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The Demise of our Pass Defense in the Play-Offs

Originally posted by DrGonzo00:
How about we actually blitz more than twice a game.

I get nervous when we blitz to be honest. Well, I was last year due to the fact our best pass rushers were so f**ked up. Every time we blitzed we'd basically get torched down the seam. That will change though once I see us actually acquiring MORE sacks.
  • buck
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Originally posted by jimmythegreekjr:
Simple answer. The demise of the defense happened in the second half of the season about the time of the quarterback switch. Alex Smith game manager - out.
Colin Kaep dynamic quick player in....Time of possession dropped significantly without Alex..This translates to "worn-out" defense and more injuries. 49ers needed to control the ball, which was difficult to do with a new QB like Colin. This is why we won so much Joe Montana and Bill Walsh..long effective drives and fresh defenses.


I went through each regular season game and counted the time of possesion.
I was not able to add the totals in excel because the program automatically chanages the times to dates and times.

I eliminated the game in which Alex was hurt and replaced by Collin.

Alex started 8 games and SF won the time of possession in 6 of those games-75% of the games.
In the regular season, Kaepernick started in 7 games and SF won the time of possession in 6 of those games--87.5%.

But, in the play offs, SF won the time of possession in only the Green Bay Game.
So, in all Collin started in 10 games, and SF won the time of possession in 7 of those games--70% of the games.

But, if you look at the total time of possession, SF did control the ball more when Alex was the quarter back.

If I can my excel program to cooperate, I will post the total difference in time of possession.
Originally posted by buck:
Originally posted by jimmythegreekjr:
Simple answer. The demise of the defense happened in the second half of the season about the time of the quarterback switch. Alex Smith game manager - out.
Colin Kaep dynamic quick player in....Time of possession dropped significantly without Alex..This translates to "worn-out" defense and more injuries. 49ers needed to control the ball, which was difficult to do with a new QB like Colin. This is why we won so much Joe Montana and Bill Walsh..long effective drives and fresh defenses.


I went through each regular season game and counted the time of possesion.
I was not able to add the totals in excel because the program automatically chanages the times to dates and times.

I eliminated the game in which Alex was hurt and replaced by Collin.

Alex started 8 games and SF won the time of possession in 6 of those games-75% of the games.
In the regular season, Kaepernick started in 7 games and SF won the time of possession in 6 of those games--87.5%.

But, in the play offs, SF won the time of possession in only the Green Bay Game.
So, in all Collin started in 10 games, and SF won the time of possession in 7 of those games--70% of the games.

But, if you look at the total time of possession, SF did control the ball more when Alex was the quarter back.

If I can my excel program to cooperate, I will post the total difference in time of possession.

The 49ers were more dynamic and scored quicker with Kaep, through no fault of his. Where as Alex might take a sack for instance and the clock ran. Kaep might take off on runs to get a first down and more. So where as Alex might still keep the drive going, he'd be maybe 3rd and ten or fifteen, where as Kaep would be 1st and 10 -20 to 30 yards down field. Alex took a lot more sacks. That is but one example, Also, the niners ran more with Alex, so that is another. Still, this is why we need to get people to rotate in their on the D-line. Cause Kaep is gonna strike fast and in chunks on quite a few drives. If anyone is going to say we should slow it down, I will say no, we need to pick it up on D, get more turnovers or ST do their part, after the success in the first year, these two factors bottomed out last year.

Also, someone did an analysis during the SB, as to why the niners were not getting the interceptions and fumbles, niners were not going to give up the long ball, so many were taking what the niners gave them with dinks and dunks and runs, especially runs the teams that did beat us, had good running games, even if we seem to have contained them, they still were hurting us, cause we would have to repect it along with the short throws, then when the niners let there guard down, the teams would strike. Teams struck quickly with game plans that caugt the niners off guard, but we would adjust. Other times of course like the Pats game, we got ahead and let took the pedal off the metal and let them back in.
  • buck
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Originally posted by WildBill:
The 49ers were more dynamic and scored quicker with Kaep, through no fault of his. Where as Alex might take a sack for instance and the clock ran. Kaep might take off on runs to get a first down and more. So where as Alex might still keep the drive going, he'd be maybe 3rd and ten or fifteen, where as Kaep would be 1st and 10 -20 to 30 yards down field. Alex took a lot more sacks. That is but one example, Also, the niners ran more with Alex, so that is another. Still, this is why we need to get people to rotate in their on the D-line. Cause Kaep is gonna strike fast and in chunks on quite a few drives. If anyone is going to say we should slow it down, I will say no, we need to pick it up on D, get more turnovers or ST do their part, after the success in the first year, these two factors bottomed out last year.

First, I think everybody agrees that there needs to more/better rotation on the defensive line.

The time of possession element has me a bit confused.

