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Week 14: Thoughts after rewatching the game...

Originally posted by Marvin49:
Just to address part of your point above...

YES. He is in there to complete more of those longer passes. He WAS completing them against the Bears and Saints. What has happened since is that defenses are playing him differently than they had before and differently than they played Smith. They are playing zone deep down the field and leaving recievers open underneath.

Thats why he's completing shorter passes. Additionally, deeper passes require the QB to hold the ball longer and expose himself to the pass rush....and that's why he's been getting sacked.

They will work this out tho. Defenses are fearing that deep ball right now and it's the job of Harbaugh/Roman/Kaepernick to figure out how to expose that coverage.

BTW...YES....people would be ripping Alex apart if he had 2 games in a row without a TD...but they would have been equally wrong to do so.

WE dont send enough Receivers out..Defense take the deep ball..have a guy go underneath ...have the RB go wide to take the LB out of the middle

but we dont and continue with big packages and not enough outside speed guys
Originally posted by SportsFan:
Tough to tell from the stands but was the Dolphins TD a TD? I thought he tried to catch it with one hand and by the time he brought it to his body and controlled it he was out of bounds.

his knee land in bounds and he had clear possession.
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Great post as usual Marvin.

Could you or anyone else for that matter, comment on the development of LMJ as a blocker. I think it was in the 2nd half were he was in the back field and appeared to miss a block which resulted in the Kaep sack.

Who is responsible in these types of situations. Is it up to the QB to tell the RB to chip the rusher on the way out or should the RB be reading the defense himself and know whom to block? In my ignorant opinion it seems that blocking at the RB positions is the most difficult thing for RBs to pick up.
Always look forward to your analysis of the games. Keep it up.
Anyone have any stats of how many big plays the offense has had since Kaep took over? Yesterday they showed something on the tv that said the Niners had 10 plays of 10 yards or more and that was in the 3rd quarter. It also seems like we are passing the ball more early.

Kaep seems to be putting up the same completetion percentage as Alex and he is 3-1. If Walker catches the TD in St. Louis or if we don't self destruct with the Kaep pitch, Goldson personal foul etc... we would be 4-0. He is playing pretty good IMO. I think people are expecting 300 yards passing and a couple of TD's since Harbs benched Alex. The offense will gel better overtime. But if Kaep does put up the Alex stats but also has the threat of the deep ball (Moss drop and Walker drop for Td's), and can also stretch the defense horizonitally (something that we need to stretch the D's), it really does give us a better chance when the playoffs hit.

I like Alex but when the playoffs hit, it would be the same story every week... stuff 8 men in the box and make Alex beat you. He did well last year in the playoffs but he has had those games where we can't get anything going. With Kaep, they can stuff the box but teams still have to account for Kaep's deep ball in one on one coverage or his legs to the outside, or one on one matchups with Crabtree or Manningham that have appeared promising since Kaep took over.
Agree on all accounts. If you aren't watching Kaep and seeing how much better than Smith he is/will be you are Ray Charles blind. While he doesn't see what Alex see's pre-snap right now, his play making capability, throwing and passing is just something Alex can't do. He makes the throws and while Alex is no running slouch, he isn't Vick/Newton/Griffin caliber like Kaep.

I was very concerned when Hunter went down. He was a great dimension to the offense. After watching James I can rest much easier now. He had some great runs. While he isn't Hunter, Hunter isn't him either. He's more explosive. I'd like to see both, while small in stature do more after contact. I do believe that the unblocked sack by Wake was James' fault. If his job wasn't to straight up block he was at least supposed to chip block him and buy another second.

Aldon Smith, If you don't realize how good he is and will be you are definitely Stevie Wonder/Ray Charles blind. The only thing that will undo Aldon is Aldon at this point.

Penalties are driving me nuts. We definitely aren't as disciplined as last year.

For all of Harbaugh's bro-love of Roman, I'm not sure who to blame, but the kill-s**t, in-the-RedZone play calling is freakin pathetic. The sequence at the end of the half, which I have seen way too much is sadly pathetic. Sack on 1st, stupid run call on 2nd and then throw out of bounds on third? For all of the mad scientsit smart talk I'm not feeling it there. If you are gonna settle for field goals, you will lose, or tie (see STL games). To borrow Herm Edwards quote, "You play to win the game!" They aren't doing that with this type of play-calling. If you plan to lay up, at least take your shots on 1st thru rd downs.

