49ers 31, Titans 17: Grades

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Here are the grades for the 49ers’ 31-17 win over the Titans.

KAEPERNICK: A-. He threw some extremely accurate passes and ran exceptionally well. His passer rating was 93.2 and his yards-per-carry average was 6.2 – the highest in the game. He gets an A- and not an A because he made two poor throws in the second quarter when the 49ers were up just 3-0. First, Kaepernick forced a deep pass to Vernon Davis who was running a corner route and was double covered. Davis had no chance to catch the ball and it almost was intercepted. Five plays later Kaepernick threw an inaccurate pass deep into the end zone and Bernard Pollard picked it off, but the refs nullified the interception because Kaepernick was hit below the knees when he threw the ball. The game turned on this play. You could see it in the Titans’ faces. Three plays later, Kaepernick ran 20 yards for a touchdown and the 49ers took a crucial two-score lead.

RUNNING BACKS: B-. Frank Gore had two 1-yard touchdown runs but he averaged just 2.9 yards per carry. Gore came into the game leading the league with 11 runs of 15 yards or more, but his longest run against the Titans was 7 yards. Gore lost yards more than once on power runs off tackle. But he did catch two passes for 34 yards and he made a good block on Kaepernick’s touchdown run. Kendall Hunter did nothing, 4 carries for 6 yards. Dixon had one carry for 8 yards in garbage time. Bruce Miller had an excellent game blocking and he caught a pass for nine yards.

WIDE RECEIVERS: D+. Anquan Boldin was fantastic. He caught five passes for 74 yards and at least three of those catches were spectacular. One was a one-hander and one was a deep over-the-shoulder catch with Alterraun Verner all over him. No other wide receivers caught passes, as usual. Colin Kaepernick threw one pass to Kyle Williams and it looked like he fumbled it but the refs ruled it a drop.

TIGHT ENDS: A. Like Boldin, Vernon Davis made heavily contested catches. He had 4 catches for 62 yards and he would have had 100 yards receiving but Kaepernick over threw Davis once when he was open deep. Kaepernick also overthrew Vance McDonald deep. McDonald managed to catch one pass at the one-yard line, a 20-yard wobbler, which set up a one-yard touchdown run by Gore on the next play.

OFFENSIVE LINE: A. They gave Kaepernick a clean pocket most of the game. He took two sacks but both sacks came on scrambles or read-option runs. The offensive line did an admirable job creating holes up the middle against a good run defense that was loading the box with eight and sometimes nine defenders.

DEFENSIVE LINE: B. They gave up 4.3 yards per carry to Chris Johnson and they gave up 4.8 yards per carry to him in the first quarter. But then the 49ers’ offense took a two-score lead and forced the Titans to abandon their run game and become one-dimensional. The 49ers’ offense, not their defense, shut down the Titans’ run game. The 49ers’ defensive line did a better job rushing the passer than stopping the run. Justin Smith had two sacks. Before this game he had .5 sacks.

LINEBACKERS: A-. Patrick Willis gave up a long catch to Delanie Walker but besides that play Willis played well, leading the team with nine tackles. On his best play, he tackled Johnson for a four-yard loss on a screen play. NaVorro Bowman also played well, six tackles. Ahmad Brooks sacked Jake Locker once and tipped one of his passes.

SECONDARY: B-. Both Tarell Brown and Tramaine Brock gave up deep catches down the sideline and Carlos Rogers gave up nine catches and 98 receiving yards to Kendall Wright. Brock picked off one pass but it wasn’t a spectacular play, it was an underthrown pass. Reid played well and when he left the game with an ankle injury Chris Johnson immediately ran through the entire 49ers’ defense for a 66-yard touchdown. Donte Whitner left the game with a knee injury. Reid and Whitner are the two best players in the 49ers’ secondary. The 49ers need both of them to be healthy.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A. Kyle Williams didn’t do anything as a punt returner. His specialty was the fair catch. And that was OK in this game. The Titans could have used him. Their returner, Darius Reynaud, was the worst player on the field. He fumbled a punt in the fourth quarter and Kassim Osgood recovered it in the end zone for a game-ending touchdown.

COACHING: A-. The 49ers’ offensive game plan was terrific. The read-option had been on ice the past few weeks but they used it today and it was their most effective running play by far. The 49ers called the read-option on some third downs and on consecutive series in the red zone, and that’s a big reason why the 49ers were 5-for-10 on third down and 2-for-2 in the red zone.

The coaches get an A- and not an A because they went conservative in the second half and almost let the Titans back in the game. The 49ers had a 24-0 lead halfway through the third quarter. Conservative play calling by the Niners allowed the Titans to score 10 unanswered points. The Titans were down 14 points with 6:29 left in the fourth quarter when they forced the 49ers to punt. Of course, that’s when Reynaud fumbled the punt and the 49ers recovered it for a touchdown. If Reynaud hadn’t fumbled or if the Titans had had another returner, anyone besides Reynaud, the Titans may have gotten back in the game – Locker’s passer rating was 135.2 in the fourth quarter – 10-for-16 for 159 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions.

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  1. Agreed with the grades. I would have given Kap two grades. An A for the first two and half quarters, he was an animal, completing around 80% of his passes and rushing effectively, there was the int that was nullified by the nfls soft rules. And then a D for the remaining of the game. Yes he wasn’t asked to pass much. But the offense continually stalled in the final quarter and a half. And when Kap was asked to throw we couldn’t complete a pass put it on the WRs if you want, I won’t. Overall B+.

    P.S. If you reply to this try to use valid argument points, don’t just spout insults at me for having opinions. Thanks.

    1. maybe just a tad harsh, Adam ..
      the 31 -17 final gets an A+ from me …
      Sure the defense took some time off .. but,
      by then .. it was garbage time, and the game
      had already been decided ..

      But .. your opinion is just as valid as mine ..
      You may have seen things I didn’t …

      (I was too busy screaming at the screen )

    2. I watched two games. I wanted to see what we threw away and what we kept. What we threw away is 7-0. And the one we kept is managing the game. Just some thoughts.

  2. I have been all over Kyle Williams for a long time, why because frankly he is not giving the 49ers that score at any time type threat. You wont win a championship fair catching. If this is the coaches instruction then I have a big problem with that. If this is on Williams discretion then he needs to be replaced. You can’t fair catch it at your own 40 no matter how right the coverage is. You gotta try and make a play. And if your scared to, Seely or KW, then put someone else back there who can make a play.

    1. Prime I agree. I have hated KW with a passion since he ruined our SB chances two seasons ago. He’s worst than Dexter Carter. I know Lamichael had problems as a rookie fielding punts but at this point I dint care! He wants to prove himself and at least he’ll make an effort to return punts!

        1. Two weeks in a row he’s asked to make a key catch in the fourth quarter after not being targeted all game. That’s extremely tough. He came through last week.

      1. Agree Deuce. Ted Ginn when he was here started out pretty fearless. Then after he got hurt he would find the quickest sideline. Williams has not been the same since last years injury. Regardless you can’t have a guy who is tentative. Safe is death when it comes to special teams.

      2. ? Let me guess – you said something similar about Ted Ginn. Maybe if you’d said “started for” then it would be arguable. You could never be a scout – way too emotional when it comes to evaluating players.

      3. I would rather see LMJ on returns and put him out there as a reciever like you see Sproles, Woodhead, bush and the likes. He could be on the field the same time as gore.

      4. LaMichael James has nowhere to line up in this offense. That’s why Williams is the return man. At least they can utilize him in offensive formations.

      5. That’s what I’m saying, they should line him up out there. I gaurentee he’d do better than Williams. These coaches used to get creative with things. Have u ever watched how many times Bush and Sproles and even Arizona with that Ellington are lined up out wide. Just saying, with punt returns, a few WR screens and possibly some reverses or something, they would benefit with LMJ over Williams in my opinion!

      6. Agree Montana Man, LMJ could be a sick tool lining up in the backfield and then bouncing out to the slot. I’d like to see him paired with Dixon (who doubles as a fullback/tailback), VD, Boldin and Baldwin. You can go from a pro-form to a spread single-back or read-option look with just a quick shift.

    2. He’s a decent punt returner when he’s not fair-catching… They don’t have anyone else to return punts other than maybe Cox. They’ve shown they don’t trust LMJ doing it. Until they find a guy in the draft or FA, Williams will be the guy.

  3. I don’t see this team losing any more games now that they’ve gone back to playing to their strengths….. Not with Crabs, Manningham, and Aldon coming back in the near future. Our depth has gained valuable experience as well and ST’s are ballin’.

