49ers 19, Rams 16 (Overtime): Grades

SANTA CLARA

Here are the grades for the San Francisco 49ers’ disappointing 19-16 overtime win over the St. Louis Rams. This win hurt the Niners’ draft position probably more than they know.

GABBERT: D. Did his best to lose the game during regulation, but gave away the loss with two nice throws during the final drive of overtime. Unacceptable in a must-lose game.

RUNNING BACKS: F. Starter DuJuan Harris led the team in rushing with 67 yards on 16 carriers, and receiving with 86 yards on eight catches. Who asked him to play so well?

WIDE RECEIVERS: B. Anquan Boldin tried to negate his 33-yard touchdown grab by pushing a cornerback to the ground before catching the ball, but the official didn’t throw the flag. Still a good effort by Boldin, though. Only so much he can do in that situation.

TIGHT ENDS: A-. Blake Bell was a non-factor, catching one pass for five yards. He did his part, as did Vance McDonald, who let a pass fly through his arms on 3rd-and-4 from the Rams 37-yard line with the game on the line in the fourth quarter. That drop should have lost the game, but the Rams’ kicker missed a 47-yard field goal as time expired.

OFFENSIVE LINE: F. Gave up only one sack. Bad week for this group to play its best game of the season.

DEFENSIVE LINE: B. Gave up 133 rushing yards and sacked Rams quarterback Case Keenum no times. That’s the spirit.

LINEBACKERS: B+. Ahmad Brooks made the play of the game. Someone pushed him, then he turned around, smacked a guy who didn’t push him, drew a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness and got benched for a couple of quarters. How come NaVorro Bowman can’t make a play like this? Some leader he is.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: F. Gave up only one deep pass during the entire game. It’s like they weren’t even trying to lose.

SPECIAL TEAMS: F-. Phil Dawson made all four of his field goal attempts and won the game with a field goal during overtime. All he had to do was miss a couple and the Niners would have lost. You don’t expect a veteran to make those mental mistakes.

COACHES: A. Don’t blame this win on the coaches—they put their players in position to fail. Geep Chryst called those third-down screens that almost never work, Eric Mangini called that safety blitz that almost never works (today the Rams beat it for a 54-yard gain), and Jim Tomsula punted from the Rams 37-yardline instead of attempting a game-winning field goal toward the end of the fourth quarter. That’s how you lose a game. Unfortunately, the players didn’t execute.

UPDATE: The 49ers fired Tomsula. Unclear if they fired him for winning or having a bad record.

  1. Exactly. When JT called a punt for a 17 yard net gain instead of trying the game winning long field goal, I really think either he was doing it for a better draft position or I’ll be damned if he really is as clueless as we suspected from the start and should be shown the door along with Cassie Baalke’s dad.

  2. They ended up with #7 overall. I never thought they were going to end up with anything better then #5. With the players in that range the dropping back of two spots has little impact on who we ultimately end up with.

              1. You don’t get a shot at elite talent that often, which is what a lot of recognised draft people consider him to be. If the 49ers can trade back to the late teens, get some extra picks, and still get Smith, I’d be good with that.

              2. Depends on how bad the injury is. If its pretty clean guys can come back from an ACL injury without much dropoff. Look at Revis. He had a bad ACL tear and has come back at near the same level.

              3. I don’t think you can assume he’s still ‘potential’ elite talent after this injury until you see him come back and when exactly would that be. He’s injured it so late in the year that he’s not going to be ready for the start of the 2016 season and in all likelihood will be played sparingly if at all next year which means we’re using a high first round pick on a player that probably wont see real action until 2017. Big injury and almost two years out of football, he’s a big talent but those are big odds to be using a first round pick against. We’ve also seen what a gruesome knee injury can do to an elite inside linebacker, sure there’s an age difference but you can’t deny that it took it’s toll on Bowman’s ability to play the game.

                I doubt we’re gonna find someone that is going to trade from the teens up to #7 if Goff is already off the board which he’s likely to be. If we’re stuck at #7 then no way we should take him and no way should we give away picks to trade back into the end of the first to take him either.

