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Why We Couldn't Run Against Seattle

 
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big9erfan


Joined: 26 Feb 2007
Posts: 13997
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:15 pm    Post subject: Why We Couldn't Run Against Seattle Reply with quote

There has been lots of talk here about why we couldn't run against Seattle. Of course they have a good defense, but I also was left with the impression that almost all of our running plays were ones that were destined to not succeed right from the start. And I have felt all year long that our offense is not sophisticated, lacks variety, and does not put much pressure on the defense. So I went back and looked at every single running play and here's what I saw.

A couple of quick disclaimers. I did not study this very long, so my counts might be off by one or two. More importantly I wanted to know how many guys we had split out wide when we ran. But how far out is enough to count as "split out wide"? When a TE was lined up with just a short gap between him and the OT I did not count him as being split out wide. Same for when a second TE would like up half a step behind the first TE and a bit outside of him. Those kind of formations are power running formations for us not multiple receivers set out wide. Finally, I'm only talking here about runs by our RBs, not Kap, since it is our RBs who were unable to run. Some of what I've got below might not be 100% accurate, but the gist of it is quite clear.

Running plays when we had 4 guys split out - 0
Running plays when we had 3 guys split out - 0
Running plays when we had 2 guys split out - 4 (but see below)
Running plays when we had 1 guy split out - 10 (every single one of them with 8 or 9 defenders in the box)
Running plays when we had 0 guys split out - 2 (against 11-man fronts)

Of the runs when we had 2 receivers out wide, one was a draw, and two were pistol formation runs. We have had very little success running out of the pistol all year. So those were not the best calls. Finally the one true handoff we had out of a 2 receiver wide set went for 12 yards. By the way, it happened very late in the game. Yet it was the one and only straight handoff we made all game with more than one receiver set out wide. Now for the 1-receiver-wide sets ... the defense had eight men and often 9 "in the box". I'm counting them "in the box" if they were within 5 yards of the los and no further outside than the outside shoulder of an offensive blocker. And of course on our two plays with nobody split out the defense had all 11 guys "in the box".

So the bottom line is that we made it incredibly easy for the defense. It's not that we're not good at what we do, but thnk about how easy it is to play us. We never ran from 3 or 4 receiver sets, and almost never even from 2 receiver sets. And every single time we ran from a 1-wide set they had 8 or 9 men in the box. Folks, that is not a game plan with a high probability of success against a team like Seattle. Roman's passing attack sucks. But this kind of game planning and approach to trying to beat Seattle just reeks of unltra-conservative", "try-to-stop-me-if-you-can", pig-headedness that keeps us from being as good as we could be. I know some people here still think highly of Roman, but for the life of me I don't know why. He might now be our biggest obstacle to winning it all.

p.s. Seattle made mulitple handoffs to RBs out of 2-receiver sets, some out of 3-receiver sets, and even one from a 4-receiver set. Much more variety to their running attack than ours. I don't mind at all that we are a run-based offense. But does every run have to be a power run up the middle against 8 or 9 in the box?
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Forge


Joined: 19 Feb 2010
Posts: 7148
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was the reason I was clamoring to put in hunter during the game in the gdt. Different skillset, different run calls. May have been more successful, may not have been. But we never even tried. Roman and Harbaugh can be unbelievably stubborn.
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J-ALL-DAY


Joined: 17 Oct 2007
Posts: 26969
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, we just don't run out of a three WR formation which is baffling to me. Anyways, Matt Maiocco said due to the silent counts, the OL was a split second slow off the snap which made enough difference. Makes sense, but I do agree we made it much easier for Seattle to stop us. Then again, how different was our play calls from the last meeting in week 14?
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757-NINER


Joined: 08 Jan 2013
Posts: 420
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

J-ALL-DAY wrote:
Yeah, we just don't run out of a three WR formation which is baffling to me. Anyways, Matt Maiocco said due to the silent counts, the OL was a split second slow off the snap which made enough difference. Makes sense, but I do agree we made it much easier for Seattle to stop us. Then again, how different was our play calls from the last meeting in week 14?


We were at home though in week 14. We are never goodjg to be able to run our normal offense up there due to the noise. A lot of the audibles and two and three plays called in the huddle we simply won't try up there. Notice how little CK changed plays at the like in the NFCCG. We even huddled differrently, to make sure everyone heard the calls. So were going to always hampered when we go up there. So is the rest of the NFL. Just something we have to learn to work around....and we did for the most part.

But the noise doesn't effectively the diversity of the play-calling and that's on Roman. But to be fair, we regualry run against 9 and 10 man boxes and do so effectively. I understand what the OP is saying, we do get very stubborn with our gameplan when things are not working. But the O-Line did not play up to there standards. We've seen stacked boxes for 3 years now. We expect it. If guys still did their jobs and executed, some of those runs could have been much more successful. It is what it is. Sire some diversity would have helped but look at th box when Gore made his 51 yard run against the Hawks, in SF. Its about us, not them.
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J-ALL-DAY


Joined: 17 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the thing, crowd noise didn't allow for any audibles and the OL was slow off the snap. We run mostly the same plays off the same formations against everyone, but at Seattle it won't be as effective. Heck, we have NEVER been successful there at running the ball during Harbaugh's tenure. They have to continue to adjust and the OL has to play better. So I don't think the play calling was more terrible or different than usual. Against Seattle, you have to use these power formations and take advantage of their DL that is super quick, but not strong. NO hardly ever runs out of the power formation but had a lot of success in the playoff game.
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big9erfan


Joined: 26 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part of the point I'm making is not just about running, it's also about passing. When we never run out of 3 or 4 receiver sets and almost always pass when even have just two guys out wide that's like teliing the defense whether a run or a pass is coming, and it makes it wayyyy easier for them to stop whichever we're trying to do.

Honestly I'm not sure it's any harder for a defense to predict whether we are going to run or pass than it was when Singletary was here. You just can't give up that kind of advantage to the defense and expect to consistently beat the best teams in the league. All we need to do is just look at the variety of formations Seattle ran Lunch out of. It's just not all about our 8 blockers being better than your 8 defenders.
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steadypimpin


Joined: 01 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I hate our offense. Especially our run game. They are almost Sing like the way they do run plays. They never use WRs on run plays and the opposing defense just gears up for it. Our offense should be one of the better offenses IMO with our personnel but it stays at the bottom due to the ineptness of our staff. We have playmakers but fail to use them when needed. Sometimes I wonder why this team is so good with this crappy offense.
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J-ALL-DAY


Joined: 17 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, our offense could be extremely predictable at times and the route combinations makes it easier for opposing defenses. I mean how often do we have two WRs in the same area?
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757-NINER


Joined: 08 Jan 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The running game defintely wasn't as diverse as it had been the previous two years? Why? I have no clue.
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SoCalNiner


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty much what I thought was confirmed. For some odd reason we don't like to spread our guys out when we run. I know Jim thinks Gore can morph and fit into small spaces, but this is ridiculous.
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SoCalNiner


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

757-NINER wrote:
The running game defintely wasn't as diverse as it had been the previous two years? Why? I have no clue.


What scares me is that all signs point to more regression this year.
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