49ers 14, Cardinals 23: Grades

GLENDALE, AZ. – The 49ers lost 23-14 to the Cardinals. Here are the 49ers’ grades.

KAEPERNICK: A. Gained 290 of the 49ers’ 318 total yards. Ran 13 times for 54 yards and completed 78.4 percent of his passes. Passer rating was 103.3. The entire offense was Kaepernick. Hard to win in the NFL with a one-player offense.

RUNNING BACKS: D. Frank Gore carried the ball 6 times and gained 10 yards. Awful. Carlos Hyde had a tough seven-yard touchdown run on a sweep around the 49ers’ left side, but he carried the ball just three times all game. The 49ers had an eight-point lead when the second half started and, in that half, Gore and Carlos Hyde each ran the ball just once and each gained just three yards. The past two games, Gore and Hyde have gained just 19 yards on 12 second-half carries. Hard to keep a lead in the NFL without a running game.

WIDE RECEIVERS: B-. Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin and Stevie Johnson combined to catch 25 passes on 26 targets. Most of those catches were short- gainers – the 49ers didn’t have a deep passing threat without Vernon Davis. Still, Stevie Johnson was excellent. The Cardinals couldn’t cover him. But Anquan Boldin did not have a good game. His 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty killed the 49ers’ drive when they were in the red zone at the end of the third quarter. Boldin caught the ball at the Cardinals’ six yard line and got tackled and, as he got up, he hit a defender. The penalty pushed back the Niners and a few plays later the Cardinals blocked Phil Dawson’s 45-yard field goal attempt.

TIGHT ENDS:C. Derek Carrier caught one pass for 23 yards when the Cardinals didn’t cover him. No other tight ends caught passes. Vernon Davis and Vance McDonald did not play.

OFFENSIVE LINE:D. Jonathan Martin was flagged for a 15-yard clipping penalty in the red zone. The offensive line could not move the Cardinals’ defensive line in the run game and had a tough time picking up the Cardinals’ blitzes in the second half.

DEFENSIVE LINE: D. Held the Cardinals to just 3.1 yards per carry, but the four-man pass rush produced no pressure against a bad offensive line and the defense sacked Drew Stanton zero times.

LINEBACKERS: D-. Even when they blitzed they couldn’t get to Stanton. Patrick Willis and Dan Skuta committed back-to-back 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalties in the third quarter. The Cardinals scored a touchdown and took a six-point lead on that drive.

DEFENSIVE BACKS:F. Made Stanton, a backup, look like a Pro Bowler. The 49ers had no answer for Michael Floyd, either. He caught five passes for 114 yards. In addition, the Niners gave up two long touchdown passes to a rookie, John Brown. He was wide open on both plays. On his second touchdown catch, Brown beat 49ers’ rookie first-round-pick Jimmie Ward at the line of scrimmage, beat him like a tambourine, and Ward had no safety help over the top, which equals touchdown Arizona.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D. Allowed Tommy Freaking Kelly to block Phil Dawson’s 45-yard field goal attempt at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

COACHES: F. The 49ers were penalized 12 times. Nine were enforced. Six were 15-yarders. Embarrassing. Last season, after the 49ers’ beat the Cardinals at Candlestick Park, Jim Harbaugh bragged about “grinding that meat” and finishing games by running the ball. Gore and Hyde rushed just nine times all game. What happened to the meat grinder, Jim?

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  1. Someone needs to grind up the coaching staff, they are stealing money right now. Roman continues to just be an embarrassment to the profession, and Fangio is starting to get some of the Roman stink too. The 49ers have to pick it up, use a few brain cells, and win next week. Teams that start 1-3 are almost always done.

    I thought that maybe we should start benching guys that commit stupid penalties, but then we wouldn’t have enough guys to play.

    1. We were 1-3 last year and made it to the championship game. Problems were similar (last year, no Crabtree or Aldon Smith). If I am a Cardinals fan, I am writing love letters to the officials. Only way they were going to win this game. In the end, the teams with the most talent rise to the top in the second half of the season. The pretenders always seem to fade.

    1. Straight up answer…. Probably, but the inference that they are instruction officials to call against the Niners is nonsense.

  2. Grant,

    You give the 9er coaching staff an F and then the first thing you mention are penalties. Do you honestly think all those penalties were legit?

    1. Houston even if 50% were not legit, it’s still too many to take. Forget the nine called. Just look at the three that changed the game and they were all legit.
      1. Skuta’s when Stanton was sliding. Stupid.

      2. Willis helmet to chest on Stanton. Again the NFL will always protect the QB. Even if it was clean, that gets called every time. Willis should know better.

      3. Boldins head butt. Selfish.

      All three of those either extended drives or killed them and or changed the entire momentum of the game.

      1. Well said, Prime. I don’t think the refs have been calling good games for us recently, but what else is new? That’s almost always been the case.

        We know that, in the NFL today, if you hit the quarterback amidst a slide (Skuta) or with your helmet (Willis), you’re almost certain to get flagged. And we know that, as of last year, headbutts like Boldin’s are automatic penalties. In fact, I seem to recall Boldin getting flagged for a similar penalty last year. These are stupid, selfish penalties, and the players who received them have no one to blame but themselves.

        1. I remember that when he did it this morning….. it was in a playoff game as well I think…. maybe the Carolina game?

          It’s so dumb for someone of his experience….

        2. According to the retired official that comments on calls for Fox, the tackle was clean because the sliding player wasn’t down when the tackle started. I have no idea if that’s right, but it certainly was a gray area call.

          There’s never going to be instant replay for penalties, so players have to avoid looking like they are committing a foul. Don’t give the officials a chance to make a borderline mistake.

          A head butt will always be a foul, and will always look like a foul.

        3. didn’t Reid escape w/o a penalty for a helmet-to-helmet blow also? plus, cook got a PI and Culliver totally looked lost in space attempting to defend that ball down the left offensive sideline. also, did a DB not get a 15-yarder for taunting?

      2. “All legit.” Yeah, right. Boldin’s was the only legit one. Skuta’s and Willis’s hits were both clean under the black letter of the rulebook. They just hit the poor little journeyman QB too hard. Those two b.s. calls changed the entire course of the 4th quarter.

        1. Gab the NFL will always, always protect the QB no matter what, even if the hit is clean. Players have to know that when they engage the QB from any angle. You would have thought they learnt this from last year against the Saints!

        2. I agree Skuta’s hit was legit…just….but if Kaep had been hit the same way we would all have jumped up screaming……

          In my case it’s worse as the games are on at 4am and my neighbour complain about the noise!

          1. Colin has been hit many times in the same manner as the two respective hits on Stanton today, without even the hint of a flag. And you know what? I’ve never complained, because hits like that–up until now, at least–are clean and legal under the rules. Even under the new “crown of the helmet rule,” Willis’s hit was legal–he made contact with his facemask to the QB’s chest, not the crown of his helmet. It wasn’t late, it wasn’t helmet-to-helmet, and it wasn’t made with the “crown of the helmet.” Apparently, though, it was too forceful. SMH. This league….

            1. Thank you! I thought I was the only one to see the Willis hit the same way you did. I am surprised no one else seems to have commented on the fact that it was a face mask to the chest. A total BS call just like the Skuta’s. I don’t know it it is a coincidence but watching other games the officiating isn’t as bad as the crew the 49er’s usually end up with. I am beginning to wonder if the NFL can control outcomes by matching certain crews to specific games knowing they have tendencys to call penalties in a specific way.

          2. I lived in Bangkok when we walked on the moon. We had a room full of Thai people — some city and some country. The country folks thought they were watching a movie, and the city people kept trying to tell them that there was a man on the moon.

            I wonder what country Thais would think about an NFL game.

          3. If you looked at the film, you can see Stanton the Qb sliding already and his knees touched the ground, that shows he was already down. Skuta mistake was he wanted to blow up the QB. Another bone headed mistake in his part, and it cause the 49ers team dearly.

            1. I agree with you somewhat Jamaica. Its easy to dissect the penalty after the replay but my point is that regardless of the black and white of the rule, its a QB. Legal or not, the officials will always side on the QB’s safety.

            2. “If you looked at the film, you can see Stanton the Qb sliding already and his knees touched the ground, that shows he was already down.”

              This is just factually incorrect. When Skuta first made contact with Stanton on that play, no part of the QB’s body had touched the ground yet. In fact, that is exactly Why the hit look so hard, because Skuta bounced Stanton off the ground, which he couldn’t have done if Skuta was already on the ground.

              1. Dangle, I don’t know which game that you were watching? Stanton was already sliding on the ground before Skuta delivered the blow to his head with his shoulder. His intention was to blow up the Qb. The bottom that was a dumb mistake by Skuta, you know in the NFL 8 out 10 times the official will likely make the call favoring the qb.

      3. Hold your horses there big guy

        1). Ex nfl head of officiating said no that was wrong, qd was not down.

        2) helmet to the chest??? What were you watching. And if that was illegal then why wasn’t the one on kap, where defender led clearly with the helmet??? Double standard there.

        3)I’ll give you bold in but let me take you back to cullivers taunting penalty. Taunting. Look at the defender on bold in. Every play including the head butt one he was taunting Boldin, but where was the call?

        Yes the niners have legitimate reason for concern. And I’m a Houston fan.

      4. Skuta’s call was bull;Willis’ call ok ( a clean shot, but a rule is a rule);Boldin’s call was clearcut -he should know better, this was not the first time i have seen him head butt a player after the play, love his fire but be smart.

        1. hightop- He was called for leading with the helmet (crown). If you look at the replay his facemask contacted the chest not his helmet The Willis call was totally wrong much like the hit on Bree’s last year. Officials make mistakes but it seems that the 49ers are the victims of far more then their share of bad calls. Not only that but they seem to happen at key points of the the game.

