It’s getting closer and closer! We’re only a day out from playing in the Super Bowl. With the team making final adjustments and revisions, I’m just going to highlight two plays that I feel are important in San Francisco’s passing game. Enjoy!
I’ve already mentioned the running backs and offensive line, so go read my previous piece if you any idea of their skills.
At quarterback, the 49ers employ Jimmy Garoppolo. In simple terms, Garoppolo is an Alex Smith who’s willing to take risks. He doesn’t want to throw outside the numbers very much, but in the middle of the field, he’s deadly accurate. You can bait him into bad interceptions though, so we have potential to get a few INTs.
At wide receiver, the 49ers are full of burners. Emmanuel Sanders has played against us a lot, and he still has the speed to make you pay in the middle of the field. Deebo Samuel is a burner, used as someone to stretch the field. For a young guy, he runs really good routes as well. Kendrick Bourne is their 3rd receiver, but he’s only used on 3rd downs. He’s got speed, but he’s not somebody that’s going to burn you consistently.
At tight end, the 49ers have George Kittle. While he’s not Travis Kelce in terms of route running, his ability to collect yards after catch is scary good. Kittle’s hard to tackle, and he has a lot of speed in the open field. If we should be concerned about anyone in San Francisco, it’s Kittle.
San Francisco utilizes a lot of play action, taking advantage of over-pursuing linebackers in the middle of the field. They use a lot of over routes in their scheme. This gives Garoppolo a quick read, and an ability to lay it over the linebackers.
Eye discipline is key this week, and if our slot corner gets depth on that over route, then we may be able to bait Jimmy G into quick interceptions. We have to be prepared to defend the middle of the field this week though.
The Niners like to use the middle of the field, especially against man. Quick slants, especially out of a 6-1 front, can give Jimmy G a quick read. Emmanuel Sanders and Deebo Samuel have enough explosion to get a good release, and it’s an easy pitch and catch. Inside leverage may be the main technique we use this week, in order to take away the middle of the field.
This game is going to be difficult. Kyle Shanahan excels at finding weaknesses in your defense and exposing them. The 49ers have a lot of team speed at all 3 levels, and don’t shoot themselves often.
If we trust our fundamentals, we’re going to be able to win. I trust Steve Spagnuolo and Brendan Daly, with two weeks to prepare, to be able to establish a gameplan that confuses Jimmy G. Give me Chiefs, 38-31. For Andy…