I'm skipping the Bears game for now. I might come back to it in the offseason, along with some of the games earlier in the season if people are interested.
If you're curious why the size varies on these gifs, it's because Photobucket limits me to 20MB per image. Longer plays mean bigger gifs, so I have to get them under the 20MB limit by shrinking them. This sucks, because the longer plays tend to be running plays and those are the ones where it's the most beneficial to have large gifs that allow you to see all of the offensive linemen's numbers. So if anyone is aware of a way around the limit or a site that doesn't have the same restriction, please let me know.
Play 1 - Richard Sherman vs Michael Crabtree. Richard Sherman is a little handsy here and mistimes his jump, but you can see the fluid athleticism that allows him to be so effective. You can also tell he's not going to forget Victor Cruz anytime soon.
Play 2 - Richard Sherman vs Michael Crabtree Part 2. The Niners call a great play here, with Sherman playing 8 yards off Michael Crabtree running a stop route. Sherman recognizes and closes quickly, able to make a nice tackle and prevent a first down.
Play 3 - Richard Sherman vs Kendall Hunter. Sherman reads the run and get's into the backfield, popping Anthony Davis back far enough to force Kendall Hunter to cut it up inside. He recovers from the collision with Davis and is able to make the tackle on Hunter, who slipped a bit on his cut, along with Raheem Brock. As the color guy said, this would've been an excellent play for a linebacker. To see a corner play like that is ridiculous.
Play 4 - Brandon Mebane and Alan Branch vs Mike Iupati and Adam Snyder. This play has big problems written all over it, as Jonathan Goodwin, Joe Staley and Vernon Davis all get out and block the linebackers. Hunter sees a hole up the middle with lots of green beyond, but it closes on top of him as Brandon Mebane and Alan Branch are able to slide their blockers into the hole. Branch sheds his blocker and wraps up Hunter, who does a good job of efforting his way to an extra yard or two.
Play 5 - Brandon Mebane vs Jonathan Goodwin and Adam Snyder. Mebane gets a great jump at the snap and gives up no ground to the double team. When Snyder slides off to try to pick up a linebacker, Mebane sheds Goodwin and trips up Frank Gore at the line. Kam Chancellor and David Hawthorne also do a very nice job on this play, filling their gap and stonewalling the full back and pulling left tackle, leaving Gore with no where to go.
Play 6 - Pass Rush Fail Part One. Looks like I forgot to put the delay in this gif. Just queue up some Benny Hill and go with it. Red Bryant, Mebane, Branch and Brock. No one gets within two yards of Smith. It's a good thing Alex Smith is bad!
Play 7 - Pass Rush Fail Part Two. Chris Clemons, Branch, Pep Levingston and Anthony Hargrove. Hargrove is a defensive tackle playing at end on this play, but he might be the team's second best pass rusher after Clemons. He's the only one that gets any kind of pressure on Smith, but it doesn't get there soon enough and Smith is able to dump off for a big gain. Had he not had an outlet there he would've been able to either roll out and buy more time or just run for a sizeable gain himself.
Play 8 - Pass Rush Fail Part Three. Bryant, Mebane, Branch and Clemons. Mebane gets a good jump and decent push against a double team, but ultimately doesn't get within two yards of Smith. Clemons stunts to the inside of Branch but isn't able to shake Staley and then Gore gets a good block on him. Red Bryant doesn't look like he's even trying. I have no idea what he thinks he's doing on this play.
Play 9 - Pass Rush Fail Part Four. Bryant, Branch, Mebane, Clemons. Bryant attempts to stunt and goes nowhere. Clemons is man handled by Staley. Smith is able to buy time long enough for Davis to find a hole in the zone behind Leroy Hill.
Play 10 - Pass Rush Fail Part Five. Bryant, Branch, Mebane, Clemons. To be fair on this one, the Niners run a really nice play action here that pretty much the entire team bites on. The defensive line ends up scattered across the field, with Clemons left as the only guy with a real opportunity to provide some pass rush. Clemons is doubled up though, so he get's no pressure. Mebane ends up for yards past the line of scrimmage, Branch breaks free of his blockers far too late, and Red Bryant is in better position to tackle the receiver who is five yards down field than he is to sack Smith.
