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Has Our Running Game Been 'Figured Out'?

Originally posted by TinyHandsBigHeart:
I don't consider anything under 20 yards to be deep. He only attempted one deep ball and overthrew it. And no QB that that only threw for 183 yards on 23 passing attempts had a great day throwing the ball deep. The numbers don't lie. In his last 3 starts, Kaep has played under the level that Alex had played at over the course of the season in almost every passing category.

well, the NFL considers anything beyond 15 to be deep
Originally posted by nickbradley:
Originally posted by TinyHandsBigHeart:
I don't consider anything under 20 yards to be deep. He only attempted one deep ball and overthrew it. And no QB that that only threw for 183 yards on 23 passing attempts had a great day throwing the ball deep. The numbers don't lie. In his last 3 starts, Kaep has played under the level that Alex had played at over the course of the season in almost every passing category.

well, the NFL considers anything beyond 15 to be deep
Originally posted by OKC49erFan:
Aw damn, that site is blocked... Would you mind explaining how they are calculated?

here you go:

This post will explain the concepts of Expected Points and Expected Points Added. In future posts when I refer to these stats, I'll link here.

Football is a sport of strategy and decision making. But before we can compare the potential risks and rewards of various options, we need to be able to properly measure the value of possible outcomes.

The value of a football play has traditionally been measured in yards gained. Unfortunately, yards is a flawed measure because not all yards are equal. For example, a 4-yard gain on 3rd down and 3 is much more valuable than a 4-yard gain on 3rd and 8. Any measure of success must consider the down and distance situation.

Field position is also an important consideration. Yards gained near the goal line are tougher to come by and are more valuable than yards gained at midfield. Yards lost near one's own goal line can be more costly as well.

We can measure the values of situations and, by extension, the outcomes of plays by establishing an equivalence in terms of points. To do this we can start by looking back through recent NFL history at the 'next points scored' for all plays. For example, if we look at all 1st and 10s from an offense' own 20-yard line, the team on offense will score next slightly more often than its opponent. If we add up all the 'next points' scored for and against the offense's team, whether on the current drive or subsequent drives, we can estimate the net point advantage an offense can expect for any football situation. For a 1st and 10 at an offense's own 20, it's +0.4 net points, and at the opponent's 20, it's +4.0 net points. These net point values are called Expected Points (EP), and every down-distance-field position situation has a corresponding EP value.

Suppose the offense has a 1st and 10 at midfield. This situation is worth +2.0 EP. A 5-yard gain would set up a 2nd and 5 from the 45, which corresponds to a +2.1 EP. Therefore, that 5-yard gain in that particular situation represents a +0.1 gain in EP. This gain is called Expected Points Added (EPA). Likewise, a 5-yard loss on 1st down at midfield would create a 2nd and 15 from the offense's own 45. That situation is worth +1.2 EP, representing a net difference of -0.8 EPA.

We can value turnovers in the same way. Suppose that on 2nd and 5 at the opponent's 45 there was a fumble recovered by the defense. The 2nd and 5 was worth +2.2 EP, but not the opponent has a 1st and 10 on their own 45, worth +2.1 EP to them. The result of the play represents -2.1 EP for the original offense for a net loss of -4.3 EP. On average, a fumble in that situation means a net expected loss of a little more than 4 points.

To be of good use for most kinds of analysis, we need the measure of success to be linear. In this case, that means that a +2 EP is exactly twice as good as +1 EP, that +4 EP is twice as good as +2 EP, and so on. We need linearity when we analyze decisions. For example, what would you rather have a 100% chance of +3 EP, or would you rather have a 60% chance at +6 EP with a 40% chance of 0 EP? To answer this question definitively, each net point of advantage must be equally valuable to a team.

But there's a problem. We all know that being up by 1 point at the end of a game is just as good as being up by 50. Not all points are equally valuable. Teams well ahead will sacrifice point advantages in exchange for running time off the clock, which in the end helps them win.

To mitigate that problem, the baseline EP values for each down-distance-field position situation must be created based on real game situations when points are equally valuable and time is not yet a factor. The baseline EP values are therefore based only on game situations when the score was within 10 points and in the first and third quarters. This eliminates situations like 'trash time,' and other distortions.

EP and EPA have a variety of applications. We can use EP to measure and compare the relative value of runs vs. passes in various situations. We can tally up the EPA for individual players and for teams for a more accurate valuation than what traditional stats can tell us. Perhaps the most useful application of EP is in the analysis of fourth down decisions, which suggests teams should be going for it far more often.

For an example of what EP values look like on first down, see the chart below. For second and third downs, see this post.
^^ Many thanks.
Originally posted by nickbradley:
well, the NFL considers anything beyond 15 to be deep

Well, it's all semantics really. The question is: have NFL defenses been able to adjust to Kaepernick and take away the deeper routes he was so successful with early on and the answer is yes, they have for the most part. They've also been able to do it without us being able to gash them in other areas including the run game.
I dont't think it is fair to discard QB carries especially when many are on designed runs. Plus 22 for 102 and a 4.6 YPC without the 50 yard run for a TD seems to indicate that our Runing game is still plenty effective.
Kaepernick making the the wrong calls at the line. Not that hard to figure out.
What I've noticed is that defenses have gone back to stacking the box with 8-9 defenders. They realize that our depth at WR and TE is largely a mirage. We don't use these guys that often. Teams used to respect the presence of Moss and Davis on the field. They don't anymore.
Originally posted by nickbradley:
Originally posted by ads_2006:
lulz

still second in the league in rushing

sure has been figured out

so our yards per carry has been cut by 1/3rd and there's nothing to explain it?

maybe cause its week what, 15?

you think that our lineman and rbs legs are not as fresh anymore?
Originally posted by nickbradley:
Originally posted by hofer36:
"uh dude" ? look at the run game in smith's starts--not just one game dude, niners were on pace to set nfl record of 5.7 avg yards per carry---and i have heard broadcasters a number of times (collinsworth and moose johnston come to mind) observe after big gore runs that smith called the right play at the line (alot of times the wham blocking runs)...i havenet heard one broadcaster say that in any of kaerpnicks starts

That's because there's nothing else to talk about with Smith at the helm. In the one game where they both played, the running game did better under Kaepernick.

if that makes you feel better ok
Originally posted by SofaKing:
What I've noticed is that defenses have gone back to stacking the box with 8-9 defenders. They realize that our depth at WR and TE is largely a mirage. We don't use these guys that often. Teams used to respect the presence of Moss and Davis on the field. They don't anymore.

maybe they arent respecting the qb
Gore had a 5.5 yard per carry average but only got 13 carries this is not enough. Gore is still the cog of this offense.
we saw how Brady went deep quite often against the Texans and that really opened up the running game for the Pats. You have to make a defense defend the whole football field. If 11 men only need to cover 30% of the field rather than 100% then their odds of stopping you greatly increase.
I think teams are starting to figure out that when Frank Gore has the football in the backfield, he is going try to run with it instead of passing