Comparing The Wide Receivers To Adam Sandler And Not In A Good Way

Remember when the wide receivers used to be so fun to talk about? Marquess Wilson was putting up video game numbers while eight others got involved in the action. There was a week where the receivers as a group averaged double digit yards per target.

As I was running the numbers for the Cal game, I was trying to think of a good analogy for the wide receivers up then down season. Then I noticed Kyle and BigWood were discussing Greek mythology and literature (OK more like video games and terrible movies) on Twitter and their tweets led me to the following conclusion. The wide receivers performance in 2011 has followed the same path as Adam Sandler's career, and that's not a good thing.

Let's take a look at how they compare.

The wide receivers started the season with their four best performances of 2011. Their first four YPT averages of 8.42, 12.88, 9.68 and 8.05 ranged from slightly above average to elite. Very similar to Sandler's early career with movies like Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer and The Waterboy. Those were the days.

Then the wide receivers performance and Sandler movies start to go down hill. In their next four games, the wide receivers put up YPT of 6.09, 5.05, 7.45 and 7.17. Ranging from bad to below average. At the same time, Sandler's career shifted into the Anger Management, 50 First Dates, Spanglish and You Don't Mess With the Zohan phase. 

This brings us to the most recent performance against Cal. The WSU receivers set a new low for futility with a YPT of 4.29. Ouch. I would have said not even Sandler's career could dip that low, then I saw the trailer for Jack and Jill, which may be in the discussion for worst movie ideas of all-time.

Player Targets Catches Yards Drops 1st Downs YPT Catch% Drop% 1st Down%
Isiah Barton 7 1 16 1 1 2.29 14.29 14.29 14.29
Bennett Bontemps 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Henry Eaddy 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Jared Karstetter 8 2 26 1 2 3.25 25.00 12.52 25.00
Isiah Myers 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Bobby Ratliff 2 1 6 0 0 3.00 50.00 0.00 0.00
Gino Simone 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Kristoff Williams 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Marquess Wilson 14 7 85 1 3 6.07 50.00 7.14 21.43
WR Totals 31 11 133 3 6 4.29 35.48 9.68 19.35

That is about as ugly a wide receiver chart as you will ever see. Karstetter and Barton combined for three catches on 15 targets. If you only glanced at the YPT numbers you would probably think these guys play baseball and have a decent ERA. 

Wilson's 6.07 YPT is his second straight week with a sub 7.0. This makes me sad. 

Player Targets Catches Yards Drops 1st Downs YPT Catch% Drop% 1st Down%
Isiah Barton 73 42 483 10 22 6.62 57.53 13.70 30.14
Bennett Bontemps 2 1 10 0 1 5.00 50.00 0.00 50.00
Henry Eaddy 9 4 35 0 1 3.89 44.44 0.00 11.11
Jared Karstetter 71 30 444 8 25 6.25 54.93 11.27 35.21
Isiah Myers 13 7 76 0 3 5.85 53.85 0.00 23.08
Bobby Ratliff 32 21 213 1 14 6.66 65.63 3.13 43.75
Gino Simone 7 3 37 0 2 5.29 42.86 0.00 28.57
Kristoff Williams 10 7 113 1 4 11.30 70.00 10.00 40.00
Marquess Wilson 93 59 974 8 37 10.47 63.44 8.60 39.78
WR Totals 310 183 2385 28 109 7.69 59.03 9.03 35.16

After a couple weeks of hovering around average, the wide receivers have officially dropped to below average production levels. Both their yards per target and catch rate are below NCAA averages.

After producing at an elite level for most of the season, Wilson's YPT has dropped to merely very good. He averaged 10.59 yards per target in 2010 so he has actually dropped below his freshman average despite a higher catch rate and significantly more targets. A lot of the recent decline in his numbers can be attributed to the lack of big passing plays. Wilson does not have a catch of at least 50 yards since he caught the game winning 63-yard touchdown against Colorado. 

Of all the other wide receivers, only Ratliff's catch rate and Williams' small sample size inflated numbers are not below average. Take away Wilson's numbers and the other wide receivers average 6.5 YPT with a 57.1 catch rate. Yikes.

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