Oh, momma! That game was tough to stomach. There are so many little things that happened throughout the course of the game that added up to a loss, as "Riding the F Train" pointed out in his fanpost, "A Few Key Things That Will Be Overlooked By Most". Good points and good post, by the way. I want to get into something more specific, however, and that would be to talk about our anaemic rush attack and what, if anything, we can do to improve it going forward.
First off, I would like to address the growing suspicion that many of us are beginning to have about Frank Gore. He seems to have lost his explosiveness. There's no denying that he has exceptional vision, that he has excellent hands out of the backfield, that he is incredibly intelligent and understands the game or that he can be a devastating pass blocker. He is a consummate pro, and I'm not here lobbying for Kendall Hunter to start, but he looks like he has lost a step or three. The play that has really stood out to me out of the first two games was against the Seahawks on a run to the left where it was just him against Earl Thomas. I remember thinking that Frank could easily beat him, but then he tried to make a move and his body just seemed to not respond to his mind and Earl Thomas simply gobbled him up for a very short gain. That was a play that Frank would've owned a couple of years ago, but he just couldn't make the explosive move needed to juke a guy.
Saying all that, he could still be having a productive year if the rest of the team performed adequately. As it stands right now, his stat line for the first two game is 42/106 with one touchdown and an average of a paltry 2.5 yds per carry. The second half yesterday when we were trying to run the clock down to keep Dallas' offense off the field was painful to watch. We simply had absolutely NO push. Our big guys got owned. They generated a negative force and were shoved backwards into either Alex Smith or Moran Norris and Frank Gore. Speaking of Norris, I'm convinced that he is the worst player in the league at his position. He is like a big pile of apathy out there. So, they suck. What can be done to fix it?
All of my suggestions henceforth should be viewed with the caveat that we are not a veteran team with players who have mastered an offensive scheme already. Every single player on the team is learning a new system. So, it's not like the older players have much, if any, edge over the young guns. So, without further ado, here it goes:
Get rid of Moran Norris already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He is hardly ever used as a blocker in passing situations, so it's not like putting a rookie in Bruce Miller will threaten our ability to pass. At least Miller will get some dudes popping backwards in the run game. Norris has gotten his butt whipped most of the time this season. The other guy wins, and Frank gets hammered. I challenge anyone to give me a realistic reason why this guy is still in uniform (and it can't be that he's on Gore's contract like some have jokingly suggested).
Let Alex Boone replace Anthony Davis
Alex Boone had a great camp. Alex Boone is the guy that newcomer, Aldon Smith, had a hard time getting around in camp. He is a big guy at 6'8" who can move his feet. Anthony Davis, on the other hand, is still struggling. He's still very young, at 21, and he will need more time for his body to adjust to the raw power and speed that he faces every Sunday. Boone seems like he is ready now.
Replace Chilo Rachal with Daniel Kilgore
Chilo can play well sometimes. But he is like a jack-in-the-box, in that you never know when the joker will pop out of the box and disturb you. He looks clueless out there. Daniel Kilgore is young and raw, but he has a nasty disposition and I will take young and raw over older and still raw any day of the week.
Give Kendall Hunter more touches
This dude is explosive. He almost broke a kickoff all the way to the house yesterday when they tried to kick away from Ted Ginn Jr. He provides a change of pace that would allow us to stretch the defense from sideline to sideline with pitches and screens. Too often right now the opposition is keying on us between the tackles. Also, if he gets more touches, then Frank Gore might be better off at the end of the season, and if we are in the hunt for our division then we'll need him fresh.
What do you think we should do to improve our run game?