Over the course of the game I was sending out tweets with some of my thoughts about the 49ers performance, play-calling and just the game in general. One of the tweets that got a lot of responses was when I agreed with the decision to go deep late in the first half on a play that resulted in an Alex Smith interception.
The 49ers converted a 4th and 3 and had 1st and 10 at the Baltimore 35 with 18 seconds left. On the ensuing play, Alex Smith threw a deep pass to Braylon Edwards in the end zone. Lardarius Webb made the inside play on the ball and got the interception, preventing the 49ers from attempting a field goal with sure-footed David Akers.
After the game, there was some discussion about there being some miscommunication on the play. It sounds like Alex was supposed to fire the pass over Braylon's outside shoulder, but instead came inside and the interception resulted. Coach Harbaugh indicated "[w]e were more hoping for the back shoulder" but then he also said he wasn't sure who exactly was right on that play.
Whatever the case, I still think it was a decent play-call given the situation. One argument against it was the fact that points were at a premium and they might as well just play it safe to get a little closer for the field goal. I can see some reasoning for that, but I also think taking one shot deep was not such a bad idea.
For those concerned about Braylon's performance in the end zone, I took a look back at the play and if he was expecting the ball over his outside shoulder, it is not surprising he cut behind Webb and didn't try and cut inside. As Smith said after the game, some of that has to do with installing a new offense on the fly. It is so much easier for their to be miscommunication in these kinds of instances.
What did you think at the time and has your opinion changed at all since last night?