By Ty Schalter
When Cam Newton needed one last completion to seal the Carolina Panthers’ Week 5 win over the Detroit Lions, it’s no surprise that he looked Kelvin Benjamin’s way. The 26-year-old receiver is football’s answer to Mariano Rivera: He shows up to close out games.
Benjamin is not an All-Pro, or even a likely Pro Bowl candidate; this season, he’s on pace for just 870 receiving yards. The 2014 first-round pick hasn’t even produced on par with many of his draft classmates. Partially because of an ACL injury that cost him his second season, Benjamin, who was the fifth receiver taken in 2014, ranks just ninth in that group in career receiving yards.
Benjamin’s per-game production also fails to impress when compared with all wideouts since 2014. According to ESPN’s TruMedia, he ranks 39th in per-game receptions, 34th in yardage and 20th in touchdowns.
But in the fourth quarter, he’s as productive as any of his peers — and no team in the NFL depends on any receiver to close out games as much as the Panthers depend on Benjamin.
Among wide receivers who played at least 25 games from 2014 through 2017, Benjamin’s average of 23.3 fourth-quarter receiving yards ranks …read more
Via:: 538 Data Labs