49ers @ Lions live blog

This is the live blog for the San Francisco 49ers Week 16 game against the Detroit Lions. I will update this frequently with information and analysis from my living room.

8:32 Here are the 49ers inactives:
WR Jerome Simpson
RB Shaun Draughn
CB Chris Davis
LB Michael Wilhoite
G Brandon Thomas
C/G Marcus Martin
OLB Corey Lemonier

That means Jarryd Hayne is active. How much do you expect he will play?

8:36 Here are the Lions inactives:
WR Corey Fuller
RB George Winn
CB Bill Bentley
C Gabe Ikard
OT Corey Robinson
DT Gabe Wright
DT Jermelle Cudjo

8:41 Here’s what I think the 49ers’ 2016 starting defense will be:
LDE: Arik Armstead
NT: Glenn Dorsey
RDE: Quinton Dial
LOLB: Aaron Lynch
RILB: NaVorro Bowman
LILB: Jaquiski Tartt
ROLB: Ahmad Brooks
LCB: Tramaine Brock
SS: Antoine Bethea
FS: Eric Reid
RCB: Kenneth Acker
SCB: Jimmie Ward

The Niners want continuity and have tons of cap space, so they’ll keep Bethea and Brooks. Ian Williams, however, will get a big contract on the free agent market and sign with another team.

9:01 The Niners announced Kendall Gaskins OR DuJuan Harris will start at  running back. Who do you think it will be?

9:31 Trent Brown will start at right tackle. If he plays well the final two games, what should the 49ers do with Anthony Davis? Trade him or move him to guard?

9:35 Matt Barrows tweets Dontae Johnson appears to be the starting right cornerback today instead of Kenneth Acker. Johnson is taller than Acker and presumably will cover Lions 6’5″ wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

10:02 Eric Reid: “I want to see it in your eyes today…hit somebody and make them feel it in their soul.”

10:04 49ers lose toss. They’ll receive.

10:13 Vance McDonald catches a one-yard touchdown pass. 7-0 Niners. Geep Chryst calls a great first drive. 11 plays, 80 yards. DuJuan Harris gained 33 yards on 3 carries. Andrew Tiller made the key block on Harris’ longest run.

10:25 Ian Williams knocks down Matthew Stafford’s pass on 3rd-and-3 from the Niners 18. Lions kick a field goal, trail 7-3. Dontae Johnson broke up a pass in the end zone intended for Calvin Johnson.

10:32 The Niners go three-and-out after Blaine Gabbert completes a zero-yard pass to Anquan Boldin on 3rd-and-3. Shocking turn of events.

10:38 Mike Purcell stops Theo Riddick on 3rd-and-1, but the Lions fake the punt and gain five yards up the middle.

10:40. The first quarter ends as Stafford completes an easy pass to Eric Ebron for the second time during this drive. Inside linebacker Gerald Hodges was covering Ebron both times.

10:45 T.J. Jones beats Dontae Johnson for a 29-yard touchdown. 10-7 Lions. Reid jumped an underneath route and left Johnson one on one against Jones.

10:53 Gabbert starts the drive with a 26-yard pass to Vance McDonald, and ends the drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith. Harris had three carries for 38 yards in between. 14-10 Niners. This has been Gabbert’s best game since his first start of the season.

10:59 Calvin Johnson drops a deep pass on third-and-2. Bruce Ellington returns the punt to the Lioins 49, but the return doesn’t count because Kenneth Acker is flagged for holding. That’s the Niners’ sixth penalty so far.

11:05 Gabbert gets sacked and then he fumbles on third-and-8 from the 12. Haloti Ngata planted Daniel Kilgore on his back. Lions recover at the Niners 1-yard line. Joique Bell runs into the end zone one play later. 17-14 Lions.

11:13 Gabbert throws McDonald on 3rd-and-8, and Phil Dawson hooks a 45-yard field goal attempt.

11:13 Eric Reid slows down and allows Kenneth Acker to make the tackle on third-and-5. Lions go four-and-out.

11:17 Gabbert made a terrific deep pass to Ellington on the previous drive.

11:27 Phil Dawson makes a 40-yard field goal with 35 second left in the first half. Game tied at 17. Gabbert’s passer rating is 130.3, but his fumble led to seven points for Detroit.

