49ers 18, Steelers 43: Grades

PITTSBURGH – Here are the grades for the 49ers’ 43-18 Week 2 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

COLIN KAEPERNICK: B+. Most of his production came in garbage time (read: the entire second half), so it’s tough to go gaga over his performance. But he performed well. He completed 33-of-45 passes for 335 yards and two touchdowns, posted a passer rating of 106.7, escaped about five sacks and threw the ball impressively on the move. He was a bit off when throwing from a stationary platform, but his 75-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith was perfect.

RUNNING BACKS: F. The Steelers’ game plan was to shut down Carlos Hyde, and that’s what they did. Hyde gained only 43 yards on 14 carries (3.1 yards per attempt), fumbled once, and left the game to get evaluated for a head injury. Jim Tomsula didn’t let Hyde return to the game.

WIDE RECEIVERS: B+. Torrey Smith was excellent. He caught a pass over the middle, broke one tackle and outran the entire Steelers defense to the end zone. He also made a tough catch jumping over a cornerback on a two-point conversion. Anquan Boldin played well and made a touchdown catch, but he also dropped a long pass when he was wide open. It’s only a matter of time before he’s the Niners’ No. 2 receiver, and Smith is the No. 1.

TIGHT ENDS: D. Vance McDonald and Blake Bell left the game due to injuries, Garrett Celek caught two passes for 10 yards and Vernon Davis caught five for 43. He also dropped a pass. All four tight ends blocked poorly, and the heavy-tight-end sets didn’t work.

OFFENSIVE LINE: F. From the left side of the offensive line to the right side, the pass protection was hideous. They couldn’t block the most basic pass-rush stunts.

DEFENSIVE LINE: F. Sacked Ben Roethlisberger zero times and gave up not one, not two, but three rushing touchdowns to 32-year-old running back DeAngelo Williams.

LINEBACKERS: F. NaVorro Bowman and Michael Wilhoite both got picked on in pass coverage, Ahmad Brooks jumped offside more than once, and Aaron Lynch generated zero pass rush. Other than that, they played well.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: F. The Steelers absolutely abused second-year cornerback Kenneth Acker. Even when he had help from a safety, Acker could not cover Antonio Brown. So the Steelers lined up Brown across from Acker as much as possible. The Niners didn’t adjust until the fourth quarter, when Tramaine Brock got a chance to cover Brown. Brown beat him deep for a gain of 56. The secondary was helpless.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D. Bradley Pinion averaged a measly 42.8 yards per punt, and DeAndrew White failed to reach the 20 yard-line during both of his kickoff returns.

COACHES: F. On offense, the Niners had two 17-play drives and managed to score only three points on them. Offensive coordinator Geep Chryst can’t allow that to happen. On defense, the Steelers completely dismantled defensive coordinator Eric Magnini’s game plan. When Vic Fangio was the Niners’ defensive coordinator, he never got dismantled like Mangini did on Sunday.

  1. I agree with all your grades except for the comparison of Mangini to Fangio. Completely different personnel and both sides of the ball didn’t help each other today. Hence, the “dismantling”.

    As bad as this was today, this is exactly what was needed early in the season for this young team. It was a bad loss, but trust me, more good will come out of it.
    Next week against the Cards is a must win!

      1. Valuable teaching lessons, possibly some humble pie after MNF, and a week to get ready for a huge divisional game! This will be the first real test for Tomsula and staff.

    1. I totaly agree,we needed this loss now rather then later,and Kap`s pass catchers let Him down today, that Miller drop in the endzone would have made the score closer and possibly sparked some momentum for the 9ers

    2. Actually I disagree that Fangio never got dismantled. Remember the game against Denver last year where the 49ers lost 42-17. That game was very similar to this game as far as the defense was concerned and it was Fangio who was in charge of defense and he was roasted in this game.

    3. Why not compare them? BOTH their defenses coughed up 40 points + today. If anything, Fangio’s D got raped worse than Mangini’s.

    1. Grant

      You come off as such a Richard sometimes!!! Gotta laugh at you. Especially, and check this out real good, dude, ESPECIALLY when Vic Fangio’s Defense allowed 48 POINTS today — that’s right, 48 POINTS, allowed by Fangio’s Defense.

      Do you ever think before you write these post-loss recaps? You’re absolutely right, the 49ers defense looked completely overwhelmed today, but on the other hand, you look like a total fool when Fangio’s D allowed 48 POINTS!!!

        1. Grant

          I understand that point. As, surely, you do. So you’re saying Mangini coaches with the same talent that Fangio used to, right? No, clearly you don’t believe that, because you have often written about the talent drain. So what gives?

          While I understand that you didn’t appreciate Mangini being anointed after just 1 game against the Vikings, you need to understand that even a little disingenuousness does more to hurt your credibility than to bolster your point. I think you were better off with the “Mangini ain’t Belichick” sentiment — and should have just left Fangio out of it.

          1. Fangio was masterful last season with less talent than Mangini has now. Belichick’s assistants never succeed when they leave New England. Only great coach who doesn’t have a decent coaching tree.

            1. So masterful that the 49ers went 8-8 and were dominated by the Broncos, Bears, and Chargers. Are you saying this year’s team is more talented because of Bowman or Acker or Brock?

              1. Alright, you have some good ideas. You think if the 49ers had a decent offense last year that other teams might have scored more against them, though?

                Also, i saw somewhere above you said “confidence isn’t their problem.” What, then, do you think their problem is?

              2. Do you have any ideas about how to fix those issues?

                Pass Pro:
                Time to gel? Different personnel groupings? Who was the worst offender, was it Pears, as it appeared?

                Pass Rush:
                Better schemes by Mangini? Big problem here, it would appear. How is Pittsburgh’s OL rated?

                Pass Coverage:
                More time on the field for the youngsters? More involvement for Reaser and Tartt? This goes hand in hand with pass rush, right?

              3. Meanwhile: Borland, Justin Smith, Ray McDonald, Culliver and Cox.

                You are BLIND if you think this year’s defense is ad talented as ladt year’s.

            2. “less talent than mangini has now”?? You cant have it both ways grant. Either our off season was a disaster like you said previously with departures like HOF J Smith, P Willis, All Pro A Smith, and Starters Culliver and Cox, lets throw Borland in there as well. So thats more than 50% of our starting D leaving and somehow we have MORE talent now?? As usual when ur wrong you double down, so i expect nothing less from you now

        2. The Bears defense hasn’t been nearly as bad as the scores indicate. They have actually held both GB and Arizona to 300 yards or less total offense. The problem is the offense and ST’s have been horrible so far and the defense has had to defend short fields.

    2. There are times during most seasons when, due to circumstances, you can take a loss like this and throw it out. I can assure you this is not the type of loss that crushes a teams confidence or will. Look, we all had this game penciled as a loss for a reason. I know, nobody wants to make excuses, but this loss was on the schedule makers as much as it was for the 49ers. I would argue more. The team had very, very little time to prepare. Pittsburgh had all of the time in the world to prepare for this game. The Niners came out flat, which often happens to west coast teams in that 1:00 PM ET, 10:00 AM PT zone. Things snowballed in the first half. Both offensive and defensive lines clearly had tired legs. And Big Ben to A Brown is a tough matchup, even for a rested team, with a normal amount of preparation.

      It sucks to lose, but, I for one, am tossing this game out. Next weeks game in Arizona will tell us far more about where this team is than todays game VS the schedule makers…..I mean, the Steelers.

        1. When the Niners fell behind, and the Steelers had Hyde bottled up, it took away the play-action or roll-outs for Kaep.

          The play-calling was so-so when the game was still close.

        2. I think the issue was fatigue and lack of preparation time VS extra preparation time. The defense simply wasn’t prepared, and they looked a step slower than Monday night. I tie that directly to the very short week with travel to the eastern time zone. I have seen this happen more times than you have been born Grant.

          1. I meant, I have seen this type of thing happen more times than years you have been alive Grant.

            Are you telling me you didn’t see this coming? The same thing would likely have happened to this team last year, and the year before, and the year before. Being a sports writer who covers football and not understanding the importance of preparation time, is kind of head scratching grant. The NFL is all about game planning. If 1 team gets an extra 6 games to actually practice their game plan, and the other team has all of 1 full practice, it’s a huge, huge factor. Throw in the early time zone, and barely 6 days to rest after a physical home opener and presto, you have todays results. It’s really as simple as that.

              1. Not true. Preparation ABSOLUTELY effected our secondary today, more than any other position group. Not saying they would have held Brown in check, but I saw a lot of blown coverages today, and that’s usually attributed to preparation.

                The 49ers simply were not prepared for nthe steelers passing attack today, and that, plus tired legs, is what accounted for the blow out. I’m not saying the Steelers would not have won this game anyways, I am simply saying the blowout happened because the schedule makers gave Pittsburgh a HUGE advantage this week and Pittsburgh took advantage of it!

              2. It was what we call “THE PERFECT STORM”. Sometimes, when a team has an advantage like Pittsburgh did, and then a few plays go wrong, a few bounces go against you, then comes “the perfect storm”. Next thing you know, Hyde bobbled a handoff and boom, light out!

                The Niners played better in the second half, once both teams were fatigued. I wish we would have come out throwing today. Pittsburgh clearly did a very good job preparing for our rushing attack. The assumed we would come out with a conservative game plan, and we played right into Pittsburgh’s hands. And yes, If the Niners had played on a Thursady Night and Pittsburgh was the team who played late into the evening Monday Night , had to travel accross the country and had 1 full practice to prepare, it would have been a lopsided game the other way. maybe not as lopsided, because Pittsburgh has a fantastic air attack, but the Niners would have out-physicaled pittsburgh, and would have probably got the better of them scheme wise.

              3. So the Niners had no pass rush and no pass coverage because they were fatigued from having six days instead of seven to prepare? Really. They played 57 snaps against Minnesota.

              4. The more preparation you have, the better you play. If you’d have coached or played at a collegiate level you’d know this. The Pats have very average CB’s and handled Brown effectively. Had we had 10 preparation and rest, we would have played much better. NFL coaches are told not the criticize the schedule, but all of ours knew the situation going into this game. Not a pretty one. The Steelers effectively got two first games to start the year.

                Every year, the Niner have one of these short week, travel east against top team (who got abused the week before) games, and we get thumped. Then, all these bandwagon fans think the sky is falling and we’re terrible. We aren’t terrible, we are good, Kaep is better, and will show up for Cardinals game and play well. May not win, tough team, but it will be close game.

