Dinking and dunking also can effectively control the clock. Not a popular approach with wideouts and fantasy football folk, but if done smoothly it can wear a defense down.
The Niners created some problems with their linebacking core that we were trying to work around. It was obvious to this onlooker that we were doing a lot of the same things the Giants were doing against SF. Trouble with that is we found out the Niners had worked out those chinks in the armor and we didn't make adjustments soon enough. They covered well and they rushed well.
I saw two halves of football offensively on Thursday. SF was playing a ton of single-safety looks and were covering the middle very effectively in the first half. They came out in the second half with the same thing but disguised the linebackers a bit better so as to force Russ into very few checkdown opportunities. Seemed to me that we weren't reading and calling audibles very much. Gotta hand it to the SF D, they're good.
In terms of the offense, I can't stop thinking about why we can't approach the run with an effort that just says "yes, we are going to run to the left now, so go ahead and try to stop us". We saw this type of thing in the '05 season quite a bit. We'd line up in that power sweep formation, the defense knew it was coming, and we executed it for positive yards every time. Yes, we had two HOFers on the left side, but they got help from the TE's and WR's a ton to make it all work. Why in the world can't we just decide we want to simply load up the left side, put in our beefiest WR's to help block, and just run the damn ball off tackle. What the hell is up with all the off-guard stuff?
Look, I may be talking out my ass a bit here, but I believe there is something to lining up in an obvious running formation, and passing from it on occasion when we see what the secondary is doing. If we are a running team, let's give them what they expect. I bring up the Holmy offense only to point out that he'd have success with the screen pass plays by showing run to the strong side, then run a weak-side screen to the fullback. IIRC, we'd take a look at the safeties pre-snap and if they were cheating up we'd run the crossing route off of play action with success as well.
v1rotv2 makes a great point. It's a lot like how business treats middle-management when the field isn't doing well. The store managers get all the credit when the stores do good, but the area supervisor/regional manager gets yelled at when the stores do bad. Bevell's responsibility is to put-together an offensive attack based on a particular defense. He's going to chart-out plays based on matchups and situations from a known playbook. Aside from trick plays which really can only be successfully done once, every offense in the league all runs basically the same way. Blockers block, QB's throw, and RB's run. It's an exact science and there are very few secrets anymore.
Even if the OC is a genius that calls all the plays, the HC is still going to walk up and say things like "I think we need to pass here, don't ya think?" Not to mention, Russ is going to have some input during those time-outs as well. I sound like I'm defending him, but Bevell can only draw up what are players are capable of executing. If wideouts can't get separation or can't catch the ball, all the scheming in the world won't help you.
"...Seattle has become the capital city of the New NFL" - Kip Earlywine Remembering "The Radish"...