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Week 12: Thoughts after rewatching the game...

Originally posted by dj43:
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.

I don't buy that one either. If the Niners had been down or the score had been closer than the Niners wouldn't have run the ball on every down the way they did through most of the 4th quarter.

My only point in pointing out the stats was to show that he wasn't confused, wasn't rattled, and actually put the ball on the mark. The issue was not that he was confused by Spags. The issue yesterday was constant penalties that killed long plays and gave them long yardage to convert.

Bottom Line, Kaep played very well. He played better than stats would indicate. He wasn't in over his head.
Originally posted by monsterzero789:
Originally posted by dj43:
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.


How was he not able to deal with stunts and blitzes? Dude was untouched practically the whole game lol

This.
Originally posted by Mann716:
some people are mentioning how kaep didn't throw for 400+ yards against the worst defense. Lets not forget our defense scored TWICE so that took some pressure off of the offense. what's the sense in throwing the ball like the saints when your up by 2 scores?

This too....Niners were running the ball, killing clock because they were AHEAD. That adjusts playcalling.
hey if ginn wouldn't of fumbled... and with out them costly fouls that caused us a touchdown... we would of destroyed the saints.... i believe in kaep and jim's decision going foward... enjoy history in the making...
[ Edited by danarez49 on Nov 26, 2012 at 12:48 PM ]
Marvin, every week you take the words out my mouth. You summed up exactly how I view CK and Alex too.
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Another excellent post, much better than any of the professional beat writers Agree with everything. So do you think they work both Jacobs and LMJ into the rotation with Gore?
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Originally posted by Disp:
Not sure where you got your stats from, but the box score says SF averaged. 9.2 yards/pass. It was particularly impressive not only because this was Kaepernick's 2'nd start, but the Superdome is maybe the most difficult stadium to play in, and the Saints and their fans have had this game circled since January. This was a playoff atmosphere and not only did Kaep stayed poised throughout, but like others have mentioned, we had huge passes called back because of penalties and boneheaded drops.

The interception was all Kaep really. Yeah, he got a terrible snap, but with how long it took him to recover, he needed to scramble or throw it away.

The defense has finally come alive over the last 2 weeks. We're seeing the hard hits, intimidation, pass rush, and intensity that have largely been missing this season. The D has played great this year statistically, but the ferocity they're showing now is what I think most of us loved about them last year. They're hitting everything on the field like they're mad and have something to prove. I think the Rams game a few weeks is going to the catalyst to this season just like the Dallas game was last year. The whole team just looks absolutely focused right now. Well besides Ted Ginn .


Kaepernick reminds me of Aaron Rodgers and RGIII in that all three are very confident in their ability and find ways to make plays despite chaos. When we drafted him, I watched highlights of him and after watching him play 11 quarters of football I see a PLAY MAKER! So lets get excited we have a team that should compete with anyone on any given Sunday>
One of his more impressive throws was a drop by Crabtree. 3rd and long he rolled left and fired a dart into coverage. Probably not a recommended throw but still a good one nonetheless.
For two games at least, Kaep has proven he can keep the 49ers playoff train rolling in (at least) a similar fashion as Alex Smith has. I believe what some of you are discussing on here relates to the strengths and weaknesses of each QB. Right now, what Alex gives you is a higher on field IQ in terms of adjusting at the line to what the defenses are doing, but what he doesn't give you is exceptional playmaking. By contrast, Kaep seems to give you the playmaking with a slight dip in the on-field IQ. I would argue that on-field IQ will only go up and so Kaep is likely the guy going forward.

And even the gap in line adjustments between Kaep and Smith may not be THAT much because Smith was still taking a huge number of sacks on pass attempts.

I don't envy Harbaugh because the two guys are very close and it seems to me to be a choice of personal taste. If I was Alex, I don't know if I would be so accommodating. Teams want leaders out of their QB's are leaders don't adjust to sitting on the bench well.....a game where Young was chewing out Siefert comes to mind.
[ Edited by bzborow1 on Nov 26, 2012 at 1:27 PM ]
The oline played average at best. Good ins pass pro but utterly garbage in run blocking. And Goodwin is the main culprit. Not ot mention all the penalties. Everything else I agree with, but not sure how you can say they played great.
Originally posted by redmanc07:
One of his more impressive throws was a drop by Crabtree. 3rd and long he rolled left and fired a dart into coverage. Probably not a recommended throw but still a good one nonetheless.

