Breaking down the 49ers' breakdowns


Breaking down the 49ers' breakdowns

Other than the brother vs. brother coaching matchup, the thing that distinguished the 49ers' 16-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens was the number of sacks allowed.The last time the 49ers were sacked nine times in a game was November of 1998 at the Green Bay Packers. Steve Young was the quarterback, and the offensive line consisted of Jamie Brown, Ray Brown, Chris Dalman, Kevin Gogan and Derrick Deese.Two months later when the clubs met again in the playoffs, Young was sacked twice at Candlestick Park and the 49ers defeated the Packers on Young's late touchdown pass to Terrell Owens.I still haven't had a chance to re-watch the entire game, but I wanted to take a look at each of the nine sacks allowed.Coach Jim Harbaugh said there was equal blame to go around for the sacks. He said three were a matter of the Ravens calling the right blitzes against the 49ers protection; three were results of a 49ers pass protector losing one-on-one; and a couple sacks could've been avoided if quarterback Alex Smith had gotten the ball out quicker.Again, these are only the nine sacks. I haven't watched the other quarterback pressures or the times Smith escaped sacks:1, First quarter (9:04), 3rd-and-3 from SF 36
Alex Smith in the shotgun. The Ravens come with a five-man rush with middle linebacker Jameel McClain blitzing up the middle. Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs gets around left tackle Joe Staley just enough to force Smith to step up. McClain is one on one against right guard Adam Snyder. McClain gets past Snyder with a spin move to force Smith to flee the pocket toward the left sideline, where safety Tom Zbikowski runs him down and tackles him for a 1-yard loss. On a third-and-3, it should've been a quick-hitting play, but he did not determine there to be an open receiver. Smith first started to get out of the pocket 2.7 seconds after the snap. The penetration Snyder allowed to McClain blew up the play.2, First quarter (2:38), 3rd-and-4 from Balt 22
Smith in the shotgun. It's a four-man rush, but a fifth man is at the line of scrimmage eye-balling running back Frank Gore who remains in to block. The Ravens get immediate push up the middle. Haloti Ngata works center Jonathan Goodwin into a clump of bodies around left guard and then sheds him and moves into the pocket. Rookie defensive lineman Pernell McPhee helped blow up the play as he got past Adam Snyder and an off-balance Gore was blasted backward. About 2.5 seconds after the snap, Smith stepped up into Ngata's grasp for a 5-yard loss. The Ravens overpowered the 49ers' front on that one.3, Second quarter (12:47), 3rd-and-13 from SF 17
Smith in the shotgun. This time the Ravens thoroughly confused the 49ers with a seven-man front. The Ravens rushed four, but the 49ers had a difficult time identifying which four until it was too late. Backup right guard Chilo Rachal's attention was diverted by McPhee who lined up between center and right guard. Rachal is in the game after Snyder's hamstring injury. Cory Redding lined up over right tackle Anthony Davis. McPhee faked a rush and then backed into coverage. Davis was responsible for the outside rusher Paul Kruger, leaving Redding unblocked. Redding blew past Rachal, who was initially focused on blocking McPhee. And with Kruger and McClain coming off the right side, Gore's attention was on picking up the unblocked McClain. Gore did not realize until it was too late that Redding was unblocked, too. Chalk that one up to scheme, rather than one person getting physically beaten.4, Second quarter (8:42), 1st-and-10 from SF 24
Against a five-man rush, the pass protection was very good, giving Smith 3.8 seconds to get rid of the ball. Gore laid out blitzing linebacker Albert McClellan. Left tackle Joe Staley mirrored Redding 9 yards up the field, providing a good pocket for Smith. When Smith stepped up, Redding stepped up and dropped Smith for a 2-yard sack. Call that one a coverage sack.5, Third quarter (13:15), 2nd-and-11 from SF 32
Smith is in the shot gun. The Ravens have a four-man line with Redding lined up over right tackle Anthony Davis and Ngata over Rachal. Redding and Ngata work a stunt, and Rachal started off on Ngata and then picked up Redding. But Davis did not close the gap tight end between he and Rachal, allowing Ngata to push through Davis and get to Smith in about 2.5 seconds for a 6-yard sack. This play blew up with Davis not getting the switch.6, Third quarter (8:56), 2nd-and-8 from Balt 25
The Ravens come with another five-man rush, but pre-snap they again disguised which five men were rushing. Terrell Suggs just ran to the outside past the shove of Davis. And when Suggs got to Smith, three other Ravens were right there and could've gotten him, too. Put it this way, the only pass protectors who had their guys taken care of were Staley, who locked up Ngata, and running back Kendall Hunter, who stepped up to take on safety Bernard Pollard. That was a combination of scheme and getting beaten.7, Fourth quarter (13:35), 3rd-and-7 from SF 31
Smith in the shotgun. Ravens come with a five-man rush with cornerback Lardarius Webb coming off the 49ers' right side. It looked as if Davis didn't recognize Webb coming off that side and was helping inside. Other than Webb coming free off that side, the protection was acceptable. Smith felt Webb and slid to the right. Staley was blocking McPhee, who did not get off the line of scrimmage. Smith moved that way about 3.2 seconds after the snap. Webb and McPhee shared the 2-yard sack. Nobody got physically beaten, so we'll chalk that one up to scheme, too.8, Fourth quarter (8:12), 3rd-and-8 from SF 12
Smith in the shotgun. Davis blocking Suggs one-on-one, remained between his man and the quarterback but he kept giving ground to Suggs, who forced Smith to scramble to the left sideline. Smith pump-faked and began to throw, but he thought better of it with Suggs in pursuit. Suggs ran down Smith and sacked him 5 seconds after the snap. The ball popped free and out of bounds for a 3-yard loss. Davis did not hold firm enough against Suggs and Smith couldn't find anyone downfield once he escaped the pocket.9, Fourth quarter (3:05), 1st-and-10 from SF 31
Smith in the shotgun. Rachal pulls from right guard to try to pick up Kruger off the left side, where Gore is there, as well. That forces Smith to step up. Tight ends Delanie Walker and Vernon Davis remain in to block Suggs, who works Davis to the inside and grabs Smith about 3.1 seconds after the snap for a 7-yard loss. None of the pass-protectors got physically handled on this one. Bottom line is -- surprise! -- the 49ers did not execute. Smith completed three passes the entire game on third downs. He was sacked five times on third downs. Most of the Ravens' successful scheming was directed at the right side of the 49ers' line.

