49ers 9, Panthers 10: Grades

SAN FRANCISCO — Here are my grades for the 49ers’ 10-9 loss to the Panthers.

KAEPERNICK: F+. He completed just 11 passes and converted just 2 of 13 third downs. He had 46 net passing yards. That’s pathetic. He took 6 sacks and he threw an interception to seal the defeat. His passer rating in the fourth quarter was 0.0. But I give him an F+ and not an F because he threw a perfect deep pass to Vance McDonald in the fourth quarter but McDonald dropped it. If McDonald had not dropped it, the 49ers may have won the game.

RUNNING BACKS: B. Frank Gore had an excellent game against a tough run defense – four runs of more than 10 yards. He also caught two passes. He was the 49ers’ best offensive player. But Kendall Hunter was horrible. He fumbled on a run up the middle in the third quarter. In Hunter’s defense, he shouldn’t have run that play. He hasn’t run well up the middle all season. Bruce Miller had a nice 10-yard catch on the second play of the game. So, of course, Greg Roman didn’t call another pass for him until the fourth quarter.

WIDE RECEIVERS: F. Anquan Boldin was a non-factor. He caught three passes for 30 yards. Mario Manningham caught three passes for 23 yards and he also dropped at least two passes. Kyle Williams caught one pass for five yards.

TIGHT ENDS: Z. Vernon Davis fumbled near the Panthers’ end zone, but luckily for the Niners the refs ruled the play was a drop, not a fumble. Davis left the game with a concussion after one catch for two yards. Vance McDonald dropped both passes that were thrown to him. And Garrett Celek left the game in the first quarter because he pulled his hamstring.

OFFENSIVE LINE: C. They created holes for Gore against a tough 8-man box and that was impressive. But they were horrible in pass protection – they gave up 6 sacks. And Anthony Davis was flagged for a false start.

DEFENSIVE LINE: B. They held the Panthers to just 3.7 yards per carry. Justin Smith had five tackles including a tackle for a loss. Dobbs knocked down a pass. Ray McDonald left the game early with an ankle injury. He’s been dealing with an ankle issue since Week 2. Aldon Smith hardly played and did nothing when he was on the field, although he had a terrific bull rush on his first snap of the game.

LINEBACKERS: A. Ahmad Brooks was outstanding – three sacks, 5 tackles and he knocked down a pass. Dan Skuta also was terrific – four tackles, 1 tackle for a loss and he knocked down two passes. And Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman combined for 15 tackles and a sack.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: D. Tramaine Brock intercepted a pass that was right to him and Tarell Brown knocked away a deep pass to Brandon LaFell. Other than those plays, the secondary played poorly. They gave up crucial third down catches in the second half and the Panthers finished the game going 7 for 17 on third down.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C. Eric Reid recovered a fumbled punt and that was a big play. But they gave up 21.7 yards per punt return to Ted Ginn Jr., and Anthony Dixon decided to run a kickoff out from the back of the end zone toward the end of the game and got tackled at the 49ers’ 12 yard line and the 49ers ended up going three-and-out.

COACHING: F. The 49ers had two weeks to prepare for the Panthers, one week more than the Panthers had to prepare for the Niners, and the Niners still got out-coached. The Niners had virtually zero passing game. The Niners’ passing game hasn’t been this bad since Alex Smith’s first NFL start in 2005. The game plan featured plays that have failed all season – Kendall Hunter up the middle – and the game plan had zero imagination. The 49ers took a 3-0 on the first drive and then it seemed they tried to run out the clock for the rest of the game. Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman surely did not bring out the best in their players. And as poorly as Kaepernick played, this loss still falls on the coaches’ shoulders. There is no excuse for this offense to perform this poorly after a Bye.

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    1. The 49ers will NEVER win a Superbowl, much less ever get to one again with Roman as their OC. If Harbaugh does not dump him before the 2014 season, Harbaugh will be gone before 2015. With Roman in 2014, 5-11. Roman gone, 12-4. Write it down! With Roman THIS year, 9-7. Write it down!

      1. Hedges………. Perfectly put! That guy turns everyone into Alex smith. And his predictability is as easy as asking a kid whether they would rather eat vegetables or candy. Dink and dunk, handoff, handoff, punt. We have a qb with the best deep ball accuracy and legs in the league, but again, dink and dunk, handoff, handoff, punt. Don’t get me wrong, Colin has not been playing anywhere near like he should and we have a lot of issues to address, but roman is by far the biggest one! He is our nail in the coffin this season and beyond if he stays!

      2. Loses suck. Plain and simple. Carolina is a great defensive team. However, coaching only goes so far. If yor players drop the ball there isnt much coaching can do. there is plenty of blame to go around

      1. When was it ever lit? 3rd & 15? I know……. We’ll hand off to Anthony Dixon. He’s such an electrifying back that he’ll get the first down. 3rd and 8? I know…… We’ll throw a drinker behind the line of scrimmage to Kyle Williams. Every time it’s 3rd down and long he does things that suggest he has no confidence or that he’s scared so he just settles for the punt. Dink and dunk, handoff, handoff, punt!
        The predictability and imagination of pre school connect the dots paper. And he still misses the dots. Jimmy raye never left, he just gained 200 lbs and got his skin bleached.

      2. CK was supposed to get Tom Brady money at the end of the season? What do we do now? Pay him cause of his commercials and magazine covers? Or by his actual play on the field? Cause those are two different pay days. Do we let him walk if he asks for half of Brady type money?

      3. Grant, Your grades are pretty much accurate. The teams the 49ers played in the last 5 games had leasser talents. it just shows, even if the 49ers makes it to the playoffs they won’t match too well against very good defensive teams.

    1. As much as I want to see Roman go, what happens when Kaep has to learn a new offense? He clearly hasn’t learned to read the D with an offense he knows quite well. I think Kaep is the problem but you have to live and die with his growing pains. Roman should be doing more to help him though!

  1. The thing thats most frustrating is the Niners have become one of the most boring teams in the NFL..I knew we were gonna lose this game when we settled for fieldgoals..No killer instinct depend on Gore for you whole offense and Kaepernick looks like a deer in headlights..Ive been watching the 49ers along time and god I crave to just have a decent quarterback..There hasnt been a real passing game in Frisco since J Garcia.

    1. Next year, the 49ers need to draft a QB that can lead their team to a 9-0 record. A guy like Alex Smith. I sure wish the 49ers had a QB like him. A QB who can look through all his progessions. Sigh. But if I need guidance on tatoos, I know what QB to consult.

    2. CK doesn’t appear comfortable as the starting QB. It looks as if he is bored…half-sleep. There is no emotion, no leadership…he looks like the accountant that does my taxes: he is just there.

      I am not asking for a Ray Lewis type display of emotion, but at least he can demonstrate that he applies himself to the game during the game, that he is in command of the game, that he is improving from game to game, and leading his men forward. His performances have ranged from mediocre to poor, this season–except for the GB game, that was an outlier.

  2. Fair enough grades, cannot argue with any of them. D-line could be a B+ but that is quibbling. They kept getting gashed by the RBs up the middle.

  3. A little generous with the OL, I will give them a D. The OL couldn’t block on third and short runs multiple times. Everything I agree with. FIRE GREG ROMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. It is not clear where the Offensive struggles arise from. Is Roman not calling good plays or is Kap not executing them properly?
      I am just a fan, so I can’t tell who is messing up, but it appears Kap is still going thru growing pains.

  4. Generally agree.

    Note: i hit the Manningham catch total on the button, altho i wish I would have been wrong and 3 would have been his TD total

  5. If it was one or two things I’d have an easier time dealing with the loss. We wasted a great defensive effort. We looked lost. Our offense, special teams and coaching remind me of ship with tons of holes. Which one do we plug first?

    Our strength is our running game and that failed. Our other strength is our offensive line, that was atrocious today. Our running game masks our lack of offensive creativity. But when that isn’t working, what adjustments will Roman make? Today he made none.

    On the last play, was that a mixup? We had Kyle Williams and Manningham in the exact same spot. Ughhhhhh..

    Where were the half time adjustments? Harbaugh should be asked ” when you watch this game back, what would you say your identity is?

    1. “Our strength is our running game and that failed.”

      No it didn’t. Gore averaged over 5 yards a carry against a defense that had been giving up 3.7 coming into the game, and dared the QB to beat them. He couldn’t.

      “On the last play, was that a mixup? We had Kyle Williams and Manningham in the exact same spot.”

      That doesn’t matter. The QB missed McDonald running wide open without anyone within 10 yards of him. That was the type of throw young/inexperienced QB’s often make when the game is on the line.

      1. Don’t worry a couple more performances like today and even Baydouche won’t be able to hide Kaepernick from all that is wrong with this offense. Knock on wood but if this is the real CK, we are in big trouble.

      2. Exactly..some people recognise these things early….Kaepernick is not the answee he had a lucky run last year..I place the blame for this loss on him and Roman..And this isnt the first time someones been running wide open and Mr Dolphins hat boy tries to force the ball somewhere else..

  6. Can not argue with your grades, liked the z grade ,congrats on your projection! You and Adam Meyer called it! I am an unhappy miner fan, still lots of young talent and this team will be competitive for years to come but man kap pull it together. Thanks for this blog and your insights, wish you were wrong more though! Have a good night and be will with your family!

  7. Dilfer on ESPN: If you take away Kaepernick’s first read and he becomes “remedial” as a passer.

    With the exception of the GB game this season, Kaepernick has proven himself to be a game manager. The only difference with him compared to other game managers is that he is fast, so he can make big plays in the running game against the lesser competition, and he is less accurate.

    1. This year Colin has looked god awful overall as a passer. There was an ugly stat on how many 3 and outs the team has had.
      When he audibles it almost doesn’t matter because one the D takes away the first read he’s screwed.
      I had high hopes that Colin was going to evolve as a starter and be a transcendent type player, but now I’m just hoping to somewhat decent. I was watching the game in LA with a bunch of Niner fans, and we all thought this was one of the most boring games to watch.
      Even when the Niners were ahead, you just had the feeling Carolina wanted the game more and that was the difference. The more Colin got frustrated, the more it felt like he gave up. Even when Russell Wilson has a horrendous game and he’s getting the snot out of him, you never seen him quit.
      I saw Colin quit today. He had 1:10 to just get in field position. On a day when he only completed 9-17 passes for 91 yards, we all know it was going to happen. He was not going to get it done.
      But Colin is our QB, good or bad. I just don’t want to hear any of the Smith haters bash him for his low numbers on KC. At least the dude is 9-0 and he doesn’t quit. And before you say who has he played. well who has Colin played and beat? So far they’ve lost to all the good teams, with the exception of Green Bay…

      1. And Green Bay won’t be a playoff team. Lets see what CK does against the Saints, on the road. Bounce back or wilt? This is a game his agent will reference when negotiating $ for his next contract.

    2. With the exception of the GB game this season, Kaepernick has proven himself to be a game manager.

      Incorrect Jack. One of the main things that a game manager does is spread the ball around and not bail if his primary option isn’t open. Kaep isn’t even close to that yet.

      1. Not even that. He has to be able to manage an offense down the field effectively to even earn the tag of game manager. Getting lost if the primary option isn’t open is the definition of a limited QB. If Kaep keeps this up, he could wind up like Tebow has: an athletic QB with exceptional talent but a limited skill set, otherwise known as a limited remedial QB.

      1. Hammer,
        It was pathetic. I did not need to see the numbers to recognize his poor play.

        I guess hashing and rehashing his poor play will be trending throughout the week.
        No doubt the Alex comparisons will come cascading down as well.

        This promises to be an interesting week around here.
        I’m glad the team will shake off this loss quicker than us.

    3. A manager? every game manager becomes a back up except for AS…. Kap isn’t a manager and if he is, he isn’t very good at it. Kap needs time, and the exposure to throw the ball around. one game a seasone won’t.make him a great passer.

    4. People said the same thing about Alex Smith in this offense – one read, scramble to the right, then incompletion. The another QB, same results in the same offense. Me thinks it’s the offense and not the QB. Replay the tape of the Bears game 2012 and then the subsequent games after that. Colin didn’t have any problems going through reads there. What’s different is we’re not relying on the zone-read, play-action, deep passing as a staple of the passing offense. Any coach that doesn’t know how to turn LMJ into a weapon on offense as a receiver and runner in his second season in the NFL and is a healthy scratch for a whole half of a season with WRs being ineffective left and right should be fired.

      1. Thanks for a recent history check from Chicago. I too remember the Kap of last year who could go through progressions and reads. He showed so much ability last year that he made us all into believers.
        So what happened?
        Has to be coaching. We have talked about it before and you can see it on the field. Trying to fit a wild west pistol into a somewhat throw back run first smash mouth traditional NFL offense ends up with a schizophrenic offense that telegraphs its intentions.

        Chicago, on your second point, I too want to see this specialized LMJ tool made better use of. Not only would I like to see him used as a receiving back but to offer a threat outside the tackles. We have LMJ and Hunter who are good outside runners and Gore as an inside runner so since we are a run first team lets have plays that feature both Gore plus LMJ or Gore plus Hunter. Then let the hand off be dictated by what defense gives you.
        Gore is the up the middle threat, Hunter is one outside threat and Kap is the other side outside threat. The Kap side also is his preferred scramble to throw side.
        That is a multi headed beast that will put a defense back on there heals. I am a thermo guy and this here ain’t rocket science!

  8. No one wants to admit the bad combination of a coaching staff that is way to conservative..Not only this game but before Haurbagh will sit on a 6 point lead in the first quarter and rely on the defense to hold them..Another thing is Kaepernick cannot read defenses..Sorry guys but he just doesnt get it..Wonder how long well stick with him before we make a move?

  9. Not sure how you blame the offensive line when the QB flees the pocket if his first read is not open ? They were great run blocking but they gave CK enough time, he just played nervous. Since 3:41 left in the 3rd Q he had so many opportunities to lead a comeback but wilted under the pressure. Same thing happened against the Colts and Seahawks. Let’s see how he does against the Saints before he gets labelled as one trick pony!

    1. Say that enough times and maybe you’ll believe it. I watched that game a full second time. That was the worst pass protection Kaep has had since he’s been a pro. Twice on 2nd and 1 our running backs were met in the backfield. Our Oline got tossed around.

      1. “That was the worst pass protection Kaep has had since he’s been a pro.”

        No it wasn’t. He was pressured on 10 of 31 drop backs. There have been 5 games this season in which he has faced a higher percentage of pressure.

      2. I don’t care what a stat says Jack. I watched it and IMO that was the most pressure he’s ever been under. The sack total helps tell that story. That was the most sacks he’s ever taken in a game.

  10. ESPN is calling this a signature win on the road
    for the Carolina Panthers.
    Hint to Colin: that translates into an ugly loss for you.

    Ugly wins………….ok.
    Ugly losses suck eggs.

  11. I would like to add that Trent Baalke should be added to the conversation of “blame” with the 49ers this season.

    You draft multiple key players early (Tank, Dial, and Lattimore) that you know are going to miss most, if not the entire year of not being 100%. It puts unfair and unrealistic pressure on these rookies to even try and come in midseason after grueling injuries and expect them to actually contribute significantly. This had all the making of the 49ers feeling way too overconfident with last years success and depth of our team.

    Between the complete failure of Baalke’s 2012 draft and the ineptitude of this years draft (minus Eric Reid who was a great pick) due to injuries and lack of inclusion in game planning by Roman (with McDonald) this is what we are really seeing catch up with us right now.

    As your father, Lowell put it, “a total miss” by the 49ers as well in not adding depth at the wide receiver position when they had the chance to at midseason . To expect that Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham could come back historically early from two very serious (and potentially career stumbling) injuries to contribute this season is a total “roll of the dice” on our coaching and upper management’s perspective.

    We had the draft picks to make a move and we stood pat during desperation times for our 32nd ranked pass offense. Greg Roman falls in love with only two and a half guys on the field (Gore, Vernon, and sometimes Boldin) and when one of them goes down like today with Vernon, there’s absolutely zero continuity or confidence between the players.

    Calling a good offensive game for Greg Roman one out of every three or four games isn’t good enough for this team with (now failing) Superbowl dreams. You’re completely right Grant- this one is on Harbaugh, Roman, and let’s not forget, Baalke. Very discouraging stuff seen today.

    1. Some very good points, but GRo isn’t the one “falling in love with one guy.” When it’s a passing play, Colin is the one who doesn’t look to the 2nd or 3rd receiver.

      1. This is assuming that Roman has even considered the prospect of dump off passes to the running backs, screens, slants, etc. You might be giving Roman too much credit.

  12. Roman dose not make adjustments quickly. First 4 games was not moving away from passing game whenever it wasn’t working. And now it seem like he can’t get away from running game. Your running the clock out comment is dead on. We should start letting other teams talk to G. Roman 4 head coaching jobs let theme deal with his lak of adjustments

  13. Z? I’ve definitely heard of grade inflation, but I’ve never heard of grade deflation!

    Otherwise, fair and pretty spot-on. But if anyone deserves a Z it’s the coaching staff.

  14. This is just not the 49ers’ year, plain and simple. Time to think about FA, that May draft, and 2014. Also, what about Harbaugh’s mindset, disposition? Just not convinced he (and his coaching team) will bring SF #6.

      1. Funny I have been saying Russell White too, but I met Wilson, we need to beat the Hawks and the Hawks need to lose another game, but not sure where it could be.

