One to Forget

Beyond the fact that it was an eminently interesting day in football yesterday, the 49ers seemingly forgot that there WAS football yesterday. After giving up a very easy scoring drive that burned 7:40 to lead off the game, and included a 3rd and 10 conversion, and a 4th and goal on the 1, the Niners sputtered their way to 3 points to start the 2nd quarter.  The Vikes then ran off another 6+ minute drive for a TD. Galling was the 3rd and 11 Minn converted with a short pass and run for 11. Then Ponder scrambled untouched for 6. Another decent Niner drive was halted by a blocked FG attempt. Minn added insult to domination by driving for a FG of their own to close the 2nd quarter. 17-3 Vikings.

2nd half almost looked good for a bit. KW led off the 2nd half with a 94 yard kickoff return. Unfortunately the Niners couldn’t get the additional 14 yards and settled for a FG. After the D forced a quick (and their only) 3-and-out, the Niners scored on their only sustained drive of the day. Ending with (gasp) play action in the red zone for a 1 yard toss to VD. At 17-13, the Niner D needed to stop the much maligned Vikes. Instead, they gave up another long sustained dink and dunk drive surrounded by 2 very questionable unnecessary roughness penalties and an imaginary holding call on a legal jam within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. The 4th quarter devolved into a 3 stooges affair as Harbaugh was granted a challenge without any timeouts, was given a timeout back, and was able to challenge again on the seeming 5 fumbles by ex- Harbaugh acolyte Toby Gerhart, and a bunch of other stupid crap.

By far, this is the worst game played by a Jim harbaugh led 49er team. They started out flat, and strayed away from what got them their first 2 wins. Control the line of scrimmage on offense and pound the run to set up the pass. Gore wasn’t given very many touches in the 1s thalf, and the offense sputtered. Defensively, the 49ers couldn’t stop the dink and dunk attack of Ponder and the Vikings. AP had a pedestrian for him 86 yards rushing, but Ponder had his 23 yards scamper, and Minn ended up with 146 yards rushing. Unheard of in recent memory. Percy Harvin and co took advantage of the underneath routes all game. The biggest problem I saw was since the WRs were running deep routes, it cleared the midd of the field for 5-8 yard passes. Since the safeties were off, they couldn’t provide help fast enough to prevent 1st downs. The Niners on the other hand DIDN’T run deep routes, which clogged up the middle for their short-range passing game, and thus didn’t get the 1st downs that Minn was getting.

Troublesome to me is the Randy Moss situation. He’s barely getting any meaningful time out there, and judging by his lack of effort on that crossing route, he may well be on his way to checking out. The amazing pisser is the fact that Moss got a 12 yard cushion EVERY time he went out for a pass. The Niners should have gone to that EVERY time. 8 yard out, 8 yard out, 8 yard out 8 yard out. Do it til they STOP it. Harbaugh sometimes seems to get caught up in his own cuteness with these jumbo packages and such. Again, what annoys me is the WR routes. I love the fact that they have more weapons. But USE THEM for God’s sake. Use them for more than 8 yard passes. The Niners barely ever stretch the field with deep sideline passes. Unless it’s VD one on one. Which is nice when they do it, but they need more than their TE for home runs.

So, all in all, a bad effort by every phase of the team. They were outcoached, outhit, pushed around by Minn’s O and D lines, and they had a special teams screwup in the blocked FG. The lone bright spot was Kyle Williams and his 2 kickoff returns for 144 yards. Taken by itself, a crappy game in a long season of football. How they respond to this will be a pretty big deal as they go to NY for their game with the J-E-T-S. Yeah. it’s a road game in a tough environment, but if ever there was a team that was ready to roll over to a superior team, thy name is Jets.

About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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37 Responses to One to Forget

  1. 12th man says:

    Looks like we saw the same game Chuck. The thing is our pass rush isn’t as fierce as late last year, even Justin Smith, who is doubled most plays, has not had the push 1 on 1 we are used to seeing. There has been the soft zone underneath, where LB hand off to DB, most of last year and still is, problem is when the opposing O wins in the trenches, which rarely happens, that soft area is more exposed as it was Sunday. Ponder had way too much time and picked them apart in that 8 yd area.
    It’s a bit of a headshaker why Harbaugh and Co didn’t change things up very significantly as time wore on on both sides of the ball.
    Niners had some poor first halves last year too, but adjusted well and found ways to win, Sunday was wierd.