11:31 NaVorro Bowman and Ahmad Brooks sack Stafford on 1st-and-5 from the Lions 41.

11:36 Tate beats the 49ers zone coverage for a 28-yard catch on second-and-7. Lions make a 46-yard field goal a few plays later and lead 20-17 at halftime. Niners committed nine penalties for 55 yards in the first half.

11:47 DuJuan Harris: 10 touches for 85 all-purpose yards in the first half.

12:01 Stafford throws a six-yard pass on 3rd-and-8, and the Lions kick a 37-yard field goal. Niners trail 23-17. Mangini’s zone coverages are covering no one. Stafford has completed 17-of-21 pass attempts.

12:01 49ers go three-and-out after the Lions gifted them back-to-back personal foul penalties. Geep Chryst called a run for Jarryd Hayne, then a draw for DuJuan Harris, then a pass to Torrey Smith, who fell at the first-down marker. Chryst has called only one deep pass this game, and Gabbert completed it. Chryst needs to be more aggressive.

12:17 Mangini blitzes Stafford on 3rd-and-8 and Gabbert throws the ball out of bounds. Ellington makes a fair catch at the Niners 10.

12:22 Chryst asks Tiller to pull and clear out and unblocked Devin Taylor. Tiller doesn’t get there in time, and Taylor sacks Gabbert. Chryst didn’t put Tiller in a position to be successful on that play.

12:42 Tramaine Brock commits a pass interference against Golden Tate in the end zone on 3rd-and-goal from the 6, then gives up a touchdown catch to Calvin Johnson on the next play. Two-point conversion no good. Lions lead 29-17.

12:52 Gabbert completes a two-yard pass to Hayne on 4th-and-3. Geep Chryst just called a pass for Hayne with the game on the line, and Hayne ran the route a yard short of the first-down marker. What did Chryst expect?

1:08 Lions make 34-yard field goal attempt, lead 32-17 with 3:07 left.  Niners getting blown out even though they’re averaging 5.7 yards per play and the Lions are averaging 5.8.  Bad coaching.

1:15 On fourth-and-2, Gabbert throws a nice pass downfield to McDonald who drops the pass. Niners lose. Stay tuned for grades.

This article has 231 Comments

  1. They will have a ton of cap space and will have even more by getting rid of Bethea and Brooks. Makes zero sense to bring them back. Ian Williams will return. Playing Tartt at inside LB is beyond dumb. I guess time will tell how dumb it is. I venture to guess that Balke will be very high on Jalen Smith and Miles Jack. Just a guess.

    1. Sb,
      You got your boy (Hayne) back and he looks pretty good. If he has a breakout game today he can punch his ticket for a roster spot next year.

      1. I admit that I way way off in my prediction. Guess I was too optimistic when they elevated Hayne. Too bad they did not have enough intelligence to devise plays that accentuates Hayne’s skillsets.

        1. Seb, I agree with you about Hayne needing plays designed to get him into open areas where he has a better chance to use his ability to evade people. Of course defensive coordinators also know what Hayne needs to become dangerous.

  2. Beams of light up in the sky. Malfunctioned machinery, lost in time. Don’t understand, I’m wondering why. How can this happen its so out of line. Strangers among us from beyond the stars. Whatever you know keep your silence. Unearthly ones from galaxies afar, there will be violence. They know something that we don’t know. What cannot be seen they’ll never show. Hangar 38, Area 49ers, The Hayne Plane is on the runway….

  3. The Niners announced Kendall Gaskins OR DuJuan Harris will start at running back. Who do you think it will be?
    Between those two does it really matter?

  4. I don’t know how much I would read into the inactives list. Could be they just want to see what they have in some of the other guys after a season of development.

  5. All that discussion about whether or not Reid is considered a veteran/leader of the team looks like it was for naught. It’s clear he is.

  6. Haha, who do they show giving the pregame pump up talk to the team…Eric Reid. He’s clearly not seen as a leader on the team.

  7. WTF was Staley doing worrying about blocking a guy who was on the ground and not getting in front of the receiver with the ball.

  8. In answer to your question Grant, if I was so inclined to allow a quitter back into the inner family circle, it would be at RG….

  9. Grant they have to sign Ian Williams. They’ve invested so much in him after drafting him.
    The reason no one has been extended might be that Baalke is gonzo at the end of the year!

