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Stopping Initial Drives
October 21 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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A big problem for the 49ers this season, as demonstrated again in the Sunday loss to the Saints, is the teams inability to stop their opposition on the first drives of each half. For some reason, while the team can normally muster the defense to stuff teams throughout the game, the scripted first drives usually annihilate a rather strong defense.

Yes, the 49ers defense has been battling repeated injuries throughout the season, but is that really an excuse? It would be if the teamís defense didnít step up throughout the game, like on Sunday, when it failed to even force one punt from the Saints, but for the most part this season that hasnít been the case.

Scoring first does not seem to really effect the outcome of the 49ers games, still it is hard to argue with playing with a lead as opposed to playing catch up and having to come from behind. This team needs to make it their mandate to step up and stop the opposition at the beginning of the half. Be able to do so will give the offense the opportunity to gain the lead, but it will also help deflate the opposition.

Itís been too long since the 49ers forced a three and out on opening series of halves. Itís about time the coaching staff stepped up and the team ready to play from the first snap to the final whistle, as opposed to from the teamís second defensive drive on. It will make a difference, just watch and see.

Talk about it in the 49ers Paradise Forum

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