Ug. That was rough.
1) Kap: CAREER regular season statline as a starter - 16 starts, 244 comp, 412 att, 59.22 comp%, 3275 yards, 7.94 YPA, 19 TDs, 9 INTs, 90.82 QB Rating. This will be the last time I track the career #'s. We now have a 16 game regular season statline. My goal was always to have some kind of statistical basis to compare his performance to other QBs over their first 16 starts. Here are a few statlines from some players in their first year as a starter....
Tom Brady: 18 TDs, 12 INTs, 2843 yards, 86.5 Rating. In fact, Brady didn't have a rating over 90 till his 4th season as a starter.
Drew Brees: 17 TDs, 16 INTs, 3284 yards, 76.9 Rating. Year 3 was his first season with rating over 90. In fact, he had a 67.5 rating in year 2.
Aaron Rodgers: 28 TDs, 13 INTs, 4038 yards, 93.8 Rating.
Carson Palmer: 18 TDs, 18 INTs, 2897 yards, 77.3 Rating
You might be asking why I chose these four players in particular. The obvious answer is that they are three of the best QBs in the NFL and another who was once thought to be among the best. That is part of it. The more compelling reason tho is that while they are three of the best in the NFL, they all also didn't start as rookies. They all had at least a full year with their teams to learn the system before they took over. Rodgers in fact didn't take over as a starter till his FOURTH year in Green Bay. I bring all this up not to say that Kap WILL be as good as all of those guys. My point here is that he is far from a finished product.
That leads me to yesterdays game. It was rough. He didn't play well. He was pressured all day and lost Vernon early, but he didn't play well either. The 49ers have an issue with a lack of quality pass catchers. When Vernon is out, defenses just bracket Boldin and the passing game is toast. That's completely true...but the fact that Kap seems incapable of adapting and having even a decent passing day is alarming. Yes...Niners were also down 2 TEs so all of the sudden they had to play Adam Snyder at TE. Yes, The Panthers D is damned good. Yes, it appears that the Panthers were changing their look very late on the playclock to prevent Kap from changing the play at the line. Watch the game again and you will see the FS bail out deep very late. All of this is true. He still has his part to play.
When Crab and Vernon are back at full health, things will be different. Defenses won't be able to completely shut down the passing game simply by doubling Boldin. The problem is that there is no guarantee that will happen this year. Kap needs to be able to be productive despite the situation. The line needs to block better, the receivers need to play better and the OC needs to call better plays, but Kap has his part to play in this.
To those calling for Kaps head tho and saying we never should have let Alex go, etc....you're loony tunes. We got spoiled last year by Kaps early performance. Kap is still a galactically physically gifted QB. He's still a very smart kid and he's still willing to work his a$$ off to get better. We need to chill. He'll be fine.
2) Eric Reid: OK, now I'm concerned. Two concussions this early in his career? That makes me worry that he's going to be one of those guys that ends up out of the game very early and simply keeps getting concussions. I hope I'm wrong...but my bet is that he's not playing in New Orleans.
3) Vernon: Jeez....when he's not in there, its ugly. The THREAT of him is enough to loosen up a defense. When he's out, its pretty much over. When I saw him walking into the locker room yesterday, I was pretty sure the 49ers wouldn't score another point. I hate being right sometimes. The 49ers really underrated the importance of Delanie Walker last year. If they had known they would struggle like this, my bet is that they would have found the money to resign him. I think that was a mistake by Baalke. Yes, Delanie had problems catching the ball, but his presence in the offense challenged a team vertically. He created space. McDonald at this point is unable to do that. McDonald may eventually be a good TE, but he is simply a completely different player than Walker.
4) O-Line: Some credit has to be given to the Panthers defense, but the Niners O-Line was horrible is pass protection. There were a few times that Kap could have gotten the ball out earlier, but he was under siege all day. It seemed they were doing fine run blocking, but that pass protection was horrible. Anthony Davis in particular seemed to struggle. They also had trouble all day with the blitz.
5) Gore: Still plugging away. One of the few bright spots. As we seem to say every time they lose....why did they stop running the ball? His patience running the ball was something to behold. Watching some of those plays over again...watching him wait for a block or seem top find a cutback lane where there wasn't one....his vision is insane.
6) "Twin" Teams: This isn't new. We all know that the 49ers struggle badly against teams that are built like they are. The question is why. Teams that can stand up to their physical style always seem to be able to "out physical" them. Big time passing offensive teams tho with all world QBs? In the last 2.5 years, they've beaten the Saints twice, the Packers 3 times, the Patriots, and the Falcons (when they were good). This is why I think we have a shot in New Orleans. If both Reid or Vernon are out tho....it might be ugly.
7) Aldon: Some are going to make some point out of the 49ers being 1-3 with him and 5-0 without him. Total statistical anomaly. It means nothing. Skuta played very well yesterday so I'm not saying Aldon playing few snaps was the problem. In fact the entire defense played very well. They really only gave up one drive and even that one was a hair away from ending in an INT by Bowman.
8) WR: I'm not going to go into these guys performances again. Same story all year. Vernon out. Boldin doubled. Nobody else making a play...tho Manningham did show some signs of life...tho looked a bit rusty. That's to be expected. What I really want to talk about here tho is what I saw in Seattle and what I've seen ALL YEAR in Seattle. What do I see? Not superstar receivers. What I see is WRs making insane plays on a regular basis. Diving catches. Prayer catches on the sideline. Miracle catches in the endzone. That Golden Tate catch was nuts. Doug Baldwin has made several of these this year. Wilsons WRs have bailed him out all year. With the exception of a few catches by Boldin, that is NOT happening in SF. The case could be made that perhaps Kap isn't putting the ball in a position for his guys to make those plays. I'm not sure what it is. I just see Wilsons guys doing that week after week and I don't see it happening in SF. To any Seattle fans reading this...this isn't meant as some excuse. Its jealousy.
9) Ahmad Brooks: I had to at least give him a shout out. He had himself a great game. So did Skuta. They were not at fault in this one.
10) Greg Roman: I know what peeps on here are gonna say...and are already saying. Many of you want him on the first bus out of town. Your complaints aren't entirely unjustified. He got away from the run again when it was working. In his defense tho, The Panthers started to do something they haven't done all year. They started to put 8 in the box. That is a formation Kap SHOULD have been able to pass from. The problem was that he couldn't find anyone. He didn't have any time back there. It's easy to criticize the OC when stuff doesn't work, but he also was calling those run early that DID work. It's become popular to hate Roman on this site and he certainly deserves some of the blame here, but losing 2 TEs, having a serious lack of receiving talent, a QB who is not playing well, and an O-Line unable to protect will make any OC look pretty bad.
Looks like their will be 11 pints this week instead of 10....
11) Our new playoff reality: Is the division completely out of reach? No. Do the 49ers need to proceed as if it is? Yes. Seattle is no longer the team to have our sights on. We need to be looking at the NFC South. We need to be looking at the NFC North. We could now be competing with the Saints, Panthers, Bears, and Lions for those 2 Wild-Card spots. Losing to the Panthers hurts because that could be a tie-breaker late in the year. This season tho is far from over. As bad as this looked, the Niners are still 6-3 with only 2 "difficult" games left on their schedule. They are still getting some guys back here in fairly short order. The season is not lost.
[ Edited by Marvin49 on Nov 11, 2013 at 9:56 AM ]