Yards after the catch in football refer to the yards gained by the ball carrier after he has caught a forward pass. Yards after the catch are recorded based on where the player caught the ball and where has was downed.
In football yards after the catch is going to count as receiving yards. These yards will also go toward the quarterbacks passing yards.
It is important to remember that yards after the catch are only counted on plays in which there is a forward pass. If the ball carrier is handed the ball or thrown a lateral pass these will not count as yards after the catch.
This statistic is often represented using the YAC acronym.
Players that excel in this statistic can make their quarterback’s life a lot easier. A lot of the yards gained after the catch are situational but some players have a knack for making plays with the ball in their hands.
What plays result in yards after the catch?
Now that you know what yards after the catch are in football you may be wondering what it looks like on the field.
We are going to go over some of the top plays to earn YAC in football so you can visualise what it looks like.
One of the most common ways for players to earn some yards after catching a forward pass is during a screen play.
On these plays, the ball is going to be thrown right around the line of scrimmage. This means it is up to the player to gain yards with the ball in his hands for this play to be successful.
On screen passes several players will have the assignment of blocking for the receiver on the play. These blockers will look to create space in the defense for the receiver to run through.
Since all the yards gained on this play are after the catch means it largely affects the YAC statistic.
The crossing route is another play which can often result in players gaining a large number of yards after the catch. This is especially true when the defense is in man coverage.
When in man coverage the wide receivers will often be faster than the defensive back that is covering them. By running a crossing route across the width of the field the receiver will often be able to create separation.
If they are able to catch the ball in stride the receiver will often be able to turn the corner and get into the second level. Using their speed they are often to get huge gains on these plays.
This sort of route is much more effective if the receiver is capable as a ball carrier.
The final play in which players can earn yards after the catch is deep passes. This may seem counterintuitive but the amount of space in the defensive backfield often means players travel a fair distance with the ball in their hands.
Oftentimes, when a deep pass is thrown there, will only be a single defender on the receiver. The defender in these situations will often look to break up the pass.
If the defender loses a step or falls over when attempting to break up the pass the receiver will have plenty of running room.
On these plays, the receiver will get plenty of air yards but they will get a large number of yards after the catch as well.
That is all on yards after the catch in football if you want to learn more about football statistics see our article on all-purpose yards or yards from scrimmage.