This game was very similar to week one against Arizona. We played poor on offense but great on defense and squeaked out a win that some would argue we did not deserve. I would not disagree with that sentiment 100%; when the amount of interceptions thrown by your opponent is greater than the score you win by, something is wrong; I think it is a little exaggerated. Our defense played fantastic in almost all facets of the game and our offense did enough to win.
It was not a poor game for Alex Smith , he certainly played better than he did against Tennessee, but it was not good. On the interception he threw, he had Josh Morgan open but instead tried to force the ball to Crabtree instead. He also was responsible for one of the sacks when he held onto the ball for too long. Other than those few plays I though he played well. Smith escaped pressure to make plays and convert a few third downs and he managed the game well.
Even though that it is obvious that our offense was almost the worst it has been all season last night, with the performance against Atlanta being much worse, there is no denying that Frank Gore is just better with Smith in. Teams may not think that Smith can beat them but they know that he can throw it deep. These forces defenses to at least play some men off of the line of scrimmage and this allowed Gore to have a very good first half. He slowed down in the second half because of Jimmy Raye. It was good to see Michael Robinson a couple of touches as I have always liked him and he was very impressive in the preseason. I hope he gets more involved from here on out.
Way to go, Vernon Davis . Talk *** and then finish with 3 catches for 16 yards, killing my fantasy chances this week. He had that one sweet catch early on when he completely trucked Nick Roach but after that he had as many false start penalties as he had catches. That is not a good thing.
Another bad game for the 49er receivers but a lot of it was because of Jimmy Raye's playcalling. We only took 4 shots downfield (10+) all game so it not like the receivers had much of a chance. On Smith's interception the ball was definitely not perfectly thrown but it looked like Michael Crabtree slipped and that is why the corner made such an easy interception. A #1 needs to help his QB out more than that. Crabtree also dropped a pass on a slant that would have gotten us a 1st down inside the 10 on our first drive. Morgan has a good run after the catch on his 11 yard catch and Jason Hill did as well, it looked like he got the first down but they did not give it to him. Nothing much else to report about our wide receivers.
The whole offensive line improved a lot this week, though it is not like the Bears have been that good on defense. Barry Sims , Eric Heitmann , and David Baas did not give up any QB pressures. Baas got a lot of credit for his block on Gore's touchdown but Heitmann, Rachal, and Snyder all threw greats blocks as well. Chilo Rachal gave up one pressure and Adam Snyder gave up 2 and a sack but both were okay in the running game. That is actually a good game by Snyder's standards for this year.
I called last week's gameplan and playcalling by Jimmy Raye his worst of the season but I stand corrected. On their first three drives, the 49ers were moving effectively and mixing up the plays. The Bears looked like they couldn't stop us. Then Alex Smith makes one mistake and Raye almost completely abandons the pass. After that pick, Raye called 15 runs between the tackles and only 1 pass was thrown more than 10 yards down the field. Consequently, the offense failed miserably from that point onward. I am officially on the fire Raye bandwagon.
I was one of the people who thought that Aubrayo Franklin had been good this year but certainly not great like some have made him out to be but last night he took his game to a whole new level. He was pushing whoever was blocking him back into Jay Cutler or Matt Forte almost every play, even when he was double-teamed. Justin Smith finished with a couple of pressures but that is disappointing for him and Isaac Sopoaga played just like he normally does, well against with a decent bull rush now and then. Kentwan Balmer was playing with good leverage for the first time since we drafted him in his limited action.
I don't know where the heck Matt Wilhelm came from but he looked great in relief of Takeo Spikes . I am starting to believe that our defensive line is so good at eating up blockers that most decent linebackers will look good. Patrick Willis had a lot of tackles down by the LoS (5 of <3 yards to be exact) and put some pressure on Cutler when he blitzed but he got shaken by Matt Forte on the Bears final drive. Manny Lawson was looking really good early on, showing off his speed when he chased down Devin Hester and consistently pressuring Cutler, but trailed off late while Parys Haraslon was pretty much the opposite. He was not doing much early but seemed to be saying hello to Cutler every play of the second half.
With our front seven playing as good as they did, it is no surprise that the secondary looked good and finished with 4 interceptions. Tarell Brown and Shawntae Spencer both had very good games and neither Dashon Goldson or Mark Roman gave up a big play, so that is good. Michael Lewis gave blew a coverage on Greg Olsen 's early 20 yard catch. Brown was talking trash and got called for a stupid personal foul that just gave the Bears 15 yards and a first down. Dre Bly was called for an illegal contact on 4th and 10 late in the game but it was not really there. He barely touched the receiver at 5.5 yards past the line of scrimmage. It should not have been called.
I can't for the life of me figure out Greg Manusky. One week he calls an awful, awful game (like last week) and then the next he has a perfect gameplan. What is up with that? Anyway, he called a great game yesterday. He confused the Bears offensive line with different formations and dialed up a lot of blitzes...until the last drive. On the last drive he switched from what had been working to a prevent defense. Like some have said, all a prevent defense does is prevent you from winning and we should know that as well as anyone (*cough* Brett Favre ). He also could have done more to stop the screens to Forte that were killing us.
It was a pretty bad night for the special teams. Joe Nedney missed a <40 yard field goal, Andy Lee 's punts sucked, and the punt return game was poor. The last one isn't surprising at least. The coverage teams were excellent, especially the kick coverage team, and props to Arnaz Battle on two nice returns.
Week 10 vs. Chicago Breakdown
Posted on: November 13, 2009 2:38 pm