This was a game that was closer than the score indicates, as the Colts pulled away late. We will get into some things I observed while watching the coaches tape of this game.
Indianapolis O vs San Francisco D Indy did a great job of mixing up formations, using quick passes isolating their receivers vs 49ers linebackers on shallow crosses and stick routes. They also stuck with the run game to keep San Francisco’s defense honest despite mixed degrees of success. Indy ran right at the SF with RB Trent Richardson and off tackle with Ahmad Bradshaw, where they saw some success. What makes the 49ers defense special is that they can stop the run with just their front 7. They are a big physical group that’s tough to move off the ball. QB Andrew Luck did a great job managing the game against a tough team and keeping the chains moving. Luck maneuvered around the pocket keeping his eyes downfield and taking what the defense gave him while leading his team to 27 points.
Key Stats Indy Luck 18-27 164yds Luck 4 car 24yds 1td Bradshaw 19car 95yds 1td Richardson 13car 35yds 1td 23 first downs. 336 total yds SF Bowman 9 tackles Brooks 7 tackles 1 ast Whitner 7 tackles
San Francisco O vs Indianapolis D The 49ers came out strong early with their power running game led by RB Frank Gore against the Colts 7 man box. After getting gashed by the run on San Fran’s 2nd drive for a TD the Colts changed the game by bringing safety Antoine Bethea down into the box. That move pretty much eliminated the 49ers run game from that point on. They dared Colin Kaepernick to find open receivers against man coverage and deliver the ball accurately. Without the benefit of the running game Kap really struggled. He locked onto his first read,usually Anquan Boldin and missed some open targets. It didn’t help that his receivers didn’t create much separation against the Colts DBs. Indy OLB Robert Mathis had 1.5 sacks, 1 on a serious spin move to beat Pro bowl Tackle Joe Staley. Kaepernick was too quick to give up on pass plays and when he decided to throw his feet weren’t set leading to some terribly inaccurate throws. The Colts D did a great job containing him and not letting him break any big runs or make plays outside the pocket.
Key Stats SF Kaepernick 13-27 150yds 1 int Kaepernick 7 car 20yds Gore 11car 82yds Boldin 5rec 67yds Indy Mathis 1.5 sacks Freeman 7 tackles 1ast .5 sacks Bethea 5 tackles
What I Learned This was a physical game between 2 of the better teams in the NFL. Andrew Luck showed why he is on his way to being a top QB as he did what it took to keep his team moving moving the ball against an elite defense led by Bowman and Willis. I also noticed the importance of a healthy Reggie Wayne, he provides Luck a reliable go to receiver, especially on 3rd downs. If the defense can play the way they played in this game and Luck continues to grow they could do big things. The 49ers offense revealed what may be their downfall which is Kap’s inaccuracy and inability to consistently beat teams from the pocket. On the tape I saw some open receivers but he had long ago given up on trying to locate a target. The 49ers offensive line is one of the best in the game and RB Frank Gore is a load to bring down. There is no team anywhere that can stop their running game without bringing an 8th man down to help. Also you could see how much they missed the injured Michael Crabtree who is one of their only receivers who can get open against man coverage.
This season opposing teams are going to make Kap earn his new contract by beating them with his arm.
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