      1. I was thinking about that Razor. In Tiller and Brown’s case it’s probably due to development during the season (it just took time).

  10. Harris has some wiggle. Too bad the coaching staff didn’t trust the players and allow Tiller to start the season. He’s doing really well.

  11. I’d trade Gabbert for Cousins in a New York minute. Protect the football, especially when you’re down by your own goal line. Conner Cook was better at MSU than Cousins. I’m just saying. Hell, bring Dantonio aboard as HC too. He’s a far better leader of men than Jimmy Tom….

  12. It’s amazing what any QB Can do when you have decent pass protection sometimes. The offense is actually taking shots down the field. Throwing the ball more than 3 yards a play!!!

    1. Gabber can play! He’s playing a bad team but give the guy an off-season, some more games and team him with an OC that has a good philosophy of taking shots down the field and he will do fine. Above average is not bad. Stock up on the O-Line and Defense and the team will be okay.
      But they still need to get rid of Tomsula!

      1. Just not smart enough to be a starting QB. He doesn’t value the football enough. He doesn’t value the importance of negative plays. He has to throw the ball away instead of taking sacks. The turnovers are unbearable. That’s why Jacksonville dumped him.

      2. Agreed but he is not a franchise QB and if we really want SB’s we are going to need one. You can count on one hand teams that have won ab’s without a franchise QB. Starting with Dilfer. The great thing is that we draft Goff and he can sit for two years. If Gabbert surprises, you can even pull a Chargers and trade Goff for a desperate teams first rounder.

          1. And in 5 years we will regret not taking him, just like Rodgers. His upside is tremendous. Feet, accuracy, accuracy…can’t react hose things.

    1. The ignoramus coaches are still not utilizing Hayne properly. Running Hayne into the teeth of the defense is inexcusable.
      Yeah, I am talking to you CHRYST.

      1. If not inside then where??? He’s entirely too slow to get him outside. He’s not elusive enough to be an NFL running back. The only way he will enjoy ANY success is behind a great offensive line. He hits the holes really slow and he needs to get up a head of steam to be able to break tackles. This line doesn’t work for him.

          1. Irrelevant if he can’t have the burst to hit open holes which in the NFL close quick. He may work out to be a special teams ace but even that’s a long shot

            1. Hayne needs more game time reps to get comfortable rushing. He has quick hips and can make those fast cuts without losing speed.
              If they tailor plays to his strengths, Hayne will shine.

  13. The reason that Gabbert is playing better today is that Offensive Line is protecting him better. Brown & Tiller are much better than Devey and Pierce. No idea why it took these incompetent 49ers coaches almost a whole season to realize this.

  14. Developing my running game,
    sez Alex Smith. Total of 54 yards
    with my longest being 29 yards.!!
    Average of 9 per carry. Yah, baby.!!

    (on my way to the Super Bowl…)
    You may watch on television, fella.

    Bet on Kansas City, hokay…!!!

    1. Detroit gives up points and their offense has been clicking a little bit better after Jim Bob Cooter or whatever his name is was hired as OC. It’s a competitive game between two equally inept franchises.

      1. Go figure! This Harris seems to be a good pick up. Hard runner. Draughn is a dancer, Hayne is slow but Harris looks like a keeper.

        1. This is getting scary prime. We’ve agreed again. This is a problem. I said that earlier too. Harris maybe a good change of pace back for us next year. He’s got some real quickness and vision.

  15. Favorite quote of the day from the broadcast team “when your this short on talent you can’t afford mistakes like that.” Referring to Cromartie’s hit on Tate’s fair catch.

  16. The announcers just talked about the 49ers mistakes this game, primarily penalties. That’s coaching and all year the 49ers have killed themselves.
    So all these critics saying York will give Baalke another year tells me they haven’t watched this team play.
    Now when York speaks to the media how can he explain that and spin it that Tomsula deserves another year?

    1. I firmly believe the team does have some talent. and with the right coaching, will be way more competitive than it is right now.

  17. Oh God!

    There’s no excuses for having Geep Chryst as OC and even less excuses for not firing him until now.
    They try to get cute with the OL, trying some misdirection plays. With this OL?
    C’Mon, try to do some basic protection and that might work sometimes.

    Also, is there any unit playing worse and more undisciplined than 49ers ST?
    They are awful. And have been that way the whole season.

