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Rashard Robinson: Taking the bad with the good

Some interesting statistics about Rashard Robinson’s performance thus far

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Rashard Robinson can be an incredibly frustrating player. One minute, he’s providing perfect coverage on a receiver and breaking up the pass. The next minute, he’s burned and finds himself grabbing for anything. The 49ers installed him as their No. 1 cornerback, and at times it’s hard to figure out what the heck is going on.

However, all does not appear to be lost for the second-year cornerback. After some up and down performances, he did solid work on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. He was targeted six times in the passing game, and gave up only one reception for 15 yards. He also had two passes defensed. It is worth noting that the Colts spent more time using T.Y. Hilton to attack Dontae Johnson. Hilton finished the game with seven receptions for 177 yards.

Through five weeks, the numbers suggest things are not all bad. Gil Brandt tweeted out the lowest burn rates, which takes the number of receptions a defensive back allows and divides it by the number of times he is targeted in primary coverage. Robinson is tied for seventh. It’s kind of impressive to see the Jacksonville Jaguars have both of their starting cornerbacks atop the rankings.

ESPN’s NFL Matchup program offered another interesting statistic. This one is a simple counting stat, as opposed to a rate stat. It combines sacks, interceptions, and passes batted/defended to create a leaderboard among all defensive players. Robinson is tied for fifth in this cumulative look.

None of this is to say that Rashard Robinson is locked in at cornerback. Like much of the 49ers pass defense, he is showing a lot of inconsistency. Considering he is only a second year player, I suppose that is not the end of the world. But given his extensive trash-talking, he is still going to need to show up a bit more regularly to back it up.