49ers 23, Packers 20: Grades

GREEN BAY – Here are my grades for the 49ers, who beat the Packers 23-20 at Lambeau Field in a wild card playoff game Sunday night.

KAEPERNICK: B+. His passer rating the first three quarters was 58.9, but his passer rating in the fourth quarter was 118.2. So, he was clutch, although he completed just half of his passes in the fourth quarter (4-of-8), and one of his incompletions was a dropped interception. If Mycah Hyde had caught that pass, he probably would have run it in for a touchdown and the Packers might have won and Kaepernick wouldn’t be clutch. He would have choked. But Hyde dropped the ball, and Kaepernick made three plays after that to get the 49ers into field goal range. He also was the 49ers’ leading rusher – 7 carries for 98 yards. Without Clay Matthews, the Packers had no chance of stopping Kaepernick when it counted.

WIDE RECEIVERS: B. Crabtree was excellent – 8 catches for 125 yards, his best game of the season. Most of that production came after the Packers’ No.2 cornerback, Sam Shields, left the game with a knee injury. Anquan Boldin was not excellent – he caught just 3 passes for 38 yards. Quinton Patton never was targeted. He ran the ball once on a fly sweep and lost a yard.

RUNNING BACKS: B. Frank Gore gained just 66 yards on 20 carries, but he scored a touchdown and made a key block downfield which allowed Kaepernick to explode for a 42-yard run.

TIGHT ENDS: B. Vernon Davis caught just two passes but he was open frequently. Sometimes Kaepernick didn’t see Davis. Sometimes Kaepernick underthrew him, and sometimes he overthrew him. Kaepernick threw one perfect pass to Davis, though, and it was a 28-yard go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.

OFFENSIVE LINE: B. They gave up a couple sacks and five tackles for losses. But they were terrific on the final drive, pushing the Packers’ defensive line back when they knew the 49ers were going to run.

DEFENSIVE LINE: B+. Aldon Smith had 1.5 sacks and Ray McDonald had .5 sacks. Justin Smith had a tackle for a loss. Overall, the pass rush was better than it has been since the game against the Seahawks a few weeks ago.

LINEBACKERS: B+. Ahmad Brooks had two sacks and his best game since Week 12. NaVorro Bowman had a game-high 10 tackles, and his last one was the most important. He tackled Randall Cobb for no gain at the 49ers’ 9 yard line, and the Packers had to kick a game-tying field goal two plays later.

SECONDARY: B+. They gave up a 97.8 passer rating, but only177 passing yards, and most of those came when Aaron Rodgers scrambled, extended the play and made the 49ers’ defensive backs cover longer than they typically would. In the second half, Tarell Brown knocked away a deep pass intended for Jordy Nelson, and Tramaine Brock knocked away a deep pass intended for James Jones.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A. Phil Dawson made all three of his field goal attempts, and LaMichael James had another good game returning kicks. His 37-yard kick return kicked off the 49ers’ final touchdown drive of the game.

COACHING: B. As has been the case recently, the 49ers’ offensive game plan was good and they moved the ball easily in the first half. But they scored just 13 points. Then they scored no points in the third quarter and looked completely disjointed. And then Kaepernick bailed out the coaches by scrambling and running and scrambling and passing in the fourth quarter. Kaepernick made most of those plays happen. But give Greg Roman credit for taking a shot at the end zone from 28 yards out in the fourth quarter. The 49ers were not-so-good in the red zone the first three quarters, so Roman skipped the red zone and went for the touchdown. Kaepernick made a perfect throw and Davis caught it for a touchdown.

, , , , , , , , ,
      1. As lame as the endless questions asked about it? Did you ask a question about the weather conditions prior to the game Grant?

      2. Lame? Why would it be lame to take the weather conditions into account? Oh right, it would damage the reputation that you’re trying to grow as chief 49ers critic…

      3. Grant, your grades are pretty much right on. (N.B.: grading on the curve constrains the grader to assign so many A’s, so many B’s, so many C’s, so many D’s – and, my friends, so many F’s. That’s what it means to grade on a curve. Graphed, the results of a grading system that assigns the same grade to all, is hardly a curve. It is a straight abscissa-like line. And need I point out that the weather conditions at Lambeau were a constant? The Packers didn’t look any warmer than the ‘Niners, didn’t look any more adapted to the cold than we did)

      4. Lame? Why would it be lame to take the weather conditions into account? Oh right, it would damage the reputation that you’re trying to grow as chief 49ers critic…

        Because weather conditions always vary but they don’t change the fact that team needs to win.

    1. At this point any team can realistically beat any team. So to win on the road in the playoffs is pretty awesome! I think the line could and should have created bigger better holes.
      I didn’t like that they didn’t blitz Rodgers on 4/2 which lead to a TD.
      Any of us could play Monday morning qb. They won and that makes grades irrelevant.

      1. They didn’t need to blitz on 4/2. They applied more than enough pressure with 4 rushers, and Ray McDonald was in the process of sacking Rodgers, when GB’s C mugged/tackled him. The officials’ failure to call holding on that play is what lead to the 1st down and the the TD.

      2. They didn’t need to blitz on the 4th and two. They got there and had Rodgers sacked if the Oline hadn’t mugged Ray McDonald. Terrible no call by the officials.

      3. LOL I didn’t even notice until you just mentioned it Claude. Please don’t sue me for plagiarism. Quite often I read the top comment and then think of something I want to say without looking at the others. Bad habit I need to get out of.

    2. Id give Kaepernick a C all around Aaron Rodgers an A, for one kaepernick faced a horrible defense, he didnt do good against them.

  1. we are alive, and that’s all that matters. we win by any means necessary and we STILL haven’t played our best football. beat the panthers!

    1. Last time we played Carolina, we didn’t have Davis, Crabtree, or Aldon Smith. Carolina is in for a surprise if they think their star LB can just spy Kaepernick. Davis and Crabtree will torch that secondary.

  2. The coaches deserve a C. Gro held this team back and failed to make halftime adjustments and score early in the red zone. In fact on one of the trip on first and goal from the 4, he threw the ball 3 times instead of running or using the play action.

    1. And I think he had only two receivers in those sets … GRo needs to be allowed to be promoted to HC some where else. Very bright coach, but really crappy play calls many times. Last year’s SB too.

  3. I thought Fangio did an outstanding job of rotating players, and defensively I think they came out of this game as heathly and fresh as humanly possible….

      1. It’s the Grant Cohn game, whenever Grant contradicts himself or says something ridiculous, you have to hug your Barney doll. Like when Grant told me Trent Richardson would be as good as Edgerrin James. Oops!

      2. That wasn’t just Grant’s prediction. In fact it may have been Jack Hammer that mentioned it first. And it was hardly ridiculous as it was based on Fangio’s history as a DC for other teams. But it would seem Fangio has either learned his lessons or there were other factors involved in the decline of his previous defenses that aren’t present at the 49ers.

    1. I would still like to see more blitzes mixed in- Rogers has a 1/2 second too much time……….. didn’t give up the big play though, so……… I may be wrong, but that is my gambling personality.

      1. I’m inclined to agree with you, Dave. Seeing Rodgers back there scrambling around buying more and more time was scarier than hell. Problem is, Rodgers is so darn good at finding the guy that’s open because we blitzed – so the timing would have to be really, really sharp.

  4. Spit
    That is great, and true.

    Grades are good in my view. B+ is an excellent grade. Don’t think any Packer unit earned a B+ and the game was very close.

  5. I give the Niners A’s all across-the-board, considering how much the Packers defense held our receivers, and how much their offensive line held our pass rushers. Aaron Rodgers does not get that go-ahead TD, if he did not escape a 4th and 2, when McDonald was clearly held! Refs wanted the Packers.

    1. I don’t think Refs wanted the Packers to win but it’s obvious they didn’t want to make any calls. I think the NFL must have instructed that officiating crew to swallow their whistles so the game would be short and the fans and teams wouldn’t be exposed to the cold for a long time.

  6. I’m giving Gore a separate grade: A+++++
    I can’t remember a back that can block as good as Gore in recent memory.

  7. I thought Ahmed Brooks played terrible today. He avoided contact, gave up on a lot of plays, took a costly offsides penalty and overall seemed disengaged. If not for the secondary, there would have been zero sacks. All of them (and Ill watch the game again) were pretty much coverage sacks.
    Overall, those type of conditions, travelling across country is pretty remarkable to come out of there with a win.

    1. Brooks didn’t set the edge on a big run by Lacy, otherwise he played a solid game. The whole defense brought it today and overcame a bunch of holding no calls.

  8. Solid evaluation grant. Only argument is the secondary deserved and A. Held Rodgers to his lowest yardage output ever in a playoff game. And only one score.

    1. Rogers has been suspect all year in my opinion. He’s given up lots of plays in coverage and he can’t tackle to save his life. Look at the 27 yard TD in the Panther game. He gave a piss poor effort to make that tackle and I’ve seen it so many times this year. I was thankful he didn’t play. I’m tired of seeing him trailing a slot receiver after he’s made a catch. He’s garbage. Thank God he won’t be here next year.

      1. I think Rogers is not happy that the Niners had asked him to take a pay-cut before the season begins. If Culliver did not get hurt, and him saying no to the pay-cut, I think he would’ve been long gone. I think that’s affecting his play this year. But I agree, he’s gone next year.

    1. You get an F+ for saying that with two extra periods in your elipsis … the plus is for being a sloppy troll, which is the most entertaining kind. So I guess you win??

  9. I give this team an A+ for going across the country to face one of the best offenses on the road in extreme weather condition and still came up with a WIN.

    Jim H and Colin have been amazing this season. Colin threw INT and still came back to make plays when the game was on the line. Just take a look at the league and some of these Qbs such as Dalton with fancy numbers and how they chock! A great example of a chocking organization with their fancy QB is the cowboys. I will take our blue collar QB and the coach any day as long as we keep winning.

    GO JIM H, COLIN and this tough NINERS team

  10. Frank Gore made key yardage on the last drive, don’t give a poop, what his average was or his grade.He helped win the game.

  11. Greg Roman’s recently been selling to us that he’s been holding something back for the playoffs offensively. What Greg’s really trying to do is say, “Look, I don’t suck. I’m actually a step ahead of the competition.” Bull Pucky.

    I say it’s a load of crap because if a team has a lot of diversity and great plays lined up for a playoff run (implying you could just dominate if you wanted to), you would actually show LESS of your playbook by putting teams away early and then making the game one dimensional with a big lead for BOTH offenses for the remainder of the game.

    Kaep implied the 49ers were holding something back as well after the Cardinals’ game saying, “I think we put some things on film today to make defenses think twice about.” And Matt Miaocco (who I’m positive is on the 49ers’ payroll) has also tried to float this recent Greg Roman apology writing that the 49ers always have something up their offensive sleeves.

    Today, the 49ers should have dominated the Green Bay Packers offensively. Green Bay defensive players were dropping like flies. Two corners, two linebackers out or injured? If we lost two linebackers and two defensive backs, or even one linbacker and one defensive back, Rogers and McCarthy would have beaten us tonight. And losing Rogers, who the 49ers had to time to prepare to replace, is different than losing key defensive players mid-game.

    The first 49er drive of the game saw Greg Roman call three passing plays in the redzone, only to see all three go incomplete with receivers complaining about refs, “Lettin’ ‘em play.” If anyone should be ready for no calls in the playoffs in the end zone, it’s Crabtree and Kaep. Did they forget about the Super Bowl? Roman should have anticipated this and thrown the ball to Boldin. Boldin is the ultimate “let ‘em play,” receiver. It’s not Vernon or Crabtree – it’s Boldin. Flacco and the Ravens knew it. I have a huge problem with throwing three times in redzone only to kick a field goal, especially if none of those throws were to Boldin.

    Then on the first play of the second half the 49ers call a timeout? Really? This is a problem with the offense. Plain and simple. The 49ers won’t win a Super Bowl this year for one reason only – Greg Roman’s offense, while not being very good, is also too complicated and even veterans like Boldin can’t get lined up properly. There will come a time in this year’s playoff race where our burning of timeouts will get us beat at the end of a game. That’s on Greg Roman. It’s not on Colin Kaepernick. Can can only try to get Boldin in the right place.

    Tonight, Kaep won it with his legs because outside GB rushers broke contain. The Panthers won’t make that same mistake. I went to the Niner / Panther game at the Stick this year and the Panthers blitzed Kaep while plugging his escape lanes. Roman’s offense might have been just good enough to beat the Packers tonight because of Kaep’s legs, but that won’t fly in Carolina.

    If the 49ers want to beat Carolina, they’ll need to simplify the offense so offensive players know where to lineup, they’ll have to create blitz beaters for Kaep to throw to (check downs), and instead of running Frank Gore up the middle, they’ll have to try and get the edge with Kendal Hunter. Where the hell is Kendal Hunter? Did Roman forget about the need for speed with both Hunter and James on the edge, and what that sets up for the rest of the offense? I know, I know….. Greg’s saving Kendal for the rest of the playoffs. Whatever.

      1. B.S…..Groman is a genius…..

        “Kaep implied the 49ers were holding something back”
        —- what is wrong with holding something back, as long as we are winning means what we are using works. It’s obvious they did not give Ckone the green light to be a runner during the season, making him go through the struggles of being a pocket passer didn’t really hurt us…..good for us….good for him…

        “Today, the 49ers should have dominated the Green Bay Packers offensively”
        —- WHY? because the GB who won their division are that bad?…….considering we were the away team and playing in bad weather conditions, we did dominate……check out the stats..

        “Roman should have anticipated this and thrown the ball to Boldin”
        —– did i miss where boldin was opened?……I think only one (the jump ball to the left) of those redzone plays was a one read play, was boldin or anybody else opened in the other plays?……was crabtree in double coverage?…..

        on if players and coaches can predict when refs decide to make no calls…….on that one i think there is function you can turn off…..

        “Then on the first play of the second half the 49ers call a timeout? Really? This is a problem with the offense. Plain and simple. That’s on Greg Roman.”
        —- NO, thats on the players……lining up on the field is always the players responsibility……always….that is what the classroom and practice field is for…..

        plain and simple Groman keeps scoring more points than the opponent…..

        “Tonight, Kaep won it with his legs because outside GB rushers broke contain.”
        ——–Most of those runs were possible because of Groman play calling against man coverages……….

        “If the 49ers want to beat Carolina, they’ll need to simplify the offense so offensive players know where to lineup,”.
        —–Wrong, they need complex plays like they did with boldin against Arizona. Carolina is a fast, physical defense, make them run sidelines to sidelines in the 1st half…….before pounding them

        Crabtree’s performance since his return from injury validates again we have a top notch OC who knows how to get his WR’s touches……….

    1. The timeout at the start of the 3rd quarter was because CK forgot to wear his wrist band. It had nothing to do with GRo’s offense being too complex.

      1. Why would Kaepernick need his wristband for the first play of the half, though? Didn’t they talk through that one at halftime? And correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Kaepernick not wear the wristband the entire first half?

      2. Nick – I”m not buying what Harbaugh and Kaep are selling, but there were two other instances apart from the wrist band excuse where Kaep had to call a timeout because of the play clock. This is a huge problem, and Greg Roman hasn’t fixed it. That alone could keep the 49ers out of the Super Bowl.

