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

Originally posted by Marvin49:
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.

some really great analysis--hopefully our coaches can find a solution.
I think it is time to get our best play makers on the field together more often---that means Crabs/ Williams and VD along with Gore and Hunter/ Miller. Sort of the old style west coast offense--run/pass--same players--let these guys get really good playing with each other. I'd like to see a lot less of Edwards/Walker and Ginn on offense. We need to pass more to the rb's-- a big staple of the west coast offense. Alex Smith needs to run a bit more out of pressure.
The thing that I question about the defense is that week after week other teams seem to find ways to put pressure on us but yet Fangio continues to just rush 4 and gets no pressure on the QB. If he is such a good DC then why can't he find ways to put pressure on the teams offense? People were saying that he runs his defense like the DC for the Packers , but i see them blitzing and getting to the QB and all I see from the 9ers is a 4 man rush. He better come up with something before they have to play a team like the Saints or Packers or its going to get ugly.
Our run game needs to diversify real quick and use our athletic ability more. Right now we are just doing the same stupid stuff Singletary did...especially in the red zone...and even when we play action in the red zone we are running one or two man routes...if no one's home the play fails. Smith played as well as he could yesterday and kept us in the game...our WRs and TE's and the entire OL played horrible yesterday.
Originally posted by contrarios:
The Cards are running the defense that I envisioned we would be running - pressure coming from all over the place and disrupting offenses. What happened?

Same here...guys running up to the LOS like they are going to blitz, back off at snap or full out blitz, standing up, moving around to create confusion. I personally think we have more talent on defense then them and could be even more effective in a defense like this (e.g. Pittsburgh/Cards).
We have a great front 7, and fangio has gotten praise for what he has done, statistics wise. What he hasn't done is the really imaginative stuff, like Balt, AZ, Pitts, Texans, Saints. We have essentially played, "well ,here we are and we're gonna stop you". Which we do on runs, but not passes, but if our DC got imaginative like teams noted above, just how much better would the entire D be? Answer: Lots. And as noted above, guys jumping in here, moving up and back, jumping in there, would create havoc for OLs, just like the above mentioned teams created for us. Why the vanilla? Because like with the OC, the DC is calling the sets. Just as Coach Harbaugh should be calling the O plays, he also ought to be calling the D. His D at Stanford was exceptional.

"But convention says that the HC should just oversee the OC and DC."...B.S. The HC should win, period. And if coach Harbaugh is the best guy to call D sets, then he should , and put fangio up in the box with roman, so they both can call down observations, but let Coach H call the D sets...as well as the O plays. Both OC and DC lack imagination which Harbaugh has shown he possesses while coaching college ball. Does anybody really think Bellichek and Sean Payton don't call the O Plays? And bellichek calls the D sets too, i believe. Best guy should be calling plays, and if that is HC, so be it.
Originally posted by bigwads:
Our run game needs to diversify real quick and use our athletic ability more. Right now we are just doing the same stupid stuff Singletary did...especially in the red zone...and even when we play action in the red zone we are running one or two man routes...if no one's home the play fails. Smith played as well as he could yesterday and kept us in the game...our WRs and TE's and the entire OL played horrible yesterday.

I actually COMPLETELY disagree with this statement.

I think some of the problem is that too often they try to be TOO creative in the run game and it results in lost yards (see Delanie Walker run). This also hold true in the red zone. Sometimes a nice little power run up the gut is whats called for but they end up pulling a guard on every run.

The Wildcat run last week was another example.

I think sometimes they try to get to cute in the redzone and it's one of their downfalls.
Originally posted by pasodoc9er:
We have a great front 7, and fangio has gotten praise for what he has done, statistics wise. What he hasn't done is the really imaginative stuff, like Balt, AZ, Pitts, Texans, Saints. We have essentially played, "well ,here we are and we're gonna stop you". Which we do on runs, but not passes, but if our DC got imaginative like teams noted above, just how much better would the entire D be? Answer: Lots. And as noted above, guys jumping in here, moving up and back, jumping in there, would create havoc for OLs, just like the above mentioned teams created for us. Why the vanilla? Because like with the OC, the DC is calling the sets. Just as Coach Harbaugh should be calling the O plays, he also ought to be calling the D. His D at Stanford was exceptional.

"But convention says that the HC should just oversee the OC and DC."...B.S. The HC should win, period. And if coach Harbaugh is the best guy to call D sets, then he should , and put fangio up in the box with roman, so they both can call down observations, but let Coach H call the D sets...as well as the O plays. Both OC and DC lack imagination which Harbaugh has shown he possesses while coaching college ball. Does anybody really think Bellichek and Sean Payton don't call the O Plays? And bellichek calls the D sets too, i believe. Best guy should be calling plays, and if that is HC, so be it.

The D WORKS. thats why they don't do all the other stuff. The Niners can rush 4, drop 7 and still get pressure. That many guys in coverage also is why the Niners are a league high +21 in Turnover differential.

They had a rough day on sunday, but its not because they weren't blitzing or "fake" blitzing. They still got 4 sacks.
[ Edited by Marvin49 on Dec 13, 2011 at 9:05 AM ]
During a critical drive:

1-10: Ran the ball up the middle for 5 yards.
2-5: Long pass play incomplete.
3-5: Pass play incomplete.
4-5 Punt.

Arrrggg. I was screaming for them to run it again on 2-5. Just run it down their throats in that position. You'll probably get a few more yards and have a 3-2 3-1 and run it again! When you get the first down... then maybe you can pass because they are expecting another running play. Run sets up the pass, that's how we win. It seems like they are forcing the issue with throwing the ball.
Originally posted by sfninerfanMax:
some really great analysis--hopefully our coaches can find a solution.


Originally posted by sfninerfanMax:
Originally posted by Marvin49:
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.

some really great analysis--hopefully our coaches can find a solution.


Good stuff - agree on your protection points. The DL pressure and rushes are coming right up the middle. Even when they stack 3 defenders out wide, they often loop one to the inside and he goes right past the center and guard! An extra tackle can't help you there. Would be better to have two back sets, they can block inside and outside pressure, and if no one comes release into a safety valve route -- oh yeah, that's the original WC Offense? Huh, maybe we should run that. :)
great points marvin i concur
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 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
You are right on the money bro, you and Marvin.
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.

There is. You lose a time out, unless the equipment is not working. Amazing how well out was working the rest of the game. Home field advantage?
So if our offense has no hot reads, does this mean that Smith can't change any routes at the line of scrimmage based on what he sees from the defense? My understanding is that he has two plays when he comes up to the line; a run and a pass. If that is true, that doesn't seem like a good strategy to beat defenses that blitz up the middle.
Pretty much spot on with your analysis. Great work!