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WR Jeremy Kerley - San Francisco 49ers

5-10, 189Born: 11-29-1988College: TCUDrafted: Round 5

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Photo: Rob Foldy, US Presswire

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Week 14: vs New York Jets

All WR vs NYJ

Mark and Joe say: Neutral matchup. Colin Kaepernick will get the start in Week 14 against the New York Jets, according to offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins on Tuesday, December 6. The best thing we can say about this is that it is unlikely to be snowing in San Francisco - last week, the 49ers had a team total of six net yards passing. Yes, you read that right. Kaepernick posted 1/5 for four yards passing, zero TDs and zero interceptions with five sacks taken for -25 yards (his relief, Blaine Gabbert, had 4/10 for 35 yards, with one sack taken for -8 yards). Yikes, folks. There isn't anything good to say about this performance from the 49ers' quarterbacks. The Jets may be just the medicine that Kaepernick and company need, though. They were absolutely terrible on Monday Night Football last Monday, routinely leaving Dwayne Allen (and company) wide open for Andrew Luck - 23/29 for 282 net yards, four TDs and zero interceptions later (with one sack taken for -7 yards) the Colts were 41-10 victors. It's hard to say which of these units is playing worse entering Week 14 - this is an ugly but even matchup.

Recent Stats and Projections

10 at ARI 51 0 0 0 7 7 71 1 1 12.1
11 vs NE 42 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 0 -1
12 at MIA 49 0 0 0 4 2 24 0 0 2.4
13 at CHI 37 0 0 0 2 1 18 0 0 1.8
14 vs NYJ PROJ-Dodds * 0 * * 3 * * * *
14 vs NYJ PROJ-Tremblay * 0 * * 2 * * * *
14 vs NYJ PROJ-Bloom * 0 * * 2 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2016 Week 13 vs CHI (2 / 1 / 18 / 0 rec)

Kerley's lone reception came in garbage time. He got wide open by finding a massive hole in Chicago's intermediate zone. Blaine Gabbert delivered a low throw, but to his credit Kerley was able to catch the ball despite slipping while adjusting to the pass. His other target was his first, which didn't come until midway through the third quarter. Operating out of the right slot, Kerley ran a shallow crossing route against cornerback Bryce Callahan. He was unable to get any separation, which allowed Callahan to knock the ball away easily. What you just read was due to (presumably) the 49ers' powers-that-be choosing to prepare for a game played in wind and snow by vacationing at Disney World.

2016 Week 12 vs MIA (4 / 2 / 24 / 0 rec)

Kerley ran routes from the slot against man-to-man coverage by Bobby McCain. All three of his targets against McCain were slant patterns. On the first, Kerley had a half-step on McCain, but the cornerback was able to recover with the ball in the air and deflect the pass out of Kerley's hands. The second resulted in a 6-yard reception. The third was Kerley's biggest opportunity to that point, having beaten McCain badly to the inside. It would have been a big gain if not for Colin Kaepernick getting hit as he threw, resulting in a wayward pass. By far, Kerley's highlight of the day came with 11 seconds left and San Francisco driving for a tying touchdown. He ran a corner route to get between McCain's underneath zone and Byron Maxwell's deep zone. Kaepernick's throw was high and toward the sideline (by design). Kerley was able to adjust in midair and somehow get both feet down for the catch. It was such an amazing display of body control that even the officials couldn't believe it, as they initially ruled the pass incomplete before reversing the call on replay.

2016 Week 11 vs NE (6 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

How does a receiver get 6 targets, but not record a catch? The recipe for Kerley on Sunday was a perfect storm of not being open and having inaccurate passes thrown his way when he did manage to get open. For instance, midway through the fourth quarter, Kerley was wide open on a quick slant, but Kaepernick threw the ball 5 yards ahead of him.

2016 Week 10 vs ARI (7 / 7 / 71 / 1 rec)

Arizona's pass defense played Cover-3 zone for most of the game. Therefore, it's no surprise that five of Kerley's catches were the result of finding the hole in said zone five times; and another -- his touchdown -- was the result of being wide open thanks to a blown zone coverage that left him wide open. Only once did Kerley beat man-to-man coverage; it was his longest gain of the game. In an infrequent situation lined up in man-to-man against Marcus Cooper, Kerley beat him inside on a deep post for a 45-yard gain.

2016 Week 9 vs NO (6 / 3 / 22 / 0 rec)

Two of Kerley's incomplete targets were Colin Kaepernick's fault: He threw behind Kerley on a shallow crossing route, and his eyes fixated on Kerley on a slant route that resulted in an interception. Kerley's only reception worth mentioning involved him beating B.W. Webb's off-man coverage on a shallow crossing route for 17 yards and a first down on 3rd-and-6.

2016 Week 7 vs TB (5 / 2 / 15 / 0 rec)

There's no way to spin Kerley's stat line into a positive, but the box score makes it look more negative than it actually was. The three incompletions thrown his way were 1) a bubble screen batted down at the line; 2) a sack-evading throwaway with him in the general vicinity; and 3) a garbage-time pass where Colin Kaepernick was hit as he threw. Both of Patton's receptions came on identical option routes against slot corner Jude Adjei-Barimah, one of which included him completely Adjei-Barimah out of his shoes when he broke his route inside instead of outside.

