Good afternoon Rumblers,
Sorry for the late post. Here in Baltimore the power has been out for most folks since Friday, due to a bad thunder storm. So to stay true to my commitment to you guys and my Morning Joe! series; I decided to do this from my Ipad. Wish me luck :)
Today we'll discuss part 3 of a 5 part Over/Under series. I want to get you guys opinion on if you believe Stevie Johnson will eclipse 1,200 receiving yards this season. Now as some of you guys may or may not know, I'm not a big "stats guy"; meaning its not something in which I personally give much credence to. I have my reasons, so leave me alone :). But I do understand that a lot of my fellow Rumblers use stats as a means to rank players, answer questions, and win arguments, so I decided to do give in.
For the most part; the majority of our fans like Stevie Johnson. Admittedly, at times his antics can be a little frustrating, but he's been a great teammate, a great citizen, and been a great WR for us. And to the rest of the league, he's widely considered to be the face of the Buffalo Bills.
Last season while playing most of the season with a nagging groin injury, he managed to do something that NO Buffalo Bills player has ever done in team history; have back to back 1,000 yard seasons. Not future Hall of Famer (fingers crossed) Andre Reed, Don Beebe, Eric Moulds, Peerless Price, Lee Evans, or even James Lofton could even accomplish this feat. It's also important to mention that Stevie didn't even play the entire game at the end of the season, because he was benched by Chan for his happy new year t-shirt celebration. Heading in to that game, Stevie had 964 yards receiving and ended up with 1,004 receiving yards.
After the jump, I'll give you some fun facts and give reasons why he will and won't eclipse 1,200 yards.
- 19th in the league last season in receiving yards (1,004); 10th best in the AFC)
- Average 62.8 yards per game last season
- Longest reception last season was 55 yards
- Average 13.2 yards per catch last season
- In 2010, opposite of Lee Evans. He started only 13 games but had 1,073 receiving yards
- One 100yd receiving game last season in a loss against San Diego
- Last season, there were 10 guys (8 WR's and 2 TE's) that eclipised 1,200 yards receiving
- Future Hall of Famer Andre Reed eclipsed 1,200 yards twice in his 16 year career (1989-1,312yds and 1994-1,303yds); Eric Moulds 3 times in 12 years (1996-1,368yds, 2000-1,326yds, and 2002-1,292yds); Lee Evans 1 time in 8 years (2006-1,292yds)
Reasons Why Stevie Eclipses 1,200yds:
- Stevie finally is healthy- Had surgery to fix his groin injury. Should come in to this season pretty healthy.
- Help- CHIX made it their point to add guys with speed opposite of Stevie, in order to allow Stevie more one-on-one opportunities against opposing defenses. Look for TJ Graham, Easley, and Donald Jones to open some things up for Stevie.
- Full offseason- Stevie managed to have a pretty good season; despite a shortenend off season as he tried to prepare being the number 1 WR in Chan's spread offense.
- Improve QB play- Fitz is expected to be a better QB this season, as he himself is healthier and finally has a full offseason as the starting QB. This should provide Stevie with consistent QB play.
Reasons Why Stevie Won't Eclipse 1,200yds:
- Balanced Offense- Chan and Co. is looking to be more balance on offense. Giving CJ a bigger role in the offense, as well as added roles of Brad Smith and OTA stand out H-Back Dorin Dickerson; Stevie might be limited in his opportunity.
- Schedule- The Bills have 9 games against teams that were in the top half of passing defense last season. This can prove to be a mighty difficult time for Stevie.
- Scheme- Though Chan's spread offense is a pass to run offense; the scheme allows for a lot of short passes, very few play actions, and go routes. It leaves it up to the WR to make a lot their receiving yards on their own.
- Improved Defense- If the defense is going to be as good as we hope, you might see less chances Fitz is willing to take on offense. He might be more conservative with his passes which mean Stevie won't get as many opportunities to make plays.
Okay Bills fan, my hands hurt and I think I'm suffering from carpel tunnel :), so let me know what you guys think.