Video: Turning field goals into touchdowns

December, 15, 2011
12/15/11
12:08
PM ET
Our weekly video spin around the NFC leads with my thoughts on what the San Francisco 49ers can do to give kicker David Akers' leg a rest in the red zone.

One idea: pushing the ball toward Vernon Davis a little more frequently.

The chart breaks down the 49ers' touches and targets by field position and overall, based on charting by ESPN Stats & Information. Running backs account for 58.4 percent of touches and targets in the red zone, compared to eight percent for tight ends.

That figure for tight ends seems low. By comparison, the New England Patriots' tight ends accounted for 25.9 percent of the team's touches and targets in the red zone. The figure is 43 percent for running backs and 23.4 percent for wide receivers.

The 49ers are not the Patriots, of course, but both teams rank among the NFL's top four in most snaps with two or more tight ends on the field. If the 49ers are going to improve their No. 32 ranking in red zone touchdown percentage, Davis and fellow tight end Delanie Walker figure to be a big part of the solution.

As for the chart, totals do not add up to 100 percent because I've omitted a handful of targets/touches for players from other positions, but included quarterbacks.

Also: Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. tells Insider subscribers Davis should be a top-five tight end, but his production has lagged.

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