Who threw the deep ball better, Smith or Kaepernick?

Who threw the deep ball better, Smith or Kaepernick?
January 3, 2013, 7:45 am
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Alex Smith attempted deep passes 8.3 percent of the time while deep throws accounted for 15.1 percent of Colin Kaepernick's total attempts. (AP)

Team Stats

San Francisco 49ers Stats
View All Players  |  Last Updated Oct. 23, 1:33 a.m. ET
Passing
PlayerPOSAttCompYdsPctTD
C. KaepernickQB224143171963.811
B. GabbertQB733842.91

Rushing
PlayerPOSAttYdsTDAvg
Frank GoreRB10242314.15
Colin KaepernickQB4926005.31
Carlos HydeRB4816123.35
Bruce EllingtonWR31605.33
Blaine GabbertQB1505.00

Receiving
PlayerPOSRecYdsTDAvg
Anquan BoldinWR39447111.46
Michael CrabtreeWR32322310.06
Stevie JohnsonWR25315312.60
Vernon DavisTE14142210.14
Brandon LloydWR10252125.20
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All rights reserved.

Middle linebacker Patrick Willis was the only 49ers player chosen to Pro Football Focus' All-Pro team. Four other players received second-team mention.

"Willis has used this year to reinforce his claim to being the greatest linebacker currently in the game," PFF wrote about Willis' season.

Those chosen to the second team were: left tackle Joe Staley, left guard Mike Iupati, right guard Alex Boone and "edge defender" Aldon Smith.

PFF grades every player on every play at every position. They were nice enough to send along some of their findings on the 49ers' recently completed regular season:

--Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick both attempted 218 pass attempts, both falling short of qualifying for any NFL passing categories by six attempts. Smith would have led the NFL in completion percentage (70.2 percent), and Kaepernick would have led the NFL in average per attempt (8.33 yards).

--PFF compiles its own quarterback accuracy percentages, consisting of completions plus drops against attempts minus throwaways, spikes, batted balls and hit-as-throwing passes. Smith ranked first in the NFL at 81.3 percent, while Kaepernick was seventh at 76 percent.

--Smith had 12 passes dropped by intended targets, while 19 of Kaepernick's passes were dropped.

--Smith attempted deep passes (defined as throws that traveled 20 or more yards in the air) just 8.3 percent of the time (33rd in the league), while deep throws accounted for 15.1 percent of Kaepernick's total attempts. Smith completed 50 percent (9 of 18) of his deep passes, tied for fifth in the NFL, for 293 yards with three TDs and one interception. Kaepernick completed 57.6 percent (19 for 33), first in the NFL, for 595 yards with five TDs and one interception.

--Smith was sacked 33.3 percent of the time when pressured (worst in the NFL), while Kaepernick was sacked just 17.6 percent when pressured (tied for 15th in the league). When blitzed, Smith completed 70.3 percent of his passes with a 126.8 passer rating. Kaepernick completed 59 percent of his throws when blitzed for an 88.7 rating.

--Amount of time to attempt a pass only: Smith 2.53 seconds (28th highest in league), Kaepernick 2.88 seconds (second highest).

--The quarterbacks had a 119.5 rating when targeting wide receiver Michael Crabtree, tied for fourth-highest among NFL wideouts with 100-plus targets.

--Crabtree's 2.56 yards per pass route was third among WRs with 100-plus targets, and better than Calvin Johnson's 2.55 yards. Crabtree's 3.74 yards per route run in the slot was best by far of any other wide receiver. And his 543 yards after the catch was fourth among all WRs.

--Mario Manningham had 42 receptions with only one drop.

--Delanie Walker's drop rate of 30 percent (21 catches, nine drops) was worst of any running back, wide receiver or tight end who had 30 or more targets. But Walker did have the second-best run blocking grade for any tight end.

--On run plays between Staley and Iupati, the 49ers averaged 6.1 yards an attempt (268 yards on 44 carries).

--Staley finished as PFF's highest rated tackle, based greatly on his run-blocking grade, which was significantly better than any other tackle in the NFL.

--Right tackle Anthony Davis finished second behind Staley in run-blocking among all NFL tackles. And, overall, he was the third-rated right tackle in the league.

--Defensive tackle Justin Smith graded as the fifth-best 3-4 lineman, and he rated second in run-stop percentage behind Houston's J.J. Watt.

--Isaac Sopopaga ranked 82nd out of 85 defensive tackle/nose tackles.

--Ahmad Brooks ranked fifth among 3-4 outside linebackers.

--Willis was the top-rated inside linebacker. He was second against the run, and graded out as the best inside linebacker in pass coverage.

--Tarell Brown led the tackling efficiency stats at cornerback. He missed only one tackle all season.

--Chris Culliver allowed a reception every 13.7 snaps in coverage, fifth-best among all cornerbacks.

--Of the 21 corners who had 160 or more snaps in coverage in the slot, Carlos Rogers ranked fourth allowing a reception every 11.2 slot coverage snaps. He ranked fifth allowing 0.90 yards per snap in slot coverage.

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