49ers 27, Saints 24: Grades

They aren’t dead yet. The 49ers beat the Saints 27-24 in overtime Sunday afternoon, handed Sean Payton his first loss in the Superdome since 2010. Now the 49ers are 5-4. Here are their grades.

KAEPERNICK: B+. It was fourth-and-10 from the Niners’ 22-yard line, one minute and 34 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Niners’ down by three. Kaepernick had to save the game. He rolled to his right. Nowhere to run. He slowed down, looked back to his left and, 50-yards downfield, he spotted Michael Crabtree who was wide open.  The cornerback who had been covering Crabtree forgot about him once Kaepernick started rolling out. Kaepernick found Crabtree and fired him a rocket that traveled 70 yards through the air across the field, setting up the game-tying field goal. Most quarterbacks wouldn’t have nerve or the arm-strength even to attempt that pass. Kaepernick gets a high grade even though his passer rating was 76.3. He completed just 14-of-32 pass attempts, but his receivers dropped five passes. Not his fault. The fumble at the end of the first half and the sack at the beginning of the second half were his fault. He needs to learn when to throw the ball away.

RUNNING BACKS: A-. Frank Gore was the foundation of the offense. He scored a touchdown and gained 56 yards on 10 counter runs – 5.6 yards per counter. Carlos Hyde carried the ball only four times, but he scored a touchdown and gained 36 yards – 9 yards per carry. The Saints had no interest in tackling him. He hurts people. He will be an excellent running back soon. But he gave up a sack today, picked up the wrong guy in pass protection. Pass protection is the hardest thing for a rookie running back to master and Hyde still has not mastered it. That’s why he doesn’t play more.

WIDE RECEIVERS: D. Anquan Boldin dropped five passes, one fewer than he dropped all of last season. He had a sure touchdown catch on third-and-15 halfway through the third quarter. He was open deep and Kaepernick made a perfect pass. Boldin dropped it. Even though he scored a touchdown and caught six passes for 95 yards, this was one of the worst games of his career. Michael Crabtree didn’t play well, either, even though he caught the 50-yard pass to save to the game. Shortly after he made that catch, he almost lost the game in overtime. The Saints brought an all-out blitz on third-and-10 near midfield, brought more rushers than the 49ers could block. It was Crabtree’s job to recognize the blitz and break off his route to the inside or the outside – a slant or a quick out route. That’s called a site adjustment. The quarterback needs a quick safety valve when the defense brings an all-out blitz. The inside receiver – Crabtree – has to recognize the blitz and be that safety valve. Crabtree strolled downfield without any regard for the blitz, like he was unaware it was happening. Unacceptable. I would give this group an F, but Stevie Johnson played well. Kaepernick threw him three passes and he caught all three for 46 yards. This season, Kaepernick’s passer rating when targeting Johnson is 124.3. Doesn’t Johnson deserve more targets?

TIGHT ENDS: D. Vernon Davis sleep-walked through another game, catching just 1 pass for 8 yards. Kaepernick threw deep to Davis once and the pass was a bit off, but Davis made no attempt to catch it. Vance McDonald was a key blocker in the run-game. That’s all he was. Kaepernick didn’t throw him a single pass.

OFFENSIVE LINE: A. Technically, they gave up four sacks. But Kaepernick ran into two of them, Hyde was responsible for one and Crabtree was responsible for the other. In the running game, the offensive line mauled the Saints’ defensive line. Alex Boone played particularly well. He was Gore’s lead blocker on the counter runs.

DEFENSIVE LINE: B. The run defense wasn’t special – the Saints’ running backs average 4.4 yards per carry. The pass rush wasn’t special, either, but Quinton Dial sacked Drew Brees on the second-to-last play of the game. Justin Smith didn’t sack Brees, but he hit him three times.

LINEBACKERS: A-. Last week, Chris Borland had 22 tackles. Today, he had 17. He won this game, along with Ahmad Brooks. Brooks smacked the ball out of Brees’ hand in overtime and Borland recovered, which set up Phil Dawson’s 35-yard field goal. Game over. Brooks and Aaron Lynch both jumped offside on third-and-three during the Saints’ first drive of overtime, but the Saints didn’t end up scoring.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: A-. Perrish Cox, Chris Culliver and Jimmie Ward each gave up one touchdown catch, but the 49ers’ DBs held Brees to an 81.2 passer rating. Culliver picked him off in the end zone before halftime, and Antoine Bethea picked him off on the third play of the game. That play set up the 49ers’ first touchdown.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A-. Andy Lee shanked a punt in the second quarter. That set up a five-play, 60-yard touchdown drive for the Saints. But Phil Dawson made two big field goals – one to send the game to overtime, and one to win.

COACHES: B+. Greg Roman made significant strides as a play-caller today. He repeated the 49ers’ best runs, so uncharacteristic of him. Maybe he’s learning he doesn’t have to be Albert Einstein every play. He is not putting a rocket on the moon. No need to complicate things. Just give the ball to the best players and allow them to make the plays their skill-sets allow them to make. For the most part, Roman did that. But the 49ers scored only three points in the second half. Unnecessary sacks and multiple drops killed the first-string offense, which has not scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter all season. Roman cannot allow that to happen.

This article has 253 Comments

  1. Boldin, Crabtree and VD had me shaking my head all game…your grades for the receiving group are spot on…onto Met Life and the G-men…need to use the Seahawks blueprint and run the ball down the Giants’ throat…

  2. Carradine recorded a tackle so he must have played a few snaps. Does that not count, not that it changes the grades at all.

    Would be nice if they called a few more plays for Stevie and Vance or Derek Carrier since Davis seems to be phoning in the season or injured.

      1. No one’s posted snap counts yet. Not trying to be a nit picker. I was looking specifically for him since he was suited up.. I saw him on the punt unit and in a few plays spelling Justin Smith. Dial looked good in his short time with Williams out.

        1. I thought Dial played most of the nose tackle downs, and he got the sack on the play before the game winning sack/fumble/rookie_short_arms recovery.

        2. gotta disagree on Dial. He had a couple splash plays. But the defense gave up 136 yards and 4.4 yards per carry. Dial is basically a young player that is still learning a complex position. When he’s allowed to penetrate, he can use his brute strength to move a blocker and get into the backfield. But when he has to stack read and shed he gets blocked out of the play (and even knocked off of his feet).

          1. Not sure you can hang the 4.4 yds per carry all on him. To meet it seemed like in the second half they were moving Smith and McDonald too. Will be interesting to see how PFF grades the line against the run. It will be good to get Dorsey back and let Dial play his more natural position.

            1. Im not hanging it all on him. My comments on his play are about specific plays i saw Dial get washed out or knocked down. Which happened each time he was engaged with his blocker and trying to read the play. Again hes good when bes allowed to just penetrate.

            1. why do you believe Dial’s best fit is at Left Defensive End? I’ve always figured him to be more of a penetrating Nose Tackle type. No much of a pass rusher, but strong and explosive. I’ve always thought of LDE to more like a penetrating Under Tackle type with pass rush moves and enough agility to play on the edge.

    1. Vernon is not hurt. It’s called protecting brand from career ending injury before signing a mega deal with Jacksonville next year!

