Breaking Down the 49ers Red-Zone Stats
There are so many different factors going into player statistics in the red zone in previous years, it’s hardly worth getting too deep into the numbers.
But let’s face it, some players excel in this area regardless what the context is.
Wide Receiver Pierre Garcon
One might easily think veteran wide receiver Pierre Garcon would be a top-tier red-zone threat for San Francisco this season. Twenty of his 37-career touchdowns have come within the red zone, but the 2016 numbers aren’t that favorable.
According to Rotoworld.com’s Raymond Summerlin (h/t Nicholas McGee of NFL Spin Zone), Garcon caught just one pass last year within the 20-yard line. But McGee also cites PreSnapReads.com’s Cian Fahey on why Garcon had so many troubles — Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins:
The Niners hope Garcon will benefit from another QB in these situations.
Wide Receiver Marquise Goodwin
Opposite Garcon in base formations will likely be fellow wideout Marquise Goodwin.
Goodwin is known more for his speed than strength, and this is reflected in his splits. Out of six career receiving touchdowns, the 5-foot-9 receiver has just one within the red zone.
It’s safe to say Goodwin isn’t going to be a go-to target inside the 20-yard line. To stretch the field, perhaps, but not as a “go up and get it” type of target, which is so crucial in this area of the field.
Wide Receiver Jeremy Kerley
Like Goodwin, carryover wide receiver Jeremy Kerley doesn’t have size on his side. He’s also 5-foot-9, but Kerley’s numbers suggest he’s much more reliable a target in this area of the field than the aforementioned Goodwin.
Out of 12 career touchdown receptions, including three with the 49ers last year, nine have come within the red zone.
Some of this might be due to Kerley’s abilities within the slot, not being pressed up against the sidelines in situations where size matters more than elusiveness and speed.
Tight End Vance McDonald
Fans’ frustrations with tight end Vance McDonald may negate the feeling of need to put him on this list. But, as is the case with many teams, a TE threat is a must have when operating deep in opponents’ territories.
McDonald only has seven NFL touchdowns, and four of them have come within the red zone.
That’s not a bad percentage, per se. But this alarming stat, courtesy of Pro Football Focus’ David Neumann, might negate McDonald as a realistic option:
That’s if McDonald is still on the team in Week 1, which lends credence to rookie tight end George Kittle making some possible climbs.
Fullback Kyle Juszczyk
The Niners handed fullback Kyle Juszczyk a four-year, $21 million contract this offseason. That’s a lot of money, especially for a lead blocker. But Juszczyk figures to be more than just someone to lead the way for San Francisco’s running backs this season.
Fans might want to look to Juszczyk’s 2015 campaign — 41 catches for 321 yards and four touchdowns — as an example what the 49ers might want out of him this year.
All four of those 2015 touchdown receptions came within the red zone, and it would probably be wise for Kyle Shanahan to make use out of his high-profile weapon here.