The folks at ESPN Stats & Info have been putting together a whole host of stats related to the 49ers and Ravens in preparation for next Sunday's Super Bowl. They recently emailed me an interesting article that looked at the 10 plays that most improved their chances of winning through the regular season and playoffs. The info looks similar to the Advanced NFL Stats game graphs, but I'm not quite positive.
They ranked the top ten moments by percentage increase, and NaVorro Bowman's pass break-up on Roddy White ranks first. Here is a GIF of that play. The 49ers and Falcons were able to get plenty physical in the NFC Championship Game. It is worth noting that this play started at the 49ers ten-yard line, so Roddy White is in that five-yard range where contact is allowed.
The next two are Ahmad Brooks interception return for a touchdown late in the second quarter against the Saints and Darcel McBath's recovery of a fumbled Rams kickoff in Week 10. It is interesting to note that two of the ten plays came in the 49ers two games against the Rams.
Of the ten plays, four came on defense, two came on special teams and four came on offense. Colin Kaepernick was involved in all four offensive plays, with two coming on scrambles and two coming on passes to Michael Crabtree. Nothing particularly shocking there in my mind.
Big plays were a huge part of the 49ers 2011 defense, but it has seemed at times like the big plays on defense have not been quite as prominent. This is not shocking given the regression from a historical turnover ratio in 2011. This says a little something about the 49ers team ability to overcome the less impressive field position set up by such turnovers. I'll do more detailed research into this after the Super Bowl wraps up.