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We lost on 3rd Down, and its unlikely to happen again (everybody calm down)

OK - I got fired up to write this after reading a PFT article stating that the 49ers struggle against teams that run well -- we don't...the Vikings RBs got a measly 3.3 yards per carry (league avg. is 4 this year). That's a myth.

What really happened is that Ponder looked like Fran Tarkenton on third down. 7/14 on third downs, plus a 4th down conversion. They were 36% on the season going in. Here are their third-down conversions:



3-yard Peterson run on 3rd and 1

11-yard pass to rudolph on 3rd and 10

1-yard TD pass to rudolph on 4th and 1

11 yard pass to Aromashodu on 3rd and 11

6 yard pass to Gerhart on 3rd and 2

14 yard pass to Gerhart on 3rd and 10

2 yard TD pass to Rudolph on 3rd and 2

14 yard pass to harvin on 3rd and 5

Converting this many third and longs -- especially while under pressure -- is almost unheard of and its a bit of an anomaly.

Now, we came in sloppy and lethargic -- yes. And we came out passing for some reason, yes. And, the 49ers failed to connect on key passes - yes. And, there were some highly questionable personal foul calls that extended 2/3 of MIN's TD drives - yes. But that's not why we lost.

We still would have won this game if it weren't for Ponder perhaps having the best game of his career. Hats off to him.

But don't take much from this loss, if anything at all. The scramble-dumpoff is not a gameplan.
  • sfout
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You know the point wasn't to say they ran all over us for 5+ YPC but to say they were going to ram it down our throats for the first 2 downs for said 3.3 YPC or 6.6(if they ran 2x in a row) and set up manageable 3rd downs.

5 of 8 of those examples were 3rd and 5 or shorter. not including that single 3rd and 5 and it was 3rd and 2 or less.
Good post, but you don't all need to open up separate threads to explain Sunday.
Originally posted by sfout:
You know the point wasn't to say they ran all over us for 5+ YPC but to say they were going to ram it down our throats for the first 2 downs for said 3.3 YPC or 6.6(if they ran 2x in a row) and set up manageable 3rd downs.

5 of 8 of those examples were 3rd and 5 or shorter. not including that single 3rd and 5 and it was 3rd and 2 or less.

No - even the 3rd and manageable were converted with his feet, scrambling around and throwing awkward passes.

Are you trying to find a way to blame alex smith?
Originally posted by sfout:
You know the point wasn't to say they ran all over us for 5+ YPC but to say they were going to ram it down our throats for the first 2 downs for said 3.3 YPC or 6.6(if they ran 2x in a row) and set up manageable 3rd downs.

5 of 8 of those examples were 3rd and 5 or shorter. not including that single 3rd and 5 and it was 3rd and 2 or less.

take off the 20 yarder in the 4th quarter when we had 11 on the line and were going for the strip, and Peterson ends up at 2.75 YPC. Take Gerhart's 14 yarder in the same situation off, and he finished with 0.6 YPC.

I hope some other team thinks they can run on us. Because they'll fail.
We could not get them off the field. They had huge long drives. Converting 3rd downs left and right. Lots of miracle passes by Ponder. He looked like the best QB in the league. Honestly I've never seen him play that well. I think it was an unusual game. Our D did not play well. Their O played way over their heads IMO. Yes you could criticize our offense who didn't have a good game. But they weren't even on the field for huge chunks of the game. The 49ers got "out 49ered." Ball control, convert 3rd downs, time of possession. They just dominated us with those long drives. It doesn't happen often to this defense.
Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
We could not get them off the field. They had huge long drives. Converting 3rd downs left and right. Lots of miracle passes by Ponder. He looked like the best QB in the league. Honestly I've never seen him play that well. I think it was an unusual game. Our D did not play well. Their O played way over their heads IMO. Yes you could criticize our offense who didn't have a good game. But they weren't even on the field for huge chunks of the game. The 49ers got "out 49ered." Ball control, convert 3rd downs, time of possession. They just dominated us with those long drives. It doesn't happen often to this defense.

Yes, Ponder was throwing across his body for completions.

He threw a pop-up for his first TD off his back foot.
we suck again. i'm gonna go be a raven fan.
  • sfout
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Originally posted by nickbradley:
Originally posted by sfout:
You know the point wasn't to say they ran all over us for 5+ YPC but to say they were going to ram it down our throats for the first 2 downs for said 3.3 YPC or 6.6(if they ran 2x in a row) and set up manageable 3rd downs.

5 of 8 of those examples were 3rd and 5 or shorter. not including that single 3rd and 5 and it was 3rd and 2 or less.

take off the 20 yarder in the 4th quarter when we had 11 on the line and were going for the strip, and Peterson ends up at 2.75 YPC. Take Gerhart's 14 yarder in the same situation off, and he finished with 0.6 YPC.

I hope some other team thinks they can run on us. Because they'll fail.

You're not understanding me. The entire point of the Vikings staying with the running game was they were satisfied getting those 2.5 yards per play for first and 2nd down and then on 3 and 5 Ponder would do a bubble screen for Harvin that would go for 9 yards and first.

Or you could switch the plays and on first down Harvin would take a screen 9 yards and on second or 3rd down AP would take the ball in the hole for 2 yards and get a first.

I'm not saying they ran the ball well. They just ran the ball. PERIOD. Being content with gaining 2.5 yards a play enabled them to have convertible 3rd downs of 5 yards or less and Harvin would set up even more manageable 3rd downs with those bubble screens.

