Small Stat #2: Receiving yards for T.J. Hockenson
Target number: 734 yards.
Why 734?: Plain and simple, the Lions have a lot riding on the assumption that Hockenson can become one of the NFL’s very best at his position. Starting that ascension right away in his second year would go a long way towards justifying his controversial top ten selection a year ago.
After a lackluster first rodeo around the NFL landscape, with a few great moments, a few disappointing ones, and a few injuries that slowed him down, Hockenson doesn’t need to be great just yet. However, for the Lions to reach their goals in 2020, we need him to be pretty darn good.
I’ve mentioned in an earlier post that doubling his output from a season ago seems reasonable, so 734 yards would give Hockenson exactly that. Based on 2019 statistics, this would put him 7th overall among tight ends in receiving yards.
Trickle Down Effect: Hockenson catching passes at the hash marks and the middle of the field means two additional spots of the passing game can open up:
- More chances to find Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones on deep balls. Golladay has become one of the best in the league at tracking down these passes, and Jones has been no slouch himself.
- Opportunities along the flat for swing passes to Kerryon Johnson, a speedster and another capable pair of hands, for potential big plays down the sidelines. Speaking of Kerryon Johnson…