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Week 14: Thoughts after re-watching the game....

1) Edwards: Completely useless. Maybe he's still hurt or maybe he's out of sync, but I personally don't even want him on the field. Leave Kyle WIlliams out there. At least Kyle will work his a$$ off.

2) RedZone problems: In my opinion, the problem is playcalling. Teams are stacking against the run so the Niners are trying to attack the edges in the pass game. They keep trying to hit that pass to Edwards, but the guy is just useless right now. I personally think they need to take a page out of the Walsh playbook and start running "sprint-right option". They need to be more creative about it because right now, they are completely useless inside the 10.

3) Grant: Played very well in place of Willis. Its possible that Willis may have been able to get a hand on the ball that ended up as the first AZ TD (Grant was right there), but we don't know that for sure. Beanie Wells averaged less than 2 yards per carry. Job well done by Grant.

4) Aldon: Gratz to the Rook. Played very well. The Sack was an example of just sticking with it, but the really great play was chasing Skelton down from behind and forcing the fumble. He applied pressure whenever he was out there and set the edge well in the run game.

5) O-Line: Obviously, if you give up 5 sacks and struggle so badly on O, something wasn't right up front. In their defense tho, the Cards went nuts sending blitzes right up the gut. The problem is that at times they were outnumbered in the middle, but had an extra tackle or 2 in the game so Alex really didn't have anyone out there to check the ball to. The Card D is pretty good. The Niners need to figure this one out or they are going to see a steady diet of it from now on. Don't be surprised tho if the Niners draft ANOTHER O-Linemen in round 1 next year (David DeCastro from Stanford?).

6) Alex: Yes, he struggled. No doubt. Lets not put it all on him tho because its not like the recievers were running wide open. If Ginn sees the ball in the air, that may be a TD. Patrick Peterson played VERY well and it was clear he was embarrassed the first time around. The Cards were playing on D like this was the Super Bowl.

7) Safeties: This was a rough day for the 49er Safeties. Fitz is a tough player to keep down all day, but just like vs Dallas it was safeties not making the plays they were supposed to make that allowed the Cards to put up 21 pts. It was those three big plays that killed them. Hopefully, this is an abberation. Goldson has played well all year.

8) Crabtree: He had some comments after the game that I'm hoping won't get people upset and start the "diva" thing all over again. I'l tell you this tho...he was blocking his a$$ off the entire day. Without a GREAT block on the Gore run Gore doesn't score. He knocked the safety flat in his a$$.

9) Fake FG: Sigh. Great call. BS that it didn't count. That was a huge turning point. a) They didn't get the first down (and I think it was only a TD because the whistle blew), b) the replay equiptment didn't work, so the Cards didn't lose a TO that they should have lost (tho it didn't make a diff), and then all of the sudden the Cards hit that long TD to take a lead. Mad mojo.

10) Sky isn't falling: Every team will have a stinker. Niners are the worst team in the redzone on offense. Ya know what tho? The Niners are freakin 10-3 with that worst redzone offense. It's something that is fixable (eventually). I would much rather be 10-3 with a team that can still improve than be in perfect sync to get to 10-3. Being 10-3 with some serious issues just tells you how much better they CAN be.
[ Edited by Marvin49 on Dec 12, 2011 at 10:05 AM ]
Nice. As usual Marvin.
Great points ..def cheered me up.. I been sayin sit braylon and let KW loose for awhile the guy is money
Thanks for another great analysis.

I totally agree with your assessment of the red zone problems--its playcalling. Seems like they avoided inside running, perhaps with the thought that they're gonna need an inside run play coming up--at a key moment in the playoffs. I'd rather see them running off tackle now--even if they fail--to set up future opponents. I think they just got too "cute" on offense in the red zone and it cost them. Score a TD instead of a FG on either of those opportunities inside the 10 and they win. Oh well.

Grant played well, but I can't wait to see Willis back in there.

Aldon Smith played very well, and let a couple sacks get away from him. Still a FF and a sack--not a bad day for the rookie.

I think some of those sacks have to be put on Alex Smith. Where was the hot read? Why didn't he see the blitz and take advantage? Arizona's D played great, but we never took advantage of their over aggressiveness.