  2. Winder says:

    Our defense looked confused most of the time, they were kept off-balance all afternoon. We could not even contain a big slow TE. It seemed like another team out there. Definitely one to forget.

  3. unca_chuck says:

    Yup. Without the pass rush, their underneath passing game was clicking. We stopped their deep routes, but underneath was open all day. That’s their philosophy though. When we were throwing underneath, we didn’t get any yards, because our WRs don’t run routes as deep as theirs. The Niners didn’t even really run much early. It was flat weird the whole day.

    For all that, the Niners still could have won the game if not for Gore’s fumble on the 50, and a couple other dumb plays.

  4. Grumpy Guy says:

    It’s hard to get effective pass rush on a guy like Ponder. Not just because he can move around and buy time, but he actually often made better throws on the run. When it’s clicking like that for a guy, someone on defense needs to step up and make a play. No one on ours did. In fact, given the chance, Whitner dropped a Pick Six that even my geriatric ass probably could have run in.

    Some days you’re the hammer. Some days, not so much.

    • 12th man says:

      Fingers crossed it’s an aberration and not the start of the slippery slope. It’s a copy cat league but not too many teams have the personnel to repeat the Vikes win, I hope.

      • Grumpy Guy says:

        Lots of QBs can run. Most of them can’t throw that well while running though. The possibility of facing Tebow for a couple of series gives me some pause for this Sunday, though. Yes, he is a mess as a QB but he will hurt you the most when the play goes to shit. Someone wrote yesterday – was it Lynch? – “When the pocket broke down, Ponder was just getting started, whereas when the pocket broke down, the 49ers were finished.” Alex runs well but is way more comfortable now as a pocket passer.

    • 12th man says:

      Rodgers can run and throw accurately, but his O line couldn’t hold up long enough. Vikes won the LOS both sides of the ball, I don’t see the JETS making that happen and with Revis out they have some vulnerability if Alex can exploit it. It certainly makes next Sunday more interesting after that loss.

  5. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, forgot about that drop by Whitner. Fits into the ‘dumb plays’ category.

    That’s a play we made last year.

    • 12th man says:

      Lost the TO battle, rare for us and because we play without much room for error we lost. Greg Cosell made the point last year, the problem with the way we play is that if they fall behind and time of possession is in their favor there is no margin for error in playing from behind.

  6. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, I liked the way the first 2 games started in that WE took the lead early and forced GB and Det to come get us. Not so much yesterday. By the time we kicked the FG on the 94 yard KO return, I thought it was going to be a long 2nd half. By the end, it was just goofy-city. Gerhart fumbled on 3 straight running plays.

  7. unca_chuck says:

    That’s the weird part. The onus was to keep AP in line, and neutralize Jared Allen. We did both, but still failed pretty miserably. It was Smith’s ugliest game in a while, that’s for sure. He and Moss looked like Smith and Crabs last year. I think they really need to get him in there more. Although his effort on the crossing route was pretty wimpy. He ‘leapt’ about 4″ off the ground to go and get that pass.

    • 12th man says:

      That’s funny about Moss, I was screaming the same thing about his vert leap, non-existent, I think he was sure he had the catch and was going into RAC mode.. I thought his effort on the goal line was less than it could have been to, sure it was a tough catch but he has made those kind of catches in the past many times.
      Niners need to sit Williams a bit more and play Moss a bit more, the cushion alone, even if he is not thrown to opens the underneath a little bit.

  8. phil fan says:

    If ever evidence is needed for a “trap game” this will be exhibit A.

    The freaking Chargers could have beat our boys yesterday. Should see a much better effort against the Jets but a win in not guaranteed of course. “How” we lost = sickening. And if by some miracle Tebow comes in and kicks our ass I won’t know whether to laugh quietly to myself or hurl my lunch.

