I was just looking at some team stats from last year ( yeah Im bored ) and it made me think of what people were saying after 2011. Some people thought the 9ers were a bit of a fluke after their 2011 season based on the ridiculous TO diff we posted. +28 was a historically good mark and no way we would keep that up. TO diff is a fickle stat that seems to change year to year. But is it? Lets compare!
SF = +28 NE = +25
GB = +24 CHI = +20
NE = +17 WAS = +17
DET = +11 NYG = +14
SEA = +8 SEA = +13
ATL = +8 ATL = +13
NYG = +7 HOU = +12
HOU = +7 SF = +9
JAX = +5 BAL = +9
DAL = +4 GB = +7
CHI = +2 CIN = +4
BAL = +2 TB = +3
Although the numbers have changed, 9 of the top 12 teams remained the same. In 2011 the top 8 teams and 9/12 overall made the playoffs. In 2012 10/12 made the playoffs ( Chicago choked at the end of the year or they may have made it over the Vikes ). One would think that with a rookie instead of Dashon playing CF and with a young signal caller who fumbled 10 times last year under center, we will have to play very clean football to keep our + TO diff intact. I wonder if the coaches have the same thing in mind when game planning and attacking down the field. Kap will improve, but D's now have tape on him. As talented as he is, he really needs to improve on going to his 2nd and 3rd options. Too many times he locks onto one receiver and stares him down. He gets away with it because of his superior arm strength, but that area needs major improvement or his INT's will go up significantly in a "Soph Slump".
Back to the stats, let's see how our other stats changed from 2011 to 2012 to make up for the 19 less turnovers from 2011-2012.
PPG= 23.8 (11th)
YPG = 310.9 ( 26th)
Rushing yds = 127.8 ( 8th )
Rushing AVG = 4.1 ( 19th )
Passing yds = 183.1 ( 29th )
Passing AVG = 7.1 ( 17th )
3rd Down % = 29% ( 31st )
4th Down % = 64% ( 2nd )
Pen Yds = 1014 ( 29th )
TOP = 32:08 ( 5th )
PPG = 14.3 ( 2nd )
YPG = 308.2 ( 4th )
Rushing yds = 77.2 ( 1st )
Rushing AVG = 3.5 ( 1st )
Passing yds = 230.9 ( 16th )
Passing AVG = 6.9 ( 10th )
3rd Down % = 35% ( 11th )
4th Down % = 41% ( 14th )
Pen Yds = 867 ( 18th )
Sacks = 42 ( 7th )
PPG = 24.8 (11th) +1 PPG
YPG = 361.8 ( 11th) +50.9 YPG
Rushing yds = 155.7 ( 4th ) +27.9 YDS
Rushing AVG = 5.1 ( 3rd ) +1 YD PER RUSH!
Passing yds = 206.1 ( 23rd ) +23 YPG
Passing AVG = 8.1 ( 2nd ) +1 YD PER PASS!
3rd Down % = 35% ( 25th ) +6%
4th Down % = 67% ( 5th ) +3%
Pen Yds = 960 ( 28th ) -54 YDS
TOP = 31:46 ( 6th ) -00:22
PPG = 17.1 ( 2nd ) +2.8 PPG more
YPG = 294.4 ( 3rd ) -13.8 YPG less
Rushing yds = 94.2 ( 4th ) +17 YPG more
Rushing AVG = 3.7 ( 4th ) +0.2 YD more
Passing yds = 200.2 ( 4th ) -30.7 YPG less
Passing AVG = 6.1 ( 2nd ) -0.8 YD less
3rd Down % = 33% ( 3rd ) -2% better on 3rd
4th Down % = 56% ( 23rd ) +15 % worse on 4th
Pen Yds = 758 ( 8th ) -109 less yards
Sacks = 38 ( 11th ) -4 sacks
Our run D in 2011 was historically good, no way we could keep that up. We did give up more yards in 2012, but that's because teams ran more on us. We still only gave up +.2 per rush finishing top 5 in the league. The Rush D took a small step back, but the passing D took a big step forward in 2012. We can't say it was because of a better pass rush since we finished the year with 4 less sacks. I think those numbers are a little skewed though since our pass rush disappeared at the end of the year. If Aldon and Justin were healthy, we would have finished with the same amount of sacks. I remember before the year when everyone said how hard our schedule was with the QBs we needed to face....@ Rogers, Stafford, Eli, @ Brees, Cutler, @ Brady. I think we made up for those games with Jets, Bills, Cards x2, Rams x2....so lets call it even. We did give up a couple more points, but less yards and our 3rd down D did improve slightly. Overall our D was just as good as the year before, even though it did not seem that way.
We did improve from a yards and points perspective, but the biggest thing that stands out was the +1 yards per rush and +1 yards per pass, THATS HUGE!. We had many more explosive plays in 2012 and we were damn efficient doing it, finishing 3rd in rush average and 2nd in pass average. So why didn't we finish in the top 10 in yards then? Easy, we took the most time per play than any team in the league. We finished 30th in number of plays. Much of this has to do with Kap's audibles at the line of scrimmage. I think we will see a better tempo this year and save my vocal cords from yelling 'SNAP THE F*CKIN BALL!!" at my TV. The total rushing improved as well as the pass, thanks to Kap of course.
Our RUN D will be challenged now that we have new faces on the D line. As long as Ian and Dorsey hold up, I do not see a big drop off. Also, no matter if Dahl or Reid are in, teams are going to attack the back 3rd more this year. The way to combat that is to improve our pass rush. We need to finish with 40+ sacks this year to help the back end.
Our O needs to take the next step. I fully expect us to finish in the top 10 in rushing again, but now it's time for the passing game to improve. Going from 29th to 23rd was good, but we need this passing game to finish in the top half of the league this year. I would have said top 10, but with Crabs out, we will need to take more calculate shots down the field. If Kap tries to force the ball more and gets picked off, plus if he continues to have issues with the center exchange, that +9 TO Diff will shrink, if it goes into the - direction, we could be in for a step back this year.
If you read this far, congrats! Now what do you guys think we need to improve on this year to make it back to the SB?
[ Edited by DRUSTOPO on Jun 4, 2013 at 7:34 PM ]