After a wild Sunday slate of Week 17 action, the 2014 NFL playoff field is set. Before we turn our attention to the postseason matchups, let’s look back on the most interesting numbers from the final week of the 2014 regular season.
6.5: Percentage of RGIII’s passing yards that came before the catch
Pro Football Focus tracks this stat, which was the most extreme I’ve ever seen it with Griffin in Week 17. RGIII threw the ball 41 times for 336 yards against the Dallas Cowboys, but only 22 of those yards came before the catch. Simply put, this is the most ridiculous stat I’ve posted all year, and I’ve truly never seen anything like it.
Griffin attempted only one pass of 20-plus yards, which fell incomplete. His average target traveled just 2.6 yards past the line-of-scrimmage. Basically, he was responsible for 22 of his 336 passing yards, while his receivers racked up the rest with their legs.
To give some context, consider that the next lowest percentage in Week 17 was 22.5 percent by Andrew Luck, who was clearly instructed to get the ball out very quickly in his limited action—and it was still 3.5 times as high as RGIII’s percentage.
158.3: Geno Smith’s perfect Week 17 passer rating
Well this is going to get confusing for the Jets. Smith, who struggled mightily all year, absolutely torched a tough Miami Dolphins pass defense in Week 17 for 358 yards, three touchdowns, and no picks on just 25 attempts. He completed 80 percent of his passes and averaged 14.3 yards every time he threw the football.
It was the first perfect passer rating for any quarterback in all of 2014. Sit down Peyton, Tom, and Aaron. Geno is here to stay. Maybe.
10: Eric Decker’s Week 17 rank in targets
Decker finally exploded in Week 17 with the type of game I was hoping for all season—I secretly (not secretly at all) think he might be the most underrated wide receiver in the NFL—but he didn’t need many targets to do it. Decker went off for 10 catches for 221 yards and a touchdown, but he did it on just 10 targets.
That’s a 100 percent catch rate and 22.1 yards per target. But it must be because he was aided by his Pro Bowl quarterback Gen-oh, now wait, nevermind.
3.9: C.J. Anderson’s yards per rush after contact
Per Pro Football Focus, Anderson averaged 3.9 yards after getting hit in Week 17. Despite carrying the ball only 13 times, Anderson forced seven missed tackles—by far the highest rate of missed tackles forced on Sunday.
Anderson managed 0.90 PPR fantasy points every time he touched the ball, which led all running backs in Week 17. It might be difficult to predict the Broncos’ 2015 running back snap distribution, but as long as Peyton Manning is behind center, the starting running back in Denver will be a fantasy stud.
84: Most receiving yards by a tight end in Week 17
With Rob Gronkowski inactive and both Julius Thomas and Jimmy Graham fading down the stretch, Travis Kelce led all tight ends in yards with 84. He was the only tight end to surpass 70 receiving yards in a week in which there were only nine total touchdowns from tight ends—just 0.28 per team.
The widening talent gap at the tight end position is going to make 2015 fantasy drafts really, really interesting. Unless something changes, you could make a very serious argument that Gronkowski is not only worthy of a first-round selection, but that he should be chosen within the first few picks.