While Cincinnati Bengals superstar wide receiver A.J. Green leads the NFL with 103 targets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson has actually been the most relied-upon wide receiver in the league in his respective offense. With 94 targets in eight games played, Jackson also has the most targets per game, and he has seen his target rate skyrocket ever since Mike Williams went down with a season-ending injury. Jackson is one of the elite wide receivers in the game, and the Buccaneers couldn’t be happier with his response to the giant contract they gave him in the 2012 offseason. They desperately needed a No. 1 wide receiver and playmaker, and Vincent Jackson has definitely been that kind of a player.
Team Target Percentage is an advanced statistic on Advanced NFL Stats which calculates how often a wide receiver is targeted per the number of pass attempts his team throws. That gives a more accurate figure of how important a wide receiver is to an offense in terms of targets, because it normalizes things for teams that throw the ball more often. For instance, Anquan Boldin has been targeted a meager 62 times, but he’s second in the NFL in this stat because the San Francisco 49ers don’t throw the ball often.
Vincent Jackson, on the other hand, is the league leader, as 32.8% of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass attempts go to V-Jax, and this is a number that will most likely rise by the end of the season. A matchup nightmare due to his incredible blend of size and speed, Jackson has matured into a more precise route-runner and has developed consistency to go with his playmaking ability. Having an elite wide receiver like V-Jax really changes things for an offense, and it’s obvious that rookie QB Mike Glennon looks in his direction whenever possible. Although Jackson has caught just a measly 45.7% of the passes thrown at him, it’s clear that most of that is on the play of his quarterbacks this season.
Jackson tries to keep things ticking for the Buccaneers passing attack, and I think the Buccaneers will have thrown it to him on at least one-third of their passing plays by the time the year is up.