49ers 17, Cowboys 24: Grades


These are the grades for the 49ers’ 24-17 loss to the Cowboys.

QUARTERBACK: C+. Blaine Gabbert played an efficient game. Completed 69 percent of his passes, averaged 8.5 yards per throw and posted a quarterback rating of 91.9. But he also made a game-losing mistake late in the fourth quarter. Here’s what happened: Gabbert threw deep to Torrey Smith, who was open running a deep post route. If Gabbert had thrown the ball into the middle of the field where Smith could have run to catch the ball, the pass would have been a touchdown and the game would have been tied. But the pass was short and behind Smith, who never had a chance to lay a finger on it. Game over.

RUNNING BACKS: B+. Carlos Hyde scored a touchdown and averaged 4.9 yards per carry on just 15 rushing attempts. He played well. Chip Kelly should have used him more often. More on Kelly below.

WIDE RECEIVERS: C. None of these guys can beat man coverage. Jeremy Kerley is the best receiver on the team, and even he struggles to create separation (he does most of his damage against zone coverage). Today, he caught six passes for 88 yards and a touchdown while the other starters, Quinton Patton and Torrey Smith, caught just one pass each. Both are total non-factors. Smith, in particular, might be the worst free-agent signing in the history of the franchise. Just a total waste of money.

TIGHT ENDS: B. Garrett Celek started in place of the injured Vance McDonald and caught 5 passes for 79 yards. Pretty good.

OFFENSIVE LINE: B. Created holes for Hyde and kept Gabbert on his feet most of the game. The only player on the line who struggled was the right tackle, Trent Brown, who gave up a sack and got flagged for a false start.

DEFENSIVE LINE: F. Completely overpowered by an offensive line that didn’t have two starters, which is shameful. First-round picks Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner can’t seem to stop the run or rush the quarterback on the road or at home. Even more shameful. Buckner left the game with a leg injury during the fourth quarter.

LINEBACKERS: F. Equally responsible for allowing 194 rushing yards. Michael Wilhoite replaced Gerald Hodges in the starting lineup and the defense didn’t improve. NaVorro Bowman appeared to suffer a possible season-ending Achilles tear in the second half, although nothing has been confirmed.

SECONDARY: F+. Collectively, this group gave up a passer rating of 114.7 to a rookie quarterback playing on the road, which is extra shameful. Rookie cornerback Rashard Robinson is responsible for the “+” next to this group’s “F” – he broke up three passes. Veteran cornerback Tramaine Brock was the worst cornerback on the field for either team. He gave up two touchdown catches on back-to-back drives during the second quarter – one to Terrance Williams and the other to Brice Butler. The Niners should bench Brock as soon as possible.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C. One of Bradley Pinion’s punts traveled only 26 yards, and the Cowboys tied the game a few plays later.

COACHES: D. At least Kelly made an effort to do something different. His game plan contained new stuff, such as a quarterback sweep with the running back as the lead blocker, a couple deep passes that were not completed and some zone-read plays where the Niners blocked the defender responsible for Gabbert so he’d have a better chance to gain yards on the ground.

The Cowboys’ defense was not prepared for those plays, and the Niners took an early 14-0 lead. Then, the Cowboys adjusted to Kelly’s game plan and outscored the Niners 24-3 after the first quarter.

You see, Chip, head coaches in the NFL make in-game adjustments. You should make them, too. You don’t, which is why you are 1-3.

Do better.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at grantcohn@gmail.com.

  1. Good grades, agree with all of them. Yep, Brock has been the weak link in that secondary almost from the time they gave him that extension after a few good games in 2013.

  2. So what do you all think of this defense? Pretty good huh?

    It should be considering that including the 2013 draft we’ve had 15 picks in the first 3 rounds and 10 of them were used on defensive players. Shows up on the field doesn’t it? 2/3 of our most important pick for the past 4 drafts have been used on the defense. Let me say that again as you reflect back on the first 1/4 of this season…2/3 of our most important draft picks have been used on the defense.

    Pretty good GM huh?

    1. Yup. O’Neils scheme seems poor but that doesn’t explain why the defensive players are getting blown off the ball. This is a bad defense with subpar players. Bad drafts along with bad scheme results in a bad year. Armstead & Buckner look like busts at this point.

        1. I agree with both of you. Subpar talent overall,but Armstead and Buckner are still young to say they are busts. Its the old vets on defense and not enough experience.

          Thinking about Baalke, when you miss completely on an entire draft, that cannot be good!

          1. But he does that on nearly every draft. What he DOES do is create league-leading margins on the salary cap-per Yorks dictates.

  3. I disagree with your comment about the pass rush. That actually was pretty good today, and Armstead and Buckner were pretty big parts of that.

    I’d probably give the secondary a slightly higher grade, too. Maybe a D. They were poor, but not terrible.

    Other than that, yep.

  4. Que Grant bashing Greg Roman for not being able to make adjustments or come up with the perfect game plan. Oops did I say Greg Roman? I guess at this point it really doesn’t matter which name you use, Grant’s going to continue to confuse poor execution with poor scheme.

  5. Little Jed – F

    – His greedy seating system reserved the prime 35 to 35 yard line lower bowl to corporations, many of whom sold or gave (to write off) today’s seats to Cowboy fans.

