A DK Metcalf bounce back YAC and the addition of Jaxon Smith-Njigba could extend Seattle's scoring: Seaside Joe 1601
I'm happy with 0 YAC, as long as they are past the sticks or in the end zone. It is not a stat I particularly care about. The end result of the play is it. If we are ahead of the chains, catching up to them, or going past them. Sign me up. Especially on 3rd down. THERE'S a stat I pay attention to... 3rd down conversion rate. Other than turnovers, it is the most (only?) important stat to me. If we don't have a 3rd down, and it's not because of a turnover, we get points. If we convert 3rd downs, we get points. BONUS: the defense gets to rest. Likewise, on defense... and I am championing this as THE MOST IMPORTANT area of improvement needed... we need to get off the field on 3rd downs at a better rate. If we do, we will win more games. Bottom line. That stat affects every other stat. Our defense stays fresh and plays better longer, gets more turnovers, allows fewer points. Our offense is in better field position, scores more points, their defense gets tired faster. We win more.
Maybe I am Pete Jr., but if we take care of the ball and convert 3rd downs on offense better; and, if we take away the ball and get off the field on 3rd down more, it is a winning recipe. The rest of the stats are cute, and all, but I don't care how it gets done, these things HAVE to improve.
YAC for the Seahawks has always been a bit of a head scratcher for me. I know some of it is elusiveness, speed, power, or whatever attributes the WR, RB, or TE bring to the table. Blocking factors in too I guess. Play design. QB delivering the ball in the right spot. I just don't think we're horrible at any of that. I wonder whether teams that are really good at the screen game are always at the top of the YAC rankings.
The lack of a dangerous 3rd WR has allowed opposing Ds to rotate coverage toward DK with little opportunity for him to catch passes in space.
With JSN in the mix opposing Ds will be forced to play DK more straight up, but it might take a couple of huge games by JSN for that to happen. He is more than capable!
Add a very dynamic RB room into the mix and I don’t see how this edition of the Seahawks offence is not the best we’ve seen since 2005.
I am trying not to set too high of expectations in regards a couple of these rookies, but JSN might be nasty right out of the gate. That Rose Bowl game against Utah was an all timer and showed what he could do when healthy. If you haven’t seen it, prepare to feel giddy about our new wr. Highlights: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qAtGUrmsGJg
I agree that scheme will definitely play a factor. As is evidenced by Shanahan’s / 49ers offense. They do a great job is getting whoever is receiving the ball in space with blockers. I imagine that the best screen teams typically lead the league in YAC. And we know the Seahawks suck at it.
Separation would seem to be the other key factor. Because if no one is close when you catch the ball you can run! (Mind blowing analysis to be sure).
This where I have hope that our offense will continue evolving / improving with timing routes that give our guys the opportunity to get the ball in stride with room to run. Once DK gets going he is hard to tackle. And Maybe JSN and Charbonnet help to open things up so.
It will be fun to watch!
I admit to being dubious about YAC as being a very useful descriptor. For one thing, it is a statistic, and my general skepticism thereof is (by now) well established.
If I understand it right, YAC is calculated simplistically: literally, the yards after the receiver snatches the ball until he is downed, falls, runs out of bounds, or scores. Ad absurdum, then, any receiver having every catch on the 1/1000 yard line isn't going to look very good in YAC. Same true for any receiver to whom every pass is through high & outside just inside the sideline.
The astute reader will, by now, have noticed that any form of "absurdum" is sort of a personal strength.
I found the 2020 "every catch" video for Mr. Metcalf (https://www.nfl.com/videos/every-dk-metcalf-catch-2020-season) and watched it like...four times. (Mostly because I had this other thing I was trying to figure out & had hit a wall, so I needed a distraction. That didn't work, yet.) My thought was to look at every catch & ask myself "what could have been done different in order to keep going". In a lot of cases (but not all), I had to conclude that very little could have been done after the catch. Mr. Metcalf was "in traffic" a lot (with little separation), or along the sidelines, or ran out of field length.
I was struck by the number of times Mr. Metcalf had to break stride, effectively discarding separation in order to catch the ball. I did not count the number of times, or calculate any statistics, consult my Ouija board, cast bones, or glue my crystal ball back together (again). It was just "annecdotal" evidence. It sure seemed like slight differences in ball placement would have increased his YAC.
Even more interesting, however, was a "PFF Data Study" from 2021 (https://www.pff.com/news/nfl-pff-data-study-yards-after-the-catch-determined-factors-before-the-catch). Bearing in mind that I don't focus on Pro Football, so have no real clue whether PFF can be trusted...it was the type of data-intensive study that attracts my attention. More or less, the conclusion was (to paraphrase, simplify, and otherwise confuscate) that YAC resulted from how the receivers were being used.
I think that isn't very different from the conclusions Ken arrived at, except I might have phrased it more like "the 'Hawks didn't place their receivers very well for YAC" or "Ol' Geno didn't select his targets very well for YAC". The downside to that is (I think) that if they don't fix that problem (which is at least as much scheme as personnel), the shiny new toy might not help much.
If you can scheme it, you can do it. The stats belong to the players, so I get the reasons for examining YACability this way, but this is a Waldron conundrum (a waldrundrum). JSN should help, but he's not the answer alone. Does anyone really believe that Kyle Shanahan couldn't figure out how to get the YAC out of our offensive personnel?
I think back to Steve Largent and it seems he was always past the sticks. Hoping JSN will be the same. May the 12s be with you and Go Seahawks!
Metcalf can take the top off a defense, but he’s not particularly shifty. I’d be interested in knowing how often he got what amounts to single coverage last year.