49ers 28, Rams 0: Grades

SANTA CLARA – Here are the grades for the 49ers’ 28-0 Week 1 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

BLAINE GABBERT: C+. Threw for just 170 yards on 35 passes – a mere 4.9 yards per attempt, way below the league average of 7.3. And posted a passer rating of 84.2 – also below the league average of 88.4. Inaccurate most of the night. Threw a couple of passes that should have been intercepted and missed some downfield throws by a mile. Also missed a few short throws most quarterbacks make in their sleep. Even Gabbert’s completions were inaccurate passes that prevented his receivers from gaining yards after the catch.

But he was by far the best quarterback on the field. Better than the Niners’ backup, and better than the opposing starter, Case Keenum, who threw two interceptions and exactly no touchdown passes. Gabbert threw one touchdown pass and zero interceptions. He made no major mistakes. He also rushed for 43 yards and four first downs.

RUNNING BACKS: B. Carlos Hyde rushed for 65 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries during the first half when the 49ers put away the game. Shaun Draughn also rushed for a touchdown in the first half, but he fumbled once, which knocked down this group’s grade from an ‘A’ to a ‘B.’

WIDE RECEIVERS: B. Jeremy Kerley and Quinton Patton each gained 60 receiving yards and blocked extremely well in the running game. Those two are a big reason the Niners rushed for 150 yards. Torrey Smith was a disappointment. He caught only two passes and dropped one, although to be fair he was open a few times and Gabbert simply missed him.

TIGHT ENDS: B. Vance McDonald and Garrett Celek both blocked well, and McDonald caught a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

OFFENSIVE LINE: B+. Blew away the Rams’ excellent defensive line in the first half, and made All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald quit in the fourth quarter. Donald, a sore loser, threw a punch at a 49er and made contact with an official before getting ejected.

DEFENSIVE LINE: A-. Didn’t generate a ton pressure against the quarterback, but shut down one of the best running backs in the NFL, Todd Gurley, who could not run between the tackles against the Niners’ defensive line.

LINEBACKERS: A+. Seemed much faster than the Rams’ offense. Swarmed their ball carriers from sideline to sideline. NaVorro Bowman and Ray Ray Armstrong each intercepted Keenum once.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: A. Erased the Rams’ best receiver, Tavon Austin, who finished the game with four catches for 13 yards.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A-. Gave up one long punt return to Austin, but otherwise played extremely well. Jaquiski Tartt is a better special teams player than a safety.

COACHES: A-. Prepared his team to play, and designed a smart offensive game plan, which is more than you can say for the Rams, who were dead on arrival. The Niners could have taken a knee every single offensive snap during the second half and still won. In fact, they probably should have done that. The only way they could have lost was to commit a turnover.

      1. Agreed.
        A lot of the better runs came from some creative running on the part of the running backs but even so. Fighting the best dline in the NFL has to count for for a lot.
        Pass Pro was great.

      2. Scooter with the debacle of last season in pass protection they simply get an A+ for the effort last night. I mean cmon that was leaps and bounds better than any performance last season. So for that it should be an A+ IMO.

        1. MD,

          Against one of the best front sevens in the NFL, so we were told, anyway.

          Donald getting himself thrown out shows just how frustrated he was by being shut down.

      3. That run blocking got us well over a 100 yards rushing, plus 40 more yards from design runs from Gabbert. Plus, we sustained long drives for four TDs. And, this was against what was supposed to be t”he Greatest Front 7 Defensive Line in the League.” Yeah, I think they deserve an A+.

    1. Please, make that an A+. The Rams were touted as having the league’s very “Best Front 7 Defensive Line in the League.” Yet, the 49ers pace, brute might, grit, and skillset turned that defense into swiss cheese.

  1. Pretty much agree with all the grades.

    I thought the 49ers had decent pressure throughout the night, but I guess you are right when you say it wasn’t a ton of pressure. Good enough to keep Keenum uncomfortable but not overwhelming.

  2. Like I said earlier this offseason, this is a much more talented team than I thought it was going to be going into the year…except for QB. Gabbert was awful for most of the game, missing easy throws. Team is going to need Kap to come back, even if just to 2014 form, if it’s going to have any shot at all this year. Still a promising team performance though. Chip’s offense certainly looked solid especially, in the redzone. Scored 4 touchdowns in a game for the first time in forever, all of last year we never even had more than 27 points, let alone 4 touchdowns.

  3. Ray Ray impressed me. He made some plays and didn’t do anything stupid. Same with Patton. Kudos to Chip, this team was ready to go and was composed. The Rams were the opposite.

    1. Well, Patton did fumble (albeit out of bounds, barely) on successive catches. Showed a nice burst but he’s got to learn to put the ball in the hand away from the defense. Very good start, though.

  4. This victory goes to the defense. Oh, and they stomped the Rams run game with their 3rd string NT. Imagine how good the run D will be when Dorsey returns?

    I’d give Gabbert a D, but 4 for 4 in the red zone, good running, guts taking shrugging off big hits elevate him to C+. He didn’t impress as a quarterback, but he impressed as a leader and football player.

    1. That seems fair.
      The biggest thing he has going for him is he allows the coaches to run their offense.

      He is the polar opposite of Kaep, who has all the tools and can make plays from nothing, but limits the offense due to his inability to process information quickly enough.

      1. You hit the proverbial nail on the head, Shoup. Gabbert, for all his limitations, and he has many, all of which were on display last night, still does does not stymie the offense like CK does with his inability to process information at a pro level.

    1. Agreed,
      He went too conservative and put Blaine in a lot of 3rd and longs, and he is not the qb that can routinely handle those situations.

    2. I would call it conservative play-calling but not terrible. You call plays based on the direction of the game. His defense was in control and his QB was a pick 6 away from making this a close game. It was boring but he played to his defense’s control. In fact, the entire, boring 3rd quarter went exactly like the 49ers wanted it to go.

  5. Gabbert took some big hits running the ball, and one monster hit running the ball. His runs helped open up the Rams defense, but how many games will he survive at that rate?

    The third quarter produced only five yards net before the last play of the quarter. That was probably because he stopped running.

    Anyone think the Panthers will be up for Sunday morning’s game? Will Chip let Gabbert run against the Panthers and the Seahawks?

    1. htwaits – Good spot on the 3rd quarter. The Rams weren’t respecting the QB run in the 3rd. Maybe they sensed Kelly was “saving” Gabbert. Left a defender free to tackle Hyde.

  6. Grant, I seemed to notice that Buckner started the game and played most downs whilst Amsted only appeared on obvious passing downs – should we be concerned about his injury now?

    1. Tank created pressure that led to others getting the glorious tackles and sacks. As for Eli, not so much. I’m wondering if his Black Power salute during the anthem led to arm fatigue. Just saying…

      1. Folk, Thanks for your input on Tank. I”m glad you saw something that I missed. All the different perspectives makes this blog a must read.

  7. Don’t care much for grades by position (grades make more sense for units, IMO), but I agree with Grant’s grades here. Some observations:

    Thought I saw open receivers — I have forgotten when I last saw this phenomenon in the Niners offense.

    The Niners offense made successful 4th quarter adjustments after the Rams shut down the run game in the third quarter — another phenomenon lost in distant memory.

    The O line will get better in both run blocking and pass protection.

    Gabbert ceiling is a poor man’s Alex Smith.

    Kerley man O beat Gurley man O — another testament to Chips’ scheme able to plug in a receiver off the street. Maybe we’ll Streater get active against the suspect Panther DBs.

    Good to see Bow closer to his old self than in last season.

    Now that he’s healthy, Ward’s coming into his own. Great quickness and anticipation.

    I’ll be pleased of the the Niners are competitive against the Panthers on the road. The real test will be against the Hawks in week 3.

    1. Alex Smith ….. Again? I almost forgot the name, but he had a hell of a game as qb and teamleader against SD, way far from BG

  8. 1. Whoa. Eerily similar to last year.
    2. Big win at home while shutting down a great RB
    3. Then next game on the road against very good qb and wr – pitt last year, CAR this year.
    4. I like the way the Niners controlled the tempo. Sometimes hurry up – sometimes not
    5. We need a NFL caliber qb
    6. Most phases of D looked good.
    7. Ray Ray can play
    8. No playmaking , athletic WR is hurting us.

    I may have more thoughts tomorrow AM

  9. Eerily similar to last season’s opener vs the Vikings.
    – Stuffed one of the best running backs in the NFL
    – Defense showed exotic blitzes, a new attacking style vs a flustered quarterback
    – Offense not a well oiled machine, but Carlos Hyde had a good day.
    – 7:20 Monday nighter. Will fly back east on short week to play 10am game vs a great team on ten days rest.

      1. Why is it today peiple focus on fairness? I was raised to think differently. Life is never a fair playing field. Focusing on the equality of events is just an excuse for failure. You say ten days rest. I saw 12 men on defense rotated throughout. This is week 2. There is no tape to prepare for. Both teams essentially start gameplannimg the same day. An early start time? These men are mid 20s-to early 30s. I am pretty sure they can handle being up at 7 am.
        Will they be sore? Sure. Every NFL player is sore. This team has depth at every position.
        Losers focus on the fairness of a match. Winner simply adapt and overcome. This is a great test in an early season

  10. Gabbert showed courage and leadership. Those are qualities that may not show up in QB stats, but they set the tone and, in this case, the team obviously responded. He deserves no worse than a B.

  11. Cant wait til the rest of the week. Some posters will have to eat major crow.

    Bro Tuna, I felt like Chip not only read my posts, he acted upon them.

    1. A little early for crow eating, but it would be nice to not hear “the 49ers are devoid of talent” refrain, as much. This roster clearly has some deficiencies, to be sure, but devoid of talent, it is not.

      Also, I won’t be sad if Baalke is gone after this year (as long as the 49ers find an able replacement), but he has drafted / traded for / signed a lot of good players on this roster. It goes without saying that he should still be drawn and quartered, though.

  12. Hard to grade this one. The 49ers played a JV team. I have absolutely no idea how Jeff Fisher has a job BUT I’m glad he’s in our division. The Rams are the worst team in the NFL. The 49ers first real test comes next week. The schedule makers suck for how they screwed the 49ers this week so I would expect some sort of drop in intensity.

    1. It’s funny how people were all like “The first five games are all brutal and we’ll go 0-5.”

      Then when we beat one of these ‘brutal’ teams that’s supposed to take us to the cleaners, suddenly ‘they’re just JV.’ Stop pissing on your team and minimizing what they accomplished.

      They scored 28-points against one of the NFL’s best front seven’s. That included two back-breaking drives in the 4th quarter — 77 yards & 80 yards. And so totally handled one of the Top-2 defensive players (Donald) in the NFL he melted down on the field.

      1. No one was calling this a brutal game. Everyone was saying this was the one winable game in the first 4. The odds makes even showed this by favoring the rams by a very narrow margin. Next week look for Carolina to be favored by 6.5 +

      2. I picked the Rams to finish behind the 49ers in the division so you’re barking up the wrong tree pal. I expected the Rams to be one of the worst teams in the NFL and they proved me right.

      3. Its funny how you make blanket statements that are totally wrong. I said that I hoped the Niners would go 3-2 in the first 5 games, but would be happy with 2-3. I also said that since they are playing 3 playoff teams and a much improved Cowboys team, 1-4 may be realistic.

        Praise Gabbert all you want. I will dwell on his inaccurate throws. 2 should have been picked off, the defenders dropped them. Gabbert may have completed passes, but they were low and behind the receivers. He bounced a pass to a wide open Torrey and the 4th down throw was pathetic. It was not only way too low, it was behind the first down marker.

        Before the game, I said that since the Rams would crowd the box and key on Hyde, Gabbert needed to use his legs to help them win. He extended drives with his running, but when he misses a wide open Kerley that should have gone for a TD, I am comfortable to say that Gabbert needs to improve.

        1. Gabbert threw for more yards, ran for more yards, than Kaep did in last season’s opener. Which BTW was the high point of that season. Keep that in mind with your Kaep hankering.

          1. Kaep played way better in last year’s game than Gabbert played in this year’s first game. Hyde had 160 yards last year, so Kaep did not need to pass or run much. This last game, Hyde only got 88 yards.

              1. Like last year’s home opener, the defense made the plays.

                If you ripped Kaep for bouncing passes, why are you not doing the same for Gabbert?

              2. Kaep bounced passes in blowouts, as in Niners getting blown out. See the difference?

                If Gabbert bounces them during the wrong end of 43-18 or 47-7 pastings (sound familiar?) you better believe I’ll get down on him like a ton of bricks. Unlike you with Kaep, I won’t be calling him next year’s savior. See the difference? Good.

      4. LA Rams are not brutal on anybodies schedule. This was a 50/50 game before they started Keenan the trash man. Lets re-evaluate after the Panthers game.

      5. Not once did the 49ers put up 28 last year…so theres that.

        And this was the only shutout of week 1…so theres that too.

        But the naysayers, they get pleasure out of their teams being bad, they look for fault in anything.

        1. Also: this was the first season opening game goose egg in the franchise’s history … so there’s that.
          Yet, bitter Grant Cohn only gives Gabbert a C+.

          1. Folkwolf: The first of many scoreless games for the Rams this season. I doubt the Rams will score more than 3 points per game in their remaining games. They are bad, really bad from top to bottom.

