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Please tell me the defense is the problem.

Yep, not to mention that in Seattle if we get that TD it would have been 12-7 I believe early in the 4th. Then with the Colts the same thing was like 13-7 until middle of the 4th when the offense wasn't doing there job and we crumbled because of it. Not saying the defense hasn't been to blame a little too. We aren't the 2011 defense anymore so we are expecting the offense to be better than the 2011 offense and the last 2 games it hasn't been. I figured we would see some more shoot outs and our defense would let up from 2011 but it would equal out since or offense would be more explosive. If our offense doesn't step up then we are in trouble because this isn't the 2011 defense anymore and they can't hold teams to like 13-15 on average a game.
it just hasnt been as solid as it was the past couple of years. where are the turnovers? i'm also expecting next to nothing from dial and carradine. its cute to think they will, but reality is they're both rookies coming off of pretty signifficant injuries and neither one of them has even practiced at the nfl level yet. tough for me to imagine them jumping right in while this thing is moving on the fly.
[ Edited by crabman82 on Sep 25, 2013 at 8:28 AM ]
  • BobS
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 7,324
I think Harbaugh's philosophy of the defensive trench players taking a lot of snaps really backfires in games where the offense does not control time of possession. As anyone who has played the game or closely familiar with it knows, d-line or linebacker positions are way more physically demanding than anything on the other side of the ball. As anyone who has played any sport that requires physical exertion knows, if you are extremely fatigued a well rested person of less ability can perform better than you. One knock on Harbaugh to me is the lack of rotating players in and out and clearing the bench in blow outs. It would keep the starters fresher and reward some of the lesser players for their efforts in practice. Their is no reason the whole third team should not be on the field with a 3 TD separation on the score board with 4 minutes left.
Originally posted by BobS:
I think Harbaugh's philosophy of the defensive trench players taking a lot of snaps really backfires in games where the offense does not control time of possession. As anyone who has played the game or closely familiar with it knows, d-line or linebacker positions are way more physically demanding than anything on the other side of the ball. As anyone who has played any sport that requires physical exertion knows, if you are extremely fatigued a well rested person of less ability can perform better than you. One knock on Harbaugh to me is the lack of rotating players in and out and clearing the bench in blow outs. It would keep the starters fresher and reward some of the lesser players for their efforts in practice. Their is no reason the whole third team should not be on the field with a 3 TD separation on the score board with 4 minutes left.

i agree completely about the substitution thing. its set up so the starters take most if not all of the snaps so when a dude goes down with injury or whatever, the replacement has had next to no time to get his feet wet.
Originally posted by BobS:
I think Harbaugh's philosophy of the defensive trench players taking a lot of snaps really backfires in games where the offense does not control time of possession. As anyone who has played the game or closely familiar with it knows, d-line or linebacker positions are way more physically demanding than anything on the other side of the ball. As anyone who has played any sport that requires physical exertion knows, if you are extremely fatigued a well rested person of less ability can perform better than you. One knock on Harbaugh to me is the lack of rotating players in and out and clearing the bench in blow outs. It would keep the starters fresher and reward some of the lesser players for their efforts in practice. Their is no reason the whole third team should not be on the field with a 3 TD separation on the score board with 4 minutes left.

I'm not sure if it's Fangio's call or Harbaugh's call. You would think though if Harbaugh didn't like it he could have said something to Fangio since he has final say. Right now we just don't have the backups to rotate but last year should have done more of it with RJF, Dobbs, Tukuafu and Ian Williams as backups. This year Dobbs and Jerod-Eddie are all we have and both are pretty average. Especially Jerod-Eddie. That being said you are right though a bunch of games last year we still had a lot of the starters in on defense when we were up really big. Once the game is completely out of reach we should be sitting down the entire defense. Not just Justin and one or 2 other guys. Don't see us having to worry about that problem the way we are playing right now though. As for substituting I have seen Dobbs and Jerod-Eddie in at critical times so we might be rotating a little more but again we could really use Carradine and Dial right now. We don't have a backup who can consistently get pressure or I think we would sit Smith and McDonald a little more. Maybe we end up trading for a guy because even if Carradine and Dial come back healthy they will have had no playing time or practice time what so ever. Would be nice if we had the cap room for a guy like Seymour and would be nice if he'd come down in price to play on a good team. He's about the money though; he's won his rings.
Sorry, won't do it.
Originally posted by NCommand:
Not much of a big-picture perspective here. Everyone acknowledges that the offense is the worst of the two units by far right now and there is no question the offenses ineptitude is greatly affecting the defense as a result BUT don't discount the fact that this defense has some serious issues as well. We went through all of this in the Alex years as well. The "tired" excuse is just that...an excuse.

