Unity. Boldin firing up the sideline at the end of the game for the final push. Staley defending CK. Boldin rushing over to CK's defense and fighting Shields. A.Davis throwing defenders off our guys. Even Brooks blasting Rodgers in the back after the Matthews-CK scrum. "If intimidation is your game plan, I hope you have a better one." Enough said. Boldin, you are a Niner for life now. Also, THAT is how you deflate a team after a fight with class...scoring an immediate 7, giving the ball to a Niner fan and walking off the field w/o having to say a word! Physical with an F-U!
Clutch. When it mattered most, we answered the call...every single time. On offense (final 13 points), on defense (stopping GB for scoring more than 7 in the 4Q) and ST (pinning GB back inside their 10)....all in the final minutes of the game! I could highlight all the individuals plays but rewatch for yourself. It was a great heavy-weight fight and resolve!
Boldin. Holy #$%^&! This is a MAN among boys. Did you see Boldin educating Williams after he dropped that long bomb down the sidelines? Epic performance (catching, clutch plays, blocking the crap out of the defense, physical, fighting through a knee strain, etc.) and even better leadership. Give him the whole week to rest!
Kaepernick. What more can you say? Take away the run and read option very effectively so he throws for 400+ yards. Pick your poison defenses! He had quite a few balls behind recievers, too high, low, short/underthrown or out in front but today, for the most part, we caught many of them!
Hunter-Gore-Miller. Welcome back Hunter! When we needed you and Gore the most you both came through. The true unsung hero of this group though is Bruce Miller. I encourage you ALL to highlight him for this game and watch how vital he is to our running and passing (protection) game. I lov how he chips and continues on his routes. A true blue collar, unsung hero! Gore was a blocking machine as well! I wanted to point out a play I really loved...Gore started out in the backfield and usually, he stutter-steps and flares out as an outlet somewhere for CK. This time he "sprinted" out of the Q-formation and CK hit him in stride in the 4Q on the TD drive down into the RZ. This is a play the Vikings used to perfection with Harvin and is an instant mismatch b/c the RB is running forward at full steam and no LB or S has time to turn and cover it. I hope to see more of it! Imagine this play with hunter or even James...
1-0. This was a huge win as we already saw the Hawks get their 10am win and the Rams (and Cards) looked strong as well.
VD-McDonald. VD is just a mismatch every single time, on LB's or CB's. Both he and McDonald had a big drop in this game but the ones they did make were huge. The more McDonald gets incorporated into this game plan, the more unstoppable this offense will be. I love how he just dropped down in the holes cleared out by VD/Boldin. This man has a feel for the soft spots of the zone and seriously, we could have used him on every down!
Special teams. I said for a couple weeks now that I pray Dawson kicks the ball out of the back of the EZ every single time and makes the offense go 80 yards against our defense. And that's what we did. Spillman has a huge tackle inside the 10 on one play (but also had a couple poor plays earlier in the game) but again, they came through when we needed them the most. Akers had a quiet nice game. And Dawson missed his first one (great snap) but it was almost like, "OK, let's get that first miss out of the way now." Money after that. Cox, if you were a little faster, you'd still be running right now ala Forrest Gump-style! Gunners didn't have the best day (Brock/Spillman)...penalties, getting blocked out and standing there (not blocking for Williams through the whistle).
Ian Williams. Held his own most of the game.
No injuries. Isn't THIS key after a heavy-weight fight, back-and-forth!
Nnamdi. Did great in press coverage and came through when it mattered most!
Reid. Welcome to the NFL rookie. A very nice game overall and MAN is he fast...incredible closing speed. Watch him at the 5:41 mark of 4Q close in on Rodgers; Brown didn't even know what the blazing red flash was that flew by him. And WAY to keep your eyes on the QB!
DL. Only gave up what, 50 yards rushing all game?
Diversity. We STILL almost put up 500 yards on a defense that had 5 months to prepare for us. We scored 36 points. Game over against a team that "seemed" to improve a lot on defense!
McDonald. He played, perhaps, his best game against the Packers. Another unsung hero to me today.
Bowman. Wow, if he doesn't knock that ball out or knock down that pass, this could have been a L.
Turnovers. We force them and don't give any up. Period!
Perspective. It was the 1st game of the year and all of our issues are correctable and many of the negative patterns we had last year showed up this game so that's on the coaches; from scheme to personnel to tip-offs.
Refs. From the Superbowl to now, enough is enough. Players pushing refs, taking out QB's, punching other players, etc. Aren't these automatic ejections? It's not like Matthews didn't televise his intentions via the media all week. The refs made an error...the error was on calling a PF on Staley and NOT ejecting Matthews who took a swing and hit him in the facemask with the ref drapped all over him. The next-play TD was Karma.
Nnamdi. Got pwned when Fangio played him (or any of our CB's way off). Took some poor angles, missed tackles, late arriving on the quick outs, gave up TD's, etc.
