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Comparing the last 3 Giants games....with a surprising conclusion

It's interesting to note that if you analyze it well enough, you can see that the trend was building towards what happened on Sunday.

Game 1:

49ers known for strong defense, running game, and Smith game managing. So what happens?

Harbaugh has Smith come out throwing and catches Giants completely off guard (Coughlin admits to this, and Giants fans can't recall him ever admitting to this). Smith drives the 49ers pretty well on numerous drives, and to my knowledge only sacked once (maybe twice) the whole game.

Giants & 49ers each exchange some long drives that end in FGs due to great redzone defenses. 49ers steal a possession with onside kick. Teams exchange interceptions before half. Interesting to note that the Giants drive very methodically on 49ers on these drives. Eli, Cruz, and Nicks all make great plays consistently.

Second half, defense gets better and 49ers start getting better field position through special teams. A blown coverage with Michael Boley out leads to a quick TD by Vernon Davis.

An interception due to Eli expecting Manningham in a spot allows for a quick Hunter TD. 14 point lead, and all the 49ers have to do is hold on to lead to win.

Game 2:

Immediately evident is that the Giants defense has tightened up and the 49ers offense does not move the ball as well as they did the last game. A quick strike to Davis allows an easy TD. Playcalling gets cute, and overall not much to write about otherwise.

Giants move the ball with ease and Cruz annihilates us in first half. There was one huge QB strip we had early on that could have set a bigger defensive tone but Giants recovered the ball. Giants take 10-7 lead into halftime.

Second half, Fangio figures out how to get to Eli and Giants struggle offensively. Special teams delivers again, and sets Smith up on a short field. Another strike to Davis and 49ers take lead 14-10.

Giants figure out errors and Davis no longer a factor in game. Kyle Williams allows Giants to take lead 17-14. Williams does eventually get a huge return to allow us to tie game.

Defenses playing so well on both sides, that the game would be decided on the first turnover. Unfortunately that was us.

Game 3:

49ers start out methodically, with two great time consuming drives. Unfortunately only 3 points out of two, but a domination of the first quarter in yards and time of possession. Giants punt twice and don't do much.

Sensing panic from bad omens or an unhealthy sense of paranoia, we divert from game plan. Smith's bomb whether poor decision or psychologically forced changed momentum in a game like I've never seen before. No need to document the rest of the game as it is still fresh in our minds.

What do I see in these 3 games?

I think from game 1 to now, we never were better than the Giants despite winning 1, blowing 1, and then seeing a worst case scenario in the 3rd.

The onside kick in game 1 illustrated that mentality,the Giants' offense was not shut down towards the end and it was apparent had they tied it late they probably would have won the game in OT.

The second game, if you take away two quick strike plays we didn't do much if anything on offense except run the ball well. Before the shutdown defenses on both sides showed up, it was clear the Giants were moving the ball better than we were (and way better through the air). Fortunately the defense kept it tight and within reach.

The third game interestingly enough, we had our most authoritative first quarter against these guys on both sides of the ball. Unfortunately the TD conversions didn't arrive. The game could have looked drastically different with a 7-0 or 10-0 lead. Psychologically having that lead would have led to better playcalling for sure.

In each game btw, the Giants slowly figured out better ways of shutting down Smith. First game they were pretty poor, only offset by our O not what it has become now. Second game they really shut us down, through game plan and us being short handed at WR plus Smith maybe having the jitters.

Last game, once we went off balance and pass only they had their biggest answer yet for our offense. They finally figured out VD and our favorite routes and apparently jumped all the short stuff, exposing us when we did not take advantage of the deeper stuff.

But for us to have had our best 1st quarter against them this Sunday means we have progressed as a balanced offense, and defensively without a pass rush it was strong since we never shut down Eli so well in a 1st quarter ever.

So it wasn't the worst game ever played. It showed our strengths and exposed our fatal flaw.....we fix the flaw we are golden. We don't, then it sucks and we'll have to figure it out next season.
[ Edited by JTsBiggestFan on Oct 16, 2012 at 2:54 PM ]
Very interesting take. Thank you.

I was very impressed with the Giants defensive game plan and how they stuck with it. Now, granted it wasn't hard to create one b/c we only had one WR at that time and the only two weapons we had were VD & Gore. BUT, even after getting burned by him twice, they stuck with it and it worked. Crabtree's 4 catches for 46 yards in two games against them isn't a "threat."

