3 numbers that hammer home McLaurin’s importance to Commanders originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The importance of Terry McLaurin to the Commanders is as well established as the importance of coldness to beer. Without the former, the latter isn’t nearly as effective.
Just to hammer home the idea, though, and as the contract negotiations between the receiver and the club wrap up with his lucrative three-year extension, here are three stats that show what McLaurin means to Washington. You know he’s a contested-catch savant and understand he’s stood out in the NFL despite subpar quarterback play, but hopefully these numbers are new to you…
Not only has McLaurin led the offense in receptions in each of his first three years as a pro, he’s far outpaced the second-best option at wideout in those campaigns.
In 2019, McLaurin finished with 58 grabs, which was 24 more than Steven Sims. In 2020, he posted 87 catches, which was a jarring 55 more than Cam Sims. And in 2021, he hauled in 77 balls, which was 36 more than Adam Humphries.
That means that, on average, McLaurin has caught 38.3 more passes than the team’s next-leading wide receiver. J.D. McKissic and Logan Thomas have stepped up to help McLaurin out from their own spots, but in terms of the guys whom McLaurin shares a meeting room with on a daily basis, he’s largely been a one-man show.
Now, that isn’t exactly atypical for a No. 1 target; Davante Adams, for instance, dominated in Green Bay’s passing attack, much like Cooper Kupp did in Los Angeles last season.
But for every Adams and Kupp, there’s a duo like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin in Tampa or D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett in Seattle. For McLaurin, that has never been the case.
Could the addition of so-far-revered Jahan Dotson and potential return of Curtis Samuel alleviate the stress on McLaurin and cause the 38.3 stat to decrease? The Commanders are no doubt hoping so. But until one or both of those players prove it for the organization, McLaurin remains as the only legitimately reliable presence on the outside.
Since leaving Ohio State, Terry McLaurin has made 16 trips to the end zone across 14 different NFL games. Washington’s record in those contests is 6-8, a mark that equates to a winning percentage of .428.
Yes, that sounds and is quite underwhelming — but it also beats the franchise’s performance in matchups when McLaurin doesn’t score. Easily.
In outings that haven’t featured a touchdown from McLaurin, the squad is 11-24, which comes out to a winning percentage of .314.
When McLaurin is creating points, the Commanders overall are more likely to fare well on the scoreboard. That’s simple and not all that surprising, yet it’s worth identifying regardless.
Fortunately, Washington hasn’t had to suit up much without McLaurin in the lineup. That said, the team is 0-3 in McLaurin-less showdowns.
As far as sample sizes go, three examples across three years is minuscule. So, too, are the totals put up by the Commanders’ offense in its appearances sans McLaurin: 3, 16 and 13.
The positive news is that the acquisition of Carson Wentz along with the abilities of Dotson, Samuel (hopefully), Thomas, McKissic, Antonio Gibson and others should make the unit more lethal, and luckily, McLaurin has been almost completely healthy. Still, the brief taste of life without McLaurin hasn’t been enjoyable, and perhaps that’ll motivate Ron Rivera to lock him up for the foreseeable future.