Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Film Review - Colin Kaepernick

The St Louis Rams did a good job of slowing down Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers offense on Sunday.  Their ability to do this was due in large part to the front 7 being able to shut down the run, allowing the Rams to sit back in zone coverage and force Kaepernick to beat them underneath.  For the most part he did well, but let's take a look at three plays that sum up his day in the passing game.

First Play of the Second Half

The 49ers open the second half with a formation shift and play call that is almost identical to the one they used against the Bears that led to a 32 yard completion to Vernon Davis.  The Rams were ready for it.

The 49ers are in 22 personnel (2TE's/2RB's) but will shift to an empty look.

Here is the post shift look.  Notice the Rams have backed off and are in a very soft cover 2 look against what is to be a 4 vertical route with the WR in the left slot running underneath.

Not only are the Rams dropping their back 7 into deep Tampa 2 coverage, they also have both DT's dropping back at the snap.  The one in the white circle will actually end up covering Vernon Davis.

Now post snap you can see one DT running underneath Davis and the other DT has peeled back and will now rush.  Center Jonathan Goodwin appears to not notice the lineman right in front of him and looks instead to help on a DE that is already double teamed.

Downfield Davis is still being covered by the DT.  Kaepernick shows poor pocket presence on this play taking off a little too soon.  As you can see, Davis is open.  He has the underneath coverage beat, and both the corner and safety are running with the outside receiver.  Kaepernick has shown good pocket presence early on, but it is lacking on this play and it costs the 49ers a chance at an explosive play.

4th Quarter, 3rd & Goal, 9:52 to play

This is a play that has become a staple of the 49ers offense in the Red Zone.  It is the same play the 49ers scored on in Detroit on the pass to Delanie Walker to win the game.  It is a quick high read, if the corner steps up you go to the slot running to the corner, if he sits back you hit the underneath receiver who should have a path to the endzone due to the vertical routes inside.

In the picture above you can see Kaepernick is about to release the ball.  Notice Moss is covered by the CB sitting over the top.  Kaepernick has made the correct read and is delivering it to the underneath receiver, Mario Manningham.

Unfortunately Kaepernick's throw is a little behind Manningham forcing him to stop to make the catch. Had Kaepernick properly led him, Manningham has a clear route to the endzone.  He would already be around the inside defender closest to him, and Crabtree would screen off the other man inside.  A good read, but poor throw forces the 49ers to settle for 3 instead of picking up 6.

4th Quarter 1st & 10, 3:04 to play

This is the first play after Kaepernick's errant pitch allows the Rams to tie the game at 10.  It is a simple high low read with Michael Crabtree running a 15 yard out, and Vernon Davis running a flat route.

Kaepernick shows here that he isn't going to let the mistake faze him.  He uncorks the deep out to Crabtree between the 2 defenders.  The deeper shot is there and he is taking it.

Crabtree makes the reception for a 1st down.  Kaepernick put's the 49ers in position to take the lead on the next play with a 50 yard scramble down the right sideline.

Hope you enjoyed the look at these 3 plays.  If there are any other's that you would like to see let me know and I will put them up for you.


  1. Great work as usual Hammer!!
    Rams D was well prepaired.

    1. *prepared*....Sleepy :)