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No need to panic: 49ers will be fine

Originally posted by NinerGM:
1. Gore has been running great and on 3rd and 1 yard you bring in Hunter to get the one yard. Fumble lost, ends drive.
Hunter's job is to spell Gore. It's not Roman who fumbles the ball. Hunter can fumble the ball at any time as has Gore. If you think Hunter is so bad that he can't do his job of spelling Gore like he has been for the past 2.5 seasons, then come out and say on record you want him cut.

2. 1st and 10 on the 14 towards the end of the 2nd, you call a slant pass to Boldin that completes for 9 yards. You follow that up with a play call that hasn't worked on time all game; zone-read formation, play-action pass attempt to a deep receiver. As usual, pass protection doesn't hold, Kap is chased and tackled for a huge lose. It's 3rd and 14 and you call a screen to Kyle Williams that goes for 9 yards. Tell me what's wrong with this series.
Your offense is a running offense, teams gameplan against the running. Why would you not call play action plays, especially on 2nd and 1 when everyone assumes you're running? You point out that this certain type of pass play hasn't worked all game but really when your pass offense is dead last in the league do ANY passing plays "work?" At some point the QB takes some responsibility for that no? Yes, you can call plays based on what worked for a grand total of two times just like you can call plays based on scheme and based on what you think their defense is expecting.

Screen on 3rd and 14 is not a bad call. The problem you and Roman-blamers is that your reasoning for everything is just "it didn't work." Screens are sensible when you are expecting a blitz (and the Panthers had been blitzing quite a lot) because the rushers are all gunning for the QB but your whole line is moving to set up the side the screen is happening. Blitzers are theoretically caught off guard when the quick pass goes out and the blockers keep the rushers from pursuing the receiver. No, it didn't work there and that sucked but there is nothing INHERENTLY wrong with a screen pass in that situation.

3. Gore has 12 carries 61 yards at the half. For the remainder of the game Gore has 3 carries for 9 yards?
Three carries is quite a bit low which I agree with completely, but you would expect to see less runs when so many of those drives started with penalties and sacks for major loss on 1st down.

4. 2 slants called the entire passing game; one to Boldin for 9 yards, one to Manningham for 8 yards but was called back for a "pick" by Boldin. The offense would never call another slant.
I won't lie and say I watched the game so closely that I know for sure that only 2 slants were called all game. Not saying you are, and if you're right than perhaps more are what the doctor ordered.

5. The one pass option that was consistently open all game; RB out of the backfield over the middle - this was thrown no more than 3x, never to Hunter, never to LMJ who is all-world in space (which is the reason why he's so good with punt returns).
I'm not sure if you're saying the RBs got loose and weren't thrown to or there were too few plays that called for RBs to run receiving routes out of the backfield. If it is the former, than Roman should've thrown....oh wait I mean Kaep should've thrown to them. If it is the latter, the decision has to do with blitz pickup. You already lost Vernon Davis, the best blocking TE in the league, and not leaving your back in to pickup the blitz is dangerous especially when the blitz has already busted so many pass plays.

6.We have 3 of the better running backs all on the same team yet in our offensive sets, never 2 are on the field at the same time; and you almost never see LMJ as a receiver (despite being a punt returner which requires catching skills).
Not to overstate my last point, but when you consider how poor the offense responded to blitzes today, taking out the FB to put in two RBs is a really bad idea. If Hunter and LMJ were as good as Gore in blitz pickup, sure, but everytime the defense sees two RBs in the backfield they have to be salivating at the process of rushing more than four. Now, just like for your 5th point, if Kaepernick had shown any ability to make the quick throw after hiking to beat the blitz, then sure run more RBs out past the LOS and get some quick yards. Unfortunately, Kaepernick couldn't see a blitz coming if a neon sign saying "BLITZ COMING" was in his face, so you really trust him to do any better with less blockers in the pocket?


These are the 6 examples I could think of from memory. I'm sure other Zoners have others.

