Blog Entry

Week 5 vs. New England Thoughts and Observations

Posted on: October 6, 2008 10:36 am
Edited on: October 7, 2008 8:35 am
 
- Martz was ridiculously outcoached by Belichick, who had an answer to everything Martz tried.  The sad part is that I could of outcoached Martz with the game he called.  The playcalling was so predictable it would have been easy.  First down, 5 yard run by Gore; second down, 3 yard run by Gore; third down, long developing pass play instead of a 3 step drop.  All the Patriots had to do was bring pressure on third down and they did it.  The offense only converted 1 third down out of the 9 they tried and only had 1 drive of more than 5 yards, including 5 three and outs.

- J.T. O'Sullivan didn't play as poorly this week as he did last week but it was close.  At least this week he didn't turn the ball over in the red zone or take sacks when he didn't have to.  He still had quite of few costly mistakes.  The one that stood out was the interception deep in our own territory on the first 49ers drive of the 2nd half.  The Patriots had just had a 10-play, 6 minute (the defense only allowed 34 yards and forced a punt, though) drive to start the 3rd quarter and the defense was tired and needed a break, instead JTO threw an interception 38 seconds later and forced the defense to come back onto the field with their backs to the wall at their own 24.  Of course the Patriots scored a touchdown on that.  I am amazed that the defense almost stopped them.  Then there was his last interception with about 3 minutes left when he tried to force something that wasn't even close to there.  San Francisco still had all 3 timeouts left and was only down by 9 at that point.  Throw the ball away, pin the Patriots, and hope the defense can get you the ball back.  Outside of those 2 plays he was inaccurate for most of the game.

- There wasn't nearly enough Frank Gore to judge his performance.  When he got the ball he was great as always but Martz didn't give him the ball enough.  I don't know why Martz abandoned the run in the 3rd quarter when we were only down by 3 and then 10.  Gore's touchdown catch was great but outside of that he didn't have any highlights.  Even though he didn't touch the ball I would like to take this time to talk about Michael Robinson.  He is a great athlete and can throw the ball and there are so many things he can do.  It bothers me that he isn't used more on offense when he should be used at least as a short yardage back.

- Isaac Bruce didn't catch many passes but when he caught one it was a big play.  Two of his three catches were for touchdowns and the other was for 38 yards.  After yesterday he has 4 touchdown catches on the season.  It seems that he still does have something left in the tank.  Two weeks ago at New Orleans I thought the receivers were having trouble getting seperation and that is why none of them had a good game, except for Arnaz Battle.  Yesterday I don't think that was true.  I saw quite a few plays when Battle and Bryant Johnson were running around wide open and JTO didn't see them.  Still, neither of them played well as they both dropped a pass that could have been a big play.  As I said last week, Josh Morgan and Jason Hill are a year away but I am excited about seeing what they can do when they get the chance.

- I am not going to say Vernon Davis had a bad game this week because I saw him open almost every time he went out for a pass.  It is not his fault he was only targeted once.  He stayed back to pass block most of the time and he did a good job.  Delanie Walker, on the other hand, was bad.  That first pass he dropped on the opening drive would have gone for 20+ yards and on JTO's first interception it looked like Walker might have ran the wrong route.

- At least the offensive line wasn't terrible this week.  Early in the game they were allowing some pressure, because the Patriots did blitz a lot, but they gave JTO enough time to get rid of it and in the second half they made some adjustments and looked good.  I cannot tell if it is because the rest of the offensive line sucks or he is just really good but Joe Staley looks like a Pro Bowler.  He pretty much threw Jarvis Green around whenever he was in and held his own against Richard SeymourEric Heitmann was also surprisingly good against Wilfork, at least in pass protection as he wasn't pushed back.  Adam Snyder is a failure at guard and there was obviously a reason that the Raiders didn't want Barry Sims anymore, he sucks.  Why not just try Snyder out at right tackle?  Both Tony Wragge and David Baas got playing time at right guard and neither was bad but Wragge was a little bit worse.

- I'm sorry but I just don't know what else to say about Nolan's defensive gameplan.  He just doesn't know what he is doing.  For some reason he had Nate Clements playing Moss deep yesterday and the Patriots saw it and just threw it to Moss short.  Nolan failed to adjust to this.  Finally Nolan did decied to bring some pressure and it was working because the defense was giving Matt Cassel almost no time to throw.  But on third downs Nolan went right back to his Prevent-Big Nickel defense, or whatever he calls it, and Cassel had all day to find an open receiver for a first down.

