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OFFICIAL GAMETHREAD: San Francisco @ New England

Posted: 12/12/2012 12:08 AM

OFFICIAL GAMETHREAD: San Francisco @ New England 


I am hyped for this game!!!  Starting this kind of early!

Going into New England I believe the things CK can do & Harbaugh's coaching will keep the game close.  A win, perhaps, but I feel like we are short changing our beloved team.  

I feel the Niners can move the ball on the Patriots.  It seems like that is the secondary match up to the NE offense verses the SF defense.  Let's not short change the SF defense!
I know this is Tom Brady/Bill Belichick and the Patriots but they are beatable.  

The Niners defense:
#1 in point allowed
#2 in Pass defense
#2 in not allowing 1st downs
#2 in stopping 3rd down conversions
#2 in run defense

Not sure what happened with Houston but I don't think New England's offense has faced a set of LBs the Niners line up every game.  Aldon Smith get to go against fellow 2011 draft class OT Nate Solder.  I see Aldon Smith winning this battle all day long!

Niners will do what they do best, make opponent's offenses one dimensional. 

I am soooo hyped for this game!!!excitedexcitedexcited
No play is too big for Colin Kaepernick!!!

Last edited 12/16/2012 2:25 PM by higherwarrior

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Posted: 12/12/2012 2:44 AM

Re: San Francisco @ New England 


It sounds crazy, make the Pats one demsnsional, by making Brady throw the ball! But that's what I see too. Remember when Nolan played the "big sub" against Manning in Indianapolis?

You know the crossing patterns are going to get hammered. Just hope we don't see too many flags. Same goes for Aldon, hope he doesn't get flagged for hitting Brady too late or in the knees.
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Posted: 12/12/2012 8:22 AM

RE: San Francisco @ New England 


I bet Randy wants to prove a point...I bet harbaugh gets his money's worth from Moss Sunday!
Even sliced bread knows Myles Jack is the greatest thing since, ever.
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Posted: 12/12/2012 10:38 AM

Re: San Francisco @ New England 



Jackmaul wrote: I am hyped for this game!!!  Starting this kind of early!
I hear you, I almost started this thread last nightbiggrin This is the game I'm most looking forward too. That's partly because I thought it would be last seasons SB matchup, partly because it's what I predicted for this seasons SB, and partly because we only play once every 4 years and Brady missed the last game. Oh and my GF is a Pats fan, so there's bragging rights at staketongue

I think it all comes down to 3rd downs, converting ours and stopping theirs. We need to extend our drives and keep Brady on the sidelines. Our offense should be able to move the chains, CK just needs to take what they are giving him. On defense we need to stop them on 3rd down but that is easier said than done. They are the best in the NFL by a wide margin at converting 3rd downs. They havn't faced our defense though. I hope Aldon can get up close and personal with Brady.

My two favorite teams are the 49ers and whoever is playing Seattle.
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Posted: 12/12/2012 2:39 PM

Re: San Francisco @ New England 


I think this game, along with maybe last year's game in Baltimore, is going to be the toughest game to win to date during Harbaugh's time as coach (regular season or postseason).  If we were facing them in New Orleans in February, I'd like our chances.  Facing them in Foxborough in mid-December is a monumental challenge and they are clicking right now.  The keys are going to be (1) winning the TO battle; (2) minimizing penalties on defense; and (3) getting pressure on Brady.  If those three things happen, I think we can win.  But everything has to go just right.
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Posted: 12/12/2012 3:25 PM

Re: San Francisco @ New England 



ljlawdog wrote: The keys are going to be (1) winning the TO battle; (2) minimizing penalties on defense; and (3) getting pressure on Brady.  If those three things happen, I think we can win.  But everything has to go just right.

(3) to me is the biggest key, by far. New England is currently an offensive machine, but the great equalizer is always pressure on the quarterback. Even the greatest quarterback-led offenses can be hugely disrupted by consistent pressure. That's how the Giants upset the nearly-perfect Patriots in the 2008 Super Bowl and how the rather mediocre Vikings upset a juggernaut 49ers team in the 1987 playoffs.

