Who’s Got It Better Than Us??? Uhhhh . . .

Well, statistically speaking, about 25 teams. What I thought was a mere blip on the road to the playoffs last week in Seattle turns out to be something a little bit more foreboding. The 49ers pretty much followed the same script of doing little on offense, and leaning on the defense all day to keep the score close. The D did it’s job until, much like Seattle, eventually wore down as the offense couldn’t do anything until garbage time.

When the 3rd quarter started, the Niners were down 10-7. The Niners gained 19 yards on 3 runs, a pass, and a sack, and punted. That drive took 2:58. Indy got the ball and drove 53 yards, burned 5:03, and kicked a FG. At this point, the Niners were still one score from taking the lead, 13-7. They had a promising drive going when Kappy took a 5 yard loss on a read option that was completely blown up by Freeman of the Colts. A short run and short pass later, we punt. Indy then burns ~6 minutes to miss a FG. Still within reach. The next drive is a beaut. Incomplete pass. 4 yard pass. Sack. The Niners give the defense a whopping 1:19 to rest.

At this point, the Colts have been on offense for roughly 12 minutes to the 49ers 6. Indy then burns ~8 minutes to ice the game with a TD to go up 20-7 with 4:27 left. Of course then next drive was a fumble on the 8 that Indy recovered. Set up by another inexplicable return by Kendall Hunter. Between Hunter returning kickoffs to the 12 and KW fair catching balls inside the 10, the Niners had shitty field position all day. And when they didn’t they still blew their opportunities.

Still and all, a galling effort by the offense. The D isn’t generating much of a pass rush these days, but they did their job as well as they could given the ineptitude of the offense. The run D, a usual strength, has been gashed for a lot of 8-12 yard runs. Justin Smith does not command the double teams he used to, and the LBs aren’t nearly as clean as they used to be in pursuit. This leads to play action freezing the LBs and loosening the coverage downfield. Offensively, the WRs re never able to get open, while the line, our supposed strength, has done an awful job of pass protection. Mainly at the center position. Goodwin has been beaten regularly, and Kappy is forced to run. Usually to the left, as Staley is holding up better than Davis. This makes is near impossible to throw on the run. Speaking of run, the run game had been abandoned too quickly in my mind as well. All this leads to an anemic offensive attack that is making Jimmy-Hat look like Air Coryell.

The great news is we have a roadie in St Louis Thursday night. A loss there would put the 49ers 0-2 in the division, and possibly 3 games behind the Seahawks. They have a roadie of their own in Houston. Seattle is fair to middling on the road, but they certainly look about 80% better than we do at this point.

About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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48 Responses to Who’s Got It Better Than Us??? Uhhhh . . .

  1. Nipper says:

    Total break down. The whole team went south.

  2. Nipper says:

    Harbaugh’s BS at his press conferences has got to stop. If the press doesn’t grill him now, they NEVER will!

  3. snarkk says:

    The WR situation is near crisis mode. As suspected, this crew of WRs scares nobody. None of these guys can get open, at least not open enough for Kaep to get it to them. If they get a pass near their hands, its drop city. Seriously, how the hell can a team go three years with merde receivers and compete at a high level? They’ve got to scheme their way out of this, because the WR talent isn’t there. And, run the damn ball. The O-Line needs to step up and road grade, like they’re supposed to as one of the top groups in the league. Oh, yeah, and where’s the improvement in STeams? Assistant head coach Seely better start earning his title and salary, ‘cuz I’m not seeing why he has such a big rep. With VD and PW out Thursday, this is looking grim. The Rams are going to be tough at home. A 1-3 start to the season would be near disastrous. If Seattle wins in Houston, it will be disastrous…

  4. unca_chuck says:

    Here’s what Gore said after the game regarding the ‘choice words’ he had with Harbaugh:

    “When things are not going right you get frustrated. But, I think the game kind of got different in the second half and we had to do what we had to do, just throw the ball. And that’s what it was.”

    Frank Gore apparently screamed at Harbaugh as they walked off the field yesterday.

    “Hand me the damn ball”?

  5. unca_chuck says:

    From Cam Inman:

    Other injured players whose status is in jeopardy: linebacker Patrick Willis (groin), tight end Vernon Davis (left hamstring), cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (right knee), left guard Mike Iupati (right shoulder) and special-teams ace Bubba Ventrone (concussion).

    Oh Joy. Our starters are barely hacking it. How will the backups fare? These coaches need to scheme faster passing plays. If Iupati’s out, and Goodwin’s in, Kappy will be sprinting left all night.

  6. mailorderwife says:

    Unca – check your FB!

  7. More Harbaugh BS coming up at High Noon, Cary Cooper. I’m sure today’s speech will be Oscar-worthy. Oscar-Meyer worthy, that is…


  8. Remember when this team used to be stout vs the run? Not any more. Ranked 29th giving up 138 yds/gm. It’s not so much the yds/A (3.9), it’s the total rushes against — 105. Second most in the league. Teams are ramming it down our throats.