      3. Grant ,

        Those are good questions. I was going by what Harbaugh said after the game.

        By the way, is team staying on the East Coast this week or flying back to CA?

    2. I’m happy for the win. But I agree with you Spitty. I’m not trying be a hater on Colin, but I’m 50/50 on his performance today. He definitely made plays with his legs, but on that long run, he had a wide open Vernon Davis running across the middle. On the 3rd down run, the blitzing CB gave up containing and that’s it. I was at a very loud sports bar but it seemed like the announcers were making a point of this.
      There was a bad pick in the red zone and that throw to Hyde was a pick six going the other way.
      Personally I rather the Niners play smart, and Colin play smart, and beat a team. I mean only Capers would blitz on the left side when everyone blitzes on the right.
      That said, even though the Niners own the Packers, I think they were the tougher out, mainly because of Aaron Rodgers. He didn’t have good stats but he showed why he’s a league MVP.
      I think the Niners found a way to beat the Panthers. And the Saints somehow pull one out of Seattle, and then it’s one more game at the Stick. And if Indy gets hot, we have Luck vs. Harbaugh in the big game. And the Niners get redemption! They get to beat all the teams that beat them this year!

      1. Fan, you are definitely a Colin hater and not a true 49er FAN. Sorry for being blunt but you consistently discredit Colins accomplishments despite his success to come up with big plays when the team needed him to perform. Colin passed over 227 yards, rushed for 98 yards, orchestrated an amazing 5 mintues drive to lead this team to victory and all you can do is point to his mistakes!!! When Aaron Rogers the Super Bowl MVP had just 177 yards with a pathetic 3rd down conversion of 27%! Whats amazing is the fact that Colin’s performance was in one of the most extreme conditions with 4 degrees with -teens windchil factor on the road in Lambo Field in a play off game. I live in Chicago area now and just a simple walk to the car makes you feel like you are going to lose a limb in this type of weather. Are you a true football fan? How many times have you seen Drew Brees go on the road in the cold weather and beat the hell out of other teams in the playoffs? did you watch Drew Brees play against the egales when he was making so many horrible throws and had 2 INTS with 250 total yards passing! or Dalton or Andrew Luck with multiple INTS. Or even Foles the eagles QB that is crowned as one of the best QBs in the league only had 195 yards for avg of 5.3 yards per completion ( in the losing effort in a wide open offense). The point here is simple you either have QBs that find a way to help the team to win or Qbs that simply lose! To my opinion Colin has shown me more than any other 49er QB since Steve Young in his short career the ability to WIN. I will take Colin over Alex Smith any day at this point due to his potential and the it factor. Colin is not a polished QB but he is a fierced competitor with mental toughness and the physical tools to become one of the best QBs in the league with more experince, coaching and hard work. GO NINERS

      2. Also, please lets stop all the ifs and shoulda! If we could go back in time this team would be the number one seed right now and would have home field advantage in the playoffs. By the way did you also miss all the other plays that could have completely change the dynamics of this game such as the Crabtree potential TD holdings, Aldon Smith, Bowman, J Smith holdings and the biggest one was on the the 4th down play where Ray M was hold completely therefore Aaron escaped from a sack to complete a pass to cob which led to a packers score!

    3. I thought Roman’s play-calling at the goal line in that first drive was rubbish – 3 straight passes including 2 play-action passes. One of those should have been a run to set up the play-action pass. Outside of that I thought he called a pretty solid game. No doubt he’ll be slammed by some for going conservative again to let GB back in the game, but once again it was execution that let them down, not conservative play-calling.

      Surprisingly the heavy personnel package was a little more successful today – though I guess it was against Green Bay’s defense. Hopefully they stow the heavy personnel against one the best front 7s in the NFL next week.

    4. I hear what you are saying in regards to Hunter and James, but I think one of the issues is that we dont have very quick offensive lineman. They are big and strong, which is why our trap game is so effective, but I dont know if they are quick enough for the outside runs. That being said, James is a perfect out of the backfield blitz beater and I would love to see Kaep add the check down to his game. Worked well on the Gore pass. Just my 2 cents.

      1. You’re exactly right NF_HAS. The reason why we are not a sweep running team is we don’t have agile offensive lineman. We could offset that by having VD run in motion and block on sweeps but he’s likely to get injured out there doing that over the course of a season.

      2. I think the sweep and stretch are much more viable with Miller in the backfield. Without Millers blocking and pass catching ability its hard to get a personnel right for that kind of play. Plus he is a great play action out. Lacking miller, Hunter is good enough between the tackles that we could see some effective/sneaky stretch run plays if the Gro called it up. We will see what comes out of the playbook this weekend.

      3. Can we examine this premise? If Iupati and Boone are quick and agile enough to excel on Long Traps, which they do, they’re suddenly too slow to get one more ‘hole’ further? If Iupati can open the 6 hole with a kick-out, he can’t get a seal or a kick-out on the 8? I think it’s more about the tactics on how to block the edge.

    5. >>Two corners, two linebackers out or injured?

      Have you considered the dropoff between their starters and backups maybe not so great?

  12. Niners favored by 1 point…NFL Playoff Lines:

    Date & Time Favorite Line Underdog Total
    1/11 4:35 ET At Seattle -8 New Orleans 48
    1/11 8:15 ET At New England -7.5 Indianapolis 52.5
    1/12 1:05 ET San Francisco -1 At Carolina 43
    1/12 4:40 ET At Denver -10 San Diego 54.5

      1. It could have been the Saturday game instead. Very happy we got to push it back to Sunday.

        All this crap though about Carolina staying disciplined is just that. Crap. Carolina played a team that was decimated by injuries and won by 1 point in the 4th quarter.
        I’m sure all NFL teams could stay disciplined if they don’t have to account for a streaking VD deep, Michael Crabtree breaking tackles, and only having to cover the one receiving threat in Boldin.
        Now SF has Patten, Davis, and Crabtree on offense and Aldon is back on Defense. Odds makers usually get things pretty close. This is a team that has to travel to the east coast and play on the road and they are still favored. ‘Nough Said.

  13. Frank Gore made some excellent blocks, they were key in several plays. Complete team victory and if that continues there will be no stopping this team. This game was great fun to watch. Refs let the teams play, I know lots are complaining about the refs but it worked both ways.

    1. the holding / choking not called on the fourth and two was inexcusable. That play could easily have decided the season. It wasn’t even both ways, it never is. You can say that in the long run it all evens out, but in the long run we are all dead

    1. Yeah, but they don’t let media on the field at Lambeau unfortunately. There’s a 200-yard walk on an outside catwalk you have to traverse to get from the press box to the interview room. That’s when I felt the cold. It was shocking.

  14. You forgot one grade, REFS: F.
    They may have set a record for most missed holding calls (off. & def.) in one game. It probably cost the 49ers 7 points and a much easier game.

    1. Milleneum – You’re right, the zebras kept it close.
      NFL VP of officiating (Dean Blandino) should have that dimwit crew in his office tomorrow for a good ass-kicking!

    2. This crew should be downgraded. Never seen anything like it, and I I’ve been watching pro football since 1966.

      1. Correct Bodie2….Except last year’s super bowl was the worst officiated game in the history of the NFL (stand in refs included). The announcers have got to stop buying into they’re just letting them play bullsh*t. The new d’backs are the best they’ve ever been, they don’t need to be helped by non-pass interference calls.

    3. Agree on the slamming of the refs. When I used to watch hockey the put the whistles away infuriated me and now it’s seeped into the NFL. Don’t be afraid to throw the yellow flag, even in the playoffs.

      1. I actually like the noncalls. Let the guys play football. I know there were some very obvious ones but both sides got the same benefit.

    4. While the refs missed calls, they were consistent for both teams. I can live with that. It’s when it’s one sided that I have an issue.

  15. Did you guys hear Pat Willis speak after the game. He said Bowman told him the refs are not calling the holds in this game!!! I guess what we saw was much worse for Bowman and P Willis to bring it up. forecast for next Sunday in Carolina is 58 with 30% chance of rain.

    1. Yeah, heard that too. I’m a little surprise because I’ve never heard PW complain about officiating after a win. The holdings must be worse than what we were seeing on tv.

      1. Harbaugh said after the game the grabbing of WRs was so bad “Colin had to take the game into his own hands.”

    2. I have a strong opinion that the NFL instructed the officials to call very few penalties so the game would go faster to get everyone out of the cold.

  16. I wish G Ro would watch more Sean Payton film. That guy is gutsy and aggressive with his calls. Onsides kick in the superbowl they won. Yesterday gives the key runs at the end of the game to a rookie. Roman needs a little more killer instinct. Niners were rolling in the first quarter and should have taken a bigger lead than 6-0.

  17. Grant,
    “If Mycah Hyde had caught that pass, he probably would have run it in for a touchdown and the Packers might have won and Kaepernick wouldn’t be clutch. He would have choked.”

    Like the song says; “There’s a thin line between love and hate” (lol).
    But I agree, the muffed INT by GB would have been a game changer at that moment.
    The B+ grade for CK seems fair enough considering the frigid weather and playing in a hostile place.

    I don’t understand the B grade for both Crabtree and Gore. Aside from Crabtree, no other WR/TE really established themselves in this game. Crabtree had a great game by making big catches and YAC throughout the game. Gore had an average game in my opinion and his B grade seems a bit high when compared to Crabtree’ effort unless you are counting CK’ run yardage in the RB column.

    Good grades overall again Grant, and the fact that we are still grading our team in January is absolutely fantastic!

    Nice job!

  18. I agree with the grades. This games not close if Kap throws the ball to Davis in the right spot. But at the end of the day, we got the win……….. AND THATS ALL THAT MATTERS. Bring on Cam and the Panthers

  19. Spitblood’s synopsis is spot on. Niners should have put the game away early with TD ‘s. I hope some other franchise takes this “genius” G-Ro off of our hands next year.

    1. Disagree! Did you see the Niner receivers being held on those first two plays or weren’t you watching the game? Sure, we all wish we could have scored TDs on those first 2 drives but that is what you get with poor officiating. It’s also the reason that QB ratings don’t tell you the whole story. There were several passes to SF receivers that could have been called for D interference but weren’t, so they are incompletions. Probably reason Jim H. said what he did after the game about Kaep taking things into his own hands (feet) with his runs when receivers were being “held” but getting no calls by refs!

  20. Observations…
    - The 2nd half had some awful game management (time out to start a half?)
    - The 2nd half also had superb game management. That final “4 minute-offense” was a perfect mix of play calling and clock management to nail down the win.
    - Unlike Bruce Miller, the presence of Tukuafu totally telegraphs run. Every time Kaepernick audibled into a power run formation it got stuffed.
    - The defense played a reasonable 61 snaps. There was some substitution with Lemoneir and TJE. Their legs should be fine for Carolina.
    - Pass rushers and receivers form tackled with no flags? This game should go down as the “Iced Penalty Flags Bowl.” The officiating crew should be downgraded, but it was an all star crew.
    - Kaepernick is a total stud, but will he ever learn to see underneath coverage to his left?
    - I was totally wrong about LMJ. He’s turning into a solid punt catcher.

    1. Anyone notice that a much larger percentage of Aldon Smith’s pass rushes and now “bull rushes?” I wonder if he got stronger during rehab, or has an injury that’s affecting his edge speed rush.

      1. Yup. Does a great job of filling Haralson’s old “setting the edge” role. Aldon’s rounding into a great all around OLB that often doesn’t show up in stats. Still, it seems like he bull rushes more then before he went into rehab.

      2. Brotha Tuna is right – it’s the scheme… he just happens to have a ferocious punch thanks to his absurd arms (legs with hands attached) that allow him to get a pass rush despite rarely pressing the edge or countering.

  21. I’m a constant critic of Greg Roman, but I don’t have too much to criticize about play calling in today’s game. The only stupidity I saw was when the 49ers, in their first drive, had a first down at about the five, and Frank Gore had gained eight or so on his only carry to that point. Should have run the ball on first down, to see if our offensive line could continue to be dominant and get the ball down to the one or two. Instead, three incomplete passes.

    But otherwise the play calling was pretty good. Much more aggressive than what we’re used to. Mixed it up. I’m really curious as to why it was so different from the usual vanilla scheme. Did Harbaugh specify a more dynamic offensive approach? Did Roman find religion and change his ways? Did someone new get involved in play selection? We’ll probably never know.

    1. Harbaugh said Wright “rotated with Cox,” which sounds like a porno. Cam Inman said Wright suited up but didn’t play. I trust Cam more than Harbaugh.

      1. Thanks Spitblood. I didn’t catch Wright out there. Apparently he was an emergency guy or had just a few snaps. Here’s hoping Rogers and/or Wright are a full go next Sunday.

  22. Burning time outs at the beginning of a half and with offensive player confusion on formations start with OC. He’s a hack, but Harbaugh is too stubborn to ever admit it. Great final two drives to save the game, but Niners should have had Green Bay beaten early.

    1. The worst part about Greg Roman is that he’s not head coaching material. He’s exactly the Norv Turner, Wade Phillips type – coordinator, not a HC. I’m betting the NFL sees that Greg Roman isn’t a head coach. The optimist in me says, “Yeah, but Mark Trestman is a head coach, and Chud, etc.” The pessimist in me says Greg Roman will foil our Super Bowl chances for years with Harbaugh stubbornly claiming Greg’s one of the best.

  23. We may be underestimating the affect of Crabs on this team. He’s the only Niners receiver who consistently comes back for the ball. And it seems we’ve won every game since he returned from injury.

    1. Crabtree has got to be the 49ers’ number one priority to resign this off season. It’s not Aldon or Iupait. It’s Crabtree. Lemonaid isn’t as good as Aldon, and Looney isn’t Iupati, but the drop off behind Crabtree is huge. This is why the 49ers will draft a WR with their first pick. It’s all about leverage. Considering how Crabtree negotiated with us last time, the AJ Jenkins pick hurts double time. (It doesn’t hurt that AJ caught passes yesterday against the Colts because that just means the Chiefs will continue to waste a roster spot on AJ figuring out if he’s any good). Either way, Crabtree and Kaep have to be the 49ers’ number one and two priorities. Say goodbye to Iupati. Frank Gore’s done anyway. Throw the damn ball!

      1. It was clear from our sorry red-zone trips that we need to get a 6’5 WR (who actually makes the gameday roster) to utilize in those situations. If Roman wants to throw it up to a WR, why not draft for that ability? Not to mention, big WRs are a highly effective counter to blitzes, as CBs in single coverage are at a huge disadvantage.

        Hopefully Kelvin Benjamin from FSU or Evans from A&M

  24. Kap played very well today. He was very decisive when to either run or pass. He made some huge plays in that final drive. Came up really clutch for us today. Keep it rolling.
    Interesting stat. Kap has more road play off wins than Montana (as a niner) and young combined.

      1. Montana and Young combined to go 2-8 on the road during the playoffs. Kaep is 2-0 on the road during the playoffs, with the Super Bowl being a neutral field. Either way, it’s impressive.

  25. What, no love for Perrish Cox? Dude essentially came off the street to cover the slot receiver this week and did a hell of a job. The missed sack/containment on the corner blitz aside, Cox came through for us big time.

