5 Burning Questions For The 49ers in Week 12 Answered

Nov 24, 2014 at 10:47 AM


The San Francisco 49ers defeated Washington 17-13 on Sunday for their third win in a row and improve to 7-4 on the season. The game was a near carbon copy to the last game the 49ers played at Levi's Stadium when they lost 13-10 to the St Louis Rams. The difference was the offense made the plays down the stretch to pull out the victory which sets up a great matchup on Thanksgiving night with the Seattle Seahawks. With the Eagles and Cowboys facing off earlier in the day, a 49ers victory will push them into a playoff position.

Let's get to the answers for the 5 burning questions that I asked on Friday.

1) Can the 49ers keep Robert Griffin III on the ropes? - Yes. Griffin may be the worst starting quarterback in the NFL. He is a mess in the pocket and struggles to locate receivers without the help of play action which makes the reads much easier.

Griffin completed two play action throws over the middle for 56 yards. His other 9 completions netted a total of 50 yards.

2) Can the 49ers offense finally find some consistency? - No. After scoring on it's first possession the offense struggled through the next three possessions, hampered by a fumbled snap, a Carlos Hyde fumble and their inability to pick up a yard on 3rd and 1. The offense did finish the first half with a 12 play, 70 yard drive to take a 10-7 lead into the half.

The second half saw more of the same as they went three and out on their first possession followed by an interception, failed quarterback sneak, another three and out when Vernon Davis did not get enough depth on his route and a Frank Gore fumble.

With the game and perhaps the season on the line the offense finally got it together late in the fourth quarter with an 8 play, 75 yard drive that ended in the first touchdown by the offense in the fourth quarter this season.

3) How can the 49ers fix their red zone woes? - "In previous seasons under Rombaugh the 49ers have been very run-centric in this area, but for much of 2014 they have attempted to be more balanced and use the quarterback on more runs. They need to slow that down and go back to what worked for them in 2012 and 2013 when they were well over 50%."

The 49ers had only 1 red zone opportunity on Sunday and they cashed it in with a touchdown. On those three plays, there was a pass completion to Anquan Boldin and two Carlos Hyde runs including the touchdown.

4) What role will Ahmad Brooks have on Sunday? - For the 59th time in a row Brooks started at outside linebacker. After playing only 12 snaps a week ago against New York, Brooks was in on 38 of 56 snaps against Washington. Brooks finished with two quarterback pressures, and recovered a fumble from Robert Griffin III to seal the win.

5) Is this a trap game for the 49ers? - No. While it was a close call the 49ers were able to pull out the win and keep pace in the NFC playoff race. Don't forget, this was a Washington team that went on the road and upset a Dallas team that had only one loss going into the game.

Prediction Time:

49ers 22 Washington 12

Notes:

* For the fire Greg Roman crowd. The 49ers scored a touchdown on their opening possession for the fifth time this season. That ties them for first in the NFL.

* Colin Kaepernick was a perfect 4-4 for 55 yards on the game winning drive. He finished 20-29 for 256 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. His nine incompletions consisted of three drops and a throw away.

* Aldon Smith has pressured the quarterback on 13 of 66 pass rush snaps in the first two weeks since returning from his suspension. To put that into perspective, Ahmad Brooks has 15 pressures all season.

* Did anyone else see the 49ers steal a blocking scheme from the University of Florida on their 3rd and 1 late in the second quarter?
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.


6 Comments

  • Italian niner
    Thanks for the accurate weekly 5 questions and answers. Just an observation about the final off topic * points: what I understood about G.Ro, is that the people blaming him is more about what he didn't do when is time to change the playcalling for example after halftime to quickly adapt the offense to other teams coach ing staff adjustments....
    Nov 25, 2014 at 8:29 PM
    0
  • Mike
    Did you catch Jeremy Newbury's comment about Kaepernicks press conference after the game on the post wrap show? He was annoyed that Kaepernick had an over size cap on turned at an odd angle while he was answering press questions. He said something to the effect that this quarterback is getting paid millions of dollars as part of a big business, is the face of the team and someone needs to straighten him out. I've been watching fooball for decades and I've never seen a 49er spokesperson act like he does in a press conference. It's a turn off and I'd never buy one of my grandkids a product he endorses. I really don't get his attitude. When you are lucky be grateful for your luck. All I see from him on television is annoyance.
    Nov 24, 2014 at 2:17 PM
    0
    Response: Good for Jeremy. I couldn't care less about what Kaepernick wears in a press conference. He played a decent game yesterday and made some big throws in crunch time to set them up for the win. The talk about everything else is just noise.
  • Scooter_McG
    What are your thoughts on the run defense, Jack? What went wrong? Third time this season they have let a power back run for 100 yards. Will be interesting to see how they contain Lynch on Thursday.
    Nov 24, 2014 at 12:09 PM
    0
    Response: Not overly concerned. They just didn't execute well. On two of Morris' 10+ yard runs in the first half they should have tackled him for no more than a gain of 4.
  • undercenter
    Execution once again reared its ugly head. Each one of those instances you cited were players messing up. The scheme seemed to be fine this game. Niners have two glaring problems going into the final stretch of the season. One is speed to get to the outside and the other is a bona fide return man.
    Nov 24, 2014 at 11:41 AM
    0
    Response: I thought Hyde did a good job with the kickoff returns, but with Cox returning punts all you want is for him to hold onto it. They really miss having a guy like Ted Ginn back there.
  • Adusoron
    Good read, Jack. Another salient point is how many drives started at or inside the 10 yard line. Stats show that your scoring probability drops from 36% to 20%. I know 5 drives that started at that depth. Add in two drive killing fumbles, and one ill-advised Kaepernick INT, and you have an answer. What's that saying? It is never as bad as it looked, nor is it ever as good as it felt?
    Nov 24, 2014 at 11:31 AM
    0
    Response: That's a very good point. They were backed up deep for most of the day.
  • Bayareafanatic
    Basically we are not playing clean football. Historically we do not turn the ball over. Two weeks in a row our RB's are putting the ball on the ground. Observation #2, we have stopped running the ball wide. I'd like to see Hyde running the edges 12-15 times versus Seattle....
    Nov 24, 2014 at 10:57 AM
    0


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