    New Orleans will be tough at their place but they can’t stop our run game and we have Brees’ number.

    And I can’t wait for the Seattle game in SF… If we stay with our grind game, they’ll break… Stay away from the gimmick stuff, G-Ro. We’ll run right through them while taking back the division…

  4. “Locker’s passer rating was 135.2 in the fourth quarter – 10-for-16 for 159 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions.”

    Garbage time.

  5. My two take aways from today:

    1) It was good to see Dial on the field, but he looks terrible in the uniform.

    2) That Kenny Britt sure plays with passion.

  6. The D+ for wide receivers was a bit harsh because you have to include Boldin who made some spectacular catches. Even if you give all other WR’s an F, Boldin’s B+/A- would raise the grade to at least a C.

      1. Don’t understand why people really care about the grades, we got the win, we know our receivers suck except for Boldin. The only grade I want is a W for WIN. If we win the Super Bowl and Grant gives Kaep a C- who gives a rats ass, we won our 6th Lombardi.

      2. Vance did make a great catch on a tipped pass on a key play early and should have had a deep TD had Kaep not overthrown him.

      3. These last couple weeks you can see they trust McDonald more. They were explosive last season with 22 personnel, but it was lagging early on this season until these last couple weeks.

  7. Meanwhile Haywood-bey or whatever his name is is playing serious ball tonight. The announcers called out what’s-his-name the Colt’s TE from Stanford as worthless as a blocker…

  8. On the first 5 possessions Kaepernick was 12-14 for 169 yards. He did catch a couple of breaks in there, but he was dealing today.

    1. Absolutely, but that nullified pick was huge. Instead of the Titans having the ball and the momentum down 3, the 49ers go up by 10 a few plays later and make the Titans’ offense one-dimensional. Huge swing.

      1. No doubt he caught a couple breaks. Those long drives today were really good, and exactly what the defense needs. Are you off to London?

      2. That is too bad Grant, I know the newspaper business is not exactly growing but it would of been fun and great learning experience as well.

  9. Niners still need to put teams away and don’t get so conservative. Obviously, it’s a solid win, but they still have room for improvement.

    Would like to see McDonald get more targets. Kap missed him once on a deep pass and also missed him on a key 3rd down when he opted to throw to VD who was being double covered.

    The confidence level of Kap was the best I’ve seen since Week 1. He just came out looking like he was comfortable. Would still like to see him throw to the backs more as they did hit a big one on a swing pass to Gore. When Kap runs early, it completely screws with the defense. Such a big threat to have to play zone because you’re worried of Kap running with the DBs’ backs turned.

    1. It was a solid win but the NINERS need to keep the pedal to the metal and don’t let the other team get a momentum they don’t have a killer instinct …. If the NINERS would of play the second and third quarters the way they play the first and fourth they would of lose the game just saying GO NINERS !!!

      1. I don’t understand the conservative play calling. As a team they should have learned not to let up. The Patriots game from last year should of been a lesson for them.

  10. I give Kap a B-, I wasn’t that impressed. The TD run was nice but he looked like he was surprised that he scored to me, not like he’d been there before. He looked overly cautious most of the game to me.

    1. Relax crab. Critique Kap on a win when the offense scores 30 and you’ll receive all sorts of name calling. Even if the offense wasn’t great you can’t state it.

      1. I’m surprised you’d say that Adam. There are three name callers on this site when it comes to critiquing the 49ers. Two of them are talking to each other about name calling and Jordan lost a bet.

      2. Adam707

        I’m trying to recall who calls names when and if someone critiques Kaps play. Certainly not myself. And know Adam that I didnt lose a bet, because I didn’t make one. Those guys hold on to that story and it now has a life of its own. The bets I’ve made on this blog, I won, and the people who lost didn’t honor the bet. It’s neither here nor there now. I don’t call names unless someone decides to call me names first. At this stage, I try to ignore those who come to the blog to antagonize. Good game today huh? We are rolling Adam.

      3. Adam,

        There was only 1 of the regulars on here that called names towards you. While I agree that 1 is too many, ignore it, and move on.

      4. 23Welcher
        Here you go Bud

        23jordan says:
        September 20, 2011 at 8:55 am

        I’ll stop posting here altogether if Alex Smith Is a 49er next year. Write that down and locknot in. He may get benched before the season is over. He will NOT be back here next year.

        NOW GO GET YOUR M EFFIN SHINE BOX

        Clown

      5. Bos,

        Who did I make that bet with? Didn’t think so. In case you are wondering, Smith is gone. Now go get your shine box -itch!

      6. 23 Jordan,
        Why are you still here? Can’t you read you own posts? In 2011, you said Smith would be benched. It’s 2013 dude.
        Here’s some sites you can go post on:

        csnbayarea.com
        mercurynews.com
        sfgate.com
        ninernation.com
        sacbee.com

        See ya!

      7. It wasn’t so much a personal bet but moreso a declaration that if Smith was still an employee of the 49ers after that season, you would leave. I believe Smith was traded last year, 2013. Hmmm?

      8. Adam 707,
        It was a good win, but the team scored 30, not the offense. Last TD was a ST TD.
        It’s getting better for sure. I feel better about Colin’s evolution but still think he needs to throw to someone besides VD and Bolding with confidence

  11. Grant it doesn’t happen very often but I agree with you across the board on your grades. Wow one of us must really be slipping.

  12. Grant,
    I would question the D+ given to WR’s. Are you basing your grade on the fact that CK hardly involved the other WR’s?
    Given Boldin’ catches alone, I would have gone with a B- on the WR’s grade. But not much to quibble about here since there is not much separation between a D+ and B-.

    Also, I never felt that the Titans had a chance to get back in the game even when we went the conservative route in 2nd half. Even with the Titans scoring 10 point, I had a strong sense that we could have turned it on anytime we wanted to in the 2nd half.

    All and all, good grades Grant.

  13. Grant the WR grade cant be that low. Boldin gets an A and the other wide outs get an F then the over all grade is a C mister…..

    1. Bay I have to go with Grant on the WR grades as well as Boldin played the team doesn’t have an iota of talent among the rest of the WR’s. I’m just waiting for M.M. Crabtree and a healthy Q.P.

      1. I saw VD more as a wide receiver today than a tight end. Did you see him toe tap on the sideline? And what about Boldins one hander. And the swing pass to Gore was beautiful.

  14. Grant
    Have you heard anything about how Crab is progressing?
    Too bad your not going to London. It is my favorite city, so much to see and do.
    Agree with the grades. Can any wide receiver contribute other than Boldin?
    Agree with Stan’s comments.

  15. I think the team is continuing to put things together. That’s what I like to see week in and week out. They don’t appear to be regressing in any areas. They are a multidimensional offense. If you take away Gore, they have Boldin. If you take away Boldin, they have Davis. If you take away the offense, the defense scores.
    There is certainly room to continue to improve as has been said by many astute fans here, but this is a great place to be for this team.

  16. From ESPN Stats & Info: “49ers Colin Kaepernick: 99.0 Total QBR on Sunday; best by any QB in any game this season”

    1. Lucky for us that hes ours. Managing games, making explosive plays and today threw to five different receivers. 4th win in a row plus 4th consecutive games over 30 points. Way to go CK.

      1. Bay,

        You seem to forget to give the 49ers defense credit on all the games the 49ers won. Kap played against two terrible teams, you give kap way too much credit on all the 49ers wins. I just don’t see Roman offensive schemes work against a much better defensive teams. Without Gore the 49ers offense is mediocre. Kap gets easily rattled against teams with good defense. Vernon and boldin have problems against good CB, they both have a tough time gettting seperation from tough defenders.

        Grant, is being generous on kaps grade, it should b+ instead. The Titans should’ve gotten the inteception call, but the Titans defender got a call for personal foul roughing the passer. Because of the foul call, kap got another chance. How can the Titans win the football game, they committed 10 penalties for 100 yards. Give the 49ers defense A- and the special team A-. And give the rest of the team C+.

      2. Capeman,

        Bay might be too generous the same as you might be too harsh. See Jack’s comment on QBR. I’m not one to focus on stats, but Kaep played great today when you look at the tape. Titans have a good D, and he did not seem rattled. The team as a whole had a 2 game slump, which they appear to have left behind them.

      3. Pete,

        Are you saying the Titans have a good defense? If they did have one, kap won’t have the time to run around the pocket and he wouldn’t have time to throw the football to his receivers.

        And by the way, you are saying that both the losses by the 49ers to the Hawks and Colts were just a two game slump by the 49ers? The 49ers team got dominated by two superior team with outstanding defense.