  3. Could have swore I saw carradine on the field.
    I am sick and tired of these dropped passes. They do nothing but kill momentum. The “hey he drops one once in awhile” talk for bolden is over. He’s got to make those catches. Same for Crabtree. He dropped a 3rd down pass that could have ended the game and season. You can’t score TD’s or fg if you’re dropping passes every drive.
    Ck NEEDS to learn to throw the ball away or just run at first thought.

    Those are my only beefs with the offense today.
    Our defense is a monster. And how fitting for them to end it with a sack fumble after the robbery they got last year in that dome. Borland is far superior over wilhoite. Watch the fumble again and it shows what I’ve been saying. Wilhoite does not hustle like bowman, Willis and Borland.
    This win restored some faith I still have in this team. And after watching the giants game. SF better run ck all day next Sunday. The giants can’t contain a fast qb with the option.

    1. Borland’s 40 speed doesn’t really show how fast he plays on the field. He’s improved each game he’s played. Kids got heart and a nose for the ball.

      1. Borland is another player that shows how your 40 speed in a combine is not always a goodmeasuring stick when grading prospects.

      2. The 40 only shows how fast you can run straight ahead. It means nothing. The shuttle and the “L” drill are better drills.

    2. Yep. That fumble recovery by Borland shows quickness and nose for the ball. I mean everybody seems like moving in a slow motion to get that ball compare to him.

      1. Rib….. Most would look slow compared to him. The guy is all hustle all the time. Wilhoite not so much. You going to the game Sunday?

        1. I’ll chime in. YES, I’m going to the game! Wish I had a #99 jersey for Aldon’s return, I’ll have to make do with my #28

  4. Grant, are you sure they’ve added site adjustments to their offense? We heard a few years ago that Harbaugh removed them and relied on a (predetermined) blitz beating receiver. That simplified approach made Alex Smith effective and efficient against the bitz….something he hadn’t been before Harbaugh.

    1. If JH removed site adjustments from his offensive package as visuals against overload blitzes, not the same as a “hot” receiver, then he is crazy, and today’s sack proves it. No way receivers can run down the field oblivious to a 7 man or 8 man blitz when only 6 or 7 offensive players are protecting. Expecting CK “to dodge” them or to get the ball out of his hands is ridiculous. The Saints had the blitzers standing at the LOS, and Crabtree had his head down and running up field without a clue. Crabs didn’t make it 7 yards up the field before CK went down. Ironically, JH played QB in the NFL, and should be smart enough to realize the need for site adjusts. The last NFL coach who was not a proponent of site adjust rules was a guy named Steve Spurrier with the Redskins, and he did not last too long in the NFL. Ask CK. He probably would like site adjustments. So would the offensive linemen.

      1. Quarterbacking Made Simple

        now this article was back in 2011 when there was no minicamps to prep players on the new offense that Harbaugh and Roman were installing so maybe it was simplified for that time and has become more complex over the years. Harbaugh’s other mentor Lindy Infante added site adjusted option routes to his Harbaugh QB’d Colts offense. So Harbaugh knows how they work from personal experience.

      2. I don’t like all of the receivers with site adjustment reads. I think it’s overly complex and gives the passing game too many moving parts for a still learning QB.

        I am in favor of the TE running option routes so he can find holes in zones and read seams. It’s the way Don Coryell had Kellen Winslow run them which sparked Lindy Infante to install it with the Colts and all of their receivets. A TE running option routes would give Kaepernick a security blanket like Tony Romo has with Jason Witten (who runs the best option routes).

  5. I give a C- to Kaepernick because he still raw on reading defenses. They’re was a 3&4 with an upcoming blitz and dbacks giving a 6 yards cushion. Another experienced QB would make an adjust in order to have a quick snap, drop 2 steps and throw a fast throw (even Lloyd do the hitch route in order to be open).

    I don’t get what did George Whitfield do on training camp because Kaep is playing as he was a rookie QB. I don’t see same excitement when he debuts as starter neither the committment of being the leader to improve with his teammates.

    I really doubt we can survive every Sunday playing with our luck instead of fixing those issues.

    1. If Kap would come over to the sideline and grab an iPad instead of that damn ballcap, he might be able to figure out some adjustments for himself. The guy is not a student of the game, that’s why his improvements are very small steps. Guess that’s why you get drafted in the 2nd round instead of the 1st. ” Kind of like Brady!” Haha.

  6. Grant this may be my favorite line. “Carlos Hyde carried the ball only four times, but he scored a touchdown and gained 36 yards – 9 yards per carry. The Saints had no interest in tackling him. He hurts people. He will be an excellent running back soon.”

    I Thought Hyde did a better job today following his blockers rather than running into them and waiting for things to develop. Gore looked spent in the 3rd quarter already. Man his collision on that kickoff was violent knocking that Saints LB backwards.

  7. Grant,
    Good grades. I also like your take on CK. There were a couple of instances where he seemed so intent on passing to Boldin that he actually missed an open Crabtree just a few yards away.
    CK has a way to go to become a proficient NFL QB but his strong arm will make up for some mistakes (and probably cause mistakes).

    This was a game that had the makings of a blowout for the 49ers with the use of a small fraction of their offensive stars.
    If can get just decent output from VD and Crabtree and the occasional cameo catch from VMac this team will be dangerous down the stretch.

    Also, I thought that Marcus Martin’ improvement from last week was huge. He will undoubtedly lock up his position for the next 7-10 yrs with that type of performance.

  8. Crabtree sounds and acts disgruntled. He has to compete for the ball now, Stevie, Lloyd, And of course Boldin and Davis.
    Wouldn’t surprise me wideouts are complaining why is they went away from run game. The O-Line wants to run block, thus they become disgruntled.
    Whispers about Harbaugh probably starting with number 15.

    1. Of course Crabtree is disgruntled. He is in a contract year is he not? He needs touches and numbers. Instead he is sulking instead of taking advantage of his opportunities. Especially on 3rd down! The money down!

  9. I agree.. The offense is not on the same page because everybody wants something different. Somebody has to sacrifice for the same of cohesion

  10. Great way to pull together and overcome some issues in the second half. Grant, I think you shortchanged our WR with some drops. I saw 5 from Boldin and 2 from Crab for a total of 7. The other nit pick negative was the 3rd and short sack that CK took where he had stevie in the slot with the db giving him yard cushion rather than just firing him the ball he hessitated and took the sack. Ried blew a coverage on the cooks TD where Jward got beat. Jimmy Graham is just a monster what a luxury it is to have a TE who is a baller. Thats the end of my gripes.

    Borland is a beast. When P willy gets back he needs to play Bow’s spot and have TRex stay on the field as he seems to get better with every down. Our D continues to step up and the recomittment to the running game was a welcome sight. Also the ballance 27 runs to 35 passes was closer to what we should be every week.

    5-4, getting aldon back, the wild card looks in reach as long as we keep it up. Phi plays Dal 2 times and Det has GB NE ARI and the bears x2 GB has to play NE and Phi and Sea has the toughest remaining schedule in the league so 10-6 looks like it might be enough

  11. This was a good team win. The Offense is still mish mosh and not hitting on all cylinders. They played great for a half, first half, but the 2nd half it’s still the same story. Even on the 4th and 10 hail mary to Crabs, they had all the momentum, but still had to settle for a FG. They should have put the dagger in. They tried to run left, and then 2 incomplete passes. They left enough time for Brees to throw a hail mary. It took a defensive TO to set up the final score.
    Having said that — this is the kind of win that the team needs, and the offense needs. There’s just a feeling that the team can relax, while the offense lives to sort it out another day.
    There were few positives from Kaep too — he stepped up in the pocket and throw an outlet pass to Gore.
    I don’t care if Kaep didn’t throw for 400 yards — sorry Bay — Niners won and that’s what counts.

