Trend Reversal Rehearsal

The 49ers were not expected by many to win Sunday’s game against the Falcons as soon as the schedule was released last spring. Those expectations were certainly not diminished when the team opened the season with three straight losses. A 2-2 record at this point would have been quite acceptable. Instead, they are 0-4.

The team has played three road games so far — more than any other team in the division, maybe more than any team in the league. And the only home game was against the Super Bowl champs. The schedule makers did us no favors this year.

But we now have two straight home games, both winnable, followed by a road game against another 0-4 team, Carolina, and a London “home” game against Denver, before the bye week. It’s time to rally boys. 4-4 at the bye would definitely get the fans hearts beating again.

Winning four straight games has not happened in Ninerville for probably eight years or so. A four game winning streak tends to instill a Winning Attitude on a team. It would also come in October, a month that has been brutal for the Niners in recent years, featuring four game losing streaks that squashed the optimism of the team’s usual 2-1 start. Either we are reversing that trend this year, or we’re talking about the 2011 Draft and our new Head Coach for the rest of the year.

It’s hard to keep playing the “encouraging signs” mantra week after week, but the Atlanta game had many. As the national and local media pushed hard to create a disintegrating franchise image, personified by the Michael Lewis quitting saga last week, the team showed up to play from the first snap of the game to the last. Lewis’ replacement, Taylor Mays, had a very good game and is now the starting SS, where he will be located for a long, long time. This is a definite upgrade for the secondary’s speed. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that they played such a good game Sunday. Monday, Lewis was released without much of a blip on the media ticker tape. Just another “player transaction” line. Clearly, Mike Singletary had not lost the team and the media was foiled once again in its endless efforts to portray Singletary as a buffoon. It was the best 49er east coast road game performance since the Buffalo game two years ago. The game that turned around the 2008 season and played a big role in Singletary getting hired to replace Mike Nolan.

But the most encouraging sign was the new OC. It did not show up on the score board, but the offense did move the ball with regularity and a lot more creativity, the three and outs diminished, and there were very few Frank Gore plows into the line for no gain moments. There is reason for hope. With Jimmy Raye, there was none.

Below, we’ll take a look at one of the new formations introduced by the new OC, Mike Johnson.

•   •   •   •   •  

NoFear’s Replay

Here’s a new formation we used last Sunday, or at least one I don’t remember seeing before.

It’s an 11 personnel package with RB, TE and three WRs. It has Zeigler split right and Gore behind him, Crabs split wide left and Morgan in the slot with Davis lined up behind him.

This is the play that resulted in Atlanta’s first sack so we can examine the problems with it here. Atlanta is in a nickel D and the MLB #50 is lined up behind the Right End. The Left End drops to cover the flat and the remaining three down linemen tie up our O-line trying to block them. The MLB comes around Staley as the protection slides to the right and Alex steps to the left into him.

Anyway, I’d love to know how this play was drawn up to work and avoid the LB sack which seems like an obvious protection to plan.



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Posted in Tuesday Morning Waterboy
12 comments on “Trend Reversal Rehearsal
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I think the only thing to do here with the blitz is a pre snap hot read with a quick something. I do not like this formation. This is how to use 5 wide and still be in the SCO. If you take two of the receivers and place them wider the D has to be wider and it would be a very risky move to send a LB on a blitz because a hot read slant would open right up.
    &nbp;
    Alex is in a 3 step drop. He should have just thrown the ball immediately to the right flat because it was open and with 3 step drops one can never count on the time to go to a second read. It looks like the primary read was Ziggy, but he was about to run into a safety.
     
    I know everybody seems to be mad about all the dump offs and check downs but there is really only one place to go with this play and that is to Gore in the flat. I think Alex blew this one.

  2. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    BTW, I like this feature.

  3. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Me, too, Berger. Plus, it keeps NoFear busy and he doesn’t have as much time to be mean to me. A win-win deal. 😆

  4. robNo Gravatar says:

    i don’t mind this play !
    yes gore (and i assume that’s gore in the lower portion of the screen in pic #2 ) is the guy here , and that might be by design …
    hmmm #50 seems to have found himself in a good place to make a play here (but no matter what pic i look at i still only see 4 rushers and 5 0-linemen )!
    imho the thing we could have done here is used this formation PRE-SNAP (to draw them in and make em’ think it’s just another SCO play )
    and maybe run someone out wide before the snap (maybe the two guys in back ?)

    ???

    and btw , on a play with so few real options , and pressure coming , why does smith not pull the trigger ?

  5. robNo Gravatar says:

    oh , and i triple that ‘ luv this feature ‘ thing !

  6. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    First problem I see is that Iupati is just looking around and around and around…he’s nowhere near an Atlanta defender. He blew an assignment on this play. Second, not crazy about the formation either, but I’d rather they had used the shotgun in this instance. Come to think of it, they need to use the gun more often.
     
    Speaking of guns, I hope this informative play review provided by NoFear (thanks, btw) doesn’t keep him from polishing his pistol each night. A man’s side arm is his best friend and should be oiled nightly.

  7. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    I’m thinking (hoping) this play, and in particular, this formation, finds the cutting room floor. Next!

  8. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    LB Keaton Kristick just got signed from the practice squad.

  9. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I heard Trent Dilfer on national radio talk about the 49ers a little while ago while driving. He said regardless of what anybody thinks, if the 49ers had better clutch defense they could easily be 2-2. He opined is that the players or the coaches and he said he didn’t know. He talked about yesterday and the NO game where we let teams drive down the field for winning FGs.

  10. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Don’t you read my shit Berger? I said it as it was happening. The NO game, they dropped WAY too deep and left the underneath wide open. 2 passes over the line got them 22 yards and to the Niner side of the field. One more pass, and FG range.
     
    The Atl game they defended the underneath a little better, but the 4 man rush didn’t get in and they moved the ball to the tune of 110 yards around the int/fumble.

  11. robNo Gravatar says:

    and the three man rush on 3rd and long never got there !

    80% coaching
    20% players

  12. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Unca- I saw you said that earlier, but Dilfer said it on national radio. You should be happy to know Dilfer was reading your shit! Right? He must have been just parroting you!

2020 Schedule
9-13: L Cardinals 24, 49ers 20
9-20: W 49ers 31, Jets 13
9-27: W 49ers 36, Giants 9

10-4: L Eagles 25, 49ers 20
10-11: L Dolphins 43, 49ers 17
10-18: W 49ers 24, Rams 16
10-25: W 49ers 33, Patriots 6

11-1: L Seahawks 37, 49ers 27
11-5: L Packers 34, 49ers 17
11-15: L Saints 27, 49ers 13

BYE

11-29: W 49ers 23, Rams 20

12-7: L Bills 34, 49ers 24
12-13: L Washington 23, 49ers 15
12-20: L Cowboys 41, 49ers 33
12-26: W 49ers 20, Cardinals 12

1-3: L Seahawks 26, 49ers 23

2020 Draft Class
1. DT Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
1. WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
5. OL Colton McKivitz, West Virginia
6. TE Charlie Woerner, Georgia
7. WR Jauan Jennings, Tennessee
 
2020 Prognostications (Mulligan Version)
WINNERS:
Bullit: 6-10
NJ49er: 6-10

LOSERS:
Skeebers: 7-9
Winder: 4-12

ABSTAINERS:
Grumpy: DNP
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