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Defense Doesn’t Want To Turn 49ers Deep Passing Game, Moss Loose

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 20, 2012 – 11:17 am

The Vikings are not the only team who may be looking to increase the number of downfield completions this week. For as great as the San Francisco 49ers offense has looked in putting up 57 points over the first two games of the season, one element of their offense they’ve yet to put on consistent display is the downfield passing game.

San Francisco is tied for 24th with the Vikings and Houston Texans with 5 completions of 20+ yards this season. And they are not out of form in that ranking – the 49ers ranked tied for 23rd with the Vikings and NY Jets with 41 completions in that same metric in 2011.

A closer look, however, will tell you that San Francisco can move the ball with an explosive passing game when they put their mind to it. The number of completions of 20+ yards will not blow you away, but the 49ers efficiency in doing so does. In 2011, the 49ers were tied for the second fewest passing attempts of 21+ yards, yet they were tied for 9th in completion percentage and averaged 11.72 yards per attempt – more than Atlanta, New England and Philadelphia – on those passes. This year, San Francisco is once again tied for fewest pass attempts of 21+ yards, yet their tied for 3rd in completion percentage (50%) and QB Alex Smith has a 127.1 passer rating on those passing attempts.

“When they do take shots, they are pretty efficient in how they take their shots,” Vikings Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams said on Thursday. “So you want to make sure you’re aware of where guys are and make sure that you’re playing top-to-bottom in the back end and eliminate those shots because we’ll have enough guys to focus on the run. We just have to make sure that the shots the do take, that we shut those shots down.”

This offseason the 49ers made additions to their receiving corps that should provide Smith with even more confidence to throw deep passes. Mario Manningham, the NY Giants hero from last year’s Super Bowl, signed with the team in free agency. The 49ers drafted a receiver – A.J. Jenkins – in the 1st round of this year’s draft, and former 1st-round pick Michael Crabtree has come on strong and leads the team in receiving with 13 receptions for 143 yards. There is also Vernon Davis, one of the best TEs in the NFL and a guy who leads the League in TD receptions this year with 3.

And let’s not forget about another guy who can do a thing or two to improve the down-field passing game. Randy Moss. The 49ers also signed Moss this past offseason to add a spark to the offense. While Moss is in his 14th season already and didn’t play at all last year, you can be sure that he will not be lost by the Vikings defense in this game.

“You never want to turn Moss loose,” Williams said. “That would be a mistake, not to pay attention to Randy Moss. Until he’s turned in his retirement papers, I think every defensive coordinator, every secondary, every defense is going to pay attention to him. We have to.”


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38 Responses to “Defense Doesn’t Want To Turn 49ers Deep Passing Game, Moss Loose”

  1. By Bluebird7. on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    I have been telling you people, Titus, included, to watch Randy Moss go towork!

    Randy is to tall for Chris Cook to cover! Randy has a bone to pick with the Vikings..Remember Dallas?

  2. By viking181164 on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    moss is lousy hes done cant run a pattern plus hes too into himself

  3. By viking181164 on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    plus san fran has better weapons than randy moss

  4. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    Moss was rude to the common man after all the millions he has been blessed with. No, Moss will fall on his face. Vikings will win this one.

  5. By Bluebird7. on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    Viking181164, Couldn’t help but notice you think SF has better weapons than Moss. This may be true, however, somebody better stick with Moss, or he will have a field day over the middle.

  6. By viking181164 on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    if moss was good and a team player he still would be in newengland. he sucked in tenn…

  7. By rex solomon on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    Apart from Harvin and perhaps SImpson, none of the other receivers able to create separation. Get some help. Offensive line is improving, but secondary still struggling. Is it really hard for VIkings Management to put a winning team together? Don’t be too proud. Get help.

  8. By viking181164 on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    ponder needs to make better decisions..instead of fumbling once a game

  9. By Spencer on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    By Bluebird7. on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply
    Randy is to tall for Chris Cook to cover! Randy has a bone to pick with the Vikings..Remember Dallas?
    ————————————————————————————–

    Moss is too tall for Cook to cover?

    Cook vs Vincent Jackson(6’5) held to 3 catches.
    Cook vs Larry Fitzgerald(6’3) held to 2 catches.
    Cook vs Calvin Johnson(6’5) held to 3 catches.

    I think Cook will do a good job on Moss..

  10. By iaVIKE on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    viking181164 – He has the best completion percentage in the league right now…I think he’s makin pretty good decisions. On those fumbles, yes he heald on to the ball too long tryin to find an open reciever, he’ll learn from that. Would you rather him be Eli Manning? Jay Cutler? Drew Brees? Michael Vick? Peyton Manning? Those guys have a combined 21 INTs so far….

  11. By OTKalil2012 on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    I would rather have Robinson on Moss…

    Cook should be on Crabtree !!!…Crabtree has finally blossomed into the player they thought he could be, when he was first drafted…

    Crabtree is the real threat at WR on the 49ers team…

    Cook should be covering the shifty Crabtree…

  12. By viking181164 on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    you’re actually comparing ponder to all those qb,s..too funny

  13. By viking181164 on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    crabtree blossomed for um what? 1 week too funny again

  14. By viking181164 on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    if the vikes don’t start to play picture perfect games soon they’ll lose a lot,cause they can’t handle adversity…when a new qb beats you whats going to happen when they play the good ones…

  15. By sandiamond on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    Robinson is a great choice to cover Moss. He can jump and fly with any player Over 30 for sure

    Cook matches well with M Crabtree agreed OTK

    AJ jenkins watch out……….. Smith eyeballin?

    hate for that rookie jenkins or a. jeffrey to sting us OTK! (after the luv in the draft here)

  16. By Hahahaha on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    @iaVIKE

    viking181164 – He has the best completion percentage in the league right now…I think he’s makin pretty good decisions. On those fumbles, yes he heald on to the ball too long tryin to find an open reciever, he’ll learn from that. Would you rather him be Eli Manning? Jay Cutler? Drew Brees? Michael Vick? Peyton Manning? Those guys have a combined 21 INTs so far….