  17. Matt,
    For the most part, the team is coming together but they have issues on special teams for KR and PR, and a good defense will shut down both vd and boldin.
    Kap doesn’t even throw to the other wrs and that will be an issue

    1. I don’t disagree with you Fan. I just don’t see that defense on the schedule until the team goes to Seattle. If the team continues to grow, this could be a real fun game in Seattle for what likely will be home field advantage in the NFC playoffs.

    2. Fan77,

      30 points 4 games in a row playing complete team football and all you can co is knock the team. Dallas is garbage. The cream of the crop in the NFC is the Niners, Hawks and possibly the Saints. The Saints are a tier below the Niners and Seahawks.

      As for our issues. We need to get healthy. If we get our WRs back, we will be that much tougher. We’re rolling, but I know you’re waiting for Kap to fall. Best ESPN rating by a QB this year today. He controlled the game today along with our defense.

    1. Cowboys
      Packers
      Lions
      Bears
      Saints
      Seahawks

      The other 5 NFC playoff teams are probably coming from the group above. Which of those really matches up well with the 49ers outside of Seattle?

      1. Jack,
        Here are the teams that could be tough:
        Cowboys, I think they have a good defense and tony romo could get hot.
        Packers have Aaron Rodgers but they are the walking wounded and I think we have their number but u never know.
        I think the lions could have enough offense to cause problems.

      2. I agree with you Jack. I think the Super Bowl will be decided in the NFC West. Indy looks pretty good, but if Wayne stays out with that knee injury, I don’t think Bey is good enough to pick up the slack. They’re at least a year out of going deep in the playoffs.
        It appears like it will all come down to Seattle at SF.

      3. Wow, we are getting a bit full of ourselves now aren’t we? Of that group that Packers, Saints and Seahawks scare me… Yes, I know we have beaten the Packers and Saints but they have had no trouble putting up points on us and that was before we lost our best pass rusher. Without Aldon, Im not sure we can beat any of those teams as opposing qbs have had all day to throw against us… keep in mind we suddenly got better when going against Bradford, Schaub, and Locker all three of those guys are in the bottom half of starting qb’s in the league.

      4. Teams that scare me in playoffs. Dallas, NO, Seattle. We have the Packs number. They’re not scary in my opinion. Dallas is on and off. Can play woth anyone, it just depends what romo you’ll get. NO has a much improved D, regardless the outcome of our matchup in a couple weeks they’ll be tough in playoffs. And Seattle, well if we play in Seattle our seasons done.

      5. Eh… not concerned about Dallas. Run game just isn’t there. Romo is a good QB, and has a stable of receivers, but makes mistakes. Inconsistency is confusing given the ridiculous passing game… Defense has shown they can’t save them either. Claiborne is legit, but I’m not too impressed with how they scheme.

        Bears? haha! no.

        Lions? Offense – yes. also have improved defense. also have Akers… Johnson is stupid beastly. Bush is injury prone. Those are their 2 offensive playmakers. There hasn’t been consistency outside of that.

        Niners have the Packers number. There isn’t a Packers fan I know who would rather meet the Niners than the Seahawks in the playoffs.

        Seahawks play us well. I’m still deciding on the root cause here.

        Saints look scary right now. Defense is much improved, Rob Ryan was a great addition. Brees is still Brees, so offense is okay, and back to normal with Payton back.

        I’m interested to see if the Panthers pick it up in the second half of the season. They have a lot of talent on that team. I think a big reason why they have their record lies within the coaching staff…

        Right now the AFC looks tougher than the AFC. The AFC west looks beastly with KC and Denver. Rivers is showing that the Chargers offense is still relevant. Colts all but have the South wrapped up. NFC north is atrocious outside of the Bengals. Although I’ve enjoyed the Browns swag since the T. Richardson trade. AFC East is a conundrum. AFC South has 2 make or break teams. Locker’s best from today may have been in garbage time, but he is definitely the future of that team. He got on my good side tonight. If Justin Hunter can develop with Wright and Walker, that team could give the Colts a run for their money. Texans are having an off season. Talented, but nothing seems to be going right for them right now.

      6. Matt,

        Hold your horses! First the 49ers need to beat the hawks, and secondly, the 49ers need to win the west? I doubt it, if the Hawks are going to lose to the 49ers in there next meeting at the stick.. The hawks will win the west, and the 49ers are the one thats coming to Seattle instead, to play the hawks in the NFC playoffs.

      7. Niners pass defense got significantly better by replacing Goldson with Reid and Cully with Brock. Passing teams don’t cause problems. Running teams with improvising QBs cause problems.

        Aldon will be back. Seattle is the only team in the NFC that has a chance against the Niners. The Colts are the truth, and can obviously cause problems.

        That December game against Seattle will be all-telling, as the Niners passing attack should be clicking on all cylinders by then (Manningham, VM, and Crab nearing 90%) and the team’s defensive youth should be fully integrated and showcasing nicely.

  18. Fan …
    I think you’re forgetting who yer talkin’ about ..
    Should the Niners see the Cowpies in the post season ..
    you’ll be able to count on Tony “The choke-master” Romo
    being good for tossing a 4th Qtr touch pass …
    to Tramaine Brock !! … lol !

    Only team I’m concerned about are the Sea Chickens !
    (and we’ll next see them at the Stick !)

    1. Yeah I know Tony Romo is a big choker! FYI — I’m not being negative. I think the Niners are clicking but some things shouldn’t be overlooked. I think a good coaching staff can nullify a lot of thing the Niners want to do on Offense. They are not multi-dimensional and Grant even pointed it out that the WRs are just Boldin.

      I don’t think it will be an issue if they go to a 2 TE set like that Pats a couple of years ago…

      1. We are far from multi dimensional. We are a 1 dimensional run team that only passes because it has too. Completely backwards for the rest of the NFL. If someone shuts down the running attack we are screwed. We can’t pass for more than 200 yards for more than 1 week at a time. 31st ranked passing offense and it doesn’t stand a chance of getting better because they simply don’t call enough pass plays. 21 attempts is what most quarterbacks get in a half, but for us it’s a whole game. That’s part of the problem. Need more attempts to get better. I’ve been saying they need to let Kaep throw it 25-30 times a game, at least then they would have a chance to find a rhythm in the pass game.

      2. I think all of us would like to see Kaepernick throw 30 times a game. However, the 49ers’ passing attack is not conducive for that type of production.
        They rely on a big play offense. That means a lot of 3 and outs or quick scores in a few plays. They simply don’t run enough passing plays in a game to allow them to keep airing it out.
        Running the ball allows them to keep passing the ball in that scheme. Without the first downs on the ground, the offense wouldn’t be on the field. JMO

      3. I personally would not like to see the 49ers chuck it around in the air. Football and successful football teams have always had a fundamental emphasis on the running game. It does so much for teams from a controlling the game perspective. One thing it did yesterday and was so evident is that it keeps our defense fresh. Shootouts are good for fantasy football fans, bad for defenses.

      4. Kyle-How well is that concept working for Cam Newton? Remember the curfuffle when Alex Smith responded to a question by saying that Cam would probably be willing to trade some of his 300+ yard losses for some of Alex’s 200 yard wins. Oh the outrage heard around the NFL at Alex’ “slam” of Cam! The trouble is, his comments held up to logical scrutiny then, as they do now.
        I LOVE me some Frank and Boobie running the rock to put the game away in the 4Q! More like that.

      5. Kyle. You’re a moron. Who are the highest rated QBs in the NFL by YPA?

        Look it up you friggin DB.

        And learn how to distinguish “too” from “to” or “two”. Thanks homie.

  19. Adam707 says:
    October 20, 2013 at 8:43 pm
    “True jack. Just irritating. I treat the regulars with respect and I’ve always got the same.”

    Adam707,
    I did not totally agree with your take but neither was I disingenuous. I was honest in stating my reasons (team improvement in all facets) for my mild disagreement.
    I only persisted in my comments because you kept the topic alive.
    I was in no way trying to be offensive and apologize if I came across that way.

    1. You argued my points using your own opinions. No childish language. That’s how sports debates are suppose to be. Got nothing but respect for that

  20. Peyton Manning very classy in defeat. Shaking everyone hand, from the cops to trainers. Anyone notice that when we lost against the Colts, Kaep just ran off the field when the game was over.

      1. He will, he’s 14-15 full NFL ‘playing’ seasons behind Peyton. Petyon has always been a cut above when it comes to class.

