It’s always interesting to have a gander at the final stats the day after the season. It’s especially fun to look at some of the more obscure, geeky stats that you don’t really pay attention to much. Like yards-per-touch. That’s an interesting stat to me. The guys who lead that tend to be your kick return guys and deep receivers, cause obviously they’re getting bigger chunks of yardage any time they touch the ball. But some of the guys who show up on that list aren’t necessarily just returners or deep threats. A lot of the big yards-per-touch guys are just awesome playmakers who do tons of stuff for their teams. Like Wes Welker for instance. We think of Welker as a dink-and-dunk slot receiver who amasses huge numbers of receptions but he’s actually a big yards-per-touch guy too. This year he finished fourth in that stat at 12.5, tied with Leon Washington. Oh, the guy right behind Welker and Washington at 6th in the league in yards-per-touch? Our very own Percy Harvin.
Percy ended the season averaging 11.8 yards-per-touch. That was better than Darren Sproles, who finished the season with the most all-purpose yards at 2696. Antonio Brown actually led the league in yards-per-touch at 16.6. Other guys in the top ten included Josh Cribbs, Roddy White and Danny Woodhead. When you think about guys like that, you think about versatility and pure playmaking ability. And the stats show that Percy Harvin should be considered elite among these unique multi-faceted impact players.
Not that we need stats to appreciate Percy Harvin. We know just from watching him that he’s one of the most exciting offensive players in the league. But stats help paint the picture too and in Harvin’s case they paint a picture of excellence. Any way you slice it, Percy had a hell of a season in 2011. He ended up 6th in the league with 87 receptions. He finished 8th in all-purpose yards with 1832, and that number would’ve been much higher had the Vikings been less concerned about reducing the wear-and-tear on him. He ended up with 967 receiving yards, 345 rushing yards and 9 total TDs (6 receiving, 2 rushing and 1 returning) And think about how many TDs he might’ve scored had Bill Musgrave not insisted on pulling him off the field in the red zone for mysterious reasons. That may be the most amazing thing about Percy’s year: that he was able to amass those numbers despite the offensive coordinator’s inability to fully utilize him. Imagine what Percy could do if the Vikings had a real offensive guru instead of Musgrave. The mind boggles.
But I didn’t mean to turn this into a Musgrave bash-session. This is supposed to be a celebration of Percy Harvin. Percy was the Vikings’ offensive MVP this year without question. The chemistry he began developing with Christian Ponder when Ponder was actually playing well gave us lots of hope for the future. Now let’s see Christian get better after a full off-season and watch Percy’s stats go even higher next year. If Ponder develops and the Vikings can improve their pass protection and add some more receiving weapons, Harvin could be in for a magical season in 2012.