When looking over the rankings posted today, I couldn’t help but wonder if Williams should start over Miles Austin. There has been a lot of talk lately about performance outranking status and contract.
I will start with the disclaimer that I do not have access to the all-22. If they aren’t running a five yard route or in a highlight play, I have no idea what these guys are doing. But I do have access to some stats and it seems that there is strong argument for Williams starting.
Green indicates a significant advantage. Some stats are too close too call or are just there for context.
Yards per Reception
First Down Percentage
20+ Yard Receptions
Reception Percentage of targets
Austin: 8% (2 drops)
Williams: 4.8% (1 drop)
What stands out the most to me is the yards per reception and reception percentage. Williams did have a few big plays that could be seen as skewing the average, but the fact that Austin doesn’t have those types of plays, might say something too. The PFF ranking difference is not that big, but the fact that it does exist gives me some extra faith in what the other stats are bearing out. The folks who watch the all-22 are not seeing any real advantage for starting Miles Austin.
The only real negative for Williams so far is his fumble in the San Diego game. Miles only has 3 for his entire career. You can question Terrance’s ball security, but not Miles.
So, should Garrett continue with our perceived trend of going young and rewarding performance? I tend to trust the coaches judgement, but if these trends continue and Williams doesn't start soon, I will begin to wonder.