Where’s the ball?

I might do a Ridiculous Rushes piece this week, but first I thought I’d take a look into how the offence has changed since the departure of Tyreek Hill. Where is the ball going to now there are 150 or so targets going around.?

Today we’ve an overview of what’s changed and hopefully in the next couple of days I’ll have a look at a few players and see how they project over the season. For now, we’ll take a look back over the stats from the last 2 seasons and use what we’ve done so far this year to project how the season will look if continue at the same rate.

Rushing

Year Carries YardsYPCTD
2020396 1801 4.5 13
202141719424.715
2022 Projection 39118164.617

The run game has been pretty consistent over the past couple of seasons. This year is looking very much like 2020. Slightly down on last year in carries and yards but more rushing touchdowns projected for this year.

Year % RB yards % WR yards % QB yards
202074.2%8.7%17.1%
202173.1%7.3%19.6%
2022 Projection 81.2%3.7%15.1%

One notable thing from this year is that the Running Backs are contributing a greater amount of the rushing yards than previous seasons. There has been less of the jet sweeps from the Wide Receivers than in previous years, although clearly Andy read the piece I wrote last week, also Mahomes has been scrambling less than in previous seasons.

Overall, for better or worse, the run game isn’t a whole lot different to what it has been.

Receiving

This is where you would expect to see bigger changes to what’s happened in the past, Tyreek coming out of the lineup has changed things a little, but the distribution and overall effect isn’t all that much.

Year Receptions Targets Completion % Yards Yard per Catch TD INT
202043860772.2%50034.7396
202144763670.3%49394.73713
2022 Projection 45961075.3%50544.64912

Tyreek Who? Mahomes is on course for his best season of the last few years. Higher completion %, more yards, a lot more touchdowns, if we could cut a couple of interceptions down then he’s on MVP course. So where is the ball headed to?

Year% WR TargetsWR Comp %% TE TargetsTE Comp %% RB TargetsRB Comp %
202054.5%68%27.2%82%18.3%70%
202156.9%67%25.5%70%17.6%80%
2022 Projection52.6%64%31.5%91%15.9%80%

So, the Wide Receiver targets are down as expected. Not all of Tyreek’s targets are going to the replacement receivers. Interestingly the Running Back targets are down as well, which I was surprised by since that has been a very productive outlet this season.

It should come as no shock to anyone that the Tight Ends share of the targets has jumped by 6% from last season, but what may shock is that they’re catching a ridiculous 91% of those targets. Surely teams know that the ball is going to Kelce on a frequent basis, but it doesn’t seem to matter, he’s catching nearly everything that’s thrown his way. But more importantly, so are the other Tight Ends too.

The way they’ve been targeted has altered slightly over the season too. I’ll probably write about this next week, but the depth of target for the TEs seems to be coming down over the last few weeks and the WR depth of target seems to be increasing. Over the first few weeks, everyone was targeted around 9 yards deep. Against the 49ers Kelce was targeted just 6 yards from the line of scrimmage. High percentage completions at that range keeping ahead of the chains, that’s smart play calling and design there.

Overall, the offence is on schedule to be as good as, if not slightly better than the last 2 seasons. Yes, Tyreek was a loss, he’s a #1 elite WR. But the diversity of the other options is starting to really show through as Andy gets used to who can do what well. The future still looks bright, and we should still see improvements as the newer players integrate into the system.

That’s scary for the rest of the NFL.

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