              5. On THIS point you are right. Our corners got toasted, especially Acker. And this will continue all year ig Mangina insists on blitzing so much out of tight formations.

            1. The problem is, we’ll never know. But one thing I do know. Sunday’s game versus the division leader, is going to be a much, much better barometer!

              1. You may think you know, and I may think I know, but we will never know for sure. Football is a funny game some times. The slightest advantage can often snowball into something even bigger. I think that’s what we saw today. Sometimes it’s a game of inches, sometimes it’s not.

                One thing is certain. Pittsburgh SHOULD have won today, and they did. End of story. Time to get ready for Arizona.

              2. I expect a much closer game. If the 49ers look as poorly prepared next week, as they did this week, I’ll be the first to say, we have a lot of work to do.

              3. It’s seemed to me that Pittsburgh had the 49ers number today. How many times were they in the perfect play call against our blitz? That’s the type of thing you see when a team has extra time to prepare!

            2. I agree Acker couldn’t cover Brown under any circumstances. And like you, I don’t get Mangini’s reluctance to switch to Brock when it was obvious Acker couldn’t cover. If Mangini speaks at a news conference, will you ask him why he stuck with Acker? Has he already been asked? You implied that Mangini made good decisions in the game against the Vikes. Just seems odd he would not adjust in this situation.

  2. “Other than that, they played well.”

    Its hard to tell which team will show up next week? Busta can’t be called up till week 6 right? That’s the end of 3TE sets. Looks like Miller is going to be playing a lot more.

  3. Fangio got dismantled by the Broncos with us and also by the cards today. Pitt passing game is that good. Overreaction last week and this week. 10 rookies were active live learn move on.

  4. It’s as simple as the team isn’t as good you thought after the Vikings and it’s not as bad as you think after the Steelers. It’s smells like a 7-9 or 8-8 year to me.

  5. Fangio got dismantled TODAY Grant, see the Bears Cards game, so whatpoint are you making by saying Fangio defense never got dismantled? Bears gave up more points…woho

  6. I didn’t get to watch the game today, and from the looks of it that is a good thing. We have mostly coaches stemming from the 2007-2010 years, and it looks like we played in that same fashion.

  7. 1. I’m an optimist and always look on the bright side first. Thank heavens Leveon and Martavis weren’t playing.

    2. Niners met with martavis bryant prior to 2014 draft , but opted for ellington instead.

    3. Steelers dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

    4. Kap looked decent passing the ball in the second half.

    5. Our redzone offense is tentative.

    6. In the first half when they lined up for 2 pt conversion, Rothelesberger looked calm and confident. I was sure they were going to score and they did.

    7. Our offense cant just be Hyde caring the ball 25-30 times per game.

    8. I am not looking forward play the cards away next week.

  8. The team looked like an offensive team looks when they can’t block. Nothing more nothing less.
    Give credit to the Offensive players of Pittsburg. Brown is absolutely that good. So is Ben. He has 2 rings. Give the credit that was due.
    Don’t blame short weeks. These men are professionals. Their job is to play football. They are not learning a new skill. Stop making excuses. The team lost. Doesn’t matter if it is by 1 or 100. It’s still just 1 L.
    Every week will be a test, so let’s stop using the cliché the real test is next week. The season is 16 games. Every week is a real test until you secure home field advantage and a first round bye.
    Kaepernick had some good things to take from this game I don’t think he would have done last year. Torrey Smith scored a TD. Lots of positives to look forward to Sunday against Az. There will be some good stories to follow.
    Team is 1-1. Nine more wins gives them a playoff spot. Don’t start worrying until they’ve lost 7 games.

  9. As I watched the game I kept saying the Steelers looked physical and the 49ers looked soft. I thought Kaep had a pretty good game. If Miller had held on to the TD pass and Kaep had scored on what was originally called a TD, it would have been an impressive 2nd half performance by this offense.

    Totally agree with the defensive grading. I can’t think of one defensive player that seemed to have a good game. Secondary performance was embarassing. What kind of a scheme leaves Wilhoite on a WR some 40 to 50 yards down the field. I’ve asked this question before and have never received a response, but, what happened to Keith Reaser?

  10. The 49ers have a young and inexperienced team. We have experienced the highs and lows that come with a young team all in the space of two weeks. There will be more of both to come.

    The main thing is that as the season progresses, the highs happen more often, and the lows aren’t as regular or as low.

  11. That’s certainly grade inflation for Kaepernick. When the game still counted—early on—he was terrible. He continues with the weakness he has shown for years, the inability to score when the team gets to the rad zone.

    Really, whatever was the final QB rating he doesn’t deserve that high grade. He must do better when the game is still open to the Niners, and in this game he didn’t show that.

    1. The first drive was killed by Boldin’s drop, the second drive was killed by a penalty along with two screen passes that lost yards, 3rd drive he was sacked and it ended in a punt, and the 4th drive Hyde fumbled. By that time it was lights out.

      What more could’ve he done to help the team early in this game?

      1. You don’t seem to realize that every negative in the offense is to be blamed on Kaep, even if it is due to the mistakes or bad play of other players.

      1. Ummm…. Ravens and Seattle are two of the most physical teams in the league for years. There coaches are extremely player friendly

    1. I would tend to disagree with player friendly, “soft” team description. I mean, the same team week one looked extremely physical on both lines of scrimmage.

  12. I disagree with F for defensive line. The pass rush stunk, but the starting three had good moments vs a run that did extremely well vs the Pats.

    No need to panic. Its not unusual for run oriented teams to get swamped when they fall behind early. When it looks like everything was falling apart, its usually some identifiable things.

    Difficult To Fix:
    – Poor base 4 man pass rush. The 49ers need an edge rusher not named Lynch that can pressure vs top QBs. Blitzes, fake blitzes, zone blitzes only bringing 4 won’ work.

    – Right Guard. He’s an awful pass protector. Until he’s replaced (Kilgore returns, Martin to RT?) the only passing that will work is play action vs defenses that are easily getting run over.


    – Safeties in the wrong place
    – Drops
    – Penalties

    Summary: I’m going to under-react to this game the same way I did the last. Both games were played in unusual circumstances (Tate game week 1. Travel on 5.5 days rest or am game week 2).

    But things are starting to clarify.

    – Hyde very good
    – CK somewhat improved
    – More people involved in passing game
    – Starting 3 DLs stout

    – Pass pro at RG is so bad its almost a crisis. It can sink the season. Chilo Rachal looking for a job?
    – RT not very good either.
    – Pass rush in base 4 weak.
    – Improved QB still has issues seeing wide open guys

    Lets cross our fingers re McDonald. Hyde should have fresh legs due to lose carries and a 7 day week.

    1. Do you think Martin really has the skills for a tackle? What about the new kid from the Ravens. I guess we’re all grasping for solutions as is the coaching staff. I think Kap is more than somewhat improved. I think your points about under reacting are good.

    2. Good synopsis. Can’t put too much stock into this one. A bunch of little things contributed to this getting ugly fast, and factoring in one team having excess rest and prep and homefield + timezone advantage… that doesn’t excuse the way the safeties were skewered, how our CB’s forgot to make contact at the line on press coverage, how horribly the OL held their lanes on the zone blocking runs, and how our OL was fooled time and again by stunts. I think more prep time for our 21 year old C would help with the latter, but we got abused by their LBs, and Kap was running for his life. Most importantly, we don’t get any penetration with our 4-man rush. Can we give our rookie 1st rounder a shot on 3rd downs? Someone? Brooks and Lynch did nothing (except for picking up the worst penalties possible, where they give up a free play and don’t even rush the passer).

  13. “When Vic Fangio was the Niners’ defensive coordinator, he never got dismantled like Mangini did on Sunday.”

    Fangio also had Justin Smith, Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis, Chris Borland, Ray Mcdonald, Chris Culliver, Perish Cox, a pre injury Bowman and a way better punter who pinned teams back. Think that may matter?

      1. Yea…and Denver dropped 40+ on THAT defense too…Rivers had 38? Too much hyperbolic statements being made on this site….

          1. Not really.
            His post is in response to Grant statements that the defense under Fangio never was dismantled that way. And it was. Last year there was less talent, that’s the explanation. But it also applies to this year’s def.
            Also, we still don’t know where this D will be in the final rankings. It might be top 10 too.

              1. Fangio’s defense also never gave up huge back breaking plays.
                Then again he had some premiere pass rushers while in SF.

              2. It’s silly to put an exact number on it. Too many variables. Different players, etc. Fangio gave up more points than Mangini did today. That trumps your silly, 42 point argument.

              3. Mangini has basically a completely different defense. Yet were going to compare him to Fangio and his defense that was pretty much stacked from the day he walked in. Sounds logical.

  14. It isn’t surprising to see our DBs get torn up by Antonio Brown, because he’s the best receiver in the league, but DHB is another story… I don’t think the coverage was terrible though tbh, Big Ben just played a near flawless game with his ball placement.

  15. “When Vic Fangio was the Niners’ defensive coordinator, he never got dismantled like Mangini did on Sunday”.

    The Broncos dismantled Fangio’s defense pretty good last season in Denver (scored 42 points that night).

      1. Yes, thanks too a couple badly blown coverages, a few perfect passes by Ben, a costly turnover, a little bad luck, and a whole lot of confusion.

        Nobody’s talking about how good Minnesota looked today. Why not? Clearly they are an up and coming team. And they got their arses handed to them last week despite being fresh, and having 4 months to prepare.

        1. Their running game was soft. Turner’s plan was to run Peterson out of shotgun 11 personnel. That was idiotic, especially when Peterson averaged more than 5 yards per carry with more than 2 tight ends on the field.

          1. Given the limited number of times Peterson ran out of multi-TE sets against the 49ers, I don’t know you can make a strong argument that was where they went wrong. They tried to get the 49ers into nickel and dime, which is exactly where they’ve struggled to stop the run in the past. The 49ers just did a good job of limiting Peterson last week.

  16. Does anyone besides Grant think the Davis is a better running back than Hayne? And was it white that ran backwards on his punt return?

      1. Those 3 rookies looked like rookies. No worries there. The came off of a big high after a dominant performance Monday Night.

        What concerns me more than anything is Ellington and McDonald simply cannot stay healthy. Ellington get’s hurt on his last play of Thursday’s practice? Very disappointing. I can’t speak for McDonald because I didn’t see how he got hurt. I hope it’s not serious.