  15. When Vernon Davis went down our hopes of completing much down field went out the window. Couple that with one of the worst pass blocking efforts by a 49er offensive line that I can remember and our offense was doomed.

    I know we have been playing the waiting game for players to return but I gotta say I cannot wait till Crabtree returns. Without him and VD it seems that CK has regressed to the bottom level of the dreaded Sophomore Slump. Hope springs eternal but this was supposed to begin a run of second half dominance. We needed to convert opportunities into TD’s in the first half and we would have won fairly easily.

  16. Hey Grant,

    Do you think if Roman simplified the play book a bit then it wouldn’t be so bad Have you ever seen a person doing so many audibles at the line? Part of being smart is to know that sometimes simplier is better.

    1. KISS principle…. keep it simple, stupid. After all, there is not a cord connecting the brain to the hamstring……just because they run fast does not mean they can think fast.

    2. I couldn’t agree more! I was tearing my hair out watching the offense get up to the line. On just about every play they’d snap the ball with 1,2 ,0 seconds left on the play clock. They burned a time out in the first half. And another delay of game penalty.
      Last year a former QB, I think it was Young, said that when an offense is slow getting the plays off like that, the QB doesn’t get the chance to take a last peek at the defense, a last read that KAep never gets, and he needs all the help he can get.
      They need to take stuff out, simplify. They are ranked dead last in passing, it can’t get any worse!

  17. So, is the real issue that Kap can’t go thru his progression? If that is the case, then the coaches need to work harder with him. Kapalso needs to addressthis problem now.

    1. At the end of the day the players have to perform. He has to spread the ball around and make plays. Coaching can only take you so far. The oline looks confused when it’s a passing down because he breaks the play down before pressure is even there. Too much relying on throwing on the run and he had so many chances to lead a comeback. How is that on the coaches?

      1. @Prime

        Amen…but if he can’t get through his progressions, he can’t spread it around to his #3, or #4. The game is too fast for him at present. He still believes that those read and run plays are open to him if #1, and#2 are covered. He has to go back and learn to become a pocket passer….everyone else caught on.

      2. My estimation is that Kap is late in learning to be a good NFL pocket passer because the 49er staff was so enamored, as we all were, of all of the success of the read option and even the pistol from last year that preseason was heavily focused on that.
        That singular focus and love affair left out the strength and personality of the rest of this offense, the fact that NFL teams learn fast and the amplified threat of loosing the starting QB with no decent backup. So in short order this season it all caught up and came crashing down and left them scrambling.
        Kap has the skills so he will eventually learn to play in the pocket. Or better yet the offense finds that middle ground where all the skills of all the star players come together to shine on.
        Shine on you crazy diamond in the rough.

  18. Gotta say that the number one priority in the offseason is to upgrade the WR position once and for all. Cam Newton played well his first year, regressed his second year and now is playing somewhat better again. If Kap is to re-emerge we gotta get him some real live genuine NFL receivers. We saw him pass the football like an all-pro last year but, like Newton he has regressed in his second year as a starter. He drops back and either no one is open, he doesn’t have faith in what he sees, or like we saw over and over today, the pass rush blows the play up.

    How do I spell relief? S-A-M-M-Y W-A-T-K-I-N-S or M-A-R-Q-U-I-S-E L-E-E. People have been referencing the Genius Bill Walsh on this site. Baalke needs to emulate the Silver Haired Maestro and end the fiasco at the WR position with a bold stroke like BW did in the 85 draft.

  19. Kaepernick has nothing to say after a loss like this;
    nothing that any of us care to hear.
    Forcing us to stare at the brim of his ballcap
    (he is afraid or too cool to make eye contact)
    is just plain insulting. His casual attire and
    habit of wearing earphones around his neck
    is yet another indication of his immaturity…
    If one of his players had not recently advised
    that Mr. Harbaw needed to be accosted by
    the fashion police, then maybe we could turn
    to him for help. Interview help from Harbaw?
    (He of the slack-jawed stare…? Pulleeze.!!!)

  20. Offensive line should’ve received a D. Kaep sucked on a whole level today but certainly all the penetration in his face right as he finished his drop backs didn’t help either.

  21. been feeling from day one this team is going to miss playoffs by one game

    today was that game, pathetic

    worst niner qb’ing ive ever seen from a starter, ever

    1. 3rdking,

      Don’t forget Alex Smith was their worst Qb ever. Kap is the next 49er great, better than J. Montana, T Bradshaw, Dan Marino, John Elway, Tom Brady, Payton Manning, Drew Brees and the list goes on.

  22. Maybe they should just change their names to the SF Frank Gores..people th8nk we didnt run the ball enough? Are you kidding me?!!! Not only did we lose but that was one of the most boring football games Ive ever seen! All they did was run the ball the whole game..This offense is one dimensional and boring!

  23. I am not seeing the offense dictate the game.

    Dictate through scheme. “We’ll take what the defense gives us”, Roman. Well ball to Roman, Carolina wasn’t giving you s$%t today. And no halftime adjustments, other than let’s keep it close and let our D win it for us?

    Dictate through personnel. Kap is a unique talent, why not use his unique talents to break down the D and dictate games? Also didn’t see our best offensive player, Gore, get many touches on the second half.

    I admit it, we Niner fans were spoiled by Walsh. But I never heard Walsh say his offense did anything less than try to dictate every game on their terms. Humble hearts, anyone? Harbaugh, Roman and Kap could learn something from Walsh’s approach.

    1. “Kap is a unique talent, why not use his unique talents to break down the D and dictate games?”

      They ran 21 plays in the second half. 16 of those went through Kaepernick, 15 were called passes and 1 run.

      “I never heard Walsh say his offense did anything less than try to dictate every game on their terms.”

      Maybe you’ve forgotten that 1988 game against the Raiders when Walsh’s team was beat at home 9-6? Or how about that 49-3 loss to the Giants in the playoffs?

      Walsh was a great coach, but he definitely had some stinkers in there.

      1. Roman’s offense was held under 10 points 1 time in 2011 and 1 time in 2012 with Alex Smith. It has now been held under 10 points this season with Colin Kaepernick.

        Roman’s mistake yesterday was putting the game in Kaepernick’s hands in the second half. He has proven 3 times in the last 8 games that he can’t handle it.

      2. Was Walsh ever stuck with a QB as bad as Kaepernick?

        I’m not saying that Roman did a good job yesterday. I am saying that what he did wrong was put the ball in Kaepernick’s hands. He was awful yesterday, and has been almost every time they have done so.

      3. Jack, remember those games like they were yesterday. Ouch!

        Every team has beat down losses. Every team has losses to a psychically better team. Every team has games where they didn’t execute the game plan.

        The losses that stick with me most are:

        a) Organization Losses. Losses where the organization fields a bad team because they can’t get there act together to draft, coach and field a good one. The Niners, pre-Harbaugh (03 – 10), fit the this mold.

        b) Coaching Losses. Today was a coaching loss. Two weeks to prepare. Two weeks to rest up. A second WR, finally.

        Of course, Carolina was going to bring it. We knew that going in. The question is how well did we prepare? How was our O scheme going to break down (dictate to) Carolina’s D? How were we going to adjust our O at half time based upon injuries and Carolina’s D scheme.

        Didn’t see the scheme. Only took one shot, when a field goal wins it. Yes, the O players, lead by Kap didn’t execute very well. But I didn’t see the scheme to win it, either.

  24. This blaming of Roman is silly. The blame for this loss probaly goes to lots of people. The players get the blame. They are on the field playhing the game. I am sorry but Kap too gets most of it. 46 yards, 5 sacks. And Jim Harbaugh’s decision making is to blame too. Terrible game management. No adjustments. His decision to put this team in Kap’s hands is now being fully understood. Alex Smith never threw for less than 50 yards from what I can remember. And he had awful receivers and consistently poor blocking up front before the last 2 years. Smith is going to the playoffs and the Niners future playoff hopes are clearly in doubt. And if they do get in, does anybody seriously believe that they are going any place? When Smith left, the Niners playoff hopes left with him. And no more whining about Crabtree’s gone, we lost Aldon Smith, blah, blah, blah. Without Gore, this team is 2nd tier. Most of our wins came against awful teams- Rams, Jags, Titans, Texans— none of whom are going anywhere this year. And we roll into New Orleans next week. We need to win that game to staunch the bleeding. And then the Redskins who could be a problem. And 2 weeks after that Seattle. Hold on.

    1. Alex Smith REGULARLY had 100 yard net games with both VD and Crabtree in the lineup. With all of his weapons. Trying to run an unimaginative smash mouth offense without weapons is near impossible.
      Right now you have Kaep with no VD and no Crabtree. Our savior is Manningham who’s never been more than a number 3. Think about that. When put in that position, you have to play clean ball. Hunters turnover cost us an opportunity for a field goal. V Mac’s drop is a play that has to be made when your stars are out, while it would have been a great play, it had to be made and it wasn’t.
      Carolina is a good team. They kicked the crap out of the seahawks. Offensive turnovers beat them in that game, but their defense whooped that Seahawk ass.

      1. All of this makes our pursuit of Peyton Manning last year much more logical. How good would our team be with him? Probably would have won the SB last year, and would have another one on the way. We certainly wouldn’t be sniping at each other over which third-tier QB is better AS or Kap.

      2. Alex Smith REGULARLY had 100 yard net games with both VD and Crabtree in the lineup.

        He did? When? Or are you just making stuff up again?

      3. @ Sully,
        I believe that the Niners would not have paid Manning what he wanted, also that Harbaugh wasn’t going to let Payton change his offense and run his own.

        Claude,
        Alex’s first year with Harbaugh he had games against Seattle, Detroit, the Ravens that come to mind. This year the Raiders game and Bills game.

        Let me ask you guys this, with both VD and Crabtree in the lineup did Kaep every struggle to move the ball and score? Maybe one game? That is an anomaly, did he every regularly struggle with his weapons?

      4. Look, Bay. Stop trying to defend the indefensible. I’ve said this before, Kap is now the issue. And it is not because he is not a great kid. He is. He is gifted, intelligent, and has a huge upside. Harbaugh put the team on his shoulders when he didn’t have to. Way too early. Say what you will about Alex Smith, this year has not seen an improvement at the QB position. Think about it, this was a year coming off a super bowl appearance when the niners had a real chance to garner another super bowl win. Harbaugh’s QB decision not only showed no class but it showed pooer judgement.

      5. It’s a valid point. With all of his weapons, when has he struggled?
        They live off of play action and the shot play. With VD out, where was their shot play ability? They had none.

        I’m not making excuses, Kaep was terrible yesterday. All I am pointing out is that they still have no receiving weapons and the Oline was terrible. Against a team with that type of defense, that spells disaster.

  25. It is not smart that in this passing league the 49ers do not have elite WR . Our defence is great one of the best but 49ers need to upgrade their WR , it seems that the coaches think they can win without good WR , it was pathetic to see kyle Williams , he is too short . This season is over , Seattle has the number one seed , they are going to the superbowl , and might win it this time . 49ers are almost as good as the Seahawks but they have more play makers on offence .

  26. I have had the chance to calm myself down. Maybe I overreacted. Maybe the O line and roman are largely at fault. Or the injuries. But Kap still played very poorly with the exception of one pass. A lot of people, including myself, are looking at crab as a savior for our pass game, but I don’t think that will solve everything.

    1. Kap played poorly, So did the O-line. No excuse for Kap but just the truth that though the O-line run blocked fairly well there was pressure on Kap all day long.

  27. On the other hand, I got both the kitchen and bathroom floors waxed this afternoon. I can’t watch that crap. Even if they won, who wants to watch such dreary ball, Woody Hayes? Next spring it’s some receivers and a ballin’ Q, maybe that kid from Texas something-or-other, somebody with some nuts and not a stupid hat and a turtle…

  28. What will do more to put an end to the “Kaepernick – greatest QB of all time” postings? Today’s performance or the banning of Mr. Everything?

    1. Some on here were predicting that Kaepernick will become the highest paid player in the NFL next year. Really? I think the 49ers just got a huge discount after today. Next weeks game against the Saints will be colossal!

      1. I don’t see Kaep making Flaco or Brees money, even if we win the Super Bowl which is unlikely. Look what happen to the Ravens, they are horrific and had to gut their team for Flaco sick salary.

      2. Talk to your idol Baydouche, he was the one calling it. Russell White proved today he is the best QB in football. Not flashy, no big arm, but gets others to elevate their game to a winning level. CK today, not even in the same conversation.

      3. Exactly Neal. You are so stupid and didn’t realize that I was making fun of you for originally calling him Russell White. Wake up and smell the sarcasm!

      4. Prime,

        I am still surprised that you are on here, thought for sure you would be on the KC Blog,or your new boy toy in Seattle. I thought you were a Seahawk fan. We all know you are short a few fries of a happy meal.

  29. Season is OVER. Hope the 49ers loose all remaining games to get better draft choices to replace all those hot-shot (in their own minds) players who will be leaving for free agency. Harbaugh, one message: replace Roman for next year, your own job is on the line. Grant, your grade of “F” for coaching is waaaaay too high this week. The staff didn’t have a clue all game long. Knee-jerk reaction? No, season is OVER. Seattle 33, Atlanta 10, ON THE ROAD! Good coaching. Pete Carrol always did have it over Harbaugh.

      1. I would also never root for the 49ers to lose because A. I’m a fan and B. Strange things happen during and at the end of the season. Keep playing hard and do your best. Lots of crazy breaks between now and the end of the year.

      2. Hah! Season is OVER! Carrol >>>>Roman (Harbaugh’s pet). Anyone thinking what the hell Mangini is doing for his 6-figure paycheck?

  30. Season is over ..And the most idiotic bandwagon fanbase of all time is going to get their first superbowl trophy..Seattle will and is going to dog stomp the Niners..Kaepernick is a punk who thinks hes god accept he cant read defenses and is afraid of getting hit

  31. O line sucked vs the pass rush today. Kapernick is on panick in the pocket with any kind of pressure. That is not good because pressure is all he’s about to see for the rest of the season. Kid has happy feet back there. The o line can’t protect him from quality defenses. He has looked horrible against those strong defenses. Kap is not playing with the same confidence this year. I said I would reserve judgement until Crabtree comes back. It’s clear that we really needed Gordon before the trade deadline. We are wasting the careers of several great defensive players by not upgrading the offense. We are hoarding draft picks to win when? What year are we talking about? I said that I had hoped not getting some speed at wideout would not hurt us. Well it already has.

    1. We should trade for another WR, we need an efficient qb who knows how to read a d and throw off a three step drop. O-line was bad but kap was really really bad. That’s not hating that’s a fact.
      With better QB play, the niners would have won the game.
      There’s no excuse for his pinky toe Nail fungus either. Colin is a third year player playing like this is his first. If Jim harbaugh it’s the qb whisperer, what is he saying to Colin? It ain’t sinking in!

      1. Fan77,

        When are you gonna read up on NFL football. You spend too much time lobbing insults. The trade deadline passed a week ago. How do you trade now? You don’t. Kap didnt play great but that offensive line didnt block a soul in the passing game. 90% of the tine Kap dropped back, he had to run for his life. No protection whatsoever.

      2. Fan 77,

        Seeing kap and the 49ers struggle yesterday against a very good Panthers defense, didn’t surprise me a bit.

        Like I said before, when the 49ers play a formidable opponents that have a good defense, they’ll struggle and Kap become one dimensional so are the 49ers offense.

        If yesterday was a bad day for the 49ers playing the Panthers at the stick, wait until next Sunday when they play a very good Saints team at New Orleans.

        The 49ers schedule ahead its not going too be that easy. All the teams they play with lesser talent are over, now they are playing better teams starting next sunday in N.O.

      1. Domingo,

        Give credit to Carolina’s defensive line. They are he best in the league. They put pressure on everyone’s QB. We just didn’t have the horses on offense. VD’s injury killed us. Our linemen kept taking turns getting beat by their D linemen.

        Personally, I think our defensive coordinator underestimates the value of blitzing the QB and just trusting our DB’s. We don’t do enough blitzing.

      2. I give credit to Carolina. With a D like that they will give anyone a game. You don’t win with smoke and mirrors in this league. VD goes down. Crabtree is out. Our pass blocking totally disappears. Our young, Sophomore Slump OB is struggling for multiple reasons. These are the times that try mens souls.

  32. we produce a total of 196 yards against Carolina.
    The Saints have 254 in the first half alone;
    with third down efficiency of 6-7
    two receptions for touchdowns on
    21/24 passing by Brees (125% QB rating).

    Jonathan Martin says: “I support Jim Harbaugh.”

  33. Anyone expecting Crabtree to comeback and save the passing game don’t hold your breath. As we seen with MM today timing was off, hands were off, route running was off. It’s gonna take at least a couple games if not more to get back into it. Problem is we are now in late December and as we are seeing, CK cannot carry this team.

      1. neal you moron homer..quit talking trash on the web tough guy..the only people named neal are queers or trannys..go back to watching j travolta reruns you clown..

      2. Neil,
        don’t feed the douche. Today was tough, but we will be fine.
        I like that the douche bags make comments like this. Later on when we are winning and in the playoffs, guys like Prime then try to pretend they are fans all along. That’s why I bring up all these old posts where they talk out of both sides of their mouths.
        Grant, will you be in New Orleans?

