Part of the reason the Saints don’t use their wide receivers too much is because they get their running backs and tight end Jeremy Shockey so heavily involved in the passing game. A lot of people talk about how New Orleans running back Reggie Bush has disappeared this year. That’s not necessarily true. Among running backs, Bush is one of the most targeted.
Most-Targeted Backs
Player Team Target Rec. Yds Avg. TD
Ray Rice BAL 56 46 436 9.5 1
Tim Hightower ARI 52 40 307 7.7 0
Maurice Jones-Drew JAC 44 30 198 6.6 0
Reggie Bush NO 43 27 192 7.1 0
Joseph Addai IND 41 34 209 6.1 2
Steve Slaton HOU 39 32 326 10.2 3
Steven Jackson STL 37 24 186 7.8 0
Matt Forte CHI 36 30 259 8.6 0
Kevin Smith DET 34 26 207 8.0 0
Chester Taylor MIN 33 24 209 8.7 0

Targeting the WRs

November, 4, 2009
11/04/09
4:37
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Posted by ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas

Steve Smith is the league leader in being targeted by quarterbacks. Problem is, it’s the wrong Steve Smith.

The one who is tied for the league lead with 77 targets plays for the New York Giants. The one with the Carolina Panthers has been somewhat forgotten. Carolina’s Smith, who has been the victim of inconsistency just about everywhere else on offense, hasn’t been targeted nearly as much as he usually is. But he still ranks among the league leaders. Carolina’s Smith has been targeted 62 times.

That ranks him second among NFC South receivers. Atlanta’s Roddy White has been targeted 64 times. Here’s a look at the league leaders in targets:

NFL Leaders in Targets
Player Targets Rec. Yds. Avg. TD.
Steve Smith (NYG) 77 53 662 12.5 4
Andre Johnson 77 44 697 15.8 4
Reggie Wayne 77 51 689 13.5 6
Larry Fitzgerald 72 47 509 10.8 5
Randy Moss 67 43 565 13.1 4
Nate Burleson 65 38 487 12.8 3
Roddy White 64 37 543 14.7 6
Chad Ochocinco 63 39 573 14.7 5
Steve Smith (CAR) 62 30 414 13.8 1
Wes Welker 61 46 484 10.5 4

Now, I’m going to share a chart that doesn’t list any NFC South players, but I think it still is significant. This is the list of league leaders in dropped passes. Several thoughts here:

Kudos to New Orleans’ Devery Henderson, who has put his early-career drops way behind him. Next, it should be noted that drops are not an official NFL stat. These are determined by ESPN Stats & Information, after the breakdown of tape. Looks like -- like a lot of people -- they haven’t been watching Tampa Bay’s games because I could swear Michael Clayton and Antonio Bryant have combined for about 47 drops.

Drops Among NFL Receivers
Player Targets Rec. Yds. Avg. TD Drops
Terrell Owens 50 23 281 12.2 1 9
Dwayne Bowe 43 23 301 13.1 4 7
Mario Manningham 52 28 439 15.7 4 6
Santonio Holmes 55 30 497 16.6 1 6
Derrick Mason 52 30 421 14.0 4 5
Bryant Johnson 46 18 241 13.4 1 5
Louis Murphy 47 16 232 14.5 1 5
Ted Ginn 40 18 211 11.7 1 5
Bobby Wade 37 20 226 11.3 2 5
Chris Chambers 31 9 122 13.6 1 5
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

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