49ers pass defense by the numbers

The 49ers run defense has been outstanding the past three games, allowing just 61 rushing yards per game — second-best in the league behind the Seahawks over that span.

The 49ers pass defense hasn’t been outstanding the past three games.

49ers defensive stats and NFL ranks over the past three games:
Opponents’ passer rating: 87.1 (20th-best in the NFL)
Opponents’ completion percentage: 63.36 (22nd)
Opponents’ yards per pass attempt: 6.7 (17th)
Opponents’ passing touchdowns per game: 2.0 (tied for 22nd)
Opponents’ passing first downs per game: 14.7 (tied for 29th)
Sack percentage: 4.38 (26th)

Is this an aberration or a trend? Are you concerned about the 49ers pass defense’s ability to stop Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau on Sunday, especially if Carlos Rogers can’t play? Keep in mind, the 49ers pass defense posted these lackluster stats against Mike Glennon, Matt Ryan and Carson Palmer.

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    1. They sure were at the end of last season. Defense was wretched starting with the NE game and lasting through the SB. This is deja vu.

    2. Pass yards are not a guarantee of a team victory.

      Niners have allowed 300+ yards passing in five games this season. Niners won four of those, and would have won the one in Nawlins were it not for the zebras.

      But I had been expecting Grant to pounce on these numbers since Sunday evening.

  1. Yes, most definitely concerned. The pass defense has been horrid. That being said, I don’t particularly think losing Rogers is a big deal…unless Brock, Brown or Wright goes down.

  2. Grant,

    Like I posted on the previous blog topic/page, losing Rogers is a big concern. He’s the best slot CB they have. Green Bay getting Cobb and Rogers not playing is a bad combo.

    However, if the 49ers can win the time of position, they’ll have a solid chance of winning this game.

  3. I think you’re always concerned when you’re facing Aaron Rogers, but you can’t put it all on the secondary. Fangio has to dial up the pressure somehow to help them out….

    1. He has been dialing up pressure though, A LOT. I saw Bowman or Willis blitz up the A-gap throughout the game yesterday, and even against Falcons. The problem is that you probably just don’t notice it because their offenses picked up the blitzes pretty well, and we weren’t able to get to the QB as a result.

      And you gotta remember, when we blitz, our back-end becomes susceptible to the pass if we don’t get there in time. I think our nickel pass rush (aldon, justin, ray, brooks) need to flat-out play better and get pressure with just 4 guys. That way you can drop 7 into coverage. That’s what has made our defense so good the past couple years. Once you start sending 5-6 guys to get pressure, bad things are going to eventually happen against good QBs.

      1. Fangio has been rotating players. The offense needs to convert more 3rd downs to sustain drives in order for the defense to remain fresh. Too many three and outs will wear down a defense quickly…..

  4. Meh – I’m not too concerned about it. We gotta remember, the Cardinals were down 0-17 and had no choice but to pass the ball. Especially considering that they were unable to run it against us. The Bucs were down a lot too and had no choice but to pass. Once a 2-3 score lead is built-up, usually the defense loosens up a little bit, which makes them susceptible to yardage.

    Also, I think you’ll notice a pretty big correlation with lack of pass rush and passing yardage. Our pass rush wasn’t able to get to Carson Palmer or Matt Ryan on a consistent basis. It reminds me of what happened late last year when our D-Line got banged up and the pass rush wasn’t the same. Teams started to carve us up, after being very solid almost the entire year. Same thing has happened in the past two games IMO. Just not sure if it’s because they’re wearing down, or if they just took our last opponents lightly because of Falcons horrible record and playoff birth already clinched before Arizona game.

    If we want to Aaron Rogers, the pass rush needs to step-up big time. When we’re able to get to the QB, our pass coverage is at a high-level. When we’re unable to get to the QB, our pass defense is average. Pretty simple really.

  5. Seems to me that if you cant run the ball then your going to pass. When a team is down 17-0 at the end of one quarter they are going to pass. Pass attempts would be good to know to help draw a conclusion. If you cant run then your going to pass, playing from behind your going to pass. Eh not to worried about it myself. I know I am in a minority. Remember three things can happen during a pass and two of them are not good.

  6. I hate say it but it looks like Justin is just worn down and that will kill the 9ers unless they can utilize timely blitz. After all, playoff caliber passers will complete their passes anyway. So blitz them. Aldon just can’t do it without Justin. Otherwise, the 9ers only hope is for the offense to control the ball and score touchdowns not field goals. If you get a lead you have to pour it on not play conservatively and pray for victory.

  7. Most defenses fade toward the end of games. The big, fast twitch 49ers tend to fade a bit more then most. The 49er pass rush is usually great, but has a low snap (pitch) count. I was hoping for long offensive 49er drives to shorten the game, but the D played 72 snaps yesterday.

    With a 49er win and (likely) Saints loss next weekend, the 49ers will be going to Seattle on only 6 days rest (13 for the SeaRoids). It’s imperative to not just win, but control clock to keep the D’s snap count low in preparation for Seattle.

  8. Currently

    0 F, light snow, with wind chill of -16 F.

    Welcome to Wisconsin, San Francisco 49ers! We
    observe the four seasons of the year.

