Yesterday, Jesse Reed posted a link to an NFL.com article discussing ten players that are breaking out and on the rise. Our own NaVorro Bowman was on the list thanks in part to his team-leading 30 tackles, which also happens to tie him for fourth in the NFL. The list is comprised of players 25 and under, not a first round pick, in his first full season as a starter (no more than eight starts in a season prior):
NaVorro Bowman, 49ers, LB: In his first season as a starter, he plays on all three downs. He's been very productive this season, leading the 49ers in tackles. His 6-foot frame and that he came out a year early dropped him to the third round out of Penn State, but he brings second-round value.
Bowman has been an absolute tackling machine through the first three games, which has freed up Patrick Willis to play in a bit more of a clean-up role. It's amazing how much simpler life can be when one person don't have to carry a defense. Patrick Willis has led the team in tackles every season since he was drafted so it's nice to suddenly have a guy who can provide quality play-making alongside him.
I wanted to use that to introduce some of the many statistics related to 49ers performance this season. The team sends out a press release loaded with random facts. Through three games the value is somewhat questionable, but it's still interesting to see how players are doing in a variety of situations. For example, you can now know that Alex Smith is second in the NFL with a QB rating of 127.9 inside the 30-yard line. Also, when being blitzed, Alex Smith is third in the NFL with a QB rating of 143.1.
The real impressive numbers come in the turnover battle. The 49ers have committed only two turnovers this season, which is tied for first in the NFL. Add in their five interceptions (tied for second in the NFL) and they are excelling in a key area. When the offense is not quite as explosive as we might otherwise like, avoiding turnovers is absolutely huge.
Head after the jump to check out some of these random stats. The cheesy titles for some of them are from the media release.
- Since last year's game vs. Philadelphia (10/10/10), QB Alex Smith ranks 8th in the NFL with a QB rating of 93.8.
- Since 2006, RB Frank Gore has averaged 78.0 rushing yards/game vs. Philadelphia, the most by any player in the NFL against the Eagles in that span (min. 4 games).
- The 49ers average starting ﬁeld position on kickoffs is the 29.6 yd. line, ranking 1st in the NFL.
- According to gamebook statistics, the 49ers have registered 24 passes defensed this season, ranking 2nd in the NFL.
- The 49ers haved allowed just 17.3 pts./gm. this season, ranking 4th in the NFL.
- The 49ers have notched 5 INTs this season, ranking t-2nd in the NFL.
NOT SO MUCH IN THE FIRST
- The 49ers defense has only allowed 3 points in the 1st qtr. this season, ranking t-1st in the NFL (Hou.).
YOU SHALL NOT PASS
- The 49ers are one of two teams not to allow a rushing TD this season (Chi).
GOT A GOOD HANDLE
- The 49ers have only committed 2 turnovers on the year, ranking t-1st in the NFL for fewest turnovers.
GET OUTTA HERE
- The 49ers defense has allowed only 30.8 pct. on 3rd down conversions, ranking t-4th in the NFL.
EFFECTIVE IN THE 30
- QB Alex Smith has a QB rating of 127.9 inside the opponents 30-yd. line, ranking 2nd in the NFL.
- Smith has registered a QB rating of 143.1 against the blitz this season, ranking 3rd in the NFL.
- Since 10/17/10, Smith has appeared in 9 games and completed 137 of 226 atts. for 1,645 yds., 10 TDs and 2 INTs. His INT pct. of 0.9 is the lowest in the NFL (min. 224 atts.) over that time span.
A C-NOTE FOR VERNON
- TE Vernon Davis registered his 6th career 100-yd. game last week at Cin., tying TE Monty Stickles for the most 100-yd. games by a TE in franchise history.
- With FGs from 55 and 54 yds. in each of the last two games, K David Akers tied his career high for most FGs from 50+ yds. in a season (5 times, last time in 2008).