I had a rough day last Sunday that included a new venue to watch the game that didn't turn-out well. Basically I went to a bar that another 49ers fan started going to because their beer prices were cheaper. Big mistake. This place had maybe 10 TVs and only two of them were 42", the rest probably 32-37". They didn't switch over to the 49ers game until about five minutes into the first quarter, so I missed snaps! I DON'T MISS SNAPS!
Needless to say I left immediately, and was quite frustrated. Well we all know what happens when you're at a bar, pissed-off, watching the game. So I got a bit rowdy I suppose and subsequently I didn't feel like I had seen everything there was to see in the game.
Today I decided to go back and re-watch everything and make some notes. Granted this is sort of a mind-dump, but it's interesting what you notice the second time (or first-and-a-half time?) around. Away we go!
The defense was giving up some big chunks in the passing game early. Clearly there were mis-communications on assignments because guys were wide open. Thankfully they stopped the run with great effectiveness.
Dashon Goldson took a really bad angle on a screen pass inside the red-zone late in the 1st quarter. It seemed like 49ers DB's were flat-footed often when trying to tackle runners in the open field.
Aldon Smith's first sack was a pure bull-rush. He knocked his man on his ass.
Michael Crabtree is dirty after the catch. Guys are falling down just trying to figure out which way he's going.
Speaking of shifty, LaMichael James is just another speed of player. He needs to keep playing, a lot. There were several plays called for him that you can only call for a guy with his speed and quickness. Runs across the field, slow to develop, etc.
The flea-flicker play was perfectly executed by everyone. Perfect throw, defender interfered with Randy Moss for about the last 20 yards of the route, including holding his left arm so he couldn't get both hands on the ball. That play counts as "keeping the defense honest", even if it didn't result in a catch/score. The defense knows they got lucky.
Crabtree would've had a touchdown on the incomplete pass in the 2nd quarter. Put like a triple-move on the DB and had Colin Kaepernick hit him in stride it was an easy TD.
If Gore had bounced it outside on the 3rd and 1 he would have probably had a touchdown. Pursuit came from back-side and strong-side defenders were on the ground. Instead the 49ers settled for a field goal.
James didn't go down easily when running after the catch in the 2nd quarter. The DB was the one who went to the ground as they collided. It's good to see him be physical.
13:47 3rd quarter read-option play looked like James could have had a big gain had he received the hand-off instead of Kaepernick keeping it.
Ricky Jean-Francois played a good bit in place of Justin Smith, NOT Ray McDonald. I like this strategy to keep Smith fresh for the playoffs.
Hey! A WR screen to Crabtree! They're listening!
Nobody could tackle Frank Gore in the open field. Late in the 3rd he puts his fist down on the ground a-la-Barry Sanders and picks up even more yards.
Man, there were a lot of penalties.
Frank Gore had one of the best games I've seen him play. I really wish he had gotten the TD on the run early in the 4th where he was down to the inch-line. I hope Anthony Dixon gave him the ball after he scored.
All-in-all this was another gritty game for the 49ers. We've seen a lot of these in the past few years, no matter who was playing quarterback. Keep that in mind if you hear people pointing to Kaepernick's pedestrian numbers. Alex Smith was the king of 180yd. passing games, after all.