The 49ers wrapped up a strong performance on Saturday against the Oakland Raiders in which the entire depth chart contributed to the victory. The rushing attack was strongest top to bottom, but they also received a consistently strong pass rush, solid wide receiver performances and I could really go on and on.
The question following this kind of performance is how to compare different members of the depth chart when they were playing against different members of the opposing depth chart. For example, let's just look at the running backs after Frank Gore:
Anthony Dixon: 12 carries, 53 yards (4.4 ypc)
Kendall Hunter: 9 carries, 105 yards (11.7 ypc), 1 touchdown
Xavier Omon: 14 carries, 62 yards (4.4 ypc), 1 touchdown
Hunter looked the most explosive, Omon had a nice workhorse effort about him and Dixon put together a solid effort. Dixon still danced a bit, but otherwise seemed to get some nice chunks of yardage.
This can be applied further along the roster, particularly with players that were in later in the game.. For example, Konrad Reuland put together a very solid day with a pair of nice catches and Kyle Williams came on in the second half and had a couple nice catches from Colin Kaepernick.
The question is how to analyze the situation. For the coaching staff, the practice sessions would likely provide that much more context to a solid day against a third or fourth string opposing player. Unfortunately, we as fans do not get that same kind of access, which means a bit harder to tell who is really stepping up their game, and who is just feasting on crappy opposition. This leads to Kory Sheets and Thomas Clayton being our future, when in reality it was just as much feasting on training camp opposition.
How do you try and contextualize the performances, particularly in a strong overall performance against the Raiders on Saturday?