  12. Crabtree has never ingreciated himself to the 49ers fanbase because of his rookie holdout and foot injuries. Yet, he has been productive until this season.

    So now because he is having a down year he suddenly is the most logical target as the player to begin the locker room controversy?
    Some people here are really reaching for straws with their off the wall logic.

    Why not just blame VMac for the alleged drama, I mean when’s the last time he’s had a pass thrown his way? Sheez!

    1. Crabtree has never lived up to being a top 10 #1 wr pick. Don’t get me wrong he’s good, but when u draft a guy that high, u r looking for a dez, aj green, cj, etc. They won’t resign him because he is not that guy. They need to eventually find that guy, but it is not him. Face it, we just suck at drafting wr. We should just draft whatever wr the giants r planning to draft.

      1. Daniners,

        Are you aware that those WR’s have QB’s that throw the ball at a much higher percentage then do the 49ers?
        The WR’s you mentioned also don’t have the receiving talent depth as we do.
        When is the time Alex Smith or now CK heaved 40-50 passes?

    2. That’s not “off the wall” logic. Those are facts. Regardless of what excuses you give that guy has NEVER lived up to expectations. He had ONE good year. He ONLY had that breakout year because Kaep took over. He’s been just above mediocre since then. He doesn’t deserve the money he THINKS he deserves. He’s always close to the top in drops. Trade him. If you can find statistics that prove we shouldn’t please do.

      1. He was playing well before Kaep took over. It’s just that Kaep only targeted him and no one else which inflated his numbers. We know now that Kaep zeros in on that one read, and back then he didn’t trust Kyle Williams, or Moss.
        Crabs is more like Reggie Wayne. A solid possession WR, which we have now replaced with Boldin and Johnson.
        The Niners need Ellington to get in the game. I was watching the Pittsburgh game and they have a really shifty fast slot WR. Cards as well. We have three WR out of the same mode: Crabs, Boldlin and Johnson.

        1. Fan Crabtree is nothing like Reggie Wayne. Wayne could do everything in his prime. He still is getting it done and was always a class act. Crabtree is slow, a malcontent and a bandaid. I’d take a 5th round pick for him at this stage.
          For all of that holdout, the hype, the production, what has Crabtree done well in SF?

          1. He’s like Wayne in a sense he’s a possession wr, moves the chains but not a deep threat.
            He’s not a playmaker, I mentioned that he was slow and got caught from behind and 23 clown face was all over me. And now that he’s having a so so year, they are all jumping on the bandwagon.

            1. I’m not even sure he is a possession receiver. There is nothing steady or reliable about him. I’ve never liked his game. People on here said he was our best WR. Sure that was when he had no competition. Stevie J should start in front of Crabs. It’s a no brainer now.

      2. how do you know that he thinks he deserves so much? I remember that at the beginning of the year there were reports that the niners and crabtree were close to a deal similar to kaepernick. I also don’t get where the prima donna characterization comes from. He is a 49er who plays hard and plays competitively. I read this blog from to time and I am seeing that you guys are sore winners. Yeah crabtree was a little chippy in his postgame but that means he was into it. He also just made the play that saved the niners season. Deon Sanders also publicly said that crabs did not say anything to him. If there is anybody that deserves this scrutiny its alex boone. He made such a big deal about his money and yet he has been awful

      3. KY,
        Actually his stats show that he has had decent career given the fact that we are a run first offense.

        Dez Bryant would have more yrds after catch in this offense but I doubt he leads the league in receptions. That’s not who we are.

      4. KY,
        I don’t think we’re on the same page here. I was referring to Crabtree being blamed for the alleged locker room drama without any solid proof or merit.

        I don’t debate his down numbers because as you say those are facts which I know.

        My contention is with some posters who have done their own sponge Bob csi work and concluded that because Crabtree is not getting larger stats he must be the guilty party spreading locker room discord.
        I guess some people aren’t happy unless they feel like they need to be the person who brings some big revelation – even though there is no merit to back it up.
        Fickle group.

    3. I agree with the nonsense of blaming him for the drama. But I also agree with the other side that he is whining everytime he doesn’t get a pass. It’s old. And you’re going to he a target when you drop 3rd down passes in the fourth quarter. His act is old for me.

      1. MD,
        I yield to you on Crabtree’ sidelines antics since you are the games. But any competing player wants to have almost all passes thrown his way. Crabtree’ problem so far has been that he is dropping way too many passes – and that must be corrected, period.

    1. Got a bears fan in my ear about that game still. I guess it was their Superbowl. Still there is no worse loss this season like last weeks.

  13. Our offense seems to stall in the second half. What’s up with that.
    Graham is hard to cover.
    Our TE are under performing.
    Vmac is a bust.
    Carrier should replace him.
    Great game from borland, bethea and secondary.
    10-6 does not guarantee a playoff spot in the NFC.
    On to the giants.

    1. It stalls due to Romans lack of feel for the game. After crabs 50 yard snag, we had the saints D on the ropes,dejected and all. Next play we decide to get fancy with extraneous motions followed by a run. He lacks a killer instinct and I bet you he’s a terrible dancer. No rhythm whatsoever. I love balance, but not for the simple sake of being balanced. It’s still balance if we pass it 8 times in a row or run it 8 times in succession. All things in moderation, even moderation.

      1. “It stalls due to Romans lack of feel for the game. After crabs 50 yard snag, we had the saints D on the ropes,dejected and all. Next play we decide to get fancy with extraneous motions followed by a run.”

        You should try watching the game. You might enjoy it. They threw 3 straight passes after that play.

  14. The way Borland is playing, I don’t thunk they should rush bowman back. The way he jumped on that loose ball just showed you he has a nose for the game. He also jumped a route and almost knocked down the pass to the wr Reid was covering.

    The d will hold up just fine, it’s the offense that has 7 games to get into a groove.

  15. What game were you watching when you graded the DBs? Didn’t you see Brees repeatedly pick on Cox during the 2nd half? Cox was getting turned around on several plays. Brees found the weakness and we couldn’t stop it. Now maybe Cox was a bit tired since he ended up returning punts after Ellington went down. But Cox was getting beat on almost every play. Fortunately, on several plays he got help from the safety and Brees couldn’t pull the trigger. But no way our secondary earned an A- today. Sure they had some picks early but the Saints came back in the 2nd half by repeatedly running Ingram and passing toward Cox.

      1. I can only assume he meant in overtime, when Brees hit Stills a few times on Cox. Other than that I don’t recall Cox being beat repeatedly.

        1. The one play where Cox got turned around was used to set him up deep, and when they pulled the trigger, Cox did not bite and played it perfectly with safety help over the top….

  16. No one seems to have noticed that the 49ers played a clean game except for one time out to prevent a delay of game penalty.

    Today’s game was great entertainment. I’m always amazed that some people can’t find a way to enjoy such games.

      1. MD, you have that mysterious stuff called “hair?” Wow… haven’t seen that stuff in years unless I look at my back in the bathroom mirror… ;- )

  17. Given the major holdout that Crabtree engaged in as a rookie, I’ve never expected the 49ers to find a way to keep him. He was right that the Raiders should have drafted him, but he has done a lot better with the 49ers.

