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49er/Minn Coaches Film Pass Offense Analysis

Thanks to Whomeam for posting the video.

This is my first analysis here. I know other guys do it, but I just had to do one since they released the coaches film.

This is not a play-by-play. I am only covering questionable reads, big plays, etc. If it's not in here, there's nothing questionable about it, i.e, it's a good play that needs no further review.

First half. We spread them out. We were actually very effective. Moss had some key mistakes. Our receivers were not open the majority of the time. There were two questionable check downs, but the coverage was there to warrant them.

The over throw to Moss is on Smith.

Just to get it out of the way:
Ponder's TD Run.The best view is at 24:11. Ponder drops back. Sets his feet, pump fakes. It takes a full second for the pocket to start collapsing from the edges. Soap gets pushed out of the middle to his left, leaving a wide open lane up the middle. Great read, but he had enough time to make it. Good play.

First Offensive Drive
1. Pass to Delanie was a designed screen. Both WRs were blocking before the ball was thrown.
2. Real good pass to Davis who had a guy on his outside shoulder. Smith put it right on his inside shoulder where only he could catch it for a first down.
3. The first drop by Moss should have been caught.
4. On Alex's sack when he rolled out and braced himself for the sack, he had immediate pressure, avoided the first sack, no receiver was open. The sack was inconsequential, it was 3rd down and we punted anyway. Had he thrown it away we would have gained 2 yards. As he was rolling, he crept back up to the LOS.

Second Drive

1. Alex makes a good hot route read. Has immediate pressure right up the middle, throws it quick to Moss on an inside seam, Moss doesn't really attempt to catch it. Looks like the ball got there before Moss was ready for it. Alex looked immediately. Looks like a miscue on Moss.
2. Alex's slip. Moss was the read and the only guy open. Problem is, Moss doesn't look back until it's too late. He gets into the zone, and as he's turning around, a LB steps into the bottom of the zone. Pressure comes from the left side, Alex rolls and slips.
3. Boone still makes me laugh, although Gore might have gotten a lot more on the play. On second look, there was a Viking right there with the right angle, but Boone's shove seems to have thrown Gore into a different angle and velocity. He actually helped on the play.
4. at 16:42 in the video on the check down when Davis looks open, Smith is reads left, middle, check down. DB has WR covered, LB has Davis covered. As Smith goes to his check down, the linebacker pulls off, making it look like Davis is open. No other WR is open until Smith reads his check down.
5. Good throw to Moss on an out before he make his cut.
6. 18:00 Overthrow to Moss. I'm on the fence. Moss makes a great double move. Beats his defender flat out. Did he take the wrong angle? Smith has enough time gets hit just after the throw. It looks like it was just over thrown. But Moss has been making mistakes all day up to this point. Final verdict: Overthrown.

Third Drive

1. Smith's next rollout. He has Davis on a drag who is the only man open, but gets pressure when Jared Allen beats Staley. Smith avoids the sack. Davis ends up with two defenders just behind him, Alex tucks it and gains those yards anyway. Manningham is directly behind on of the defenders, and the throw would have been possible, but there's also a DB right behind him. Alex would have had to float it over a defender and risk the DB being able to make a play.
2. Checkdown to Crabs 28:27. It looks like Manningham makes a good move and gets open, but the DB on Walker slides off into the zone in front of Manningham, and the safety is just over the top. Alex could have made a bullet pass, but the DB could have made a lay on it.
3. 29:24 Quasi-Sack/Throwaway. Jared Allen just makes a damn good play after beating Staley again. Allen beats Staley to the outside, leaving a huge hole up the middle. Right side of the line is holding up fine. Alex starts running up the middle just like Ponder did, Allen manages to just barely grab him. Would have been a huge gain had Staley been able to hold half a second longer.
4. 29:50 Allen beats Staley again BAD. Staley gets beat so bad, he falls down. No receivers are open. Quick pass to Davis for a short gain.
5. Field goal blocked. They pushed EVERYONE back 5 yards.

