We’ve already looked at the high percentage of failed completions that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mike Vick had Thursday night in the 23-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens and how they played a role in the lack of offensive production in the game. While those kind of stats aren’t often talked about on a week-to-week basis, yards after catch is, and that’s certainly another area where the Steelers offense failed miserably against the Ravens.
For starters, the Steelers only compiled a season-low 47 yards after the catch Thursday night on 19 completed passes. That equated to a dismal average YAC of 2.47. Just how bad is that average? Through the first three games of the season the Steelers averaged 4.64 of YAC per reception.
Buried inside the play-by-play from Thursday night is the fact that the Steelers pass catchers had zero or negative YAC on 9 of the 19 completed passes in the game. Additionally, only 3 receptions in the game produced more than 4 yards after the catch. Two of those 3 receptions came on the first two completed passes in the game.
Running back Le’Veon Bell led the Steelers in YAC Thursday night with 27 on his 7 catches so that leaves 20 yards on 12 catches for the other players who caught passes in the game. That’s less than 2 yards of YAC per catch and simply not going to cut it moving forward.
Yes, Vick did make some good throws down the field in the game Thursday night, but as you can see in his passing chart that I compiled, six of them were way outside of the numbers and very close to the sidelines. While those kind of throws are needed in games, they usually fail at producing YAC unless they are deep go routes.
In his next few starts, Vick and offensive coordinator Todd Haley have to focus on getting the ball to receivers out in space so that all of them can use their playmaking abilities to produce substantial YAC.