      5. Those were not penalties. The NFL will go back and apologize yet again for lousy calls against the Niners. They have no choice. Problem is that those lousy calls are costing us games. If those calls aren’t made, all 3rd down, we win both Chicago and yesterday. You can talk about how poor we played, but when you combine that with awful, ungodly officiating, and one of the worst offensive play callers in the NFL (Roman) it’s a waste of time showing up. In my business, I always say that in any negotiation, you have to win at least 2 of the legs to make it a successful deal (software, maintenance, services). Ideally, you want to win all 3. The 49ers are winning none of the legs, in large part, because of the officiating. How about the phantom Boldin hold on the Gore run last week. That was a touchdown and likely a nail in the coffin type play, reversed. I could give a crap if the NFL doesn’t like Harbaugh, or the Niners, eff them. They have fans who support their product and that is the ONLY thing the NFL needs to worry about.

        1. Always putting the blame on the officiating, open your eyes man the problem is not the official. The 49ers team are the one to be blame for their dumb mistakes and penalties they commited that cause the team to lose the game. But still give the other team some credit, they beat us, the bottom line is they got the win and the 49ers loss the game.

      6. I don’t agree Prime. Kaepernick took a hit when he was sliding. His butt was already on the ground when he was hit and no call. Stanton’s feet were still on the ground and the 9ers get called. The officiating is nowhere near equal. The roughing call on Willis was total BS. The ref said it was helmet to helmet contact but Willis was nowhere close to hitting the helmet. IMHO, the officiating so far this year has been totally one-sided against the 9ers. I think you have to wonder what Goodell has done with the officiating. He was scheduled to come to the Levi stadium home opener and then cancelled because McDonald was playing. If he wanted the team to suspend McDonald and they refused I can see a little retribution here.

      7. Prime,
        1. The Skuta hit was legit. The QB began his slide late and Skuta hit him as he should hit any runner. That hit was legit.
        2. The call on Willis could have gone either way.
        3. Boldin’s penalty was stupid. He’s gotten away with it in the past, but that doesn’t mean he’s in the right.

        Other questionable penalties or non-calls (that happened at key moments), were the PI call on 3rd and long that resulted in a 1st down kept the drive alive for AZ. On the last drive by SF, Crabtree was hit in the helmet, but no call.

        The calls have certainly gone against SF so far this year. If there is no bias, then I’d expect that to even out as the season goes on. But, we’ll see how that goes.

        I’m still predicting 11 wins this year.

    2. What? Are you in denial? We actually so it on live television, what else do you need? The people like you, you just can admit our has some attitude issues, they all got their heads stuck in their a.ss. A bunch of cry babies, every time they get called with penalty they lose their cool. Why don’t they just move on and continue the game and get them in the next play, the 49ers player have a lot skills, but our players lack the intelligence on the filed, when they get in to bad situation.

  3. I don’t think the secondary was as bad as an F, but they were bad. Though it is hard for a secondary to look good when there is next to no pressure on the QB. On a positive they kept Stanton to just a shade over 50% completion rate. On the negative the two deep completions to Floyd and the 24 yard TD to Brown were poor, and they gave up a 61% conversion rate on 3rd down, mostly a result of pass plays.

    Just a bad day for the D all round, really.

        1. Brooks seem like a guarantee with an illegal hand in the face penalty at least once a game. What happened to him? He was one of the better player in the D last year.

        1. Right! almost forgot about that one by Reed. It was so obvious and actually unnecessary as well. It seems they are putting stupid pills in the Niner’s water on the sidelines.

        2. Right, they were normal calls. There were like four the whole game. The rest? terrible, inexcusable, some of the worst I have ever seen (especially the Willis call) .Oddly the Cardinals went unscathed, not a mark. Hell, they tried twice to get the refs to call something on them (two false start calls that the TV caught and commented on). I watched Cal the other night and although it was an embarrassing loss, the officials never became a part of the game. Not once, they let the kids play. The NFL needs to go back to college and learn something.

  4. Is the lack of a Harbaugh extension causing all the turmoil within the team? The coaches all seem like they’re focused on things other than the task at hand…like updating their resumes if Harbaugh doesn’t get extended.

    1. There will be no need to update their resumes. No team in the NFL wants a coaching staff that stay vanilla. Can you imagine what some coaches could do with our team. We have a Super Bowl caliber team. They are not being coached up to that standard. We have to blitz and Roman has to get into some type of rhythm with the play calling.

      1. Do we? Our offensive line and defensive line are below average at best, and our Dbs are not very good either? If those areas are bad having good wrs, rbs or a good qb doesn’t matter.

          1. Not really! The past strengths of the team have now turned into weaknesses. Most fans are still living in the past especially those that for a time kept saying the Niner’s were a power running team. Not too many are pushing that now except for national beat writers who don’t even watch the games. I do think they can still pull it together this season but time is running out. I don’t hold out much hope for a return of the running game though. The offensive line totally sucks. The only reason the passing game gets by is because of kaps escapablity and ability to throw on the run. Just think how many sacks would have been given up if another QB were back there.

          2. I dont know if its over reacting at this point. We have gone up against 2 bad olines and one good one. In what game did we generate a pass rush with our front?
            We have gone up against 2 bad defenses and one good one and in what game did our offensive line move around the defensive line?

    2. It might be Harbaugh’s last season with the 49ers if the 49ers don’t make it to the playoff. This is Harbaugh’s audition for next season, either he win it all this season, or he’ll move on and sign with another team. I doubt harbaugh would have difficulty find a new team.

  5. Boy, that 8-8 bet is sure looking good right now. What was the payout? 2 to 1? It’s a shame to watch the team screw themselves week in and week out. However, I did say they’d pick 5th in next year’s draft. Hopefully in that draft we can answer the needs we didn’t answer this year. CB. WR. OL. Pass Rush.
    Perhaps it will be a win all the way around when we replace out OC and DC. Turner might just end up the HC here in SF next year.

    1. It’s not going to get any better, the Eagles next week very explosive offense with a young hot Qb Foley. than we got the Chiefs, the Rams at St.Louis before facing the very good team Broncos team at Denver. We might find ourselves 3-4 or 2-5 after the Broncos game. Than we’re facing the redskins, the Saints at N.O. Seattle Seahawks two times one at home and at seattle, Az, SD.

  6. Don’t think an A is warranted for Kaep, he played well but he had two passes that should have been picked, one likely a pick six, and he took a couple big sacks. Also had a chance to put together a game winning drive at the end and failed.

    1. He ran out of time in almost every play, and ended up taking 3 time outs in the first quarter. He is always a second away from a delay of game penalty.

    2. tkamb. You might try watching the games sober some time. One should have been a pick. You listen too much to some announcers. They make stupid statements like that was almost picked off when all that happened is that the defender got one hand on the ball as he was breaking up the pass. A lot of D backs drop picks all the time. Kaep has more than his share because he throws so hard.

    1. Right!! This man’s grades never make sense. An A games is one where you throw for 300 and have 3tds in a win…. This was c level qb play. Grant ignores situation and just looks at the statline.

      1. Actually Grant is considering the conditions that Kap was playing under. He was the ground game and was constantly under pressure. Much different than a QB who is getting protection and doesn’t have to carry the offense by himself.

  7. Grant please.!!!
    With Colin at QB, the Niners can only put up more points
    than five other NFL teams this weekend…???
    No TDs in the entire second half for …. how long?

    We still remember his four turnovers last week. FOUR ..!!!

    How could such a performance (+ two almost interceptions)
    ever, ever, ever…be worthy of a grade of A…???
    Please advise.

    1. Hoping- Your claiming that there were two almost interceptions reveal your stretching the negatives. There was just one dropped interception. Getting some fingers of one hand on a ball while breaking up a pass doesn’t count for an almost interceptions although some announcers will often describe it as such to make the play seem more exciting.

  8. Did another TE get an offensive snap outside of Carrier? Saw Looney in at TE a few times, but I wouldn’t count him in that category.

  9. Harbaugh has always been overrated and is now clearly overpriced. Being paid for rearranging the deck chairs after Singletary and Nolan no longer washes. If Jed has a credible bone of integrity in his silver spoon plated body Tom Rathman should be the interim Head Coach. Strong character, hard working, good family, no criminal record, and Walsh trained. Thankfully the Harbaugh experiment is finally winding down.

    1. I don’t think you go from being a running backs coach to being head coach. There is quite a difference in responsibility. Not saying he couldn’t but he needs to show it on a lesser stage first.

  10. Giving Kaep an “A” is fair enough. He had the ball in his hands with a chance to go on a game-winning touchdown drive but he didn’t do it, offense was shut out in the second half, but that is a nice QB rating. I don’t believe the Sporting Green ever gave Joe or Steve or Jeff an “A” under similar circumstances, but I guess standards were higher then and I’m an old fan living in the past.

    1. I don’t know if he deserved an A but he did well with what he had to work with. He was generally the offense. And he did what he did under a lot of pressure. The offensive line totally sucked as evidenced by the lack of holes the RB’s had to run through. The running game was all Kap. I think that is what you are not considering. With out him their was no run game period. For that he it might not be a stretch to give him an A. Other players have gotten A’s for far less contributions.

  11. Im starting to wonder if Ward is AJ Jenkins part two… he does not look good in coverage. Man I hope he can play safety. Baalke has not been drafting that well recently.

    1. I have always felt that considering the number of picks he had to work with his drafts were mostly poor. What he is good at is wheeling and dealing picks but once he has them they are mostly wasted. Ironically the latter picks have turned out far better than his higher ones. Aldon Smith was a good pick but their were a lot of options to chose from that high. He could have also had JJ Watts. Reed was also a good pick but that was also a high pick they move up to get. What he seems to be unable to do is find that diamond in the rough in the latter first or second round. Kaep doesn’t count because that was Harbaughs pick and other teams were going after him as well. I think Hyde was also a good pick. But all in all he has had far more whiffs than success stories with his top 3 round picks.