    If they don’t fire at least the OC and ST Coordinator in the offseason, there’s no hope for improvement next year.

      1. Well, I don’t share all the hate against Baalke as most here.

        But having a decent CS is his responsability and this year’s CS is a very bad decision.
        They did know for an entire year that they would promote Tomsula, so how come they could not get better coordinators?

        I’ll give Baalke the benefit of the doubt because it looked like, by all reports, that he prefered to have Gase as HC.

        So maybe he was overruled by Jed and now he would have more arguments to get to pick his guy next year. Let’s see what he can come up with.

        I’m not hopeful they will fire Tomsula, but I’m at least expecting Chryst and the ST coordinator to go.

        If they don’t fire at least those two then I’ll lost any hope I still have.

  18. Also, some very bad tackling today. AGAIN.
    This team shows all the signs of bad coaching every week.

    Penalties, Bad Tackling, Mental mistakes, you name it.
    They can talk all they want about the personel losses and lack of leadership, but if the don’t clean the house with the CS, that will be (another) huge mistake.

  19. This is a perfect lose for York-balkee-jt, enough just ok stuff to spin so the don’t have to admit they totally messed up a team

  20. Undisciplined play. No cohesion, no consistency in the play calling or scheme. No talent, no effort for 60 minutes. Blow it up!

  21. Wilson, I have watched enough. Chryst is the reason for the offensive malaise. He should NOT run into the teeth of the defense. Why are they allowing Gnata to stuff the run? Attack the edges. Do the third down bomb. How about an end around? Stop shooting themselves in the foot. The refusal to run the RO on first down. Do a quick pass to Hayne in the flat.

    1. They’ve had a lot of those screens to Hayne this half. Not terribly effective? You have to keep the defense honest and they’ll just spread out if you hit the edges all the time. That end run at the right time is effective.

      1. Never put a man in motion, either. Chryst was not only incompetent, he was imbecilic. Game started out so well, then he went brain dead.

        1. They got a couple of lucky runs there for big yardage and the Lion defense shored itself up after that. It’s not just Chryst, but Tomsula too.

  22. Getting waxed by one of the worst teams in the NFL. Gabbert is only effective when he catches teams off guard. It’s either earlier in the game, before their adjustments, or later wrote in the game when the defense eases up. Short term bridge? Maybe. Long term starter? Hell no. This team needs a lot of help.

      1. Jack,
        They lost by a TD and Brees completed 65%+ of his passes for 341 yards, 3 TD’s and 0 INT’s. They lost by eight points. The 49ers got waxed by one of the worst teams in the NFL today. The Saints belong to that group as well. I made a valid point about Gabbert’s play and you linked it to my critical statement about the team as a whole. You then dragged Brees into it because you have to justify your emotional investment in Gabbert. They don’t belong in the same conversation other then they are both on bad teams that both lost to the same bad opponent.

        1. Nah. I only brought up Brees because his team also got beat by Detroit. The Lions had been on a roll by winning 4 of their last 6 coming into today.

  23. Again, let’s keep in mind that Gabbert is playing indoors against an OK team with no pass rush. Meaning, we still cannot assume this is the real Gabbert. We have got to go into the draft seeking a franchise QB. Better to have too many than too few. We can use cap money to bolster line and D. We cannot find a potential franchise qb in FA.

  24. 4th and 3 and Gabbert again throws underneath! Holy moly! Even someone who does not understand football knows this simple concept!

    1. And we thought they could not thow the ball to the sticks on 3rd down.
      They can do it on the 4th too.

      3 downs to get 3 yards and they can’t do it.

  25. I will say this, OL looks pretty good two weeks running. Tiller is solid and Brown looks like a find. Kilgore clearly difference as well. You resign Boone, and we have something. We an win with this line.

    1. Said to say but he is. He’s lost a step and is not a #1 cover guy anymore. Then again we have zero pass rush! It’s garbage from top to bottom!

  26. I say they draft a wr difference maker in the first round. Let boldin walk. Get rid of ellington. Start white, patton, and a first rounder. With hyde healthy and gabbert playing well they could be dangerous next year. O yeah and fire york lol

    1. Oh frabjous day, calooh, callay, he chortled in his joy.

      The 49ers appear to have locked up the #7 pick and with another loss, sweeping changes in the front office.

      1. Am I reading too much into this…Can the Jedster and family see what we do, or will this tell every 49er fan once and for all, it’s all about the bottom line with the York’s.

