Immediately following Sunday's game, Jim Harbaugh spoke with the media and addressed the issue of some of the more conservative play-calling we saw:
On whether he was more inclined to play for field goals due to the nature of the game.
"No, we're always playing for touchdowns."
There were two instances where the 49ers had a 3rd and long well inside field goal territory and elected to run shotgun handoffs. They were basic off-tackle or off-guard runs. They spread out the defense with four receivers split out wide, so there was a modest amount of misdirection with the plays.
One occurred at the Seahawks 13 yard line when the 49ers had 3rd and goal. I was anticipating a quick fade route to Braylon Edwards, but instead they ran it. I understand concerns about turnovers in a tight battle, but if a team is always playing for touchdowns, the runs don't make sense to me. I know we can only take what Coach Harbaugh says with a grain of salt, but even still, those 3rd and long decisions confused me.
Does it play along with the idea of running it on 3rd and long deep inside your own territory? Is the "worst place" to turn the ball over deep in your own territory and deep in opposing territory? Was it smart to play for three in spite of Coach Harbaugh might have said after the game? They came away with a pair of field goals and obviously that was the difference, but should the team have more of a cut-throat mentality at times on offense?