WR Donnie Avery, Free agent
HT: 5-11, WT: 192, Born: 6-12-1984, College: Houston, Drafted: Round 2
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Avery's first year with the Chiefs was a bit of a disappointment considering his 2012 success and the opportunity that was put before him. As the #2 receiver Avery caught just 40 passes for 596 yards and 2 scores. He excelled early in the year on short crossing routes which led to a phenomenal week three performance against Philadelphia (7 catches, 141 yards). Much more often Avery was nearly invisible as he totaled less than 40 yards receiving in 12 of his 15 starts. Avery also struggled with drops, most notably later in the year when the Chiefs attempted to open up the offense. On the positive side, Avery did lead the Chiefs in 40+ yard receptions with 3.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Avery saw most of his targets including his five yard touchdown catch. On that play he ran a simple 3 yard out and then bounced off a would-be-tackler and waltzed into the end zone. After that, the Jaguars began giving him a little attention and Smith stopped looking his way.
Week 3 - Avery was the star of the game for the Chiefs offense and the main reason they were able to move the ball in the first three quarters. Four of his biggest catches came on the same type of play, including his 51 yard gain. Avery was running a simple short cross, or dig route and the other receivers were getting downfield to block for him. The difference on the 51 yard gain was that Avery actually broke two tackles once he got to the safeties. Avery's speed is perfect for these types of routes, especially against zone coverage. With no one close to him when he caught the ball he had plenty of time to build up speed behind some really good downfield blocking from his fellow wide outs. Avery also made a nice catch on a post pass for a first down late in the game between two defenders.
Week 4 - Donnie Avery ran many of the same routes he did against Philadelphia with the main difference being that the Giants had him blanketed in man coverage on most of them. Avery dropped three passes on plays where he was either well covered or exposed to a big hit. His two catches came on a short slant against soft coverage and a perfectly placed short out with no defenders in the area.
Week 5 - Avery went from being a receiver that was targeted almost entirely on short crosses to the team's only legitimate deep threat. His 44 yard reception was underthrown by Smith but Avery beat the corner back to the ball and made a nice catch. His 41 yard reception was a much better thrown ball and Avery made a leaping catch. Unfortunately, he crashed down on his left shoulder and did not return to the game. On both of Avery's deep routes he had at least two steps on the man that was trying to defend him.
Week 6 - Avery caught only two balls and struggled to get open all day. He fumbled one of those catches in the red zone on a wide receiver screen when he didn't do a good job of securing the ball. The one time Avery did get open, deep down the left sideline, Smith overthrew him on what would have been a sure touchdown.
Week 7 - Avery was clearly behind McCluster in the pecking order. His longest catch was on a deep hitch for 17 yards down the right sideline. His route was crisp, and the pass was on the mark from Smith. Avery's best play came on a 3rd and 7 reception. He caught the ball crossing the field in front of the marker. A stiff arm of a defender allowed him to get past the marker and pick up a key first down. Avery was well covered for much of the game other than these two occurrences.
Week 8 - Avery took a backseat to McCluster but still had a couple of nice plays. His first reception was a 2 yard out that Avery turned into an 8 yard gain by turning up the field on a dime instead of running out of bounds. His biggest grab came in the second half on a deep in that Smith placed perfectly for an 18 yard gain.
Week 9 - Avery didn't see any deep targets and was used almost exclusively on short slants. He dropped his first target and was leveled after a short gain on his second. His best play came on a short slant caught in between two defenders. Avery spun away from the tacklers to move the Chiefs into the red zone. For the second week in a row it looked like Avery has fallen behind Dexter McCluster in the passing game.
Week 11 - Avery's first quarter drop was one of the bigger drops of the game. Smith perfectly placed the ball on his back shoulder between two defenders 30 yards down field and Avery just couldn't haul it in. His only grab came on a deep post against soft coverage. He did a good job of using his body as a shield on the play and picked up 20 yards.
Week 12 - Avery's route on his touchdown catch was one of the best of the day. He ran a post-corner-post, fooling both his man and the safety that was supposed to be helping. The result was a wide open Avery on the receiving end of a 32 yard bullet from Smith. Just a short while later he beat his man down the left sideline for a 36 yard grab between two defenders, and unlike last week he held on to the ball. Avery looks like the clear favorite in the deep passing game and showed a good understanding for how to get open and better hands than he has as of late.
Week 13 - Avery's game was about as bad as a receiver's can be. He was consistently targeted deep down the field in the 4th quarter and consistently dropped well placed throws from Alex Smith. He had at least four drops on the day, the last of which led to him leaving the field with a shoulder injury. He returned later in the game so the injury isn't thought to be serious. Avery had an opportunity for a huge day and let it slip through his hands.
Week 14 - Avery was used very little making his only catch in tight coverage on a slant. Because the Chiefs didn't look downfield often and Dwayne Bowe was so heavily involved in the passing game, Avery took a back seat. The game script also led to a reduction in targets across the board which contributed.
Week 15 - Avery's 23 yard gain came on a busted coverage as he was left wide open down the right sideline for an easy catch. His only other grab was a short hitch in the middle of the field that the Raiders were happy to give him in the 2 minute warning.
Week 16 - Avery's three catches all came on short routes over the middle, and he was unable each time to make the first man miss. His best play was a short cross that went for 15 yards because he was able to outrun his man over the middle. Avery was unable to get open downfield throughout the game.
Week 18 - Avery's 79 yard reception came on a deep post where he beat his man deep by three steps and hauled in a perfectly thrown ball from Smith. He also had a terrible drop later in the game and was injured on the play. He did not return.