    – His lobbying to open the season with a Monday night game opened the door for another absurd week two travel situation. Made the wheels fall off the season right off the bat.

    1. That’s nothing new, I’ve never been to a SF/Dallas or SF/GB game that wasn’t 50% opposing team.

    2. Could not figure our why the supposed fans were making noise when Niner offense was on the field. Then I saw the shot of stands with that sea of blue.

      When things go wrong they really go wrong! Mr. J. York what have you done?

      1. The mistake you are making is thinking York cares 1 bit about on field success. York could care less if the stands are full of Cowboy fans. Those are paying customers and that’s what he cares about. If he cared about winning, Trent Baalke would have been fired a year ago. The 49ers wouldn’t be raking cash in hand over fist and still have $44M in unused cap space. York is getting exactly what York wants. A low payroll and high revenue.

        1. Houston-u put it factually.
          There is one thing that York does not like in any way…………banners being flown overhead that tell the truth.

  6. Grant,

    I request that as you do assign grades you do a running week by week grade of Baalke. How his draft pick pan out during the season and showing picks that he passed on that are doing well or poorly for other teams. Thank you.

  7. The grades are a little low since the Cowboys didn’t score 30+ points. I see them as D to D- range.
    The team lacks talent which is its biggest problem. The coaching is questionable.

    1. The defense absolutely sucks. They get pushed around every week. The only time they get a stop is when the offense shoots themselves in the foot and gets a penalty forcing long yards to go.

  8. Before the start of the season I thought Edge Rusher was the #1 priority in 2017 draft.
    A few weeks in I thought Quarterback or Edge Rusher.
    Three weeks in I thought
    Now I’m thinking MBL, Quarterback, Edge Rusher, Receiver. NT later in the draft.

    At this rate by season’s end there will be 15 positions we should take with the first overall pick. I’m sure the league would give us a magic pick duplicator to accomplish this.

    Playoffs by 2018.

    Seriously, we’re basically reduced to BPA with the first pick in 2017. It will be a high one.

    I hope Buckner’s injury isn’t the kind that will nag him for the remainder of his career. That would make the day complete.

  9. With Wentz on Bye I believe Dak has passed him for rookie starter with the most games without an INT.

    4th round rookie has stolen Romo’s job. One day after Dak and the Cowboys have won another SB or two this will be seen as #2 to 6th round Brady taking over for the injured Bledsoe. Except Brady didn’t toss his first 130+ passes without an interception. Booyah!

  10. Grant I think Buckner and Armstead will eventually be good rushing the Passer but probably never against the run.

    They are too tall and play even taller.

    Not next draft, cause the need a Wide Reciever in each o f the first 4 rounds (they will pick to low to get a good Quarterback) but at some point they need a true nose tackle if Buckner and Amsterdam are to ever reach their potiential.

      1. They’d have to have someone on board that they felt wouldn’t be any worse before they decide to make a move during the season so the first change would be an interim promotion.

        After that we’ll have to see if it’s Gamble or Baalke around calling the shots before trying to guess who they might hire.

      2. Tarver would be my first guess as who gets promoted to end the season. Would likely be a possible candidate for the position long term is Baalke is still around.

          1. I think Tomsula would be light years better than O’Neil. I remember that Tomsula was responsible for a D line that almost did not allow a rushing TD or a 100 yard rusher ALL SEASON.

            Nowadays, 200 yards rushing is the norm for the Niner defense.

        1. Because Balky is trying to remake the 9ers in his image i.e. the big tuna.
          All things/people relevant to Walsh will never see the front door.

  11. This is why it’s hard to support Chip Kelly… His playcalling is predictable and he fails to make halftime adjustments. 3rd quarters are unbearable to watch and the 4th quarter is usually just as bad. The whole team is uninspired and SOFT throughout the game. Niners better bring their vasoline on Thursday… Cards are going to bend them over all night.

    1. Carson Palmer left in the 4th qtr —
      (possible concussion …apparently) … and ..

      Drew Stanton gets the nod to portray
      Blaine Gabbert .. in an upcoming made-for-tv
      disaster film ..

    2. Oh yeah, I can’t wait for such a butt kicking coming up. How about them Rams and Hawks baby? 49ers can still go 1 and 5 vs. their division. E game, 0 and 1. N game @ Chi, 0 and 2 coming up.

  12. Get real, Gabbert was an F and so was the entire team. They should’ve put up 48 points and 500 passing yard, but oh no, not this team.

  13. ownership – F
    GM – F
    DC – F
    OC – C (for fielding a half way decent offense which is devoid of talent)
    HC – D (for picking such a terrible DC)

  14. The team went from having the most talent, to the least. That’s all on Baalke. Kelly is a good coach. He’s a system coach and needs his system players. He doesn’t have any WRs to spread the field.

    He has a good back. The O-line is solid too.

    I even think Gabbert or Colin would be fine in this system if they had 2 decent WRs.

  15. Please forgive me for repeating but has anyone seen Gabbert change the play at the LOS? Hard for me to tell because of (possibly too much) self medication before kickoff. Thank you your input.

    1. Didn’t Kelly cover this is one of his pressers? He said “the QB can keep, handoff or throw.” I am too lazy to find the quote. I think I’ve seen the OL shift coverages but not plays. I am not sure that’s how this offense works. No doubt one of our more studious posters will make this evident.

