Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.

NFL playoff teams gain yards after catch

The San Francisco 49ers’ go-to forward pass travels about 15 feet in the air. It can be thrown by rookie quarterback Brock Purdy at targets like Deebo Samuel, Christian McCaffrey or George Kittle, who dodge, weave, sprint or roll through defenders to turn what looked like a meager 5-yard pass into a climax.

The 49ers have long been known for relying on short throws to fast but beefy receivers to maximize yards after catch, or YAC. The 49ers led the NFL in YAC by reception in 2019 (6.6), 2020 (6.2) and 2021 (6.5). They tied the Kansas City Chiefs and Carolina Panthers for the league lead with 6.6 YAC per reception in the 2022 regular season.

It’s true: Kansas City, while still an aerial circus, also relies heavily on yards after the catch to complete its offense. The same goes for the Philadelphia Eagles, who finished tied for fifth in the NFL with 5.8 YAC per reception. Even the Cincinnati Bengals, whose signature game remains a Joe Burrow moon throw at Ja’Marr Chase, finished tied for 11th in the league with 5.2 YAC per reception.

The four teams that reached their conference championship game relied as much or more on their point guards to generate passing distances as on the fastball throwing heroics of their quarterbacks. However, there is more than one way to run YAC.

The 49ers offense, originally built for lowly Jimmy Garoppolo, is almost customized to meet the needs of an inexperienced passer like Purdy.

Samuel is a receiver with the movement and power of a running back; McCaffrey a running back with the speed and hands of a receiver; and Kittle a tight end with the traits of a Marvel superhero. No defense is equipped to cover three receivers with such diverse skills, and coach Kyle Shanahan groups them together in unpredictable setups and then sends them into unexpected areas of the field looking for mismatches. Purdy plays more like a point guard than a quarterback, dishing out pennies and then watching drives and dunks.

Once Purdy’s pitches hit their targets, the juking and trucking begins. Broken and eluded tackles are an unofficial stat, but according to Sports Info Solutions, Samuel broke or fumbled 27 tackles while receiving, the NFL’s highest number among receivers, despite missing four games with injuries. McCaffrey broke or escaped 13 tackles after joining the 49ers via trade from the Panthers in October. 49ers deep threat Brandon Aiyuk added 16 broken or fumble tackles, while Kittle threw 12.

Thanks to all the evasive maneuvers, the 49ers’ typical completion traveled just 5.4 yards through the air, tied for the ninth-lowest figure in the league, but resulted in a gain of 12.0 yards. , the fifth highest average in the league.

Patrick Mahomes hardly needs practice wheels to make Kansas City’s offense work. When Kansas City traded All-Pro deep threat Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins before the season, however, Mahomes and the team switched to a shorter passing offense built around Travis Kelce, who led all tight ends. with 24 broken or evaded tackles in the regular season and caught 14 passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s 27-20 Divisional Round victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

On the rare occasions Kelce isn’t open, Mahomes often drops short lobs to running back Jerick McKinnon, whose 9.7 YAC per reception ranks third on NFL Kansas City game plans are also loaded. of shovel passes and other glorified transfers designed to deliver the ball to Kelce (5.9 YAC per reception) or speedsters like Kadarius Toney (7.3), who was acquired on a midfield deal -season with the Giants.

Mahomes sprained his right ankle against the Jaguars, limiting his mobility and his ability to plant his foot to throw down the field. He is set to face the Bengals in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday; if he can’t, backup Chad Henne (essentially an assistant coach wearing pads and a helmet) starts. Either way, Kansas City will likely lean heavily on their YAC game.

For pass-catchers like Samuel and Kelce, yards after catch usually involve weaving through rush-hour traffic. The Eagles’ AJ Brown, however, generates a lot of his YAC on quiet jogs into the end zone after torching a defender on a deep hold. Brown drove in for 152 yards after catching passes that traveled 20 yards through the air to reach him, the most in the league.

However, not all Eagles yards after the catch are on glorified victory laps. As the Giants learned of their 38-7 loss to the Eagles on Saturday, Philadelphia coach Nick Sirianni likes to scatter his receivers near the sideline so Jalen Hurts can throw quick screens immediately after the snap. By the time defenders sift through all the blocks and braids, tight end Dallas Goedert (7.6 YAC per reception) or receiver DeVonta Smith (5.2) could already be in the end zone.

A good down passing game can force the opposing defense to play on their heels, creating plenty of open space for catch-and-run opportunities in midfield. Kansas City and Philadelphia use those tactics effectively, but Cincinnati excels at punishing opponents who line up their safeties in the stadium parking lot to stop deep threats Chase, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins.

Bengals running backs Joe Mixon (7.8 YAC per reception) and Samaje Perine (8.4) often slip out of the backfield for short Burrow lobs when defenses are preoccupied elsewhere. Chase himself sometimes evades defenders after catching quick screens (16 broken or fumble tackles in just 12 games) or threatens them with what looks like a deep road, then turns to catch a short catch before wandering in the countryside as they stumble backwards. All of these short shots inevitably set opponents up for some deep haymaking.

A passing game built around quick throws neutralizes the opponent’s pass rush: bad news for the Eagles’ defense, which led the league with 70 sacks in the regular season and will be hoping to pressure Purdy into make mistakes. A YAC-focused offense also forces defenders to make tough open-field tackles, creating spelling problems for Kansas City, which missed 82 tackles in the regular season, tied for sixth in the NFL.

While the other remaining Super Bowl contenders have found success after the catch this year, Shanahan’s 49ers remain the experts at forcing tiny cornerbacks into a tangle with Samuel, forcing slow linebackers to chase McCaffrey and Kittle and s make sure other defenders are doing what they are not. very good at. If the 49ers finally win a Super Bowl using their YAC tactics, the message should be clear to the NFL’s rebuilding franchises: flood the field with all-around ballplayers, be creative, and don’t be afraid to take the ball from the hands of the quarterback. more often.

Knowing the NFL, however, those franchises would more likely come out of a 49ers championship thinking, “Let’s do whatever it takes to find the next Brock Purdy.”

sports Gt

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button