    If his market value doesn’t match his expectations, he might come back for one year. Since this is his contract year, I don’t see why anyone would trade for him. What am I missing?

    1. He won’t get paid as a FA and he won’t put up numbers with competition on the roster. I think he could be productive in the right offense, but he would merely be a piece of the puzzle. I could see him in Indianapolis next year. I think it’s safe to say he will never live up to his draft status.

  18. Wow looking at the replay of that fumble recovery by Borland, a spectacular play! He gets knocked to the ground at the line of scrimmage, when the ball squirts out he gets up and goes flying thru the air and dives under two guys that are trying to fall on the ball.

    1. He actually trips on and knocks the player that Brees was targeting knocking him off his route. Since the player was not there Brees pulled back the pass and that allowed Brooks to strip the ball from behind. Not only did Borland recover the fumble but is running into the receiver allowed the fumble to happen. Although Borland probably should have picked up that man in coverage.

    1. I think the WR grade explains Grant’s grade on Kap. Almost everyone assigning grades gave Kap a similar grade and put the failure to score on drops by Crab’s and Boldin.

  19. Much needed win. Well, it seems like Harbaugh and Roman rediscovered the running game, although I have no idea why they called passes on first downs in the second half when the running game was taking hold. If the offense had the commitment to the run that they showed today (at least in the first half), Niners could have been 6-3 or even 7-2 at this point.

    Niners are still having problems playing with a lead, and have still not scored a TD in the fourth quarter this season. Kap has developed a touch in his deep throws but still woefully off on his short throws, especially moving to his right. It might take another 2 seasons for Kap to develop as a pocket passer, so meanwhile Niners need to focus on the running game.

  20. Check out Saints comments. Brees says he was hit by Brooks “as the ball was coming out”, Graham says he didn’t interfere with Cox, just “put two fingers on a guy.” The Saints are the biggest bunch of babies in the NFL, they give credit to nobody, and they’re delusional to think they have a chance to win with that porous defense. The fans here in NOLA are great though.

    1. I’ve visited 8 stadiu.s now. NOLA was by far my favorite football experience. They do a great job of creating an event.

      1. Saw a Niners game there back in the Steve Young days. I was struck by how the seats had randomly colored covers so as to look, on TV, like actual people in them. I guess they don’t need to resort to such trickery nowadays.

        1. I remember the ‘Paper Bag’ days when NO was in the NFC West. Now, they have a pretty large bandwagon. Just wait until they start losing …

      2. I had a great experience with the Saints and Ravens fans while at the Super Bowl ……… Jerry Land is worth going to if you haven’t been there- very impressive stadium.

    1. Everyone wants to be quick to report a news story these days. So they never go back to double check. The worse part is they have all of these shadowy sources. All of which have different intentions.

    2. I know clicks sell but it seems hypocritical to me when journalists call out coaches and players for what they say that’s unfounded or of poor integrity and who’s holding the press accountable? Rapoport, Glazer, Deion Sanders to name a few.

      I think your right, just because somebody secretly tells you something doesn’t make their motives pure or their version of facts true.

  21. Sounds like Crabtree is unhappy with his role. I always felt he was the malcontent Deion was talking about. Can’t be mad if you are dropping the ball and Stevie Johnson has better numbers with less opportunities.

    1. Stanton played well enough for them to win in Palmer’s absence. Not sure about a SB win though. They could make the playoffs and lose. 1 and done. I hope for something worse like a loss to the Lions, Seahawks and 49ers. They’d have to lose 5-6 games to miss the playoffs. I think that’s unlikely.

  22. What’s our path to the playoffs? At this point, it seems highly likely that we’re playing for a wildcard slot.

    I guess if there is a reason for optimism, it’s that we beat the Cowboys and Eagles. In the event that one of those teams is in the mix for a wildcard slot, we’ll have the tiebreak if we have the same record.

    As for the bad news, the NFC North seems likely to grab one wildcard spot. Green Bay is rolling as are the Lions, and neither of them have really difficult schedules going forward. The Lions could drop their tough games against Arz, NE, and GB, and still end up at 11-5 (beating the Bears 2X, Vikes, & Bucs).

    Obviously there is a lot of speculation involved in the above, but if it comes roughly to fruition, then we are competing with the Seahawks again. Given they RAN for 350 yesterday, I’m sure looking forward to getting Aldon, Dorsey(hopefully), and Bowman back, though hat tip to the backup LBs as they’ve certainly stepped up. Thoughts?

    1. Both the Eagle’s and Cowboys have injuries at QB. One good shot and Romo is out and its Wheedon all the way. Their remaining schedule: Bye, Giants, Eagles, Bears, Eagles, Colts, and Skins. If Romo goes down or is too injured to play well, loss to Eagles 2x, Colts and throw in another random loss to the Bears, Giants or Skins and they are 10-6 with the tie going to us if we can manage only 2 loses over the rest of the season.

      Can Sanchez carry the Eagles? They play the Panthers, Packers, Cowboys x2, Seahawks, Titans, Giants and Skins. I say if they play great they drop 2 to Packers and Hawks. If they play poorly they could lose 3-4 if Sanchez is terrible. I would say they make the playoffs. How long is Foles expected to be out?

      If these teams split their games we are screwed. Injured QB’s are a huge deal. DeMarco Murray could carry the Boys a bit but if Wheedon can’t throw well they’ll load the box up.

    2. I think Arizona will falter big time. I think we can beat Seattle twice. Yesterday’s Niners played with an attitude for the first time this year. Keep it up and we are 12-4 at teh end of the year…

        1. Arizona could falter big time Ghost, but coming from 8-1, they have a lot of room.
          The Eagles have a QB injury, but given Romo threw 3TDs yesterday, it may be early to be worrying about Weeden. We’ll learn a lot more about the Eagles tonight. My hopeful guess is they won’t get a wildcard with Sanchez at the helm and a tough schedule to finish out.

          I’m just trying to conceive of a realistic path to the playoffs. I don’t think we’ll win out, and I do think the NFC North gets a wildcard. However, I agree that it was the most impressive win of the season. NOLA is an extremely difficult place to get a win, and while we had to do it in OT, we got the result we needed.

          1. Here is Arizona’s remaining schedule: Lions, at Seahawks, at Falcons, Chiefs, at Rams, Seahawks, at 49ers.

            Which games are winnable? Falcons and Rams (maybe?). Teams will figure and expose Stanton. Arizona will tank big time and go 2-5 the rest of the way. They’ll finish 10-6 and miss the playoffs once again.

            1. Yeah, they have a tough schedule. But you realize that Stanton has started 3 games this year, going 2-1 (losing to the Broncos)? He beat the Giants and the 49ers. Writing off a team that is in the top 3 in the NFL power rankings due to the loss of Palmer is a bit premature. Their wins aren’t all attributable to Palmer’s performance. They have a very good coaching staff, an elite RB, and they are at the top of the NFL in net turnovers. The Chiefs are beatable in Arizona in addition to ATL and STL (away).

  23. We saw the good version of Kaepernick yesterday. The offensive line also played quite a bit better so he wasn’t tested in quite the same way as the Rams game but he still certainly played better. Here though lies the problem. Which version shows up for the next game?