    1. I didn’t see Cox as that great of an addition. I instead saw a GB receiver drop a perfectly catchable ball on Cox. Cox didn’t knock the ball away. He swung on it and missed. The receiver just plain out dropped the ball.
      So, I’m not ready to crown Cox. I will say he did better than Rogers.

  26. I don’t think we would have been in this game if it weren’t for Boldin’s play throughout the season. He has been a beast all year. However, he really did not show up today. It looked, to me, like he was cold and not wanting to be there and he sure did not run much. Kap’s interception was by the defensive back who dropped off of Boldin’s route because he was jogging. Hope it’s much warmer in Carolina and AB shows up to play. Go niners.

    1. The Niners tend to have one-read passing plays, so the No.1 receiver runs hard but the other receivers naturally don’t run as hard because they know the ball probably isn’t coming to them. They’re just clearing space.

      1. That is pretty much true, Jimmy Johnson said Boldin ran a lazy route, plus VD waits for the ball, le Boldin and Crabtree go after it aggressively.

      2. I don’t get Davis always body catching the ball. He has no quick twitch movement ability whatsoever. Great when hit in stride, but he doesn’t attack the ball.

      3. Davis has limitations as a receiver, no doubt. He’s all straight line speed and power, very little lateral ability and average coordination. If he had better body control, ran better routes (though his poor route running is partly because of the lack of fluidity in his hips, which is essential for good body control), and good hand-eye coordination he’d be one of the most dominant players in the NFL. He’s never going to be a TE that adjusts well for balls that aren’t thrown in the right area, or that dives for the ball, or stops on a dime and comes back for the ball, or uses his hands 100% of the time. He’s just not that kind of athlete.

        Despite those limitations he’s still one of the best TEs in the NFL anyway. His speed has to be accounted for, clearing space for other receivers. And when he’s matched up on deep routes with a safety he’s got the ability to get by them. He also brings very good blocking to the table, which most of the top TEs in the NFL don’t excel at.

      4. Grant: Understood. I still think that Boldin should have run his clearing route with more conviction. I don’t know if I am reading too much into body language, but it sure looked like AB did not want to be there yesterday. (I’m not sure I blame him.)

  27. Colin Kaepernick moves on against the Packers in Lambeau with freezing temperatures and Alex Smith, at home, coughs up a 27 point lead to the Colts. This is exactly why the 49ers dumped Smith. All those Alex Smith apologists out there need to stop making Alexcuses. The guy isn’t a Super Bowl caliber qb. He’s won one playoff game – ONE! And he won that (I contend) only because the Saints turned the ball over 5 or 6 times. The Saints turned the ball over 5 times and Alex Smith still managed to make a game out of it. Now, the Colts come back from 27 points down. Yes, Smith did play better than I’ve ever seen him play, and Charles went down early. But winners win, and losers get traded and exit the playoffs early. Playoff wins: Kaep 3, Smith 1. Winners win, losers go home. No Alexcuses.

    1. Spit,

      Smith was on the road, not at home. I have to admit, he played his azz off. However, just like you said, he had his chances to get it done and didn’t. No, his defense didn’t help him and Charles getting hurt killed them. Smith needed to take him team down the field at the end to get them a game winning field goal to win this game. He didn’t get it done. Smith did ball though!

      1. If it was Charles in the game instead of Gray to start the 4th quarter that pass that Smith just barely missed on would have been caught, and led to another 3…or possibly 7. Chemistry is always overlooked by fans, yet thats what made Montana, and later, Young to Rice such a great tandem. Also…if Bowe can tap that 2nd foot down on the last pass down the line, instead of taking a step, thats a completed pass and puts KC in field goal range for the win. He got one down and should have got 2, he’s paid top level WR money and top level WRs make those catches and get in bounds. 380 yards passing, 50 key yards rushing, and 4 tds is more than anyone should expect from ANY of the qbs in the playoffs. Can’t fault Smith at all, he did more than enough to win. But agian…why can’t this guy let Smith go?

      2. My bad. Smith wasn’t at home…… but he sure as hell is now! Lol. Right where that bum deserves to be. Some guys are winners, some guys are losers. I’ve never met an Alex Smith fan who I thought was insightful about the game. Never.

    2. Yeah..Smith was the one on defense “coughing” up a lead. You score 44 on the road, you expect to win. Dude put up 4 tds, over 380 yards with NO ints and you try to talk crap because you’re a bitter fan who can’t let go of some injustice you think happened to you because of Smith. Grow up. And tell me, why is it you guys always love to bend the rules to make your point. When Smith was the QB you’d complain because he didn’t have gaudy stats yet he won, but that wasn’t good enough, you wanted a qb who put up tony romo fantasy level stats. This weekend it was Smith with the crazy stats and Kaep with the game manager stats and yet you moan and groan about Smith. Can’t have it both ways.

    3. Stupid comment of the day. Smith wasn’t at home. Smith played brilliantly, it was the defense that let the Chiefs down bigtime. You usually write much better commentary Spit, but this one blows…

    4. Smith obviously didn’t lose that game alone. But he helped.

      His fumble was a key part of the comeback. Yes, he wasn’t on defense, but he did set them up with a short field for that one touchdown. Can’t blame him for the rest of the defensive collapse, though.

      But even with the Chief’s D having yielded the lead, Smith had one more chance to drive down the field and win the game. On that last drive, his grounding penalty took them out of long field goal range. Two plays later, Bowe is failing to get the feet down on Smith’s fourth down pass. Without the penalty, perhaps they’re attempting a long field goal to take the lead instead.

      Losing was a team effort by the Chiefs, for sure. I would never attempt to pin the loss on Smith alone. But, if you take just a moment to look beyond his impressive stat line, it’s easy to see that Smith did indeed play his part in the loss.

      1. Smith played a great game, and had a great year. Putting that loss on him is laughable. Give it goddamn rest….

      2. Alex threw 4 TD, no INT, they scored 44 pts.
        His last pass was right on the money, all the receiver had to do was keep his feet inbound!
        Name ONE QB who is 100% perfect with ALL of his throws and choices.
        Just ONE!

      3. Hey, don’t get me wrong. He played a great game. It should have been enough. Any time your offense puts up 44 points, you should expect to win. All I’m saying is that we have to look further than that (very pretty) stat line.

        Just because the D didn’t show up and suffered an epic meltdown (and undoubtedly deserves the lion’s share of the blame), let’s not pretend Smith was perfect. I’m not “putting the loss” on him. But an objective look at the game reveals that even though he had a great game, he did contribute a small handful of negative plays without which they may have won. Smith’s contributions were more positive than negative, but that doesn’t change the fact that the negative exists.

    5. Smith played exceptionally well for most of the game. Unfortunately he missed an open receiver at a key moment, had a fumble and the intentional grounding penalty. Regardless, I was proud of him. He balled and it should have been enough to win the game.

      1. as peter king noted n his mmqb column the difference between taking the sack and the grounding penalty was 3rd & 15 and 3rd and 17…and succop would be kicking it same guy who choked vs chargers

    6. Another ridiculous post from Spitblood. This is starting to become a habit.

      Smith and the KC offense scored 44 points and had staked their defense to a 28 point lead in the 3rd quarter. Anybody who blames a QB for his defense giving up TD’s on every possession of a half is either not objective or doesn’t have a clue how the game works.

      Smith did more than enough to win; the defense, not so much.

      1. I don’t get why people hate on Smith when he’s not even on the team anymore. Give the guy credit, he played better then anyone expected. and yeah he lost. He didn’t get it done. In sports, until you get it done, when it counts, it doesn’t matter. I give Smith credit for owning up the missed pass, even though when you watch it, Gray completely turned his head way too soon.
        And Bowe didn’t get it his down, and didn’t fight for the ball.
        Smith lost his number one weapon in Charles, his 2nd WR in Avery, his 2nd back in Davis, and he was still ballin’. You have to feel good if you’re Chief fan, they have talent on that team.

  28. Go back and watch the final field goal. On the left end, #89 Vance McDonald stupidly lets his man go – HE DOES NOT BLOCK HIM! The unblocked defender flies across in front of Dawson, but luckily (by the grace of God, Allah, Jaa etc…) the ball flies through in between his out stretched arms for a score.

    Brad Steele needs to kick McDonald’s ass for this screw up.

    1. I’m not sure I know who was stupid. Maybe it was the defender who jumped off side and got flagged, or maybe it’s needing to blame others.

    2. There should have been a second penalty called for leverage against the defensive tackle. Mcdonald had no choice since the guy was bye him before the ball was snapped.

  29. Great game, VD is a great player potentially, he’s jus too soft, he’s too big to have to have the ball thrown to him perfectly every time to make a catch , he’s paid millions, ATTACK THE BALL, boldin does it, Crab does, the greats does it, he’s a TE for Petes sake! A couple of those balls were catchable that he missed! Kap is clutch in just his second season starting, We forget that and tend to nick pick every small mistake! Get over it cause the guy wins games, big games! And he will win a Super Bowl!

    1. 4life,

      I said the same thing about VD during the game. He’ll, I’ve been saying the same things about VD ever since he got here. He is soft. He is a superior athletic specimen but he is not a technically sound football player/ pass catcher. He’s a freak of nature with his size/ speed combo. He is sloppy with his technique. He can’t even toe tap on the sideline. He catches passes with his body. He jumps to catch passes. He actually jumped over a corner trying to tackle him instead of lowering a shoulder(twice). He’s awkward, but he’s ours! Amazing stat. He’s got 2 less TD’s than Calvin Johnson over the past several years. I forget the number of years. I just saw it somewhere today though.

      1. I agree. You got to love him for what he is, cause there is no way that he’ll be able to change. Maybe soft isn’t the right word given the way he does in line blocking.

      2. He’s not soft, he just isn’t the athlete many fans believe him to be. Read my post above. He’s a straight line, power athlete with average coordination and body control. You can’t expect him to be able to adjust his body to make a catch at full or close to full speed, or perform a stop and go, or stop mid-stride, turn and jump for balls in the air, or dive for balls at close to full speed. He isn’t capable of it.

        He’s still a great player.

      3. When someone of VD’s weight moves with that kind of speed, it’s impossible to make any quick adjustments mid stride without breaking a tendon or ligament or something. that’s just Newton law.

        He has worked very hard and significantly improved his catching ability. He has worked on his blocking skills so that now he’s the best (non-designated) blocking TE. Another area of improvement I’ve noticed is his balance and ability to reach out and make finger-tip catches, whether low or jut beyond him.

        He will never be a Witten or Gronk or Graham in reaching up in the air while contorting his body. But that’s OK.

  30. 23, I love him too, but I think that’s why Kap May over look him at times because he doesn’t fight for the ball or jus go get it! He should be uncoverable period! He does make big plays though I’ll give him that, no reason he shouldn’t average 5 to 8 catches a game to be honest!

    1. Hard to call a man soft when he is known to plow NFL LBs and be one of the best TEs at it. Also he is constantly catching these seem routes and getting drilled or potential to get drilled. Not totally physical, but a trade off being the faster player on the field at 250… and he get concussed. I am happy with what we have. BUT YES HE SHOULD AVERAGE 5-6 CATCHES A GAME, with 8-10 targets. 3 of which are deep…even if he is covered. Throw it out of reach. That will loosen up the middle for Boldin and Crabs…and have that LB run back out of breath, then run power.

      I think what you guys are saying is he doesn’t have the in air ball skills other rockstar TEs/WRs have. This I would agree with. He need to be more aware and attack the ball…at times.

      NOTE: If you are referring to the interception. I watched that play a dozen times. Looks like Boldin was “lolly-dagging” and didn’t press the two defenders with him. Maybe he was out of gas, not sure, but the defender didn’t respect Boldin enough especially with help over top. As for VD it looked like the DB was in his blind spot and peeled off of Boldin to make a spectacular INT. The pass was perfect., Everyone did what they were suppose to. The DB made an great play. If CK waited for the DB to clear more or ensure he was clear then then VD would of run to the boundary and his defender would of caught up. Play would of been dead. It was early in the game, I like that he took the shot!!!…. thank god we won though :)

      Go Niners!!!

      1. Yeah, one thing getting overlooked on the INT was that Williams made a great play by peeling off Boldin early. Good recognition and anticipation by him.

  31. Great game for Kaep, who accounted for 335 of the 381 yards of offense the 49ers put up yesterday.

    I don’t mind the gunslinging mentality at all, even if it produces an occasional pick.

    One thing that concerns me is that he’s still staring down the receiver he’s going to throw to. It’s painfully obvious that he rarely gets into his reads. He stares at his first option for 1+ seconds and if it’s not there by 2 seconds, he takes off running.

    This isn’t going to fly against good defenses in this league. Green Bay’s defense was a joke. They got no pressure on the QB yesterday. Yes they played their hearts out and kept it close, but Jalardus Russell could have been effective back there.

    At some point you would think our QBs coach would work with Kaep on that. The playoffs shouldn’t be where you learn this type of basic skill.

    1. It is why even with all of his physical skills he was not highly recruited and dropped to the second round. Still a very good Qb but some things you either got it or you don’t. Hope this is something he can improve on but the coaches are no dummies so this is a big reason most one read options are the plays called! This is why kape does better with better talent and superior qbs like Brady, manning , and Bree’s still flourish when their topp receivers go out. Still love kape but everyone has flaws!

      1. If I’m not mistaking him not being able to go through his reads had nothing to do with him not being recruited. He wasn’t recruited because he was drafted by the Cubs(I believe) while in high school. No college wants to take the chance on giving a kid a scholarship only having him up and leave to play pro baseball. Kaepernick has even said he told teams his love was for football.

      2. KY
        Respectfully disagree. Highschoolers get drafted by MLB ALL THE TIME for Christ sake there are like 45 rounds to the baseball draft. And a college scholarships are 4 1yr agreements that get renewed every year (or not if you are at Okl state and get hurt/arrested/fall out of favor great SI series from late summer) and generally you sign 2 or 3 QBs in every class just in case a few don’t pan out. He wasn’t recruited because he wasn’t/isn’t polished. by contrast Matt Barkley was running a pro offense since his freshman year at matter dei HS and working with QB gurus even before that. What Kaep was in highschool you can find at any HS that has its best athlete play wildcat qb.
        Not all is lost though. you can teach fundamentals and footwork it just takes time. What you cant teach is 4.5 speed and a rocket arm

    2. That’s aproduct of a few thangs..The play hasn’t developed quickly enough..the pocket has collapsed..the routes are blanketed or covered..sometimes a guy can look open but not be..and as u eluding to trigger shyness..But its not just one factor.lol.Alot of quarterback look for that first read..alas its the first read..Sometimes u have time to get.to the others.but Kap trust his coaches and the play called. And as far as taking off goes.sometimes u gotta go get it..the progression thing criticism is warranted at times..but like I said it’s not just him..the best quarterbacks in the game already know where they’re goin wit the ball anyway..

      1. It’s not that apparent when you’re watching it live, but I went back and replayed the entire game last night and watched all his drop backs. He is doing what many on here say he’s doing. The commented above you had a great point- that QBs like Brady or Rodgers are good regardless of who’s playing WR. That’s obviously not the case with Kaep and I don’t necessarily expect him to be at their level yet. But we all saw how much this offense suffered with Crabtree out. The coaches need to shorten the learning curve with regards to working his progressions because you can’t count on VD, Boldin and Crabtree to always be around to make you look good.