If Aldon Smith, Justin Smith and Ahmad Brooks (and Willis and Bowman on any blitzes) can consistently lower Brady's time from snap of the ball to needing to get the ball out, the 49ers have a solid chance to win. If there is lukewarm pressure and Brady has time to go through his progressions with only minimal movement in the pocket, the 49ers will almost certainly lose (and could suffer the blowout fate that the Texans did).
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Posted: 12/12/2012 3:39 PM

Re: San Francisco @ New England 


I'm a little worried about how we are going to matchup against their smaller/quick receivers, particularly Welker, but also Brandon Lloyd deep.  Rogers & Culliver are both big, physical guys that might struggle with Welker, and Terrell has been having some trouble covering deep.

And Brady likes to get the ball out quick, which might negate our pass rush... 

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Posted: 12/12/2012 3:43 PM

Re: San Francisco @ New England 



NashvilleNiner wrote:

I'm a little worried about how we are going to matchup against their smaller/quick receivers, particularly Welker, but also Brandon Lloyd deep.  Rogers & Culliver are both big, physical guys that might struggle with Welker, and Terrell has been having some trouble covering deep.

And Brady likes to get the ball out quick, which might negate our pass rush... 


Well, if Brady is getting the ball out quickly in response to the pass rush, it means the 49ers don't need to worry very much about Lloyd or Welker deep and can try to jam up the short and intermediate zones, which will make them somewhat easier to defend. In that situation, the 49ers might not be getting sacks (and Brady is one of the least-sacked quarterbacks) but the pass rush will be helping.

After all, if there's no pass rush for Brady to worry about, he won't focus on getting the ball out quickly. Brady is most dangerous when he able to wait and look for the deep throw and "settle" for the intermediate throw, IMO.
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Posted: 12/12/2012 3:54 PM

Re: San Francisco @ New England 



Minstrel wrote:
NashvilleNiner wrote:

I'm a little worried about how we are going to matchup against their smaller/quick receivers, particularly Welker, but also Brandon Lloyd deep.  Rogers & Culliver are both big, physical guys that might struggle with Welker, and Terrell has been having some trouble covering deep.

And Brady likes to get the ball out quick, which might negate our pass rush... 


Well, if Brady is getting the ball out quickly in response to the pass rush, it means the 49ers don't need to worry very much about Lloyd or Welker deep and can try to jam up the short and intermediate zones, which will make them somewhat easier to defend. In that situation, the 49ers might not be getting sacks (and Brady is one of the least-sacked quarterbacks) but the pass rush will be helping.

After all, if there's no pass rush for Brady to worry about, he won't focus on getting the ball out quickly. Brady is most dangerous when he able to wait and look for the deep throw and "settle" for the intermediate throw, IMO.

I think their typical gameplan is to soften up the pass-rush with the quick-pass offense to Welker & their TE's, and now their improved run game, and then take the occasional shot down field.  I feel they might have some success with that against us...we'll see though.  Makes me a little nervous about this one.  We seem to struggle against small, quick WR's like Danny Amendola & Victor Cruz.

Last edited 12/12/2012 3:55 PM by NashvilleNiner

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Posted: 12/12/2012 4:03 PM

Re: San Francisco @ New England 



NashvilleNiner wrote:

Makes me a little nervous about this one.  We seem to struggle against small, quick WR's like Danny Amendola & Victor Cruz.

I agree, the 49ers have struggled with slot receiver types. As I mentioned in the Aldon Smith thread, it seems like one adjustment the 49ers are making is to have Aldon Smith drop back and cover the slot receiver off the line, if the slot receiver is lined up on Smith's side and takes an inside release. This, I assume, allows the corner assigned to the slot to play further off and play with outside leverage, preventing being beaten off the line with a quick first step for a quick slant/drag. It also makes the "two way breaks" less dangerous, because the corner has help on the quick underneath stuff to the inside, allowing the corner to cheat on the outside break.

Last edited 12/12/2012 4:05 PM by Minstrel

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Posted: 12/12/2012 4:10 PM

Re: San Francisco @ New England 



Minstrel wrote:
NashvilleNiner wrote:

Makes me a little nervous about this one.  We seem to struggle against small, quick WR's like Danny Amendola & Victor Cruz.

