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My Top 5 Things That Will Make/Break Our SB Run

#5: Discipline and Penalties
It's been pretty disturbing how many penalties we've had early in the season. Offensively, it feels like we're not playing fundamentally well. The Rams game was an encouraging sign because they seem to be improving. On defense, we have a lot of Unnecessary Roughness calls for illegal hits, justified or not (Donte Hitner). And overall, extracurricular activity after the whistle. It's incredibly annoying because it feels like our guys are just defending or retaliating to cheap shots from opposing players (Example: Clay Matthews and the Packers). Our team definitely has taken some of Coach Harbaugh's hot-headedness. Even though it's not always their fault, it's always the second guy who gets flagged.

#4: Greg Roman's Playcalling at Pivotal Moments
I think everyone knows what I'm talking about when I say "4th and 6." Many people weren't fans of Roman's playcalling in the Super Bowl, and that's honestly been the one blemish in his career as the 49ers' OC. He has the most brilliant moments at times, but then other times, we wonder what he's thinking.

#3: Late Season/Playoff Defense
Despite giving up a lot of yardage and points early on this season, the unit still looks great. Their problems have been more about the offense's deficiencies. The Rams game was more about what they're all about. Despite that, it all depends on how the coaching staff manages our defense late in the season. One of the bigger criticisms of last season was that our veterans played too much and were understandably gassed by the late season and playoffs. It feels like the coaching staff is resting our guys more, but the defense's performance late in the season will be important.

#2: Wide Receiver Situation
If we didn't have Anquan Boldin, we'd be in a lot of trouble. A.J. Jenkins didn't pan out, while Crabtree, Manningham, and now Patton are all injured. I have no doubt in my mind that when Manningham and Crabtree return, our offense will explode, but the question is... how many games will our receiving corps cost us until they're here? We're 2 games behind the Seahawks (IMO the #1 obstacle to the Super Bowl) and the WR situation is going to be important in the middle of the season. I've been unimpressed with what Kyle Williams and Marlon Moore have been able to do. But with Jon Baldwin getting traded to us and learning the offense, I think he's our one hope in being that #2 guy to Boldin, until Crabtree and Manningham get here.

#1: Seattle Seahawks (and Denver Broncos)
The beginning of this season's Seattle game offered some hope, because we had some opportunities. There's a chance to win there if we have Crabtree & Boldin, a third WR steps up (between Manningham and Baldwin), VD & Frank Gore do what they always do, and the defense plays stingy... In other words, our team has to be complete and we have to be perfect. But during the playoffs, I just don't know how it's going to go. Quite honestly, I don't know if we can win in Seattle.

We have to hope that we can catch up to them over the course of the regular season and eventually beat Seattle in our home game to clinch the division. And then if we beat the Seahawks and make it to the Super Bowl, there's still the Broncos, who have looked invincible this season.

Thoughts?
IMO, #1

Injuries

If we lose Staley and or Davis we're in deep poop.

If we lose Justin again, we're in deeper doo-doo

If Boldin goes down we're toast

and the list goes on.
1. Penalties
2. Injuries
3. Playing in Seattle in the playoffs.

If we can somehow fight back and tie Seattle, I think the 9ers have the division tiebreaker if things remain the way they are. Seattle was considered to have the tougher schedule, but that was mainly due to 10 am games. They have the Giants and Vikings, Niners have the Redskins and Packers. So far, the 9ers seem to have the tougher schedule. That said, the 9ers have the toughest single game, the Saints in NO.

all assuming the tie breaker procedures reach SOS and the 9ers beat Seattle in SFO

Texans loss to Seattle was HUGE.
We will outperform seattle through the rest of the season, though they will get more handed games to them in their stadium that do not represent their real limits.

Our real challenge is the WR position which was slated to be dynamite before the injury to Crabtree. Williams sucks and the rest are debatable other than Boldin.

What will make the season are the obvious realizations of the staff in the last game that the game plan has to change which they are doing, the return of Crabtree and Manningham, Baldwin continuing to step up.

Those things happen and we are fine headed into the playoffs.
Yes I would agree with that list, along with keeping guys healthy. Also if Seattle gets home field playoff advantage and the refs continue to let their secondary play the way they play then it's a wrap for our superbowl hopes. It's too difficult to win in Seattle. You can't do anything on offense because of the noise and because your receivers will never get any separation because they get mugged throughout their route.

On an even playing field and if both have healthy teams, we are better than Seattle.
Originally posted by Wubbie:
#5: Discipline and Penalties
It's been pretty disturbing how many penalties we've had early in the season. Offensively, it feels like we're not playing fundamentally well. The Rams game was an encouraging sign because they seem to be improving. On defense, we have a lot of Unnecessary Roughness calls for illegal hits, justified or not (Donte Hitner). And overall, extracurricular activity after the whistle. It's incredibly annoying because it feels like our guys are just defending or retaliating to cheap shots from opposing players (Example: Clay Matthews and the Packers). Our team definitely has taken some of Coach Harbaugh's hot-headedness. Even though it's not always their fault, it's always the second guy who gets flagged.

#4: Greg Roman's Playcalling at Pivotal Moments
I think everyone knows what I'm talking about when I say "4th and 6." Many people weren't fans of Roman's playcalling in the Super Bowl, and that's honestly been the one blemish in his career as the 49ers' OC. He has the most brilliant moments at times, but then other times, we wonder what he's thinking.

