Thursday, February 27, 2014

QB Corner - Colin Kaepernick (SEA @ SF)

QB Corner first looked at Colin Kaepernick in a tough defensive game against the Carolina Panthers. As multiple 49ers expressed prior to their playoff date in Carolina, the 49ers were missing key offensive personnel in the earlier game, including Vernon Davis for the 2nd half and Michael Crabtree for the entirety of the game.

The Crabtree injury is especially interesting given the monstrous numbers he had with Colin under center in 2012. Through the first half of this year, despite a few big games from Anquan Boldin, the 49ers receivers never looked like they had the space that Crabtree was getting last year. Even Boldin isn’t necessarily open – I have long maintained that he simply makes catches through coverage.

The real weakness was secondary receivers, as Kyle Williams, Quinton Patton, Jon Baldwin, and Company who couldn't separate from coverage. Did you know that after Boldin and Davis, the next-leading receiver by catches was fullback Bruce Miller? Or that 49ers backs had 48 catches for 443 yards and 0 TDs on the season compared to 40 grabs for 454 yards and 0 TDs from receivers not named Boldin, Davis, or Crabtree?

I wanted to study Colin in a game where he had his #1 target back, and what better game to analyze than against another fantastic defense in the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks. This is especially important this offseason as the 49ers are looking to extend their QB. My goal is to use his numbers and tape to give a ballpark range for how much Kaepernick is worth to this team. First, the numbers from the season:

All numbers from Pro-Football Reference

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

2014 Sochi Olympics - Games Review

I like rankings. Like in Part 1, where I ranked the best uniforms at the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. Rankings can turn virtually anything into a competition. Best uniforms are just the start. Today, I will be ranking the events themselves (with some commentary of the performances thrown in). For the first time in my memory, I managed to watch each Olympic event.

Starting from worst to first:

Figure Skating Team Competition: I know this is really a combination four different events. But why are we seeing the best skaters perform both short and programs twice, once for the team competition and once for the individual medals? There's nothing really "team" about skating. Unlike gymnastics, where teammates cross train on various apparatuses, singles skaters don't skate in pairs and pairs don't ice dance. I know that more figure skating = better, but they are literally performing the same programs twice. The worst part was this format unnecessarily deprived the world the opportunity to see Evgeni Plushenko, the best male skater I've ever seen, go for one last individual gold as he left all of himself on the ice for team Russia. Ditch this format and award team medals to the most outstanding nations at the end of all the individual rounds.

Monday, February 24, 2014

2014 Sochi Olympics - Opening Ceremony Outfits

Before we begin with a review of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games at Sochi, I have to take a moment to reward the best dressed at the opening ceremonies. Hey, if competitive ice dancing is a sport, so is looking the best at the gala. Think about it: it requires preparation, training (you think they get those bodies on accident?), attention to detail, dramatic flair, and essentially all the other elements that make competitive ice dancing compelling.

These are only best outfits sorted least stylish to most. I separated them into completely arbitrary categories with an overall winner at the bottom. Let's start though with a country that really disappointed.

France - Classiest (runner up)