At the very least these call Roman's play-calling into question. At the very worst it begs the question if Harbaugh will do something about a recurring problem where we stop running, have not short to intermediate passing game, and if the coaches are encouraging Kap to take the big play at every opportunity vs. taking what the D gives him. In any event, someone isn't getting the message through and it's clear Colin isn't prepared or the offensive scheme didn't assume Carolina could generate the pressure it did. The game plan never changed. Plays that didn't work in the 1st Q, we were still running in the 3rd as if we didn't try it the first 15 times without success. Insanity.
It's easy to blame the play-caller and say the calls were bad because they didn't work. The problem is you need players to make them work. If there's any problem with the coaching staff it's maybe not coaching Kaepernick to be a better QB than he is right now.
No need to panic: 49ers will be fine?? Are you kidding?? Every loss this year was against potential playoff team.. Two of those at home. Besides Gore and Davis, we have no offensive playmakers. Gore and Davis have been around before Harbalke. (so has Crabtree). You are all dreaming. Wake up. We haven't drafted one single playmaker since Harbalke took over and free agent offensive players have are not playng or have been released. The front offense looks like a turnstile for rejects and below avg players. Even Colin Kapaernick is overrated. This is a problem is much deeper than the game on the field. It's goes all the way to the GM's inability to draft playmakers and bring free agent playmakers. This a joke... AJ Jenkins, La Michael james etc...We have done nothing in three years to shore up our offense. If we had injuries to WRs..go out and get someone else who is able stay on the field and make some plays instead of Marlon Moore, whose gone, Kyle Williams, the Chad Halls, the Austin Collies, etc.
Originally posted by smithgdwg:
LOL, we have NO OFFENSE. Seattle is going to run away with the division, and Carolina will take the wildcard.

The good news, we should be good to compete again next year if Kap can figure out how to throw or we replace him with someone better.

Guess you haven't heard that there's 2 wild card spots?
if we would just run a regular offense we'd be fine.

if we didn't try to be so cute about everything we'd be fine.

if we just ran with power play action pass give multiple options on routes kap would be just fine.

jim greg and kap are failing the entire team.

i wonder if they realize they are the ones at fault... when you say you have to execute better you don't think there was a problem with the game plan.

and if you don't see in a game like this that running is key and vital and could mean the difference between field position and number of possessions then something is wrong on a fundamental level. we have been here before with 2 losses for the same reasons can anyone explain to me why there was a 3rd time to try it if the first 2 failed miserably?

even if he called a game like the packers game i could say ok it worked let's try it again but they're not even doing that
already wasted a super bowl appearance. now you're doing to waste a defense playing elite
you hold a team to 10 points scoring on 2 possessions the entire game, you should win.
Originally posted by mutant-man49:
Guess you haven't heard that there's 2 wild card spots?


Don't look now but the Cardinals are right on the 49ers heels.
We're one loss to a hot Saints team from playing exclusively for the 6 seed. Not quite time to start panicking but it's getting close to crunch time.
Originally posted by tjd808185:
We're one loss to a hot Saints team from playing exclusively for the 6 seed. Not quite time to start panicking but it's getting close to crunch time.

If this team doesn't fix the playcalling issues, none of that matters.
This game comes down to two things...

1) The decision to kick it from inside the 2 on 4 and inched was the biggest chicken crap call of the season. You go for it and either get the score (or get the first) or turn the ball over and force Car to drive the length of the field. Harbaugh showed no faith in his line nor Gore and gave Carolina exactly what they wanted which was to give up only 3 and keep it a two score game. Eric davis called it right when it happened.

2) This passing game is bad, whether it's the receivers or Kaep is one thing, but it goes from bad to down right disgusting when Vernon is hurt. He's by far the most important player on that side of the ball. His presence is something that is not replaceable.
Next Monday's Headline:

KAEP, GORE RUN WILD ON SAINTS

I'll be surprised if the Niners don't get back to their bread and butter. New Orleans run D is pretty bad
Originally posted by mutant-man49:
Originally posted by smithgdwg:
LOL, we have NO OFFENSE. Seattle is going to run away with the division, and Carolina will take the wildcard.

The good news, we should be good to compete again next year if Kap can figure out how to throw or we replace him with someone better.

Guess you haven't heard that there's 2 wild card spots?

Hey! Cap'n Obvious!
Originally posted by biggiep:
Originally posted by NinerGM:
1. Gore has been running great and on 3rd and 1 yard you bring in Hunter to get the one yard. Fumble lost, ends drive.
Hunter's job is to spell Gore. It's not Roman who fumbles the ball. Hunter can fumble the ball at any time as has Gore. If you think Hunter is so bad that he can't do his job of spelling Gore like he has been for the past 2.5 seasons, then come out and say on record you want him cut.

