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Analysis: 2011 49ers vs. 2013 49ers, and why are we faltering?

Originally posted by kem99:
Aren't you forgetting a few things....

1. The 2011 defense created a ton of turnovers, which led to points, kept the other team from scoring, etc. This year has been better than 2012 but not on par with 2011 in terms of creating turnovers.

2. The 49ers had an easier schedule in 2011 coming off another losing season and snuck up on some teams. Remember, going into 2011, it was generally expected that the 49ers would be among the worst teams in the league again with Alex Smith starting at QB. The 49ers are certainly not sneaking up on anyone now. In fact, they have to take every team's best shot.

3. Somewhat related to #2, the NFC was a disaster in 2011 other than the 49ers. Now its the best division in football, including Seattle being 10-1, whereas the 49ers would be leading the NFC East and tied for first in the NFC North.

4. The 2011 team didn't throw the ball any better than this year's team. Smith had plenty of pedestrian passing games throughout the season. They did run the ball better (Gore was 2 years younger with less carries than he has now), the defense was a little better and forced more turnovers and the special teams were exceptional (whereas this year, they've been very good at times and not so good at other times).

5. Put all the rest of it aside, the 2011 team managed to win close games. For example, in 2011, the 49ers went to Detroit to face a red hot Lions 5-0 team in their dome and the 49ers pull out a victory on the last play of the game with Smith's pass to Walker, who just gets into the endzone. This year, 49ers go to New Orleans, have the lead late, sack Brees and recover a fumble to probably seal the game but its wiped out by a penalty and the Saints go on to win.

6. There's a reason no losing SB team has made it back in so long and many don't make the playoffs. There's a certain funk teams seem to be in where something is just a little off the entire season and more guys have down years that breakout seasons. That's the history the 49ers were fighting going into 2013 and we are seeing it play out in front of us.

We can microanalyze Kaep, the playcalling, Roman, the run defense, the pass defense, Harbaugh, Mangini, Fangio, LMJ, Crabtree's injury, Kyle Williams, etc. but if the 49ers get 1 more FG against Carolina and the penalty isn't called on Brooks, they're probably 8-2, on a 7 game winning streak and everybody's happy. The real difference is not finding a way to pull out games against Carolina and New Orleans like the teams in 2011 and 2012 generally did.

we do lead the league in points off of turnovers though
Originally posted by Mr.Mcgibblets:
Interesting post for sure, OTC. It is really something to see that we have 5 more turnovers than 2011 altogether, and we still have 6 games to go. Also can't help but notice that 4th quarter passer rating difference.

The thing for me about blaming the receivers is two-fold. One.. it doesn't seem like the receivers (aside from Boldin) get very many throws anyway. So to blame them for "not getting open" or "not being adequate" just feels wrong. If they were getting passes thrown their way and were simply dropping them or not adjusting? Then sure... that's on the receivers. But when they don't get passes their way? How much blame should they take? Are they really not getting open? Because that's not what I am seeing most of the time. The 2nd issue... goes back to this notion of old that says "a GOOD Quarterback makes those better around him. He elevates the average into good!" Been hearing that whopper for years... so why not apply it here?

Another huge difference from 2011 to 2013? Our best offensive pass weapon... Vernon Davis. Remember when he stated publicly that until later in the 2011 season, he wanted to give up, because he had little idea of the playbook and what he was doing. Remember that? Well, 2013 VD sure knows what he's doing now. 2011... we had Snyder and Goodwin ranked in the bottom 5 of all G's and C's. This 2013 offense should be rolling... and it's obviously not.

SF's offense in 2012 was ranked 5th in efficiency. That doesn't happen unless your OC knows WTF he's doing. This guy is taking a ridiculous amount of crap from forum fans.. and he should take SOME.. but he didn't just suddenly forget how to make an offense function. Our receivers are not special or ideal this season... anyone can see that... but I don't think we are terrible across the board, since we do have Boldin and VD. Sick of hearing about Boldin not being open. If Boldin is single covered? He IS open.... same for VD. You double both up? and someone else IS open or you diagnosed the defense wrong pre-snap.

