I would like to make a couple of minor points before I delve into the major ones.
First quit blaming the defense. In fact praise the defense because the 1st half of this game they played like mad men. 10 out of 18 carries by Lynch in the first half were less than 3 yards. Wilson was 9/18. The 3rd down conversion rate was 31%. By my calculations they generated 5 pressures and 3 sacks in the 1st half.
Here are the 1st half drives.
- 3 and out
- 1st and 10 Lynch busts off 21 yard run. It was a very inventive play and Asomugha missed a tackle. 1 and 10 incomplete. 2 and 10 holding. 2 and 15 incomplete. 3 and 15 INT Reid.
- 3 and out
4 - They put a drive together and make it to SFs 33 yard line from their 32. 1 and 10 illegal formation. 1 and 15 5 yard run Turbin. 2 and 10 fumble recovered. 3 and 13 A Smith sack. Punt to our 3 yard line.
And then Miller holds in the EZ.
5 - 3 and out.
And then Kaepernick waves his hands in the air like he just don't care..... and get's stripped by Avril. Recovered by Wright at the 29 yard line.
6 - Seattle picks up one 1st down to the 12 and then another 3 and out. FG is good.
The defense pitched a shut out in the 1st half as far as I'm concerned. There's nothing wrong with our defense. You can reference the Green Bay all you want but the fact of the matter is Aaron Rodgers scores points, and it doesn't matter how good you are.
So why am I acting like the 1st half was the only half?
Because I don't think anything productive can come from analyzing the late 3rd/4th quarter play. I found nothing educational as far scheme or technique are concerned. All I saw was needless penalties that extended drives which led to points on the board. These we're not defensive assignment errors or alignment errors but individual choices that should not and better not happen again. So I'm going to pretend like they didn't happen along with that entire portion of the game.
So what happened to the offense?
The Hawks have one of the best secondaries I have ever seen, and we have a very raw WRs core. A core that is missing 2 of it's top 5 to injury. Seattles GP was man cover the depleted WR core and stack the box. I counted at least fifteen 8 man boxes when we were running 2 WRs. It wasn't just the extra man either. They knew where the point of attack was, and exactly how to defend it.
The first play for example was a big I formation(1wr,2te,1hb,1rb). Kaep under center handed the ball off to Gore who followed Millers lead. Chancellor put himself into the position to take Millers lead block so he can seal the edge and stretch the play out. This would allow Wagner/Wright to attack it from the side. Gore decided to cut back though, and make one of those inside bruiser runs. This is how I know they studied these running formation extensively. Wagner instinctively knew to crash the inside gap. He was completely clean and in perfect position too.
Now before people start flaming me just realize I'm not trying to say he sucks or anything. I point out things I notice. I wouldn't just say them to get a rise.
I think Gore is becoming one dimensional. First off Gores production suffered greatly under the front 8 of Seattle, and generally he has a good game against them. It's also concerning that he couldn't get it going against GB. He still has great vision but I believe he's slow getting to the edge. It doesn't even appear like he tries to get to the edge anymore. I wish I could get the stats for the game but I would be willing to bet a majority of his runs were up the middle Sunday. When he was trying to run the edge it's almost like he's moving in slow motion. Which is crazy because when he bursts up the middle it looks like he's covering 20 yards in 3 seconds.
Maybe it was the speed of the defense because the entire running game looked slow.
In the 3rd qtr Anthony Dixon got a carry, and he was able to bounce outside and run the edge for 5 yards. I couldn't help but think how much different this game would've been if we had a more agile and creative back to put in that could break the edge because Gore is looking pedestrian.
I guess what really I'm trying to say is I can't wait for LMJ to get back.
The real question is where the hell was Hunter?
He came in at the end of the 3rd for 1 snap. We could've really used a change of pace and I have absolutely no idea why he wasn't played more. He might've been hurt then he played a snap to see if he could play and couldn't. Then again there has been no reports at all so that can't be it.
Last and definitely not least.
Kaepernick had the worst game of his career. Maybe his worst game including the ones that haven't happened yet. His 1st interception in the RZ was a misread coverage. He thought it was man but it was zone so the corner drifted off his guy to get the tip. He tried to force the pass in. Something he is known to do quite, and dangerously I might add. I wonder how much different this game would've been had we gotten that TD. The worst part about it is that he KW on a crossing route. He most likely would've gotten tackled at the GL, but it was still a better option.
He also committed one my biggest QB pet peeves. He moved into pressure. At least 3 times the tackle would have the end blocked but Kaep would needlessly jump around and open up a rushing angle for the defender to run into. One of those 3 times he could've done a simple step up and avoided the pressure that really wasn't even close to getting there.
Also he seemed confused on what to do outside of the pocket. I counted 3 times where he should've just turned on the jets because he would've beaten the LB but instead he looks for the pass. He also tried a pump fake which was quite disheartening. If he wants to wait for the pass to develop then he needs to learn how to move in the pocket like a pure pocket passer. If he wants to escape the pocket he needs to take the game into his hands because he's a 1st down running machine.
Last probably most importantly Kaep needs to literally throw the short ball 500 times a day. He missed 5 short throws on Sunday. As I was watching him squander 1st down after 1st down I finally realized why we don't screen often. I love having Miller involved too because getting the FB involved in the passing game is always a plus, but if Kaep doesn't hit these flat/underneath/spill route throws we're going to see alot of stalled drives. In the I formation(2wr,1te,1fb,1rb) the FB through the rotations is left open underneath half the time.I think this game is a blessing in disguise for Kaepernick. Kaepernick/Harbuagh know what needs work. I mean could we honestly think Kaep was a finished product. I realize he's a "superstar" but on a real level this guy has only just begun. I find that encouraging.
Ultimately if I had to put blame on someone it would be the coaches. They had over 8 months to save us from another Centurylink embarrassment, and this is what they came up with. Absolutely 0 adjustment. They played right into Carrols hands. They played right into the strength of the Seattle defense.
One last thing I think Dorsey was incredible this game. It's unfortunate Williams is out for the year but I think Dorsey is going to step up big.
[ Edited by eonblue on Sep 19, 2013 at 12:41 AM ]