49ers 17, Seahawks 23: Grades

SEATTLE – Here are my grades for the 49ers’ 23-17 loss to the Seahawks in the NFC Championship game.

KAEPERNICK: D. He was the 49ers’ best offensive player, no question. He carried the 49ers’ offense all game. He made at least a half-dozen great improvisational plays. If it weren’t for those plays, what offense would the 49ers have had? The 58-yard run was Kaepernick improvising, and a couple of his other runs came on called passes where no one was open. But he also made a few horrendous plays, like the three turnovers he committed in the fourth quarter. I’ll write that again. Three turnovers in the fourth quarter. That’s called choking. First, he made the same mistake he made at the end of the Packers game a couple weeks ago – throwing blindly to his left. Against the Packers, the defensive back dropped the interception. But in this game, the Seahawks’ DB, Kam Chancellor, did not drop it. Kaepernick made another mistake, the same mistake he made at the end of the Super Bowl – just chuck it to Michael Crabtree when the game is on the line. Kaepernick said he liked the matchup – one-on-one against Richard Sherman. Sherman won the matchup, tipped the pass to a linebacker who intercepted it in the end zone and ended the game.

RUNNING BACKS: F+. Frank Gore gained 14 yards on 11 carries. Nine of those yards came on one carry. Meaning 10 yards came on 5 other carries. He seemed like one of the slowest players on the field. But Anthony Dixon did a good thing, jumped over the Seahawks’ defense and scored a one-yard touchdown run.

WIDE RECEIVERS: D-. Anquan Boldin caught a touchdown pass in the third quarter, caught it right over free safety Earl Thomas’ outstretched arms. Other than that, the Seahawks mostly kept Boldin in check. Michael Crabtree made a few good catches, including a 16-yarder on third-and-two with a minute left in the game. But he also short-armed a well-thrown pass earlier in the drive on another third-and-2. And he could not beat Richard Sherman one-on-one on the final play of the game. Sherman boxed Crabtree out and tipped the pass to another Seahawk.

TIGHT ENDS: F. Vernon Davis made just two catches for 16 yards, although he was open deep once and Kaepernick never looked at him. Vance McDonald made one catch for 13 yards.

OFFENSIVE LINE: F+. They created zero space for Gore to run up the middle. Also, they gave up pressure most of the game, but just two sacks. Kaepernick had to frequently scramble away from pass rushers.

DEFENSIVE LINE: D+. They sacked Russell Wilson four times in the first half, but no times in the second half. Justin Smith seemed to know where the Seahawks were running the ball in the first half – Lynch had just 14 rushing yards before halftime. But the Seahawks adjusted, the 49ers didn’t and Lynch rushed for 70 yards in the third quarter – a big reason the 49ers lost.

LINEBACKERS: D+. The linebackers share some of the blame for letting Marshawn Lynch go crazy in the third quarter. But NaVorro Bowman was outstanding before he tore his ACL – 11 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. And Ahmad Brooks forced an intentional grounding penalty. And Dan Skuta registered a sack.

SECONDARY: D. They gave up a 105 passer rating to Russell Wilson, and a couple of huge plays. First, safeties Eric Reid and Donte Whitner lost track of Doug Baldwin, Baldwin running past them, them not noticing. Wilson hit Baldwin for a 51-yard gain. In the fourth quarter, Carlos Rogers got burned down the seam by Jermaine Kearse, who caught the game-winning touchdown right in front of Rogers.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D. LaMichael James fumbled a punt he should have fair caught. Luckily for the 49ers, Darryl Morris recovered the fumble. But the kickoff coverage team gave up a 69-yard kickoff return to Doug Baldwin in the third quarter.

COACHING: F. Greg Roman had a bad day. Usually a running-game genius, Roman showed no creativity with his run game against the Seahawks. Just keep running Gore up the middle. It never worked. Jim Harbaugh didn’t coach well, either. He did not manage the clock well at the end of the game. He should have used his timeouts a bit earlier so the 49ers could have kept working the ball down the field, instead of just chucking a “go” route into the end zone for a hope and a prayer. If the 49ers had better play design and clock management in this game, they probably would have won. A team should not have to rely on a quarterback’s improvisational plays to win a game.

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    1. Gosh, do you boyz remember Chicago49er posting this farewell to the Seahawks last night in his post…….

      Dear Friends In Beautiful Seattle,

      All of us at Casa Piena wish to congratulate you, your Seahawks and my friend Coach Pete Carroll for providing the Nation with such an exciting 2013 season. Your fire and passion has created a marvelous rivalry with our San Francisco Forty Niners that has become the most intense, confrontational and “sound-bite-laden” match up in the NFL today. We are quite certain that your valiant efforts will be appreciated by fans throughout America as you fall just one game short of going to Super Bowl XLVIII in the Big Apple. Please note, that as the final whistle blows on Sunday January 19th and the Niners have become this year’s NFC Champions, that much of the Napa Valley and San Francisco Bay Area will be lifting a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon as a toast to your memorable but terminated season. Good luck next year and please consider visiting us this summer so that we can talk about the Forty Niners victory in New York and a sixth Lombardi Trophy on their shelf.

      Baaaawhahahahaha… I DON’T THINK SO !!!!!!!!!!!!!

      GO SEAHAWKS !!!

      1. The niners didn’t deserve to lose. In the Bowman play it should have been a personal foul because he stripped the ball and gave himself up. There was a couple of seconds before Lynch jumped on him. Its just terrible to lose to classless cheats.

      2. Also the defense less receiver call on whitner was awful. ON the niners final drive Chancellor blatantly hit Crab Helmet to Helmet before the 4th and 2.

      3. Ya karma is a Biatch,karma decided the 49ers would lose because of Jeremy Lane being attacked when He went out of bounds.

      4. Always thought anyone trying to be cute with this moniker, thinking he’s actually being imaginative, is totally brain dead. Your replies are as inane as your handle.

      5. Most of your comment are ridiculous. Had the last pass been a few inches higher, you and the rest of the the naysayers would be singing the praise of the 9er and Kaepernick would have hands down been the MVP. Also, it’s impossible to say how the game would have played out if the refs had not done everything possible to take the momentum away from the 9ers.

        I started watching the game very neutral but was so disgusted with the officiating of the game I actually didn’t see the end. We turned on “Bruce All Mighty” and enjoyed it. I saw the finish, and the true poor sportsmanship of the hawks, from replays. Oh, I wish I didn’t love sports so much. It’s amazing the cheating the goes on to influence the outcome. Why people don’t see it or don’t care just blows my mind.

      6. Vince Earl,

        The problem is that it wasn’t a few inches higher. I don’t like the thought of an 18 yard fade that has to travel 30 yards against the best cover corner in football. There was no clear advantage that Crabtree had on that play. He was NEVER open. If Kap couldn’t make the correct throw! then he shouldn’t have thrown it. It was a stupid decision by Kap. The odds were not in his favor. You don’t try that throw at that time in the game. Too much football left to play. 30 seconds and 2 timeouts. Horrible decision!

    2. It was Kaps legs that was wining the game for the team, but sadly it was his arm that lost the game for the team. Kap was to busy trying to kiss his bicep before he lunched the ball down field. Hey, blame it on the Seahawks that Kap can’t keep his eyes off his own body during the game. I agree with Grant, Kap deserved a “D” grade

      1. The so called savior has feet of clay. He even sucked in Grant’s dad. Lowell blew it again. CK has great athletic skills and a mind that just can’t handle the pressure. He blew the Super Bowl game and he blew this one. As far as offensive coordinators they both called the same type of game. Lynch did what Gore couldn’t. Their offensive li did what ours couldn’t It was the team that lost.

    3. Food for thought…

      The 40whiners have only allowed six 100 yrd rushing games since 2011, and Marshawn Lynch is responsible for four of them.

    4. I’m a Niner fan but what the hell was Kap thinking throwing the ball Sherman’s way with 22 seconds to go in the game? They avoided throwing to him all game and then he decides to go that direction to decide the game? I just don’t get it! Poor officiating but we still could have pulled it out if not for Kap throwing too early with 22 seconds still to go and not mention in Sherman’s direction! Dumbass.

      1. That was probably not the best decision. Has Colin ever seen Sherman play fades before? They talk about Reevis Island, Reevis has nothing on Sherman.

        Sherman had blanketed Crabtree all day, and there was no chance that pass was going to be completed.
        If you watch the film, Sherman had that pattern totally figured out 2 seconds into the play and he positioned himself accordingly. The best part is the look on Crabtree’s face as Sherman jumps up and he realizes it just isn’t going to happen. Crabtree had been bad mouthing Sherman all day, and he still probably hasn’t figured out how Sherman beat him.

    5. I agree with your grades, but this was a tough game. I knew it would be tight, and I think you should be proud of the effort. I just don’t think Colin is your quarterback of the future, and next year when the rest of the league locks down on his first reads, he’s going to be in serious trouble. You know, every other coach in the league watched this game, and Colin was in trouble the entire game. It’s not going to get better next year. As to the rest of the team, there are some upgrades that need to be made, and I’m sure they will be addressed. However, unless your quarterback commits himself to studying film and defenses (instead of working on his biceps and abs) his time in San Fran will be short.

  1. Seriously, Grant? They came within a blown roughing-the-punter call of winning the game and you give them those grades? You are way over your head as an NFL beat writer.

    1. Awesome comment, but it wasn’t a blown call. It was cheating. And, again, I was completely neutral going into the game.

      1. 50 seconds Prime, there was 50 seconds after Kap hit Vernon down the middle at the 18 yard line for a 1st down. However the clock was running all the way down to 30 seconds left when Kap then hiked the ball for the next play. Harbs should have called a timeout there to settle the offense down and get the right play in. Kap then missed a wide open Patton open underneath for what would have been a 5 yard gain at least and then could have gotten out of bounds. The coaches should have called a timeout after the Vernon completion but instead the clock kept running and Kap was trying fire it into the endzone to beat the clock after that.

    1. I looked it up. 2 timeouts with about 30 seconds left when Kaepernick snapped that final play. That’s an eternity when the ball is inside the opponents 20 yard line. Not sure why you would say they should have used the timeouts earlier.

      1. At the 30 yard line, they could have gotten something underneath early but then you are still 15-20 yards away and need to score then 1 TO left.
        Not sure how the timeouts factored in with that yardage to go?

      2. Prime,

        It was 1st & 10 at the 18 for that final play. I could be wrong, but I think that play was designed to attack the opposite side of the field and Kaepernick made a decision to go the other way. Just a guess.

      3. My only issue with that last play was did we not learn from last years SB? The fade in the corner?
        The scary thing is CK said he would take that play/matchup anytime? Well CK, not sure my heart can take it three years in a row.

      4. Only the coaches and players know for sure, but here’s what maybe they were thinking on that last play.

        You turn one of Sherman’s strengths – his aggressiveness – into a weakness and exploit it. You get him one-on-one in the endzone with Crabtree and throw an accurate pass to Crabtree. Now, theoretically, 1 of 3 things happen: (1) the play is broken up and you have an incomplete pass with time and timeouts left to try again; (2) the pass is caught and you have a complete pass for a touchdown and a win; or, (3) Sherman, seeing that the pass will be completed, deliberately interferes, gets flagged, and we have the ball at the 1 with time and timeouts left. Now, I haven’t listed the obvious number 4 possibility yet because throwing the ball accurately eliminates that possibility: Crabtree makes sure the ball isn’t intercepted. Unfortunately, the unexpected happened: Sherman wasn’t alone with Crabtree, the ball was deflected in what otherwise would have been an incompletion – but another Seahawk was there to catch the deflection. Game over. I believe we had better plays to call, but if this thinking was what was behind that last play, it wasn’t as bad as some may have first thought. I like the notion of using an opponent’s strength, jiu-jitsu-like, against them. Oh, well, guys. You know we’ll be there, better and wiser, again next year.

      1. Jordan,

        That’s why I don’t understand Grant’s point when he says, “Jim Harbaugh didn’t coach well, either. He did not manage the clock well at the end of the game. He should have used his timeouts a bit earlier so the 49ers could have kept working the ball down the field, instead of just chucking a “go” route into the end zone for a hope and a prayer.”

      2. Lott,

        Prisco doesn’t say anything in that thread other than pointing to Harbaugh being 0-3 in the final game the last three seasons.

      3. Jack,

        He didn’t need to use the timeouts earlier. However, it could have helpful to use one after that catch by Davis. It seems like they took 25 seconds to get that last play snapped. 2 timeouts enables you to use the entire field. Kap acted as if he didn’t know he had the 2 time outs and that it was 1st down. They had an eternity to score. I just don’t understand what the coach and QB were thinking. JH trusted Kap to make the right decision and Kap needed instruction before that last decision to throw at Sherman. Kap NEVER should have attempted that throw! Even if it had fallen incomplete, it was a bad decision. Kap has not proven that he can make that throw to Crabtree in the end zone. Why try it then? That was just plain dumb, just like so many bonehead plays that Kap has made this year. His play in the 1st half does not excuse his bonehead throw at the end of the game. Seattle brings out the choker in Kap. 6 picks in 3 games vs Seattle. 5 picks in 16 other games vs the rest of the league. They are officially in Kaps head.

      1. Completely agree!!! Hell the Niners started the game with guns a blazing when they recovered that first play=Seattle fumble! How’s about posting Scores for Seattle????

      1. I couldn’t agree more with your comment. Every time I read his grades and rationale, I think there are only a couple possibilities: A) He drinks during the games; B) He is a genius and knows bombastic, inflammatory statements will get 400 comments, which is what he is paid by; or C) A few Niners have been with his girlfriend (a lot) and it makes him completely mental.

    1. … and it ignores the other professionals on the field. Based on Grant’s grades, I would give Seattle a half a point more in each category.

      It would have been interesting to see the game played with the correct calls on the punt, and on the false helmet to helmet call.

    2. Seriously Grant, if the 49ers all pretty much got F’s and D’s that must mean the Seahawks must have graded out horribly too since they almost lost to a team full of flunks.

    3. The grades are fair. The quarterbacking on both sides was terrible, and neither team played well. Wilson and Kaepernick both have great promise but have regressed from where they were a year ago.

    4. I thought the Niners actually dominated the 1st half and were in excellent position to win the game. Injuries, refs and Kap scuttled that plan however. Hats off to the Seahawks for hanging in there and winning. It was a tough game on both sides and all players should be given high marks. Giving anyone a D or F is just plain stupid.

    5. Yes and the Niners started the game with a fumble recovery, scored twice and led into the half! Go Denvers and Sherman has NO class!

  2. Niners overcame mistakes and poor officiating but in the end, three turnovers will kill you.

    An off season of offloading and retooling is ahead. Baalke and Marathe holds the keys. Goodbye Goodwin, Rogers, Whitner, Brown, Manningham, ….

    Get well, Bowman and Iupati…..

      1. We need to revamp our entire WR unit. More speed, more big play capability, more athleticism. The division now has some great corners in Sherman, Peterson, and Jenkins. We need someone with game changing talent.

  3. You’re too harsh on the DL and LBs but not harsh enough on the secondary Grant. Our defense wore down after the first half because our offense didn’t allow them a much of a breather. The secondary was the main reason that our team lost and the other part of the reason why the defense was gassed. There will probably be some big changes in the off-season with this unit.
    You forgot to mention the fact that Kaep was responsible for a crucial delay of game penalty.
    Other than that, I agree with your grades.

    1. Rogers bricked allowing that TD pass. He and his $6 million cap hit are gone next year. Whitner and Reid bricked bigtime losing site of Baldwin and letting him get behind them for that one deep pass. Huge mistakes…

      1. They also acted like they were afraid to tackle Lynch on his TD run. Like I said, there will probably be changes coming to the secondary.

      2. On the money fanatic. The fourth and seven TD changed the whole game. G-ROE has got to go…..the offense seems unable to deliver a knockout blow to any of the good teams they’ve faced. The Young/Montana 49ers of old could knock teams out with their offense – This team can not.

      3. Agreed bay, im sick of Rodgers and Whitner! get em both outta here and save 12 million in cap space! Culliver cant do any worse than Rodgers and Whitner literally gets a 15 yard penalty EVERY GAME!

        Im open to the idea of Brown staying……..we can use the money we save on Whitner/ Rodgers to pay him!

        Brown, Brock and Culliver top 3 Cb’s…..Reid and a rookie at safety!

  4. A factoid,
    The Seahawks defense owned the 40whiners Offense tonite, just like they did the last 2 times the 40whiners played in Seattle.

    Why? because the Seahawks defense is ranked #1 defense in the NFL.

    Guess what? The Denver Broncos defense is ranked 16th or 15th in the league?

    Guess whos gonna win the SB? GO SEAHAWKS !!!!

    1. I promise you Denver wins! Your offense blows… Good luck keeping pace with manning’ karma is a bitch and it hurts! Go broncos!!!!! Niners will rise next year believe it.

    2. Stay classy like that punk Richard Sherman and the rest of your classless fan base…Peyton Manning is going to rip that defense apart…and the Seahawks won’t have the 12th or 13th man to help them out…

      1. Joseph can’t believe how classless that was,further shocked that sports radio analysts were ok with Sherman’s unsportsmanlike and disrespectful rant at the end of the game…”I like his competitive fire” was the echo.To which I can only ask -how do you like his manners and internal character?He may have great natural talent but will never be a great sportsman.

    3. It’s amazing what no holding calls and blatantly missed or ignored calls by the 13th man (the officiating crew) can help a team. Oh, and congrats for cheering for Bowman when he was injured and throw stuff at him as he was being carted off the field. You and your classless fan base should be so proud of rooting for the Seadderall Cheathawks, the dirtiest team in the league. Cheers you pathetic troll.

  5. The only group that deserved an F in this game was the officiating. The defense played pretty well outside of a few bad plays and the same can be said of the offense for much of the game. Actually I take back my first statement, the running backs deserve an F because they did absolutely nothing. Linebackers definitely deserve an A, they were great all game.