        I’d think that next time the Niners get their a**es handed to them, Kap will much more gracious. Let’s hope that’s next year.

    1. Neal,

      You have a very good point on kap action after the loss to Indy.
      What can you expect, he lack sportmanship and humbleness. The attention that kap received last season, went over kaps head. Kap thought he was invincible and untouchable from his point of view. Every good thing always comes to an end. He needs to be more mature in his action on and off the field and being humble is very important.

    1. That should be ending in November, they have the Broncos twice, Chargers twice and Colts. That could be 5 loses, but at least I see 3 loses.

      1. I think they’ll split with the Broncos. And I think they can sweep the Chargers. They are not a great team, but they can to a QB like Rivers who is more stationary in the pocket.

      2. Me too Jack. However I think the matchup will be decided by the KC O vs Denver D. I think the Chefs can score on Denver.

      3. Fan 77,

        There’s a good chance the chiefs goes 9-0 before they play the Broncos at Denver. With the Chiefs superior defense and their crowd’s noise, the Chiefs have a chance to beat Denver at home and maybe at Denver. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Chiefs go in the playoff with the best record in the AFC.

    2. Jack,
      Who would have thunk it? KC 7-0. I’m telling ya they just know how to win in the 4th quarter.
      They can rush the passer.

      1. I actually called it at the beginning of the season. I picked KC to win that division. I didn’t predict 7-0 but I did say they had the easiest schedule and a solid D. Their issue was Q play last season. The odds were +400 so not too many people are surprised with KC’s success.

      2. Not too many people who are paid to make predictions is how I should have prefaced it. My apologies. It was a little too broad of a stroke.

      3. @ Matt:

        No need to apologize. I was just tweaking certain commenters who let their anti-Smith bias blind them to KC’s potential to be good this year. As you noted, the Chiefs have loads of talent on defense. In addition, both Reid and Smith are much better than the guys they replaced.

    3. K.C. did not look good today, and Smith was absolutely pedestrian. Chiefs got lucky and converted a 3rd and 28 using a screen pass to ice the game. The DE for Houston was an idiot – was busy rushing the passer instead of looking for the screen. Any 49er fan knows that Smith can’t throw the ball more than 10 yards.

      1. funny, kaepernick goes 4-15 vs Texans and some posters say, well the Texans are a really good defense..smith threw for 240 yards against that really good defense

      2. Well, yeah, Smith threw for 240 yds and no TDs and 1 interception. This is the third game in the row that Smith has not thrown for a TD. Anyway, I think its pretty clear that the Houston defense is not very good (apart from JJ Watt).

      3. Mark – Kaep is not going to be Brady out of the gate. He will show what he is going to be during the next few seasons, same as the other young QB’s (except Luck… dude is HAM!!!). Until then, I’m not big on saying he is amazing, or terrible, or arrogant, or whatever. I wouldn’t bet against Kaep though. Texans are a good D. Brian Cushing is a nasty LB, and Joseph is a talented CB. Wade has done some good things with them, and coached this week despite losing his father (pretty sure father?). You also need to think about rhythms in this game. The Niners don’t normally have a passing rhythm. It’s been the running game forever. That identity may shift over the next few season’s depending on personnel changes. The Chiefs are not that either. They will be working out their offense for a while longer. Andy will make sure that is taken care of though, he is a hell of a coach.

        ALSO!! and this is my biggest point. Take this however you want, but in business industries you use big data for a lot of things. Forecasting, quality control in manufacturing, pricing, etc. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to take data too literally. It can really hurt you when you are analyzing something. Stats are the same way. There are always multiple factors that go into every analysis. In the end it’s really the experience and talent of the person who interprets the data that counts, along with the time they put in, not the data itself. ProFootballFocus and all the other statistics sites are great tools, but they don’t tell the story, only the numbers. The story still needs to be put together.

      4. Alex Smith could take the Chiefs to a 16-0 record, and win the SB, and there would still be some people on this blog who would say he’s rubbish because he doesn’t win it all on his own with his arm and legs.

        Credit where credit is due – he knows how to win games when he’s playing for a good, well coached team. There are plenty of starting NFL QBs that can’t say the same thing.

      5. The Texans defense is a good defense. The chiefs scored 17 points at home against Houston. Smith is playing like Smith. His defense saved his bacon yesterday. He threw a pick late and gave Houston the ball at the Houston 30 yard line. However the defense stepped up like they have all season. However, Houston had a chance right in front of them. With a rookie QB as well.

        The coming weeks will tell us what they are made of. Their remaining schedule gets awfully tough. Rivers is on fire and Denver will score more points than K.C. Is even capable of scoring. Don’t overlook the Raiders in Oakland either. They’ll have a few linemen back and they actually played the Chiefs pretty evenly for 3 quarters in K.C. I need 1 more win from. K.C. Then we can start planning on how to use that 2nd round pick.

      6. @ Jack:

        That was funny; thanks for the laugh. The man spent nearly 4 hours tweeting the same message. He must be related to Smith. I guess that means Hofer’s real name is John Stewart.

      7. Agree with everyone, but still don’t think Houston defense is good. Any defense that allows a team to convert on 3rd and 28 with a dump off screen pass is not good. Did they think Smith was going to throw a 28 yard pass? Did they check the game tape on this guy?

      8. I believe several starters on defense were out of the game at that point, so I give the Niners a pass on that play. When its 3rd and 21, the first play a defense should look for is a screen. Houston should not have been surprised by it.

      9. KC never looks good and Smith looks good at times, then okay in others but then next thing you know, the win the game. The game was not as close as the score. The Chiefs were inches short of a TD, and then they go for it an 4th and goal and didn’t get it.
        They have the best defense in the league mainly because of those two pass rushers. They haven’t really played anyone but neither has Denver.
        They are the 2011 Niners, with good defense, strong special teams and just enough on Offense. They don’t play anyone, much like the Niners in 2011. Colts exposed the Broncos. Until Reggie Wayne went down, I would pick the Colts as the best team and the favorite to make it out of the AFC.
        Luck vs. Harbaugh in the SB would be awesome.

      1. lol ! … I only mentioned him once, so ..
        I think I’m good … but

        please, Pete ..
        don’t confuse me with MidWest ..
        (he’s the other guy)

    1. Tebow, Tebow, Tebow! Lord, make it so, I want to see the Niners play Tebow again. If the Niners win against Tebow, it will mean that Jesus is on our side.

  21. What’s the over/under for the Niners scoring more than 30 for five straight games? Against the Jags, the odds have gotta be good.

    FYI – Jags allow an avg. of 31.7 points per game, rank 31st in the league.

  22. Way too early predictions? The best kind.

    AFC Playoff Picture.

    1. Denver
    2. Indianapolis
    3. Cincinnati
    4. New England
    5. Kansas City
    6. San Diego

    Sleeper: Tennessee

    NFC Playoff Picture

    1. New Orleans
    2. San Francisco
    3. Green Bay
    4. Dallas
    5. Seattle
    6. Detroit

    Sleeper: Carolina

    Justification:
    -Denver had a bad day, but that offense will keep rolling.
    -Indianapolis is on a mission, but they won’t quite catch Denver to overtake #1.
    -Cincinnati is leaps and bounds over Baltimore and Pitt, who both have offenses who can’t seem to get it together, and both D’s are in the midst of major leadership changes.
    -Pats should have the constitution to pull through, based on the inconsistency from the rest of the division. NE is consistent *enough* to win.
    -KC Defense is looking like a powerhouse, but Offense is lacking. Andy Reid might have some tricks up his sleeve though….
    - San Diego – Offense is rolling. Rivers is proving some doubters wrong right now. I think this team will surprise people.
    - Tennessee is much improved with Locker at QB. I don’t think they have what it takes this season, but I’d keep an eye on them for next season. They are on the rise.

    -Saints – Man… Drew Brees… Rob Ryan is doing good things with that D.
    - Niners – Assuming they get and stay healthy, I think they can keep the Seahawks at bay.
    - Green Bay – Aaron Rodgers can seemingly throw to anyone.
    - Dallas – Put it this way… it isn’t going to be the Giants, the Eagles are on their 3rd string QB, and although the skins could prove me wrong, this doesn’t look to be their year.
    - Seattle – Good D. Offense does enough. Need to protect the ball and limit mistakes like the niners, but barring injuries they should be in the mix near the top of the league at the end.
    - Detroit – D is better than last year. Stafford is better than last year. If Bush can stick around long enough this offense is dangerous between him and Megatron. Akers….