      3. Baydouche even an idiot fairweather fan like yourself is second guessing your over the top praise of Kaepernick’s ability to lead this team into the playoffs. I call it like I see it!
        How many times did the defense give the ball back to CK to just get into FG range? I counted 4 times.
        You talk about CK and this offense scoring 30 plus points during the streak, that’s great but news flash moron, none of those teams were playoff calibre.

        As for CK being the highest paid QB next year. Baydouche if you were the owner of any sports franchise, it would fold in less than 48 hours!

      4. NorCalMafia ,

        Listen Tony, get a life, I know that you are a loser, and could not keep the family tradition up. So your against gays big guy. Oh are they going to pull your little shmeckle Tony Boy. LMAO What a troll.

  34. Grant,
    Can’t argue with your grades. CK and O-line pass protection was under duress throughout the game.
    But having said that, I give a great deal of credit to the Panthers defense.

    The Panthers defense was as advertised and their front 7 may be one of the best I’ve seen against us in quite some time. They kept our offense from establishing any rhythm and put enough pressure on Kap to make his read progressions non existent.

    Still, with as bad as our offense played, we were only one big play away from turning this game around.
    This was just an ugly game for us on offense, but given CK’ numbers (or lack thereof) one would think that the Panthers would have won in a blow-out.

    I felt that Roman could have exploited the defense with more swing passes to our RB’. A few wheel passes over the middle may have kept the Panthers front 7 from controlling the box as well.

    Suddenly some big concerns:
    Two games behind the c-hawks.
    The health of VD, McDonald and Reid going forward.
    Tightening up the pass protection.
    Getting Crabtree and Manningham in playing shape.
    Finding the “Swiss-Army-Knife” player that can be an added dimension. B.Miller looks to be the best option for that position at the moment, but Roman needs to utilize him more.

    It’s becoming more apparent that we will enter the playoffs as a wild-card participant. But we will need all of our key players back in the lineup and CK will need to improve from here on out to make any significant noise once we reach the playoffs.

  35. Oh and our moron qb just sits in his press conference pouting like a little girl..he cant read a defense but he can read a gq magazine I bet..

  36. On a real positive note. Kaps play this season will save us a crap ton of $$ on his extension. For those saying we don’t extend crab, can we afford not to? Absolutely not!! Time to load up on WRs. Keep crab. And hope Patton shakes his early struggles. And draft draft draft!!!

    1. Extension? A repeat performance of today and we will be trading up to get Johnny Football. I sure hope not but geez, today I could barely tolerate CK’s pathetic performance!

      1. I didn’t tolerate it. Lol. But regardless of his performance from here on out you have to assume harbaugh and baalke believe he’s our future, ouch, so this will save us some cash.

      2. But Adam, what do you think him and his agent will command? He makes 950K this year. Is he worth 7-10 million per year for the next 10 years because that’s probably what they will ask for. I think he might be worth it in 2 more years but he needs a lot more grooming before I’d sign off on a huge deal. The 49ers have tied their own hands on this.

      3. I do not wait a eight year albatross around the team’s neck. I think that he should get a deal like what Smith had with a team option of redoing it if he lights it up during the first year of the contract.

  37. Just got through watching the game on tape. I’m not trying to be a Kap apologist, but I don’t know how you can give him any grade based on our pass blocking. He never had a chance. How anybody can call this the best line in football is beyond me. My grade for Kap, incomplete . Oline F-

    1. The 49er offensive line has been shoddy all year when it comes to pass blocking. In todays game they hit rock bottom. I cannot believe that “the best o-line in football” looked like a super highway to the QB all day.

      1. Does not help when the QB makes one read and flushes himself out into broken plays. Blame Roman and the oline but pretty sure it would help if the QB learnt how to climb up in the pocket and wait for someone to get open.

      2. Prime

        Any fair and honest evaluation of this game has to recognize how poorly the O-line pass blocked and I am not trying to make excuses for Kap.

      3. The oline played okay today. I thought CK’s impatience on passing downs made them look bad. At the end of the day he had 4 chances to get them in FG range and he took some unnecessary sacks and didn’t give his WRs a chance to make plays on any thrown balls.
        Is this not why we went with him, because he was a better down field deliverer?

      4. CK won’t stay in the pocket…how is the line going to protect him if they don’t know where he is…you can’t block and look over your shoulder at the same time.

    2. Oregon,

      You must have listened to the game on the radio. The omly thing Kap didnt do was leave the pocket fast enough, like right when he got tge shotgun snap. Thats how fast tge pressure came. That offensive line played like crap yesterday except for tge run blocking early in the game. They gave zero protection to the QB. Look at the game. Wtch tbe O line.

      1. @Jordan

        Face it, despite sitting there with your fingers, arms, legs and eyes crossed, I believe that even YOU recognize that he is at least two years away from being a starting QB in the NFL. I’m not betting that he ever will be. He has several major flaws , and the biggest one is his self-image.

  38. LMJ did a really good job with the punt returns and Dixon should be relieved on kickoffs. He never should’ve taken that ball out after the field goal. He lacks the speed to be a returned. Let LMJ handle both duties. James made good decisions on kicks inside the 10. The punt that got downed inside the 1 was a great job by former Niner, Colin Jones.

    1. I was disappointed by Vernons effort on the play that he was hurt. While he has speed, he also plays soft once he catches the ball. Rewatching the play, thought he not only should have caught the ball, but he had a chance to score.

      1. After reading his comments Im starting to beleive bay douche iz really ray charles..I love how if you dont blindly follow your team on this blog your not a fan..just call it how I see it and Kap is no prince hes a frog..Then again thats probably all bay can get so he doesnt know any better..

    2. Bay,

      For as good as Vernon is in some areas, he suffers in others. He jumps at times to catch passes when he doesn’t need to. He still has issues with trying to break tackles. He runs to contact entirely too high. He never sells out for the deep ball. You have to throw it perfectly to him or he won’t give any extra effort to catch the ball.

      On that catch in the red zone, he should turned up and lowered his pads to take on that tackle. He never does that. He runs entirely too high in traffic. We should’ve gone for it on 4th down on that last field goal.

      On another note, your boy Kap stunk it up bro. He just isn’t dealing with the pass rush like he should. He should be looking to escape and run a second sooner because he has speed not quickness. He has not shown the ability to outrun a guy from the pocket. One he gets his motor going he shows speed but not quickness. Russell Wilson has quickness and a bit of speed as well. Our O line let us down against the pass today.

      I’m pissed because I saw only 1 swing pass in the middle of the field to Gore, he got 10 and a 1st down. We threw none to Hunter or James. McDonald had no hands in college and he has no hands now.

  39. I think the Niners defense can hold the Saints to 28 points or less. The offense will have to score at least 3 TDs to win. To do this they have to change their approach.
    The Offense has to try to throw down the field on 1st down and 2nd down. They need to stretch the field and attack more.

    1. 49er42,

      The 49ers win against the Saints last year, you can throw that out the window. If you can recall they barely beat the Saints last season. This season is different, one thing their HC Payton is back and the Saints are a much very team then last season and they are going to be very tough to beat in New Orleans.

      It’s going to be a tough game for the 49ers. Just asked Romo and the Cowboys how tough are Saints at their own turf with HC Payton in the side line. The Saints defense look very good with Rob Ryan. It won’t surprise anyone at all, if Kap and 49ers offense struggle against the Saints.

  40. Stop with the “he didn’t have Davis” excuses. He was given the ball on the Panthers 41 and 30 off turnovers and could only muster 6 points and Davis was in the game at that point.

  41. If Roman is not 2 blame than kap is. And stop blaming the WR’s. real god QB’s don’t wait until WR is open they throw 2 where the route is going I watch kap make those throws last year butt it seams he has regressed

  42. Tyrant
    That is one of the reasons it has to be early downs; pass rush is slower and can combine it with play action.
    The Ninets have to be less predictable.

    1. I agree With your theory. However, I didn’t see us giving Kap time to throw on any down today. He would get away from one rusher, and then somebody else was in his face. Last year he was getting time to go through his progressions and this year he’s under tremendous heat

  43. Was really hoping Kaep and the passing game could come out of the bye with a great game and gain some momentum but instead we got that completely horrendous performance. Kaep has been consistently awful against better than average secondaries this year and im really tired of it. Still holding out hope he can bounce back against the Saints next week but another one of these and I’ll be hoping we draft a qb next year. Pathetic.

  44. I think some of the big issues in this loss is that the offense was the issue after the first two losses to Seattle and Indy. And that the team was going to fix things. And now they face a quality opponent and the offense looks anemic again. The offense is highly dysfunctional, mainly because Kapernick is just flat out bad. There’s no gentle way to put it.
    When he came out of the blue against Chicago, he was an electrifying player.
    Now he looks completely lost.
    I hope he doesn’t lose the locker room because then it is indeed over for this team for a few years until they replace him.

    1. Fan 77,

      You’re right my friend, you just said the magic word against a “Quality Team. “ Imagine Kap qbr 7.7 with 11/22 passing completion with 91 yards. He was sack 6 times 2 int. He became one dimensional qb, Ron Rivera and the Panthers defense just made Kap not even an average Qb.

  45. Were getting crushed by the Saints..Heres how it will go..The Niners should be called the re runs…Our defense will be awesome like always and keep it to 13-3 saints by halftime..OThen after we run the ball 300 times and settle for another fieldgoal our defense tires and brees lays the hammer on us…Kaep will be stuck with another game under 110 yards passing and that dumb look on his face with his head phones and his head down..Pathetic!

    1. NorCalMafia,

      You’re absolutely right. It looks very stupid during an interview you have your head phone hanging in your neck. That’s a very classy act in front of the television, good example to the younger kids. I’d notice Kap didn’t kiss his biceps yesterday. He probably got embarrassed laying down on his back the whole time in the game?

  46. Defense B+. Great job. Help the cats to 10 points, even with RayMac and Reid out, despite being on the field all day because the offense could not sustain drives.

    Would have been A- except the they let Smith catch a 3rd-and-long sideline pass to seal the win. Should have been sitting on that route knowing a first down sealed the win the same as a TD.

    Offense D. Sans Vernon Davis the offense turns into one of the worse in football. I was not expecting Kaepernick to have Peyton Manning’s brain by year 3, but I’m shocked at the regression in pocket skills from last year. Pass blocking sucked but Kaep held the ball way too long.

    Would have been F had not Gore put together some gutsy runs.

    1. The Niners have the worst passing attack in the league. That’s embarrassing. During the rebuilding years, that was expected. But now this team has talent, especially on defense.
      Colin Kapernick. He has all the tools. So it’s either on his inability to develop further, of Harbaugh is not the so called Quarterback Whisperer.
      I am inclined to think it’s the latter.
      Anyone see Cam Newton step up and make a throw when he needed to on 3rd down? Yeah. We need a guy like that.

      1. Fan 77,

        The 49ers fan got so overwhelm seeing Kap beat lowly teams with less talents. And when he and the 49ers offense face quality teams with good talented players, they struggle. Many will say it’s only just a bump on the road they better make that road smoother or they’ll find themselves further behind not only in the West but the Playoffs.

  47. Watching this game reminded me of the first 2 “major league” movies. Kaep is Rick Vaughn; Wild Thing. 1st year comes out of nowhere, no real expectations and dominates. 2nd year, he’s a corporate suit playing not to lose.

  48. So Kap throws for a pathetic 46 yds and loses by 1 point. Luck throws for 353 yrds and loses by 30 points.

    My point is that as miserable a day as Kap had, we were still in contention until the final two drives. And if VMac makes a catch on a beautifully thrown pass from CK earlier in the game, we would be talking about an ugly win instead of an ugly loss.

    Today, a group of players rose to the top. Unfortunately for us, they happen to be playing defense for the Panthers.

    No time to lick our wounds and cry over this loss. Time to shake it off and move on to next weeks game against the Saints.
    This team needs a win against the Saints to get its confidence and swagger back before going against the c-hawks, period!

    1. Nicely said. On to the next game. This coaching staff has to be able to put a game plan together for next week that may be void of Vernon.

    2. Yes, Luck threw three picks today, so I guess that makes your point. But if you were to ask any football fan, coach or GM, between Luck, Wilson or Kaep, which QB would you want to make a come-from-behind last minute drive, who do you think they would pick?
      Kaep had a chance to do it Sunday, and he didn’t. Has he ever?

  49. Agree (mostly) with you, Grant…
    but.. when I first noticed Aldon being in the game..
    he took down their RB behind the line (I think it was) ..
    but, yeah … not much after that..

    It’s hard for us fans when the Niners lose a game ..
    and we’re wondering,
    .. if the only way to make the playoffs .. now ..
    would be if Russel Wilson goes down ..

    All the pointing fingers begin.. but bottom line ..
    the team stunk up the joint …

    (And I blame it on whomever made the “executive”
    decision ….
    … to bring back T.O. for the coin toss)

  50. Ya gotta love blogging! We all watched the same game..yet we all have different views on how the game was lost..Alot are blaming Kap.. kap played a part no doubt..It’s not kap´s fault..his o-line broke down on several occasions,defense allowed 27yrd td,vance macdonald dropping drive extending play,Kendall hunter fumbling in drive..Oh and did I mention it’s not kap’s fault for not going for it on fourth down..and try drawing them offsides..kicking a field goal instead? Following the Roman Script..Gets u beat against good defenses..Sooner yall realize that..Youll see wherein the problem lies..The team is listening to the coaches wit that Bs gameplan..That’s why boldin was mad.. They’re not putting the players in the right spots to succeed..They had two weeks to prepare for the panthers and they come up wit this gameplan..run when they should be passing..passing when they should be running…The Panthers gave us what we wanted..an interception and a fumble..Cant beat these good teams kicking field goals..The weakness of this coaching staff.is they lack killer instinct and in game adjustments..They dont know how to seize the moment..It always shows up in crucial games and situations..I mean..our weaknesses literallt show up at the wrong time…All three losses were relatively close games…but we cant seize the moment..Its frustrating watching this ..jim needs to be like john and get roman outta there..Need somebody else calling plays..The season is not over..just our chance at winning the division is..

    1. Deezybee,

      You make valid points in your post. Just a few comments re Jim Harbaugh and Roman, versus John Harbaugh and Cam Cameron:
      —John Harbaugh’s background is in special teams/defense, while there is no doubt he understands football, his background was never on offense.
      —Jim Harbaugh has spent pretty much his entire pro career on offense. I find it hard to believe that Roman’s play designs/game plans/play calling are not expressly approved by JH. From what I have read, Roman relays plays to JH, who in turn passes them to the QB.
      IMHO, JH and Roman are tied at the hip on offense. Sure, he could jettison Roman but it would be admitting his offense has hit a brick wall.

      1. They gotta do somethin 90..cam cameron was a better co-ordinator than roman..That’s the sad thing..John had to do something last yr or he was next..It just so happened to work out for him..Jim’s job is not on the line obviously..but…keepin roman on the staff..means he appproves of his schemes..

    2. >>his o-line broke down on several occasions

      I’ll say. What a time for the “best offensive line in football” to regress”

      >>defense allowed 27yrd td

      Defense held the opposition to 10 lousy points. If this team can’t hold it’s own in a defensive slugmatch, I cringe at the prospect of a shootout. I guess we’ll l find out next week.

      >>Vance macdonald dropping drive extending play

      Watch that same play again. It was an excellent defensive play.

      >>Kendall hunter fumbling in drive.

      Yeah, that sucked, but again a huge hit. Let’s not forget there were two teams on the field.

      >>Oh and did I mention it’s not kap’s fault for not going for it on fourth down

      Partially his fault. Obviously coaches have little confidence in him picking up the conversion.

      And it is squarely his fault on the biggest crap play of the game – Kaep’s int in the last minute when they might have made it to FG distance. Where was he throwing that?

    3. We’re definitely over the line on the kneejerk irrationality meter. Perhaps the easily excitable should take a deep breath, unbunch their panties and do some thinking before commenting.

      1. CB,

        I think the needle crossed the “knee jerk, irrationality line” into crazy town, and then spun around a couple of more times for good measure.

        Grant says the WR’s grade is a D, the TE’s got a Z, the O line was horrible in pass protection, and the game plan had no imagination. Hmm, sounds like the QB didn’t have much of a chance to succeed.

        Nope, not according to Grant. F+ for the QB.

        In a one point loss to a good team, that’s just too many “horribles, terribles and unimaginitives”.

        How about this: The 49ers played the type of good team that gives them problems. This team apparently had a good defensive game plan to counter what the 49ers’ offensive game plan was. On offense, the players didn’t execute well and the coaches didn’t have their best game, with regards to adjustments.

        The result was a frustrating loss, that severely damaged the 49ers chances of winning the division and avoiding a likely trip to Seattle at some point during the playoffs.

        Not the preferred scenario, but the 49ers are still one of the best teams in the NFL and could still have a good run through the playoffs.

        Why don’t we wait to see what happens before going bonkers?

      2. exgolfer:

        That’s far too rational and mature a comment. You didn’t call for anyone to be fired or cut. You’re obviously not a real fan.

      3. Grant,

        While I do think your criticism of each of the offensive parts exceeded 100% (i.e., it seemed like you dished out 250% of blame), my crazy town remark wasn’t directed towards you, but rather to the many commenters who are bit over excited (thank god they weren’t all in one place after the game, there’s no telling what would’ve happened).

