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Dropped passes are hurting Brian Hoyer, but the 49ers QB is still struggling

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The 49ers need to get some confidence in their passing game.

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San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers currently lead the NFL with 12 dropped passes, according to Pro Football Focus, and Brian Hoyer is second in the NFL with 124 yards lost because of dropped passes (h/t David Lombardi). Hoyer has struggled this season, and the drops certainly are not helping.

That being said, Hoyer’s struggles are on him as well. The 49ers quarterback is 30th in completion percentage, but PFF ranks him 26th in adjusted completion percentage. That stat counts drops as completions, and spikes, throwaways, batted passes, and hit as thrown don’t count as passes. The idea is to try and develop a more accurate read of a quarterback’s accuracy removing as many external factors as possible.

There is not a significant difference between Hoyer’s completion percentage and adjusted completion percentage. However, I do wonder what impact drops have on momentum and the general confidence of the passing game. If Marquise Goodwin turned a couple of his drops into catches the past few weeks, he was in position to either get a first down or score a touchdown. If George Kittle catches his pass the other week, he converts a first down. If those things happen, maybe the 49ers get a touchdown. Maybe they don’t, but they’d certainly be in better position than the actual result.

The 49ers face a shaky Colts defense on Sunday, albeit a young one that Colts fans think is showing signs of progress. Hoyer can only control what he can control, and that includes avoiding the usual one awful decision that seems to pop up each week. If he can avoid his own forced errors, maybe the 49ers can get something going in the passing game. The drops are not making a big difference in the completion percentage stats, but maybe a few less drops boosts the confidence of this unit.