Consider these two circumstances.
A player catches the ball with no defenders around him and that player gets 10 yards after the catch. Another player catches the ball in coverage, breaks a tackle, and gains five yards after the catch.
Which player was more dynamic with the ball in their hands?
Expected Yards After Catch (xYAC) is a new stat that NFL Next Gen Stats created to explain the difference between a receiver’s actual yards gained after the catch and their expectations at the moment of the catch.
Below, we will look at the 10 best runs after the catch of the 2022 NFL season, according to Next Gen Stats’ xYAC.
10 Best Runs After Catch of the 2022 NFL Season
Momentum swings when a player scores a long touchdown, especially when the outcome of the play is unexpected.
Ja’Marr Chase’s 60-yard receiving TD kicks off the 10 best runs after the catch of the 2022 NFL season.
Click to jump to a player on the top-10 list.
- Jaylen Waddle
- T.J. Hockenson
- Cooper Kupp
- Lavishka Shenault
- Derrick Henry
- Dalvin Cook
- Gabe Davis
- Trent Sherfield
- Deebo Samuel
- Ja’Marr Chase
10. Ja’Marr Chase 60-Yard Receiving TD
Ja’Marr Chase missed some time this season, playing in just 12 games.
Still, he put together a very good season.
Chase had 87 receptions, 1,046 receiving yards, and nine receiving TDs.
He had an excellent 60-yard receiving TD with two minutes left in the game against the New Orleans Saints in Week 6.
With the ball on their own 40-yard line, Chase caught a 10-yard pass, broke a tackle, and ran passed another defender to score a 60-yard TD.
That TD would give the Cincinnati Bengals a 30-26 lead and eventually the victory.
This catch ranked 10th in YAC above expected.
Chase had 47 yards after the catch above expected.
It was also a game-winning TD.
9. Deebo Samuel 57-Yard Receiving TD
Deebo Samuel played in 13 games, missing a few games down the stretch during the season.
Despite losing his first and second-string QB, Samuel put together a solid season.
He had 56 receptions, 632 receiving yards, and two receiving TDs.
One of those receiving TDs was a 57-yard receiving TD late in the second quarter in week 4.
Samuel caught a five-yard pass, immediately broke a tackle, made a defender miss, and then broke another tackle on his way to scoring a TD.
This TD gave the San Francisco 49ers a 14-6 lead late in the second quarter and San Francisco would go on to win the game 24-9 against the Los Angeles Rams.
Samuel’s long TD ranked ninth in YAC above expected.
Samuel had 51 yards after the catch above expected.
8. Trent Sherfield 75-Yard Receiving TD
Trent Sherfield is not a big name and he is the third WR on the Miami Dolphins after Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
Waddle and Hill get all the coverage but Sherfield had a solid season.
Sherfield had 30 receptions, 417 receiving yards, and two receiving TDs.
He also had a massive 75-yard TD against the best defense in the league on the very first play of the game in week 13 against the San Francisco 49ers.
Sherfield caught a 10-yard pass and was able to run away from four defenders to score a huge 75-yard TD.
Dolphins WR Trent Sherfield(!) is the 1st former 49er to make big play against his old team in what feels like a homecoming week.
Tua to Sherfield for 75-yard TD on 1st play from scrimmage: pic.twitter.com/48trrl4yjl
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) December 4, 2022
This would give the Dolphins a 7-0 lead.
Miami would go on to lose the game 28-17.
Sherfield’s long TD ranked eighth in YAC above expected.
Sherfield had 53 yards after the catch above expected.
7. Gabe Davis 98-Yard Receiving TD
Gabe Davis is a solid Robin to Stefon Diggs’ Batman.
Davis had 48 receptions, 836 receiving yards, and seven receiving TDs.
One of those TDs by Davis was the longest-receiving TD of the season by any player.
It was in week 5 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Buffalo Bills were at their own two-yard line, early in the first quarter with the score 0-0.
Davis caught the deep ball at the Buffalo 40-yard line, running by two defenders to make the catch, and outran everyone for a ridiculous 98-yard receiving TD.
The #Steelers got the Bills to third down … then Josh Allen threw a 98-yard TD to Gabe Davis. pic.twitter.com/JgrWxIOEbx
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 9, 2022
The game was changed from the beginning of the game after this play, as the Steelers could never come back.
Buffalo won the game 38-3 and Davis finished with three catches, 171 receiving yards, and two receiving TDs in the game.
Davis’ long TD ranked seventh in YAC above expected.
Davis had 55 yards after the catch above expected.
6. Dalvin Cook 64-Yard Receiving TD
Dalvin Cook is a running back and one of the better ones in the NFL.
Cook had 1,173 rushing yards and eight rushing TDs this season.
He also contributes to the passing game as well. Cook had 39 receptions, 295 receiving yards, and two receiving TDs.
One of those receiving TDs was a 64-yard receiving TD.
It was in week 15 against the Indianapolis Colts. The Minnesota Vikings were down 33 points at halftime but came back in what was the biggest comeback in NFL history.
Cook’s long TD brought Minnesota within two points and the Vikings would get the two-point conversion to tie the game with just over two minutes left in the game.
The ball was on the Minnesota 35-yard line, and the pass to Cook was a screen pass, he would take the pass and find his way through the Colts’ defenders to run by numerous players, he broke a tackle at the Indianapolis 17-yard line and would break two more tackles inside the Indy five-yard line before finding the endzone for the long score.