As a play-calling basics 101 - stay with the hot hand until the opposition stops it. Play-calling 102 - when you NEED 1 yard on an important call during a critical play of the game, you don't spell your best player on that play - you spell your player on 1st and 10.

2. 1st and 10 on the 14 towards the end of the 2nd, you call a slant pass to Boldin that completes for 9 yards. You follow that up with a play call that hasn't worked on time all game; zone-read formation, play-action pass attempt to a deep receiver. As usual, pass protection doesn't hold, Kap is chased and tackled for a huge lose. It's 3rd and 14 and you call a screen to Kyle Williams that goes for 9 yards. Tell me what's wrong with this series.
Your offense is a running offense, teams gameplan against the running. Why would you not call play action plays, especially on 2nd and 1 when everyone assumes you're running? You point out that this certain type of pass play hasn't worked all game but really when your pass offense is dead last in the league do ANY passing plays "work?" At some point the QB takes some responsibility for that no? Yes, you can call plays based on what worked for a grand total of two times just like you can call plays based on scheme and based on what you think their defense is expecting.
Screen on 3rd and 14 is not a bad call. The problem you and Roman-blamers is that your reasoning for everything is just "it didn't work." Screens are sensible when you are expecting a blitz (and the Panthers had been blitzing quite a lot) because the rushers are all gunning for the QB but your whole line is moving to set up the side the screen is happening. Blitzers are theoretically caught off guard when the quick pass goes out and the blockers keep the rushers from pursuing the receiver. No, it didn't work there and that sucked but there is nothing INHERENTLY wrong with a screen pass in that situation.

I think your football knowledge is a bit suspect here dude. Ask any coach in the league - you have the NFLs #1 rushing offense. You just had Gore get 12 carries for 61 yards in the pervious half. It's 2nd and 1 and you don't run the ball? Really? I think the reasoning you provide here is nonsensical and furthermore exposes you trying to find complete fault in Kap. You yourself said this is a running offense and was the problem with the entire game; the 49ers didn't take the easy yards, down and distance that the defense gave them. There's a reason why teams with high 3rd down conversion statistics have winning records in the NFL. And if you were going to throw a screen, using your own logic, you would do it on 2nd and 1 so the play has the greatest chance of producing a 1st down and a positive result, it's too late to try that on 3rd and 14 to - again - Kyle Williams. If you don't see the problems in this logic, you've not been paying attention all season.


3. Gore has 12 carries 61 yards at the half. For the remainder of the game Gore has 3 carries for 9 yards?
Three carries is quite a bit low which I agree with completely, but you would expect to see less runs when so many of those drives started with penalties and sacks for major loss on 1st down.

You would expect to see less runs when so many of those drives started with penalties and sacks? with running plays? This comment is totally non-responsive and you're just making stuff up here. This isn't a composition exam where if you just fill in the answer you'll get partial credit.


4. 2 slants called the entire passing game; one to Boldin for 9 yards, one to Manningham for 8 yards but was called back for a "pick" by Boldin. The offense would never call another slant.
I won't lie and say I watched the game so closely that I know for sure that only 2 slants were called all game. Not saying you are, and if you're right than perhaps more are what the doctor ordered.

So I'm not right because I watched the entire game, but you're going to challenge me because you didn't? Another questionable response.

5. The one pass option that was consistently open all game; RB out of the backfield over the middle - this was thrown no more than 3x, never to Hunter, never to LMJ who is all-world in space (which is the reason why he's so good with punt returns).
I'm not sure if you're saying the RBs got loose and weren't thrown to or there were too few plays that called for RBs to run receiving routes out of the backfield. If it is the former, than Roman should've thrown....oh wait I mean Kaep should've thrown to them. If it is the latter, the decision has to do with blitz pickup. You already lost Vernon Davis, the best blocking TE in the league, and not leaving your back in to pickup the blitz is dangerous especially when the blitz has already busted so many pass plays.

