NFC Championship Review – 49ers Deflate the Pack

Posted: January 29, 2020 in All Things Power Spread

The Energy and Momentum Shifts of these NFL Playoffs continued last Sunday. The NFC Championship may have simply been a case of the best team in the NFL throwing a knockout punch early, from which their opponent never recovered.

An Early Smackdown

Green Bay looked energized at the start, then suddenly found themselves down 17-0. From that point on, Aaron Rodgers looked old and mentally drained, while their Defense looked like they wanted to get off the field.

Of all the Energy and Momentum shifts this Playoff Season, Green Bay’s is the hardest to explain. They also had a surprisingly big year with a lot of momentum coming into the game. No one could have seen this coming.

This “crash” may have been coming for a while. A collection of both young and old players with a new coaching staff that battled through close games all year.

But there is another factor involved. The amazing Offensive Scheme by Coach Shanahan.

Shanahan Brilliance Again!

A lot of commentators erroneously called SanFran a power offense due to the way they ran over the Packers, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Unlike the Titans, who actually have a very big Oline and Power RB, SanFran’s Oline and RB group is on the smaller side. They are built more for mobility, which works in Shanahan’s Misdirection Power Spread.

The above video and breakdown below represent SanFran’s first TD Drive. A clear example of Spreading Space, Time and Personnel to open up the Power. Which in turn deflates and consequently defeats the opponent.

San Francisco’s 2nd Drive – 1st Touchdown
  • Misdirection brilliance.
    • WR Samuel motions left.
    • Play Action Sweep Right.
    • QB Garoppolo rolls left.
    • Avoids rush, dump to Samuel in the left flat for 16 yds!
  • Same set up, but this time SanFran DOES Sweep Right – RB Mostert for 5.
  • Now, GB Defense backs off and plays safe.
    • Classic WCO Levels – Pass to Samuel over the middle for 30 yds.
      • GB in conservative Zone for easy read.
      • No pressure on Garoppolo for easy pass.
    • Easy 6 yd run Mostert up the gut.
  • GB more aggressive again.
    • Great play by rookie FS Savage.
      • Pressure on Garoppolo, who dumps ball to RB in flat.
      • Savage up on LOS makes the quick read, hits Mostert for a 4 yd loss.
  • SanFran once again burns GB’s aggressive scheme by Breaking Tendency with simple Power Spread
    • Unexpected 3rd&8 Draw Play.
      • GB in 1-4-6 with 4 LBs on the LOS.
      • GB caught in 5 Man Rush / Cover 1 Man Underneath.
    • Garoppolo and his Receivers carry out the fake pass to completion.
      • Rushing LBs race upfield out of position.
      • 4 DBs in M2M Coverage are drawn away from the run.
      • Deep Safety holds his space too far away to help.
    • Mostert straight up gut, with Garoppolo appearing to drop back for a 3rd down Pass.
      • Mostert speeds by “out of position” LBs/DBs.
      • Easy blocking set up and scheme for a mobile OLine.
      • So clean, simple and fast that the Safety’s timing is slow, creating a bad angle.
Spread to Power the rest of the Game

Shanahan continued this misdirection mix the rest of the game. By the 2nd Quarter the Pack was completely confused and becoming dejected very quickly.

What was surprising to me, was the way the Offense deflated as well. San Francisco’s own Offensive brilliance ignited both their Defense and the Crowd, which seemed to destroy the entire Packer Morale.

Once Morale is lost, Talent, Execution and Scheme no longer play a big role. Players have to be involved and passionate. To a high degree in today’s game of fine margins.

The above video shows the continued “Spread to Power” effect of Shanahan’s Offense literally pumping up the Crowd and destroying Green Bay’s Morale. To the point that even the great Aaron Rodgers was making uncharacteristic mistakes and looked as though he was sleep walking through the last 3 Quarters of the game.