The pass rush and DL rotation. There really wasn't any all game. The Packers OL really improved though. I saw THREE OL against Brooks all game which helped Aldon a couple times. You'd think it would be the other way around but teams continue to double-triple up that right side of the line. Again, we still struggle on short yardage, goal line situations, esp. in the RZ. I seriously think we still need a true 2-gap NT in there like the Packers have (three fatties in Raji & Jolly/Pickett who stuffed us all game inside). Williams/Dorsey rotated some. We'll see if Dobbs plays any snaps next game.
X-receiver. We need one. Granted, the triple-threat combo with Boldin, VD and McDonald is going to be the best in the league, we badly need someone at the X who is a big, reliable target. Williams is ideal for the slot but he's not meant for the X. Moore was used on one down? The team needs to look ar Baldwin, Patton or try Moore out for a full game and see what we have there. Williams was a very poor blocker on the edge all day and defenders were flooding in the backfield b/c of it. On the 4th down @ the 3-minute mark, Williams was slammed back INTO Boldin (picked him) and it lead to the ad-lib conversion. Williams isn't strong enough on the outside. Boldin was outstanding on his side though. We have to hit those deep balls esp. with Williams...wide open...that's a product of no time together in pre season.
Missed tackles. Nnamdi, Reid and Cox were the biggest ones but we had a TON this game!
Snyder. He actually came in as an extra blocker quite a bit. He did well on a couple short yardage plays but struggled containing the edge and esp. out in space (more on the left side). Couple his inability to contain his man and Williams inability to block out the DB you can see why the GB defense was flooding in the backfield on the edge and we continually lost yardage with both Gore and CK.
The Coaching: Good and Bad
Fangio. Isn't it obvious by now? When you play 15 yards off you will get burned every time esp. on 3rd downs and inside the RZ esp. by a guy like Rodgers. Playing off isn't our strength either! Quick outs, screens and flare passes continue to hurt us. We, for some reason, can't seem to get anyone out in the flats until 10 yards are picked up...sometimes that's the ILB's and others it's the CB or S. And the big one, one we should have learned from ALL last year and the Superbowl, when an offense is in the RZ, they are going to either run right up the middle or take a quick strike right down the middle of the field between the hash marks. Fail.
CB technique/coaching. Brown. Solid game but while he continues to stay with his CB, some 30-40 yards down field, he NEVER once turns his head around. Rogers does the same and is just slow (good run supporter though). His reaction time has diminished dramatically and continues to play half-asses IMHO (see :26 mark of the 4Q...40 yard gain, Rogers is CLUELESS...he and Whitner covering the same short man while his man runs wide open behind him for an easy catch). Reid had a very nice first game but took a few poor angles and didn't wrap up. Whitner continues to be very late in help and can't do anything outside the box and playing down hill. That said, it appeared we have moved him to deep center field and are allowing Reid to be our playmaker back there. This will catch up to us eventually if not corrected somehow. Also, Brown, when you get a free and legal shot on Rodgers, you TAKE IT!
Penalties. Constant false starts, off sides on the defense, personal fouls, untimely penalties, having to use all our TO's, being rushed to snap the ball, etc. Horrendous and inexcusable! If this continues next week up in Seattle, we'll have 50 false start penalties in the first Q and play right into their pass rush.
HaRoMan. What did I talk about for three years now? First down production! When this team gets 4+ yards or more, we are unstoppable and control the game. Yet we were CONSTANTLY in 2nd and (extra) longs. It was one-step backwards to start many downs. You tried to run Hunter inside against their beef and Gore outside (slow). Both fails. Once you FINALLY bounced Hunter off tackle and Gore in between the tackles, the game was in our hands. We had, what one screen pass? From the Q position, a screen pass to where Matthews was with both Miller and Staley out front would have demolished the Packers. Also, it seemed like we ran a ton on 1st downs and then were forced to pass on 2nd and long. This is an anti-WCO approach. We should be passing to set up the run on 2nd down (with the option to pass OR run then). Matthews. You may want to consider at least chipping him once in a while. He was in our backfield all game long for huge sacks or TFL. I also noticed that Matthews would wave signals to the other defenders based on our formations. They would seem to creep up inside the box and stuff our run. I think they figured out whether it was a run or pass based on our formations (ala the Rams, Ravens, etc.). Loved the bunch-receiver sets, VD in the Q-formation, the triple-Q, how they moved Boldin around a lot, etc.
Equipment staff. How many years have we played in Candlestick? For the love of God, could you teach our players to wear longer cleats so they can cut. Rogers looked like he was playing on ice skates trying his best not to slip when even slightly cutting. This should be a home field advantage for us!
Goldson, this is what happens when you leave a Superbowl team. You lose to the NY Jets. Congrats to Alex and their big day. 7 more wins to go!
[ Edited by NCommand on Sep 12, 2013 at 12:40 PM ]