Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Can Seahawks follow Rams' lead vs. 49ers?
By Mike Sando
St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford took the shotgun snap at Candlestick Park and noticed receiver Brian Quick running uncovered along the right sideline.
Quick had shoved San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver to the ground near the line of scrimmage. Safety Dashon Goldson couldn't get to the sideline in time to cover.
Bradford's pass traveled 23 yards past the line of scrimmage before Quick made the catch and ran the final 13 yards for a touchdown.
That play from Week 10 stands alone among all others against the 49ers this season. It's the only time a 49ers opponent has completed a long touchdown pass, defined as those traveling more than 20 yards past the line of scrimmage before reception. Every other team has allowed more, an average of five per team. Houston and New England have allowed an NFL-high 10 apiece. The chart shows NFL leaders.
San Francisco's opponents are completing 23.6 percent of these throws (13-of-55), the second-lowest rate in the NFL and well below the 34.4 percent league average.
This is an angle to watch when the 49ers visit the Seattle Seahawks in Week 16.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has eight touchdown passes on these long throws, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That total ranks second in the league. Aaron Rodgers is first with 10. Wilson threw two against New England, two against Green Bay, one against Dallas and one against Arizona.
Wilson failed to complete any of five such attempts during a 13-6 defeat to the 49ers in Week 7. Running back Robert Turbin and tight end Evan Moore (released Tuesday) were open and dropped two of the five incomplete passes. Seattle's wide receivers also struggled in that game.
New England's Tom Brady completed 4 of 10 such passes for 147 yards, four first downs and one interception against the 49ers in Week 15. No other quarterback has completed more than two passes for 77 yards against the 49ers on these throws.