Play 11 - Pass Rush Fail Part Six. Clemons, Branch, Mebane, Bryant. Mebane gets pressure on Smith but Bryant gets zero push, giving Smith an easy escape. Clemons and Branch are able to shed their blockers to pursue Smith, but he has plenty of time to get rid of the ball before they pose any kind of a threat.
Play 12 - Pass Rush Fail Part Seven. Bryant, Mebane, Branch, Clemons. Maybe it's the play action that's giving Seattle so many problems with the pass rush. Mebane gets good pressure again but, just like the previous play, the defensive end (Clemons in this case) gets very little push and Smith has an easy escape route. Bryant, again, is completely useless, not even attempting to engage his blockers.
Play 13 - Seahawks Run Blocking. Seattle gets great push off the line here, and this was common throughout the game. Michael Robinson takes out Ahmad Brooks while Obo gets out and blocks Dashon Goldson. Lemuel Jeanpierre and Breno Giacomini do a great job working together, with Breno getting good push on Ray McDonald before releasing him to Jeanpierre. Breno then picks up Larry Grant and erases him from the play. Tate does a nice job blocking his corner and winds up being in the right place to screen out a pursuing Goldson. On the backside of the play, Paul McQuistan drives back Rickey Jean-Francois before catch Navorro Bownman offguard and pancaking him.
Marshawn Lynch does an excellent job navigating all of it, something I've been critical of him for. Very nice run from him and he didn't need to Beast Mode his way through any of it.
Play 14 - Seahawks Run Blocking Part Two. The faked end around to Golden Tate makes this play, it holds Aldon Smith long enough to allow Lynch to cut back. Even though this play cuts back, it's the right side of the line that makes it possible. Jeanpierre does an excellent job pushing back Ray McDonald and sealing the running lane behind him, getting a boost from Morrah pushing the pile from behind. Justin Smith overpursues and Gallery does enough to keep him from recovering and making a play. Navarro Bowman almost eludes McQuistan but the path Lynch takes leads him back into the blocker, and McQuistan catches him off balance and takes him to the ground again. Lynch tries to Beast Mode his way into some extra yardage at the end but isn't able to escape a nice wrap up tackle by Giacomini.
Play 15 - Seahawks Run Blocking Part Three. Jeanpierre and Gallery do a great job of getting out and blocking Bowman and Grant. Lynch slips a tackle from Justin Smith before punishing Donte Whitner. Grant is eventually able to shed Gallery and eventually make the tackle.
Also, this play is just another example of how Seattle has been using their tight ends in the run game this year. Morrah pulls to the back side of the play and picks ups Parys Haralson. How frequently Seattle pulls their tight end has been mentioned but doesn't get talked about too much. Maybe it's not that odd, but I've found it interesting and it seems to be very effective.
Play 16 - Tarvaris Jackson Part One. Great job by the offensive line here, picking up the five man rush. Tarvaris Jackson has plenty of time and space in the pocket, and has lots of space to roll out to his left. Instead he throws a pass to an extremely well covered Tate. If this ball is thrown accurately, it's a pick. If this is just Tarvaris getting rid of the ball, I have to wonder why. He had more time and he had the ability to roll out and buy extra time, throwing out of bounds here seems needless.
Play 17 - Tarvaris Jackson Part Two. Again, Tarvaris has tons of time and lots of space to roll out to his left. He also has Forsett sneaking out of the back field, who is open at least for a short while. Instead he lock onto his man and rockets a ball off his back foot, out of bounds.
Play 18 - Tarvaris Jackson Part Three. If those previous two plays were throw aways, what the hell is this? Instead of tossing the ball out of bounds, which he could have easily done since he was out of the pocket, he opts to run head first into three defensive linemen.
Apropos of this play, the play action fake is terrible. I don't know if that's play design, Lynch or Tarvaris making the mistake but it's a weak fake and gets very little reaction out of the Niners defenders.
Play 19 - Tarvaris Jackson Part Four. 20 seconds left in the game, no time outs, you need to get into field goal range. So what does TJack do? He throws it into triple coverage in the middle of the field. If no one was open I have to think Zach Miller running wide open towards the sideline was a better option.
Play 20 - Tarvaris Jackson Part Five. Oh now he sees him.
