the worst coached 25 minutes in 49 history. Coach Harbaugh's first 30 mins of O and D coaching against one of the truly great teams in NFL history, was a coaching job for the ages. On D we smoothered Brady, the WRs, the RBs. On O we put up 4 TDs. Kap, the OL, Crabs, Frank...heck, everyone was great. But the coaching by Harbaugh was non pareil, as in it was the best 30 mins of 9er football coaching of all time....and considering the work of Coach Walsh, that is some statement.
But the incredible mindset that followed, coaching not to lose, was absoloutely abysmal. Had Kap et al not put up 4 TDs in 1st half, we would have lost this game going away. I mentioned in a post last week that we would lose by 28 pts if we laid back, rushed 3 or 4 and played off the WRs. Well, in the first half, Coach H was aggressive as anything I have seen in a long time on both O and D. Brady never got used to #99 whizzing by him, or getting drilled by ALL DONE just prior to throwing. The D played the best man coverage I have seen in yrs. O coaching , D coaching in first half will go down in annals of 49ers as greatest coaching and playing jobs in memory.
Beginning 2nd half, Coach H abruptly went into his COACHING NOT TO LOSE mindset, and ....we darned near lost. We basically ran three and out 4 consecutive series, while Pats scored TDs on each of their posssessions. Not until 5 minutes to go in game, with score tied, did Coach H return to what got us the big lead in the first half....namely, throw caution to the wind, play aggressive football, LMJ gave us the spark and Kap + Crabs gave us the lead...again. The D after that was tight, there was no backing off, we once again covered the receivers like white on rice, and in the end, won.
Moral of story is COACH TO WIN, and don't coach "not to lose". Also, once you have your foot on the neck of an opponent, continue playing what got you there to start with. In this case it was aggressive O and D playcalls, with magnificent effort by virtually every 9er on the field. Once again this game shows what happens to coaches when they get the lead, big or small. I hope Coach H remembers this lesson and in the future, coaches his guys the same aggressive way on O and D, with a lead or not.