How WR Vincent Jackson Has Success Despite Stone Hands
V. Jax posted a dismal 48.98 percent catch rate in 2012 and has only caught 53.34 percent of balls thrown his way over his career. Despite an inability to catch the ball, Jackson still finished as the No. 3 receiver in the NFL in 2012 in terms of receiving Net Expected Points (NEP) at 133.81 (behind only Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall).
So, how does a guy with a sub-50 percent catch rate still manage to succeed at such a high level? By making the most of his catches. And by the most, we mean, the most.
Using reception success rate (the percentage of receptions that were successful plays), let's look at how often V. Jax helped his team when he actually caught the ball. Keep in mind, deep play receivers will generally have higher success rates (since they are catching the ball downfield) and running backs will frequently have lower success rates since they typically catch the ball closer to the line of scrimmage.
In 2012, Vincent Jackson became the first receiver (since 2000) to post a 100% reception success rate given at least 50 catches. Yes, you read that right: V. Jax was successful on literally every catch in 2012.
It's not extremely uncommon for a receiver to post a reception success rate over 90 percent, but Jackson is the first player to convert on every one of his receptions (72 of 72). The next highest reception success rates posted in 2012 were Lance Moore at 96.92 percent and Rob Gronkowski at 96.36%. The next best since 2000 was posted by the great Chad Johnson ("never heard of him") in 2002 when he was successful on 68 of 69 receptions.
Here are the top 10 reception success rates since 2000:
Keep in mind, though, given his 48.98 percent catch rate, that means the Bucs were still successful on only 48.98% of balls thrown his way.