    This is the exact same problem I had with Alex Smith. The guy would go out and play beautifully one week and then look like a complete turd the next. Consistency is what he lacked and it’s what Colin has lacked so far in his career as well. I’m not being a hater but until Colin strings together 4 or 5 games that are similar to yesterday’s I’m still not ready to be comfortable with him as our long term answer at QB.

    1. >>…until Colin strings together 4 or 5 games that are similar to yesterday’s…

      He’d better or our playoff chances go down the toilet. We can’t rely on our 2nd string defense every game.

    2. Here’s a thought; Maybe Colin just doesn’t know how to play in the first half of the season, or put in a better way maybe it takes him half a season to get comfortable and settle down.

      When I went to PFF to expand upon my earlier point about inconsistency I noticed something about his grades. In 2013 through the first 10 games he had 4 dreadful performances and 3 that weren’t worth writing home about leaving only 2 decent performances in that stretch. In 2014 he’s matched that, 4 red graded games, 3 that were essentially zeros and 2 games that were graded well.

      In 2013 however from week 11 on he didn’t have a single ‘red’ graded game and of the remaining 10 games including playoffs he went 5 green good performances along with 5 neutral close to zero scores.

      The biggest problem is that one of the near zero scores happened to be the NFCCG.

      Does he play better in the second half of the season or did our schedule have something to do with the successes he had? I mention the schedule because once we were in the playoffs both of his grades were neutral near zero scores.

      One last thought, is there a connection between his grades and how the team fares? Tough to say, his SuperBowl grade was a resoundingly positive 4.7.

      1. Coffee- I think a lot had to do with the fact that the coaches cut him loose in the later part of last season and he went back to playing on instinct instead of the mold they tried to put him in. In the early part of the season they had him play cautious because they didn’t want him injured. The later part of the season they had no room for error so they had to win out and allowed him to play his game. Every game was important enough so there was less reason to save him for the long run. As the other announcer said to Fouts in Water Boy- Cant hold anything back now.

        Coffee-While there are varying factors involved in which Kaep shows up for games consistency also is influenced by the play of the offensive lines protection. It all starts with the line. Their inconsistency has trickled down to force Kaep to make the types of high risk plays that are not conducive to consistency. They are not always going to have the same solid results as the more standard plays that are the result of better over all team execution.

    3. Against the Rams I think it was just a matter of the Rams having a top defensive front, our oline being below-average in pass protection, and Roman making the mismatch worse by focusing on passing. I think this is what Staley meant after that game when he blamed in part the scheme. In the future, if there are the same ingredients, the cake will taste the same.

      1. Against the Rams it was just a matter of Kaepernick missing 2 throws in clutch time. He made those throws yesterday and Rombaugh looks better as a result.

      2. George I agree with everything you said except the general conclusion. Yes they had a good defensive front and yes our o-line is struggling in pass protection and yes Roman called too many pass plays but they we were still in position to win that game despite those flaws and that the loss came at the direct result of the errors made by the QB.

        1. There’s no denying they could/should have won the game, and Kap played a role in that loss. What I have been trying to understand all season is, with the great talent we have at running back and wide receiver, why isn’t the offense more productive. Some people think it’s the mistakes Kap makes, but even the widely acknowledged “elite” QBs throw errant passes and fumble the ball. I think Kap’s detractors point to him because our offense doesn’t produce a lot, so when he makes a mistake it appears more critical than it would otherwise be. I would love to see what OCs like Holmgren and Shanahan in their prime would do with our offensive squad.

          1. Yeah..im convinced we have a baby Elway/ Favre on our hands..Those guys definitely showed those qb’s another way to play…as of right now..Harbaugh is our Dan Reeves..

          2. George–You articulate the point I am always trying to make. Even elite QB make mistakes and bad throws. Every player has subpar games. It is just that the QB position is involved in every play so their mistakes are usually obvious and impact the game more than anyother player. If a WR runs the wrong route often it doesen’t even matter if the ball goes somewhere else. Or even other players mess ups can have little impact. But the QB’s mistakes are more obvious.

            Brees threw two interceptions and had a strip fumble against the Niners just as Kaep had one against the Rams. No one accuses Brees of not being able to read defenses, being inaccurate, running around out of the pocket under pressure and having the deer in the headlight look. Media personal and fans have an entirely different standard for different players. Once a player acquires an image it takes years for the media to adjust to any change.

            The nit picking of what Kaep could have done under certain game conditions is also over done. One can usually always come up with possibly better options after the fact when given enough time to evaluate something not under game conditions. Kaep does make mistakes and errors in judgement along with less than stellar throws, but no QB is always on physically or mentally. A lot of people have such unrealistic expectations and that is what I have an objection too.

            The point is that a good team can mitigate and make up for subpar play by other players if they have good compensatory performances. When the over all play by the majority of the team is subpar then the QB’s mistakes take on much more importance for the outcome of the game. Nothing wrong with critique but it should be reasonable and in perspective.

            1. Willtalk, this is a very good piece.

              As an aside: I suspect some of the comments about Kap’s ability reflect racial bias. (I say this as a white guy and have no axe to grind.) I don’t think a white QB would be under the microscope as much, IMO.

              1. George:

                You’re right. It’s not like Steve Young ever took unfair criticism from the fans. Or Alex Smith.

                Kaepernick is under the microscope as much as he is because he is a quarterback for the 49ers, not because of his race.

      3. @George

        Not sure why Rombaugh got into so much passing earlier in the season, ending with the worst home loss in Harbaugh’s tenure. Maybe they felt that they needed to demonstrate to F.O. that they can use all the receiving weapons the team possesses this season. Maybe they outsmarted themselves.

        But in this “must-win” scenario I believe they are done with the pass-first mindset. They still seem to get away from the running game at times in the second half, which seen to hurt their offensive rhythm.

        Roman is one of the best run-game coordinators in the two decades in the NFL, and they have the personnel for it. Niners have to stick to the running game with the personnel they have, even if that means averaging under 3 ypc because it’s the running game that opens up the passing game for this team.

        Kap may take another three seasons to become a savvy pocket passer. This O line may never be like those superior pass-blocking lines like the Patriots. But the Niners can still win one or more Super Bowls with this team doing what they do best.

        This pointing fingers at a series of individual players is pointless because at the end, the finger will point at the coaching staff. Had Kap not made that 4th down throw, those finger-pointers would have been pointing to Boldin, to Crabs, to lack of pass rush in much of the second half, to Kap’s fumble (which did not result in any points), to some player execution problem or the other.

        1. I’ve never seen a coach throw an incompletion, drop a pass or miss a tackle. 99% of the time the team that executes better is going to win the game.

          When a play doesn’t work fans will say it was a bad call. I saw this happen yesterday on Twitter after Brees’ 2nd touchdown pass when someone blamed Fangio for calling a blitz. The play call was perfect, two defenders had free shots on the QB. Both missed and the QB threw a TD.

          It was the same thing with Rombaugh against the Rams who after struggling through the 1st half had two perfect play calls that didn’t work due to a bad throw and to a lesser extent yesterday in the 2nd half when the receivers dropped 6 passes.

          Coaches will look great when the players make the plays and be questioned when they don’t. It’s the not so fun part of the job.

  24. Mettenberger looks decent for a first year guy plugged into a team going nowhere. Plays mostly clean, didn’t throw the pick until later in the game. Would like to see him get a win but I didn’t expect it to come against the Ravens.