I agree, the 49ers have struggled with slot receiver types. As I mentioned in the Aldon Smith thread, it seems like one adjustment the 49ers are making is to have Aldon Smith drop back and cover the slot receiver off the line, if the slot receiver is lined up on Smith's side and takes an inside release. This, I assume, allows the corner assigned to the slot to play further off and play with outside leverage, preventing being beaten off the line with a quick first step for a quick slant/drag. It also makes the "two way breaks" less dangerous, because the corner has help on the quick underneath stuff to the inside, allowing the corner to cheat on the outside break.

Yeah, it's gonna be a chess match all night, I'm sure. 
I always thought this would be the biggest test of the season, even moreso than Green Bay, whom we had a whole offseason to prepare for.
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Posted: 12/12/2012 4:11 PM

Re: San Francisco @ New England 


ESPN had a great article about Brady vs. pressure, after they shellacked Houston and their vaunted defense. Tom Brady has thrown 18 TD vs. 0 INT against added pressure (i.e., blitzes) this year. Against the Texans, he was 10-12 with 3 TD when Houston rushed 5 or more defenders. The tempo and the quickness with which he delivers the ball is going to be a challenge. They will need to be good in all phases of defense, not just getting pressure on Brady, if they want to have a shot.

The article also notes that the Patriots have been dominant in December the last few years, having won 13 straight December contests going back to 2009. Part of that success has been how good their own defenses have been against opposing QBs in the second half of the year.

I still think the 49ers can win, but this is definitely the toughest matchup they'll have faced all year.
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Posted: 12/12/2012 4:42 PM

Re: San Francisco @ New England 



pudding wrote: ESPN had a great article about Brady vs. pressure, after they shellacked Houston and their vaunted defense. Tom Brady has thrown 18 TD vs. 0 INT against added pressure (i.e., blitzes) this year. Against the Texans, he was 10-12 with 3 TD when Houston rushed 5 or more defenders. The tempo and the quickness with which he delivers the ball is going to be a challenge. They will need to be good in all phases of defense, not just getting pressure on Brady, if they want to have a shot.

That's fair, but to be clear, by "consistent pressure," I didn't necessarily mean sending extra rushers. I meant consistent pressure with four rushers...either their base three man line plus Aldon or Brooks, or else their occasional two man line and two linebackers. Some combination of four. I don't advocate many "sell out" blitzes, sending more than the typical four. Elite quarterbacks have generally preferred those types of blitzes and know how to beat them. Creative zone blitzes where still only four guys are rushing are worthwhile.
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Posted: 12/12/2012 4:44 PM

Re: San Francisco @ New England 


Your original post noted bringing Willis, etc. on blitzes, so I was simply providing some insight into how Patriots have done against that. It's not a direct comment, per se, but one that addresses the typical notion of 'pressure.' Bottom line, the 49ers need to do more than just bring pressure. They have to be good in all phases, because Brady doesn't waste time making his decision and hitting his targets.
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Posted: 12/12/2012 4:51 PM

Re: San Francisco @ New England 



pudding wrote: Your original post noted bringing Willis, etc. on blitzes, so I was simply providing some insight into how Patriots have done against that. It's not a direct comment, per se, but one that addresses the typical notion of 'pressure.' Bottom line, the 49ers need to do more than just bring pressure.

Bringing Willis on zone blitzes, where another traditional rusher is dropping out, still leaving four rushers. I agree that the 49ers need to do more than just bring pressure, my comment was regarding "keys" to the game, or what will be a leading indicator for a victory. While plenty of other things need to happen, too, I think how much the 49ers can limit Brady's time in the pocket (with four rushers) will be the most crucial aspect for the 49ers' chances of winning.

I understand you weren't directly replying to me, I was simply clarifying that I didn't mean 5+ man pressure.

