15 Sep 2009
by Vince Verhei
The linked article focuses on Arizona's new aggressive look on defense, and how San Francisco's defense limited the Cardinals to a never-ending series of checkdowns to Tim Hightower. Hightower finished with 12 catches for 121 yards, both career highs, but was it really a good day for him?
The short answer is yes; Hightower caught those 12 passes on 14 targets, with just two incompletions, and his receiving DVOA for the day was 54.2%. He produced five first downs. But looking at his targets one by one, The picture is not so rosy.
|Tim Hightower's Targets vs. San Francisco|
|Down||Distance||Yard line||Complete?||Yards Gained||First Down?|
Only half those plays met our criteria for Successful Plays (40 percent of yards needed on first down, 60 percent on second down, 100 percent on third and fourth down). Looking closer at the numbers, Hightower was much better on first down (80 percent Success Rate) than on third or fourth downs (29 percent Success Rate). Hightower has good hands and works well in space; it might be in Arizona's best interests to keep him involved as a receiver on first downs.
10 comments, Last at 18 Sep 2009, 7:56am by bubqr
"Last team with the ball wins" is a cliche, but sometimes cliches are the best way to get across the central narrative of an important game. If you like great quarterback play, you have to watch the NFC Championship Game.