I have been really appreciating the analysis of Aldon Smith's snaps. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to that and make a suggestion for expanding that into a even more contextualized analysis of Aldon Smith and the defense. What I was thinking of is an analysis that starts with: score, down-and-distance and players on the field (or just linebackers and lineman); and then discusses the result of the play and the role of Aldon Smith, if he is on the field. (At least this game, I think he was on the field much more often than not.) One key thing for each play, from my perspective, would be who rushed and who went into coverage, if it is a pass play, and what they nature of the coverages were.
I realize this might be a lot of work to do for the entire game; one way to make it more doable might be to pick a subset of series. For example, in this game their were 9 3-and-outs by Detroit; one could do an analysis of this sort for those 27 plays. If one added in the 2 Detroit series with a single first down, that would be about another 10 plays.
Well anyway, that is my two cents. One thing that really surprised me looking back at this game is that the defense never rushed more than 4 people. Wow! Is that true? There seemed to be some man coverage underneath. I am assuming then that there were safeties in partial zone or providing double coverage over the top?? Would love to learn more. Thanks.