  6. Harsh grades. It was a great game against a team that blew us out previously. Yes, we gave up the lead, but we still had a chance.

    1. Kaep was our offense. He still needs to look off receivers and could use some time learning how to pump-fake, as he had another receiver open on the other side of the endzone once the Seahawks DBs saw that he was going to Crabs. Lost a fumble, threw a pick, but he’ll grow. It felt like the rest of the offense was waiting for him to produce a miracle.

    2. We gave up the run game after Iupati went down. Seahawks smelled blood.

    3. It’s the Championship game…why didn’t we use our three timeouts with 20 seconds left in the first half? Perhaps, we could have secured a field goal which would have put us within range to tie the game at the end instead of having Kaep trying to pull out a win on his own.

    4. Carlos Rogers…why him and not Cox? Did I miss something? Why put him back in the lineup on slot when Cox helped shut down the Panthers last week? He’s old and should be gone.

    5. Bowman. I almost threw up after they showed the way his leg was…yuck. Should have pulled out a win for all he has done for us this year.

    Well, now it’s time for draft analysis. Can’t wait to see who comes up with the closest guesses as to our next drafted rookies. On to 2014!

      1. The whole passing game needs to be analized. We have Crab, Vernon, Boldin and a threat of good running game, we should be more productive in the passing game with those personnel. I don’t know if it’s the play calling or CK, but the whole thing needs to be looked at.

    1. “Carlos Rogers…why him and not Cox?”

      Perhaps because he gave up the fewest completions per coverage snap of all slot corners this season.

      1. Maybe, but he owned one of our defenses many letdowns tonight. He was in a position to stop a TD and he didn’t execute.

      2. The secondary was awful because of the safeties tonight. They did not help the DB’s deep or underneath and were undisciplined in coverage and against the run. Eric Reid had a bad game.
        Whitner and Rogers won’t be on gone team next year.

      3. The question I have is does the team draft or sign a new SS or do they move Reid to SS and either sign or draft a FS.

      4. I said it for 3 weeks straight. Rogers should not have been in this game as the Nickel corner. Jack look at his numbers the last half of the season. Look at his numbers in the ATL game and the ARizona game. He was horrible. He is horrible. Look,at his coverage on that TD pass. He swiped down on the football before it even got to the receiver. He is a liability and I’m thankful he won’t be here this year. He should have been on the bench on that play. I blame JH for giving him the opportunity in this game.

  7. Note to Mister Harbaw:

    Is it possible that Pete Carroll’s defense sets the stage
    for him to not just attend the big dance but actually
    bring home a Lombardi trophy? Guess what?
    You had the game in your hands on that last drive.

    Just call a time out after the third down when
    Colin threw an incomplete pass. On the next series,
    call one more time out after he hits Boldin
    for four yards on second down…

    So then by the time Crab picks up 16 and a 1st down,
    you are on the Seattle 29 with a minute and a half (or more)
    instead of 55 seconds. With 90 seconds left
    (plus one last time out), you give Colin and Roman
    a much more do-able situation. Less pressure… and voila
    … they score the needed touchdown.

    You expended too much energy “going crazy” over the refs.
    It appears that you lost your concentration or something.
    Proper clock management = a win tonight. Period.

      1. You’re right MidWest. Let’s just censor everything because some can’t simply scroll past comments they consider ignorant.

      2. Actually I don’t MidWest. I take this guy for what it is. I don’t share his point of view but it’s an open forum so unless he goes too far over the top it doesn’t bother me.

        By chosing to respond to his comments you are giving him exactly what he wants. (maybe it’s not a him, who knows.)

      3. You’re right and I apologize for sounding like a jerk. It’s just that I prefer that people bring substance to this blog and this tool doesn’t.

      4. seriously jack, im for free speech and all but obvious trolls like that make this blog a joke! People allowed to post crap like that is why this blog has more of a tabloid feel than a respectable news outlet! Like pro-wrestling as opposed to REAL sports! I understand your opinion…..but you only reduce your credibility by sticking up for this douche

      5. Alex’s (Mom) is just the Brad Pipal of this blog. (PD readers may catch that reference.) Nothing ever brought to the discussion, ever, just static and self stroking. The PD, in their wisdom, allow both to spew their stuff unmolested in the comments sections. And our society continues to ignore mental health victims.

    1. Whoa, hold on, guys! LOL! Read her comment again. Okay, the first paragraph is a rant against Harbaugh, who, clearly, she detests. But she still likes the 49ers. Why else would someone take the time to provide a fairly detailed plan for success, for a win, unless they want the 49ers to win?! So, again, aside from the pettiness of the opening paragraph, substance is found in this particular post. If only she’d stick to constructive criticism and move beyond the other junk, she’d be worth reading. But when the junk is all that’s there – of course Jack is right: you don’t let junk push your buttons, you ignore it, and go on. What’s sad is she can offer pretty astute critiques when she’s of a mind to – but undercuts herself, loses an audience, with the junk.

  8. Grant, what would those grades looked like had Sherman not turned around in time and Crabtree made the TD grab? I think you are being a bit harsh. Yes, Kaep made a few bad plays in the 4th, but was the reason they were in it for a good chunk of the game. The D-line had a bunch of sacks and great pressures. The secondary played well minus a couple plays, and lost out on a couple that were just unfortunate situations where the coverage was solid. Really it was a good effort by two great teams. I’m not saying give straight ‘A’s but D’s and F’s just looks angry after a loss.

  9. Sherman is classless. I wish he could switch spots with Ving Rhames in pulp fiction in the scene where he has the gag ball in the basement with the hillbillies….

  10. Man , i’m getting flashbacks with the last Kap INT. It reminds me of the one Jeff Garcia threw against Green Bay in the playoffs when he under threw Owens deep and the db tipped the ball and another db picked it off at the end of the game.

    1. Excellent point, Ricardo. The QB runs worked well in the first half so they are abandoned in the second? That makes no sense. Yes, perhaps they made some adjustments, but let them prove that they work before throwing in that towel.

      1. Maybe the Seahawks defense did make an adjustment, but somebody needs to ask Roman or Harbaugh this question. Maybe Grant can ask the question in the next presser.

    1. Lattimore threatens inside, outside and has great receiving instincts. Just hope he’s healthy and can stay healthy.

  11. Would Cleveland please hire Roman, I now Harball will never get rid of him. This team will never reach it’s full potential with Roman as the OC. We also need a really good QB coach to get some basic QB intelligence into Krapernick. Those interceptions were remedial stuff, never should have thrown the ball into those coverages. Maybe a new OL coach too, how is it that our vaunted OL never seems to open many holes or get any push off the line of scrimmage? I just think are OL may be the most overrated in the NFL.

  12. Coincidentally, after the game there was Planet of the apes movie on another channel and seemed like Richard Sherman never left the TV

  13. Quarterback: C. Without Kaep’s running the 49ers would have almost no offense. On the other hand he failed to see underneath coverage to the left… AGAIN! This has been a problem since his ROOKIE preseason. He is not a “kid.” He’s 26 in his 3rd season and should not be chucking balls into the bellies of DB’s to his left. Must be a baseball thing. Call it the “brush-back reflex?”

    He also allowed himself to feel a false-sense-of-urgency that separates the good QBs from the great ones. The ball on the 18, 33 seconds, 2 time outs, first down… spike the damn ball, call time out or throw it away. Do NOT toss a corner pattern to a short WR (yes, he has great leaping ability but he’s short) .

    Running Backs: N/A. The offensive line was so awful. Gore was getting killed in the backfield. He did throw some wicked blocks to spring Kaepernick.

    Offensive Line: D. They got their asses whipped. Seattle defenders were in the backfield right after snaps. Of all the positions most affected by stadium noise (not “crowd noise”) its the O-linemen.

    Front 7: Fantastic. Aldon Smith was amazing. The long Seattle run was mostly bad positioning by the Safeties. This was one of the most inspired games by a front 7 I have ever seen. A great effort thrown away by horrible situational offensive scheme.

    Front Office: D (but A- for the year). How many blown big games does it take to before the team decides depth at (sure handed) punt returners is important? Ginn is a so-so WR at best, but he was salary cap cheap on a yards and field position basis.

    1. “Offensive Line: D. They got their asses whipped. Seattle defenders were in the backfield right after snaps. Of all the positions most affected by stadium noise (not “crowd noise”) its the O-linemen.”

      Best comment so far. I know CK made costly errors in the 4th quarter, but the O-line performance I think really caused us the game tonight.

    2. Not to toot my own horn…

      Brodie2Washington says: January 17, 2014 at 12:10 pm
      Much of this is over my head, and I don’t have bandwidth to view “tape” of coverages… but Kaepernick has a tendency not to see underneath coverage, especially to the left. This is true going back to his first preseason game.

      This is probably not a secret to the SeaRoids or Roman. Colin needs to nail his reads on those quick outs to keep the pick-6s away.

      Reply Grant Cohn says: January 17, 2014 at 12:19 pm
      Almost cost Kaepernick a pick-six at the end of the Packers game a couple weeks ago.

      Reply Brodie2Washington says: January 17, 2014 at 12:35 pm
      Yup, and it did cost a pick-6 in last season’s game vs the Packers. Colin is “young”, but already 26 in his third year. Much has been said about his need to develop pocket footwork, but he has a vision issue too… frequently skipping wide open receivers while throwing to covered receivers.

      [today] I’m no football expert. I’m an old fart that works in a nursery and never played football, but at some point will Colin ever stop chucking picks to his left?

      1. You know what frustrate me the most is that CK had a very good game through the 3rd quarter. He was our offense! He made plays with his legs and arm. We should have been talking about that TD throw he made to Boldin. I’ve never seen a QB threw a laser with one leg up in the air.

    3. Can’s give the front 7 a great grade when they give up a 100 yard runner for the first time all year in the most important game of the year. But I agree otherwise, everyone talked before the game about the passing of both teams, but they failed to say why our OL wouldn’t get its ass kicked in Seattle again. Seattle beat up our OL in the first game up there without a couple of their studs. So it was no surprise that they beat up the OL again.

  14. Only good thing about this loss is that this is the last set of brain dead grades that Grant will do for the season. Maybe he’ll grow up a little and be smarter next year.

  15. Ughhhgghhh Arggggggggggg. I can’t believe i have to root for Peyton Manning and his big Frankenstein bulbus head in the Super Bowl. This reminds me of the Super Bowl between Elway and Brett Favre when i hated both of those teams. Right now though… I don’t dislike anyone more than Seattle.

  16. Guys face it we are the bills/Eagles ..I wouldn’t pay Har or kap 1 penny..All they can prove is that they choke

    when it matters…

    1. Amen to that, NorCal. Three incredible choke jobs three years in a row, when the team was poised to win each time. Unfortunately, it might just be that winning the ultimate prize–at whatever level he happens to be at the time–just isn’t in Jim Harbaugh’s DNA.

      1. Hey it was a team effort loss. Safeties out of position lead to 10 points, Aldon jumping offside in critical downs, Kap fumble & Picks, Oline not opening enough holes, Boldin & Davis dropping balls, Special teams allowing another big return, questionable coaching/play calling. There is plenty of blame to go around and the refs didn’t help with a bunch of blatantly botched calls.

  17. the coaches should have called timeout on the last play, period. 37 seconds and you don’t take a time out to discuss situation…ridiculous. We have great coaches, but they need to improve in some basic areas.

      1. That part kills me too. Kaep made up his mind he was going to throw it. It’s a lot of crap to say he saw one on one coverage I’m sure that was not the first time Crabs had one on one coverage.
        People have been running free underneath all year!
        This is three devastating losses in a row when the D played lights out and the offense couldn’t get it going.
        The constant in all three seasons has been Roman.

    1. They were deflated because we went up 10-0 and seemingly controlled the game. If you don’t get caught up in the frenzy early, the crowd actually is a non-factor.

      1. Fourth & Alex,

        You obviously werent at the game.. my ears are still ringing. “Non-factor” my ass come out here and see what real noise is like

      2. I was not at the game, but that doesn’t mean I can’t tell watching on TV whether it’s having an effect on our offense or not. Judging by how the game went early on, the crowd definitely did NOT have the same effect it normally does, and we definitely did take some wind out of their sails in the first half.

        So don’t come on here acting like some Mr. Knowitall just because you were at the game. I can name a hundred other things that a person can catch on a live telecast that they wouldn’t catch attending live.

        Your argument is garbage. I never said the crowd isn’t loud, but to argue that it had the same effect it has had against us in the past and in other games- you just can’t make that claim. We had them on their heels. Why don’t you go back and WATCH the game and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Our offense was not affected by this like it normally is.

  18. This team was built to run the ball and stop the run. It did stop the run, except for one of the most baffling plays I’ve ever seen where the defense at the end stopped playing and let Lynch in the in zone. It did not run, outside of QB scrambles. Gore cannot run against the Seahawks D. He hasn’t been able to in years. Someone else must try it and try the outside. They have the best up the middle run stuffers in the NFL.

    Passing offense was turnover prone and Kapernick did not try the mid throw nearly enough. They have the best DB group in the game. But, with 5 passing targets, one of those players must be covered by a non-starting DB or an LB. Throw to him.

    Passing defense was a joke. Once again, DBs were routinely beaten by a pretty untalented group of WRs. The Niners DBs may be the worst DB corps in the NFL.

    For this offseason, bring in an OG to replace Boone, a C to replace the worst C in the NFL, a couple of WRs, and at least 3 -4 DBs to place talent in a group (outside of Reid) virtually devoid of talent, including replacing the worst pass defending starting safety in the game, Whitless. And for once, Harbaugh and Baalke, get some speed. Speed kills and this team lacks it at WR and DB. And Jim, look at some Stanford players. After Baldwin and Little D*ck Sherman tore you apart tonight, maybe you should look in Palo Alto.

    1. i was always commenting in yesterdays game that lynch was always gaining significant yards after first contact…he was clearly the heart of seattle’s team.

  19. It’s unfortunate but I come to realize that Kap’s relationship with Crabtree is a blessing and a curse. Kap trusts Crabtreelike no other receiver. That trust has helped us to win games. It has also prevented us from winning big games. The throws last year in the Super Bowl clearly hurt.

    His pass on 1st down late in this game hurt. Part of me thinks they wanted to beat Sherman on that play just as much as they wanted to beat the Seahawks in that game. If I’m not mistaken, we threw at Sherman 3 times all night. 1 pass interference, 1 incompletion and 1 pick. Crabtree and Kap wanted to own Sherman with the game winning score. That was stupid.

    I don’t care what Crabtree says but Sherman is the best corner in this league. However, I wanted the 49ers to beat his team, not beat him. We had success throwing to the other side of the field. Why did Kap decide to go that way? Kap said in his presser that when he got lined up and saw that matchup with Sherman, he knew he was going to Crabs. That was stupid. Against Maxwell, maybe. Against Sherman, NO!

    I have a really bad feeling, judging VD’s demeanor after that pick at the end, that this is not the direction that the play was supposed to go to. VD was very angry on the sideline after that pick.

    1. Yeah, something really made VD angry after that play. VD will probably say (being a good soldier) that we just upset because they lost the game. But you could tell that we was livid because of how the play went down. It’s crazy that this play reminds us again on how we lost the super bowl last year.

    2. Jordan I believe the real mistake on that play was Harbaughs. He should have had CK spike the ball it would have saved some where between 15 and 20 secs and given the 9ers the chance to huddle. I said this last night and will repeat it again this morn. I don’t ever want to see CK coming to the line with the game on the line without a huddle. There are many QB’s who can handle that But CK is not yet and may never be one of those QB’s. I blame Harbaugh for the failure of the final drive and therefore the teams failure to win.

      1. Coach says “I don’t ever want to see CK coming to the line with the game on the line without a huddle”
        Unfortunately coach, this is all part of the job for the QB position. He has to be the conductor of the offense and if that means taking control without the coaches then he has too. The last 2 years he has made championship costing decisions, that’s concerning.

      2. I’m not sure what the difference would have made. By slowing it down it would have also allowed the Hawks to substitute and or regroup. Either way advantage/disadvantage. Bottom line, bad outcome for Kaepernick, great play by Sherman.

    3. What Jordan23 just said above is exactly the problem. CK7 has huge talent, undeniable. The throw he made for the TD was proof of what he is capable of doing. After he made the first INT throw, he came back and made the exact same throw – this time with success.

      Colin makes poor decisions. Seems like he wants to prove he can make sideline throws in the face of underneath coverage, he can make laser throws into double coverage on one foot, he puts it in his head he can beat a punk like Sherman in the most critical time of a game. CK7 plays with little regard to risk because he is completely over confident in his amazing skills.

      Two years in a row now, it boils down to CK7 over believing in his own skills and his agenda over the 49ers’ team agenda. Colin has extra-ordinary (sic) skills and unfortunately he lets it get the better of his judgement. And the TEAM loses, again.

      I don’t think Roman is the issue. CK7 changing plays, fixating on his favorite WR, handing off to the wrong side, poor clock management and overconfidence to the detriment of the TEAM is the issue.

      Perhaps I don’t understand CK7. I am over 40 after all. I saw Russell Wilson’s, Tom Brady’s and Peyton Manning’s post game interview. Suit and tie. CK7 – hat on backwards, head phones and smug shrugs. Grow up and step up to your role as the image of the Forty Niners! Win something significant and then be the punk you want to be.

      Colin did take the blame for the loss. Fine. That’s two years in a row. Please change now. Professionally and personally or go to Buffalo where they are used to going to four Super Bowls and losing them all.

  20. These grades and summaries reek of disappointment and anger. And you almost had us convinced you really weren’t a fan.

  21. OFFENSIVE LINE: F+. They created zero space for Gore to run up the middle.
    RUNNING BACKS: F+. Frank Gore gained 14 yards on 11 carries. Nine of those yards came on one carry. Meaning 10 yards came on 5 other carries.
    Maybe if you grade out the OL first and then actually read what you’ve typed you might come up with a running back grade that makes some sense. Is Gore supposed to run through holes that aren’t being created?