One other big thing to consider is the T.O.P.

2011: TOP/per game - 32:08 (ranked 5th in the NFL)
2013: TOP/per game - 29:31 (ranked 21st in the NFL)

I feel like our defensive accomplishments as far as their ranking this year are even that much more outstanding considering we are unable to sustain drives and have to keep putting an exhausted defense back out on the field. Despite our inability to maintain ball control, our defense is ranked 7th in total defense, 4th in points allowed per game, 10th against the pass (4th in opponent passer rating), and 12th against the run.
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
One other big thing to consider is the T.O.P.

2011: TOP/per game - 32:08 (ranked 5th in the NFL)
2013: TOP/per game - 29:31 (ranked 21st in the NFL)

I feel like our defensive accomplishments as far as their ranking this year are even that much more outstanding considering we are unable to sustain drives and have to keep putting an exhausted defense back out on the field. Despite our inability to maintain ball control, our defense is ranked 7th in total defense, 4th in points allowed per game, 10th against the pass (4th in opponent passer rating), and 12th against the run.


Yeah that is my first thought too. However, think about this: If our offense was better, the other teams offense would be in passing mode more. WHich means more Vic Fangio 3 man rushes plus useless dime packages on the field which usually result in opponent success, therefor our defensive rankings would go down.

That's a scenario too.

If we could get pressure, we would be beyond dominant. Right now we are just A-. We could be A+ with a pass rush.
We need to sustain long drives ....nuff said

so many goddamn 3 and out's this year ....feels like Jimmy Raye is in the booth again
I think OTC pretty much nailed it with the post. Seems like some people blame Kaep and/or Roman for our woes, but it's pretty much in this order:

Lack of receiver combo
Kaep
Roman

No Crabtree and no speed guy. Makes life horrible for Kaep in the middle of a learning experience of his own. We had Ginn in 2011 that helps create space underneath. This year, no Moss or Ginn, and I don't know what the hell happened to Williams, which is why he's cut. Had we got Ginn against the Giants in 2011 NFCCG, we go to the SB.

Let me throw in another side....the return on special team. Ginn gave us some very good field position on offense, coupled with Andy Lee punts that put the other team in a hole for the defense to be aggressive. We are not seeing that this year with Williams lack of return. Which is why, again, he's cut.
[ Edited by qnnhan7 on Nov 21, 2013 at 7:03 AM ]
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
One other big thing to consider is the T.O.P.

2011: TOP/per game - 32:08 (ranked 5th in the NFL)
2013: TOP/per game - 29:31 (ranked 21st in the NFL)

I feel like our defensive accomplishments as far as their ranking this year are even that much more outstanding considering we are unable to sustain drives and have to keep putting an exhausted defense back out on the field. Despite our inability to maintain ball control, our defense is ranked 7th in total defense, 4th in points allowed per game, 10th against the pass (4th in opponent passer rating), and 12th against the run.


Originally posted by qnnhan7:
I think OTC pretty much nailed it with the post. Seems like some people blame Kaep and/or Roman for our woes, but it's pretty much in this order:

Lack of receiver combo
Kaep
Roman

No Crabtree and no speed guy. Makes life horrible for Kaep in the middle of a learning experience of his own. We had Ginn in 2011 that helps create space underneath. This year, no Moss or Ginn, and I don't know what the hell happened to Williams, which is why he's cut. Had we got Ginn against the Giants in 2011 NFCCG, we go to the SB.

Let me throw in another side....the return on special team. Ginn gave us some very good field position on offense, coupled with Andy Lee punts that put the other team in a hole for the defense to be aggressive. We are not seeing that this year with Williams lack of return. Which is why, again, he's cut.

