Q1. Can the Niners win without the hugely positive turnover ratio? A. So far, yes.
Q2. At some point, injuries will catch up to the Niners, right? A. So far their depth is more than adequate.
Q3. Right guard? Is Boone too tall? A. Boone is already their best RG since Kevin Gogan. (Larry Allen was LG.)
Q4. Tougher schedule will hurt, right? A. Through 7 games Niners are on pace for a 12-4 season.
Things to watch:....Roman's use of WildKaep, is it too much? ...Is Alex Smith regressing, or is it just that the Giants and Seahawks are really good defenses, or is his finger more of a problem than he is letting on? ...Are there so many different personnel groupings being used on offense that it is hindering Alex Smith's development of a mind-meld type of rapport with any of them other than Vernon? I kind of think so. The only receivier that Alex seems to trust completely (other than Davis) is Kyle Williams.
Alex - Regressing maybe. His accuracy certainly isn't what it was at the beginning of the season. Let's face it - the Giants beat us in all 4 phases of the game:
A). Offense, B). Defense, C). ST, D). Coaching. Seattle is a VERY tough team and I rated Alex a C+.
What I think we need to ask is who can come in and spell Justin for a series, where did Ray Mac go to and will Jacobs get a chance to spell Frank if his ribs are too sore?
One of my biggest concerns so far though is this proposed question: "Can the 49ers play from behind and come back and win?"
Although I have my doubts, I know we can. We did it plenty of times last year. However, that Giants' game was a nightmare for me. We were only down 10-3 and Harbaugh and Co completely abandon the run game at the half, or probably before. (I don't want to rewatch the game yet and find out exactly when we abandoned the run game). We cannot abandon the run game that early. Especially when we're averaging about 6 yards a rush.
Harbaugh and Co just need to keep their cool when playing from behind. Two quarters is still a lot of time in a one score game. Frank and Kendall cannot get 12 touches between the two if we expect to win the game. I love Alex to death, but we all know his limitations. Having a strong run game allows Alex to succeed. Passing on all 3 downs every drive is no way for this offense to win.
The BIGGEST question from last season and pre-season for me was
5. Can the 9ers develop a real NFL passing attack? So far, NO. The offseason acquisitions did not provide the weapons needed, nor the QB improvement in the system.
Part of this falls on the coaches - Gro doesn't seem to have a solution when the team is behind by more than 1 score. A great solution for a team like this is to take the lead EARLY - that way the defense can play more aggressive and the offense can settle into a strong run game. BUT, the slow offensive starts and failures in the red zone are holding this team back and making it vulnerable.
Gro and Co. have a long time before the MNF game - if they can't get it done in that game, this teams handicaps are going to be it's bane all season.
Interesting questions! Thanks for this thread. I started the year thinking the niners might split their first two games...they won both. We knew they would lose to a surprise team...happens every year and Minn was that team this year. They are a better team than anyone thought and are playing with passion so the loss is not so bad. Loss to Giants was OK if we beat them in the playoffs...reverse of last year. Doubt Smith will play another game as bad as the NYG game...but who knows?
I believe using the multiple groupings will benefit the team in the long run but is painful now. That's great news because the team is 5-2 while developing all their assets...er...make that most of their assets. James and Jenkins can't even get on the active game day squad! Jacobs can't get on either...so much depth this year!
Was the Seattle game good or very good? How about vs both new ny teams?
IMO Alex is usually between slightly below average and slightly above average, although we've seen he can be much worse than slightly below average and can sometimes be quite a bit better than average.
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