Camp Countdown: 21 Days — Attack with YAC

Led by Cobb, Nelson and Lacy, the Packers once again were among the league leaders in yards after the catch. We have a bunch of numbers that tell the story.

Cobb photo by Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY

The Pack Attack is led by the YAC Attack.

Yards after the catch has long been a staple of the Green Bay Packers’ offense. In 2014, more than half of Green Bay’s passing yards came after the catch. Randall Cobb excels at turning a short catch into extra yards. Jordy Nelson excels at taking a deep pass the distance. And last year, Eddie Lacy lent his power to the passing game, as well.

Green Bay, which finished seventh with 4,447 total passing yards, also finished seventh with 2,230 yards after the catch. The Packers finished fourth in YAC in 2013 and 2012, third in 2011, fifth in 2010 and sixth in 2009.

“That’s one of our goals, continue to improve in the one-on-one battles, make the most of every opportunity,” offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett said last year when he was the receivers coach. “When you look at yards after the catch, that’s a big part of it. Obviously, catching the ball is primary, you have to do that first. But then what? What are we getting on our own? That’s what we’re measured by.”

Here are some of those measurements:

-- According to SportingCharts.com, Green Bay ranked third with 6.39 yards after the catch per catch.

-- Individually, Cobb finished sixth with 618 yards after the catch, Nelson ranked ninth with 539 and Lacy was 20th with 459, according to STATS. Among wide receivers only, Cobb was fourth and Nelson sixth.

-- ProFootballFocus.com had Cobb catching 47 passes short of the first-down marker. He turned 27 of those into a first down, giving him a league-best conversion rate of 57.4 percent among wide receivers. He was the only receiver at better than 50 percent. Behind his excellence, Green Bay finished fourth with a short-of-the-sticks success rate of 40.1 percent.

-- For yards after the catch per catch, Lacy finished third in the NFL with 10.29, according to the league’s media stats site. That’s a running back-centric stat. When limited only to wide receivers, Cobb wound up seven with 6.42 YAC per reception.

-- Usually, yards after the catch comes by making a defender miss. Among receivers, Cobb finished third in the NFL by forcing 18 missed tackles, according to ProFootballFocus.com. Nelson checked in at No. 9 with 14. Among running backs, Lacy finished second with 24 missed tackles. He did that on 42 receptions. Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell led the way with 29 missed tackles but he needed 83 receptions.

Where the Packers have to get better is at tight end. Combined, Andrew Quarless (three) and Richard Rodgers (two) forced five missed tackles. Chicago’s Martellus Bennett forced 25 by himself, according to ProFootballFocus.com, and 13 individual tight ends forced at least five.

Team YAC

This chart shows the teams that had at least 50 percent of their total passing yards come after the catch.

TeamTotal passingYAC passingPercent YAC
Washington4,4612,63359.0
Kansas City3,4282,02159.0
Chicago4,0352,30857.2
Seattle3,4921,96456.2
Jacksonville3,4511,92055.6
Buffalo3,8562,15455.9
Detroit4,2842,30953.9
Cincinnati3,5511,89453.3
Minnesota3,5661,89953.3
Green Bay4,4472,23050.1

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


Packer Report Top Stories