2. The play-calling wasn’t nearly as bad as we thought
After watching both 4th-and-1 calls numerous times, I don’t hate the shotgun formation as much as I did when they were happening in real-time. The gap was there, JD Duplain just didn’t block his man.
My other complaints while the game was going on were about the reliance on the deep ball and the sideline throws. I screamed at the TV “Where are the slant patterns?!” and it turns out they were there, Kim just decided to throw elsewhere.
If you go back and watch, Antonio Gates Jr. ran some great routes, settling in a soft spot in the CMU zone on a comeback route for an easy pitch and catch, and Kim tried the out route. I’m positive the coaching staff will see this and correct it. Getting the disastrous two first drives out of the way (1-for-5, -2 yards passing), Kim went on to complete 17 of his next 26 pass attempts (65.3%) for 281 yards. That’s what we were expecting out of this pass offense: Nothing spectacular, but good enough to support the run and win games.
The one thing I really didn’t like? This weird tendency to quick pitch the defense. Stop with the huddle-up offense one play, then a quick snap the next unless there is an obvious substitution on defense that can result in a too-many-men penalty. Either huddle up or run a two-minute drill which Kim and the offense ran to perfection.