- Even though the 49ers have basically switched to a 4-3 they still need a big, run clogging defensive tackle for short yardage situations.  Isaac Sopoaga is a quick guy that can push the pocket on passing plays but he is not strong at the point of attack and can get pushed back.  Kentwan Balmer might develop into the type of defensive tackle we need but he seems too similiar to Sopoaga.  Ray McDonald is basically a cheap version of Sopoaga.  Ronald Fields and Aubrayo Franklin are both back-ups at best.  Justin Smith continues to look like a good signing.  He was putting a lot of pressure on Cassel and was solid against the run.  Roderick Green and Parys Haralson are both great situational pass rushers, especially Haralson, but neither is a consistent 3-down DE. 

- That was the second best game of Patrick Willis' young career, imo.  Fourteen solo tackles, including ones for 0, 2, 4, 2, 4, 2, 0, 3, 0, and a sack.  He is a beast in every sense of the word.  Takeo Spikes is starting to look like a great signing after starting off the first couple of games slowly.  He had 9 tackles within 4 yards of the LoS and made a great interception, for the second straight week.  The 49ers played with only 2 linebackers for most the game yesterday so Willis and Spikes were the only linebackers that did anything.  Tully Banta Cain got in a play a few times but nothing spectacular.  When Manny Lawson gets back, and if Nolan is smart enough to play a 4-3 with he, Willis, and Spikes at the linebacker positions, the 49ers will have a very formidable linebacking corps

- What is up with Walt Harris?  For the first three weeks of the season he was great, and I mean Pro Bowl caliber great, but the last two weeks he has gotten burnt quite a few times.  Randy Moss ran right by him when he slipped on that long touchdown.  It was hard to judge Clements' performance yesterday because Nolan had him playing 20 yards off the LoS but he was right with Moss on his interception.  Mark Roman continues to fail miserably as he got abused on short passes by Wes Welker but at least he didn't allow anything deep.  Michael Lewis was good against the run and wasn't asked to cover much seeing as Donald Strickland was on the field so much.  Strickland got owned on moves by Moss on all 4 of Moss' catches outside of the touchdown.

- I think it is safe to say that Andy Lee is back, don't you?  I mean an 82 yard punt, and it traveled almost every yard in the air, an average of 56 yards, and a net average of 46 yards.  Joe Nedney wasgood on kickoffs.  Allen Rossum had a good day on kickoff returns but didn't get any chances to return any punts.

Overall, I am very disappointed in the coaches.  At this point I am basically praying that Mike Nolan is fired during the week but I know he won't be.  But my hopes are high because if the Eagles blow us out and we are 2-4 going into the bye, which is probably what will happen, there is a very good chance he will be fired.  Don't get me wrong, I would never hope the 49ers lose but this is about as close as I will ever get.
Category: NFL
Comments

Since: Jul 22, 2008
Posted on: October 7, 2008 3:09 am
 

Week 5 vs. New England Thoughts and Observations

You couldn't be more way off than you are on this one.  No I'm just joking.  That was an great break down of the game.  I watched every snap and your right my friends and I were calling every offensive and defensive play.  It was ridiculous. 

J.T. did play almost as bad as last week.  But I think that has a little more to do with the play calling than just the player himself.  Coaches have to put there players in the best possible position to win.  I don't think that's happening.  Have you guys heard J.T. talk post game.  I love the way he takes all the responsibility on himself.  To me that show real character. And a unending will to want to be great no matter what happens.  He may never be great but he seams to be a great leader.  That just what our teams needs right now.

Frank Gore needs to get the ball more.  Is it just me or do I remember Mike Martz saying that he was the only player on the team he had to get the ball to.  What happened to that.  In the game against the Lions Martz called all kinds of different run plays.  He ran in Big, he spread the Defense out with four wide outs and ran, he ran out of a pro set. He ran inside and out.  Why did he stop all that it worked.  He's ru
nning the ball now just  for show.  Just to say well I ran it, now lets go deep.  And your right why don't they give frank a break and run with Robinson and Foster?  I know Frank is good but DAMB give him a break and let somebody else get the rock too.

It hurts me to say this but Mike Nolan has got to go.  I always liked he and tried to say good thing about him.  But you look around the league and see teams like the Titans and Redskins and think are they really that good.  The answer is no.  The Titans have a great defense but there offense is not very good.  Collins is OK at best.  Do the Redskins really have a team with that much more talent that the 49ers. No I don't think so. But they win and against better team than we lose to.  And why is that? Coaching plan and simple.  Mike Nolan I'm sorry but you got to go.  Good luck I hope you land on your feet.




Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: October 6, 2008 9:46 pm
 

Week 5 vs. New England Thoughts and Observations

OH man, I meant to give you a 5-star rating for the reply, but i accidentally hit the one- my bad bro...