  25. @EvanSernoffsky: SJ DA says woman in Ray McDonald case ‘struck him’ and he “forcibly attempted to remove her from the home.”

    1. The Santa Clara District Attorney’s office, citing insufficient evidence, will not file domestic abuse charges against 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald, it was announced Monday.

      “Conflicting versions of the event, a lack of verifiable eyewitnesses and a significant lack of cooperation from Jane Doe, we cannot prove a crime occurred,” said Lindsay Walsh, Santa Clara Deputy District Attorney in charge of the case. “In this particular case, there were particular pieces of information missing.”

      http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/11852824/ray-mcdonald-san-francisco-49ers-cleared-domestic-violence-case

      A WHOLE bunch of media, hats in hand, should lining up to give him an apology. Starting with YOU, Grant.

      1. rib ..

        Standing first in line for the “crow buffet” .. should be Mary !
        I think you ought to keep that link handy .. and show it to her
        upon her return …

        I’m wondering if she prefers catsup or a little hollandaise
        with her crow ?

          1. Interesting how he uses the term “We” and claims to speak for everyone in general to take the onus of of his personal agenda driven perspective. Kind of like claiming to only be part of a lynch mob to avoid individual responsibility.

            1. Kawakami, Killion and many of these local writers seem to be activists as much as journalists. This is the same bunch that started a campaign against Damon Bruce that led to York firing him. Twitter is one of their main weapons…

      2. I should be in the front of that line. I crucified him and called for his benching. I don’t condone the behavior that lead to the police being called but it was completely wrong of me to draw conclusions and belittle him as a result of the allegations. I hope that both he and his financee find peace and the counseling they need. My sincere apologies

        1. Matt, a major lie that they put out there, and many believed them, is that employees in the private sector are suspended or even fired when in the same situation McDonald was in. And it simply is not true.

    2. Good for Ray. He gets to clear his name & can now try to put this behind him. It still sucks because his reputation took a hit. For some reason tho , i find it hard to feel sorry for a guy who dates an abusive chick.

  26. Grant, thanks for your analysis. I agree with almost every word. Where I don’t is the optimism about Roman. He had to run in the first half, otherwise the fans here would have lynched him. In the second half, the Saints seemed to adjust to that, and then Roman seemed to give up. Am I imagining that? True, Boldin’s drops really hurt. Maybe that forced him to pass even more. I’d love to hear what you have to say about this. And regarding Crabtree versus Johnson, I think a reversal in their roles is long overdue. Stevie knows how to be productive, is simply an amazing WR.

    1. “He had to run in the first half, otherwise the fans here would have lynched him. In the second half, the Saints seemed to adjust to that, and then Roman seemed to give up. Am I imagining that?”

      Yes. They had an 8:12 run:pass ratio in the 2nd half until falling behind. 3 of those passes were drops.

      1. Thanks, Jack, but wasn’t the run:pass ratio higher in the first half? They scored zilch in the second half until the very end, so the 8:12 ratio wasn’t working for them.

        1. By my count they were 18:16 in the first half. What wasn’t working in the second half was receivers dropping the ball. They had 3 drops on the first two series of the half.

          1. Yeah, the drops almost killed us. But why do you think Roman let up on the run? Do you think that his counter to Ryan’s adjustments?

            1. He didn’t.

              First possesion of the second half. Run, play action dropped. 3rd down pass for the first down. Run, Run, Boldin Drop.

              Second possesion. Bad sack by Kaepernick. Run. Boldin Drop on deep ball.

              Third possession. Run. Short completion to Gore. Incomplete to Boldin on 3rd and 5.

              Fourth possession. Inc, comp, comp, run, run, run, run, sack.

              After that possession the Saints took the lead and the 49ers had to pass as time was running down.

              Overtime: run, run, run, run, inc, sack.

              The drops absolutely killed the offense in the second half. Not play calling.

              1. Jack, thanks very much for taking the time to look this up. I see what you have been telling me. It wasn’t that we stopped running. There was that foolish sack by Kap, and the drops. I guess the facts speak for themselves. Again, thanks for doing all the leg work.

              2. George- I wish there would be some differentiation between a mistake by a player and their inability to compensate for another players initial mistake. Kaep may not chose the right option to compensate for anothers initial mistake but the onus should still be on the original player who allowed the pocket to break down.

                It is irrational and illogical to say that a sack is entirely on the QB when he doesn’t make the right choice in respect to dealing with a protection breakdown and absolving the players that caused the breakdown to begin with. Yet this is what some of you have done. The QB does take some responsibility for not taking the best option available in dealing with the breakdown but it is surely not all on him. In legal liability there is a percentile allocation of responsibility involved in certain cases. The same holds true in this case. These are variables that reasonable people should consider.

      2. Jack, I thought the run – pass balance was good, but it still seems to me that they are too predictable. Maybe I’m wrong, but it very looked to me like from heavy formations they had a much higher run % out of, and 3+ WR formations they had a much higher pass % out of. So while they improved the run – pass ratio, they still have some work to do in my opinion when it comes to keeping a D guessing what the play will be.

    2. I noticed that, too. And to go further, it often seems we come out hot out of the gate, only to see the opposing defense adjust. I don’t see the same offensive adjustment in response, which is leading to a frustrating trend of lackluster, second-half offensive performances game after game.

      1. He repeated the same passes too. The back to back drops by Boldin at the beginning of the final drive in regulation were basically the same route.

  27. Yesterday Hyde came out and for the 3rd game in a row ran hard. In his last three games Hyde has 9 carries for almost 70 yards. So why is he only receiving 3 carries a game? And if we don’t have a Rb to backup Hyde, why is he returning kicks?

    1. Bay, I guess it’s Gore’s ability to react to a blitz. Regarding using Hyde to return kicks, I see your point, but what other backup do we have who can do that at this point? Let’s hope Ellington is ok.

    2. I would like to see Hyde get used a bit more going forward. I think if we are going to be contender we will need to do it on the ground and his big play ability will be needed.

  28. I’d be ok with the 49ers making a move for Doug Martin. It’s unfortunate they couldn’t have had him behind Gore learning from the master these past seasons but with Rathman coaching him I think we could get a lot more then what Tampa has gotten.

    1. Beastmode in 2015, His act has worn thin in Sea and his monster salary means he is all but gone. He ran hard and if he would settle for 4-5 mil a year i would do a short time deal with him. Even though he is a nuisance by all accounts he just refuses to go down.

        1. Nick
          If frank moves on to another team and we have to replace him id love to have a powerful back who does not go down behind our line. Even given the choice of a 32yr old frank and a 29 yr old lynch for the same price i might have to lean to ML. And I love frank if we can get him back on a friendly deal id be all for it

    2. Tampa bay was not the best place for a Rb to be successful. He would have done much better in SF. TB might want to get too much for him. He might have taken too much punishment in TB to be worth what they want for him now. He was a solid 3 down back though.

  29. I haven’t been able to post on here in a while!

    I’m “CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC” about our SuperBowl hopes this season. So far the season is playing out like I envisioned it would (not including the loss to St. Louis). I thought that with the injuries, suspension, hold outs, and the fact that we were trying to add a legit passing element to the offense, things were going to be shaky in the beginning. I thought up until this part of the season, we would be “teetering” and that we’d get hot at just the right time heading into the playoffs.

