Packers in Philly: Limiting the YAC

What's the first thing you think of when see "Philadelphia Eagles" next on your schedule?

Yes, I know. Michael Vick. I imagine we'll discuss him once or twice this week as the Green Bay Packers prepare for Sunday's wild-card game at Lincoln Financial Field.

In some ways, however, Vick is part of a larger trend of the Eagles' offense. They have three of the best open-field ball carriers in the game: Vick, tailback LeSean McCoy and receiver DeSean Jackson. So I took a stroll through the ESPN Stats & Information database to see not only how good they've been this season, but also how well the Packers defense has tackled.

Some interesting information emerged:

  • First, as the chart shows, 46.9 percent of the Eagles' total passing yards have been accumulated after the catch. That ranks the Eagles No. 13 in the NFL. For more context, consider that the Packers offense ranks one spot ahead of them.

  • McCoy has gotten his YAC on (Yards After Catch) this season. In fact, he has 724 YAC this season, the most in the NFL. His average of 9.3 YAC per reception ranks No. 9 in the NFL. Meanwhile, Jackson has 359 YAC and is averaging 7.6 YAC per reception. Again, for context, Packers receiver Greg Jennings has 412 YAC and is averaging 5.4 YAC per reception.

  • I'm all about the YAC.


  • Packers opponents have gotten 47.4 percent of their passing yards after the catch. That's the fifth-highest percentage in the NFL. But keep in mind that overall, the Packers have allowed the sixth-fewest passing yards in the league. If I were to interpret those numbers, I would say that opponents are being forced to dump the ball to short-range receivers, who then take off downfield -- and not necessarily a sign of poor tackling.

What's the bottom line of this mumbo jumbo? The Packers will not only have to keep track of where Vick, McCoy and Jackson are before the snap. They'll need to take special care to wrap them up when they have a chance.

We'll touch on a Eagles-Packers matchup topic each day heading into Sunday's game. YAC.