Through eight games, San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis has been playing exceptionally well, especially during the team’s five-game winning streak. He has a respectable stat line, ranking second on the team in pass reception and receiving yards behind Anquan Boldin with 29 receptions for 518 yards, as well as leading with the team with seven touchdown receptions.
Even in today’s NFL where passing numbers have been inflated to a certain extent, Davis is putting up very good numbers for a tight end, especially one who plays in an offense where running the football is the first priority.
With this in mind, Davis can be said to be on track for the best season of his eight-year career to date. While Davis has had seasons where his final individual statistics may end up being more impressive than what he is projected to finish with in 2013, the numbers alone won’t tell the full story.
The main reason that Davis is on his way to having the best season of his career is that his play as a downfield threat and as red zone weapon have never been as valuable than this season. The work and chemistry that he has developed with Colin Kaepernick since the 2012 postseason has carried over into 2013, with Davis serving as Kaepernick’s main downfield threat. The best example of this is in the 49ers 32-20 Week 6 win over the Arizona Cardinals, when both of Kaepernick’s touchdown passes were thrown to Davis.
This has made Davis a much better receiver, given that he is more dangerous as a result of being a big-play guy. As well, he has also been a valuable run blocker for the 49ers, whose rushing game has taken off since Week 4. So, even if the overall numbers may not suggest as much, Davis is well on his way to his best season yet.