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Breaking Down the Passing Attack: Week 6 Edition

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Well, this latest shakeup is certainly going to make people really wonder about who is going to step up now that Chris Chambers is gone.  This past week, Chambers was targeted by Cleo Lemon a season high 18 times.  That's 42% of Cleo's passes!  Granted, only 6 were caught, but that's not really Chris's fault.  He was open deep a few times and Cleo overthrew him.  Lemon also forced many, many passes into double and triple coverage, trying to get the ball into Chris's hands.  So who becomes Cleo's go to guy now?  The next most targeted wide receiver was Marty Booker with 5 and then Derek Hagan and Ted Ginn with 3 and 2 targets respectively.  Ronnie Brown was targeted 11 times out of the backfield.  Booker was targeted 9 times by Cleo in week 5, though, so I'd suspect Cleo is just as comfortable going his direction.  I also think that Ginn will see a lot more balls thrown his way because it does seem as if Cleo is much more inclined to throw it to the rookie.  Of Ginn's 8 season targets, 5 of them are by Lemon.

Total Targets
Here's how the targeting breaks down through the first 6 games:

Chris Chambers: 66 targets (32%)
Marty Booker: 41 targets (20%)
Ronnie Brown: 40 targets (19%)
David Martin: 17 targets (8%)
Justin Peelle: 12 targets (6%)
Jesse Chatman: 11 targets (5%)
Derek Hagan: 9 targets (4%)
Ted Ginn: 8 targets (4%)
Reagan Mauia: 2 targets (1%)

Lemon's Targets
Considering he's the starter right now, let's look at who Lemon has targeted the most so far this season:

Chris Chambers: 22 targets (31%)
Ronnie Brown: 16 targets (23%)
Marty Booker: 14 targets (20%)
David Martin: 6 targets (9%)
Ted Ginn: 5 targets (7%)
Justin Peelle: 4 targets (6%)
Derek Hagan: 3 targets (4%)

Receiver Success
And as always, here are the catch percentages of each Dolphins' receiver:

Jesse Chatman: 91%
Ronnie Brown: 85%
David Martin: 71%
Derek Hagan: 67%
Justin Peelle: 58%
Reagan Mauia: 50%
Marty Booker: 49%
Chris Chambers: 47%
Ted Ginn: 38%

One last thing I wanted to do was close the book on Chambers.  A lot of people criticized him for his drops and lack of production.  Last year, a lot was made of Chambers' struggles, especially after the season on Football Outsiders, who had him rated as the worst starting receiver in the NFL based on various complicated calculations.  Chambers was also criticized for his poor catch percentage.  Last year, he had the 2nd worst catch percentage (39%) of any starting receiver over the past 5 or so years.  That was such a big deal that it was actually in ESPN The Magazine's NFL preview issue.  I claimed it was because of the poor play from the QB.  Well, the same can be said for this year.  With Trent Green under center, Chambers had a catch percentage of 52%.  It's not great, but it's above average and certainly not as bad as last year.  Since Lemon took over, he caught just 36% of the passes thrown his way.  Hmmm...no wonder his catch percentage was so poor in 2006.  Could it be that Daunte Culpepper/Joey Harrington/Cleo Lemon didn't play well at all and that hurt Chris?  I'd say so.  So for the remainder of the season, I'll be tracking Chambers' play in San Diego.  I hope, for his sake, that he explodes onto the scene and the critics can finally realize that he has all the talent in the world but just never got consistent QB play in Miami.

Good luck, Chris!!  I'll be rooting for you!!