#3: Late Season/Playoff Defense
Despite giving up a lot of yardage and points early on this season, the unit still looks great. Their problems have been more about the offense's deficiencies. The Rams game was more about what they're all about. Despite that, it all depends on how the coaching staff manages our defense late in the season. One of the bigger criticisms of last season was that our veterans played too much and were understandably gassed by the late season and playoffs. It feels like the coaching staff is resting our guys more, but the defense's performance late in the season will be important.

#2: Wide Receiver Situation
If we didn't have Anquan Boldin, we'd be in a lot of trouble. A.J. Jenkins didn't pan out, while Crabtree, Manningham, and now Patton are all injured. I have no doubt in my mind that when Manningham and Crabtree return, our offense will explode, but the question is... how many games will our receiving corps cost us until they're here? We're 2 games behind the Seahawks (IMO the #1 obstacle to the Super Bowl) and the WR situation is going to be important in the middle of the season. I've been unimpressed with what Kyle Williams and Marlon Moore have been able to do. But with Jon Baldwin getting traded to us and learning the offense, I think he's our one hope in being that #2 guy to Boldin, until Crabtree and Manningham get here.

#1: Seattle Seahawks (and Denver Broncos)
The beginning of this season's Seattle game offered some hope, because we had some opportunities. There's a chance to win there if we have Crabtree & Boldin, a third WR steps up (between Manningham and Baldwin), VD & Frank Gore do what they always do, and the defense plays stingy... In other words, our team has to be complete and we have to be perfect. But during the playoffs, I just don't know how it's going to go. Quite honestly, I don't know if we can win in Seattle.

We have to hope that we can catch up to them over the course of the regular season and eventually beat Seattle in our home game to clinch the division. And then if we beat the Seahawks and make it to the Super Bowl, there's still the Broncos, who have looked invincible this season.

Thoughts?

#1-We Simply Not a Superbowl Team This Year-So far this season, with the exception of Green Bay, we are not playing at a Superbowl level across the board. Yes, there have been many injuries, WR, being the most glaring. But go read Phoenix's thread on PFF 49er rankings. It validates what our eyes have been showing us as we watch this team. Our player rankings are for the most part down from 2012 and 2011. This team is simply not performing at the same level, even on a player by player level. We've lost out edge. Superbowl Loser Hangover? Regression to the Mean? It is hard for any team to play at the level we did for the past two seasons on an ongoing basis. We may get it going again later when we get some players back and the team synergy and overall intensity may return. That is our only hope. Right now, no way we beat the Seahawks or the Broncos, and there's plenty of other teams that we would have easily handled last year that can now beat us on any given sunday.
[ Edited by barrymartin on Oct 4, 2013 at 2:34 PM ]
  • Antix
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 4,560
I think our strategy needs to be this.

We just need to maintain, get better slowly and get in as a wildcard. The real season starts in December. If we can be playing our best ball then with momentum, we have the veteran experience to make it happen.

Meanwhile obviously Kap needs to get better which I think he'll do. But a lot of that I believe is play calling. Roman is a schizo.

Defense just needs to maintain and pray for no significant injuries.
Forgot Kap and his inexperience is huge. Weather people want to admit it or not this is a big factor. Especially if they stop Gore and our run game.
I don't think we are going this year honestly. Injuries, Dui's, rehab, the Seahawks look really tough. We are looking at a wildcard. And Kaep has regressed.
Originally posted by SanDiego49er:
I don't think we are going this year honestly. Injuries, Dui's, rehab, the Seahawks look really tough. We are looking at a wildcard. And Kaep has regressed.

a wildcard still gets you in to the playoffs last time i checked and wild card teams have been kicking ass the last few years. kap hasnt regressed, we dont have his top three WRs from last year and roman's game planning hasnt been up to par. Kap will be just fine. im not ready to give seattle the nfc west before week 5 has even been played. theres still 12 games to be played, anything can happen. its not out of the realm of possibility for seattle to get hit with a ton of injuries just like we did
  • Antix
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 4,560
Originally posted by hondakillerzx:
a wildcard still gets you in to the playoffs last time i checked and wild card teams have been kicking ass the last few years. kap hasnt regressed, we dont have his top three WRs from last year and roman's game planning hasnt been up to par. Kap will be just fine. im not ready to give seattle the nfc west before week 5 has even been played. theres still 12 games to be played, anything can happen. its not out of the realm of possibility for seattle to get hit with a ton of injuries just like we did

Agreed. Its so early in the season. So much stuff is gonna happen. It's a marathon and we need to be reaching peak in December not October
Originally posted by Antix:
Originally posted by hondakillerzx:
a wildcard still gets you in to the playoffs last time i checked and wild card teams have been kicking ass the last few years. kap hasnt regressed, we dont have his top three WRs from last year and roman's game planning hasnt been up to par. Kap will be just fine. im not ready to give seattle the nfc west before week 5 has even been played. theres still 12 games to be played, anything can happen. its not out of the realm of possibility for seattle to get hit with a ton of injuries just like we did

Agreed. Its so early in the season. So much stuff is gonna happen. It's a marathon and we need to be reaching peak in December not October
exactly. were starting to get guys back already, in a few weeks the PUP guys are eligible to come back so we can potentially get back manningham, caradine, wright possibly even crabs and lattimore later on if theyre healthy. plus aldon comes back in a few weeks. were in good shape for a late push
we need to be fysical
I feel like a majority of teams have kinks or work out at some time in the season and it obviously benefits teams when they find them out early and get them fixed early. Barring some bad luck, I think we'll hit our stride when we have to.

Right now we don't look any better than a .500 team (which we are, technically).
I think as long as we are healthy at the end of the year we will definitely make a good SB run. This team has shown it can win on the road despite the Seattle game which was winnable IMO.