        I have no problem with him taking off and running the ball when it’s there. He did a great job of it in the GB game. However, most of the season he would take off at inoopportune times and get tripped up for a loss on his way out of the pocket.

        GBs defense is so bad it makes Kaep look that much better. They suck at tackling and rushing the passer. Kaep had all day back there yesterday.

        Once we start playing some decent defenses (next week and week after) you’ll start to see some of the pains of not learning how to stand in there and work through your reads. Newton has learned how to do that in a very short amount of time and that has propelled him to the forefront of the young QBs again.

        I think Kaep is the ultimate competitor out there and I love that he’s jawing with DBs and he seems to come through in the clutch. But It would be great if he channeled some of that competitiveness to be a real study of the QB position much like Russell Wilson has done studying Brees.

      2. I understand where you’re coming from fourth..but that’s our passing game..vernon,boldin and crabs..that’s the way Roman set it up..I did like the checkdowns to celek,dixon and gore yesterday..which means he’s learning..we played Carolina..and took em lightly..and we got hit in the mouth.Reid knocked out,vernon knocked out,the hit and fumble on kendall..but Yeah they got outta there with a one point victory..but correct me if im wrong..Did Dawson miss a field goal in that week 10 game?

      3. But I think a few of us..and I include myself…we suffer from “offense envy”..We’re not doin what this so and so on that team is doin..we’re not doin that..so we get mad and all..my problem lies with the offensive philosophy and structure..I was so pissed at three straight passes near the goaline,before kap threw the int..we were drivin..why so much passing down there? Opening up the second half passing..that trick play with patton..I shake my head at that..and the sequence of these plays..moreso than anything

      4. I pull up the blog this morning with a huge smile on my face. We just experienced a win over Green Bay and Aaron Rogers. No one is supposed to be able to win in the frozen tundra.
        Between 1995 and 2005, the Pack beat us 8 out of 9 times. They owned us. We’ve now beaten them 4 times in a row. Kaep has never lost to them.
        Why this morning do I have to read stuff from the likes of 4th an Alex?
        First off get your facts straight. Guys like Brady are reliant on good receivers. This year without them, Brady’s normal blowouts were nail biters. He lost games to the Jets, Bungles and Miami. He had under 50% completion percentage three times. Matt Ryan struggled without Julio Jones, Flacco struggled without Boldin. Cam Newton will struggle this week with a gimpy Steve Smith.
        Does Kaep rely on Crabs? Hell yes he does. And Boldin and Vernon too.
        Is he still locking on to one receiver? Yes. Steve Young said it took him 4 years to learn to go through progressions. Thank god Kaep has other tools in his belt that he can use until he can lean on wisdom and experience. Our young signal caller has won 7 games in a row.
        Since Crabs came back we are now a top ten passing offense. We are winners of 7 straight. Young Kaep boasts a 3-1 playoff record. Ton’s of positives. Yet there are still folks that want to write negative garbage. I just don’t get it. Especially the timing of it.

        Lets fulfill out destiny and get number six….

      5. I’m just calling it like it is Bay. I think you have me confused as an Alex fan/Kaep hater. I am not an Alex fan, and super happy he’s gone so our offense has a chance to grow under a QB like Kaep that is willing to take a chance to be great.

        Just wanted to clear that up. That said, I’m being fair with Kaep as well. I love his potential, but he needs to show a lot of growth in a small amount of time. Our window to win a ring isn’t going to get bigger. We have several large contracts coming onto the books soon, so we have to make the best of it while we can.

  32. The toughest teams next weekend?
    Indianapolis (20-1 favorites)
    and Carolina (10-1). Reason?
    They have something bigger to prove:
    “we deserve to be there next month.”

    Seattle and Denver & James Harbaw
    all expect to be there. See what I mean?

    Time to climb that wild card mountain.
    (Carrying the Super Bowl monkey on yr back.)

    1. Weird. Vegas has the car/SF as a “pick em”. Which means take away home field and the niners would be the favorite.

        1. Crabtree is obvious. The Panthers get no credit for knocking out Davis?

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but Kaepernick didn’t throw a single pass into the end zone in that game.

      1. Grant Cohn says:
        January 6, 2014 at 8:15 am
        The Panthers get no credit for knocking out Davis?
        Is that you Gregg Williams?

        1. It’s not really innocuous to drive someone’s head into the ground like that. A similar thing happened to Jamaal Charles two days ago.

      2. The point wasn’t about who knocked out who it was about the 49ers beating themselves through bad plays as mentioned by JH and by the absence of major contributors on both sides of the ball.

        1. You could say the same things about the Packers last night. They dropped a pick-six at the end and were without major contributors on both sides of the ball.

      3. The blow to the head on the ground looked like something we see on almost any play. Thought the same thing on Saturday.

        1. I disagree. We don’t see heads hit the ground like that on every play. Davis’ head hit the ground with the extra force of the blow. Same with Charles.

      4. Grant Cohn says:
        January 6, 2014 at 8:50 am
        You could say the same things about the Packers last night.
        And I would if we were discussing the next 49ers/Packers but we aren’t. We’re talking about how the 49ers beat themselves against Carolina and how some of those same obstacles are not in place this time.

      5. Grant Cohn says:
        January 6, 2014 at 9:00 am
        So the Packers beat themselves last night and are better than the Niners? What are you talking about?
        No, what are you talking about? Putting words in my mouth now?

        1. So did I, but look at what you just wrote: “And I would if we were discussing the next 49ers/Packers but we aren’t. We’re talking about how the 49ers beat themselves against Carolina and how some of those same obstacles are not in place this time.”

          The “and I would” suggests you think the Packers beat themselves against the Niners, just as you say the 49ers beat themselves against the Panthers.

      6. The point has become nebulous now so I’ll try to rein it back in. Green Bay could make the same argument about last night that Im saying about the 49ers against Carolina but that’s irrelevant to the discussion and points at hand. The 49ers lost a very winnable game and the reasons appear to be more stacked in the fault of the 49ers mistakes and the absence of playmakers on both sides of the ball then the effort posed by the opposite team.

        1. And I disagree with that. The Panthers were more physical in that game, better coached and better on third down. Panthers were 41 percent on third down. 49ers were 15 percent.

      7. Grant Cohn says:
        January 6, 2014 at 9:11 am
        … on third down. 49ers were 15 percent.
        Ok, what would the 49ers percent have been with Davis and Crabtree in the game? The fact that you can’t answer that question is the point of this discussion. Maybe the 49ers would have been 42 percent on third down if they had their missing offensive weapons.

      8. I’m certain this question will probably backfire in my face but I’ll take a chance. What was the 49ers third down % before and after Crabtree’s return?

      9. The ol’ coulda, shoulda, woulda arguments don’t really hold. End of the day, regardless of whether the 49ers had a full compliment of players or not, the Panthers played a better game on the day and deserved the win – we’ll never know if having Crabtree or Davis for a full game would have made a difference. You play the hand your dealt. 49ers need to improve to win this game.

        The good news is the Panthers were only incrementally better than the 49ers last time, and this time round we will have some additional firepower (if everyone stays healthy through the game). Further, the Panthers don’t have much playoff experience on that roster, while the 49ers have players that have now been through pretty much every playoff scenario. That experience and mental toughness gives the 49ers an edge.

      10. Yes the Panthers won earlier in the year. However, I went back and re-watched that game. The Niners didn’t execute very well. A good example was on the 1st drive of the game. They had a decent drive going and were in field goal range. One 3rd and one, they ran the ball. That play would have netted a 1st down had Miller blocked the DE. He missed the block and Gore got tackled in the backfield. Dawson still made the field goal, however, there were numerous such examples throughout the game of missed assignments and/or poor execution.

    2. Alex Smith’ monkey became a gorilla on Saturday. You might want to address a “Note” to Andy Reid, bud (lol).

      In any case, your constant bickering about Harbaugh/CK have become a bit of the lucky charm lately, so keep it coming, “imposter.”

  33. Watching the Kick in slow motion is awesome.
    The game of inches lived up to its name on that kick. The ball literally went through the defenders arms. That team that gets in the Wildcard slot and wins the Super Bowl of late, always seems to have that luck rolled in with tough hard fought games. My prediction is coming to light. And if I may…
    I’ll add a little spice to the prediction. 20 years ago there were two certain California teams in the Super Bowl. And we know how that ended. Hmmmm.
    Just sayin.

    1. That player was way offsides. A flag was thrown but picked up since it was made. Look at the end of the play when they turn around with a scared look on their faces after realizing a flag had been thrown. no way he gets in free like that. There should have also been a leverage penalty called because the defensive tackle can’t jump over the snapper. The snapper is supposed to be protected.

      1. Yeah, if that kick was blocked, Dawson would be trying a 28 yard field goal. But in that weather, even that is not a gimme!

      2. I noticed that after the third time watching it. But the way the refs kept their flags in their pockets the whor game, who nows if they wouldn’t have picked it up. Lol

  34. So glad to have Crabtree back! The guy really does catch everything. And it seems to me that he is looking better and better every week. This passing offense is really peaking at the right time and I’m lovin it.

  35. It’s great to have Crabtree and the production he brings with him back but it’s disturbing to see how much of the success of our offense appears to hinge on just one player. From the hip that would seem to come from the limitations of the QB to look/find more then one receiver and an OC that further handicaps that limitation by only creating one route plays. Other then Colston who’s not even their best receiver anymore the Saints haven’t had any true stud receivers and it doesn’t matter because if the first two aren’t open Brees simply passes to the third and that doesn’t happen in our offense. When it does I believe we’ll see 1-3 point margins of victory turn into 10-13 on a regular basis and in a league where anything goes that’s a cushion my heart rate can live with.

  36. Grant sez:
    “…..Without Clay Matthews, the Packers had no chance of stopping Kaepernick when it counted….”

    u-mmm .. maybe so … but ..
    wasn’t Fabio in the game when Kaep torched them for
    181 yds rushing .. ? .. or
    when he lit them up with a gazillion TD throws ?

    When it comes to the Niners .. Kaep showed me
    that it doesn’t matter whether that “FatHead”
    is in the game or not …

    Hate to bring it up but Alex’s record against
    Aaron is one win … many losses ..

    Correct me if I’m wrong ..but
    Kaep is undefeated against Rodgers …

    Does Kaep “own” the Pack ??
    I’d say so

  37. How the heck did this team make the Playoffs? Playoffs? If a person’s only source of information was this blog they’d think the Niners were a 5-11 team.
    Vernon is the worst route runner in the NFL. Boldin is a turtle. Gore’s legs are gone. Cowboy’s best days are behind him. Our DBs are too short and no one can cover a slot receiver. The QB is a one-read mental midget. The OC is unimaginative/too gimmicky. The DC is too conservative. The coach is stubborn and arrogant, doesn’t coach QB footwork nor understand offensive football enough to call roll outs.

    1. Actually, the 49ers have no weaknesses and the only reason they’re not undefeated is the NFL conspires against them and the rules are too soft for the mighty Niners.

        1. Debatable. The Panthers gave up a 78 passer rating at home this season. PFF ranked Captain Munnerlyn higher than any SF CB.

      1. Once again: Vernon is the worst route runner….
        This is:
        A/ Not correct
        B/ Not close to or resembling accurate in any way. A statement seemingly made to make the one stating it feel what? Superior? Its hyperbolic in the extreme.
        Are there areas worth improving that are legitimate to discuss? Of course. But this comment and the turtle comment are what they are.

        1. It is true. You can’t call what he runs “routes.” He’s still one of the best tight ends in the NFL. I was the one writing the 49ers should have passed to Davis more often last season.

          And Boldin is a turtle. He may be the slowest wide receiver in the NFL and doesn’t get much YAC. But turtles have their strong points, too.

      2. 10-9 is out coached? Playoffs do strange things to an inexperienced staff sometimes….I just feel the 49ers have a better prepared staff for the task at hand.

        1. The Niners had two weeks to prepare for that game and got-outcoached at home. It was the 49ers’ worst passing performance since 2005 — Alex Smith’s rookie season.

      3. I think you might be surprised with the success Kaepernick has through the air at Charlotte Sunday afternoon….Just a hunch.

        1. Perhaps. Crabtree will help him. But what about on the ground? The Panthers held Kaepernick to one 16-yard run and that was it.

      4. I liked the series they ran with LMJ, and Patton, Boldin on the edges against the Cardinals. Attack Carolina on the edges and make them run sideline to sideline….

      5. The general consensus is that the 49ers are the better team on the whole. They’re favoured think by a point on the road at Charlotte next Sunday.
        They’re close enough in talent that either team could easily win. Either team could have won a few weeks ago at the ‘Stick.

      6. Grant do you think maybe they planned to make ck a thrower in week 10 because they had 1 receiver to cover? And to top it off Davis his other favorite went down in the first? And they lose by 1.

        Here are some things that are and could be different this matchup

        1 week 10 CK didn’t hit his stride yet
        2. We are now healthy and ck has weaponS
        3 Carolina will have to focus on more than just ck’s legs and Boldin
        4. Carolina isn’t use to the playoff atmosphere, and it could hurt them. In the early half of this game.
        5 Steve Smith isn’t 100 percent
        6.. It’s very difficult to beat the 49ers twice in a season.
        Rams last season was a tie and loss, BUT they are division rivals.
        7…. You really don’t understand the confidence and swag the 49ers have. They are smoking hot and road tested. They will not lose again this season.

        Now I won’t call you a hater. But I will say I think you’re underestimating this 49ers team.

      7. 49ers key advantages over Panthers:
        - Playoff experience – shouldn’t be overlooked
        - Receivers – without Crabtree I wouldn’t have listed this, but with Crabtree, Boldin and Davis this is now a team strength

        Panthers key advantage over 49ers:
        - Home field

        The rest is all pretty even. This should be a really tough fought game if both teams turn up to play. Could go either way.

      8. Boldin doesn’t get much YAC? Dez Bryant, who you would probably call a rabbit, had only 49 more yards of YAC than Boldin.

        I don’t mind the turtle reference though, the guy looks like he is dragging a piano behind him when he runs.

      9. Jack, how about a comparison with Calvin Johnson? Boldin got only 31 YAC less than a guy with 4.35 speed. So is YAC really about speed or being a physical runner with the ball?

      10. The Niners lost to the Panthers because they were reduced to Anquan Boldin in the passing game after Davis went out – Niners were leading 9-0 at that point – and because the Panther Dline whipped the Niner Oline. Even then, the Niners were a McDonald reception away from probably winning the game. The Panthers did little offensively against the Niner defense with a full compliment of players as well, so I think this is a game the Niners should be favored to win.

        Matching up the two teams now, I’d give the advantage to the Niners simply because they have most of their starters back they didn’t have in that game. Crabtree, Davis for hopefully a full game and Aldon Smith who didn’t play much as it was his first game after a stint in rehab. This is a very different Niner team than the one Carolina saw that day.

        The key will be giving Kap time to throw which he didn’t have the first time around.

      11. Grant how come any positive comments about 49ers as a team irritates you? It must be painful writing for a 49ers blog with bunch of fans that care about their team.

  38. The glitches on this website are really frustrating. The toggling between mobile mode and full website mode, the lost postings, being sent to old articles….. Time for an upgrade maybe?