 

Don't worry. Kyle did this to me too...and I work with the guy.




Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: October 6, 2008 9:42 pm
 

Week 5 vs. New England Thoughts and Observations

Another great analysis Abaddon.

-Even before this game started, I had mentioned that Belichick was a superior coach to Martz. I had a few posts that eluded to this on the 49er message board and some fellow Niner fans gave me negative ratings for this. I hate to say I was right...but I was right. I don't mean to sound like an arrogant prick on the situation, but I am frustrated with Martz's lack of flexibility. Martz has brought some credibility back to this offense, but he needs to realize that he's not working with Torry Holt and Kurt Warner. He needs to make better in-game decisions. Good question...where was the 3 step drop?

-JTO didn't have timing. Credit the Patriots for bumping receivers and disrupting the 49ers rhythm in the passing game. JTO's interceptions were not in the red zone this time, but 3 INT's are still unacceptable by any standards. Another sign of the lack of rhythm in the passing game? JTO only threw for 130 yards...a season low. I want JTO to suceed. He's a local kid and a great success story, but he needs to make better decisions when he improvises.

-I agree that Frank Gore needs to touch the ball more. I don't care if it's in the form of a carry or catch. 16 combined touches won't work. Gore is the best player on the team. That's all that needs to be said here.

-Isaac Bruce can't be the only playmaking WR on offense. Soon...very soon, Bryant Johnson, Arnaz Battle, or Josh Morgan will need to step up on a CONSISTENT basis in order to make Martz's offense work. Bruce is clearly the top receiver in this corp. GO BRUUUUUUUUUCE! I never thought I would say that.

-Vernon Davis' failures are a result of MIke Martz's scheme. Do you remember when critics were saying that Davis will struggle in Martz's offense before the season started? They were right. I would like to see Martz line Davis up wide or in the slot. He has the speed of a WR and much more size. Hey Coach Martz! Are you listening?

-I don't know what else to say about the line. All I can say is that I'm glad JTO can scramble.

-Nate Clements had a bad game. I think part of the problems are Nolan's scheme. Clements should be bumping receivers on every play. You're right though. What the heck was Nolan thinking by not manning Clements up against Randy Moss. Donald Strickland can't be expected to cover Moss.

-I was wrong about Justin Smith. I will keep saying this for the rest of the season. He's better than I thought he would be. He's a tireless worker. I don't think he is a permanent answer at DE. He's got a motor and would be even MORE effective if the Niners had a defensive lineman that could CONSISTENTLY draw the double team. The LB's and line did get pressure on Matt Cassel, however, the secondary couldn't hold. You're right...Where was the pressure on 3rd down?

-Can't say enough about Patrick Willis. He is a tireless worker. I don't see what all the hype is about Manny Lawson. Part of being a start caliber player is staying healthy. Lawson hasn't showed that yet. I may have been wrong about Takeo Spikes too. Although both interceptions in the last 2 weeks were mistakes by the other team's QB's and not as a result of Spikes playmaking. Spikes just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

-The coverage was wrong for the scheme. We should be bumping receivers. I'm confident in Walt Harris, Nate Clements, Michael Lewis AND Mark Roman. The scheme needs to be right...and it isn't.

-Special teams played well. I've always liked Allen Rossum. Andy Lee is the best punter in the NFC.

At this point, Nolan is solely to blame. This is a talented team. On offense, we have Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker, Isaac Bruce, Bryant Johnson, Joe Staley, and Eric Heitmann. On defense, we have Nate Clements, Walt Harris, Justin Smith, Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes. There is enough talent to get over 0.500. So far, the play on offense and defense has dictated that the Niners are only a 6-10 team. Nolan needs to pull a rabbit out of his hat, otherwise it will be time for change.

 




Since: Aug 12, 2008
Posted on: October 6, 2008 6:22 pm
 

Week 5 vs. New England Thoughts and Observations

OH man, I meant to give you a 5-star rating for the reply, but i accidentally hit the one- my bad bro... I think it had a lot to do with Greg Manusky too. Way too predictable and Bill Belicheck knew what the 49ers would call even before the game. Walt Harris and Mark Roman are blowing it. With the injuries to Donald Strickland and others in the secondary, it puts a lot of pressure on these starters but still no excuses.

Man, the ONLY thing I didn't want to see was Randy Moss burning our secondary like he did. The balance of power on this squad has shifted. Regardless, the defense let the Patriots move the ball all day long, so it was their fault for sure. If you give any team in the NFL (well, besides the Rams, Bengals and Lions) almost 50% (8/17 attempts) success rate on 3rd downs, the defense ain't doing their jobs.

