Bay Packers' Jordy Nelson (87) catches a pass in front of
Washington Redskins' David Amerson (39) during the second
half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, in
Green Bay, Wis.
GREEN BAY — The
"YAC" attack is thriving once more in Green Bay.
statistics can be deceiving. Those gains through the air aren't
always about the throw and the catch — it's the yards gained
after the catch that can result in big plays.
Aaron Rodgers may
have set a career high with 480 yards passing in the 38-20 victory
Sunday over the Redskins, but targets James Jones, Randall Cobb,
Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley gained a lot of those yards
with what they did following the catch.
The Packers had
295 "yards after catch" against the Redskins, their most
in any game since 1992 and the second most by any team in that
period, according to STATS, LLC. Only the Houston Oilers had more,
348 on Nov. 15, 1992 against Minnesota.
being athletic I guess, nothing much," Nelson said Monday
when asked why the receivers excelled in getting yards after the
Some guys will
try to stiff arm a cornerback to break free. The speedy Cobb can
make people miss in space. And 6-foot-5 tight end Finley might
drop his shoulder to bowl over a defender.
there's not a recipe for it. It's just catching the ball and then
making the first guy miss one way or another," Nelson said.
enough. Every receiver wants to gain as many yards as possible.
But in Green Bay,
it's long been a key to the offense.
"I mean, the
emphasis has always been there, but we're just trying to coach it
better and the players are doing a better job at it," coach
Mike McCarthy said. "The timing of the throw and the routes
are more in sync. It creates another half yard of separation as
opposed to when you're not as in sync. So all those things
Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers (12) and Jordy Nelson (87)
congratulate James Starks (44) after Stark's 32-heard
touchdown run during the second half of an NFL football game
against the Washington Redskins Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, in
Green Bay, Wis.
Rodgers gets things started with his knack of getting the ball to
his receivers at just the right time. He finished 34 for 42 with
no interceptions on Sunday.
According to the
Packers, Rodgers became just the second quarterback in NFL history
to throw for more than 480 yards and four touchdowns without
throwing a pick. The Giants' Y.A. Tittle also accomplished the
feat in 1952 against ... the Redskins.
Rodgers was quick
Sunday to give credit to his receiving corps.
"We had a
lot of yards after catch," he said. "It was 480 yards,
but how much of that was YAC?"
Jones (178 yards)
and Cobb (128) each had career highs in yards receiving. Nelson
caught two touchdowns. Finley had six receptions and a score
despite being bothered last week by a sore toe, then cramps on
about extended plays, chart 'em, practice 'em, big-play
opportunities. It's part of our makeup as a football team, not
just our offense," McCarthy said. "It's where a lot of
big plays are generated. ... It's all part of emphasizing how you
want your team to play and the identity of how it helps you be
Green Bay also
got a big day from running back James Starks, a forgotten man in
the preseason after the Packers draft Eddie Lacy out of Alabama in
the second round, and Johnathan Franklin from UCLA in the fourth.
Starks finished with a career-best 132 yards on the ground.
Lacy left with a
concussion after his first carry following what appeared to be a
helmet-to-helmet hit from Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather.
McCarthy said he would know more about Lacy on Wednesday.
was definitely a helmet-to ... the Washington safety definitely
led with his helmet, so I know that's not what we're looking
for," McCarthy said.
He deferred to
the league office when asked if he was surprised Meriweather
leading 31-0 at one point, McCarthy said he was unhappy about
giving up 20 to the Redskins over the last 20-plus minutes of the
game. "To play at the level we performed at for a large part
of the game and then to give that up, it's something that probably
looks worse on the stat sheet than the reality of the football
game. You have to look at that," he said. ... McCarthy likes
how the team is playing physically, but says the "mental
performance isn't even close to what it needs to be." He said
coaches need to do a better job of getting the team ready.