  13. I agree, Houston, the Rams didn’t prove to be much of a test. I guess I’d give the Niners half the win, and the other half was L.A. beating itself. As for Gabbert, I’d give him an A for his running, and a C for his passing. He missed some easy ones, and didn’t really hit anyone in stride, but looked good delivering the screens. O line was a marked improvement, except for the run blocking. Wondered why they kept calling runs into the middle of the Rams’ pretty strong D line? Our defense REALLY showed up; It’ll be interesting to see how they do when the other team shows up, too.

  14. You know Grant, once you get the hate-on for a player, you just don’t back down.

    Gabbert: 63% completion rate was it? Had the -16 yard batted pass play which he should have knocked down instead of catching. Was 7 of 11 to Kerley. Kerley’s been here a week. Wasn’t helped by multiple drops of good balls thrown into some tight windows. He certainly was helped in developing timing or chemistry by Kelly’s indecision on naming a starting QB that cut into his timing with the WRs.

    He also hung in the pocket until the play options (via reads) were exhausted and played QB-first, not RB who throws, while extending drives with his his legs. The guy actually looks at the field, understood what he saw, and made (mostly) optimal decisions from the vantage point he has on the field which is far, far worse than yours in the press box or the fan’s from the stadium.

    Was he perfect? Heck no. He’s rushing and pressing a bit when he throws. That’s getting his lower and upper body out of sync and is causing some accuracy issues. But he put in a reasonable day at QB against a team that was one of the better defenses last year and was definitely better than a grade in the C-range when all things are considered.

    And the nice thing is, others recognize it. Outside of the 49er press which craps on him all the time, others have a different perspective, like the LA Times:

    Gabbert extended plays with his legs and came up with big completions in third- and fourth-down situations. He finished 22 for 35 for 170 yards and a touchdown, and also rushed for 43 yards in nine carries.

    We were 8/17 on third downs and 1/2 on fourth. We were almost always in good down/distance situations. We had two drives that were back-breakers for the Rams in the 4th quarter — 80 yards & 77 yards.

    1. Gabbert was decent in quarters 1,2, and 4. In quarter 3 he looked like he didn’t belong in the NFL. Some of those throws were simply awful. The reason he struggled and the run game struggled was because the Rams made a good half time adjustment to drop another defender into the box to stop the run game daring Gabbert to beat him with his arm. 9ers didn’t figure it out until the 4th qtr. He needs to put a full game together before anyone should be comfortable with him as QB.

      1. “9ers didn’t figure it out until the 4th qtr.”

        That’s what I like about Chip. He certainly figured it out in the 3rd, but he didn’t take the bait and throw a pick that could turn the game around early.

    2. Moses not all the press was glowing regarding BG. NFL.com writes “6. Similarly, Blaine Gabbert will have to fare better as a passer to give the 49ers a chance at Carolina. Although Gabbert’s running ability gives Kelly’s offense an element it sorely missed the past two years, he has struggled with basic throws going back to the preseason. His unacceptable yards-per-attempt figure of 4.9 Monday night included a blatant misfire to a wide-open Jeremy Kerley on a potential touchdown. With Colin Kaepernick waiting in the wings, Gabbert’s shoddy ball location could be his undoing.”

      BG was good enough to win the game last night. As a fan that was enough. Now at the same time we don’t need to react to criticism of his play. What people are saying is true. He needs to be good enough and he needs to improve in some areas that could cost us games. He had several balls dropped by DB’s and ILB’s. BG didn’t do anything our 2nd string QB couldn’t have done last night in rushing or passing. We need also to not over inflate that QB or over criticize him as well. Either of our QB’s could have won that game last night. The real test is next week against the Panthers then the Hawks.

      The hate of one QB over another makes no sense. It also makes no sense to defend obvious deficiencies of both QB’s.

  15. The first thing that stood out to me is the difference in coaching. Night and day compared to Tomsula. We know the Rams aren’t very good, so the Panthers will provide some clarity with respect to how good this 49ers team is. I think the grades are good, but the Blaine train is going to break down if he keeps taking hits like he did last night….

    1. Compare week 1 2015 to week 1 2016. The 49ers looked great against the Vikes. Kaepernick looked like a transformed QB. I actually had hope of a good season after that game. I felt like Tomsula might have been a good choice after all. All in all week 1 2015 was a much better debut than week 1 2016. Hopefully this wasn’t the high point for the season like it was last year.

      1. Houston, I, too, will temper my elation. The Niners were fortunate to get Keenum, who was pretty awful. Cam will be another story. Gabbert made terrible throws, and was lucky that the defenders dropped the ball.

        If Kaep had made the same throws, posters would be calling for him to be cut on the team bus.

        1. This is a ridiculous analysis. Different year, different opponent, and hugely different offensive line. Gabbert played like the below average NFL QB that he is. He didn’t lose the game (thanks to some dropped interceptions), but neither did he win it.

          I liked how he hung in the pocket as long as possible in the 1st half, and that went a long way towards frustrating a great d-line, but let’s not overstate his performance. His accuracy was poor, and he continued to throw the ball short of the marker on 3rd (and 4th) down.

        2. I wrote that in response to Razor saying there was a difference in coaching – implying Chip is better than Tomsula. I didn’t say Gabbert outplayed Kaepernick. I said the 49ers looked good in week 1 in both years. We have a few more games to go before we can draw any conclusions whatsoever about the Chip Kelly 2016 49ers. I agree with Razor that Chip seems to be a better coach than Tomsula but we’re way too early to draw any conclusions.

            1. Bum Phillips said about Don Shula: “He can take his players and beat your team and then take your players and beat his team.”

              Chip Kelly will get a chance to coach many of the same players Tomsula coached so we’re going to get a pretty good look at which coach is a better coach.

    2. Razor, I think now that there’s tape on both offense and defense I’d like to see how the team responds to a real football team and not one that’s at the bottom of the NFL offensively. I thought our coaching looked better but am wanting to see how teams start to prepare for us now that they have an idea what we’re playing on Sunday’s and can study our tendencies.

      It was a good first step. I don’t know how we’ll look vs. the Panthers but I think Seattle is less competitive than they have been and our DL should be a big factor. I think the Rams were over hyped and have thought the 49ers were a bit under hyped.

  16. Grant,

    I think all your comments are right on. I would only add that I think you should give Gabbert credit for 3 things:

    * Threading the needle on a number of throws that he did execute well (bad throws notwithstanding)

    * Being disciplined about remaining calm in the pocket, going through his reads, and only running after he had assessed other options first. These are all things that Kapernick cannot do well.

    * Although sliding and diving head first as he did on many runs is a bad decision for QBs, his willingness to do so in this game should be recognized, because it enabled some critical first downs and, more importantly, as I have read so many times, it really makes the rest of the team respect him and want to rally around their leader – who is willing to go into the foxholes and trenches with the rest of the team. Of course he needs to start sliding feet first, but I think what he did last night will have good payoff and he should get some credit for that.

  17. I can agree with the grades except the O-line. They should have an A+ due to the horror of last season alone, and the fact they manhandled on of the best front sevens in the league. But just for this game. Long season ahead and they looked “very good” in last years opener.

    So I’ll go with the good and the bad as a whole. I’ll start with the bad…

    1 the lackluster play calling in the 3rd quarter.
    2 the short throws on 3rd down
    3 thought the “faithful” were weak in a home opener.
    4 looks as if they might have sat on the lead in the third.
    Not really much to complain about with the bad.

    The good…
    1..The o-lines play
    2..The D lines play
    3..The LB play
    These were supposed to be big weaknesses in this team.
    4.. The adjustment to the failed 3rd quarter.
    Looked like Fisher adjusted well in the second half and Kelly was clueless, then the 4th happened and It looked like Kelly adjusted. Huge in my eyes because not even Harbaugh was very good at adjustments. He’d sit on a lead and rely on the defense.
    5… The redzone scoring. When was the last time we saw them score a td in every possession in the red zone.
    6… Penalties… We’re there any?

    All around it was a solid game. But they must be way sharper next week and throughout the season. The Rams are one dimensional on offense and teams like Seattle, Arizona and Carolina will not drop some of those INT’s.
    Again they started off looking good last season, but with the talent drop off from the last couple of seasons they can’t play good and sloppy with this years schedule.
    I’m looking at a loss next week, but a hard fought close loss will be a win in my book due to the team they’re playing, their home opener, and the short week and travel.
    And I’m hoping to see LA pissed next week and ready to put a hurting on Seattle.
    The next two games will put a meter on where this team is headed this season. A split will be awesome but I’m not holding my breath.

      1. After watching the difference an NFL caliber OL makes, I’d like to hear the brilliant Wilsonm73 tell us again how great the 49ers OL was last season, especially in pass protection? I’ll say it again Wilson, anyone with even 1 eye on the team last year should know how poor the 49ers OL was, if you were really following this team, how you missed that is really hard to fathom.

        Always the negative nellie, hah Wilsonm73? Dropped INT’s, those happen in nearly every game in the NFL. There’s a reason defenders play on the defensive side of the ball. The offense scuffled in the 3rd quarter, playing conservative football, against a fired up defensive team coming out of halftime. However, Chip realized it was time to open things up late in the 3rd QTR and the team responded and put the game away, in part because Gabbert played his best football, once again, in the 4th QTR. I happen to like QB’s who play well in the 4th QTR because that’s often when games are won and lost!

        Remember, the Ram’s have the best front 7 in the NFL right? All those 1st round beasts couldn’t rattle a gritty Blaine Gabbert. If you are truly a fan of the 49ers Wilson (and I have my doubts) quite nitpicking around the edges of a 28 nothing blowout in favor of “your” team, with 28 1st downs, 8-17 converting 3rd downs, 4’4 in redzone TD’s, and a TOTAL QBR of 91.1 for Gabbert, 2nd best QBR of opening week.

        If you can’t get behind a performance like that Wilson, and the rest of you sniveling crybabies who don’t understand you rebuild a team to win in trenches if you’re going to be competitive in the NFL. Establish the run on offense and stop the run on defense, and don’t turn the ball over, especially in your half of the field. That’s the way the team won with Harbaugh, and that’s the way they are going to win with Gabbert at the helm.

        Baalke has rebuilt this defense and it is a prototypical 3-4. This defense is young, well coached, and talented. That’s a foundation for future success. If they get an opportunity to upgrade the QB position fine, but right now, this team simply needs to invest in WR’s, and focus on locking up the young difference makers with new contracts.

        And by the way, PRO’S to Baalke to find a guy like Kerley, who is a solid slot receiver, and confident kick returner, and Rod Streater, who is a pretty decent possession WR, once he learns the scheme!

        1. For all of the misguided blame placed on the wrong guy, *PROPS to Baalke for quickly rebuilding this defense and finding a way to get a guy like Kerley, a week and a half before opening week!

          And by the way, Streater is no slouch. He’s a veteran possession WR who will also contribute once he learns the system.

          This team is well coached and well on it’sway to being relevant again. Relax and enjoy a 28-0 blowout for crying out loud!

          1. 49, I will still give Chip and his coaches way more credit than Baalke. Buckner was a Chip Kelly pick all the way. Garnett did not play, and Redmond, Baalke’s ACL pick is on IR.

            I will also give Gamble a lot of credit for helping assemble the team.

          2. Baalke is awful. Think about this. Baalke had more draft picks to use since he’s been GM than any other team in the NFL. He’s had on average 13 more picks than any other GM in the league in that time span. And he STILL had to trade for a competent WR a week and a half before the start of the season. How in the world do you find yourself in a position where you’ve drafted more players than anyone and still don’t have a WR who can play? The 49ers have had TWENTY more picks than the Panthers since Baalke has been our GM. After this week, you tell me who has a better roster.

            1. Houston,
              With as much crap as we give Baalke around here[and deservedly so] We should also give credit when credit is due. His last 3 top picks are coming together to create a potentially prett damn good D. Ward, Armstead and Buckner seem to be a strong foundation for a D that may be around for a while. imho

              1. I’m definitely hopeful that those guys turn into the core of a good defense. Doesn’t change the fact that Baalke has had far more picks than most other GM’s and the 49er roster is not as good as many others in this league.

              2. Coach, hate to quibble, but even if Ward does work out well, I think the Niners should have drafted Roby, who went the next pick and helped Denver win a SB. The Niners could have traded back farther and still have gotten Armstead, who was raw, and not a sure bet. Buckner was a Chip Kelly pick all the way. Baalke was enamored with Myles Jack, another ACL pick, because he had tremendous potential.

              3. Seb,

                Roby is an ok piece made to look better than he is based on a killer pass rush and other good DB’s playing along side of him. I would take Ward over Roby every day of the week.

              4. Ex, I just go with production. Roby played in a SB and played well.

                Ward has not done much, so I do not consider him way superior to Roby.

              5. Roby was in PFFs team of the week for week 1. The worst 11 team of the week.

                Ward on the other hand was given an excellent grade for his game.

              6. Grant,

                Are you saying that the difference between Ward’s and Roby’s ranking this week is solely due to the QB they were up against? Nearly the best and nearly the worst is quite a spread, you know?

              7. Well, I guess we will get an excellent idea of whether those rankings in week 1 for Roby and Ward are warranted, as Ward will be going up against the same QB in week 2 that Roby faced in week 1.