    1. + 1 Bay. Time for the IT dept to put on their big boy pants. Many times posts just don’t post. Sometimes click on a comment and get blank screen. I guess we’re in the Third World up here in the Sonoma County boonies.

      1. Noooooooooo!

        It is the most archaic crappy forum software this side of those Facebook authentication ones.

        Even open source phpBB kicks this forum software’s butt all the way to Appleton and back.

  39. Regarding “clutch”: in the 89 SB, everyone remembers Joe’s great throw to John Taylor to clinch our 4th SB in come-from-behind fashion, but some of us also recall that on the previous play, they ran the exact same play and Joe threw the ball right into the hands of the Cincy DB, who thankfully dropped it. So, was Joe clutch, or not? I’d say “clutch” is determined by the final score, and the more “clutch” plays you create, the more the name sticks to you, whether the moniker is ironclad or not.

    It’s struck me that we’re watching the modern version of the early Steve Young – strong arm, crazy running ability, but not so great at scanning the field and a propensity to drop his eyes off the downfield targets pretty quickly. But Steve “Happy Feet” Young turned into Steve Young, Super Bowl Winner and Hall of Famer. Will Kaep go the same way? We can’t be sure but it’s awfully early in his career, he has a ton of talent, and I wouldn’t bet against him. The Kaep of 2017 might be an unbelievable product. I’m going with what Deion Sanders said: Kaep isnt Joe, he’s not Steve, he’s just going to be the best Kaep he can be, and I’m going to enjoy watching him, even when some open WRs in the TV frame make me wince. It’s the Kaep Era, and it’s gonna be interesting.

    A road win against a decent team (fantastic qb, weak defense, further depleted with a crazy string of injuries – and thank god we didn’t share in any of that) on the road, in the playoffs, in tough conditions – it’s hard to not like this, even tho I still long for the days when the Niners Offense was referred to as the Well Oiled Machine, not the Timeout Right After the Half unit.

  40. News this morning… Minnesota Vikings and Washington Oligarchs are in contact with Greg Roman. Of all the OC and position coaches, its Tomsula I would most want to retain.

    1. Roman’s system could work well if he was an HC because it could skip a step. His play calls will be relayed directly to the QB instead of being screened, then relayed to the QB Harbaugh first.

    2. Well since it’s Harbaugh’s offense we don’t even need an OC apparently. Let him go and try to turn RG into Kaep and we’ll hire Banjo man to fill his position.

    3. I predicted he would go to Detroit. Minnesotta? They have a solid running back, a qb who should just be a game manager, sounds like the alex years. I think I’d put my money on Minnesotta.

      1. He’s been an NFL coordinator for three years and never has been a head coach, not even in high school. I wouldn’t hire him to be my head coach at this point.

        1. I could see that. He’s a running-game coordinator and he’d get to work with Adrian Peterson. I still wouldn’t hire a guy with just three years of NFL coordinating experience and no years of head coaching experience. I’d want more experience.

          Special teams coordinator may be the exception. Special teams coordinators have to work with almost the entire team, and they have to coach dozens of different skills, sort of like being a head coach.

      2. I would not hire him as my head coach either Grant. I would ditch conventional wisdom, and think outside the box with Kingsbury as my next head coach…..

      3. How would Roman handle an entire organization? Who would he hire? We’ve seen none of that. It will be interesting to watch how it unfolds.

      4. Grant,

        You were not hired for your current position because of a load of experience, Roman has been in Football more that you have been alive. I doubt that he would be a great coach but you have to start somewhere and get a opportunity and sink or swim.

      5. John Harbaugh didn’t have a lot of HCing experience when he was hired by the Ravens either.

        The HCing job is more about organizational skills and creating systems than it is hands on Coaching.

        1. Special teams coordinators tend to have good organizational skills. They work with almost every player and coach lots of different skills.

    1. Grant Cohn says:
      January 6, 2014 at 9:14 am
      He’s been an NFL coordinator for three years and never has been a head coach, not even in high school. I wouldn’t hire him to be my head coach at this point.

      So if he had been a HS head coach you would hire him?

      This is so ridiculous.

      What was Mike McCarthy experience before leading the Packers to a SB?

      1. Grant you would’nt hire Roman because he has only been a coordinator 3 yrs and never been a HC? What other choices do you have? A HC retread, other than A. Reid that has’nt worked out to well lately [see M. Shanahan] maybe M. Nolan is looking for a job. A College HC other than C. Johnson that avenue is’nt filled with success or lastly a long time NFL Corrdinator…..Really you want to hire someone who has been picked over numerous times, sometimes coordinators are coordinators for a reason. [see J. Garrett, N. Turner and M. Nolan]

    1. I read their comments and, with very few exceptions, they (Carolina fans) were downright worried…it was kinda funny to read…lol

    1. 23Jordan says:
      January 6, 2014 at 8:58 am
      Vikings and Redskins reach out to Niners OC Roman for an interview, per bleacher report.

      Brodie2Washington says:
      January 6, 2014 at 8:57 am
      News this morning… Minnesota Vikings and Washington Oligarchs are in contact with Greg Roman.

      1. Extremely. I’m telling you guys you’re all doing it wrong. Setting yourself up for the loss only makes the win that much sweeter ;)

      2. You kinda forced my hand on that one mate. I really don’t like shoving ones face in a win because payback is a B.

    1. Ghost – Thanks for link but I don’t see any BB material for Niners. Just a couple clown blogger posts. Maybe I missed something.

  41. Grant if Lewis Billups holds on to the pass J. Montana hit him right in the chest with late in the 3rd quarter the 9ers do’nt score on the next pass to Rice and maybe Montana is known as a choke and not a hero. If Tom Brady is’nt saved by the ridiculous tuck rule and he loses to the raiders on his fumble is he now known as a choke instead of a hero and if, if ands and buts were candy and nuts we would all have a very merry christmas.

    1. Also if you take away all of Kap’s runs and good passes he had a horrible game. As a matter of fact if you take away all the good plays we made yesterday we sucked. And well if you take away all the points we scored what are we left with? A big fat goose egg that’s what.

      +1 to your comment Coach

  42. Grant ,

    This is why you’re a sportwriter and not a teacher. Cap did something that only two other QB’s accomplished in the history of the game – Passing for 200+ yards and rushing for 95+ yards. It was an OUTSTANDING performance in frigid conditions.

    BigP is right, Cap now has as many road wins as Montana and Young COMBINED.

      1. I count them very preciously, and there’s only one way for the only Super Bowl losing 49er quarterback to make it right….Win one, and start a new dynasty.

      2. Strictly speaking Super Bowl is a neutral field. A ‘road’ game is in the opponents home stadium. In fact, the 1984 Super Bowl win at Stanford Stadium by the Niners was as close to a Super Bowl team having a ‘home’ game in history.

        Here is the Record for Road Playoffs for Montana, Young, and Kap. Unless I am missing something Kap is already ahead of Montana and Young Combined.

        1. 1983 Redskins. L 21-24.
        2. 1985 NY Giants. L 3-17.
        3. 1986 NY Giants. L 3-49.
        4. 1988 Chicago. W 28-3

        1. 1993 Cowboys L 38-21
        2. 1996 Green bay L 35-14


        2012. Atlanta: W28-24
        2013. Green Bay W 23-20

      3. Yes. I missed that one. That was one week after the Young to TO catch beat the Packers at the Stick.

        Another L for Steve. I don’t believe Young ever won a road playoff game.

  43. Out of pure jealousy, I think “Cocky Cam” will try to rush for more yards than Kap. The “I can run too” mentality may cause him to lose focus on the Ron Rivera game plan, I hope.

      1. Lol! You also said in the past that cam is a better QB! I can’t wait until Sunday and you look stupid once again with these statements you have said in the past… Your comments and opinions are priceless!!!

      2. Mr. Newton is a stud down in the redzone when he calls his own number,and on the goal line it’s not even close. He’s extremley hard to bring down anywhere on the field. Volatile plutonium that has a degree more power than the rawer material known as Kaepernick. Kaepernick is better in space around the defensive end, and outside containment due to his unique speed and acceleration for the quarterback position. Cam is a more durable runner because of his size and difficulty to bring down, and Kaepernick is more slender with better acceleration and top-end speed. Kaepernick is the better runner between both 20 yard lines, but I’d take Newton near the red zone.
        If you’re talking from a pure running viewpoint and outside the tackles in the open field, give me Kaepernick by a feline whisker….

        1. Newton is a better runner anywhere on the field. He’s quicker than Kaepernick, accelerates much faster, is more elusive and has many gears and uses them. Kaepernick is a slow-starting long-strider with one gear.

      3. Kaepernick is blazing fast. Players still underestimate his speed, which is why you still see them take bad angles on him. Newton might be a bit shiftier, but that’s it. Kaepernick also had a better YPC than Newton. “Newton is a better runner anywhere on the field.” Lol, didn’t Kaepernick break Michael Vick’s single game QB rushing record with 181 yards? I think Newton is a hell of a player, but your comments are ridiculous.

        1. Against the awful Packers defense. Kaepernick might be slightly faster, but that’s it. Newton is a better football runner in every way. Kaepernick probably would be a better quarter-miler than Newton.

        1. Packers had no pass rush and they couldn’t tackle in the open field. They didn’t have one player who could chase down Kaepernick. Mulumba was limping after him on the last drive.

      4. Grant you are really reaching. He is slightly faster because of the awful Packer defense??. Really?? Please elaborate. How is a person’s speed affected by the Defense of the other team? Either you can run or not. What does the opposing Defense have to do with it.

        How many peppermint schnaps did you have on the plane coming back home? Your wits are a bit on the slow side today.

      5. Again, there is nothing there to validate your opinion. Kaepernick has a better YPC and the single game QB rushing record. He is absolutely faster than Newton. They are both very good at running. Claiming that “Newton is a better football runner in every way” just doesn’t make sense.

        1. I explained it. Better acceleration, more elusive, more gears. Kaepernick has one gear, is not elusive and is not a quick starter. It takes him a while to get his long stride going.

      6. Do you have any data to back up your conclusions. How do you measure acceleration, elusiveness, and ‘gears’.

        Sounds like you are stating your opinion. You know what they say about opinions. Just like a certain body part, everybody has them.

      7. You can explain it all you want, it doesn’t make sense. He does not accelerate faster. Elusive means difficult to catch, which Kaep has proven he is. The record seconds that. More gears? Kaep’s YPC is higher than Newton’s. He is more efficient per carry while producing similar results. As far as not being a quick starter, defenders constantly take bad angles on him. They do that because they misjudge his speed. The results speak for themselves. Then again, I’m sure you would still say your faster than Kuechly.

        1. Kaepernick isn’t shifty. He’s a sitting duck until his long stride gets going. If he faces linebackers who can match his one gear, like the Panthers linebackers, Kaepernick isn’t much of a running threat.

      8. If he faces linebackers who can match his one gear, like the Panthers linebackers, Kaepernick isn’t much of a running threat.

        I thought Kuechly was slow?

        1. Never said that. He’s fast for his position. My take on him always was that his 40 time and playing ability for his position didn’t warrant a top-10 pick. He’ll have to be a hall of famer to justify where he got picked. He’s good, though.

      9. Grant:

        You said he was too slow to be a coverage linebacker. You now say he is fast for his position. That seems like an inconsistency to me.

        He’ll have to be a hall of famer to justify where he got picked.

        1. That’s contrived. They don’t induct 9 players/year into the HoF.

        2. If Kuechly keeps playing like he did this year, he’ll make the HOF.

      10. I agree that he isn’t especially shifty, but that is only one component of a runner. He is great in the other areas. You said Newton is a better football runner in every way and I’ve got you down to shiftiness, I’ll take that.

        1. I’ll give Kaepernick the edge in top-end speed and Newton the edge in every other running attribute. They are two of the best, though. It’s a splitting hairs type of argument.

      11. Grant what i think you are mistaking for lack of quickness or elusiveness is him being an indecisive runner. Most of this year he just was’nt making up his mind and taking off and it made him look slow. Yesterday at some point he decided he was going to run the ball, he stopped over thinking and looked much quicker\faster.

      12. Grant:

        To be fair, it would be more accurate to say that, after some of us suggested that Kuechly would do well in coverage, you scoffed at the idea while referencing his 4.6 time in the 40.

      13. It would be great to see the 49ers be able to get Davis down the seam this week like they did in the first meeting with McDonald.

        I tend to also think that Kuechly can be a liability in pass coverage.

      14. I agree with Grant – Newton is able to accelerate quicker than Kaep, is more elusive (where elusive = ability to dodge and move laterally with quick steps), and is a stronger runner than Kaep.

        Kaep has a higher top-end speed, and if he is allowed to get to top-speed can really eat up yards fast. His speed makes him a good runner getting round the edge. But he’s the type of runner that for every big run he will get taken down for a few negative plays.

        Newton on the other hand has less negative yard runs, and is better running through the middle of traffic. Power + elusiveness.

        1. I respect a lot of people’s opinions on this site even, when I disagree. That said, I find myself agreeing with Scooter most of the time. Funny how that goes.

          Who do you find yourselves agreeing with often? It’s funny, I almost never agree with Rocket. Not sure how that is possible.

          I agree with Jack about half the time, but I always respect his opinion. He’s thoughtful, knowledgable and open minded even when he’s wrong :)

      15. Overall, Newton is better running the ball than Kaep. Homerism is affecting people’s perspective on here….

      16. “I find myself agreeing with Scooter most of the time.”

        I couldn’t get you to see reason on the AJ Jenkins pick though could I! Oh wait, you turned out to be right about that one…

      17. Grant,

        It’s funny, I almost never agree with Rocket. Not sure how that is possible.

        We both like to argue more than anything. The best thing about your blog is that you aren’t afraid to make predictions or voice your opinion Grant. While I think you are way too young and new to the game to be questioning Coaches who have been involved in the game longer than you’ve been alive, I also respect your right to say what you feel and enjoy playing Devils advocate. While we may disagree a lot of the time, your forum and input are easily the biggest reason I come here.

    1. Grant – You say Cam is a better runner than Kap. If you’re Ron Rivera, do you encourage Cam to run more often or less often vs 49ers style of defense? Do you design extra running plays for him Sunday?
      I think Kap is the better runner (he’s faster) but it’s close.

      1. CK is not elusive IMO. Not in the open field and especially not in the pocket. He is hard to catch. He is wayyyy faster than Cam and his acceleration curve is off the charts better. It’s not close. Cam is stronger and has some wiggle and change-of-pace. His size makes Cam a bigger threat running inside the 10. Overall, it’s kind of a wash between different skill sets. Speed is not a comparable. Ever see Cam pull away from DBs? I haven’t. CK? Yes.

        1. Not way faster than Newton. It’s close. Newton can go from standing still to running full speed much quicker than Kaepernick.

      2. Wrong Grant. Sports Science says Kap was the highest QB they’ve ever tested in acceleration.


        The only area that you can say Newton is better as a runner is in his ability to run through a tackle. He’s bulkier than Kap and a little stronger when running. Other than that, Kap is faster, accelerates quicker and is at worst equal to Newton is shiftiness.

        1. Equal to Newton in shiftiness? Wow. I don’t think so.

          On a football field, it takes Kaepernick a moment or two to get moving. His first couple steps are slow. Newton’s first two steps are extremely quick, and he’s much shifter than Kaepernick. It isn’t close. Kaepernick isn’t shifty.