These two posts, among others, seem to cover the situation pretty well! Field position and TOP are a huge benefit and seem to be indicators for success.
What everyone forgets is that Alex takes sacks, there was a point where everyone was asking him why he was doing that. The oline is worse because we now have Kap who can escapeto lessen the number of sacks. The line can barely give him three steps
Originally posted by Rollininers:
What everyone forgets is that Alex takes sacks, there was a point where everyone was asking him why he was doing that. The oline is worse because we now have Kap who can escapeto lessen the number of sacks. The line can barely give him three steps

Smith took sacks as part of a plan...Kaepernick tries to run and is having less success this year than last, likely due to the defense spying him. The line is better this year but the D's are better prepared for CK than they were for Smith and a new system.
  • cciowa
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Originally posted by dtg_9er:
Originally posted by Rollininers:
What everyone forgets is that Alex takes sacks, there was a point where everyone was asking him why he was doing that. The oline is worse because we now have Kap who can escapeto lessen the number of sacks. The line can barely give him three steps

Smith took sacks as part of a plan...Kaepernick tries to run and is having less success this year than last, likely due to the defense spying him. The line is better this year but the D's are better prepared for CK than they were for Smith and a new system.
i do not think pass protection is any different that what it was last year or the year before,, face it folks, no matter who is our quarterback,, we can not and have not been able to pass protect for s**t
I think you definitely have a point. I have been one of the bigger critics of Greg Roman's play calling, and I don't think he is doing enough to help his young QB through these struggles. What I definitely notice, though, is the last four or five weeks of the season is the time to really watch young QBs. This is when they typically start to play much better. Cam Newton had a lot of struggles throughout the season last year, but turned it around late. The first 11 games of their season he had 11 TDs and 10 INTs. The last five games, he had 8 TDs and 2 INTs. Andrew Luck last year in the first 11 games had 13 TDs and 13 INTs. The last five games, 10 TDs and 5 INTs. According to some on here, Luck is the next coming of Elway.

It is a pretty common theme in the NFL. Either in their rookie year, or their second year, there is a big improvement that happens at the end of the season. I can only hope this happens for Kap because the kid is one of the most talented QBs in the league. That scramble Cam had on Monday Night that everyone was clamoring about could have probably been a touchdown for Kap because he has that kind of breakaway speed. The difference right now, is Cam has the field vision that Kap doesn't yet. The game has started slowing down for Cam, and because the Niners ran a gimmicky offense last year, it has not slowed down for Kap now that he is being forced into playing from the pocket primarily. Essentially, this is his first time seeing NFL defenses from the perspective that they know what is coming. Last year, they did not know what hit them with the read-option plays.

I think it is only a matter of time before people start jumping on his bandwagon again.
[ Edited by TheRatMan13 on Nov 21, 2013 at 9:13 AM ]
Originally posted by pete98146:
I think you nailed it. Biggest problem is that we lack team speed on offense. When our QB has nobody to throw the ball too, it's hard to win ball games.


i agree that we need speed on the outside aka WR , also some quickness on the inside and i belive Patten is capable before he got hurt . Kap needs to trust his eyes , and we need to pass to setup the run so people don't load up the box with eight and don't go overboard with the run.
Excellent analysis and thread, OTC. Here are a few more thoughts:

1-2-3-and gone! I would like to see Kap count to 3 (or less) on every pass play, once the ball is in his hands, and then get it out of his hands before he finishes a mental recitation of the word "3". Negative yardage on pass attempts, be they via TFL's or holding penalties, are throwing this offense "off-schedule" for first downs. Kap doesn't need a lot of time to read his first two receivers on any given play. And the third best option on EVERY pass attempt should be recognized as Kap's feet and running instincts (not some unproven receiver who drops or is not looking for the ball). So, 1-2-3, throw or go, right now! And the throw can certainly be a throw away. That's why we pay Andy Lee. Just stop with the indecision, which causes the negative plays.

The OC could help this 1-2-3! approach by getting away from the almost constant use of 22-type personnel package on most pass plays (2 TE, 2 RB). Get both Boldin and Manningham on the field for most of these pass plays, plus someone shifty and quick in the slot (maybe James, certainly not Miller). Spread the field and spread out the defense.