  16. Wow, I have followed the 49ers since ’81 and this team/organization is in a deep, deep funk. Firing winning coaches, hiring flunkie coaches, getting spurned by top coaching candidates, early player retirements, numerous draft busts, injuries, anthem protests, serial arrests, no home field advantage, worst new stadium, bad turf, owner stupid tweets, front office dysfunction, media phobic GM, petulant owner with zero people skills. It goes on and on. They will not be a winner for a long long time. I think we can already start calling it the curse of leaving San Francisco.

  17. The very enjoyable thing I look forward to, for the rest of my life, is being able to hear all the visiting team’s QB calls at Levi’s. What a joy.

  18. baalke..baalke..baalke..what a disaster..I was watching jerry rice highlights last night and almost cried..I cannot believe this is the same organization. ..Jim one defense..2nd and long..blitz no one gets there and boom long throw for first down..trust me were amatuers and can see this..

  19. and Eric Reid still sucks..don’t worry fellas were only 51 0payers short of the play offs…Oh Baalke..oh Baalke

  20. Baalke needs to go. He looked at Gabbert and Kap and thought he was ok at QB. Our WRs are nothing to crow about.

    Chip needs to go. The play calling on our final drive was vintage Kelly. Everyone playing and watching knew what was coming. This after the disaster that was last week, no effort and no gameplan.

    Jed needs to go. Jed has gone cheap like his father. He mishandled the Harbaugh situation so badly that no coach in their right mind would come here.

    Denise needs to sell. She will never fire her son. The new stadium is a cash cow so she would never sell right?

    Yes she would. She was embarrassed by the banners last year. If the banners return and are directed at her, she will cash out and make billions.

    Come on Faithful, we can do this.

    1. Denise ain’t selling … Jed ain’t going … Chip ain’t going ..
      Baalke will be fired and Jed will hire another incompetent ….folks, settle in babies … it’s a long long way to eight and eight land … a LOOOOONG WAY …

      1. Thanks for your support Saw.

        It may be a long shot but it’s the only shot we have. The stadium guarantees a profit whether fans show up or not. We have to embarrass Mother Inferior.

          1. Collins would be great but I am finding it hard to believe he’d come here. Hightower is also worth strong consideration.

            If Bowman’s career is done they’ll need 2 ILBs next year. Hightower would be an upgrade against the run.

  21. Two bright spots in an otherwise dreary day – Robinson had a grade of 92.3 and Buckner 82.3 from PFF. At least the rooks did ok.

        1. Can’t blame Purcell. He’s a career backup who lacks consistency to be a starter. Niners just have several backups in starter positions.

    1. Whaaat? I don’t see it. Buckner seemed non-existent to me. Did Armstead even play? That shoulder must be worse than reported. Armstead has 1 tackle and 3 Assists in the first 4 games. Buckner has 6 tackles and 15 assists. Against Dallas, Buckner went 3-2. When a defense allows over 5 yards per rushing attempt to a team with a rookie QB and 2 backups playing on the o-line then none of the d line played well. The 49ers have alot of draft capital invested in guys who are not producing on the d-line.

      1. Both guys generated quite a bit of pressure yesterday. They might not show up on the box score, but if you are watching them play you will see both guys are a hnadful on passing downs.

        1. I did watch them play. I didn’t notice Armstead at all. Buckner got pushed back 2 and 3 yards multiple times on run plays. He got pressure on pass plays so I will give him credit there. Buckner has been bad against the run. Have you been watching them?

          1. Armstead didn’t have his best game but still generated a few pressures.

            Buckner does struggle to anchor against the run, I agree, but as you note he had a few pressures.

            Prescott was sacked, hit or hurried a lot in the first half, and both Armstead and Buckner were a big part of that.

            Yes, I have been watching them every week. Armstead has been the 49ers best pass rusher all year. Buckner has been the second best.

          2. They have the physical tools but the anger and meanness and maturity is not there yet.
            It will come, just gonna take time for brain to catch up to the physique.

    1. I sure like Frank Gore, wish he was a Niner, and even retire as a Niner after setting more records.

      But no, retaining veteran talent is a big no no, because they are intentionally tanking to be rewarded a high draft choice.

  22. Two plays were just galling to me. Why throw short of the sticks if it is a fourth down?

    Gabbert should have thrown the ball to the 2 yard line. Even if it is intercepted, it would pin them deep.

    The other was the fail of the play before the 2 minute warning. They spend millions of dollars on players, and millions more on coaching, and the offense is not competent enough to run up to the line of scrimmage and get off a play before the 2 minute warning.

    I have a modest proposal. Since game management may be the difference between winning and losing, they should concentrate on being competent enough to get a play off quickly. It could be called the hurry up offense with quick snaps.

    They should actually decide on a play to run in case they need to do it quickly, so everyone knows what the play will be ahead of time. Then they should actually practice that play ahead of time, so the WRs do not stand around wasting time, not knowing where to line up.

    Sounds simple, but the Niners must not think it is important enough, or lack the knowledge, to accomplish that goal. When they stare at the side line, wondering what they are going to call, it just reminds me of Pee Wee football.

    The lack of football IQ is so telling.

