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Off the Beaten Path 49ers Statistics

Levin T. Black
Dec 22, 2018 at 12:24 PM


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I present to you some interesting statistics involving the San Francisco 49ers and their players. These are not your everyday boring statistics. Some I found, some I have personally computed. Feel free to tweet at me if you know of one that I didn't use. If it is a good one, I will edit this article and give you the credit or add it to a later Off the Beaten Path Statistics.



  • Let's begin with one that has already been talked about. 49ers tight end George Kittle has already shattered the NFL record for most yards after the catch (YAC) by a tight end in a single season with 763 according to NFL.com. The Kansas City Chiefs' Travis Kelce had the record with 656 in 2016. Kittle is currently second in the NFL, behind the Carolina Panthers' Christian McCaffrey, in total YAC. Kittle leads all receivers in average YAC according to the NFL's Next Gen Stats. Kittle has averaged 10.6 YAC on his 72 receptions. The next closest player is a full two yards behind. The NFL does not include running backs in this statistic for some unknown reason.

  • While we are on the topic of YAC, would you believe the player who averages the third most YAC is also on the 49ers? The player might surprise you. To qualify, the NFL sets the bar at a minimum of 40 targets. Rookie wide receiver Dante Pettis has exactly 40 targets this season and is third with an 8.2 YAC average. This is no doubt boosted by his 75-yard touchdown that featured more than 50 yards of YAC earlier this month. Still, if you take that play away he would still be in the top 20 for average YAC.

  • Sticking with Next Gen Stats, quarterback Nick Mullens has the second lowest aggressiveness percentage in the NFL out of the 37 quarterbacks who qualify. The NFL defines aggressiveness as the percentage of passes attempted with a defender within one yard of the receiver at the time of the completion or incompletion. Mullens is at 9.4 percent. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Jameis Winston leads the league at 22.4 percent. Mullens being so low is a mixed bag. He probably could afford to let loose a bit more often but in not doing so he avoids costly turnovers.

  • The NFL uses computers to come up with a completion probability for every pass thrown. They compile the data from every pass to give each quarterback an expected completion percentage. The difference between actual completion percentage and expected for 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard is negative-7.8 which is 37th out of 37 qualifying quarterbacks.

  • Running back Matt Breida's nickname is cheetah. Earlier this season, Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who has the same nickname, bristled when asked about Breida being called cheetah. Hill said, "There's only one cheetah in the league, just know that. You can't be a cheetah and run a 4.48, or whatever you run." Well, Mr. Hill, what about ball carrier speed? In that regard, Breida wins. The fastest measured ball carrier speed this season belongs to Breida (22.09 MPH). Hill is fourth.

  • Breida needs six rushing yards to surpass 800 on the season. He would be the third youngest in 49ers history. Only Frank Gore in 2006 and Ricky Watters in 1992 were younger. Not bad company to be in.

  • According to NFLSavant.com, the 49ers are last in the league in deep passes attempted with 66. This is less than half of Tampa Bay's league leading 143. The 49ers may want to go deep a bit more often. They average 14.1 yards per deep pass attempt. Only the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Chargers average more.

  • Mullens has taken over the season team lead for passing yards. The same quarterback has not lead the 49ers in passing yards in back-to-back seasons in five years. This is likely to be extended next season with Jimmy Garoppolo's return.

  • The 49ers have seven rushes from inside the opponents' 2-yard line this season (NFLSavant.com). They have a grand total of 0 yards on those rushes with 0 touchdowns and one lost fumble. This is why it can't be assumed the 49ers won't look to get a bigger back this offseason. Breida and Jerick McKinnon will be back. Jeff Wilson Jr. and Raheem Mostert aren't as certain, as good as they are/were this season.

  • The above statistic also helps explain part of the 49ers' issues in the red zone. The 49ers are last in red zone touchdown percentage having scored a touchdown just 41.86 percent of the time according to teamrankings.com. Lacking a runner capable of pushing a pile consistently has allowed teams to play the pass when the 49ers have gotten close to the goal line.

  • Finally, we come back to Kittle. The tight end needs 26 yards to eclipse Anquan Boldin for the most receiving yards in a season since Terrell Owens in 2002. With two big games to finish the season, Kittle could reach a level only Jerry Rice has attained. He needs 298 yards to surpass Owens' career best of 1,451.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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