This and that high pass to Crabtree along the sideline between, again, two defenders and the window-throw to VD late in the Bears game.

I have little doubt with the monster emphasis HaRoman have on TO's as it relates to wins/losses, these plays will be coached out of him, so-to-speak. Anyone doubt that and they just let him play?

Remember, right now, CK is getting the rookie bounces. He alone via fumbles, bad snaps, dropped INT's, poor decisions to throw, etc. could EASILY have at least 6 TO's in 3 games. If even half of them had become TO's we're not even talking about a QB controversy right now IMHO.

Will HaRoman go with high risk, high reward type of play within this very conservative offense?
Originally posted by NCommand:
This and that high pass to Crabtree along the sideline between, again, two defenders and the window-throw to VD late in the Bears game.

I have little doubt with the monster emphasis HaRoman have on TO's as it relates to wins/losses, these plays will be coached out of him, so-to-speak. Anyone doubt that and they just let him play?

Remember, right now, CK is getting the rookie bounces. He alone via fumbles, bad snaps, dropped INT's, poor decisions to throw, etc. could EASILY have at least 6 TO's in 3 games. If even half of them had become TO's we're not even talking about a QB controversy right now IMHO.

Will HaRoman go with high risk, high reward type of play within this very conservative offense?

I don't think you play the conservative offense anymore, at least not how they played it last year and earlier this year. Last year you get to anywhere under 50 yards for a field goal and Akers was automatic so they went super conservative, took the points and went back on defense. This year, Akers has been all over the place so they don't have the luxury of pushing just hard enough to get 3 points and then calling it a day, they're going to have to continue to be aggressive to get into the endzone every single time they can.
Marvin for MVP=most valuable poster.
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Originally posted by NCommand:
This and that high pass to Crabtree along the sideline between, again, two defenders and the window-throw to VD late in the Bears game.

I have little doubt with the monster emphasis HaRoman have on TO's as it relates to wins/losses, these plays will be coached out of him, so-to-speak. Anyone doubt that and they just let him play?

Remember, right now, CK is getting the rookie bounces. He alone via fumbles, bad snaps, dropped INT's, poor decisions to throw, etc. could EASILY have at least 6 TO's in 3 games. If even half of them had become TO's we're not even talking about a QB controversy right now IMHO.

Will HaRoman go with high risk, high reward type of play within this very conservative offense?

I don't think you play the conservative offense anymore, at least not how they played it last year and earlier this year. Last year you get to anywhere under 50 yards for a field goal and Akers was automatic so they went super conservative, took the points and went back on defense. This year, Akers has been all over the place so they don't have the luxury of pushing just hard enough to get 3 points and then calling it a day, they're going to have to continue to be aggressive to get into the endzone every single time they can.

That's a damn great point. We can't count on Akers bailing us out of a bad red-zone series, so being conservative in our play-calling and execution isn't going to work as well. We'll need to take more chances, be a little more daring and willing to throw in to the end zone more as opposed to checking down and settling for a FG attempt.
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Originally posted by NCommand:
This and that high pass to Crabtree along the sideline between, again, two defenders and the window-throw to VD late in the Bears game.

I have little doubt with the monster emphasis HaRoman have on TO's as it relates to wins/losses, these plays will be coached out of him, so-to-speak. Anyone doubt that and they just let him play?

Remember, right now, CK is getting the rookie bounces. He alone via fumbles, bad snaps, dropped INT's, poor decisions to throw, etc. could EASILY have at least 6 TO's in 3 games. If even half of them had become TO's we're not even talking about a QB controversy right now IMHO.

Will HaRoman go with high risk, high reward type of play within this very conservative offense?

I don't think you play the conservative offense anymore, at least not how they played it last year and earlier this year. Last year you get to anywhere under 50 yards for a field goal and Akers was automatic so they went super conservative, took the points and went back on defense. This year, Akers has been all over the place so they don't have the luxury of pushing just hard enough to get 3 points and then calling it a day, they're going to have to continue to be aggressive to get into the endzone every single time they can.

Good point. But in the playoffs, those become TO's and 7 points for the other team. That's why I was saying if we go CK, we might start to see him coached down some, or "smarter" as time goes on.