Originally posted by bzborow1:
The problem the 49ers have is one of identity. When Smith was under center he was limited, which forced the 49ers to draft players and develop an identity of pounding the rock. Kaep comes along and all of a sudden that type of offense actually limits his abilities. I think the team needs to better define what it is on offense is their core competitive advantage and focus on that.
The other problem was Seattle just matches up well because they can single cover the receivers keep everyone else in the box against us. So far, they haven't figure out a way to force Seattle off that tactic.
The 49er defense played pretty well considering how bad the offense was. It was apparent the impact the loss of Reid had as Seattle really started to get things going after he left.
Week 14 should be good if Crabtree and Manningham return and play well. Crabtree, Boldin, Manningham, Davis is much better than the guys we trotted out there last night.
Blaming Smith for the lack of a running game now is disingenuous at best. (I could say something else but I won't) The truth is; Harbaugh has always been about a power running game with passing thrown in to keep it balanced. Of course that presumes that you must have credible WR threats. Indeed, the FO sought to provide that threat. They got lucky and Crabtree fell to them. He has developed into an effective blocker but he was drafted to present a bona fide target for Alex Smith. We all know about his hold out and lack of training camp experience up until last season, however, that had nothing to do with Smith. The bottom line is; Baalke/Harbaugh saw the need for a top tier receiver. Of course, along the way the further demonstrated that need by drafting Kyle Williams along with signing Moss and Manningham and drafting Jenkins, all of which happened while Alex Smith was still the starter...and all those moves were designed to build a DOWNFIELD passing game. The fact injuries and age precluded that happening is not the fault of the QB nor did it change the strategy of the run game.
I agree with you that Seattle matches up well, however I would state it in reverse: the 49ers, with their present lack of credible wide receivers, just does not match up well against the Seahawks. That will not change no matter who is the QB until we get a healthy group of wide receivers that demand Seattle put 4 secondary players in the defensive backfield and only 7 at the LOS. Your hope that we get that for the next meeting in December will be critical to whether or not the offense can carry their weight against the Seahawk defense.
In all this, it IS worth noting that there must be a complete and balanced offense if you are to beat Seattle. Alex Smith did a good job against most teams but in the playoffs, such as the NYG game, against a good secondary that took MC away, the passing game floundered. Then last season Crabtree got healthy, got all the way through training camp and became a weapon. Both Smith and Kaepernick made good use of him, CK more so because of his unusual arm strength. Now this year, without Crabtree, Kapernick performed poorly against a good secondary, in large part because we are back to the same problem as when Alex was at QB: lack of quality wide receivers. You MUST have both if you are to win against a good team. Kaepernick alone, as we learned last night, cannot turn Anquan Boldin into Larry Fitzgerald just because he has a cannon. That will not change.
Of course there is the other matter of play design and play calling...