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2018 vs. 2019: Circumstance Analysis

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I think we definitely need to take a look at what we had in 2018 vs. what we have this year. There is great reason to believe there is a night and day difference in the roster just on the most raw surface level. But beyond that, we should also examine the circumstances surrounding the state of the roster and how much different they are this year as well. One little thing by itself may not make a difference, but you start adding them up and all of a sudden 10 to 15 little things turns into something extremely significant when it comes to the W-L record.


Starting with injury losses in 2018:

1. Jimmy played only 3 games
2. Goodwin essentially only played 10 games.
3. McKinnon missed all season.
4. Tartt missed a lot of time, playing only 8 games and several of those he didn't make it through.
5. Breida constantly hurt and by the time we realized Raheem was the best #2, he got lost for the season. Wilson was solid, but fumble prone.
6. Richburg played hurt essentially all year (missed one game). Same with Sherman who missed two games.
7. Pettis, arguably our best receiver, missed five games last year.
8. Trent Taylor missed two games but struggled through his back injury recovery all year.
9. Starter Pierre Garcon coming off a neck injury struggled with multiple other injuries all year, playing only 8 games.
10. Starting WILL Reuben Foster was suspended for two games, came back, got hurt and struggled through injury before off-field issues led to him eventually getting cut in November.


Next, evaluation of ability and experience in 2018:

Group 1: No NFL Experience
Fred Warner, Dante Pettis, Marcell Harris, Tarvarious Moore, Mike McGlinchey, and Jeff Wilson were all rookies who started games last year. Reed as well if you count him starting as KR. They all had their share of rookie mistakes. Some really significant ones.

Group 2: Sophomores
Witherspoon, Colbert, Magnuson, Solomon Thomas, Kendrick Bourne, Nick Mullens, and CJ Beathard were among several second year players who had their share of critical mistakes last year as well.

Group 3: Washed up Vets
Earl Mitchell was very average and should've been replaced by DJ Jones much sooner. Injuries and age caught up to Pierre Garcon. He had his worst season of his career and most injury plagued one yet. He could not separate whatsoever and had several horrendous drops, including at least one that directly turned into an INT.


2019 Indisputable Circumstances:

As of today, we obviously don't know for sure what kind of injuries we may face or potential off-field issues (hopefully none of this at least), so we can't assume anyone will be healthy all year or will make any huge jumps in play, etc. However, we can at minimum point to certain indisputable facts that differentiate the 2019 from 2018. Those would be as follows:

1. Experience
The rookies are no longer rookies, the sophomore are no longer sophomores. Among the 13 players I listed above, it would be beyond shocking if at least one or more of them did not make any kind of improvement.

2. Improved Depth
In order to qualify as improved depth at this point, the players added need to be proven to some extent. Dee Ford, Tevin Coleman, Kwon Alexander, Jason Verrett, Ben Garland, Jordan Matthews and Levine Toilolo all have shown they are either capable of being quality starters or reserves (Garland/Toilolo/Matthews) in the NFL.

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Summary:

Ultimately, while we cannot predict what injuries we may have, nor can we say with absolute certainty how well some of our rookies will do or how much improvement our other young players will show, if you take into account the indisputable facts and pair them with tempered expectations of improved player health and performance, it's easy to see where Vegas gets their over/under of 8 wins at. That is a very safe prediction that falls in the middle of "disaster" and "far exceeds expectations" basically. As an optimist, I tend to lean towards a 9 win season, but everyone will see the above set of information differently. If you lean more on the pessimistic side, well.. who knows? Perhaps the above could instill some small glimmer of hope in your world where one always expects the worst so you can avoid the taste of disappointment.
[ Edited by OnTheClock on Jun 25, 2019 at 6:05 AM ]
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another good post OTC
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In before: all the guys we added suck, no ones going to improve, lol
For a more succinct statistical analysis on injuries, this is what we were looking at last year:

* Among the eight starters who missed time last year, the average # of games missed was 8. So essentially, the team played minus 8 starters for half the season.

* Among the backups to starters who missed time, the average number of games missed was approximately 4. So, 25% of the time, the team was also down to its third stringers.
[ Edited by OnTheClock on Jun 24, 2019 at 1:32 PM ]
The talent is there, the injuries are or will be healed. Imo it's all about who stays healthy
Originally posted by matt49er:
The talent is there, the injuries are or will be healed. Imo it's all about who stays healthy

This is a big point that I think also gets overlooked sometimes. We had issues at the top 3 most critical areas on the field.

1. Quarterback
2. Defensive End (Pass Rush)
3. Offensive Line (Primarily at Center)

These three areas are what make a team a contender. As an example, the Chiefs, even though they had an otherwise atrocious defense, could at least tally sacks and they have an elite quarterback. If not for the offsides they would've been in the Super Bowl. Think about that.
Is this more of a synopsis of over the last 5 years
[ Edited by wailers15 on Jun 24, 2019 at 3:33 PM ]
Originally posted by wailers15:
Is this more of a synopsis of over the last 5 years

Well, not entirely, lol. Maybe the last two years at least. Another starter I forgot to mention that missed time was Colbert who looked like he might've been on the cusp of getting back on track. He missed 9 games.

