Originally posted by nickbradley:
Exhibit A - Miami vs. Indy. 45 min. of possession and more yards than Indy...yet still lost.
Manning excels in hurry-up situations because he calls his own plays from the line of scrimmage. Forcing Manning into a no-huddle situation will only get you burned.
The best strategy, from what I've seen, is to try and match them while hoping for a mistake by the Colts offense.
Everybody falls for the theory that you must run against the Colts to keep Manning off the field. Here are the problems with that:
1. Manning is better in the hurry offense than in the normal offense.
2. The Colts defense is MUCH better when they have 8 men in the box -- Bob Sanders gets to play the run instead of the pass (Sanders is amazing vs. the run, so-so vs. the pass)
So, by running on them, you play right into their hands. The only team that DOESN'T take a run-first approach to the Colts is San Diego, and they're been pretty successful vs. Indy. The Steelers aren't afraid to get into a shoot-out w/ Manning Either.
Let's Air it out!
You're wrong and here's why...
1. As many do here, you've cited to a single instance (the Colts v. Miami game) and established that as the rule rather than the exception. Yes, Miami lost but they were ahead late into the 4th quarter. Miami's 2-4 this year, the Colts are 6-0. Sorry, but if the 49ers can significantly win Time of Possession, I'll take may chances. I'd rather force Manning to beat me while only having the ball 15-20 minutes of clock time than to give him the ball an additional 2-3 times.
2. I'll again take my chances with the Colts defense putting 8 men in the box. If they're doing that, they're out of the Tampa-2 and there should be plays down the field. You've also ignored that in recent years the Colts have been one of the worst defenses in allowing 3rd down conversions so apparently their 8 men in the box hasn't been that good.
3. The Chargers have had good success against the Colts but much of that has been due to their defense against Manning, including the game they intercepted Manning 6 times. The other part you're missing is that the Chargers and Steelers have Pro Bowl QBs and with proven receivers. The 49ers have a resurrected Alex Smith and a bunch of young receivers plus Bruce, most of whom have not been on the field at the same time with Smith under center for more than possibly the 2nd half against the Texans. Until the bye week, Smith hadn't even thrown any of the 49ers routes since the end of TC.
You're crazy if you think the 49ers best option is to get into a shoot-out on the road with the Colts and Manning. Their best option is to play smart, hang around by running the ball with Gore and converting 3rd downs with Smith's throws, not turn the ball over and then try to win it in the 4th quarter.