Hey guys... It hurts, I know. Believe me, it hurts as bad if not even more ten hours away at 6AM. Anyway, I have slept it off and I do feel much better this lovely morning (more like afternoon here but what the heck).
However, I did feel a need to share my thoughts and my feelings towards the game with my fellow Niners fans.
So without further ado, here is what I take away from this game:
1. Kyle Williams -
Made some boneheaded plays. No doubt. Heck, they were so boneheaded they could have embarrassed Mark Sanchez. However, I think claiming he should be cut and blaming the loss on him is really overreacting. The fact is, he did something that was not his primary job, in a rainy and windy day in Candlestick, which is quite the challenge. Granted, he still made stupid plays, but take that into consideration.
You can blame the loss on KW all you want, but the fact is the offense threw this game away. It had countless opportunities to get some points and put the game away, including a chance to win the game with a field goal in overtime, and could not get A FIRST DOWN, let alone points.
So think before you claim KW cost us the game.
2. The offensive play-calling -
Is it called play-calling because I could call the plays five seconds before they happened from the comfort of my sofa? Because it sure seemed that way.
Whoever called the plays Sunday (I assume it was Greg Roman but I really have no idea) should have his play-calling duties stripped immediately.
The running game was doing so good! Why wouldn't you run the ball?!... Simply mind boggling. There were times I felt like a 9-year old kid playing Madden could have done better at playcalling.
And on top of that, Roman has this weird fetish for 3rd-and-longs. Seriously, it's like he thinks they are mandatory. Here is the pattern he ran almost every first down of the game, and if you doubt it go have a look:
1st & 10: Run the ball, gain 4-5 yards. Me: "That's some great running. Keep it going. Pound the rock!"
2nd down: Pass the ball. Why oh why would you do that. The running game is on a roll! 2nd and 6 is not necessarily a passing down. I found myself wishing we had Jimmy Raye and Singletary over on the sidelines calling running plays on all three downs. Almost every one of these 2nd down plays went incomplete.
3rd and long: Clearly Greg Roman's favorite down and distance. Now the offense is caught in a MUST PASS situation and have to pass the ball again even though they have not done so efficiently all game. Now the defense KNOWS you are going to run a passing play and can adjust accordingly. Horrible.
This sequence of play calls occurred so many times in the game I lost count. So predictable. I was calling these plays before the offense even got into formation. Me: "Second and 6? He's going to call pass", and lo-and-behold, he does.
If for example Roman would have realized his running game is working, and would have actually ran the ball on first and second down, let's say we have a 2nd and 3-5 on our hands. With that distance, either a running play or a passing play could fit. Now the offense isn't predictable, it has the element of surprise, and that's how you take advantage of the defense.
Plus, let me just add, putting in Anthony Dixon on a key series and 3rd-down play? Who called that. I get that Dixon is a nice guy and pretty funny but that's about where it ends. He really has not been that great as a running back, and with Frank the Tank and Hunter running on the Giants all day with much success, why would you bring him in? He always seems to lose his footing and he did so again. WHY?!
That's like having a key-third down and bringing Hastings, Swain and Peele to play receivers instead of VD, Crabtree and Williams. No, it won't confuse the defense, it'll make you punt the ball.
Now I'll end my rant here. I'm not offensive coordinator, and have never coached or played football at any level, but it seemed to me like something was really just wrong with out play calling.
3. Explosiveness Needed -
The offense needs another explosive target, one that defense have to account for on every play in addition to Vernon Davis. I'm not claiming Crabtree is a bust just yet, I still think he can be good, but the offense badly needs another star wide receiver. Be it through the draft or through free-agency, the offense needs a healthy dose of explosive. That is all I have to say really. Give me a tall, fast wide receiver and that is all I need.
4. The defense is incredible -
What a game by the defense. Sacked Manning five times and allowed only 20 points, 17 in regulation. If I'd told you before the game we would hold the Giants to 17 points, you'd have easily said we won it.
Every single player played his heart out and played lights out. I have nothing more to say. This defense on any other team with a slightly better offense would likely mean a Super Bowl lock. If the Niners resign some key players on D and add some pieces through the draft or FA, we can only get better. This is one HUGE reason to stay optimistic for next season and the seasons to come.
That's basically it. What a ride this season has been. I would have never seen us playing for the NFC Championship back in September, and this season has been simply unbelievable, with all its ups and downs.
Lastly, I'd really just like to thank you guys. Living in Israel I really have no one to watch the games with, so talking to all of you during the games has been real great. I really do appreciate it and am looking forward to lurking around NN this offseason and for the seasons to come. It's time to start some draft research and GO NINERS!