1. The loss of Kendall Hunter is more damaging than many realize. We need to integrate LaMichael James ASAP
2. Kaepernick is playing well, and I expect him to continue to do so.
3. More snaps for Randy Moss and more targets to Vernon Davis are needed. I don't think this is controversial
4. We're soft(ish) up the middle vs. the run. something to address in 2013
To start, the 49ers have dropped from #1 to #3 in total DVOA, behind the Patriots and Broncos. We remain #2 in variance, but its a bit of a misnomer because its not normalized. If I convert it to standard deviation and look at it that way, (coefficient of variation, or CV), we're 13th in volatility...so that's better (we've been steadily dropping - having the Bills game and Giants games back to back screwed that up). Seattle is 4th in DVOA.
We're 3rd on offense (#1 rush, #5 pass), 3rd on defense (#1 rush, #6 pass), and 23rd on special teams (worst in Field Goals, 6th in punting, average in everything else). Offense's coefficient of variation is 12th, Defense's is 16th. League-wide, there is a **strong pattern of better teams being more consistent - we are outliers, along with the Giants and Bengals.
Quarterback - Kaepernick has the 3rd highest DVOA in the NFL, ahead of Rodgers but way behind Peyton Manning and Tom Brady...those two are running away with it. Interesting to note that Kaepernick has the same number of Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement (DYAR) as Andrew Luck. This is despite Luck having 4.5x more passing plays than Kaepernick. Alex Smith remains 8th in DVOA. QB Running - Kaepernick is 11th in running DVOA and 6th in DYAR. Smith is 12th in running DVOA and 15th in DYAR
O-line - we remain the #1 run-blocking team, but the gap between us and the rest of the league is shrinking. We are now 4th in 'stuffed' ranking, which measures the number of runs where the RB gets 0 yards or less. We used to be #1. We are still #1 in 2nd-level yards per carry, which is 5-10 yards beyong the LOS. We run the best when we run outside to the Left, we also run well up the middle. Pass-blocking - We are now dead LAST in adjusted sack rate, tied with the Bears for that honor.
RB - Gore remains 3rd in DVOA, but well behind Peterson and Spiller. 3rd in DYAR, just ahead of Ridley. Kendall Hunter is actually ahead of Peterson in DVOA and is 11th in DYAR despite the low number of carries; *** this illustrates how damaging the loss of him was. RB receiving - Gore is 16th in rec. DVOA for RBs, and 17th in DVOA. Kendall Hunter has a similar DVOA. ** Bruce Miller has come alive! DVOA of 47%, DYAR of 28. Highly efficient...we need to get him the ball even more
WR - Crabtree is 19th in DVOA, Manningham is 29th. In DYAR, Crabtree is 20th while Manningham is 44th. If Randy moss qualified, he'd be 11th in DVOA. Oddly, he has the same DYAR as Manningham (actually 1 yard more), despite Mario having 65% more targets!
TE - Vernon Davis is 5th in DVOA, 6th in DYAR. He has far fewer opportunities than every other tight end at the top of the list. Walker is 37th in DVOA, 35th in DYAR - still negative in DYAR. He has an abysmal catch rate of 48%. However, this is better than he was before.
D-Line - 9th overall against the run, #1 in 2nd-level yards (5-10 yards). 12th in stuffs, 3rd in open field tackling. 18th in Adjusted sack rate. We need to upgrade NT next year. Teams run better at Sopoaga than at Smtih or McDonald.
Secondary - 9th in DVOA vs. #1 and #2 WRs, 14th vs other WRs (slot guys). 11th vs. TEs, 21st vs RBs. This is no different than we've seen for 5 years, RBs always do well in the passing game against us. I think its by design, I don't know.
[ Edited by nickbradley on Dec 5, 2012 at 8:17 AM ]