FanPost

49ers vs. Titans: A look at Expected Points Added (EPA) and Win Probability Added (WPA)

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Expected points added and win probability added (EPA and WPA) have been tallied for the 49ers-Titans game. I will go through the performances of our offensive skill players that got touches in the game, along with some D/ST notes.

So, as a refresher, according to AdvancedNFLStats.com EPA is

Expected Points Added (EPA) – The difference between the Expected Points (EP) at the start of a play and the EP at the end of they play. EPA is the measure of a play’s impact on the score of the game. An individual player’s EPA is the sum of the EPA of the plays in which that player was directly involved. Being directly involved is defined as an offensive player who ran, threw, or kicked the ball, was targeted by a pass, or flagged for a penalty.

I wish I had play-by-play WPA, but I don't, but WPA is

Win Probability Added (WPA) – The difference between a team’s Win Probability (WP) at the start of a play and the WP at the end of the play. WPA is the measure of a play’s impact on the outcome of a game. An individual player’s WPA is the sum of the WPA of the plays in which that player was directly involved. Being directly involved is defined as an offensive player who ran, threw, or kicked the ball, was targeted by a pass, or flagged for a penalty. Defensive players are credited for WPA when they tackle or sack the ball carrier, are credited with an assisted tackle or sack, cause a fumble, defend a pass, or are flagged for a penalty.

As always, we’ll begin with the most important position on the field, Quarterback. According to ESPN’s Total QBR, Kaepernick had the best game of any quarterback in the NFL so far this season – hyper-efficient, absolutely perfect. According to the QBR metric, Kaepernick had a QBR of 99:

Turning to EPA, Kaepernick posted an EPA of 15.16, or 0.47375/play (kneel downs excluded). That's 5th this week, after Ryan (.61), McCown (.56), Dalton (.51), and RGIII (.49). All (5) players were behind Kap in QBR this week; my suspicion is that Kapernick’s EPA/p drifted down significantly after the game didn’t matter anymore. Prior to the 49ers beginning to run the clock out in the 4th quarter, Kap’s EPA/p was 0.77. From the beginning of the game through the point the 49ers went up 24-0, his EPA/p was 0.98; that’s really unprecedented. QBR goes back to 2006, and only sixteen games have had quarterbacks go over 99.0. Sacks and rushes combines (10), Kaepernick netted an EPA of 4.82, or .482 per play. On passes, Kap netted 10.3 EPA (.47/play). Please note that the overturned INT/late hit gave Kaepernick an extra 4.03 of EPA (roughly). so, even without that call, he still has an excellent day with .35/play.

Turning to win probability, Kap was 7th in the league this week with 0.37 in WPA. On a WPA per play basis, Kap was essentially tied for 6th in the NFL with Cam Newton, Rivers, and Stafford.

Here is Kaepernick’s play-by-play (kneel-downs excl.):