              1. So finding a 7th round pick worth keeping makes up for the 2nd’s and 3rd’s he’s pissed away? No.

              2. No it doesn’t. But he has rebuilt both sets of the line very nicely. If this team wins 6-7 games he deserves to be back. With Gamble on his side things are looking better. His draft this year looks very soild.

              3. Maybe they should let Baalke choose the 6th and 7th round picks.

                Then let Chip, his coaches and the scouts handle the first 5 rounds.

            2. Houston,

              We don’t really know how good or bad the roster is, until we see them with good coaching.

              Last year’s coaching staff was terrible (I was one of those who held out hope that they wouldn’t be, but they were). Kelly’s staff looks to be a professional group. Why not see what they can do with the team, before deciding it’s a terrible roster?

              1. I always wait and see. You never know how a season is going to go. Having said that, the 49er roster appears to be weak at this stage of the game.

              2. Certain position groups are, or appear to be weak, true, but there are areas that are very strong. OL, RB, TE, DL, OLB, ILB, DB are all good or better. If this team had a reliable QB and a number 1 WR, it could contend. While QB’s don’t grow on trees, this team isn’t that far away from at least being decent.

            3. Houston, where did those draft picks come from? How is it we always have so very many draft picks. Since Baalke has been the GM, he’s led the league in wheeling and dealing and amassing more and more draft picks through shrewd trades. That said, sure, he hasn’t shown a proven eye for young WRs. He did well in signing accomplished free agents, e.g. Tory Smith, Stevie Johnson, Braylin Edwards. But, his strengths in evaluation are elsewhere. He drafting gems on both sides of the line, including Bowman, Lynch, Blair, Dial, Ward, Reid, Iupati, Davis, Kilgore, Brown, and scores more. We are about to see the 49ers next dynasty. Sit back and enjoy!

            4. He has had more draft picks because he is very savvy at stockpiling draft picks. That’s not something that fell into his lap. It’s part of his philiosohy. The more picks you have the more flexibility you have during the draft. Since Baalke took over as GM the 49ers have had 1 pick inside the top 15. ONE. FYI, most of your blue chip players are usually in the 1-10 range. Most of the time Baalke has been picking near the bottom of round one. Why, because the team was winning. And it’s easier to build as roster when your losing, not winning. That’s the way the draft is set up. Think about it. Not only are you generally picking near the end of the first round, you are generally picking near the end of EVERY round!

              It’s a well known fact inside NFL circles that, as good of a coach as Harbaugh was at getting the best out of his veteran talent, developing younger players was not his forte.

              Look, a lot of these players, most of the players in any given draft class are universally scouted and evaluated by 32 teams. And many, many players have very similar upside, the question becomes, can you develop them to reach their ceiling. Guess what Houston, that’s on the coaches. Harbaugh refused to play the younger guys, and Tomsula’s staff simply didn’t have a clue how to coach. Combine that with an absolute PERFECT STORM of a wining team with an aging roster, a coaching change, a slue o retirements and promising draft picks retiring early, and you had the recipe for a 6-7 years of misery if you are not careful. It happens. Teams get old. And when you don’t have an elite QB to carry the team during roster turnover, every NFL team is going to go through the cyclical nature of the NFL.

              You want to go down the list, The really poorly managed teams like the 49ERS of the last decade, the Rams, the Browns, the Raiders (who took 10 years to rebuild after their Super Bowl blowout), the Redskins, the Lions, the Bucs, the Titans, and the Jaguars have been rebuilding for years. Even the better managed teams like the Giants, the Saints (even with a pro-bowl QB), the Chargers, the (current) Ravens, the Colts, etc, all spend a couple years rebuilding and reloading their rosters.

              The 49ers had a good little run with Harbaugh, but unfortunately he failed win a Lombardi. Guess what, the 49ers tried to reload, instead of rebuild, while the Super Bowl window was open. Once Harbaugh left along with half of the best players, it was time to rebuild. The 49ers were 5-11 last season in their first true rebuilding year. Guess what, they hired the wrong coach (York’s fualt, not Baalke), and they were forced to hit the reset button. Here we are. And anyone without an agenda can see a talented you defense, a pretty darn good (and deep OL) , a strong stable of RB, and a pretty good ST unit.

              Sure, they could stand to upgrade the QB position, and if they get the opportunity great. But there are not enough pro bowl QB’s to go around in the NFL. Good coaches can win with serviceable QB’s who can run their system, and manage the games, without making a bunch of stupid turnovers.

              Looking at this roster, I see one glaring weakness. That’s it., And that’s the WR position. And Baalke does deserve some blame for that, without question. But this roster is so, so far from the train wreck fickle fans want to portray, piss, and moan about.

              I think it’s shameful for fans, and a lot of them on the blog, to expect to make the playoffs every single season, and do nothing but bitch and complain when a team is forced to go through a rebuilding process. And place undue criticism on a GM who has been at the helm for 1, yes ONE lousy losing season!

              This team is a couple good WR, and perhaps one more pass rusher away from competing for a championship, and if they are able to upgrade the QB along the way, make room for Lombardi #6!!

              1. A funny thing happened last night. Suddenly, the 49ers had a significant number of players that graded out well on PFF and some who’m PFF graded out as elite for the week.

                Do you think these players are physically different than last year? No. They are fundamentally different because they are now being developed and well coached. Jeff Fisher must have mentioned how well the 49ers are coached 7-8 times at his presser last night. Why? Because he’s seen enough teams over his 20 year tenure to know a well coached team when he sees one!

              2. “It’s a well known fact inside NFL circles that, as good of a coach as Harbaugh was at getting the best out of his veteran talent, developing younger players was not his forte.”

                What in the HOLY HELL are you smoking? Harbaugh turned Alex Smith’s career around from bust to competent QB. Harbaugh developed CK into a very good QB for a year or 2. The idea a great college coach who proved his player development skills multiple times can’t develop young players is asinine. And EXACTLY what circles do you travel in that you know what is well known in NFL circles? Anyone who would type that has no idea what they’re talking about. You need to change your circle of friends if that’s the type of stupidity you’re hearing.

        2. Foaming at the mouth again 49. Keep twisting the facts and creating straw man arguments. Your argument is with PFF not me. 16th ranked pass blocking and 31st run blocking isn’t great. Never said it was great, but keep up the myth. Come back next week after we play the Panthers.

          Yep you’re a real fan. You’re doing everything the Kaepologists do right now.

          1. Wilson, did you watch the team with your own eyes last year?

            Because if you did, and you have any ability to evaluate talent by watching the games instead of depending on some obscure, skewed formula, then you need to find another Hobby bro!

            Seriously, Wilson, a blind man could see the 49ers had one of the worst, if not even the worst (and I mean HISTORICALLY BAD), offensive line in the league last season.

            All I am saying is learn the game Wilson, and believe what your eyes are telling you. Because if you watch enough games, an experienced eye doesn’t need to rely on some random formula which is often skewed for various reasons.

          2. Get serious Wislonm73! Give me a break! The schedule makers screwed us early.

            I don’t expect to go into Carolina, on the east coast, on a short week, and beat the NFC Champions who have had 4 extra days of practice & recuperation.

            They are probably going to lose the next 2 road games, however, this 49ers team needs to weather the early part of the schedule. They needed to win last nights divisional game, and find a win at home VS either Dallas, or hopefully Arizona, and go into week 6 at Buffalo, with a 2-3 record.

            1. One point, though, is that Carolina will not have those extra days to review meaningful film on the 49ers. In that respect, both teams have the same amount of time.

  18. Good opening win much like last year. However, Gabbert was lucky he didn’t throw at least 4 INTs….. He’s my biggest concern going forward.

    The OL did a great job and it’s obviously tough to run when the Rams kept loading the box late, yet Gabbert really couldn’t take advantage (see entire 3rd quarter). The Rams looked uninspired which reflects badly on Fisher… Our D did a good job neutralizing the Rams 2 play-makers. And kudos to Pinion who finally made some booming punts.

    We’ll see what the team is made out of in the next few games… As much as I want to see the team continue to excel, I think the offense behind Blaine (or even Kaep) will hold us down.

  19. I know the 49ers are rebuilding so hiccups should be expected- I thought they would lose the game. However, the game was played cleaned and well managed, but I had a sense that was the softest 28 point win I have witnessed in some time. Overall, I was impressed by all phases of the 49ers’ play. I am very pleased with Kerley as a punt returner. He seems confident and sure handed something I haven’t seen in the teams recent returners.

    1. I hope they do not pull an Ellington. They should put in another punt returner, and save Kerley to play the slot. Kerley is too important as a receiver to risk getting injured fielding punts. Any other PR could call for fair catches, and Kerley needed to wave his arm more demonstrably when calling for a fair catch.

  20. Defense A’s all around. When you shut out a team you have to give A’s to all units.
    OL B if you remove the 3rd quarter it would be an A but they were dominated for one quarter. Still an outstanding improvement from last year.
    RB’s B see OL grade
    WR’s\TE’s A grade for receptions B add in blocking it takes it to an A.
    QB D+ missed way to many open receivers, threw short of the 1st down marker on 3rd down and threw a terrible pass on 4th down. I thought he played a very poor game.
    Coaching B+ Kelly a B and O’Niel an A+ his game plan was brilliant and its execution was outstanding.

    1. Coach, I would give Chip an A-. He did not make adjustments in the third quarter, but he wised up and did well in the 4th.

      I would give Chip an A for going bold, but he also made them run into the teeth of the defense. I would have liked to have seen them attack wide more, and run around the the defensive line.

      I agree, O’Neil had them playing Niner Football.

      1. Actually, he did make adjustments in the 3rd QTR, that’s why the team pulled away in the 4th QTR, and made a statement!

        Any savvy coach would have known coming out of halftime, the only way we lose this game tonight, the way our defense is manhandling the Ram’s, is if we turn the ball over in our half of the field in the 3rd QTR. That’s why Chip smartly played it conservatively, and close to the vest.

        Come on Seb, that’s the way good NFL coaches think. You need to stop pretending to be smarter than Chip Kelly and start thinking more like an NFL coach.

        1. 49, Chip was content to do vanilla plays that were stymied by a fired up Rams team in the third quarter. Chip needs to learn to go for the kill. Do not let up on the accelerator.

          Niners SHOULD have scored 49 points, the way the Rams were playing. Being content with this game will be the last thing on Chip’s mind. He will look at all the missed throws and missed opportunities, and will rip the team up and down, and exhort them to improve.

          Chip will tell them that the next 4 games will be 10 times harder, so they better not feel complacent and too cocky.

      2. He ran into the center for a few reasons.
        1. The inside zone read is a base play in his offense and is as married to his offense as is the no huddle.
        2. It was working very well in the first half, Carlos was averaging 6.1 yards per carry through his first 10 carries primarily on the inside.

        I would agree, he got a little conservative in the 3rd and it made me a bit nervous.

      3. Seb

        ” ‘Chip’ didn’t make adjustments in the 3rd quarter”….tell me please, just what adjustments do you make being ahead 14-0 at the beginning of the 3rd quarter ?

        1. Ore, during the third quarter, the Niners went 3 and out because the Rams made adjustments during halftime.
          How could they make adjustments in the first 2 quarters during the third quarter?

          Chip did make adjustments, and during the 4th quarter, they scored twice.

    2. 91.1 QBR for Gabbert last night coach, 2nd only to Big Ben, that’s not worthy of a D+ if you understand anything about the total QBR formula, which takes way more into account when it comes to WINNING games at the QB position, than the over simplified Passer Rating.

      Look Gabbert wasn’t great, and he missed a few throws, but he demoralized the Rams in the first half with his legs, and shame on you for discounting what that does to a defense. By the way, a defense that is supposed to be one of the better defenses in the league!

      Gabbert get’s a B-, thanks to game management, and using his legs to frustrate the Ram’s in the first half, keeping drive alive, firing the team up, and forcing the Rams to change their defensive game plan!

      With all the years with Alex Smith and Jeff Garcia, savvy 49er fans ought to know by now that there is value in smart, gritty game play from your QB.

      1. I did not think Gabbert was very smart to catch that batted pass way behind the line of scrimmage. His smart thinking lost 16 yards.

          1. Please, I watched the game. Gabbert did not impress me as the second coming of Joe Montana.

            The Niners mainly won because their defense crushed the Rams.

      2. 49reasons,
        Gabbert is no Garcia or Smith in fact its not even close. The biggest difference between Gabbert and the other 2 is simply accuracy. He did a good job of moving the chains last night but he missed too many open receivers and those that he hit were often pulled off stride while straining to catch his passes. I have said all off season that I believed the O and D lines would be greatly improved this year as well as the DB’s. Next off season we will add skill position players WR’s,TE’s, RB’s and most importantly a QB. imho

        1. Gabbert did enough to win. I can be happy with that. For me it doesn’t matter who plays QB if they keep us competitive and in the win column. Its when they’re short comings start costing us games that things will get ugly.

        2. OC,

          I agree, Gabbert isn’t close to what Garcia became and what Smith now is, but neither of those two set the world on fire initially. I’m still hopeful that Gabbert can be brought along by Kelly. Having said that, he threw some passes last night that were god awful. He’s got to get better.

        3. OC,

          I agree. I think this is what we will see for most of the season as long as the defense can keep things close. They will rely on the running game and short passing with the focus on protecting the football and wearing down the opposition with the tempo. It’s probably the best strategy they can employ with what they have at the skill positions on offense.

