Week 3 XFL Air Yards Data: Mekale McKay Will Break Out

Credit:

Michael Owens/Getty Images. Pictured: Mekale McKay

We’re tracking air yards for the 2020 XFL season, and in this post we have all the receiving data for Weeks 1-2 of the XFL.

What exactly are air yards?

The scrimmage-yard distance that a ball travels on a target intended for a receiver: That distance is “air yards.”


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Air yards are an outcome-agnostic statistic. It doesn’t matter if a receiver catches his targets or not: As long as he’s targeted, he gets credit for the air yards that come with those targets.

Why should we care about air yards?

Air yards are predictive.

Not all targets are the same, and if you want to get a sense for how many yards a receiver is likely to get, a target projection will get you only so far. It also helps to know how far downfield a receiver tends to be targeted.

We have XFL air yards data thanks entirely to one of our writers, Tony Marquis, who took it upon himself to watch each snap from Weeks 1-2 and log the data for every single pass attempt.

This guy is a hero.

Follow him on Twitter, and dive into his data. — Matthew Freedman

2020 XFL Air Yards Data

A note about these statistics: I compiled these numbers by charting the games. They are unofficial statistics, but I stand by them.

If you compare my statistics to those in the box scores at XFL.com, you’ll notice a few discrepancies.

My numbers are unofficial, but I believe they’re as accurate as any XFL receiving statistics available. — Tony Marquis

Week 2 XFL Air Yards Leaders

The return of Los Angeles Wildcats quarterback Josh Johnson helped wide receiver Adonis Jennings reach the top of the Week 2 air yards list, although he didn’t make much noise with his league-high 174 air yards.

Some other takeaways.

  • Tampa Bay Vipers wide receiver Seantavius Jones led the team with 97 air yards in Week 2. This week, the team cut him. No. 1 wide receiver Dan Williams should benefit from Jones’ absence.
  • New York Guardians wide receiver Mekale McKay had 158 air yards in Week 2, and he’s No. 4 on the year with 232, but he has just 88 yards receiving. The breakout is coming.
  • Dallas Renegades tight end Donald Parham saw 142 air yards in Week 2 and is the team’s true No. 1 pass-catching option. — Marquis

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