1 10:35 3 2 SFO 17 Colin Kaepernick pass complete deep left to Vernon Davis for 24 yards 2.14
1 10:06 1 10 SFO 41 Colin Kaepernick pass complete short left to Bruce Miller for 9 yards (tackle by Alterraun Verner) 0.68
1 7:21 3 6 OTI 41 Colin Kaepernick left tackle for 10 yards (tackle by Michael Griffin) 1.63
1 5:53 2 4 OTI 25 Colin Kaepernick pass incomplete deep right intended for Vernon Davis -0.71
1 5:48 3 4 OTI 25 Colin Kaepernick left end for -1 yards (tackle by Michael Griffin) -1.28
1 0:15 3 12 SFO 2 Colin Kaepernick pass complete short right to Anquan Boldin for 7 yards (tackle by Jason McCourty) -0.84
2 11:28 1 10 SFO 20 Colin Kaepernick pass incomplete deep right intended for Vernon Davis (defended by Jason McCourty) -0.55
2 11:21 2 10 SFO 20 Colin Kaepernick pass complete short left to Frank Gore for 5 yards (tackle by Zach Brown) -0.03
2 10:39 3 5 SFO 25 Colin Kaepernick pass complete deep right to Anquan Boldin for 25 yards (tackle by Alterraun Verner) 2.56
2 9:31 1 15 SFO 45 Colin Kaepernick pass complete short left to Anquan Boldin for 11 yards 0.59
2 8:29 1 10 OTI 38 Colin Kaepernick pass incomplete is intercepted by Bernard Pollard at TEN-13. Penalty on Akeem Ayers: Unnecessary Roughness 15 yards (no play) 0.99
2 7:35 2 8 OTI 21 Colin Kaepernick right end for 1 yard (tackle by Jason McCourty) -0.57
2 6:50 3 7 OTI 20 Colin Kaepernick left end for 20 yards touchdown 3.8
2 4:28 2 10 OTI 45 Colin Kaepernick sacked by Antonio Johnson for -1 yards -0.82
2 3:57 3 11 OTI 46 Colin Kaepernick up the middle for 20 yards (tackle by Coty Sensabaugh) 2.62
2 2:46 2 5 OTI 21 Colin Kaepernick pass complete deep right to Vance McDonald for 20 yards (tackle by Colin McCarthy) 3
3 13:31 3 4 SFO 27 Colin Kaepernick pass complete short middle to Vernon Davis for 19 yards (tackle by Michael Griffin) 2.09
3 12:45 1 10 SFO 46 Colin Kaepernick pass complete short right to Anquan Boldin for 16 yards (tackle by Jason McCourty) 1.06
3 11:26 2 10 OTI 38 Colin Kaepernick pass complete short middle to Anquan Boldin for 15 yards (tackle by Bernard Pollard) 1.53
3 10:05 2 9 OTI 22 Colin Kaepernick left end for 6 yards (tackle by Akeem Ayers) 0.22
3 9:22 3 3 OTI 16 Colin Kaepernick pass complete short right to Vernon Davis for 12 yards (tackle by Zach Brown and Bernard Pollard) 2.43
3 4:57 2 8 SFO 37 Colin Kaepernick pass complete short left to Vernon Davis for 7 yards (tackle by Akeem Ayers) 0.23
3 4:13 3 1 SFO 44 Colin Kaepernick pass incomplete short right intended for Vernon Davis -1.68
3 3:26 1 10 SFO 8 Colin Kaepernick pass complete short right to Frank Gore for 29 yards (tackle by Michael Griffin) 1.78
3 2:52 1 10 SFO 37 Colin Kaepernick pass incomplete deep middle intended for Vance McDonald -0.54
3 1:46 3 13 SFO 34 Colin Kaepernick left end for 8 yards (tackle by Bernard Pollard) -0.36
4 11:52 1 10 SFO 41 Colin Kaepernick sacked by Jurrell Casey for -2 yards -0.81
4 10:28 3 10 SFO 41 Colin Kaepernick pass incomplete short middle intended for Vernon Davis -1.08
4 7:53 3 5 SFO 49 Colin Kaepernick pass incomplete short right intended for Frank Gore -1.42
4 6:50 1 10 SFO 30 Colin Kaepernick pass incomplete deep left intended for Kyle Williams -0.55
4 6:34 3 6 SFO 34 Colin Kaepernick pass incomplete short middle intended for Anquan Boldin (defended by Coty Sensabaugh) -1.34
4 2:29 2 2 OTI 27 Colin Kaepernick left end for 6 yards (tackle by George Wilson) 0.39

Receivers:

Vernon Davis - EPA of 2.87, 0.36/play.

Boldin - 3.56 EPA, 0.59/play

williams - -0.55 EPA, 1 play

Vance McDonald - 2.46 EPA on two plays, 1.23 EPA/play

Running Backs:

Gore - 0.33 EPA on 27 touches, .012/play.

- Receiving: 0.33 EPA on 3 plays, 0.11/play

- rushing: 0 EPA on 24 plays

Hunter - -1.53 EPA on 4 plays, -.3825

Miller - .03 EPA, 2 plays, .015/play (1 catch, 1 run)

Dixon - 1 play, .53 EPA

Special Teams:

Andy Lee: I estimated the EPA on his 6th and final punt assuming was a fair catch, assigning the rest to the coverage unit. If I do that, Lee had a shocking 3.87 EPA on 6 punts, 0.645/play. This was a very, very good day punting because there were no penalties on the receiving team – those inflate punting stats. For example, TEN P Kern's 6 punts average 0.75 EPA/play (4.52 total), but most of that was due to two huge penalties that negated returns. Kern's non-penalty punts resulted in an EPA/p of 0.32.

Dawson: average day on kickoffs. A touchback is worth 0.28 EPA, and he averaged 0.248. Bironas averaged 0.26/kickoff (excluding failed onside)

Summary

We looked great against an above-average defense. Kaepernick used his legs for the first time in 6 weeks, and I think that really loosens up the defense. You can’t really play man coverage against a mobile quarterback willing to run. Seattle plays Man coverage, and Kap burned them for 87 yards rushing. Defense looked phenomenal, excellent special teams as well. Again, I’m concerned over the lack of options outside of Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin. Vance McDonald’s involvement in the offense looks promising, but Kyle Williams is totally ineffective out there. Hopefully, both Manningham and McDonald can get a lot of work in practice over the Bye week – and we come out much more explosive.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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