Two HUGE games coming up. GB is playing well and right square in th erear view. Atlanta is looking like a first round turkey, so winning out and fending off GB for the #2 seed could mean a lot come January. Follow AZ's game plan for the Pats and do what ya did before against a hopefully suspension depleted SEA and we're golden. Oh, and then we can just watch Aldon feed on some Tards in the season finale.
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He comes the 2nd thumb!
Originally posted by GORO:
Originally posted by vrabbit:
You could use numbers to make your argument, but I'm pretty sure we've both watched Luck and Kap so far this season and Luck's game is on a complete different level, yes he's made mistakes but, unlike Kap, his positives far outweigh his negatives up to this point. We could also use Kap's fumbles that either him or his teammates recover. I'm not really about to engage in this debate because 1) we're hijacking the thread, and 2) I consider it silly.


Andrew Luck played in a pro style (west coast) Offense while at Stanford. He thrived under Harbaugh. Now that he is in Indy he is being coached by Bruce Arians whom while with the steelers proved to be an agressive play caller. Roman and Harbaugh prefer to manage the offense with high percentage passing plays. Rewatch the Dolphins game and you will see that they played most formations with 1 wr and 2 te sets. This type of Offense will not allow us to see Andrew Luck type yardage.

THIS is a better argument and it wasn't just this last game, I saw the same heavy/1WR sets vs the Rams as well, and I'm sure they've been a constant throughout the season both with Kap AND Alex at the helm
Over the next two weeks we are going to get a more definitive answer as to what to expect in the playoffs. These next two games are enormously important - made so because of the Rams non-wins - and will test what we have in CK. Both are on the road against hot teams. One with the best QB in the league and the other a formidable defense and a game-changing crowd. Harbaugh wanted the guy will the athletic tools to make plays in big games, now we'll see if his strategy is going to pay off.

I want to point out as well that since CK has been inserted our WR's seem to be open a lot more frequently. Why? Defenses have countered CK by blitzing with deep safety help, opening up space in the short-to-medium routes. With Smith under center the windows always seemed to be much smaller because the safeties didn't have to back off. Just a thought.
[ Edited by bzborow1 on Dec 10, 2012 at 1:19 PM ]
Originally posted by vrabbit:
Originally posted by GORO:
Originally posted by vrabbit:
You could use numbers to make your argument, but I'm pretty sure we've both watched Luck and Kap so far this season and Luck's game is on a complete different level, yes he's made mistakes but, unlike Kap, his positives far outweigh his negatives up to this point. We could also use Kap's fumbles that either him or his teammates recover. I'm not really about to engage in this debate because 1) we're hijacking the thread, and 2) I consider it silly.


Andrew Luck played in a pro style (west coast) Offense while at Stanford. He thrived under Harbaugh. Now that he is in Indy he is being coached by Bruce Arians whom while with the steelers proved to be an agressive play caller. Roman and Harbaugh prefer to manage the offense with high percentage passing plays. Rewatch the Dolphins game and you will see that they played most formations with 1 wr and 2 te sets. This type of Offense will not allow us to see Andrew Luck type yardage.

THIS is a better argument and it wasn't just this last game, I saw the same heavy/1WR sets vs the Rams as well, and I'm sure they've been a constant throughout the season both with Kap AND Alex at the helm

Well that has kinda been the offense for 2 years now and the same back at Stanford. Stanford has been TE central for a few years now.
[ Edited by Marvin49 on Dec 10, 2012 at 1:25 PM ]
Originally posted by Marvin49:
Originally posted by Jersey9er:
Well i watched again, and gonna be honest, i didnt see what some saw. And i have to say we in the zone are about 50-50. Which is some see half full, some half empty.

To say the kid doesnt have talent is an understatement. I'm gonna just go by stats over the past two games, thats simple. No passing Td's to a TE or WR in the last two games. Yup i said it correctly not one.

The rushing TD was cool this week, then i think he broke off one last week. But no one noticing a pattern. Good for one long run. and to me doesnt take the place of the entire game.

Im seeing more and more growing pains, but thats to be expected. Not gonna go into too much, cuz then the birds gonna come out, and oh yeah that aint right.

But i mean who cares. WE are in the zone to give our opinion, not have it liked by everyone.

I'm not gonna start with the Smith crap, because to be honest, I didnt talk about the backup ever as a 49er fan, and like the kid or not, he's not the starter.

I'll just say, had the QB previously not thrown a TD in two straight games, the zone would explode. Now dont get me wrong, CRabs is killing, but thats about it right now. Gore is MVP like as usual. How many 3 and outs did we have this week. I dont think we converted a third down until the 3rd of 4th quarter. But he played pretty good. Maybe i'm just missing something.

The last two weeks, i can count on two hands, how many deep balls he's thrown. You know the one that keeps him the starter. Even the announcers said in the 4th quarter, well we've only seen that one deep ball to Moss, but isnt this one of the reasons he's starting.