      2. These are professional athletes. They aren’t being taught Japanese in 6 days with the expectation that they will speak and read the dialect in Kyoto.
        The short week argument does not hold water. Saying it louder and in more words doesn’t make it a better argument.
        Pittsburg exposed weaknesses and capitalized on them. It’s what good teams do. SF did it last week to Minnesota who had 6 months to prepare for the game. What’s their excuse?

  17. This was almost a guaranteed lost based on the schedule. The team has a long way to go. The Defense got exposed, Mangini got exposed, and now they have to adjust.

    The O-Line reverted back to pre-season form, and the wide open holes were gone.

    I know people are going to hate me for saying this, but when it matter Kaep just did okay. Before the hates comes, these are my reasons:

    Kaep still struggles in the red zone for whatever reason. And there are still time-out issues, a few looked like it was on him. He walking up to the line with 4 seconds left and then the RB was point at the play clock. The missed TD pass to Miller is mostly on Miller but if he had thrown the pass a tad earlier, that split section that also costs him, it might have been a TD.

    In the 2nd half during garbage time Kaep did make some great throws, that pass to Torrie Smith is definitely a confidence builder and Kaep had a few drops so his completion would be higher. for him, 33/46 for 353 is pretty good. And he was a half yard short or he would have had a running TD.

    His reads are completions were good, although most were 1st read throws. And he was throwing hard. He had a nice touch pass that Boldin dropped, but it would be nice to mix in a few more of those.

    Overall there are signs of encouragement despite the ass whupping.

    1. “This was almost a guaranteed lost based on the schedule.” Agree totally.

      The 49ers were the sacrificial lamb with it came to resolving scheduling binds.

      Just like before the 2011 season. The schedulers assumed the 49ers would stink, and said “what the hell, make the 49ers the first team ever to fly 3K miles for a Thursday game.”

    2. the 49ers lucked out only playing the Steelers back east. They face the better teams like the Bengals, Ravens, and Packers at home.

  18. How many times have DC’s issued the challenge to Kaepernick to beat them through the air by focusing on shutting down our run game and how many times has Kaepernick made them pay for that strategy?

    1. This isn’t the knock on Kaepernick that it sounds like. It’s more about why doesn’t the team have an answer for when the running game has been shut down. Are they truly that one dimensional? If not then did the offensive line really play that much better in the second half or did they just finally start calling the right plays.

        1. I think it is more than a possibility htwaits. It looked to me that is what they did. Played less aggressive D in the 2nd half, were content with 4-man rushes for the most part and plenty of cover-2 from what I could tell.

    2. That one pass to Torrie Smith was a good sign. It’s whether he can keep doing it over and over.

      With Kaep you play the odds, how many great plays can he make vs. how many ordinary plays will he miss?

      He didn’t have a bad game today, except for the red zone. I was surprised they let the Boldin TD stand. He totally opened up his stance again and didn’t step into the throw. That has to change.

    3. Ummm…Vs Atlanta in the NFC Championship game…Vs. Carolina AND GB the following year…IN THE PLAYOFFS…Firat game of 2013 season vs GB…IN GB…He beat the Pats…IN Foxboro..IN December…which hadn’t happened for a decade? The short memory and HATE of Kap is comical on this site…lol

      1. In those game did the defense focus on stopping the run game? let’s see who has the short term memory around here.

      2. Can’t put this on kap, great points @ AG. Fact is this o line is horrible. Big Ben just sat back there all the time he needed. Everyone relax Seattle is 0-2, we are one win out of division lead. I would have been fine with that after first two games

    4. I’m not calling anybody out, just throwing thoughts out there. I’m really disappointed in Baalke for not doing a better job of replacing talent on the offensive line and I’m extremely disappointed in the performance of our defense today. I’m really not sure just how much of what we saw you can lay at Mangina’s feet, the players were simply getting beat and not making plays.

      1. Pretty sure Baalke thought he’d still have Anthony Davis playing RT this year so it’s hard to blame him for a 25 yr old retiring at the last second and hanging the rest of his so called brothers out to dry.

        1. You’re correct about Davis’s retirement and its impact. We don’t know what Baalke did behind the scenes but its seems like if he’s as good of a talent evaluator as he thinks he should have known Pears was a liability and that he needed to make a trade for someone who could play the position better. He also should have known the guys he drafted weren’t ready either. Seems like anyone with PFF membership knew Pears was a liability. Maybe he tried the market and there wasn’t anything?

    5. CFC
      Off the top of my head, 2013 season opener GB sold out to stop CK and the read option and had 412 yards and 3 TD dropped on them in a 34-28 loss

  19. COLIN KAEPERNICK: B+ ??? If the score goes 29-3 NO quarterback anywhere gets a B+ unless he pulls out a win. Racking up yards against a prevent defence means nothing.

    1. you did watch the game, right? He made the most of what he had. His biggest failing was a fumble that McDonald recovered. He had no time, made good decisions, good throws, ran well and scrambled well.

      Also, most people refer to it as “defense”, though I can see how you’d be confused by the fence signs at the stadium.

  20. Looking at the schedule before the season began, I expected us to be 1-1 after two games so I am not all that down.

    Kap’s play was certainly a positive. I think it is unfair to write off his second half play as garbage time. If anything it was even more impressive because by then the Steelers could pretty much ignore the run and throw the kitchen sink at Kap. Last year’s Kap would have folded under pressure and thrown two or three picks. We did not see that today.

    However, if we cannot generate a pass rush, then the secondary will be hard pressed to keep up with some of the QB’s we will face he rest of the year. Palmer, Rodgers, Eli, Flacco, The Midget, Foles, Ryan, Dalton, Stafford. Mangini will need to start earning his salary if he wants other shot at a head coaching job.

  21. Don’t agree with the garbage time remark.
    He played as well as you could ask in the first half. Sacked, set back from negative runs and penalties. Converted a ton of 3rd downs with his arm. If you watch the game again they started going downfield late, they should have had those plays called earlier in the game.
    This supposed prevent Pitt went to, which is garbage because he was still pressured and sacked and it didn’t prevent anything. Because he threw for 3 td’s.
    Sorry I’m not a ck apologist but he and smith were the ONLY ones who played well today. And that’s a great sign them hooking up like that today.
    Way to many run plays called today. It was like Harbaugh was back and trying to impose his will on something that won’t work. Ck should have thrown more today.

    1. The running plays were easy to figure. There needs to be some more options than the toss sweep. Where’s the counter? Remember Terry Kirby ? How about the trap play? Pittsburgh defense was so aggressive and over powering, we should have used it to our advantage. Just a bad run play calling game after Pittsburg had forever to get ready.
      No crossing routes, pick plays etc…..
      This was a trap game for sure and maybe it could have been avoided if the stayed near Pittsburg to get used to the time change. How about Tomsula’s alma matter? The team was half asleep during the first half.
      Pass rush anyone?

  22. A great question by someone asking why can’t the 49ers make teams pay when they load the box?
    Today, and like most other times it’s been protection issues and Kaepernick’s inability to trust the throw. So many times today he looked poised on passing on downs and on others completely flustered. Maybe it’s still a process in his development.

    1. He threw well when he had the first read, it was when he had to go to the 2nd and the pocket collapsing around him. He has to see the throw instead of reading the D and know where to throw it with a split second. He waits, and then he has to scramble or he got sacked.

      If we treat this as rebuilding year, then we want to see him improve on this the year goes on. He still looks uncomfortable when he has to go throw progression when the pocket is collapsing. Just look at Big Ben. He stands there daring people to sack him.
      Of course he had all day back there.

      1. And that’s the difference Fan. The Niners didn’t generate any type of pass rush and Ben had clean looks.
        CK had no time whatsoever.

        1. That was my point — that when the pocket collapsed he had a split second to go to his 2nd read and throw it, if he trusted himself. That’s not a knock oh him. The O-Line played poorly today.

      2. Crap!!!! Not today. He went through reads and trusted his throws a lot today. You don’t throw for that many yards on one read throws. And with the pressure he felt today I’m shocked he did that well. That prevent defense talk is garbage. He and smith showed up today. Nobody else did! Period

        1. He got most of his yards in the 2nd half. Just watch. I’m not even knocking him! He was decisive and made the read and throw. But in the red zone it’s still a struggle.

          1. Not sure that’s true. He threw 2 TD’s had another dropped and had poor play calling and poor execution in the run game. But its an improvement for you.

              1. One TD was a long pass. The TD to Boldin could easily have been over-turned, but it wasn’t so it counts.
                The two failed 4th down plays at the goal line.

                It’s never Kaep’s fault. I get it.

              2. Why do you have to be so extreme? It is his fault much of the time, but not this game on many of the plays.

          2. I agree most of it was garbage time, but then again most of the game was garbage.

            He played really well and made a valiant come back effort. Had we not come up empty in those red zone drives it could have been a different game. I agree protection w a awful, but also when a team plays from that far behind then the run game vanishes and they become one sided.

            The defense worries me, next week will be huge. Can we limit the big plays from Brown and Palmer?

              1. It didn’t look to me like they were really trying to comeback, so much as using the second half to get in some offensive rhythm. As you say, they did a lot of clock chewing for a team supposedly looking to get back in the game.

              2. When your hopelessly behind, maintaining drives keeps the defensive snap count from getting out of hand. They need fresh legs for AZ.

              3. Gee Grant, you disappeared on your own blog last week, and when they lose, you become a Chatty Cathy.
                funny how you emerge only to rip this team, but I surmise it is formulaic, and expected.
                Niners took what the defense gave them, and progressed down the field. The Steelers defended the deep ball (unlike the Niners), so the quick strikes were poor offensive options.
                I am extremely proud of the Niners, and how they fought hard even with the lopsided score. Many other teams would have crumbled, but the Niners were resilient and tenacious. When I saw them go for it, I almost had orgasmic convulsions.

          3. I know he got his numbers in the second half, but you and others are claiming Pitt let up off the pedal. His completions and the timing of them were good. I’ll tell you what most qb’s do when they have a big 3rd down dropped on a nice drive and penalties with negative plays that back you up 30 yards do in times like that…. They don’t throw td’s. His team let him down today. That’s not a question. His first half might not have looked pretty on the scoreboard but no way can any logical thinker can blame him for those sacks, penalties and negative runs. I would suggest you watch it again, but it wouldn’t matter. You will give him zero credit for what he did right. There will always be a stipulation attached. Dude balled today considering the circumstances. And this is what I said would happen. We will never get to see the full potential with an O-line like this! It’s pretty sad! Because it’s obvious he’s gotten better over the offseason
            Like he’s let his team down vs Seattle in the past. They let him down today and the coaches did too. Shake it off, and learn. Give him some time and he will pick apart defenses.

