clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Throwback Thursday: The Option Pitch Revisited

New, comments

Sure we didn't like the outcome, but 3 years removed, this play was so stupid, it's funny

Usually on Throwback Thursday, I show something to depict the 49ers in extreme awesomeness. Not today! However, this play call is so stupid I can't help but laugh now. Therefore, after a significant amount of time and healing, I think it's finally a good idea to revisit the option pitch.

Back when we had a coaching staff and a quarterback not mentally shattered, the 49ers visited the Rams in week 13 of the 2012-2013 season. It was Colin Kaepernick's 3rd start and while he was competant, he certainly made a few mistakes, most notably this blunder. While the Niners scored in the first quarter, the rest of the game was a defensive battle, complete with terrible calls, most notably an intentional grounding call against Kaepernick when he threw the ball out of bounds (though it clearly went past the line of scrimmage). Despite a safety for the Rams, the Niners went into the 4th quarter up by 8 points. With 3 minutes left it seemed all but put away. The Niners were on the Rams 15 yard line and just needed a 1st down to kill some clock.

Then Greg Roman dialed this play up. A read option...to a pitch? Dumb, dumb, dumb.You can't help but laugh that despite plays like these, the 49ers were in the Super Bowl. Greg Roman had a reputation for out-thinking himself before he leveled up to 'bad coordinator'.

Why was this stupid? Too risky given the field position, the fact you had Kaepernick pitching with his left hand, and undesirable placement of the ball  on the wrong hash mark (typically on a pitch you want to be close to out of bounds so if things go wrong the ball can fly across the sidelines).

Jim Harbaugh later admitted as much and took the blame for himself. As for the rest of the team, they put this game into overtime and lost thanks to a dropped deep pass by Delanie Walker (Kaepernick put it right on his hands), and David Akers doing the most David Akers thing ever: which was pretty much nothing, missing a few key kicks.

Hopefully Geep rolls this play out again. At this point, I'd love to see this play as a mainstay of the 49ers playbook. Some people love Spider 2Y Banana, I love The Option Pitch.