    1. Seattle had the entire team in the box on some of those heavy formations. Can you really expect to succeed consistently running into a brick wall? Blame that on game planning & play calling. JH/Roman are way to conservative.

      1. It isn’t necessarily conservative, it’s just bad strategy. Against a talented front 7 (+ a SS in the box every time) that plays 1-gap (attacking the space between linemen), you are at a huge disadvantage when your linemen can’t hear the snapcount. Notice that we actually had some success running out of 31 personnel, as the DL couldn’t blindly attack the middle. Seattle, especially in Seattle, will win in short yardage because at least one of their DL will penetrate. Gore never really had a hole in the heavy sets. I love Gore, but as someone said earlier, it will be nice to see what Lattimore can bring. Gore’s lack of speed allows the D to ignore the edge, which makes everyone’s job harder.

  22. This game came down to two things that pretty much summarize the entire season:

    1. Carroll has balls. Harbaugh doesn’t. Case and point- 4th and 6 and Carroll goes for the jugular instead of punting for field position or attempting to hit a long FG.

    2. Roman hasn’t had any answers in the red zone for several years now. End of the game you could tell he was worried about getting to the 10 yard line and coming up empty, so they tried their usual shot play from the 30. The red zone absolutely handcuffs Roman.

    1. Fourth, do you think our coaches trust CK in the red zone? I think they don’t, and that contributes to the play calling when we get inside the 10.

      1. That’s an interesting point Ricardo. I would say probably not, unless they didn’t trust Alex as well. I don’t remember Roman’s play calling inside the 15 being any better with Alex ‘take no chances’ Smith being in there either.

    2. Really, Grant? You deleted the part of my comment that said I hope Roman gets blindsided by an errant ice cream truck? Taking the censorship a bit far are we?

      1. Fourth ..
        I did hoist one for ya on the “Boobie TD” ..
        but, I can’t help but to think that the Niners
        not only .. had to out-play the SeaChickens …but .. they also had to attempt to out-play the refs, as well ..

        All those Bogus calls ! …
        (I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that
        Cheatin’ Pete had those refs on his payroll !)

        Grant ..
        you’ve been pretty harsh (a lot of the time)
        with your grades .. and emotions being what
        they are after a game like this …
        doncha think you might factor in the bogus
        calls from the refs which had a direct
        effect on the game .. and game momentum ?

        Maybe some of those “F’s” .. might turn
        into a few “D- ‘s”

      2. Cheers MWNiner.

        Now that we’re officially in the offseason, I’d love to see this:

        1. Roman get hit by afrementioned ice cream truck.
        2. A new OC come in and coach CK to become the QB he has potential to be.
        3. Have that new OC mix in a few West Coast offense plays so we’re not totally lost inside the 20 yard line when the running game isn’t working.
        4. For heaven’s sake, tell CK to stop throwing that pass out to the left sideline. It was pick sixed against Grreen Bay last year, it was almost pick sixed against GB this year and he’s been making the same poor read/throw every few weeks.

      1. I meant to say at or inside the 30, because I’m talking about the whole season, not just tonight. They don’t do well close to the goal line. They rely too much on VD or someone to come through on a shot play. They have no winning formula for first and goal situations when the running game isn’t working.

        This has actually been a problem for this team going on at least 2, perhaps 3 years now, and no amount of red zone stats you come up with Jack is going to refute the obvious trouble this team has as it marches close to the goal line. It’s plainly obvious to those of us that don’t look at stats as the only truth, but also look at it holistically with open eyes. It’s cost us one Super Bowl and perhaps another.

      2. You bring up a good point about the red zone. In the Carolina game they went with a rollout and threw it to Vernon Davis. One was a low slant and he dropped it. The 2nd was for the TD where he dragged his feet.
        On the last drive, they had plenty of time. When Crabs caught the pass on the sideline, he didn’t go out of bounds. They still have a lot of time and 2 TOs.
        On the ill fated pass, there was plenty of time to throw the underneath pass and get closer.
        Kaep locked in to Crabs AGAIN! And Sherman is 6’3! Why throw a fade to him? How is the a good match-up?
        Kaep made the plays for three quarters. The run game was non-existent. But then Roman kept calling inside runs when the Saints show the Seahwaks were vulnerable to the stretch play.
        It was a great season. But close doesn’t count around here. The talent is here. We’re not rebuilding, so if we’re competing, well I expect us to win it.

  23. Kaepernick locks on to a receiver he’s going to throw to like a deer to headlights. I’ve seen other quarterbacks like that and I don’t recall one ever becoming one of the greats. He had open receivers but instead went with Greg Romans play call. It’s not Romans fault that he has a quarterback that doesn’t want to take the extra second or two to look for the open man when you primary is covered. This guy reminds me of Randall Cunningham. With a good team you’ll get to the playoffs but that’s about it. If you don’t take the time to read defenses after the play has started you take away the offensive coordinators right to be wrong. A good quarterback is not a robot.


  24. Grade those refs seen better refs from da peewee league this is not football anymore it’s fools ball pure entertainment like realty shows!! Smh next time break the punters leg maybe they’ll call the penalty on us a joke coulda keep the replacement refs payed them less money for this comedy!!

  25. The hardest part of the off season is going to be keeping hold of our two oustanding Co-Ordinators. Regardless of what people say these guys are special. Although, I would like Greg Roman to have a better red zone playbook.

    Would love to see them stay.

  26. this time you really went full retard grant.

    away game for the nfc title, within a score of a win and fails all across? seriously dude, you got some issues.

  27. Swagger, that’s what stole our dream.
    The entire San Francisco coaching staff
    allowed Colin Kaepernick to swagger this year.
    They felt no compunction to dress him in a suit & tie,
    no need to teach him to emulate true gentlemen
    such as Tom Brady and Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.
    Men who have all reached (and won) Super Bowls.
    No, they let him swagger and smirk like a hipster/punk.

    But then, in a supreme demonstration of Coach Harbaw’s
    schizophrenia (is there a better word?), after watching Kap
    average 7.2 yards per carry on 10 rushing attempts
    during the game (that’s setting aside the 58-yard ramble),
    they refuse to trust him, they refuse to draw/call a QB run
    from the 29 (with the game on the line). Why?

    Blind faith? After moving 58 yards down the field
    (and eating up well over 2/3 of their remaining clock time),
    they became susceptible to their own QB’s “disease”….
    swagger. Failing to appropriately call at least two time outs,
    or use sideline routes (Crab: you gotta step out of bounds)…
    the 49ers had painted themselves into a corner.
    55 seconds……… 22 seconds……… Click; lights out.

    Even without Richard Sherman struttin’ his stuff,
    Colin resembled a whipped puppy before the press.
    Tail between his legs….. beat down. Now he gets compared
    by some writers above with Alex Smith (red zone problems).

    1. You’re an idiot. What does the way you dress have to do with the way you play. Are you saying if Brady would have dress better yesterday he would have played better?

    2. Though I’ve been a Niner failthful since Bill Walsh was choosing between Montana and DeBerg, I agree with much of this assessment.

      I dislike that Kap is saying he thought Crabs v. Sherman was “a good matchup.” That’s bravado for guys like WRs and CBs to be thinking. The QB has to be thinking above and beyond that–and he hasn’t all year.

      And a little of this is from the top down. Instead of Harbs cautioning against bravado throughout the year, he himself displays it profusely. I look at Belichick, Sean Payton, Tony Dungy… Those guys DISPLAY a certain humbleness–no matter now conceited or cheating they may be.

      Do we really think Brady and Manning are humble? HELL NO. But they pretend to be. So does Russell Wilson. Even when the rest of the players are talking huge smack, the most successful QBs take the high road… And so do their coaches.

      Harbs and Kap have all the talent in the world. Now it’s time for them to go on a little meditation vaca. Come back zen, focused and humble… at least to the world’s faces.

  28. Well I’m still in shock about how Kap fell apart in the 4th quarter. Still in shock over all the dropped passes. Still can’t believe how terrible the refs were. But we did have a shot at the end. The Seahawks loaded up this past offseason to beat us and they did. Football is a game of chess and it is our time make move.

    1. Revamp our secondary. We can lose games because they continue to give up big plays. I think that was more of a problem than Marshawn running for over 100yds. They couldn’t drive the football on us.

    2. We NEED to draft a BIG WR. No excuses. I love Crab, Boldin, & Patton but essentially they are the same players. Possession recievers who can turn anything into a big play. Without a deep threat to stretch the field, teams will continue to stack the box. There are plenty of big deep threat coming out this yr.

    3. Coaches need to come up with better red zone & off tackle run plays. We should have scored on our first possession of the Seattle game. Settling for that field goal hurt us. Also, ROLL KAP OUT MORE.

    4. Kaepernick. Love the guy. Has a lot of God given talent. It’s time to study the greats. Footwork, pocket poise, awareness, ball security, and reading coverages. I’m all for him hitting the gym hard. But I believe on the field and classroom work needs to be more important. And while Montana and especially Young are constantly critiquing him. How about lending a hand.

    1. Would have been nice to have had a 6′ 5″ guy at the end. The whole team needs to be evaluated, player by player to see who needs to go and who we should keep. Need a new OC.

  29. 50 yard pass looked just like the one that Culliver lost track of to Jacoby Jones in the SB. I need some help here today fellas. Three years in a row to big games and we lose. Bowman has a hard road back and I am not even sure what our team is going to look like next year. I still cannot believe they called the same throw to Crab but with Sherman covering him. I keep thinking back how many times Steve Young and Aikman met before he moved on to the SB. This just literally rips my heart out guys. It is so hard to get back to these games and I just truly wonder if we can keep this up. So frustrated today.

  30. Hard for me to stomach the loss. But had a remarkable thing happen last night for my family. My brother, an online professional poker player, won his biggest tourney ever last night and finally conquered the “live poker demon” that follows him. Brought home $58,000 cash money. Thunder valley casino and resort is the place to play.

  31. Here’s why I think your grades are needlessly harsh, Grant: if Kaep makes one, better throw to Crabs or finds a different receiver for that TD, then we win and suddenly all these grades have to be bumped up a full notch or two. So one play shouldn’t affect one’s evaluation by such magnitude. Many of your comments are accurate, but some are inappropriately incendiary (“throwing blindly” – no, he was staring in that direction; underthrown perhaps, but not throwing blindly).

    As I noted before, a good season with a crappy ending. I thot the KNBR postgame guys captured it well – the Niners need more “dynamic playmakers”. Many of our skill guys are just physically outmatched by the Seahawks. The Niner offensive engine needs to be rebuilt, and while some of you may not like it, it will be rebuilt (slowly, because you can’t just find stud WRs or RBs off the scrap heap) around Kaep.

    Thanks for the coverage Grant and as always I’ll continue to tune in to see what everyone thinks about our offseason. Go Niners!

  32. illustration that sticks:
    Richard Sherman holding his neck with both hands,
    making a choking gesture. Go ahead and
    assess me a penalty (half the distance to the goal).
    The game is over. San Francisco was down by six.
    They had the ball with almost 3-1/2 minutes left.

    A completely winnable game.
    Ya gotta wonder; what would Colt McCoy do.
    Gimme my sweatshirt, my ballcap and my headphones.

  33. Win the division next year. Three straight road playoff games following the season finale in Arizona on the road. No week off to rest and Homer officating. I got the sense during the long Lynch TD run that there was a physical letdown, short lived but it did look like the D was gassed at that moment. Home field advantage in the playoffs was never apparent than yesterday.

  34. Man that one hurt. I need a break that’s for sure. Great season but horrific end. Be well everyone, I’ll be back around draft time (If i can stay away that long).

    Go Broncos!!!

  35. This game is just heartbreaking! The Seahawks had to play a near perfect 2nd half to beat us and they did (with the help of the officiating crew). The worst part is that this game exposed every weak link in our team. I’ll post about it later, when I’m not so upset. I’m sure Grant will have some good stuff to get the conversation going later anyways.

  36. Grant I’m curious if the CK had chosen another target at the end of the game and had thrown a TD pass what kind of grades would you have given the Seahawks? It seems logical that the Seahawks grades should be the opposite of the 49ers. IE You gave the 9er DB.s a grade of D then it seems logical that the Seahawks WR’s should have received the grade of B and so on for all of the other positions.
    Now back to my original question if the 9ers had scored that last TD would all of the 9ers grades changed from their avg of a D [approx.] and the Seahawks Avg of a B all changed to a D? Would one play change all of the grades? Or would the losing team [seahawks] have had higher grades than the winning team? My point is that this was the NFC championship game it was on the road in the most difficult stadium to play in in NFL history and the 49ers were one play away from winning, that is in no way a D avg.
    Grant am I that far off in my logic?

    1. OC
      Whether or not Grant agrees, or admits it, I agree with your logic. It’s like the ‘Throw out Gore’s long runs” nonsense. Is he grading the game or the finish?
      My wife doesn’t get into stats and probably can’t name some formations, but she’s been by my side watching the Niners since the BW era. It ain’t brain surgery, folks, and over the years she’s learned a lot about the game. Enough that when she saw that Grant gave Colin a “D” she scoffed and wondered just what his agenda might be. I was unable to help her answer that question.

      1. Just to give an example Brotha, Kaepernick has two 100+ yard playoff games (rushing) in his career. Every quartberback who has ever played in the NFL throughout it’s entire history COMBINED has two playoff games with over 100 yards rushing. Colin made some bad decisions today, but his upside is so frightening, well… it’s frightening.

  37. Definitely a heart breaking game once again. What’s most painful is the turnovers by our young QB. A lot of people saying well they would not have been in the game if not for Kaepernicks plays earlier in the game. That’s true but when the game comes down to the 4th Q, you cannot turnover the ball. Those mistakes are why our season ended. Coaching, play calling, officiating are all side bars, turnovers kill a team faster than anything.

    If these are growing pains that we need to endure before Kapernick matures that’s okay. The only problem is getting back to the SB is so hard. We have been in the fight the last 3 years but there never is a guarantee of that with free agency and injuires. Our division is getting better and better each year. This will be a huge offseason for the organization. From extending the coaching staff, how much the QB and #1 WR get paid and host of defensive players.
    Overall, very good season but in the same breath, very disappointing in the final outcome. Are we the new Buffalo Bills and are we the team that cannot win the big one? That stings.

  38. Grant did you notice my question regarding your grades? I’m very curious if theres a flaw in my logic? I would love to hear yours or anyone elses opinion.

    1. I think the only way to answer that question coach is to ask Grant to post his own grades for Seattle.

      I agree with your logic though…had that last play been converted or any other sequence of events played out that led us to scoring a TD for the win then I doubt there would be D’s and F’s across the board.

  39. i am so tired of people complaining about the officiating THREE turnovers in the second half is what lost this game.Kap needs to grow and study in the off season or be replaced

    1. All of America saw that Bowman had the ball and all of America, saw that Andy Lee was clipped on his planter foot, we would of had the dam ball, instead Seattle scored. I am so tired of crappy refs who sell State Farm during the week.

      1. Who cares Neal? The football players on the field can’t hang their hat on this should’ve/would’ve/could’ve. They have to take advantage of the opportunity in front of them. We didn’t do that yesterday.

      2. Neal your last sentence describes the whole problem in a nutshell. The fans want full time officials. The players association wants full time officials. The one and only reason the owners won’t pull the trigger is pure greed. There love of money overwhelms any love of the game they have. I read an article 2 years ago that said full time officials would cost the owners 1% of their profit, seeing that they all are making billions its a crime that we get the part time officials we do. Let me make one thing clear my opinion was not formed in response to last nights game but I have felt this way for decades.

      3. A lot of people cared as this blog was full of complaints yesterday at the bad officiating along with other blogs I visited.

        Old Coach, it seems to me that the officiating has gotten worse and the officiating teams have become similar to baseball umps behind the plates, some will call the plays tights, other will ignore holding and others are just plain incompetent.

      4. Jack the officials may or may not have had anything to do with last nights outcome that has nothing to do with the NFL needing full time officials.

      5. Jack , can you look in your crystal ball? What if the Niners score a TD, after the Andy Lee play, where it should of been 15 yards and the Niners get the ball back, we get a touchdown, we would of won the game. 24-23. Also Seattle score on that possession. Yes the refs helped us lose the game.

      6. OC,

        Full time ref’s make sense in the NBA, MLB, and NHL because they play throughout the week. I fail to see how having full time referee’s would change calls when things are happening so fast.

      7. Forget all of the what-ifs Neal. We had our chance to win the game at the end and we didn’t convert. What else prior to that last possession matters?

        I’m not saying that the officiating wasn’t bad, but its just not a relevant discussion this morning I don’t think.

      8. Jack you coached you know preparation is everything both for players and officials. I believe the biggest change to officials preparation would be film work. Knowing the 2 teams you are about to officiate would be huge. Constant review of the rules how many times during the season do we hear Mike Perrera [sp?] come on and say that an official made the wrong rule interpetation and that’s only the games we see.

      9. Neal,

        My disco ball is a bit cloudy at the moment so please tell me how the referrees had anything to do with the 49ers defense giving up a 40 yard TD to Lynch.

        I’ve already agreed with others that the one bad call was the running into the kicker penalty. Who knows what would have happened had that call been made correctly, but I disagree with saying that it cost the 49ers the game.

      10. It wont completely solve the problem but here is one solution that will certainly make a difference:

        Every play is available to be reviewed. Coaches still have a limited number of reviews per half that they can use but they can use it on any play, even to look for a missed call. Plus you have an in booth pair of officials that are watching the plays through different cameras that are able to call for a review when the crew below has missed something egregious.

        The NFL is a billion dollar industry I think they can afford to employ a couple more refs sitting in a room making sure the guys below don’t F things up.

        This isn’t a perfect fix because the replay assistants still blow it but this would at least fix some of the bad calls or more importantly the calls that are missed.