    1. If Torrey Smith is upset about anything it should start when he looks in the mirror every morning. He’s been a horrible signing.

      1. Hard to make a contribution if the ball isn’t thrown to you. Smith is not a #1 receiver, but if you actually have a QB who can throw accurately on a consistent basis and other skill position weapons, Smith can be a pretty good playmaker.

  23. Rashard is the real deal. He has great coverage and fights for the ball to the very end. Brock is pretty bad. The thought of Reaser getting significant playing time is terrifying. With Ward out it could be time to promote Prince from the practice squad.

    The defense against the run is terrible. After injuries to Ray Ray and Bow, this will only get worse.

    Why was O’Neil hired? He had a track record of failure. Why hire a useless OC? Kelly is pathetic and his staff is a reflection of his ineptitude.

    1. Man I miss Tomsula- he was a great coach!

      On a somber note: i cannot imagine rehabbing ever day for almost two years to then tear your achilles (I’m assuming he tore it). I was very sad to see bowman go down today.

  24. Looking at our upcoming schedule, I see four games we can conceivably win. That said, we are weaker against the run today than we were yesterday. Very good possibility each one of those teams beats us by running the ball and controlling clock. We will not win a single game on the road. I think everyone would concur with that.

    – Cardinals (home)
    – Buccaneers (home)
    – Saints (home)
    -Jets (home)

    1. Hate to say it but our defense can’t stop anything and I have no confidence that Gabbert/Kaep/whoever will be able to keep pace. Those 4 teams you listed all have the ability to blow us out. Can you imagine if the Cowgirls had Bryant yesterday? Oh man…… This “team” we have reminds me of the Dennis Erickson days :( Time to blow it up (FO included) and start over.

  25. Sad to say I think Tomsula did have the team playing better. On 3rd & short he would have run the ball. And how do you run out of time to run a play with this offense.
    Jed may start telling Kaep to kneel during the whole game maybe even streek across the field with his fro –to take more focus off the team!

    1. Wonder if he’ll be able to fit that thing in his helmet? This team will start acting desperate soon and Kaep’s turn is just around the corner (not that anything will change).

  26. Baalke’s total incompetence has destroyed this team. He remains one of the worst GM’s in NFL.

    – Did not draft a QB until 6th round. After 4 preseason games, we cut him. All indications were he looked good in practice, up and down in games. I will give Baalke benefit of doubt. His sin, waiting until 6th round to fill glaring need. Same need we have had for 4 years.

    – We have not drafted or signed a good one since Baalke took control.
    – Crabtree having career year (3 TD’s yesterday).
    – Marvin Jones was FA, we made zero effort to sign him. Went to Cal, grew up in CA.
    – Same need we have had for 5 years.

    – Since Baalke took over we have drafted two effective pass rushers, Aldon Smith and Aaron Lynch. Lynch is above average only. Suspended.
    – Have not drafted or signed a single effective MLB since Willis left. Unacceptable by any measure.
    – Same need we have had for 3 years (since Bowman’s injury, before Willis retired)

    – Drafted same player in back to back years. Both strong against pass, weak against run.
    – Have not drafted a true NT, though Williams and Dorsey are always injured.
    – Receives all attention, still a major weakness.

    – Constantly draft DB’s, still no #1.
    – Inexcusable.

    – Strongest part of team. Partly because we have spent more draft picks and FA signings than any other position.
    – Meaning, it should be.

    – Drove off Harbaugh
    – Supported pick of Tomsula
    – Pushed for Chip. I like Chip, BUT talent that does not fit his scheme…at all. It will take years to get right pieces in place.

    Draft injured players
    – Every year Baalke collects players coming off IR. That approach has yet to pay dividends. Zero. Nada. Zilch.

    Arrests, Indiscretions and Kaepernick (its own drama)
    – More than any team in NFL since he took over
    – Have become punchline of NFL

    Fan base/enthusiasm
    – All-time low.

    1. “WR
      – We have not drafted or signed a good one since Baalke took control.”

      Anquan Boldin takes great offense to this

    2. Yes. I’m just a fan here, but I think we may have had a chance to switch GMs midway thru Harbaugh’s reign and while that would have saddled the Yorks with a difficult management problem (and isnt that what business owners are there to deal with?), it might have given us a shot to bring in a receiver and some players other than linebackers with big hands and linemen with recent ACL surgeries. Who knows where we’d be now. Counterfactuals are always worth what you’re paying for them, but that was my beef with Baalke in recent years. Now? We’re stuck with the same ownership trying to figure out whether the “problem” is Baalke or Kelly; it may not be quite that simple, and sadly the last one i’d trust to figure that out would be Young Mr York.

      Shanah Tovah, Grant!

    3. He’s only drafted one in a ‘quality player’ round (Rounds 1 through 3). Players after round 3 are, statistically speaking, likely to fail to become quality starters between 88% and 96% of the time.

      So, really, that whine is more your ignorance of how the draft works vs any issues with Baalke’s choices.

    4. You forgot about the fact that decent FA players avoid the Niners like the plague because of Baalke.

      He also is making their Super bowl QB sit, micromanaging the roster.

      His people skills remind me of Vlad the Impaler.

      Other than those 3 things, you nailed it.