          1. Rocket,

            When you say “skill positions”, do you mean QB and WR? Because I don’t think you can lump RB and, to a lesser degree, TE into that category.

            1. We have one very good RB who has been injury prone ex. The TE position is still a question mark as far as impact in the passing game. Celek and Ertz were quite productive in Kelly’s offense so the opportunities should be there for McDonald and Celek. If they don’t excel this year, there will be a need to find one next season.

        4. To be fair one of the most common complaints about smith was his accuracy. He threw a lot of balls high when throwing outside the hashes. He didn’t start to settle down until his final year with the niners before he got hurt.
          Garcia has oft been remembered poorly because he replaced Young, but was much better than given credit for. In fact he was better than every qb since him… And in hindsight I believe he could have won 2 superbowls with the teams Alex and Kaep had.

        5. Please, Alex was the most inaccurate QB anything over 10 yards, for his entire tenure as a 49ers. By the way, Kaepernick beat out Alex, and Blaine bet out Kaepernick. Do the fricken math!

          Blaine is bigger, faster, and has a stronger arm. Blaine has a ways to go in his development, but, as he gains confidence in this offense, you can bet he’ll start hitting his receivers on a more regular basis.

          I didn’t see a whole lot of open receivers last night. And a couple of the passes that look inaccurate are actually matters of timing and chemistry. How do you expect Blaine to have chemistry with Kerley? It takes time to become familiar with your WR’s. Sometimes 1/2 a season.

          I’m not saying Blaine is a pro bowl QB at this point, but his job right now is to avoid turnovers, and keep learning the nuances of Chip’s system. If you understand Chip’s system you would know that there is almost always a play to make, because their are almost always outlet’s built into every formation VS a particular defense. It’s a matter of going to the right place with the football. Blaine also hasn’t mastered the art of the zone-read, in terms of the mesh, and the split second decsion required to hand off, or keep the ball. He’ll get better and better at that as the season progresses.

          But here’s the thing. By and large, even though it’s a passing league, if you can win the battles in the trenches, defend the run, and establish a running game of your own, you can win in this league with Blaine, Alex, or Kap. That’s the formula Harbaugh used for 4 seasons with SF. And by the way………

          DEFENSES WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS! And Baalke has quickly rebuilt this defense and loaded it with young talented players with TONS of potential.

            1. Alex only became more accurate on intermediate throws once he found a stable environment. Blaine has had a different OC in ever season he has played. gritty QB who will eventually develop Alex Smith type accuracy. Alex needed to be coddled in a perfect environment to become productive. He still misses way too many throws to win a Super Bowl.

              Do I need to post Alex Smith’s accuracy and passer ratings for his first 4-5 years with the Niners again Grant?

              Blaine is well on his way. Don’t take my words for it, listen to what Steve Young said last night, and some of the things Montana has said about Blaine.

              And coming off of a “I don’t see much upside in Dak Precott”, and your “Kapernick can win the starting job by not playing” narrative this offseason, I’d give Blaine a little more time if I were you Grant, before I make definitive statements about quarterbacks. It’s all about W’s in the NFL, and there are more than one way to get those W’s.

              1. By the way Grant, do you think Jeff Fisher wishes he had listened to his gut, (and me and you) and drafted Wentz, ahead of Goff?

                Wentz would have fit his offense so much better than the guy who couldn’t even hold Case Keenum’s clipboard (and jock strap) to start the season!

              2. One more question Grant. Is Jeff Fisher the worst HC in the NFL these days? Has the game passed him by? Can he manage today’s athletes?

                And how about Les Snead? How big of a bounty did they get for the RG3 trade? They have rebuilding for 10 years and still, with all those extra picks, they look offensively, like the worse team in the NFL!

  21. Solid defensive effort. I really liked the defensive hustle and how they rallied to the ball.

    My wife was asking “Why didn’t he throw it to the open guy further downfield?”

  22. Last year we couldn’t stop anybody, even tho it was the Rams good to see the defense play well. They got off the field which was huge. Flying around to the ball was impressive. But it was against the Rams next week will be a real test.

    The offense did okay, they were up against maybe the best front 7 in football. O-line did a great job except for the 3rd quarter. Gabbert was excellent in all facets of the game except the pass. He looked like a commander, played like a commander, he just didn’t win me over.

    1. The team looked well coached and well prepared.
    2. The defense got off the field, still it was only the Rams
    3. Red Zone – that has been a problem for years. When was the last time we didn’t kick a field goal in a game? Outstanding
    4. The offense scored 28 points and they only looked okay doing that.
    5. In game adjustments another thing that’s been missing for years – was very good. (3rd to the 4th quarter)
    6. The O-line held their own against a very formidable defense – great job.
    7. Clock management – not really tested, slowed up towards the end of the game.
    8. Kerly ‘seems’ to be what the doc ordered, nice addition Baalkie
    9. Patton needs to learn to switch the ball to the other hand.
    10. Gabbert made one mental mistake catching his own pass. Can live with that as its more of a physical reaction that most QBs would of done the same.

    All and all I think the offense did very well considering the Rams defense is highly touted. The defense for me is incomplete due to the fact the Rams offense sucks. Next week will be a better test for that unit. Gabbert arm has a lot to be desired but when he needed to make a play he did. That 4th and 5 was a good pass and a great call. That’s my Chipper making that call. A good victory that should help with the confidence level going into the Panthers den to steal superman’s cape. The erratic passing and the fumble were the two obvious miscues. Gabbert did nothing to lose the job – yet!! Well done Niners.

    1 down 18 to go.

    1. Very spot on.

      I too felt that the oline became passive and soft in the 3rd quarter…Hyde was getting contact at or before the LOS. How many series did we see where it was read option hand off to Hyde for 1 yard, read option hand off to Hyde for 1 to 2 yards, then pass to the flat by Gabbert while being rushed. Seemed to be 3 straight series in the 3rd quarter that went that way. Very lackluster play call, very poor push by the oline, and poor protection on the pass play.

      That changed late in the 3rd and into the 4th, Kelly got more aggressive (also coincides with when the offense starts to surpass the league average for offensive snaps), the oline started mauling, the run game opened up, the passing became more efficient, and 2 scores go up on the board.

      Defense played a hell of a game. I believe a certain someone wrote an article saying how the 49ers defense was not going to be able to stop the run because of last year…well 2.something ypc says other ways. They swarmed, they played smart, they showed that this defense should develop into something good over the next 2 seasons.

      1 game down, and only one game, but a week to sleep nicely.

  23. I would have given Gabbert a C- and not a C+. C- is almost generous. The guy threw THREE near pick-6’s. Imagine if those actually got picked off. It would have been a game and a battle, as defense and Hyde would have to bail out the team.

    Gabbert played horribly and his true colors will be exposed in Carolina then Seattle the week after.

    1. What game were you watching? 3 near pick 6s? Youre very generous with your labeling.

      You blame a guy for not being aggressive and taking shots…then he takes shots and its a tight window and you blame him for ALMOST throwing an int…even though none happened.

      If the NFL was decided by almosts…

    2. 3 near pick sixes? Please, all 3 of those would have been great catches by defenders who play on the defensive side of the ball because they can’t make those great catches.

      Blaine threw 1 pass that could have, probably should have been picked. And, his favorite target, one one of the few guys getting open is a guy he has no chemistry with and has played with for less than 2 weeks.

  24. Until his lone long strike to Patton came in the 4th quarter Gabbert was averaging 4.533 yards per completion. Impressive.

    1. Gabbert needs to play soild these next 2 weeks. If he doesn’t he will be replaced! I thought he was better then people are giving him credit for.. He has a lot of room to grow but to his credit he has NO Wrs….

      1. Replaced by who, Christian Ponder?

        Give me a break. You don’t get benched for winning games RAW. And nobody expected the Niners to win 2 of their first 3 games with this almost unfair early scheduling!

    2. You’d a thought people would have learned after our 1st victory last season to not jump to far ahead of a single victory. It was a good win for sure, but there are some here who lack the ability to look rationally at the win and accept some of the truths regarding areas of concern or improvement.

      1. Agree, but in terms of preparation, I thought it was obvious the stark contrast between this coaching staff and Tomsula’s….

        1. Agree, Kelly and O’Neil only had 1 penalty. They only had to use 1 TO. They had a good scheme for the Rams. Lots to be excited about on the coaching front. They used their players well. It was a really good win Razor. I think we have a chance against the Hawks. We’ll be competitive against the Panthers. That’s all good news.

        2. Exactly Razor. And there is no other sport in the world that is influenced in such a huge way, as the way a coaching staff influences an American football team.

  25. I will be the first to call it.

    I think Chip will not be too pleased with Gabbert’s performance. He should declare that he wants better play out of his QB, and the best way to get the best play is to declare it will be a competition.

    He should start Gabbert, and as long as the Niners score, he will get to keep starting. Once Gabbert fails to lead a scoring drive, Kaep will get his chance, and if he can lead the Niners to score, he will continue to start. This competition will reward success, and will help determine who is the best QB to lead the Niners.

    If Kaep had thrown for only 170 yards, missed a wide open TD, threw short of the sticks, had balls batted down, caught a batted ball for a 16 yard loss, stared down his receivers and threw low and behind his receivers, posters would be calling for him to be cut on the team bus.

    Since Gabbert did that, he is getting a free pass, even though the defense won the game for him.

    1. Seb. You want Chip to declare an open QB competition. I think that would be a disaster. Both QBs would try to do too much and turn the over. I really hope Chip didn’t read your post.

  26. I for one am happy that the team that averaged 13 points a game last year just put up 28 in week one. The offense has room to grow, but when analyst said this team was going to lose every game, I for one am stoked they won.
    Let’s see how they handle Carolina and then Seattle. That will be a great measuring stick for growth.
    Not many here think Gabbert will finish the season. I think today showed LA that they need to trade for a QB now, browns are in a similar boat. Kaepernick may just get unloaded and Ponder may be the QB finishing the season in SF.

  27. Seb,

    Was your college degree in meteorology because your barometer reading was off. The “7 Kap storms a coming” you predicted were more like squalls.

    However, Hurricane Gabby got us a 28-0 win….Does this mean you and will board Kon-Tiki, sail to the Easter Islands, wait for a real storm and worship with your new found friends below?…

    I hope you find happiness now that you have to leave because Kap was your pick to lead the team, but is now not leading–

    Rams, 49ers turn in ugly offensive performances in Monday night punt fest
    By Sporting News

    Rams–worse than Cleveland, but 49ers win anyways–170 yds passing vs Rams, what will they do vs. Panthers?
    http://www.snopes.com/photos/arts/easterisland.asp

  28. Grant, I hate to say this but you seem very bias in your evaluation. To say that Gabbert was the better QB, better than the backup, when his backup didn’t play is a really bias statement

        1. I asked you after the third game if you thought Kaepernick could still win the starting job and you said “absolutely!”

          1. He could become the starter in a couple weeks if Gabbert plays poorly. But that doesn’t mean Kaepernick will be better. He’ll be worse.

        1. Oregon,

          The win was nice, but wasn’t overly impressive. The Rams have nothing outside of Gurley offensively. Tavon Austin is stealing money.

          And that “vaunted Rams front 7” isn’t that great either.

          As I’ve said a couple times since last night, we will get a better idea of this team starting week 3.

            1. “Why not week 2?”

              The first couple of weeks you’ve got the home openers, first road games, etc. Week 3 is when we start to see teams settle in and be able to get a read on how good/bad they are.

    1. Grant, you predicted Kaep would be cut. Not only was he not cut, he played.

      If Chip can get Sanchez and Gabbert to play well enough to win, he will resurrect Kaep to the 2012 Kaep.

      Chip will be hailed as a genius if he can rehabilitate Kaep, so Kaep will play, no matter what you, and the other doubters say.

        1. No he isn’t remotely close to his first couple of years, but they are both below average QB’s, and I doubt the record would be very different regardless of which one is playing.

  29. I would love to see what Ponder could do in chip’s offense.
    Grant predicted we would see all 3 QB’s at some point this season and I agree.
    Chip has to find out what he has in Ponder, 1st, but we’ll suffer another round of Kap before Ponder gets his chance.

    1. Also, some of those passes Gabby threw were inaccurate, like the one to Kerley running full speed and having to slow down so he could catch it 8 inches off the turf before continuing his RAC yds.

      1. I honestly believe Ponder is better than Gabbert with those types of passes, however Ponder needs more time to go through his progressions as quickly as Gabby can–it takes time to learn all the plays and options.

  30. Add a comment…

    .

    Jeff Hawkes · Folsom Lake College

    Gabbert — and probably Chip — played a conservative passing game. But they got the job done. The passing attack is much tougher than the run game to get right starting Week 1. All indications are that Gabbert manned the position solidly. He checked down like crazy. He made no grave errors. He got better in the second half. It points to a guy reaching toward a comfort level. I think he’s going to be fine.

  31. I don’t remember Gabbert being so inaccurate on short swing passes last year. He’ll probably never be known for his accuracy but to miss those short easy throws is difficult to be satisfied with – just look at Chip’s muted response to how Gabbert played.

    I wonder if the loss of Steve Logan has led to Gabbert going back to his old ways. Wasn’t it Logan who had him throwing at about 80% of his pre-Logan speed. Not that Gabbert will ever be a great passer, but it seemed like he was better last year. I know it’s only one game, but we saw the same thing in the preseason.

