Originally posted by maxsmart:
We are supposed to have the 'best' O-line in the NFL, yet we couldn't run. We are supposed to have the best front 7 yet we couldn't stop Seattle's run. We have more talent as evidenced by more pro bowl picks, so that leaves two main possibilities:
#1. Out schemed / out-coached
#2. Our players are over-rated
I think our O-line and O-line are both a little bit over-rated.
However I think the main problem is coaching and scheme. We should go back more to the west-coast roots of short quick ball-control passes to the running backs and Tight ends, and also more 'zone-blocking' by the O-line (like Walsh and McKittrick). Zone blocking would allow Gore/Lattimore/Hunter to find and pick the hole, and they all have great vision so they would excel in that scheme.
Regarding ball-control passing:
Gore only had 16 catches = 1 per game! Kendall Hunter had 2 catches on the entire year! [Roger Craig averaged ~75 catches a year for 5 years in a row! Ricky Watters averaged 60 catches per year.]
Vernon Davis is all-pro talent, 1 or 2 most talented TE in NFL, yet only gets ~50 catches per year. We trade up for McDonald and he only gets 8 catches! Celek has only 2 catches! Might as well play Kilgore at TE. Plus we rarely throw deep to loosen up the defense, so they crowd the mid-range routes. Our offense sucks because of coaching and scheme more so than talent!
I understand the point but a couple of your premises are wrong...
First,because of the noise, you would have to expect that the O-Line is going to be at a disadvantage throughout the game against the Seahawks DL. The 49ers overall handled it better than they had previously, but there's a reason the 49ers have won at home against Seattle but lose at Seattle.
Second, with his 100+ yards on Sunday, I believe Lynch now has 4 of the 6 100 yard rushing games against the 49ers defense over the last few years and another game where he had 98 yards. I think at some point you have to give Lynch some credit, especially when the front 7 has done a pretty good job at getting pressure on Russell Wilson,
Third, reference to stats from the 80's and early 90's don't have a lot of substance in today's NFL. Of the top 49 receivers (based on number of catches) for the regular season, 2 were lead RB's (Forte and Charles). The others in the top 49 were Pierre Thomas, Danny Woodhead, Darren Sproles and Knowshon Moreno. That's 2 3rd down backs and 2 backs from a committee approach in two of the most prolific pass offenses in the league. And, lets not forget that Miller was becoming a bigger part of the offense prior to his injury.
I do agree to the extent it would help Kap to check the ball down more but I expect that will come. Right now, if its check the ball down to a RB or have Kap take off running, I can't blame Kap for using his legs, especially since he rarely seems to get hit hard on his runs.
The bottom line, though, is that the league is much more of a WR and TE league than it was during the pure West Coast offense days of the 80's and 90's.
Fourth, the 49ers OL is not built for a zone blocking scheme. Zone blocking teams use smaller lines that are more mobile. That's not the strength of the 49ers line and unless you want to rework the entire OL, it is not likely to happen and lets not forget the 49ers were still one of the best rushing teams in the NFL. They were not as good as they were in 2012 and that needs to be addressed but it is not like the rushing game totally fell off the cliff either.
Fifth, Tomsula is considered one of the best DL coaches in the league and the 49ers rush defense has proven to be one of the best in the league over the last 3 years since Vic Fangio arrived. Do you really believe they got out coached because if you do, you're pointing the finger at Tomsula and Fangio.
On the offensive side, it is not worth getting into the Roman debate since that has its own thread but...the 49ers played the #1 defense statistically in the league on the road and had a 1st and 10 at the Seattle 18 with 30 seconds and 2 time outs left needing a TD to score while playing their 5th road game in 6 weeks. You don't go into Seattle expecting offensive fireworks, but the offense was in position to win the game before the last play.
Sixth, I wouldn't use the number of Pro Bowl players as a gauge to say the 49ers have more talent than Seattle. It seems clear that the 49ers and Seattle have the two best rosters and the talent level is close regardless of who you root for and believe has the better roster.