The vikings didn't run all over us for 150 yards but they forced us to stay honest and the receivers would sit down in holes in the zone schemes and catch 10-15 yard passes. They beat us by forcing to account for AP, even if he only got 1 yard a play we had to say okay AP is getting the rock and then Ponder does a play action to a receiver sitting in zone 10 yards down field and they get a first.

end of discussion, we won the game in terms containing the run game but because it was AP and not Kevin Smith(detroit) we had to be more honest and play zone coverage so we could converge on AP quicker.
Originally posted by ChazBoner:
we suck again. i'm gonna go be a raven fan.

They suck too. Better be a Texan fan.
Ponder was just flinging the ball around, hoping someone would catch it, I'd like to say he played well and he did but that performance could have just as easily resulted in 3 or 4 interception's, he was running around, just throwing the ball up from across his body, throwing into double coverage, fortune was smiling upon him because he couldn't do wrong, even Whitner bobbled one easy interception that wound up in his hands. The odds that you would see Ponder repeat that same sort of performance are slim to none.
Our defense is absolutely horrible on 3rd and long...

This is where our lack of pass rush (or maybe just the lack of blitzes being called) is killing us. I think even Harbaugh mentioned the lack of blitzes being called after this weeks game.
Originally posted by sfout:
You're not understanding me. The entire point of the Vikings staying with the running game was they were satisfied getting those 2.5 yards per play for first and 2nd down and then on 3 and 5 Ponder would do a bubble screen for Harvin that would go for 9 yards and first.

Or you could switch the plays and on first down Harvin would take a screen 9 yards and on second or 3rd down AP would take the ball in the hole for 2 yards and get a first.

I'm not saying they ran the ball well. They just ran the ball. PERIOD. Being content with gaining 2.5 yards a play enabled them to have convertible 3rd downs of 5 yards or less and Harvin would set up even more manageable 3rd downs with those bubble screens.

The vikings didn't run all over us for 150 yards but they forced us to stay honest and the receivers would sit down in holes in the zone schemes and catch 10-15 yard passes. They beat us by forcing to account for AP, even if he only got 1 yard a play we had to say okay AP is getting the rock and then Ponder does a play action to a receiver sitting in zone 10 yards down field and they get a first.

end of discussion, we won the game in terms containing the run game but because it was AP and not Kevin Smith(detroit) we had to be more honest and play zone coverage so we could converge on AP quicker.

Dude, Kevin Smith ran for 3.3 yards per carry! 16 rushes.
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Ponder was just flinging the ball around, hoping someone would catch it, I'd like to say he played well and he did but that performance could have just as easily resulted in 3 or 4 interception's, he was running around, just throwing the ball up from across his body, throwing into double coverage, fortune was smiling upon him because he couldn't do wrong, even Whitner bobbled one easy interception that wound up in his hands. The odds that you would see Ponder repeat that same sort of performance are slim to none.

That is the entire point of this thread.
  • sfout
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Originally posted by nickbradley:
Originally posted by sfout:
You're not understanding me. The entire point of the Vikings staying with the running game was they were satisfied getting those 2.5 yards per play for first and 2nd down and then on 3 and 5 Ponder would do a bubble screen for Harvin that would go for 9 yards and first.

Or you could switch the plays and on first down Harvin would take a screen 9 yards and on second or 3rd down AP would take the ball in the hole for 2 yards and get a first.

I'm not saying they ran the ball well. They just ran the ball. PERIOD. Being content with gaining 2.5 yards a play enabled them to have convertible 3rd downs of 5 yards or less and Harvin would set up even more manageable 3rd downs with those bubble screens.

The vikings didn't run all over us for 150 yards but they forced us to stay honest and the receivers would sit down in holes in the zone schemes and catch 10-15 yard passes. They beat us by forcing to account for AP, even if he only got 1 yard a play we had to say okay AP is getting the rock and then Ponder does a play action to a receiver sitting in zone 10 yards down field and they get a first.

end of discussion, we won the game in terms containing the run game but because it was AP and not Kevin Smith(detroit) we had to be more honest and play zone coverage so we could converge on AP quicker.

Dude, Kevin Smith ran for 3.3 yards per carry! 16 rushes.

Exactly jesus christ, we played more relaxed against detroit because it was pass heavy so he averaged 0.7 yards more then AP if by your own words you discount APs big run in the 4th. We had to play more run based defense in this game because it was AP. God you really dont want to hear constructive criticism about this team do you?

3.3 YPC from Kevin Smith happend because we were guarding Calvin Johnson, Brandon Pettigrew, and Titus Young while they were catching passes from Stafford. There was almost no run threat there so we let him get more yards.

2.5 YPC (again your own words because you wont factor in APs long run) happened because we were playing a more balanced team and had to defend against bubble screens from Harvin and runs from AP.

Its painfully obvious you are just ranting and not listening to what I am saying that we had to play stiffer run D against an all-pro running back in Adrian Peterson and we had to play stiffer pass defense against an all-pro receiver in Calvin Johnson.

The Vikings said "F**k it we might not hit home runs but if we keep getting 2 yards per carry then they have to worry about that single hole opening up and letting AP get a long TD. and when they start playing zone run schemes and crowding the box we'll do short dump offs to Harvin and Rudolph. We'll take the 2 yard run and add in a 10 yard pass. Boom 12 yards and first down, chain keeps moving. We will this every time and get down the field."


We lost because we got out "49ered" -- The vikings pounded the rock with AP, taking those 2 yards for 2 straight downs and then on 3rd and 6 they would do a high percentage bubble screen to Harvin and he'd get the first down with YAC.