Chip Kelly: Lessons learned from his late father

Chip Kelly: Lessons learned from his late father

SANTA CLARA – San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly made his strongest statement, yet, about where he stands when it comes to seeking jobs elsewhere.

It is a view of commitment he said he learned from his father, E. Paul Kelly, who passed away on Friday at the age of 87. Kelly returned from his dad’s funeral in Portland, Maine, late Tuesday night.

Kelly held his typical Wednesday press briefing. Afterward, he went to the practice field, where numerous 49ers players greeted him with hugs. Just moments earlier, he guaranteed he will never leave a team while there are games remaining on the schedule.

“I will never leave my job for another job while a season is going on,” Kelly said. “I don’t think that’s fair. I didn’t do it when I was in college. I didn’t talk to anybody in the National Football League until after our bowl game was over.

“I will not leave a team with three games to go because I got a bigger, better deal. That’s not the way I’m wired. “

Kelly added, “It’s one thing I did learn from my dad. I have a commitment. They’ve made a commitment to me and I make a commitment to them. I’m not searching around and looking for other jobs while I have a job."

Despite stating multiple times in recent weeks he would not be returning to coach in the college ranks, Kelly’s name continued to surface in connection with the Oregon job. That possibility officially closed on Wednesday morning, as Oregon hired former South Florida coach Willie Taggart for the job.

Kelly’s father passed away on Friday night. Chip Kelly flew to the northeast to join his family, including his mother, who urged him to coach the 49ers’ game on Sunday in Chicago.

After the 49ers’ 26-6 loss to the Chicago Bears, Kelly returned to Maine to attend the services.

"I think you’re just really thankful for the time we had with him," Kelly said. "He lived a vibrant and long life, 87 years. He touched a lot of people in his life and it was evident to us yesterday when we had the funeral how many people came and expressed their condolences and reached out. He had a huge impact in his life. I think, it’s a difficult time. I think we all feel for my mom more than anything else, but it’s an opportunity to celebrate the times that we had with him and he was just a great man.”

Kelly described his dad as a “life-long learner” who had a “thirst for knowledge, an insatiable appetite for information.”

According to his obituary, which ran in the New Hampshire Union Leader, Paul Kelly taught the four Kelly rules to his kids at a young age:

Rule #1 - Have fun!
Rule #2 - Stick together!
Rule #3 - Love Mom!
Rule #4 -&%$*# Dad!

Chip Kelly has demonstrated a wry sense of humor during his first season with the 49ers. But he said he does not compare to his father.

"I don’t have any sense of humor compared to my dad," Kelly said. "I think he was special in that manner. He just had a zest for life. He was one of the happiest people you ever met.

The obituary also stated Paul Kelly was “a truly devoted San Francisco 49ers fan.”

“My dad’s loyal now," Chip Kelly said. "He knows where his son was. He actually got buried in 49ers gear. He did not want to wear a suit in the coffin. He wore a suit for his whole career as a trial lawyer, but he wanted to wear a 49ers sweat suit when he passed away.”

Cosell: It's fascinating that Kelly clearly didn't want Kaepernick to throw

Cosell: It's fascinating that Kelly clearly didn't want Kaepernick to throw

Colin Kaepernick was benched after three quarters on Sunday.

He completed 1-of-5 passes for four yards.

"To me, what's most fascinating about that is what Chip's approach was," Greg Cosell said on KNBR 680 on Monday evening. "Chip (Kelly) clearly did not want him to throw the ball ... it was clear to me that Kaepernick does not throw a wet or a cold ball very well...

"He has small hands so I'm wondering if he just couldn't really throw the ball effectively in this kind of weather.

"Hey, Troy Aikman always said, 'I couldn't throw a wet ball.'"

Kaepernick was sacked five times for -25 total yards.

"Looking at the sacks, there were opportunities for tighter window, but NFL throws -- and first of all, I don't think Kaepernick is that guy under normal circumstances -- and my sense is, he didn't feel comfortable in this weather," Cosell added. "He certainly wasn't gonna cut it loose on those kinds of throws in this weather.

"Maybe Chip knew that, maybe he didn't. But to me, as I said, it's more fascinating that he didn't have him throw the ball at all."

Blaine Gabbert supplanted Kaepernick and completed 4-of-10 passes for 35 yards. He was sacked once.