We have far more depth than we did last year, we're only 3 games into the season, we are probably the most well-conditioned team in the NFL yet the defense can't get off the field against power running teams (perpetual problem of ours dating back 3 years now) and as a result, don't help their own cause. If they completely imploded late in the 4th quarter, this would be more believable but they are consistently getting pounded throughout. As a result, both Smith's have been neautralized in the pass rush department b/c teams run right at them, they have a knack for getting the worst kinds of penalties at the worst times, it's an easy run right up the gut for a TD every time inside the 10, constant missed tackles, ILB's getting washed out d/t the push from the OL's against our DL, Brown getting schooled and stiff-armed by Luck, Whitner is a sift in coverage, Rogers continues to play half-assed and aside from Reid, has anyone else even knocked down a pass let alone come close to an INT or strip? And d/t the vanilla scheme and next-to-nothing rotation, guys are starting to get hurt b/c they are desperate and taking chances, getting worn down, (Nnamdi, Willis, Williams, etc.).
Disagree.

The Colts only had 13 points with 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter; the longest run of the game was Bradshaw's 27 yard run, which came just following the penalty that kept that drive alive (without that carry, he only averaged 3.7 YPC). 14 of their 27 points in that game came with like 5 minutes left.

Same with the Seattle game. The defense had only allowed 3 points at half. Lynch had only 3.5 yards per carry the whole game.

I don't think it's fair to say we're getting "consistently pounded". There is a huge disparity in time of possession which allows other teams to pick up a large volume of plays, but they are not racking up consistent quality plays. The latter would be a sign of a defensive weakness.
  • cciowa
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 22,945
i do not like the way the colts took the ball on the first drive against what should have been a rested motivated defense and marched down the field unmolested. better hope that does not happen tomorrow night,, and for gods sake, lets tackle well for four quarters
I have been happy with the defense outside of a few plays here and there. As we all know, they are just on the field way too damn much. The offense can not sustain any drives on a regular basis.

The only thing I am upset about with the defense is the drive continuing penalties. Need to clean those up.

Also, the injuries we have on that front now. That could cause them some issues going forward.
Originally posted by theduke85:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Not much of a big-picture perspective here. Everyone acknowledges that the offense is the worst of the two units by far right now and there is no question the offenses ineptitude is greatly affecting the defense as a result BUT don't discount the fact that this defense has some serious issues as well. We went through all of this in the Alex years as well. The "tired" excuse is just that...an excuse.

We have far more depth than we did last year, we're only 3 games into the season, we are probably the most well-conditioned team in the NFL yet the defense can't get off the field against power running teams (perpetual problem of ours dating back 3 years now) and as a result, don't help their own cause. If they completely imploded late in the 4th quarter, this would be more believable but they are consistently getting pounded throughout. As a result, both Smith's have been neautralized in the pass rush department b/c teams run right at them, they have a knack for getting the worst kinds of penalties at the worst times, it's an easy run right up the gut for a TD every time inside the 10, constant missed tackles, ILB's getting washed out d/t the push from the OL's against our DL, Brown getting schooled and stiff-armed by Luck, Whitner is a sift in coverage, Rogers continues to play half-assed and aside from Reid, has anyone else even knocked down a pass let alone come close to an INT or strip? And d/t the vanilla scheme and next-to-nothing rotation, guys are starting to get hurt b/c they are desperate and taking chances, getting worn down, (Nnamdi, Willis, Williams, etc.).
Disagree.

The Colts only had 13 points with 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter; the longest run of the game was Bradshaw's 27 yard run, which came just following the penalty that kept that drive alive (without that carry, he only averaged 3.7 YPC). 14 of their 27 points in that game came with like 5 minutes left.

Same with the Seattle game. The defense had only allowed 3 points at half. Lynch had only 3.5 yards per carry the whole game.

I don't think it's fair to say we're getting "consistently pounded". There is a huge disparity in time of possession which allows other teams to pick up a large volume of plays, but they are not racking up consistent quality plays. The latter would be a sign of a defensive weakness.