    5. How can you possibly say “one of the worst GM’s in the NFL”? I have never seen a GM hold his job this long in the NFL and be so consistently bad, year after year after year……….He is the worst.

      He does have big margins on the cap, tho……………

  27. I’ve come to the conclusion that Blaine Gabbert is Steve DeBerg. Just good enough to get you beat. Of course, Kaepernick isn’t any better and is, in many respects, worse.

    We need a QB.

  28. What an awful football day yesterday was. Assuming Bowman’s out for the season. Might have been the last game of his career.

    All I can hope for is Buckner’s injury isn’t season ending.

  29. I’d upgrade the D light from F to D. The down three got good pass rush push up the middle early in the game. Its up to the OLBs to take advantage of it.

    Purcell’s on roller skates. We skipped NT in an NT rich draft, then Garrison Smith got away while Bruce Miller and Anthony Davis took roster spots (dangity-dang). We really miss Ian Williams.

    Lets hope there’s some good NT talent day two or three in 2017 or we’re in trouble. If Buckner’s out for the season, Armstead’s shoulder remains an issue, and Dorsey’s still rusty this season could even get uglier.

    1. It was fine not starting the first couple of games but by game 4 your first round guard should be starting over a player who ranks 62nd at their position let alone getting more then just 3 snaps in a losing effort.

    2. Definitely troubling that Garnett isn’t playing. They can’t move people in the running game right now, and that was something he was supposed to be adept at coming out of Stanford. It took Tomsula and company half the season to finally make changes on the Oline last year. Hopefully it doesn’t take much longer for Kelly and co.

  30. A few observations and questions:

    I like Buckner and Armstead. I know that it takes a few years to develop defensive lineman, but they seem capable of giving decent pocket push in pass rush. My concern is that they play too tall and are easily moved out of the way on running plays. If they can’t hold the edge this will be a very long season.

    Tank Carradine: I remember seeing him on the field Sunday, but I don’t remember seeing him involved in any plays. How did he grade out? If he is as lousy as he seems, when does Baalke pull trigger and acknowledge another draft bust?

    I do not like many national TV announcers, but I am a fan of John Lynch. His commentary is informative and often insightful. During the Seattle game he made a comment regarding Chip’s offense that encapsulated many of my concerns. Regarding an accelerated pace of play he said that Chip’s hurry up offense can not be run all season by an NFL offensive line, they lose too much weight and by the end of the season they are worn down and become noneffective. I have seen very little hurry up and this may be the reason. Instead, we have the offense taking it’s time standing over the ball as the play is hand signaled in. It would seem that this limits the amount of offense plays that can be called and gives the defense ample time to adjust to the limited number it can expect to see. I have not given up on Chip, but I hoped for much more than I have seen to date.

    Coffee: Spot on regarding Josh Garnett. You do not trade up into the first round for a project. That player must be starting. Especially on a team that lacks so much talent.

  31. There are more important things for Team BLM to accomplish than football people. Football is just one of many vehicles through which to advance the movement.

  32. It doesn’t matter who the QB is, if you can’t stop the other team you are going to lose. The defense is just terrible, the d-line, linebackers, defensive backs all suck. I believe scheme/coaching is the culprit. Armstead and Buckner need to start playing with attitude, they got the size and the talent but lack the Justin Smith bad ass attitude. The line backing position was suspect to begin with and with Bowman apparently out, it just got worst. A defense can not be weak up the middle and they sure are. Defensive backs can’t cover or make the big play. Robinson had a good game but its too early to judge his ability. One good game does not make a career.

    Changing the QB serves no purpose at this point. The o-line can not open holes the receivers can not get open. Other then the interception Gabbert played an ok game. His throws in this game that were short of the sticks was a direct result of no one else open. The offensive skill positions is devoid of talent, QB, RB, Receivers are just terrible. Hyde has vision problems and you can’t fix that.

    Special teams can’t tackle, Pinion is inconsistent at best.

    All and all,the team sucks and it’s problems start/end at the top. So many problems,its going to take a long time before this team is relevant again.

  33. With The York’s, when they luck out and stumble upon a good coach (Harbs), it’s only a brief hiatus from their norm–hiring bad coaches.

    This is explained brilliantly by Lowell Cohn:

    You did brilliantly with your first moves. Not so much with your counter counter moves, as there were none. Good coaches adjust and keep planning for the entire 60 minutes.

    In your postgame news conference you looked lost and kept saying you need to watch the game tape. You sounded so much like Jim Tomsula, your predecessor. After four games his record was 1-3.


    1. I still prefer my choice from yesterday.


  34. The Chipster’s Post Game Comments: “I have to review the Tape ?

    Does anyone else cringe when coaches and players defer their self-analysis until after they see the film, which we all know won’t earn thumbs-up reviews?

    Coach Tomsula’s Post Game Commentary after punting the football down a score, with 2:32 left:

    “You can’ t be afraid to Punt !

    Thanks, Jed, Marie, and Dr. York…Your fans know it takes a team effort to find these coaches.

    On your next coaching caravan search, I have a money-making idea. Why don’t you charge fans to fly Niner Airlines, Caravan fare, and book an arena where fans could pay to watch Trent and Jed ask prospective coaching candidates questions?…This alone would pay for all of your expenses.

