WASHINGTON — Whether Kirk Cousins throws it 52 yards for a Josh Doctson touchdown, or a bubble screen that turns into a huge gain, all passing yards are statistically created equal.
Sunday night vs. the Oakland Raiders was Cousins’ first 300-yard passing performance of the season, pulling him up to ninth in the NFL with 784 passing yards. By comparison, Tom Brady, who leads the NFL in passing yards, has already eclipsed 1,000 yards.
But one thing Cousins and Brady have in common is how they get it done. It isn’t all about the deep bomb–it’s about getting the ball in the hands of playmakers underneath.
Running back Chris Thompson has been a revelation for the Redskins this season, finally combining good health with good luck and sustained opportunity.
Thompson leads the team in both rushing (119) and receiving (231) yards, with many of his team-leading 13 receptions coming near the line of scrimmage.
The trouble with Y.A.C. is that it can be hard to quantify since it isn’t an officially kept NFL stat.
Here’s where those who track the stat have tried to peg Thompson:
ESPN: 70 yards after catch (16th, 30.3 percent of total)
FOX: 216 yards after catch (1st, 93.5 percent of total)
Football Database: 225 yards after catch (1st, 97.4 percent of total)
Regardless of which number is closest, Thompson has helped his quarterback gain the third-most yards after catch in the NFL today, according to ESPN:
That good news for Redskins fans is that this list is a who’s who of top NFL quarterbacks, with nine former Pro Bowl quarterbacks and four bona fide Hall-of-Famers (you can debate which ones).
Better yet, these teams in the top-10 for Y.A.C. are a combined 18-12 so far this season, with only three possessing a losing record.
As the prevailing offensive strategy continues to change in the NFL, credit the Redskins for retaining the pieces (see Chris Thompson’s recent extension) and calling the plays that allow quarterbacks like Cousins to be successful.