Stats & Info: Frank Gore
December, 5, 2013
By John Parolin | ESPN.com
Harry How/Getty ImagesIn his return last week, Michael Crabtree, right, showed flashes of what Colin Kaepernick has been needing on the field.
With Michael Crabtree's return last week, and games remaining against the Buccaneers and Falcons, San Francisco's playoff chances look pretty good. At 8-4, the 49ers are a game up on the Cardinals, as well as the Cowboys and Eagles, who are competing for the NFC East crown.
The postseason scenario isn’t particularly complicated for Seattle -- a win or tie seals the Seahawks’ first NFC West title since 2010.
Since the start of 2011, the 49ers (plus-211.3) and Seahawks (plus-165.4) are the first- and second-best defenses in the league in expected points added.
Wilson vs. San Francisco’s deep-ball D
Of his throws at least 15 yards downfield this season, Russell Wilson has completed nearly 60 percent. That’s a higher completion percentage on deep throws than 11 qualified quarterbacks have overall.
Wilson is averaging two more yards per attempt on deep throws than any other quarterback.
On the other side of the ball is the best defense in the league at defending deep passes. Opposing quarterbacks have completed just 31 percent of deep throws against the 49ers, the third-best average by a defense in the past eight years (the start of Stats & Info’s video analysis data).
Crabtree vs. Seahawks' secondary
As most quarterbacks in his spot would be, Colin Kaepernick is a better passer with Crabtree on the field. After missing the first 12 weeks with an Achilles injury, the star wideout had mixed results in his return last week.
Crabtree was largely quiet (one catch for eight yards) in the first half, but showed the big-play ability that has been missing among San Francisco's wide receivers all season.
He had a 60-yard reception with 43 yards after the catch in the third quarter, both of which immediately set season highs for 49ers wideouts. And Seattle will be short-handed in the secondary on Sunday.
Gore vs. Seattle’s loaded box
The quality of Seattle’s cornerbacks allows defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to commit extra defenders to the box. The Seahawks have had 109 snaps this season with at least eight defenders in the box, fifth-most in the league.
This is not a new strategy to Frank Gore, who has 92 rushes for 333 yards against eight or more defenders in the box this season (both second-most in the NFL behind Adrian Peterson).
His 3.6 yards per rush against at least eight in the box is eighth of 31 backs with at least 20 rushes, but both the Seahawks and recent opponents have stacked the box with success against Gore.
Seattle held Gore to 3 yards on six rushes against a crowded box in Week 2, while the Rams used the same technique to hold Gore to 14 yards on five rushes Sunday.
Lynch vs. 49ers' linebackers
Marshawn Lynch is 30 yards from being the only player in the league with 1,000 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns in each of the past three seasons.
A quick glance at his numbers suggests a down season -- his 4.3 yards per rush average ranks 19th among qualified rushers. A closer look shows Lynch hasn’t been getting nearly as much room to run as he had last season.
He’s averaging 2.0 yards after contact per rush this season, seventh among qualified rushers and better than his average in 2012. Lynch is averaging a full yard less before contact this season (2.3 compared to 3.3 in 2012).
His dependency on yards after contact this year may not serve him well against San Francisco. Linebackers NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis are elite run stoppers. Since Bowman joined Willis in 2010, San Francisco has averaged 1.3 yards after contact per rush allowed, fewest in the league.
Only Kiko Alonso (60) has more tackles within three yards of the line of scrimmage on running plays than Bowman (49) this season.
During Willis’ career (starting in 2007), only London Fletcher and Curtis Lofton have more of those tackles than Willis.
September, 27, 2013
By ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
Scott Rovak/USA TODAY SportsFrank Gore ran for 153 yards against the Rams.After two straight subpar weeks that resulted in consecutive losses for the San Francisco 49ers, Colin Kaepernick got back on track against the St. Louis Rams to snap his team’s losing streak.
Kaepernick threw multiple touchdown passes for the fifth time in his career, all five of which have resulted in 49ers victories.
Kaepernick averaged 9.8 yards per attempt when targeting Anquan Boldin or Vernon Davis, including a pair of touchdowns. When targeting all other receivers, Kaepernick averaged 4.9 yards per attempt with no touchdowns.
Despite the improved numbers on Thursday, Kaepernick continues to struggle on throws of at least 15 yards downfield this season. Kaepernick was 2-of-5 on such throws Thursday. This season, Kaepernick is completing 34 percent of throws at least 15 yards downfield after completing 54 percent of such throws last season, which ranked third in the NFL.
Gore looking young again
Frank Gore had 153 rushing yards, his most in a game since Week 14 of the 2009 season (167 vs Cardinals).
Gore now has 14 career rushing touchdowns against the Rams, the most by any player against the Rams in franchise history. The next-most is 12 by Lenny Moore, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
His touchdown came on a 4th-and-1 at the Rams' 34-yard line. It was the longest fourth-down rushing touchdown by any player since LeSean McCoy's 50-yarder in Week 11 of the 2010 season against the New York Giants.