There should be a penalty for a red flag that's just thrown for strategic purposes and not upheld. That was total BS.
You hit on many points I saw too. I'd like to state some additional concerns here:

1. Dropped passes; we must be close to 7% now after this game and it's just mind-boggling. Receivers flat out dropping perfect throws, losing balls, never turning around, on crucial 3rd and 4th downs, etc. drop after drop after drop. This is more than a perpetual problem by now and certainly needs to be addressed. It finally caught up to us. It's become a culture.
2. Another concern is the inability to use screen passes against an aggressive defense esp. when you have a Sproles-like player in Hunter and an OL that is best in space and at the second level. We used it one time and it worked very well and then I never saw it again.
3. When was the last time WE brought a CB or S blitz, or overloaded blitzes like what teams are doing against us? I am seeing Brooks/Smith being moved back and forth, rushing from the WILL/SAM spots but that's about as creative as we get.
4. Players such as Crabs/VD are starting to get fed up. This is a WCO right? The redzone should be the easiest for us b/c the WCO "is" a full time redzone offense...short passing game with utilizing TE's, RB's, WR slats, crossing routes, draws, QB rollouts, screens, etc. Since November 1st, we are only 3 of 13 in TD's in the redzone. Inexcusable...on both accounts.
5. Calls - has there been one game this year where we weren't screwed on a HUGE call by the refs? Its like that rookie OT who starts getting flaged for false starts and then is called every single game for them. It's become a culture.
6. Will Fangio ever learn not to play his defenders 10 yards off on 3rd and 5 or 20 yards off on 3rd and 10+, etc. Ever?
7. OL...we need help. If you just watch the LOS, this line is CONSTANTLY being shoved backwards, sometimes up to ten yards. It means Gore and Hunter have to run through 2 guys often just to get back to the original LOS and it generally means Alex is running for his life, getting crushed/hit, scrambling, throwing off timing, etc.
8. Penalties and getting plays in - what is your deal Harbaugh? We call a TO...? We then get a penalty? Having to use all these time outs? What's our deal?
9. It seems like teams are evolving on defense and offense and as a team now and we are regressing; the commentator noted yesterday that Harbaugh never deviates from his game-plan which is fine when its working, Teams are game-planning very well against us and adjusting very well esp. at halftime. We are not and we are not deviating from the original plan and not making the proper adjustments at halftime.
10. Tired defense - we need a rotation here more on the DL; the front 7 is still providing pressure but they are overworked and tired
[ Edited by NCommand on Dec 12, 2011 at 10:21 AM ]
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Good post! Lets hope the team gets healthy week, they are going to need all hands on deck if they hope to beat the Steelers
Originally posted by oldninerdude:
Thanks for another great analysis.

I totally agree with your assessment of the red zone problems--its playcalling. Seems like they avoided inside running, perhaps with the thought that they're gonna need an inside run play coming up--at a key moment in the playoffs. I'd rather see them running off tackle now--even if they fail--to set up future opponents. I think they just got too "cute" on offense in the red zone and it cost them. Score a TD instead of a FG on either of those opportunities inside the 10 and they win. Oh well.

Grant played well, but I can't wait to see Willis back in there.

Aldon Smith played very well, and let a couple sacks get away from him. Still a FF and a sack--not a bad day for the rookie.

I think some of those sacks have to be put on Alex Smith. Where was the hot read? Why didn't he see the blitz and take advantage? Arizona's D played great, but we never took advantage of their over aggressiveness.

There should be a penalty for a red flag that's just thrown for strategic purposes and not upheld. That was total BS.

I agree on all but Smith.

The 49ers do not have "hot reads". Thats one of the changes in the Harbaugh/Roman offense that makes things easier for the QB and eliminates mistakes (like a WR and QB being on different pages on a hot read and getting an INT as a result). Instead they always have an "outlet receiver", but if that gets covered....

This was the problem in a nutshell as I saw it...

49ers run Max protect with 7 O-Linemen. That only puts three receivers out there to pass to. When the Cards blitzed two or three guys up the middle, the extra tackles don't help you because its the interior of the line that can't account for everyone. If the outlet receiver is covered, there is nowhere to throw the ball.

The way the sheme is designed helps cut down on turnovers, but will also at times leave the QB nowhere to throw the ball.
What did Crabs say after the game ?
I think I know the real reason for red-zone struggles. It's because in the redzone, the windows are smaller and Alex can't make the fast accurate bullet throws to fit it in like the upper echelon QBs.

That's my opinion.
Originally posted by NCommand:
You hit on many points I saw too. I'd like to state some additional concerns here:

