Sunday, September 29, 2013

A check in of the 49ers

I went to this Thursday's 49ers-Rams game. Watching in person gives you a much better perspective than watching the tight shots on TV where you never see anything outside of the pocket.

Frank Gore obviously looked good, but Kendall Hunter hasn't got his burst back from his achilles injury yet.

Meanwhile the OL was not blowing the Rams off the line. They were able to angle to open some holes at the line, but even when the running game was clicking the OL was not pushing DLinemen five yards down field.

Quinton Patton was getting most of the time opposite Anquan Boldin, before he apparently broke his foot. I think the coaching staff is willing to move on from Kyle Williams.

Colin Kaepernick doesn't trust most of the young receivers. He is tentative and uncomfortable in the pocket. At least he isn't making the classic inexperienced QB move of staring down his WRs.

Garrett Celek was getting more time on the field in two tight end sets than our second round pick Vance McDonald. He's a better blocker, but inferior receiver. Delanie Walker is missed, which I knew would be the case.

On defense NaVorro Bowman was blitzing quite a often to make up for the missing Aldon Smith. He was pretty effective. Next to him Michael Wilhoite was pretty good, he could probably start for a team did didn't also have Patrick Willis.

Unfortunately Dan Skuta wasn't nearly as good subbing on the outside. He does not provide much passrush. To be fair he did well running down runs that went away from him or inside (although I worry a running QB would get outside of him easily).

NT sub Glenn Dorsey made some plays on the line. And Tramaine Brock held his own for the most part as the third QB with Nnamdi Asomugha down. Although neither are as good as Chris Culliver was last year (Super Bowl excepted)

The bottom line though was that while the defense held up even with the injuries the offense still needs work. There were a number of sputtering drives. Kaepernick could run a little more with the pocket breaks down. It will help when Michael Crabtree gets back, but it isn't as though we had a ton of receiving talent after Crabtree and Vernon Davis last year and were much better. I have less thoughts on the Rams, who are clearly not going anywhere this season. I am surprised a Jeff Fisher team is so bad. This was the first game I had been to where the home team was blown out - I have never been in a stadium so empty and quiet. Also listening to local radio on the drive home it is clear the locals have a massive case of homeritus. They keep talking about the team not playing up to it's talent level on offense. What talent? As a Niners fan I can tell you they have no one who worries me There isn't a player on their offense I would take to replace a starter for San Fran - save the #2 WR because Crabtree is hurt. They have some players on defense, but they let their two best players walk out the door in Steven Jackson and Danny Amendola and their #1 rookie Tavon Austin didn't impress at all.


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