Clearly, if our offense is a quick strike offense, the speed at which we score will reduce our TOP.
If the offense methodically marches down the field, our TOP will increase.

The speed at which the offense moves the ball is not the only thing that affects our TOP.

Our TOP is also influenced by the defense.

If our defense forces a three and out, the opponents TOP is also reduced, our defense gets off the field faster, and the offensive gets another drive faster.
Conversely, if their defense shuts us down, our TOP is reduced, and the defense has to go back our on the field quicker.

Penalties also influence the TOP.

How many of our drives were killed by false starts, holding, illegal formations, etc. How many opponent's drives were extended by penalties?

These errors influence the TOP, and their impact can do much more than harm our TOP.

The first play of the Super Bowl. C.Kaepernick pass deep left to 85-V.Davis to SF 40 for 20 yards. Wiped out by an illegal formation call. Instead of being on our 40, we start over at the 15. That is a difference of 25 yards. We run three plays and punt from our 17 yard line.

Baltimore starts their series on the 49. They get down to our 18. It is 3rd and 9-SF 18. J.Flacco pass incomplete deep middle.But, there is a penalty on SF. Ahmad Brooks was offsides. We had them stopped except for that error.

Next play, Flacco throws for a touchdown.

We need to rotate the defensive line and we need to reduce the penalties that kill our drives or prolong our opponents drives.

I also agree that we should not try to slow it down, unless we talking about a long time consuming drive to kill the clock at the end of the game.
[ Edited by buck on Apr 9, 2013 at 6:11 PM ]
1) Justin Smith got hurt.
2) Aldon Smith got hurt.
3) 1 and 2 were a shell of their former selves.
4) We have no depth especially DL and OLB pass rush.
5) Our secondary was toast without the previously stout pass rush.


It's pretty easy, really...look back at 2011...the secondary was very solid, as a direct result of lights out play by the front 7. Last year, the starters, especially the DL wore down toward the end of the regular season...reason: Fangio didn't trust the b/u's to give the starters adequate rest. Justin Smith's injury only heightened things...and also showed the entire defense depended entirely too much on his normally stellar play. Sopoaga's play at NT wasn't as good as in 2011. The entire DL underachieved compared to 2011. So...it's time to upgrade the depth. Signing Dorsey was a step in that direction. I've been advocating for at least one, preferably two of the DL studs in this draft. Either of the Williams (Jesse or Sly), Datone Jones, Short, Hankins or some combination thereof will do the trick. A good recipe to follow would be the Giants...they've had stellar DL's for a number of years with excellent quality depth. That's what our front line needs to achieve...and Fangio will just have to get comfortable with giving the starters adequate rest. With those things done, you'll see our secondary play much better, especially with a very good FS and adding a big CB.
  • buck
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Originally posted by CorvaNinerFan:
It's pretty easy, really...look back at 2011...the secondary was very solid, as a direct result of lights out play by the front 7. Last year, the starters, especially the DL wore down toward the end of the regular season...reason: Fangio didn't trust the b/u's to give the starters adequate rest. Justin Smith's injury only heightened things...and also showed the entire defense depended entirely too much on his normally stellar play. Sopoaga's play at NT wasn't as good as in 2011. The entire DL underachieved compared to 2011. So...it's time to upgrade the depth. Signing Dorsey was a step in that direction. I've been advocating for at least one, preferably two of the DL studs in this draft. Either of the Williams (Jesse or Sly), Datone Jones, Short, Hankins or some combination thereof will do the trick. A good recipe to follow would be the Giants...they've had stellar DL's for a number of years with excellent quality depth. That's what our front line needs to achieve...and Fangio will just have to get comfortable with giving the starters adequate rest. With those things done, you'll see our secondary play much better, especially with a very good FS and adding a big CB.

I agree that signing Dorsey was a step in the right direction. I agree that we need to improve the defensive line.

But, our pass defense in 2012 regular season was better than in 2011.

In 2011, our pass defense was ranked 17th. In 2012, our pass defense was ranked 4th.

In 2011, we gave up 60 big passing plays. In 2012, we gave up 35 big passing plays.

The number of passing plays of 20+ yards that we gave up went from 48 to 38. The number of passing plays of 40+ yards dropped from 12 to 7.

In total, we gave up 15 fewer big passing plays in 2012; a 41.7% drop.

These numbers include the games that we played in the regular season after the injuries to Justin and Aldon Smith--after the demise had started.

I do not see how the pass defense improved in 2012 without better play from the secondary.
  • cciowa
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Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
1) Justin Smith got hurt.
2) Aldon Smith got hurt.
3) 1 and 2 were a shell of their former selves.
4) We have no depth especially DL and OLB pass rush.
5) Our secondary was toast without the previously stout pass rush.



as usual SD is spot on. that is why if we do not get at least two solid defensive linemen, no "projects" in the draft, there should be a senate investigation
Originally posted by buck:
Theories are interesting. I am not going anywhere.

