Originally posted by maxsmart:
A question to the control freak . . . oops I mean 'moderator' who merged my new "Use It Or Lose It = Pass Offense" thread here:
What is the only significant controversy on the 49ers? It involves the passing offense. So why merge my thread about the passing offense with this thread about 'balance'? My thread was about how we need to "Use It Or Lose It" regarding the pass offense. Why do you try to bury that issue? There are many Moss threads and Alex Smith threads, but really few dealing specifically with the key issue of our times, the pass offense.
You came in at a bad time with this one. Alex smith thread implosion and all.... this thread could end up gone too if some people don't start figuring it out.
I'm not sure your angle in posting but I'll just take it at face value. I think there are specific reasons why the passing YARDAGE numbers are so low.
1st - attempts. What we need to look at twith the numbers is yards per attempt. That lets you know where you rank when you pass the ball. Total yardage is not completely irrelevant, but definitely doesn't tell the whole story.
2nd - Sack yardage plays into these numbers. It isn't a huge factor (I think), but the niners are always near the top in sacks per game. I'm not blaming Smith or anyone else but just pointing that out.
3rd - Success of the running game and situational football. If you look at the numbers Smith often has 100-180 passing yards in the first half of most games, but then with a lead in the second half the running game takes over. The level to which they go with the running game is kind of unique, even though most teams want to do this as a general rule. It seems like we start killing the clock midway through the 3rd quarter.
4th - on Sunday all of these things were in effect AND the Defense scored, set up at least 1 short field (maybe more I can't remember exactly), and the game was out of reach even more than normal which almost completely eliminated the passing game.
I think ideally the team should have between 200-250 yards passing if the game is within 2 scores. If it is closer then they may have more depending on conditions (which is one reason why the Minny game was a disappointment, but it was a strange game where the Niners D couldn't get off the field which influenced how many chances the O had - along with it being Smith's worst game). The Jets game was an outlier and lowered the season total significantly. I believe in the three other games the team had over 200 yds passing, which is on the low end, but still within the appropriate level of production for this offense.
Still with all that being said I think there is some truth to your idea. If the team isn't passing that much then when they do have to pass more I think it raises the level of difficulty. It goes against how they game-planned that week, most likely, and puts more pressure on players who are used to balance (WR's have to run more routes, QB throws more, O-line is in pass protection more, and they are all using plays that they didn't practice as much during the week) so I think they should try to keep the passing game "tuned up" as much as possible even when the run is successful