Every head was scratched and curse word professed, but in the end, the San Francisc0 came out with a 26-21 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Once again, let’s take a look at some of things I think I know.
The (No)ffensive line
A line consisting of three first round picks (Staley, Iupati, Davis), Alex Boone and Daniel Kilgore was absolutely pathetic. In facing the 29th rated defense in the NFL, the 49ers offensive line played a game more befitting of a far inferior group. The most perplexing portion of the unit’s play was in pass protection. The appearance was downright incompetent. Colin Kaepernick was never allowed to settle in the pocket, and the majority of his throws were made on the move.
The return of Anthony Davis only lasted into the 2nd quarter on a play where Joe Staley was badly beaten by an Eagle’s defensive lineman. The end result was a sack of Kaepernick that happened right on top of Anthony Davis. He suffered a knee injury and never returned to the game. Alex Boone whiffed badly on the first series of the game causing Andy Lee to punt from the back of the end zone. The Eagles blocked that kick and scored their first touchdown of the game. Mike Iupati has been playing poorly in pass protection all year. Sunday’s game against Philadelphia was no exception. It’s quite the disheartening outcome for such a highly reputable group. Without the front 5 getting their act together as a whole, it will be difficult for the passing game to regain any cohesion.
Hey look….it’s Frank Gore.
It was screamed from the tops of Coit Tower (yes I know the game’s in Santa Clara now). Give Frank Gore the ball! As expected, Gore didn’t let the Faithful down. He churned out 119 yards on 24 carries and added a receiving TD of 55 yards. As poorly as the 49ers were in pass protection, they were equally as good running the ball. Hmmmm….who woulda thought?
At times, you’re one easy punching bag Greg Roman.
Yes, Greg Roman is infinitely smarter than I. His football knowledge far exceeds what I’ll ever know. But, I also think he has the ability to out think himself. As mentioned earlier pass protection was horrible. Colin Kaepernick was flummoxed. The offensive line was depleted. Vernon Davis left the game again. Michael Crabtree was ailing. Yet, Greg Roman consistently called drop back passes time and time again. Even more perplexing were his calls of play action before he even established the run earlier in the game. Football 101 states that the effectiveness of play action is minimal without an effective running game. It all showed yesterday. The 49ers best offense still revolves around Frank Gore. Use him to set up everything else. Even a layman like me can see that.
Aaron Lynch has earned more playing time.
The only consistent pass rush early into the season has been Justin Smith. He’s been his usual spectacular self four games into this season. Ahmad Brooks has been almost nonexistent this season. Now granted, I’d like to see some coach’s tape to see if he’s taking on double teams to compensate for Aldon Smith’s absence, but Brooks has been disappointing. While youthful players Tank Carradine and Quinton Dial rarely see the field, Aaron Lynch is making it hard for the 49ers not to keep him out there. He’s leap-frogged Corey Lemonier, and he’s pushing Dan Skuta for even more snaps. With Smith out five more games, Aaron Lynch is the perfect player to provide similar characteristics to fill in on defense.
Perish Cox is the clear cut #1 cornerback.
It appears to me, he’s just been waiting for his opportunity. Last season, Cox bounced around from the 49ers and Seattle Seahawks like a pinball in full tilt. This season, Tramaine Brock’s foot injury has allowed Cox the opportunity to perform at an all-pro level. I’ll give him some time to sustain his play to anoint him the NFL’s next lock down corner, but right now, he’s the best cornerback on the 49ers. And after watching the defense perform against the Eagles defense, that’s just fine by me.
The 49ers just beat a team that was previously undefeated. Yet, the national media is giving more credence to the “rumors” circulating out there. I prefer not to give such rumors any further attention and focus on the Niners getting back to an even record. It’s that time of year for Harbaugh and Co. to string a long run of victories together. Strap in and enjoy the ride.