3 crazy 49ers stats in 2021 (and why they make absolutely no sense)

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /
1 of 4
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

The 49ers aren’t strangers to statistical anomalies, and these three stats suggest the Niners are actually quite good this season.

Usually, bad teams are towards the bottom in NFL rankings in the bulk of stats where you’d want to rank high. Good teams are towards the top in those same standings, and the average teams around the league tend to be, well… average in statistical standings.

It’s hard to gauge exactly where the San Francisco 49ers, 6-5 through 12 weeks of 2021 regular-season play, should fall in the bulk of stat categories. Being only a single game above the .500 mark this deep into the season suggests an average team.

But the Niners’ recent three-game win streak, along with having won four of their last five, helps offset a previous four-game losing streak suffered earlier this year.

That doesn’t tell the whole story, though.

Stats can be anomalies in themselves. Teams boasting a ton of sacks aren’t always elite, defensively. Case in point, the 5-6 Minnesota Vikings lead the NFL with 33 sacks but boast the league’s 21st-ranked scoring defense. The 6-6 Indianapolis Colts, who lead the pack with 27 defensive takeaways, have the 20th-ranked scoring defense.

San Francisco beat one of those teams, lost to another.

As a college professor once told me years ago, “stats are like bathing suits, they reveal a lot but don’t tell you everything.”

So, perhaps that’s why these three 49ers’ stat lines and rankings are somewhat unbelievable, yet the truth behind them suggests the Niners may actually be better than their record suggests entering Week 13.

Let’s take a deeper look.