    • Grumpy Guy says:

      Part of that is also prolonged drives, because we can’t stop team throwing to convert on third downs – prolonged drives (instead of getting off the field), more plays, more running plays.

      But, yeah: we are not who we used to be.

  9. Grumpy Guy says:

    Courtesy of Eric Branch, via Skeebers at the Outsider:

    “Colin Kaepernick’s QB rating when targeting Anquan Boldin: 108.7. Rating when targeting other 49ers WRs: 19.5.”

    Ouch. Very fucking ouch.

  10. Irish Kevin says:

    From the SFGate: After the Colts rushed for 179 yards, averaged 4.6 yards a carry and had three rushing scores – as many as the 49ers allowed in the 2011 regular season – safety Donte Whitner said some ferocity was missing from a defense regarded as one of the NFL’s best. San Francisco hadn’t allowed 179 rushing yards since Sept. 26, 2010.

  11. unca_chuck says:

    Well, someone better step up. We are without Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis, Ian Williams, and Nnamdi Asomugha on defense Thursday. VD is still nursing his hammy. Get Baldwin in there. He at least has some size to go with his stone hands.

    • snarkk says:

      This is looking grim. They need to rush the damn ball, and then rush it some more. Ball control, keep the banged up defense off the field…

      • Irish Kevin says:

        lets see, that sounds like a Nolan/Singletary offense. don’t know if I really want to see that. Every team in football knew the Nineres offense back then, and they would put 8 in the box and we all know how that worked out for the Niners.

  12. unca_chuck says:

    Well, at this point they need to do something a little drastic. Like actually put WRs on the field. Not backup TEs and FBs. These 5 wide formations are great until you realize that they have V McDonald, Miller, Celek, and Dixon as the WRs in the 5 WR set. Gee, will they get open?

    They need Moore, Patton, Osgood, and Baldwin in their multi-WR sets. Why are they so scared to use their WRs? Fuck me sideways. Ran a goddamned slant or 3. Throw a screen off penetration. Get Goodwin out of there and try Looney or Kilgore at C. The shit they are doing isn’t working. And it isn’t fucking execution. It’s strategy. They abandoned the run when it got them their only TD.

    • snarkk says:

      I still don’t get why they axed Hawkins. The guy looked like one of the few WRs they had that could get open, and he could return kicks/punts. They were PO’d becaused he head celebrated with a head butt of a buddy after a TD? Now they either got smurfs or stone handed big guys out there as supposed WRs. 300 colleges playing football in this country and they can’t find any WR that can friggin get open?…

      • Grumpy Guy says:

        Yeah, well, not much chance of these other guys celebrating poorly after a touchdown. For some of these guys, the End Zone is a mythical place, like Atlantis or Shangri-La. They’ll never find it

    • Nipper says:


  13. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, i didn’t like that cut either.

  14. NoFear49er says:

    NJ49er, I haven’t had the chance to look at the game again but I didn’t have any complaints about Goodwin’s play. I think he’s a pretty solid center. Seems like the Colts had Aubrayo head up on him most of the game.

    I think one play you might be referring to was a 3rd or 4th quarter play that CK7 was sacked by Redding. He was Boone’s man on that play as the replay showed. Looked like Goodwin had the Mike backer and looked to help Staley. seems the Colts put ten guys on the LOS and Goodwin and our line had it sorted out pretty well. The Mike backer took the spy role instead of blitzing. At least that’s how I remember it. I too wondered why he looked like he was doing an imitation of Chilo Rachal on that play until they showed the replay.

    • Berger says:

      IMO that our formations are allowing the defense to load the box which allows them to easily disguise what they are running. Basically it allows the defense to dictate terms instead of the offense. Our coaching staff is making blocking assignments very confusing and then the fans are blaming the players. The players do need to step up but it won’t get fixed until the coaches see the light. They are stuck in the eighties.

      • phil fan says:

        Yup I’ve been blaming the coaching since early last year when the 2W-1L pattern emerged. The losses all had poorly prepared teams and no adjustments.. This bit us on the last drive in the SB and I wasn’t surprised one bit. Now we’re working on 2L-1W pattern with lesser players on board. It’s coaching but Baalke didn’t do us any favors by trading the OLB depth for 7th round picks.

  15. philippinefan says:

    Between the injuries and the front office moves our roster looks like this:

    Michael Crabtree injured. Out for most/all of season
    Ian Williams promising season ended by cheap shot
    Chris Culliver injured. Out for season
    Vernon Davis injured
    Patrick Willis injured
    Aldon Smith NFI
    Mario Manningham injured
    Delaney Walker lost to free agency
    Dashon Goldson lost to free agency
    Isaac Sopoaga lost to free agency
    RJF lost to free agency
    Alex Smith traded
    Parys Haralson traded

    (This off the PD blog). Cam Johnson is gone too. Scary how fast we have unraveled

    • Nipper says:

      Scary……..well October is upon us and it’s a very scary, scary month! I’m scared shitless if the Niners keep playing like this past Sunday.