  9. Flavor says:

    With Moss saying “next question” in response to playing time it appears we might start seeing the beginning of him chucking it in, effort wise. For the life of me I can’t figure out how the pre-contract offer talk could have left out how Harbaugh was planning on using him this year. And make no mistake, I’m fine with limiting Randy’s plays, it’s the best way to keep him fresh and let’s face it, he’s at the end of his career.
    But if they were planning on having him play a limited role in the offense, why the fuck wouldn’t they tell him that before he signed his deal? Who knows, maybe they did and he changed his tune after Manningham was signed (he signed after Moss, right?)

    • 12th man says:

      You think we use him appropriately?

      • Flavor says:

        I think it’s prudent to use him in a limited way. He’s 35. That’s old. I want Moss to be fresh as fuck when he’s on the field. That means he’s not going to play the same number of plays he played when he was younger.
        I’d be ok with a few more plays a game because this feels almost excessively limited. I sure hope they aren’t increasing his PT a little because of any visible slacking they’re seeing in practice. And if that IS the case then I can see why he’s *next questioning* the media. He’s mad and a mad Randy is not someone you’d want on your team.
        I don’t really give a shit if Moss is practicing poorly. If the brass thinks he’s done then they should cut him. If they think he’s slacking in practice and that’s why he’s so limited in games then they need to reverse course and just start playing him more in games (again, in a limited number of plays but a little more than they’re doing now).
        We’re talking about Randy Moss, he doesn’t have to earn playing time by practicing as hard as the other guys. That’s just the way it is.

      • Nipper says:

        Flavor is for prudence.

  10. 12th man says:

    Yeah I agree, I could see him getting double the snaps without risking his conditioning though. Chuck makes a good point that even as a decoy he has a 10 yd cushion, plus it’s not like Williams has lit it up as a receiver yet although I do think he has promise. Not sure if Moss is getting down about playing time or not, the guy is so enigmatic it’s tough to get a read on him.

  11. Nipper says:

    Lets just forget this game. Now if the next one sucks too than blast away with strong venom.

  12. unca_chuck says:

    These refs are an absolute joke. They are giving the game to Seattle. Sidney Rice is pushing and grabbing the DB, and the DB gets called for PI. Wilson gets tackled 1/2 a step after the pass and it’s roughing on the pick. Absolute bullshit.

  13. 12th man says:

    That PI call was BS.

  14. unca_chuck says:

    The point being, in crunch time, Moss was barely on the field. He’s in on like 15 plays? 35 would be minimal. IF he’s in, send him deep. If only for the deke. We didn’t send ANYONE deep yesterday. It clogged up the short passing game. It pisses me off to no end we rarely go deep with the WRs.

  15. unca_chuck says:

    Jennings has the ball. And they give it to Seattle. Joke.

  16. 12th man says:

    refs really did give to the seahawks lol

  17. 12th man says:

    I strongly suggest going to cowboys.com, just trust me on this.

  18. 12th man says:

    Nobody thought that was funny? Must be my wierd sense of humor, I cracked up when a brother Niner fan sent me the link.

  19. twinfan1 says:

    I think there’s been about 5 hours of virtually uninterrupted coverage on ESPN of the terrible call that gave Seattle the game last night.. And it was indeed an awful call- but if we could have had this much outrage when we invaded Iraq the first day, the troops would have been home in time for happy Hour at Appleby’s and those delish appetizers..

  20. unca_chuck says:

    We didn’t know we were being blatantly lied to. At the time.

    I certainly had reservations about the yellow cake uramium and all that shit, but for the most part the administration supposedly had ironclad proof that there was some kind of devastating weapons program going on in Iraq.

    And the call sucked. This could concievably blow GB’s chances to get into the playoffs. Doubtful, but possible. Seattle certainly gets a leg up in their playoff hunt.

    • twinfan1 says:

      There was considerable opposition to rhe invasion before it began. Many of us did know the war was a mistake- and for many reasons, not just the WMD lie- which, again, many knew to be a lie.

      • unca_chuck says:

        Yeah, there was a lot of bullshit. I certainly knew that Al Queida and Saddam Hussein were not on friendly terms. Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. So, yeah, there was resistance. Just not by Congress. Afghaninstan was the right move as the Taliban was harboring Al Queida. But even that was questionable as they could just creep back into Pakistan.

        Total clusterfuck nightmare that will take still more years to unravel.

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