      4. I think grades in and around the ‘F’ area, on offense, are entirely appropriate. The 49ers netted what, 46 yards passing, converted 1, maybe 2 3rd downs? It was a terrible performance, particularly in the passing game. Lots of F’s to go around if you ask me.

        Now, it’s only one game, against a top-tier defense, so I’m not calling for anybody’s head. However, it’s part of a larger, disturbing trend on offense. We’re at the bottom of the league in several important categories. And in my totally unqualified view, Kaep has not progressed as a QB the way I’d hoped. We’ll see what the rest of the season brings. Anything less than at least 1 playoff win will be a big disappointment for me.
        Silver lining to that would be that we won’t likely be forced to break the bank to pay Kaep.

    4. Deezybee says:
      I mean..our weaknesses literallt show up at the wrong time…All three losses were relatively close games.

      Did you say all the three loses by the 49ers were all close? If I’m not mistaken, the Hawks 42-13 humiliated them and the Colts blew them away 29-3.

      1. Seattle game was 5-0 at one point goin into third quarter..colts game 10-7 goin into third quarter…Carolina game was 10-9….those games were lost on crucial stops….and crucial third downs…that’s what the three losses have in common..But the games were there for the taking and we didn’t take them..vd leaving two of the games and bein out one doesn’t help either..roman abandoned frank gore as well…in all 3 games

  51. Talk about balance; Drew Brees had
    eight (8) players whose receiving yards were
    in the double digits. (9.6 yds average per catch)
    They went 9-12 on third down efficiency!
    36 first downs….. 634 total yards.
    21/24 completions….. four passing TDs.

    The Niners are gonna get lit up next week.
    About the only way Coach Harbaw will give
    Colt McCoy a shot is if Kaep gets pulled due to
    i.n.j.u.r.y. Ask Aaron Rodgers; how does it feel
    to absorb an NFL hit, huh Colin? Stay tuned, buddy.

    1. Their defense is a joke right now. We’ll see if they can get hot down the stretch. I think they can but they have to get healthy.

      The Seahawks clearly are the best team in the NFL right now.

      1. Seahawks aren’t the best in the NFL. They have struggled to beat bad teams on a routine basis. Their o-line has been horrible and their d-line is giving up huge rushing yardage over the last 5 games. Here’s a list of teams that would definitely beat the Seahawks in Seattle:

        New England
        Kansas City
        Denver
        New Orleans

        These teams would probably beat Seattle on a neutral field:

        Dallas
        Philadelphia
        Detroit
        Chicago

        So that’s 4-8 teams that are better than or can beat the Seahawks. I’m not sure about the 49ers so they aren’t on this list. They need to solidify the passing game but they definitely have a shot to beat the Seahawks. Here are my predictions against your favorite teams:

        Seahawks: Wont make the NFCCG
        Cowboys: Won’t make the playoffs

      2. Everyone keeps saying that Seattle is not very good because they are marginally beating weak teams. Pardon me? Last time I checked there were no style points awarded in the NFL.
        Wether you win big or win ugly, it’s still winning. Seattle has beaten good and bad teams. They play consistent football with the same formula. Lynch running the ball, Wilson making nothing out of something and a defense that is playing lights out.
        I know 49er fans don’t want to hear that but they are the best team in football. You are what your record says you are.

      3. I agree with that to an extent Prime. Only time will tell but I will stick by my prediction as I’m sure Grant will stick by his prediction that a team playing .500 ball is going to make the Superbowl.

      4. The Cowboy defense has been a joke most of the season Grant. They have had injury issues but some of their core defensive players just aren’t very good anymore or are struggling with injury. They may not even win the division the way it’s going.

      5. They held Philly to 3 points in Nick Foles 2nd start. Foles went out of the game with a head injury so Matt Barkley (3rd string rookie) saw significant playing time. Just a week or 2 before this game, Denver hung 51 on the Cowboys. The Cowboys have the #32 Defense in YPG and they’re ranked #28 in points allowed. All of that AFTER only giving up 3 to Philly. The defense is bad. It’s really really bad. Trying to deny it makes no sense.

      6. The Dallas defense is last in total defense Grant. They are last in yards per game, second last in yards given up per play and 27th in points allowed. This is a terrible defense and pointing to one game doesn’t change that fact.

      7. Sorry Cape, I didn’t mean to offend your delicate sensibilities. Cohn didn’t say best in the NFC. He said best in the NFL. Even so, the Seahawks are not the best team in the NFC right now. The Saints are playing the best football right now. The Seahawks have a midget QB being protected by a Swiss Cheese o-line. Wilson will be lucky if he doesn’t end up as a trophy on Aldon Smith’s headboard after the next game in Candlestick. The defense has been horrible agains the run and when Chancelor or Sherman or Irvin get hit with their next PED charge the defense will be even worse. My apologies for offending you but just look at it as a friendly gesture so you don’t get your hopes crushed when they are one and done in the playoffs.

      8. Houston 49er,
        There’s no need for an apology. You might think that Wilson is a midget, but I rather have this guys run my offense at crunch time, rather then the 49ers arrogant Qb Kap who lacks football intelligence and doesn’t have the balls beating quality teams.

        Please accept my apology, if I went out off line talking about your beloved Qb.

        Maybe you should be more worried with the 49ers being behind the Seahawks by 2 ½ games in the west and at the moment six seed in the NFC. The Panther’s and Chicago Bears might not leave any spot for the 49ers to get into the playoffs.

        I not trying to discourage you, but if the 49ers lose on Sunday in the New Orleans against the Saints it will only make the road to the playoffs for the 49ers a lot tougher.

        Don’t worry about the Seahawks key players and Chancelor, Irving and Sherman being charge again with PED. I don’t think these guys are stupid to step out line; especially this year the hawks have a lot to prove, that they’re a legit team to reckon with.

      9. Well Cape, there’s no further evidence needed that you’re a fan of a team with a pitiful history of dismal failure than when the fans of that team troll rivals fan blogs to talk crap. You really should be embarrassed but you’re a Seahawks fan so I’m sure the years of humiliation have desensitized you from being embarrassed.

        At any rate, live it up while you can. You’re midget qb won’t last much longer with the beating he’s taking. He’s going to be a mid-afternoon snack for Justin Smith. He’s like Smith’s little Hershey’s Kiss. Seems like a sweet kid but he’ll be gone soon.

      10. Houston49er,
        Why should I be embarrassed being a Seahawks fan? You keep saying over and over that R.Wilson is a midget. Hey, nobody is denying it that Russell is only 5’11. Height to me doesn’t matter, the important thing is how good you’re in what you do and the way you perform your task in a positive way… But this kid Wilson is far more intelligent then Kap is, and he possesses a lot of quality to be a good Qb in the NFL, Wilson has a lot of heart and he knows how to find ways to win football games.

        I’m sure that Wilson is taking more hits then he suppose too. Because for one thing Okung hasn’t come back from his injury they try to patch the holes in the offensive line with replacements, even it’s an ugly win for the Hawks, they still find ways to win. But as soon the Hawks offensive line gets healthier, they’ll be able to protect Wilson and give him more time to throw down the field and give some alleys to maneuver.

        Wilson again will dominate Kap and the 49ers at the stick in December you can count on it. I guess you’re the only one that thinks the Seahawks can’t win on the road, if you think all their road wins is a fluke you’ll be surprise when playoffs starts. But then again, I forgot Wilson and the Seahawks are staying at home in the playoffs to host the playoffs and the NFCC in Seattle.

        BTW, First the 49ers need to catch the Seahawks in west, It’s highly doubtful that’s going to happen. The 49ers and you better worry playing the Saints in New Orleans this Sunday. The 49ers and you need a lot of luck comes Sunday to win in New Orleans.

  52. I was at game today and Kaepernick looked horrible. There were open receivers and he just held the ball. Granted line sucked, but there were times he had to make a quick pass and dud into pull trigger. Just awful. Roman was even worse.

    1. Kaepernick had the worst completion percentage when pressured in the NFL coming into today’s game and I doubt he improved on that today. The guy just completely falls apart as a passer under pressure and its ridiculous for a guy who is halfway through his 3rd year under the best qb mentor in the NFL. I am not pleased.

      1. You never see Kap stay in the pocket and deliver a pass right before he is about to get decked. I think Kap and Harbaugh’s fate will go hand in hand. They both took everyone by surprise with their talent, but then the league has figured them out, it’s all hype.
        Why is Harbaugh a great coach? He’s not an X and O guy. He had great success at getting players who under achieved. But now we’re in year three and we haven’t see any major adjustments in philosophy to adapt to an ever changing game. Niners were once bullies and hard workers, but Seattle and now Carolina just proved they are just as tough. When I lived in Chicago, I played basketball against Ron Rivera during lunch pick-up games. And he was a tough son of a B. he had that bully mentality too. Watching the game, and seeing him on the sidelines, brought back flashbacks of playing him at the Lakeshore club. He was Barkley, a ferocious rebounder — and douchebag.

    2. I was also at the game, and I didn’t see open receivers. I saw a scared qb with no idea of what to do. And an O-line who got slapped around.
      The WHOLE offense looked like garbage. Except FG.

  53. top 3 teams in the NFL.
    Chiefs, Hawks, Broncos then Saints. Saints are probably the best in a Dome. Dome baby Breeze won’t lose to anyone in the NFC if they somehow get home field. I do not believe the Hawks have separated themselves as they should, but they are what their record is and that calls for respect.

  54. I know a lot of people have already expressed their thoughts on the game, but I’d like to decompress and share some of mine as well.

    I don’t think that a loss automatically exposes weaknesses in a team. Instead, it just accentuates some of the problems we (or at least I) have tried to brush off as anomalies. Namely:

    Coaching: was a major reason we lost this game. Specifically I’m critical of two decisions Harbaugh made.

    First, he chose to take a field goal instead of attempting to convert a 4th-and-1 from the Carolina 2. Given that the 49ers were running the ball well, and given that a TD would have doubled the 6 points they had earned up to that point, and given that if they failed Carolina would be starting from the 2, it seems to me that attempting the TD has a much higher expected payoff and could have put the team in excellent position later on.

    Second, what was up with the play calling at the end of the first half? If Harbaugh wanted to try to score, he should have used his 2 minute offense and conserved clock using his timeout. If he wanted to just end the half and regroup, he should have just taken a knee. Instead, it was the worst of both worlds: he gained no meaningful yards and exposed his players to injury without making any meaningful attempt to score. His last timeout went unused.

    Play calling: slow and tepid. This is part of coaching too, but I want to talk about it separately because I’m still baffled that the 49ers routinely take so long to get plays called. I don’t have any stats on this, but I’ve seen no other team in the league that takes this long, or that burns as many timeouts getting plays called — and at home! Including a timeout on the first drive of the game! Bill Walsh used to script the first 10-or-so plays of the game to help the offense get into a rhythm. Consensus is that this was a very good idea, but from the looks of it Harbaugh isn’t doing this at all.

    Kaepernick: has been awful recently. I’m unskilled at assessing quarterback play, but I see Kaepernick developing some bad habits, namely: scrambling away from pressure (often, today, for a sack and loss) instead of throwing the ball away, and running rather quickly even when he has time in the pocket. Although he was under relentless pressure today and didn’t have much of a receiving corps to work with, I don’t see any indications that he’s growing as a quarterback. Again, I’m unskilled at assessing how good quarterbacks really are, but I don’t like what I see.

    But this is really the coaches’ problem, anyway. Why haven’t they worked with Kap on these issues? Or maybe they have and Kap just regresses during game day? I don’t know what’s going on, but any interpretation of the facts that I can muster spells negative things for the franchisee.

    Receivers: awful as well. I understand that we’re hurting for depth here, but the receivers we have aren’t some college scrubs; these are NFL-caliber receivers and should be able to at least catch a pass or two, or do something to contribute on offense. NFL offenses are complicated and it’s hard to tell where the problem is, but again I think it goes back to coaching (or to Kaepernick, which again goes back to coaching).

    Of course there are some positives from today. Defense was really impressive against a Carolina team that had something to prove, and they capitalized well on the opportunities they were given. But were it not for a few Carolina gaffes (dropped interception, missed Steve Smith catch, and the muffed punt, to name a few), this game would have been much more lopsided. The 49ers were extremely fortunate to be in it at the end, and even then they couldn’t get the field goal they needed to secure the win.

    I could understand if the team lost against Carolina due to a few miscues or a bad interception or something. But what makes this loss so difficult to swallow is that it indicates a lot of deep, systemic problems with the organization. It’s like getting a dent in your car vs. discovering that your engine’s on fire.

    I don’t like Seattle, but there are a few things things I really admire about their organization. They never lose their fight, no matter how grim things look. They take advantage of the gifts their opponents give them. And across the board, they avoid elementary mistakes, like having to call a timeout on the first drive at home, or meandering around the field at the end of the half. Those are the marks of a championship team, and those are the things the 49ers have had in the past. I hope the 49ers can regain them soon.

    1. Follow-up:

      Yeah, I know the 49ers had a lot of unfortunate injuries and that it takes some time to adjust to a radically different game plan. But the 49ers had a solid running attack that was steadily gaining yards, which they promptly ignored for most of the second half. And I’m still critical of how poorly they’ve developed their receivers over the course of the year. I can’t tell whether the blame lies more with the receivers or with the coaching, but I believe a good coaching staff should be able to work with the talent they have and produce something worthwhile.

    2. You say “why havent the coaches worked with….” so and so on certain things, well, since none of us are at practice we don’t know whether or not they are working on these things. I have to assume they are until told otherwise. Also, wasn’t it Kaep who was spending all off season working his ass off? Seems to me that it matters not how much you practice something if you can’t perform in the clutch, on the day.

      1. Yeah, that’s the tough part. But the way I see it there are two possibilities: (1) they’ve worked with him with no results, which makes them incompetent, or (2) they haven’t worked with him at all, which makes them extremely foolish. Either way it’s a bad sign.

        That’s part of the frustrating business of being a fan, I guess: we have so little information on what’s actually going on inside the locker room, and of course the coaches aren’t going to talk about it in public. All we can do is guess.

    3. In my opinion the big issue with CK right now is his footwork. He’s regressed as a QB. He consistently throws off-balance without ever setting his feet. Quite often he’s falling backwards or simply throwing the ball up hoping for the best.

  55. when you watch the replay, it’s pretty clear that Vance had the ball and the defender ripped his left arm down. Their defense was playing perfect, you have to give them credit sometimes. Kap just isn’t adjusting to the way they adjusted to him, he is folding under the pressure.

  56. young master kaerpernick seems to have let the attention falling on him after last season get to his head..and I don’t think the coaches have much confidence in him as a passer—3rd and 5 and they run gore for 4 yards, then kick a field goal

  57. Well there were a few things that stood out for me. On 2 occasions the 9ers decided to run it against 9 men in the box on 3rd and short and both times were stuffed for a loss. There is nothing wrong about throwing it to Boldin in these situations or run a bootleg run/pass option. Also there was the one situation where they lost big yardage on 2nd and short on an option play and then had to punt. Basically the 9ers are an utterly predictable team in terms of playcalling (and have been all year). They have a QB that can put tremendous pressure on defenses with his ability to run and pass but rarely use this advantage to its full extent. But you cant be a smashmouth team without being able to convert short-yardage situations with any kind of consistency like yesterday..

  58. i don’t know what CK’s problem is but everyone is very quick to condemn him when it took Alex Smith 7 years to get a clue. We certainly need a viable back up QB that can give us an option but we ended up with Bethel thompson.

  59. Absolutly pathetic. CK is a horrible pocket passer at this point. Going into that game was my measuring stick for ck. and sadly I came to the conclusion that he is FAR from even a solid backup in the passing game.
    Romans calls are an instant headache. If I recall we had 3 2nd and 1′s. and lost yardage on all of them and forced to punt on third down.
    WHY would he run an option on 2nd and 1? Instead of running between the tackles for a first down? That play alone was all I needed to see to know our OC “out thinks himself” like grant said.
    The alarming thing about this loss and why it shows this team will not win a superbowl is. We ran the ball. The two losses earlier we didn’t run the ball, giving hope that we needed to get back to basics. Well yesterday showed me that this team is either: severely underachieving or they simply aren’t that good. And I’m thinking its the second one. There is no excuse of not being balanced and not running the ball now. Sorry but I have to go back to the offseason where I’m seeing CK’s face on every other commercial or magazine. And I’m to believe he’s a hard worker always trying to learn more? His head got huge, and was severely overrated. I also blame Harbaugh for CK’s struggles. It doesn’t look like he worked with him this offseason at all. It looks like he put ck on cruise control and thought he’d be fine. He needs some special practices with his qb and ASAP. His basic fundamental skills are pretty damn bad.

    As for McDonald. Absolutly NO excuse not to catch that ball. This is where I get frustrated with these draft picks instead of getting veterans. I’m sick of seeing all of these damn draft picks piling up year after year and getting second and third round talent. The TV show hoarders should make an appearance to this front office. Trade up in the damn draft and get some receivers with hands and that are great route runners!

    I’m disgusted with the way this team looks right now. They need to pull their heads out of their a$$es ASAP! It’s not over, but until they beat a playoff caliber team or a stingy defense, I’m not believing in a superbowl run.

      1. Agree ribico,
        Kuechly was able to strip the ball before VMac could fully secure it. But had VMac been able to catch that pass it would have been a game changer in such a close game.