    One of the major areas of growth that I’m seeing this year is actually in the players owning this thing (and that’s due solely to adversity). Jim Harbaugh is such a towering and powerhouse figure that I’ve always felt like the players leaned on his persona and his staff’s pedigree a little TOO much (if that’s possible). The o-line playing better this week was not entirely on the coaches, that was on the players looking in the mirror and realizing that they sucked. I suspect the receivers (*looking at YOU Vernon, Michael, and now Anquan) will do the same thing with ridiculous drops this year. So far it’s been a classic “the coaches can only coach, the players have to play” scenario around this team. The guys hopefully are realizing that if they don’t get it together on the field, this thing is going down hill fast!

    If this offense starts to click, then the league better watch the H3LL out, because this could be the scariest team in the league…IF the players do their jobs on the field! Now that’s a big “IF”…so I’m “CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC!”

    1. Something weird going on with that article Jack. I tried submitting a comment and it didn’t work. Now when I try to load the article it says it isn’t found.

    2. Since my response didn’t want to post there…

      Having had a chance to rewatch the game I see what you mean about Reid. There were four plays that stood out to me. The Cooks TD he was a statue. Didn’t get any depth at all and failed to turn with the WR. Cooks’ other big reception same issue of depth and turned too late (when the ball was in the air). The other two times I noticed were incompletions, but only through luck. Colston dropped what should have been a TD, and Brees overthrew Stills. Both times Reid failed to get the proper depth and turn with the WR.

      Also, not wanting to be nit-picky, but it was Culliver, not Cox, with the INT at the end of the half. Also, the 4.4 average is a 300% increase on 1.1 (where a 100% increase = a doubling). Nit-picking over. :-)

  30. Would we have been to and possibly won at least 2 if not 3 of the past Superbowls with Manning as our QB. It’s a big stretch to assume we could have won all 3 but the possibility is at least real. Is there any chance that members of the front office think this as well? Maybe the front office is holding a grudge, which I originally said Baalke wouldn’t do, that they lost out on 3 straight Superbowls because Harbaugh had to have things his way and not let Manning run the offense.

    Maybe they’re hoping he’ll want to leave and then they can hire Manning to replace him as HC. :)

        1. I am not sure Manning would have won a SB for us. He failed to win the AFCCG two years ago in the cold and got embarassed in the SB last year. Here in Denver people love him till the playoffs. Maybe with our D he would have won but I don’t think there’s any guarantees we’d have had two wins. Remember our oline is set up to run and we’d still have the same o coordinator.

          1. His contract would have meant that the team would have had to make cuts and not been able to keep the vets the were able to keep without him on the team as well. I don’t think this team was built for Manning. He was smart to chose Denver. This line has proven it does not pass protect well and that is essential for success with Manning as the Superbowl loss against Seattle proved.

            1. “His contract would have meant that the team would have had to make cuts and not been able to keep the vets ”

              Indeed! About $12M in vet salary in 2012 if I am right ($20M for Manning vs $8M for Smith). The difference would have been bigger in 2013 ($20M for Manning vs. $2M for Kap).

  31. With Aldon coming back, who do we pair him with on 3rd down? Lynch or Brooks? I understand the linebackers are gonna be rotated, especially to get Aldon back in football shape. But on at least 3rd down, we are gonna need our best rushers on the field to cause havoc.

    1. LYNCH!! That kid is serious business! With him AND Aldon rushing the QB from both ends, this defense has the potential to get incrementally more awesome over the next 3-4 weeks….which is saying a lot seeing as they’re already one of the top D’s in the league.

  32. I know this has been discussed a number of times before, but now that it has been confirmed no charges will be filed against Ray McDonald, do all the people that were gunning for him to be stood down by the team during the investigation still believe he should have been? Or do you now think maybe that was a touch rash?

      1. That’s truly amazing. You would think that around here the DA’s office would think three or four times before they dropped the charges.

          1. Yep, instead of admitting that perhaps he was a bit quick to rush to judgement, TK has decided to go the route of saying the truth will never be known, and highlighting the irregularities in the investigation. While he is correct that we will never “know”, in so much as it is impossible to ever know what happened without being there, his article still implies guilty until proven innocent.

            1. Shame on him. The DA has spoken. This is kind of like someone asserting that in last Tuesday’s election, 2/3 of the eligible voters didn’t go to the polls but had they done so, the results would have been the opposite. Amazing times we live in.

            2. Nothing can ever be totally proven or disproved. There is always room for doubt. The question is if that doubt is reasonable. Just with the information that was released early on it was common sense that the most reasonable conclusion was the one that was arrived at by the DA. The same was true in respect to the Kaepernick case. There were enough red flags in the statements of Kaeps accuser to put serious doubt to their credibility. The most telling points of discernment truth comes out of the mouths of the individuals own testimony.

          2. TK is trying to save face. He did this when he predicted that the Niners were done with Aldon and thought that the Niners will not exercise the 5th yr option with him. Well, the Niners did exercise the 5th year option and made him look $tupid. And now, he’s doing the same thing. What a clown!

    1. ‏@Eric_Branch 16m
      League source: NFL does not anticipate there will be basis for discipline in Ray McDonald matter. #49ers

    2. I took the stance to bench Mac but continue to pay him until the legal process had concluded. The ethical position for me was that there was enough on the police report to at the very least put Mac in a suspicious position.

      I’m glad that the legal process is concluded – and I’ll just leave it at that.

      1. AES,

        It’s pretty clear that you think that RMcD still should’ve been suspended with pay during the investigation. That is hard to understand, given what was in the DA’s report.

        It’s pretty clear the fiancee was the aggressor / instigator in the altercation.

        This notion that a man can’t defend himself against a weaker person is nonsense.

        “The ethical position for me was that there was enough on the police report to at the very least put Mac in a suspicious position.”

        Do you mean like how the fiancee admitted to the police that night to repeatedly hitting RMcD first, that he hadn’t hit her, but rather restrained her from hitting him and tried to get her out of the house when she wouldn’t leave on her own?

        This info was probably known by the 49ers right from the get go, so, sorry, but there’s no way RMcD should’ve been suspended with pay during the investigation.

        1. Ex,
          There’s also the official report that there was insufficient evidence. In other words, this was not clear cut case.
          I still hold onto my position based on all the reasons I gave when the story was first brought forward.
          It is what it is, and its time to move on and play football.

          1. AES:

            There’s also the official report that there was insufficient evidence. In other words, this was not clear cut case.

            Perhaps you ought to read the summary paragraph at the beginning of the memo, where the author writes:

            Both of the parties involved state that Jane Doe struck Ray McDonald first and the evidence shows injuries consistent with restraint and an ensuing scuffle rather than an attack. Extensive follow-up investigation has not shown otherwise.

              1. AES:

                Case is over, just leave at that.

                That would be easier to do if you stopped writing things like, “I still hold onto my position based on all the reasons I gave when the story was first brought forward.” Writing things like that suggests that the DA’s memo somehow vindicates your original position.* It doesn’t. If anything, the memo, and its timing, demonstrate why your position was so problematic.

                ————————–
                * That position being “suspend McDonald with pay until the police and/or team investigation clears him.”

              2. AES,

                Yes, the case is over. That doesn’t mean that incorrect demands for RMcD to be suspended with pay simply evaporate, as if they were never made.

                It confounds me as to how those who demanded that RMcD be suspended can still hold on to that position.