      11. Jack, it does not matter at this point, time to move forward. I would love to be singing Staying Alive Staying Alive, but we can’t

      12. For the first time I suspect that games are being fixed. Happened in baseball and basketball. How is it possible to miss the roughing the punter call or the Bowman fumble recovery with zebras everywhere, and then not have the ability to challenge? It’s like they knew which calls can’t be overturned and just wait for an opportunity to miscall a critical play.

        And isn’t it time a billion dollar industry gets full time refs? Geez, that dufus lead ref was reffing college B-Ball games recently. Some smells rotten especially in light of the enormous amount of gambling on pro football.

    2. I only asked who cares because at the end of it all it wasn’t the officiating that cost us the game. Complaining about it now I think is fruitless.

      I think obviously who has possession in the field of play should be a reviewable item next season. Also, I really don’t care for the “Free play” on offside penalties. I think it’s a LOS foul that should be whistled dead at the spot of the foul every time. That burned us yesterday.

      Like I said…we had the game in our grasp at the end but couldn’t take advantage of that opportunity.

    3. I understand when officials make bad calls because the game is so fast. The only call in that game I had issue with was the call on the punt by Lee. The rule is crystal clear and the referee apparently did not know the rule. You are clearly watching the punter if you are the official. You have to be able to see that play and call it correctly. You have to know the rule if you are an official. You can’t make a mistake on that call.

      1. I hear ya K, and I understand the Niners had their chances to win in spite of the refs, but I have some issues with the refs in this game.
        The D. Whitner 15 yd unncessary roughness call (can he breathe on anyone without getting hit with a penalty?) Helps Seattle with field position;

        The Rogers 15 yard unnecessary roughness call cost the 49ers a chance to try something at the end of the half. 20 seconds with 3 TOs near their own 40;

        Roughing the kicker – if that’s not roughing a kicker, I don’t know what is. Thing that ticked me off is that the Seahawk players and coaches were congratulating Maragos for hitting Lee and not costing them a first down. Dirty play and his team was happy about it. Stay classy Seattle;

        Finally, two special teams penalties on the 49ers screwing up their field position. No ST penalties (except roughing the kicker) were called on Seattle to affect their field position. This was a poorly officiated game but fans are getting used to it It’s as badly ref’d as the NBA anymore.

      2. I have a big issues with the officials!!!
        Running into the kicker should have been 15 yards and a 1st.

        The Bowman play WASMTHE WORST CALL I EVER SAW!!! he clearly takes the ball, cleanly away from Kearse! Then falls to the ground, still maintaining possession. At this point he has “given himself up” hes down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Instead, the idiot refs allow seattle to jump on him and mug him for the ball!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then they say seattle ball and it cannot be reviewed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        Whitner gets his 15 yarder…..and just like every game…..its questionable!!!!

        But if that was a 15 yarder on Donte……..it should have been a 30 yarder for what they did to LMJ on that punt return!!!!!!! How does a return man not fall under the “defenseless receiver” definition!!!????? and they yanked his helmet off after they hit him!

      1. CFC and Jack,

        You guys are two of the best commenters on here, but the comparison of Kaep to Romo is way off. Romo hasn’t even won a single playoff game. Kaep won two ROAD playoff games this year alone.

      1. This is endless of course, but I disagree on the choke. The pass Was on trajectory to Crabs and Sherman made a terrific reaction on the ball. It reminded me of Lott making a game saving deflection against the Rams in a bygone Playoff game. SB? Yeah, I’d say CK and Roman both choked there.

      2. @ Bray: Who wants to give CK another five to six chances to only then define him Romo-like? Tell it like it is so the guy takes notice and changes for the better. Harbaugh’s coddling won’t make CK change.

    1. You called last years’ SB a choke by Kap? I don’t see that at all, not in the slightest. I get this year, even though he was all we had for offense.

      Did the OL choke too? Roman? Harbaugh? The D didn’t stop SEA when most needed, did they choke? Did the refs choke? Boldin, Crabs and Vernon didn’t show up yesterday, did they choke too?

      I guess the other guys had nothing to do with it, it’s all on Kap. Slightly tongue in cheek, but man the QB is NOT the end all be all in the game of football.

      1. I’d say Jeff Garcia but both Garcia and Young were able to put up pretty big passing numbers so maybe Michael Vick is a better comparison.

      2. I’ll take a Steve Young type, SB champ, HOFer, highest or 2nd highest passer rating of all time.

        We can only hope he continues his upward trend to reach as high as Mr. Young did.

    2. The pattern is starting develop, just good enough to get you close but can’t finish. Watch the replay of his last pick, watch him stare down Crabtree the whole time, then you look at the top of the screen where Patton /#11 is at the LOS with no defender within 10 yds.

      1. If we are gonna go anywhere with Kap, he has to develop his peripheral vision and read the defense better. The better decisions will come with more experience. I’m just glad he shows flashes of potential and isn’t beat down like poor alex was.

    3. CfC & Hammer,
      You guys (especially Hammer) like throwing out the stats/numbers card.
      Can you tell me where a player (Kaep) who has started a full season and one half equates to player (Romo) who has been in the league for 11 seasons and 8 as a starter compare.

      Yes, CK will take the brunt for not getting us over the top. But to achieve what he has in his short career puts his nowhere near Romo’ neighborhood.
      Your CK/Romo comment and subsequent KABOOM reply are the same as Romo’ SB record: O

      1. Simple AES, when the game has been on the line and more specifically a chance to win a SB or get to one, he failed to come through in the clutch. That’s basically what Romo is known for.

      2. Romo took over as the starting QB midway through his 2nd year in Dallas, led them into the playoffs the first 2 seasons and ultimately failed in the playoffs. That sounds pretty close to Kaepernick’s career so far.

      3. In the 5 playoff games CK has played I don’t think you could say he failed like Romo Jack. He’s failed to seize the moment. Twice! But I look at like when the Niners could not get over the GB or Dallas hurdle. It took many painful tries but eventually they got it.

      4. Jack Hammer says:
        January 20, 2014 at 12:57 pm
        Romo took over as the starting QB midway through his 2nd year in Dallas, led them into the playoffs the first 2 seasons and ultimately failed in the playoffs. That sounds pretty close to Kaepernick’s career so far.

      5. Hey guys,
        When did Romo take his team to a SB in his first two seasons?
        As stats/numbers guys the NFL QB starter time and experience does not come close.

        Putting the Romo label on a player who only has a full season and a half is not only comically over the top but flat out wrong.

        There’s very few big name QB’ that have accomplished what CK has in less then two years as starter.
        Again, Romo is no where near that neighborhood.

  40. So many things to comment about and/or extract from this game, but #1:

    Kaepernick is not a QB just yet. He doesn’t read the field of play well enough yet to make the right decision. I know, I know…Monday morning QB’ing but the guy has to improve for us to get back to the SB and to be able to close games out on offense.

    I’m sorry, but our D flat out balled yesterday. It was enough. Forget everything else prior to our offense having the ball at the end of the game. We had the chance to pull it out and we couldn’t. QB decision making HAS to improve in those situations.

    I’m very anxious to see how Kap grows in the offseason with his pocket presence, game management, and other mental aspects of his game.

  41. fait accompli (French)
    a done deal (vernacular)

    Is Andy Reid available?
    He & Alex went out with a bang, not a whimper.
    I’m just sayin’…

    1. Alex Smith’ (mom)
      “Is Andy Reid available?
      He & Alex went out with a bang, not a whimper.
      I’m just sayin’…”

      Actually, losing a game in which you have a 28 pts lead is much more than losing by a “bang and a whimper.”
      Losing a game that the NFL records as the second greatest comeback win in its playoff history does not fall under the “bang and whimper” category bud.

      Try using the term:
      Honestly, I’m not sure that even using that term gives what happened to chiefs justice (lol).

  42. Three nights of sleeplessness. I’m still upset at a bunch of things.
    So to get over it, let’s move forward.
    Needs for next year:
    1) coaching. New offensive philosophy replacing Romans big play mentality. We need something easier for kap, an offense that will help him developed with easier reads, check downs and timing routes. The REAL west coast offense, not this crappy, kill/let it roll one read bs.
    Get kap a qb coach to teach him better footwork. I’d like to see those changes right away. Will harbaugh scrap his offensive system to win the big one?
    2) drafting/free agency
    2 wr’s with size and or speed.
    Rb, center, 2 cbs, a safety, lb and DT. A real TE would be nice too, one who could run routes better, maybe look on the hardwood for one.
    Cut Rodgers, Goodwin. Restructure Vd’s contract or……Trade him, James and iupati. Gore = pay cut and number 2 role.
    Bring back the cowboy cheaper.
    Draft: quality over quantity. Trade up and get studs. I’m tired of other teams plucking our players for free. What’s the point of having so many picks we don’t keep? We do the work and they get them for free.

    1. Agree with your angst and some of your points. We’ll get this hashed out over the next 4 months and then TB will make the moves he wants. ; >)
      Personally I don’t see Harbaugh changing philosophy much even if he changes OC.
      I’d be shocked to see any high choice or FA move on a RB. I think they’re banking on Lattimore.

      1. Brotha,
        I agree with you and Big Niner on most points. Big Niner’ drafting wish list looks good to me.

        I’m not sold on Lattimore being our future RB. Even if he makes a full recovery my biggest concern is his running style. After watching his runs in college, I came away with the analysis that he runs with a ‘drag’ causing his legs to straddle to close to the ground which is a recipe leg injuries.
        Obviously, I want the best for him during his career, but if I’m TB I also draft a RB for insurance.

  43. Real simple Kaep thought he was throwing to Calvin Johnson on that last play.

    That mentality of his receiver will make a play even if covered & over whoever is covering him

      1. Ball was pretty accurate. It would’ve dropped in Crab’s hands in stride. Sherman made a good play. That ball should’ve never been thrown though.

  44. These is what we need in the draft.
    Offensive coordinator
    Corner back
    Defensive end
    Receiver with some separation
    offensive coordinator
    Running back
    oh yea offensive coordinator.

  45. #2) I thought our running game stalled earlier this year from running too much out of the pistol? Well, we went back to our inept weeks 1 – 3 running game in this one. Why? Defenses know how to defend the run out of the pistol…which was painfully evident earlier in the season. We fixed this and rushed the ball great starting in week 4, but tonight we regressed to that bad habit that we fixed.

  46. I guess I am a Broncos fan for two weeks. Think the Seahawks might suffer from a Peyton Manning love feast by the officials? I hope so.

  47. We ignore Sherman the entire game and then we lose our perspective on our last offensive play of the game, if your going to throw that type of ball, it should not of been under thrown to Crabtree.

    1. Agreed. That should have been Boldin(more physical than Crab) or Davis(taller than Crab). But I don’t know why at that point in the game you go at Sherman.

  48. Season in retrospect, one thing I would change is pulling the trigger on the Josh Gordon trade. It’s hard to give up a 1st round pick especially for a guy who is one more violation away from a years suspension but my goodness what a difference he would have made for the 49ers this season. He is the type of receiver we are all clamoring for. Big and fast and stretches the field. He would have transformed this team offensively. There is no one in the draft like him.

    1. As I told Grant early last season, Josh Gordon is the best WR to enter the league since Megatron, better than Julio, Dez, and AJ. Jed, Jim, and Baalke really screwed that one up something royal. Too bad. The Niners under Harbaugh will never win the Super Bowl because he is too much Woody/Bo/Ditka and not nearly enough Bill Walsh; fatally risk averse.

      1. There are only two people that I would consider replacing Roman with at this point and one of them was just hired to be the OC in Minnesota. The other interviewed for the job in 2009 but was looked over.

      2. Though I never want Shanahan, to be fair, the Redskins with Shanahan and RGIII came out of nowhere and were a blown out knee (RGIII) from beating Seattle in the playoffs.

  49. Hey Guys,

    A painful ending to a exciting season. I believe Sherman’s talking got into Kap and Crabtree’s head. On the last play they decided that it was not enough to win but they wanted to win by throwing the wining TD over Sherman. If I am right abut this, Harbaugh needs to sit down and have a good talking to with Kap. They have to not allow an opponent to get into their heads…

    In the offseson, Kap needs to work on going through his progressions better. As many have said here, he is a one read and run QB, which may be good enough to get to the playoffs but is not good enough to win the Super Bowl.

    I will be back in August for the first Pre-season game. Everybody have a good summer.

    Go (SF) Giants.

  50. That ball could’ve only traveled so much farther. Sherman just barely got a hand on that. The ball should’ve never been thrown to Crab. Kendall flashed open underneath for what could’ve been a good gain and then Patton was wide open in the flat for what could’ve easily been a 10 – 12 yd gain plus he could’ve ran out of bounds. Like he always does…forces the ball into double coverage. In this case double was the fact that there’s another defender in the area that the ball could’ve been tipped to if it missed (As it was).

    1. Just,

      It wasn’t double coverage on that last play. The linebacker just ran in the direction the ball was thrown, and it happen to gat tipped to him.

      My personal belief was that Crabtree and Kap wanted to beat Sherman on that play for the touchdown to show him up. That pass should never have been thrown. Kap has been intercepted by Sherman more than any player in football, even before that play. He has not learned to respect Sherman. He also does not believe that Sherman is the best defensive back in football, period!

      Kap was being selfish on that play. He lost sight of the goal. He forgot that we were trying to win the game, not beat Richard Sherman. Until the Niners get a receiver that can challenge Sherman, he should not be tested with the game on the line. Right now, Sherman owns Kaepernick. And yes he is a better cornerback than Crabtree is a receiver. Crabtree should know that, even though he won’t admit it. I don’t like Sherman but I’m not in denial about his skills. Kaepernick is in denial.

      Jim Harbaugh saw Sherman 1st hand in college. I think that JH didn’t draft him because he didn’t like the brashness, the abrasive play of Sherman. His mouth. That’s not JH’s type of player.

      I told jack for the last several weeks of the season that we needed to pull off that trade with Cleveland to get the PRO BOWL wide receiver Josh Gordon, who will be 2nd best to Megatron next year and for years to come. Jack said we didn’t need him. Jack, we needed him. Kaepernick needed him.

      1. 23J,

        I realize it wasn’t the “official” definition of double coverage. Here’s my thing: Sherman had Crabtree blanketed throughout the entire route. So, Kap has to see that and then think that maybe the ball could be tipped if it isn’t converted with the 2nd defender there. I just said double because the 2nd defender could come in and do exactly what he did.

        Agree 200% that the ball should’ve never been thrown…but not just because it was Sherman. The corner had great position on that play. I would’ve said the same if any other corner had that same positioning. You could be right about that personal battle with Kap & Crab vs. Sherman. If that’s true, its simply sad and selfish as you said.

        I don’t agree with your assessment on Sherman being a better corner than Crab is a receiver. Crab is an outstanding route runner, but there’s only so much you can do on a straight 9 route. Especially if you’re not a burner; which we all now Crab isn’t. Give me any other route with Sherman no Crab and I’ll take it.

        There’s no need for Josh Gordon on that play when you have two receiving threats that are wide open (Patton & Kendall). There’s nothing wrong with the WR corps we need…they just need opportunities to get the ball. Well, who’s job is it to survey the field and get them the ball? Our WR corps will perform better when our QB play improves.

  51. Well I was waiting for it to start……The blame game and who we should get rid of and all the grand changes we need to make. COME ON people lets put it into perspective, what happened bad this season and where. Lets see Seattle and Seattle. The 9ers don’t need to make any grand changes, they don’t need to change their draft strategy or offensive philosophy. All they have to figure out is what do we need to change and who do we need to keep\acquire to win in Seattle. No need to panic.

    1. Personally, I’m not calling for wholesale changes. I think we have a solid roster up and down (With some minor tweaks needed in the secondary).

      THE single greatest area we can improve on between now and next season is the mental game growth for our QB.

      Let’s be honest…that throw at the end should not have been made. He had two other underneath options he could’ve hit AND we hit 2 timeouts to kill the clock…plenty of time. Ill advised throw into great coverage. It’s what been talked about all season…growing through his reads.

    2. old coach,

      Emotions run high after a loss especially when it ends the season. You are 100% correct on the perspective. This team went 12-4, went to their 3rd straight NFCCG in a season where most SB runner ups don’t even make the playoffs, and came within a tipped ball Int of going to the SB. That doesn’t cry out for a lot of changes imo. What needs to happen is more maturation from Kap, a speed WR addition, and a more consistent running game when playing in Seattle. This team is not going anywhere for quite awhile.

  52. We were out coached in the second half. The o line never opened holes for Gore to run threw and coaching did not adjust to that. Kap is a rookie, he was exposed as the weak link. He will improve. It’s just to bad for the veterans that played their hearts out. After watching Manning sit in the pocket, with time, locate the OPEN receiver and place a nice ball in the receivers hand, it’s glaring that Kap did not have time, did not/could not look for an open receiver. The first interception-the player was open for a few seconds but Kap did not throw it early enough, he did not anticipate where the receiver was going, instead he waited until he was open than threw it, to late. Running backs were often open in the flat right after the snap, but Kap never threw to them. That has got to be be frustrating to the receivers and running backs. Kaps a rookie, he will get better. He will check down to an open Hunter 5 yards down field instead of a double covered crabtree for all the glory in the endzone on first down, with 2 timeouts, and 45 seconds left in the game. He will get better……

    1. Why all the coddling of Kaep?!!! Since when is a guy allowed to be called a rookie in his third year with over 20 starts under his belt??!!

      According to all these posts Kaep is selfish and over estimates how good he really is and needs better judgement (intelligence).

  53. 2013-’14 Blog Pick’em League final results:

    1st: Rocket
    2nd: Crab15
    3rd: MidWestNiner

    The out come of the SuperBowl will not change the standings.