Culture > Morale > Energy > Championships

Green Bay’s “Deflate Gate” was not easy to understand. Sure, Shanahan’s schemes were slowly eroding the life out of their Defense, but to see the whole team crumble – even faced with a raucous SanFran crowd – was somewhat of a shock.

Was this all about Scheme, Coaching, Talent? Did the GB destruction come about only due to what we saw on the field? Or was there a bigger picture?

The Power Spread Ideal

Power Spread = Aggressive Flexible Variety in SpaceTimeTeam. This applies off-the-field as well as on-the-field.

Space. Location of the organization or university. Recruiting. Ideologies. Fanbase. Even prevalent Climate Conditions that effect strategy. This all falls under Space.

Time. Efficient organization and management of all the operations.

Again, we can apply this to a list of activities involving the acquisition of Players+Staff to the Economic and Political challenges that follow.

Team. Intrinsically linked to Time. Practice development for Players. Culture development for Organization. Time development for every Fan, Player, Coach, Officer – PastPresentFuture. All-Time All-Team.

PowerSpread = Space/TimeTeam. PS=st2 with t2 as T.

T = Thought. Focused and Aligned. THIS is Culture.

49er Culture Rebirth

Feel the Past and Future to Enhance the Present.

Power Spread

Vincent Frank of Forbes Magazine said it best when describing the Culture Rebirth of the 49ers by GM John Lynch and HC Kyle Shanahan.

“We will give credit to the players on the field. They did their thing. But it’s the change of culture that Shanahan and general manager John Lynch adopted once they took over that’s the primary reason for this success.

Both longtime NFL men should be commended for this. Change of culture. Welcoming back the history of the organization. All of this played a role in San Francisco earning a trip to Super Bowl LIV. Don’t ever forget that.”

The 49ers essentially went Back to the Future. Resurrecting the successful culture of years past with an innovative eye towards the future. Shanahan’s Scheme followed suit. Old School looks with New School concepts.

First and foremost – the whole organization had each others back!

True Essence of Power Spread

“if you have everybody’s back you have the culture”

Jed York during the 49er NFC Championship Trophy Presentation
United We Stand. Divided We Fall.

The essence of Power Spread is Dynamic Opposition. Two seemingly disparate elements coming together to form a more powerful union. Separate – Power and Spread are finite building blocks. Nothing more. Together- the possibilities are endless.

Thus the reason I never liked the term “Spread Offense”. The “Spread Offense” in Football has been happening for a long time. From the Power of Walter Camp’s invention came Rusty Russell’s 5 Wide Jet Sweep Scheme in the 1920s.

The game has been evolving ever since. The new evolution of the game now is in the synchronized union of both. It’s really a world event. A global paradigm shift, if you will, of our evolving idea of Connectedness.

We Are All Connected

Everything starts with Thought. People plan, strategize and scheme. Eventually, over Time, create a Culture. The stronger the Culture, the stronger the Energy, the Manifestation and the Evolution.

The Essence is that we are, and always have been, One. We are all a Team whether we know it or not. Symbiosis – Synergy – Synchronicity > Universe. Tap into that Universal Source and you have something far more powerful than any one person could ever imagine in and of themselves.

The c2 of E=mc2 with c2 or C being the massively larger portion of the Energy. The Universal “light” – accumulation of all SpaceTime Energy – with everything connected. This is where the true power lies. This is what building a Culture is about. T is the human equivalent of C.

Power Spread = Connectedness = One

Power Spread is all about connectedness. The Power of One – both individually and within a collective. Everything Eternally Evolving.

Everyone matters. Everything counts. Everyone has each other’s back.

THIS is why Green Bay succumbed so quickly. On that day, San Francisco’s Team Energy, built upon great Schemes and Culture over a three year period, destroyed the GB Schemes and Culture, which has only had a year to build.

That’s the Power of Culture. The Power of Connectedness. The Power of C.


  1. […] NFC Championship Review – 49ers Deflate the Pack […]

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