The 49ers 2010 season is complete and we've turned a fairly significant page as we move towards the 2011 season. The firing of Mike Singletary and the hiring of Jim Harbaugh marks a fairly significant division in assessing the team going forward. Last season we took a look at statistics for the 2009 season and what it meant heading into 2010. While there were changes from 2009 to 2010, it was one of the more consistent years as far as the offensive game-plan was concerned
I was thinking about what went down in 2010 and what changes we have in store for 2011 and I just wonder if it's even worth a serious analysis of the offensive performance. I can see value in assessing the defensive numbers because the team will retain the 3-4. We might see some more exotic blitzes in 2011 and changes in secondary coverage patterns. However, at the end of the day I don't think the changes will be anywhere near the level of the offensive side of the ball.
On the offensive side of the ball we're going to see an entirely new offensive system with a new quarterback. I'd imagine a sizable chunk of the skill position players will remain in place, but changing offenses and adding a new quarterback really is a monumental change. And considering the type of offense Mike Singletary favored, the change could be even more drastic. We saw some spread out offensive play-calling at times, but the key difference now could be the level of consistency we see from the offense.
2010 was a fairly abysmal year for the 49ers offense. They showed they occasional moment of awesome play but generally speaking they did not bring the awesome nearly enough. Blame it on the play-calling, blame it on the QB, blame it on whatever. Here's a quick rundown of some of last year's offensive numbers with rank in parenthesis followed by 2009 numbers for comparison's sake.
Total YPG: 313.3 ypg (24th - 2009 rank: 27th, 290.8)
Passing YPG: 209.8 (18th - 2009 rank: 22nd, 190.8)
Rushing YPG: 103.6 (19th - 2009 rank: 25th, 100.0)
Points Per Game: 19.1 (24th - 2009 rank: 22nd, 21.2)
Total Offensive DVOA: -7.3% (24th - 2009 rank: 23rd, -10.6%)
Passing DVOA: -0.7% (24th - 2009 rank: 22nd, -9.2%)
Rushing DVOA: -1.9% (17th - 2009 rank: 14th, 1.3%)
The 49ers managed to improve their yards per game across the board, but as you can see the points weren't there for the offense and the efficiency ratings portray a less efficient offense in 2010 as compared to 2009. As with most of these statistics, I don't really expect anything particularly shocking in these results. The 49ers offense had some solid performances but this season shows why some of those counting stats are less effective. The 49ers found themselves getting blown up in several games and junk time yards added to those totals.
As we move towards 2011, will the new coaching staff that is developing be enough to drastically improve a team that will likely have a lot of similar parts back from 2010? And of course we'll see the value of a different quarterback as well. Of course, we have no idea who that will be so we have no idea where things will go in 2011. It's just one more reason to be excited for next year. The team could very well fall flat on its face. However, we really don't know what to expect at this point and the intrigue could drive me just a little crazy in the meantime.