Observations from the desert: Hill, Martz and Davis

Nov 11, 2008 at 10:52 AM2


He does not have a big arm and his passes may not be as pretty as other quarterbacks, but Shaun Hill gives the San Francisco 49ers their best chance to win right now. He was not perfect on Monday night, tossing two passes into the opposition's waiting hands, but he also made the offense look better than it has all season. Hill's mobility and quick thinking resulted in zero sacks by the Arizona Cardinals defense. His command of the offense and enthusiasm was very apparent during the team's 24-29 loss. And with 1:06 left in the game on the Arizona 42-yard line, his team down by 5, Hill gave fans something that they had not had in a very long time. Hope. Instead of knowing "our quarterback is not the type of guy that can get this done for us," fans felt like the team had a legitimate chance to score.

It will be interesting to see what Hill, now 2-1 as a starter, can do for the team to finish out the season. Fans now have to wonder how many more wins the team would have had with Hill at the helm from the beginning. Considering this was his first action of the season, he did pretty well for himself in a game where no one gave the 49ers a chance. It literally came down to the final play of the game.

You have a Pro Bowl running back – Use him!

For a while, offensive coordinator Mike Martz was calling a solid game. However, the final two drives for the 49ers were very confusing. The team was in no way out of the game. They were down by 5 points with plenty of time left on the clock. It certainly was not a "pass on every play" scenario. Throw in the fact that they have a Pro Bowl running back in their backfield, you have to wonder what Martz was thinking. If anything, that was the time to use him. During the team's final 15 plays of the game, they ran the ball twice. Those two runs came during the final two plays of the game. That makes 13 straight passing plays before the 49ers felt the need to run.

This was not a big deal during the final drive because they were in a situation where they needed to get a score with about a minute left in the game. However, during the team's second to last drive, the 49ers passed nine straight times. In Martz's defense, he called a running play once, but a penalty against Arizona forced the team to replay the down. By the eighth play on that drive, I was screaming to please give the ball to Gore. On the next play, while in trouble within the pocket and performing a bad Brett Favre impression, Hill tossed an ugly shovel pass intended for Gore but caught by Arizona safety Adrian Wilson.

Add to that the baffling call during the final play of the game. If you are going to run it, you have to get the ball into the hands of your best offensive weapon, Frank Gore, and not Michael Robinson.

You have to catch that football

There were a few "You have to catch that football" moments in the game. The one that stood out the most was by tight end Vernon Davis. Yes, Davis made a spectacular catch at the end of the first half to help put the 49ers up 21-13. The problem came in the third quarter with the 49ers leading 21-20. It was an opportunity to go up by 8. Hill threw a beautiful pass to an open Davis who made little effort to haul the football in. This was a game changing missed opportunity. The ball was literally about two feet in front of his head. Had he reached out for it, the play would have resulted in a beautiful touchdown pass. Instead, the 49ers settle for a field goal three plays later. That field goal would be their final points of the game.

For a first-round draft pick selected to be an explosive offensive weapon, you have to make that catch.
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.


2 Comments

  • crunchtime
    Totally agree...The guy is such a freak of nature (strong/fast) but with hands of stone (besides that one nice catch for TD), couldn't we try him as a DE? We NEED a pass rusher badly and he has the tools to excel there.
    Nov 12, 2008 at 4:13 PM
    0
  • montv
    Good points. I also think it's time San Francisco recognize that drafting Vernon Davis was a mistake. Yes, he is fast and is a good blocker, but if he keeps getting flagged every time he makes a play (which admittedly isn't that often), he hurts the team as much as he helps. I agree, it appeared that had he made the attempt on that pass at the end of the half, he may have scored. At least make the effort! Play Delanie Walker and trade Davis to a really bad team in the AFC (the Raiders, maybe). I thought the Niners learned this lesson when T.O. was here.
    Nov 12, 2008 at 10:07 AM
    0

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



16 observations from the 49ers shutout of the Saints

By Marc Adams
Nov 28

The San Francisco 49ers have won four games in a row. After starting the season 3-4, the team has rallied to a 7-4 record. In winning four straight, they went undefeated in November. The 49ers did not lose a game in the month of November for the first time since 2012— Jordan Elliott (@splash_cousin) November 28, 2022 Here's what jumped out to me during the game: The 49ers' defense came



The 49ers' Defense is Becoming Elite Again: 5 Observations about Saints-49ers

By JD Salazar
Nov 28

This 2022 iteration of the 49ers is endlessly fascinating to watch. One of the best teams in football one week, getting humiliated the next. Back to the future, forward with the past. But as turbulent and ramshackle as it's been, the 49ers are morphing into a team ready to dominate in the playoffs, just as head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have always believed. Here are 5 observations from yesterday's win over the Saints. 1. The Scoreless Streak Extends to 4… In the second half of the past 4 games, the 49ers haven't allowed a point. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. The Rams, Chargers, Cardinals, and now Saints have all failed to crack the scoreboard once after halftime. While only this last contest has been a pure shutout, that mark remains



15 observations from the 49ers win over Miami

By Marc Adams
Dec 5

Let's start with the bad news: San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will miss the rest of the season with a fractured foot. Huge blow. Kyle Shanahan says Jimmy Garoppolo has a season-ending foot injury.— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) December 5, 2022 The day started with a report from NFL insider Ian Rapoport saying the 49ers and Garoppolo were both open to having the quarterback return



49ers rookie RBs Jordan Mason and Ty Davis-Price to get opportunities vs. Dolphins

By David Bonilla
Dec 2

The San Francisco 49ers running back depth chart took a hit on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. Elijah Mitchell exited the game with a knee injury. Later, tests revealed that the second-year player suffered his second MCL sprain of the season and would miss six to eight weeks. Then Christian McCaffrey exited late in the game, dealing with some knee irritation. He is expected to be suited up this weekend against the Miami Dolphins. However, the injury on Sunday left the 49ers to rely on rookie running back Jordan Mason—known to his coaches and teammates as "J.P."—to carry the load and secure the shutout victory. Mason


Featured

More by David Bonilla

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone