There’s plenty to talk about on quarterback play for the San Francisco 49ers on Friday night’s lost to the Green Bay Packers, and rather than add yet another post on that, there’s something else more concerning to bring up. Those three fun words that show up randomly but seem to have an effect on the outcome of the game:
Time of possession.
Now usually ToP isn’t the sole indicator of a loss, but when you’re running Chip Kelly’s offense, it certainly makes things more amusing.
Especially when the 49ers had the ball 20:31 vs the Green Bay Packers’ 39:29.
And when the score is 21-10.
Blame preseason all you want, but one of the bigger arguments towards Chip Kelly’s fast, uptempo offense was that small little ‘what if’. What if you don’t score points going fast like the 49ers did on Friday night. What if that defense can’t hold down the fort when the offense has a bad day?
It may be preseason, but you have your answer: Six converted 4th downs, a tired defense, and an offense that quite literally could do nothing on the field after that early scoring series. Credit to Blaine Gabbert for taking the first string across the field for a touch down. No credit to the offense for the rest of the night that seemed to fail at catching the simplest of passes. Now that could be on the quarterbacks running things, but there’s going to be plenty of quarterback talk throughout the weekend.
But here’s the question: Did the off tempo style just speed up what was going to happen? If the 49ers held onto the ball and ran the clock like the Jim Harbaugh days (ahhh delay of game penalties...what are those)? Would we have seen the same result?
Make no mistake, the 49ers were outplayed on Friday, and it is preseason. The blame can’t be thrown on how many minutes they had the ball, but seeing the 49ers offense stutter like it did, it certainly sped things up in another way. If they actually slowed things down would it have mattered at all? Or would it just have delayed the inevitable?