I think every 49ers fan was watching the 2nd half with their face in their palms. The 49ers started the game relatively well. Even with the missed opportunities in the first half, the 49ers team as a whole played a great game. The offense opened up the playbook and wasn't afraid to take chances with the downfield plays, which paid off. The defense was setting the tone and putting pressure on Brady and our tough tackling was causing game changing fumbles.
Then . . . complacency kicked in or was it mid game adjustments on the side of the Patriots?
I personally felt the game plan changed going from the 3rd into the 4th.
The defense moved to a zone defense and allowed Brady to build his confidence with the short/mid range throws. More importantly the 49ers stopped being as aggressive with the pass rush. They stopped putting together blitz packages and instead opted for a prevent defense. The 49ers defense is at its best when it is being physical and contesting every pass and putting consistent pressure on the QB. With that said, the defense continues to carry the team by giving its offense multiple opportunities to score.
The offense needs to work on extending drives, particularly when they have the lead. A lot of the scoring drives were set up by our defense returning fumbles/interceptions for scores. Aside from the special teams long return and the opening drive, all the 49ers scoring started from the redzone. At some point during these last weeks, the 49ers offense needs to show some consistency in moving the ball, getting 1st downs and taking it from their own 20 and moving the length of the field. I think they did this well at the beginning of the game and during the Chicago game.
- Akers missing field goals. Last year, this was our bread and butter. We won games based on our ability to get to close enough to the redzone to kick field goals. If you look at all the games the 49ers lost, missed field goals played a part in all of them. The Giants loss should have been 26-9 and the tie and Rams loss should have been won. These pts need to be there or else we are allowing opposing teams the opportunity to come back.
- Kaep's ball security issues. I honestly don't know what to say other than Kaep needs to work on making clean snaps, hand offs and protecting the ball when he is not in the pistol or shotgun formation.
- Punt return muffs, holy crap what is going on? Words do not describe the anger I felt, when Ginn came within a centimeter and a bad ball bounce from turning it over again. As of now I do not trust any of our punt returners. Id rather see them fair catch everything than give them the opportunity to run. Our punt returns haven't been spectacular so why bother risking turning it over, when clearly we seem to mishandle punts more than actually gaining yards? What infuriates me the most is the fact that Ginn tried to reach to pick it up from the side after it took a bounce. WHY? Stay the hell away from the ball, gunners are already in your face and the moving ball is unpredictable in picking up. There is a reason why when an offense fumbles, they train offensive players to just fall on it. This is a repeat of last years special teams issues that ultimately cost us a trip to the Superbowl.
Im looking forward to Sunday nights Seattle game. Despite all my criticisms, Harbaugh and the coaching staff continue to make adjustments and improvements that seem to be paying off. I think that will give us what we need to get that superbowl championship this year.
49ers fan 100%, Win, Lose or Tie