            1. When I say the Steelers looked like they were easing up in the second half, I don’t say that to diminish how Kaep played. He played well in the second half. But one of the reasons he was able to play well is the Steelers weren’t being as aggressive, which was providing him more time in the pocket.

      3. Yup, now if only we can get Kaep to play defense and get a pass rush pressure on the QB.
        I guess the defense gets a free pass, right Fan?
        How dare Kaep give up 43 points!

      4. Let me ask one question, do you know for certain he just went to his first read? You absolutely sure? Because you can’t possibly know that.

  23. TWO FUMBLES….!!
    FIVE QB SACKS..!!!!!
    7 for 17 on third down (41%).
    my, my, my.
    KAPURNICUS… dreaming of 8-8, maybe.

    1. Lol and what was the average yards needed of those 3rd downs?
      I know I know it’s his fault they couldn’t run, or play defense and those damn penalties. Curse you Colin!!!

  24. Thought the hit on Hyde was cheap, looked like Mitchell(#23) intentionally went at his knees then celebrated when it looked like Hyde was hurt. Hyde wasn’t really the same after that and neither was the Niners offense.

    1. Nukes- It looked like he intentionally went for his knee to me as well. Very dirty play. Hyde wasn’t the same but he didn’t have the same type of holes to run through this game.

  25. No hand wringing on my part. Our QB did a commendable job in the second half I don’t care what the circumstances were at least he didn’t quit. Now he understands he can perform well under adverse conditions in this case a blow out- yes you can Kaep. That one pass to Smith was a thing of beauty and Kaep should relish it-yes Kaep you can do it too like Rogers and Brees. The rest of the game was something to learn from and I trust this staff to make the right moves to achieve progress. Remember success is a series of failures. I love that the 49er players are the topic of conversation not the head coach.

    1. HT – Apologies for saying that you were aka Fansince47. I seem to recall you saying that you went to your first game in 1947 and because of a brain fart I just assumed that that was when you first became a fan. That said, you are making me very nostalgic because for so many years us old timers had to look for consolation whenever the Niners somehow let us down. The youts that inhabit this board have no idea of the years of disappointment that the faithful have endured and are still focused on the Eddie D/Bill Walsh glory years. I hope they return soon. But I now live in Phoenix and the Arizona Cardinals have been re-building since 1947. (Please forgive me but I just bought two Cardinal hats for my grandsons and they have a little ’47 on the side to commemorate their last championship). That’s what bad (no very bad) owners can do for a franchise. I’m not a hater and not a pessimist but I can’t help thinking that when my grandsons are my age the Santa Clara 49er hats will have a ’95 on them to commemorate their last championship. My own personal opinion is that is there will be no more championships until there is also a 1 on the hat, with the 1 signifying the number of years since the Yorks owned the franchise.

      1. Why not? I was at Kezar for one of the Raider’s first games. Me and a half dozen sea gulls watched them get blown away. That’s the last time I went to a Raider’s game, but when they have been good they are worth watching – today especially.

  26. Optimist Viewpoint:

    1. Second half, Kaep made good decisions, good passes, and 49ers would have finished the game with 32 points (29 in the 2nd half) if Miller hadn’t inexplicably allowed the ground to force him to drop an easy TD catch on a perfect pass, and if Kaep had gotten another foot before being tripped up.

    2. 49ers have learned to possess the football, proven in this game against a good defense, by maintaining multiple drives of over 15 plays.

    3. Kaep showed in the 2nd half that he can play spread scheme effectively, getting rid of the ball quickly and distributing it to all of his receivers.

    4. All 4 of the 49ers WRs and TEs caught at least 1 ball today, even Patton and (I think) McDonald.

    5. The egomaniac HC Harbaugh is gone, and this HC doesn’t appear to be wedded to his own peculiar vision for the offense; the result will be that the 49ers will take the positives from this game (see 3 & 4) and become a much more dangerous, complete offense the rest of the season.

    6. Smelter, Bush, Ellington … ???

    1. I still think his first half was also a good one. He missed three throws and Boldin dropped a huge 3rd down. Had to fight bad runs, and penalties too. I’m actually more happy with his first half over the second.

  27. Seb…. On suicide watch? It seems like he’s that fan that talks about the naysayers predictions and disappears when they come to light. That’s pretty bad seeing this is a niner fan page with a few trolls visiting.

    1. No, I did not post until the Seahawks remained firmly in the cellar with their 0-2 record and 3 game losing streak. Just that thought will make this next week bearable.
      I must admit the Steelers were tough. I said previously that Big Ben was a dangerous QB, and they would be desperate for a win. I did not think that the DBs would be torched, and the Niners would march on 17 play drives and fail to score.If Miller had caught that ball, Kaep had advanced 1 more yard and they had converted that first and goal opportunity in the first half, they could have had 21 more points and made the score respectable.
      What I did love was that the Niners went for it many times.
      When they go for it, I am happy.
      Kaep had a 106 passer rating and threw for over 300 yards.
      Kaep had more 4th quarter passing TDs than all of last year.
      I predicted Torrey would score a TD.
      I wrote a post before the game, and I think Ben read it.
      He thought ahead 3 plays, and set up the defense.
      He invited the blitz, and burned them by targeting the space the blitzer left. Steelers were very calculating in their play selection.
      He ran plays quickly, and caught the defense off guard.
      Ben avoided the Niner strength and passed over it .
      Overall, the Niners are not as good as their first game, and not as bad as this last game.
      All the mistakes are correctable, and I do not anticipate Boldin dropping a pass again when he was that wide open. Still think 10-6 is achievable, so I am still optimistic. I hope they put the Mangenius label to rest. This team has talent, and they will learn from their mistakes.

  28. I’m curious to see how a “players coach”, one who is loved by the players, reacts to this embarrassment. Will his “we are all buddies” shtick continue to work. Sometimes it is the hard-ass coaches who can get the most out of players. Bill Walsh was feared by his players. They really only came to love in retirement, after the Championships. I hope the best for Tomsula and the niners, but I have lots of doubts. Hope to be proven wrong.

  29. Some people have short memories around these parts, Harbaugh’s Super Bowl bound Niners were embarrassed by the Seahawks 42-13…..then there was the Denver debacle, a year ago. It happens, even good teams get a beat down.
    This team is 1-1, still learning how to win and this was a team loss. We’ll see how the coaches and players respond, a division road game is up next.

    1. So Bowman would tell you that those losses you referenced are great and all but those were veteran laden teams and a totally different team than this one so I’m afraid according to Navarro Bowman who answered a similar thought to yours that it is apples to oranges. I believe he cited 8 or 9 vets that are no longer here. Gonna be a long season. Just accept it. Hate it and crucify that puke Jed York but get used to it

    2. Steve Young’s Superbowl season contained a major embarrassment administered by the Eagles at Candlestick park. There is no correlation between team embarrassment and future success.

      1. What it meant for that team was that they started the seasonwith four out of five of their starting linemen out with injuries early in the season.

    1. Speaking of that dispicable excuse for a human being, Jed York, how can we hold him accountable for this season that inevitably will result in 4-6 wins. GRANT you are our only vehicle to tell that loser how we all have to suffer theses losses at work every Monday while he counts his billions. It is supposed to be SuperBowl or bust according to him and I’m pretty sure this team ain’t playing in that game in that stadium. HATE YOU JED YORK

  30. I thought Kap played a heck of a game with zero help from his teammates. OL and key drops and Geep Chryst. I’ve seen enough of him already to know we have Hostler and Jimmy Raye calling plays again. Zero creativity and the opposition pretty much knowing what’s coming until garbage time. The defense is disturbing. Not even a QB hit today. Has that ever happended? Imagine if Kap had protection like that.

    1. The offense you’re complaining about is Baalke’s choice – “What he means to say is that we’re going to run the ball.” … JimT’s First Press Conference.

  31. The safeties had a horrendous game. Eric Reid is badly overrated. Anyone see his angle on the 1st big play. My god. He has been declining since his 1st 6-8 games 2 years ago. Nw that I think about it the corners weren’t much better. Get used to these scores on the road. Why would another team even bother trying to run on this team? Just spread it out and throw 40 times and you roll

  32. Impressive first week win over a pre-season pick by many to be a team on the rise. Second week, secondary exposed by one of the best receivers in the league and a suspect defensive scheme. Stop me if you heard this 12 months ago.

  33. We can’t get Kilgore back fast enough.

    After a shaky first week performance Evan Mathis was serviceable in week 2. Baalke let the team down by not obtaining that player. If we had the ability to plug Boone back in on the right side it wouldn’t fix it but it certainly would give us a better squad then what we’re currently putting on the field.

    1. The ripple affects of Kilgore’s absence are having a pretty big impact. I think he’s out a mandatory number of weeks, but I’m not sure when he can return.

      1. He’s ineligible to play for the first 6 weeks of the season. After that he has a 5 week window in which to start practicing. From the day he starts practicing again the team is given 3 weeks to make a roster adjustment.

  34. For all of the guys saying ck had his success because Pitt “layed off” ok!
    Let’s imagine what he would do then if he had an o-line that made it seem like the defense “layed off” I still don’t think it would be good enough. The story then would be. “Anybody could pass behind that line!”

    Damned if he does, damned if he don’t! Smh

      1. That’s the “no excuses” analysis of QB problems. According to that point of view, no QB should allow a bad OL to influence their play at all.

              1. Brooks is a liability. He constantly lines up too closely to the LOS, then he jumped offside and gave Ben a free play that he took full advantage of.
                I would activate Lemonier and let Brooks sit on the bench until he learns stop shooting himself and the Niners in the foot.
                Niners must cut down on the unforced errors, or the Cards will repeat what the Steelers did.
                Hope Coach Tomsula can make the tough choices and sits down the weakest players for the good of the team.
                Otherwise, Palmer and Fitz will have a field day.

              2. Hah. They Let Brooks play with a case hanging over his head. No way they sit him.
                And the one thing I worried about was costly penalties. Those are not going to stop. This team is going to be a penalty magnet. Brace yourself for it!