Second half tomorrow.

Second Half

First Drive
1. Great kick return followed by 2 runs and a roll out. Davis had a designed outlet, but it looks like he let his block go to soon. Alex could have floated it over Gore and a defender to hit Crabtree in the end zone.

Second Drive
1. Designed roll out with a dump to Crabs in space, followed by a nice slant to Moss with a guy on his back shoulder and a LB dropping into the sone.
2. Pass to Manningham crossing over towards the sideline. Had Alex held the ball for another second, the deep man would have beat his coverage. He did read the deep man first, but was covered, went to his third read and rolled out of the pocket to give the receivers time to get open.
3. Nice out to Williams. Smith throws it before Williams turns.
4. Wheel to Davis. Dropped in just over the defender. Nice throw.
5. Got away with a false start. Alex makes a beautiful throw to a wide open Davis with a defender in Smith's face. Ponderesque.

The miracle TD to Rupdolph.
We have an all out blitz. Ponder in the shotgun. Bowman takes Cowboy's gap, allowing him to break off his block, Ponder stutter steps, panics, tosses up a prayer before Smith gets within arms reach. Adrian Peterson was wide open. There was never a chance of Ponder getting sacked.

Third Drive
1. Gore fumbles.

Fourth Drive
1. Pocket collapses, Smith runs for the first down. The DL just kept going as the left side started collapsing. The only open man before Alex runs is the left wideout, but since the left side got blown back, the DL was able to jump up, blocking the throwing lane as the right side came around.
2. ML delayed blitz. Good coverage down field. ML blitzes, literally throws Hunter backwards. Alex avoids the sack, starts to run, decides to throw to Williams. Throw is behind Williams. Manningham was there too, and probably would have been a better throw... he had some space.

Fifth Drive
1. Curl to Manningham. All the routes were underneath routes, except the right wideout. Smith reads the safety and throws it to Manningham, who, coincidentally, is the only guy open. Had Smith waited, he would have had his slot man open for huge yards.
2. Davis drops it. Ball is outside shoulder at the facemask.
3. Well covered cross to Davis. Cornerback dives, can't tell if he makes the play, but the ball was put just in front of Davis. Good coverage all around.

The rest is pretty much garbage time, but here's a few more and Smith's INT:
1. The Vikes go into a 4 man rush. at 3:29 left in the game, first play of the drive, Boone gets beat pretty badly... He falls down he got bead so bad. Smith avoids the sack and gets spun around. Boone gets up and grabs Alex, rights him. Smith runs for 6 yards.
2. We line up two wide right. Vikes are in cover 4. The DB on the slor drops into his zone and Smith tries to put it over him. DB makes a good jump to knock it away. Slot man was open.
3. Smith's INT. 10 yard slant. Just plain threw it behind him.

There you have it. Final Verdict: Smith had a very solid first half. An average 3rd quarter, and a bad 4th quarter. Moss had a bad game. Crabs and Manningham had a good game. Davis had a good game.
[ Edited by mkmasn on Sep 28, 2012 at 1:13 AM ]
Very nice analysis. Looking forward to the second half tomorrow

Special thanks to Whomeam - those "coaches film" really triggered some very good threads!
[ Edited by ForThe_Niners on Sep 27, 2012 at 1:40 AM ]
I have to say i think your analysis on Moss is completely off for this game. He was wide open all game and only had 1 I would consider a drop. So out of the 7 targets, he only dropped 1, and caught 3, with the rest being poorly thrown balls..

