Why 49ers should've had 500 yards more passing


Why 49ers should've had 500 yards more passing

This post is inspired by ESPN's Mike Sando, one of the brightest guys out there in my line of work (And, no, I'm not trying to get out of repaying a debt).Sando cited some statistics involved in the whole Alex Smith-Cam Newton dialogue. And, yes, we're still talking about it. As Sando writes, "Big story? Nope. Fun story? Yep."I'm coming at it from a different angle as the 49ers' offensive focus during OTAs is on their passing game.Yes, the 49ers ranked 29th in the league in yards passing. I'm the one who mentioned that in a question to Smith, which led to his comment about Newton and the Carolina Panthers.Of course, wins are only thing that matters when it comes to football. And Smith also had a point about the importance (or lack thereof) of yards passing. But I also believe that yards passing count for something.Here's why it should matter to the 49ers:The 49ers ranked 31st in the league in third-down conversions last season. They converted just 65 of 221 third-down chances (29 percent). If they had converted 40 percent of their third downs, that would've meant 23 more first downs. (Forty percent was the success rate of the Panthers, by the way.)Let's just say the 49ers achieved each of those additional first downs through the air. The 49ers averaged 11.5 yards per completion. That's 265 more yards passing on third downs.Then, the 49ers would've had 23 more sets of downs through the course of the season. Let's just say each of those sets resulted in only three more plays, that's 69 more offensive plays. The 49ers threw the ball about 50 percent of the time. So let's say, they attempted 34 more passes. The 49ers averaged 7.1 yards every time they attempted a pass, so that's another 241 yards passing.In all, that's 506 more yards passing for the 49ers on the season.Of course, that does not account for first downs that could've been achieved on the ground. It also does not factor in an increased number of sacks. But it also limits each of the 23 additional first downs to just three more offensive plays when they surely would've added more than just 69 offensive plays.
With 506 more yards of passing on the season, the 49ers would've ranked in the NFL's top-20 in passing yards.There you have it.
And if you could've managed to make it through your Tuesday without reading this post, well, blame Mike Sando.

What they're saying: Happy Thanksgiving 2017


What they're saying: Happy Thanksgiving 2017

Bay Area sports teams and your favorite players have plenty to be thankful for this year. 

Check out how the teams and players are celebrating Thanksgiving in 2017.

Shanahan: Garoppolo's best football will come next season


Shanahan: Garoppolo's best football will come next season

SANTA CLARA – The two quarterbacks who finish this season with the 49ers are probably going to be the same two quarterbacks the organization carry on their 2018 roster.

So every decision coach Kyle Shanahan makes with C.J. Beathard and Jimmy Garoppolo is being made to consider what is best for those two players.

Shanahan made the expected announcement this week that Beathard will make his fifth consecutive start on Sunday when the 49ers face the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium.

Beathard is coming off his best game as a pro. He was a major contributor to the 49ers’ first victory of the season, throwing for 288 yards, throwing two touchdowns and rushing for a score in a 31-21 victory over the New York Giants. His performance seemingly did enough to earn him another start.

Meanwhile, Garoppolo pulled up to 49ers headquarters on Oct. 31 with no prior knowledge of Shanahan’s offensive system. Even as a rookie, Beathard has five more months of experience in the 49ers’ offense than Garoppolo, a four-year professional who made just two starts during his time with the New England Patriots.

“We’ve had C.J. in there for some time,” Shanahan said. “He’s getting more used to it, and I’m getting more used to him. The players are getting more used to him around him. It’s been nice to add a few things each week for him.”

General manager John Lynch reiterated this week he considers Garoppolo the 49ers’ quarterback of the future. Garoppolo is not under contract for next season. If the 49ers are unable to work out a multi-year extension, the club would be expected to designate him as their franchise player to retain him for the 2018 season.

Garoppolo is likely to get some playing time in the final six games of the season, but the 49ers have every reason to take their time in order to give him the best chance at success. On the first three days of the bye week, Garoppolo had a chance to go back to the beginning and learn the basics of the scheme in meetings with quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello and Shanahan.

Shanahan’s scheme is complex with unique verbiage and an abundance of adjustments that are required on any given play. Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan took a step backward in his first season in Shanahan's scheme. The next year, Ryan was a runaway MVP winner with a career-high 38 touchdowns and a career-low seven interceptions.

It took Ryan a full season of experience with Shanahan to fully grasp his responsibilities, so it is unreasonable to believe Garoppolo would be able to do much more than just function if he gets onto the field for extended action.

“Jimmy gets more and more ready each week,” Shanahan said. “Is Jimmy going to be the best he can? To me, that’s impossible. He just hasn’t been here long enough, and I think he’ll get an opportunity to be better each week.

“I don’t think we’re going to see Jimmy’s best football, to be fair to him, until next year because that’s what guys need. But C.J. did play his best football last week, which definitely, to me, made the decision easier.”