        The KHunt fumble was also created by a great defensive hit.
        Let’s face it, we played against a darn good defense yesterday.

        I thought another significant game changer was not going for the TD on 4th down from the two yard line.
        Our O-line was having success with run-blocking and we could have made a big statement had we punched it in at that point.

        Overall, we played ultra conservative on offense with the hope that our defense would either win this game or put us in great position to score.

        CK was lousy, the offensive scheme was lousy, the pass blocking was lousy and after a horrendous outing we only lost by 1 point.
        It was just one of those rarest of rare games in we were lucky to still have a chance to win up until the last two series.
        Ugly, weird, rare, pathetic, and yet competitive game don’t often co-exist together, but this one did.

        Now, we MUST beat the Saints.

    1. MD, I believe the preseason cruise control that Harbs had Kap on was the read option and the pistol. That was the flavor of the month that we all fell madly in love with.
      Not enough time was put into a standard NFL offense that the rest of this team was built around and which is the bread and butter in this league. So they got taught a lesson as they got slapped by a perfect storm of (1) a typical NFL quick learn and adjust to something ne, (2) a hole in the rule book threat to the QB and (3) the rest of the Niner team that was not designed for this wild west pistol stuff.
      This leaves Kap not at all comfortable in the pocket and early on that learning curve. thus what I see the Niners doing is going into two sets one under center to only hand off (because the pass is disasterous) and one in a back set from pocket gun for QB play. That switching of formations for singular play telegraphs our intentions. Easy read for the defense. Load the box when under center and rush from outside when gun formation. Easy peasey for the Panthers.
      Solution for the Niners — middle ground hybrid for multiple options and thus surprise.

  60. Happy Veterans Day everybody! Let’s never forget that this day stands for those who fought for this country to make it what it is and those who fight today to keep it that way. Your sacrifice isn’t in vain and is greatly appreciated by this American. Thank you and God bless.

    1. Absolutely.
      A huge shout out to all those who have served and are currently serving in our Armed Forces throughout the world.
      Thank you, and God bless.

    2. Well said Midwest and I concur. Many thanks to all the men and women that sacrifice for the good of others and for all those who have given their lives in combat going back more than a hundred years. We stand humbled by all of you.

  61. I will never lose hope and there is a chance for them to get it together however the team to beat is Seattle and they are without Percy! Losing VD really hurts us in this game.

    This was the most painful game to watch. Oline was getting pushed all over the place in the passing game, CK was jumpy in the pocket due to all the sacks and the WRs were no where to be seen. I did not like the game plan on the offensive side.

  62. Wow- sky falling around here much?

    No doubt a horrific offensive performance with a seemingly impossible task on the road next week, but you gotta figure 10 wins the 49ers are in the playoffs.

    That means the 49ers have to get four wins in the next 7 games. Not an insurmountable task, especially since the 49ers have home games against Atlanta, St. Louis, and a road game against Tampa Bay.

    Granted, nothing is given, but think back on the past decade. 9 games in and out season would be over.

    Kaepernick looked lost and the offense as a whole had the feel of ,”we’ve been listening to everyone kiss our butts for two weeks…damn, we’re pretty awesome.”

    They just played uninspired.

    So many are so sure that Kaepernick isn’t the answer after two 17 or so regular season starts. He has his flaws, but becoming a great QB takes time.

    Yes, the passing game is bad and the receiver situation is not good, but have some perspective: the 49ers are still 6-3 and are in the playoff hunt. The defense is very stout and will always keep us in games.

    Probably not going to win the division, but all you need is a ticket to the dance and anything can happen.

    Yeah, and the comments about keeping A. Smith. C’mon, really?

  63. so, after a long sleepless night filled with the tossing, turning, bathroom and kitchen runs……not to mention the image’s of us losing, I’ve come to the conclusion that Greg roman has to be fired. there’s no way around it. he’s clueless and has no idea how to adjust to aggressive playoff bound teams. no clue what so ever.
    When you’re being pushed around, find quick plays that will keep them on their heels. slants, tosses, bubble screens etc. Their defense was well rested out there for most of the game.
    I’m not for the pistol offense, but I don’t remember seeing any play action considering how well we ran the ball. more to come soon……stay tuned

    1. Big P

      You can’t just turn a passing attack into a running attack overnight, and vice versa. Over the last two years (Harbaugh era) we’ve been spoiled by having a QB whom everyone laughed at for being a ‘game manager’. So we swapped him out for a couple of 2nd rounders and put Kap in the drivers seat. No way do we lose 10-9 with a ‘game manager’ with the amount of talent that we STILL have on this team. It was a bad call….

  64. I didn’t read all of the comments. We are asking Kap for a whole lot. Rightfully so after last years performance but what many fail to realize is many QB’s have GREAT 1st years. Then coaches get game film and all of that changes. GREG ROMAN is the biggest issue. We need to scrap the read option until we can get consistency in the basic offense. We need to RIDE FRANK GORE until he can’t go anymore. When he carries for 20+ times and/or gets 100+ yards we win. Why Roman continues to stop feeding him the rock BAFFLES me. He was killing the panthers defense and then we decide to stop running him. It’s the complete opposite of what they did with Alex smith. No one trusted smiths passing. It was run Frank, run frank, and play action. K.I.S.S = Keep It Simple Stupid. Eliminate ALL of the checks at the line of scrimmage. There’s no reason why we should come close to getting delay of game calls every play. AND RUN FRANK GORE AT LEAST 25 times. The 49ers are NOT built to run the read option. They’re built to run over you, not around you.

  65. I’m not buying the whole “our WRs and TE missing” is the problem anymore, especially after watching the Packer game in the morning. Scott Tolzien, a 3rd string practice squad QB, completed 24 passes to ten (TEN!) different receivers, eight of which went to a guy that had 15 catches on the entire season. And they are playing without their starting TE and WR as well.

    Now, Phildalphia isn’t exactly Carolina, but still. I’m beginning to believe this is either A) poor offensive scheme or B) poor QB play. Probably 75/25. I think the Roman detractors might have it right.

  66. It’s amusing how down this board and Grant gets after a loss, and how sure of the 49ers greatness many in this group is after beating some mediocre teams. The Panthers are a good team and played some of their best football of the year, particularly in the trenches. If one of those field goals were a TD, the game would have likely ended in a W and we’d be lauding the 49ers defense. Grant acknowledges how poor the O-line pass protected, but still managed to give Kaep an F+? Myopic would be a generous description of that analysis. Dawson went 3 for 3 including 43 and 52 yard kicks, but that went unmentioned in Special Teams. When we get Crabs back we’ll be a completely different team. I still believe we’ll be a wildcard team with a likely record of 10-6. That may not be ideal, but barring a major injury, we should be playing our best football heading into the playoffs. Don’t panic when we lose to the Saint’s next week!

    1. I think the issue is more about the play calling. We all notice Kap isn’t comfortable because he’s running for his life. The o line isn’t the greatest at pass blocking, as of now, and in each of our losses we stopped feeding Gore. It’s almost like Roman is trying to sabotage the games. Although I know he’s not. But if frank gore has 60-70 rushing yards in the first half and we stop feeding him, how else do we explain this. The only game we should have lost is the Seattle game. Frank Gore rushes 3 times in the 2nd half of the Colts game. I don’t know he exact numbers but I’m sure his rushes dwindled in the 2nd half of yesterday’s game.

      1. Gore looked like he got dinged up in the third quarter. Maybe Grant has that info.
        Doesn’t help that when Hunter came in and replaced Gore he fumbled when they were five yards out of field goal range. We now know how important three more points would have been.

  67. the AP NFL Coach of the Year (2011)…
    it was all smoke and mirrors. Quack!!!!

    In losing to Carolina, Coach Harbaw’s
    half-time “adjustments” resulted in
    a whopping 45 yards of offense for the
    second half of the game. (and zero points)
    And the quarterback whisper’s protege,
    Colin Kaepernick was 0 for 6 when throwing
    the ball a distance of more than 10 yards.
    Stick a fork in both of them……JH and Kaep.

    One more note to Mister Harbaw:
    stop warming up the QBs & receivers.
    Be a head coach and win games.
    This team is not your personal toy, ok?
    And lose the magic marker around your neck.!!!

  68. Oregon,

    You must have listened to the game on the radio. The omly thing Kap didnt do was leave the pocket fast enough, like right when he got tge shotgun snap. Thats how fast tge pressure came. That offensive line played like crap yesterday except for tge run blocking early in the game. They gave zero protection to the QB. Look at the game. Wtch tbe O line.

      1. You see what you want to see. Unfortunately that’s called ignorance. The rest of us are seeing regression from a guy who everyone labelled the next great 49ers QB.
        Keep blaming Roman, the oline and everything in between. Next week against the Saints against Rob Ryan’s defense and that offense will determine if CK can be a competitive QB, let alone the next great 49ers QB.

      2. That’s what PFF saw.

        You can’t blame all of the sacks on the o line either. The first sack was on what should have been a quick play action slant, but the QB didn’t throw the ball or move quickly enough.

        The second sack was on a naked bootleg, and the defensive end didn’t fall for the play fake.

        The third sack was off a delayed safety blitz that Kaepernick didn’t recognize.

        That was the first half….

      3. Jack an explanation of things of what really happened in games to Baydouche and his girlfriend are a complete waste of typing power. They see what they want and nothing more. Why do you think this blog gets irrational? Your dealing with people wearing horse blinders.

    1. Jordan,
      I watched the game again last night. Couldn’t really tell where Vernon got concussed. In a game where someone anyone needed to make a play, no one did. Some things worry me.

      We spent a #1 pick on a player that has his second major concussion in his first year.

      Can we stop calling our offensive line the best in football. Whenever we go up against a top team, our offensive line gets owned. The consistent pressure that he’s been under is bringing out some bad habits in him. Yesterday was the worst pressure he’s faced as a pro. If you have an offense that doesn’t have it’s number one receiver, and then loses it’s number one weapon in VD, it leaves the QB in a very vulnerable situation.

      Roman has to be smart. At that point as an OC, you have to keep the QB clean. Get the ball out of his hands quickly. Carolina’s DB’s are their weakness. Where were the slants? Where were the screens? Draw plays? Runs to the edges? Where is our killer instinct? I agree with several posters, up 6-0 at the 1 1/2 yard line, we needed to go for it.

      Harbaugh said a few weeks ago that Alex Smith wins games, but Kaepernick will win superbowls. I’m thinking that if he is serious about winning superbowls, Harbaugh is going to have to consider shipping Roman off too. John Harbaugh had the balls to do it and their offense immediately flourished.

      Last part of my rant. A few days ago Grant asked who are our offensive MVP’s. It’s clear now. It’s Vernon Davis. As a blocker, as a decoy and as a dangerous weapon. In two of our losses this year, Vernon was out. It changed the game against the Colts who IMO are average, and it changed yesterday’s game. That is why with Vernon and Crabtree on the field last year our QB was confident and our offense was almost unstoppable. Need VD back for next week.

      1. Let’s call it like it is– the QB play is what’s holding this team back. If we got average production from that position we would have won in Carolina and possibly Seattle. That game was close until the third quarter. The only team loss was the Indy game when the d also did not play well.
        It really is only three losses but it’s the nature of the loss. How the offense does not appear ready for nfl standards. The Carolina d is not the Chicago bears d from 85. This really falls on Colin and roman. Gore was running well.

      2. In case u missed the stats when u watched the game again. This is from ESPN:

        Offense sputters: The 49ers lost this game on offense. The defense was terrific, but the offensive was lackluster, especially in the second half. All the 49ers had to show for the game was three first-half field goals. The 49ers had just 45 total yards in the second half, and quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw for 91 yards and was sacked six times, a season high. The 49ers had just 4 yards on 14 plays in the fourth quarter. Ultimately, the 49ers’ success depends on their offensive production. In their six wins, the 49ers have scored at least 31 points. However, in their three defeats, the 49ers have scored in single digits.

      3. Fan of course the QB play is holding us back. 4 times he had a chance to get us in FG range and failed. You gotta throw the ball to get it down field. He got stuck on that first read and that was it. The inexperience and immaturity is coming to the forefront.
        My problem was everyone got glazed over by the running ability and a big arm. They missed something along the way called film study by other coaches and experieince. That takes more than 20 starts.

  69. Hey I have a thought , let’s give a 7 th rounder for a wr! I heard in Kansas City they have a guy named aj who Harbaugh and baalke think is just great! Win win, they aren’t using him and our pass offense just stinks. This team doesn’t seem to be getting better, but worse every year. What did the ny giants or Minnesota call us last year…..” Fake tough guys?” Wake up guys, Seattle is running away with the NFC ,

  70. The one thing that I can say about Kap is that you can’t take all those damn sacks. You have to throw the damn football away. You have to get rid of tge damn ball. Throw the ball away!!

  71. FORWARD THIS TO HARBAUGH:

    I’d say the Niners just need to roll the dice and let Kaepernick just turn into a running QB. Run him 15-20 times a game. What have they got to lose if he finally does get hurt? McCoy could avg. 150 yards a game or less like Colin is doing but IF he doesn’t get hurt they could start really moving the ball.

    Play to his strength as he’s never going to be a Top Tier QB in the passing ga

  72. Kaepernick has throw for over 200 yards something like 4 times so far in his career and that’s counting the playoffs. He’ll NEVER be a Top Tier QB. On the same level as Alex Smith. We best draft the best QB available if that means trading up. Colin is NOT the answer.

    1. You are a prime idiot…. You won’t be seen on this site when the niners make a serious run at a SB…. Kaepernick is the most gifted QB in the entire NFL! When the O line and his all world tight end disappear due to an injury for Davis, and a very run oriented offensive coordinator calls a horrific game plan this is the result… The niners thought they can play a vanilla offense this past week to get an ugly win and it back fired…. Now for all u haters that are jumping off the bandwagon DO NOT jump back on when the niners win next week in New Orleans….. You guys call yourselves fans? You guys are clowns! You guys are the same idiots who said we couldn’t win last year in New Orleans and in New England! Crabtree soon to return and this offensive will explode….

      1. these comments like “Colin is the most gifted qb in the nfl…” slay me—-people just dont realize playing well as an nfl qb is about more than athletic gifts–kaepernick for all his athletic gifts cant over come his lack of awareness and inability to make quick decisions

      2. The best example in terms of time frame that it will take to get Kaep to grow and mature as an NFL QB is Newton. Newton’s first year he was a mirror image of Kaep with more turnovers.
        Things are finally slowing down for Newton and you are seeing his ability to win in his third year. That’s a natural progression. While Kaep is going through necessary growing pains, a few things cannot be ignored that will help him down the line. For the most part he protects the ball, he’s already won and he has big game and playoff experience.
        This week will pose some challenges. VD we NEED you.

      3. Bay, your dead on! Couldnt be more right!
        I know these guys give u a lot of $h!t on here, but you know what the heck your talking about. Like myself, your an optimist to the core and a loyal fan, always supporting and never one to throw your team and its players under the buss.

      4. The funny thing is Newton is doing a lot less in terms of passing and running and the team is winning. When he was putting up the monster numbers his rookie year they couldn’t get to 500 and were even worse last year. Now he’s got Alex Smith type numbers and they are winning. Go figure.

      5. CK=Elite,

        We all know you’re so in loved with Kap that why you hide your name.

        Yesterday the 49ers had all their weapons back except for crabtree. What so funny is when Kap look like a bewildered Qb fools like you, are always there to make an excuse for him? You’ll probably be the first one to throw Kap under the bus when the 49ers team goes under.

        Sure when Crabtree comes back, the team will explode. As yesterday Manningham came back did the 49ers, offense exploded? Vernon Davis was still playing when 49ers are already struggling. Tell you something friend if you think that Kap and the Niners are better than Romo and the Cowboys going to New Orleans and beating the Saints, you must be “High. “

        Enough is enough putting the blame on the offensive line. The bottom line is Kap struggles against “Quality Teams.” All the teams he won against were teams that have fewer talents.

  73. Grant Cohn says:
    “and the game plan had zero imagination”
    ————————————————

    Right after penning two pieces about how Roman needed to not get fancy or out think himself you bash him for being to basic.

    Classic.

    1. There is a huge difference between overstuffing a game plan with a bunch of trick plays and a game plan with zero imagination. To call that game plan basic is an insult to basic game plans. That game plan lacked all kind of basic stuff and so Kaepernick took six sacks and the Niners scored nine points.

      1. Knowing that VD was out, it was Roman’s responsibility to get the ball out of Kaep’s hands quickly. With all that pressure, he regularly had him drop back in the pocket.

      2. Kap should only take a sack if he’s getting blindsided or we are ahead considerably and the sack won’t hurt us. He has to know to throw the ball away and not take the sack. Get rid of it.

      3. Jordan,
        watch the sacks again. Only two could have been prevented. They were on his early and often from both sides. Remember there were times he stepped up and escaped the pressure for good gains. You are talking about a QB that normally escapes sacks. That alone should tell you something. The protections yesterday was awful.

      4. Grant Cohn says:
        November 11, 2013 at 9:37 am
        Great movie. Love the Coen Brothers. I’m partial to Miller’s Crossing.
        ———————-
        There are only two Coen films I haven’t seen and that is one of them, Ladykillers is the other. I’ll go watch MC this week, can’t say the same about Ladykillers though. I don’t know how to pick a favorite film from those guys when they have so many incredible films. If you put a gun to my head I’d be a dead man because I could never choose just one favorite between; O’Brother, Lebowski & No Country.

