When playing a good defense like the one CAR has, a few missed opportunities can result in a loss. When I think back at the week 10 game, I immediately think of the Vance dropped pass on a long bomb right down the middle. But there were other chances to extend drives, get a big gain, or score a TD, other than the Vance drop that would have set the 49ers up for a go ahead FG in the 4th quarter. Here are some missed opportunities in the 1st half of the week 10 game. One missed opportunity to extend a drive was shown in post #2 (play #3 of that post). Of course, not all failed 3rd down conversions are missed opportunities, but when the playcall is soild for that down, but the execution falls just a bit short, I consider it a missed opportunity.
Below: Game situation in the top right corner. CAR went predominantly zone coverage in this game and this play is no different. Vance is at the top of the screen, Boldin is the orange route, VD is at the bottom of the screen running a hitch and go. The CB lined up over Vance is the one that will end up making a play on the ball. CAR brings 5 rushers
Below: Kap's pump fake (not shown) towards VD will pull the lone deep safety over to VD's side of the field, exposing a nice throwing lane to Boldin on the skinny post. The deep safety (blue square), who was running to VD, is shown here stopping in his tracks to change directions and run towards Boldin. Kap is in the middle of his release. The orange X is where the pass will be thrown to. The yellow X is where the pass should have been placed.
Below: Because the pass is not well placed, the CB is able to cut under the route, but drops an INT.
Below: Game situation seen in the pic. Kap will miss a chance to convert here and the drive will stall after not converting on 3rd down.
Below: Kap has completed his dropback and looks to his left. Ham is open on a comeback route because the CB is playing loose over the top. Throw to the yellow X and pick up a first down. However, he did not like what he saw and does not pull the trigger.
The play: Kap will eventually throw it to Ham, but he does it while running which makes for an inaccurate throw and an incompletion. They fail to convert the 3rd down so it's Dawson time, 6-0.
This play was discussed in detail after the game. This is the play VD got concussed and it changed the entire dynamic of the 49er offense.
Below: The blue arrows on the CAR LBs show the flow of the defenders. Boldin is available in the endzone as Kap begins his windup. Kap does not give Boldin a look.
The play: VD gets his bell rung and the 49ers won't convert on the subsequent 3rd and goal. In comes Dawson, 9-0. 49ers won't score another point in the game.
Kap has more experience and more weapons this Sunday and I will be shocked if the offense only puts up 9 points. I respect the hell out of the CAR front 7, but I also have a lot of faith in the 49er offense as it stands today. I'll scan the second half for any missed opportunities besides the Vance drop.