    Yeah actually I think any sane person would love to have any of those guys on our team, minus maybe cutler.

  17. By OTKalil2012 on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    Moss is a fossil who will probably see 8-10 plays all game long…

    Unless Harbough sees the Vikings using their best corner covering Moss, in Cook…

    Then Harbough will have Moss in all game long…

    Mostly for a decoy !!!…

  18. By OTKalil2012 on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    sandiamond…

    I like what your saying… ; )

  19. By iaVIKE on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    @laugher

    viking181164 said Ponder needs to make better decisions, so i pointed out that he has the best completion percentage in the league, and also pointed out that some really good QBs are making worse decisions, adding up to 21 INTs so far after two games. Never said Ponder is better than any of those QBs at this point in his career….

  20. By viking181164 on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    well just last week he was out of the pocket and still took a sack.. i mean its plays like these that hurt him and the team..play smart

  21. By Bluebird7. on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    @Spencer Cook still let those recievers catch 8 . Thats ‘good?

  22. By viking181164 on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    @bluebird..all corner backs get beat in this league

  23. By MrVikes on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    hahaha, compare ponder to any of those? Pshhh.. Ponder is going to lead us to our very first superbowl win.. Might not be this year but soon.. I been really happy with the way Ponder has been playing. Sure he hasn’t took much shots down the field but we only have harvin getting open, our other WRs need to get open more, don’t blame Ponder!! I just wanted to point this out, run first playing style is very effective.. It is a lot harder to cover a run base team that can pass also, we just need our WRs to step up, so we can mix it up a little more, then we will be unstoppable

  24. By vikes or die on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    I like Ponder. He is very very smart. He is very very athletic. And Ponder is actually almost always on the money with the football. Heck. I think we have our selfs a QB. Now lets tell the coaches.

  25. By chris_b on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    Moss is still a stud.

  26. By sandiamond on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    good look at CB Robinson secondary day last year

  27. By sandiamond on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    widest catch radius amongst rookies/ San Fran moved up in the draft

  28. By jerry on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    I think the vikings should go after vince young cause he is way better then ponder. I am a vikings fan but I think the vikings will lose the next game heck vikings will only win a couple more games this season with ponder being the QB.

  29. By sandiamond on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    Sunday will the biggest nfl game_ever for the young rookie speedster for a long time to come! Baroooooooooooooo forget j knox, cobb,t young

    Jenkins and Moss will be flying downThefield

  30. By sandiamond on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

  31. By sandiamond on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Pelissero_Vikings_D_seeking_answers_entering_meat_of_our_schedule092012

  32. By PurplHaze on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    You guys mention Crabtree and Moss, but the player that scares me most is Vernon Davis. A big, physical TE with breakaway speed. The 9ers have the deck stacked!

    I just want to see our secondary be competitive and COVER SOMEBODY! DONT GIVE UP THE DEEP BALL!

  33. By sandiamond on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    49ers by 6 1/2

    Game Plan: The Vikings have the right formula to stay in the game: a solid ground game complemented by a high-percentage passing attack(Ponder’s nfl % lead).Minnesota wants tostring methodical drives together and avoid back-breaking turnovers. The 49ers safeties attack the ground game with speed and secure tackling, so Ponder must make some plays with his feet out of the pocket, get help from his receivers after the catch and connect on a few vertcal strikes to keep those safties honest.SF ‘s offense has the ground game to prevent long passing downs and help negate DE Jared Allen, and QB Alex Smith makes few mistakes, especially with a far deeper receiving corps this season

    from usatoday

  34. By Troutdaddy on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    Moss is going to be shut down either way. Davis could be threat, but if we pop him early and often he will fizzle. Seriously- it is going to come down to how much pressure that our Defense can put on Smith. If they can get to him then this game is going to be completely opposite of what people are predicting and the Vikings will win this game. Ponder is going to have some huge opportunities on Sunday as harvin and our WR’s are going to get it going. I can feel it. Kyle R. could also have a huge game with his size and rumbling ability. I just think it is time to pull out all of the stops here and turn our guys loose. Cook and Robinson need to show the fans once and for all that they are who they think they are. Right now it hs been mediocre and there is no excuses left for our secondary… Same thing goes for our play calling. So- coaches and players alike need to come to play and bring their passion. Time to open up a can…..

  35. By Rocksalt on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    Gonna be a long day for the Vikings D

  36. By Bluebird7. on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    It might be a Loooong day for the entire team!

  37. By 3DONTHERADIO on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    We need to take some shots down the field early, to hopefully loosen up the 49′s secondary, whether Jenkins & Aromashodu are open or not. Got to give our run game & short passing attack a chance. Sure wish we had Simpson for this game. Other than Percy he’s the only WR who can get any separation.

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