It's OK to disagree...it's a matter of "degree" to me. When a team is averaging 4-5 yards a run "collectively," whether the defense "breaks" at the beginning of the game (first TD drive by the Colts) or the end of the game (Seattle/Colts) it's a pretty good sign your front 7 is getting beat by the OL and power running game. I'm very proud of their 3rd down efforts though...many of those stops are within 3 yards or less and THAT is impressve. All the other defensive issues have already been stated. The bottom line is, we're not the defense that won't give up the TD anymore but they will be good enough to keep us in most games no matter what the offense does or doesn't do.
Originally posted by eonblue:
I don't think the offense is incapable of scoring. In fact I think we're very capable of managing the TOP. The coaching staff just needs to take a step backwards.

I don't think we're lost with 99. What about 94,91,90,52,53,35,22,25,26? Asomugha and Brown are ranked #3 and #5 in the league according to PFF. Reid will only get better as the season progresses. Carradine,Dial, and Wright in 3 weeks hopefully. Things are low now but we have to stay at .500. I hate referencing the Giants but they are the poster child of the late season run. If everyone can stay healthy and the offense can win some games we can peak at the end of the season. PLEASE BELIEVE!

I BELIEVE! A team evolves into championship form. No team sustains a peak level of play for 19 weeks. Especially a team that has played as much football as the 49ers have over the past 2 seasons (NFCC, SB). There are peaks and valleys throughout the course of a season. It may not be conventional, but it has been shown to work with several recent SB winners.
Originally posted by eonblue:
Couple of stats for you statistical junkies.

TOP vs Seattle 24min
3/13 3rd down conversion

Offensive snap count vs Seattle - 53
Defensive snap count - 76

TOP vs Colts 23 mins
3/12 3rd down conversions

Offensive snap count vs Indy - 53
Defensive snap count vs Indy - 72

The defense is giving up 333 YPG/999 total yards which is 21st in the league. The defense is giving up 5.3 YPP. If Seattle snap counts were switched around the defense gives up 119 yards less.If Indy snap counts were switched around the defense gives up 104 less yards. Logically you can say more time equals more snaps equals more yards. So instead of 999 yard on the season we have 777 on the season which is 259 YPG. That's #3 in the league.

We controlled the clock against GB. 38min of possession and we gave up 3.2 YPC. That's a top 3 number. I believe 100% this is a top 5 defense but the lack of offense has allowed teams to run the ball/run the clock. The offense is allowing the other team to control the rhythm of the game, and this has never been a winning formula for the Niners. The offense is 29th in the league in offensive plays. 23rd in TOP. 29th in 1st downs made. 2nd in penalties. 29th in TO margin. 29th in PPG.

I welcome anyone to convince me the defense is the problem.


Again I ask, who is saying defense is the problem?

And you're being a bit selective in your use of statistics. If you want to present a more balanced picture, then perhaps mention the defense ranks very low in 3rd down %, 1st downs by penalty, rushing 1st downs, rush yds, rushing TDs, turnovers, and points allowed. Are you actually suggesting this is all simply a result of the defense being "tired" because of the terrible 49ers offense? Then you'll need to explain the missed tackles and all the rushing yards surrendered in the first half of the last two games.

You're right, the 49ers did control the clock vs GB. Yet, GB was able to score 4 TDs with only 21 mins TOP...sure, one can just brush it aside by saying it's Aaron Rodgers, so just chalk it up to that and nothing to worry about. But one thing that stood out to me was that in the 4th qtr of that game, after being bottled up most of the game, Lacy started getting 5 ypc.

Have you noticed the 49ers are in nickel a lot? They are and teams are exploiting that on the ground. There's no NT, and then depending on offensive formation, only 6 or 7 in the box. Even when there's 7, one of them is usually a CB (Rogers)...safeties offer little support because they are both lined up 15 yds off the LOS. This creates blocking mismatches and the 49ers have been losing those battles a lot more than they've won them. I don't know the actual stat, but my guess is between the tackles they're surrendering well over 5 ypc, Lynch/Turbin were somewhere around 8-9, and Seahawks had 100+ yds in the 1st half, Colts had ~65 yds rushing in 1st half...it's when teams try to run wide with stretch plays, sweeps, etc. that they encounter the 49ers' strength, which is lateral speed and ability to set an edge (Brooks is very good).

All that said, yes, the 49ers were in the last 2 games up until the 4th qtr. But does that mean we should just ignore some of the negatives leading up to those points of the game all because the scores were still close? And YES, they will look better once the offense starts to click again. But the strength of this defense has been the front 7 and right now they're struggling...and losing A Smith doesn't help. I do think they can get back to Top 10, even Top 5 form, but it's going to take more than just the offense playing better...there are things that need to be cleaned up on defense, and from my armchair I'd say the top 4 are fewer penalties, better tackling, create turnovers, and improved rush D in the nickel.
  • JP49
  • Member
  • Posts: 37
The problem is about the team, both sides of the ball, stop arguing and support your team!

