Originally posted by johnnyredneat:
Great read as usual. I'd add a few points:
1. I'd definitely add that Kaep seemed to really struggle pre-snap. Not reading blitzes, frantic audibles with 2 seconds on the play clock, constantly burning time outs. We burned all our timeouts to avoid delay penalties in what was a close game throughout. Ultimately didn't have an impact, but could absolutely have cost us the game. This is another thing that took a while to sort out when AS was the QB.
2. We're built to run the ball and throw short/medium timing routes. It's the way the whole team is constructed, it's how we've played since Harbaugh became coach. It's what we've practiced every day for two years. Changing to a more downfield vertical stretch offense isn't going to be an easy process.
3. A screen or two would have been nice against their constant up-the-middle A-Gap blitzes.
OP and above - AGREE and good points -- must add:
1. Hunter's stretch runs were sorely missed, the defense was crashing gaps hard looking for Gore. The 49ers have a really difficult time with disruptive defensive line schemes - Giants, new Rams, old AZ capabilities. Hunter's stretch runs helped keep them honest. Kap's scrambles should help too eventually. James may be the solution here, certainly not Jacobs (although I have been waiting to see him!)
2. BRUCE MILLER - This guy is seriously becoming the next Rathman - he can catch well, makes yards after the catch, adjusts superbly to the QB scramble, and even on his limited carries he makes good yards. He is getting a bigger role with the ball each game. He may be the 49ers emerging weapon.
3. Roman is good - but when a defense shows up prepared for him, he struggles to adapt quickly. The Rams and Giants had our number early and we never adjusted. I won't even comment on the pitch call - I swear, when Ginn motioned to line up deep I said to the table - "Oh man, not a trick play with 3:48 left in the game." I felt like I jingsed us!
4. OL - there is something wrong with the OL -- some DLs just beat them up. It has to be scheme. the 49ers must not be doing a great job self scouting which schemes they are vulnerable to.
Finally, although an A Smith fan - I suspect he would have struggled even worse with the pressure Rams were getting. And like the OP said, Kap's elusiveness and some 3rd down conversions just weren't ASmith possible.