      1. Four? I thought there were only two:
        - “Why would anyone in his right mind live here?” stingingly frigid from October through May, and
        - “Why would anyone in his right mind live here?” hot and sticky from June though September.

    1. Which is bad news for the Pack, having lost four of their past six playoff games in the tundra, most recently a complete PASTING at the hands of the NY Giants.

      Packers advantage in the cold? Har, that’s a good one.

  9. 2014 schedule……..hey haters Alex is back…….

    Home
    Arizona
    St. Louis
    Seattle
    Philadelphia
    Washington
    Chicago
    Kansas City
    San Diego

    Away
    Arizona
    St. Louis
    Seattle
    Dallas
    N.Y. Giants
    New Orleans
    Denver
    Oakland

    1. Like I have said before, I wish Smith all the best with the Chiefs except for when play against us. Then I hope that he gets pounded into the ground.

    1. Good read. Didn’t realize that, in addition to a shot at the playoffs, the Cards were also playing for the best regular season win total in the franchise’s history. No question, we got their A game…and beat it. Thanks for the link, Razor.

  10. Better pass rush = better secondary. The pressure has been lacking a bit unless we blitz… Offenses have been keeping extra blockers in while also chipping Brooks and the Smiths… Not to mention they’re picking up our stunts quite well.

    Sending Willis and Bowman more often to help generate pressure would be nice.. Willis has been burnt in coverage a few times lately but has made for a good blitzer….. Maybe that groin is still an issue.

    As for Rogers, I’m not to worried since he’s had his challenges keeping up with receivers lately.. Wright is quicker at this point so I don’t think it’s a huge downgrade. Nice to be deep…

    1. Truth is we don’t have great pass rushers aside from Aldon. But he routinely faces double teams, and unlike a JJ Watt, he seems to be discouraged by them to the point of almost conceding the fight. The rest of our pass rushers–Cowboy, McDonald, Brooks–can be singled up for long stretches. Now, that said, they can be good at times. But we drafted Tank to tip the scales for us by playoff time, and he landed on IR. The rest of the linemen, Dorsey, Eddie, Dial, etc. are strictly run defenders/bull rushers. So what do we do? I think we either run the occasional corner blitz, using the coverage skills of Willis and Bowman to make up for the hole created in the secondary. And/or we call more 3-man pass rushes dropping 8 into coverage. Neither option is completely ideal–but this is something we’ll have to deal with through the end of the year.

    1. Jack,

      He’s the 2nd. They lost offensive quality control coach Bobby Engram after Harbaugh’s 1st year with the Niners.

      Drevno’s move to become USC’s o-line coach is surprising. On the surface, that looks a downgrade or taking a step back. I wonder if he’s getting a pay raise.

  11. Grant, I really apologize regarding asking this again but can you please answer the following questions? I would greatly appreciate it.
    1) How does the OL for the Pack rate as opposed to the Cards? I thought the Niners faced the 2nd and 1st worst rates tackles last week and today?

    2) Do you see injury concerns to both j smith and a smith that they are not being upfront about? I cannot understand why they are not getting sacks?

    3) Can we as Niner fans be encouraged by
    This win as this team beat Seattle last week or should we concerned that CP threw for so many yards when AR is next week?
    It seems fans here are upset instead of
    Seeing this as a victory. I would appreciate your thoughts, Jason

  12. anyone see/watching the replay of the bears/packers game on nfl network today? packers couldn’t stop the run. i foresee a big day for our o-line and us dominating TOP, thereby keeping A-Rod off the field and our pass rushers fresh.

    g-ro put his gas off the pedal yesterday on third and short and kept running into the strength of the cards d. i’d like to think that was on purpose to keep money plays off film. a calculated but smart risk knowing we didn’t have all that much to gain from being the 5th or 6th seed (divisional trek to Sea highly possible no matter what).

    other thing that we have going for us is colin’s cold weather experience at Nevada. Grant – I’d like to see your analysis on that if you can do the research.

  13. Waaaa waaaa waaaa…Come on Grant!….you’re a glass half empty kinda guy huh?…Let’s see, Palmer passed for over 4000 yards this year (quality passer) Ryan is another quality passer no matter their record and Gleannon was playing catch-up all day!….not worried, not worried one bit!…

    1. Well said Kelly. Let’s just ask one question. Will the 49ers be one and done on Sunday? Not the way they have played the past 6 weeks. I think that trend continues.
      The offense has moved the ball into scoring positions when needed.
      The stubbornness is by design. That’s why the 49ers are winning. They have out schemed a lot of people in these 6 wins. Good road game plans no less. Wins in WSH, TB, and of course yesterdays big win in AZ, show Coach Harbaugh is doing fine.
      Mike McCarthy is gonna try the run, get stuffed, then have Rodgers throw it up for picks or sacks. Niners win big in GB!

    2. You Grants brother Jack?..lol…remember, we helped make those teams look bad with beating them…any team, anywhere…we don’t make the schedule bro…

  14. All three games the niners gave up a lot of passing yards, but also in all three games team were throwing to get back in the game… Overall, I don’t think it’s an issue because all three games the teams had high passing yards but lost.

