Originally posted by Shaj:
Originally posted by fastforward:
Originally posted by Shaj:
I'm as thrilled with 12 - 3 as you are. But if all of this only gets us on the losing end of a shoot out with the Saints or Packers, then our formula needs to be adjusted. Our D and ST are golden, so that leaves the offense. Alex has great ratings but low output. The question is, can his quality scale with increased quantity (primarily yards & TDs)? If so, then why not? It might get us a superbowl. It seems to be the only missing ingredient at this point.
There are several explanations for the "pedestrian" offense, and the fault wasn't Smith's alone. Let the season play out then Harbaugh et al. can make the determination on the areas that need the most attention. IMO Smith was (and has proven to be) the best choice among the QBs available at the beginning of the season to run Harbaugh's offense. One can argue that things could be improved, but the fact of the matter is it is the way it is. Even if the 49ers go one and out (a huge disappointment for me too) in the playoffs, this season has been beyond anybody's hope at the start of the season.
From the business perspective, this is like the early years of a product line that a company only expected to sell a low numbers. Therefore in risking of a huge flop in creating negative customer reaction, the managers focused on quality and produced just enough to be profitable and to create positive buzz. They surely underestimated the market demand, but given the limited resources they have to focus on the areas of strength, and their strength was not in mass production like that earlier and wildly successful Green Cheese company next door could do. This product has proven to be a hit, much better than the managers expected. Even if they don't get Product of the Year vote, they have some branding success now, and can fine-tune to ramp up production in the next few years.
I don't actually pin the pedestrian offense exclusively on Alex. Coaching plays a huge part. The big question is, are they conservative by nature (the test for that is that the same conservative offense would be run if Brees or Rodgers played for the niners), or do they not think Alex can put the ball down the field without losing games for them. It's hard to believe that the former could be true (with the Rodgers/Brees test), but I don't know for sure, and I don't think anyone but the coaches do.
Actually, there's another possiblity: check Stanford games and see how they used Luck. I must confess I didn't watch them all that much but I read many people saying that the Cardinal offense was similar to our own: power-running, play-action, using "shot plays".
Maybe someone here on the board can help.