Home > Uncategorized > Without a big-yardage target Titans are getting passed by

Without a big-yardage target Titans are getting passed by

Last year 26 NFL teams had at least one player top 800 yards in receiving. It’s not asking much. It’s only 50 yards per game for a guy who manages to play all 16. Thirty-eight players topped 800 yards in 2009, 23 of whom pushed past the 1,000 mark.

What’s the significance? None of the six teams last season without an 800-yard receiver made the playoffs. In fact, their combined record was 32-64, with the Titans’ 8-8 mark the best among them. That’s a .333 winning percentage.

All but two teams have had at least one player surpass 800 yards since 2007. The two that haven’t? The Titans and the Miami Dolphins.

No team has had a drought longer than the Titans. Chris Chambers posted 1,118 receiving yards for Miami in 2005. No Tennessee player has topped 800 yards since 2004, when both Drew Bennett (1,247, pictured) and Derrick Mason (1,168) did it.

Last year’s Super Bowl combatants, the Saints and the Colts, each had two 800-plus yard receivers. The 2008 Super Bowl combatants, Pittsburgh and Arizona, each had two. In 2007 the Giants, who had just one, beat the Patriots, who had two. New England was a prohibitive favorite.

The last team that won the Super Bowl without a 1,000-yard receiver was Pittsburgh in 2005. Hines Ward had 975 yards in the regular season.

The NFL has become a pass-happy league. Meanwhile, the Titans don’t have a player on their roster who ever has had an 800-yard season as a pro (click on the video in this hyperlink).

To make matters worse, the Titans’ starting receivers, Nate Washington and Justin Gage, already are dinged up and we haven’t even reached the regular season.

The injuries aren’t good ones for receivers either. Gage has a bum thumb that he told me last week could be problematic all season.

“I already came to the conclusion this was the kind of injury that was gonna linger as soon as it happened,” Gage said. “It’s just tough to get it better (because of the nature of his position).”

Washington’s injury is a sore wrist that has recurred throughout training camp and doesn’t bode well for a player who had problems with dropped balls last season.

No one likes a naysayer in the preseason when hope springs eternal. But if someone on the roster doesn’t become a big-time target in a hurry it’ll be time to give the Titans’ chances of making the playoffs a pass.

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  1. Daniel
    August 30, 2010 at 8:21 pm | #1

    That’s a really interesting stat and one that I had not yet heard. All the more proof that you need an elite passing game to win in the NFL today.

  2. David
    August 31, 2010 at 9:37 am | #2

    These are great stats, but I wish you would have included what you think the reasons were for the drought.

    • August 31, 2010 at 9:46 am | #3

      David, I guess I believed the reason for the drought to be self-evident. No 800-yard receivers for six years means your receiving corps simply hasn’t been very good. Yes, there are other factors (QBs, scheme, play-calling), but the bottom line is when no other team in the league has had a drought as long as yours you’re just not very good at the position.

      • Ron
        August 31, 2010 at 1:33 pm | #4

        I love stats like this.
        However,
        if there were any team that may be the exception to this, i would think it would be the titans. No other team in the league has a 2000 yard rusher, and the titans’ tight ends have been, and remain some of the more dependable tight ends in the league. Titans’ offensive line remain standouts also. for these reasons and others, I nominate the Titans as the exception to the “800 yd Receiver Rule”.

  3. Payton
    August 31, 2010 at 2:20 pm | #5

    Hell the Colts had 2 1000+ yard receivers last year, and Pierre Garcon was 35 yards, or 2 catches, away from breaking that plateau.

    • August 31, 2010 at 2:22 pm | #6

      Exactly. And they won the AFC and were prohibitive favorites in the Super Bowl.

      • steven
        August 31, 2010 at 3:10 pm | #7

        Nice stat, but Vince will create more yards with his legs than any QB in the league. K. Britt has big play ability and he had 701 rec yards a season ago. I don’t care about how he came into OTA’s or camp. He has shown his ability to get open and will “eat” your 800 yard stat.

      • August 31, 2010 at 3:11 pm | #8

        Britt is the Titan most likely to surpass 800 yards this season. But he has got to show a higher maturity level to ensure playing enough to reach 800 yards.

  4. Jordan
    August 31, 2010 at 4:27 pm | #9

    Ron :
    I love stats like this.
    However,
    if there were any team that may be the exception to this, i would think it would be the titans. No other team in the league has a 2000 yard rusher, and the titans’ tight ends have been, and remain some of the more dependable tight ends in the league. Titans’ offensive line remain standouts also. for these reasons and others, I nominate the Titans as the exception to the “800 yd Receiver Rule”.

    The Titans had a 2000 yard rusher last season alone, and they still missed the playoffs. What are you accounting for the other five years? If you pull the dependable tight end card here you’re wrong. Gates, Witten, Gonzalez, and Clark are the “dependable” tight ends.
    I hope the Titans can break the receiver curse this year. However, as stated above, Britt will be the one to do it IF he can get his maturity up.

  5. GM Hall Sr
    August 31, 2010 at 6:43 pm | #10

    I have said this many times, and I believe this with all my heart. If Vince Young makes an effort to target Kenny Britt 10-14 times a game not only, Kenny will surpass 12,000 yrds recieving but the Titans will go deep in the playoffs.All you have to realize is the choices defenses would have to make ,stop CJ2K or stop Britt..I know they will game plan to stop CJ2K, leaving Britt to dominate any nfl corner, not named Revies,Bailey or DRC…

  6. Robby
    August 31, 2010 at 9:42 pm | #11

    OH GM i completely agree britt and vy will dominate this year nd if you try to shut down britt we still have vys legg, nate burning cbs and jared cook giving you reasons to put a saftey on him

  7. Kaleb
    September 1, 2010 at 2:40 pm | #12

    First of all, Britt will get over 800 yards this year. Next, you mention this big drought and how no team can be successful without an 800 yard receiver, but need I remind you that the Titans went 13-3 just two years ago…. Without an 800-yard receiver. And I dont know if i could call the tight ends of tennessee dependable yet, but they have shown flashes of brilliance and could very well become elite tight ends this year, especially Craig Stevens. And i would say that Bo Scaife has been consistent in the past. I can see the Titans with a playoff berth without the 800 yard reciever, but as i said, britt will get 800 so it doesnt really matter.

    • September 1, 2010 at 2:53 pm | #13

      Kaleb, you can’t just guarantee Britt will get more than 800 yards. First of all, he’s not even a starter. He’s listed on the depth chart as the Titans’ No. 3 receiver. Now, it is to his benefit that both Nate Washington and Justin Gage enter the season banged up. But it’s just folly to guarantee a guy will get 800 yards for a team that hasn’t produced an 800-yard receiver in six years. … Did that Titans team that went 13-3 reach the Super Bowl? No, it didn’t. … I like the core of tight ends. Is there an 800-yard guy there? Probably not because they’ll split up the catches and the yardage. … Big-time teams have big-time receivers. Peyton Manning has Reggie Wayne. Drew Brees has Marques Colston, among so many. Tom Brady has Randy Moss and Wes Welker. My point is I don’t believe a team can win it all in today’s NFL without a receiver who absolutely scares the daylights out of opposing secondaries, and the 2010 Titans DON’T HAVE THAT GUY.

  8. Kaleb
    January 13, 2011 at 8:19 pm | #14

    For the record, Kenny Britt: 42 rec, 775 yards, and thats while missing four games with a hamstring injury. With those games, he easily would have hit 800, but even without, 775, I’d say pretty close.

  1. September 1, 2010 at 3:24 am | #1

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