Gore ran for 115 yards between the tackles. In Gore’s first three games this season, he totaled 88 rushing yards between the tackles. Gore averaged 9.6 yards per carry between the tackles Thursday, the most by a running back in a game this season (minimum 10 such rushes).
Rams' rushing problems
The Rams had trouble running the ball against the 49ers, who had allowed more than 170 rushing yards in each of their previous two games. The 49ers came into the game allowing the fourth-most rushing yards in the NFL this season after allowing the fourth-fewest last season.
The Rams totaled just 18 rushing yards on 19 rushes, the first team with at least 19 rushes and 18 or fewer rushing yards since (coincidentally) the 2008 Rams, who had 19 rushes for 14 rushing yards against the Bears in Week 12.
The Rams' struggles on the ground are nothing new. They now have nine straight games with less than 100 rushing yards, tied with the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers for the longest active streak in the NFL.
January, 31, 2013
By John McTigue, ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY SportsFullback Bruce Miller is the 49ers special ingredient to their option offense
But what is it that makes the 49ers option so good?
This postseason, 21 of the team’s options plays have employed a fullback in the backfield, with the 49ers averaging 7.8 yards per rush from those sets.
Utilizing a fullback on options hasn’t been the preference in the NFL this year. Only 44 percent of option plays across the entire league, including the playoffs, were run with a fullback in the backfield.
Since Colin Kaepernick took over as starter in Week 11, fullback Bruce Miller has played on 53 percent of the 49ers snaps. In Weeks 1 through 10, Miller played just 39 percent of the team’s offensive snaps.
And the Niners have greatly expanded their option use in the postseason. They ran out of the option 3.7 times per game in the regular season with Kaepernick starting, but have upped that to 14.5 rushes per game in the playoffs.
However, San Francisco has shown vastly different looks in each playoff game. Kaepernick didn’t keep the ball on a single option in the NFC Conference Championship against the Atlanta Falcons, after keeping it seven times against the Green Bay Packers.
Against Atlanta, Kaepernick handed off to Frank Gore on all 11 option runs. Both times that Gore found the end zone, Miller led the way with key blocks, allowing Gore to go in untouched. Check out those plays here and here.
Of course the Baltimore Ravens will be aware that Kaepernick can keep the ball and do things like this (note Miller on the field again). Against the Packers, Kaepernick kept the ball on seven of 16 plays and was not contacted by a defender on five of those seven, including his 56-yard touchdown run.
January, 25, 2013
By Dean Oliver, ESPN Stats & Info | ESPN.com
John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports
NaVorro Bowman (53) celebrates after breaking up a pass to send the 49ers to the Super Bowl.
For the San Francisco 49ers, what plays were the most important in winning games on their way to the Super Bowl?
Here are the 10 plays that most improved their chances of winning through the regular season the playoffs.
Later today, we'll have the list for the Baltimore Ravens.
1. NFC Championship at Atlanta
4th and 4, 1:13 left in 4th Quarter
NaVorro Bowman breaks up pass intended for Roddy White
With the Atlanta Falcons driving for a potential go-ahead touchdown, the 49ers' defense makes the biggest play of their season to essentially lock up a trip to New Orleans. Bowman's pass breakup resulted in a turnover on downs.
49ers' win probablility pre-play: 65.9%; post-play: 97.4% (+31.5%)
2. Week 12 at New Orleans
2nd and 10, 0:31 left in 2nd Quarter
Ahmad Brooks intercepts Drew Brees and returns it for a touchdown
49ers' win probability pre-play: 18.4%; post-play: 47.0% (+28.6%)
3. Week 10 vs. St. Louis
Kickoff with 8:40 left in 4th Quarter
Darcel McBath recovers fumble on kickoff return
Just after the 49ers had cut a 17-7 deficit to 17-14, they forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. Tramaine Brock knocked the ball loose from the St. Louis Rams' return man, Isaiah Pead, and McBath picked it up and returned it to the Rams' 20. One play later, Frank Gore took it the rest of the way to give San Francisco a 21-17 lead in a game that would ultimately end in a tie.
49ers' win probability pre-play: 31.3%; post-play: 57.1% (+25.5%)
The rest of the 49ers' top 10:
5. Kaepernick's 56-yard TD run vs. the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Playoffs (+19.8%).
6. A 38-yard TD pass from Kaepernick to Michael Crabtree breaks a 31-31 tie at New England in Week 15 (+18.8).
7. Kaepernick's 49-yard pass to Crabtree swings the division-clincher vs the Arizona Cardinals in Week 17 (+17.1%).
8. C.J. Spillman recovers Marcus Thigpen's muffed punt in a Week 14 win over the Miami Dolphins (+17.0%).
9. Aldon Smith recovers Falcons' fumbled snap in the NFC Championship Game (+15.6%).
10. Donte Whitner returns an interception for a touchdown to give the 49ers the winning points against the Saints in Week 12 (+14.2%).