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 ]