    1. Pears and Devey were woeful, but Boone also had some whiffs. Staley even missed a block. Maybe Easton, Thomas and Brown need to get a chance.

    2. Any QB not named Montana is sentenced to eternal damnation by 49ers fans. That’s what perfection does: once attained, anything less is deemed insufficient.

  35. Its pretty rare you see a team win the time of possession battle 37 mins: 23 mins, yet lose the game by 25 points. That should tell you everything you need to know about how poor the 49ers D was today.

    1. One good thing we’ve seen in both games, Scooter, is that the offense has been able to move the ball in the second half and today they moved it well. I just have to hope that someday, they’ll learn how to actually punch it in (still can’t believe Miller didn’t maintain possession on that TD).

      1. That Miller drop was horrid. Especially on the back of Boldin and Davis having easy drops on that drive too.

        Have you noticed that Kaep rarely seems to pass over the middle in the red zone? Might need a fact check, but I’m struggling to recall many times he’s gone over the middle down that end. That’s where the 49ers athletic TEs should be dominating.

        1. I can’t remember him throwing over the middle in the redzone either. Good observation. I wonder why. I don’t tweet, but maybe somebody could just tweet him in an innocuous way and ask why they don’t throw over the middle in the redzone. Don’t expect an answer but maybe it will get him thinking.

  36. Yep. Living here in Seattle, their loss is a nice consolation prize. My neighbors will keep their mouths shut tomorrow. However, so will I.

      1. This was Davis’s chance. They gave him all the reps but I don’t see him displacing Hayne. Be interesting to see what they do next week. who will be inactive?

      2. You’re too early on that. It was a surprise to see him active to begin the season and it’s entirely possible he was only active today because of Bush’s absence. It was a long shot that he made the team and the fact that he was active to start the season really says a lot about the guy but we still need to keep the situation in perspective that he’s still an NFL rookie and to see his role reduced is more about the team recognizing they probably put him out there too soon then it is about his long term efficacy.

      3. The experiment is not over…but it is just that, an experiment. Only delusional and rabid fans anointed him the second coming of Superman after watching him return punts in pre-season….t was pre-season for God’s sake! The real test is game 1 through 15. He’ll get better but with time, and no, he is not superman..hardly better than what we have now.

      4. Well, everyone was clamoring for Mike Davis, and he gained 14 yards on 7 carries, so he did not light up the field.
        Hayne could not receive punts because the Steelers punted rarely.
        In the end, they punted high and short, so there could be no return.
        Hayne is an intriguing weapon, but this game did not allow him to demonstrate his skills.

  37. Well, the Niners did not execute, players dropped wide open passes, and Ben was untouched while torching the secondary. Too many stupid mistakes and dumb penalties. Play calling regressed and game management still needs work. Kaep should never, ever walk up to the line, look confused and call a Time Out. Wasted time outs and dubious challenges were frustrating. I said before that time outs should be considered precious, and saved for the last 2 minutes of each half. Kaep had another DOG penalty, which made me grind my teeth. Poor coaching doomed this game, but i did see glimmers of hope.
    Kaep had 323 yds passing and a passer rating of 106. Kaep threw for more 4th quarter TDs than all of last year. With the Seahawk loss, the Niners are not in the cellar, and still have hope.

  38. I took my stepson to the Raiders game (Raiders fan and $25 tix) so wasn’t able to watch much of the game…….. but from the start of the game, my disappointment was that we weren’t challenging Pit down the seams w TE’s and seemed to focus on what worked last week, which is fine, but ….. I just hope we don’t get predictable which is what we have been in the past couple of years- which resulted in Seattle putting 8 in the box. Akin to Strickland throwing 99 mph fastballs, if you know what is coming, you can plan for it. The 49ers and Chryst need to keep the defense guessing. That is my hope moving forward and why I welcomed the coaching change, on both sides of the ball.

    Off to AZ next week and I will remain optimistic- and be there cheering.

    If anyone has the schedule for the replay, let me know please as I would like to see the 2nd half.

    1. I watched the Bills vs Pats game. We were all happy to ship Roman off but the Bills offense scored 32 and ran a variety of plays. I was pretty happy with Geep Chryst last week, but this week the game plan looked very generic. The Niners weren’t able to be more physical then the Steelers.

  39. Is there any way we can find anthony Davis’ address and drag him back in the building? We need that guy. You missing football yet PW? :/

  40. Was Minnesota really that bad that this team we saw today that got rolled, this same team can beat Minnesota? Man it must be brutal being a Vilings fan….

        1. Gotta give credit where credit is due. The Steeler O line is stout, and gave Ben all day to throw. I do not think he was even touched.
          Hope the Cards O line plays like a house of cards.

    1. Max:

      Magini was able to make a fool out of a rookie/new QB like Bridgewater…he’s not going to fool Ben–as we saw today…nor Palmer.

      Throw in a corner blitz and Palmer will toast your D like Ben did today. The D made even Heyward-Bey look like Jerry Rice out there.

  41. Niners miss a having a slot receiver with sufficient quickness to have a reliable threat with throws after a 2-step drop. Getting rid of the ball quickly is one standard way of hiding mediocre-to-poor pass blocking. I guess Ellington was supposed to be that receiver.

  42. 49ers pass rush, secondary and O-Line are all glaring weaknesses.
    While the secondary has the potential to improve the O-line and D-Line are not going to get much better. And these two components are supposed to be the 49ers strength both from Baalke and Tomsula.
    I see Singletary 2.0 unfortunately. Our real problem is the ownership whose egos cause them to get rid of good coaches.

  43. missed this game so appreciate the review even more…sounds horrible. am hoping that this was a semi-likely result of a young, rebuilding team on a short week with big transitions in coaching going across the country to play a very tough team with a smart coaching staff. 49ers are either a better team in 3-4 weeks because of this, or we’re dangling in the wind.

  44. Two things that I take away from that loss: Kaepernick has improved. He moved up in pocket, threw accurately with touch and went through progressions.

  45. You write your blogs in such a manic way. Either the entire team is masterful or they are dismal. There is no in between with you. The 9ers traveled cross country on a short week to play an opponent who had 10 days of rest. If you didn’t see this coming then you are blind. Let’s give it a few more weeks before doing a comparison of prior coaches.

    If you can’t resist and You must compare coaches then compare Tomsula to Harbaugh. That’s where you should start. Or start talking about Baalke. Tomsula and Baalke are the guys who hired a guy to be DC that was a TE coach just 2 years ago. Or blame Baalke’s drafts for the dismal performace. Baalke has drafted 16 defensive players in the past 3 drafts. Only one of those guys, Eric Reid, looks like he could be really good. Carradine has a chance but hasn’t done much to this point. Baalke’s drafts look like total busts to me. He’s either brilliant and all those chances will pay off down the line or he’s the captain steering the boat right at the iceberg. We’ll know that by end of this year.

    1. Damon Bruce ‏@DamonBruce · 1h1 hour ago
      Some statistical padding by this offense in junk time (Kap had like 30 passing yards at half). Don’t be fooled, this was really bad today.

  46. I can agree with most of Seb’s and some others diagnosis. However, Under current management, the 49ers really do not explore weakeness in the TTopponents pass defense, unless forced to. As structured by Baake, the 49ers will only pass if forced to. Kap only had 30 yards passing at the half.
    The 49ers prefer to keep it close to the vest, run, play tough defense, and win by a field goal

  47. TomD

    September 20, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Damon Bruce ‏@DamonBruce 3h3 hours ago
    Steelers got 8 in the box, the #49ers are being dared to throw, and won’t until it’s predictable on 3rd down. Bad things.

  48. Geez, we lost a game, not a season. I prefer the blow out too losing the close game. This was a team lost, from the coaches to the players. When the Niners choose to throw the red flag so early in the game on a play that really didn’t mean anything, to me was an indicator how this game was going to go and it did.

    Adjustments, adjustments, adjustments.

  49. Kaepernick had a +7.4 pass grade against the Steelers. I believe that’s the highest pass grade for a quarterback so far this season.

      1. As I stated last week, lets see what happens when the 49ers face a real QB.

        Listen gang, practicing the passing game just does not happen over night. The Steelers have not won 6 Superbowls for lack of intelligence….
        Smart football teams take advantage of current rule changes favoring a passing offense the NFL has instituted for larger revenue share…Fans love the long ball.

    1. Yep

      Anthony G ‏@Anthgn 8m8 minutes ago
      Colin Kaepernick’s +7.4 pass grade against the Steelers from @PFF is the highest any quarterback has earned so far this season. #49ers

      1. You can keep posting all the stats you want that occur during garbage time (when the Steelers have such a huge lead the 49ers are forced to pass)…But can you pass when a team actually doesn’t want you to is the question.


        September 21, 2015 at 8:11 am

        Damon Bruce ‏@DamonBruce · 1h1 hour ago
        Some statistical padding by this offense in junk time (Kap had like 30 passing yards at half). Don’t be fooled, this was really bad

        1. The Steeler’s could pass when the 49ers did not want them to.
          Why can’t the 49ers return the favor? Because it’s not in their DNA. They are happy grinding out 18 points, with no Red Zone ability what so ever.

        2. Grades take into account the situation and the difficulty of the pass. Throwing darts against good coverage while under pressure is still throwing darts against good coverage while under pressure. Kaepernick also played well in the first half when the game was still in doubt, just poor offensive line play, a drop by Boldin, and a fumble by Hyde limited the offenses output. Also if Bruce Miller didn’t drop an easy touchdown, the game might have been 26-36 in the fourth quarter.

            1. Was looking for you yesterday. Got worried when not only did you ignore my early morning ridiculousness but you were completely absent from the days festivities. Next time check in if you’re going to be out past 10.

        1. I will restate Damon Bruce all day if necessary


          September 21, 2015 at 8:11 am

          Damon Bruce ‏@DamonBruce · 1h1 hour ago
          Some statistical padding by this offense in junk time (Kap had like 30 passing yards at half). Don’t be fooled, this was really bad

        2. Passer rating has little to do with quarterback performance. Especially when the 49ers had at least four drops and one was for a touchdown.

  50. Well it looks like I was off by one week in my blowout prediction. I wasn’t a fan of the Tomsula hire but I will give him the benefit of the doubt, this is a very young team and as long as I see improvement throughout the season he is ok with me. I don’t see the O line improving much but I do expect to see improvement in the DB’s and pass rush, if not I have no problem with one and done.