Play 21 - Tarvaris Jackson to Ricardo Lockette. Conceptually, it doesn't get much simpler than this. Ricardo Lockette runs a nice go route right past Carlos Rodgers and Jackson hits him for the big play. It's an unbelievable throw from Jackson, who is under pressure and falling backwards but is able to place the ball in the perfect spot 44 yards down field.
Play 22 - Kendall Hunter. He did this a couple times against Seattle and I'm kicking myself for not getting the one he had earlier in the game. This is similar to play 4, with the Niners getting two offensive lineman out on the linebackers. Hunter is able to pop through the line and take advantage of it this time, allowing him to pick up a big gain.
Play 23 - Niners Run Blocking. This is similar this play that the Rams ran against Seattle two weeks previous. Branch is allowed into the backfield and is supposed to be picked up by Iupati. Branch slips and takes himself out of the play, but Iupati lays on top of him for good measure. Goodwin is the only other offensive lineman who doesn't pull out into the second level, and he's somehow able to block both Mebane and Clemons. KJ Wright does a decent job avoiding the blockers but isn't able to get in position to make a play, he ends up teaming up with Chancellor to clean up the play 12 yards down field.
Play 24 - Niners Run Blocking Part Two. Kind of a slick play by San Francisco. Justin Peelle motions from the tight end spot next to the right tackle to line up left of the fullback in the backfield. At the snap both he and Iupati pull back to the right side. Mebane and Pep take themselves out of position while Clemons gets swarmed with blockers. Bryant has a shot to cut this play short but isn't able to get over and catch Gore in time.
Play 25 - Leroy Hill vs Frank Gore. The Seahawk defensive line does a nice job stacking their blockers and Hill caps it off by knifing into the backfield and tripping up Gore. Hill seems to get taken for granted and I've seen it noted several places that Seattle needs to look to upgrade that position. I'm not necessarily against that, I just think whoever the Q/PM find to replace him is going to have some big shoes to fill. What Hill does well he does very well, he makes a few plays like this every week.
Play 26 - Earl Thomas vs Alex Smith. This kind of thing is why he's a pro bowler.
Play 27 - Anthony Hargrove and Richard Sherman. Hargrove gets good pressure on Smith, driving a double team back into his lap. This forces an early throw and Sherman is all over it. I really hope Hargrove is back next season, he's been able to provide consistent interior pressure. He could be a very nice rotation player for Seattle if he doesn't cost too much.
Play 29 - Red Bryant vs Alex Smith. I know I'm kind of ragging on Bryant, but he had a really bad game that coincided with a lot of talk about the team improving it's pass rush. This play is another example of how Bryant hurts Seattle's ability to pressure quarterbacks. He doesn't have the agility or acceleration to chase down and tackle scrambling quarterbacks. Smith has to account for Bryant on this play, but he's able to scan the field as he jogs towards the sideline and find Vernon Davis. Bryant is a liability on roll outs and broken plays because of this.
Play 30 - Bruce Miller vs Red Bryant. I'm only showing this because you just don't see Red get taken down like that. Ever. It doesn't happen. This isn't so much a bad play by Bryant as it is a superb cut block by Miller. Fuck the Niners, but that was a nice play.
Play 31 - Chris Clemons vs Mike Iupati. This is similar to play three, except this one makes sense because it's a defensive end doing it and not a corner back. Clemons pops and sheds Iupati, knocking him back a yard, before tracking down Frank Gore for a loss.
Play 32 - Chris Clemons vs Adam Snyder. Snyder pulls and tries to pick up Clemons but is discarded out of hand. KJ Wright comes up and takes Justin Peelle out of the play, forcing him backwards into Gore's running lane. Gore has to cut inside and is immediately wrapped up by Clemons.
Play 33 - Kam Chancellor vs Michael Crabtree. Chancellor does a great job reading Smith's eyes and making a play on the ball. Unfortunately Chancellor only tips the ball instead of batting it down and Crabtree is able haul in the pass. Regardless, it's a nice play by Chancellor.
Play 34 - Brandon Browner vs Michael Crabtree. Brandon Browner gets a little handsy here but overall has excellent coverage on Crabtree. The announcers mentioned this a couple times and I think they're correct, the Niners are a great match up for Browner. Both Crabtree and Braylon Edwards are bigger, physical receivers that aren't able to abuse Browner with their quickness. Browner struggled when lined up off the line as a nickel corner, but outside of that had a nice game.