2016 Week 6 vs BUF (7 / 2 / 12 / 0 rec)

The schedule finally turned Kerley's carriage into a pumpkin this week. After feasting on some of the worst slot cornerbacks in the league, he faced one of the best in Nickell Robey-Coleman. Colin Kaepernick's struggles in the Buffalo wind did him no favors either. Kerley's forgettable stat line could have been redeemed on the first play of the fourth quarter. Kerley worked himself open at the goal line between the cornerback and safety in Cover-2, but Kaepernick (somehow) rifled a one-hopper to him despite having the wind at his back.

2016 Week 5 vs ARI (13 / 8 / 102 / 1 rec)

For the third time in five games, Kerley feasted on a slot cornerback that, to say the least, struggled in man-to-man coverage -- to the point of almost looking lost with respect to his responsibility on a given play. This time, however, it wasn't against a player seeing the first significant action of his career, like unheralded third-year player Lamarcus Joyner or sixth-round rookie Anthony Brown. No, it was All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu, who had only this week successfully lobbied to get his old slot corner job back after spending the first month of the regular season in more of a true safety role. And it showed, especially on the 49ers second quarter drive wherein Kerley caught all four of his targets for 63 yards and a touchdown. Said touchdown was a quintessential example of Mathieu's confusion/rustiness. The play was designed to have Garrett Celek legally pick Mathieu, thereby getting Kerley wide open, which he ended up being. However, Mathieu wasn't so much a victim of a pick play as he picked himself, briefly following Celek (as a safety would) rather than sticking with his man-to-man coverage on Kerley (as a cornerback would). As you have to be the man to beat the man, none of this discounts Kerley's performance. It's simply to point out that, once again, he was (mostly) the beneficiary of a bad performance by the slot cornerback on a defense that relies heavily on success in man-to-man coverage.

2016 Week 4 vs DAL (9 / 6 / 88 / 1 rec)

Kerley's performance was mostly a byproduct of facing rookie cornerback Anthony Brown in the slot. He beat Brown one-on-one repeatedly, and Gabbert made accurate passes in his direction most of the time. On his touchdown, Kerley benefitted from Dallas badly blowing the coverage behind their zone blitz. Brown blitzed from the right slot, but neither a linebacker nor the single-high safety picked up Kerley's intermediate crossing route. His one display of individual skill on this play was cutting back at the 5-yard line to make that single-high safety, Barry Church, miss a possible touchdown-saving tackle.

2016 Week 3 vs SEA (6 / 2 / 24 / 0 rec)

Kerley was the beneficiary of Blaine Gabbert's best pass of the day, which split the cornerback and safety down the left sideline for a 20-yard gain. On the catch, Kerley's jumping, twisting catch showed good body control in midair. Later in the first half, however, Gabbert's deficient ball placement on a shallow cross required Kerley to catch the ball behind him, thereby turning a sure first down (and possibly a big gain) into a short third-down completion and a punt.

2016 Week 2 vs CAR (6 / 3 / 29 / 0 rec)

Kerley was less active in San Francisco's passing attack because Carolina defended him differently than Los Angeles did in Week 1. Namely, they didn't play man-to-man with an overmatched slot corner the whole game, reception after reception be damned. No, the Panthers mixed it up and played more zone coverage, with Robert McClain, Luke Kuechly, and Shaq Thompson all getting in on the act. For example, Gabbert's first interception was on a pass intended for Kerley with McClain and Kuechly bracketing him in the middle of th field. Kerley's best play by far was against a similar defensive alignment earlier in the game, but this time Gabbert's ball placement was better, allowing Kerley to make a nice hands catch and spin away from McClain before being tackled 13 yards downfield by Kuechly.

2016 Week 1 vs LA (11 / 7 / 61 / 0 rec)

Either Lamarcus Joyner had an awful game in coverage or Chip Kelly's plan for the passing game revolved around attacking Joyner because he's an awful cornerback. Running routes from the slot or the trail position of a receiver stack, both of which allow him a free release, Kerley was repeatedly wide open due to either beating Joyner in man-to-man or finding the no man's land just on the edge of Joyner's zone responsibility. The most wide open Kerley got was actually on an incompletion. On the second play of San Francisco's first touchdown drive, Kerley ran uncovered on a post from the slot because -- or so it appears -- Joyner didn't know whether he was supposed to play man or zone. Thinking zone, he handed off Kerley to another defender, but there was no other defender, as it was actually man on his half of the field and zone on the other. This was a sure touchdown, except Gabbert overthrew him by 10 yards. After adjusting for all this Joyner-driven success, perhaps the most important conclusion to be drawn from Kerley's performance is that Kelly (and Blaine Gabbert) had no problem starting and featuring a receiver that's been on the team for less than two weeks.


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