    Carolina – Coaching… Rivera is gone… he has to be… Cam is better than people give him credit for. I think he could use a better head coach to push him mentally. Rivera doesn’t seem to be up to the task. And PLEASE get this man another person to throw to!! Defense is on the up and up. No names in the secondary are doing work. Like the titans, probably not this year, but next year I expect them to be on the hunt.

    1. Pete,

      You have Seattle as the fourth seed in the NFC? Even I don’t think the Seahawks are that overrated. I hope you’re right.

      1. He has the Seahawks as the 5th seed because he expects the 49ers to win the division, in which case 5th is the best the Seahawks could do. It’s a prediction.

    2. Ex,

      If that’s the way he rated them, I don’t agree with that. I just think he listed a group of teams, but not by rankings. Look at where K.C. is. They are definitely not 5th best. They are better than that.

      1. I think he listed them in seed order, not power listing. KC is in the division with devner and if denver wins the division (although they are currently behind KC), then the best KC could do is the #1 wildcard spot, 5th.

  23. Well, as I had guessed earlier, this game turned out to be easier than the one against the Cardinals, and the Niners did win by more than one score.

    Niners have now scored more than 30 points in 4 straight games. Wonder when was the last time that happened. It was certainly more than 10 years ago.

  24. Ive heard alot about “when we play good D” and I think people are forgetting we have played good Defenses and Tennessee is much regarded to have a very good defense… as well as the texans. The best thing about what the niners did today was balance. 200 ish passing yards and 150ish rushing yards is a pretty good recipe for success. The niners pure rushing attack was essentially shut down (3 ypc) but it was enough and we made plays in the air and kap made some plays with his feet. Thats the kind of game we need. I dont think KW hands are very reliable he tries to body catch too often but he can make a play every now and then. I think those place to VMac will start to come chemistry just needs a little more time. All teams should “scare” you this is the NFL and if you give less than your best effort you can lose to any team. We’re 5-2… remember when people were worried after we got blasted by NYG and then Seattle…. all of a sudden we were in the SB

  25. D+ for the wide receivers? Beyond dumb. Boldin was spectacular.

    B for a defensive line that got no penetration? Too high. We really need Aldon back.

    A- is too high for the coaches, because of the reason you mentioned – the Jimmy Raye prevent offense, the total lack of a killer instinct. One of these days it’s going to cost us a game.

    But the grades were somewhat less silly than usual.

    1. Agreed. The WR grade was ridiculous. Boldin got off big time. Gotta grade on a curve there….. Speaking of WR’s, when does Patton come back?

    2. Both the colts and the broncos had many 3&outs last night. Were those coaches “getting too conservative and trying to give the game away?”
      Its football, you aren’t going to be able to control every minute of every game.

  26. Yesterday someone posted that Kaep had the highest Advanced QB rating this season in yesterdays game. ( If I read that wrong apologies in advance. Don’t want to upset the blog police for posting an inaccuracy )
    Looking at the advanced ratings, Kaepernick is now rated top seven in the league. The only QB that surprises me in that top ten group is Jake Locker. Back to Kaep, take away two terrible games that he had in games two and three, and he would be a top three QB in the advanced rating system.

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/qbr

    After watching yesterdays game, I have to further blame the coaching staff for the offensive lull at the beginning of the season. I understand Kaep having to go through a learning curve taking snaps under center and not running so that he can learn to go through progressions. I don’t think there are any short cuts when it comes to tutoring a running QB to master this style of traditional pocket play. However, it was clear to me that yesterday’s style of offense is where Kaep flourishes. It makes him almost impossible to game plan for and almost impossible to stop. Leaves me with a few questions.

    Had they not been running the pistol and read option because they wanted Kaep to learn to play under center?

    Had they not been running it because it left their QB exposed to injury without a decent backup?

    Had they not been running it because Frank Gore doesn’t run well out of that formation?

    Or they only run it when the matchup is favorable?

    Our next two are very winnable home games. Then we have two tough road matchups. The Saints game will be a war for sure. They don’t like us. On the flip side, looking at the Seahawk’s schedule, we need help from Atlanta and the Saints to hand the Chickens a L. If that happens, then I am very confident we take care of business against them at home and win the division. The only game that scares me is N.O. away…… Aldon back in a couple of weeks? Please?

    1. The way atlanta has been playing it will be a miracle if they beat the seawahks.
      Re: coaches choosing not to run the read-option, we will never get a real explanation, but my guess is that its mostly due to game planning and what they think will favor them matchup-wise. the other factors, like CK taking fewer hits, getting more experience under center/going through progressions are probably contributing small amounts as well.

    1. I’d guess he has played his last game as a starting QB in the NFL. It’s a shame because in the right system and behind a solid line, he could have been extremely good.

      1. Just a gut reaction, but I’m not ready to think Bradford is altogether done in the NFL. Alex’s rep was lower-than-whale-poop (bottom of the ocean) at one time, but now, while no Peyton Manning, he’s a respectable NFL QB leading his team towards the PlayOffs. Al Davis resurrected Jim Plunkett’s career. Bradford may re-emerge.
        OK, Clem/Jordo/Bay et al, you may now accuse me of offering Bradfordcuses! ; >)

    2. last game as a ram perhaps, but there are many teams that would consider a healthy bradford as an upgrade over their current qb, or at least even-competition for the starting job.

      1. ^ This. If I were the Cardinals, I might be considering… Or the Browns, or the Eagles, or the Raiders, or the Jaguars. I could probably keep going. In a perfect world, the Niners could sign him for a bargain backup QB price.

    3. Had Bradford emerged this as a top level QB, the Rams were primed to build a bully with the extra 2014 first rounder.

      The ACL probably means they have to use the extra draft pick on a QB.

      I like Bradford. Seems like a good guy. Hope he works out somewhere.

      1. Sam Bradford restructured his contract in 2012 foregoing the guaranteed money in 2014 and 2015. His contract is only guaranteed through 2013.

        While I don’t think the ACL injury will affect the statue that Bradford is, I do think that the injury will keep him from ever being a starter in the NFL.

        When you look at the teams who need a QB, they are all deficient when it comes to protecting the QB. Cardinals, Bills, Browns, Eagles, Raiders, and Jags.

        Bradford may become a backup QB somewhere, but even solid teams won’t need him to start an NFL game barring an injury.

  27. Overall I think the grades are OK. Perhaps a tad low here and there.
    -Shaving QB for two errant throws is demanding but not necessarily unfair. I remember Joe Cool making bad throws in games he won.
    -The RB grade seems weighted towards stats. My bias is to always argue for the peripheral contributions that FG makes, but Grant mentioned them but didn’t seem to weigh them. I’m quibbling here.
    -The WR grade gave me pause but isn’t altogether wrong. Can’t somebody else get open?
    -The ST grade is correct. I was pleased by the energy and execution of the kick coverage teams. Spillman, Osgood, Ventrone and the young DB Morris were all flashing well.
    -Left out? Referees Grade: D+, imo. They allowed the DBs to be very grabby without calling D-holding or PI, and they allowed Pollard and others to get away with a lot of bologna after the whistle.
    All together, a decent game on film as a sendoff for their Excellent Adventure. And they’ve got Okoye to help bridge the language gap;
    USA/UK = “Two similar cultures separated by a common language.”

    1. I agree with shaving points of CK’s grade for that “interception.” The penalized hit was in no way responsible for that throw.
      The WR situation is in dire need of help. I’ve been a KW supporter through and through, but I’ve been slowly getting off that wagon this year and yesterday was it for me. He is ted ginn status. Everytime he messes up I yell at the Tv that he’s fired.
      Baldwin – jury still out
      KW – done
      Moore – who/where/what?
      Patton – please comeback, how is my man gonna break two different bones in such limited action?

      1. How are you gonna penalize a player for a play that doesn’t count? Makes zero sense. As for Williams, I still say they are incorrectly utilizing him. They need to use him like the Rams used to use Amendola with underneath drag routes.
        It’s not the WR’s fault or the QB’s fault that we are so limited in the patterns that we run. What happened to the slant pattern? What happened to the drag routes? Frank Gore FINALLY got a swing pass thrown to him this last game. Perfect throw and and even better run after the catch.
        Also once we are up by a couple of scores, why wouldn’t they make more of an effort to involve other WR’s in attempts to build chemistry with the QB? Unless they’ve given up on that…..

      2. “Also once we are up by a couple of scores, why wouldn’t they make more of an effort to involve other WR’s in attempts to build chemistry with the QB?”

