Latest Posts

Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle Are Breaking Wide Receiver Production As We Know It

- Advertisement -

Tyreke Hill is close to having the best season in wide receiver history.

Hill has 961 yards in eight weeks with the Miami Dolphins. Against the Chicago Bears this Sunday, he will almost certainly pass the 1,000-yard mark. If you’re good at math, you know what it means when a receiver has 1,000 yards in the middle of the season: he’s going at 2,000 receiving yard pace. This has never been done. Calvin Johnson came closest with 1,964 yards in 2012. Hill gets the upper hand in the 17th game added to the regular season last year, but no one cares if that old deuce appears in the record book. And while Hill’s extra play may seem like a scam, it’s worth noting that he’s only averaged 2 fewer yards per game than Johnson in his historic season.

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

Perhaps most notably, Hill does this in his first year on a new offense with a new quarterback, a quarterback who No Patrick Mahomes. Much has been made of Hill’s downgrade as a quarterback this offseason, and his claims that Tua Tagovailoa was more accurate than Mahomes have been buried under video footage of training camp losses. But those days are long forgotten – even now, when Tua beats Hill in live game action, no one cares. Not when Hill ends the day with 12 shots for 188 yards on 14 targets.

- Advertisement -

While conversations during the offseason focused on how the quarterback change would affect Hill’s scoring, even Hill’s most optimistic predictions volume below the mark. He has been targeted on 35.2% of routes this season; Meanwhile, he only passed 30 percent once with the Chiefs when he was a rookie and never passed 28 percent in his remaining time there. Its 2022 target is the highest among recipients this season (minimum 100 routes).

Want to take it to the next level? This is the highest among recipients with at least 100 routes in any season since 2006, in line with TruMedia’s target data.

Do you want to climb more another level? This 35.2 percent target rate on routes? If we consider only the number of games in which starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throws the ball, that number rises to 37.2%. On three of every eight routes he rides, Hill sees football.

Hill is gaining astronomical momentum in the Dolphins offense. Because he’s always on the field, always running the routes, and always hitting the mark, Hill has also broken the yard-per-route scale, averaging 3.68 yards per route, by far his best this season. Only one other player (DeAndre Hopkins) has over 3 yards on that yardstick, and he’s only played two games. We’ve never seen a walk-through game so focused on a single receiver, and this allows Hill to expand into the wide receiver industry we know him to be.

You might think Hill’s history tome would leave no meat on the bones for any other Miami receivers, but check this out:

There are common truths about football: defense wins championships. Offenses must establish mileage. Teams must win the battle for turnover. Then there are the realities of football: you need a star guard to compete. Male coverage is better than zone coverage if you have dudes to play the man. Go for two when it’s under 14. And then there’s only math. The math will tell you, if you have a receiver who gets so many goals that he leads the league in yards per route, then his fellow receiver, who also runs routes all the time and obviously misses, also won’t be near the top of the league in yards per route.

Somehow, the Dolphins attack doesn’t just keep one of the most massive and productive intake seasons we’ve ever seen – it does so by generating another ridiculously productive and explosive wide receiver Jaylen Waddle. And it did so although his starting quarterback missed two games. If we control only the games that Tagovailoa started and finished, Hill and Waddle would be first and second in yards per course.

It’s outlandish. This is complete nonsense. It’s one of those astronomical events you have to worry about because it only happens once every 348 years, but in this case, it’s the coolest thing in the solar system that needs your attention every week. We have never seen this before.

How it works? Well, there are a few things worth highlighting.

Waddle does not see the same volume as Hill. His target percentage on routes is 23.8 percent, 23rd in the league. When we filter Tua games, that number jumps to 28.8%, which is good for eighth place among wide receivers. Waddle produces at this volume with wild efficiency. His 17.3 yards per reception is in the top five this season and is indicative of above-average shooting depth (10.5 yards per target). as well as yards above average after catch per stroke (6.7). Waddle is one of only 17 wide receivers to score above average on both counts this year.

Waddle finds this setup where Shanahan-style attacks have always found it: midfield. Violations that grow out of the Shanahan-McVay tree, like the one run by Mike McDaniel, use crossover routes in the middle to hit quality athletes on the move so they can generate YAC, but unlike wide screens and receiver slopes, these routes evolve further down. field, so they become more valuable. Typically, these midfield routes develop at medium depth (e.g. 10-20 yards downfield) to attack the void left by linebackers grabbing for play action. Last year, the top half-mid receivers were Justin Jefferson, Kyle Pitts, AJ Brown, Davante Adams and Brandon Aiyuk, all of whom played some form of Shanahan offense.

This year’s leading mid-range receivers? Jaylen Waddle (16 throws at 21 targets) and Tyreke Hill (14 throws at 20 targets). McDaniel brought this Shanahan sauce to the Dolphins and immediately began grinding it.

And this is what we expected. Although the volume is surprising, the focus on this area of ​​the field is not. The Shanahan offshoot was always going to do this. What’s mind blowing is what happens to the numbers when you look at the whole middle of the field – not just the middle, but the deep.

It sounds so obvious when you write it down, but here it is: The Dolphins’ two star receivers are faster than any receiver duo we’ve ever seen in a Shanahan-inspired offense. And accordingly, as soon as these two got married – the speed of Waddle and Hill and the system that attacks the middle of the field – the sweet spot of Shanahan’s system stretched. He grew up. Like bamboo that has long been rooted, it sprouts quickly.

The defense is not ready for this. I mean there’s no protection anywhere near ready for it. Tua completed twice as many passes into the deep middle than any other quarterback this season despite missing two games. He is fifth in expected points added for throwing away, fifth in completion percentage, and second in passing scoring—all despite the fact that he Still can’t throw the ball with enough power to hit those speed demons on the move.

This extension of Shanahan’s system is responsible for the remarkable production we’re seeing in Miami right now. Hill and Waddle have the high-performing, YAC-focused seasons we’ve long been accustomed to seeing in this offense at wide receivers, only as Jefferson, Samuel and Kupp get their targets closer to the scrimmage line, Hill and Waddle get it all. way down the field. In Tua games, Hill and Waddle account for over 75 percent of the Dolphins’ offensive air yards, the highest of any receiving duo in the league.

The idea that it is sustainable is blasphemous. But I believe it with all my heart. I don’t care that Tagovailoa’s risky playstyle will end up leading to more interceptions – he needs to throw those well-placed shots for the offense to work, so the risk is worth the reward. I don’t care that Waddle and Hill are both small, fast-shrinking athletes who can take tons of punches in the middle of the field – I’ll give both my hamstrings to the cause if need be. I don’t care that this highly concentrated, record-breaking production is begging for a return to the average. I want to see cool stuff when I watch the NFL and that’s the coolest thing that’s happening in the NFL. The Dolphins should never again throw the ball to Mike Gesicki, Trent Sherfield, or River Kracraft.

Tyreke Hill is at 2,000 yard receiving pace. This has never been done. But Jaylen Waddle gets 1,500 receiving yards. It’s only been done 50 times before– and it has never been done by teammates in the same season. Dolphin attack continues…


- Advertisement -

Latest Posts

Don't Miss