    Having said that, he did make some very nice throws in the 4th Q. It’s been noted a few times that he plays better in the 4th Q. Maybe it’s just a matter of him tiring out somewhat and not being so amped by the time the 4th Q comes around. That might settle him down more leading to better passing. Don’t know, just throwing out some thoughts.

  32. This game was won in the trenches. That was for Old Coach who has been talking about that all offseason and it came to fruition on Monday night. The Niners dominated on both sides of the line and when you can do that, you get what we saw last night.

    First off the positives:

    Hyde is a beast but his running style has me holding my breath hoping he doesn’t get hurt. He fights so hard and winds up taking shots that are going to shorten his career. Someone has to get to him and convince him to protect himself.

    Gabbert was Gabbert. Scattershot and safe. That is likely what we will see from the passing game all season with the onus being on the running game and defense to keep things close for a chance to win.

    The defense was impressive, but still struggled with sustained pressure. When they face the better QB’s in the league that will be a problem. They have to get more from the outside rushers.

    The coverage was excellent most of the game and aggressive. Good to see.

    For those talking about how good the Rams defense is, you are misinformed. The Rams have a strong Dline, but their overall defensive play was poor last year. They were 23rd overall and not particularly good against the run or pass. The Niners had two scoring drives on short fields going into the 4th quarter of a game their defense was dominating. That isn’t good. The 4th quarter was better obviously, but the Rams had folded their tents by that point. There needs to be more consistency in keeping drives going. The real test comes over the next 2 weeks.

    Overall a good way to start the season. They won a game they should win. The Line play was at times dominant and the running game while not consistent, was able to break off some big plays and led to TD’s. The Red zone offense was very good and reaching close to 50% on 3rd down conversions was a good start as well. Lots of good stuff in this game and it was great to see the defense flying to the ball like that. Reminded me of the early Fangio defenses.

      1. As usual you don’t have a clue. I picked them to win this game and have talked regularly about how much I expected the lines to be improved. I also said they would be better than last year but the record wouldn’t be as good due to the monster schedule. I have nothing to eat crow about unless they finish the season with a better record than I predicted and if that’s the case, I’ll be happy to eat as much as everybody can dish out.

          1. Seb if you really read my posts then you wouldn’t be making a blanket statement that I have a poor opinion of the whole team. Their are areas I’m high on (both lines) and others that I’m not, but the basis of my prediction of a poor season was due to the fact we don’t have a QB, #1 WR and the pass rush isn’t good enough. Our running game is dependent on Hyde staying healthy which he hasn’t been able to do. There is also the fact the schedule is a bear. Your response is typical of those who just focus on the negatives I point out while ignoring the reasons, and the fact I also was optimistic in regards to other areas of the team.

            I predicted a 3 win season. Feel free to call me out on that when/if they win their 4th.

            1. Rocket,

              Unless I’m mistaken, it’s only been fairly recently that you’ve become somewhat more optimistic about the lines and, in fact, you were more optimistic about the OL and more luke warm on the DL. Not so?

              1. ex,

                I didn’t realize you were putting a time frame on how I can feel about certain areas of the team. With the drafting of Garnett and the return of Davis, I was a lot more optimistic about the improvement of the Oline. Neither one of them played and the improvement was still evident so very optimistic about that group.

                If you by luke warm you mean I didn’t get excited by the drafting of Buckner, you’re correct. I’ve thought the Dline was the best unit on the defense for some time. They’ve used high first round picks on it the past two years and until he injured his ankle, Williams was one of the better NT’s in the league. I didn’t want them to draft Buckner because he was a carbon copy of what we had in Armstead and I thought there were other areas that needed attention more, but Buckner obviously makes the DL better. I just feel that there were good DL they could have taken later. It was a deep draft for them.

              2. Rocket,

                Where did I put a time frame on your feelings? You can do whatever you want, whenever you want. I was merely clarifying when you came to those thoughts.

                In a response to Seb, you made it sound as if you thought the OL and DL were good the whole time.

                I do remember you being guardedly positive about the OL, but I’m very happy to hear that you’re now high on the OL. I don’t remember you saying much good about the DL, though.

                It seems to me you were down on their chances because you didn’t believe in Buckner as a rookie, were unconvinced about AA, thought that the already questionable DL was gutted by the injuries to Williams, Dorsey and Dial. But, again, I’m very happy that you’re high on the DL, too.

                One thing we agree on, is that Gabbert left a lot to be desired last night.

              3. ex,

                Rocket,

                Where did I put a time frame on your feelings? You can do whatever you want, whenever you want. I was merely clarifying when you came to those thoughts.

                I was making light of the fact you mentioned a time period when I supposedly became optimistic. I forgot to add a smiley.

                In a response to Seb, you made it sound as if you thought the OL and DL were good the whole time.
                I do remember you being guardedly positive about the OL, but I’m very happy to hear that you’re now high on the OL. I don’t remember you saying much good about the DL, though.
                It seems to me you were down on their chances because you didn’t believe in Buckner as a rookie, were unconvinced about AA, thought that the already questionable DL was gutted by the injuries to Williams, Dorsey and Dial. But, again, I’m very happy that you’re high on the DL, too.

                I’ve always believed and said that the Dline was the deepest position on the defense ex. That is why I didn’t want them to draft another one with a first pick for the second consecutive year. I have concerns related to what has to happen in order for these players to have success, but that is very different from being pessimistic about the position. If I say for example that Armstead needs to be more than a situational player, or that Buckner historically hasn’t done well against double teams, that doesn’t mean I’m down on them. It means I’m laying out the concerns I have and what I feel the players need to overcome to justify their draft position and importance to the team. As to concerns about the injured players, that seems pretty obvious doesn’t it? I would think everyone would be concerned about the depth and production taking a hit due to injury.

                One thing we agree on, is that Gabbert left a lot to be desired last night.

                Yeah he wasn’t all that effective, but he didn’t turn the ball over and kept a couple of drives moving with his legs so that’s something I guess.

              4. Rocket,

                Fair enough. I guess I assumed, since those concerns were brought up in response to optimistic comments, that they were negative in nature, when it sounds like you’re saying you were tempering optimistic comments, more that you were contradicting them.

                I’ll try to keep this in mind, going forward.

      1. Lol you really have a talent for the phrasing Razor.

        I don’t disagree with the idea of sitting Goff out until they feel he can protect himself, but they are likely going to throw him in soon regardless because they don’t really have a choice. That was a disgrace last night and Fisher hasn’t been extended yet.

      1. Well deserved Old Coach. You are a wise man and one of the best football contributors on here. I hope your other predictions of building the skill positions next offseason also come true.

        1. Still a long way to go season wise but the line play is much better. Building from within is definitely the way to go. I’m with you Rocket that it was somewhat reminiscent of early Fangio. Hope it continues. I fear we may come back to eart next week in Carolina though. Offensive prowess being what it is.

            1. They kill me! Still it’s better than waking up for the Japan/SKorean WC at ungodly hours just to watch. I went on vacation with my in laws and they thought I lost my mind.

    1. Thats what I was thinking warching this D flying to the ball. I hope they keep that up a and stay healthy.

      To me it’s become a lot more obvious that Blaine is just not the guy. If your going to be a game manager fine, but you gotta make those easy throws. Not sure how much better Kap would have looked out there. There’s a good chance we see all 3 QBs at some point.

    2. “struggled with sustained pressure.”

      Did you see that Buckner had the highest pass rush grade of any rookie in week 1? Still maintain they didn’t draft a pass rusher early?

        1. Nope. But your argument was they needed to draft a pass rusher. The 49ers drafted the most effective pass rusher in week 1.

          We’ve had this conversation a number of times, but which OLB should they have drafted that would have had a greater impact than Buckner in week 1?

          1. I think you are referring to my preference for Calhoun over Redmond in the 3rd round. I never said they should have taken a pass rusher in the 1st. Never said Buckner was a bad player either. I just felt the same type of DL two years in a row was unnecessary, especially considering how deep the position was in the draft this year.

            1. So your entire enmity over not taking an edge player is they didn’t draft a guy in the 3rd round? Didn’t they take a guy in the 3rd round of the 2015 draft that was considered a borderline 1st round talent?

              I recall the conversations pretty well. You were very strongly saying the pass rush hadn’t been improved. Your reasoning is they didn’t take an edge player early (or sign one). And I have very strongly outlined there is more than one way to generate pressure, and they did indeed improve the pass rush by adding Buckner. Even if he is a similar player to Armstead, it doesn’t matter if it means the pass rush is better, does it?

              1. The discussion over not taking a pass rusher centered around the 3rd round pick of Redmond over Calhoun, and yes I said they hadn’t improved the pass rush enough. I still feel that way. I expect Buckner to be a very good player for us, but we still needed to add speed off the edge.

                As to your point about taking Harold last year: does that mean they shouldn’t take another one in the same round a year later? This was one of the worst pass rushing defenses in football Scooter. They only have two OLB’s who have shown any ability to get to the QB and one of them is suspended. I sure wish they had drafted a couple more, but that is just me I guess.

              2. Taking Redmond was bad, because they had drafted CBs two years prior. Taking Calhoun would have been better, even though they drafted the same type of guy the year before.

              3. Yes I see what you are getting at, but I don’t see it as the same thing. We had a number of young CB’s that needed to be developed to see if they could be contributors at this level and we added two more to the pile, one of which was injured. Yes they drafted an OLB last year, but the position was still extremely thin, with few players to develop and the lack of impact from the ones we did have. Are you seriously saying you are ok with what we have or this simply an attempt to try for a got you moment?

              4. Rocket,

                Adding Buckner and Blair, combined with the assumed / expected improvement of Armstead Lynch and Harold. That may not be a finished product, but it’s not nothing.

                BTW, if the 49ers can push / collapse the pocket up the middle (AA, DB, RB), it will make the current edge players much more effective.

              5. I’m never happy with the number of good pass rushers the team has. I always believe they can do with more. You may or may not recall, but I also wanted the team to draft an edge player early.

                I believe the difference between you and I is that after the draft was done, and I thought about what the 49ers took, I could see they had actually improved the pass rush with Buckner and Blair. And that Buckner probably was the best pass rusher they could have drafted, regardless of position. And while I would have loved them to also draft an edge player, the reality is there is only so many picks.

                I could also see the sense in drafting CBs to play a very different scheme to the one the previous guys were drafted to play.

                This isn’t meant to be a gotcha moment. I was really wondering if you might have changed your tune a little after seeing the effect Buckner had. Its not for nothing that he led the team in pressures last night, alongside Armstead (with 4 pressures).

              6. I believe the difference between you and I is that after the draft was done, and I thought about what the 49ers took, I could see they had actually improved the pass rush with Buckner and Blair. And that Buckner probably was the best pass rusher they could have drafted, regardless of position. And while I would have loved them to also draft an edge player, the reality is there is only so many picks.

                Other than JJ Watt, the 3 and 5 techs in a 3-4 traditionally do the dirty work inside and don’t wind up with big sack totals. Buckner makes the Dline better, but the effectiveness of pass rush in a 3-4 is dependent on the OLB position imo. Buckner and Armstead are going to see double teams quite frequently which will limit their pass rushing ability. That is when the OLB’s have to be able to get home and other than Lynch, who do you have faith in to do that regularly? The Bronco’s are the ideal way a 3-4 should work with that speed on the outside and the big bodies tying up the gaps. Those kinds of DL can usually be found later in the draft, but pass rushers are much harder to come by. I just think the Niners have done this backwards in regards to the defense they run. The Dline has the potential to be very good, but as a pass rushing force, they would be better off running a 4-3 with the way they’ve gone about it. I realize they do run a sudo 4-3 a lot of the time, but in a traditional 4-3 Buckner would be pass rushing DE all the time which would be a better use of his talents imo.

                I could also see the sense in drafting CBs to play a very different scheme to the one the previous guys were drafted to play.

                And yet Brock and Ward are the starters. Holdovers from previous Coaching staffs who are playing pretty well. I get taking one, and Robinson is a talented player who’s only question marks were character and lack of College resume. However taking two back to back with other good options available didn’t make sense to me and still doesn’t.

                This isn’t meant to be a gotcha moment. I was really wondering if you might have changed your tune a little after seeing the effect Buckner had. Its not for nothing that he led the team in pressures last night, alongside Armstead (with 4 pressures).

                I’m happy he led the team in pressures, but I want to see them get home and finish the job. In this defense you are reliant on the OLB’s to do that more than the inside guys. We are extremely thin and unproven at that position and more resources should have been used to improve it.

              7. Its old school thinking that in a 3-4 the sack production has to come from the outside, and the DL are just for taking on blocks. The days of the DL in a 3-4 just being 2 gap lane cloggers is past. Lots of teams running a 3-4 now rely on their DL to generate pressure. Heck, the Steelers best pass rushers are their 2 DEs Heyward and Tuitt. Tbe Broncos who you point out are ideal in that they get excellent pass rush from both the interior and edge. Jackson and Wolfe were devastating last year. The best pass rushers in the NFL are interior guys atm, Watt and Donald.