  12. I think the bottom line is we can live w/o Bowman or Aldon but not without BOTH of them. The D can’t get off the field. Last year much of our success was due to the great field position the D gave us. This year the O starts every series at the 20 (exaggeration).

  13. This was the first time where I almost stopped watching the game during the Harbaugh era. The Niners were dominating in the first half and Colin was playing really well. And then the 2nd half started, the Niners punt, and that was the beginning of the end.

    I had no faith at all they were going to turn it around. It started with the dumb penalties. Did the team not learn anything from last week?

    Stanton had a clean pocket all game and made easy reads. Jimmy Ward got flat out burned on one team from a rookie. He’s not a slot CB. Not now.

    Then Colin starts to get a little jittery in the pocket. AZ sent the house on the blitz package and Colin made some great throws, but in the end I think the same issues that he’s always had from last year are still here.

    How can the Running backs get such low grades when they never get the ball? Is it the play-calling, or the reliance on the read option?

    If Harbaugh didn’t lose the locker room in the beginning of the season, he might have now. He better find answers.

    1. They get low grades because other than the 6yd TD run by Hyde they gained nothing with the chances they got. They were not helped at all by the offensive line who gave them no holes to run through. They gave up on the run because it was not productive because the D dominated the offensive line. Gore 10 yds on 6 carries. 1.7 yds per carry. If the run game was working they would have gotten more carries and it was obvious that it wasn’t going to work. With this line this team is not a power run team anymore. Kaep was the run game because he was effective.

      1. You CANNOT run the ball 9 times in any game and expect to win. It doesn’t matter if they we’re averaging. 5 yards per rush, you have to keep running to keep the defense honest. Also, running backs need reps to get their groove, the stat that shows when gore runs the ball something like 18 or more times and the 9ers win percentage is in the. 800s is undeniable. Colin is not Brees Brady Manning or Rodgers. He can not throw to win. He relies on the run game. The reason his stats were looked so good was because he threw it 37 damn times. But only threw for 245 yards and just 1 td. That’s pathetic. Run the damn ball 25 times minimum. They were acting as if they were down by 21 to start the half.

        Fact is that the niners did this same thing last year. They went away from gore and thought they could throw the ball around and win. And they didn’t. Then they went back to gore and they started to win again. Learn from your mistakes people.

  14. It’s hard to stomach a loss when it’s due to lack of discipline. Not exactly sure what has happened to the niners, it seems as if they have lost all composure. I admit some may have been bogus (Skuta, Willis) but a lot were simply idiotic and selfish plays. When the Cardinals scored to go up 20-14, Kap did a great job of driving the offense right down the field. Then Boldin goes and commits a idiotic and completely selfish play, he head butts a defender. Well now it’s 1st and goal on the 20. Great. We all now how that drive ended. I really hope the vets hold a meeting or someone stands up to put a stop to this BS. This is not Niner football. On a positive note Stevie looked great and looks as if he has solidified the #3 WR spot. All arrows up in that department. And to Brock, Vernon, AD, Bowman. Please get healthy and come back. You are desperately needed.

  15. I get people are mad we are losing and Jimmie Ward has been getting picked on lately but people need to ease off him a bit. He’s a rookie playing one of the hardest positions in the NFL, it takes some time.

      1. Perhaps he shouldn’t have been thrown into the fire. Perhaps he is not suited to be a slot defender. He was a safety that they were hoping to convert to that position. Was it another miscalculation? Do you draft some one with your first pick that you are going to try to play at a position he did not play in college. Perhaps he will eventually turn out ok, but that is not a given. It is like many other of the teams picks mostly a hope they work out.

        1. Not sure what your point is. I suggest you study the stats on draft success. Draft, by nature, is a numbers game. There is no reason to question Baalke on Ward as yet. Ward showed improvement from the Bears game. He has been “thrown into the fire” because of injury to Brock (else Cox could have shared duties in the slot with him), and lack of an adequate pass rush.

  16. Missed the game for first time in several years. (last minute thing came up)

    Did Anthony Davis play? An offense sans Anthony Davis, Vernon Davis, and Vance McDonald is a meat grinder with alot of missing parts. Players Matter.

  17. Refs F… For us
    A+ for Arizona. Period! This game was a joke. Nfl is am at SF because of McDonald. Im calling it, an standing by it.

    1. I actually think Ray Mac is not the reason the NFL officials are mad at the 49ers. It had to do with the 49ers complaining about the Seahawks play – showing up the officials.

      1. There were a good handful of teams and coaches complaining about Seattle last year. The Superbowl losers pushed it big time and is the main reason the “Seahawk rules” were enforced.

    2. Why are you making Ray McDonald situation the excuse for the 49ers loss? Our team is the one that’s a Joke, because our players didn’t go by the rules and they all lost their cool in the game. It doesn’t matter who you are in the NFL if your committed a lot of penalty the result you will lose the game.

  18. It’s officia! No conspiracy theory but a fact there’s something going on with the shield NFL against our team going back to last years game NFC championship and even the game in Dallas week 1 the team won inspite the refs. There’s something going on behind all this maybe ownership,front office,coaching staff have done something to the shield. Now I kknow how the raiders felt all those years

  19. I dont care what anyone says..Listen up the NFL is rigged ! Niners made mistakez but this is ridiculous ..we are the most penalized team 8n the NFL……BullshXt…..dont be a sheep..theres to much money involved…Niners are going nowhere because goodell says so…plus our gm is the most overrated in the league= disaster..cheaper tickets for me.

    1. It totally makes sense! Goodell, in the middle of an epic controversy that might cost him his job, yet still has time to tell the refs to really stick it to the 49ers with penalties. Add the cliche’ of “there’s too much money involved” and, boom! Conspiracy! Because, as we all know, if the 49ers were 3-0 right now the NFL would be losing so much money.

  20. The niners need to first come up with two game plans. One for the first half and one for the second.

    Second they have to take deep shots down field on double moves and get free gifts from the refs. To not do it is just dumb with the refs this year. They call anything and everything.

    Third put a stop to the silly penalties. The Boldin butts. However the front office needs to get clarification from the league on what the hell is roughing the passer, etc and hold the nfl accountable when they mess up by publicizing the letters of apology they get back. According to the niners there has been a lot.

    Lastly, play tank and dial more. I like the attacking defense but cover the receivers better.

    1. The first half second half difference is easily solved. All the players and coaches get hypnotized into thinking when they go in to half time that they have not played the first half yet and the game is just starting. They come back after half time thinking it’s the first half.

  21. All this is, is just a good team falling off the rails after several grueling seasons unsuccessfully trying to bring home a trophy.

    It’s hard to maintain this level of play for several seasons in a row. It wears on a team if after going to the NFC Championship 3 years in a row it still cannot bring home the Vince Lombardi trophy.

    Expect the extremely disciplined and focused play of the defense to start developing cracks. Pretty soon it will look like the Hoover Dam had a massive explosion.

    The mind and body can only focus with such intensity for so long. Eventually something has to give.

  22. Grant, I see you re-tweeted ESPN’s comment about the Eagles being the first team in history to start 3-0 after being behind by double digits in each game. If form holds, it could be 4 in a row… this will be a tough test for the 49ers coming up.

    1. The Eagles have beaten the Jaguars, and two 1-2 teams whose only win is the Jaguars. Those are the teams they’re coming back on, most overrated team in the NFL atm.

  23. Refs and Goodell aside, this team is just not good enough to win against mediocre teams anymore.

    It seems they go into games hoping to get a win..rather than play for a win. They lack confidence and desire to play and win as a unit. Last year’s shortcomings are now glaring holes with no quick fix– no talent, lack of smart players at skill positions, and terrible coaching.

    This is last year’s team, they didn’t improve a bit, quite the opposite. I expect more of the same in the coming weeks.

  24. I have no problem with the grades, but not to include an F for the refs is ignoring the facts from yesterday’s game. The calls over the past three weeks, show a clear bias by the NFL against the 49ers. I watched several games yesterday and saw nothing close to this level of atrocious officiating. Honestly, I think the one that put me over the top yesterday, was the Culliver talking smack for 3 seconds out of bounds play. Here is the Cardinal defender not letter Boldin up and talking smack right in front of the ref and nothing, zero, nada. Boldin reacts (which he shouldn’t) and gets penalty, but the Cardinal defender should have too. IT is hard enough to win in the NFL, but when you have to beat the refs too, almost impossible. As I recall, the refs tried hard to get the Cowboys back in the game, but couldn’t.

    1. Come on man refs don’t play the game. Blaming the refs is laxy and ignores the fact that the niners have real issues they need to deal with to win in this division. Losers blame refs

      1. The 9ers do have issues. That is true. They are losing games because their offense has been terrible. That doesn’t change the fact that the officiating has been horrendous.

        1. Yes it has but that’s not new. Despite the refs with this coaching and the quality of play on the field the team has shown thus far this season this team will not go far. They may not make the playoffs.

  25. knowing the refs are flaging , shouldnt you be extra smart playing. The nfl is almost arena football mixed with flag football now. all the games are passing tests without the defense having any defense.And dont you dare tackle or touch the million dollar quarterback.I cant remember a 49er team shooting themselves in the foot so often and being outcoached so bad.Is it the CURSE OF CANDLESTICK

  26. Niners definitely shooting themselves in the foot but those unnecessary roughness calls on Willis were absolute garbage. Clean hits to the chest. Get that drug policy straightened out so Peyton gets a receiver back, but look the other way while the officiating spirals down into cfl caliber. That being said, how’d the team finish up the regular season last year after starting 1 and 2? The sky is falling.
    Kap looked good throwing the ball so who will take the blame this week? I bet he got advice from Grant on how to read a D. Grind that meat Grant.

