The scores provided by Pro Football Focus are thoroughly done and very interesting. The whole shebang is also a paid service, so it doesn’t seem right to go through the entire 49ers roster and list everyone’s score. But Jeff Deeney is nice enough to put together a morning-after-the-game email for those who cover the team, and those emails carry a lot of great information.
As far as the scoring goes, 0.0 is the baseline. If a player scores in that area, it generally means they weren’t terrible, but they weren’t that effective (starters generally gain +0.1/0.2 just for staying penalty-free). Any overall score at +2.0 and above (or -2.0 and below) in one game is noteworthy.
What’s really fun is when my own thoughts about the game are corroborated by the video junkies at PFF. It makes me feel like I could go out and scout football myself, which isn’t close to being true. But for what it’s worth, all of the scores I’ve listed below seem to pass the “eye test.”
— Justin Smith looked like a first-team All-Pro once again, and his score of +5.0 led the team. It’s also his best score since the famous Monday Night Football game against Chicago in 2012 (Kaepernick’s first start). Justin had a +5.7 in that game — Aldon Smith had a +10.0. Aldon had 5.5 sacks that game, and Justin had 0.5. Justin Smith had two sacks yesterday, and he earned +2.8 for his work as a run defender. He played 49 out of 73 possible snaps.
— Dontae Johnson scored second-highest on the defense with a +2.0. Is it too early to call him a fourth round steal? (Also, Pro-Football Reference lists Johnson as a free safety for some reason.)
— Ahmad Brooks scored a -5.5, the lowest single-game score in his career. He was dinged -2.8 points for committing three penalties, but his pass rushing only registered a -0.4 (he had one sack and one hurry in 23 chances).
— Michael Wilhoite scored a -2.1 in coverage, -3.1 overall.
— Corey Lemonier scored a -2.2 for his work rushing the passer, -2.8 overall. Lemonier didn’t register a sack, hit or hurry in 27 chances.
— Ray McDonald played 65 snaps, more than any other 49ers defensive lineman. He scored a -0.2.
— Colin Kaepernick led the way with a +3.7. Anquan Boldin came in second with a +2.5, which like Kaepernick’s score isn’t much of a surprise. Boldin’s score led all NFL receivers in Week 1 — he seems to enjoy playing in season openers.
— Carlos Hyde had the offense’s third highest score (+1.6) and Stevie Johnson came in fourth (+1.3), despite getting just 15 and 19 snaps, respectively.
— Daniel Kilgore (+1.1) and Jonathan Martin (+0.8) led the way for the offensive line. Joe Looney (-2.8), Mike Iupati (-1.8) and Joe Staley (-1.2) were all dinged for pass blocking difficulties.