Three throws to him were either overthrown or behind him. Overthrown at 5:31 left to go in the 1st quarter, where Moss is coming across the field right on 2nd and 6. Thrown behind him at 2:21 left in the 1st quarter, where Moss is lined up on the left side and runs a 10 yard slant to the inside. Overthrown at 13:15 left in the 2nd quarter, where Moss is at the goal line. I actually think Moss had a good day, but the balls just weren't thrown well enough to him.
Originally posted by Bootlegger:
I have to say i think your analysis on Moss is completely off for this game. He was wide open all game and only had 1 I would consider a drop. So out of the 7 targets, he only dropped 1, and caught 3, with the rest being poorly thrown balls..

Three throws to him were either overthrown or behind him. Overthrown at 5:31 left to go in the 1st quarter, where Moss is coming across the field right on 2nd and 6. Thrown behind him at 2:21 left in the 1st quarter, where Moss is lined up on the left side and runs a 10 yard slant to the inside. Overthrown at 13:15 left in the 2nd quarter, where Moss is at the goal line. I actually think Moss had a good day, but the balls just weren't thrown well enough to him.

Did you watch the coaches film? I did, and I agree with the op.
I watched the coaches film... I have been sick in bed so i haven't been posting.

Some stuff is off... Alex throwing high all day... can't expect receivers to catch every bad pass because they can get a hand on it.

Also, with this one:

4. On Alex's sack when he rolled out and braced himself for the sack, he had immediate pressure, avoided the first sack, no receiver was open. The sack was inconsequential, it was 3rd down and we punted anyway. Had he thrown it away we would have gained 2 yards. As he was rolling, he crept back up to the LOS.

Crabtree was open at his break, Alex had already beaten the defenders, he needs to just throw the ball. It would have been a first.
Originally posted by mkmasn:
Thanks to Whomeam for posting the video.

This is my first analysis here. I know other guys do it, but I just had to do one since they released the coaches film.

First half. We spread them out. We were actually very effective. Moss had some key mistakes. Our receivers were not open the majority of the time. There were two questionable check downs, but the coverage was there to warrant them.

The over throw to Moss is on Smith.

Just to get it out of the way:
Ponder's TD Run.The best view is at 24:11. Ponder drops back. Sets his feet, pump fakes. It takes a full second for the pocket to start collapsing from the edges. Soap gets pushed out of the middle to his left, leaving a wide open lane up the middle. Great read, but he had enough time to make it. Good play.

First Offensive Drive
1. Pass to Delanie was a designed screen. Both WRs were blocking before the ball was thrown.
2. Real good pass to Davis who had a guy on his outside shoulder. Smith put it right on his inside shoulder where only he could catch it for a first down.
3. The first drop by Moss should have been caught.
4. On Alex's sack when he rolled out and braced himself for the sack, he had immediate pressure, avoided the first sack, no receiver was open. The sack was inconsequential, it was 3rd down and we punted anyway. Had he thrown it away we would have gained 2 yards. As he was rolling, he crept back up to the LOS.

Second Drive

1. Alex makes a good hot route read. Has immediate pressure right up the middle, throws it quick to Moss on an inside seam, Moss doesn't really attempt to catch it. Looks like the ball got there before Moss was ready for it. Alex looked immediately. Looks like a miscue on Moss.
2. Alex's slip. Moss was the read and the only guy open. Problem is, Moss doesn't look back until it's too late. He gets into the zone, and as he's turning around, a LB steps into the bottom of the zone. Pressure comes from the left side, Alex rolls and slips.
3. Boone still makes me laugh, although Gore might have gotten a lot more on the play. On second look, there was a Viking right there with the right angle, but Boone's shove seems to have thrown Gore into a different angle and velocity. He actually helped on the play.
4. at 16:42 in the video on the check down when Davis looks open, Smith is reads left, middle, check down. DB has WR covered, LB has Davis covered. As Smith goes to his check down, the linebacker pulls off, making it look like Davis is open. No other WR is open until Smith reads his check down.
5. Good throw to Moss on an out before he make his cut.
6. 18:00 Overthrow to Moss. I'm on the fence. Moss makes a great double move. Beats his defender flat out. Did he take the wrong angle? Smith has enough time gets hit just after the throw. It looks like it was just over thrown. But Moss has been making mistakes all day up to this point. Final verdict: Overthrown.