      5. Yet, according to the PFF numbers, Kaepernick was pressured less frequently than Newton was – 32% (10/31) vs 47% (18/38).

      6. Grant Cohn says:
        November 11, 2013 at 9:48 am
        I love Big Lebowski, too.

        Have you read All The Pretty Horses? It’s written by Cormac McCarthy who wrote No Country.
        ————————–
        I have not, should I? I just finished a book actually and could use one.

      7. I just reread Troppers “This is where I leave you.” It’s one of my favorites. Quick but funny with a bit of a sentimental note.

      8. I’m a big fan of the Coen Brothers movies too. Hard to pick one favorite but I’m partial to Fargo.

        Also agree with All the Pretty Horses as a book you have to read CFC. McCarthy passed away a couple of months ago and his books have been getting a second life. Well worth taking the time to read.

    2. While I see the irony, if I’m just looking at Grants comment about a lack of imagination, I tend to agree with him. There really was little creativity in the offense, although losing two TE’s really hampered them a great deal. I posted my thoughts on this already so won’t repeat myself here, but there really need to be some changes in games against physical defenses like this imo.

  74. Grant,

    Just wondering if you’ve ever seen Kap around the niners facility wearing his blue workshirt. Did they get rid of the work shirts when they traded in the game manager for the superstar? Or does Kap always show up with the big headphones dressed like a 15 year old? Everyone is their own person and should be able to express that, but he is also in a leadership role and never seems to project that. What a great thing it would be to see him show up in that work shirt ready to grind after this loss. I just can’t see him being able put down the twitter and instagram long enough to worry about it.

    1. I’ve gone ahead and corrected that for ya:

      “How many folks realize it was a huge mistake keeping Kyle Williams.”

    2. Bay,

      Ginn couldn’t wait to get out of here, they had no chance to keep him and truthfully I don’t think he was worth keeping anyway. He’s very limited as a receiver and while he was a decent return man, he wasn’t worth the money. I liked what I saw from LMJ yesterday. He was aggressive and that is what we need to see more often on the returns.

    3. Ted Ginn wanted too much money and he wanted to play for a team that would give him a chance to play more wide receiver. The Niners wouldn’t promise him that playing time and opportunity because of Jenkins.

      1. Say what you want about Ginn, but his punt return in the 4th set Carolina up to win.

        The 49ers miss him a lot more than anyone wants to admit.

      2. Following Ginn’s punt return, I think a couple buddies and me lamented we kept Williams over Ginn???? Ginn is limited, but Williams has been a major dud for the 49ers. Enough already of this guy.

      3. That return was aided by a terrible punt from Lee. Ginn is a good return man but he really didn’t add much to this team last year and didn’t want to be here anyway.

  75. the presser starts with a question:
    Why wasn’t your offense able to get going today?
    Now let’s listen to Mister Harbaw:

    “There’s definitely some situation circumstances where we had opportunities and we didn’t get it done, made the key mistake or didn’t make the play.”

    “We really were out of a couple personnel groups that we would have liked to have been in… And we needed some time to move some personnel around to accommodate that situation. But, that factored into it.”

    “It’s just a sinking feeling right now. You didn’t get the job done as a team. And we’ll bounce back. We’ll come storming back”

    “Don’t feel good as a coach. It’s not a good feeling when you don’t prevail, especially when you had multiple chances to get it done.”

    It’s tough to predict that right now.”

    Oh, Jim; you are a piece of work.
    “definitely”…”situation”… “circumstances”…”opportunities”
    Hearing you try and talk in this press conference,
    we are reminded of an earlier Harbaugh-ism…
    “gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble”

    Go home.
    Kick the dog.
    Yell at wife #2.
    Get drunk.

    Show us something NFL caliber next week in New Orleans.
    Oh, yeah; one more thing…
    Based on the way the Niners played yesterday, do not
    use the word ‘prevail’ …. EVER AGAIN.
    You cannot spell the word prevail.
    You did not prevail in last year’s Super Bowl.
    In fact, you may never win the big game…
    learn to live with that “sinking feeling”…willya?

  76. First off, message to eric Reid , you are great.We don’t need you to play like D. Goldston.We need you in coverage, so the next time you see a load like Tolbert tackle him low pls. WE NEED YOU ON THE FIELD!!

    Second, message to kaepernick man up and take responsibility. Have you seen any of his postgame interviews, it’s always we as a team didn’t execute. No you didn’t execute! !! I know that your oc sucks , But go to your second wr once pls.

    Third , the niners miss alex smith. Not for his play but for his coaching of kaep to read coverages.Clearly no one is helping him with that. The niners would have been better off keeping smith as a backup and randy moss for a deep ball target, as opposed to paying boldin all that money.
    We don’t have a deep ball target besides Vd and that sucks!!!

    Fourth, fire greg roman. He can’t use the weapons that we have to get the offense going. Doesn’t use lmj or hunter. And in the passing game lets use 4 slot wr and no deep ball threats. Use baldwin and mcdonlad pls, and not as #1 opt but as #3 OR #4 and then see how well they do. Next week will be tough but the niners will win, but if we want a superbowl things have got to change.

    1. All good points but a disgruntled Alex Smith at $8M a year to be a backup wasn’t going to happen, nor was it good for the team to have 2 guys looking over their shoulders for any extended period of time.

  77. Ok in all seriousness Vernon and Reid HAVE to play this week. Most importantly Vernon tho. Vaccaro has already been ruled out for the saints, which is who they use to cover TEs. If Vernon is unable to play this week then we have no shot to win this game. We will be sitting at 6-4. Never thought I’d say that. Ouch.

  78. Many culprits and reasons for this loss on first glance.

    - The Panther front seven is very very good and look a lot like the Niners in many ways.

    - The offensive game plan once again got off track neglecting to run the ball much in the second half which for this team almost always results in a bad result

    - The pass protection wasn’t great, but Kap still bails too quickly at times and is struggling to look beyond his first read

    - Once Davis was gone the Niners couldn’t really run their offense because with Celek also injured they only had one healthy TE. This is a two TE offense first and foremost and you could see how disoriented the team became when they couldn’t line up that way in the second half.

    Now how do they fix it? It seems the Niners really struggle against teams that can match or beat their physical play on the lines and yesterday was no exception. I’ll leave it to Jack to break down the game, but I’m seeing some clear problems offensively that really puzzle me.

    First is, there really is no short passing game anymore. There is the arbitrary throw here and there, but the majority of the time, Kap is in a 5 step drop and looking downfield and if it isn’t there, he is running or getting sacked. There needs to be a short option for him on every one of those plays and often times there aren’t, and when there are, he tends to ignore it. This offense needs to incorporate more quick passes to the RB’s and WR’s and let them try to make a play instead of always going play action and dropping deep. My one true criticism of this offensive Coaching staff from day one is the lack of creativity in the passing game, but now I can add efficiency and consistency to the equation. There has to be a willingness to take short gains in the passing game which just aren’t there very often right now.

    Now on the opposite end of the spectrum, there also needs to be more than one shot taken deep downfield during a game as well. There was one deep throw yesterday that went to McDonald and it was executed beautifully with the exception of McDonald hanging onto the ball. There needed to be more of that yesterday to try and get the LB’s away from the LOS where they were camped out tight all day.

    The season is not over, although the hope of a division title is pretty dim at this point, but there needs to be a concerted effort to help Kap get some rhythm in the passing game imo. He needs to be able to throw some quick short passes to get him into the game but also to give him somewhere to go with the ball quickly. Yesterday, much like the Colt game from week 3 was a winnable game if the Niner tendencies weren’t so stringent.

    We always have a lot of talk about Alex Smith on here, and for the past couple of years there were comments like: “the Niners are hiding Smith, or they can’t run a more explosive offense because they are limited by Smith”, and it’s complete Bullsh*t. This is, and always has been the offense and we see now that even with a more talented QB the gameplan is the same. The Niners can and have won with this system, and I’m not saying they need to overhaul what they are doing, but a little tweaking and change is needed to counter the teams that are physical and until they do that, they will struggle to win these types of games.

    1. rocket:

      Thanks for the kind of rational, thoughtful analysis that’s been in short supply around here.

      The only thing I would add is that a team which uses a 2 TE formation so much probably should have 4 TEs on the roster, including on the 46 man active game day roster.

      The only thing I might disagree with was your description of the pass to McDonald. I attribute the incompletion more to Kuechly making a great play than I do to McDonald not hanging onto the ball.

    2. Grant,

      It’s really become a feast or famine mentality with the passing game and it shouldn’t be. They need to involve the RB’s and WR’s in the short game. Not sure why that element has almost completely disappeared with Kap in there.

      CFC,

      Yep the slants, or even a swing pass to a RB or a hitch to the outside WR. A screen to anyone would be welcomed too.

      Claude,

      It was a nice play by Kuechley, but he never touched the ball. I think it could have and probably should have been caught, but I also understand that it it’s difficult to hold on when someone grabs your arm. I just can’t figure out why they only took one shot all day and only threw one pass to McDonald period?

      It’s like this teams passing game operates predominantly in a 20 yard box about 10 yards from the LOS and rarely deviates from it.

      1. I also agree with your thoughts on 4 TE’s although it’s tough to have 4 active on game day. This team is dependent on the two TE sets though so they might have to look at doing it in the future.

    3. Last season with Kaepernick 16% of pass attemps were over 20 yards, and 41% were over 10 yards.

      This season those numbers have gone down to 15% over 20 yards and 38% over 10 yards.

      1. Ok Jack,
        when VD is out, which receiver effectively stretches the field for the 49ers? Given that VD has been out in two of the three loses, wouldn’t you say his being out had the largest impact leading to the losses?

      2. I would say that Davis being out, combined with Roman then putting the ball in Kaepernick’s hands instead of feeding Gore has had the largest impact leading to the losses.

      3. Jack,
        which 49ers receiver fills the Moss role? Who besides VD is able to make a defense respect the deep ball?

        My opinion is that unless they had a replacement for Moss, we should have kept him for one more year. HUGE upgrade over Williams and Jenkins. And he could have mentored Patton.

      4. Bay,

        My initial comment in this thread was a response to the take that the 49ers have lost their short passing game. The total amount of attempts by depth look to be about the same.

        I understand the loss of Moss, etc. I’m not trying to dispute that. I am saying that Roman shouldn’t be trying to rely on Kaepernick as much as he has in the 3 losses. The horse on this team in 2013 has been Frank Gore. In each of their losses Roman fell off the horse.

      5. I don’t think this coaching staff, running the offense it has run for the past 6+ years, values that role nearly as much as you do.

      6. Jack,

        My point was how much the passing offense seems to have changed from Smith to Kap. We saw how more aggressive Kap was going down field last year, but his completion percentage on those passes has fallen off and the RB’s seem to have been completely forgotten in the passing game now.

        Looking at yesterday’s game, and I’ve only watched it once, it appeared the DB’s were playing off on a number of occasions where there were easy completions to be made on quick throws that were never made or never called. They continued for most of the game with the play action 5 step drops from what I saw and really didn’t deviate from that very much. The one time Kap threw the ball to Gore he gained 10 yards and never saw a ball thrown his way again.

        I’m both confused by the seemingly lack of focus on the this area by the Coaches and with Kap’s inability to find the outlet when it’s there. A combination of both is hurting this team in games like this imo. I also agree as I said in my assessment above, that they got away from the running game again which often leads to disaster for this team.

        They obviously miss Crabtree a great deal, but it concerns me that the passing offense would struggle this much without him and seem not to have any answers as to how to deal with his loss.

      7. Rocket,

        Yeah the numbers over 20 yards are double what they were with Smith, 16% in 2013 to 8% in 2012 for Smith, and about 11% higher in total passes over 10 yards.

        Gore actually had 2 catches yesterday for 21 yards.

        On the 22 throws that Kaepernick made yesterday he targeted the RB’s and TE’s on 9 of them.

        Really looking forward to checking out the coach’s tape tomorrow morning to see what was going on downfield.

    4. Nice analysis rocket.

      I think the best way of thinking of yesterday’s game is as a reality check. We the fans were starting to forget just how horrible the offence looked against the Seahawks and Colts. This is the kind of stinker they are capable of, because aside from Davis and Boldin they have a weak receiving core, and Kaep is not good at reading defenses and progressing through his reads to find open receivers.

      We are now really starting to see just how good Crabtree was last year – his ability to get open made Kaepernick look a better QB than he really is at this point in time.

      49ers are a good team, but in all honesty with the way Kaep is playing I find it hard to believe they have the team to win it all this year. Crabtree and Manningham will help, but will either guy be 100% by the end of the season? Until Kaep learns to read defenses and make his reads/ progressions he needs a high quality receiving core and running game to support him.

      1. Thanks Scooter. I don’t see them winning it all right now either, but all it takes is getting hot at the right time as we’ve seen in the past. I’m hoping for better things when Crabs comes back but rarely in this game does a light switch just flip and turn things around. Change usually comes slowly and methodically.

    5. Rocket, I have also wanted to see more of short passing game. But one of the reasons why they stay away from it is because this team is back to running downhill with Gore. As we are seeing the defense moves up into the box so of course you want to throw over the top and take the lid off the box. But teams, like the Panthers, that can effectively pass rush out of their tight box will kill that too.
      So what to do (last year)?
      Last year the answer was Kap scrambling east and west out of gun which blew right around the box. This year teams are taking that away forcing the run option out of the gun. But this team does not do that well. So they have us by the foot ball.
      So what to do (this year) ?
      If we are going to pocket pass then two back with threat options to both side lines and down hill. Gore downhill, Hunter or LMJ east or west and Kap east or west. Kap gets east to also have pass option. This will give Kap time to get better at under center and gives an variation to gun that makes run more viable. Most importantly it bring the surprise of many options back and makes use of the other talents on the team for a whole new ball game.

    1. Jack:

      Another good write up. It’s nice to see balanced, thoughtful, non-knee jerk analysis.

      I too was troubled by Roman/Harbaugh turning away from Gore in the second half. I don’t understand it. That bothered me more than the alleged lack of creativity. I also wasn’t a big fan of kicking the field goal instead of going for it on 4th and 1 from the 2.

      And while I am amused by some of the Kaepologizing going on, I’m nowhere near ready to give up on Kaepernick. I am just curious as to why we aren’t seeing more signs of development and why the coaching staff didn’t better foresee his current struggles.

      1. Thanks Claude.

        Regarding kicking the field goal instead of going for it on the 4th and 1, I was in favor of the field goal. To that point the defense had been stellar, and getting up by 2 scores seemed like the best choice.

      2. I agree. Going for it that early in the game was unnecessary imo. Coming away with no points and giving huge momentum to the Panthers would have been far worse and with the way they were getting stuffed in short yardage, there is a very strong possibility that is exactly what would have happened.

      3. Rocket,

        I would’ve gone for that on 4th down. We were at the 2. We had a chance to get a 1st down at the 1. If we don’t make it, we’ve got them pinned deep in their own territory. At their own 2. I’m going for that.

      4. Jack, rocket:

        While I am not as adamant as some of the guys at places like Football Outsiders are about going for it on 4th down, I suspect the odds favored going for it in that situation. But I haven’t looked them up, so I’m not going to get too strident about it. Besides, there were plenty of other things to grumble about.

      5. They have no points and had just thrown us a pick. We had all the momentum and we are at home. They stop us and they are not throwing out of that hole after Cam had just thrown a pick. Our crowd noise from the end zone??? They are not flipping the field on us from their own 2. We should’ve gone for that. Later in the game is when you take the points. You have it backwards. You make it a 2 score game late, not early. That was a mistake. 4th and 1 from the 2??? You gotta go for that.

      6. Jordan,

        It’s situational football and no I don’t have it backward. The score was 6-0. If the Niners kick the FG they go up by two scores. If they go for it and make it, they go up by two scores. If they go for it and fail, they can be beaten by one score. Going for it at that point in the game with the situation as it was, was not the correct decision. They had 3 chances to score a TD and came up empty; you don’t further the failure by coming away with nothing.

      7. Rocket,

        You do have it wrong. Youre saying tgat you should go for the touchdown late to go up 2 scores and if you dont make it, the opponent needs a touchdown to possibly win the game?? As I said, you have it backwards. Just admit it. You kick the field goal late to force the other team to score twice to beat you late. Which is more difficult to do because you’re fighting the other team and the clock.

        If the Niners had gone for it and made a touchdown, it could have set a completely difderent tempo for that game. Carolina had 3 1st downs when we were on tgeir 2 yard line. That is situational football. Everything was in our favor.

      8. I actually agree with 23 there. A TD there changes everything. And even if you don’t make it, you win the field position battle there and force them to drive the entire field.
        The other thing is they were without their 2 tightends.

      9. You do have it wrong. Youre saying tgat you should go for the touchdown late to go up 2 scores and if you dont make it, the opponent needs a touchdown to possibly win the game??

        That’s not what I said at all Jordan. I said maybe you go for it later in the game. That means at some point if you have to because the score dictates it; not if it means you can be beat by a TD on a final drive. Don’t be ridiculous.

        As I said, you have it backwards. Just admit it. You kick the field goal late to force the other team to score twice to beat you late. Which is more difficult to do because you’re fighting the other team and the clock.