              8. Scooter,

                Its old school thinking that in a 3-4 the sack production has to come from the outside, and the DL are just for taking on blocks. The days of the DL in a 3-4 just being 2 gap lane cloggers is past. Lots of teams running a 3-4 now rely on their DL to generate pressure. Heck, the Steelers best pass rushers are their 2 DEs Heyward and Tuitt. Tbe Broncos who you point out are ideal in that they get excellent pass rush from both the interior and edge. Jackson and Wolfe were devastating last year. The best pass rushers in the NFL are interior guys atm, Watt and Donald.

                Sorry Scooter but you’re wrong. The 3-4 is designed for the outside guys to get the sacks and they get many more than the DT’s. Denver runs the exact system I described. Wolfe and Jackson had 5 sacks each which tied for 3rd with Barrett who was the 3rd OLB. I also did not say the DL doesn’t factor into the pass rush. They are responsible for pushing the pocket and absorbing doubles to allow the outside guys more one on one opportunities. Pittsburgh hasn’t had a lot of success with their picks at the OLB position recently so they generate pressure with the blitz most of the time. Heyward was their top sack producer with 7 but Lawrence Timmons had 5 and a half. The Steelers pass rush is truly spread through out the defense.

                As to Watt, he’s the exception, but he’s also not a traditional 5 Tech. He lines up outside a high percentage of the time as a 4-3 DE which is where the majority of his sacks come from.

                The highest sack totals come from the outside pass rushers, and especially in a 3-4. It’s no different in SF where Armstead and Buckner will have to take on double teams a good amount of the time.

              9. One thing I have noticed about all the best pass rushing teams atm is they have excellent interior pass rushers. That’s what makes the pass rush tick.

                Obviously the 49ers could still do with better edge pass rush threats, but making the interior excellent will make the current edge players better. As I said previously, only so many picks. Can’t wait to see Lynch with this DL.

              10. One thing I have noticed about all the best pass rushing teams atm is they have excellent interior pass rushers. That’s what makes the pass rush tick.
                Obviously the 49ers could still do with better edge pass rush threats, but making the interior excellent will make the current edge players better. As I said previously, only so many picks. Can’t wait to see Lynch with this DL.

                I don’t disagree that having interior pass rushers helps. Justin Smith was a great example. I’m simply saying that you can’t rely on that as your main source, especially in a 3-4. The OLB’s have to be your best past rushers to have success in that alignment. I hope Lynch comes back motivated to improve on last season. We really need him to take the next step and get to double digits.

              11. Scooter,

                You know, that’s a good point about a good interior rush making the edge players better. I think I heard that somewhere recently… Oh, yeah, I wrote it a few posts up this thread (smiley face emoji).

                During the Bronco / Panther game this very thing was well illustrated. Early on, Miller and Ware weren’t getting home because the interior rush wasn’t pushing the pocket allowing Newton to step up /not have to retreat. As a result the edge rushers were pushed harmlessly beyond Newton’s location in the pocket. When the interior rush broke the pocket down, Miller and Ware got there.

                There really is no question that having two interior linemen pushing the pocket will improve the 49ers pass rush.

    1. Odell Beckham would have been a bust in SF. The QBs just dont air it out here. So grading a player on another team is an unrealistic comparison

    2. With Bryce Treggs out, it’s refreshing to know Chip has our backs by knowing Cal’s entire roster which will pay off with this guy who can threaten deep to open things underneath.

      1. “chip has our backs”… Get over yourself. You couldn’t wait for them to lose to get on here and say i told you so. Now its he has our backs. Wow

  33. I feel pretty safe in saying that the first two weeks of this season will look eerily similar to the first two weeks of last season.

    I wouldn’t pump my fists in the air just yet. Lets get past week 3 and see how you still feel about the team.

    1. CFC, last year was 30 and 40 point blowouts in weeks 2 and 3. If this year is a repeat of that, then yeah let’s hope for that #1 pick.

  34. C4C i expected the team to start 1/3. I would not be concerned if they go week 4 with only 1 win. I still expect them to win 11 games

  35. Kelly taught Kerly the O in 2 weeks.
    Harper’s been on the practice squad learning so should be able to step in immediately giving the 49ers good team speed vs. Carolina.

  36. Like Las Vegas, Steve Young thought the Rams would be better. The Case Keenum factor.

    No such luck next week. We face a competent QB, so you better hope the Cal product scares the sh-t out of them, because he can light it up if Gabby gets him the ball.

    1. This is coming from a guy that said the rams olime was just as good as dallas. Then went on to say the niners didn’t stand a chance. But since you have egg on your face, you decide ti say we will get beat down next week. You sir are pathetic. Hey but at least you were “in the industry”

  37. I’d bump Gabbert down to a low C. He played a clean game, but missed too many routine throws to garner a C+. That grade surprised me a bit.

    Overall it’s nice to get a win to open the season. It’s easy to not get too excited though when you remember that a year ago they played a very similar style game and it was all downhill from there.

    Good start, Sunday will probably be a long game, but the season begins for real in week 3.

    1. Blair was a consistent source of pressure as well, almost surprised he didn’t make the list. Robinson’s performance although nice to see has to be heavily tempered with the QB/offense he was facing.

        1. Rookie Snap Count

          DeForest Buckner – 51
          CB Rashard Robinson – 25
          DL Ronald Blair – 7
          WR Aaron Burbridge – 3

          My hunch is if Armstead’s never had the shoulder thing, he’d get more reps, Buckner less. Blair would take a few of Armstead’s inside pass rush snaps.

          1. Coffee, I re-watched the game last night. Blair only played 7 snaps, be he really stood out. I saw three plays where he really affected the outcome.

      1. Matt Maiocco ‏@MaioccoCSN · 13h13 hours ago

        Matt Maiocco Retweeted GregS

        Nobody was injured. Rashard Robinson experienced cramps.

        Fantastic to hear….just need to rest up for week 2.

  38. I’ll hold my judgement on Gabberts play this early. Offseason and regular season timing is way different. Live bodies flying at you can also disrupt a qb with a new system. I’m hoping Kelly slowly brings him in. With the defenses he’s facing in the first three games I’m expecting some innacuracy and poor decisions. The only poor decisions I can’t accept are turnovers. He’s getting hammered by the kaeperickuses but I still think he improves week after week to become a very solid threat. He played well in the fourth and it seemed jelly took the reigns off. He started pushin the ball up field a little more.
    His mission next Sunday. Stay focused and run the offense. It’s going to be frustrating but hang in there and make some positive plays.
    In Seattle??? Don’t gift wrap the game for Seattle like another qb has done time and time again.

    I can still see them at 5-2 at the break, maybe 4-3 now that TB looks pretty tough.

    Just play hard and make it a game with a possible chance to win Sunday and the week following. That is the true stick to measure from.

  39. Jeff Deeney @PFF_Jeff
    Jimmie Ward (87.7 coverage grade) and Tramaine Brock (87.6) ranked third and fourth respectively among CBs in coverage after Week 1. #49ers

  40. When was the ;ast time the 49ers settled for Tds instead of FGs. If that was CK we win 12 to nothing. Ck is awful in the redzone. We score points with BG. Let him learn this offense and he might be a better QB than we think.I see CK playing for the Browns next season.

    Great Win. Tied for first. Seahawks 1-0 Niners 1-0. As I said in the beging of the season we will splt with the Hawks, Cards and Rams.

  41. PFF’s week 1 QB ranking and grades/scores

    1-Luck 95.2
    2-Brees 88.1
    3-Carr 86.8
    4-Wentz 86.2
    5-Winston 85.2
    6-Osweiler 84.2
    7-Newton 83.7
    8-Stafford 82.9
    9-Bortles 82.1
    10-Cutler 82.1
    11-Smith 79.2
    12-Roethlisberger 78.5
    13-Rodgers 76.3
    14-Siemian 75.3
    15-Ryan 75.2
    16-Dalton 75.1
    17-Wilson 74.1
    18-Prescott 74.0
    19-Flacco 73.2
    20-Rivers 72.5
    21-Palmer 71.7
    22-Tannehil 71.5
    23-Fitzpatrick 70.7
    24-Manning 65.9
    25-Taylor 57.8
    26-Garoppolo 55.8
    27-Hill 51.7
    28-Gabbert 46.9
    29-Cousins 45.9
    30-Griffin III 40.2
    31-Case Keenum 39.8
    32-Mariota 34.7

    I didn’t see any of the game but I’m not sure what Mariota did or didn’t do to earn such a low grade. His numbers for the game don’t belay deservance of the bottom spot.

    1. Grant, you are still harsh against Gabbert. Perhaps you just can’t bare to give praise after your recent mean-spirited critique on Blaine. Wish you would have listen to Steve Young’s description of Gabbert’s brilliance. Even though this is very much a new offensive system he has had to learn, he showed far better quick decision making than Kaepernick ever did. He missed some throws, sure, but a great deal of his better passes simply bounced off his receivers hands. Most importantly, he ran beautifully in ways that opened up the defense for Hyde’s runs and for his passing game. For leadership alone, Blaine deserves at least a B. Remember last year, Joe Montana said the 49ers must never let Blaine Gabbert go to another team.

      Another player deserving of your love is Vance McDonald. Remember, earlier you asserted he’d be cut, that he was awful, etc.. Just as I rebutted then, VM is definitely the 49ers best TE when you combine blocking, catching, and special teams. Vance actually has good hands whenever anyone other than Kaepernick is throwing the ball. Another assessment issue regards the secondary. Not only did the 49er corners and safeties hold Austin to 4 catches for only 13 yards total, they completely shut him down. He was targeted no less than 12 times, but could barely get a fingernail on any of the other 8 passes. The imposing Secondary and 49ers Defensive Line amount to a a brick wall.

        1. I think Folkwolf meant the helmet. Couldn’t have meant anything else. Unless he was watching some game from the 80s by mistake.

        2. Steve Young was gushing over BG last night. His analysis was decent if you didn’t turn him off. He wished BG would be more aggressive and pull the trigger. He was a bit over the top excited for me.

          1. Young seemed overly focused on Gabbert running. I thought this was strange because this was the area that Young needed to “harnass” in order to become the great QB he eventually became. But I sure had the impression he was advocating running for BG.

          1. Yeah, that’s crazy. Everyone knows that this year’s version of the 49ers are more like the ’85 Bears. That’s what you were saying, right, Rocket?

            1. I love how the pessimists (and you know who you are) get to enjoy having their cake an eat it too. The team stinks up the joint? “We are the sage realists. The rest of you just a bunch of homer idiots”. The team plays beyond expectations? “Good on my team I’ve been rooting for since childhood”

              Way to take a principled stand guys.

              1. Rib,

                I’m guessing I fall under your pessimists distinction, but I’m not looking to rub anyone’s nose in it if I turn out to be correct in my assessment. I didn’t do it after last season from what I remember. The only time I draw the line and bring that into an argument is when someone tries to insinuate I’m not a true fan or am just a pessimist, miserable etc. We all have the same info to look at when forming an opinion of the team yet we come up with different outlooks. I don’t take the negative side to cover my bases. I take it because that is how I see the season playing out. If the team performs better than I predicted, I’ll be happy to say I was wrong.

              2. Come on Rocket, have some fun man! All arrows up! Just watching Andrew Tiller maul people gives me such joy! Nothing like a pancake to grass makes me more happy!

              3. Rocket,

                If the 49ers do exceed your prediction, I suspect you’ll have to do more than that. A simple I was wrong will most likely not cut it.

                That’s the problem with taking such an extreme position, as the one you took. The swim back to shore is a lot longer.

                Are you willing to bet any money on the 49ers winning only three games? I’m willing to get all over that if you are. I too live in LA, what part of LA are you in (I was going to write “the city”, instead of the second LA in the last sentence, but only The City is The City, so I couldn’t do it)?

              4. Rocket,

                BTW, I’m not zeroing out the chances the 49ers will finish 3-13. It’s possible, I just think that’s pretty clearly on the extreme negative end of the possible range of outcomes for this team. I would like to say that the range for this team is 8-10 wins, but it’s probably more like 6-8, maybe 7-9, but 3? Come on, man.

          2. Rocket, 49 is the perfect combination of condescension and ignorance.

            I agree, is it so hard to put the season in context of who they beat? The Rams will again be the 32nd ranked offense in the NFL. The Panthers will be a better measure of how improved the team is.

            It will be good to see how Kelly’s team fairs in the next two contests. We have some things to be excited about for sure. When did being realistic about your team mean that you weren’t a fan? I don’t get the whole you either accept blind praise or you’re a hater and not a real fan.

            These same folks when things turn back to reality will start blaming the coaching, blaming the OL, blaming the skills players rather than see the truth of the situation.

            1. wilson73,

              When did being realistic about your team mean that you weren’t a fan? I don’t get the whole you either accept blind praise or you’re a hater and not a real fan.

              Bingo. I have had this argument with many on here for the past couple of years and it comes down to the fact many fans don’t want to hear the other side. They want optimism and dreaming big and if you throw a wrench into that, you are the a-hole raining on the parade. I’m the type of person who wants to see it. Show me don’t tell me, and the Niners have clearly shown they are not a very good team the past couple of seasons.

              We have a few on here already wanting to claim victory and asking for retribution from those who dared to question the prospects of this team. I always say I want to be proven wrong on my views and I mean it, but I want to see it over the course of a season; not overreactions to small victories. If we are sitting here at 10-6 or even 8-8 for that matter, I will fall on my sword and plead forgiveness for having the audacity to question the great Baalke and the impact having a better Coaching staff meant to the team. Just give me a reason first. I want to see wins; not consolation losses.