Third Drive

1. Smith's next rollout. He has Davis on a drag who is the only man open, but gets pressure when Jared Allen beats Staley. Smith avoids the sack. Davis ends up with two defenders just behind him, Alex tucks it and gains those yards anyway. Manningham is directly behind on of the defenders, and the throw would have been possible, but there's also a DB right behind him. Alex would have had to float it over a defender and risk the DB being able to make a play.
2. Checkdown to Crabs 28:27. It looks like Manningham makes a good move and gets open, but the DB on Walker slides off into the zone in front of Manningham, and the safety is just over the top. Alex could have made a bullet pass, but the DB could have made a lay on it.
3. 29:24 Quasi-Sack/Throwaway. Jared Allen just makes a damn good play after beating Staley again. Allen beats Staley to the outside, leaving a huge hole up the middle. Right side of the line is holding up fine. Alex starts running up the middle just like Ponder did, Allen manages to just barely grab him. Would have been a huge gain had Staley been able to hold half a second longer.
4. 29:50 Allen beats Staley again BAD. Staley gets beat so bad, he falls down. No receivers are open. Quick pass to Davis for a short gain.
5. Field goal blocked. They pushed EVERYONE back 5 yards.

Second half tomorrow.

Great stuff!!!!!!!

Naturally the Alex-haters would never watch the game again, (if they even watch at all) objectively like this so I really appreciate all the analysis people are doing now! It makes for some great debates and highlights the REAL concerns...like Staley...someone I've been highlighting for quite a while now. Not b/c I have a personal agenda against him...just that in reviewing the "tape" he stands out to me as a big issue. Alex actually saved him from another sack like you pointed out and maybe more. It also highlights how Alex straightened out his mechanics AND is still just a bit off with some of the newer WR additions (which is to be expected). It will get better, no doubt. Eventually, hopefully, like Crabtree so far this year, Moss and Manningham will be on the same page with Alex like VD is w/o question.
[ Edited by NCommand on Sep 27, 2012 at 10:48 AM ]
Originally posted by Bootlegger:
I have to say i think your analysis on Moss is completely off for this game. He was wide open all game and only had 1 I would consider a drop. So out of the 7 targets, he only dropped 1, and caught 3, with the rest being poorly thrown balls..

Three throws to him were either overthrown or behind him. Overthrown at 5:31 left to go in the 1st quarter, where Moss is coming across the field right on 2nd and 6. Thrown behind him at 2:21 left in the 1st quarter, where Moss is lined up on the left side and runs a 10 yard slant to the inside. Overthrown at 13:15 left in the 2nd quarter, where Moss is at the goal line. I actually think Moss had a good day, but the balls just weren't thrown well enough to him.

I'm trying to rewatch those times, but youtube is giving me fuzzy video. The first "overthrow" is a catchable ball. Hits him in stride, it's a little high, but there's nobody near him and he should leave his feet for that ball.

At 2:21 left in the quarter, I had to slow the video down to quarter speed. The best angle for the route is at 14:10, the best angle for the throw is the end zone cam at 14:18. The ball hits Moss in his outstretched left hand (his front hand). He doesn't attempt to make a catch. It looks like he's not ready for the ball. If he's running a slant, he's running a bad slant. He makes a quick move to get to the inside and isn't really taking a slant angle. It looks like a hot read seam, maybe a slant curl. Alex looks at Moss immediately throws it, and takes a huge hit. Moss puts his left hand out and basically knocks it down.

Originally posted by Marmatag:
I watched the coaches film... I have been sick in bed so i haven't been posting.

Some stuff is off... Alex throwing high all day... can't expect receivers to catch every bad pass because they can get a hand on it.