Sorry about the 1-rating, totally didn't mean to press the one-star. Damn CBS won't let me go back and change it...




Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: October 6, 2008 3:06 pm
 

Week 5 vs. New England Thoughts and Observations

Thanks for the input but I disagree on a few things
The offense was much worse last year while Nolan's squad was riding Alex Smith.It wasn't really Alex Smith as he only played 3 games healthy.  It was Trent Dilfer with Jim Hostler as the offensive coordinator, a recipe for fail.

But, even with the mediocre offense we have now, the defense was a whole lot better last year too. I don't get how these high-paid secondary guys keep getting worked each Sunday. Walt Harris, for example, was beat all day a week ago against the Saints. Now, Nate Clements and Michael Lewis, get paid a ton of money from the executives to make our defense better, and it looks like they are rookies in disguise. Patrick Willis won't have 18 tackles a game each game in the season, and Takeo Spikes can't intercept a game a week. The secondary is struggling, and the fact Matt Cassell had a big day against our defense makes the remainder of the season look bleak. The one thing I didn't want to see was Randy Moss go deep, but it happened anyways.I don't think the defense has been bad.  No defense is going to do well if they are on the field for 40 minutes.  They could be better on 3rd down but I think that is more Nolan's terrible gameplan than the players.  Walt Harris has made a few mistakes the past couple of weeks, Mark Roman has made 50 or so, but Nate Clements has been great and Michael Lewis hasn't been bad.  Moss beat Harris on the long touchdown yesterday and he beat us short because Nolan's defense called for Clements to play 20 yards off of the LoS, as I said. 



Since: Aug 12, 2008
Posted on: October 6, 2008 2:42 pm
 

Week 5 vs. New England Thoughts and Observations

Great analysis of the game. I didn't get a chance to watch this one as I was at a Concert, but from what I have heard around the water cooler, the final score was more deceptive than it really should have been.

While J.T.O'Sullivan continues to struggle with these interceptions he keeps throwing, more and more teams are going to relax in the air against the 49ers. Like the Patriots did to the 49ers, the key for opponents to handle the 49ers offense is to focus on shutting down Frank Gore. He did have a touchdown, but the yards weren't there. Almost every time Frank goes for 20+ plays, and has a productive game, the 49ers win (12-2 record with these numbers). Its a shame to see that the weakness has shifted from offense to defense.

The offense was much worse last year while Nolan's squad was riding Alex Smith. But, even with the mediocre offense we have now, the defense was a whole lot better last year too. I don't get how these high-paid secondary guys keep getting worked each Sunday. Walt Harris, for example, was beat all day a week ago against the Saints. Now, Nate Clements and Michael Lewis, get paid a ton of money from the executives to make our defense better, and it looks like they are rookies in disguise. Patrick Willis won't have 18 tackles a game each game in the season, and Takeo Spikes can't intercept a game a week. The secondary is struggling, and the fact Matt Cassell had a big day against our defense makes the remainder of the season look bleak. The one thing I didn't want to see was Randy Moss go deep, but it happened anyways.

The time of possession is continuing to be a concern for the 49ers. Each game they have lost, they have been on the low end of ball possession, considerably noting that the Patriots had the ball twice as long as the 49ers did on Sunday.

Now the 49ers play the Eagles (2-3), whom are getting Brian Westbrook back. This game, like the one against the Pats, is a must win for Mike Nolan and the 49ers. Donovan McNabb is going to go deep to DeSean Jackson, we can see it coming even this early in the week. Westbrook and Correll Buckhalter, are going to try and move the ball (time of possession) so the 49ers need to be ready asap! Even looking down the road, the 49ers look to be in trouble. They play the Eagles, then head to play the Giants, whom by the way are a very solid football team. They get the Seahawks at home before the bye week too. There is a very good chance the 49ers are sitting at 2-6 at the bye week. Even worse, they don't have an easy schedule after the bye, taking on the surprising Bills, and going against the Dolphins, who just beat the Chargers.

Mike Nolan is going to be done in San Francisco if he can't get the defense to shut down opponents. The fact is, the GM brought in Mike Martz to get the offense moving, which slowly and surely he is doing so. Nolan is a defensive guy, but he isn't getting the job done. The 49er faithful are getting impatient to say the least. The fans want results and are tired of the 49ers being a 3rd-tiered football team.

I am glad I didn't happen to see this game against the Patriots. I feel for the 49ers and the fans as we have two weeks of considerably tough football ahead of us. Although we have taken small steps to improve from last season, we still need a major change in mentality on both sides of the football, or its going to be another long season for the 49ers.

 



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