                Claude,

                +1

              3. Claude this is not a court of law. You don’t dictate to anyone what they choose to write on. Stop trying to legislate a sports blog.
                If you don’t agree with my take no problem, I’m not trying to be a demigod. Merely stating my take.

                Ex, stop trying to beat a dead horse. The case IS in fact over. Time to move on.

              4. AES:

                I’m not dictating what you write. You can write whatever you want.

                But I too can write whatever I want in response, including my beliefs that (a) your position was misguided when you originally presented it and (b) your maintenance of that position notwithstanding the DA’s memo is even more misguided. Under your proposed policy, McDonald would have sat for two months under the stigma of attacking his fiancee only to have the DA’s office decline to prosecute him because “the evidence shows injuries consistent with restraint and an ensuing scuffle rather than an attack.”

                And just so we’re clear, the following are two examples of someone trying to dictate what others write about:

                (1) Case is over, just leave it at that.
                (2) Ex, stop trying to beat a dead horse. The case IS in fact over. Time to move on..

  33. McDonald will not be charged. I wonder if Young or Rice will come out and say something like. Hey we may have jumped the gun and was stupid in thinking he should have been suspended without being charged.

    Idiots like Mary can suck it now. How does that feel to be sooooo right and proven wrong you idiot!
    DUE PROCESS wins!!!!!

      1. George it takes being a man to retract. We know it won’t happen. To call McDonald out was cowardice. Sort of like stealing someone’s avatar and posting as them.

            1. Just so I know what I have to apologize for, were any of the comments made yesterday under the name bayareafanatic actually from bay?

            2. Only one person on here is obviously for that type of crap. This same person has a history of double or triple posting also. Hmmmm.
              I guess the right thing to do is let the due process procedure play out.

  34. Fun fact… Did you know that Kaepernick ranks ahead of Russell Wilson in just about every statistic this season?

    Seeing how dependant both Qbs are on their run games, I think that our offense looks brighter than Seattle’s given that we have Hyde and they have no one behind Lynch when he departs.

    1. Yep its pretty much been true all season. If you visit any boards Hawks fans frequent you hear: Wilson doesn’t have enough talent, bad play calling, too much reliance on the run game, not making quick throws, takes off and runs too much etc.

      Turbine’s not bad behind Lynch. I wouldn’t crown Hyde yet and I like him too. I’d like to see 3-4 games of him producing before we do that.

      1. Like all young running backs, Hyde has to get a lot better at pass protection to be on the field more.

        Yesterday he missed an assignment and there was a free ride to a sack. He’ll get it with time.

        1. Did you see JH say yesterday it was that the O lineman didn’t signal the back about the change in protection? He played the original call.

          1. In order for us to win the division the cardinals and seahawks would both have to have meltdowns. I can see us over taking seattle as a good possibility, but the cards would need some major things to happen. They have already proven they can win without Carson Palmer and some of their starting defense.

            1. They went 2-1. They have had a soft schedule, the ball bouncing their way the whole first half I the season. I’m not saying they aren’t good. I’m saying they aren’t that good. I can easily see a meltdown with them happening.

  35. Average 49er scoring by QTR after nine games…

    First 6.8, Second 8.3, Third 3.3, Fourth 2.9

    This screams game plan good, game management bad.

    Who has the biggest fingerprints on game management… HC or OC?

    1. My vote goes to the HC. Ultimately, the HC is responsible for performance of the coordinators. When your second half performance has been consistently bad then it is up to the HC to do something about it.

  36. Great win. The playoff math got a whole lot better.

    Its still a tough go since the 49ers already have 3 NFC losses. Puts them in tough tiebreaker situations. I’m thinking 10-6 won’t work. 11-5 could even be dicey.

    [current divsion]
    8-1 Cards
    7-2 Lions
    6-2 Eagles
    4-5 Saints

    [current wildcard]
    7-3 Cowboys
    6-3 Seahawks

    [currently out]
    6-3 Packers
    5-4 49ers

    1. It will be hard due to who we have to play and we need other teams to lose. Like I posted earlier I believe our best changes lie with the injuries at QB for the Eagles or Cowboys. How many more hits can Romo take? Can Wheedon carry the team. Can Sanchez carry the Eagles? All those people who were predicting 49ers won’t make the post season are licking their chops.

  37. With Dobbs off the team, does this mean we will see more of Dial and Tank? I liked what I saw of Dial the few times he has played. A few games back he had a penalty for leading with his helmet, but he seems to make plays when he is in there. How bad is the injury to Williams?

  38. I wish I could say I am surprised that Grant is avoiding apologizing for all the garbage he spewed.

    As I said before- Domestic arrests are very messy.

    It appears that McDonald had a girlfriend who pulled a gun on him back in June- and ran away after McDonald called the police.

    On the night of McDonald’s B-day- with 40 some people still around- the same girlfriend hit McDonald. McDonald again calls the police and moves the woman out of his home. In response, said woman calls 9-11. The police come and arrest McDonald after seeing “visible injuries” from mcdonalds pushing the woman out of his home.

    This is NOT an unusual case- In the real world women instigate physical altercations with guys just as much as the other way around. People who deal with these Domestic Issues understand this- The policy is it is better to be very cautious than to ignore- hence the policy of arresting someone whenever possible- It was never the intention of police, or our laws for employers to use this info in choosing to discipline employees- In the real world- employees dont get punished over these arrests because THEY DON’T KNOW ABOUT THEM. The only reason any of this is known is that these football players have a certain amount of fame.

    Hopefully this can be a learning experience for everyone NOT to rush into judgment on these shaky cases. It is better to give people the benefit of the doubt until real facts are known- Unfortunately, the way Grant and other writers rushed to judgment and refuse to acknowledge it- seems the lesson is being ignored.

  39. For those wondering about snap count for our red shirt defensive linemen:

    Quinton Dial, 29 36%
    Tank Carradine 5, 6%

    The main reason was that Dial replaced Williams who had his leg broken in the second quarter.

    Ian Williams 11, 14%

    Dial must have played most of the snaps when a nose tackle was called for.

  40. “The fumble at the end of the first half and the sack at the beginning of the second half were his fault. He needs to learn when to throw the ball away.”

    -I find it funny that Kaepernick has to be flawless and perfect and not make any mistakes to get an A grade of anytime. Kaepernick performed at a very high level abs was brilliant in this game. The drop from Anquan Boldin on 3rd and 19 on a bad snap would have probably put the game away. Yet, the only mistake you can find in his play are a sack (lol) and a fumble, in a game on the road against a team that has won double digit games in a row; where Brees turned the ball over three times in the same game.

    However, he gets get a B+ while the secondary gets a A- & the running backs get an A; where there were several coverage mistakes two of which resulted in quick scores on TD passes and almost a 3rd on a Hail Mary….I don’t care if Cox was shoved, there was two other DB’s there that did nothing to knock the pasn ; This was also a game where the rushing production went entirely out the window from Gore in the second half.

    Once again, as usual, the standard for Kaepernick us way above everyone else’s.

    If that’s the Kaepernick we are going to get week in and week out, I’ll be a happy 49ers fan. 9 of 10 times on that 2nd and 13, Boldin scores a TD and Kapernick finishes with more impressive fantasy stats for that silly popularity contest that is fnatasy football.

    FYI: Based on Pro Football Focus’s tracked B Accuracy percentage, kaepernick has a higher completion percentage than

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