  54. Over Reaction Monday
    The team has been in the NFC Championship Game 3 years in a row. Let’s dismantle it and boot some coaches. Brilliant.
    This year’s SF offense doesn’t have enough against the Seahawks. The coaches knew this and added in CK’s run dimension. This was game planned quite obviously, and without Colin’s runs this game isn’t close,,there is no final minute drive to try and win it. We loved Colin’s ‘killer insticnt’ when JH made the switch. Now he has to refine it, and Yes, improve his pocket game.
    Final thought for the day. After the SB it really took me a few days to get my mojo back. Last night as the late news came on they showed a bunch of Faithful waiting at the Santa Clara facility to cheer for their guys on their return. I found that personally helpful for perspective: Thanks guys. Good season again this year. Wish you’d made it further; Go Niners.
    And now for four months of negativism. Who will be first on the Dump Frank Gore Bandwagon? Grant, you’re intelligible for that contest as you’re previously on record.

    1. I was down & out last night also, big time so your post also helps me.

      I’m not on that bandwagon. Gore’s (Really, the team’s) inability to run in this game was not calling run plays that would be effective against what Seattle was doing. You can’t run when two DL are in your face every time you take a handoff.

      Now, I will say let’s de-emphasize Gore as he’s on his way out. We have way too talented of a stable of backs for us to not exploit their abilities. This is especially true with Lattimore in the mix next year.

      Like you said, Go Niners.

  55. Kaepernick’s eventual replacement needs to be drafted this year. It’s a QB-rich class. Forget about the new wave of athletes who play QB. Superbowls are won by pocket passers who can operate sophisticated NFL offenses because they have the intellect, leadership, maturity, vision, and accuracy on a range of NFL throws that Kaepernick clearly lacks.

    Is there a precedent for growing these qualities in someone who lacks them? I don’t think so.

    We fell in love with Kaepernick for having the swagger and moxie that Alex Smith lacked. But after a couple years, it’s clear. Neither one has the stuff champion QBs are made of, and the 49ers search must begin again now.

    1. Alan if Seattle wins the SB your whole theory about pocket passers winning SB’s gets shot to hell. Wilson is terrible in the pocket.

      1. I thought about mentioning that we could see an exception to the rule this year. But Seattle isn’t winning by virtue of their QB, even though he gets showered with praise for being adequate.

        Unless we see a radical departure from what has worked for decades, I say we find the next great pocket passer and not the next great hope to revolutionize the game.

    2. This would take Harbaugh admitting he couldn’t fix Colin. So, it will never happen. Get used to CK7. Buy his jersey. Go all in. Expect the best and don’t let the final loss get you too depressed.

  56. Hey guys, I know that there are a lot people here that are disappointed with the result, but we need to put this into perspective. We have been to 3 NFCCG in a row and we should be thankful for that. Also, Brady and Belichick have won 3 super bowl together, and like us, they’ve been to the AFCCG the last 3 years. And like us, they are 0 – 1 in the super bowl and 1 – 1 in the championship game during the same stretch. I know these are two different teams with different circumstances, but my point is, what we’ve accomplished is darn hard to do and even a proven team like the Patriots had the same results that we had.

  57. I think if you look at Kap’s gangly physical style, there’s a reason he’s not accurate. He’s awkward as a passer. He has a long delivery that telegraphs where he’s going (in addition to his eyes and ability to only make one read anyway) and he’s also awkward moving his feet in the pocket to evade defenders and create space. He’s an athlete on the run who happens to have a strong arm, and that’s really all he is. He’s also clearly not as smart as QBs who win Superbowls.

    Let him wear a Dolphins hat or some other team’s. He’s not a worthy heir to the 49er legacy, and he is now an impediment to the rest of the team’s title hopes.

  58. It’s the next day and still painful. After the dust settled I analyzed the game, broke down the various breakdowns and ranked them in the order in which I believe they impacted the outcome. Before I jot these down, I do want to say that I’m proud of our team and their accomplishments this year. While we are tired of having to go through growing pains, this is still a lot more satisfying than the pre Harbaugh days.

    1. Coaching.
    I had actually backed off of G-Row the last few games. Thought that he had been calling pretty good games. Looked like we were getting a bit more creative up until yesterday. Yesterday IMO we had a total coaching failure in the critical moments.
    To stick with Gore and Gore only through three quarters was stubborn and unimaginative. Through the middle of the 3rd Gore had 8 carries for -3 yards. Complete failure.
    It also seemed like they slowed Kaepernick down. Stopped attacking with him.
    But they saved their biggest mistake for last. Driving down with under a minute to go and seizing momentum with a huge 4th down conversion, the coaching staff failed by not settling things down with a time out. Bringing in his young QB and giving his offense a more creative play and a better plan in general. The low percentage fade to Crabs with time outs available is the superbowl all over again. My question to Harbaugh would be, what were you saving your timeouts for? How can the players get better when the coaching staff repeated the same mistakes over and over again.

    For all that Kaepernick did in this game, it all goes out the window when you turn the ball over in the playoffs. I love that he was accountable. Sign of a true leader. Now he goes into his third year and the training wheels come off. No more hand holding. A little less lifting this offseason and a little more QB training.

    Eric Reid and Donte Whitner
    Love this kid Reid. Unfortunately he was a huge component of why we lost this game. Our safeties losing site of Baldwin while Wilson was running for his life was blew wind back into the Seahawks sails. Reid taking a bad angle on Marshawns 40 yard TD run was a mistake that the rookie rarely made during a great season for him. These two plays were the most critical plays of the game and turned the tide in the Seahawks favor.

    Carlos Rogers
    I go back to his game against the Falcons. He dropped an INT that hit him square in the chest. He was smiling after that play. That rubbed me wrong. Maybe he was smiling out of embarrassment. Yesterday he covered the receiver perfectly, was in a position to knock a ball down, and he swung at it and missed. I don’t want this guy back at any price.

    In 1983 the refs called a play against Ronnie Lott that lost the game for us versus the Redskins. That offseason they created a rule called “the uncatchable ball” rule. This year and this game, we suffered through some of the most low level refereeing that I’ve ever witnessed. I believe this year will lead the competition committee to expand how they utilize video review. They will begin reviewing certain calls. Unfortunately like in 1983, it doesn’t help you in that moment. The Seattle player that ran into our kicker not only hit his plant leg, he twisted his ankle on the play. Should have been 15 yards. Absolutely terrible. The NFL should be embarrassed. Navarro stripping the ball and securing it on the ground. He laid there for a full second with it. Not reviewable? Really? NFL should be embarrassed.

    I end my rant with this. My hope for next year now that Harbaugh brings in a true expert to assist with the passing game. One that will better compliment his running game.
    I hope that either cut ties with Gore and give him a classy send off, or make it clear that he is an 8-10 carry a game back.
    I hope that Kaepernick spend this offseason with a QB mechanics expert. I hope he works on touch passes and in pocket progressions.
    I hope Culliver and Bowman return from their knee injuries.

    I end with this. I don’t use the word hate very often. I hate Sherman. Hate him.

    1. Bay my suggestion to you is to wait a couple of days and then rewatch the game if you can force yourself to do so. You’ll find your rant is off base in a few places here.

      The running game struggled because the Oline was getting dominated. There was nowhere to go for Gore or anybody else which is why they started to get Kap more involved in it. There’s not much a Coach can do when the Oline can’t block a play. That’s the advantage Seattle gets with the crowd noise and was a big difference in the play of the Oline.

      I agree that Kap needs to improve from the fundamentals to his decision making and some breakdowns cost them this game, but the reality is they were in position to win this thing at the end. This was not a game where they were dominated or were an inferior team. They lost on the last play. Doesn’t make it any easier to stomach but shouldn’t lead anyone to believe this team needs a lot of changes either.

      1. Agree Rocket. I replied at roughly the same time. I don’t think our O-line suddenly sucks or pales in comparison with Seattle’s D front. Clearly, they were attacking us a certain way and we never countered. Specifically, we never stretched the defense horizontally with our run game. Everything was up the middle. Oh, and the few runs that were successful? They were to the outside. We never adjusted.

    2. Agree with simply everything you have here Bay except for one thing:

      I don’t think any of our RBs would’ve had success against Seattle’s front with the run plays we were calling. Other than that, can’t disagree with anything.

      1. I think our running game is too predictable from the standpoint that we don’t stretch runs out. Primarily because Gore lacks speed IMO. telling that they brought a 4th option RB in their goal line situation.

      2. Absolutely. The film 100% supports that. As I said in an earlier post…our run game returned to the weeks 1 – 3 version where we tried to run everything out of the pistol and we were repeatedly stuffed. There were two DL waiting for Gore every time he got it. They always let the first fake go. Seems like HB dives would’ve been effective vs the delay.

    3. Let’s get serious they overloaded the left side against the zone and Kap’s ego tested Sherman. Bottom line; can’t blame G-Ro when there were guys open on the left side against the zone. I hate Sherman too but the dude is right and he proved it by making a big play! Kap will grow but can he check is ego and make more sensible decisions in the future during crunch time.

      Not to harp on the super bowl; but Delanie Walker was open on the play before the last fade to Crabtree which by the way was an audible Kap called not G-Ro. Not saying G-Ro called a great game but he didn’t turn the ball over 3 times.

    4. Good Post Bay,
      I agree with you about Reid and Whitner, they seem to digress as the season went on as far as the refs, we need to make very freaking play to be over turned due to the technology we have

      You’ve been a class A d-bag for two years ago, last year, and this year to anyone who disagreed with you or thought Colin Kaepernick was not an elite QB, or Jesus in a uniform. You called me a troll because I wanted him to raise his game. I’ve said all season long all roads begin and end with Kaep.

      For 3 quarters he played great plays with his legs and some great passes, but he ended the 4th Quarter with 3 turnovers, he almost had another one in the 3rd when he got stripped and Goodwin recovered.

      He had all his weapons, and he still forced a throw to Crabtree to end our season.

      That’s not hate that’s a fact.

      Why didn’t Kaep run more in the 2nd half? Because teams adjusted!! They know he couldn’t throw so they switched to zone. Even his big long run was against the zone.

      Bay did you really suggest hand holding this year??? Are you joking? This is the NFL. He’s the starter for a team contending for a Super Bowl! This ain’t JV or some little league! He’s a starter for crying out loud.

      Twice Colin had the chance and he didn’t get it done, I don’t care how exciting he is to watch or how many great plays he made. He just has to make the play to win the game and he didn’t. Twice.

      I really wanted to like him and even though I was tough on him this year, I wanted him to succeed, to figure it out and get better. But looking back at these two games, I’m not so sure he’s the right guy. When he did that superman pose to mimic Cam, that gesture was all about Kaep. But a QB has to be about the team. When he forced that pass to Crabs, that was about Kaep, about showing up Sherman. everyone was open on the left side where the play was designed to go.

      That was not about the team, playing smart QB, taking what the defense gives you. Kaep has to play with a chip, but that is a detriment to the team. Crabs I’m sure has a chip too.

      When KAep sees running room takes off. He will take all the open space and not throw it to a WR if the guy is wide open with no one around him so the WR can make a play and feel like they’re part of the play.

      He only passes when on scrambles when his running lane is cut off.

      I’m all for Kaep being a cool dude, but at some point he has to grow up.
      Think about it. He’s made great passes but has yet to make the one the either wins or ties a game in the very late going.
      He’s choked and that’s a fact. In the winning streak, it was his running or Gore’s running and then a FG.

      As for Alex Smith,
      I was not a fan of the switch, nor am I a fan of Alex, although I like the guy and his character. If he can’t get it done, then let the next guy do it. He didn’t get a chance to prove he couldn’t do it, maybe this is all karma on Harbaugh. I thought at some point Colin’s inexperience may cost the game last year. And that’s what happened.

      This year I was all for Colin, even when he annoyed me with his one-read, he was the QB. But to make the same mistake from the Superbowl, and to have that horrific 4th quarter and be a turnover machine, and then to say I’ll take that one on one match-up every time, what’s up with that? Other players prove their manhood with that crap. QBS beat you with their brain and by winning the game.

      People can hate on Alex and that’s fine, but when you look at how he was playing before he got hurt, and the game he played against the Colts in the playoffs, he’s was plenty good enough to have taken the Niners to the 6th and 7th SB. Because the Niners do have the talent all around him.
      Did we already forget how Alex would change the running play at the line to get into a better play based on the defense?
      If Harbaugh said that he couldn’t win with Alex, then maybe he got it wrong. I’m not saying that Alex is elite, but he’s shown at times he can play. Even Ted Robinson commented on Alex’s game against the Colts. “It was as if Payton Manning and Tom Brady had a baby.”
      Give Alex a guy like Boldin, and we know he has chemistry with Vernon Davis, who know what he can do. He was passing to AJ Jenkins in that playoff game, with Jamaal Charles sitting on the sidelines with a concussion. The usual Alex bashers on this blog blamed it all on him. You did too right Bay? So how can you go that easy on Colin when the SB trip was within reach????

      Colin is dynamic, it’s easy to fall in love with all the ability, but it means nothing if he can’t be a threat in the pocket, finish a game, and NOT CHOKE!

      Like I said all year long, he’s Michael Vick, Vince Young, Randall Cunningham.
      Until he reads the whole field, that’s who he is.

      We’re stuck with Colin. He may never figure out how to read defenses, so we’ll always have highlights but no trophies.
      Harbaugh is a shrewd dude. He will never admit he was wrong about Colin, so we’re not drafting anyone to compete against him. He will just stick with Colin for two years, then jump to another team that pays him more money. Right now Harbaugh still has a mystique that he is the QB whisperer.
      I think he’s a great coach, but maybe not this magical guy that can make QBs great.
      Not when Colin makes the exact same mistakes as last year.
      Okay I’m done!

      1. I agree with everything you said, except I’d take Randall Cunningham every day of the week over Kaep. Remember him as a Viking?

    6. Excellent piece, Bay; one of your best.
      Agree with every single word of it, including those last ones.

      If there’s ever been a time I’ve prayed for “what comes around, goes around” it’s right now with Sherman. I’ve been envisioning deep T.D. passes caught by both Thomas’ against him on Feb. 2nd, ending in a gut wrenching, 0-for-2 Super Bowl record for Seattle.

  59. I don’t think it’s overreaction Monday at all. All valid comments and complaints. The only thing I disagree with is the criticism towards the offensive coaches. Roman called a conservative game because Seattle’s defense is the best in the NFL. Why take unnecessary risks when you don’t have the running game or a wideout with game changing capability. As good as Boldin and Crabtree are, they lack that deep field speed element.

    As for CK, he played decent up until the 4th Q. Bad decision making at the end but this is what you get with really a 2nd year QB. He has to get better managing the game and making good decisions at critical times in a game.
    I expect a lot of changes in next years roster starting at the RB and WR position.

    1. And it was the unnecessary risk at the end that killed our season. Was that the play call or Kap’s pick and stick pre-snap read?

  60. “Carlos Rogers
    I go back to his game against the Falcons. He dropped an INT that hit him square in the chest. He was smiling after that play. That rubbed me wrong. Maybe he was smiling out of embarrassment. Yesterday he covered the receiver perfectly, was in a position to knock a ball down, and he swung at it and missed. I don’t want this guy back at any price.”

    Wow Bay, I saw the same thing in the Atlanta game and I felt the same way about him.

  61. Heartbreaking loss no question about it. The game was there to be won but the only way the Niners were going to win it was by playing a close to mistake free game which they didn’t. Kap did his part to give it away in the 4th quarter but he wasn’t alone. Imo these were the key plays that decided the game:

    Lynch breaking off the 40 yard TD run on a 3rd and 1 play. Up until that point the Niners had been doing a great job against him. That play not only tied the game but got Lynch rolling in the second half.

    The TD given up on 4th down. The Niners defense had played very well in coverage and Rogers had good coverage on this play. He just mistimed his attempt to knock the ball down and the result was a TD.

    Kaps poor pass to the sideline that was picked by Chancellor. Bad throw, bad decision and a killer of a turnover in that it not only killed the momentum of stopping the Seahawks inside the 5, but setup the final FG to force the Niners to have to get a TD to win.

    The final throw into the endzone. The Niners have the ball at the Seattle 18, 30 seconds on the clock and 2 TO’s. There are all kinds of things you can do anywhere on the field. What you don’t do is throw at the best CB in football. I have no idea why Kap thought that was the right option but it was the final nail in the coffin of a winnable game.

    I have no idea why Grant and a few others on here are going off on the Coaching. The gameplan was solid on both sides of the ball. The players were ready and played well for most of the game in a place that has been hard for them previously. The Oline couldn’t block a running play to save their lives, yet they were in position to win the game.

    Coaching did not lose this game. Mistakes by Kap and two breakdowns defensively did. The margin for error is microscopic in games like this and the Niners self destructed. Not much else you can say about it. Players have to make plays at key times and the Seahawks did it more than the Niners did.

    1. Let’s call like it is- kaep is a great physical player and he made big plays. But end of the game, on the big stage, he didn’t make the right pass or read.
      That’s te difference. That’s not hate, that’s fact.
      He’s no longer a young qb. Luck threw 4 picks too so it’s going to happen.
      The problem is we all know that kaep is a one read guy. He league knows it, the team knows it. Why do you think Vernon Davis was pissed?
      This is not a rebuilding year, but next year might have to be given some of the injuries.
      We’re stuck with kaep. Something has to change next year if the niners want to go to the Super Bowl. You can have three heartbreaking losses in a row. We have to bring in a new coordinator and try so something new just to shake things up.
      The d played great all game. The better team won this year.
      Sucks to say it.
      Why in gods name are you going to throw at Sherman on that matchup? He did the same thing in week 2 and had a taller Vernon Davis as a target and Sherman picked him.
      Kaep needs a lot of work next year.
      A lot. If he figures it out, he will be unstoppable.

      1. We have to bring in a new coordinator and try so something new just to shake things up

        This doesn’t make any sense. The way you improve offensively is by repetition; not by bringing in somebody to shake things up. They need to take the passing game up a notch, no question about it, but that is part of the learning process for the QB as much as it is changing the system by the OC.

