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My Take on Harbaugh's Game 3 Against the Bengals

I was curious to see how Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers would react after losing a heart-breaker to Dallas.

At first, I was thinking they looked absolutely terrible to start off against Cincinnati. Alex was getting hit A LOT. This caused him to get really wild and bring out "Inaccurate Alex." I might've given an F to Harbaugh and the coaching staff for that first half if not for the fact that they seemed to really be trying to get the ball to Vernon Davis. I appreciate the creativity and the willingness to try something new. But yes. That first half was pretty inept. Luckilly, the Bengals were equally inept on offense, so we were able to hang in there.

In the second half, I was wondering if Harbaugh could adjust. And he did. The 49ers moved the ball much better. It wasn't explosive by any means, but they did what they had to do to score some points. The Crabtree play should've been a TD, but yes... I liked the adjustments that Harbaugh and the offensee put out. It's been awhile since I've seen our coaching staff adjust.

And finally, the ending. That was a bit nerve-racking, but it was all taken care of so well that the Bengals didn't even have a chance to have a last gasp.

My impression after that is that I'm glad we have a coach who can actually coach. Time will tell how good he is, and I'm by no means annointing him. The offensive line looked terrible. We couldn't run the ball. We had ten penalties, and A LOT of pre-snap penalties. He's still very conservative. But it's good to see that we have... competency.

Thoughts?
next years draft will be huge
one thing i noticed is that WR didnt get much seperation we had to depend a lot on VD today

also playcalling in 2nd half was brilliant thats the playbook i want to see i hope we keep it like that for the rest of the season
i think JH needs somebody in the booth to help him out with replays
Originally posted by Allx9er:
i think JH needs somebody in the booth to help him out with replays

I don't think you can challenge a flag though
I've been very disappointed with the look of the team -- they look so much like the past few years. BUT, BUT, I will say in his limited debut JH has done one thing that neither Nolan or Dingleberry could accomplish:

We have won the games we are supposed to, and played tough in the games we were expected to lose.

That is a move in the right direction.
Originally posted by Godsleftsock:
Originally posted by Allx9er:
i think JH needs somebody in the booth to help him out with replays

I don't think you can challenge a flag though
that is correct i dont think you can challenge a penalty
Originally posted by 49ersalldaway126:
one thing i noticed is that WR didnt get much seperation we had to depend a lot on VD today

also playcalling in 2nd half was brilliant thats the playbook i want to see i hope we keep it like that for the rest of the season


Been saying for awhile now that our wr's are very average at best.

But then we have alot of that on our team.
There were some good moments. Crabtree needs to get through the jitters and start living up to potential. It was nice to see VD be a threat today. That helped things alot. Hopefully a few weeks of Crabs and Smith will be some forced practice for them. If they can build report and Edwards can get back in a few weeks we could be dangerous on o. The big thing is the line has to wake up. This jekyl and hyde stuff has got to stop. There may be something to the solari thread.
  • Lifer
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 947
Did you notice the play calling on the touchdown drive? That was good coaching. The 49er Offense completely changed their personality on that drive and threw a bunch of things at the Bengals that they weren't prepared for. They started with a spread formation, they ran a sweep with the speedy back Hunter, and then there was that great back door screen to Davis. It's Obvious that the Bengals were well prepared for Gore between the tackles and the usual short passes. But when the 9ers went with the change of pace back and the well designed pass plays to Davis, the Bengals D was pushed right down the field. For Harbaugh and Roman, this was a case of using all your best stuff right when you needed it the most. They didn't give the Bengals time to adjust and they pulled off a touchdown drive (their ONLY touchdown drive) at the critical juncture.

It was a good game plan. Conservative overall, but aggressive at the right moment. Conservative works when you're playing a bad team, and conservative is what you have to be when you can't trust your O-line and you can't put too much on your QB. Given the circumstances, it was a good game plan. It should also be noted that this was a rare win for a west coast team in the eastern time zone, and an even more rare road win for the 49ers. It wasn't very exciting, and it certainly wasn't pretty, but give credit where credit is due.
Originally posted by 49ersalldaway126:
Originally posted by Godsleftsock:
Originally posted by Allx9er:
i think JH needs somebody in the booth to help him out with replays

I don't think you can challenge a flag though
that is correct i dont think you can challenge a penalty
that td to crabtree could have been reviewed
Originally posted by jreff22:
next years draft will be huge

Already looking forward to it. Need a bunch of hits and some new blood to take the next step after so many years of the same. Still a long ways to go this year though. Also, will be interesting once they get a full off-season.

CB, FS?, WR, OL, QB, RB?, FB?, QB?

As for the game they got Vernon involved which was nice. Would be nice to see more targets to the WRs though. Need to get everyone involved. We opened it up a bit and did some spread. Got Kendall involved, changed it up... liked the pitches/runs outside. Still to predictable and too many runs up the middle with Gore. Also, we need to be more disciplined... 12 penalties, what 4 false starts, Brooks offsides for 29th straight game...
Originally posted by Allx9er:
that td to crabtree could have been reviewed

We would have to find a link to the rule. I didn't think you can challenge a flag. Honestly, I can see why he called it though. Crabtree couldn't have been more than a CM from stepping out.
Originally posted by Lifer:
Did you notice the play calling on the touchdown drive? That was good coaching. The 49er Offense completely changed their personality on that drive and threw a bunch of things at the Bengals that they weren't prepared for. They started with a spread formation, they ran a sweep with the speedy back Hunter, and then there was that great back door screen to Davis. It's Obvious that the Bengals were well prepared for Gore between the tackles and the usual short passes. But when the 9ers went with the change of pace back and the well designed pass plays to Davis, the Bengals D was pushed right down the field. For Harbaugh and Roman, this was a case of using all your best stuff right when you needed it the most. They didn't give the Bengals time to adjust and they pulled off a touchdown drive (their ONLY touchdown drive) at the critical juncture.

It was a good game plan. Conservative overall, but aggressive at the right moment. Conservative works when you're playing a bad team, and conservative is what you have to be when you can't trust your O-line and you can't put too much on your QB. Given the circumstances, it was a good game plan. It should also be noted that this was a rare win for a west coast team in the eastern time zone, and an even more rare road win for the 49ers. It wasn't very exciting, and it certainly wasn't pretty, but give credit where credit is due.

Agreed on the first point - we opened it up and went empty backfield. And it worked.
I got to thinking about how poorly we started in the first drive on defense and our offense for most the first half. Do you guys feel the slow "sluggish" start had anything to do with being on the road and playing the early game? We have been awful on the road in early games the last few years. It seemed as if our whole team finally got their legs under them in the 2nd half and played pretty well.

Just a theory on why we looked so out of sync. for half the game. I mean defense getting picked apart first drive. Then on offense the false starts, missed throws, dropped passes, poor blocking on both running and passing. I don't know, maybe I'm reaching here but it would make sense.
[ Edited by JiksJuicy on Sep 25, 2011 at 3:44 PM ]