Now once again, is he playing like crap hell no. He's playing like a 2nd year quarterback with his first starting experience. And is 3-1. But i see him being bailed out just like the QB previously was. And witout the point in turnovers that Kaep is benefitting from. I mean two straight weeks a turnover in the beginning and the defense, and this week special teams bails him out.

I say give the kid his props, lets stop hoping he fails (some of us) just so Smith can be put in. Just support, and root for whomever is behind center.
But in no way sugarcoat what u see, regardless of any heat u get from fans, because we are all fans at the end of the day.

As we all say Go Niners!

Just to address part of your point above...

YES. He is in there to complete more of those longer passes. He WAS completing them against the Bears and Saints. What has happened since is that defenses are playing him differently than they had before and differently than they played Smith. They are playing zone deep down the field and leaving recievers open underneath.

Thats why he's completing shorter passes. Additionally, deeper passes require the QB to hold the ball longer and expose himself to the pass rush....and that's why he's been getting sacked.

They will work this out tho. Defenses are fearing that deep ball right now and it's the job of Harbaugh/Roman/Kaepernick to figure out how to expose that coverage.

BTW...YES....people would be ripping Alex apart if he had 2 games in a row without a TD...but they would have been equally wrong to do so.

Thanks for Responding Marv. Now while the above highlighted would of been wrong. I'm more or less talking about the reality of the zone. And the reality of the zone goes for the latter. What im trying to say is that we have a certain bit of standards for the individuals that play. Now what those are may differ from person to person.

That's why im glad you said in adressing part of my point. But it's also the other part that many dont wish to speak of or admit.

So using the TD reason. We ripped past qb's for something like this going to Rattay. And because kaep is in, some say that we now should join hands, sing kumbaya, and support the QB. I said the same thing the past few years, and you think an inkling cared. (Well i cant say that, lol). But point is, it still happened. So i kind of got used to it.

As i said above in no way am i knocking what Kaep has done. And to disagree I have to say that they dont fear the deep ball. Truth be told, every week they Fear Frank. And I still see the mindframe of you stop Frank, you can stop the niners. And even with the QB change. that idea has held true.

Everytime and not just some, but everytime they talk about Kaep i hear the same, "Is he gonna be the starter?, and they still bring up Smith, compare, and say just like Steve, and Mooch, this past wednesday about the message our team is sending with switching the QB.

Overall I like what I see from Kaep, and he has tremendous upside. You have to take the good with the bad, but working this out, tweeking this out, I just feel that now may not have been the time.

But as i said above. I have to go with who coaches choose, whether i agree or not is irrelevant and I've always been that way.

So while i see some positive things from Kaep, just like with any QB, i cant just close my eyes, say oh dont worry they'll get it fixed, if I truly dont feel that way.

And i have to say, so far, some mistakes that have been made, have happened back to back. Cant just say dont worry bout that, it'll get fixed, u feel me.

Just like we cant seem to win the third game. Even with a change at QB. So some things aren't as easy, even if we want them to be. I hope for the best with Kaep running our offense, but u do know enough turnovers, and timeouts, and confusion in the huddle, over time, somethings gonna give. And I hope it's not at the expense of our playoff run this year.

Just saying, but thanks again for responding Marv. and BTW I do have to say I do smile because at times at least the zone is consistent. Went crazy on what Smith did or didnt do. And stayed the same with Kaep.

Gotta love the Zone.... Go Niners!
[ Edited by Jersey9er on Dec 10, 2012 at 1:38 PM ]
When he drops back and lets a deep pass fly, I now expect good things to happen. That pass to Moss was on the money. When Alex made those throws, I expected the ball to be 5-10 years beyond the WR

I know you meant "yards" but years is alot funnier ...
Originally posted by highwayone:
When he drops back and lets a deep pass fly, I now expect good things to happen. That pass to Moss was on the money. When Alex made those throws, I expected the ball to be 5-10 years beyond the WR

I know you meant "yards" but years is alot funnier ...

Touchdowns are being added to Brandon Lloyds career from 05 as we speak.
Lamichael James had a beautiful debut... On the opening kickoff he tripped over Tukuafu (i am pretty sure it was him) and if he would have kept going, he only had the kicker in front of him to beat. He also was a Carlos Dansby arm trip away from breaking one late in the 4th quarter after miami pulled within 1 td.

