Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Chargers, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, NFL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

WATCH: The 10 most incredible completions of NFL Week 2, according to Next Gen Stats

Not all catches in the NFL are created equal. That is objectively true for touchdown passes, which gets you six points on the board. But even beyond a scoring pass, various circumstances like proximity to the sideline, other defenders, the amount of air time, and more are used by NFL’s Next Gen Stats in order to calculate completion probability.

That number helps us appreciate tough passes even more and quantify the difficulty thanks to all the measurements AWS tracks for NGS.

Last week we took a look at the 10 toughest, and we do it again for this week’s games through Sunday. The four toughest completions so far this week made it into the top-10 for the season.

We have two more games on Monday night this week to see how the list shakes up further.

Tom Brady to Breshad Perriman for a 28-yard touchdown (27.5%)

Not bad, Tom, not bad at all.

This touchdown ended the scoring drought with less than 10 minutes to go in the game. Limited to just a field goal before this, it broke the seal for Tampa Bay as they would go on to score 17 points in the final 7:45 of the game including this touchdown.

Brady had plenty of time to throw, and he put it in a tough window with P.J. Williams within a yard as the ball left Brady’s hands. Breshad Periman would pull away, though, with Williams strangely appearing to give up on the play or unable to keep up. Perriman created 1.4 yards of separation by the time he caught the ball, 0.8 yards more than he had when the two josteling for position passed the goal-line.

Factors impacting catch probability:

  • Time to throw
  • Airtime
  • Closest defender
  • Sideline proximity
  • End-of-field proximity

Marcus Mariota to Drake London for a 4-yard touchdown (26.7%)

Most of the unlikely catches end up being long balls. This four-yard grab made it on the list at below a 30 percent probability.

Drake London was in a window cramped by defenders on both sides within two yards of him. Marcus Mariota had a pass rusher (Aaron Donald) swinging his arm at the time of the throw and about to get around his lineman, Elijah Wilkinson.

To make it even more special, it was London’s first career touchdown. Now he can say it was a pretty difficult one, too.

Factors impacting catch probability:

  • Closest pass rusher
  • Closest defender

Justin Herbert to DeAndre Carter for a 35-yard reception (26.5%)

The context around this play makes it even more impressive. The Chargers were desperate for some points on the board, down 10 with 2 minutes to go.

This play was the last before the two-minute warning, and they made it count.

Justin Herbert threaded the needle and DeAndre Carter made an incredible grab. L’Jarius Sneed was within a yard and Juan Thornhill was 3.4 yards away to his left.

Factors impacting catch probability:

  • Time to throw
  • Air yards
  • Closest defneder

Russell Wilson to Eric Saubert for a 22-yard touchdown (26.4%)

Christian Kirksey gave essentially no room for Russell Wilson to put the ball or for Eric Saubert to make the grab, but they found a way. At the time of the catch 0.9 yards separated the two and Saubert had to jump to make a grab.

At the time of the throw, too, Kamu Grugier-Hill was close to getting at Wilson, almost batting the ball down.

It gave the Broncos the lead.

Factors impacting catch probability:

  • Closest defender
  • Closest pass rusher

Mac Jones to Nelson Agholor for a 44-yard touchdown (26.2%)

Mac Jones connected with Nelson Agholor for a 44-yard touchdown to give the Patriots the lead in the first quarter. Ahkello Witherspoon was blanketing Agholor, giving him less than a yard of separation at the time of the catch, meaning Agholor had to jump up above Witherspoon to make the catch.

Keeping his balance coming down was equally impressive, allowing him to walk right in the endzone as Witherspoon fell.

Factors impacting catch probability:

  • Air yards
  • Closest defender
  • Sideline proximity

Carson Wentz to Terry McLaurin for a 35-yard reception (25.5%)

The Commanders were unable to come up with the win, but through two weeks Carson Wentz has looked every bit the part of the quarterback they wanted. He’s thrown for a league-leading 7 touchdowns (tied with Tua) so far with 3 interceptions.

All of their touchdowns have been passing, and the Commanders lead the league in touchdowns through 2 weeks going into Monday night.

Wentz made the list more than once on difficult completions in Week 1, and shows up again this week. This one is a credit to Terry McLaurin, though, who put his body on the ground to secure it.

Factors impacting catch probabiltiy:

  • Time to throw
  • Defender proximity
  • Sideline proximity

Jameis Winston to Chris Olave for a 51-yard reception (24.2%)

This one is a little misleading for a few reasons. In isolation, the throw and catch are impressive. But this came after several similar plays where the Saints had Olave go deep, only for Winston to overthrow him.

Finally, they made the long completion, but only after several failed attempts. And then, of course, he fumbled the ball and turned it over.

Given that there were fewer than three minutes remaining in the game with the Saints down 10, Olave securing the ball could have easily turned the tide on the outcome of this game.

This catch made it into the top 10 toughest of the 2022 season so far.

Factors impacting catch probability:

  • Airtime
  • Closest defender
  • Sideline proximity
  • Time to pass

Baker Mayfield to D.J. Moore for a 29-yard reception (24%)

This play went relatively unnoticed, but it was top 3 in difficulty this week and made the top-10 on the season so far.

Baker drops back, sees his guy, and gets it to him. Moore needs to dive at an awkard angle to get the ball but secures it as he goes to the ground.

He’s been spectacular in Next Gen Stats deep balls all year putting him in the same conversation as Davante Adams and Justin Jefferson.

Factors impacting catch probability:

  • Time to throw
  • Closest defender
  • Sideline proximity

Justin Herbert to Mike Williams for a 39-yard reception (22.8%)

Justin Herbert linked with Mike Williams for 39 yards. Williams was all over the field in this one grabbing 8 catches for 113 yards. This was his toughest, though.

Defensive pass interference was called but the Chargers obviously declined it.

This catch made it into the top 10 toughest of the 2022 season so far.

Factors impacting catch probability:

  • Air yards
  • Closest defender
  • Sideline proximity

Tua Tagovailoa to Tyreek Hill for a 48-yard touchdown (20.7%)

Tua had himself a day. He had 6 touchdowns (2 INTs) and threw for 469 yards. One of those touchdowns was a 48-yard longball to Tyreek Hill here.

With a defender breaking the pocket, Tua had minimal time to get a pass off. He placed it accurately with two defenders chasing Hill down. It looks like Hill had more space than he did, with less than a yard distancing him and Marcus Peters.

This catch made it into the top 10 toughest of the 2022 season so far.

Factors impacting catch probability:

  • Time to throw
  • Pass rusher proximity
  • Airtime
  • Defender-receiver proximity

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Josh Allen drops epic quote in response to Ken Dorsey’s Bills freakout (Video)
Everything to know about Tua Tagovailoa’s injury, full timeline
Cowboys legend went berserk after Dallas’ primetime win over Giants
Russell Wilson claps back at Eli Manning’s snarky punter joke
Richard Sherman sounds off on Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush argument

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.