By:  Jason “Big J” Allen

Follow me @UnSportsMenBigJ

A lot has been made of the defending NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers.  A lot of the MAKING has been in my face.  Since the two game losing streak I have heard it from every NFL fan not a 49er.  All the return trash talk is my fault, because last year I told everybody how great the 49ers are.  How NO-BODY! Has it better than us.  How our parts are the best in the league.  Also how we have the 2nd best coach in the league, I used to make jokes that if Belichick was Emperor Palpatine, Harbaugh was Yoda.  Now the if I asked “Who has it better than us?” you can reply “3/4th of the LEAGUE!”  So what’s wrong and how do we fix the Gold Rush?

Problem:  Rushing game- It starts just with that, the RUSH-ing game.  Now I know its very easy to say run the ball, better or more efficiently, but have you read anything on this site?  In three games the 49ers have rushed for 305 yards, that’s about 101.5 a game.  Last year by Week 3 the 49ers had rushed for 423, that’s about 141yds a game.  So you can see that the rushing total and average yards vastly different.  The thing is that the 49ers have not rushed the ball less (77 attempts in ’13 and 79 attempts in ’12) its the effectiveness of the running game.

Solution:  Harbaugh and the 49ers need to get back to the creative running game that was on display when Alex Smith was under center.  They ran a power heavy run style with a West Coast twist.  Remember the sets of Far and Near, off set I-Formations, running the same play from numerous formations, and using play action out of run sets to open up the pass?  Well where has that been in the first 3 games?  NO-WHERE! Coaching staff has fallen in love with Kaepernick arm strength and the read option.  The 49ers got an up close and personal mirror image of the team they used to be last week with the Colts. We haven’t seen that team since the 2012 regular season.  Get back to the creativity of the running game.

Problem: Passing game-  Let it be said “Seattle Seahawks Exposed the 49ers passing game!”  They showed the world that NO-BODY on our team except Davis and Boldin can beat man coverage.  So now we will see every game; every team run, man to man, bump and run coverage, with a single safety high, with a cover 1 scheme.  Thus putting everyone else in the box to stop the run.

Solution:  Before the break out of Kaepernick last year, the word was the 49ers had no one on the outside that could win in man to man situations.  So everybody game planned to just stop Vernon Davis.  Crabtree was hindered by Alex Smith so even if he did win man to man match ups Smith was reluctant to the throw the ball his way (sorry Dwayne Bowe it will be a long season).  So to help that situation, you saw overloaded line formations showing run, but running play action to expose Corners peeking and move safeties.  Also the bunch formation makes it hard to bump and run and sometimes confuses corners on who to pick up.  Also putting one WR (preferably Davis or Boldin)  on one side by themselves, with 3 WR on the other side to promote an one on one situation, and if the safety cheats to help you have 3 WR on the other side getting free releases on one on one opportunities.

Problem:  Defense is not creating turnovers-  The 49er Defense has created a lot of turnover and if has been with its personnel.  Losing NT and safety to free agency, and players to injury, has changed what the defense used to be.  This is no excuse, because every team has roster turnover.  But the outlook is no better going forward, with Aldon #WishHeWasMoreCharlesHaley Smith seeking help, Patrick Willis nursing a leg/groin/hamstring injury, Nnmadi Asomugha injur…  Honestly he has been playing like a bum and I can’t take myself serious writing him as a key loss, and Eric Reid battling through being a rookie in the National Football League.

Solution:  Get back to the fundamentals, with all the changes the biggest concern is the lack of tackling.  In both the Seattle and Indianapolis losses terrible tackling plagued the team.  The 49ers were one of the most sure tackling defenses in the league.  Look at Reggie Wayne break like 3 to 4 tackles on a 3rd and long last week to see how the tackling has gotten terrible.  If we start tackling better and getting our offense more chances to score which forces our opponents offense to press and that creates…  TurnOvers!

Problem:  Kaepernick turnovers-  It’s plain and simple, WR can’t get open, and the running game hasn’t protected him.  So naturally Kaepernick is forced to try and make plays by relying to heavily on his arm strength.  Watching the game you can see a lot of balls get away from him, that is usually of symptom of bad mechanics.  His bad mechanics are coming from indecisiveness.  When the timer in his head goes off to get rid of the ball he can’t because no one is open so now he is in a fire drill (when all players break off their routes to get open) and that creates forced passes or throws into coverage sometimes.  One thing about the Alex Smith days, Smith would take the sack and live to fight another down, with the help of the 49er defense.

Solution:  Harbaugh has committed the Cardinal Coaching sin, no not having your mistress ride on the back of your motorcycle, but falling in love with his Player’s Talent.  Ask Don Shula what one of his biggest mistakes was?  Loving Dan Marino’s arm too much that he never built the proper team around him.  Well Harbaugh has fallen in love with Kaepernick’s ability and has put a lot on him.  He has changed his offensive strategy to fit the strengths of Kaepernick, instead running his philosophy and using Kaepernick’s strengths to transcend the offense to another level.

Solution:  Just a bonus for everyone out there especially 49ers who are hitting the panic button, we will get healthier soon and see the return of Mario Manningham, Crabtree will not be the same player immediately but getting him back can help with teams keying on Boldin.  Also we might get a Marcus Lattimore appearance later in the year which could help with fresh legs.  Lets not forget the chance of a trade to help, we do have a pile of draft picks.

Basically all the 49ers ills can be fixed easily by going back to basics.  A semi conservative offense that lets the Defense keep us in games while we grind away at the competition.  Somewhere between week 10 last year til now the 49ers have slowly lost their way.  Hopefully two blow outs in a row will bring Harbaugh and Co, back on the right track.  With that being said I fully expect the 49ers to be 1-3 by next week this time, because the Rams play us tough and without Davis and Willis at least 90% I don’t think the 49ers can win it.  So while everyone is hitting the panic button next week I promise you will see a return to the elite 49ers and things being turned around.

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

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