        You completely misunderstood Jordan. Go back and reread what was said, and read what I just wrote above.

        If the Niners had gone for it and made a touchdown, it could have set a completely difderent tempo for that game. Carolina had 3 1st downs when we were on tgeir 2 yard line. That is situational football. Everything was in our favor.

        It could have set a different tone; and it also could have resulted in getting nothing and setting a negative tone. If you have a chance to go up by two scores with a FG in that situation, you do it. That is football 101. If you don’t get it, your team is demoralized, the opposition is energized and one first down destroys the benefit of the field position. Going up by 9 was the right call in that situation. As I said in the earlier post, your chance at a TD was the 3 plays you ran before. If you didn’t get it there then don’t compound the failure by coming away with nothing.

      10. Prime,

        Being without two TE’s is another reason you kick the FG. With Adam Snyder as your second TE they know you are limited in what you can do in that situation. The Niners had also been stuffed on short yardage twice previous to that so I’m not sure why you think it was a good idea to go for it there.

      11. Rocket surely to offensive football you have a redzone play that does not require 2 TE’s. You would think they learnt their lesson from the SB in being more diverse in that situation.

      12. Prime,

        I’m guessing they don’t practice many plays for that situation that don’t have two TE’s quite honestly. That’s their bread and butter and the mentality in those short yardage situations under Roman has usually been big Sub package and blast away. Problem is it rarely works.

      13. Well they could have had Vance, Kilgore, and Snyder in for additional blocking. If in that monstrosity of a play book you can’t find a play for 4th and 2 at the goal line, then we might as well rehire Jimmy Raye!

    2. We can describe it any way we want to, but the reality is Kap is struggling. He looks like a young QB who lacks pocket awareness and the patience needed at times to let things develop and look beyond his first read. In other words he looks like the QB I expected to see last year when he had to take over.

      One thing we do need to remember is while he is in his 3rd year, he has only started a little more than one seasons worth of games and he came from an offense where the passing game was one read, usually to one side of the field, and if it was covered, run the ball.

      Patience is needed but having said that, we also have to stop making excuses for him as well. He needs to up his game and mature because in the losses the team has suffered, he’s been the biggest reason.

      1. I don’t think we can make any excuses for Kap and his lack of starts and experiences. Both Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck and RG3 have about the same amount of starts. In fact, Kap was drafted the same year as Cam so he’s been a pro longer.
        Like Jack says, either step up or step out.
        He barnstormed the league last year and when you really think back to last year, it was the explosive GB game that stands out, the rest of the starts were moderate to okay. He stunk in the Seattle, STL, So-s0 in Miami and great in Chicago and NO. We all got excited because he was an exciting player, but what really matters is wins and winning the SB. Last year was their shot, and if he doesn’t improve dramatically down the stretch, then it’s probably not meant to happen.

      2. Fan,

        He’s started less than all of them, and while being in the league for three years, he’s started a little over a seasons worth of games. As I said, we have to stop making excuses for his play in the games, but we also can’t lose sight of the fact he is a still developing player; so conclusions about what kind of future he has are way too premature.

      3. I’m not ready to give up on Kaep even if the 49ers go on to the playoffs and don’t win the Super Bowl this year. Is that what you are suggesting? Lack of starts and experiences aren’t excuses, it’s fact. Come on, this was only his 19th start. He is 13-6 in those games. Kaep kept his team in the game until the end. He had no turnovers until the late int. This game was a slugfest, and with a break or two, the Niners could have won. Roman called the game he did because it was a slugfest. I think he tried to minimize mistakes, and the Hunter fumble was huge. Carolina earlier this year held Seattle to 12 points. Carolina’s team is no easy game.

  79. Maybe in the offseason Kap can hook up with one of the top notch QBs and they can help him excel his game. Find out where Manning, brees, Brady, Rodgers work out in the off season and just follow them. Pick their brains. If that would be even a possibility.

  80. Grant, after every game, I propose you take our questions (the fans) and choose one or two to specifically during the media portions. There are some extremely intelligent and insightful issues and questions being brought up. Thanks Jason

  81. Simple question for the coaches today; “Why isn’t Colin finding the other receivers that are open?” Site specific plays if he tries to act like he cant think of any or remember. “Is he not seeing them, is he not looking for them?” “Does he need to learn defenses better or is he simply not able to see the field?”

    Cant help your depth perception when your eyes are about 2 mm apart.

    1. The better way to ask that is, “where do you think Colin is in terms of going through his progressions?”
      “Are the secondary reads not open, or is he not picking them up?”
      “How long does it usually take a developing QB to learn to smoothly go through progressions?”

      C of C,
      over my years of watching football, usually you see a jump by the third year. What you want to see during the first couple of years are glimpses of greatness. We’ve all seen that. knowledge, experience and getting comfortable will come. Especially once we get our weapons back.

  82. Im not surprised with the outcome……not after Vernon Davis went down! Ive been saying for weeks, that he’s the most important player on that Offense!
    He’s the deep threat! He blocks his butt off in the run game and he ruins teams with his play action receptions!!!
    Its no coincidence that he has been M.I.A in our 3 losses. The fact is, without MC, Moss, Walker and MM until yesterday ……..VD becomes the MOST important guy on that offense. And yes, we should have kept Ginn over K.Williams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The bright side……we played a good game on Defense. Held ‘em to 10 pts, shoulda won! We ran the ball against a really good run D. (VD on play action woulda been huge). We easily could have won this game ( without drops and red-zone ineptitude)

  83. Another possibility in all of this: the Carolina defense is just a whole lot better than the 49er offense. Sure, coaching could have been better (though with the way the defense played, I wouldn’t give them an F – they had the defense playing well) and Kapernick looked clueless: it is possible that the 49ers just got flat outplayed? Could be, in part, because of all the 49er injuries.

  84. For the people blaming the O-line for the Kaepernick woes, heres the pass block grades of the starting 5 from PFF:

    Joe Staley: +1.2
    Mike Iupati: -0.7
    Jonathan Goodwin: -0.7
    Alex Boone: +0.3
    Anthony Davis: -0.8

    An average game in pass protection if anything with only one player in the green and no players in the red.

  85. Ever so slowly the fans are coming to the realization that Kap is not the “Guy”…Hmmm and who is responsible… Mr. Harbaugh!

    1. Hacksaw, do you watch the games!!???? Grumble all you like about Kap not going through his reads or being a young QB with a lot to learn. But such an asinine statement as ” he is not the man ” is ridiculous. He and Cam Newton are by far, the most physically gifted young QB’s in the league!!!! Its not even close!!!! The mobility, the arm strength, the size, the speed!!!! What else do you want from a QB ??!! Yes, part of the game is between the ears, this is why 2 of the best are the least impressive, from a physical standpoint ( statue P.Manning and midget Brees)

      Fair weather fans reveal themselves after losses with asinine statements and finger pointing.

      Newton, after 3 years as a starter, is finally playing well and winning consistently. Im sure there were plenty of hacks hacking away at him in Carolina the past couple of years!
      The fact is, it takes a while to learn how to be a great QB in the NFL!! The less talent you have around you, the longer the learning curve! We lack talent at the WR position ( no secret there) and when VD is gone…….well lets say now the QB may as well be playing with one arm tied behind his back.

      1. jshaw,

        I have been watching , bleeding, following this team for F…king 60 years and if there one thing I have learned about sports ,is it is all between the ears. The landscape is littered with the physicallly gifted athlete that does not have that one intangable “game intelligence”. Sorry Kap does not have it. You can coach a player until the cows come home, but if the player lacks that one component, just wasted time and a lost opertunity for another SB trophy.

      2. Oh hack, its Kap’s fault VD fumbles away a touch down, V-Mac drops a key pass in the 4th quarter. Its his fault we have Zero talent at WR when VD and MC are hurt. His fault MM played his first game in 11 months. His fault we kept KW over Ginn.

        He was sacked 6 times yesterday, but most Qbs would have been sacked 10+ times and really immobile ones like P.Manning……may have been sacked a record # of times yesterday. He has about 20 NFL starts and not many healthy weapons! We waited for A.Smith…for 8 yrs to figure it out. It took Cam Newton 3 yrs and Luck,griffin etc have about 10 more starts than Kap….farther along in the learning process

      3. Jshaw,
        don’t worry there are idiots on the Colts blog too I’m sure screaming for Luck to be benched and for their organization to begin searching for a replacement that can win….

      4. “most Qbs would have been sacked 10+ times”

        That would have been incredible considering he faced pressure on 10 of 31 drop backs. Never let facts get in the way of a good story.

  86. One think I don’t see during games when I attend and I’ve never seen during games on TV is when Kap is on the sideline in between series while the defense is on the field! he’s never looking at pictures or past plays. He’s always walking up and down the bench talking to players or sitting down. I don’t often see him engaging with coaches that often either. That may not mean anything but if you’re trying to learn as a young QB, you should be looking at photos on the sideline. Even on plays that are successful in games, you should be studying. If Manning, Brady and Brees do it, Kap sure as hell needs to be doing it.

    I’ve always said that I would wait til Crabtree comes back to judge Kap. I will continue to wait. Moss clearly is being missed as well. We have no wideout who stretches the field or threatens the defense with the deep ball.

    1. I agree about missing Moss! VD can play the role of “field stretcher” but when he’s out………were 0-3!!!

      remember that Tedd Ginn fella!!??? He had stones for hands, but he could run past anyone!!! Hella of a return man too!

    2. 23J,
      I think part of that is because the coaches like to control the game. They react to what the defense is doing instead of looking for ways to exploit it like a Brady, Brees or Manning would. They don’t attack the defense via the passing game. That’s on Roman. The offense knows what it wants to do and the defense knows what it wants to do. They are predictable and when they lose a player like Davis, they are downright limited. There is no margin for error with their offense and it seems that teams are very familiar with what the Niners want to do when they have the ball. Kaepernick can look at the photos all day, but I don’t think he has the license from the coaches or the receiving help to do anything about it.
      1. They need to evolve the offense this offseason. It’s antiquated and defenses have caught up. The NFL is a passing league. You still want to be able to run, but you have to be able to pass. I’ve never been a fan of the three headed monster at OC.
      2. They need to build a legitimate receiving corps. It’s not that they haven’t tried, but I don’t feel like they have committed enough resources towards this goal. Bombing on the Jenkins pick was a huge loss.
      3. They need to draft a young stud at QB to legitimately compete with and push CK. He had that last year with Smith. Smith benefitted from Kaep playing behind him as well. There is no iron sharpening iron this year, there is complacency. Harbaugh is supposed to be the QB whisperer. I was looking forward to him developing a roster full of young and promising QB’s that could eventually be traded for high draft picks. That hasn’t happened at all outside of the Smith trade. The offense as a whole needs more competition.

  87. I wasted 3 hours watching the game yesterday but one thing (more than others) struck me – - 2nd down. We all know how third down has been from time to time this season but it seems like 2nd down is harbinger to third down in this offense. Grant or anyone, do you have statistics on 2nd down performance; e.g. how average or net yards gained, etc.

  88. A few of my observations about Kaep that haven’t been discussed as much as the other issues like working through progressions, happy feet, etc.

    1. He does not have that competitive fire this year. Remember last year when he would do something wrong. He would come back with a vengeance on the very next drive. It was a beautiful thing to watch. The competitive fire was almost Jordanesque. I just don’t see the fire this year at all.

    2. He no longer torpedoes passes downfield. I get it that he needed to work on his touch, and his dump-offs and deep balls are a better because of it, but where are the line drives 20-30 yards downfield? When he makes those throws nowadays, they look like passes coming from the typical QB arm around the league. He has (had?) this unique physical ability to line-drive a pass 30+ yards down field that other QBs have to arch to get there. That was one of his biggest weapons last year, completely surprised defenders and now he doesn’t use that at all. I blame this one on coaches to completely mold him into something he’s not instead of refining his throws and taking advantage of his amazing arm strength.

    3. Where is the escapability? He had some ability last year (although not as much as Steve Yound did) to break away from lineman and LBs behind the line of scrimmage and make plays. This year he seems to possess neither the upper body strength nor the footwork to get away from defenders rushing in. As soon as someone lays a finger on him he’s down. When he does finally manage to shake defenders (rarely these days) he winds up just throwing it away a la Alex Smith. Last year’s CK made plays on the run. Yes, you don’t want a typical QB to take risks downfield on broken plays, but CK had the ability to be just smart enough last year to do this. Why take it away from him?

    I feel the coaching staff has turned CK (a risk taker somewhat like Brett Favre) and turned him into Alex Smith/Trent Dilfer. 50% of the fault lies on CK to not step it up this year and develop as a QB should instead of sitting in the weight room all offseason. The other 50% is on this coaching staff that wants to play it safe all the time and completely ignore the talent they had at the position. Couple that with G-Ro’s completely idiotic play calling and we have another QB disappointment waiting to happen. I can’t help but imagine how well CK would be playing in Seattle right now, under a coach who does let him playmakers take risks occasionally to break a game open (see Carroll’s take on Golden Tate fielding punts inside his own 10 yard line).

    Finally-Let him run! We’re now the 6th seed in the NFC. What do we have to lose, really? Unleash him, let him play his game which is to keep the defense on their toes.

  89. Anyone watch the last several Seahawks games and noticed how their QB is entrusted to throw the ball deep (just hang it up there) to guys that are covered one on one? How many times have you seen Golden Tate or one of their actuals scrubs come down with the ball? If you don’t take chances in this league, everything else has to fall into place perfectly to even have a chance at beating good teams.

    1. You’re right 4th. You throw deep to back the defense off the box so you can run. We have to at least try to get deep on them. Pass interference, a catch, an incompletion or a pick. Three of those things don’t hurt us. The other one could be just like a punt.

      1. That view might have some merit if Carolina (or any team) had actually stuffed the box to the point that SF was unable to run the ball. The 49ers ran the ball and ran it well. They just went away from it for some reason.

        The “lack of a deep threat allows opposing defenses to stuff the box and take away the 49ers’ running game” argument doesn’t appear to have any basis in fact. Not this season, not last season, not in 2011.

      2. This hoping for a PI call is comical. Even the illusion of the idea is funny because looking back since Harbaugh got here, how many times within this offense has a vertical passing attack been part of any game plan. A couple times per game with Vernon? That’s it.
        This staff wants to win with the power running game because that’s what their offense line does well and why they were drafted. Every other piece is complementary because none of them have shown to be a threat. Crabtree was starting too until he got hurt. Gore and Vernon right now are our 2 biggest threats and as we have seen, one does not work without the other.
        Now the QB was expected to come in and provide a new explosive type threat. It has not happened. In fact the position is regressing. No one wants to point fingers at CK because he is still young and only played 3/4 of a season. My issue is waiting for this development to come through might cost us this stellar defense and it’s ability to win now.
        The window to win on the NFL is small. Look at the Jets a couple years ago or the Packers. Had their chance twice, now are terrible. GB had their chance, won, now they are average.
        Free agency, our division gettin better each year makes it harder and harder to win. If CK was suppose to be able to win a championship as opposed to the other guy, needs to happen this year. He is already at chance #2.

      3. Prime,

        You make some good points, although I think we realized that going strictly with the running game and great defense/special teams hasn’t worked either. The NFC Championship game two years back told us this, and a big part of why I think the coaching staff attempted to look for other ways to win. I still agree we are run-first, but we need to be able to take chances. Seattle also runs first, but they take shots downfield at critical moments.

  90. I think we are all missing the bigger picture. You can blame Kap but in the grand scheme of it all, when frank gore touches the ball 20-25 and/or rushes for 100+ yards we win. Carolina couldn’t stop Gore but we went away from it. We get to the red zone and try to run the read option or pass. We can blame Kap but I say it lays squarely on the coaches. If Kap can’t make the reads, simplify that. We need to run more Slants, ins, outs, and comebacks. Everyone wants the deep ball but he doesn’t have enough time or doesn’t feel comfortable. It needs to be simplified. Kap needs to run the offense Alex smith ran. Nothing more, nothing less. When you have a workhorse running back, and a bruising full back, you run the football. Play action off of that. Bring the safeties up, then kill them with a play action or roll out down the field pass. Simplify it all. Football at the heart is my best 11 vs your best 11. You know I’m going to run it down your throat. Prove to me you can stop it.

    1. But that is the issue, Kap is incapable of running the offence that AS ran. The quick out , the dredded dump off, the screen etc. Go back and look at the games that AS played the last two years and look at the games that Kap played , it has been simplfied ! The job of the QB is to get the ball in the hands of the play makers… He can not do it , pure and simple!

      1. I completely disagree. If that was the case the Pistol and read option formation would never have been shown. And what’s the point of running a read option or play action after you’ve went completely away from the run. We relied a lot more of frank gores legs when smith was the QB.

      2. KY,
        the issue is that they wanted to get away from the Dink and Dunk and attack deeper parts of the field that AS was unwilling to attack. And it was successful when we had receivers that had the ability to read a defense and get open in those parts of the field. That could get separation and catch the ball.
        It speaks volumes that Manningham gets his first start in our 9th game and catches enough balls to be our third leading WR.
        While I am encouraged by Manningham receiving 6 targets, I have to ask, is it because he was open or because Kaepernick trusts him?

      3. the issue is that they wanted to get away from the Dink and Dunk and attack deeper parts of the field that AS was unwilling to attack.