Also, with this one:

4. On Alex's sack when he rolled out and braced himself for the sack, he had immediate pressure, avoided the first sack, no receiver was open. The sack was inconsequential, it was 3rd down and we punted anyway. Had he thrown it away we would have gained 2 yards. As he was rolling, he crept back up to the LOS.

Crabtree was open at his break, Alex had already beaten the defenders, he needs to just throw the ball. It would have been a first.

Everyone had a defender on him, except Davis on the drag, who's got 2 behind him. The slot is an option, but he doesn't turn his head around until Alex is too close to the sideline and would have to throw across his body 9:45 is the best angle here. Crabtree has a guy on his back shoulder the whole time.



I downloaded it to get better quality than youtube is giving me. I'll watch the second half when I get some time later and post it.
[ Edited by mkmasn on Sep 27, 2012 at 11:19 AM ]
Originally posted by NCommand:
Great stuff!!!!!!!

Naturally the Alex-haters would never watch the game again, (if they even watch at all) objectively like this so I really appreciate all the analysis people are doing now! It makes for some great debates and highlights the REAL concerns...like Staley...someone I've been highlighting for quite a while now. Not b/c I have a personal agenda against him...just that in reviewing the "tape" he stands out to me as a big issue. Alex actually saved him from another sack like you pointed out and maybe more. It also highlights how Alex straightened out his mechanics AND is still just a bit off with some of the newer WR additions (which is to be expected). It will get better, no doubt. Eventually, hopefully, like Crabtree so far this year, Moss and Manningham will be on the same page with Alex like VD is w/o question.

Yea, Staley is getting beat pretty badly. I hope it's just because it's the beginning of the season. The two in the third drive are back to back plays. The right side of the line is holding up very well. Crabtree is doing great.

I should point out that the designed plays have a read usually wide open, and that's where we're getting our chunks of yardage. The other receivers, however are not getting open. Smith is going through progressions on a lot of the plays, and some of them are designed for one guy.
[ Edited by mkmasn on Sep 27, 2012 at 11:23 AM ]
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
Originally posted by Bootlegger:
I have to say i think your analysis on Moss is completely off for this game. He was wide open all game and only had 1 I would consider a drop. So out of the 7 targets, he only dropped 1, and caught 3, with the rest being poorly thrown balls..

Three throws to him were either overthrown or behind him. Overthrown at 5:31 left to go in the 1st quarter, where Moss is coming across the field right on 2nd and 6. Thrown behind him at 2:21 left in the 1st quarter, where Moss is lined up on the left side and runs a 10 yard slant to the inside. Overthrown at 13:15 left in the 2nd quarter, where Moss is at the goal line. I actually think Moss had a good day, but the balls just weren't thrown well enough to him.

Did you watch the coaches film? I did, and I agree with the op.

I watched the coaches film and the real game film. I really do not think that the coaches film provides enough depth perception or angle of the three plays I am talking about to the point where someone can blame Moss on those passes. The real game film gives better angles of those passes, and I stand by my earlier statement.
keep it coming
Originally posted by mkmasn:
Yea, Staley is getting beat pretty badly. I hope it's just because it's the beginning of the season. The two in the third drive are back to back plays. The right side of the line is holding up very well. Crabtree is doing great.

I should point out that the designed plays have a read usually wide open, and that's where we're getting our chunks of yardage. The other receivers, however are not getting open. Smith is going through progressions on a lot of the plays, and some of them are designed for one guy.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

THIS is what has jumped out to me the most regarding our offense. It appears to me that we run a quick-strike, only-option offense. And what I mean by that is that each play is designed to single out one receiver while the other 10 guys play a significant role in that play. Your very first play highlights this best:

First Offensive Drive
1. Pass to Delanie was a designed screen. Both WRs were blocking before the ball was thrown.

If you watch, you'll see passes to underneath, short-to-intermediate range where the receiver above is ALREADY engaged in blocking while the pass is in the air. This means the deeper receiver was NEVER a receiving option to begin with!