  51. Although a heavy user of PFF stats it’s worth noting that according to their grades we have the 8th best passing game and the 10th ranked run defense.

    It’s also pretty interesting that between the two games we essentially averaged the same points scored, 18 g1 and 20 g2. That’s about right for what we’ve come to expect from this offense and this is coming from two defenses that were/are considered fairly poor. So far the offense looks eerily similar in production to the ones that preceded it.

  52. I was not able to watch the game, so all I have seen are the highlights (or lowlights, as the case may be). From what I have seen, it looks to me like the good, what there was of it, was okay, and the bad, of which there was plethora, was really ugly.

    The interesting thing about a game like this is that there is plenty of data for those who want to see the worst in the team, and significant data for those who want to see the best in the team. For me, from what I have seen from this game, it does nothing to make me move from thinking the team will go 8-8 +/- 2 wins.

    But hey, I went 5-10 in the Pick ’em this weekend, and I have no confidence that Indy will make me 6-10 when all is said and done, so clearly this was a bad week for showing that I know much about football.

  53. A lot of people last night and today getting on Colin Kaepernick and Eric Mangini. Not sure what those 2 guys can do when the corners let the Steelers run right past them. If anyone knows a defensive scheme other than a prevent on 1st and 2nd down to prevent this, please apply to the San Francisco 49ers immediately.
    This was a game you watch with all your rookies and harp on how important it is to play 60 minutes. Then you set a match to the DVD and move onto AZ.

  54. The game was over by halftime. There are going to be days when the defense will not be able to stop anyone so it’s up to the Offense or Special Teams to pull some weight.
    Hyde is going to be a great back. He didn’t have the holes he had last week. The DBs are young, Acker is, and Ben is a great QB — which leads up back to our QB:

    I’ve written this season off a rebuilding year, and if Kaep gets better, then this would be a successful year. I realize now this this is the con that Jeb York wants me to believe. He’s selling hope, not championships. So long as you are happy that Kaep threw for 353 in a losing effort, most during garbage time, then he’s got you.

    Grant’s dad wrote a great article about Tomsula being nice to all the players. Walsh would not accept that. Winners don’t accept that. Singletary was not a good coach but he had the right mentality — He wanted winners. He was hard as heck on Alex and you know what? Alex deserved those boos in the Eagles game. No one cares that he really didn’t have an WRs and O-Line, much like we don’t care if Kaep doesn’t have a line now, but he does have WRs.

    The Silver lining is few good throws from Kaep, some nice reads, but that’s a silver lining and should not be considered the standard.

    In the first half the offense was anemic. Stop making excuses for dropped passes and penalties. Same crap happened with Alex, with Tim Rattay, JR Sullivan, Shaun Hill etc. QB is the leader of the team and when the team loses, yeah it’s a team lost, but leaders step up and take responsibility. Game was over by halftime so we should look at the play of the O in the first half. This was not Kaep’s worse game by any means, lord knows he had worst, even considering he only threw for 50 or so yards.

    Let’s expect better output because Jed York is laughing at us and counting our money while he banks on our faith. We fell for it with Alex Smith — hey look he’s getting better in year 6 — let’s rise up like those monkeys in Planet of the Apes. We’re the monkeys and Jed York is William Dafoe in the remake.

    BTW — I watched the game in the sports bar in LA and some dude started Kaep in his fantasy day league and he was laughing at how he was going to win because Kaep was going to put up numbers, practically all of it during garbage time. It’s going to LOOK like had he a great day event though he did nothing in the first half. That’s what it comes to — winning a fantasy league with garbage numbers. I never seen a white dude get so pissed over a failed fourth and goal run in a blow out game.

    1. Honestly, only someone with an agenda against Kaep would look at yesterday’s performance and say he was no good. The pass protection in the first half was simply awful. No two ways about it. And no QB looks good in those circumstances. We could have had Big Ben as our QB and he would have struggled too.

      The reason he looked significantly better in the second half isn’t because the coverages were super soft. The Steelers weren’t playing a prevent D. The Steelers were giving up some underneath stuff, but in general the coverages were still sound. WHat they stopped doing was getting after the QB as much, and the 49ers used more quick hitting passes. Once Kaep was given a little bit of time, he looked good. No mystery there.

      If you think the magic bullet for this offense against the Steelers in the first half would have been to have a different QB, you are kidding yourself.

  55. Anthony davis was a huge loss. JimT stated they were aware that he was thinking about this. We don’t draft anyone but some scrubs at the end of the draft. It boggles my mind that baalke wants to play smash mouth run up the middle football and thinks we can through a bunch of cast offs out there to get it done. Fact is Devey and Pears wouldn’t start for anyone else in the nfl. But that is our starting right side. Also Boone played horrible and was getting abused up the middle all day. Unless this can get corrected with Kilgore and some other adjustments it’s going to be a long season.

  56. Also how horrid the o-line is gives the OC much less flexibility. Instead of going after and trying to exploit teams weaknesses he has to keep extra people in to block, leaving less one on one matchups on the field.

  57. I am glad Coach Tomsula is taking my advice. I said that Kaep should not worry about the score, and just concentrate on scoring TDs. Sounds like he said the exact same thing to Kaep.
    Kaep should set a goal of scoring at least 7 times per game.

    1. Roethlisberger is currently averaging 11.1 yards/attempt–Tops in the NFL.

      Big Been Racked up 267 yards on 6 passes (28yds, 35yds, 48yds,56yds, 59yds, 41 yds)
      vs 49ers, and could have had more, but chose not to during garbage time. The only ones racking up yards then were the weak 49ers, when the Steelers were not guarding, but playing clock mangagement.

    1. “It could go in any direction—good, terrible, mediocre, whatever; it’s all up in the air, maybe for the first time in about five years.”

      I disagree with Kawa. The same record as last year: 1-1. That season went in unpredictable directions as well and ended as it began – .500 ball. As far as I know last year is also part of the last 5 years. So more of the usual hyperbole from Mr. Kawakami.

      1. If you made a point beyond the “no one knows how this new team will turn out” that Kawakami is making, I’m missing it. Bowman seems to be making the same point, and so am I.

        1. The point I’m making – last year, the same coaching staff as the previous 4, the same veterans as the previous 4, that season spun off in unpredictable directions as well. Weren’t we the pre-season Super Bowl favorites? Everybody is excitable that this is whole new team. And it is, but last year’s team wasn’t the same as the previous ones either. My point is, our “rebuilding” project is in year two. So, IMO journalists and fans (and maybe even players) need to stop the comparisons of this team to that of the Harbaugh dynasty.

          1. Yoda, Bowman, and Kawakami agree with you. It’s only Baalke that denies the rebuilding status of this team, and I don’t think he actually believes that they are not in a rebuilding mode.

              1. Maybe I am too invested in this team and am blinded by the years of fandom, but this team is very capable of making the playoffs. Especially in the NFC where there is maybe 2 teams that are locks to be in.

    2. “Their pounding Week 1 victory over Minnesota? Nothing but a false positive.”
      I take the Sports Section of the Merc for morning bathroom reading, where I express my feelings eloquently about Kawakami’s daily drivel.

      1. Yeah, I guess the pounding they gave the Lions was nothing but a false negative? There’s something amiss here, the Lions are supposed to be playoff bound and the Niners the worst team in the league.

  58. Acker had a really bad game. Here’s the thing — look at how accurate Ben was throwing those long balls. He threw one pass off his back foot and it was on the money.
    He’s scary good.

    1. We have not seen an accurate long ball in 15 years + (or since the York’s owned the 49ers).
      The coache’s hired since then had the receivers line up 1 foot away from the side lines so if the pass was thrown poorly, it was either long or out of bounds.

      With a confident team, you can recognize the WR splits, Wash, Holmgren, Shannahan, Gruden, Caroll–all had the WR’s line up close to the Numbers.

      1. In Kaep’s defense,
        he threw a nice deep ball to Crabs last year in the Rams Monday Night game. And the pass to Torrie Smith for the TD was on the money. But Big Ben was throwing nice rainbow passes and the WR didn’t break stride.
        I think Kaep threw one nice ball to Randy Moss in his first year.
        Right now Kaep’s bread and butter is the fast ball. In the 2nd half he got in a rhythm with nice one read three step throws because the Steelers were conceding the underneath passes.
        So long as Baalke is in charge the Niners will draft good defensive players but never good skilled offensive ones. This is more like Ravens type football then Niners West Coast ball.
        There is nothing revolutionary or evolutionary about the approach. We may be repeating the Nolan/Singletary era. I miss Dennis Erickson! He failed in execution not in philosophy!

  59. Kap talks reasonably well these days in pressers, succinct but not terse. He style is similar to his HC’s, first Harbaugh and now Tomsula, which is natural for a young QB. Harbaugh dominated the public face of the Niners to such an extent that Kap, who engages with the social media, may not have felt a need to connect through the professional media.

  60. Jed York
    ✔ ‎@JedYork
    Tough loss. Appreciate the #49ersFaithful around the world for the support. Hats of to the @steelers….

    3:54 PM – 20 Sep 2015

  61. A quote from David Shaw at the Colosseum onSaturday evening after the win against the Trojans:
    “The difference between football coaches and the rest of the sane world, we understand sometimes you don’t play well,” Shaw said. “Outside of the football coach world, people look for somebody to blame. It’s got to be play-calling or personnel usage, this or that. Sometimes, you just don’t play well. We didn’t play well the first game, for whatever reason. We got back and got after it.”

    1. I don’t know Prime. Reid to me seems better suited as the strong safety as he plays the run exceptionally well. In pass coverage, he looks to gamble too much. I know every teams wants their safeties to be interchangeable but Bethea and Reid need to get it right especially with such young corners they are working with.

    2. Reid blew the first big play to Brown, but other than that he didn’t play too badly. The CB’s – particularly Acker, were getting beaten so badly there wasn’t much Reid could do. Even Bethea got beat badly for a TD, by DHB of all people. Just a terrible day all around for the defense.

  62. I think another reason for optimism regarding Kap’s growth is how well he performed trying to get us back in the game. In the past we’ve all seen Kap lose his cool and look terrible when we’re down big. But he kept his cool and made some great plays, had a strong over all game, and even took that approach to the podium, instead of pouting and giving one word answers he showed maturity.