        2011 – Josh Morgan

    2. My 2 cents:

      I think the WR group currently starting is mediocre at best but I don’t think they are totally to blame for the lack of production. It looks to me like CK makes his mind up before the snap so it makes the #2 and #3 WR’s look probably worse than they are really playing. Wouldn’t mind having one of those film nuts break down the game and see if guys are getting open and if CK is making reads appropriately.

      Also, d line probably does deserve a B but the run defense is a major concern. If they don’t shore up the middle before the playoffs this team could be in trouble.

  28. Another game that mattered in his legacy, another game that Peyton stuck the nail in his own coffin with a game-ending INT.

    Ain’t nobody, not even Romo, can live up to Manning’s legacy for choking.

    1. Seriously E? Hard to call a guy a choker when he’s defense is so bad that you are expected to score on every possession. Can’t call a guy a choker when his defense gives up 40 points.
      On the flip side, weird weird weekend. Bum Philips passed away, then Bud Adams, end of season for Bradford, Reggie Wayne and the Bucks RB Martin….. All in one weekend.

      1. Yeah Bay, seriously.

        Jim Irsay said it best (to paraphrase): “All those accolades and just 1 stinkin ring! I’ll take my chances on Luck and let the bum Manning go.”

        Why all the hate on Peyton? Because everybody on every media outlet continues to shovel cr*p at me, saying how great he is. He’s not great. Greatness in football is defined by performance in clutch moments, and Peyton has always thrown key INTs like he did last night, like he did last season, like he has his entire career.

      2. Had he had a defense last year or last night he would have won on both occasions. Montana for all his greatness always had a top four defense. And yes, he threw picks too, just not in superbowls : )

      3. Bay

        Are you related to Peyton? The Broncos have a top defense and just got Von Miller and Champ Bailey back. Peyton is a fantasy supernova and a postseason dud. It’s well-documented.

        Media punters sing his praises because it behooves them to do so. The regular season is 17 weeks long, and the postseason just 5 weeks. They laid him because he is their cashcow, not because he is the ultimate QB.

      4. Peyton and GM Elway are a match made in heaven. Nearly 40 years of “elite” QB play combined and a measly 3 rings to show for it.

  29. Gore had 24 carries this game – I think he’s over 20 for the last 4 games now. If he’s the catalyst and heart of the offense, at 30 years old (and I’ve been reading predictions of his demise for 2 or 3 years now), is his work-load going to catch up with the niners later in the season? Can they keep winning they way they have been the last 4 games without Gore getting 20+ carries? Love to hear some opinions.

    1. We’ll have to see on Frank wearing down. He’s saying he feels good, so we’ll hope for the best. I agree SF needs to sustain their rush attempts and would be nice to have Hunter, LMJ, and Boobie be effective in relief of FG.

    2. “I’ve been reading predictions of his demise for 2 or 3 years now”

      Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Eventually it will become true, but I’m loving the effort this man brings. Anyone remember the opening Ray Lewis speech from Madden 13? I feel like Frank exemplifies the point.

    3. I say run him till the wheels fall off. Frank is a beast and we got Lattimore waiting in the wings for next year and beyond.

    1. Jack:

      Good read.

      I haven’t had a chance to watch the game yet, but from what I have read, it seems like the 49ers dusted off the read option and used it more yesterday than they have in the previous few weeks. Do you have any idea of what the breakdown was for runs from pistol/shotgun vs. runs from traditional formation? I assume that whatever success Gore had came from the traditional formation. Is that correct? Did it look like Tennessee was unprepared for QB runs out of the read option? Just looking at the stats would suggest that those were the only running plays that worked with any consistency.

      1. “breakdown was for runs from pistol/shotgun vs. runs from traditional formation”

        Pistol/Shotgun – 7 runs, 5 by Kaepernick for 36 yards, 2 by Hunter for 6 yards

        Traditional – 27 runs, 2 by Hunter for 0 yards, 1 by Dixon for 8 yards, 1 by Kaepernick for 6 yards, the rest by Gore.

        “Did it look like Tennessee was unprepared for QB runs out of the read option?”

        Well, there were 2 big runs by Kaepernick, and on the other 5 the longest was a 6 yarder. They defended it well for the most part, but the 20 yard TD run was beautiful execution with sweet blocks by Miller and Gore down field to clear the way.

      2. Jack:

        Thanks. Yeah, I saw the replay for Kaepernick’s TD run and loved both Miller’s and Gore’s blocks.

        I see that Gore did not run out of the pistol/shotgun. Was he the RB on any of Kaepernick’s read option runs? I ask because I wonder whether the 49ers risk telegraphing plays by which RB is in the backfield?

      3. Nice stuff Jack.
        My only concern for the team now is whether or not their is diversity beyond VD and Boldin. Sooner or later that lack of a viable #2 WR threat is going to hurt, when a team has the personnel to scheme out those options, and we are left for a lot of 3 and outs. This goes for any QB.
        Also there are three phases in the game, and ST is dicey outside of Andy Lee.

      4. Jack,
        The teams I think can match up with the Niners is Sea, Saints, and Dallas.
        If Tony Romo gets hot, Niners might be able to keep up and they have a good D to contain the limited weapons we have.
        Of course that’s the Niner team as of now, if they evolve and add dimensions, that could change.
        The Niners are slowly building a team and two games remaining will set the tone — SEA and SAINTS. They can run the table even with a developing Colin.
        Also if no one on the D gets hurt…

      5. “Sooner or later that lack of a viable #2 WR threat is going to hurt, when a team has the personnel to scheme out those options”

        This is what I was referring to when I said only Seattle.

    2. Great job Jack.

      The read option worked on a couple of occasions but it’s still more miss than hit. I like that they brought it out once in awhile for a different look though.

      The thing I was most pleased about was they finally called a pass to Gore. They really need to involve the RB’s in the passing game more often which in turn may help the WR’s out further down field.

      The defense was very good until the second half of the 4th quarter when they took their foot off the pedal. Locker got half of his passing yards and both TD’s in that period of time so I’m not concerned at all. It would be nice to get the players to focus on a full 60 minutes, but when you are up 24-3 with about 8 mins left in the game it’s hard not to gear it down and start focusing on the flight to London.

      No other WR’s catching passes again, but then none had many chances come their way either. Can’t make a play if the throw doesn’t come to you. Kap is focused on one read, maybe two at some times and then he’s leaving the pocket. Something he has to correct as time goes along. We don’t have great secondary WR’s right now, but they need to be included and can make some plays if given the opportunity.

      Overall and pretty well played and Coached game on both sides of the ball.

      1. Agree on all accounts rocket. Though I imagine it is hard for Kaep to have confidence in the other WRs when the coaches don’t have the confidence to make them the 1st read on a play.

  30. Agree completely with your analysis and grading of the coaching. I was very happy they ran the ball six times on the opening drive and rediscovered Kaep’s legs. It seemed that they set Kaep up to succeed with rhythm passing early. I continue to be deeply concerned with Kaep’s inability to find any WR not wearing 81, but the TV angles didn’t reveal if he simply didn’t see other open receivers, as in several recent games, or if he legitimately didn’t have other options. I wonder if the coaches can help here by calling more plays with other primaries, going back to moving pockets, screens, etc.

    And I also agree that they went too conservative in the second half and let the Titans back in. That includes the defensive side – Locker had time to have a sandwich and a pedicure on the 26-yard TD toss to Delanie.

    Good grades generally, glad they got a win, hope Dial can contribute more against Jacksonville.

    1. Das,

      After seeing the Kyle Williams fumble, I am thinking it has to do with trust. In Seattle, it’s clear Wilson trusts his receivers. Honestly, I like how the receivers are coached there. They are taught to attack the ball. They switch routes on the fly when their QB is in trouble. That’s how broken plays become successes, although sometimes there is some serious luck involved. My biggest compliment to Wilson and his receivers is the communication between them. They really seem to be on the same page. I haven’t seen that with Kaep yet, but I think it will come. It’s another step to take in leadership.

  31. Finally! Kap unleashed!

    The Good:
    Kap unleashed is a defense’s worst nightmare. He can outrun the defense. Stack the box, as TN was doing and, boom, he is outside contain and galloping into the end zone. Play back and spy, well Green Bay learned that lesson.
    Kap can unleash long throws on the move, on a dime better than any other QB today. Yes, he has misses, but most of his bullets hit their target. Too bad he only has two downfield targets right now.

    The Bad:
    Kap creates too many 3-n-outs. The shorter, quick hitting, ball control offense that Luck thrives on last night is not yet in Kap’s repertoire. He loves the big play, Harbaugh loves the big play and GRo loves the big play. When the big play doesn’t connect (Seattle anyone), then 3-n-out, 3-n-out, 3-n-out.
    Kap and the coaches need to learn to ball control the game when the box is stacked 8/9 to stop the run. Use the short pass to set up the run.