              4. CfC, if it turns out to be a bad tear like Bowman’s, then sure. But as I said, if turns out to be a pretty clean tear, and “just” the ACL, recent history suggests he should be able to come back from it ok. There are a lot of guys in the NFL with torn ACLs. Myles Jack is considered a top 10 pick…

      1. I agree, Baalke will blow the pick anyway unless the next coach gets it written into his contract that he is in charge of players.

        We can only hope!

        Either that or we end up with another safety.

        Jaquiski Tartt and Jimmy Ward have any more friends in Alabama who need a job?

    1. There’s no way you can predict the potential difference between picking at 7 instead of 5. Say Goff is off the board at pick 5 or 6 and ends up having a career akin to his fellow Cal Bear, Mr. Rodgers. Then instead of getting him we draft a position that inevitably has less impact on a team even if they are elite and continue to be another perennial loser.

      I’m not saying Goff is Aaron Rodgers, though I do think if he sat behind Gabbert for a year or two he can be a really good player. We will likely have to trade up to secure him now, and maybe even if we had pick 5, this MEANINGLESS OT win just makes it less likely.

  3. Can this idiot team do ANYTHING right? They NEEDED this loss badly for draft position. Another year of Tomsula-Gabbert-Geep … can’t wait for training camp! Next goal – two wins or less in 2016. Who’re the top QBs in the 2017 draft?

  4. Hopefully we’ve seen Brook’s last game as a 49er. Not only does he stink but he’s costing us a fortune.

    1. Did they let him make it back to the locker room first or did they just escort him from the field to Jed’s play room?

    2. Do hope that Grant and Lowell will be at the presser tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. and that
      some frank questions are addressed. It is about time.

      1. I feel bad for the guy too Scooter. But like you said, it’s better to stop the bleeding now. Now, let’s hope that they have learned their lesson.

      1. Do you really think he has a “traditional” NFL head coach contract? I’m thinking something more like Colin’s contract.

  5. 49ers Chief Executive Officer Jed York will personally address the matter at 10:30 a.m. Monday morning in the Levi’s® Stadium Auditorium.

    That should be fun.

  6. A garbage win by a pathetic organization. Even in victory they find a way to F….k it up. Embarrassing win. Go from 5th to 7th in draft over a meaningless 2015 win. This organization will rot in cellar hell for the next 3 years or until Jed York hires a real football guy and gets the hell out of the way. Pathetic. I’ve watched this team since 68 and this has to be the worst decision making organization I’ve watched.

      1. Interesting that Eddie D. rightfully fired Thomas but Jeddy Y. seems to want to double down on Baalke. I have always believed that Baalke has to go to Joe Thomas Land before the 49ers are back!

  7. Well, if this means that Chryst is gone, I will not complain too much.
    Now, If Jed does not look hard at the job Baalke has done, he will just continue his losing ways.

    1. At some point even he has to point the finger at Baalke.

      I read an article today that very few GMs in football get to pick 3 Head coaches.

      Unfortunately for us Baalke is I rare company.

      After this next coach maybe Jed will figure out that Baalke has been the problem all along with his suspect players following the 2011 draft.

      Yes, 5 years later he is still getting credit for the 2011 draft.

      What have you done since then??

  8. From your father’s blog:

    “York will meet the media Monday morning at Levi’s Stadium…”

    If you and Junior (Senior) don’t fry this fat toad, I’ll never forgive you…

    Please step up to the plate and show no mercy to the York Dork…

  9. “The 49ers must pay Tomsula the remainder of his scheduled $10.5 million as part of the four-year contract he signed last January that averages $3.5 million a year, a source told CSNBayArea.com.”

    1. Why would how much Jed York has to pay his friend/yes man that he personally wanted against the advice of the whole entire league bother you?

      It don’t count against the salary cap or anything.

      I am happy for Tomsula on the count.

      He can officially retire.

      1. I just posted a quote from an article with no attached opinion. Why did you invent the idea that it bothers me?

        I wish people were smarter.