  35. Offense

    SNOOZING VIEWER It would have earned an A-plus if this had been a 16-minute game. But the final three quarters were a repeat of the lifeless display from the previous Sunday in Seattle.


    SNOOZING VIEWER It allowed 26 first downs, 428 yards and 24 points in the last 33 minutes.

    1. I highly doubt it. The difference I have seen between the 49ers and the Hawks, Panthers, and Cowboys is those teams have play making ability & speed.
      My point is the 49ers are a long ways away from having the talent to compete against teams that have that at the skilled positions.
      And, our defense is simple pathetic. When you cant stop the run its gonna be a very long year. Besides that, we cannot stop the pass and our defensive coordinator might be a worse play caller than they guy last year.
      So Hammer, I can easily see us not winning another game. Sorry, long time fan but this is a complete rebuild on both sides of the ball.

        1. I agree somewhat Razor. But this is talent laden league. You can have the toughest guys in the world but if they don’t have skills, you wont win many games. Maybe its youth, maybe it is Kelly but one thing I can guarantee over the first 4 games, this team has zero to work with at the skilled positions.
          QB, WR, RB, and Pass rush. We are not even close!

            1. Lets crystal ball moving forward:

              AZ Thursday: Loss
              Buffalo: Loss
              TB: Loss
              NO: Loss
              AZ: Loss
              NE: Loss
              Miami: Loss only because its a road game
              Chicago: see Miami
              Jets: Loss
              ATL:see Miami and Chicago
              LA: loss
              Seattle: Loss

              1-15 book it!

              1. The only winnable games I saw before Bow went down was the saints and the Bucs. Those are now loses. Best case 2-14-3-13… I see what you see Prime.

              2. Maybe Chicago and Miami might be wins. But when you have youth, no talent, and have to travel, its very unlikely you can win.

              3. I don’t know enough about him. I think its still too early to say what college guys are going to be good. My outlook, trade for Garrapolo or McCarron, draft a QB in the first 2 rounds, then go WR, RB, Pass rush all the way through rounds 3-7. Don t divert!

              4. Draft Myles Garrett and trade for Garoppolo if possible. I would not mind Kizer or Kaaya, but I think both will be off the board before the 49ers pick.

              5. Mid, I find it odd you think Kizer and Kaaya are no chance, but the top defensive prospect in the draft is? At worst, he would be the first defensive player off the board wouldn’t he? If the 49ers have a shot at him, why not a shot at Kizer or Kaaya?

                Also, what do you think Garoppolo could be had for? Less than a 1st round pick?

              6. My main reason I think that is because I do not see Baalke or Gamble giving away a considerable amount of capital in order to move up to acquire either QB. The other reason for my thinking is less sound, but I think the team ends up being the third pick in the 2017 draft and the teams ahead of them will take Kizer and Kaaya.
                In regards to Garoppolo, I think two second round picks would be enough to get him; of course, this is wishful thinking on my part that the 49ers would be willing to give up two second round picks and the Patriots would place that type of price tag on him, but I think he would be a great fit for Kelly’s offense or any offense.

              7. Fair enough, but based on that it sounds like you agree securing a top QB needs to be the priority. Garrett is option #2 if by chance they can get a QB without giving up their 1st rounder.

              8. It’s early and things can change obviously, but I’d be shocked if Kayaa is taken in the top ten. He is Gabbert imo. Looks the part, has the prerequisite size and height but doesn’t put up great numbers or win anything.

              9. Rocket,

                I too have concerns about Kaaya. He tends to play well against bad teams and bad against good teams.

                But if he plays well against FSU Saturday and in the ACC Championship, he will be a top 5 pick. I think he takes the next step this year.

              10. Anything is possible, I just haven’t seen it from him yet. He’s a capable player don’t get me wrong, but he doesn’t have much more than NFL average skill imo. There’s been a lot of hype surrounding him and little substance. I watched the game against Florida Atlantic a couple of weeks ago and he was awful. I just don’t see top ten QB in the draft when I watch him. He’ll likely go first round because teams can’t help themselves when it comes to QB’s but as I said, he’s like Gabbert to me.

              11. Kaaya doesn’t put up great numbers because of the system he plays in. Same as Wentz.

                As for not being a winner, he wins a heck of a lot more than Goff.

                As for Gabbert, well, I have no idea what you are basing that on. Completely different players. Kaaya was a freshman starter and actually throws accurately, and doesn’t mind going downfield. Which is one of the reasons he has average 8.6 ypa in his college career.

              12. Good point Scooter.

                The Canes have two solid HBs. They also lack playmaking WRs.

                The defense scored twice Saturday. Without that Kaaya could have had 300 yards.

              13. #80, Miami has some really interesting matchups coming up over the next month. FSU then North Carolina, and a matchup against Kizer at the end of the month.

              14. I’ve had October 29th circled on the calendar for weeks, gentleman. Looking forward to that match up….

              15. Wentz only played one full season and put up a 25-10 stat line. Last year he was on his way to a monster season if he hadn’t gotten hurt. Kaaya’s numbers aren’t that far off from the guys who proceeded him in Jacory Harris and Stephen Morris.

                Goff and Kaaya won the same amount of games last year.

                My comparison to Gabbert is that he looks the part and has the measurements, but doesn’t play up to them. He is a pretty average talent from what I’ve seen.