          Again, the only thing Newton may have over Kaepernick is top-end speed, but it’s close.

        1. I don’t think it’s an issue of perception. Long striders tend to be slow starters with one gear, but that gear can be extremely fast.

          Kaepernick got taken down pretty easily on most of his sacks this year because he lacks short area quickness and elusiveness.

      3. Jack,
        The Sports Science thing also showed his release was lightning quick, but that was a concern coming out of college. Maybe the greyhound build throws people off.

      4. On a football field, it takes Kaepernick a moment or two to get moving. His first couple steps are slow. Newton’s first two steps are extremely quick, and he’s much shifter than Kaepernick. It isn’t close. Kaepernick isn’t shifty

        Grant I just gave you a link that shows you your perception is wrong. Kap is the quickest accelerator they have ever tested at QB including Cam Newton. Kap is faster and gets to top speed quicker. Newton doesn’t make a lot of people miss so I don’t know where you are getting this idea that he is way shiftier than Kap. They are both big men who can move well.

        As to Kap getting caught in the backfield at times, that wasn’t because he was slow. It’s because he was taking too long to run if nothing was there. The past few weeks we’ve seen more of last years Kap who is pulling it down and running right away.

        You have a Sports Science video telling you you are wrong and an article from a guy who trained both Kap and Newton telling you Kap is the superior athlete. Give it up already. It’s ok to admit you are wrong once in awhile.

        1. You’ve watched both guys play but you base your opinion on sports science. Weak.

          Still trying to get my head around you saying Kaepernick is as shifty as Newton. That honestly makes me wonder if you even watch the NFL.

      5. Grant says You’ve watched both guys play but you base your opinion on sports science. Weak.

        You are the guy that uses stats all the time so talk about contradiction. You are having a Bayareafanatic kinda day.

      6. No, I don’t think you overuse stats. Im just ribbing but to me and this is just my opinion, if there is one sport that stats do not make sense or complete the picture, its football.

      7. Grant,

        I’m basing my opinion on what I see and backing it up with data from sports science. In contrast you are saying things based on what you see that aren’t backed by the facts. See the difference?

        I also didn’t say Kap was really shifty as a runner. I said he is as shifty as Newton who isn’t all that shifty. Neither player is effective because they can juke defenders. They are effective because they are big guys who can run.

      8. Reading this whole thread Grant, I’ll offer this suggestion why we (you & I) can’t resolve our perception, because I still think CK has faster acceleration. It may be on the timing of his decision making. Especially in the drought period this season. If one waits too long to throw the ball, the DB can make a play. If a QB hesitates too long to decide to take off, the DL/LB can make a play.
        Premise: Cam’s first step is instinctive and almost always helpful to his take off. Colin’s first step has sometimes been late, but IMO his ramp up issuperior if he breaks free. Like Bolt, he’s a long strider with the foot speed of a sprinter.

  44. Carolina is a good team, their 12-4 division winning record is no fluke. With that said, the Niners are healthier on both sides of the ball since the last time the two teams met, so this is a different matchup for Carolina.

    Also, look for Roman to get the run game going, by running to the outside more with Hunter & James. The Niners had great success running to the outside against the Bucs, who have an aggressive 4-3 base defense that similar to Carolina’s. Since that game, the Niners have gone away from those plays, I suspect in order to save the strategy for this type of playoff game. In addition, like the Bucs game, expect Kaep to be allowed to make plays by rolling out more.

    It’s going to be a tough game, but the Niners have shown their playoff mettle over the last three years, they obviously didn’t win them all, but the fought tooth and nail & often prevailed. I predict Niners 20-10.

  45. Did anyone else catch this, and am I making too much of it?

    From http://www.csnbayarea.com/show/91361/episode/682786

    Q: What was working for you, obviously a sack and a half for you; it’s been a while since you had a sack. What was so effective about the game plan?

    A: Just doing what I’ve been practicing the whole week. You know, I’ve been practicing hard on getting my rush right, and I wanted to make sure I was able to put that on film today.

    Smith didn’t say he wanted to make sure he got his rush right so he could help the team win; he said he wanted to make sure he put it on film. Why is he concerned about putting anything on film? That makes me think he believes he and the 49ers will be parting ways.

    1. If he shows he’s rushing well on film it will impact the way the Panthers gameplay for the defense. Maybe they have to keep another blocker in on passing downs or the increased focus on Aldon opens up opportunities for the other D-linemen. He isn’t going anywhere.

      1. Agree, it’s a way they talk about execution, performance. Gator mouth Sherman used the same phrase when talking about Seahags secondary; something to the effect of ‘we put our actions on tape and others can decide if anyone is better than us.’

      2. Brotha,
        Well said. Everything in football revolves around film study. You see some defensive linemen completely stop when the play passes their general area, while others (Justin Smith, Chris Long, etc.) chase the play down. Aldon needs to show that he is creating constant pressure, if not sacks. When Carolina watches the film, they will see that and it will impact their game plan.

    2. Maybe it was to give future o coordinators more repotoir to look at. The more techniques he has on film, the more they got to work on it

  46. I agree with Razoreater. Cap is certainly on his way to writing a HOF resume. But he has to win a Super Bowl first. When he does that and continues to be healthy, his stats will warrent a HOF selection.


    Someone has hacked into your computer. What do you mean Newton is a better runner than Cap? In the 40? The 100? The 440? The mile? The marathon? If you mean Newton is a better RUSHER than Cap, than you are wrong. If they wanted I’m sure Newton and Cap could both rush for over 100 yards a game. But, then their careers would be put to risk.

    Cap seems to pick up his rushing mentality in the playoffs, so whatever his rushing stats are compared to Newton during the regular season doesn’t hold water. Now if you want to look at Cap’s rushing totals during the playoffs, let’s see you compare those to Newton’s.

  47. Oh Dear Lord,

    So people still are criticizing the coaches.
    Imagine if they had a offense with J. Nelson, Randall Cobb, James Jones, Eddie Lacy and Aaron Rodgers and started the game, at home, with three 3-ans-outs.

    All this coach staff has done is rack up at least 13 wins a season (this one still counting) and at least reach the divisional round every year (maybe NFCCG every year if they win next Sunday).

    You know? The ONLY coaching staff to have ever done that in its first three years in the Superbowl era.

    They took a team that could not get to a winning record in almost a decade and turned it into a perenial contender overnight.

    That is a remarkable job and it has to be at least Top 3 in the league over that span.

    I’m not saying they are perfect, because they obviously are not.
    But the positives far outgain the negatives.
    And they should at least have the benefit of the doubt.

    All I read is a lot of people telling that “considering the talent” the 49ers should win by a larger margin every week.

    Guess what: that talent could not get to a freaking winning record without those coaches.

    Maybe, just maybe, because the coaches maximize that talent, many times overachieving in a lot of areas, people get the impression that the team SHOULD win easily and once they win the hard way, they think its the coaches’ fault.

    But it could easily be that the talent is very good but not so better than the other good teams as most fans think.
    The coaches that made them look better than they are with a superb job along the last three years.

    Not sure it’s one way or the other, but given the past results it sure looks like the latter.
    So give the coaches a break and let them do their job.

      1. When a team comes out that tight, I put that on the coaches. I thought the move to bring in Mr. Flair was brilliant, and maybe a similar move before the Super Bowl should have been done…..

    1. Your kidding right?
      Who’s never heard of the nature boy? How old are you bro? I’m asking because mostly everyone over the age of 35 grew up watching or knowing wrestlers.

      1. I used to love those old days of wrestling when guys like Ray Stevens and Red Bastien were in the circuit before wrestling became what it is today. You would see those wrestlers get thrown out of the ring, disappear under the ring curtain and then come out bloody after slicing their foreheads with a razor blade. I doubt many, if any, go to those lengths these days.

      2. Space…. I haven’t watched wrestling in years, but some of the highlights I see looks like they go waaay beyond the old schoolers.

      3. I was in Charlotte on business a few years ago, shared a flight with Flair. He was holding court in first class drinking red wine from about 25 minutes before the flight took off….lovin’ life!

    1. No surprise there. I had mentioned a little over a week ago that two would be good fits for that team. I think Fangio is more likely to get it though.

  48. From GC’s comments in this thread, prepare for a week of articles on how many ways the Panthers are superior to the Niners.

    1. @Crab15you said it Bro. I must admit that I was sure we were going to lose after the JN touchdown. But I tend to be a pessimist.

  49. Vic is the coach I’d most hate to lose. That said, you recruit excellence and then let it soar. Then the next highly valued candidate knows he’ll be able to thrive and grow into whatever his opportunities are. SF got shafted by the Chargers late play for Norv Turner, but had to bite the bullet and gracefully let him go.
    I’m not sure why Snyder would want to go with a defensive guy; he sunk his money and draft choices into a QB who still needs some development. Detroit should find somebody who can mentor their talented but undisciplined QB.
    Roman to the Vikes at least makes some sense to me; for whatever that’s worth.

    1. Brotha I would hate to lose Roman or Fangio but it would’nt stop there. They both would probably choose their respective coordinators from the 9er staff also we could end up losing 6 coaches in one fell swoop and that would hurt.

      1. What’s his name, the defense specialist listed as a consultant to our OC was no doubt brought in to replace VF if he bails. Hate it when I forget a name…

      1. I agree Prime. Last year the Niners blocked Donatell from interviewing for the DC job in New Oreleons. How can they not offer him the job in Fangio leaves after that?

  50. Sometimes I wonder what would have been said about the 49er players and coaching staff if blogs like this would have been around during the 80′s? When we discuss Walsh, Montana, Rice and Lott nowadays, they’re practically remembered as gods. But what kind of grades would have been handed out back then after less-than-perfect playoff games that led to Super Bowls? As an old 49er fan, I just remember enjoying the win anyway it came. Maybe we were just a bunch of “homers” in those days, a name today that pretty much means an uneducated fan and often used as a derogatory comment toward them. Maybe some ignorance was a good thing — at least fans seemed to be happier the day after the game and not trying to find fault with players and coaches even after a big win. Oh, well, I’m entertaining the notion of going “homer” for the remainder of the playoffs and just enjoy blissful ignorance, lol. Go 49ers!

    1. Space
      The blog would’ve been all “No more sweeps!” after that Seifert game, LOL! Or what kind of grade would Joe have after The Catch AND 4 picks? The Ericson/Donahue years? Whew that would’ve been ugly. Even BW’s 1st year at 2-14.

    1. Dishonest? That’s a huge word that encompasses the subject of morality. What facts do you have to make that claim. As far as being wrong, were all wrong lots of times. I pick at Grant every now and then, especially on his rants with Dallas but I doubt he is dishonest.

      1. Dishonest because he picked the Cowboys. Dishonest because he says Newton is faster than Kaep. I don’t have the time or desire to go through all of Grant’s past year’s posts, but he himself has documented his own dishonesty sufficiently for anyone to see it.

      2. I think you may want to crack open a Webster’s dictionary and look up the meaning of dishonest…

        Maybe unwise, misguided, dumb… but dishonest doesn’t really fit there.

      3. Pretty strong words bud. I would describe Grant as occasionally wrong and and stubborn when he is. But calling his dishonest is insulting.

      4. Leo

        It’s dishonest for a smart person to claim the Jerry Jones/Garrett/Romo Cowboys will win the Super Bowl. He did it for blog hits. Niners fans hate Cowboys, and were guaranteed to respond by the hundreds.



      5. Being made to read dishonest drivel is insulting too.

        If you want good writing, hit Kawakami. If you want comments with other fans, go to Grant. Grant could have it all, but his lack of an honest effort continues to disappoint.

      6. “The 49ers got out-coached when they played the Panthers Week 10.” — 10-9

        What will you call this ?

        A. Confused (Could be the GB freeze)
        B. Dishonest (Trolling for blog hits)
        C. Not Smart (The old daddy got me the job noise)
        D. Misguided (Need of a JH kiss to the forehead)
        E. All of the above

      7. E is being deliberately provocative (which is ironic in this case) because he’s starved for attention.

        Let him stay hungry.

      8. I read an article Grant wrote earlier this season that flat out stated the 49ers didn’t draft a CB even though they drafted Marcus Cooper. What do you call that?

      9. Guys, being wrong or mistaken or having a minority opinion isn’t dishonest. Picking allas was amusing in the context of THIS blog. Its like picking SF on a Seattle blog. When I tease him on that its in fun and just because its the Pokes. Hardly dishonest. Today I disagreed with Grant on the foot speed of Cam vs Colin. I’m quite sure I’m right and he’s wrong, but until we line ‘em up for a race, I guess we’ll both be right. So again, dishonest? Not on board with that. My complaints tend towards style or tone now & then.

      10. Grant

        It’s sad that you continue to cheat your readers. What do you call picking Dallas, if not dishonest?

        It’s true that Rivera outcoached Harbaugh.

      11. Dishonest? No. Dishonesty is flat out lying or being shady. That is attacking his character and is unnecessary. Grant is merely full of it at times. Blog meltdowns are always a good time.

      1. I’m a MidWestern 49ers fan Coach. Can’t top that at all.
        You’re right E in that I should tend to my own kind. Tending to someone who uses the derogatory term Nazi is a waste of my time. Rant on like the jealous one that you are.

    2. I don’t think you understand what dishonesty is.

      Sure he is wrong more often than he is right by a large margin :). But dishonest? Hardly, at least not here.

      youre going to get yourself banned, again.

    3. I don’t think Grant is dishonest. He’s wrong from time to time. But, who isn’t? His biggest downfall is, however, that he’s a UCLA alumnus :)

      1. Well, well Grant!

        It seems your many fans believe that you believe everything you write.

        Still want to pick the Cowboys? 2014-5 awaits your honest prognostications!

      2. I some what agree, its not that its dishonest but you know there is an underlying meaning to his writing that indicates the opinion is strictly to generate controversy or hits or whatever increases the traffic. His Dad does it to perfection but Grant needs more fine tuning to make it look like he actually believes it but really he does not. Who in their right mind actually thought Dallas was a SB contender?

        1. It’s against the law to pick a longshot? I never even wrote a blog about it. You guys asked me and I was wrong. In my defense, Dallas had more injuries than most teams this season.

      3. I do’nt think dishonest is the right word. I think the word you’re searching for E is manipulative. Intellectually manipulative

      4. Grant is not dishonest but I do think he has a hidden agenda at times, does not like Harbaugh, ( not the most likeable guy in the world) but you got to work with him. I don’t like some of my clients but I do my best to work with them as well, and it is more important for him to be right, instead of developing a better relationship with the 49er players and the coach. Grant will never get the inside scoop or a breaking story regarding the 49ers because of his arrogant attitude and dislike of the players and the team. Don’t need to suck up, but give me a break, he shoots down Roman as a head coach, because he thinks he is not qualified, your probably right but you got to start somewhere and Roman has been involved in Football more years then Grant has been alive, to get the opportunity, Grant was not exactly experienced when he got his current job. Jeb York was not experienced when he became the President of the Niners and now look at him. He has accomplished so much. Seems their is a jealousy on his behalf to the players and coach.

        1. Actually, I get along with Harbaugh and enjoy covering him. I was a freelancer for Comcast and that’s why I got this job. I had clips. The PD’s sports editor liked my work and reached out to me. My dad never was involved and advised me against taking this job at first. I told him he was nuts.

