In 124 targets, he has four drops. Four. 11 defended. One caught out of bounds. 124 targets, 76 receptions, 64 combined touchdowns and first downs, 1,265 yards -- the stat line of a superstar. The stat line of a superstar few talk about.
SB Nation worked a deal with Snickers to sponsor four Super Bowl related posts. That gives me a chance to write about one of my favorite players in the league: Greg Jennings. I have loved Jennings ever since he utterly crushed my hope that Kelly Jennings could ever develop into a quality corner. Jennings didn't just wear out or dominate Jennings in the 2008 NFC Division Round. He made Jennings look like a placeholder in a practice drill. He made Jennings look incidental.
In the last 78 games, Jennings has been held without a reception once. In the last 67 games, Jennings has been held without two receptions three times. He is the personification of the unheralded star. Jennings does not produce a wealth of highlights. He doesn't whine and complain when he isn't targeted. Jennings is targeted, because he runs the proper route, gets separation and catches everything. He is targeted because he turns targets into yards, first downs and touchdowns. Value.
Like the Steelers James Harrison, Jennings is a generalist. He isn't sensationally fast, yet consistently one of the fastest players on the field. He isn't impressively tall, but though only 5'11", Jennings has the frame and muscle mass to dominate smaller corners. He doesn't make a bunch of kooky spins and sidesteps and other flashy nonsense assigned the highlight stick. But his supreme agility and body control make Jennings one of the consistently best run after catch receivers in the NFL. He doesn't palm passes against his momentum and pull in impossible receptions. Yet his concentration in traffic and effortless ability to gain separation make him an easy target, trustworthy; rarely ever does Jennings drop a pass. He is both a quarterback's best friend and a true number one: Golden Tate's potential combined with Brandon Stokley's skill.
Jennings leads the NFL in EPA. 2010 marks the third consecutive season he has finished in the top five. Sometimes advanced stats mislead. They tell us Danny Woodhead was the most valuable rusher in the NFL, or D.J. Hackett has start potential. Sometimes advanced stats cut through hype and offer the unvarnished truth. Being a great wide receiver is not about making highlights and running your mouth. It's not about your profile, your talk show, your Q rating, your Twitter feed, your vanity. Being a great wide receiver is about turning targets into receptions and receptions into value. Few do it better than Greg Jennings.