        Kap has started for a season and a half now. He’s not exactly a crusty old vet here. He’s learning more and more as he goes along and I would guess will continue to do so. He needs to work on his game but it’s not like he isn’t effective already.

      2. I share your feelings there, Rocket. We have such high expectations for perfection. Getting rid of players and coaches seems like a panic reaction. There will be roster turnover, there always is.
        The Niners have 5 SB Rings. Since 1981. 5 in 33 years; meaning no rings in 28 of the last 33 years. Perfection is hard to achieve. Should the Niners have dumped players in each of those 28, or developed players? Yeah, I know, a few of those 28 were dismal, but SY struggled to get by GB & Dal. Joe Cool got pounded by the Giants. They’re in the Hall.

      3. BT,

        I think you, I and a few others get it because we’ve seen a lot over a long period of time, but for younger bloggers it’s a disaster because they expect automatic results and don’t have much patience for the time it takes players to develop.

        This organization was a joke for nearly a decade until Harbaugh was hired. Now they are a perennial SB contender inside of 3 years. To say there is a messed up perspective today would be an understatement.

    2. Rocket

      Good comments all. Yes, it was 99% execution. I think that the game plan was fine in the context of what they have been doing all season. However, I have some reservations about their overall scheming on both sides of the ball. But then, what the heck do I know?!

      1. Mood,

        You know as much as I do which in the grand scheme of things isn’t very much because we are not in the building making decisions or listening in on meetings.

        I’d love to see the passing game improved upon but at the same time I understand that it takes time when dealing with a young QB. He may be 26, but in NFL playing time he’s an adolescent. If they keep building on what they’ve done, they will be fine as long as the players keep taking the next step.

  62. Hey guys, who do you think was the first-read for CK on the final play? I find it hard to believe that Roman/Harbaugh will call a play in that situation to challenge Sherman while we have 2 TOs left and 3 more shot in the end zone.

    1. Ricardo,

      I think that play was designed to go to the left and Kaepernick instead chose to go after a 1-on-1 matchup on the other side.

      1. Hey Jack, I don’t know much about football, and if you’re right that the play was designed to go to the left. Do you think Crab knew the ball was coming his way before CK had snapped the ball? I say this because of the way Crab ran to that corner as if he was expecting the ball to be thrown his way. Or that’s what you expect a receiver do in that situation?

      2. Ricardo,

        All receivers have to be alert on their route for the ball. Crab turned around when he was supposed to look for the ball based on the designed depth for his route…and the ball was there.

    2. That question is hard to answer. Only the team knows what’s the usual primary receiver on that play. Kap said he made up his mind pre-snap to throw that ball to Crab and the film (After watching it again) supports that.

  63. Slept like crap last night. I kept thinking about all the stuff the team overcame this year, and how damn close they were to getting to the Super Bowl again. Niners played their guts out, but for the 3rd freaking year in a row, lose by thisclose. I really can’t point to Kaep as being the reason Niners lost. And I do not think he choked. The strip was a great defensive play. The Chancellor pick was a mess, but he came back strong on the last drive until the ending. Kaep and the defense were the reason the Niners were even in the game.

    I was good without taking a timeout where they were on the last drive. Inside the 20 with two timeouts was ok, 30 seconds is an eternity. I did not want Seattle to have any time left on the clock after the Niners scored. I was thinking a perfect time to hit Vernon down the middle of the field. Kaep made his decision for whatever reason, and now it’s history. Niners will be back crashing through walls again next year. But yeah, this is a pretty f’d up feeling.

  64. Why isn’t anyone making an issue out of the blown roughing the punter non-call? Perreira was very clear that by rule if the defender hits the plant leg, which is what happened, that it should be roughing the kicker, not just running into him. That would have given the 49ers a first down and probably would have cost the Seahawks the TD that they scored on the subsequent drive. Shouldn’t the 49ers beat writer at least discuss something as significant as this?

    1. Sadly, because we’ve grown accustom to bad officiating all season. Over the course of the season the officiating has been so incompetent that I’ve become numb to it.

      1. That’s probably true about becoming accustomed to bad officiating, but such a key blown call at such a key time should at least be mentioned and discussed by a sportswriter assigned to the 49ers beat, don’t you think?

      2. Ralph Bedwell,
        I, (along with many here) have blasted poor officiating throughout the season. Personally, I had a strong feeling going into yesterday’s game that there would be more bad calls that certainly played out on a few occasions.

        Sports writers, coaches and former coaches all around the league have pointed out the poor officiating this season as well.

        I’m sure that the league offices will address this issue during the off season because the integrity of the game is being jeopardized by its paid referees.
        Now, if the league offices sleep on this or make it a low priority they will in effect eventually create a very volatile atmosphere for ref’s/players/coaches/fans at games.

        I would be very surprised if the league offices fail to address this.

      3. AES …My question to you is how short is your memory. Incompetent officiating has been going on for a long time now in this league, even the replay idiocy. Technology has exposed how bad they really are. You’d think they should know what the actual rules are. Walsh told his teams that they had to beat the other team, the bounce of the ball as well poor officiating. See the 83 championship game for 2 bad calls (on Lott and Wright) that gave Washington the win. It didn’t just start when he became HC. On replay….How come the knowledgeable fan at home can give you the correct call 2 or 3 minutes before the results on the review are given by the refs. Less commercial time I guess. Bottom line is they’ve been bad and aren’t getting any better. I’d think the players union would be making this a important issue.

    2. Because we still had a chance to win the game despite that foul. It’s moot given our inability to put the ball in the end zone for the win at the end.

    3. What’s really messed up is Seattle’s coaches laughing and congratulating Maragos for knocking Lee down and not costing them a first down. Stay classy Seattle.

    1. As bad as it looked on film I bet it’s pretty darn swollen so I’m not even sure when he’s going to schedule the surgery. I think it’s possible for him to come back in Dec. assuming he gets the surgery done within the next month.

    2. I’ve heard someone says at least 9 months of recovery. My guess he’ll miss all pre-season games and if he’s a fast healer, he may actually be 100% by October.

  65. PFT says Tomsula might be a candidate for the Browns. I was hoping that if it wasn’t Gase they were waiting for it might be Roman but not Tomsula!

    1. Stay Tomsula stay! I’d rather lose Roman (and I’m not one of those habitual Roma critics).

      We need Tomsula for the development of Dial, Tank, TJE. The Okoye experiment would end (or move to Cleveland) if Tomsula left.

  66. The 2014 season is really going to be a challenge for this team. We’re really about to find out just how good of a coach Harbaugh really is.

      1. He hasn’t faced the challenges he’s going to face this season. Along with the loss of talent that will come with free agency and salary cap issues he also has to deal with coaches having another season of tape on how to stop his limited QB.

        Harbaugh will have to deal with the most adversity he’s faced since joining the team and we’ll see how he and his team handles it.

      2. Sure, it will be a challenge. Every year is a new challenge. Coming off last year’s SB run, Niners had major issues to deal with and turned out ok. How many teams get back to the Championship game following a SB loss? And I would disagree with the limited QB statement. There are 31 other teams that would take him off the Niner’s hands and he’d start for over 20 of them right now. Niners are starting next year ahead of most of the league.

      3. I posted this a bit earlier but these are just the current FA’s:

        …we still have the following players that are free agents to resign:
        Boldin, Goodwin, Whitner, Wilhoite, Osgood, Dixon, T. Brown, P. Dawson, E. Wright.

        Those players earned approximately 20.8M last season so if we sign each player with no pay raise we will be $14M over the cap before we pick up any new players or get to the draft.

        So, just to keep the team we currently have we’ll be $14M over the cap.

      4. I think Goodwin is a loss, a good/great center is always under appreciated. There is lots of speculation that a couple guys on the team are slated to take his spot but are they actually as good, or even close? I’ll take that as an unknown but potential big loss.

        The losses on defense will be greater but I’m sure you will agree that a weaker defense only makes things harder for the offense that might be down a few key players itself.

        Now we may “only” lose Boldin but if we are strapped it will prevent us possibly from bringing in other good talent as well.

      5. CFC,

        The tape of the limited QB doesn’t take into account the improvement he will make with another offseason of work and study. Kap has gone to a SB and NFCCG as a limited QB learning on the fly. He’s going to get better the more he plays.

        As to the FA dilemma, the cap didn’t go up very much again. Most of the league doesn’t have a lot of cap room just like last year. There will be a bunch of players who don’t get the big deals they want and sign one year contracts just like last offseason. There is nobody the Niner are going to lose this offseason that will keep them from being a contender again next season. Never mind the fact they have injured rookies from this year coming back along with a boatload of draft picks. This team is going to be fine.

      6. Rocket, Do we extend CK now or wait and see how he plays next year? And if we do extend his contract, how much do you think the Niners should pay? The questions are also for Aldon and Crab.

      7. Rocket you’re assuming he’ll get better enough to counter what the tape shows, maybe, maybe not. Did he really improve that much over last season? Did the Kaepernick of Week 17 this year look different then the Kaepernick of Week 17 last season? He’s ended both seasons with the same mistake, I don’t exactly call that progression.

        I truly think the salary cap is going to be a bigger problem then most realize at this point.

      8. ricardo,

        Rocket, Do we extend CK now or wait and see how he plays next year? And if we do extend his contract, how much do you think the Niners should pay? The questions are also for Aldon and Crab.

        I think they will try to extend Kap and Smith. Kap will probably command somewhere in the 16-18 mill range, somewhere around Cutler money. Smith will be tricky as they will need to put in clauses to protect themselves if he goes off the rails again, but those two I believe will be targeted for long term deals this offseason.

        Crabtree is a tough one to predict because the Niners put a value on players and don’t budge off of it. I have a strong feeling that the Niners and Crabtrees agent won’t share the same opinion on his value and he’ll play out his deal.

        My guess is, Kap and Smith are extended, Boldin signs a two year deal, and they wait out FA to fill in the other holes and/or wait for the draft to do the rest. There are a lot of UFA’s around the league and not a whole lot of money for teams to spend. I think it’s going to look a lot like it did last year with 1 year deals and lower than expected contracts for mid level players.

      9. Rocket you’re assuming he’ll get better enough to counter what the tape shows, maybe, maybe not. Did he really improve that much over last season? Did the Kaepernick of Week 17 this year look different then the Kaepernick of Week 17 last season? He’s ended both seasons with the same mistake, I don’t exactly call that progression.

        I saw a lot of improvement just over the course of this season. He had his bumps no question, but his play in the second half of the season was far better than the first half. His play in the first two playoff games was also very good. He made the mistakes yesterday in the 4th quarter, but he was also the primary reason the Niners were in position to win the game.

        Let’s look at it this way: Kap came out of an offensive system that resembled nothing like he plays in now for the most part. He didn’t start until half way through last season. He has won more than 20 games in a year and a half and done it while learning to play from the pocket on the fly.

        You have to have patience with the guy. He’s leaps and bounds ahead of where any of us should have expected him to be at this point. He’s not there yet, but his work ethic is strong, his talent is elite and he’s motivated to be great. He has all the attributes you want in a player. He just needs to keep gaining experience and work on his game.

        I truly think the salary cap is going to be a bigger problem then most realize at this point.

      10. “I truly think the salary cap is going to be a bigger problem then most realize at this point.”


        The 2014 cap is going to be $126.3mil. After releasing Rogers and Baldwin the 49ers top 51 contracts number will be ~ $113mil. Of that $113mil, $4.8 is tied up in guys who likely will be on the PS and their numbers removed from the books.

        Continue building through the draft, make a smart move or 2 with free agents and this team is right back in the hunt next season.

        I’ll have a more in depth look at all of this later this week.

      11. Just to finish the last part of your statement, the salary cap will be hard to figure out, but almost every good team in this league is in the same boat. We don’t have any UFA’s that are truly must keep core players. The Niners are in good shape overall but need to resign Kap and Smith this offseason if possible.

      12. I would call Boldin a must keep player, it’s been proven that we simply don’t have any other dependable receivers after Crabtree and Boldin currently on the team. It’s also been shown that our brain-trust sucks at drafting wide receivers(Crabtree was a gift from the Raiders) so I don’t have much faith that we’d replace the talent if we lost it.

      13. Ricardo it would be foolish for the 9ers to extend CK now and since the 9ers are not run by fools I don’t believe they will. If CK has any confidence in himself he will not call for an extension, if he can improve his ability to read D’s both pre and post snap like many here believe he will, he will be worth a lot more after the 14 season. I how ever am not quite as confident in his growth and would like to see the 9ers draft a QB in the second rd and develop him just in case CK doesn’t improve his game management skills.

      14. CFC,

        I agree with you on Boldin. I’d like to see them keep him if possible, but I think you are overstating the inability to draft WR’s. They blew the Jenkins pick, but that’s about the only WR they’ve drafted with a high pick that hasn’t worked out because they haven’t drafted any others that high. Patton looks promising and was a 4th round pick. I think we’ll see one taken in the first two rounds this year as well.

        old coach,

        I rarely if ever disagree with you, but I guess I do on Kap. I don’t think there’s anyway they want to see him play out the last year of his contract. It’s so hard to find QB’s and they’ve put a lot of time into Kap with pretty good results. I would be shocked if he isn’t extended this offseason as doing so just leaves them in a precarious position next year having to franchise him or give him even more money on a long term deal.

        He’s not a finished product, but he’s shown enough for them to believe he’s the guy going forward imo.

      15. Rocket like I mentioned in my post I don’t believe that CK will call for an extension during the off season. He won’t have great bargaining power, coming off a season that was highly successful but one where his stats weren’t great and the last game he played ended up with a terrible int. He would be far better off to get off to a 4-0 start next year show great improvement in his ability to make progressions in his reads then call for extension talks and he will get about 20 to 40 percent more.

      16. old coach,

        That’s possible, but I think most players favor the big guaranteed pay check and security over playing out their contract. I also think the team will want to lock him up before they lose all leverage which they do once he reaches FA.

        You can’t judge Kap by the numbers because the Niners are not a passing team. What they have to do is look at the small body of work he’s put together and decide how much better he can get. I don’t see any way they won’t decide he’s worth a long term deal.

  67. I can take throwing the pick if 3 seconds were on the clock. But this was horrible game management.

    First down. Ball on the 18. 37 seconds. 2 time outs. About 6 play opportunities for a Super Bowl. Naturally a its a spike or time out.

    The QB strolls to the sidelines. With so much time and 2 time outs, the entire playbook is available. Coach calmly reminds the QB to throw the ball only where the WR catch it or out of bounds. Remember “sprint right option?”

    CK/Harbaugh allowed a false sense of urgency to take hold. Yes, the defense was on its heels so continuing play made some sense, but if the WR was not open, throw it way over his head!

      1. Grant, two days ago you were called a “liar” for pointing out CK throws picks to underneath coverage to his left. “Young” Colin has alot of work to do. So does Harbaugh.

      2. Brodie
        When Colin threw that pick, I immediately thought of your comments from a few days ago about his lack of vision to his left. You’re on to something there.
        On the other hand, I liked the moxie that he came back later to hit that same route.

      3. Brotha Tuna: CK is a great athlete. He may grow into his position, or continue to be the mad bomber… spectacular one moment, dive you crazy the next.

    1. Brodie I’ve been screaming the same thing here since last night. It wasn’t Romans play calling that cost us in the last drive it was Harbaughs not having CK spike the ball. I believe CK would have made a much better decision if he had been able to huddle along with saving approx. 15 secs. I believe Harbaughs decision went along way towards us losing that game but for some reason around here Harbaughs OC is savaged while he is untouchable.

      1. It was clearly awful game and QB management by Harbaugh on that last play.

        This year I went back and forth. Are the occasional offensive failings Harbaugh or Roman? Is the 49er system of relaying (two) calls from the OC to the HC to the QB common? It sounds incredibly cumbersome, and takes several seconds from the OC to make his play decision. Roman might actually do better in another system.

      2. Imagine the pressure Seattle’s D would be under had Colin spiked. With 2 time outs and all that time, they would have to guard against TDs and first downs. The entire playbook and field of play were available. It was the perfect opportunity to put the pressure on the other team, not your own team.

        Then… sprint right option, or wide run with Hunter… or crossing patter (subtle pick play)… sneak VMac out on a dribble pattern. Instead it was perhaps the lowest percentage pass in the 49ers arsenal next to a Hail Mary. A corner route to a short WR.

  68. I must say, take away the Baldwin & Kearse catches (51 & 35 yards) and Lynch’s 40 yard run, and Seattle is held to 182 yards on 55 plays (3.3 avg). They got 126 yards on 3 plays = 40% of their offense. Not sure if that merits a D grade for the defense.

  69. I’m peeved

    Despite the ongoing dissertations by the bloggers and all of their ‘expertise’, for me it all boils down to the fact that we’re not going to win any SB’s with CK at QB. JH made a decision to put CK ahead of Alex Smith last year in mid-season. Coach knew what he had; a seasoned QB who was the 1st overall pick in the 2005 draft FOR GOOD REASON. Harbaugh tweaked a few things on Alex’ delivery that made Alex an even better QB. Alex worst problem was that he was drafted by the worst team in football, the Fortyniners. For 6 years, he played behind Olines that stunk, receivers who couldn’t catch, and a line of OC’s who were so good, that they were taken as head coaches by other teams. In his first year as niner HC, we went to the NFC championship game with Alex Smith at QB. After going 6-2 last year before an injury put CK ahead of him Alex finally had an Oline that could block. Yeah, it’s all history now, but had JH stuck with Smith, I believe that we would have #6 in the case and #7 being dusted off. Just a little more patience…

    1. The Alex Smith discussion is done, stick a fork in it. Your comments are based on conjecture and nothing at all concrete. Kap was brought in to replace that 2005 #1 pick for a reason and we see that play out at times. The assertion that we’re never going to win a SB with Kap at QB is entirely too strong. Does he need to improve significantly? Absolutely, but I don’t know how you can look at the plays he makes on game days and still think Alex should be playing here. Kap needs to round out the mental aspect of his game. When he does that we’ll be golden.

