Originally posted by thl408:
Nice summary jonnydel. Glad to hear about your pops.
I re-watched the game as well and I did not notice the rotation of the front 4(7), glad you picked up on that. I thought Brock had a tough game as they were picking on him quite often. He gave up a big 44 yard catch to Floyd in the 3rd quarter and I think it really messed him up for the rest of the game as he was cautious not to get beat deep again. i agree Rogers played fine and is a big loss versus GB (Randall Cobb). Many times when he was in the slot, it was against Fitz and that is a nightmare matchup for many CBs. Fitz used his big frame to basically initiate contact then push off. On the big 49 yard gain, Fitz put on a double move (post-corner) and Palmer dropped in a dime just as Aldon made contact. Just have to tip your hat to that as it happened 2-3 times. Once a few big gains were had by ARI, they started working the underneath as the 49ers were scared to give up the big play, while protecting their lead.
Lining up a TE on Aldon's side seems to be the norm now to widen his rush and help the LT. I think this is why Fangio will sometimes line Aldon up over RT, although I did not notice it much in this game (may have missed it). The 49ers did come with blitzes, mainly on 3rd downs. I thought Palmer made some very nice throws, on rhythm and sometimes getting rocked just as he released the ball. He stood tall and delivered after a horrible INT to Bowman in the 1st quarter. Most of ARI's chunk plays passing wise came on plays over the middle as Brock (a few times) and the ILBs were victimized.
Regarding the offensive passing game, ARI went predominantly man coverage and the 49ers opened the game taking full advantage. Quick hitch throws when there was a cushion, back shoulder throws when it was press coverage. The whole first drive was like this. Then ARI began to mix their pre-snap look (press versus cushion) on the subsequent drives. I can count on one hand how many times ARI went zone coverage underneath. ARI going majority man coverage is what allowed the Staley catch. Since no one expects for Staley to go out for a route, no one was assigned to him. Had it been zone coverage, I highly doubt Staley would find the soft spot in the zone. I thought ARI did a good job sorting out their man coverage assignments when the 49ers used bunch formations and rub routes. ARI rarely followed the 49er they lined up across from when the 49ers criss crossed. ARI would instead switch assignments to nullify the mesh (rub) concept.
Many, including myself, were very frustrated by the 3rd and short failed conversions, but lining up in jumbo did help sell the play action on the TD pass to VD. Teams know the 49ers are willing to run into a brick wall and ARI bit on the play fake leaving VD wide open. I think I would rather have had the 49ers in a 3rd and 3 situation than a 3rd and 1 in this game. Perhaps then they would have passed the ball instead of testing the strong DL of ARI. 49ers just played to their strength (OL run blocking straight ahead) and they were not up to the task going back to what you mentioned about the ARI DL coming to play.
Love all the points you make and agree whole heartedly!
Arizona did make some outstanding plays in the game. I did notice that after the first couple drives we had on them and scored, they started incorporating some more zone blitzes as well. They blitzed a lot in the game, I think their strategy was, instead of using a spy on CK, blitz the spy and try and penetrate the pocket.