              16. Scooter,

                The schedule is interesting indeed. We dodged a bullet by not having to play Clemson or Louisville.

                I think the Feminoles are beatable but they are so hard to put away. This next game is the first big test of Kaayas’ viability as a potential pro.

                I personally think they will win out in the regular season. The team I’m worried about most is Va. Tech. The Canes could be looking ahead to ND. Plus, them damn Hokies play us tough every time.

              17. #80,

                FSU is really struggling but are always tough. I think North Carolina could wind up being a tougher test for you.

              18. Kaaya’s numbers may not be that far off his predecessors, but his supporting cast is, and his level of play is also.

                Anyway, guess this is another one we will just have to disagree on.

              19. Fair enough, but based on that it sounds like you agree securing a top QB needs to be the priority. Garrett is option #2 if by chance they can get a QB without giving up their 1st rounder.

                All correct, but what I think and what Baalke or Gamble will want are two different things unfortunately.

              20. Mid, at this stage we have no idea if either Baalke or Gamble will be GM of the 49ers next season. And even if it is Gamble, we have no real idea how he will run the team as he’s never held that role before. So not much point focusing on what we think they may do, in my opinion.

              21. Again I agree with you Scooter. My comment on Baalke and Gamble was just showing that the person who is the 49ers GM during the next draft could see different positions to be addressed for the team

              22. I’m going to say the Browns draft Garrett because of Kessler and the 49ers draft Kizer with the second pick….

              23. That’s one of the key aspects that will determine where QBs end up, razor. Will the teams with the top picks in the draft need a QB, or will they have a player they feel comfortable moving forward with/ want to see what they have?

                If the Browns end up with the first pick, but like what they have in Kessler (and/ or RGIII), my money says they trade out of #1. Even if it is just a move down to pick #2.

        1. If you cant compete against the good teams and win against the bad teams, guys like Baalke get to keep their jobs. They do just enough to convince ownership things are developing. Meanwhile, we have not addressed the key positions since his tenure.

      1. What is possible is this mess continues just like the Warriors when Cohan owned the team–Jed always makes excuses & has a fall guy set up–Originally it was Mariucci, then it was Jeff Garcia, then it was Terrel Owens, then it was Mike Nolan, then it was Mccluhan, then it was Singletary, then it was Alex Smith, then it was Harbaugh, then it was Kaepernick, then it was Tomsula, now it’s going to be Baalke. Do you see a trend with these idiots!

        In two years Chip–then what!

      2. Sure it’s possible.

        We’ll watch together to see what happens.

        Quick question for you, We keep hearing how poorly Kaepernick is doing in practice compared to Gabbert. Hasn’t it always been thought that he was a better game QB?

        Thought I remembered hearing or reading that somewhere back around 2012.

  36. This team doesn’t sniff 4 wins without Bowman. They lost to a team that was missing 4-5 very key players with a rookie QB… This is a sad thing to say but 2-14 is absolutely what this needs. It will force change i.e firing Balke plus having a chance for a franchise changing player. With or without Palmer the cardinals David Johnson will destroy us.

  37. *Thanks, Yorks. A scary movie always follows your classic script. That is, a calm-placcid beginning, nothing amiss, until the halfway point, where all hell breaks loose. Creatures from the netherworld begin showing up like faulty game scripts, an airial horror show (by the opposing team inflicted on yours), runs through your Swiss Cheese DL, DB’s who defend the Castle by allowing Frakenstein in the Front door, etc,etc.

    Enjoy your Halloween and I hope you get the same fright your fans enjoyed in the Dallas game !


    1. *Of course, Like Steve Marriucci said on the NFL Network: “A college offense will have to work.”

      Yeah, York’s. Or didn’t you realize their are no limits on the number of players on a college roster….”BYU typically carries 125 dressed players on their game time roster (Wikipedia).

      So if you only have a limited number of simple plays, run over and over combined with a superior number of better athletes, the college team with only two predictable plays wins….That’s Chip’s offense, York’s.

      You should have read the Philly beat reporters. Here’s an article by one of them:

      Where Did it All Go Wrong? The Rise and Fall of Chip Kelly


  38. Tartt’s penalty was just as bad as Gabbert’s pick- really changed the game.

    I thought we would be better, and that we would win this game……….. the absence of Bowman is going to be devastating as the LB’s were a disaster thereafter. I wonder if we can’t convert Harold to ILB as he isn’t getting anything done out on the edge.

    I am not going to harp on Baalke as much as others. It has been shown that you don’t always recoup the investment on FA’s (T Smith anyone?).

    We need a QB, WR1, LB’s (MLB and ILB), DT…… I guess we need to consdider maybe going 4 man front and putting Brooks in the middle? Armstead-Dial-Dorsey-Buckner/Lynch, – although I think Brooks may be too big and slow now……….. while I think Reid is overhyped, I do believe we need to gamble on the back end to stop the run and apply pressure up front.

    One more loss and it is time to start Garnett, Tartt, and I would look to trade Staley, Bethea, and maybe Brock if/when the opportunities arise.

    On offense, 2 TE sets and get the ball into the middle of the field.

    1. Interesting idea about Harold. When they drafted him I thought that’s what they might have been planning. At the time he was fast and long but too small for 3-4 OLB. As it stands now, I don’t think he’ll be around in a year or two. Little to lose in trying it.