      1. Justdareal you are correct the Alex Smith discussion is over but The CK discussion is just beginning. Last year Steve Young was on KNBR talking about a QB being a game manager, this was at a time when the phrase was being used as negative term to describe Smith. Young said a QB’s ability to manage a game was the single most important skill he could posses. He then went on to say that it wasn’t as easy a skill to acquire as most fans thought it was. There were many QB’s in the NFL that regardless of how hard they worked never mastered game management. I am beginning to become concerned that CK may just be one of those QB’s.
        Its important to understand the skill has very little to do with intelligence, you ca’nt measure it on a wonderlic test. its purely emotional, I’m begining to wonder whether CK will ever become competent game Manager and as S. Young said it is the single most important skill a QB needs.

    2. Oregon,
      I can understand the angst directed towards CK, but to validate your anger by invoking the name of Alex Smith only puts you in the Sour Grapes category bud.

      If and when Alex Smith wins a SB before CK does, then you have grounds for your rant.
      Right now your rant stands next to the Alex Smith (imposter) diatribes and that’s not the company I believe you want to be associated with.

    3. oregonniner,

      Despite the ongoing dissertations by the bloggers and all of their ‘expertise’, for me it all boils down to the fact that we’re not going to win any SB’s with CK at QB

      I’m not sure how anyone can come to that conclusion when he’s led the team to a SB and NFCCG appearance in his first season and a half of starting. I understand the disappointment of losing yesterday and that Kap made some mistakes but I think we need to get a reality check here. Bad QB’s don’t go this far two years in a row. A talent like Kap playing with pretty much all physical skill right now will only get better as he learns the mental side of the game. Don’t give up on him after what he’s accomplished in a very short period of time.

      1. Rocket

        I DO appreciate what you say,but I think that you miss my point; CK was inserted into the starter block to a team that had been built through the drafts, trades and free agent signings, and was a top5 team. Yes, he went to the NFC championship game, as well as last years SB. My beef isn’t with CK, I want to see ‘Cowboy’, Gore, and our other elders retire with the dignity that we all know they deserve. I don’t want to spend 5 more years watching that window close. I only hope that we still have time.

    1. niners window is not closing fast….lots of picks and lattimer….there are fuzziness going into next year with Iupoti and especially bowman on IR…with goodwin aging there could be some revamping to be done on OL

  70. Time to get younger at RB, find some speed at WR, and get crisper out-of-the-huddle. Offense could never sustain rhythm, all season long. Hope some other team nabs Greg Roman, because Harbaugh will stubbornly stand by him. Feel bad for the defense. Window is narrow, especially with aging key players, salary cap, injuries, etc.

  71. Grant,
    I meant to make this comment early on during the season. I don’t like your type of grading. It’s always too one dimensional. If Niner’s win you give wonderful grades for the most part. And when they lose, you give terrible grades. I think that is almost worthless. You DO often make rational comments as part of your commentary. Just re-read your blog again today. You give D’s and F’s but you make positive comments. So common. It is not always a “D or F” when there are so many good plays made. For example, the Defensive Line overall played much, much better than a “D+”. They were great for more than half of the game. 4 sacks and stopped Lynch. That is at least a “C” and maybe a “C+”. Yes, they couldn’t stop Lynch all day but except for the big run, which was not just the line’s fault, but also the LBer’s and secondary’s, they played a pretty nice game. Don’t let the game outcome sway your grade evaluations so much ALL THE TIME. Give credit where credit is due. The NINER’s played a VERY GOOD team, very well, for most of the game but looking at your grades, one would never know it.

  72. who was the niner in civilian clothes that clocked the seahawk gunner….i caught that immediately and nothing was mentioned during the game that i noticed

  73. Grant,
    I can argue the grades with you but it’s pointless at this time.

    What I do take umbrage with is a person who has never played at same level as a professional athlete calling them “choking”.

    I found it classless for Sherman to mimic the choking sign towards CK. But he at least is a player who is known for his antics.

    CK/Harbaugh were vilified at times this season for their curt answers during their pressers.
    Now I can’t say that I blame them.

    1. AES,
      I don’t know that anybody ‘choked’ in this game, but you, I or anyone else for that matter is entitled to give our opinion. You don’t have to be an ex-pro NFL player to be able to comment on the game or how somebody played.

      I really hate when people try to criticize anyone, Grant included, for their honest opinion or criticism with such sanctimonious nonsense. I’ve never eaten crap, but I sure as hell know that it doesn’t taste very good.

      1. You’re right AngusinCanada,
        Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I just find it insulting for someone who has never played at a professional level calling a pro a choker.

        Flipping it around.
        I would have an issue with an pro athlete calling a writer/journalist incompetent regarding their prose, but I guess they would be entitled to their opinion as well.

      2. If it wasn’t a choke what was it? He turned it over 3 times in the 4th Q. Did the big stage get to him? Why did he suddenly start making poor decisions? The 1st INT was definately a brain fart, the fumble I can understand but the throw to Crab at the end was not even close.
        Now I get CK is young, it’s growing pains. But 2 years in a row, the same bad read, I’m worried.

  74. Baalke and Harbaugh really need to hit a homer out of the Park in the next draft. We have 6 picks in the first 3 rounds, and with the loss of a few of our Free agents, we will need replacing. I want just to keep Boldin, we can replace the rest.

    1. Where would you rate VMac? Think he was worth a 2nd round pick? I was pissed last night, there was a run over to his side, VMac was on Sherman, had a chance to lay the wood on him and he barely chipped him. Not only did he not get to punish Sherman, Sherman ended up making the tackle….
      IMO VMac should have been a 4th or 5 round pick based on what I’ve seen from him this year.

      1. okay Bay this is crazy. this is the second time today that I have the same reactions as you on two different plays. First the Rogers “smiling” in the Atlanta game, and now VMac not laying the wood on Sherman on that CK ran. I hope more people are seeing these :)

  75. Grant, your grades are absurd. I’ve read them weekly all season and you repeat the same weakness as a writer–you see things in entirely black and white terms. Now granted, you’re very young, lacking a depth of experience, and as (if?) you mature you may start to realize that very few things involving human beings are that simplistic.
    I say “may” because your father suffers from the same flaw as a sports journalist, athletes in his world are all good or all bad (see his column today for the latest example), it seems to stem from his conflict at not being fully comfortable as a journalist, he still wants to be a fiction writer and thus molds the real athletes in front of his eyes into archetypal characters.
    Just one example–I could give multiple ones for nearly every category you graded–is Frank Gore. Your F+ does not encompass the reception he made on the last drive–on fourth down!–to keep the offense on the field, nor any of the key blocks he made to allow Kaep to make long runs, leading to scores.
    This was a hard-fought game, a defensive tour de force, with uneven offense and costly mistakes at the very end. The better team won, as much as it pains me to say so. But the Niner players deserve so much more than your simplistic drivel. I recommend you try to broaden your life experiences more, move out on your own instead of living with Dad and get some other professional input on your writing besides Lowell’s. Phil Berber would be an obvious start, you could learn much from him, and his approach to grading. It’s time to grow up a little.

    1. Wow, Kathy, superior post! I don’t say that to bash Grant but because its well written and defended. I’ve actually found Lowell to be mellowing a tad as he and I age, but this was thoughtful and I hope we hear more from you.
      Hmmmm, maybe Grant is like Colin; really On sometimes, and not quite on target others. ; >)

    2. Kathy I echo BT’s sentiments. This was a great post, but I think you stated a clear reason why we see this from Grant: he’s young and likes to make bold statements. Grades are ridiculous to begin with considering each player is reliant on the other for success, and none of us has any idea what the responsibilities are on a given play other than watching it and speculating, but Grant does make posts that get people talking which in this type of forum is his job. The best part about this site is the people who post in this forum and you have now included yourself in this process. I hope you come back more often.

      1. Thank you both for the kind remarks. I just get frustrated reading Grant, not seeing any improvement over the course of the season, and I expect more sophisticated analysis and insight for the price of my subscription. Wish Berber had a blog.

    3. Kathy,
      It is what it is. Grant is a good guy for the most part, but he is young and was hired by the Press Democrat because of his father. Inexperience and entitlement is a bad combination. Grant never played football and doesn’t understand the dynamics of a football locker room or a team, which is why his takes are often of the “here’s how you fix it” variety. Sometimes he’ll post something and I think to myself, “that’s not really how it works on a football team.” It’s the difference between learning something in a book or class versus real world experience. That being said, I like Grant. He’s a good guy. He just doesn’t understand the game like he thinks he does because he never played or was involved with it. Just ask Luke Kuechly.

      1. BigP,
        Your assertion that because Grant hasn’t been on a football team, he therefore somehow is unable to understand how the “dynamics of a team” work, and results in silly grading comments and opinion, is just priggish pedantry on your part.

        By the way, I disagree with his grades as well, and think it was probably just a quick, sloppy job he did, rather than some missing piece of his frontal lobe that processes how humans interact in groups, that only playing on a football team can develop.

      2. Well I’ve never played either but I don’t think that disqualifies me from commenting on what I see. Grant is probably a fine person, it’s the quality of his thinking, and therefore the writing he puts forth, that I take issue with–it’s too simplistic and leads him to make extreme pronouncements. Witness his overly glowing pregame column, where he also went overboard about why the Niners would win. Both he and his father have these bipolar swings of opinion, the Niners are all-good, no wait, they’re all bad. It’s predictable, it’s not illuminating and game after game it becomes dull.

      3. Angus,
        My comment to Kathy was in response to her assertion that Grant’s analysis is black and white. I agree. You didn’t have to play football to understand the game, but it helps when trying to interpret the gray area. If Grant had played, he probably would have never beefed with Anthony Davis. He wouldn’t have said he was faster than Luke Kuechky. He wouldn’t have claimed that Harbaugh didn’t know the difference between two types of runs.
        Here is what I said: “Grant never played football and doesn’t understand the dynamics of a football locker room or a team, which is why his takes are often of the “here’s how you fix it” variety.”

        Here’s what you twisted it into: “he therefore somehow is unable to understand how the “dynamics of a team” work”

        I said football locker room and team, which is different than baseball or basketball. There are a lot of moving parts that are dependent on one another. Anybody can have an opinion, but I don’t hear many people making the claims that Grant does from time to time. Had he played, I don’t think he would say some of the things he does. It doesn’t mean you have to be a genius to understand football.

  76. The 49ers had the Seahawks they were suppose to win that game. There were lots of mistakes and cheats from the Seahawks that the coaches didn’t called cause it should of been 49ers ball but oh well the goodthing I’m proud of the 49ers they made it far just like last year and don’t feel bad guys yall are winners no matter what it wasn’t yalls faults .
    The whole team did good so Congrats 49ers and to the Seahawks I hope the Broncos Beat yall :-D

  77. The 49ers had the Seahawks they were suppose to win that game. There were lots of mistakes and cheats from the Seahawks that the coaches didn’t called cause it should of been 49ers ball but oh well the goodthing I’m proud of the 49ers they made it far just like last year and don’t feel bad guys yall are winners no matter what it wasn’t yalls faults .
    The whole team did good so Congrats 49ers:-D

  78. Richard Sherman:
    “One thing I can’t accept is what I read after the game about Seahawks fans throwing food at 49ers linebacker Navorro Bowman as he was being carted off the field with his knee injury,” Sherman wrote on MMQB.com. “If it’s true, it’s beyond terrible. That’s as low as it gets. I’m sure whoever did this is in a small minority of fans, because I don’t think that kind of action is an accurate representation of the character of the 12th man. Navorro Bowman is a great player who plays the game the right way. When he went down, I dropped to a knee and prayed for him. He deserves better than having food thrown at him as he’s carted off a field. All players deserve better than that.”

    Richard Sherman’ poor attempt at critiquing c-hawks fans for throwing popcorn at N.Bowman while being carted off the field falls very short imo.
    This guy just doesn’t understand that your team/fans become a mirror of the play that takes place on the field.
    Mr. Sherman is far from a voice of reason bereft of any moral compass to be addressing the very fans that likely feed off his field antics in this manner.
    Good try Richard, doubt you get a audience on this one.

      1. I used to hate Deion till he joined the 49ers. Sherman’s teammates don’t appear to hate him. Can you imagine Sherman on the 49ers defense? Great would become really really ridiculously great.

      2. For sure you take him. He’s long, can run, and as we have seen he tilts the field.
        You don’t need nice guys and who really cares he is a big mouth. He’s a good football player, all his teammates seem to like him. That’s all that matters. How any of these guys carry themselves is totally irrelevant. What did Cahrles Barkley always say, “I am not a role model”

      3. I agree Prime. Nobody liked Deion Sanders with his gold chains and dancing and cockiness. Then he came to SF and he was revered. Same thing in Dallas.
        He embarassed Crabtree yesterday with his play and his mouth. Maybe Crabtree really is a mediocre WR because if not for a couple catches, he was average.

      4. I always like Deon, even when he went to Dallas and NO I would not want Sherman on my team. The man is full of anger. You don’t hear some blowhole in the NFL, say I am the best QB, I am the best running back. I am the best middle linebacker. It is obvious he is a insecure trouble soul, who needs attention. I will be rooting hard for Mr. Omaha in two weeks, that is for sure. Classless individual.

      5. Theres NO WAY punk @$$ sherman would ever be a 49er!!!!! and the reason…….price!!!! How much money is this guy gonna ask for ???? Revis is getting 16 Mill a year in tampa………sherman is gonna want 20 !!!!

        The window is gonna close on Seattle before it closes on us guys! No need to worry! Our best player on offense is a “young ” 26 year old QB who has some learning to do, but will be just fine. Theres is a beast of a RB who is approaching 30……and they have almost 20 mil a year tied up into Harvin and Rice,,,,,bahahahaha!

        On D, we have our best guys tied up long term. Willis, Bowman, Brooks and Reid! And aldon aint going nowhere! Sherman, Browner and Thomas are all a year or 2 away from FA were there gonna try to break the bank! Not to mention Bennet and Arvill who were on 1 year “prove it” contracts i believe?…….there trying to get paid too!

        Point being: when Peyton Shreds this team and wins the SB in 2 weeks……boom!!!!! Seattle’s door will be slammed shut!!! ( as much as we whine about Kap…..at least WE dont have to give Russlle Wilson 16-20 mill a year! that guy is the worst “good” Qb in the league) There also gonna have to pay wilson.

        On the other hand, we have that young Qb/coach combination that reminds me of the Patriots 13 years ago.
        Chins Up gentlemen! It was a good year! Much better that 2004 but not as good as 1990.

  79. Richard Sherman made his team look bad. Amazing player but he acted like he had “roid rage”. I hope he gets help cause he had serious problems controlling himself after the game. No one wants a teammate that’s out of control, no matter how good he is. Seattle can have him, he’s not worth the price.

  80. I didn’t like that Harbaugh took a knee with 30 seconds left in the first half on his own 40. MADE NO SENSE. Great,Seattle didn’t have to worry about at least a FG more lead.
    Gore up the middle..over and over. Roman couldn’t have tried off tackle?
    And VD.whaa happened??. Alex Smith found him over the middle for TD’s all the time. He’s not a star now. He even dropped an easy pass,fumbled. He’s lost now as a 49er.

      1. And I agree, I thought the 49ers could have managed things, time wise, a bit better before the half. That’s probably the first half all year where we went to the locker room with all 3 timeouts….great.

  81. If the Niners deserve those grades the the Seahawks a little less and the officals F-Minus to the nth degree. Even Aikman went in depth to disect each blunder, and they cost the Niners possession and gave the Seahawks unwarranted ones. How they got to officiate this game boggles my mind. As far as the game, truth be known, if we had Alex Smith, it probably would be the 2nd straight Super Bowl win. Kaep tries to force things in coverage too much, and usually gets away with it because of a good arm and receivers that are good snaggers that can get the ball away from defenders. If the Niners are going to go to the next level, they need better routes for receivers to run or receivers that can run routes. They are hardly wide open. They need a QB that can scan secondary receivers better and quicker and think more spontaneously. They need to get backs and receivers involved in check off passing more. Smashmouth football only goes so far. You need play calling and sleight of hand like Manning can do for Denver. Exit Roman, enter a high quality QB in the upcoming draft. Oh and F Minus for the classless Sherman.

    1. We should all remember this was an “All-Star” team of referees out there. Isn’t that a joke, the worst refs couldn’t have been any worse. Also the only play the NFL is concerned over is the Seattle punt when their gunner was pushed way out of bounds and ran into a Niner in street clothes. So a play that had no impact on the game is what interest the league. But no the Bowman fumble, not the roughing the punter, nor the ripped off helmet of James, nor even the continuing mistake personal fouls that are called and should be reviewed since they are mostly wrong. The NFL better start listening to the fans or eventually we will tire of the amateur efforts on the field that ruin the game.

      1. The Seahawk was more the ‘hittee’ in that instace. The street clothed 49er lowered the boom on the Seahawk player trying to get down to cover the punt, who was by the way, illegally not trying to immediately re-enter the field of play.

  82. I hated it that when Harbaugh came over, fans attempted to draw parallels between Walsh and Harbaugh. Harbaugh brought our team back from the ashes for sure. As a coach the man needs to learn to attack and not stop attacking. Just before half he wanted no part of going for a field goal.
    His method works as long as everything goes perfect. Officiating needs to be perfect, on defense no one can miss assignments, coverage team has to be perfect, running game needs to be successful.
    I hope I never see Harbaugh try to slow things down and sit on a lead again. Walsh didn’t do it. Belecheat doesn’t do it. I guess if your running back is carrying it at 4 or 5 yards a clip, then it’s ok.

    1. Walsh didn’t do it because he had Montana. Harbaugh doesn’t have a Montana obviously. When Walsh didn’t have Montana he was as conservative as every other coach with a lead in the 4th quarter. With the exception of Belicheat he is crazy.

