Note: I just posted this in rewatched the game, but i think it deserves its own post.
The problem with this team is not Alex Smith. His teammates would be the first to tell you. The problem with this team is a lack of an offensive philosophy that fits the personnel we have. That, and we have the worst offensive line in the league.
According to footballoutsiders, we have been stuffed in the backfield on only ten percent of our runs, lowest in the league. But our second level, and open field yards are 30 and 29 respectively. That tells me that Frank is outstanding at making something out of nothing and being able to get back to the line of scrimmage but to consistenly get open field and 2nd level yards you need blockers to open up holes and to press up on linebackers. Last year we were 2nd in open field yards, mainly due to how obscenely good Frank was the few times he got in the open field he took the house(see seattle). His 4.7 ypc compared i cant remember off top but around 2 for Coffee shows just how good Frank was last year. We arent getting those plays this year.
Secondly, offensive philosophy. Everyone knows Alex plays better from the spread, as do most qbs. The problem doesnt lie in how much we run the ball, but WHERE we run the ball. We avg 1.74 yards running sweeps left, 7.02 yards running off tackle left, 3.83 yards running from guard to guard, 5.01 yards running off tackle right and 3.01 yards running sweep left. Based off those numbers where to you think we run the ball most? Yep right up the middle. 66% of the time, second highest in the league. And it was 78% before Raye got fired. The league average is 50%. And where do we run least? Off tackle left of course. Even more than we sweep left, 4% n 6% resp. Look at the numbers from 09 and they were even worse. 3.51 ypc up the middle at 71% of the time. With the line we have, we cant run up the middle, yet we try over and over again. To blame Frank or Alex is misplaced, without a decent line, we cant run the sh!t we want to, yet we keep doing it. That is coaching my friends. I like Sing as a motivator. He is by no means and x and o guy and he is completely hands off with the offense. But its his responsibility to hire an offensive coach who can get the job done and he hasnt done that.
I struggled with this all offseason, keep a OC who is terrible or hire another one and have another year without continuity. Well hindsight being what it is, we all know the answer to that one now. I am firmly in the belief with a inventive offensive mind, Alex would be a top 10 quarterback. More than any other Quarterback in the league, even Manning, Alex has to play damn near perfect for us to move the ball. He cant miss any reads, he cant sit in the pocket and wait for something to come open, the line doesnt give him enough time. He would look like Cutler against the NY Giants every week if he wasnt so smart. But he gets criticized for rolling out. If he tries to stay in the pocket he will he injured again. No question. If you want to see a guy take a sack every other play than go ahead and chant for Carr. No qb can play an entire game mistake free, running for his life every other play. Dont know what the numbers are for this year, but last year Alex was pressured on 40 percent of his dropbacks, by far the highest in the league. Im not making excuses for his bonehead mistakes but seriously, look at the rest of the NFL. Other than Manning and Brady every quarterback makes mistakes every week. Other guys are able to pick up the slack tho but the offensive line makes it almost impossible.
The one thing working in our favor is the schedule. Football outsiders has this thing call DVOA. You can look it up for a deeper explanation but basically it charts what each team does in each situation and compares them to the league average to get you a percentage over the average. How this relates to us is, or schedule we have already played is rated 16.3% better than the average. That is over 4% higher than the next closest team. So we have played by FAR the toughest sched in the L so far. Our future sched based on what they have already done this season is -18.0% which means they are 18% worse than the league average. Next closest is KC with 16%. Basically we have played by far the toughest teams so far and have the easiest road the rest of the way out. Granted some of the reason we have played teams with a 16% better than average is due to the fact that we account for 20% of that. But that has nothing to do with how much easier it will be the rest of the way.
There IS hope. Mike J is a bright guy an i already have more faith in him than i did Raye. Alex might be the smartest guy in the whole organization other than Marathe. The key for them is to find the right balance of plays that will get chunk yards, and quick passes, cuz right now we run toooooo many plays that require better blocking than we currently have. The Eagles have the same line problem that we do but inventiveness in playcalling can hide that. Thats what we dont have right now. But Alex is good enough to win in this league. But not by himself. No one but #18 is.
[ Edited by Bayerrya on Oct 12, 2010 at 23:57:02 ]