Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Film Review, Kaepernick vs Saints

As you all probably know by now, Colin Kaepernick has been named the starting quarterback of the 49ers.  Kaepernick made the most of the opportunity that he received when Alex Smith went down with a concussion against the Rams.  After a brilliant first start against Chicago, Kaepernick backed it up with another strong game in New Orleans.  Let's take a look at a few of Kaepernick's key plays from last week.

Let's start with the negative.  1st and 10 at the SF39 yard line, 2nd quarter,  :43 remaining

It's a simple high-low read with Kyle Williams(red) running a corner, and Michael Crabtree(white) running a smash route.

The snap hits Kaepernick's feet.  As he picks up the the ball it appears that he has a hole behind the CB to hit Williams, but as you can see the corner is already starting to pull off Crabtree.

As Kaepernick begins his delivery the CB has now fully bailed, closing off the window.

Kaepernick is not about to deliver the ball, and it is clear that things won't end good.  The low snap threw off the timing of the play, but that doesn't excuse Kaepernick from making a poor decision on this play.  He had good protection, and just rushed himself unnecessarily.  Fortunately, Ahmad Brooks and the 49ers defense would pick up Kaepernick by intercepting a Drew Brees pass 2 plays later, and returning it for a touchdown.

So how does the young quarterback respond?  Opening possession of 2nd half, 3rd and 3 at SF28, 14:01 remaining in 3rd quarter.

Another high-low read out of 22 personnel.  The route concepts almost mirror the play from the Arizona game earlier in the year in which Alex Smith hit Delanie Walker for a 23 yard gain in the 1st quarter.

After the play fake Kapernick steps up into the pocket, and has both Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker open.  He takes the shot downfield to Walker.

Kaepernick hits Walker 25 yards downfield in stride, and Walker takes it for another 20 yards in YAC.

These last two plays are from the long 16 play drive that started in the 3rd quarter with the 49ers up 28-21 and ended with only 7:50 remaining in the game and the 49ers up 31-21.

2nd and 8, SF 8 yard line, 1:40 remaining 3rd quarter

Delanie Walker has motioned across the formation and will run a 5 yard out. Michael Crabtree will run a 15 yard out.  This is another simple high-low read for Kaepernick.

As Kaepernick begins his throwing motion he has both Walker and Crabtree open.  The underneath cover man has his momentum carrying him to the sideline, so he won't be able to break back quickly.  Instead of taking the short gain to Walker, Kaepernick again takes the deeper shot to Crabtree.

Kaepernick drills the ball to Crabtree, who is 20 yards downfield on the sideline.  This is an elite level throw that few quarterbacks in the NFL can complete.  The result is a big first down to get the drive going.

3rd and 10, SF36 yard line, 13:24 remaining in the 4th.

This is a great play concept to attack the middle of a 2 deep secondary.  If the inside backer sits with the Davis curl there should be a good window behind him and in front of the safeties.  If he drops the curl is still open for a 1st down.

The linebacker has sat on the curl route, and there is a nice hole to fit the ball in to Walker.

Kaepernick does a great job of driving the ball into the hole to Walker before the safety can come over and break up the pass.  Yet another elite level throw, and catch by Walker,  to allow the drive to continue, and eventually put the game out of reach.

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