While I thought a lot of the discussion on the original Fanpost about Q's surgery was necessary and I wanted to join in, Q himself has been something I'd been pondering right up until I saw the news on his meniscus.
I'm not the most skilled football analyst and I don't have time to rewatch games. But Pro Football Focus compiles a ton of data that I thought I'd repost here. I originally posted this in the Fanpost, but figured it'd get lost there. So I'll reprint Boldin's stats, and in relation to other wide receivers, with the splits on his targets after the jump.
He’s tied for 8th in the league with 8 drops
6 of his 8 drops have come over the middle, 2 each from 0-9 yds out, 10-19, and 20+
30th in their overall WR ratings
15th most targeted receiver (100)
56th in YAC per catch (4.4)
78th in catch percentage (55.9, Torrey Smith 80th with 55.8)
3 tds, none in the past 4 weeks
So here's where on the field Qs been targeted, and the results.
Short: 0-9 yds, interm. 10-19, deep, 20+
Tgts-Rec-Yds(YAC)-TD-INT, QB Rating
Left Short::, 8 – 1 – 16 (8) – 0 – 0, 39.6
Left Interm:. 12 – 7 – 124 (29) – 0 – 0, 83.7
Left deep: 7 – 4 – 133 (11) – 1 – 0. 141.4
Middle Short: 21 – 12 – 127 (51) – 0 – 1, 44.9
Middle Interm:22 – 15 – 272 (83) – 2 – 0, 125
Middle Deep: 5 – 0 – 0 (0) – 0 – 15, 0
Right Short:12 – 10 – 103 (34) – 0 – 0, 90.5
Right Interm:.9 – 4 – 61 (11) – 0 – 0, 62.3
Right Deep: 3 – 1 – 37 (5) – 0 – 0. 74.3
I'll start with my observations: Boldin's catch percentage is obviously alarming, but also notably similar to Torrey's. The obvious questions, pace the fanpost discussion, are whether this is due to the way they're used/targeted, whether they share the same bad QB, or if they're both in an overall poor scheme. Torrey's been targeted deep 32 times, compared to Boldin's 15. Given the QB ratings listed above, the Joe-Q connection is obviously best on 10-19 yd routes over the middle (making up 22 of his 102 targets), and deep left, on 7 targets. That's where all 3 of his TDs have come. Those intermediate middle routes are what Q's billed as being good at, and what we've been clamoring for.
But the 8 drops are alarming: he is, after all, a possession receiver. Overall, Torrey Smith is catching the same percentage of balls thrown his way, even while being targeted deep twice as much as Boldin. Torrey has 7 TDs to Boldin's 3, and we're just not a very efficient team in the red zone at all. You'd think a big, physical receiver could make a difference there, and so far Q has not.
Thinking back to how excited I was when we first signed Q, I have to say he's disappointed me. This was supposed to be the season he got some chemistry with Flacco and they'd make some things happen. Q was still in reach of a 1,000 yard season before the surgery, but that's not the most meaningful stat. It just feels to me like Smith is more of a game-changer, and I'm just not sold on the idea that all the other things Q does, like downfield blocking and whatnot, really make up for how average I feel he's been as a receiver. I think there may be other guys out there who can do more with 102 targets.
But those are the numbers, obviously open for interpretation, and I came into this inquiry fairly unhappy with Q, so that may color my observations. Really curious what the the Beatdown brain trust thinks. Hit me up if you want to know any more stats on Q or whatever.