Photo by Derick E. Hingle of USA Today Sports

Photo by Derick E. Hingle of USA Today Sports


3 things the 49ers should take away from Stanford-Oregon

Nov 14, 2013 at 9:08 AM


Videos are auto-populated by an affiliate. This site has no control over the videos that appear above.
Jim Harbaugh has been away from Stanford for almost 3 full seasons, yet his fingerprints are still all over the Cardinal football team. Watching a Cardinal game on any given Saturday is like watching the 49ers play in different uniforms. The plays, the personnel groups, the philosophy is the same. I bring this up as the 49ers prepare to take on the New Orleans Saints this Sunday because the game Stanford played on November 7 against Oregon should serve as a learning tool for how the 49ers should approach this game.

There are few teams that are more different in their offensive approach than Stanford and Oregon, one grinds it out on every snap with extra linemen and bruising running backs while the other tries to spread out the defense and play at light speed. One can draw those same similarities between the 49ers and Saints and just like the week leading up to that game on The Farm, very few experts give the 49ers a shot to win on Sunday.

With that as the backdrop, let's take a look at 3 things the 49ers should take away from how Stanford approached that game.

1) Dictate tempo - The 49ers need to keep the ball away from Drew Brees and the New Orleans offense as much as possible. Fortunately, their biggest offensive strength happens to be the biggest weakness of the Saints defense. The 49ers rushing offense comes into the game 4th in the NFL with an average of just under 148 yards per game, while the Saints are tied with Kansas City for the worst average yards per rush against at 5.0.

If the 49ers can get back to what they did over their 5 game winning streak when they ran the ball on 65% of their plays and move the sticks, their offense could become their best defense. All signs point to them being able to make this happen. Over their 5 game win streak, the 49ers were able to average over a half yard more per carry than the average given up by their opponent. If that holds true on Sunday, the 49ers will be able to average 5.5 yards per carry.

2) Keep up the pressure - Against the 49ers last season, Drew Brees put up his worst QBR total of his career at 26.2. A big reason for that lack of success was the pressure put on him throughout the day by a 49ers front 7 that sacked him 5 times an registered 18 total pressures on the day.

The 49ers defense appears poised to make Brees have a long day once again. Last week against a much more mobile quarterback in Cam Newton, the defense was able to put pressure on 47% of his drop backs.

Another performance like that could go a long way in slowing down the Saints high powered passing attack.

3) Play a full 60 minutes - As the 49ers found out firsthand during their playoff matchup with New Orleans after the 2011 season, no lead is safe against their quick strike offense. To defeat the Saints in the Superdome, San Francisco must do something that they have done only once all season and that is play at the top of their game for a full 60 minutes.

This is the type of game that the 49ers have proven in the past that they can win. If they can do the 3 things listed above an upset might just happen.

Jack Hammer is a writer for NinerChatter http://ninerchatter.blogspot.com
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


1 Comment

  • overthemiddle
    Welcome to the Zone Jack. I am undercenter at Cohns blog. Good for you.
    Nov 15, 2013 at 6:28 AM
    0


More San Francisco 49ers News



Vernon Davis explains why the 49ers were able to turn things around in 2011

By Al Sacco
May 25

It's no secret that the early 2000's weren't exactly a high point in the history of the San Francisco 49ers. From 2003-2010 the once dominant franchise won just 46 games and didn't have a single winning season. Then, in 2011, something changed. On the surface, the hiring of Jim Harbaugh seemed to make all the difference. The Niners went 13-3 in 2011 and ultimately made three NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl with him at the helm. Harbaugh left little doubt that he was an elite head coach, but the team was also full of talented players who were still hitting their stride upon his arrival. Vernon Davis was one of those players. The Pro Bowl tight end ranks seventh all-time in franchise history in receiving yards (5,640) and fourth in receiving touchdowns



49ers' Brock Purdy reflects on NFCCG, first start, surgery recovery, family's Tom Brady plans

By David Bonilla
May 17

On Thursday night, Brock Purdy joined several former San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks at the Dwight Clark Legacy Series event in San Jose. During the event, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area, one of the moderators, asked the 24-year-old to rewind a couple of years and reflect on how he burst onto the NFL scene in 2022. Purdy's first significant playing time came when the 49ers lost two quarterbacks that season—first Trey Lance and then Jimmy Garoppolo. Purdy stepped in for Garoppolo against the Miami Dolphins, unaware that he would be the starter moving forward. "Jimmy went down, and they're like, 'All right, you're up,'" Purdy shared. "So I'm in tune to what we're doing against Miami's defense and stuff on the sidelines. And so, when they said that I was



How former 49ers QB Alex Smith came to appreciate Candlestick Park

By David Bonilla
May 17

For many San Francisco 49ers fans, Candlestick Park holds a special place in their hearts, even after the team moved to Levi's Stadium. The iconic venue served as the Niners' home from 1971 through 2013, though it admittedly lost much of its pristine toward the end of its tenure. Despite its flaws, there was an undeniable allure to the stadium for fans. Watching a football game there was a unique experience that left a lasting impression. Former 49ers quarterback Alex Smith initially struggled to understand the appeal. Here he was, playing in the NFL, surrounded by the best athletes in the world, yet his surroundings resembled the before pictures of a fixer-upper. During Thursday night's Dwight Clark Legacy Series event, Smith reflected on one of his



Biggest contract in 2025: 49ers' Brock Purdy or Cowboys' Dak Prescott?

By David Bonilla
May 17

The San Francisco 49ers are gearing up to secure their franchise quarterback with a significant contract next year. When that happens, Brock Purdy will become one of the NFL's highest-paid players—potentially even the highest-paid. However, sports commentator Rich Eisen predicts that Purdy's reign as the highest-paid player won't last long. When asked who will earn the highest average salary starting in 2025, Eisen explained that while Purdy might initially hold the top spot, Prescott's deal will eventually top it. "Oh, it's going to be Dak Prescott," Eisen said. "Absolutely, it's going to be Dak Prescott. ... Purdy is going to wind up the number one paid quarterback in the NFL. And I just don't think he will be by the end of the day because Dak,


Latest

More by Jack Hamilton

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone