Wide Receivers and Interceptions

Advanced NFL Stats had a cool post this week about Wide Receivers and interceptions. Placing the blame of interceptions is very hard to do, and I am not setting out to do so, but I thought I would have fun with the numbers. Keep in mind, still dealing with a small sample size.

I wanted to look at the length of routes run vs. the interception rate per target of the receivers covered by Brian Burke.

First thing was to find out the average length of routes, which, to my knowledge, is not readily available. So I found the receiving yards of each receiver, subtracted the yards after catch, and divided that by catches. I’ll just call it catch yards per catch. Basically, if the receiver were to just catch the ball and sit down on that spot, that would be his catch yards per catch. There aren’t really any surprises at the top, Desean Jackson, Steve Smith, Larry Fitzgerald, Denarius Moore, and Vincent Jackson.

Here is the data:

Here is the range and average interception rates for the range. The ranges are based on the standard deviation for the avg. catch yards per catch.

This makes theoretical sense, to me at least, even with the small sample size.
Shorter throws means that more people are around, maybe the quarterbacks are forced to throw earlier than they would like, routes get disrupted, all of that stuff.
Longer throws allow the defensive players more time to get to the ball, balls get tipped, all of that good stuff.

So what does this mean, other than Kellen Winslow and Austin Collie being the worst receivers of all time? With a muuuch larger sample size, maybe it turns out that the distance doesn’t really matter that much, maybe we can start picking out the receivers who are outliers in their range. For now, I just think it is something cool to look at.

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