32 Observations: Super Bowl XLVII

Despite the hype, Super Bowl XLVII will be more than a battle between Ray Lewis and Colin Kaepernick. Nathan Jahnke offers an insight into 32 players not currently on magazine ...

| 4 years ago
San Francisco 49ers v Baltimore Ravens

32 Observations: Super Bowl XLVII

We know all about the star players playing in Super Bowl XLVII. You have heard all about Ray Lewis and Aldon Smith and Frank Gore and Joe Flacco. This week, 32 Observations avoids the star players that dominate the Super Bowl hype, and instead explores 16 other players on each team. These are starters, or key backups, who aren’t the All-Pro/Pro Bowl players you hear about so often. However, these guys might just make a difference in who ends up with a ring.

Baltimore Ravens

— When rushing to the right side, running back Bernard Pierce has 72 carries for 460 yards. That is an average of 6.4 yards per carry, and he has forced 17 players to miss tackles on him.

— Wide Receiver Jacoby Jones has 160 yards on passes thrown 35 or more yards in the air, which ranks 16th in the league. He put up those numbers from just three catches on five targets. Everyone with more yards than him also had more targets.

— From Week 1 to Week 14, tight end Dennis Pitta caught 68% of passes thrown his way. From Week 15 to now he also has a Catch Rate of 68%. The difference is he averaged 9.8 yards per catch during the first part of the season, and 15.1 over the past six weeks.

— Tight end Ed Dickson had a -8.9 Run Block rating over the regular season, which was the sixth-worst for tight ends in 2012.

— Left tackle Bryant McKinnie has a Pass Blocking Efficiency of 94.8%, which is the best of the Ravens’ offensive tackles this season.

— Prior to being moved to left guard, Kelechi Osemele had a Run Block rating of +1.1, but in the playoffs it has been -4.6. However, he has allowed just one pressure per game at left guard, compared to 2.4 per game at right tackle.

— In the previous three years, right tackle Michael Oher was allowing pressure on one in every 8.1 pass blocks in the playoffs. This year in the playoffs he has allowed a pressure on one in every 35.7 pass blocks.

— From Week 1 to Week 14, defensive lineman Ma’ake Kemoeatu had a Run Stop Percentage of 5.5%. Since then, he has stepped up his game and has a Run Stop Percentage of 11.8%.

— On the other hand, defensive linemen Terrence Cody had a Run Stop Percentage of 9.7% from Week 1 to Week 15. However, it seems he hasn’t had much left in the tank, as from then on he has just two stops on 69 run snaps, for a Run Stop Percentage of 2.9%.

— Over the first 10 weeks of the season, defensive linemen Arthur Jones averaged 0.6 stops per game. From Week 11 on, he has tripled that to 1.8 stops per game.

— On the season, outside linebacker Paul Kruger had a Pass Rushing Productivity of 11.9, which was the best for all 3-4 outside linebackers, followed by Aldon Smith, Clay Matthews and DeMarcus Ware.

— The Ravens also have the most productive pass rushing inside linebacker. Dannell Ellerbe has five sacks, six hits and 13 hurries on his 113 pass rushes, for a Pass Rushing Productivity of 17.0.

— After averaging two run stops per game over the first 15 games of the season, linebacker Courtney Upshaw has just two run stops over his past four games.

— In the playoffs, cornerback Corey Graham has allowed 210 receiving yards, which is 60 more than any other player. However, he also has two interceptions which is tied for the best in the league, and two passes defended.

— Safety Bernard Pollard has eight total penalties on the season, which is the most for all safeties.

— Cornerback Cary Williams has at least one pass defended in each of the past 10 games in which he was targeted.

San Francisco 49ers

— In his first three games of action, running back LaMichael James had 76 yards on 20 carries for a 3.8 yard average. In his past three games he has 104 yards on 15 carries for a 6.9 yard average.

— Over the first 10 games of the season, fullback Bruce Miller was barely used in the pass game, with two catches on three targets. In the past six games of the regular season, however, he had 10 catches on 10 targets for 60 yards, and had three players miss tackles on him. That was tied for fourth behind three fullbacks with at least 35 targets each.

Will Tukuafu has been used as a two-way player throughout the year, acting as a backup fullback as well as a backup defensive end. He took 94 offensive snaps and had a +4.4 rating, and 47 defensive snaps with a +1.3 rating.

— After having four catches in his first game as a 49er, wide receiver Randy Moss has yet to have more than three catches in any game this season.

— Although it is a small sample of 63 pass routes, the 49ers’ third, fourth and fifth wide receivers, Ted Ginn, A.J. Jenkins and Chad Hall, have a combined 0.06 Yards per Route Run.

— In the regular season, tight end Delanie Walker had a +10.7 Run Block rating, the second-highest for all tight ends, behind Matt Spaeth of the Bears.

— Prior to Week 16, center Jonathan Goodwin allowed zero sacks or hits on the year. After allowing four hits in the last two regular season games, Goodwin has made up for it with no pressure allowed in the playoffs.

— In the regular season Alex Boone had the best run block rating for all right guards, at +18.6.

— In the last matchup against the Ravens, right tackle Anthony Davis was allowing a sack on one in every 12.3 pass blocks. Since then he has allowed a sack on one in every 71.8 pass blocks.

— Defensive end Ray McDonald has at least one pressure in all 18 games this season, which is something only he and Aldon Smith has done for the 49ers this year.

— In the 12 games where nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga had at least five snaps prior to Week 16, he had two or more stops just once. In the three games since then, with five or more snaps, he has two or more stops in each matchup.

— Although it is on a smaller sample size of 141 run snaps, backup defensive linemen Ricky Jean-Francois has a Run Stop Percentage of 9.2%, which would put him in the Top 10 among either defensive tackles or 3-4 defensive ends, if he had a qualifying number of snaps at either position.

— From Week 1 to Week 12, outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks had six sacks and a Pass Rushing Productivity of 9.5. Since then he has just one sack, and a Pass Rushing Productivity of 6.4.

— Cornerback Tarell Brown had just one missed tackle compared to 68 made tackles, which led to a Combined Tackling Efficiency of 71.0 — by far the best for cornerbacks.

— Nickel cornerback Chris Culliver put together an amazing start to the year, with a 42.9% catch rate allowed, 10.7 yards per catch allowed, two touchdowns allowed and eight passes defended over the first 14 weeks. Over the past five games, however, he has allowed a 73.3% catch rate, 16.5 yards per catch, two touchdowns allowed and zero passes defended.

— Cornerback Carlos Rogers allowed just 9.3 yards per catch this season, which was the lowest among starters.


Follow Nathan on Twitter: @PFF_NateJahnke

| Director of Analytics

Nathan has been with Pro Football Focus since 2010. He is the Director of Analytics, an NFL analyst, and a fantasy writer.

  • Michael Weis

    Have you ever done an analysis on the correlation (or maybe lack thereof) between Run Stop Percentage and defensive line technique and the scheme the Front Seven are in (3-4, 4-3, Over, Under, Bear, etc.)?