Essentially what they did was commit to stopping the run, stacking 8-9 guys in the box and run blitzed between the T's. This stuffed the run IN ROUTE to pressuring Alex. The DB/S's would then play very physical up at the LOS and jam our WR's. In fact, this game plan was so effective it lead to constant 3rd and longs (1 for 13). They were killing us on 1st downs allowing them to pin their ears back on 3rd down (their strength). Simple.

To counter, we burned them with TD's to VD but we didn't call anything deep beyond that.

In the most recent game, we had deep threats in Moss/Manningham and connected. But too little, too late. They killed our OL, stuffed the WR's at the LOS, completely took VD out of the game (for good this time - excellent adjustments by them), we hurt ourselves with stupid penalties, play-calling, not running, playing our game, substitutions, never made any in-game adjustments, hurried throws, on and on and on.

But the game plan against us was identical to the NFCCG and WE didn't adjust. They not only were better prepared, they were put into positions to be successful which is great game planning. Bottom line: they have smarter coaches who game plan well and make in-game adjustments as needed. We don't and didn't. Game over.

I used this game as a barometer to see if we learned anything from the NFCCG. We didn't and THAT is what scares me the most. We have no plan B when A doesn't work.
Agree totally, NCommand.

It is scary when you see the exact same things happening over and over again by the same opponent. Hurts even more when the Giants are one of the worst in the league at giving up the big play.

There's so much you can do to counteract what a defense is doing. Screen passes, slants, deeper throws....annoying to see them so seldom used.

I truly love everything our coaches come up with that allow us to dominate in the run game. If only they could innovate in the passing game as well.
Good post.

Didn't we run a no-huddle offense in the second half of the first game?
Originally posted by LasVegasWally:
Good post.

Didn't we run a no-huddle offense in the second half of the first game?

I don't recall us doing that.

We did run a no huddle I'm pretty sure against the Ravens. Was working out well but Smith would inevitably get sacked on the few drives they did it, killing it.
Originally posted by NCommand:
Very interesting take. Thank you.

I was very impressed with the Giants defensive game plan and how they stuck with it. Now, granted it wasn't hard to create one b/c we only had one WR at that time and the only two weapons we had were VD & Gore. BUT, even after getting burned by him twice, they stuck with it and it worked. Crabtree's 4 catches for 46 yards in two games against them isn't a "threat."

Essentially what they did was commit to stopping the run, stacking 8-9 guys in the box and run blitzed between the T's. This stuffed the run IN ROUTE to pressuring Alex. The DB/S's would then play very physical up at the LOS and jam our WR's. In fact, this game plan was so effective it lead to constant 3rd and longs (1 for 13). They were killing us on 1st downs allowing them to pin their ears back on 3rd down (their strength). Simple.

To counter, we burned them with TD's to VD but we didn't call anything deep beyond that.

In the most recent game, we had deep threats in Moss/Manningham and connected. But too little, too late. They killed our OL, stuffed the WR's at the LOS, completely took VD out of the game (for good this time - excellent adjustments by them), we hurt ourselves with stupid penalties, play-calling, not running, playing our game, substitutions, never made any in-game adjustments, hurried throws, on and on and on.

But the game plan against us was identical to the NFCCG and WE didn't adjust. They not only were better prepared, they were put into positions to be successful which is great game planning. Bottom line: they have smarter coaches who game plan well and make in-game adjustments as needed. We don't and didn't. Game over.

I used this game as a barometer to see if we learned anything from the NFCCG. We didn't and THAT is what scares me the most. We have no plan B when A doesn't work.

Makes me sad because its true.
Originally posted by JTsBiggestFan:
Agree totally, NCommand.

It is scary when you see the exact same things happening over and over again by the same opponent. Hurts even more when the Giants are one of the worst in the league at giving up the big play.

There's so much you can do to counteract what a defense is doing. Screen passes, slants, deeper throws....annoying to see them so seldom used.

I truly love everything our coaches come up with that allow us to dominate in the run game. If only they could innovate in the passing game as well.

I don't want this to turn into Alex Smith thread, but I feel like some of this is due Smith's limitations.
Originally posted by Thorhawk:
I don't want this to turn into Alex Smith thread, but I feel like some of this is due Smith's limitations.

