Sixty minutes of a San Francisc0 49ers game lapsed yet again on Sunday. The only real certainty that was left from the most recent match up with the Arizona Cardinals is uncertainty. As the Faithful were left with another bitter taste in their mouths, let’s go ahead and cover some things I think I know.
If you’re basis for improvement consists of analyzing the 49ers total number of penalties from week to week, you’d notice a vast improvement this week. The 49ers dropped their weekly total from 16 against the Bears to 9 total flags on Sunday. Of course, you’d be missing the big picture. The nine penalties on Sunday were untimely, costly, and at times, a figment of Gene Steratore’s (and crew) imagination.
It’s on the basis for becoming a trend for the Niners. For two consecutive weeks now, the opposition’s best offense has been the 49ers indiscretions. Illegal contact and forms of unnecessary roughness are the new trend in an attempt by the league to change the game of football into…..well, I have no clue. But, this game put on TV every week is by no means the same game I’ve become accustomed to. And, right now the San Francisc0 49ers are still adjusting to that. It’s an adjustment that needs to made in a hurry. The way of the ticky-tack foul and favoritism towards the offense isn’t going to change.
Frank Gore was given the day off.
I’m a proponent of getting the 49ers all-time leading rusher his touches. But, yesterday I was impressed by the 49ers coaching staff deviating from the norm. The Niners spread the field with five wide receivers and slung it around the ball yard. It was a practice that many talking heads thought Colin Kaepernick couldn’t do. But, I for one was impressed. There were no turnovers committed on his behalf, and Kap delivered the ball accurately and timely.
I know I’m not in the majority for saying this, but Gore not getting touches yesterday wasn’t the reason for a second straight 49ers defeat. It is OK to deviate from what’s expected and exceed in that area. In the first half especially, the 49ers did that.
Second Half Adjustments??
Are there any? For the third consecutive week, the 49ers have played sloppy, uninspiring football in the second half. That’s decidedly a trend. After a first half of effortless pitch and catch, the 49ers faced a Cardinals team that blitz heavily to end the game. The 49ers had no answer for it. The 49ers consistently ran moderate to deep passing routes that played perfectly into the Cardinals defensive plan. In turn, the Niners have proceeded in being outscored 52-3 in the second half of football this season.
This is still the 49ers Defense.
Let’s end on a positive note here. As a whole, the San Francisco 49ers defense still ranks sixth overall in the league. That’s quite impressive for a depleted group. Justin Smith is willing this unit to play up to the standard that’s been set by the three previous seasons. In his 15th overall season, The Cowboy is as strong as ever. He plays the leverage game better than anyone in the league. With experience and leadership at every level of the 49ers defense (Willis and Bethea), Justin Smith is the man that sets the tempo on defense. And, it’s that type of desire to succeed that will turn this thing around sooner rather than later for the San Francisc0 49ers. As always, forever stay Faithful.