Offense and Kaepernick had a solid game. He struggles for some reason to find Wide Open check downs/delay routes/or swing routes (usually always rb). Early in the 3rd quarter Frank Gore was WIDE OPEN on a 3rd and 4 and would have easily gotten a 1st down had Kaep seen him! It all worked out as we punted and Spillman recovered a muff by Thigpen....although the Punt was within inches of being blocked!!! Rady Moss was interfered with as his right arm was grabbed for about 15 yards by the defender...bad missed call and opportunity for us. Michael Crabtree is becoming deadly after the catch. He is turning into what I call one of the best WR's in the league ( blocking, route running, catching etc.). Our jumbo package is a Jumbo joke! We need to get rid of it as Harbaughs motto of our will vs. yours does not work. Let's be more creative....If you are going to show them your play, run something up the middle or put James back there for a read option. Our time management was very bad at times in the game. Seemed like the play calls took too long to come in. I worry when we break the huddle with 10 seconds left on the play clock. This needs to be cleaned up fast. So do our holding penalties!!!

Speaking of Special Teams and Punt Team....have I completely overlooked the fact that Willis is on Punt Cover Team??? Or did he possibly take Dobbs spot? Either way I love seeing Willis, Bowman, and Goldson on Punt coverage team. Also would like to mention that Mike Wilhoite has been an ANIMAL on special teams...he is always lerking around the ball - maybe this years version of Blake?! I also think Ginn provides no threat whatsoever on punt returns. I understand he is pretty sure handed (minus saints game) but it would be nice to see some life and yardage out of him OR somebody else!!! Last thing on Special Teams....why doesnt Akers kick the ball deep every time? Why do we give anybody a chance to run the ball out with our defense? Make them start at the 20 and earn there yardage! That return by Thigpen was FREE easy yardage and could have been avoided.

D-line and overall Defense - we rarely Blitz so that means we usually only rush 4 (sometimes 3) players. When Miami had only 5 O-Lineman blocking, we almost always collapsed the pocket and/or put tons of pressure on Tannehill. When Miami kept in 6 (rb/fb or te) we got less pressure and when they had 7 players in to help we got even less. This is to be expected as Miami would have 6 guys vs our 4 or sometimes 7 guys vs. our 4. A lot of times Miami would chip block with a TE or RB and then provide Tannehill with a short check down which Willis or Bowman would usually pick up...although Bowman was a step behind Bush all day on those types of plays. Some fans may be frustrated as we do not blitz much...This isn't a bad thing as usually when we do blitz, it is not picked up. P Willis blitzed late in the game and went absolutely untouched through his gap - Tannehill threw the ball away. Culliver had a phenominal game and seems to have started to become something special. A little more solid consistency would help. Although Rodgers hasn't intercepted a ball, he seems to rarely ever give up any passes... NOTE - he struggled BIGTIME vs Amendola and Cruz. Our safeties are awesome! Teams love to get Whitner 1v1 with anyone though, he does struggle in coverage. Goldson had a beautiful opportunity for a fumble recovery after a P Willis forced fumble but Goldson could not scoop it...huge chance that we lost. Aldon Smith is having an incredible year. He missed a huge 3rd sack on Miami's 2nd Field goal drive which would have for sure put Miami out of field goal position and would have forced a punt - you don't see that often. One "cute" play between the Smith brothers came late in the game, right after or before (can't remember) the 2 minute warning. A Smith and J Smith switched positions so that Aldon was inside at Justin's usual DT/DE place and Justin went to Aldon's usual DE/OLB place. By doing this, J Smith was going to get the double team and A Smith would only be singled....This play resulted in A Smith's 2nd sack....AWESOME GENIUS PLAY!!!

FINAL NOTES - I am still not 100% sure about the Kaepernick decision over Smith. Kaep and Smith are controlled by Harbaugh almost like a video game. Kaep has a stronger arm and is obviously much more of a run threat but Smith's mastery of this offense and pre snap reads etc could be valuable down the stretch. I do know that Smith would not have made the 2 crucial mistakes Kaep made vs the Rams (safety, run out of bounds late and pitch but I rule the pitch a HORRIBLE coaching call). But then again would Smith have made the plays that Kaep made to continue drives etc. At this point as 9er fans we need to stick with coach and support his choice. I just hope it is the correct one as my heart is truly set on a SuperBowl run this year.

Go 9ers!!!
Team Sacks:

Rams ranked #2
Dolphins rank #4

Both are very good at getting after the QB.

Next two games:

NE rank 20th
Seattle rank #10 tied with us

This will be a good test for the entire team!
Originally posted by 49er4life:
Team Sacks:

Rams ranked #2
Dolphins rank #4

Both are very good at getting after the QB.

Next two games:

NE rank 20th
Seattle rank #10 tied with us

This will be a good test for the entire team!

Good info!
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