First, it's established that you didn't watch the entire game. Second, the Panthers weren't blitzing. Third the pressure were coming from the edges, not up the middle. The middle of the field was open, in fact Kap's longest run came from running right up the middle of the field. Short quick pass to the middle of the field wasn't there because that wasn't part of the play design. The blitz didn't "bust" a pass play. Took too long for a play to develop out of a 7 step drop which all passing plays were save 4. But again ... you didn't watch the entire game.

6.We have 3 of the better running backs all on the same team yet in our offensive sets, never 2 are on the field at the same time; and you almost never see LMJ as a receiver (despite being a punt returner which requires catching skills).
Not to overstate my last point, but when you consider how poor the offense responded to blitzes today, taking out the FB to put in two RBs is a really bad idea. If Hunter and LMJ were as good as Gore in blitz pickup, sure, but everytime the defense sees two RBs in the backfield they have to be salivating at the process of rushing more than four. Now, just like for your 5th point, if Kaepernick had shown any ability to make the quick throw after hiking to beat the blitz, then sure run more RBs out past the LOS and get some quick yards. Unfortunately, Kaepernick couldn't see a blitz coming if a neon sign saying "BLITZ COMING" was in his face, so you really trust him to do any better with less blockers in the pocket?

I didn't say take out a FB did I? Nope. You only need blitz pick-up if you're going to be throwing the ball longer than 5 yards on a 7 stepper. I don't think you're responding to my points here.



It's easy to blame the play-caller and say the calls were bad because they didn't work. The problem is you need players to make them work. If there's any problem with the coaching staff it's maybe not coaching Kaepernick to be a better QB than he is right now.

This is one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever heard about football. You design plays that maximize your players strengths and minimize their weaknesses, but more important that on a basic level counter/attack what the opponent is trying to do. There's this BS assumption here in Ninerland that just because the 49er offense wants to do something, it's because it totally can and it's simply because X player isn't doing their job. The problem with this flawed logic is that there's an equally talented opponent - you know like when we see our defense on the field and many of you can't understand why we can't counter what an opposing offense is doing. Here's a revelation:

A good defense and defensive game plan isn't going to simple let the 49ers do whatever they want to do and will take away 1 or 2 components to the offense.

What you don't see in the losses to Seattle, Indianapolis and now to Carolina is an offense that adjusts to what the opposing, equally talented defense is attempting to stop. Ever hear that football is a chess match? Carolina and any good defense for that matter simply isn't going to let the 49ers or any team 7-step drop on every pass play and heave the ball down the field for 15 yards per attempt. Better defensive coaches are going to prepare their teams to NOT be fooled by a zone-run, play-action read. Better teams are going to identify the weaknesses players like out tackles have with speed rushers in pass protection.

What people forget is that even in the 80s and 90s during the dynasty years, the 49ers weren't always the most talented team on the field, but Walsh made damn sure they were the smartest most Sundays. Strategy AND execution - not just execution. If you're always waiting for new players to perfectly execute every play, you'll be waiting a long time before this team will ever see a SB. That team only exists in Madden.
Originally posted by mutant-man49:
Next Monday's Headline:

KAEP, GORE RUN WILD ON SAINTS

I'll be surprised if the Niners don't get back to their bread and butter. New Orleans run D is pretty bad

bread and butter won't make the passing game better...it's a passing league....if there is no balance there is no shot at the SB ....quote me on this...they're doomed if they don't find passing offense
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Originally posted by mutant-man49:
Guess you haven't heard that there's 2 wild card spots?


Don't look now but the Cardinals are right on the 49ers heels.

even the cards have a better passing game...and they suck!
Originally posted by mutant-man49:
Originally posted by smithgdwg:
LOL, we have NO OFFENSE. Seattle is going to run away with the division, and Carolina will take the wildcard.

The good news, we should be good to compete again next year if Kap can figure out how to throw or we replace him with someone better.

Guess you haven't heard that there's 2 wild card spots?


Thank you for that newsflash...now consider the 49ers, in the course of one horrid afternoon at the Stick, have gone from "still a chance to catch Seattle" to a boot-stomping at the hands of New Orleans away from being on the outside looking in at that #6 seed.
Originally posted by ninerfreak:
even the cards have a better passing game...and they suck!

Their passing offense is eons better than the 49ers right now, they actually can utilize slants and screens, throw to multiple receivers and that is with an immobile potato Palmer starting at QB and a dinged up Fitzgerald.