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- Aug 16, 2002
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When it comes to NFL fans who like to hate on Michael Thomas, denial isn't just a river in Egypt, according to FiveThirtyEight's new metric on how good NFL receivers are at creating separation:
Whodats will especially appreciate that CGM crushes Julio Jones on midrange targets:When we account for the most impactful context that affects a receiver’s most important job — getting open — Thomas is routinely above average in creating that separation. And targets to him are among the most valuable plays in football across all depths. There isn’t much evidence to support the idea that Mike Thomas is anything but an elite football talent.
Thomas did more on midrange targets than Jones
Receiving stats on intermediate passes for Michael Thomas and Julio Jones, including separation over expected (SOE) and expected points added (EPA) per play
Regular-season passes of between 5 and 15 air yards.
PLAYER SEASON TARGETS AVG. DEPTH OF TARGET SOE/PLAY EPA/PLAY Michael Thomas 2019 71 10.6 0.08 0.72 Michael Thomas 2018 54 10.1 0.25 0.59 Michael Thomas 2017 48 9.4 0.01 0.39 Julio Jones 2019 58 10.8 -0.31 0.42 Julio Jones 2018 65 9.8 -0.07 0.36 Julio Jones 2017 44 10.3 0.03 0.29
SOURCE: NFL NEXT GEN STATS, ESPN STATS & INFORMATION GROUP
Is Michael Thomas elite? On its face, that seems like an outrageous question. Michael Thomas, the New Orleans wide receiver who led the NFL in receiving yards a…