I hear ya.

I think this game outweighs the positives from last week.

This game happening to our very foe from the NFCC game.....and like NC pointed out....nothing's changed.....no plan B.

I remember someone saying early in the season, pre Vikings game:

"You better believe that Harbaugh has some plays and plan ready for action if we fall behind in a game".

I had a front row seat (nosebleeds actually, but u get the drift) for that very scenario in Minneapolis, and with time winding down I waited....

And waited....

And WAITED for it to come.

It never came.

It's kinda funny but....the first INT of the Giants game....I wish THAT throw was at least attempted once that game.

I may be a broken record about this, but it remains to be seen what happens the rest of the way. If we are really lucky, we may see a revival in Smith and game planning.

If not, we had our run, it was good while it lasted. We move on once and for all, start fresh.

The Wilson kid is doing ok in Seattle.....will be interesting to see what happens there.
good post man, nicely done
Originally posted by JTsBiggestFan:
So it wasn't the worst game ever played. It showed our strengths and exposed our fatal flaw.....we fix the flaw we are golden. We don't, then it sucks and we'll have to figure it out next season.

Figure out next season!?

NYG don't particularly have great run stopping LBs. They have a great front 4 pass rush. The 49ers didn't stick with and establish the running game with their capable RBs. Greg Roman overused CK, which didn't give the team any advantages, in fact some of the CK plays were negative, furthermore most of the CK plays in this game kill momentum on the drives and affected AS's rhythm as the starting QB.

The NYG probably played their BEST defensive game so far this season and it happen to be against the 49ers, since tom coughlin loves to play that underdog card and it worked. No doubt they shut down VD and Crabtree on all of those short and medium routes.
It is what it is. It was a complete embarrassment to the 49er offense, Harb and Roman offensively, less fault to Gore and Hunter cause they weren't really given the chance to run the ball. Good thing they can move on quickly since the next game is Thurs, but if you abandon the run game early and overuse CK's gimmick nonsense again this season, just be prepare to lose ugly and face the music. "You are always getting better or getting worse." that applies to the coaching staff too.
[ Edited by MrTruth on Oct 16, 2012 at 7:03 PM ]
Originally posted by DonnieDarko:
good post man, nicely done

This. If this is our limitations with Smith then we may really be taking more extended looks at Kaep to see if that is the direction we need to move permanently. I still think we can win with Smith, but do believe against the better teams we are severely limited on offense.
Originally posted by tohara3:
This. If this is our limitations with Smith then we may really be taking more extended looks at Kaep to see if that is the direction we need to move permanently. I still think we can win with Smith, but do believe against the better teams we are severely limited on offense.

CK is not the answer to anything this season for the 49ers, no matter how bad people think AS is. Furthermore AS isn't even being paid as a elite QB lol, he's getting paid less than both Flynn and Kolb rofl...
[ Edited by MrTruth on Oct 16, 2012 at 7:08 PM ]
Originally posted by tohara3:
Originally posted by DonnieDarko:
good post man, nicely done

This. If this is our limitations with Smith then we may really be taking more extended looks at Kaep to see if that is the direction we need to move permanently. I still think we can win with Smith, but do believe against the better teams we are severely limited on offense.

You don't think Kap "limits" our offense as it/he stands right now?

You said yourself we can win with Smith.
Originally posted by Thorhawk:
Originally posted by JTsBiggestFan:
Agree totally, NCommand.

It is scary when you see the exact same things happening over and over again by the same opponent. Hurts even more when the Giants are one of the worst in the league at giving up the big play.

There's so much you can do to counteract what a defense is doing. Screen passes, slants, deeper throws....annoying to see them so seldom used.

I truly love everything our coaches come up with that allow us to dominate in the run game. If only they could innovate in the passing game as well.

I don't want this to turn into Alex Smith thread, but I feel like some of this is due Smith's limitations.


in my opinion alex smith is not the answer for your team, as a giant fan he puts no fear in me, i see him as nothing more than a capable back up but nothing more that being said, i also dont think its time for a change right now if kaep were the direction they plan on going in they should have started him at the begining of the season, however if the season becomes lost than go to him,which i do not see happening, now next season he would be my starting qb, cus he doe seem to have the goods both with his arm and his legs,with more time i believe he can get them where u all want them to be, alex just dont see it he has flashes but not consistantly.