Before we get started, we'll get a quote from Hue Jackson post-game: "Right now, it's on me... I'm not putting it on the players yet... we've got to be better... you don't like to go backwards... I felt we went backwards today..." and in response to a question about getting some key players back: "That has nothing to do with tonight... Tonight, we didn't play, Raider football... We didn't play like a Raider..."
I concur, Mr. Jackson, I concur. Now onto the breakdown. Hit the jump folks, and let's see what the film can tell us.
They come out in 21 personnel, Frank Gore the deep back in the I formation, single TE, two wideout set. Delaney Walker is the decoy FB, who motions out right to make it two TEs, and the give is to Gore off the right tackle. Kamerion Wimbley seals the right side this time, for a gain of about 2 yards.
Niners starting line: LT Joe Staley, LG Mike Iupati, C Adam Snyder, RG Chilo Rachal, RT Anthony Davis.
Our front four to start: Matt Shaughnessy DE, Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly DTs, Lamarr Houston DE. LBs Quentin Groves, Roland McClain, Kamerion Wimbley. CBs Stanford Routt and DeMarcus Van Dyke, Michael Huff at FS, Tyvon Branch at SS. Similarly to last week's first looks on what appears a clear passing down, FS Huff comes up to the line to blitz, and if he was trying to sell that he wasn't coming, he did a lousy job. Blitz is picked up by Frank Gore; Kamerion Wimbley looks like he held Davis on the PI call.
Alex Smith under center, Frank Gore deep in the single back, 12 personnel, two TEs, two wideouts. Raiders look to be lined up in the big Nickel, five man front, Wimbley shadowing TEs outside shoulder up on the line. Niners open up a big gap on the left side of center, and Gore hits it hard, gaining about 4 yards, and Lamarr Houston pulls him down back to about the line of scrimmage from behind; forward progress for a gain of 4 yards, but it's a false start, bringing up 2nd down and 11.
SF comes out in 11 personnel, single back, one TE, three widout set, third wideout left side slot. Branch comes on the strong side safety blitz, it's again picked up nicely, but Smith makes a hurried throw that falls to the ground, short of Walker, who lined up right side flank matched up with Stanford Routt, who looks like he has a chance for a pick on the deflection, but is keying on Walker and appears to not see the ball.
SF in single back 11 personnel, three wideout set again, Gore lined up weakside in the backfield. Routt is on Josh Morgan flanked strong side. Alex Smith shotgun formation: a good push by our D line collapses the line, and we send Michael Huff who is again picked up nicely; they hold up a nice pocket for Smith to hitch up into, and hits TE Davis covered by Jerome Boyd (in for I believe Groves, who often comes out on passing situations) who bites on Davis route deep, and Davis cuts out to the flat for a first down. Defense looking a little winded here.
1st and 10. 42 yard line, SF in 21 personnel again, Frank Gore deep in the I formation, two wide receiver set. We're back in what looks like a 4-2-5, with Boyd still on the field as a nickel cover safety, Wimbley with his hand on the ground, again rushing the qb. Looks like this was a bad call with us looking for pass, and the weakside backer not there and the niners O line winning the point of attack on the left side nets a 1st down for the Gore run off the weakside edge, and three more yards before being tackled and pushed out of bounds by DVD. Good blocking on the toss sweep left.
1st and on the 46 yard line in Raiders territory. 22 personnel, Alex Smith under center, Frank Gore deep in the I formation, two TE, single wide receiver right side.The give to Gore in the A gap left, and our interior defensive line holds for a gain of three.
2nd and 7. SF in 12 personnel, single back formation, two wide receivers, and Delaney Walker motions to right side C gap, about a yard deep in the backfield. Raiders back in the 4-3, Groves back on the field, Wimbley looks like he's matched up with Walker pre-snap, on the weakside, but stays there after the shift, Groves lined up strong side. Tedd Ginn, Jr., flanking weakside, goes down and in underneath coverage with separation for days, and Smith hits him on what looks like a first down, but a questionable spot brings up 3rd and short. Branch on the tackle.
3rd and 1 on the 36. 22 personnel, Gore deep in the I. The give is to Gore off tackle right. Our line wins the point of attack here, and Gore runs into a pile, but stalled just enough to find a soft spot in the line to push the pile forward for the first down.
1st and 10 on the 35. Single back, 11 personnel, three wide receiver set, right side slot WR Braylon Edwards motions left to shadow weakside TE's outside shoulder, and finds some space under the coverage, going down and in, almost coming up with the grab, but can't hold on. Branch picked him up, but a little late. It falls incomplete. Ball thrown a little high, but should've been caught. Tyvon did a nice job of getting his hands on the ball to force the incomplete. A timeout is called by SF.
2nd and 10, 35 yd. line. Anthony Dixon off tackle right side. Kamerion Wimbley fails to seal off the right side at the point of attack, Boyd again on the field in place of Groves, and it looks like we got caught looking for pass again, allowing a 1st down gain to the Raiders' 23. SF mounting a long drive that began from their own 23.
1st and 10, 23. Groves back on the field. 4-3 man press for the Raiders. Gore lined up deep, single back, two TEs, two wideouts lined up tight. A toss sweep to the left again, this time picked up nicely, and Tyvon comes up, sheds a block nicely, and holds Gore to a yard. Papa notes Mitchell will not see any action tonight, and that Stevie Brown will get the reps in the Raider's big Nickel.
2nd and 9 on 22. Our front four getting a good push at the point of attack, but Niners front five holding a nice pocket consistently despite the pressure, and Alex Smith hits Braylon Edwards on the comeback underneath the coverage by DVD, and he and Huff converge for the tackle on the 9 yard line. DVD gave him too much space, and Plunk notes it.
1st and goal, 9 yard line. SF in two back, two TE set. Delaney Walker motions to left side, Anthony Dixon deep, FB lined up strong offset I formation. Seymour gets great pressure, but the run is away from him, and Dixon picks up a couple off right tackle. Groves makes the tackle for a gain of two.
2nd and goal, 7 yard line. Gore back in. 22 personnel, two backs in the I formation, Smith under center, single wide receiver left side, Delaney Walker about a yard deep on the strong side, and goes in motion right to left. The handoff to Gore up a big hole up the middle, picks up about 5 down to the 2 yard line.
3rd and goal on the 2. Dixon back in at back. 22 personnel again, goal line jumbo formation, single wide left side again. Handoff to Dixon left side, with Shaughnessy getting in unblocked, wraps up Dixon, and he, Huff, and Branch converge for a tackle for a 1 yard loss. Nice goal line stand to force the field goal attempt.
4th and goal on the 3. Placekicker bobbles the hold, and Andy Lee is hurt on the play, attempting to roll right and make a throw, getting levelled by Stevie Brown, forcing an errant throw that McClain comes up to intercept.
All in all, this was by no means a pretty series for our defense, but you have to say we bended, but did not break. We'll resume with the Raiders first team defense versus the Niners first team offense.
Initial observations here: our scheme puts us in jeopardy when we're caught with the wrong personnel on the field looking for pass; it appears the Niners took advantage and ran every time we go big Nickel, and Boyd is on the field in place of our third backer. Also, the Niners trenches bullied our trenches for most of this drive. We did not play like Raiders in the trenches for the majority of this drive, and how to fix it, remains in question. I still say we need to get a Will backer who doesn't need to be pulled, especially when Wimbley primarily rushes the passer and is never dropping into coverage to assist, and if we're looking pass, he'll effectively be taken out of run support when we don't properly read and react. I also feel with more time to gel, McClain will call out adjustments pre-snap as the season progresses.
We need OLB help, and fast.