  27. Is it me or does it seem like Tomsula does not have that competitive fire? I mean the team has not been competitive the whole year. They only had one dominant win the whole year. They are more likely to be blown out then they are to impose their will.
    The offense is one of the worst, and that falls on Chryst. His playcalling is the worst.

      1. Maybe I’m being totally silly, but I don’t think Tomsula will be inducted into the hall of fame…not in this life anyway.

  28. Not to be rude Grant, but your relaying of the play-by-play today is about as bad as Chryst’s offensive play-calling.

    1. Am I reading too much into this…Can the Jedster and family see what we do, or will this tell every 49er fan once and for all, it’s all about the bottom line with the York’s.

  29. Chryst lost this game with a putrid game plan. Oh well, at least Hayne played and did not fumble, so he may get some more snaps next game.
    I previously said that the Niners should use their time outs wisely, and should not use them to help the other team. Burning time outs with almost 7 minutes left was obtuse. Wasting time outs that let the opposition get downfield to kick a FG is clueless.
    Niners shot themselves in the foot again. Coaches have not emphasized that enough, so it is their fault.

    1. 4th down and you throw it to who and miss Boldin completely? Idiots run this team. I’m seeing more excitement from Brees then I’ll ever see from Gabbert. HE can throw 50 times and still can’t make it to 300 yards.

  30. I am the most happiest joyous fan ever as once again, the 49ers stunk, not competitive, I don’t see how and why this helps the team to keep Tomsula around as he’s uninspirational as a coach and not even motivated. I can see Tomsula saying it’s on me. Boldin I’m sure can’t wait to get the F off this team as he was really ticked off. That 4th down play to Hayne was stupid, Det, Seattle, please take Hayne as you can provide more for him then the 49ers ever could. 4 and 12, make it happen 49ers.

    1. Sorry Darren. Our hero Jed York in his infinite wisdom (and cheapness) will keep Tomsula for at least another year and probably 2-3 more years.

      1. Hope Jed enjoys his 2 wins next year as I guarantee the NFC SOuth, AFC East, @ Det, Dallas will have a field day with the 49ers and if Sea, Ari, St. Louis shore up, be lucky we don’t go 0 and 16. That is how bad I truly see it next year.

  31. WOW !!

    Did anyone notice that our old “game manager” just won his nineth game in a row…? And at the same time took his team into the playoffs…’Wish you were here….Go Alex….

  32. 49ers in 2016, pay attention:
    AFC East
    NFC South
    @ Det North if Det stays in last place
    Home vs. Dallas South

    NFC South: Atl is away so Falcons get revenge, NO will win, Car will also get revenge, Tampa will upset the 49ers
    AFC East: NE gets revenge, Buf and NYJ will beat us, Mia can go either way.
    Lose in Detroit, another 10am game probably
    Lose to Dallas
    Win 5 in division

    49ers could be a 2 and 14 team with TomFOOLA as your coach.

    1. #49ers are 1st team with 6 offside/neutral zone penalties in the first half since 1993 when the Houston Oilers had the dubious feat

      49er webzone

      1. York ownership setting bizarre records. 49ers also 2nd 49er team since the 60’s to lead the NFL in least yards and least points–a double down unreached by most NFL teams.

        1. Tim Kawakami ‏@timkawakami · 21m21 minutes ago

          Tim Kawakami Retweeted Matthew Gibson
          Exactly. No salary-cap for coaches. Pay for the best, you have an advantage over of those who won’t. #andviceversa

          @timkawakami that right there is a key reason why Jed is awful. Eddie spared no expense..

          1. Not sure if it makes a difference but this is not necessarily on Jed but on his parents. It’s been long talked about since they took, over how cheap they are and how they’ve made strange cuts in the early 2000s to save a buck or two.

  33. Kawakami ‏@timkawakami · 32m32 minutes ago
    Instead, York/Baalke/Tomsula had to bribe mediocre coaches with multi-year deals to even consider signing up this year.

  34. Matt Maiocco ‏@MaioccoCSN · 2h2 hours ago
    The 49ers came out of their locker room too early to begin the second half and were called for a neutral-zone infraction.

    1. Well, recall that Tomsula wanted his guys to run off the bus with emotion…out of the locker room works too. How could they screw that up?

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