        I think you’re once again projecting your hopes, preferences and prejudices upon a coaching staff that has given no sign that it shares them. Harbaugh’s offense is Harbaugh’s offense. He may tinker with it around the edges, but he isn’t going to make major changes.

      4. NO Claude,
        what I am telling you is what happened. As soon as Kaep took over offensively we began attacking deeper parts of the field. Taking more shot plays.

        Instead of picking through my $hit, why do YOU come up with an answer as to why under Kaep both the yards per attempt and the yards per catch went up.

      5. bay:

        I don’t dispute that Kaep has a bigger arm or that the yards/attempt went up after the switch. What I dispute, and what you have zero evidence of, is your continued claim that Harbaugh switched QBs because he “wanted to get away from the Dink and Dunk and attack deeper parts of the field that AS was unwilling to attack.” That’s simply you projecting your preferences and prejudices onto Harbaugh when Harbaugh has never given any indication that he shares them.

        Harbaugh’s offense is Harbaugh’s offense. He’s running essentially the same offense with Kaepernick that he ran with Smith and that he ran with Luck at Stanford. It’s about power running, play action and taking care of the football. He’ll throw some surprises at defenses when he thinks they’re not prepared (I’m thinking mainly about the read option, against GB last year, but the Chicago and New Orleans games last year and the GB game this year would seem to fall into the same category), but once defenses show adjustment, he goes back to what he has always done. I don’t think he’s looking to make fundamental changes to it.

    2. I agree they wanted to go deep but it’s not working right now. So instead of going deep lets do more roll outs, play actions, screens, and hitches. Get LaMichael James more involved. He too fast and shifty not to be in the game.

  91. Mario Manningham, after one game, is tied for 3rd in receptions for WR’s with Baldwin. A couple of drops that could be attributed to rust, but at least he was targeted. I know, I’m really reaching for some positives today!

    1. Good thing the season doesn’t end now. Plenty of football to be played. After the 9th game last year (OT Tie to Rams), Niners didn’t look to good either. Smith had gotten hurt, and Kaep was going to be starting VS Chicago.

      They’re all big games, but the one coming up VS the Saints gives the Niners a chance to get some swagger back. The fat lady still has some pancakes to eat – meaning it’s still so early, she aint even fat yet .

  92. Got to give Grant his props, he was correct on how the game was going to unfold and also correct that we really suck in getting good receivers from the recent draft.

    1. How exactly was Grant correct on how the game was going to unfold? Grant warned against Roman implementing too complicated a game plan. That’s not anywhere close to what happened yesterday.

  93. All these excuses for Kap. In his second year, if he can’t read defenses and consistently find an outlet, that’s a problem. Maybe he should focus less on matching his wardrobe to another team’s hat, and endorsements, and more on becoming a worthy heir to Montana and Young.

    It’s been too many years. We need a plan B in the draft if Kap doesn’t develop; he needs a quality backup anyway. Might as well invest a high pick on one.

  94. The comparison has been sporadically brought up, & it’s becoming increasingly valid: Kaepernick is the new Kordell Stewart (both good & bad).

    Baalke had better re-think about committing franchise money at the QB position.

  95. It’s unlikely that baalke would give Kap the franchise money. But harbaugh on the other hand is in love with Kap regardless what happens he stands behind his man.

  96. Keep in mind Terry Bradshaw stunk his first 2 seasons throwing 46 interceptions. He really didn’t turn into a great QB until his 6th year. The jury is still out on Kaepernick.

    With Smith you knew he didn’t have the horsepower to take you to the Superbowl.

  97. Both the 49ers and Panthers turned the ball over twice last Sunday. The Panthers had three penalties for 25 yards and the 49ers had four penalties for 25 yards. The Panthers had four drops and the 49ers had five. The “miscues” weren’t the reason the 49ers lost.

    Tell me the last team that won a game with fewer than 47 net passing yards.

    Four penalties is good. The Colts are the best in the league with 3.7 penalties per game. The Vikings are second-best with 4.1 penalties per game. No team is perfect. If it takes perfection for the 49ers to beat a playoff team, they’re not going to beat any more playoff teams.

  98. Pretty much had enough of you spewing garbage. “Alex played decent with Norv”.
    Really? Tell me what about his season with Norv was decent? Was it his TD / INT ratio? His wins vs losses? Please tell me.
    You mentioned coaching and play calling. You forgot the most important reason for struggling, lack of a #1 receiver and in their losses, lack of a #1 and his #2 VD.
    Last thing I’m going to school you with and then I’m done, you mention wanting Kaep to play like Brady. Brady has had the biggest statistical one year drop of in recent NFL history. Same coaches. And he’s healthy. It’s his lack of experienced pass catchers. So if that issue can impact Tom Brady, how do you think it impacts CK? A QB that went into the season with Ricardo Lockette ( gone ), AJ Jenkins ( gone ), Kyle Williams ( gone ), John Baldwin ( gone ). Vernon Davis in their two losses ( gone ).
    Think that has anything to do with it? From now on, if you are going to continue with your glass half empty attack on the QB, at least come with something of substance. Remember, our QB happens to be undefeated in the playoffs and took us to the superbowl with his weapons intact.

    1. Alex smith didn’t have the luxury that Kap had when he started with the 49ers as a rookie starter for the 49ers. Early in his young career with 49ers, Alex didn’t have good players around him. He didn’t have the weapons that Kap had in beginning of he’s career, like a Vernon Davis, Randy Moss, Delanie walker, Mario Manningham, Crabtree and a good offensive line that can protect him. He didn’t have the offensive mind coach and the players around Alex Smith weren’t quality players that Alex can grow with moving forward.

      When the 49ers drafted Alex in 1985 as the #1 draft choice overall, the 49ers brass were clueless how to surround A. Smith with the right coaching staff and drafting good talented young players from the draft to surround their Qb Smith. Alex Smith is way smarter than Kap. Even though Alex Smith doesn’t have the strong arm and speed that kap possesses he can make plays and he can put the 49ers team in position to win football games.

      BTW, those players you just mention, Vernon, Lockett, A.J Jenkins, Kyle Williams and J. Baldwin, I bet that Brady would’ve made those players a very good receiver in the NFL.

      Kap lacks the ability to perform under pressure, he have a hard time making adjustment in the line of scrimmage against a quality teams with superior defense. The string of games he won was against below average team with few talents…

      1. Capeman,
        Give it a rest. Smith’s rookie season was historically bad. He was drafted over Aaron Rodgers because of his supposed upside, which never materialized. One is a future HOF’er, Super Bowl champion and MVP, and one is the poster child for the rookie salary cap being implemented.
        Smith came from a spread offense in college and was quickly ran down by Lavar Arrington the first time he tried to run in the NFL. He passed for one TD the entire season and I believe it was during the last game of the season. He didn’t do anything during his second season, Frank was the star of that show. People thought Smith was turning the corner because he ran for a TD on a bootleg run with no defenders around him in Seattle. Whoopty doo. Smith is much smarter than Kaepernick? Based on what? Because he’s white? Did you even know that Kaepernick was an excellent student and had an excellent score on the wonderlic at the combine? Did you even know that Smith scored a 40, but HOF’ers Dan Marino and Jim Kelly both scored a 15? You are confusing book smarts with football intelligience. You are ignorant.
        He was a bad QB until Harbaugh made him a mediocre one. Harbaugh was a genius in your eyes until he replaced Smith with Kaepernick. He tried to replace him with Manning and you guys tried to convince yourselves that he really was just evaluating Manning, at midnight, with a hoodie on. Right. If Smith was half the QB you think he is, he wouldn’t have been allowed to test the free agency market. If Smith was half the QB you think he is, he would have actually received at least ONE offer from another team during free agency. He didn’t, and he had to swallow his pride and accept the offer that had been on the table for months. The same offer with an opt out for the team after one year. You guys were in denial about the opt out as well. He isn’t half the QB that you think he is. He is an eighth year veteran who’s greatest strength is not making mistakes. That didn’t even materialize until his sixth season when Harbaugh showed up. He has never been a franchise QB, he is a QB that you can win with when you surround him with a very strong supporting cast.
        Kaepernick has exactly sixteen starts under his belt. He has had a great run overall, but still has a long ways to go to realize his potential. I honestly think there are a bunch of old rednecks on this blog that don’t like the idea of a young, black QB leading this team.
        I actually really liked Smith and defended him with regularity last season, but I also grew tired of the bullsh%& excuses that some people would come up with to defend him. Crabtree was a bust, Davis never dived for balls, etc. I was fine with him being the QB, but I was well aware of his limitations and saw the writing on the wall from the organization. He was a stop gap until Harbaugh found his guy. Harbaugh found his guy and is in the process of developing him. If that doesn’t happen, you can be damn sure Harbaugh won’t wait seven seasons before pulling the plug on Kaepernick.

        “BTW, those players you just mention, Vernon, Lockett, A.J Jenkins, Kyle Williams and J. Baldwin, I bet that Brady would’ve made those players a very good receiver in the NFL.”

        What’s your point? Comparing Kaep to Brady? An all time great being compared to a player with sixteen starts under his belt? Why don’t you compare Smith to Brady (another white guy)? Afraid of commiting white on white crime? Why don’t you compare the former first overall draft pick against the three time SB champion and former sixth round draft pick? Davis is actually on pace for his best season, despite missing almost two full games. Crabtree was much better with Kaepernick at QB, which is probably why you didn’t mention him in the first place. You wouldn’t want to incriminate yourself, would you? Wait a minute, you already did with Davis. Lockett is a speedster that couldn’t catch the ball in Seattle or San Francisco. Kyle Williams has never has been a good player, which is why he was cut from a horrific receiving corps. Jenkins and Baldwin? First round busts that both played with Smith. Jenkins has played with Smith on two different teams. Did Smith make him a “very good receiver in the NFL”? Do you expect Smith to make Williams a very good receiver in the NFL? Did he make Baldwin a very good receiver in the NFL?
        Your redneck rants are over the top and completely devoid of rational thought. Go back to practicing your tomahawk chop and fondling your CK voodoo doll.

      2. 23J,
        You know me. You know that I have defended Smith on many, many occasions. You know that I often disagree with your or Bay’s takes on Smith, yet we have always gotten along very well. I’m just always surprised at the things people say in defense of Smith.
        I don’t understand their need to prop him up and throw other players under the bus in his defense. He is what he is, which isn’t a bad thing. Just stop trying to tell me that he is what he isn’t. I really think there are quite a few people here that have a big issue with him because of his race. It’s like a bunch of old farts that are bitching about “that rap crap.” I think they feel left out or disconnected because on the outside he looks like everything they aren’t and it becomes some sort of old timer vendetta. They ignore the fact that he works harder than anybody on the team. They ignore the fact that he invited receivers to Atlanta to build chemistry and work out with them, yet they love to talk about “Camp Alex.” They ignore (while touting Smith’s intelligence) the fact that he was an excellent student and scored very high on the Wonderlic. They ignore the fact that he has only started 16 games, while also ignoring the fact that Smith has been in the league for eight years.
        They would be happier losing with Smith than winning with Kaepernick and the constant K.C. chode mongering proves it.

      3. Big P,

        I already have digested and thought about everything you said a long time ago. Kap has his work cut out. We know he will be better than Smith in year 8 of his career. We know he’s better is most aspects right now.

        Like I’ve said on many occasions on this blog. I’m going to wait until Crabtree comes back before I pass judgement on Kap. It is true, he has not played like the same guy from last year. However, he didn’t suddenly forget how to play football. He’s an Intellegent kid. He will get back on track. We just have to trust that Harbaugh is doing what he did for a reason. For as bad as the offense played, if Hunter doesn’t fumble on 2nd and 1 from the 34 yard line, we win that game. We win that game just as ugly as Seattle has been winning theirs. No worries, we will win this weekend in NOLA. I’m not the least bit concerned.

      4. Big P says:
        Your redneck rants are over the top and completely devoid of rational thought. Go back to practicing your tomahawk chop and fondling your CK voodoo doll.
        I really think there are quite a few people here that have a big issue with him because of his race. It’s like a bunch of old farts that are bitching about “that rap crap.”

        Big P,

        The way you sound in your comments the reason some are down grading Kap, is because of his race. You should be ashamed of yourself for using racial excuses in defending Kap. What does color got to do with it, on how we judge his performance every day?

        To be honest with you Kap as a NFL Qb sucks, and his previous performance against quality teams he “Stinks” not because of his color or race. This guy is so arrogant and overrated, you and the media’s gave Kap too much prop, you and the others got ahead of yourselves and thought his going to be the next greatest Qb in the NFL. But out on the field he still lacks the intelligence and ability to perform at a high level. The 49ers defense help kap and the offense by creating turnovers that’s why they went on that 5 game winning streak against lowly teams with less talents. In his last 6 games, he showed nothing to say his great. All of his passing completion and qbr wasn’t much, because there’s nothing to be excited about, how can you rate a Qb with less passing in the game and less completion, Gore and the defense are the high light of the team they make the team.

        Nobody is saying that Alex Smith is great, I’ll rephrase what I’ve said, if talented players, and good Head coaches and good offensive coordinator surrounded Alex. The result on his career would’ve been different. I’m not saying he’s going to be great but he’ll be an above average Qb, even though he doesn’t have a strong arm and doesn’t possesses the speed like other Qb, he’s intellectual ability can compensate for all that.

        You know what Big P, I wasn’t going to say this but you are an A hole, for calling other racist and using the color to defend Kap.

        I’m a Russell Wilson fan; so it disqualifies me as a racist for rooting for a Black African American Qbr?

      5. Capeman,
        When you are propping up Smith as being way smarter than Kaepernick, you sound like an uninformed idiot at best, and a vindictive jerk otherwise. What are you basing it on? Not facts, obviously. Just your own uninformed opinion. When you compare Kaepernick to Tom Brady, you are trying desperately to manipulate the argument. You didn’t compare Smith to Brady, did you? Of course not, that would put Smith in a bad light. That is called manipulation. You sound upset that people can see through it, but it is what it is.
        I have been critical of Kaep’s play, he needs to improve and everybody agrees with that. Race shouldn’t be a factor in assessing his play, but I have a very hard time believing that race doesn’t play a part in you making stupid and incorrect comments. You aren’t assessing his play, you are attacking him while trying desperately to manipulate the argument in favor of Smith. Anybody who reads your posts can see that. You are speaking in absolutes about things you know absolutely nothing about. I personally couldn’t care less about Smith at this point because he isn’t a 49er.
        I don’t care what you think of me, not one bit. You can call me an a$$hole, which is your opinion, but you are a liar and a manipulator, and that is a fact. Your post proves it, but at least you attempted to put the toothpaste back into the tube….

        “Nobody is saying that Alex Smith is great, I’ll rephrase what I’ve said, if talented players, and good Head coaches and good offensive coordinator surrounded Alex. The result on his career would’ve been different. I’m not saying he’s going to be great but he’ll be an above average Qb, even though he doesn’t have a strong arm and doesn’t possesses the speed like other Qb, he’s intellectual ability can compensate for all that.”

        Lol, that’s great. I don’t feel the need to rephrase anything I said because I never presented my opinion as fact and I never tried to manipulate the argument with incorrect statements. You just told me that Alex Smith is so smart that he can be an above average QB when everything around him is perfect, despite the physical limitations that you claim he has. News flash. Kaep is so smart that he can be an above average QB when everything around him isn’t perfect, and he doesn’t have any physical limitations, which is why Harbaugh replaced Smith with him. He also doesn’t have eight years of NFL experience. I don’t remember Smith’s intelligence showing up during the first five years of his career. In your eyes, his IQ seemed to spike after Harbaugh coached him up to not make mistakes. It’s all good, this isn’t your first post where you have made such outlandish statements.

      6. Big P says:
        News flash. Kaep is so smart that he can be an above average QB when everything around him isn’t perfect, and he doesn’t have any physical limitations, which is why Harbaugh replaced Smith with him.

        Big P, you should’ve said Kap become an above average Qb when Gore and the 49er defense makes the game too perfect for him. He doesn’t have the physical limitation but the intelligence and the quality that makes a great qb, he doesn’t have it in him. All the splash of greatness he showed before the end of last season was a fluke, Wow; you’re so smart like your boy kap.

        All the teams Defensive coordinator in the NFL caught up to his standard. And somehow, Kap suddenly can’t make an adjustment, because he’s too slow reading the defense. It doesn’t matter if Crabtree comes back next week or the week before that, the result would be the same against quality teams with good defense.

        The 49ers can probably get by beating lowly teams with fewer talents, I’m sure Kap don’t need to make his brain work when his playing bad teams.

        BTW, I don’t need to call you names, as a matter fact you’re the one that’s manipulating the argument, you simply attacked Smith over and over, and you’re the one that’s presenting incorrect information. I didn’t compare Brady with Kap, only thing I’ve said is, if those receivers were playing with Brady, he would’ve made this group of receivers good.

        I’m pretty sure watching Kap the last 6 weeks Kap lacks the intelligence and ability to recognize plays and find the 3rd and 4th option receivers. The way I see it Kap gets rattled easily by good defense, when his pressured he can’t function, that why the lacks the maturity and he becomes bewildered at times.

        But I still think you’re “A HOLE. “

  99. You cite repeated dropped passes, yet Kap gets an F+? Gore gets a B, despite myriad 1-yards runs, and dropping a pass from Kap for a sure TD AFTER signaling for the ball! Whateva.

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