  16. NoFear49er says:

    Berger, it’s not just allowing the defense to load the box, it’s forcing them to do it. If we run a 22 personnel package out and split out one guy on the numbers the defense puts ten in the box or damn near it. They won’t be out numbered by blockers in the box.

    I’ve said that those college gimmick formations and plays would be short lived, at least I hoped they would for us. Pretty easy to see this coming.

    It looks like CK7 is seeing more than he saw last year and after having had some bad throws is getting too cautious by what he sees the defenses doing. Last year he didn’t care about what he didn’t know. The coaches should compensate for this like they did for Alex with game plans that feature more safe and shorter throws that move the ball. Five yards with a chance for YAC beats the long bombs all to hell unless and until we get our QB and a couple receivers on the same page. Bring back some power runs (Iupati loves ’em and we could have killed Seattle with it) and play action and sideline comebacks, underneath crosses and slants.

  17. NoFear49er says:

    Good to see you Typhoon Phil.
    I guess your internet guy must have used some good bowlines on that coconut tree.

  18. unca_chuck says:

    Well, most of the pressure is coming up the middle. Whether through disguised blitzes or missed blocks, Kappy is most often pushed to his left because the right side of the line has collapsed on him. Rolling left and throwing is usually not going to work. Besides, our check down Gore is too busy blocking to catch anything.

    The little I’ve seen of the WRs, their apparent tactic to get open is to run to the nearest DB and stop. No route adjustments or hot reads to switch to. No underneath routes to dump to. No one gets open so you have chaos.

  19. Chico says:

    Abandon the run, WRs can’t get open. Injuries. Shit.

  20. 12th man says:

    Accuracy throwing deep or even going deep is not the problem. Running game is not the problem. Read option is not the problem. Why? Because the team is not doing any of those things to all intents and purposes.

    The problem is the formations are creating 8/9 in the box which effectively kills the run game, the QB taking off, the short passing game and also the long passing game since the D has more guys than the O at or near the LOS so the QB is running for his life before the WR gets open, which leaves very little else workable..

    It all starts at the LOS. They need the same number of guys both sides of the ball or whatever the play is is stillborn, which has largely been the case since the Niners are outnumbered at the snap.

    Spread O does not have 2 TE and a fullback out wide, that fools nobody and that IS the problem, Niners are not fooling anyone and that better change rapid.

    Kap is still the guy that ran for records, threw for records, and is very accurate. The scheme absolutely is counterproductive and rewards any team willing to stack the box which will be every team until the Niners spread out the LOS and even the playingfield.

    Spread it out more and throw quick hitters along with a consistent run game, that opens up the deep threat and the QB doing damage with his legs. Win TOP and turnover battles and they are right back in the W column.

    This team is talented enough even with sub-par WR talent if they scheme them open and run the damn ball.

  21. NJ49er says:

    I’m all for the quick hitters to get Kaep into a comfortable groove.
    Boldin isn’t a burner, Davis is.
    I’m hoping to see the Middle opened for this game.
    StL looked horrible tackling in the Secondary vs. Dallas.

    Have to get this Offense back on the rails.

  22. Winder says:

    Luckily the Rams are playing as bad as us. But unless we can keep the time of poss. close we won’t stand a chance to win this one. Can’t even say it’s because of injuries, that’s no excuse for the way we’ve played. I don’t know what happened to our OL and why we let Armad Bradshaw run circles around us. We are not playing 49er football, we have gone back to being a very frustrating and rather boring team to watch. However, it is the Ram game and no matter what with all my being I still want the Rams to be thoroughly stomped into the ground. We can still save this season. Go Niners.

    • NJ49er says:

      Not over by a long stretch.
      I don’t mind losing a game when you play a good game.
      That’s the issue over the past 2 weeks, we aren’t playing well at all.

      Division games are the most important.
      They’d better have this figured out.

      • 12th man says:

        Staring 1-3 in the face NJ. Harbs better get his finger prints on the O and win this game. Play calling has been inept the last 2 games. A short week Thursday nighter at their place against a division rival they lost to and tied last season is quite a hill to climb.

        Local press are itching to hammer Harbs because of the disdain he shows them, won’t be pretty if the Niners lose.

  23. 12th man says:

    What happened to Sando, espn west? I like the new format, 1 writer per team but where did Sando go? Guess I missed the announcement. He was a huge Squawk homer anyway.

  24. Nipper says:

    Kap has a shoe collection to rival Amelda Marcos in her prime. He takes shoes seriously.

  25. unca_chuck says:

    New thread is up . . .

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