    Frankly, right now is when the Niners should be testing this out and integrating other receivers and RBs into the short passing mix. Learn how to control the game.

  32. I had to work Sunday and didn’t see the game. Here are my grades based on what I was hoping for and what I’ve read about the game.

    - The 49ers squeaking out a win despite being terribly thin at NT. A
    - Ray McDonald adapting to the biceps injury. A
    - Dorsey (or Dial) being able to play at a decent level till the injury gets better. A
    - No major injuries. C (“A” if the safeties are OK for London)
    - Contributions from wide Receivers not named Boldin. F
    - Vance McDonald developing nicely. A (did not see the catch, but I saw his block on a Kaepernick run)
    - Positive news/rumors on Aldon, Crabtree and Manningham. A

    1. “Positive news/rumors on Aldon, Crabtree and Manningham”

      Lol, indeed. Some relief from the injury train is welcomed anytime.

    2. Brodie- I thought the Titans would attack NT, but they had a rookie Center getting his first NFL start, so they didn’t focus there. The rookie actually played decently, but Dorsey contributed and Dial got his feet wet.

      1. I’ll take it. My concern was they had to start Dial at NT with 3 days total of practice. A healthy Dorsey and developing Dial are just what the doctor ordered.

        Surprised Dial played some snaps at end, but also not surprised because Fangio highly values versatility and said Dial had “untapped pass rush potential” in April.

    3. McDonald made a great adjustment on a ball that was tipped. Fantastic catch. He also won on a deep route but Kap just overthrew him.

      1. “McDonald…also won on a deep route”

        After lining up in the slot. It seems as though the coaches have been getting him involved a lot more the last couple weeks.

      2. His blocking has improved greatly as well. He’s gonna show up as a playmaker in the second half of the season. This offense was made for TEs.

  33. I’d like to see blocking mentioned more frequently for Tight End grades.

    Learning NFL pass routes must be a big challenge for VMac. The blocking assignments for the Walker’s SAK role seem like a bigger hill to climb. I was expecting far more procedure penalties this stage of his career. I think he’s doing great and will play more instinctively (and faster) as the season progresses.

  34. Not hating on Kep just wondering aloud: Could his increased sucess in this game be due to the fact that Ten played a ton of zone coverage to counter the read option and that his struggles vs Man coverage are still there?

    I hope not but I’l feel much better once I see him play confidently and effectively against a team that mans up and dares him to beat them a la SEA and IND

  35. I bet we will see an ample amount of the read option this week. More than yesterday . We should beat Jacksonville very easily and by using the run option often in the last 2 weeks before the bye it will force Carolina into spending time preparing for it, Carolina has an outstanding D and forcing them to prepare for something they might not see would be a big advantage for the 9ers.

  36. Daniel Jeremiah ‏@MoveTheSticks:
    Frank Gore leads the NFL in explosive runs. He has 7 runs of 20+ yards.

    “His legs are gone. They no longer have the snap or explosion or whatever you want to call the thing a running back’s legs need.” Grant, September 2013.

  37. On Offense I would like to see:
    1. Quick slant pass to Williams; like to see if he can contribute.
    2. Short passes to the Backs.
    3. Middle screen pass, to slow down rush.
    4. More passes to McDonald.
    5. Dixon run the ball a few times in the first half. in the last couple of games in appears to be running harder/down hill.

    1. The swing pass to Gore was really successful yesterday. Screen passes are difficult because the timing needs to be precise, but that is something I’d like to see the 49ers improve at, given the athleticism of their O-line.

  38. In essence I would like to see some more elements of the Bill Walsh offense used to keep the ball moving. Hunter would be good along with Gore in the Roger Craig role.

    1. I’m not making excuses, but remember we have the opposite of the Bill Walsh offense live. We have huge maulers that specialize in the power run game. Walsh preferred smaller quicker lineman that specialized in screen passes etc. Roman is running what fits our personnel better. Having that been said, I still would like to see more swing passes and a few screens.

  39. Good game. Two tendencies are still driving me up the wall. First, too often the ball is snapped at the last second. Plays must be sent in with ample time to audible and complete your shifts. Second, play-calling is too conservative in the second half. Gore is usually worn down by then. Rotate the backs more. Haven’t seen a decent screen all year. Aloha from Honolulu Paul.

  40. “The Cowboys and Eagles are competing to win the divisional equivalent of a public access cable television station”. Just love that quote, had to include it.

    Thumbs up yesterday for the play of Osgood, Morris, Brock, Kaep, Reid, Miller, and Old Man Gore. Didn’t think Dorsey would even play, happy we signed him. Also, admire the heck out of Locker. He should clearly be rehabbing his knee…hey, Titans, we have some swamp land called McCoyville we can trade you for Jake. And we should just make red the Titans’ color, given the number of Niner relatives in the stands…wasn’t even an away game.

    Thumbs down on the announcing crew. Bill Murray would have done a better job. My God.

    London belongs to the beloved Niners. Need to get a yearly game in Dublin, too, where gridiron has taken hold.

    1. La-La – The announcers were better than Joe Buck. :)
      As for the Cowgirls, I’d love to see them get crushed at the stick in playoffs. Then Niners beat Shehawks in final game at stick, in NFC Championship.

      1. Unless we overcome the 1.5 game deficit, I foresee us playing Dallas at their stadium for the wild-card round. Don’t even have a problem with that, as I think we haven’t hit our basic foundational level yet, which means we might end up being the strongest team by year-end. However, I’d like to see more playmakers from our Air Corps.

      2. Crab15,

        The Seattle Seahawks are going to win the NFC west. The Hawks won’t have any difficulty beating the 49ers again at the stick. The NFCC is going to be in Seattle, its the Saints vs Seahawks. The two best team in the NFC at the end of the season.

        The 49ers will go to the NFC playoffs, but they will not advance to the NFCC.

      3. Cape man says “The Hawks won’t have any difficulty beating the 49ers again at the stick?

        Why do you say that? There is no reason to think that they can or they won’t, only if your thinking is skewed more towards the cheering of a 49er loss. In that case or if not, why do you see the a seahawks steamrolling the 49ers at home? Please explain the reasons or if your just hoping for that to happen?

      4. Capeman is a Seahawks fan and the biggest troll on this blog now that “no pressure” has been gone. You can’t tell that every post is about what the Niners can’t do no matter who they are playing?

      5. Capeman, I really thought Seattle would be the most dominating team in the NFL this year, but they even had difficulty beating the Titans at home, and that was without Locker. The Saints are playing with anger, which makes them more dangerous than the Hawks.

      6. I still think we win the division if we beat the Saints AND the Hawks.

        To me, the most important element to beating Seattle is our defensive front seven stuffing their running game.

        I don’t know how the Hawks get movement up front with their subpar OLs, but they do. If we can get Dial, Tank and Aldon in the rotation so everyone can stay fresh, maybe we can turn the tide.

      7. There’s no question the Seahawks are the team to beat. but the Niners are right there, along with the Saints.
        The Niners have a pretty easy schedule from here on out, with only the Saints, Seahawks and possibly the Panthers. But we get the Panthers after a bye.
        But we have to play the Saints in NO. We beat them last year but it took a few INT for pick 6 to ice the game.
        The Seahawks have the same easy schedule, but they get NO at home. The only potentially tough game left is the NY Giants in December. It will be cold back east, which also happens to be where the Superbowl is this year.
        Can you imagine if it really is the Chiefs in the SB? They can win with Defense, and a lucky Special Teams TD.
        If The Niners had a younger Gore, I would like our chances. Maybe that’s when we spring the new Pistol that we’ve been saving.
        But I think it’s going to be INDY from the AFC.
        Before the lame 23 Jordan starts trolling, this is all interesting speculation for true football fans.

      8. Fan77,

        I thought we were finished with the name calling. I told you that it had no respect for you and that it would be best that we avoid dealing with one another on this blog. I won’t respond to your posts and you don’t respond to mine. We certainly need not try to antagonize one another as well. However, here you are addressing me as a troll. I don’t get it? I thought we had an understanding? We don’t respect each other, why not just respect the blog and the other posters and avoid one another?

      9. 23 Jordan,
        You act as if I care if I think you respect me. I do not. I will keep it to football when you do. Earlier you left a comment on one of my posts claiming I was dissing Kap. You ignored all the football facts and opinions, and went straight to the name calling. Nothing I wrote even mentioned Kap.