    I hope we can carry this momentum and rythm on offense to next week, but turn it around in a big way on D.

    We’ll see I guess.

    1. There’s as much value of Kaep’s 2nd half performance to Gabbert’s performance in the pre-season. It was garbage time!

      Wrote this earlier, here it is again:

      BTW — I watched the game in the sports bar in LA and some dude started Kaep in his fantasy day league and he was laughing at how he was going to win because Kaep was going to put up numbers, practically all of it during garbage time. It’s going to LOOK like had he a great day event though he did nothing in the first half. That’s what it comes to — winning a fantasy league with garbage numbers. I never seen a white dude get so pissed over a failed fourth and goal run in a blow out game.

    2. Kap had several positives both during and after the game:

      1. He avoided the late game interception(s).
      2. He threw a fourth quarter touchdown (two, actually).
      3. He spread the ball out among different targets (two games in a row, at that).
      4. He was somber but thoughtful in his post-loss press conference.

      These are all things he did not do well last year.

      Kap is still a work in progress, and the development we have seen is incremental, but if he can consistently build on these positives, (aye, there’s the rub with respect to Kap’s development – consistency), he may solidify into at least a good quarterback.

  63. This loss feels like the beginning of the Erickson era. They came out strong during the first game and quickly fell apart as the season wore on. The York’s have ruined this franchise. John York was wise enough to know that he wasn’t a football guy and got out of the spotlight. Jed is the owners son that nobody respects because he is unaware of his weaknesses. He isn’t a football guy. If the team wins, he’ll poke his head out with some quote that seems at home in a Calvin and Hobbs meme. If they lose, he’ll continue to hide in his rat hole and behind Baalke.
    It just feels like despite whatever good fortune the Niners accidentally bump into (Harbaugh&Co.) they will destroy it. The fake front office momentum seemed to have dissapeared the moment they cut the ribbon on Levi’s Stadium, which is why Harbaugh didn’t care about the ceremony in the first place.
    This may be a bit of a rant but we have endured a decade of futility followed by a few years of substantial success. Everything good about this franchise over the last ten years was derived from Harbaugh’s tenure. He was both dysfunctional and great, like most highly successful people. The York’s have shown that they prefer functional and below average over the years. Now that they have their cash cow stadium, there is no reason to change.

    1. Comparing the rosters of what Erickson had to today’s roster is night and day.
      This roster has talent, it’s just young and learning a new scheme. Let’s not pretend this organization is not committed to winning because they let an ego maniac go!

    2. BigP,

      I’m not sure it’s the beginning of another terrible era, but I agree with you on Jed. I lost all respect for the guy with all the rumors that were coming from the team to undermine Harbaugh, and then his condescending nonsense about how the decision for Harbaugh to move on was mutual. I can live with things that are beyond your control that hurt your football team, it happens, but Jed was responsible for some self afflicted wounds that have truly hurt this team imo.

      1. I don’t think it will be an era of futility, but I don’t think it will be an era of sustained success, either. Their edge is gone with Harbaugh and they have lost a lot of great core players. It’s very hard to find those type of players. The Niners had those players and Harbaugh made them better and won.
        He was a complete pain in the rear and unbearable to be around it seems, but the impact of great coaching should not be underappreciated. I feel like it was by the front office. Letting Harbaugh go wasn’t the indicator, it was the hiring of Tomsula.
        I hope he does well, as does the front office. I knew Harbaugh would do well, as did the front office. Tomsula seems like the kind of guy who’s wife keeps a bag of baby wipes in her purse for when he spills food on his shirt at seemingly every meal.

      2. That should have said “inflicted” not “afflicted”, total brain cramp on my part.

        I agree with you again. I like Tomsula and hope he does well, but he seems like a guy the players will tune out eventually and start to take advantage of. There is a fine line between having players respect and them not wanting to play for you, and Harbaugh found that. They love Tomsula the man, but I’m not sure how much they will respect Tomsula the HC. We’ll see as the season unfolds.

        Like when Singletary was hired, this is the only team that would have hired Tomsula for this job and the reason is Jed thinks anybody could Coach this talent and win as was reported last year.

        1. Rocket,
          I think my frustration stems not from Tomsula’s hiring, but by the fact that Baalke will survive his eventual termination. Jed is terrified of Baalke. I beard Jed walks through the team cafeteria with two security guards dressed in 49er polos, the result of having hot wing bones thrown at his back during a prior walk through. Rumors have it that the flying fowl bones came from Harbaugh’s table.

  64. I will always root for the niners.

    If the wheels continue to come off how long will it be before Jed turns on Tomsula? Will Baalke survive? My best guess is that if they don’t turn it around Tomsula will be gone at the end of the season and Baalke will get to choose one more coach.

  65. Jim Tomsula looks like a guy who buys a dozen donuts, and puts one in his mouth before carrying the box out of the store with 2 hands.

    1. — While the Steelers dominated the 49ers throughout the entire game, quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s (+3.8) play can provide hope to the team’s fans. Kaepernick’s pass grade of +7.4 was actually higher than that of Roethlisberger’s, as the San Francisco quarterback accurately delivered 11 of his 13 passes over 10 yards, although two of these were dropped. Kaepernick completed 27 of 32 passes when he was not blitzed and finished with a passer rating of 126.8 on these throws.

      Just in case nobody read it!
      He balled in both halves. His team bailed on him. Period!

  66. Ok for all those trying to diminish what Kap did yesterday, give it up. He played well the entire game, not just in the second half, and the Steelers were not playing a prevent defense in the second half either.

    If you watched the game, then you saw the following in the first half:

    First drive end with a perfect pass by Kap to Boldin that was fumbled. Called a drop, but it was a catch that was knocked out of Boldin’s hands.

    2nd Drive end in a FG after a holding penalty to Pears and two screen plays that lost yardage put them in 3rd and goal from the 20.

    3rd drive end when nobody blocked Stephen Tuiitt, a DT lined up in the A gap, who proceeded to run right up the middle for a sack, along with the OLB who beat Pears.

    4th drive end when Hyde either didn’t know he was getting the ball or just didn’t clamp down on the handoff quickly enough.

    The offense was moving the ball on 3 out of 4 of these drives and only ended when somebody screwed up. Kap played well in the first half, he just didn’t get any help.

    The second half, they started throwing the ball regularly and Kap got into a rhythm. The Steelers were not playing much differently from the first half defensively. The biggest difference was the offense stopped shooting themselves in the foot the way they did in the first half with the exception of one possession where Boldin and Davis both dropped passes and the TD Miller fumbled when he hit the ground.

    If the defense had been able to get a couple of stops in the second half, the game might have been close at the end with how the offense was moving the ball.

    They lost this game based on the play of the Oline and defense; not Kap.

      1. Scooter,

        I’m glad you wrote a response to Fan. It gets old coming from me all the time I’m sure. It really gets tiresome reading the same old nonsense about Kap from these two. Oregon’s comment in the previous thread was even more incredulous.

        Kap obviously has his flaws, but if you only read the views of these two you would think he was Cody Pickett.

        1. I admire the patience you two exhibit in breaking it down for those guys. All I can bring myself to do is make some smart-alecky comments.

          1. I’m pretty close to that myself Grimey. Eventually I realize there is nothing that will change a person’s mine and start to ridicule their beliefs instead.

            1. I never said the reason the Niners lost was because of Kaep. I said his numbers are inflated and they only put up 3 points in the first half despite moving the ball. What were the problems last year? Oh yeah, red zone efficiency.

              Every QB has dropped passes, so why do Kaep’s dropped passes count more?

              The main culprit of the loss was the D-back and the O-line, but to say Kaep played great during garbage time simply means you will look at any little reason to validate him as a QB and that’s the saddest part. Admit that the 1st half his numbers aren’t that good and when the game was out of hand he was able to move the ball.

              By your logic Blaine Gabbert was amazing in last year’s loss to the Broncos because he scored the only TD of the 4th quarter during garbage time in that game.

              1. Fan, just because you start a post with “I’m not bashing Kaep”, or “Not blaming Kaep” and then go on to bash or blame him, does not mean you aren’t bashing or blaming him.

                All of your posts about how the offense didn’t do anything in the first half are really about how a good QB would have found a way. Ergo, Kaep is not a good QB.

                But here’s the thing. A good QB most likely would not have found a way. There is a very good reason PFF has the 49ers OL ranked last in pass blocking efficiency. They stink. And that directly impacts on how the QB and the offense plays.

                The way you say it you’d think Kaep never even had a positive play in the first half. Complete hogwash. The reason the 49ers O didn’t get much done in the first half were the negative plays. There was far too many of them. Was Kaep responsible for those too?

                Some of the negatives you have pointed out about Kaep in the past have had some truth to them. But when you are trying to use yesterday as an example of him not being a good QB you are seriously grasping beyond your reach. You don’t think much of him. That is clear. But if you can be slightly objective for a second you’ll realise Kaep was actually pretty good yesterday.

              2. I didn’t say that either. I’m just not patting him on the back for racking up 274 yards during garbage time. Would a better QB rack up more then 3 points in the first half? Maybe. Would a better QB have forced the Steelers to not stack the box? Maybe.
                For some reason the red zone offense is not efficient, either because of play call or execution. We had this problem last year as I recall with the same QB with the same lankey slow delivery We are looking for signs of improvement, aren’t’ we?

              3. No. You are very careful these days to not say Kaep isn’t any good. You merely imply it with every post.

              4. I stand by my opinions. I don’t have to be careful. I said my peace about what I think of Kaep. I don’t hate him, I expect more. I doubt he will ever be good or reliable.
                Are they improvements? Sure. Has he reached an acceptable standard level of play? Ummm. No. But if you want to give hime a gold star for throwing TDs during garbage time, knock yourself out.

              5. Nope. I just want to explain why using yesterday as an example that confirms your negative opinion on Kaep is drawing a very long bow. Unsurprisingly all you can do is point to the scoreboard and say the O didn’t put points up in the first half, therefore he wasn’t good enough. Zero analysis of how he actually played.

              6. Fan,

                Admit that the 1st half his numbers aren’t that good and when the game was out of hand he was able to move the ball.

                This is the problem with your comments in a nutshell. You make a statement like this and provide zero context. Ok so according to you Kap’s numbers weren’t very good. Why is that? You don’t allow for the reasons why and that is the problem. Tell me why Kap should be blamed for the lack of scoring in the first half? In my recap below I went through the 4 drives and how they ended. Not one was due to Kap doing something wrong or not making a play he should have. You make blanket statements that are back handed shots at Kap while not allowing for any other circumstances that may affect his performance. That is the problem with your continuing critique of Kaepernick. There is absolutely no objectivity.

