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Things I highlight as I rewind and replay this game - 1st Quarter.

I actually decided to analyze this one, since it is actually showing on NFL Network, and I have a DVR.  Here are some things that jump out at me:

DEFENSE

13:12 - What I noticed was that on the first completion that Alex Smith had to Vernon Davis, Boyd played the inside, and Vernon went out; hence the completion.  It was a good route by Vernon, as you never want to give Vernon the inside of the field to run as he pleases. Easy First Down, what can you ask for. 

12:50 - Good Run Blocking by the 49ers.  Very Good Blocking: Guard made excellent pull and Blocked Branch.  Defense played for the pass, as 3 safeties were in - Huff, Branch, Brown.

11:25 - Pass was Caught underneath Man Coverage by Branch.  I would have wanted  him to come close to the line here, so that the flat route isn't given away easily. 

9:45 - This one Alarmed me.  Van Dyke is Waving his hands for some reason.  All of a sudden, Branch comes out of Nowhere a second later to cover Edwards.  Now, as The Ball is hiked and the route is ran, Branch Overstepped a bit, Giving Smith the throw for Edwards.  Branch was way too late on this motion; it's a good thing he broke up the pass.  But here is the problem: Van Dyke did not stay with his man, but went with Edwards, leaving Vernon Davis alone as Smith passes to Edwards.  There was very good protection, andif  Alex pump-fakes it, Davis is wide open on the sideline.  DVD needed to stick with his man. And Branch should not have been late.

9:39 - We're playing 4 safeties, 1 LB.  WHAT THE HELL ARE WE DOING PLAYING 4 SAFETIES AND 1 LB?? Brown was FS, Huff was on Slot Receiver, which left Boyd on Dixon.  And they hike..And Dixon runs...and Boyd Gets Swallowed by the Pulling Guard.  Now, this was the wrong formation completely, But If Boyd had pursued a little more outside, Dixon would have had to cut back - which Is what i would have wanted.  McClain wasn't blocked.  And it wouldn't have been a first down.

8:19 - Man Coverage, Van Dyke was pushed off of, and allowed the easy hitch.  Need to press that situation; get on Edwards, and not play above him - that makes him suspect to the backshoulder fade.

6:56 - Groves thinks it was an outside play; he goes to engage the outside thinking it is a stretch play, and it is an inside play.  Groves followed the fullback, so it's a good play by the Niners - The Fullback is probably Groves' man in m-t-m coverage.

Jump over for the offense....

FIRST TEAM OFFENSE

Second Play called - They ran toward the right - there was one more defender than blocker on that side, so easy stop for MLB.  Always run to the side with equal blockers as defensers.

4:19 - 3rd and 6.  Now, The playclock is at 8-7 seconds remaining, as the safety and linebackers start to walk to the line.  First Mistake.  Hike the ball at 3-2 seconds remaining - those crucial 6 seconds is the timee that blitzes are usually shown.  Now, the play is incomplete, and here's why: Loper misses the Blits, causing Bush to pick up the block, and he fails.  Campbell would have had time if Loper played the left instead of the right - Loper doesn't get engaged with a defender at ALL.  That's Loper's Fault.  Campbell threw it quickly, looked like bad Communication between DHB and Campbell - but Loper is the main person at fault for the missed assignment.

DEFENSE

3:56 - This was a sweep play.  Now I don't like this one at all. Groves missed on the cutback, and McClain Played the outside, and missed on the cutback as well.  Cutbacks cannot be missed at all.  Wimbley had good leverage, but McClain went behind an engaged block before trying to pursue the play on the outside - McClain should have went inside, and sealed the cutback lane.  This allowed for a big gain - about 9 yards.

2:34 - This was Zone Coverage.  Niners called a playaction..how many people whiffed in it? Not a lot really - Everyone went back into their coverage.  However, The Reason why Josh Morgan got so open was because Branch this time played too close to the line, and wasn't able to make back up the ground, which allowed Morgan to find the soft spot in the Cover 3 Zone coverage.  This is why I actually LIKE us playing man-to-man; coverages aren't so easy to find soft spots in.  If Branch had played away from the line a little bit more, his zone would have been covered, and the pass to Morgan would not have been as easy. 

1:49 - ANOTHER good gain of 6-8 yards, but this time, the trenches were at fault.  #73 - Jamie Cumbie is in, and he gets manhandled, allowing one of the Niner O-linemen to seal off McClain.  Can't get pushed back at all. The Center goes right through, seals off Groves, then McClain.  Need pressure from our front 4 to free up the LBs, especially when there is a FB and RB in the backfield. 

1:16 - Another big run for a first down.  THIS ONE reveals a lot.  Desmond Bryant and Jamie Cumbie are in.  Ball is hiked, and they are MAULED by the 2 guards and the Center.  The center gets Desmond Bryant so well, that Iupati comes off of his block and seals McClain AGAIN. Groves is sealed off by the fullback - the Fullback blocks HAVE to be shed, and the run goes for a first down.  If Groves wants to be effective, he HAS to shed these fullback blocks.  and the DTs CANNOT get mauled by the interior O-Line.  LUCKILY, Iupati held McClain, so Holding is called.

Then comes a small pass play, and the Pick By Shaugnessey.  However, I'm not analyzing that; I'm only analyzing deficiencies by our team.  

Last Play of the Quarter: On the Playaction pass to Denarius Moore, There is ONE thing I noticed that was bad: Loper getting pushed back EASY by #74 of the Niners.  If Moore wasn't open, then Campbell would have had to scramble, because Loper was having Hell of trouble.  Barnes held his block well, defender didn't budge.

Will do 2nd quarter another time, you all give your thoughts.

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