I'd like to make a few comments about the Carolina game, then focus on what I consider to be more important matters.
The Carolina game --
We could beat the offense up something fierce, and I'm sure most of you will, so I'm going to look at the defense. How did our guys do versus Carolina's other opponents this season? Well, let's take a look:
Carolina's per-game offense vs. others -- 13 first downs, 236 total net yards, 135 net yards passing
Carolina's offense vs. Niners -- 22 first downs, 379 total net yards, 303 net yards passing
Hey, but our guys made Matt Moore look like a star:
Per-game averages vs. others -- 53% of passes completed for 163 YPG, .4 TD/game, QB Rating = 57.5
Moore's stats vs. Niners -- 68% of passes completed for 308 yards, 2 TDs, QB Rating = 96.4
And ... they made two ROOKIE receivers (NOT Steve Smith) look like stars:
Gettis -- 6th-round pick from Baylor
Per-game averages vs. others -- 2 catches for 29.8 yards
Gettis vs. Niners -- 8 catches for 125 yards and 2 TDs
LaFell -- 3rd-round pick from LSU
Per-game averages vs. others -- 1 catch for 20.8 yards
LaFell vs. Niners -- 6 catches for 91 yards
Good work, guys! Greg: WTF??
But we made up for it on offense, right? Well, NO.
Anthony Davis -- whiff / sack / Alex out; false start; another sack. By the way, Carolina's RT, an undrafted 2nd-year free agent from Kentucky, starting his first pro game, looked infinitely better than Davis.
Vernon Davis -- slow in routes, holding penalty, no effort to catch pass when wide open.
I could go on and on about the offense, but why bother?
Regarding special teams, nice to have Delanie back on KO coverage.
Season-to-Date Performance --
As depressing as the Carolina game was, I find other issues far more distressing. Specifically, the overall performance level of the ENTIRE TEAM, its lack of effort, and lack of focus. Which, to me, all boils down to one basic thing ... poor coaching. Well, OK smart ass, what do you mean by that? Glad you asked.
Let's start with overall performance -- offense, defense, and special teams. If you look at about 25+ categories of NFL performance statistics (total yards, rushing, passing, receiving, first downs, 3rd-down conversions, sacks, interceptions, kicking, punting, returns, penalties, ad nauseium) season-to-date, comparing the Niners to their opponents, the Niners have been out-performed in EVERY SINGLE CATEGORY except THREE:
Receiving Yards per game -- 232 yards (Niners) versus 227 (Opponents)
Fumbles by Receivers -- 2 (Niners) versus 3 (Opponents)
Average Return per Kickoff -- 22.5 (Niners) versus 21.3 (Opponents)
Andy Lee? He out-kicked his opponents in gross yards per punt (46.1 versus 44.8), but the punt coverage team gave it back -- net yards per punt 39.9 (Niners) versus 40.8 (Opponents).
What do you mean a lack of effort? Well, let's look at some other statistics:
Our opponents have forced 9 fumbles and have recovered 6 for a 67% turnover rate.
The Niners have forced 4 fumbles and have recovered 1 for a 25% recovery rate.
Is this an indication of a lack of effort? Or a lack of emphasis? Or a lack of coaching?
Now we get to my favorite topic -- penalties. Because it is, for the most part, simply a lack of focus and/or concentration. You just have to engage your brain! In yesterday's Carolina game the Niners had 275% more penalties than the Panthers -- 11 versus 4. And for 231% more penalty yards than the Panthers -- 81 versus 35. Yeah but, that was unusual, wasn't it? Not really! Did you know that season-to-date the Niners are the fourth most penalized team in the NFL? Only Oakland (surprise!), Detroit, and Philly are worse, and not by much. Season-to-date, the Niners have 50% more penalties than their opponents -- 57 (Niners) versus 38 (Opponents). And, those penalties are for 55% more penalty yards than the opponents -- 485 (Niners) versus 314. So, the Niners are AVERAGING MORE THAN 8 PENALTIES PER GAME.
Yeah but, these guys are young and they will get better with experience, right? Well, NO, not yet. Here are the number of penalties on the Niners in their first seven games: 8, 5 (better), 6, 6 (ah, leveling off but still too high), 10 (what?), 11, 11 (NO!!!).
Is it any wonder that we're 1-6? And I thought that it couldn't get worse than when we had Nolan!
I need another drink!