      5. A long shot? Then go with the Dolphins or Browns. You picked Dallas. They were never a long shot in that crappy division.
        We get, your trying to generate traffic. All I’m saying is try and make it more believable that you actually think these wild things. You know, the art of deception. Your Dad is the king of it.

      6. Lowell was right; he knew there was a bunch of us nuts out here. It was interesting to hear Harb’s voice inflection in his remark to you at the Presser. It offers clues to his meaning, and the tone seemed light and friendly. Transcripts go only so far.

      7. Old Coach

        I would say that intellectually manipulative and dishonest are within the same genus. But your input is probably valuable to all those who failed to understand what the word dishonest implies.

      8. Ignore the ones that claim your content doesn’t bring in traffic Grant because if that was true, then you would have lost your job already, regardless of your family relations.
        I will agree with Coach that you are manipulative, but to me it’s in a good way. You put up articles or poll questions that you believe will incite the masses on here. It’s one of the reasons that this blog was rated the best in the Bay area last year. Keep doing your thing.

      1. Jack and Claude you guys are classic! Memory like a vault. Too bad you don’t understand dry humor.

        Grant, just try to be better in 2014, please! Your work has been improved of late, but claiming that Kuechly is a good player now after you shredded him when he was drafted is dishonest; claiming that he has to become a HOFer for him to justify being a top-10 pick is either stupid or dishonest; and choosing the Cowboys was so beyond moronic that there’s no way you actually believed it.

        Case closed. Back I go to copulating feverishly with my Peruvian bird. Ciao.

      2. Funny, Grant gets ripped for never admitting he was wrong, now when he admits he was wrong about something he’s dishonest!

      3. Boy,
        Putting up with the malarkey that some clowns post on here must be one of the less attractive aspects to Grant’s job.
        In this thread alone he gets ripped for picking the Cowboys, is accused of sensationalism for doing so, and is ripped because picking the cowboys isn’t enough of a ‘longshot’! Ha! He gets ripped for not anticipating Kuechly’s success, then when he acknowledges it, he’s called dishonest?? He can’t win for losing with some of you guys.
        E, you sound like there’s some intelligent thoughts in there, why don’t you try to embrace that instead of coming off as the thin-skinned, angry, ad hominem using jerk you appear more and more to be.

    4. E,
      Grant is not a professional prophet that predicts the future is he?
      Do you believe that anyone here reading his prediction regarding the C-boys ran to Vegas to bet the farm on his prediction?

      You are overdramatizing Grant’ prediction and worse, using it as a means to spout sour grapes.
      I didn’t take Grant’ prediction as gospel and I don’t believe anyone else (except for you and a couple of readers) did.

      And aren’t you in fact a part of the very problem you are criticizing (“hits”) by bringing up a trite topic?

    5. I would not call Grant Dishonest based on readying his blogs but he is for sure not a 49er supporter in any form or shape.

      1. Jack I do go to the 49ers nation and very much enjoy rah rah material. However I also want to read material that is based on facts and covers positives and negative. i like to read material from a writer that has the ability to acknowdge strengthens and give complements when necessary like Matt M. By the way this not a ANTI NINER blog and for so many of us fans we been part of this community for years before this new style of one sided drama.

      2. This is very interesting to me that you do not question how come the opinions from this blogger is always lopsided! How come we do not read any articles with a positive perspective? why every single article is either about:

        Jim H lack of honesty or credibility with players!
        Romans lack of football knowledge or preparation
        Colin’s limitation or interaction with the Media
        Defensive struggles in the secondary or pass rush
        Franks lack of production

        Are you telling me its RAH RAH if one article or discussion covers the football dynamics and or the strengths of the team or a play or how the team has been successful in a particular game?

      3. Jack i respect you. Your comments are always fair. Now i do not always agree with your opinion however you are a much more balanced writer to my opinion since you have the ability to be neutral.

        You don’t have to be a 49er supporter to engage readers and to have very good discussions. I just believe consistent negativity gets old and dull!

  51. Hypothetical time. Who do you guys think we go after if we are to lose Roman and Fangio? I’d personally like to see tomsula in consideration for the DC position.

      1. Adam if Roman gets hired i believe the 9ers would name Chryst as their OC but i think we would lose Rathman and Solari to the teams that hire Fangio and Roman. I also think we would lose 2 of the above mentioned coaches as DC’s on those teams

      2. Remember, Harbaugh doesn’t permit assistant coaches under contract to leave for coordinator positions…… might be curious to know where some of the contracts stand- Rathman, Tomsula, Cryst etc

    1. Well, on D, how about Monte Kiffin? Jim Schwartz? Mike Nolan? Greg Robinson? Offense: Lane Kiffin, Pete McCulley, Mike Singletary? Sorry, just messing around.
      More seriously: Mangini? Chudzinski? Conceivably Mike Sherman?Munchak?
      Donatell? Frazier?

      1. Mangini. Dude gets a bad rap, but he knows his stuff. Also, when he was on tv, he was actually very, very good, which is rare for tv talking heads.

  52. Side note: AJ Jenkins — while on the losing side — did a better job as receiver than Colby Fleener. AJ was targeted once and caught it for 27 yards. Freener was targeted seven times, caught five for 46 yards.

    1. Not sure if that makes AJ the better receiver on the day. You could argue that the one target showed he wasnt a viable option because he couldnt separate.

    2. Didn’t say scoring or blocking, just receiving… and AJ will turn into a monster receiver in a year or two… a very late bloomer.

    3. How does that make AJ the better receiver on the day? You’d prefer the guy that catches one pass all day to the guy that catches 5, with 1 of those a TD? Yikes.

  53. Insider Bill Polian on Bruce Allen’s approach to @Redskins coaching search: “This is the Al Davis approach to coaching hires. Spread the net as far as you can, pick the brain of as many people as you can. Ultimately make the decision but you’ve gained intelligence on how all the other good organizations in the league work.”

    Sound familiar Grant?

      1. Roman always mentions the situation when asked about coaching opportunities. Washington’s organizational situation doesn’t seem to be a good fit.

      2. As Grimey said, Snyder is a Jerry Jones clone and Bruce Allen hasn’t been very successful since moving out from under Al Davis’ shadow.

    1. Agreed. Our coverage was pretty good against the likes of Cobb and Jones. A slow/limited Steve Smith… I like our chances.

    2. Steve Smith is good and will help them, but this comes down to our offense scoring in the red zone and having 3-4 explosive plays.

      We should handle Carolina this weekend…but we can easily loose if CK doesn’t play smart… he needs to see the field better. The coaches need to help to give him viable check downs. OL needs to step it up. We must pass to set up the run.

      BTW, I have a feeling LMJ is on the verge of a break out. Maybe in Seattle… or SF ;)

  54. I’m beginning to think that our biggest foe in the playoffs is the horrific referee calls/non-calls.

    It seems like its become fashionable for DB’ in the league to mug our WR’ and not get flagged.
    Ed Hockeli and crew were supposed to be the cream of the crop and they were a total disappointment yesterday.

    It is likely to late for the league offices to address the ongoing officiating issue this season. But this issue needs to be a top priority during the off season without question.
    The officiating this season has been atrocious.

    1. In their defense they didn’t call anything on either team for the most part yesterday. They let it go a little too far, but at least they did it for both teams.

      1. That’s a fair assessment rocket. But it seems like Crabtree was being held on one pass that was obvious a penalty.
        The escape by AR was greatly enhanced by an obvious hold. Had that pass or subsequent plays led to a TD it would have been a game changer and perhaps a loss for us.

        The problem with “letting the players play” (without calling penalties) is that it creates gray areas during the game and breeds inconsistencies that could determine a controversial win/loss.

        The hold by GB during the AR escape should have been an obvious penalty.
        So, if we’re going to let the players play, where do we draw the line on what should be called?

      2. AES,

        I don’t disagree with you and don’t like the obvious calls being ignored. The lack of a call on the blatant hold on McDonald on the 4th down play, led directly to a GB TD, when they should have had to punt or try a long FG. My point was simply that if they put the flags away at least they did it for both teams. Sometimes you see one team get favorable calls which is worse than calling nothing.

      3. rocket,
        I suppose my opinion regarding bad referee calls/non-calls is based on what seems like a pattern of bad calls/non-calls stemming the SB.

        The Ravens kickoff return for a TD to start the 2nd half in the SB was a total missed holding call against the Ravens. Ahhrrrgh, that one still stings (lol). At least one PI should have been called against the Ravens on Crabtree during our last drive inside the 5 yrd line.

        The c-hawks DB’ have mauled our WR’ over the last 3 games dating back to Dec. 2012 without a any calls because as one football talking-heads said, “the ref’s would have to throw a flag on every play.”

        But the fact is that there has been an inordinate amount of bad calls/non-calls this season that have changed the game’s outcome.
        I would be very surprised if this is not addressed during the off season.

        Jon Gruden said during a Monday Night game telecast that perhaps head coaches should be allowed to throw a red flag when they feel a referee has made a bad call/no-call.
        I don’t know if that is the answer, but it sure is a start.

    1. I would be fine losing roman if theres someone better to replace him. I remember all too well those years of terrible coordinators.

  55. Alright LaMichael. I knew he had it in him. About time the 49ers got him the ball and integrated.
    I hear his friends just call him La Mike.

      1. Some guy who bet $100 on Auburn with 500-1 odds hopes you are right. Read the story on ESPN I think. However I think the SEC streak ends tonight and the Noles win it.

    1. If Geep Chryst is anything like his brother the 49ers fans who don’t like the way Roman calls the offense better hope he isn’t the replacement if the position opens up.

      1. I don’t know if he’s officially been fired but the rumor was that he told off the owner during the end of season meeting after he fired the head coach. So yea, he’s probably available.

  56. Fox’s 49ers-Packers Matchup Highest-Rated Wild Card Game In 25 Years.

    “Fox‘s coverage of the NFC Wild Card game Wild Card Playoffs – San Francisco 49ers v Green Bay Packers between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers drew 47.1 million viewers and a 25.8/41 household rating Sunday. That the matchup in frigid-cold Green Bay – won by the Niners on a last-season field goal — the highest-rated NFL Wild Card playoff game on any network since at least 1988. The game was up 20% in ratings and 24% in viewers compared with last year’s late Sunday matchup between Seattle and Washington (21.5/36, 38.1 million viewers), and is the highest-rated and most-watched telecast of any kind since last year’s Super Bowl.”


    America loves it some Niners. Maybe Packers too ;)

    1. i think james is a far more interesting back than hunter. imagine how the pats would have utalized him. he desrves more touches, get him the ball in space woodhead style.

    2. Yup rib, two storied franchises.

      On a side note:
      I had some friends who live in the Valley that went to the game and said that the Packer fans were very friendly and congratulated them after the win.
      Kudos to the Packers fans for showing some real class in defeat. But then again, they have some Lombardi’ (Championships) that they can always fall back on.

  57. Gotta admit, Grant, I’m a lightning rod up in here, and I do it without ever mentioning Alex Smith (almost as bad as Peyton in the postseason).

    1. I was just thinking that “Lightning Rod” could be a good blog name even though it sounds slightly pornographic in nature. But since copulation was mentioned previously, maybe? LOL

    1. Good question. I think Roman and Fangio are more focused on a SB run than getting a new job. I know I’d rather have the ring.

  58. What we have here is someone who prefers failure because it’s easier to write about. We also have someone here who throws out the most positive statistics to make what’s left fit his thesis. Ah, youth. Where have you gone?

  59. The Niners are being vastly overrated after beating sub-par teams to end their season. After squeaking by Seattle at home, they beat the Bucs (fired their coach and cleaned house), the terrible Falcons at home on a Monday night celebrating Candlestick (a game they probably should have lost), and a good but ultimately non-playoff Cardinals team. Then, they squeak by the Packers who all of you say had no business hosting a playoff game. I think the Panthers will send them into next season come Sunday. The writing is on the wall and I don’t understand this sudden hype and unfounded championship talk.

    1. Well then. You’re officially kicked off the bandwagon. You can go to your room and sulk when they lay the whuppin’ on the Panthers.

    2. Jones thanks for sharing you opinion on the 49ers blog. I am just curious which team do you support? Is your team currently even in the playoffs? Are you a Fader fan, a melting cheese head or just a negative person?

      49ers have actually been under the microscope all season with key injuries, facing adversity due to the offensive struggles and playing several very good teams. So if you want to discredit their success for beating Seattle, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Arizona and now Green Bay the 4th playoffs seed so be it but at least be logical.

    1. I hope not. You of all people know we go with the hot hand around here. Leave Carlos on the couch. He can’t hurt us there.

  60. This is a funny one from Peter King:
    “I know exactly why Jim Harbaugh set a personal record for post-game giddiness Sunday in Green Bay. When he finished his post-game press conference, he hugged one veteran beat man, Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area and said, “I love you, Matt!” And he kissed another one, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, on the top of the head and said, “I love you too, Matt!””

      1. Jack I have that hunch because I think it would be the most effective way to slow down their front 7. It seems to be the trend as of late. I was happy to see we could do it if we wanted to vs Arz. I think it puts ck in the perfect position to get in a rhythm and wear down their Defense. IMO it would be the perfect change up for GR to call, and it would set up the run perfectly. Just a hunch, I know GR doesn’t usually go outside his box.

  61. Jack:
    From your study of the game film in the last few games does it appear the offense is more “dynamic”; ie have plays for more yards, when they use a three wide out formation?
    It looks like with Crabtree and Patton back that it does. It should also open up the run game by spreading out the defense and make it tougher to stop Kap’s runs. But I don’t have the numbers so my impression maybe incorrect.

    1. 49er42,

      Yes. In the Atlanta and Arizona games Kaepernick was 9-14 for 235 yards passing and 7 passes of 15 yards or more.

      I’m on the road so wasn’t able to chart yesterday’s game, but will get it done when I get back later this week.

  62. I am so excited after watching our beloved 49ers travel to Green Bay and finished the packers in Lambo. Its bitter sweet.

    Now we have the opportunity to play the tough Carolina Panthers with one of the best defenses in the NFL. Despite the typical comments on this blog about 49ers deficiencies such as a one read QB that continues to win but nothing he does is good enough, the turtle speed Boldin with the Super Bowl ring, Grand pa Frank that limps but continues to some how rush more than 1000 yards, the poor route runner Davis with 14 TDS (a record for any TE), poor pass rush, liability secondary and incompetent coaching staff (one of the best records for any coaching staff in the NFL for the first three years) we have finished the season 12-4, oh that is just because we played very lousy teams. Boy we got lucky again and just won our first playoffs game but thats because the packers beat themselves for dropping CKs potential INT, only if!

    Ok I will stop, could not help but LOL.

    I truly believe we still have a great opportunity to beat the panthers. Yes, we can beat the panthers in their home field. Last time we played we lost 10-9, in a game that was poorly executed on so many different levels. We were up 9-0 with under a few minutes in the half and allowed a rushing touch down by not anticipating a run. For the rest of the game CK was under tremendous pressure with out Vernon, Crabtree, QP and we lost Eric Reid. Oh and Manningham was still struggling with his knee.

