Closer look at where 49ers, QB fell short

February, 4, 2013
2/04/13
11:08
AM ET
NEW ORLEANS -- Colin Kaepernick scored his fifth red zone rushing touchdown of the season during Super Bowl XLVII. His inability to complete passes in that area was a problem, however.


Kaepernick completed 1 of 5 passes for eight yards and no first downs in the red zone during the 49ers' 34-31 defeat to the Baltimore Ravens. He took two sacks on red zone plays.

Completion percentage in the red zone was one area where former 49ers starter Alex Smith outperformed Kaepernick this season. Smith completed 70.6 percent of his passes (12 of 17) with eight touchdowns, one interception and two sacks on 26 red zone action plays. Kaepernick completed 47.5 percent of his passes (19 of 40) with seven touchdowns, one pick and four sacks on 68 action plays in that area.

Action plays are plays when quarterbacks did not hand off or spike the ball to stop the clock.

The chart compares red zone production for Kaepernick and Baltimore's Joe Flacco during Super Bowl XLVII. Kaepernick had posted a 67.5 Total QBR score in the red zone previously this season. His QBR score in the red zone was 1.8 against the Ravens, dropping his season-long score to 41.1 thanks to the small sample size. Smith's QBR score in the red zone was 78.8 on an even smaller sample size.

Kaepernick threw incomplete three times when the Ravens rushed at least one member of their secondary on red zone plays, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That included the play when the 49ers failed on a two-point conversion attempt. Kaepernick had completed all three passes, including one for a touchdown, when opponents applied DB pressure previously this season. Smith completed both his passes for touchdowns on these plays during the regular season.

Kaepernick and Smith have both fared well when targeting tight end Vernon Davis in the red zone. Davis scored touchdowns on both red zone targets from Smith this season. He caught two scoring passes from Kaepernick on four red zone targets.

Smith fared better targeting Crabtree and fellow wide receiver Randy Moss in the red zone.

Note: This item was updated to show that the Ravens rushed a defensive back on the 49ers' two-point conversion try, not on the 15-yard touchdown run by Kaepernick that preceded the conversion try.

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