Sunday, November 24, 2013

Film Study - 49ers Offense vs Redskins Defense

As we get ready to watch the 49ers take on Washington on Monday night I thought it would be a good time to take a look at some areas the 49ers offense might be able to take advantage of the Washington defense.  To do this I went back and looked at the film from the 2011 meeting between the two teams which ended with a 49ers victory.  Let's start by looking at the passing game first.

1st & 10 Washington 30.  49ers are in their now infamous 22 personnel package.  Washington has countered by bringing the safety down to the 2 TE side (he looks like the 3rd linebacker closest to the hashes at the top).  The 49ers go play action with Bruce Miller running a wheel route down the left sideline and the wide receiver pushing his route to the middle to create space outside.  As you can see the play works to perfection and the 49ers score their only touchdown of the game to go up 13-0.

Here is a play from Washington's game last week against the Eagles.  Philadelphia is in 12 personnel with the two TE's at the top of the screen.  Notice the safety has come down into the box just like he did in the play above.  The Eagles attack it the same way, having the TE's run inside routes to wall off the inside defenders and spring the running back on a wheel route.  End result is a 49 yard completion.

Here is a 3rd down play early in the  4th quarter.  The 49ers are in 11 personnel, and it is a simple high low read for Smith against Washington's Cover 2 Man Under defense.  Michael Crabtree is going to carry his man up the seam, opening up the spacing for Vernon Davis who is running a deep curl route down the middle with the LB in coverage.  End result is a 21 yard completion and a first down.

Now let's take a look at some opportunities in the running game.

2nd Quarter, 49ers are in 12 personnel, and as we saw above Washington has rolled the safety (#37) down into the box on the 2 TE side.  Despite quick penetration by the OLB #91 Gore is able to stay tight to the blocks and make the safety miss and is off to the races for a 27 yard gain.

49ers are in 22 personnel, and again Washington has rolled the safety down to the 2 TE side.  The 49ers run an ISO play, isolating Miller on the middle linebacker #59.  Good blocking up front allows Gore to get to the second level for a 6 yard gain.  The only 2 guys that they could not block, the corner and the deep safety end up making the tackle.

49ers are in 21 personnel, and Washington has loaded the box.  Again they have brought the safety down to the TE side on the bottom of the formation (with Miller also on that side it is like the 2 TE looks we saw above in 12 and 22).  The 49ers are running their power to the left.  Gore again gets to the second level but is tackled for only a 4 yard gain.  The only thing keeping this from being a bigger gain is Adam Snyder not being able to get upfield to his block on the linebacker #58 who makes the tackle.  You can see this in the 3rd picture of this sequence.

As you can see, and this should come as no surprise, the 49ers will be faced with a lot of 8 man fronts on Monday night.  This is nothing new for the 49ers as they face that each and every week.  They are going to have the opportunity to hit some shots in both the pass and run game.  If they can make those plays count they should be able to come away with a win.

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