                I don’t look for reasons to validate Kap as a QB. I call it based on what he does and don’t play the silly circumstances game you like to incorporate. If he plays well I don’t look for reasons to criticize him. If he plays poorly I don’t sugar coat it. It’s called being honest and not having an agenda.

                The last thing we should be debating today is how well Kap played. The game was lost by poor play in other areas and yet here you are focusing on what Kap didn’t do. You have tunnel vision fan. You are obsessed with one guy who you seemingly don’t want to see succeed for whatever reason, and it’s gotten to the point you don’t discuss much else on here. You can actually be quite thoughtful with your views at times but more often than not you just bash the QB.

            2. Don’t waste your time trying to change hearts and minds, just win and leave them listening to Willie Nelsons’ My Broken Heart Belongs To Alex Smith….

      1. The AZ game will reveal that a long season just got a whole lot longer if they lose like they did to the Steelers. AZ is a much better team, and last year’s team almost lost to AZ during the last game of the year when they started Ryan Lindley.

        If the team tries to bell cow Carlos Hyde and the AZ stacks the box and Kaep doesn’t make them pay, then it will be a very long, long season.

        If AZ lights it up on the Defense, then it’s a long, long season.

    1. Let’s see if they can lick their wounds and defeat the upstart Cardinals on their property after getting their own collective asses handed to them….

  67. This game set up poorly for the 49ers.

    The 49ers played poorly, obviously.

    The secondary covered the deep ball terribly. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen another secondary get beat any worse. Is the 49er secondary the worst in the NFL? I’d say no.

    I also believe that learning and implementing Mangini’s more complicated system might be part of the problem. Of course, maybe the defense is going to vulnerable to a good passing game all year

    Let’s give the Steelers some credit. They were nearly flawless. Roethlisburger was on fire. Of course, the poor coverage helped, but Roethlisburger hit every opportunity.

    The O line was awful and that’s a problem. That must get solved. If it doesn’t, then the offense is going to struggle.

    There were two TD’s, that weren’t. Had those been TD’s, the game would’ve looked a little better.

    This game did set up as a loss, but not like the one that happened yesterday. Someone called it a perfect storm and that was an apt description. If the 49ers played like they did and the Steelers had an avg day, loss. If the 49ers played ok, but the steelers played like they did yesterday, loss. Short week vs long week for an early east coast game, probable loss. They all happened together, so we got yesterday.

    Many good teams suffer a bad loss during an otherwise good season (see the last 49er SB winner, list to the Eagles 40-3, in ’94). I’m not saying this edition of the 49ers is s SB team, but one game, doesn’t tell the whole story.

    CK does look better, though, and that’s a good thing.

    1. Sometimes faking a blitz can put a safety/linebacker in a bad position. Teddy B couldn’t take advantage of this but Ben could. Also we have talented but young CBs, so they’re going to make plenty of mistakes, and get taken advantage of by good QBs.

  68. Some more thoughts on this game and others I got a chance to watch:

    The right side of the Oline is bad, but yesterday the left side took it’s turn as well. Both Staley and Boone were beaten cleanly for sacks and there were hurries given up across the board. Just a really really poor game from the Oline.

    Chryst really calls a conservative game even when he has nothing to lose. This was a good time to work on the 2 minute drill and go to an all out passing offense to see if they could execute it efficiently, and yet they just stuck to the clock eating run/pass/playaction mindset that while effective, burned up so much time they couldn’t get enough possessions to make a game of it. I wanted to see more urgency and aggressiveness.

    So many dropped passes, and most weren’t the usual Kap fast ball finger breakers.

    No pass rush whatsoever. Even when they brought blitz pressure they weren’t getting there. As bad as the CB’s played, the pass rush was just as bad.

    Two bad challenges by Tomsula. Neither had any chance of being overturned. Not even close.

    In other games:

    Carson Palmer had the easiest 4 TD game you’ll ever see. He threw for less than 200 yards and was setup in good field position all afternoon. The Bears are really a disaster on offense and ST’s.

    Great to see Russell Wilson throw away another game, and then get chastised by Aaron Rodgers saying “God was a Packer fan tonight.”

    The Ravens are in trouble. When the Raiders look like the Saints offense in it’s prime against your defense, you have reason to worry.

    Chip Kelly not looking very genius like these days. A few, including me, questioned overturning a pretty good roster so drastically in the offseason and it’s coming home to roost. The Oline is getting destroyed up the middle where Mathis and Herremans used to be, DeMarco Murray is longing for last year in Dallas, Bradford looks like a deer in the headlights. and Byron Maxwell is getting exposed as a good but not great CB who got paid based on being a part of a dominant unit in Seattle. Bad times in Philly.

    No Romo, no Dez, no problem. Dallas may still win the division with how terrible the other teams in it are.

    Matt Stafford isn’t going to survive the season with the beating he’s taking. Detroit is another team that looks in disarray.

      1. 49er game-film is available league wide. Now that the Niners showed us their one or two plays involving 3-tight end sets the season is over.
        Pittsburgh defended that well, and since we only had 30 yards passing by half-time, teams are unafraid of that also.

        Damon Bruce ‏@DamonBruce · 1h1 hour ago
        Some statistical padding by this offense in junk time (Kap had like 30 passing yards at half). Don’t be fooled, this was really bad

    1. Completely agree Rocket. Ithe definitely could have been a different outcome. Just an all around bad game that where we hurt ourselves more than the opponent did. It was great to see Kap play the way he did. Like I said I hope this at least gets the offense motivated and in a much needed rythm.

      Defense is no doubt a concern, so Arizona will be huge for us. Luckily not every team has an Antonio brown, but Josh Brown is probably as close as you’ll get in the division. I want to see how they do.

    2. The national media was looking forward to the Chipster having a successful season and completing the task of reshaping NFL offense. Looks like that’s on hold.
      It’s tough to win in this league.
      Meanwhile, the Cardinals may be 2-0 but they are only a few seasons removed from starting with a 4-0 record and then collapsing into a sorry mess that went 6-10. Arians may be a genius but they are still the Cardinals, and Palmer is still made of china.

  69. The offensive game plan was truly offensive. The 49ers should have come out with quick hitting passes to the flat the underneath targets just like New England did the week before with great success. The Pittsburgh D was stout against the run versus NE the week before and the Niners should have expected the same.

  70. The game announcers mentioned several times how the 49ers had several long drives (at least 2 but I think it was actually 3) of around 17 or so plays. At the time I thought that seemed like a large number of plays. This got me thinking about the number of plays to score a touchdown. I wasn’t able to find an average number of plays per touchdown assuming the offense starts from its own 20. But if we assume that a team needs 3 down to gain ten yards, needs to go 80 yards and scores a touchdown, then the number of plays is equal to 24. So 17 is probably on the high end.

    So I’m wondering if there is an optimal number of plays per touchdown. Of course, a team can’t just pick a number, but the offensive system and play calling can, on average, dictate approximately how many plays to expect to score a TD. We have a grind it out offense that looks like it will take a fair number of plays to score, whereas, teams with elite QBs like GB, Pittsburgh, etc. tend to score more quickly.

    So some of the major advantages of taking more plays are:

    1) rests the defense
    2) uses up clock

    Some disadvantages are:

    1) RBs typically take a lot of hits because many of the plays are running plays.
    2) More plays mean more things can go wrong, especially, the potential for fumbles.
    3) High number of average play could tire out the offensive line although I believe it has been documented that defensive linemen expend more energy on average than offensive linemen.

    I’m just wondering if there is an optimal design of the offensive system for increasing the odds that a team will be successful. No doubt, the quality of the players matters more, but you can draft to fit your system. I’m talking about, on average, say over at least a season. Clearly, if there is a WR wide open deep you’re going to throw it regardless of what your general offensive system is.

    So as an example: Does a slow, grind it out offense generally have a higher probability of success than a quick-strike offense, or vice-versa, or is there really no practical difference. If you could choose would there be a preference to draft for one type of offensive system versus another. Now, I know it’s not that simple, but just curious if anybody has any thoughts or information on this.

    1. Cubus,

      The easy answer is: there is no answer. Long drives are great, but not when you are far behind on the scoreboard. A quick strike offense is great, except when you are in the 4th quarter of a tight game, and your defense is exhausted because you are so far behind in TOP.

      A combination of both is ideal, but ultimately you win based on how well you execute the system you run.

  71. Damon Bruce ‏@DamonBruce · 1h1 hour ago
    Some statistical padding by this offense in junk time (Kap had like 30 passing yards at half). Don’t be fooled, this was really bad


    September 21, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    49er game-film is available league wide. Now that the Niners showed us their one or two plays involving 3-tight end sets the season is over.
    Pittsburgh defended that well, and since we only had 30 yards passing by half-time, teams are unafraid of that also.

      1. Not sure how high you would score on the test considering how emotional you’re getting over the second game of the year-oh and quoting Damon Bruce is nothing to be proud of. Once again, second game of the year- either take a Valium or take a risk, go introduce yourself to someone in the “real world today”. Make a friend. Maybe then you can earn their attention, instead of trying to get attention on a blog.

    1. View, Your opinion of the two run plays involving 3-tight end sets the niners were so secretive about in summer camp.

      Intelligent staff, Can we ask them for 2 more run plays to make it a full offense now?

      1. Everyone, not just Damon knew that the Steelers would stack the box. We, as fans
        discussed this, and Seb even posted this Steelers strategy.
        View, what you’re referring to is your own problem of facing what everyone knew was coming

        1. The 49ers had a week to prepare for what we fans saw coming and could not develop a game plan…Why don’t you show some honesty here and admit, the 49ers faults instead of blaming the media.

  72. I thought kap played extremely well given the circumstance.For all those who say it was garbage time,there is no gabage time in sports.There was never garbage time when I played at any level.There is always something to learn,winning or loseing.With that I’ll say we looked tired and slow and Pitt.capitalized .They came out up tempo(like we were supposed to be)put us on are heels early.it’s not like they stopped us we just shot are self in the foot constantly.dfence was decent against run untill late. pass d terrible all night 3 and longs and Ben would drop back wait….wait throw deep to wide open wrs all day . Can not win with d any day period.

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