1. Dropped passes; we must be close to 7% now after this game and it's just mind-boggling. Receivers flat out dropping perfect throws, losing balls, never turning around, on crucial 3rd and 4th downs, etc. drop after drop after drop. This is more than a perpetual problem by now and certainly needs to be addressed. It finally caught up to us. It's become a culture.
2. Another concern is the inability to use screen passes against an aggressive defense esp. when you have a Sproles-like player in Hunter and an OL that is best in space and at the second level. We used it one time and it worked very well and then I never saw it again.
3. When was the last time WE brought a CB or S blitz, or overloaded blitzes like what teams are doing against us? I am seeing Brooks/Smith being moved back and forth, rushing from the WILL/SAM spots but that's about as creative as we get.
4. Players such as Crabs/VD are starting to get fed up. This is a WCO right? The redzone should be the easiest for us b/c the WCO "is" a full time redzone offense...short passing game with utilizing TE's, RB's, WR slats, crossing routes, draws, QB rollouts, screens, etc. Since November 1st, we are only 3 of 13 in TD's in the redzone. Inexcusable...on both accounts.
5. Calls - has there been one game this year where we weren't screwed on a HUGE call by the refs? Its like that rookie OT who starts getting flaged for false starts and then is called every single game for them. It's become a culture.
6. Will Fangio ever learn not to play his defenders 10 yards off on 3rd and 5 or 20 yards off on 3rd and 10+, etc. Ever?
7. OL...we need help. If you just watch the LOS, this line is CONSTANTLY being shoved backwards, sometimes up to ten yards. It means Gore and Hunter have to run through 2 guys often just to get back to the original LOS and it generally means Alex is running for his life, getting crushed/hit, scrambling, throwing off timing, etc.
8. Penalties and getting plays in - what is your deal Harbaugh? We call a TO...? We then get a penalty? Having to use all these Ttime outs? What's our deal?
9. It seems like teams are evolving on defense and offense and as a team now and we are regressing; the commentator noted yesterday that Harbaugh never deviates from his game-plan which is fine when its working, Teams are game-planning very well against us and adjusting very well esp. at halftime. We are not and we are not deviating from the original plan and not making the proper adjustments at halftime.
10. Tired defense - we need a rotation here more on the DL; the front 7 is still providing pressure but they are overworked and tired

Agree on most points. The problem tho isn't so much the line in my opinion. I'm not saying they are playing well, I'm just saying teams are stacking the box and blitzing up the middle and the 49ers haven't yet found a way to make them pay for doing it. The Line is getting pushed back because they are CONTANTLY outnumbered.
Originally posted by susweel:
What did Crabs say after the game ?

"I have no words, really," Crabtree said. "I saw a lot of opportunities. I really don't want to say anything negative. You know what I'm saying? But it's hard.

"When you're trying to be the man, and you're trying to do what you're supposed to do, trying to grind it out, trying to be the receiver, and you don't get the ball. It's hard. It's disappointing. I don't know, man. I don't need to be talking right now."

This what Crabtree is talking about
Crabtree caught seven passes for 63 yards, but he was a spectator in the red zone. The 49ers ran 11 plays inside the Cardinals' 20-yard line. Crabtree was on the sideline for four of those plays, and he was not the intended target on any of the other seven plays.




Braylon
"Talk to them," Edwards said of the other receivers. "They played. I didn't."
Originally posted by susweel:
What did Crabs say after the game ?

Nothing specific. He was just really pissed off and then said he shouldn't say anything. It was clear he wasn't happy.
Skelton got away far too many times. Aldon did well but not THAT well. Our def line is obviously not a problem but we need more help on passing downs. Give Skelton credit he moved well in the pocket and didn't have to worry about blitzing on passing downs. We sent some run blitzes as usual but we rushed four or less on most all passing downs. Its just frustrating to watch because Arizona sent the house on every down and beat us up with it.
[ Edited by NinerG94 on Dec 12, 2011 at 10:27 AM ]
Originally posted by valrod33:
Originally posted by susweel:
What did Crabs say after the game ?

"I have no words, really," Crabtree said. "I saw a lot of opportunities. I really don't want to say anything negative. You know what I'm saying? But it's hard.

"When you're trying to be the man, and you're trying to do what you're supposed to do, trying to grind it out, trying to be the receiver, and you don't get the ball. It's hard. It's disappointing. I don't know, man. I don't need to be talking right now."

This what Crabtree is talking about
Crabtree caught seven passes for 63 yards, but he was a spectator in the red zone. The 49ers ran 11 plays inside the Cardinals' 20-yard line. Crabtree was on the sideline for four of those plays, and he was not the intended target on any of the other seven plays.




Braylon
"Talk to them," Edwards said of the other receivers. "They played. I didn't."


Basically he's saying he was open but didnt get the ball.
Originally posted by susweel:
Originally posted by valrod33:
Originally posted by susweel:
What did Crabs say after the game ?

"I have no words, really," Crabtree said. "I saw a lot of opportunities. I really don't want to say anything negative. You know what I'm saying? But it's hard.

"When you're trying to be the man, and you're trying to do what you're supposed to do, trying to grind it out, trying to be the receiver, and you don't get the ball. It's hard. It's disappointing. I don't know, man. I don't need to be talking right now."

This what Crabtree is talking about
Crabtree caught seven passes for 63 yards, but he was a spectator in the red zone. The 49ers ran 11 plays inside the Cardinals' 20-yard line. Crabtree was on the sideline for four of those plays, and he was not the intended target on any of the other seven plays.




Braylon
"Talk to them," Edwards said of the other receivers. "They played. I didn't."


Basically he's saying he was open but didnt get the ball.