Originally posted by Marvin49:
Originally posted by dj43:
Nice post Marvin. I too am very much on the fence over Kaepernick. Yes, he had some nice plays and good moves, however, he first played a Bears team that played vanilla defense all night and made it very easy for him to make the reads. Yesterday, he played the worst defense in the league yet only put up 2 TDs. He was clearly confused by the stunts and coverages Spaguolo and the Saints threw at him. His audible adjustments, especially on running plays were not very effective. What he added in passing, was subtracted in the run game. On balance, his performance against the Saints yesterday was below average in comparison to what other QBs have put up in previous games this year. In reflection, these two games were a good starting point for CK. The Bears played the same alignment play after play which made it easy for him. The Saints, though they gave him a lot of looks, just are not good enough to present a top level challenge. In looking at the closing schedule, however, there are not any playoff caliber defenses left. Consequently, if Harbaugh chooses to continue with him, this may be a good time for him to learn. Having Alex on the bench to help him learn the reads will help also. We shall see.
WR: I have been an outspoken critic of our WRs all season long. However, in fairness, they have improved with more time in the system. Crabtree is much improved over last year and yesterday he made a great catch on a 3rd down that was the kind of play he made in college. Still, he is easy to take out of the game with a strong DB. Again, this was the Saints, the worst passing defense in the league. They should not be able to shut down a #1 receiver that easily. Manningham is developing some chemistry but again, running a 3rd dow route 1 yard short of the line of gain is unforgivable for a 4th year receiver. Moss is still invisible except for the threat (hope?) that he draws coverage to free others. The truth is, as was shown by how easily Crabs was shut down, Moss is not as much of a threat as everyone hoped. His best contribution seems to be tutelage of others...perhaps. Ginn has not even been a shadow on offense. Williams going down takes away some firepower but hopefully we now will get to see what Jenkins can bring. With 2/3 of the season to learn what the pro game looks like, a #1 draft pick should be able to contribute now.
Yes, yesterday was a nice win by the defense. OTOH, despite all the raving about Kaepernick's athleticism and strong arm, and the 375 yards of offense, this was the SAINTS DEFENSE, the worst in the league, a defense that had given up an average of 454 yards of offense per game. Opponents AVERAGED 5 yards per rushing attempt (49ers 4.6) and 8.5 yards per pass (49ers 5.0). Compared to what previous opponents had done against the Saints, yesterday was BELOW AVERAGE offensively. I lay some of that to an improved effort by the Saints against a team that handed them a bitter defeat last year, however, a large part also falls to the fact the 49ers had a very inexperienced QB who was not able to deal with some fairly standard stunts and blitz packages and coverages that the Saints used.
Overall, a win is a win. Still, as I watched the Giants destroy Aaron Rodgers and the Packers last night, the team that beat the Saints yesterday appears to be by no means ready to take on the World Champs.
Gonna have to disagree with you here on Kaep. He played far better than his stats would indicate. There were at least 2 dropped passes (the third would have been for little gain for Gore) that were for significant yards and would have extended drives. Kaep put the ball where it needed to be and the reciever dropped it (Crab, Vernon). In addition there were holding calls that wipped out a 14 yard gain to Vernon on 3rd down and a 36 yard gain that would have taken the ball to the 14. It's not just the yard here that we are talking about. If the receivers make those catches and those holding calls aren't made, The Niners score alot more points because those drives are extended. On those holding calls in particular...those 10 yard penalties KILLED the drives. Just as an example, if you add just the drops to his stats and eliminate the holding calls He would have been 21-27 for WELL over 300 yards. That doesn't even take into account further yards or TDs (or, to be fair, INTs) he may have had had he gotten the first downs those plays would have resulted in.
Every QB has receivers drop the ball sometimes, so you can't do as I did above and say this is what SHOULD have happened. I'm just saying that your assessment of Kaep is a bit too harsh. He was putting the ball on the target. He wasn't confused. He played very, very well.
As you said, all QBs have to deal with penalties and drops, hence it is appropriate to look at stats, at least to a certain extent. Without the picks, the offense won this game 21-17, dare I say, very much in Alex Smith style, i.e.. the defense won this game. CK just didn't screw it up.
In some cases, it is just as important to look at what didn't happen as well as what did happen. In this case, what didn't happen in the run game is worth checking. I was used to seeing the results of play adjustments Smith made at the LOS and how those plays worked. In most cases, they were substantial gains. Yesterday, run plays off from audibles were usually stuffed, some well behind the line. I write those off to his inexperience. (Howie Long mentioned it at half time.) Even when the Saints had won, they were gashed on running plays. Based on that history, I was expecting a better run game against that relatively weak front 7.
However, as I said, I am happy with the win in the difficult environment. I just don't want to build my hopes up too far.