In my estimation, there were various factors that converged to produce the the demise.
those factors are:

1. Major injuries to Aldon and Justin Smith

2. not making adjustments in a timely manner--responsibility for this falls on defensive coordinator.

3. players not being ready to play at the beginning of the game--being lethargic. I think this falls on coaching staff, but especially Harbaugh.
This affected both our pass defense and our offense. The offense's improvement in second half, reduced the time the opponents offense had to attack our pass defense.

4. Drop off in the play of Culliver--in part caused by the turmoil created by his inability to say, Next question please. In part, this falls on him and in part on the coaching staff.

5. Opposing coaching staffs were able to pinpoint our weaknesses in the defending the pass.

6. Inconsistent play on the part of Goldson, and Whitner.

8.. lack of adequate depth

I also think you sound miffed.

My guess is you still think Aldon Smith is not a real 3-4 outside linebacker.

Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
1) Justin Smith got hurt.
2) Aldon Smith got hurt.
3) 1 and 2 were a shell of their former selves.
4) We have no depth especially DL and OLB pass rush.
5) Our secondary was toast without the previously stout pass rush.



Thank you. The most obvious answers are usually the right answers. This idea that the defense started to go south because of a change in offense is so ridiculous that I don't know why people keep resurecting it. It's obvious what happened. There wasn't enough depth on the D-line. D-linemen were injured and those who weren't were worn out. The secondary could be better at coverage, so when the pass defense faltered, the secondary looked worse.

WHO WAS PLAYING THE QUARTERBACK POSITION HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY OF THIS!

After the QB change, the defense held opposing offenses to 7, 21, 16, and 13 points for an average of 14.25 pts. which was almost exactly the same average as for the first 8 games of the season. And, during the next game at Foxborough, the defense held the Patriots to 6 points up to the point Justin Smith was injured and came out of the game and Aldon Smith injured his shoulder. From that point on, with both Justin Smith and Aldon Smith injured and after the rest of the defense had to be in for 90 snaps against the Patriots, the defense yielded an average of 29.67 points per game.

So please. Enough with these absurd attempts to tie defensive performance to offensive scheme.

D-line healthy and rested: 14 pts. a game
D-line unhealthy and unrested: 30 pts. a game
To be honest i feel like the pass rush was only part of the problem.

Yes we wore down but we dont do anything with our schemes to make the QB think. We have to be just as creative on that side of the ball or we will continue to get worked
Originally posted by cciowa:
Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
1) Justin Smith got hurt.
2) Aldon Smith got hurt.
3) 1 and 2 were a shell of their former selves.
4) We have no depth especially DL and OLB pass rush.
5) Our secondary was toast without the previously stout pass rush.



as usual SD is spot on. that is why if we do not get at least two solid defensive linemen, no "projects" in the draft, there should be a senate investigation

We need DL and OLB badly. S too. We better trade up to get some. Quality is what we need. Not filler depth.
In another thread I put a draft together to get 3 starters, trading all others except the 3 untradeable comp picks. I came up with 20th, 25th, and 61st. Later I redid a quick 20th, 25th and 46th pick for all our 10 non comp picks. So it is doable, to get FS/CB starter and two DL starters, at least on paper. That means that we would draft 3 guys for starters(hopefully), and traded everything else up to do that. I used only this yrs draft, not 2014. That would get us 3 starters(2 DLs and 1 FS/CB) and one other starter next yr with luck, plus 3 comps( for kicker, WR, maybe OL or TE, but none likely to make the squad...and no, we aren't drafting another qb).

So it is doable, and if i could do one in 20 mins, baalke can do way better than that, maybe get another pick , maybe 2. Baalke does like picks, so I don't know if he would sacrifice 10 picks for 3 starters. More realistically, say baalke splits the difference, and gets 5 picks (plus 3 comps) and with his supreior talent picking gets a 4th starter, plus one project. That would be one heckuva draft, esp with the 2DL and 1 FS starters.

Alternatively baalke uses all 13 picks, which probably no one believes. So most likely baalke goes for 5 non comp picks , incl 2 DL and 1 FS starters, plus another starter and one project. He has to trade 5 picks to do that, and maybe he isn't piggy and just goes for 4 starters. With $1.7 mil to pay our draftees, that is my guess, and then he has to figure how to redo enough contracts to sign his 3 +1 starters, and 1 project. Obviously with 4 starters, some guys currently on list of 53 will get cut. But that is the way I think trent goes. As for which 2 DLs, take your pick, and FS Vacarro vs your choice FS/CB. The other starter, say TE/Wr probably wouldn't see much playing time this yr. I don't pick individuals, just positions, as picking individual players is way beyond my ability.