The 2014 season got off to a resounding thud, as the Johns beat the Jims 23-3. Yet another loss for Jim at the hands of his older brother. This one of course doesn’t mean as much, but still, John Harbaugh has to feel a little smug next time they meet for dinner at their parents house.
All in all, a very desultory effort by the team, as the offense stalled out behind Gaine Blabbert (and later Josh Joshson), and the backup defense was gashed for 8 yard runs all night. Unfortunately for me, I missed the opening drive until the very point I wanted to see something different. Which of course was the 3rd and 1 from the 7. Per usual, we packed the line and ran up the middle for no gain. If you haven’t heard me yet, this is a large issue with me. I mean, why do we even practice the 0 yard rush? We do it 3o times a game. Yes, there were a lot more 2 WR formations on 1st and 2nd down, but again there were a lot of 1st down rushes for 2 yards or less. Yippee.
Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.
I know I shouldn’t read too much into this, but the philosophy seems to be the same as last year. Anyhow, the 49ers were very lucky the only injury they suffered on defense was and ankle injury to Lawrence Okoye, as the defense was on the field for 40 of the 60 minutes. Jimbo should give them the week off as they had a full week of practice time in that game.
Highlights are the solid returns and a catch by Bruce Ellington, who showed a nice burst. I hear Hyde looked good on that opening drive, Ward was solid in run support, and Tank & Dial looked pretty good to great on the line. Mike Purcell on the other hand wasn’t all that good at NT, but then again, the LBs were often nowhere to be seen in run support or on screen plays. Wilhoite looked good, but the rest were out of position most of the time. Even Christian Okoye had a couple nice plays before getting hurt. And Chris Cook had a nice pick late, and he played well in single coverage on an end zone pass.
Reclamation project Blaine Gabbert looks to be way behind schedule in regards to becoming a decent backup. Then again, there were a lot of drops. Stevie Wonder among the few. I’m still not very thrilled with our passing game. Our routes do not seem to be designed to gain separation from the DBs out there. They seem to be strictly comeback routes and sideline passes. These are fairly easily defended, and with Gabbert throwing, it was ugly, as he ended up 3/11 for a whopping 20 yards. Josh looked like he had a better idea of how to run the offense (6/8-63 yards), but we’ll see if Gabby gets left behind.