              1. Rocket, there it is. I would be delighted to be wrong about the 49ers this season and would do the same with eating some crow there. We had the same deal last year with people predicting 10-6 with JT. JH’s first year people were predicting 8-8 for the 49ers. The world was shocked when they went to the NFCC and were 13-3. The Cardinals and Hawks weren’t quite the power houses they are now, we had a roster loaded with 1st round talent and the NFC was weaker. I think this is more the exception rather than the norm though.

                Kelly has turned a team around in one season. He had talent and a weak division save for the Giants. There’s always the factor that predictions are based off last years performances. Teams don’t always perform like they have historically. Injuries happen too. Those things could impact our season as well.

                How much do you think people not having film on the 49ers plays into success in the first few games? I think after a couple of games people had the 49ers offense and defenses solved last season.

              2. Rocket,
                Just save your energy for a few weeks. The lip flappers will disappear like farts in the Candlestick wind and they won’t own it when they do. They’re the equivalent of SJW’s for the 49ers propaganda machine. I hope the 49ers perform better than I expect but the victory over the Rams didn’t change my outlook. As I get older, I laugh at the grown men that defend this franchise with the same vigor as a teenager wearing a jersey. It will only take a Kaepernick start for most of them to choke on their own hypocrisy.

              3. Wilson,

                Teams had the 49ers offense figured out after the first game last year.

                That staff was a joke. There’s a reason that the guy leading that group is out of the league right now.

                Let’s see where this team is week 3.

                I stand behind my 8-10 win guess. So far through the preseason and week 1 I’ve seen nothing for me to drop that range.

              4. Thanks Jack, it sure seemed that they were JV playing varsity last year. I would love an 8-10 win season. I agree on seeing where we’ll be after week three. They will have demonstrated a few things against contenders. It would be interesting to see what the Hawks are like if we can stop their running game.

              5. Wilson, a gimpy Russell Wilson, banged up Cam Newton and Romo less Cowboys makes the schedule that much better!

              6. Prime,
                I was pulling for the Chiefs but the only reason they won was because Allen went down with a torn ACL. I watched the whole game whereas you caught the final score. SD was absolutely dominating the Chiefs until Allen went down.

              7. OK sounds good Big P. Just wanted to make sure you caught the part where you look like a horses ass mocking Smith when he turns it around and leads a 3 down score victory. Good on ya!

              8. Prime,
                Like I said, the Chargers were kicking the crap out of the Chiefs and in complete control of the game. The only reason the Chiefs won was because Allen went down. If you had actually watched the game you would have seen that. I don’t look like a horses ass for mocking Smith, he was garbage until the Chargers lost Allen. The play I showed was typical of him and a big reason the Chiefs couldn’t score TD’s during the first half. Only Smith can overthrow a screen by ten yards.

              9. So the only reason the Chiefs were able to come back from 3 scores was because of Keenan Allen going down? Does he play defense?
                You mock Smith for throwing a coupe ground balls but like Grimey, did you not see that happen across the league Sunday?
                Smith threw fo over 300 yards and won. If that means its in 10 yard increments, who cares? He won!
                You never really did know much about football did you Big P? Its not about the how, its about the W moron!

              10. I didn’t know that the Chargers had turned Allen into a two way player. Maybe that contributed to his injury. What a stupid move by the Chargers.

                So Keenan Allen gets hurt and that’s what fuels Smith’s late game heroics? Hmm, you’ll have to explain how a WR’s injury unlocked Smith’s game.

              11. Wilson, Rocket, Big P,

                “When does being realistic about your team mean you’re not a fan?”

                When you’re not actually being realistic.

                I know you guys won’t listen to me, but you should read JPN’s post on the subject.

                One of my take aways from JPN’s post is that he feels the one legitimate reason to take a more negative view of one’s team’s potential for a given year or game, is to protect oneself from disappointment. I don’t really understand the need to do that, but to each their own.

              12. Guys,

                In my head I was reading “Since when does being realistic mean you’re being too negative about your team.”

                I’ve never doubted that any of you are as much of a fan as anyone else on here.

              13. Should read: “One of my take aways from JPN’s post is that he feels one legitimate reason…” The “the” between “feels” and “one” shouldn’t be there.

            2. “When did being realistic about your team… ?”

              I believe I have written at length about this before, so I will keep it short here. When there are a large number of variables, presuming the worst possible value for the unknowns is no more realistic than presuming the best possible value for the unknowns. Given the number of unknowns still at play, the only “realistic” prediction would be one that provides for a fairly wide range of outcomes.

              What you are doing is not being “realistic” — it is tempering expectations by presuming that the unknowns will be negative (pessimism) rather than presuming they will be positive (optimism). Unfortunately, it has become a cultural trend in our society to conflate tempering expectation with being “realistic” when a truly objective “realism” would dictate considering a range of probable outcomes rather than presuming the negative outcome.

              Having said that, I will agree that it is realistic to temper expectations about the 2016 49ers until further data are available. In that sense, being realistic relates to understanding the data is insufficient to make a prediction that is more specific than a range of outcomes, as well as acknowledging that tempering expectations may help prevent premature exuberance when the data are insufficient to indicate that said exuberance would be rational. ;)

              1. The overall sentiment is of course spot on but one thing you are forgetting is that Gabbert’s play is not an unknown. It’s not fair to say that expectations are being tempered on unknown variables because we already do know what Gabbert is capable of and he continues to display and back up those thoughts each chance he gets.

                The team is for the most part largely unchanged from the past few seasons so again, there aren’t that many unkowns here. The coaching change clearly is the largest delta from the past few seasons but don’t we already have an idea of what to expect from Kelly and did we see anything to disprove that in the first game? I don’t think so.

                Tempering expectations when you have data to base if on is being realistic.

              2. Hi CFC,

                You just identified a host of unknowns (albeit ones that you presume to be knowns). That you believe they are knowns influences your thinking, which is based on constituent analysis rather than complexity analysis. :)

              3. Hello back JPN,hold that thought. I have a few errands to run but will address that though directly when I return.

              4. Morning JPN, I hope you’ll excuse the tardy response, life intervened before I could get back yesterday.

                When discussing truth or what is known without being omnipotent I would have to conjecture that all analysis is constituent. However short of being omnipotent one can use precedent to help shape the information that is given and presented into a thought that can be accurately considered as a known fact about something or someone.

                In terms of Gabbert and many of the players on the team currently there is enough precedent plus fresh information that coincides with those precedents in place that most reasonable people would accept such ideas as known facts about them.

              5. Hi CFC,

                No problem. I was busy last night as well.

                I agree with your point about known facts, but disagree that all analysis is constituent. All analysis relies on data, and that data is constituent. But a constituent analysis focuses on the known characteristics of the constituent parts and tries to understand the whole from the analysis of the parts. This type of analysis lends itself well to things like baseball but does not lend itself well to the study of complex systems with emergent behaviors (such as quantum mechanics, weather, ecology, the human brain, football, etc.).

                This is why baseball has always been a sport of analytics, even before the more formal methods came to the fore. It is possible to build a successful team based on the abilities of the constituent parts. Yes, some complexity analysis comes into play, especially with respect to creating a batting order (which relies on having runners on base, protection for the power hitters, etc.) and substituting players; however, successful predictions can frequently be made based on individual past performances of the players on a team.

                Constituent analysis is also valuable in basketball, albeit to a lesser degree. The complexity of action on a basketball court can negate some of the value of constituent analysis, but it is still important in respect to selecting individual players whose abilities are complementary. Scheme and chemistry are important (complexity factors), but putting together good players with complementary skills is a time proven means of building a team, and that relies heavily on constituent analysis.

                Football, on the other hand, does not lend itself to constituent analysis. The skill set of individual players is not predictive in most situations because complexity (and perhaps even chaos) factors are a prevalent aspect of the game. So a given player may perform poorly in a given circumstance and better in a different circumstance not based on their individual abilities (constituent analysis), but because of the interplay of factors in a complex system (‘system’ used to mean the emergent whole from the interaction of the constituent parts rather than the strategic schema used by the coaching staff). It is how the individual elements will fit into the complex system that comprise the unknowns at issue, not the characteristics of the individual players and coaches.

                Alex Smith (as Ribico alluded) is an great example of this. Smith’s individual characteristic have remained overall consistent (albeit with a reduction in unforced errors as he matured) but his impact with those same characteristics has been different in different systems. In none of those systems has he been great, as he has too many limitations, but in some he has been successful.

                That is not to say Gabbert will be Alex Smith. He may not succeed in his current situation, but his past failures are not necessarily predictive of his success in a different system. Thus, while his individual characteristics are known, how those manifest and impact the current system are not known. This is true of all the other players as well, and even Chip Kelly and the rest of the coaching staff. The unknowns come from the interaction of the constituent parts in a complex system that is not the same as the complex systems in which they previously interacted.

                We will know much more about these interactions in the next several games. We may find that their individual characteristics do not lead to success in the new complex system. We may find out that their individual characteristics do lead to greater than expected success due to the interplay of those individual characteristics. We may even find out that new patterns emerge from the complex system (new and unexpected patterns tend to emerge from complex systems that are on the edge of chaos). However, at this point, all of this is unknown and is not predictive from constituent analysis (think of it as akin to quantum mechanics, where the characteristics of an individual quantum particle is not predictive of how that particle may behave in association with other quanta).

                Thus, a realistic prediction would have to account for the unknowns that are inherent in a newly formed complex system, even one in which the characteristics of constituent parts are known. As such, even a realistic constituent analysis may not lead to a realistic prediction of system outcomes. Thus, given the unknowns, a realistic prediction is one that includes the range of probable outcomes.

                Having written all that, I may be nearly as pessimistic in my prediction of how this complex system will perform as you are, CFC. I just do not ascribe my pessimism to realism.

              6. I wasn’t actually busy today it’s just taken me this long to read this whole thing. :)

                I appreciate the response. I hope you’ll excuse the Josh Baskin simplistic response when i say, I don’t agree. Where I find fault is in your culling out of football from the other sports as not lending itself to constituent analysis, at least that is not for the reasons you state.

                “So a given player may perform poorly in a given circumstance and better in a different circumstance not based on their individual abilities (constituent analysis), but because of the interplay of factors in a complex system ”

                I’m not sure how you can assign the above situational context solely to football. If not the other sports would be predictable to the point that they wouldn’t even bother playing the game because statistically you already know who’s going to win.

              7. “I’m not sure how you can assign the above situational context solely to football.”

                I do not. You are overstating my position.

                It is all a matter of gradation. Baseball more lends itself to constituent analysis because of the individual nature of the play on the field. As such, of the three sports that I referenced, baseball it is the furthest from falling into chaos (it is not near the chaotic edge). Thus, it is easier to predict the success of a team (not individual victories) based on constituent analysis. However, as I stated, complex system analysis is a factor as well, especially when planning and executing in specific games.

                Basketball games involve a complex system, but that system does not approach the edge of chaos to the degree that football does. And it is not just a matter of the number of individual actors playing at one time (although that is certainly a factor). The space in which football operates and the scope of the actions that may occur in that space contribute significantly to the greater complexity. Because of the lesser complexity of basketball play, constituent analysis is more relevant in basketball than football, especially when team building and predicting team success over a season. However, in-game complexity, although not as great as in football, is higher in basketball than in baseball, and thus my assertion that basketball does lend itself to constituent analysis of the type we have been discussing (what can be realistically predicted from individual player characteristics) but to a lesser extent than baseball.

                I have already discussed football in more detail, so I will address the non sequitur portion of your post instead:

                “If not the other sports would be predictable to the point that they wouldn’t even bother playing the game because statistically you already know who’s going to win.”

                We were discussing predicting team success based on the characteristics of individual constituents and my claim that the complexity of football does not lend itself to constituent analysis in such regard and thus that we may not be able to make more definite predictions based on player characteristics when said players are integrated into a different complex system than those in which they were previously acting. This discussion should not include in conclusions about predicting a specific win/loss record, or even more so individual game results. Rather, it should remained focused on the degree of certainty when predicting overall team success.

                Or put another way, the issue at hand was the degree of uncertainty in the predictions and what constitutes a ‘realistic’ prediction based on the current knowns and unknowns. I then explained why the presumed knowns of the constituent parts do not equate to knowns concerning how those parts will operate in a different complex system and that complexity based analysis was more appropriate in this situation than constituent analysis. You claimed all analysis would be constituent, and I provided support as to how different types of systems may lend themselves more or less to predictive certainty through constituent analysis. Nowhere did we discuss predicting the actual results, nor was such implicated by the points being made. Thus the above statement is a non sequitur.

            3. >>The only reason the Chiefs won was because Allen went.

              Huh! How can that be? Everyone knows the reason for Smith’s success is because of his team’s stifling defense. Right BigP?

      1. Lots of passionate opinions about Gabbert. Some insist he was brilliant last night. Some insist he was awful. I like the grade I gave him.

        1. I like that he was safe with the football. He either threw it into the ground or directly to the Rams defenders. Two places he knew he would never be picked.

            1. I agree that overall he wasn’t bad, just a few missed throws and 1 bad quarter. Did nothing to hurt the team.

              On another note, was it just me or did it look like they didn’t run much zone/read? It looked like that action, but was actually a called give.

