Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Which NFC West teams had no drops
By Mike Sando
The Seattle Seahawks had multiple chances to make the winning touchdown catch against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1.
Failing to make catches isn't the same as dropping passes, however. Seattle was one of six NFL teams, and the only one from the NFC West, to make it through opening week without what ESPN Stats & Information defines as drops: "passes the receiver should have caught with ordinary effort, and only when the receiver is 100 percent at fault."
NFC West teams suffered two drops by this standard. San Francisco 49ers tight end Delanie Walker suffered one of them. Arizona Cardinals receiver Andre Roberts suffered the other one. The Seahawks and St. Louis Rams had none.
@seehawk80 pointed me in the direction of Brian Nemhauser's piece suggesting Seahawks receivers were getting a "raw deal" by fans suggesting dropped passes doomed Seattle against Arizona.
Some of this is semantics. Coaches will sometimes define a drop as any pass touching a player's hand or hands. That's a high standard and one players should try to meet.
In the Seahawks' case, Doug Baldwin had an opportunity to make what would have been an outstanding diving catch for a touchdown. He did not drop the ball.
Braylon Edwards also had an opportunity in the end zone. In his case, cornerback William Gay successfully walked the line between aggressive play and pass interference, disrupting Edwards just enough to prevent the receiver from extending comfortably for the ball. Was it a drop? Not really. Was it a play a top receiver should make most of the time? Probably.
By ESPN's count, the Detroit Lions, Houston Texans and New York Giants each suffered from a league-high four drops in Week 1.
Chicago, Jacksonville and Kansas City had three apiece. Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Carolina, Baltimore, Buffalo, Seattle and St. Louis had none.
The Rams had 32 last season, third-most in the NFL behind Cleveland (33) and the Giants (33). The 49ers had 27 and the Seahawks had 24. Houston had a league-low 14 drops.