Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mike Martz - "Genius?"

I think that Sunday's game between San Francisco and Philadelphia was the first 49ers game all season that I've watched from beginning to end. And after seeing how the second half unfolded, I'm more convinced than ever that the reputation of Mike Martz as an offensive genius stems largely from the amazing personnel he had in his arsenal during St. Louis' glory years - specifically, Kurt Warner, Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, and Marshall Faulk. Because nothing he's done since, with lesser personnel, has led me to believe that the reputation is justified.

Sunday was a perfect example. The 49ers came into the second half with an enormous amount of momentum, thanks to an ill-advised Eagles field goal attempt that was blocked by the 49ers and returned for a touchdown. On the first two drives, San Francisco drove down the field with ease, with a healthy mix of run and pass that really showcased the talent of Frank Gore. All of a sudden the 49ers had a 9-point lead, had the ball, and appeared poised to put the game away and put themselves right back in the thick of the NFC West "race."

But, no...hardly anything but passing for the next three series, and a complete abandonment of what had proven to be successful in the first 40 minutes of the game. Philadelphia took advantage of the breather, got their offense back in gear, and turned a close game into a rout.

So what was that all about? You got me. But it sure felt like Martz trying to show off how innovative and smart he is, instead of playing the classic game of taking what the defense is willing to give you. And now, the 49ers are looking at yet another dismal season, and the likelihood that this season will be Mike Nolan's last as Head Coach. At this point, I just hope that Martz is not his successor.

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