The OC might want to suggest to Kap to just run the play that was called. That would be the one that fits the personnel package. It seems like defenses are doing a good job of confusing Kap, who misreads the defense and changes the play call at the line. Then the defense jumps into a different look just before the snap and the play is doomed. Sprinkle in a few more very quick snaps to help kill that defensive behavior. Snaps can be quicker if the original play call is used.

The run game is fine. The defense is fine. The ST coverage and return are fine. Dawson is deadly and Lee is Lee.

The younger players who are not getting it done (McDonald, Baldwin, etc) need to earn their game PT by getting it done in practice.

One final thought: Kap is damn well not going to "Throw someone open" if he hasn't developed deep trust with that receiver on the practice field. Turnovers are too damned important. Turnovers lose games and turnovers are mush more likely in trying to "throw someone open", when that receiver hasn't demonstrated the ability in practice to win jump balls or to become an instant pass defender when the catch is not possible.

This team is close, very close, to getting the job done. Nobody, and I mean nobody, wants any part of this defense in the playoffs.
where do you get the amount of plays under center and shotgun stats ? from what site? that's interesting and i'm sure other interesting stats follow that where ever that came from
  • cciowa
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Originally posted by jimbagg:
Excellent analysis and thread, OTC. Here are a few more thoughts:

1-2-3-and gone! I would like to see Kap count to 3 (or less) on every pass play, once the ball is in his hands, and then get it out of his hands before he finishes a mental recitation of the word "3". Negative yardage on pass attempts, be they via TFL's or holding penalties, are throwing this offense "off-schedule" for first downs. Kap doesn't need a lot of time to read his first two receivers on any given play. And the third best option on EVERY pass attempt should be recognized as Kap's feet and running instincts (not some unproven receiver who drops or is not looking for the ball). So, 1-2-3, throw or go, right now! And the throw can certainly be a throw away. That's why we pay Andy Lee. Just stop with the indecision, which causes the negative plays.

The OC could help this 1-2-3! approach by getting away from the almost constant use of 22-type personnel package on most pass plays (2 TE, 2 RB). Get both Boldin and Manningham on the field for most of these pass plays, plus someone shifty and quick in the slot (maybe James, certainly not Miller). Spread the field and spread out the defense.

The OC might want to suggest to Kap to just run the play that was called. That would be the one that fits the personnel package. It seems like defenses are doing a good job of confusing Kap, who misreads the defense and changes the play call at the line. Then the defense jumps into a different look just before the snap and the play is doomed. Sprinkle in a few more very quick snaps to help kill that defensive behavior. Snaps can be quicker if the original play call is used.

The run game is fine. The defense is fine. The ST coverage and return are fine. Dawson is deadly and Lee is Lee.

The younger players who are not getting it done (McDonald, Baldwin, etc) need to earn their game PT by getting it done in practice.

One final thought: Kap is damn well not going to "Throw someone open" if he hasn't developed deep trust with that receiver on the practice field. Turnovers are too damned important. Turnovers lose games and turnovers are mush more likely in trying to "throw someone open", when that receiver hasn't demonstrated the ability in practice to win jump balls or to become an instant pass defender when the catch is not possible.

This team is close, very close, to getting the job done. Nobody, and I mean nobody, wants any part of this defense in the playoffs.

on third down everyone wants a part of our defense because we give up so many first downs. we break down on third down and still can not rush the passer, even with aldon smith back. at 6-4 and stumbling bad, we can not be so arrogant to cling to the thought everyone is scared of us. the skins will probably come out with a great effort monday because they know we are not world beaters and they should not be scared
This is inline with what I have been trying to say for a while now. A lot of people have taken my comments as Kap hate, probably because of how strongly I supported Alex. The truth is I don't hate Kap. I just didn't believe he was ready. The way he was playing on the play-offs swayed me into thinking he very well might be. I knew teams would have film and make him less effective, but I had hopes that he'd get on the other side of the learning curve before defenses took away that part of his game.

He's going to be a very good QB, imo.