    Also our offensive game plan was not effective or executed well against the panthers. Its possible we must have underestimated their defense in general. This is going to be a battle but this 49ers team has the ability to contain Cam and the running game. The key in this game is to not turn the ball over and capitalize on big play opportunities. For example, the interception by ck, the fumble by hunter, the drop by Vance M on the big pass and not recovering several fumbles really hurts us. We must use misdirection and try to take shots deep to Vernon Davis. We have to be committed to the running game to set up the play action pass. And GROW must implement a plan for quick throws when CK is under pressure. We really can beat any team in the NFL this season as long as we play to our potential and limit mistakes. GO NINERS

    1. Chicago,
      It’s time for the Niners to drag their balls. I truly believe they are the superior team and will win this weekend. I can’t wait. You make valid points, a couple of years ago everybody was celebrating the teams return to prominence. Three years and three playoff appearances later, much of the appreciation is gone. This is a team that has looked every challenge in the eye and not once did it flinch. They have heart and it is truly a special group. I love this group of players and coaches and want them to win a championship.

      1. My brother Big P, I have all the faith that this team is capable of going all the way with a little bit of luck on their side. Now the question is can we play a solid game for sixty minutes with intensity to get take care of the business.

  63. Personally, I really don’t care if Greg Roman leaves. However, be careful what you wish for. We always envision Harbaugh finding someone like Ken Whizzerhurtz fresh off the Arizona scrap heap alla Mike McCoy, but Harbaugh could go out and hire Marty Schottendinger. Schottenheimer could convince Harbaugh to trade Kaep to Minnesota for Adrian Peterson and knowing Harbaugh, he’d consider it. Marty ball is alive and well in Harbaugh’s heart.

    Vic Fangio is the guy who’s the secret head coaching stud. Vic’s no nonsense, and players respond to that. Vic’s also not a cheerleader like Carroll and Harbaugh are. Amen to that as well. Washington won’t hire Fangio because Snyder needs someone to turn RGII.5 into a stud, but I could see Minnesota hiring Fangio. However, I could also see Fangio turning Minnesota down because they don’t have a qb and Fangio’s a D coordinator. But I think, and always have, that Fangio’s the best HC candidate we have on our team. I also think, with good coordinators, Brad Seeley would be a better option than Greg Roman.

    Now onto the upcoming game…. Last year between the divisional round of the playoffs and championship game, Roman outfoxed the Packer and Falcons. The read option beat the Pack last year, then when Nolan had his ends protect all game against Kaep getting outside, Roman gutted the Falcons like a fish with handoffs to Gore and James off the read option, up the middle. Those handoffs are what beat the Falcons – that and Bowman’s pass defense at the end. On Sunday, the Panthers will take away two things: Frank Gore up the middle, and Kaep’s escape routes when in the pocket. Why did the Panthers win their division ? What significant additions did they have in the off season? Two – Kawaan Short and Star LeTulipLaLae. Both of these awesome nose tackles or DTs clogged up the middle and forced teams to run outside, and their linebackers only had to defend the edge. Everyone’s saying and writing that Luke K is one of the best linebackers in the game. I say horse cookies. Star and Kawaan make Luke…. they are his father.

    So Gore can forget about running up the middle. That was evident in the Panther/ Niner game at the stick this year. But the Panthers will also take away Kaep’s escape routes out of the pocket like they also did at the Stick this year. This is why Kaep threw a horrid INT, and the 49ers were held TD less. The answer will be Kendal Hunter and LaMicheal James out of the backfield for short check downs and dump offs. Make Luke beat us. Make Luke defend Hunter and James out of the backfield.

    The Panthers also blitzed Kaep a lot. That won’t change. The Panthers will be coming on Sunday. Roman must create short passing routes with slants and bubble screens for Kaep to beat the blitz with because Kaep won’t be able to run against the Carolina D like he did against the Packers.

    And lastly, another key to the 49ers winning against Carolina will be the “let ‘em play” strategy. The refs set the tempo early this year by “Letting ‘em play,” across the board in the wildcard round. I don’t see the refs changing their stripes in the divisional round. If that’s the case, Kaep needs to look for Boldin, and the 49ers receivers need to push off. You read that right. Push off!!!! If the refs aren’t going to call defensive pass interference, they also can’t call the push off, and they didn’t when Rogers hit Jordy Nelson in the endzone last night. Nelson pushed off on T. Brock. Anticipate this. Harbaugh and Roman must anticipate the refs letting ‘em play and have plays designed for a physical battle with receivers. If Dbs can mug ‘em, receivers should be able to push off. I don’t want to see Harbaugh crying about this on the sidelines. Learn from your past. The Ravens beat the 49ers in the Super Bowl by taking advantage of the “let ‘em play,” strategy. Harbaugh must have his receivers know this is coming and do something about it. Don’t get caught begging the refs for a call. It won’t come.

    1. I agree with almost everything you’re saying. I’m big on match ups and the Panthers exploited the match ups. With Crabtree and Davis out, we were left with Boldin and Manningham(I feel eventually he could contribute, but who knows what’s going on in his head. Probably will be cut after this year). Manningham has been a non factor and was li take away boldin, that frees up a lot of people to blitz. That will not be the story this time around. They have to respect Boldin, Crabtree, and Davis. They also can’t forget about McDonald & Patton. I’ve given up on us running screens and Flares to LaMichael James or anyone else. The Panthers won’t be able to be as blitz happy because that will leave a lot of one on ones. It will also open up running lanes as well. It is going to be a hard fought game but I feel with us being at full strength, we neutralize what they do best.

    2. Don’t forget the other key Niner who missed part of the Carolina game – Iupati. Snyder came in and promptly blew a basic stunt pick-up resulting in a key sack. Pass protection will be a key on Sunday.

    3. I may be wrong but I remember Gore looking good starting out against them but for some reason we started getting away from the run. But I think he was having more success off the tackles than up the middle. But yes I agree, the running game will be huge, to keep the pressure of Kap and allowing us to use the PA. And yes I agree with KY also. We were missing some big time contributors, and the biggest at the time was Davis. I think the biggest thing will be keeping the pressure off Kap. If they give him the time he will make the big plays even if they do contain him. Should be a great game.

  64. I was finally able to tune in the game near the end and am glad I did! That ending was epic. Congratulations to the Florida State Seminoles for winning it all.

  65. Fun reading these posts! Thank your to all for the big smile! One of my biggest fears is we get to the big dance again but fall short, I and all the other fans who are 40 and older remember the drought years of the 70′s and the good times of the 80′s, I just hope we do not end up feeling the pain of the bills who went 0 and four in the bigge! Still would not trade harbaugh for anyone! Go Niners!

    1. Midwest,
      He sounds like he had already finished a Aaron Rodgers comeback story and is pissed that the Niners spoiled it, he’s butt hurt. He wanted to get home early.

    2. I agree Big P,

      I’m so sick of these “what if” viewpoints. I do think Kap has a lot to work on as far as perfecting his craft, but to say if he didn’t do this or if he they would have missed this block then we would have lost. Yeah that’s nice and all, but we didn’t, we won. That’s what seperates the great from the good or so-so. It’s not luck, its skill, its talent. Kap is a winner and I think that is the most important thing to take from this game.

      1. would of or should of! whatever. This same can apply to our team and how they could have one this game by at least two tds if some plays where called and executed.

    3. From the opinion piece:

      “If not for Dawson fitting his kick just inside the right upright as time expired, we could be talking about the comeback magic of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the tempestuous play of Kaepernick.”

      No. the score was tied. It would have gone into OT with both teams getting a chance to score and win. Since the Niners lead was never more than a couple of FGs, Rodgers had not done anything remotely considered “comeback magic”.

      And Seneca Wallace is now the expert on QB fundamentals? Please.

      Even Grant does better analysis than this.

      1. If Green Bay was offside, how come they did not throw the flag, they were not flagging anything, so that is not certain.

      2. Neal, I heard they picked up the flag when the kick went through. Heard that on the radio so don’t have a link or anything.

      3. The reason Buck and Aikman did not report the offsides flag against Green Bay is because they were sobbing uncontrollably. The loss was devastating to them.

    4. While I do agree with the premise that Kap’s footwork is not good at times, it’s pretty easy to see the writer was looking for reasons to downgrade the win and obviously was counting on another Rodgers coronation. To talk about Rodgers magic when the guy didn’t even hit 200 yards passing and had more 3 and outs than extended drives is a joke.

      The reality is the game was close because of the weather and home field advantage. If the game is played at the Stick it’s another horror show for the Packers. Kap’s footwork needs to improve but with the gun he has for an arm that is often overcome.

      1. Rocket,

        Whoever the Niners play for the next two weeks, Grant will picked the other teams, he will pick Carolina and if we beat them, he will picked Saints or the Seacheats. Of course if win the Super Bowl, Grant would want a ring because he told the Coach, that Kaep needs to throw the ball outside the pocket, and he has done that well and Harbaugh followed Grants advice.

  66. Good read Midwest thank you! This writer brings up stuff grant covered on his article about foot work, not easy to change styles! Hope kap keeps learning! Our d line and o line will be key on Sunday!

  67. Midwest,
    That article is right on the money. GB’s D is nothing. Now we go up against the number 2 and number 1 defenses in the NFL in the Panthers and Seahawks. If the 49ers are going to win, Kaepernick must use his check downs and Hunter and James need to be those check downs. Both Ds will blitx Kaep and take away his running lanes. The answer is the blitz beating check down.

    1. Fortunately the Panthers and Cheathawks won’t be playing in -15 windchill. The weather conditions affected both offenses on Sunday. Even with the weather, Kap hit both Gore and Dixon on checkdowns in the 4th quarter. He also hit a couple of checkdowns against the Cardinals.

  68. One thing I have to get off my chest. I am TIRED of hearing about the Hyde dropped “pick 6″. First off it was not an easy play. He had to kinda dive to attempt to pick it, in no means a gimme. And second there is 0% chance that was a pick six. Watch the damn play again, he was falling as he dropped it, is he gonna roll to his feet then outrun everyone. Doubtful. I know it doesn’t matter but it’s annoying hearing everyone talk about that.

    1. It was never solidly in his hands either. Just on his fingertips. On a cold day in Wisconsin a Kaep fastball is hard to catch with your fingertips.

  69. Mike Brown continues to show the league what makes him the worst NFL owner by clipping the balls off his starting QB and saying that he didn’t want to draft him in the first place. Normally I’d assume that meant that Dalton’s days a as a starter in Cinncy are over but that team is so dreadful in the draft that Im not certain that they can find anyone better at this point.

    1. “…. the worst NFL owner by clipping the balls off his starting QB and saying that he didn’t want to draft him in the first place. …”

      Makes one wonder why he did, then, doesn’t it, Coffee ?

      I dunno … Andy can’t be all that bad ..
      (he did make the playoffs !)

      I suspect there are other more glaring
      problems with that club …

      could it be similar to the “Jerry” problem ?

      1. He did it because he’s already decided that he wants to draft another starting QB the problem is you aren’t supposed to say that because what if the guy you draft sucks worse then the one you have already? Now your double F’d.

      1. Jones is one of the best owners in the league, no one that increases their franchise value 23% in 5 years is bad at owning their business. The problem we all know is that Jones might be one of the best owners but he’s also one of the worst GM’s.

      2. First, my comment was more of a joke than anything.

        Second, I wasn’t talking about ability to make money. Every NFL owner makes money. I’m talking about putting in place people/practices that allow one’s team to win. With all the advantages that come with owning the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones’ ego is the principle impediment to the Cowboys’ success.

        I’m not saying Mike Brown is a good owner. For years, he maximized profits by limiting expenses for tangential things like a scouting staff. And I agree with you that this latest announcement wasn’t very smart. He not only undermined Dalton, he threw Jay Gruden under the bus. In what way does such a statement do anything but hurt the team? That said, Brown has made some positive changes in the way he operates the team, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Bengals have improved.

      3. > Notwithstanding all the advantages that come with owning the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones’ insistence on being the team’s GM has greatly limited the Cowboys’ chances of succeeding.

      4. Snyder and Jones, in my opinion, are two of the worst owners in sports. Yes, they make money, but their constant meddling in their teams on the field operations rather than letting the ‘experts’ do the jobs they are paid to do, makes them difficult to work for. I do believe owners can and should have a say in football decisions, but at some point, let the football guys do their jobs. Of course, if Dallas and Washington could win more, my opinion would be shakier.

      5. Snyder and Jones are great businessmen, terrible owners. They don’t know what they don’t know and they are the reason for their franchises lack of success. Snyder is just a flat out creep and a bully. People seem to really, really dislike him after having to deal with him. Jones seems like a nice enough guy that can’t get out of his own way. Either way, their egos have impeded their teams.

      6. The interesting thing about Brown is that he’s also the GM like JJ is, but Brown has put together a more talented team. He’s stuck with Marvin Lewis too long imo and Dalton is not going to get them where they want to go, but overall that is a very talented roster.

    2. Grant,
      maybe your next poll should be who’s a better QB Dalton or Kaepernick. During the season folks in this room would negatively compare Kaepernick to other QB’s. Dalton was one of them. Funny when the owner of another team says he wanted Kaepernick and wished he had him.

      Be happy with what you have folks. And get used to him, he’ll be here for a while. I’m excited to see what we do next year if we are fortunate enough to have Boldin, Crabs and Patton as our wideouts for a full season.


      1. I don’t remember too many on here comparing Richie Cunningham II to Kaep. I’m just glad Cincy took him and not Kaep.

        Looking at the 4 QBs drafted between Newton and Kaep (Locker, Gabbert, Ponder, Dalton), the only one who I may disagree drafted ahead of Kaep is Locker. Has accuracy issues, but he’s a terrific athlete, and played in the Pac-12 who I’m a homer for.

        Hindsight is telling me the 49ers may have gotten the best QB in Kaep. I don’t see the 49ers any better with Newton than they are with Kaep. And he’s a ton cheaper.

  70. ok claude …
    (devil’s advocate, here) …

    Other than getting a 2nd stadium with a hole in the roof
    built … (Jerry’s World) …
    and ok .. making money aside …
    what brilliant decision has he made which improved the team ?

    Keepin’ Romo ??

      1. lol … I guess so, claude !

        At least we can take comfort in the fact,
        that it seems Eddie D musta told Jed
        to stay the heck outta the coach’s office..
        and draft room … !

        The Cowgirls won’t sniff a Super Bowl
        until Romo gets canned …
        or Jerry kicks the bucket !!

        ha !

  71. As I don’t have the time nor desire to sift through over 600 comments has it been mentioned that the Niners have a healthy o line for this game that they didn’t have for the first one vs the Newtons?

    1. That looks like a pretty daunting schedule, especially if both West divisions keep improving. We’re up to it though.

      1. I’m surprised that they are allowing the Niners and Raiders to play eachother during the regular season. Usually requires a lot of security.

    1. I ran a 4.51 when I was a 170-pound freshman at UCLA. I can’t do that anymore. I’m all washed up.

      I ran track as a senior in high school and won first place in the Hayward Area Athletic League in intermediate hurdles. If I had taken track more seriously, maybe I could have been a collegiate quarter miler, but not at UCLA or any place good. Kaepernick probably would have been a phenomenal quarter miler.

  72. NINERS SUCK. chop blocks and push-offs on last drive. refs wanted em to win so they wouldn’t have to come back to a real stadium. Panthers win guanranteed agains this batch of chumps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>