Tasty snack: Next Level nuggets

ESPN Stats & Information’s Next Level Stat packet is a wondrous thing that one could spend hours sifting through.

I just cherry-picked through it for interesting nuggets on the AFC South. So here’s a snack, with some parenthetical lessons.

  • AFC South quarterbacks aren’t among the deepest throwers. Peyton Manning is 17th with an average of 8.5 yards in the air, Matt Schaub is 20th with 8.3, Vince Young 26th with 7.9.

  • On passes of 10 yards or less, Manning is third with a 111.1 passer rating, Schaub is seventh at 102.1, Young is 25th at 77.2 and David Garrard is 27th 71.5.

  • Manning is No. 1 with a 143.8 passer rating on passes thrown over 20 yards, a good bit ahead of guys tied for second including Vince Young at 135.4.

  • Manning has an NFL-best 121.3 passer rating vs. four rushers or fewer with one sack. Young is fourth at 111.4 and three sacks. Schaub is 12th at 95.6 with four. Garrard is 14th at 92.8 with five sacks. (Lesson: Blitz Young.)

  • Manning is ninth vs. five rushers or more with a 99.1 rating (and two sacks), Schaub is 13th at 93.8 (with seven sacks, second most to Michael Vick) and Garrard is 24th at 43.9 (with four sacks). Young didn’t make this list which requires a minimum of 20 attempts.

  • On throws outside the numbers painted on the field, Young is fourth with a 125.5 rating, Manning is seventh (113.7) and Schaub is 14th (85.2). Inside the numbers, Manning is third (119.1), Schaub is 12th (100.2) and Young is 23th (69.5). (Lessons: Force Young to throw in the middle of the field, keep Schuab looking to the sidelines.)

  • Austin Collie has been targeted a league-high 32 times, has 27 catches and no drops. His 191 yards after the catch are the third most in the NFL. Mike Thomas also has no drops in 12 chances but the Jaguars have eight drops.

  • Arian Foster's 13.6 yards average after the catch is the best in the league for players with five catches or more. (Lesson: Cover him with a defensive back.)