So again, on we were without 9 of our 22 starters for about half the season on average per player injured, and another portion of the season we were down to third stringers at those positions.

The positions affected were QB, RB, WR, FS, SS, and C. So, the most important position on the team, the skill players around them, and the two guys as the last line of defense. Of course at DE it wasn't injury that was the issue, we simply didn't have talent. It was a recipe for disaster. You'd think the scales would have to eventually tip in our favor for once, right?
Nice post OTC, like I have said in other threads, I'm willing to bet my life savings we win atleast 8 games this year as long as Jimmy G stays healthy.

Here's a question for some of the "haters". Where have we downgraded our roster? At what position are we worse this year then we were last? Because I can't think of one
We have either stayed the same or have upgraded every position on our team. And some positions have been upgraded immensely (pass rush, WR's, RB's). I also think it's fair to say we upgraded our defensive position coaches (DB, DL).

With that being said, I can't wait to watch Shanahan's offense now that he has his legit QB back and all these hand picked weapons at his disposal.

Well, no FA losses. The only obvious possible deterioration may be Staley slowing down just a little. The major impact of the would be, no touchdown runs from him.
Originally posted by Luckycharms:
Nice post OTC, like I have said in other threads, I'm willing to bet my life savings we win atleast 8 games this year as long as Jimmy G stays healthy.

Here's a question for some of the "haters". Where have we downgraded our roster? At what position are we worse this year then we were last? Because I can't think of one
We have either stayed the same or have upgraded every position on our team. And some positions have been upgraded immensely (pass rush, WR's, RB's). I also think it's fair to say we upgraded our defensive position coaches (DB, DL).

With that being said, I can't wait to watch Shanahan's offense now that he has his legit QB back and all these hand picked weapons at his disposal.

That's another interesting point. A great observation actually. It seems hard to imagine any of the positions actually being worse than last year except possibly kicker if Gould refuses to play and pulls a Le'Veon Bell. Our new punter is still not proven yet so that's a wait-and-see thing there.

But you're right, on paper, it would be hard for anyone to make an argument that we downgraded.

This year I think that while we do need to stay healthy, like any contender needs to, I feel like our success or failure won't hinge as much on overall team health as previous years due to the improvement in depth.

As with any team, our success will depend heavily on these things:

- Player development
- Positive contribution from this year's draft class
- Positive contribution from free agents brought here
[ Edited by OnTheClock on Jun 25, 2019 at 7:20 AM ]
One other point that you didn't mention. I know many fans didn't like picking a punter so high but if he is as good as reported he could make a difference this year. Our field position was terrible last year so we often were forced to drive the length of the field or defend a short field. This is just one more part of what contributes to making a team successful.
Originally posted by CatchMaster80:
One other point that you didn't mention. I know many fans didn't like picking a punter so high but if he is as good as reported he could make a difference this year. Our field position was terrible last year so we often were forced to drive the length of the field or defend a short field. This is just one more part of what contributes to making a team successful.

You're right. Statistically, not only were we 31st in turnovers per drive on offense, our starting field position was the absolute worst in the NFL. (See stats here: https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/drivestats)

The difference is quite staggering too. We weren't even close to the #31 team, at .75 yards away. To put that number in context when looking at the stat chart below, the difference between #31 and #26 was .79 yards, so in theory if there were 37 NFL teams, the Niners would've been #37 in starting field position. Our field position was absolutely horrendous in 2018.

How about the average LOS our defense was faced with defending? Another shocker (not), we ranked #31 with opponents average starting field position being 30.95, so roughly the 31-yard line.
[ Edited by OnTheClock on Jun 25, 2019 at 10:14 AM ]
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
Well, not entirely, lol. Maybe the last two years at least. Another starter I forgot to mention that missed time was Colbert who looked like he might've been on the cusp of getting back on track. He missed 9 games.

So again, on we were without 9 of our 22 starters for about half the season on average per player injured, and another portion of the season we were down to third stringers at those positions.

The positions affected were QB, RB, WR, FS, SS, and C. So, the most important position on the team, the skill players around them, and the two guys as the last line of defense. Of course at DE it wasn't injury that was the issue, we simply didn't have talent. It was a recipe for disaster. You'd think the scales would have to eventually tip in our favor for once, right?

Man I thought Colbert was looking very rough before he got hurt. He didn't look to hot.

I wish the scales would tip, but I swear this organization has a fkn dark cloud over our head. I could go on with a laundry list of embarrassments but we all know the dirty laundry this team has carried. I really feel we're another draft and Free Agency period away from being legitimate contenders. We should be much more competitive. Playoffs... not yet.
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