Originally posted by mella8:
Originally posted by dj43:
Originally posted by Joecool:
Give credit where it's due. MIN finally took advantage of our main weekness on D and that was the short flats. They also had a good player to throw to there in Harvin. Combine that with Ponder extending plays and making plays off his feet and our Defense got stretched.
Now include the fact that our QB doesn't have some of the intagibles their QB displayed along with MiN not turning it over and thy Ninered us but had better QB play than we normally do.
You have most of the facts correct but your anti-Alex filter led you to a wrong conclusion in the end.
Yes, Harvin made a difference but it wasn't the QB that made the difference. Harvin is a game breaker at all levels. The threat of him going deep, along with the speed of Michael Jenkins, forced the safeties to stay deep. That, plus the lack of a pass rush, opened up a lot of things for the Vikings.
Contrast that with the 49ers who have no deep threat receivers, and you have the difference in QB play. A lot of people, including NFL announcers, talk about the deep threat of Randy Moss. I don't see it. He is NOT a deep threat any longer, at least not in the way Harbaugh/Roman are using him. True, CBs are giving him a free release off the line but he clearly did not scare Minne at all.
To make matters worse, Manningham has NEVER been a deep threat and neither is Crabtree. Davis can beat any LB and many safeties but he was held in to help pass protection yesterday so his threat is eliminated. Jenkins can't seem to get on the field, so who does Alex have to throw to deep?
I couldn't tell for sure on the TV screen but I did not see any evidence of the 49ers even calling any deep routes yesterday. Of course that makes sense if you know you have no receivers who can get open deep but it does make the offense much more predictable.
In short, the biggest culprit in the loss was the play selection of Roman. At some point you MUST send someone long to keep the defense honest. He didn't do that that I could see. If Moss no longer has deep speed (which is what I suspect) then get Jenkins on the field.
It does no good to have all these "new weapons" if you are not going to use them. So far, all we have seen is a much improved Michael Crabtree. Manningham and Moss have done very little. The 49ers have three possession receivers and a TE that can go deep but is often forced to stay in and block. That isn't going to get the job done. We say what the threat of Harvin did, and we also saw how that worked in the Ravens game with Jones and Smith. Time for Harbaugh to open things up.
Just a few observations Id like to add to that after rewatching the game. I disagree with the 'no deep route call' notion. After watching the first half, I came to a conclusion that Harbaugh did exactly what a lot of people were asking him to do. He decided to "unleash" Alex, and the plan backfired. The majority of plays were pass, and MIN defended it beautifully. Alex threw the ball to a receiver (quite a few times) before receivers had even adjusted their route. Yes, there were times where Alex was rushed bc of poor blocking and he had no choice. But there were plays where he either (a) didnt let the receivers go deep bc he threw it too quick, or (b) checked down early. Other times the receivers were defended well or as I said the pass rush was too quick.
I think it was a failed misiion, and Harbaugh (realizing this) tried to adjust the gameplan back to conserva-mode as much as he could, but at that point he was fighting the clock and apparently Christian Ponder (still dont get how he lit us).
I expect Harbaugh to bring Alex right back underneath his shell, and we're gonna play it "safe" from now on out.
Did you actually see receivers on deep routes? From what I could see on the TV screen, there were no obvious deep routes called. Every time they showed a pass play, all the receivers were accounted for on short or mid-range routes.
Also, the 49er OL was dominated by the Vikings. For the first time in two years, the 49er lines on both sides of the ball, lost the LOS. Hard to do anything, especially on offense if you have no time to throw the ball. Ponder, OTOH, on 37 pass plays was not sacked once. No team will win under those circumstances.