Last edited 12/12/2012 4:51 PM by Minstrel

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Posted: 12/12/2012 4:53 PM

Re: San Francisco @ New England 



pudding wrote: Tom Brady has thrown 18 TD vs. 0 INT against added pressure (i.e., blitzes) this year. Against the Texans, he was 10-12 with 3 TD when Houston rushed 5 or more defenders.
This is why I think it's critical that they do not have to rely on blitzes to get consistent pressure.  The risk in blitzing is that Brady is a master at quickly finding and exploiting a defense's vulnerability.  But if they can consistently get to him without blitzing, that is, at least in the past, the Patriots' Achilles' heel.  The Giants won two super bowls that way.
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Posted: 12/12/2012 5:42 PM

Re: San Francisco @ New England 


I think pressure on a QB is a key to every game, though, so that 'key' might be a little broad and overly vague. My point was to note that Brady does well under certain types of pressure (and really against all pressure - his 3.9% sack percentage is the 3rd lowest of his career), and due to the quick release, and no-huddle/up-tempo tenor to their game, I think the bigger key is to stick to their assignments in all phases of defense. If they fail to get pressure oe him, naturally he's going to kill them, but I think they have to be stout everywhere so that they can let their four man front get to him. Cover up his options long enough to give them a shot at getting to him. That's a very different emphasis, imo.

In fact, if you want to be specific, the best way to beat him is to get pressure up the middle. Based on the stats on the year and the film, the key sacks on Brady have typically come up the gut (the quickest most direct way to get to him, in theory). The Ravens killed a drive against Brady in their nailbiter win when Ngata did a spin move and was right on top of Brady before he could make the read. There was a zone blitzing LB on the edge that nearly got to him, too, but it was Ngata that did the damage. On the final drive against Seattle (when Seattle won 24-23), it was Defensive Tackle Jason Jones that blew through and wrapped up Brady to help create a 3rd and long situation.

I actually think Houston's mistake was trying to send too many rushers at Brady too often (they did it 14 times, with two of the plays turning out to be draw plays). They went away from their strengths, and they left openings for Brady to exploit.

I do agree that if they blitz, it might be bringing Willis or Bowman up the middle that gets him, but they have to be careful, because he'll read stunts and he'll locate Hernandez or Gronkowski clearing into the seam that is emptied by the blitzing LB, and these guys are challenges for Willis and Bowman to cover, let alone Smith or Brooks or whomever drops back.

A couple other things worth noting:

- The Patriots have lost 3 games this year by a total of 5 points. The fact that they were 4-3 at one point disguised the fact that they are having quite a dominant season.

- Their current scoring pace will put them at 581 pts for the year, which will be the second highest total only to their 589 points they put up in the year they went 16-0.

This showdown on Sunday is definitely looking like it'll be a classic unstoppable force (NE offense) vs. the immovable object (SF's defense) matchup. I think, whatever the specific 'keys' that anyone wants to point out to victory might be, this is going to be a real litmus test for the 49ers playoffs aspirations.
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Posted: 12/12/2012 5:59 PM

Re: San Francisco @ New England 


Looking forward to a good, hard fought game with no serious injuries to anyone. - Wouldn't be much of a surprise to see these two teams meet again this year - hope so.
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Posted: 12/13/2012 6:46 PM

Re: San Francisco @ New England 


The best game plan we have is Frank Gore and LeMichael James.  We need 35 carries from both of them to have a shot.  We have to slow this game down and worry about time of posession.  Quick 3 and outs will play into the Patriots hands.  We need to see a lot of Tukuafu(?) in the back field along with Miller lead blocking.  We must break them in the run game to open up our pass game.  Kaepernick running is not the way to win this game.  We need to beat them with our big guys to soften them up and wear them out.

Wes Welker worries me the most because he is a better version than Amendola.  We remember how he SHREDDED our defense.  That was with Bradford pulling the trigger not Touchdown Tom.

I have come to reality that we will probably lose this game, close or blowout doesn't matter, we have to worry about beating the Seahawks.  The best case scenario is we win and the Seahawks lose.  Go Bills!
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Posted: 12/13/2012 7:12 PM

Re: San Francisco @ New England 


This game is extremely important for our first round bye hopes. Up next for Green Bay is the Bears, who they have already beat. Then they get an easy home game against the Titans. Then they close the season against the Vikings, who they also have already beaten. I think we will need to run the table and finish 12-3-1 to get the bye.

My two favorite teams are the 49ers and whoever is playing Seattle.
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