      1. OC,
        Walsh revolutionized football with a system. He always attacked. If he didn’t it’s because he lacked weapons. When Montana didn’t have Rice and Taylor, he attacked with Solomon. When Jeff Kemp came in, he attacked. It was a mentality.
        But to my point, Walsh didn’t alter a game plan and begin to slow it down up by ten points…

      2. Walshs teams always ran more than they passed other than his 1st SB team and that didn’t change in the 4th quarter in fact it increased. Is Harbaugh in the same class as Walsh? No not yet and he may never be but Walsh loved running the ball especially when he had a lead.

    2. There are similarities and profound differences between Walsh and Harbuagh.

      Similarities: Making a losing team into long term winners, Stanford, installing unique offenses, attracting talented staff, offensive backgrounds.

      Differences: Walsh inherited a team with talent “worse then expansion” and sparse draft capital, Harbaugh inherited a talent packed roster full and strong draft position.
      Walsh and Harbaugh run vastly different offenses. (I’m always stunned reporters still call the 49ers a WCO squad). Harbaugh is rah-rah with lots of close contact with players, Walsh delegated to position coaches.

    1. Dang. I hope its doesn’t cost us draft choices or fines that affect cap. Dial makes 4th round rookie slot salary, so any fines going to hut him bad.

      1. I wouldn’t worry too much about that….perhaps a small fine. The gunner wasn’t trying to immediately re-enter the playing field, and himself could have hurt someone on the sidelines, all of whom (except one guy!) were looking at the field.

        Let’s call it self-defense.

  83. FDM says:
    January 20, 2014 at 12:28 pm
    “I agree Prime. Nobody liked Deion Sanders with his gold chains and dancing and cockiness. Then he came to SF and he was revered. Same thing in Dallas.
    He embarassed Crabtree yesterday with his play and his mouth. Maybe Crabtree really is a mediocre WR because if not for a couple catches, he was average.”

    Sounds like ‘maybe’ you’re agreeing with Sherman regarding Crabtree.

    So our WR who comes back at record time from a major injury and adds a highly needed shot in the arm to our offense suddenly might be ‘mediocre?’
    Shame on you…

      1. Crabtree is one of the best receivers in the NFL. If he played on a pass-first team, he’d have ridonculous numbers – and he’s a hell of a blocker.

      2. FDM,
        Perhaps not one of his best games.
        But to call him (or to “maybe” agree with Sherman’ comment) that he is mediocre is not only untrue, but it aligns you with the enemy.

        Crabtree and the word mediocre do not belong in the same sentence (unless you’re not a Crabtree fan).

  84. This season had more inconsistent officiating then I can remember. Most of the bad calls were phantom personal fouls.

    Now we all know the NFL doesn’t give a hoot about player health. They would never consider an 18 game season if they did. What the league fears is revenue loss from lawsuits. The more media chatter about the NFL being “overzealous” about concussions, the more CYA the league has to defend claims.

    Unfortunately nonsensical flags generate far more media chatter then clear, consistent PF rules ever could. The unclear and inconsistent calls are pure gold to the NFL because we (naturally) talk endlessly about it… and its the chatter (not the actual protection of the athletes) the NFL is really after.

    I’m not expecting and improvement soon. If the NFL cleans up and perfects the new personal foul rules, it would actually reduce valuable CYA.

    1. Brodie, Jim Millar said on Sirius today that this has been the worst officiated season he can remember. Even black and white calls like hitting a punters plant leg are getting botched.

      I’m tired of hearing the phrase “letting them play”. Does that mean not enforcing the rules?

      1. Jack, he hosts Movin the Chains with Pat Kirwan in the afternoons. Former QB with, I believe, Steelers and Pats. He does a lot of work for the Bears, media wise, so maybe he was a Bear.

      2. Miller is mostly known for his time with the Bears. I don’t personally care for him, he sure has no problem critiquing other QB’s that have had or are having considerably better careers then he ever had.

        He’s also an insufferable Bears fan, each year if you listen to the show you have to put up with his obnoxious reasons on why this is the year the Bears win it all.

      3. No prob, Jack. If I wasn’t heading out the door at work I would’ve done better with his history as opposed to guessing of the top of my head. What a miserable day.

      4. My whole point was no so much about bad officiating, but that bad officiating might actually make more money because it generates more valuable CYA publicity about player protection.

        So much for PFs… about the PIs…

        Its the inconsistency that drives me nuts. If “letting them play” is the way to go, then the league needs to clarify exactly what that means.

        For example… you are a GM on a team that needs to draft a corner back. One is not very big but is fast and nimble. The other is big and physical but on the slow side. Which one do you draft?

        Its not fair to GMs and scouts to have to read the tea leaves about future rules. The NFL needs to give teams a clear idea of what futre rule changes will involve.

  85. Am I the only one who saw that Vernon Davis shied away from an easy catch across the middle because he saw Kam Chancellor coming at him? Are you going to tell me that was because of the refs or the 13th man? Seattle’s D intimidated the 49er offense. Davis didn’t want anything to do with Chancellor-ever again. Simple as that. And Kaep choked. He underthrew the ball, and Crab should have slowed down to grab it from Sherman.
    Even Pop Warner football players know that if you blame a loss on the refs, you should blame yourself for not playing well enough to overcome any bad calls.

  86. My question is: Are you guys still wearing your 49er gear today? I am. The reason I’m asking is because after running a few errands around town today, I didn’t see a single person besides myself wearing the red and gold.

    I guess that’s what the difference is between being a bandwagon fan and one of the Faithful. Win or lose, we’ll always be there fronting for our team, still loud and still proud.

    1. No Logo gear on me today Space, but my habit is to wear them leading to the game, and just the right colors on game day. You see, the first time I wore my Brotha Tuna jersey was week#2; so I got afraid of the Juju.
      2014 will be a Reset I’m sure.
      But to your point. Some fans treat the Playoffs like Mardi Gras; they dress up and get drunk once or twice a year.
      Some fans love football for riding the wave of 49er success.
      Then there are Fans, True Fans, Lunatic Fans, and wayyyy out on the margin…..US! Glad to be part of your tribe, bro!

    2. Space, I still rep the Niners win or lose, but to each his own. The Faithful always have the red and gold in their heart!

    3. Of course. I always do the first day back to work after game day, win or lose. I’m sure I’ll get a hard time from some of the other football fans in the office by the end of the day, but then again, other than a couple Bronco fans, none of their teams are still in it either.

      I’m in Salt Lake City, though, which is an interesting place to be a football fan. There really isn’t a local team, so there’s a wide spectrum of fans of different teams here.

      Steve Young made quite a few of the locals 49er fans in the 90s. Alex Smith also did quite a bit for 49er popularity here, too, although the team moving on from him made quite a few haters as well. I’m certain I’ll hear a handful of “they would be in the Super Bowl if they kept Alex” arguments by the end of the day.

  87. The refs are from the mid west,south and east. They don’t want evil San Francisco to have 6,7,8, Super Bowl rings. Too liberal. And they wont reward THAT.

    1. Good stuff by PWill.

      I’m already looking forward to next season.
      1. new and improved secondary (Rodgers, Whitner likely out)
      2. new and improved QB play by Kaep (experience and not winning the big games should fuel CK to rise to the next level)
      3. more speed at the RB position (Gore should get less carries)
      4. more production from VMac or another TE other than VD)
      5. new and improved stadium (bittersweet goodbye to the Stick)
      6. hopefully a good corps of rookie draft picks to help in the very near future (especially if we can’t afford to sign any of our current players).
      7. looking forward to the progress of last years rookie crop (Lemonier, Carradine, Dial, Moody, Lattimore).

      When does training camp start? (lol)

      1. Darryl Morris, don’t forget him. I have high hopes about that guy. After KC stole Marcus Cooper from us Baalke moved to protect him by putting him on the roster. Made the nice fumble recovery yesterday.

  88. I didn’t like some of the Refs’ calls and non-calls yesterday, and many times during the season, but I do not for one minute think there was graft, fixing, or deliberate bias in the officiating of this game. I’d think anyone bringing that stuff forward should be able to support their suspicions, because its a heavy accusation. I also think that as fans we should all cowboy-up and not look for excuses. The Niners just missed beating a really good team on their home turf.
    It is what it is; take the pain.

    1. I sighed when I saw that they assigned refs that had a pretty low rate of calling PI and defensive holding to a game against a Seattle, but yeah, I agree with you. We can complain about a few calls, but were still in a position to win it at the end. Coming so close hurt.

  89. Man I feel so hurt!! It’s a bitter feeling of complete sadness.
    We did not lose this game just because of the last throw to Crabtree. We lost this game for so many reasons and the entire team is to be blamed for the lost. Let me list a few for you:

    -We gave up the longest scoring TD run in the Jim Harbaugh era to Lynch
    - Aldon smith is offside on 4th and 7 when the Seahawks were trying to get extra 5 yards for a field goal.
    - coaches did not prepare the defense for that hard count on 4th and 7!
    - during the free play our DBS allowed a huge TD pass rather than just holding the fing WR that scored another TD
    - CK had several turnovers when it counted!
    - our running game was shut down and we did not continue running CK in the fourth qtr!
    - our special team allowed a huge return

    We did not play an agressive defense or offense in last 15 mins
    - we did not properly utilized our to and the clock to set up the last TD!

    1. I feel your pain Chicago… BTW, not to change the subject. Is it me or Andy Lee’s leg is gone? What happened to his “booming” punts?

      1. I think you are right Ricardo. Andy Lee needs some competition this offseason so that’s why they signed Colton Schmidt

      2. I complained about the 40 yard line dives he was kicking this year, right into the end zone to flip the field right back to the opponent. People wanted to tell me how great he s. They really meant how great he used to be.

  90. As far as free agents, keep Boldin and Dawson, get rid of the rest, unless we can keep Goodwin. Get rid of 1 hit wonder Carlos Rogers.

  91. Well, time to come out of my hide-y hole and face the reality of losing to Seattle. Big blow, and in some ways I am glad I didn’t get to watch the game.

    Looking through the comments, I’ve yet to see anything from rocket I disagree with – he has basically summed up my attitude towards the result and what the future holds. This team is in a good spot looking forward, so long as they keep drafting well.

    Will be interesting to see what they do with key free agents, in particular Boldin, and who they let go. I’d love to keep Boldin, but salary cap may mean it is time to get younger. I think now is the time to re-sign Kaep and Aldon, which would impact what they can do in FA.

  92. I know its not going to happen, but I would like to see Norv Turner return as offensive coordinator. He has shown an ability to be able to work with the development of young QBs. Gotta agree, would be nice to keep Boldin and Dawson. Though a shut down corner added to the defense would be great. Gonna be interesting to see who they get to cover the slot. I’m not convinced that Eric Wright is the answer, the guy is too injury prone for my liking.

    1. The fact that they went with Cox in the playoffs over Wright tells you everything you need to know about what they think of Wright.

      1. Jack Hammer, do you think they will address the secondary? We weren’t world breakers against QBs like Brees, Luck, and Rogers. Even Russel Wilson snuck some in against us.

      2. Just curious, what do you think will happen to Chris Culliver? He has size and decent speed, but he doesn’t play the ball well at all. Do you guys think he’ll be back from injury and will he be good enough to make the team?

      3. I looked at that free agent list of DB’s. T. Brown looks like he might be the best available.
        I think this draft class is deep with corners and WR. Might work out well for the 49ers.

  93. Niner fans – What outcome would you rather have?

    Niners lose NFC title game to Seattle or

    Niners win NFC title and lose 2nd in row Super Bowl

  94. I keep hearing wildly differing reports about Bowman… some optimistic “he will be ready to start 2014″ … others less so “torn ACL AND MCL” and “won’t be close to full speed next season.” Anyone with actual team information?

  95. When a RB loses 3-5 yards the blame should be more on the play calling, than the blocking or the inability for the RB to manuever around a defense that’s already onto him as he’s just getting the ball. Good offenses are diverse. They get people involved and especially in the passing game. Once the field is opened up then the OL and RB’s prosper more. This was the success of the championship 49er teams with a lot of different pass plays with different players involved. Gore could be used as a Roger Craig type still, as he can play football and knows how to catch the ball. How the Niners got successful was they canned the whole coaching staff and hired Walsh to be GM, coach, and play caller. All I see now is a lack in creativity and diversity which leads to predictability. Not to say the receivers couldn’t be a littl more clever and elusive in their routes. Too many passes from Kaep to the receiver were in questionable coverage. It was masked by the fact the Niner receivers are exceptional ball catchers and are studly enough to outdo the coverman. You need people getting open with clever routes and good footwork. That’s why a player like a Jordy Nelson from GB will always give teams fits, because he always seems have the football sense to get open. Upgrades are always difficult because of the age and skill factor decrease happening quickly. With 13 picks behind a new offensive coordinator the possibilities could be endless. We’ll need at least one offensive lineman, a beast of a DL is needed whether the ones drafted come through or there’s something more available. A couple of DB’s would be nice, some with good football sense and knowing how to play usually trumps physical specimen types-only. And last a QB. We would have two straight SB rings if Alex Smith were still here. We need someone who knows the game and can make snap decisions. Besides Kaeps long legs with occasional great runs and a super arm, there are too many mental lapses leading to calling time outs and not picking up secondary receivers. Lot of great college QB’s coming out this year and the position should be one hard fought and up for grabs next year. One of the top picks or a trade up should be for a quality QB that loves to dance and look and is creative in passing and knows when to take off. Bought it for now.

  96. G Roman please get a job somewhere. The niners offense played liked it played all year. You get into field goal range but no plan of attack for tds. It’s been that way for 3 yrs. now. It has cost 2 NFC championships and a SB. If the niners score tds in those games they win. Heck if the niners score tds in the regular season they are at home for the playoff (see Carolina and Saints games.

    1. Roman is not head coach material, that is not my opinion, but the opinion of the rest of the NFL and top division 1 schools. Look at the call playing , when it counted. Super Bowl and this one. He just can’t send it in.

      1. How do you know he is not head coach material? He has not had the chance to interview properly for a position because the team is always in playoff contention. He had less than 4 days to prepare for the MIN job. The previous 2 years he didn’t even get a chance to interview because he couldn’t.
        As for his play calling, it was brilliant in both GB and Carolina and not too bad against Seattle up until the QB made 3 turnovers to cost the Niners the game. Not sure how you blame Roman when they had the lead 3 times in that game.
        If you think Roman is not a good coach then prove it but when you look at what he has done with Alex and with Kapernick in a short amount of time, the results are pretty clear he is doing a good job.
        Remember Neal, the coach calls the plays, the players have to execute it. They have not executed in tow big games the last 2 years.

      2. If he was head coach material, he would of been a darn coach by now. There are many coordinators, that became a head coach after being in the Super Bowl, win or lose. Roman might get a head coach job if Cal or SJS becomes available. As for now we are stuck with him and Harbaugh needs to get out of his cloud, that Roman is the guy. Harbaugh definitely needs to take ownership, this one read offensive system, does not work. How the hell do you not throw the dam ball to Boldin, in the final seconds, he is the best receiver in the red zone.

  97. This article is complete trash, and discounts totally the fact that the 49′ers were facing not only the #1 defense in the NFL, but a division rival as well. Division games are rarely easy to begin with.

    Seattle has shown it can be very stout against the run as well as the pass, and the 49′ers were just a couple plays away from winning this game against another very very good team.

    Kaepernick just needs to learn to take a few less chances with the ball when the game is on the line. If a guy looks covered, then either throw it somewhere else, or throw it high enough that if your guy doesn’t get it, no one does.

    And to those saying RW played terribly, he ended the night with a 105 rating, and other than the fumble at the start, did not make any costly mistakes, against one of the top 3 defenses in the league.

    If the hawks had lost, I would have rooted for the 49′ers in the SB because the NFC west is by far the best division in the NFL right now, and looks to be even better next year.

  98. You need to get your facts straight, fans did not throw anything. It was confirmed that a fan dropped some popcorn ACCIDENTALY, not sure where you got your information from but it’s wrong.

  99. You have excellent grades, I appreciate.Don’t you think it is the main discussion.Why don’t we discuss about the real purpose of the games and their outcome.Please respond to my opinion if you comprehend.Thanks

  100. Kaepernick deserves a much higher grade, and this is coming from a Seahawks fan. Thanks to the Seahawks D, the Niner RBs left the building before the game started, and the receivers weren’t far behind. Kaepernick had little choice but to try and win the game by himself, and he almost pulled it off.

    On the 85-yd Q3 drive after Lynch’s TD, half the yardages came on a Kaepernick run and a TD pass that no other QB in the NFL could make. By the time the Q4 came around, the kid just had too much on his shoulders. He turned the ball over trying to make plays in an offense that wasn’t giving him any help whatsoever.

    Look at the big picture: Would the game have come down to the last 20 seconds with Alex Smith at QB?

  101. I saw three, really crucial plays that lost us the game.

    1) Third play in game an obvious running play-stuffed. Why not go for the jugular with the same play that we ran to end the game. Might have caught Seahawks off guard.

    2) Donte Whitner and Eric Read blowing coverage and allowing a big gain. This got the crowd excited.

    3) Not calling Time Out and taking the delay of game which set up the pick and changed the momentum. Everyone complained all season long about clock management and this could not illustrate more comprehensively why the Niners should call a TO in situations like this.

    Forget the last play of the game, we should have had our D keeping them from making a comeback not the other way around. It ruined my Bday!

  102. Whoever threw that popcorn on him was a jacka$$ and the rest of us Hawks fans hope he gets his ticket revoked. But don’t throw stones when one of your non-players clotheslined Lane 5 yards out of bounds on a kick return. Hell- everyone at the Stick did the Wave earlier this season as a player from the other team laid unconscious.

  103. Your “grades” are actually totally nonsense. Basically D’s and Fs everywhere, but if the last pass were just 6 inches higher, and it could have been, the Niners would be in the Super Bowl, and your grades would look like nonsense they are. You need to look at the facts, rather than just following the crowd.

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