Was waiting for this post so I could add my own thoughts:
The defense was definitely gassed, you could see it in Aldon chasing Russell - he just didn't have the energy on a lot of those plays. It was not helped by the loss of Cowboy, but beyond that we have some real issues in terms of depth and strategy. We don't seem to blitz nearly enough, we've got great man coverage but we don't keep the opponent honest enough by committing more to the blitz. We stayed with 3-4 and let Wilson scramble around with minimal pressure on most downs and he's more than good enough to scramble or find the open receiver.
Leaving the same guys on the pitch for the full season is really having an impact, especially with back to back road games like we've just played - particularly after the NE game where the defense was on the field for so long, they were tired at the end of that game and flat/tired at the start of this. Not sure what practice was like mid week, I would have hoped it was light though to let them recharge. Either way we need to address this for the play offs, not only does it tire the regular starters but it means guys coming in to replace injuries are not at match pace or even fitness.
On the offense side, there are two things that stick out to me - play calling by Roman is far too up and down and more importantly our O-line is not up to the standard needed. This latter is really becoming apparent, how many times have we seen the QB (Kaep or Alex) sacked from someone coming in completely untouched from the D-Line - it's embarrassing and should not happen. It's unacceptable to have def pass rushers not being picked up by anyone and getting a free hit.
I think the pass blocking is terribly shocking. The amount of times Goodwin, Davis and Staley seem to give up on their blocks after a second or 2 (or get beat fast) is again unacceptable, it's contributing to the sack count against us and massively hurting the O. Look at the time that Brady, Big Ben and Rodgers are given in the pocket to find a pass and extend the play - something that just doesn't happen for us at all. This is why Alex and Kaep are getting sacked or flushed so many times, particularly when we get blitzed which is exacerbated by Roman's utter lack of screen plays.
Beyond this, Roman doesn't seem to know what he is planning for - we're either a run away success or a dead failure, we're not consistent at all and that tells me we're not planning properly and when we do excel it's because we've good match ups and playing to our strength. It's becoming clear that we struggle in any match up that's even or slightly against us, and we go out with nothing when we've a bad match up. It all suggest an inability to plan for the team we are playing - if we were consistently scoring 20+ even in bad games I would take that as a sign we know what we need to do, however the losses to the Giants, the Seahawks and Minnesota suggest to me that if someone has our number there's nothing we can do.
I can't see us winning the Superbowl this year unfortunately, but in the off-season we need to really improve our O line, depth on D (including a ballhawk) and get a new OC.
[ Edited by Buchy on Dec 24, 2012 at 12:57 PM ]