  27. excellent suggestion made (above):
    moving Tom Rathman from running backs coach
    to Interim Head Coach. GIve him the rest of the year.
    Rathman will give Kaepernick and the rest of the Niners
    a taste of legendary Tom Osborne. Distinctly different
    from the Harbaugh “cha-cha-cha” ………..
    “Who’s got it better than we do…?” …. Right now?
    Too many teams to count. Time for immediate change.

  28. The officials didn’t force Boldin to headbutt somebody. They didn’t blow coverages leaving receivers wide open either.

    This team has problems and all they have to do is look in a mirror to find them.

    This is a very indisciplined group right now and the coaching staff didn’t have an answer for the second week in a row.

    It’s one thing to lose a game, but when you contribute to the loss with stupidity it’s tough to swallow. The leaders on this team have to pull it together and start playing smart or this season is going to get away from them in a hurry.

    1. Rocket – the voice of reason, as usual.

      As typically happens after a loss, especially a second loss in a row, there has been a truck-load of knee-jerk reactions from the fans. Did the 49ers get a couple of 50-50 calls go against them? Sure. But for the most part it was dumb penalties that were rightly called.

      As for the secondary, which everyone seems to want to crucify, especially Ward – if it were me Chris Culliver is the guy I would have step out of the line-up when Brock comes back. And while Brock is out I’d think about replacing him with Cook. Cox has looked good on the outside, and I’d keep him there. And Ward has made some mistakes, but he’s learning and hasn’t been as bad as people are making out. The Brown TD was poor coverage, but he clearly was expecting help over the top from Bethea which was very late in arriving. He also gave up a mid-range reception to Fitzgerald deep in 49er territory which he should have done better on. Other than that I thought he was ok – I thought he played better than Culliver.

  29. fwiw…on D we are down 2 players with HOF talent (Bowman, Aldon), and have a bunch of new/young players who are figuring out how to play with each other, or in the league. Ward, Wilhoite, Tank, Dontae J. – this list of new/young players of D is disturbingly long.

    Coaching effectiveness is very worrying; the lack of discipline (penalties) says our coaches are either not whipping the team into fighting shape or have lost some of the attention/respect they used to command. signs of this have existed for some time, and the penalty flurry adds to it.

    by not targeting a gamebreaking wr in the last 2 years, Baalke has rolled the dice that Kaep would grow into a top 5 qb, with the ability to dice up teams from the pocket. despite showing this in the 2012 games (he eviscerated several teams on the way to the playoffs, and the Niner O suddenly became a scoring machine to make up for the D’s sudden generosity), he has not done this. yes, we had two long drives to start yesterday’s game, but the drives look like the early Steve Young – ratty, sloppy, relying on too many runs and scrambles to move the ball instead of the “well oiled machine” some of us old timers happily got used to. and I am not blaming all of this on Kaep – he played ok yesterday, but he didn’t exactly hoist the team on his shoulders and will it to victory. he doesn’t (yet) have that kind of ability. we’ve had a few games where we have a chance to rip off one good drive to win it, and we haven’t been able to do that.

    But it’s early. every game counts, but it’s early in Kaep’s career and it’s early in the season. we’ll have some studs coming back late in the season (touch wood). But it is not early in Harbaugh’s tenure, and this worries me. the man and his staff took a losing team and immediately turned it into an NFL powerhouse. the fact that his attachment to the team (contract extension?) – and apparently, to his players, as indicated by the incredibly undisciplined play – is in question is worrisome.

    my grades:

    Kaep C+
    RBs: D-
    WRs: C (Johnson B, Boldin F)
    OL: D
    DL: D
    LBs: C
    DBs: F

    one man’s opinion…thanks for reading…go Niners.

    1. This whole “fire Roman” makes me wonder how mnay people are watching the games and coming to this conclusion. The entire offensive staff is doing everything they can. Trying to get everyone involved, opening up the passing game, trying to be multifaceted.
      But when your team takes 6, 15 yard penalties you don’t think that stalls drives or gives the opposing team life? What’s Roman suppose to do about that?

      Watch the games people, its not the coaches, its the players acting and playing selfish football.

  30. total points scored In their last two games:
    Eagles = 64 points and Chiefs = 51 points
    and then we have the Niners with 34 points.

    With the two losses by an average margin
    of 8.5 points (that is more than a touchdown)
    we need more offense, Colin, & fewer distractions.

    Maybe this week you just shave your own head
    with cheap, disposable razor … instead of the
    stylish, high dollar razor-cut scrollwork, hmm?

  31. Reading blog comments this morning is almost as bad as watching the game yesterday. Twitter campaigns? Please. Somebody going to mail some dogpoo to Roman’s house? Some guy above is going to stop following the team three games into the season? OK.
    Every season is different, and every season during the first four games we learn which teams are the risers and which have back-slid. Clearly the Niners are currently not the team I (we?) expected, but perhaps that’s on me for not acknowledging the talent drop-off with so many starters missing. This is not the 2011, 2012, or 2013 team. It may get better, but my expectations are for a rough first half. Of course they’re still my boys, I stand with them, I’m not going anywhere. The bandwagon crew can jump ship whenever they choose.
    Remember to apply Grant’s refined analytic technique: “If you take away the……RT, TE, 2TE, OLB, ILB, CB…..”

    1. I hear ya, Brotha. What a pathetic display of the “faithful”. Niners run Gore between the tackles – fire Roman! Niners run the hurry up with 5 wide outs – fire Roman! Niners drive down to1st and goal at the 5 set to take the go ahead TD, then Boldin does the dumbest move of his career – fire Roman!

      I used to come to this site for the (mostly) informed commentary. That’s getting harder to do.

    2. For me, losing isn’t the problem. It’s how we are losing. I did not get to watch yesterday’s game but it seemed that we were driving the ball pretty easily with the no huddle in the first half. All of a sudden that changed. On defense we were doing a decent job, it seemed, until the second half. One glaring problem was the number of carries Gore/Hyde had. Even last year when the Cards were stuffing the run we kept feeding Gore the rock. Eventually he broke free. Another concern is the fact the we had a kid with speed, who we have yet to use. Can we please get Ellington the ball on a reverse or something. I know I’m over reacting only because I just want the niners to dominate the NFC West. I do think our offensive and defensive coordinators have to get creative while many key players are out.

          1. Maybe you missed it. I said on another post my internet failed me and they didn’t have the game on in KY. Going on what everyone said, not too much happened yesterday that did not happen last week. Common problem.

            Last yr Gore was pissed bc they were not getting him the ball. That changed and our wins increased. It doesn’t take a rocket science to know when you become a one dimensional team, you’re easy to stop.

    3. This grade column after losses brings out rants from emotional but not particularly knowledgeable fans but Grant needs to pander to all in order to increase traffic I guess.

  32. For the non kool-aid chuggers the 1-2 record isn’t that big of a surprise nor is it that big of a deal. What was our record after the third game last year, anyone remember?

    1. Didn’t the 1-2 record after 3 games last year play a big part in the team going to Seattle at the end of January instead of playing at home?

      The 49ers will be playing for a Wild Card berth the rest of the way.

    1. Their OL has been. They’ve never been great in pass protection even during the Alex Smith years… Harbaugh & company hid it by running the ball all the time. And those two tight ends allowed for clever blocking schemes to hide the OL’s inability to handle quick DL or guys in space. Probably why they don’t run many screens… think Staley and Iupati whiffed badly on the two they ran vs Arizona.

      Iupati is terrible and is worse now that Goodwin’s experience has been replaced with Kilgore’s lack thereof. Staley has made pro-bowl’s thanks to the team’s success. He’s always been an average LT going back to the Nolan years. J. Martin is what he is, a backup.

      If they wanted to run the offense they were running in 2011-2, these OL are fine. But running a pistol or shotgun like they have on occasion for Kaep would be better served with quicker OL who can pass protect and block guys in space.

  33. Last years 1-2 was a lot different than this year because this year its been self inflicted. Very correctable. However, what is most concerning is that the leadership on the field has been next to non-existent.
    The first being the secondary where there is a lot of blown coverages. Bethea and Reid look like they are not on the same calls as the DB’s leaving them looking at each other after every huge pass play.
    The penalties taken by the best players is also a head scratcher. Willis twice, and then Boldin? Those basically handed the game to the Cardinals. Then we see Harbaugh on the sideline bewildered. No Jim, your team is out of control.
    I’m not too concerned as its only week 4. But now a tough Eagles team is coming in and they score a lot of points. This week should prove what type of control Harbaugh has on the team.

  34. Kaepernick…….. “A?” On what planet?

    I always thought you grade offensive player by how many points his team scores. Didn’t realize meaningless completions and scrambles meant something. Here Grant, since you are ignorant this is how it works 7 points D, 14 points C, 21 points B, 28 points A. That would be your guideline and you can adjust individual grades accordingly. Kaepernick and his team scored ZERO points in the 3 &4 th quarters. Forget the excuses, it was still ZERO points. That is not an “A” grade for ANY offensive player. Wake up dude.

    1. This game is a hard one to grade for Colin. He led two long drives, but did it with runs and scrambles, He made some good strong throws to Steve Johnson. And then teams adjust, figure it out and then shut it down. And the team has no adjustments because:
      A: Colin is still a very limited QB with reads and types of throws.
      B: Colin has not learn discipline from the pocket. He still still takes off way too soon.
      C: The Niners haven’t committed to establishing the run with either Gore, Hyde or Ellington.
      D: When the game gets tight, Colin also gets tight. He reverts to his instincts and forgets any kind of footwork or training.