Go niners!
Originally posted by NCommand:
Not much of a big-picture perspective here. Everyone acknowledges that the offense is the worst of the two units by far right now and there is no question the offenses ineptitude is greatly affecting the defense as a result BUT don't discount the fact that this defense has some serious issues as well. We went through all of this in the Alex years as well. The "tired" excuse is just that...an excuse.

We have far more depth than we did last year, we're only 3 games into the season, we are probably the most well-conditioned team in the NFL yet the defense can't get off the field against power running teams (perpetual problem of ours dating back 3 years now) and as a result, don't help their own cause. If they completely imploded late in the 4th quarter, this would be more believable but they are consistently getting pounded throughout. As a result, both Smith's have been neautralized in the pass rush department b/c teams run right at them, they have a knack for getting the worst kinds of penalties at the worst times, it's an easy run right up the gut for a TD every time inside the 10, constant missed tackles, ILB's getting washed out d/t the push from the OL's against our DL, Brown getting schooled and stiff-armed by Luck, Whitner is a sift in coverage, Rogers continues to play half-assed and aside from Reid, has anyone else even knocked down a pass let alone come close to an INT or strip? And d/t the vanilla scheme and next-to-nothing rotation, guys are starting to get hurt b/c they are desperate and taking chances, getting worn down, (Nnamdi, Willis, Williams, etc.).

We get it...the offense blows right now...but if you want to ignore the defensive woes b/c the offense is more salient right now and isn't putting up the 34+ points a game to mask it, go for it...but to me, that's just repeating history here.

1st bold.

Seattles 1st half.

  1. 3 and out.
  2. 5 plays 19 yards. INT Reid.
  3. 3 and out.
  4. 8 plays 43 yards. Sack A. Smith on 3rd down for a loss of 8.
  5. 3 and out
  6. 6 plays 17 yards. Kaep fumbles and Wright recovers returning it to the SF 29. Clearly they're going to turn this turnover into a TD right? FG.

How is holding Seattle to FG after they cause a fumble not the epitome of being able to get off the field against a power running team? How are three 3 and outs?
This was the only offensive score of the 1st half.

2nd bold.

Offensive possessions in the 4th qtr against Indy?

  1. 3 and out.
  2. 3 and fumbled/recovered Conner on the SF 8 yard line.Defense has problems though and can't hold. TD.
  3. 9 plays 67 yard. INT with :34 left on the clock.

Offensive possessions in the 4th qtr against Seattle?

  1. 1st and INT Sherman returned to the SF 25. Defense hold for a FG.
  2. 10 plays 54 yards
  3. 3rd and INT Chancellor returned to the SF 2. TD.

Actually implosion pretty much sums it up. Seattle scores 12 points in the 1st three quarters and 17 in the 4th. Indy scores 13 in the 1st three quarters and 14 in the 4th. The offensive directly leads 17 points in the 4th quarter being scored over these 2 losses. You cannot not tell me they can't get off the field against power running teams because bold #1 clearly shows their ability to stop a very potent power running team in Seattle.The offense is falling apart and it's overflowing onto the defense.I mean 12 points in the 1st three quarters against Seattle(2 of which come from an offensive safety) and 13 in the first 3 quarters against Indy. What more do you honestly want?

3rd bold.

A majority of this comment is hyperbole. The larger part of it is predicated on assumptions. The defense is 11th in the league in tackles, 15th in the league in sacks, and 18th in PD. So that's vanilla scheme? The problem is your assuming these stats equal a good defensive display and that's simply not the case. Yes, a turnover would be nice especially when your offense can't do/create/score but you can't fault a defense for not doing it. Fangio likes to keep everything underneath him therefore he rarely takes chances. This is nothing new.

4th bold.

I never said the offense had to put up 34+ points. Maybe against the Packers it was necessary but it definitely wasn't against the Colts or Hawks. A single TD could've won that Colts game. More than scores the issue I'm trying to highlight is sustaining drives and eliminating these VERY costly turnovers because the defense is putting the ball into the offenses hands therefore doing it's job.
[ Edited by eonblue on Sep 25, 2013 at 11:13 AM ]
Stats mean nothing without context.

The context: Time of possession and field position have been our enemy thus far.
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