        Now that I look back, you never ever make any football comments about anything.

        Sadly it’s taken me this long to realize that.
        So when you choose to use fact to add to a conversation, so will I. When you start labeling, I will do the same.

        Then we have an understanding.

      10. Fan77,

        I may have followed up a post of yours but what I didn’t do is call you lame and call you a troll. If you notice in when I address you, I call you by your screen name. I respectfully ask that the same be done. All it does is destroy the thread with the garbage personal crap. That’s why I avoid prime time. I no longer want any part of it. Good luck.

      11. 23 Neal, don’t flatter yourself. No one cares about what you say, how you say it, only that you will always be remembered for trashing one of the classiest players ever to wear the SF logo.
        Sure you didn’t like his game, most don’t, but your approach to it all was as low as your income son. I’m also done with you. You see me address you again, I will send you lunch money for the month!

      12. Prime,

        I think that the Seahawks will steamroll over the 49ers at the stick, because of the last two prior meeting between the two teams. The Seahawks dominated the 49ers in every aspect of the game. Kap and the 49ers team had a tough time scoring points against the Hawks defense and the 49ers loss two blow out games to the hawks. All of the 49ers key players played against the hawks, and they still got humiliated, the score was lopsided in favor of the Hawks. Can you just imagine how dominant the Seahawks team will be when all their key players come back from injury? Already the Hawks are winning and dominating their opponents with their replacements players. I think the Hawks already showed their ability to win on the road; they already won 3 games on the road these season

      13. Those two blow outs were in SEA. It’s well documented how they play at home. Now of course there is cause for concern whenever you play a good team. But we also have some reinforcements coming back. We will be at home and don’t think for a minute this game between the two will mean that much more for the 49ers. We need it badly and the 49ers players know that if they want to send a message, they need to win.

      14. 23 Jordan,
        Dude! Do you read what you write? You’ve called me all sorts of things! You definitely have called me a troll and grouped me into the other people you thought were trolls.

        Only two people have issues with what i post on here.
        But alot people have issues with you.

        Clearly I’m not the only person that has put you in the clown category.

        But that’s the past. Live and let live.
        If you don’t like what I write, then just let it be. And in return I’ll do the same and just ignore you.

      15. Prime,
        I agree with your assessment, the Hawks and the 49ers know how much these game means to both teams. They both know what is at stake when they play each other, Home field advantage, the NFC west division title, and especially carrying the momentum to the NFC playoffs.

        Injury to the key players for both the team will make a difference for both the team success. The game between the hawks and 49ers team will generate a lot of viewer on television.

    2. Oh, and thumbs down to Kyle Williams. Patience has stopped being a virtue…he should have a statue entitled, “The Fair Catch”.

    3. Sullyball,

      It’s not that offensive line for Seattle, it’s Lynch. The man gets more yards after contact than any player in football. They don’t call him beastmode for nothing. The man is truly a beast. We’ve not tackled the guy since Franklin left the Niners. We absolutely need every single one of our defensive linemen active and available when we play Seattle here at home.

      1. 23Jordan,

        Give Russell Wilson some credit, he makes the hawks offense very dangerous when he gets out of the pocket and not only that he makes plays throwing the football. Russell Wilson is a young talented quarterback, he might not be tall, but this kid knows how to play quarterback in the NFL. I’ll take Wilson over Kap anyday.

      2. Capeman,
        are you a troll? Are you a Niner fan? It doesn’t seem like you are. Let me school you on something. Look at Russel Wilson’s last seven games last year and compare them to his seven games this year, and he is down in every category. Did you know that? Completion % down, game yardage down, scoring, down.
        Against a good 49ers defense in Seattle, Wilson only completed 42% of his passes for 140 yards. He looked aweful. Agaisnt Houston, the game that Schaub gave to Seattle, Wilson had a 49 QB rating and threw for 123 yards. In his loss to Indy, Wilson completed 48% of his passes.
        As far as getting out of the pocket, he has to frequently because of his size. While Kaep will improve his overall game, Wilson will not get taller than 5’10″. Most the the NFL IMO would take Kaep over Wilson in a landslide.
        Now I ask you again. Why do you come on this site and are you a 49er fan?

      3. Bay

        The guy is a Seahawks fan. All he does is talk about what the Niners can’t do against Seattle. He’s the last troll left on the site. Don’t feed him. He will soon be gone as well. Russell is illusive as hell. However, his height is killing him in the pocket when there is ANY pressure. The ends have to crash the pocket. Their horse is Lynch. When we contain Lynch, we beat Seattle.

      4. 23jordan says:

        The 49ers defensive ends have to crash the pocket. Their horse is Lynch. When we contain Lynch, we beat Seattle.

        23 what you’re saying is an old story, the 49ers defensive ends need to crash the pocket, so they can get to R. Wilson? Haven’t the 49ers done that exact thing you’ve said, did the 49ers have any luck in their attempt to get to Wilson? If, I can recall the 49ers tried so many times in the last two meetings and the 49ers weren’t successful. The first meeting the 49ers got a drubbing 42-13 from the Hawks, the second meeting they got humiliated again 29-3 by the hawks.

        I know exactly, what you’ll be saying that the last two games was played in Seattle, thats why the 49ers loss those games. And finally you’ll be saying again, I’m a Hawks fan and a troll that’s why i’m saying all the negative things toward the 49ers.

      5. No, no. When you rush Wilson, you must pocket contain and then squeeze like a vise until rainbow brite gets rained on….

      6. Bay,
        How can you school me in what Wilson can or can’t do? So far, I know the kid Wilson is a winner and most likely he will have a lot of success playing QB in NFL, I know for a fact, that Russell is a smart kid and is very talented young man. You keep insisting, if I’m a 49er fan or not? Does it matter, that you need to be a 49ers fan? To make a comment on another team’s blog? I’m not here to bash the 49ers or hope that something bad would happen to the 49ers players. I’m just a fan of football just here giving my own opinion nothing else. If I’m wrong with my assessment then so be it. You don’t need to agree with me or like my comments. Now, if you and 23 keep on calling me a troll every time I make a comment on these blog, then you guys have a big problem.

      7. Capeman,
        There is a book on Wilson, but he somehow make the right play when he needs to. I don’t think there’s that much that seperate the two teams. I just think their coaching staff is more creative. and I’m no fan of Pete Carroll.
        There is no juggarnaut team this year. They are all flawed. Except possibly, the Saints. If Brees gets hot and the D holds up, they will be a tough team to beat for both Seattle and SF. Seattle had a hard time with the Titans at home.
        The difference could be Seattle plays NO at home, while SF has to go to NO.
        If the Niners are a great team, they can beat anyone anytime, anywhere. I recalled Joe Montana going into Soldier Field for a NFCCG and threw a TD to Rice on the first play of the game.

  41. I know it wasn’t a Niner game, but Andrew Luck is a Stanford guy, so had to comment on the great game last night. The Colts still don’t have the full complement of talent needed to go all the way (especially after losing Wayne for the season), but just love their moxie. They have beaten three of the best teams already. Luck is special. The Niners had Joe followed by Steve, now the Colts have the same.

    And that hit put on by their kicker! Bam!

    1. If the Colts can get Richardson going they can win the Superbowl. Losing Wayne might really hurt though. See if DHB or Brazill can step up.

  42. Everything about our upcoming game against the Jags says we will easily win. It also is the perfect recipe for Freddy P Soft. On a sad note, Gus Bradley, head coach of the Jags, lost his dad last night. I realize this doesn’t have to mean anything. However, I’m sure the players will dedicate the game and their effort to Bradley. We all know that we are the better team. I just hope we continue to stay focused and continue to grind hard. I can’t see us losing that game but we all know stranger things have happened. Go Niners!

    1. On a sad note, Gus Bradley, head coach of the Jags, lost his dad last night.

      First Bum Philips, now this. If I were Ron Rivera’s dad, I would try to finish my bucket list next week.

    2. Never easy, my father pased a year and half ago and I think of my father every day as i try to be a good dad to my own kids. Hope we can start to get healthy and get more we into the mix! Go Niners!

  43. (tried posting this earlier and apologize if it’s in the thread above and I missed it). Overall, A. Niners went on the road and dominated an ok team, playing like an SB contender. Still have soft spots at WR and DL (TN got some push against them at times), but knock on wood we’re going to get healthier for the time that really matters: December, January, and February. I’m thinking/hoping J.Smith is saving something for the playoffs, and a rejuvenated Aldon will be right there with him.

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