        2. Not brilliant at all. But several pegs above “didn’t lose the game for us”

          I sure hope this season devolves into the “smithers” vs “haters” of seasons past. That means we’ve got a team again.

              1. I get that people want some spice in their football (300 yards passing/long bombs/aerial attack) but dink and dunk works in the NFL more than ever. If you have a good defense and a smart play caller, like we do, your chances of winning are that much greater.
                I’m happy with how this team is developing. Oline and dline look good for the next 5 years barring sudden retirements or career ending injuries (knock on wood).
                Now with Gamble and Kelly in the mix I think drafting for the skilled positions gives me more confidence. I always said 2 years away but who knows now. Parity across the NFL.

  42. Grant just wondering what you thought of Kelly’s play calling and scheme last night? Did you not find he was more conservative in the play calling and let his defense win the game with the very reserved play calling in the 3rd with a 2 score lead?
    I think he has changed his approach. He is not as predictable or stubborn in his approach as he was in Philly. Sure its only one game but would like to hear how you think Chip has changed or not?

    1. didn’t watch many Eagles games, if any, but seem like the tempo fluctuated a lot in the game. No huddles, but it wasn’t blazin’ speed either. They chewed up the clock at times. Can anyone tell us if the tempo was much different than Chip’s Eagles?

      1. Lol, I was sure amused by the whole O line looking towards the side lines with 15 seconds on the play clock.

        When ahead, they milked the play clock for all it was worth.

          1. No, the Niners were way ahead, so they wanted to run down the play clock to zero.

            The Defense was not getting tired, and wanted to play as much as possible since they were doing so well.

            Those 12 three and outs for the Rams let the defense rest.

  43. Cam Inman – Thru Week 1 49ers have No. 2 ranked overall defense and No. 5 rushing attack in terms of yards. (No. 27 passing offense)

    Sounds about right.

    1. You are right East, there is nothing really to be excited about because it was against a team that might be the worst in football.
      However, a couple things to give 49er fans some positivity:

      1.The offensive line didn’t allow a sack against what people have called the best front 4 in all the NFL.

      2. Chip Kelly knows how to call a game. He put Gabbert in very manageable situations. Basically he know his limitations and called the game accordingly.

      3. This defense is for real. I know the Rams QB was bad, but a goose egg is still a goose egg.

      4. There is youth on this team, it has size and speed. Really impressed with D. Buckner, Armstead, Purcell.

      1. All good points Prime. Several posters (Coach, myself and others) have stated that building the defensive and offensive lines would prove to be a positive force for the team. I believe this will continue if players can remain healthy. I would add that Blair is also a force and that the front 4make the ILB play much better and DBs shine as well.

        1. Aye, I’ve been wanting the 49ers to draft DL in particular for years. I thought Baalke had taken the wrong one in Armstead last year, but 20-20 hindsight shows me how wrong I was on that score. Didn’t think he’d take Buckner this year, but was more than happy to see him do so, especially given how the first 6 picks went.

  44. Hammer ,so right. Anytime you limit a team in the NFL to a big goose egg, that ‘s Big time.

    Prime, yeah all positive things.

    Keep in mind that usally takes about four games before you can get a handle on what the team is all about.

    I want to see how the passing game looks after Jermy Kerley has a few weeks together with Gabbert.

    Good to have a win, enjoy it!

  45. 49ers face someone who actually knows what to do with the football.

    Wonder if we’ll get anything out of Deforest Buckner in terms of pass rush?

      1. Oh, please. These are young men. Iupati was immediately a great run blocker while the 19 year old Anthony Davis was mediocre. Two seasons later Davis was a premiere right tackle. Last season, Armstead didn’t play well. This year, he was the best player in training camp and looked good last night. Buckner is already better than Armstead was last year and is starting for a reason. Except for his tendency to draft ACL-injured players, and of course the entire horrendous experiment of 2012, Baalke has been a shrewed GM. Do you like 7th round Trent Brown, 5th Round Aaron Lynch, 5th round Ronald Blair, and 3rd Round NoVarro Bowman? All of them are diamonds from the ruff.

  46. I know it was just the Rams. But many analysts and posters, myself included thought Gurley was going to have a big night. Bowman looks healthy. Ray Ray stayed in his lane, and the line was stout and looked very athletic at times.

          1. No, he doesn’t, Jack.

            On the plus side, it looks like Fishers slightly above .500 regular season career record is safe. That is, unless the Rams go 1-15.

            It’s incomprehensible that he’s had a 23 year head coaching career. He’s so bad. Who was it around here who said he was a good coach. Hmm, I can’t quite remember…

  47. One thing that went through my mind last night while watching the game was how different our defense was last year under Mangini. In restrospect the scheme he used last year was really bad. I still remember when he would rush the QB with one defensive lineman. And how often were the safeties out of position and our OLBs forced to cover WRs twenty or more yards down the field (we might see some of that with O’Neill, but I didn’t notice it last night). From what I saw, the swarming defense of last night even seemed to surpass Fangio’s defenses.

    As usual the disclaimer: The Rams offense was really weak making it easy to stack the box, so we’ll have to see how they perform against Carolina and the Seahags. Still all arrows pointing up.

    1. Good points Cubus.

      I think our improved secondary allows O’Neil to be more aggressive and exotic with his scheme. It will be interesting to see how we do against a good or great pass offense.

      I know the short week to Carolina is reminiscent of our short week to Pitt last year but I think its a bit different. First Pitt has a high-powered offense (the best in the game). Carolina has a tough big play offense, but no where near the weapons Big Ben has. I think our defense can do well against them but we need to contain Cam. We might see Tartt playing some spy.

      Not getting my hopes up, but I am hoping for a good, competitive game.

    2. Cubus,

      Mangini was all about disguise and late shifting and it failed miserably. That’s what happens when you make the TE’s Coach the DC. J/k

      I was not a fan of the O’Neil hire after the way his players talked about him and how poorly they played in Cleveland, but I have to give him credit for having that defense ready to play last night. They were swarming to the ball and giving the Rams no time to breathe.

  48. Ya I was one of those posters. Defense looked incredible. Ray Ray looked really good. Nice call on that before the game. I believed I laughed at your comment before the game. Great call!

    1. Thanks Rebuild. I’ve been watching Ray Ray since he played for my Canes. The guy is an athletic freak. I’m really happy for him.

  49. Baalke,

    He thinks why have the ability to beat a team on one play when you can beat them by running the football on a 15 play drive.

    1. Of course, against Carolina’s D, you’re going to have 15 play drives. A player who can get over the top would seem the logical choice.

      If Carolina has that fear, then the running game and short passing game become open underneath because they have to commit more personnel to defend the deep ball.

  50. Just checked the NFL.com player transaction wire
    Espn and Cbs transaction wires and all show it was Harris terminated, and harpers practice signed.

    The only Harper termination occurred when the 49ers terminated his practice squad contract then signed him to an active roster contract.

    Is it possible you confused the termination notices?

      1. s all in on purcells last year after the pre season. Saw his motor and thought he’s a keeper. So No, not this guy.

        Let’s try this with my real pic. :-)

    1. Glad you point that out for all the pre-season lovers. While we are on the subject anyone miss any of the WRs? Or do you think any waived player would have done better tonight?

  51. While I agree the pass rush wasn’t consistently dominant, those saying it wasn’t that impressive should consider that PFF graded them as creating pressure on 40% of dropbacks, which was one of the higher marks for the first week (highest mark was Seattle, at 48.5%).

    1. Good stat, but I wonder how much of that 40% were due to safety blitzes and bringing 6 or more rushers. Can’t blitz like that too much against good offenses.

      1. According to PFF, 49ers blitzed on only 12 of 38 dropbacks. That mark was maybe a bit above league average as far as I can tell (though it is difficult as PFF don’t show the stat for every team), but certainly nowhere near the top mark which was closer to 50% of dropbacks.

        1. I didn’t see consistent pressure with 4 Scooter. Maybe I need to watch it again, but that was the impression I got watching it last night.

          1. I guess it depends on what you perceive as ‘consistent’. If you need to see it every play, you will be disappointed, obviously (and not for a moment suggesting that is what you mean). I thought they DL/ OLBs did a decent job of getting push throughout the night, even if it didn’t mean they were always in Keenum’s face.

            The real question in my mind is how much of that pressure was due to the Rams having a sub-standard OL?

            1. No I don’t mean every play. I mean Keenum usually had time when they brought only 4. They got push, but Keenum was moving poorly in the pocket. There were a number of times he could have stepped up or even ran for good yardage, but just sat there. Just very poor pocket awareness.

              1. Rocket,

                They might’ve only sacked Keenum twice, but there were multiple times that he threw a no chance third down pass under extreme duress, that, aside from not getting the yardage from a sack, which was just as good as a sack, because it resulted in a punt.

        2. I saw alot of situations where O’Neil sent 4, but is was an unconventional 4, like a DB+2 DL+OLB. If my eyes were working there was one play with 3 DL+1 OLB rushing the quarterback.

          I recently heard one DC (I forget who) that often sent 5 pass rushers, but didn’t call them blitzes because the 5th rusher was in response to what the RB did.

          Some define blitz as 5 or more pass rushers. Others by position, like if a IL or DB goes after the QB.

          I don’t care about the semantics. I’m certainly no authority. Just noting changes in how people define blitz might affect the PFF percentages.

    1. It’s the one game this year that I pick for an upset. Every sign points to a loss, Travel to the east coast, early game, after a Monday night game, against last years Super Bowl participant, its got all the makings for an upset.

  52. couple of reasons to be optimistic about the season

    1. strong O-Line play has continued since pre-season
    2. chip kelly’s ability to call plays that are unpredictable compared to previous run-run-pass offense
    3. not sure where the weakness or who the weak link on defense is
    4. the players want unity and bowman is the perfect leader whose play can be contagious
    5. we have at least 2-3 pro-bowlers or game changing players on defense
    6. the team disciple and composure (I would guess we had low penalties # in preseason)

  53. who said gurley was going for 190…….dline was great. oline was goo, gabby was ok missed some easy ones but made some tight window throws. ill take it ,if d keeps playing like that and keeps gelling its gonna keep us in games.same fomula as harbs control the ball limit turnovers.

    1. There was one play (early on) .. which made me smile ..

      Keenum threw a pass to his receiver..
      (I think on crossing route) .. to his left …
      Bowman was in the immediate area .. and
      was lookin’ to freight-train the receiver…and ..

      it’s a good thing (for the receiver) .. that
      the ball bounced out of his hands ..cuz, Bowman
      seemed to be ready to show his Ronnie Lott skills..

      but .. instead.. gave the receiver a solid “love tap” as he went by..

      Though, that particular play will never
      be counted in any stats .. it was a thing of beauty..
      nonetheless ..

    2. Eastcoast,
      I was the one predicting 190 for Gurley. I am happy to be wrong. The D line played much better in the first game then I thought they would. I thought they would build up to that kind of performance but the came out of the gate firing on all cylinders [to mix my metaphors] What I didn’t expect was for Keenum to be so horrible that the 9ers could almost load 9 in the box and still shut him down.

  54. We were told everywhere Gurley was gonna gash this defense.

    Hahahaha yeah right!

    And the Rams trying to build excitement in LA? Not a good start by losing to the leagues’ worst (on paper) team! lmao

  55. Gabbert deserves a C- at best. He was barely average which is what a C is supposed to be, average. His 4.9 yards pet attempts were even lower until the 4th quarter and we all know he had at least 2 interceptions in that game that simply didn’t happen because the other player had butterfingers. I doubt those two picks would have cost the 49ers the game but nobody would be giving him a C grade if they had happened.

    I’d give Gabbert a solid D, he didn’t lose the game which is really the only good thing you can say about his performance.

    1. The one thing that I know for sure is, if we were playing any other team other then the Rams, that would have been a loss.

    2. How about this for a good thing to say, CFC. In the first half, when for all intents and purposes we put the game away, he picked up a bunch of first downs with his feet to keep drives alive. If you can’t bring yourself to say that, how about the final TD pass to Vance on what I believe was a 3rd and a long goal to go. That had all the earmarks of settling for a FG for previous Niners teams.

      See, there’s two things you could say other than “he didn’t lose the game”. But hey, if Debbie downer is your thing, then please continue, Deborah.

        1. Then how about an 18 yard completion to Kerley on a 4th down in the second qtr. Made with – huh! – his arm. If you keep on glossing past plays made cause it suits some sort of agenda it’s going to a long long season for you.

          1. Yes, they put him in motion. They should not utilize man in motion every play, but when used judiciously, it can be very effective.

            4th down was such an important play, and showed Chip going bold. Chip just realizes that putting a man in motion makes him harder to jam at the Line of scrimmage, and he had a step on the defense.

  56. good stuff Grant, I generally agree. if allowed a quibble (and what else is the internet for), I’d say that both D and O lines deserve an A in a shutout, especially when the downfield passing game didnt exactly remind us of the Montana/Young to Rice days. and would the Chip Kelly offense even allow a Rice or Julio Jones to blossom? i’m sure many/most Niner fans would say or assume yes, and I’ll grant that until an obvious talent comes along to test it. But i will say, the Rams would have been better off with the Mike Martz offense monday night. life is short, folks, take a chance (downfield).

    while i fear we have a return to reality coming up against Carolina, it’s great to see a young team play with excitement for a new coach and beat an old rival.

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