Saturday, January 21, 2012
Which receivers 49ers, Giants can trust
By Mike Sando
The leaping grab Hakeem Nicks made in the end zone for the New York Giants stood as a pivotal moment in their postseason victory over the 15-1 Green Bay Packers last week.
Vernon Davis was the one making impressive catches for the San Francisco 49ers during their playoff victory over the 14-3 New Orleans Saints.
Rain could make holding onto the football tougher for both teams in the NFC Championship Game at Candlestick Park on Sunday.
With that in mind, I've put together a chart showing regular-season catch-to-drop ratios for 49ers and Giants players with at least 10 receptions. The numbers come courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information, which defines drops as "incomplete passes where the offending player should have caught the pass with ordinary effort, and only when the receiver is 100 percent at fault."
According to this standard, "Passes thrown just outside the receiver's reach or those falling incomplete when pass interference should have been called do not meet the standard."
These are blatant drops, in other words.
Wide receiver is one position where the Giants have an obvious talent advantage over the 49ers. San Francisco needs improved play from Michael Crabtree in particular. He failed to catch contested balls against New Orleans. Kyle Williams is another 49ers receiver to watch.
49ers running back Frank Gore tops the list of Giants and 49ers players with the fewest receptions per drop. He caught the ball well against the Saints, however.