The 49ers are on a short week after being completely owned in all phases of the game thanks to the New York Giants. They face the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday Night Football just four days after the demoralizing loss mentioned above. This doesn't give them much time to put together a game-plan, but maybe that's a good thing.
In the 49ers two losses this year one theme has been consistent: they seemed to get away from their identity on offense.
During both losses, one to the Minnesota Vikings and the aforementioned loss from last Sunday, the 49ers seemed to come out throwing. Against the Giants they threw the ball twice as many times as they attempted runs in the first half. Even when the game wasn't getting out of hand, the 49ers continued to try to throw the ball...as if they felt like they had to score quickly to close the gap.
The results were not good in either game. Telling Alex Smith that he has to carry the offense with his right arm isn't the best approach. Sure, he can score a touchdown when you need it...but showing him a scoreboard that has you down big-time only serves to make him press and force throws.
That's exactly what happened against the Giants as Smith threw an uncharacteristic three interceptions, all of which were poor decisions and inaccurate passes. If the 49ers want to continue their winning ways, they'll need to stop trying so hard and get back to what they're known for: running the football.
Every one knows they want to line up over 2,000lbs. of beef and run it right at you. So what. Try and stop it. More specific: make us stop it.
That's when you throw the ball. When teams have to sell-out to stop your run-game. A rushing attack that gashed the Giants on a few plays in the first half yet saw Frank Gore with zero second-half carries as the 49ers appeared desperate.
If the plan all along was to sling the ball around all day, I have to say it wasn't a good plan. At least, if that was the plan, there has to be the option to "Plan B" things and go back to some familiar plays, some ground-and-pound plays that keep the football safe, burn clock, and move down the field.
I'm not sure why Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman got away from this on Sunday, and certainly there were failures on defense and special teams as well...but if the team wants to have as much success as they did in 2011, they need to stick with what got them there, even if the opposition knows it's coming.