      The team has put all its chips on Colin developing into an elite QB that would be “unguardable.” They base the offense around him with the read option, and his running ability. Teams don’t fear the long run anymore because in the end a great breakaway play or two isn’t enough.

      The reason I focus on the QB play is in the end that’s going to be the mark or break of this team. We knew the defense may take a step back, but we thought the offense will take a step up.

      Before the reg season began I said there are no excuses. He has plenty of people to throw to. Peyton Manning gets rid of the ball in 2 seconds on most plays. The O-line is good enough to do that. Now it’s time for Colin to build on that Dallas game when he doesn’t have a big lead…..

  35. I don’t mean to fan the Replace Roman flames but is there any chance one of or even the main sticking point in the 49ers/Harbaugh negotiation is the retention or lack there of of Roman?

  36. Yesterday’s game was proof that one player alone on offense cannot be the end all to lead his team to victory. CK played a game that was good enough for a victory, including rushes and passes. The one sace that came from the Cardinals in the last half was a well designed blitz in a sub defense and the Niners offensive line picked themselves so it was impossible to pick up or to pass off the stunt with the delay dog coming up the pipoe in the A gap.

    Tuned into the balance of the Seahawk-Bronco game after the Niners, and Russell Wilson for the first 3 games of this season now has 14 TD passes and only 1 INT, which came on a tipped ball. For his career, he now is 2-0 vs. Peyton Manning, 2-0 vs.Aaron Rodgers, 2-0 vs. Drew Brees and 1-0 against Tom Brady. Not bad for a minor league infielder and an undersized 3rd round pick, although it is a team effort.

  37. When will Brock be back? The secondary looks horrible. We need Brock starting and cox in the slot, ward is getting abused. Philly is going to shred us if we dont make an adjust

  38. So far things have been a little frustrating for the Red & Gold. However, I have to keep reminding myself, 1) we’re missing to major cogs to our defense plus our top CB. We’ve known for a while that our secondary was “okay” and that the pass rush made it serviceable…but without the pass rush our defense is middle-of-the-road at best.

    On offense, Anthony Davis hasn’t touched the field yet and has proven his value to the team. We can get that thing going. Also, the jury is still out on Kilgore. That being said, Roman is the coach on the hot seat right now. His offensive unit doesn’t come out of the locker room after the half. He has to sort that out ASAP or he won’t be in that role much longer.

    Despite all of that, it’s in situations like this that players and coaches earn their contracts (and future contracts). If the coaches right this ship and still get ticket punched for the post-season, then we’ll know what they’re made of.

  39. I will be the cup 1/2 full guy…….. I like that Roman showed a different look and agree with going to spread absent McDonald and Davis.. and RT Davis. My only beef, which has been for several years, is that Fangio doesn’t blitz enough. That said, it has been effective in the past so we can’t really complain. This year, we just haven’t been getting pressure to the QB and that has exposed the secondary, but wouldn’t that be the case for 99% of them when the QB has time to throw?

    I think losing Brock has been huge, but Cox has been awesome and will pay dividends moving forward. I just feel like we need to figure out a rotation that is going to work up front (has McDonald or Lemonier been effective?) or that we need to see more blitz packages. My $.02

  40. Wanted to let the emotions die down before I posted. Pretty clear what is going on. The 49ers are no longer the “class” organization that the NFL wants to showcase. The NFL is going to bury us and they are going to bury us early.

    Whether is Brooks breaking a bottle over a teammates head, or Culliver and his brass knuckles, or McDonald beating his pregnant fiancee or Aldon and his guns and bomb threats, the NFL is done with us. Kaep can at least help by not showing up at press conferences with shades, or tilted caps with his swag on.

    This team needs a leader right now that has the respect of the team to settle things down and lead by example. Harbaugh is no longer that guy. Vernon is checked out because he did not get paid. Frank Gore could be that guy, except his feelings are hurt right now. Crabtree is not a leader. It has to be Willis or Kaepernick. Willis and Bowman could deliver the message and it would be effective. Kaepernick is too busy being defiant to understand that he could also have a positive effect.

    Regardless, here is where we are, we are the 2014 version of the 70’s and 80’s Raiders. While the refs are stealing victories from us, Boldin’s headbutt at a critical moment in the game and Culliver’s taunt also at a critical time were so unacceptable. But what was more unacceptable was Harbaugh allowing Boldin to get on the field with minutes left and the game already put away. As a coach that was a perfect time to send a message and unfortunately he sent the wrong message. Harbaugh has lost the team.

    QB- B-
    Kaep had a world class first half. Accurate, decisive confident. Maybe I’m unfairly penalizing him for the second half, his offensive line and offensive coordinator share some blame, when he wins he gets the credit and when he loses he’s got to share in the blame.

    RB-Incomplete
    These guys didn’t get to run enough to be given a complete grade. Gore cannot run against teams with strong defensive lines. Now with his offensive line that is average at this point. The coaching staff has got to make an unpopular decision and go with it. Hyde needs to be the workhorse. Running Kaep as much as they did instead of utilizing Hyde more shows this coaching staff’s lack of intelligence.

    WR-B-
    This group came out and ran a new scheme and executed it pretty well. This was Stevie Johnson’s coming out party. He and Kaepernick finally demonstrated the chemistry we had been looking for all preseason. For all the good the WR’s did, Boldin killed it with his lack of composure.

    Offensive Line- D
    Kaepernick’s lack of clean pockets in the second half two games in a row are largely responsible for our lack of second half scoring. A power running attack with Gore and Hyde that only receive 9 carries tell us all we need to know about our Oline, the coaches have lost faith in them and don’t believe they can open holes for our running backs.

    Defensive line- C-
    Struggling to get to the QB, there were moments of being close. This group is still really good at stopping the run. It has to be disheartening for this group to work so hard, and almost get off the field only to continuously have penalties leave them on the field.

    Linebackers – C
    Their blitzes were ineffective, however their Db’s gave them zero support either by committing penalties or being out of position or just flat out getting beat. Willis had a beautiful hit on Stanton around the mid section that was mysteriously called a blow to the head of the QB. Tough to know what is a penalty anymore and you can’t penalize this group for that.

    DB’s F minus minus minus minus
    We knew before the season started this group was a wildcard. Ward is a rookie that looks like a rookie. He is playing so poorly that his confidence may begin to take a hit. Culliver still can’t track a ball. Reid was out of position on a couple of balls. Now we know why Cook can’t get on the field more. This group really needs Aldon on the field to mask their inadequacies.

    Coaching – D

    Coming out in a no huddle gets an A in my book. They changed the tempo. 4 and 5 receiver sets showed a creativity that they’ve never shown. Yes it was out of necessity because of our tight end situation, but it was creative. Unfortunately they stuck with it too long and ignored our running game and the fact that you still have to be balanced. The Cards made adjustments in the 2nd half and Roman couldn’t counter. Maybe our offensive line didn’t allow him to.

    Fangio – C
    It’s not Fangio’s fault that Willis was flagged for a good hit on the QB. It’s not his fault that Culliver had a taunting call on him. I liked that he blitzed, his blitzes never got there and he did a horrible job of disguising them.

    Harbaugh – F
    Que the music from Gladiators at the end when Russel Crow is dying. If we couldn’t tell from all the offseason character issues that Harbaugh was losing his team, we sure can see it now. Harbaugh is now coaching for his job. Reports are coming out that they had problems with him at Stanford. He’s had run ins with Baalke. His sideline antics are legendary. All of this stuff is acceptable when you are winning. The NFL is turning on his team and he doesn’t have answers. Him allowing Boldin to get back on the field after hurting his team shows that Harbaugh has lost control. Next year he’ll be yelling, ‘who’s got it better than us” in the Raiders locker room unless his team starts winning now.

    1. How did Stevie Johnson look yesterday? Talk about over reaction but that’s expected coming from a fantasy football fan like yourself. When the 49ers make the playoffs and turn this thing around I will be here to remind you once again of the ignorance you spew on this blog.
      The team finally hits some major adversity after 3 years and you are now dogging your boy Kaepernick, the head coach and everything red and gold related. You are the type of fan every fan base laughs at when the team loses a game and listens to your childish rants.

      “Him allowing Boldin to get back on the field after hurting his team shows that Harbaugh has lost control”

      This is not pee wee football guy. Boldin made a mistake and you do not alienate a long time veteran, a guy who is the consummate professional and warrior by benching him because of one penalty. Really? You think he has lost the respect of the players? What do you think would happen if he did bench Boldin? What message would that send? You think the players would respect Harbaugh for doing that after he talks about how Boldin is such a great person and player on and off the field. Boldin has done more good than bad in the 2 years he has been here that one stupid 15 yard penalty. Its week 4, slow down, think before you post your irrational and comical analysis on a sport you clearly have never played or know much about. I told you many years ago, stick to baseball and boxing.

      1. FDM,
        Stevie Johnson looked great yesterday. I mentioned that. As for the rest of your rant, dribble etc, I blew threw it.
        You are an angry individual dude. You hug my nuts like crazy. I must have really hit a nerve when I asked about you being an alcoholic and having anger issues.
        It’s a blog dude. Move on. I’m giving my opinion. Hopefully your sponsor doesn’t know you post here. He’d find your posts filled with red flags and triggers that can send you spiraling back down to the bottle.

        1. Bay if you have a problem with people commenting on your ignorant opinion,and for the record, its not just me, then do not post if you cant handle the backlash.

          Its a blog, everyones opinion on here gets dissected. Don’t cry about it if you are always wrong. The best thing would be to shut up, that way no one will reply to your crap.

          Also for the record I am a raging alcoholic, I drink 12 beers a day, 2 bottles of whiskey, and rubbing alcohol and mouthwash and sometimes oil and gasoline. The crazy thing is after all that consumption, I still know more about football then you. Ha.

  41. Why in the world is Jonathan Martin playing? Jimmie ward gets burned to much time to take him out of the slot and move Cox inside.