This means there is no progression reads. There are no OTHER receiving options for Alex. That receiver, by design, better be open in under 3 seconds (noticed this as well) or Alex is off and running and typically does NOT have any options after that save for a handful of plays to Miller/Hunter upon scramble even WHEN he is at the sideline and back-peddling to buy time. We are horrible at ad lib plays from a receiving standpoint.

So the only control Alex has is pre-snap reads to kill a play or roll with it. Change from run to pass or from pass to run and when we go jumbo packages, he has NO option to change to pass (and we usually get stuffed esp. on short yardage plays).

This is VERY significant b/c it means we haven't even touched the surface of the WCO. The WCO id predicated upon pre-snap reads and THEN progression reading of receivers during live action. For instance, Alex would go up to the LOS, make a pre-snap read, call the play and look to his first read option and if not open, to his second, then third, then fourth, etc. NOT HERE!

If that quick-strike, only-option receiver isn't open, Alex is "taking a sack," throwing it out of bounds or scrambling for big gains or buying more time with his legs but he is NOT being asked to stand in there and progression-read?

How many people think this is a byproduct of our pass protection issues from last year to this year. It seems that for every sack Alex has taken this year, he's also gotten out of one as well.

Therefore, Roman has designed an under 3-second, quick-strike offense (we heard about this all off season) and Alex is instructed to take the sack if that option is covered (like in the Vikings game), throw it away or scramble but DO NOT put us at risk (see Ponder throws) and risk turning the ball over. In short, we are playing tournament ball. Why else does Alex and this offense look SO different in the two-minute, hurry-up offense and when we go to a spread (desperation). Anyone?
[ Edited by NCommand on Sep 27, 2012 at 11:59 AM ]
waiting for, we only do this because Alex is limited
There's been difference in the translation of film review.

I will take what Cossell said in the Murph and Mac interview today:

Last year they hid Alex Smith. They haven't done much different this year but in this last game, their "Shot" plays did not work. He also said Moss was so wide open that whoever's fault it is, you still need to hit that.

It is obvious Alex could not lean on great play design and call.

And no, he's not a Niners fan or a Niner hater. You would be surprised what non-bias opinions actually are of Alex Smith. Just ask the teams that wanted him so bad in Free Agency.
Originally posted by Bootlegger:
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
Originally posted by Bootlegger:
I have to say i think your analysis on Moss is completely off for this game. He was wide open all game and only had 1 I would consider a drop. So out of the 7 targets, he only dropped 1, and caught 3, with the rest being poorly thrown balls..

Three throws to him were either overthrown or behind him. Overthrown at 5:31 left to go in the 1st quarter, where Moss is coming across the field right on 2nd and 6. Thrown behind him at 2:21 left in the 1st quarter, where Moss is lined up on the left side and runs a 10 yard slant to the inside. Overthrown at 13:15 left in the 2nd quarter, where Moss is at the goal line. I actually think Moss had a good day, but the balls just weren't thrown well enough to him.

Did you watch the coaches film? I did, and I agree with the op.

I watched the coaches film and the real game film. I really do not think that the coaches film provides enough depth perception or angle of the three plays I am talking about to the point where someone can blame Moss on those passes. The real game film gives better angles of those passes, and I stand by my earlier statement.

I agree with you on the overthrow at the pylon. But if you watch his route on his 10 yard "slant" on 2nd and 6, he's not running a slant. Nor does he look for the ball. And it is not thrown behind him, Moss hits the ball with his outstretched hand. Had the ball been thrown behind him, it would have hit a defender. Had the ball been thrown any further ahead of him, a defender would have picked it. There was a very small window for Alex to throw into. It could have been a little lower, but it definitely doesn't look behind him. I can't find a link to the actual game footage. If you have one, I'll look there also.
I think the game was lost by the coaches and won by Ponder.