The San Francisco 49ers are officially playing out the string, but given the questions that have existed all season, we will continue to roll through the Pro Football Focus recap content. Today, we're back with some of the notable 49ers grades and stats from PFF following their loss to the Seattle Seahawks. It was not a pretty game, and naturally the numbers reflect that.
If you have any questions about this info, let me know. I can't go in and copy and paste all their content here because they make a living off that information. However, I can provide some details. And if you have any questions about their process, let me know and I can talk to Jeff Deeney, who is available to answer questions as best he can. You can also read over PFF's ReFo for the game.
Usual disclaimer: No one stat or grade or measurement is the be-all, end-all when analyzing performance. However, each stat can provide a little something extra to figuring out the bigger picture. If you get a minute, I highly recommend reading this 2-part series (Part 1, Part 2) at our Eagles blog, taking a look at their system.
Looking at the offensive line
Joe Looney replaced Marcus Martin, and finished the game with a grade of -1.9 overall, and -1.8 for pass blocking. PFF assigned him with two quarterback hurries. Joe Staley got the best offensive line grade for the day, with a +4.3 overall, +0.8 for pass blocking, and +3.3 for run blocking. In the ReFo article, they pointed to some key plays for him, including a key block on Frank Gore's 10-yard touchdown, in which he sealed DE Tony McDaniel on the edge. Then in the third quarter, Staley sealed SS Kam Chancellor at the second level "before coming back to wash DT Jordan Hill down the line on the next play."
Alex Boone finished the game with a +1.7 overall grade. They gave him a -0.3 in pass blocking, and +1.8 in run blocking. He was assigned two quarterback hurries. Over the last six weeks, PFF ranks Boone fourth among guards. The last time they have him giving up a sack was Week 5, and his last negative overall performance was Week 9 when he gave up three hurries. It's a shame it took this long to get much going for him, but hopefully it bodes well for 2015.
For those curious, Jonathan Martin had a -1.2 overall grade, made up of -0.2 for pass blocking, -1.2 for run blocking, and +0.2 for penalty.
The 49ers rolled out more reserves as injuries continued to be a problem. Nick Moody replaced Chris Borland in the second half. He finished with a +0.2 overall grade, including a +0.1 in coverage, -0.2 in run defense, and 0.3 in pass rush. He was credited with three tackles and an assist.
Leon McFadden got extra work due to Chris Culliver's absence. McFadden gave up 1 catch on 2 targets for 7 yards, and had one pass breakup. I don't know what his long-term future is with the team, but he has shown some things in his two weeks of fairly notable action. He was considered a talent coming into the league, and maybe some time with Ed Donatell has helped him get back on track. Of course, the question then becomes what will happen to Ed Donatell when the season ends?
The 49ers defense played 68 snaps, and ten of them featured a 3-3-5 front. They actually used it even before Chris Borland got hurt.
Quinton Dial had top grade honors for the entire defense. He finished with a +2.5 overall grade, which broken down into +3.1 against the run, and -0.7 in pass rush. He has had some growing pains at times, but it is good to see him picking up some steam late in the season. The 49ers will likely have Ian Williams and Glenn Dorsey back in the mix next season. Dial could compete at nose tackle, but plenty have said he would be better suited in the 3-4 defensive end role. Justin Smith's future will certainly play into that in some way.
Ray McDonald and Tank Carradine were next with +1.4 overall grades. McDonald had a +3.1 pass rush grade and -1.9 run grade, while Tank had a +0.7 pass rush grade, and +0.6 run grade. McDonald finished the game with three quarterback hurries, one hit and one sack. He has quietly put together a strong season, and is currently ranked tenth among 3-4 defensive ends.
Justin Smith is ranked sixth on that list, but is coming off a performance in which PFF gave him his first three missed tackles of the game. This is his third straight week of fairly low key performances, but otherwise it has been a strong year for him. Of course, those low key performances come as he has been on the injury list with a back injury lately, so that could be a factor in his recent performances.
We talked about Leon McFadden up above, who started in the nickel. Dontae Johnson and Perrish Cox were the team's starting outside cornerbacks. Johnson had a +0.8 coverage grade, allowing 2 catches on 5 targets for 16 yards. Cox had one of his worst games of the year, finishing with a -2.2 coverage grade, allowing 4 catches on 5 targets for 74 yards. Cox opened the season with mostly positive grades, but has had negative coverage grades in five of the last six weeks.
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