Manning Not Firing Straight

Nov 27, 2001 at 12:00 AM


I think Payton Manning’s performance on Sunday showed us what’s wrong with the Colts. It isn’t a matter of Manning not getting enough defensive support or help from the running game. The problem is Manning himself.

How else to explain his four interceptions? He wasn’t hurried. In fact, he had all day to throw and was almost never touched. It’s not the running game – the Colts proved effective at moving the ball on the ground. So what could it be?  To me, Manning looks very uncertain and detached mentally. All four of his picks were really bad passes. Rashad Holman’s pick was luck, but the ball was still well below and behind the receiver – it bounced off his feet. Manning also badly overthrew three or four deep balls in the game. He just looks terribly out of sync and unsure right now.

We should give credit to the 49ers for playing a solid game offensively, and playing it relatively mistake-free (Jeff Garcia’s silly third quarter pick aside). The passing game and running game was working all day. Mariucci’s call for a running play on third down was a great call – Hearst’s 43-yard run ended the game, essentially. And let’s credit the defensive backs and the linebackers for some great effort in coverage. Ahmed Plummer’s reportedly suggested to Mora that the 49ers change their coverage late in the second quarter, and it led to five turnovers on the Colts’ next seven drives. The Colts’ running game was ineffective in the first half.

Things are not all rosy, however. Yes, points scored matter more than yards surrendered, but let’s think about the fact that the Colts turned the ball over five times and yet still held the ball for 38 minutes to the 49ers’ 21. The Colts stillgained 491 yards on offense and punted only 3 times. While slow early, the Colts running game gained 127 yards at 4.0 yards per carry featuring a guy named Dominic Rhodes, a rookie from Division II Midwestern Texas State. Ouch. Our pass rush could allow Kordell Stewert to throw for 300 yards.

Figuring that 49ers weak pass rush would give Manning all the time he wanted to throw, I felt that the 49ers offense would need to score at least 30. When the Colts had 21 with 10 minutes left in the third, I changed that to 40. Turns out I was right about the 40, but wrong about them needing it.

A win is a win, and at 8-2 we are poised for the playoffs. But with Kurt Warner, Donovan McNabb, and Aaron Brooks still on the schedule, the 49ers secondary may have to pick off four passes a game to slow the opponents down. But it’s hard to rely on turnovers, especially when the 49ers had forced only 11 in their first nine games.

If the 49ers beat the Bills on Sunday, they should get ten wins this year (figuring they will defeat the Cowboys in December). Whether we sneak in at 10-6 or storm in at 14-2 will be up to how much the rest of the 49ers defense can contain the bleeding from our terrible pass rush.

Ramblings
Garrison Hearst is back to peak form, and nothing showed that more than his two touchdown runs. He made a big play out of a small running lane on the first score, and hit the hole like a rocket on the second. He was ten yards down the field before the linebackers could even turn around to tackle him…JJ Stokes has now had two effective games back-to-back, which is encouraging. It could be that Owen’s foot injuries are forcing the 49ers to get Stokes more involved. His failure to elude a tackler on his third down catch in the second quarter, however, was a prime example of Stokes’ inability to make a play. In order to get a first down, all he had to do was stop and allow the defender’s momentum to overrun the tackle – a pretty routine move that works most of the time. Not only did Stokes not do it, he didn’t even come close to pulling it off: the corner slammed right into Stokes and dropped him two yards shy of a first down, forcing a punt. The Colts’ Ken Dilger executed the same move perfectly on the Colts’ first drive of the third quarter. Dilger, mind you, is a tight end…The coverage suggested by Plummer, which called for man to man coverage by the corners, freed up Zack Bronson to play his favorite role: centerfield. Bronson had a pick and a fumble recovery.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



Rapoport: Mac Jones not being 49ers pick would be a surprise to many

By Kirk Larrabee
Apr 24, 2021

49ers fans won't find out for sure who their team will be taking at pick three in the 2021 NFL Draft until just after the first round begins on 5 p.m. PT on Thursday. Regardless, NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport believes there is currently a frontrunner for the distinction and that many around the league would be surprised if that frontrunner doesn't turn out to be former Alabama quarterback Mac Jones. Rapoport spoke recently about what he's hearing regarding pick three with 49ers senior reporter Keiana Martin. Among the tidbits he shared was his belief that a frontrunner exists and that the team would like to make sure everyone in the building is happy with the pick before making the final call. "My understanding was there was a leader in the clubhouse and this



'Kyle Shanahan is all about substance, not sizzle': Scott Pioli details what 49ers coach seeks in a QB

By David Bonilla
Apr 27, 2021

Mac Jones is a very different quarterback compared to other top prospects like Trey Lance or Justin Fields. If analysts are to be believed, Jones may very well be the No. 3 overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night. Head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch spoke for 30 minutes on Monday. That led to media and fan analysis of what Shanahan told reporters, with everyone deciphering every word, hoping to discover hints of which quarterback the coach prefers. Scott Pioli, the former assistant general manager for the Falcons, spent two seasons in Atlanta with Shanahan and may have some good insight into what the coach seeks in a signal-caller. Pioli joined Good Morning Football on Tuesday. Host Peter Schrager asked the former



Schefter: 49ers inquired about Aaron Rodgers because QB does not want to return to Packers

By David Bonilla
Apr 29, 2021

The San Francisco 49ers reached out to the Green Bay Packers on Wednesday about possibly trading for Aaron Rodgers. Today, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the reason. It's because the nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback and three-time league MVP does not want to return to the Packers. Reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers is so disgruntled with the Green Bay Packers that he has told some within the organization that he does not want to return to the team, league and team sources told ESPN on Thursday.More on NFL Live


Featured

More by Bradford Seaman

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone