And so, we have one more game this season. Next Tuesday we'll have our final regular season approval rating poll for Coach Singletary. That last poll will not be any different than the rest, so if you've been considering your vote one week at a time continue to do that. If you've considered your vote in the broad picture of the entire season, continue to do that. As we move further into January we'll have polls looking back at the season that was for Coach Singletary on a broader level for all.
After the loss to the Eagles, Coach Singletary saw his approval rating dip 14 points to 82%. It's obviously not surprising that the rating dropped, and I'm not surprised it wasn't a bigger drop considering how many folks viewed the Eagles game (tough game where a win was not all that likely). Over at ESPN, Coaching Singletary's rating dipped down to 70% last week, but has quickly climbed back up to the upper 80s. In looking at their ratings and our ratings over the course of the season, it looks like he's garnered greater approval here. I don't have any specific details as to why, although it's possible more non-49ers fans are voting there and choosing to go with no, although that's just a guess at this point.
While watching Sunday's game, one of the stats that caught my eye was the fact that the 49ers have scored zero touchdowns on their opening drive this season. The only other team to equal that feat is the Kansas City Chiefs. I'd say that's not the kind of company with which you want to be. Given that stat, I thought it'd be useful to look back at 2008 to see how the team had done on their first drives in Singletary's first nine games. In those nine games, the 49ers managed two touchdowns on opening drives against the Redskins and the Bills. The other seven games the 49ers opening drive resulted in 4 punts, 2 fumbles, 1 missed field goal. On those 4 punts, two involved three and outs.
In looking over the 49ers 15 games this season, their 15 opening drives have resulted in the following:
7 punts (6 after three and out)
5 field goals
1 missed field goal
Any thoughts as to how this can be rectified, if at all? I suppose this is something for the Jimmy Raye approval rating, but I included it here because as the first drive of the game, I am curious how much of it has to do with overall game preparation (as opposed to mid-game adjustments that would fall on Raye).
After the jump, I've broken down the above numbers for when Alex Smith has started and when Shaun Hill has started. I don't know if that makes any difference, but the numbers are at least here for you to do with as you like.
For comparison (because I know somebody wants to know this), the 49ers had 6 game opening drives with Shaun Hill at QB and 9 opening drives with Alex Smith at QB. Those stats break down as follows:
3 punts (3 after three and out)
1 interception (on 13th play of drive)
1 missed FG
4 punts (3 after three and out)
1 interception (on 3rd play of drive)