  42. Coach Jim Harbaugh… described above as
    looking bewildered on the sidelines.
    In his postgame presser, the Niner head coach
    did not even manage to look/sound bewildered.
    He had very little to say and what little he offered
    was devoid of any sense of leadership. The man
    is grasping at straws. He needs to be cut – – NOW.

  43. The game showed some of the strengths and limitations of Roman’s play design and play calling abilities.

    Roman is open to trying new ideas in the passing game (there were what, over 10 plays with 5-receiver set and more than a dozen plays with 4-receivers sets?). But this is not his area of expertise, and coming up with new passing schemes may put too much on his plate. Harbaugh should consider hiring a passing game coordinator to help Roman. Or maybe increase Chryst’s role in play design, and hire an assistant QB coach to help Chryst.

    Currently, the Niners offense is going through a serious case of growing pains in transforming their offense. To me, Kap looks like he has made some gains in the pocket passing skills over the off season. He appears to be routinely going through progressions when the O line gives him the chance. So the need for the run game to set up the pass is decreasing. The improved receiving corps has really helped him out.

    The problem is that the Niners are finding it difficult to transition from the pass-oriented, fast-moving (in fact no-huddle yesterday!) game in the first half that gives them a decent lead to a more ball-control offense in the second half that chews up clock.This switch was a characteristic of Walsh era. Of course, defenses are far smarter and athletic now than those in that era and this switch is not easy. Many RBs like Gore do not do well unless they are involved in the game from the beginning.

    A passing game coordinator would help not just in play design but also during game day in play calling, e.g., as Ted Robinson pointed out on KNBR this morning the Niners could use occasional vertical routes in 4-receiver sets with all four (preferably with Ellington and Davis) running fly or go routes. Niners have lot of passing game talent now. Lost in this lamentation is that Stevie Johnson had a 100 yard game, the first by a #3 receiver since 2010.

  44. Offensive philosophy of Chip Kelly (by way of MMQB)

    “We are equal opportunity distributors. How do you want to defend us? Doesn’t matter. If there’s a matchup we can exploit, we’ll exploit it. We don’t have a set number [of touches] that this needs to go here, this needs to go here. A lot of times, it’s different guys, different games. And one game it’s one guy, another game, it’s another guy. So it’s not by design that we are trying to go one way or another way … In the four years [at Oregon], one year the leading receiver was a wide receiver, one year it was a tight end and one year it was a running back. Here is what happened at Oregon. We were up 50 points in a lot of games, so we threw the ball less than ever. And I had that question last year a thousand times that you really emphasize the run. Well, when the score is 50‑3 at halftime, we are not coming out in the second half and jacking the ball around. So we had some running backs that were seventh string that were our scout squad guys that got more touches than an All-Pac-12 receiver in a game and that’s because the game itself dictated that. I hope our running backs carry the ball more than we throw the ball this year in every single game, because if they do, that means we are winning every single game.”

      1. In principle, yes. But Kelly seems to be more willing than most to exploit perceived matchup advantages even at the expense of reducing playing time of stars.

  45. The NFL is throwing flags to jack up offense (ratings, revenue), while pretending its all about protecting players. Things that lower NFL ratings and revenue

    – Defensive teams with run oriented offenses dominating win columns
    – West coast teams dominating win columns
    – NFCCG featuring a Beats adorned, monosyllabic, scowler vs an Adderall jacked, screaming, thuggish, sore winner.
    – Post season absence of pocket (pale) passers like Brady, Breese, Manning, Rogers etc.

    Hence the hankie storm.

    – Are the flags the only reason the 49ers are struggling. No.

    – Are the flags a significant part of the reason the 49ers are struggling. Of course.

    – Are the refs consciously conspiring against the 49ers? Unlikely.

    – Is there subconscious bias? Likely.
    Just ask the ref that “booted” the call that gave the Pittsburgh the Super Bowl vs Seattle years back.

    – Is there a transparent effort to manipulate rules to favor pocket passing teams in order to increase ratings/revenue. Absolutely!

  46. Anyone watch the Broncos/Seahwks yesterday and see Bennett strike Manning around the head/neck area after he threw the ball? No penalty was called, but had that been Brooks or another 49er, I can guarantee you the yellow hankie would have been thrown…..

    1. Yes, it seems that the refs are paying special attention to the Niners. The two calls on Willis have been pretty bad. The league is shooting itself in the foot with these flags.

        1. Jamaican…… Do you have anything to add besides swinging? Are you even watching these games? If its a hot topic all over every station and tv then there is SOMETHING there. And these sources are all over the sports pages I am a part of. If fans of teams that HATE yours are saying it, then its not a homer thing. You have to be some kind of special if you dont think some of these calls are ridiculous. Argue with some kind of reason. The only thing I ever see you post is something negative about this team. Areyou really a fan?

          1. I’am just a frustrated 49ers fan. It’s ridiculous you keep hearing about the ref’s call. The bottom line here is our team should be accountable for their mistakes. The question is, why is everyone pointing fingers at the official, our players were the one’s who committed those penalty, and who loss the football game not the officiating.

    2. What makes you think that the official would’ve done it differently if that was the case for the 49ers? C’mon guys stopped with this speculation that the 49ers are being hand picked by the NFL officials. The truth behind this, our players they lack the discipline, I’ve notice the coaches after the penalties, they don’t even bothered to sit down the player and talked it over with their players, about the penalty they committed.

  47. Watching another good team (other than the Niners) implode on national TV last night on Sunday Night Football has a therapeutic effect :)

  48. I said it last week and i will say it again, we lost because of O and D line play. Unlike Grant i understand that football is not a simple game. Identifying the 9ers problems is simple fixing them is not. Untill the pass rush and overall O line play improves things will not get better. Grant i watched the game yesterday with an old friend and his brother, the brother was a Dback coach at Ore. St, Cal and USC. He said on Browns 2nd TD it was not Ward’s fault but Reid. Ward played the coverage correctly Reid jumped the wrong route. I’m surprised after last weeks major screw up [questioning CK's ability to read D's] that you did’nt do a little research before calling out Ward. Like i told you last week its not “just that simple”. Once again i invite you to attend 5 or 6 coaching clinics this summer. I’m sure all the J.C.’s in the east bay offer football coaching theory classes and you should attend. Lastly i’m sure if you asked him Craig Bergman the head coach at Monte Vista High School he would be more than happy to let you survey his practices for a season. Then and only then should you try breaking down the X’s and O’s.

    1. Old Coach i saw they same thing and agree. I am NOT a football expert but you can tell when someone expects help over the top and it wasn’t there

    2. Thanks Old Coach – I thought it was Bethea that stuffed up on Brown’s TD as he was the one that was late in coming across, but sounds like Bethea may have been trying to compensate for Reid’s mistake. Regardless, people need to get off Ward’s back. I thought he played quite well yesterday, and that TD was not his fault.

      And when will people realise the real issue on D is the DL/ OLBs and their lack of pressure on the QB? No secondary will look good without a pass rush.

  49. My question for Coach Harbaugh would be, Why let Boldin back into the game after his penalty? Do you feel like you might have missed an opportunity to get the players attention?

      1. Really? Then Singletary should have never kicked Vernon off the field. Even though Vernon learned a lesson and Singletary demonstrated control.

        You are correct, this isn’t pop warner and Boldin shouldn’t have acted like a child. This is like the 3rd time I’ve seen Boldin pull this crap in the last two years. There is a balance between playing with emotion and letting your emotions get the best of you. Boldin has been around way too long to make this mistake. Yesterday he killed the momentum of the drive and was largely responsible for the loss.

        1. Not sure I’d go with Singletary as an example of ‘good coaching.” Should Harbaugh also pull down his pants at halftime?

              1. Razor Vernon is a class act. Although he was publicly humiliated he was not going to throw his coach under the bus. That would have led to a lot more problems for him in the league and endorsement deal wise. When you publicly criticize people, especially sports, you get labelled as a malcontent. No one wants to work with someone like that.
                Why do you think Sing has never gotten another coaching job in the NFL. Too strict. Today’s young generation do not respond to military discipline ways.

              2. The Davis thing came after he’d been flagged a number of times so it’s a different situation.

                My thing is that unlike pop warner, they are limited to a number of players and were already short yesterday.

                If you’re going to bench Boldin you also need to bench Culliver.

                On second thought, you may be on to something…..

              3. Again Hammer, not his first incident, but the first time he was held accountable by the officials. He’s been warned about it before, and I’m positive Arians told the officials to watch for it prior to kickoff…

        2. Embarrassing Vernon Davis like that probably cost Sing his job. The players looked at that situation and probably said to themselves what is this pop warner football where if I make a mistake,I could be publicly humiliated?
          You have no clue Bay. You do not embarrass pro athletes on a public stage

          1. Embarrassing Vernon Davis like that probably cost Sing his job.

            Uh, wasn’t that incident shortly after Nolan had been fired and also before the team had signed Singletary to a four-year deal?

            1. And signing him to a 4 year contract has what to do with it ?
              That Vernon thing was nothing more than a prelude of how Sing could not relate to today’s NFL player.

              1. And signing him to a 4 year contract has what to do with it ?

                Didn’t you say that the embarrassing Davis probably cost him his job? The Davis incident occurred befored he was even named the head coach. It neither helped or hindered Singletary.

          2. I think starting Troy Smith against the Rams was the straw that broke the camel’s back for Singletary. Remember that little show on the sidelines on national TV between Troy and Singletary?

        3. Yeah that one 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty cost them the game. Never mind the other 8, or the blown coverages in the secondary. Lets just pin it one guy, one penalty. SMH.

