Thumbs up, Thumbs Down

Here's a look at some of the thumbs up and thumbs down from the 49ers 2008 season.

THUMBS UP

**

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Explosive Plays **The 49ers finished with 55 pass plays of 20-yards or more, tying them for third in the NFL.
To put that in perspective, last year the 49ers had 30 pass plays of 20-yards or more for a dead last NFL ranking.

Red Zone DefenseThe 49ers red zone defense ranked eighth overall in the NFL.

The Finish
The 49ers closed out the second half of the season with an overall 5-3 record, building a winning foundation for the 2009 season.

The offense jumped from an overall 32nd ranking in 2007 to a 23rd overall ranked unit in 2008.

The defense likewise took a leap, going from 25th overall last season to 13th overall in 2008.

Best of the Bunch
Wide receiver Isaac Bruce's 835 receiving yards are the most yards put up by a receiver since 2003 when Terrell Owens was still with the team and finished with 1,102 yards.

Running back Frank Gore created franchise history by eclipsing the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the third straight year. He finished with 240 carries for 1,036 yards, and 43 catches for 373 yards, good for third on the team in catches.

Quarterback Shaun Hill completed 62.8% of his passes to put up 2,046 yards during 8.5 games. He threw 13TD's and 8INT for an overall 87.5 QB Rating. His passer rating put him at 12th best overall in the league.

Linebacker Joe Staley earned a berth to the 2009 Pro Bowl for the second consecutive year. He again led the team in tackles, and based on NFL stats, Willis finished second in the entire NFL in stops with 141 tackles.

Linebacker Parys Haralson led the team with 8 sacks, while defensive end Justin Smith ended the year with 7 sacks.

THUMBS DOWN

Big Sub

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The 49ers relied primarily on their Big Sub defense earlier in the year, a package that featured six defensive backs. Although this personnel grouping helped the 49ers to a road victory in Seattle, it was unsuccessful in stopping the run.

With head coach Mike Singletary taking over, the 49ers defense went back to the basics, relying more on their base defense.

Getting BurntThe 49ers surrendered 12 plays over 40 yards or more, ones that proved costly in losses to New Orleans, Seattle, Dallas and Miami. Those 12 plays tied them at 2nd in the NFL for the most passes allowed over 40 yards or more.

SacksThe 49ers surrendered a league high 55 sacks on the season. That's the second straight year the 49ers have given up 55 sacks, although last year they were tied for the league-high with the Chiefs.

TurnoversThe 49ers gave the ball away a league high 35 times in 2008, while coming up with only 18 defensive takeaways for a -17 net difference. That turnover ratio tied them for last in the NFL with Denver.


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