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49ers vs. Lions: Random Stats

The 49ers and Lions square off this Sunday morning in the 49ers second consecutive matchup against a first place team. The spread opened with the Lions as six point favorites, but the line has come down as much as two full points. That's not wildly surprising as the two teams are fairly well-matched up in terms of points scored and points allowed. The 49ers are seventh in points scored and second in points allowed, while the Lions are fourth in points scored and fourth in points allowed.

I've posted some random stats once again after the jump. It starts with various random numbers for different players and units and is followed up with a table comparing certain counting stats for each team. It is interesting mixing in the comparisons to other "advanced" statistics. One can pick and choose what they want to use, but at the very least you have a variety of options to state your case.

For example, the 49ers rank 23rd in passing yards allowed per game at 264.4 yards. Football Outsiders ranks the 49ers 7th in pass defense DVOA. Advanced NFL Stats ranks the 49ers 8th in Passing EPA (Expected Points Added) and 7th in Passing WPA (Win Probability Added). You can get some basic definitions of those latter two stats HERE.

The point of mixing in the various basic and advanced stats is just to show that the passing defense has improved to the point that it is not quite so awful. Even when they've given up sizable chunks of yards, if the other team isn't getting in the end zone, those passing yards aren't hurting as bad as they otherwise might.

The Eagles game was a perfect example of that. Michael Vick threw for a career high in passing yards. Some of those passing yards hurt the 49ers, a lot of them did not. This past week, Josh Freeman had 187 passing yards and there were a couple drives where he was picking up some decent-sized chunks of yardage. However, the 49ers red zone defense clamped down in one instance, and Chris Culliver stepped up in another instance. Ideally the 49ers will not give up very many yards at all, but as long as excessive amount of points are not coming out at the end of these drives, I can live with it.

Notable Numbers

  • Since 2005, RB Frank Gore has averaged 120.0 rushing yards per game vs. Detroit, ranking 1st in the NFL over that span (min. 3 games).
  • San Francisco has a scoring differential of +64 (142-78), ranking 2nd in the NFL (Detroit - +70). 
  • The 49ers registered 28 first downs vs. TB (10/9/11), the most since 10/10/04 vs. Arz. (28 first downs).
  • The 49ers defense has allowed a TD in only 26.7 pct. of opponents red zone possessions, ranking 1st in the NFL. 
  • LB Patrick Willis registered 18 tackles last week vs. Tampa Bay, the most by Willis since he recorded 22 tackles vs. New England (10/5/08).
  • CB Carlos Rogers ranks 1st in the NFL with a single-season career-high 3 INTs.
  • The 49ers are the only team in the NFL not to allow a rushing TD this season.
  • The 49ers have only committed 4 turnovers on the year, ranking t-1st in the NFL for fewest turnovers. 
  • The 49ers average starting field position on kickoffs is the 26.6, ranking 2nd in the NFL.
  • QB Alex Smith has a QB rating of 123.2 on 1st down, ranking 2nd in the NFL (GB QB Aaron Rodgers - 128.2) (min. 25 atts.).
  • As of 10/6, Smith has registered a QB rating of 132.1 against the blitz this season, ranking 2nd in the NFL (NE QB Tom Brady - 134.6). 
  • RB Frank Gore has registered 12 rushes of 10+ yds., ranking t-9th in the NFL this season. 
  • Gore is 4 of 4 on 3rd-n-1 this season, ranking t-1st in the NFL for the most 3rd-n-1 rushing conversions (Min. RB Adrian Peterson - 4 of 4).

2011 Statistics

49ERS (rank) LIONS (rank)
4-1 (1st NFCW) Record 5-0 (1st NFCN)
28.4 (7th) Points per game 31.8 (4th)
300.2 (27th) Total Offense 379.6 (10th)
117.2 (12th) Rushing Offense 95.8 (24th)
183.0 (29th) Passing Offense 283.8 (7th)
31:07 (10th) Possession Avg 29:16 (21st)
15.6 (2nd) Points allowed/gm 17.8 (t-4th)
340.8 (13th) Total Defense 339.2 (12th)
76.4 (t-4th) Rushing Defense 114.8 (18th)
264.4 (23rd) Passing Defense 224.4 (12th)
12 (t-11th) Sacks 12 (t-11th)
8 (3rd) Interceptions 7 (t-4th)
+10 (2nd) Turnover Differential +7 (t-3rd)