San Francisco 49ers: 10 Key Stats to Watch for the Upcoming 2016 Season
By Peter Panacy
No. 8: Pass Defense in the Second Half
2015 Opponents’ Second-Half Passer Rating: 102.0
Much of what head coach Chip Kelly will bring to the 49ers will be on the offensive side of the ball, but there is a common thought his uptempo offense will come at the expense of the defense.
We could go into more detail about this relationship, but it’s a concern San Francisco’s defense will be tired and worn down towards the end of games. And the latter half of contests weren’t particularly kind to the Niners in 2015 either.
Last year, the 49ers found themselves “blown out” by halftime of more than a handful of contests.
But consider this statistic — opposing quarterbacks had a passer rating of 102.0 against the 49ers in the second half last year.
And fourth-quarter passer ratings against the Niners defense was a whopping 103.4 — highest out of any quarter.
San Francisco did give up fewer second-half passing yards than in the first half of games (1,884 to 2,237, respectively), but this is largely due to opponents frequently having leads going into the final two quarters of regulation.
And yet those key passing plays ensured the 49ers wouldn’t come back.
To help remedy this, San Francisco reinforced its defensive front seven by adding players like rookie defensive end DeForest Buckner. The team also added three more cornerbacks via the draft to an already deep, if unproven, secondary.
How this number compares in 2016 will tell us a lot about how well these efforts paid off.
Next: No. 7: The Pass Rush