    2. Good for Jimmy T. I’m happy he’ll have that money after sleeping in cars just to coach. He no longer lives “in a van down by the river.”

    3. I would love that kind of failure. It’s still hard for me to believe that Tomsula actually got that secure a contract with no escape clauses.

  10. And Balke should be right behind him if York has 2 cents worth of brain cells. Joke of an organization. I wonder if Eddie was over at the Yorks for Christmas dinner. Wonder how that discussion went. Imagine how he feels watching his spoon fed nephew driving the organization into the ground.

  11. Yes Grant. If there is one knock on the West coast sports media that I’ve heard, it’s that most of you don’t ask the tough questions at those press conferences. I know you and your Dad are the most brutal on them along with Kawakami but the rest are pussies. Matt Maiocco is a powder puff girl at those things. I hope you guys fry them tomorrow. Please let them know how pissed off the 49er nation is. If he doesn’t answer questions, please repeat them until he cracks.

  12. Schefter is tweeting that Niners will be exploring the opportunity with Payton.
    Payton is from San Mateo. I thought that his daughter lives in the Bay Area — but not sure.

      1. I’d prefer Chip Kelly as next HC. Next would be Sean Payton. Distant third is Hugh Jackson followed by Gase.

        I’d prefer Baalke be fired too. If he’s still around, then they need to get some serious help on the offensive side of the ball. There is a huge shortage of football people.

        1. Totally agree with your Baalke comment. My plan: 1. Fire Baalke and 2. Hire David Shaw. Hiring ex Stanford coaches has worked out well for us ane would be kind of like the opposite of Einsteiln’s insanity definition – Doing the same thing and expecting the same results!

  13. More Sean Payton rumors via Schefter. Ever since the 2011 preseason game I’ve thought of Payton as a cheap shot artist. Bountygate reinforced my dislike. Heck, I’d rather have the acerbic Jackson that Payton.

    Maiocco – “The new head coach… will have the choice to keep any coaches off the current staff, according to a source.”

  14. Matt Maiocco ✔ @MaioccoCSN
    The new #49ers head coach, whomever that might be, will have the choice to keep any coaches off the current staff, according to a source.

    If they hire an offensive minded HC, I wouldn’t mind if they kept the defensive staff around.

    1. If you had a gaurunteed $10 million dollars would you work??

      Most of the contract come with offset language and he would only “break even” by actually working.

      He won’t make that type of money as a position coach which is all he is truly qualified to be.

  15. Payton is not the answer. I’d like to see David Shaw given an opportunity. Of course, York will have to get the hell out of the way to make that work, which we all know the pompous, arrogant, football knowledge of ant will never do. If he doesn’t get out of the way this team is done for the next 3 years.

    1. I prefer Payton because he has his own sideline gum man. He is a 2 stick juicy fruit man. Bars fairly low at this organization.

  16. The new coach whoever he is, better be given the choice to hire whoever they want otherwise there is no reason to take the job. Massive operational change is needed to attract the best.

  17. I hate to think this way, but I have a funny feeling Eric Mangini will ultimately end up as the head coach.

    This organization hates outsiders.

    The only reason they got rid of Tomsula is because of the banners and empty seats.

    If they go out in the “open market” telling coaches Baalke has to be there GM and they are not overpaying everyone may well say no.

    Geep Chryst or Mangini may be promoted..

    Scary thought.

    At least those two would let Baalke bully them.

  18. Per Florio who had been spot on so far:

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2016/01/03/where-could-sean-payton-go-if-he-doesnt-stay/

    As a practical matter, Payton will surely know which team will calling, and he’ll know which team he wants to coach. The compensation is likely already being kicked around, especially with Jay Glazer floating a second-round pick as the price tag earlier in the day.

    The primary options could be the 49ers and the Colts, with the Giants as a long shot and the Cowboys as an even longer shot. Sure, the Cowboys have said coach Jason Garrett is safe, but Jerry Jones has a habit of supporting someone right until he decides that he no longer does. If Payton will be leaving New Orleans, Jones may not want to miss the chance to snag him.

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