          1. After you’ve been clean and sober for a while I’ll explain the complexity of the game to you FDM. Instead of acting out like a 6 year old with anger issues, try to be an adult and listen and observe. It was the timing of it with Boldin. He killed the momentum of a great drive. His teammates worked hard to get down there and his selfish act hurt the entire team.

            No, I don’t want Harbaugh pulling his pants down, but I also didn’t want him to just do nothing. Belichic would not have let Boldin back on the field.

            Look at the Boldin interview after the game. Not once did he apologize for his behavior, his mistake. No accountability. Instead you blamed the refs. Where the refs to blame? You bet. But you start by being accountable. He didn’t feel he had to be, because his coach didn’t emphasize his mistake.

            1. Did you watch the interview? Was he asked if he needed to be accountable? Do you think players have to apologize to the fan base or make an apology to his teammates via the media? Again, you have no clue.

              Yes he killed a scoring drive, but you could say that about the other 100 penalties in the last 2 games. This is why I think you don’t understand the game of football. Its always one thing with you. First it was all Alex Smith. Then Kaepernicks growing pains. Now its Harbaugh. Its football man. Its all encompassing. Whatever the fad of the week is you jump on it. Its ignorant opinion.
              Now I gotta go hit a happy hour somewhere and get lambasted, pickled drunk. But I still know more about football then you.

          2. Hilarious, because no where did I lay the loss on Boldins’ doorstep, but he definitely committed the ultimate sin. Never make the game about yourself, especially when the game is on the line….

            1. And never alienate one player on one mistake when there were a handful of similar mistakes. Exploiting Boldin publicly through a benching would have transformed a major distraction (media) all week to a team already under the microscope.
              You guys think the 49ers need more attention to them through benching Boldin? That’s all we would be talking about from now til Sunday. The 49ers need a quiet week of no distractions and all work.

        1. Boldin had head-butted in the Carolina play-off game but escaped being flagged. Very disappointed in him. The offense lacks leadership. Staley seems distracted. Gore is being marginalized. Kap will need to be more assertive. Harbaugh’s outsize personality dominates the offense.

  50. After listening to the complaints of the past two off seasons It’s seems ironic to hear people complaining now that the 49ers are passing too much. Seems like a case of careful what you ask for.

  51. I’ve never been a fan of calling out players publicly, at any level but my concern about Harbaugh is that he is’nt calling them out behind closed doors. Boldin among others made a very undisciplined blunder it seems to becoming a regular occurence lately, I just hope Harbaugh has’nt lost the locker room. I’ve seen it happen at the High school level a number of times and it usually happens to very emotional coaches. I’m begining to think that we may be seeing JH in the yellow and blue next year.

    1. If that’s the case, who would you like to see take over the reigns? We clearly have an extremely talented team. It just seems to me we have completely lost our identity and our sense of direction

      1. KY at this point in time i have no idea. I’m not in love with anyone currently on the coaching staff but i’m a firm believer in HC’s coming from the O side of the ball.

        1. Totally agree. Offensive coaches can always hire a good DC, but defensive coaches are terrible at choosing good OCs and letting them play. (I am reminded of Steve Young’s story on hustling Seifert of offensive game planning meetings).

  52. “Derek Carrier caught one pass for 23 yards when the Cardinals didn’t cover him. No other tight ends caught passes.”

    No other tight ends played in the game.

    1. Jack,

      So? The statement that no other TE’s caught a pass is still factually correct. Why are you nitpicking poor Grant to death? Just because the line would lead most readers to believe that other TE’s had a bad game and, as such, is misleading (not to mention, uninformed, or worse).

  53. I would not give Kaep a A, on the simple fact, that he had another chance and failed to win on the final drive of the game. The pass to Brandon Lloyd was uncatchable.

  54. My take after I’ve calmed down with the ref job.

    The offense came out and looked good. No huddle, ck runs, short throws. Controlled the ball and clock. I thought it was flawless. Then the second came. 3 and out, no, no huddle, and no running by ck. They failed in the 3rd. Then went back to the original plan. And what do you know. They have a nice long drive shorted by a penalty or 4. Both teams ran the clock down with slow drives.
    I would be worried more if not for the refs and if they had more possessions. No VD hurt the offense more than some think.

    For this team to stay a float before Bowman and Smith get back. They must score more points than years past. Remember their defense when healthy gave them more possessions than they’re getting now. More room for mistakes or non scoring drives. Now it’s as if they have to put up something every drive. Because the defense isn’t going to get the turnovers or stops they need.

    They must win the next three straight and hopefully finish at 4-3 by the break. This next game should really tell where this team is going to be.
    We are a first half team right now, Philly is a second half team. If they win this game and slow Philly down enough with a lead going into halftime. I think it will be a huge boost for this team. I will not hold my breath if we have a big lead going into the half. Finish strong vs Philly and these second half issues will be resolved for now on. Perfect team to turn it around on.

    I’m basically looking at it like a 1 game deficit to Seattle. Sorry I just can’t buy arizona. They had tons of help yesterday and we are depleted with injuries. We will get healthy. They are moderately healthy now. We have to stay close to Seattle, because I don’t see arizona winning this division. They can go on a losing streak at anytime. They’ve showed it before. After this Philly game I can see three legit losses in the future.
    NO, Sea (1) and Denver. And I still think we get blown out by Denver.
    So the next three are absolutely must wins. And can be done.
    The second half of the season gets division games rich. That’s good for us. I can see the top three splitting games with each other.

    We did start 1-2 last season, but we had the bodies to improve. This year is different. We have weeks to go before those bodies are back.
    The 94 Niners struggled out of the gate. It took an injured Steve young to hobble off the field before they realized they were not playing to their potential. They didn’t lose another game for the rest of the season.

    So yes even though the Arz game was a big one. This Sunday is our season. The mustest of must wins we’ve faced since the playoffs. I expect them to come out and get this win. I can see a big lead in the first half an holding on barely at the end. BUT this barely held on W will be huge, and yes it will erase all doubts about the second half woes, because of the team they’re playing. They will struggle in the second half, but the heart is going to close the game out. And besides pro bowl bodies….. They are missing HEART. The Heart will be resurrected and will be beating stronger than ever! You watch!

  55. And reading some of these comments. I really don’t think some know on here how big the defensive injuries are not only hurting the defense but the offense too.
    No need for quitting on this team. They are a boat with holes in it and have faced two very good offensive teams so far. They are not getting out played, they’re getting out flagged. Now whether it’s the refs or all on the players. The point is this team still has something in it to win. Keep calm and hope they get that win on Sunday. Because they can easily start a winning streak before the bye.

  56. So Bruce Arians is calling Skuta’s hit a cheap shot. I’ll admit I didn’t like the hit at first. Then I saw how pissed of the players were on our side when it was penalized.

    I understand protecting the QB. But if a QB runs he turns into a running back. He had just started his slide and wasn’t close to being down. I still did not like the hit until…… Mike Pereira was asked about the penalty. He said it was a bad call. He also said the penalty on Willis was a bad call.

    I feel like in today’s game Refs can call whatever they want I guess. That is having a negative effect on the game.

  57. Now that we have all vented our frustration about SF losing another game, I am interested to know if someone knows the salary cap ramifications involving Kaepernick. If he does not make the probowl or super bowl, what is his salary reduced to?

  58. Pathetic Brady Hoke will not make it past seasons end at Michigan. The Michigan donors are already throwing Jim Harbaugh’s name out as the hopeful replacement.
    Niners FO, media and fans better show some respect to Harbs or he may bolt to his alma mater next year. I sure hope he stays.

    1. Crabs, I think it’s Harbaugh destiny now to go back to Michigan and the 49ers lure Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden out of retirement.

      1. Ha! Before I’d ever consider two coaches that have been out of the game for so long, I’d instead go after Kliff Kingsbury. He’d be a bold, innovative move that would enhance the offensive direction….

          1. I’m not calling for a coaching change, but neither Gruden or Cower runs a spread offense, the exact type of offense Kaepernick does best in….

            1. Please tell me your not one of those fantasy football guys who makes would be decisions based on highlight reel type football?
              Spread attack? You realize that would take a complete rebuild? Never mind don’t even answer that!

              1. That’s all fine and dandy Mr. Sanders, but it doesn’t change the fact that Kaepernick excels in a spread attack, and Kliff Kingsbury runs one similar to what Kelly does in Philly…..

              2. Two things wrong with that idea. First, how many times in the history of the NFL has a team won a championship employing the spread attack?
                And #2, has CK demonstrated enough in 3 years to build an entire new philosophy/system around?

              3. Greatest show on turf had a guy who was probably one of the best multifaceted backs. He was more integral than Bruce and Holt. It was not a spread offense. But a sprinkle but not a legit spread offense with consistent 4-5 WR sets. See June Jones at the University of Hawaii. That was a spread.
                And the front office clearly does not agree with your spread theory having drafted Hyde in the 2nd round, no deep threat WR’s since Baalke has been here and you forgot the key ingredient, a coaching staff who cannot even spell spread attack.

              4. Hyde was the best spread running back in college football.

                Here’s a quote from Torry Holt:

                “We ran the spread for the longest time in St. Louis, and everybody told us we were crazy,” said Holt, an NFL Network analyst and the 10th-leading receiver in NFL history. “We said, ‘So be it, it works for us.’ Now, everybody runs the spread offense.”

              5. You think Baalke drafted Hyde because he played in a spread or because he runs through people?
                Based on who Ballke has drafted,the teams he’s worked for you think the Niners are moving to an all aerial attack?
                As for the Rams, they won that championship through Marshall Faulk and his running and catching ability. As for that Holt quote, please provide a link?

              6. He drafted him because he was the best running back who happened to fit perfectly with what they wanted to do on offense. If he just wanted someone who could run over people, he’d of waited and just taken Taliaferro out of Coastal….