TOUCHDOWN: Kirk Cousins 64-yd TD to Dalvin Cook#Colts 36 #Vikings 34 4th pic.twitter.com/zNLqveXdYN
— Sᴘᴏʀᴛs 24/7 (@Sports_24x7_) December 17, 2022
The game would go into overtime and Minnesota would kick the game-winning field goal.
Cook finished with 95 rushing and receiving yards and one receiving TD, in what was a memorable play and game.
Cook’s long TD ranked sixth in YAC above expected.
Cook had 55 yards after the catch above expected.
Top Five Best Runs After Catch of the 2022 NFL Season
Now, we get to the top-five best runs after the catch of the 2022 NFL season.
Derrick Henry’s 69-yard receiving TD kicks off the top-five list.
5. Derrick Henry 69-Yard Receiving TD
King Henry returned to form this season.
Henry had 1,538 rushing yards, 13 rushing TDs, 33 receptions, and 398 receiving yards.
He had a very whacky play in week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The score was 3-3 with 11:30 left in the second quarter.
The ball was on the Tennessee Titans’ 25-yard line.
Henry caught a screen pass and ran by numerous defenders, but Henry was caught at the two-yard line by a defender and was stripped. Henry fumbled the ball into the endzone, which was recovered by a Titans player for a TD.
This gave the Titans a 10-3 lead.
However, Tennessee ended up losing the game 20-16.
Henry’s long play ranked fifth in YAC above expected.
Henry had 58 yards after the catch above expected.
4. Laviska Shenault 67-Yard Receiving TD
In 13 games this season, Laviska Shenault had 27 receptions, 272 receiving yards, and one receiving TD.
His only TD came in week 3 at home against the New Orleans Saints.
The score was 13-7 for the Carolina Panthers with 12:19 left in the fourth quarter.
Carolina had the ball at their own 33-yard line.
Shenault caught the pass at the line of scrimmage, immediately made a defender miss, made another defender miss at midfield, and ran by everyone for a 67-yard receiving TD to give the Panthers a 19-7 lead.
Laviska Shenault gets the ball early in space, horrible angles by the Saints defense. 15 makes them pay. Huge play in this game. pic.twitter.com/254msr9HcA
— John Ellis (@1PantherPlace) September 25, 2022
The Panthers would go on to win the game 22-14.
Shenault’s long TD ranked fourth in YAC above expected.
Shenault had 60 yards after the catch above expected.
3. Cooper Kupp 75-Yard Receiving TD
Cooper Kupp’s season was cut short.
He only played in nine games and did not play after week 10 this season.
Despite playing in just nine games, Kupp had 75 receptions, 812 receiving yards, and six receiving TDs.
One of his receiving TDs came in week 5 against the Dallas Cowboys.
The score was 9-3 for Dallas with 9:42 left in the second quarter.
The Los Angeles Rams had the ball at their own 25-yard line.
Kupp caught a five-yard pass and ran by every defender untouched for a 75-yard TD.
Rams WR Cooper Kupp turned on the jets powering 74 YAC to the house. Like that, Rams take a 10-9 lead over Cowboys. 🚀🚀
— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) October 9, 2022
He finished the game with seven catches, 125 receiving yards, and one receiving TD.
Los Angeles would go on to lose the game 22-10.
Kupp’s long TD ranked third in YAC above expected.
Kupp had 64 yards after the catch above expected.
2. T.J. Hockenson 81-Yard Receiving Play
T.J. Hockenson finished the season with the Minnesota Vikings as he was traded but he began the season with the Detroit Lions.
Hockenson had a good season, having 86 receptions, 914 receiving yards, and six receiving TDs.
In week 4 while on the Lions, Hockenson had an 81-yard receiving play.
The score was 38-23 for the Seattle Seahawks with 15 seconds left in the third quarter.
Detroit had the ball at their own 15-yard line.
Hockenson caught a seven-yard pass, broke a tackle at the Detroit 25-yard line, broke another tackle just passed the Detroit 35-yard line, and carried two Seattle defenders at the Seattle 15-yard line all the way to the Seattle four-yard line before being tackled.
Detroit scored a TD two plays later.
The Lions would go on to lose the game 48-45.
Hockenson’s long play ranked second in YAC above expected.
Hockenson had 68 yards after the catch above expected.
1. Jaylen Waddle 84-Yard Receiving TD
Jaylen Waddle had a very good season.
He had 75 receptions, 1,356 receiving yards, and eight receiving TDs.
One of the eight receiving TDs was a long 84-yard receiving TD in week 16 against the Green Bay Packers.
The score was tied 3-3 with 9:21 remaining in the first quarter.
The Miami Dolphins had the ball at their own 16-yard line.
Waddle caught a 10-yard pass, broke free, made a defender miss at the Green Bay 40-yard line, broke away from another defender at the Green Bay 35-yard line, and found the endzone for an 84-yard long TD reception.
Jaylen Waddle just had 74 yards…after the catch. Ridiculous 84-yard TD puts Dolphins up 10-3 vs. Packers.pic.twitter.com/AegH3v4fPP
— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) December 25, 2022
This gave the Dolphins a 10-3 lead.
He finished the game with five catches, 143 receiving yards, and one receiving TD.
Waddle’s long TD ranked first in YAC above expected.
Waddle had 69 yards after the catch above expected.