  39. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Look at Buffalo. They fired Roman, now the offense is clicking.

    Jed should show some leadership, kick Baalke upstairs, invite Tomsula back, bend over and let Tomsula kick him in the rear end for the classless way he fired him.

    Then beg Tomsula back to run the defense. Tomsula will be happy because he will not have to deal with the offense, an area he had no expertise in, and he would get the D line to function again, because they do have talent. How that talent is utilized is the salient challenge.

    When the Niner defensive line did so well, Tomsula was the D line Coach. If Tomsula could be persuaded to come back, he would do better than allowing 466 yards per game.

    I like Tomsula, but just thought he was a victim of the Peter Principle. Maybe if he takes a step back, he will achieve success again.

  40. I think the expectations have a bearing on how you view Sunday’s game as a fan. Personally, I thought it was arguably their best game of the season based on the competition they faced. Yes the defense wasn’t good against the run, but they were pretty good for the most part in the passing game and a couple of the rookies stood out positively at times in Robinson and Buckner. Buckner gets pushed out of the way too easy against the run, but he’s got some pass rushing skill they need to take more advantage of. I’d really like to see them go to more of a 4-3 alignment and get him on the edge because that is where he can be most effective.

    Robinson looks like the pick of the draft right now. Biggest question marks about him were character and lack of games played at LSU, but he may be the best Corner on this team already. Really looking forward to seeing him develop his game.

    The problems really lie in the front seven for this team. No ability to match up against interior linemen, no ability by the ILB’s to fight through blocks to make a tackle, little to no pass rush from the outside. I mean the bottom line for a defense is stopping the run first. If you can’t do that, you are hooped. There needs to be some changes made here in terms of alignment and personnel or this is going to continue.

    The offense overall was about as good as it can be with the personnel we have imo. I know many want to blame play calling, but look at it as if you were the one calling the plays and ask yourself what you could really call for this group to move the ball without risking turnovers. I think that is what we are seeing here. Kelly doesn’t trust what he has and is trying to play clean in the hopes they can keep games close and have a chance to win late. They were actually in this game well into the 4th so hard to criticize him for the game plan too much. At some point people have to realize that you need players to have success on a consistent basis in this league and the Niners simply don’t have it.

    If Carson Palmer is out this week – which if he’s going through the concussion protocol is likely – I think the Niners have a real shot to win on Thursday. The Cards are struggling big time, and at home in prime time the Niners have risen to the occasion lately. Not sure if I feel good enough to actually pick them to win, but they definitely have a good chance imo.

    1. Rocket,

      I like the idea of changing to a 4-3 defense. In addition to your reason, we are thin at MLB. Having an extra lineman could help us against the run. Also, with Lynch back at OLB we could use Tank as a 4-3 lineman at times.

      1. I wouldn’t say that he has more excuses Grant, but he does have many of the same players who finished last in a lot of defensive categories under Tomsula last year. No excuse for being as bad as they have been though. That is likely a combination of both personnel and scheme.

    2. Rocket,
      I don’t take well to losing especially when losing to a team that I felt were in our sights to take down.

      Sure, the c’boys might be a success story this year, but my thinking going into this game was that with Dez out and a rookie at QB this game winnable.

      We have a few fledgling stars in making but they are 1-2 years away from consistently having an impact in each game.

      Some want to put the majority of the blame for our lackluster start on Chip but I am withholding judgment on Kelly until he is given the type of players he needs for his system to succeed.
      The thrust of my angst is solely aimed at Baalke.

      Baalke, at least for the moment it appears, did not draft an impact player that could step in and help this offense.

      Garnett may eventually be a stalwart on the o’line but what we needed on offense was an impact player – mainly at the WR position and Baalke whiffed. Thinking he could find success with Gab/Kap therfore not grabbing a high end QB in the draft was tantamount to gas on the already dumpster fire.

      There were some nice LB’s available that he passed on as well.

      My motto for this year is becoming increasingly clear: “Blame Baalke!”
      Jed isn’t going anywhere and the York family will continue to make money even in the lean years.

      Time for Baalke to jump on the Blaine Train out of town and they can take Kap with them, because I don’t see Kap ever getting over the hump any time soon.

      1. AES,

        I agree that losing sucks, but this is what I expected going in. I’ve been focused on analyzing what there is to build with, and who fights through the adversity of a tough season.

        Say what you will about the Coaching, but this team has been in the midst of a downward trend for 3 years with 3 different Coaches, so at some point you have to look at the players and more specifically, the guy in charge of bringing them in.

  41. I am fed up with the tanking strategy the FO has demonstrably shown so far.

    Intentionally losing begets a losing mentality, and it becomes a vicious circle. Look at Cleveland.

    Finally, with a competent GM, the Raiders are crawling out of the cellar.

    I do not want to speculate about something where the whole draft scenarios changes about 20 times in the future.

    I say screw the draft, I want the Niners to pick last every year. I want another ‘Trader Bill’ ’86 Draft.

  42. The 49ers D struggling to stop the run out of Nickle is nothing new. It was that way back during the Fangio days as well.

    1. The defense set the tone, when on the first offesive play of the game M. Purcell got blasted on his back. Not the way to show case your stout defense.

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