                Here’s the link to quote, and nice talking football without the personal attacks Prime, but I’ve got to hit the sack so I can keep up with you Canadians….http://triblive.com/home/2214013-74/yards-nfl-running-offense-spread-teams-steelers-backs-season-pass#axzz3E6GynqLO

              7. If the spread offense was and is so successful, and the Niners are moving towards it, why hadn’t anyone done it since?
                In a very copy cat league, it has never been duplicated. Must mean traditional football still works. Run the football, play good defense, see Seattle Seahawks.

              8. If indeed the 49ers are changing philosophy then it’s certain Harbaugh is done.
                I don’t think the spread offense is what they are trying to evolve into but maybe you know or see something I don’t.
                Have a good night Razor!

              9. Right now the niner brain trust is trying to figure out an offense they can win with. And it will be one based on the read/option. They went all in when they went with Colin, thinking his unique physical abilities will drive teams crazy. Initially they had some success but teams figured out pretty quick how to defense him. So now Roman and Harbaugh have no counter moves. The defense and running game has carried this team since harbaugh arrived. They had a blue collar, wear blue shirts mentality. Now they don’t have that either. They are a bunch of dysfunctional,low character guys – Culliver, macdonald, Ahmed brooks. Everything is fine when the team is winning, not so much when they are losing.

  59. Harbaugh ego is way to big to admit that Greg Roman is a mistake. He won’t fire him. Fangio and Roman are life time coordinators at best, neither will get a head coaching job. I can’t see them getting a top college job either.

  60. For some lightness in this gloom, courtesy Mike Tanier:

    “The Fox broadcast team appeared to be obsessed with slow-motion imagery of Kaepernick throwing passes, handing off or simply warming up in the first half of the 49ers-Cardinals game.

    There were several loving, frame-by-frame close-ups of undulating Kaepernick beef, chiseled and veiny and covered with extremely small typeface. It was hypnotic, a little creepy and—because of all of the reading material on Kaepernick’s body—somewhat educational.

    It may have been an optical illusion, but Kaepernick appeared to have gotten some new ink. I swear I read a transcript of Roger Goodell’s press conference on his left forearm.

  61. I don’t like how chummy the refs are with players. At the end of the game, did anyone else see Stanton chumming it up with the ref? I wonder. ……… I say they go out and just ball, no talking or anything! Otherwise, we’ll turn into the Raiders.

  62. I agree with a lot of what you say KY. This team hasn’t gelled and the team seems to have aged considerably, hence the partial youth movement. For the rest of the year, use spreads to spell the power run game. Without Davis, use Looney and Carrier on the right side to help keep Martin from getting beaten like a drum and “Whiffs” Boone from screwing up again and again. Defensively, dial up the pressure with Tank and Lynch and drop Willis to keep the short middle clogged.

    After this year, consider some front office changes and I really like Brett Lashley at Auburn, their OC. Give him the same role here. An offense based on a QB who can run and pass with tempo, with the run being the bread and butter. Brooks is more of an ILB who is aging rapidly. Trade him or cut him. Very expensive. And tell McDonald to F*** off. Way too much of an expensive headache for a mediocre player. Finally, in the draft, trade up and target gems. Go after an elite pass rusher (Vic Beasley), a long, great CB (PJ Williams), a standout interior OL (Mike Matthews), and finally a big receiving target (Devin Funchess and Josh Reynolds). Without pressuring the QB, resisting pressure to your QB, pressuring the best WR on the other team and giving your somewhat inaccurate QB a guy with a large catch radius, your team is going to suffer.

  63. Both of the Cardinals touchdowns came as a result of DB’s jumping routes instead of playing their responsibility.

    On the first touchdownt to Brown, Cox jumped the TE over the middle instead of staying back and letting Willis play the TE.

    On the second touchdown, Ward is playing a trail technique which is why he is behind the WR. The problem occured when Reid jumped the underneath route of Larry Fitzgerald.

    These are simple, fundamental fixes, but the defensive players need to trust that if they do their job so will the guy next to them.

      1. Yeah, not a great day for Reid. But he’s better than that. I’m not too worried about him being able to bounce back.

        The more concerning thing, which Jack touched on, is that when players don’t stick to their responsibility it creates doubt in the guys around them, which leads to more mistakes. They need to cut these errors out as a team.

  64. not sure how you can blame the runningbacks for not getting the ball in the 2nd half. and you can’t fairly grade their Cardinals game performance by bring up past performances.

    as for the defensive grades…uhm…yeah..you’re pretty much on there…it’s getting pretty ugly. Maybe it’s time to move Cox back into the slot Corner position Ward is getting killed out there. I thought Bethea was supposed to be a smart heady type of defensive back that could get everybody lined up. And Culliver does not look fully recovered from his injury and in addition to his physical limitations, still looks lost when covering deep….knowing when and how to turn around to look for the deep ball. Is McDonald providing anything in the Nickel defense? Maybe it’s time to try Carradine in there as an interior pass rush specialist.

    1. How exactly was Ward killed out there against the Cards? Don’t blame that 2nd TD to Brown on him. That was Reid’s fault. There was one reception to Fitzgerald he could/ should have done better on, but aside from that he was pretty solid.

      I agree that Culliver hasn’t looked great, and not turning and locating the ball was directly responsible for Floyd’s two deep receptions. I’d have no qualms with Cox taking his spot when Brock comes back.

      And Carradine needs to be given a chance. The other guys aren’t getting it done. But replacing Ray Mac in nickel isn’t necessarily the solution all the time. In 3rd and short situations (which they had a few of yesterday) if they take all their better run stuffers out of the lineup teams will just pound the ball in there on 3rd down. Replacing him with Carradine in 3rd and long situations would make some sense though.

  65. Tough loss, especially aftet driving all the way to AZ. But my wife and i were fully aware that it could be a loss, thats why wr didn’t make the entire trip just about the game.

    Still had a great time. Great atmosphere. A whole lotta niner fans. Cards fans are really cool people.

    Flags definitely killed the game and any momentum we had. It was great seeing Kaepernick for the first time in person. That is a fast man. One thing i know is this offense really needs Vernon for big plays.

  66. I didn’t have a chance to watch the game, but after watching the highlights and reading everybody’s comments, this is my take:

    -New offene STAT!
    Whether it’s the regression of Iupati, the addition of Martin and Kilgore, or the fact that Boone obviously was a fool for holding out, it all boils down to one thing: our OL stinks, and I seriously doubt that once Davis is able to play at RT that won’t even come close to solving what ails this line. Both Harbaugh and Roman need to alter how they operate this offense to suit the personnel they have so that Kaep has a lessened chance of taking a constant pounding and the offense has less of a chance of stalling.
    -O run game run game. Where for areth thou run game?
    I have absolutely no idea why this team has abandoned the run game despite having two workhorses at the RB position. Some may point out the OL as the reason for that, but I’m not buying it because, effective or not, this offense can’t function without it. I applaud the team for wanting to pass more, but not at the expense of a balanced attack. Hey Roman, you have a great back and a second round beast at your disposal. Utilize them for cryin’ out loud!
    -We miss you.
    It is becoming painfully clear that A. Smith, V. Davis, Bowman, and Dorsey are key components to the 49ers as there was no vertical attack from the offense without Davis, the pass rush has been practically nonexistent (Cowboy can only do so much), and the run defense has been underwhelming. There is no true fix to any of the aforementioned areas and the only hope we have is for the replacements do well in their absence.
    -WHAT THE @$#/ refs…uh Niners…uh refs…Niners?!
    I can’t comment on the Willis penalty because the there was a player in the way during the highlights, but the Skuta penalty was absolutely bogus because he clearly led with his shoulder and made contact with Stanton’s shoulder. It became even more ticky-tack when Kaep took an illegal hit to the southern region from a defender who led with his helmet. That said, the team should’ve never put themselves in a position where these calls an no calls mattered, especially with some of the dumb penalties committed, and nothing was dumber than Boldin’s bone-headed head butt. That penalty alone was the momentum crusher and effectively ended any chance that the Niners had to win the game. Just because the refs are making bad calls doesn’t give any player a reason to exercise poor judgment.
    -Secondary minus secondary equals…
    We have our answer to one of the question marks going into this season and that is that the secondary is worse than last year. Culliver refuses to turn his head so he can find the ball, Ward looks lost in coverage and keeps getting either out muscled or left in the dust, and Reid has appeared to have taken a step back. This unit may have to be adjusted if they keep playing the way they have been.
    -Big Miss
    John Brown is looking like the diamond in the rough that some of us thought he’d be, and the fact that front office overlooked him is irritating to say the least. I mean imagine a WR corps with both Brown and Ellington in it. Such a very tantalizing thought, no?
    -Not there yet
    This is just nitpicking on my part because Kaep was the fulcrum for Sunday’s offense, but the fact that he threw another pass that would’ve been picked off by a better DB is very concerning. Another area of concern is that he couldn’t carry his team to a victory, which continues to fan the flames of him not being a top 10 QB. Now I believe Kaep will improve in both areas, but Roman has to help him get their by calling a better game.
    -Panic Level: 3
    We’re 1-2. So what? We have no reason to panic because it’s still early in the season and this is a very talented team that knows how to bounce back. The level may go up though if we lose to the Eagles, and it will skyrocket if we somehow lose to the woeful Chiefs.

  67. Here is my game grade for all 49ers personnel invilfed.

    F-.

    Failure by one is failure by all and it starts at the top. Harbaugh lost this game. Clearly he was dreaming of Bo Schembechler during every moment he spent with Bill Walsh. I sure would like to see him in public some time, it’d be fun to confront him. If course, he’s never in public in America, because there are people like me who’d ask him why he acts like Schembechler rather than Walsh.

    I apologize, coach Walsh. Putting you and Harbaugh in the same sentence is an insult to you. I’m truly sorry.

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