One way or another the 49ers have to find a fix for the offensive line – and in particular Anthony Clement who’s holding penalty negated another one of Brandon Lloyd’s spectacular receptions. The line though has issues that go beyond Clement, and Nolan should probably start thinking about playing some of the youngsters on the offensive line. Tight end remains an issues for the 49ers too, both as an added receiver and as an added blocker. Anyway you cut it, the 49ers have to fix the line if they want to have any success what so ever.
It was refreshing to have Arnaz Battle back in the mix at receiver. There is no doubt that he and Lloyd can be a good tandem if the quarterback has the time to get them the ball. Battle in particular allows the 49ers to exploit the slant a bit more – which is a very important play to the West Coast Offense.
The defense had a decent showing. It was not a game winning performance, but certainly expecting the offense to score 25 should be realistic. Bruce Thornton continues to impress me at cornerback, and Bryant Young, Julian Peterson, Andre Carter and Derek Smith are the integral parts of the defense. There’s nothing really new going on here. For some reason Shawntae Spencer has struggled all season and continues to do so. Mike Adams is filling in OK at safety. I have been a fan of Brandon Moore for quite some time, but I think it is becoming fairly apparent that while he can cover the run, or rush the passer, he is lacking in his pass coverage abilities.
The special teams continues to be the strong point of this team. Joe Nedney booted another couple long field goals, and Andy Lee is most certainly doing the trick at punter. The coverage teams are doing fine, and the team misses Otis Amey in return abilities to some extent.
Really this game was not as bad as I thought it would be. Pickett really had a decent performance. What I am worried about though is that the coaching staff is not giving the team a chance to win because of the strangle hold it has on whoever is at quarterback. This offense needs to be opened up, because the team will not win pounding the ball (especially with this offensive line) and because otherwise the quarterbacks are not really getting practical experience. I think Nolan and his staff are doing a pretty good job preparing this team on a week to week basis – but the team needs to be more aggressive and really go for it, otherwise people, and players will stop having faith that this team can win.