49ers Hold On To Ball
November 13 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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The 49ers have done an amazing job of holding onto the ball over the past two weeks. Their offense has kept opposing offenses off the field, and as a result, two of the leagues best offenses haven’t had the opportunity to score points. The ball control, which lead to an imbalance of about 17 minutes in the 49ers favour against the Chiefs.
Playing keep way has long been an effective way to win football games, but possession with scoring can be poisonous. The 49ers this past weekend came very close to being poisoned, only able to put up 17 points despite given some good opportunities to score.
Long drives are a very effective means of wearing down a defense, but it also wears down the big men up front in an offense, and so the 49ers offensive line struggled in protecting Garcia, particularly late in the game. Clearly they had been over worked over the past two games.
Opposing teams will now counter with trying to hold onto the ball themselves, which may actually play into the hands of the 49ers. The team excels when it doesn’t have to stop the long pass, and so if teams go for the ‘short stuff’ and try and complete lots of plays to get a score, the 49ers should be able to handle that.