  15. I don’t think our pass defense is as big as an issue as our offense. We need to score touchdowns in the red zone. We need to sustain drives. As many have said convert third downs. Our defense can not be on the field for long periods of time while our offense is going 3 & out or just kicking field goals. Our offense has to help our defense.

    1. Red, thanks for posting that. I’m shocked…but in a good way! For those who didn’t bother to click…
      “The 49ers fan group raised over $11,000 on their GoFundMe page and only needed $7,000 for the billboard. They’re donating the remaining $4,000 to Seattle Children’s Hospital. When the 12th Man raised money to fly a banner over Candlestick Park, they donated the excess funds to Wounded Warrior Project.

      Another Seahawks fan group has followed suit and raised over $14,000 for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Only this time, they are raising the money without a goofy catch. Both 49ers and Seahawks fans have been making steady donations to the account. Yup. You read that right. 49ers and Seahawks fans are actually working together for good.”

      Niner fans donating to a Seattle childrens’ hospital. Seahawk fans donating to the Wounded Warriors project. Niner and Hawk fans cooperating on another project to support childrens’ hospitals? Now THIS is good stuff!

  16. Good stuff Grant,

    It’s the pass coverage.

    For the season the 49ers defense has pressured the quarterback on 46.31% of drop backs. Over the last 3 weeks this number has dropped to 41.61%, a difference of just over 2 per game. These numbers don’t show a significant change so I then looked at the QB Rating given up by each defensive player over the last 3 weeks. Here’s what I found, the ( ) equal season total.

    T Brock: (76.8) Last 3 weeks 88.75. It jumps to 102.63 without the Hail Mary interception at the end of the Atlanta game.

    C Rogers: (82) Last 3 weeks 123.14

    N Bowman: (85.8) Last 3 weeks 63.24.

    E Reid: (66.3) Last 3 weeks 85.94

    P Willis: (101.1) Last 3 weeks 107.11

    T Brown: (93.5) Last 3 weeks 88.92

    A Brooks: (57.5) Last 3 weeks 90.28

    D Whitner: (66.8) Last 3 weeks 120.60

    A Smith: (106.3) Last 3 weeks 108.33

    CJ Spillman: (95) Last 3 weeks 91.67

    Only Bowman, and T Brown have been able to play at the same level as the first 13 weeks as of late.

    1. Hammer, it’s not all the pass coverage. According to Grant’s stats: Sack percentage: 4.38 (26th)

      That said, we all know better coverage personnel in the secondary is needed at some point.

      1. It’s not so much that they aren’t trying to pressure as much as it is they just simply aren’t getting there fast enough…

    2. Through the first 13 games teams averaged 34 passes a game against us in the last 3 games they’ve thrown 44 times a game on average.

      1. The number of passes the last 4 weeks is a result of the opponents style of play in the case of Atlanta, and getting out to big leads against TB and Arizona.

        Last week I had a comment about the rating given up by the D when up by 2 scores compared to the rest of the game. When looking at the season as a whole it looks pretty good. When looking at the 4 week trend it’s pretty bad.

      2. Make of these stats whatever you’d like…

        49ers pass defense when up by 2 scores this season: 78.06 Rating

        49ers pass defense in all other circumstances this season: 71.51 Rating

        49ers pass defense when up by 2 scores the last 3 weeks: 94.99 Rating

        49ers pass defense in all other circumstances the last 3 weeks: 75.69

      3. You compared the pass rating against the defense in the last 3 games compared to the first 13 but you made no mention of the fact that teams threw against our defense on average 10 more times a game in the last 3 games. Do defense that get thrown at more often tend to have better or lower ratings? Since it’s obvious that more passes is going to trend towards a lower rating it’s very curious that you decided to leave that information out.

      4. Coffee,

        Not quite. I am showing a comparison of the full 16 game schedule to the last 3 weeks.

        My take away is that the defense is playing pretty much the same as all season but the overall numbers are skewed by the game situations. For example, they held Glennon to only 13 yards passing when the score was within 8 points or less (a single possession) and gave up 150+ when up by more than 8.

    3. Having just rewatched the game against the Cards, the pass rush wasn’t as bad as I first thought – they were getting some push and pressure on a fair amount of drops, just weren’t quite getting to the QB. But I still think they aren’t operating as well as they were earlier in the season.

      The biggest reason for all the passing yards was the coverages seemed to be a lot softer in the 2nd half protecting the lead, and DBs being found just slightly out of position to give up some big pass plays on well thrown balls.

      Eric Reid was the 49ers best DB. He made a lot of good plays throughout the game.

    4. Thanks for all the analysis Jack. This is great stuff.

      And I agree, there’s definately something to be said about games where we’ve created big leads. I wonder if our coverage changes when we have created big leads for ourselves. This has pretty much always been our problem, but we have managed to mostly win all these games.

      Whats are record under Harbs when we have a double digit lead?

      1. In 3 seasons they have blown double digit leads twice. 2011 vs Dallas, and 2011 at Arizona.

        They were up by two scores on Carolina this season and lost, but that had more to do with offensive breakdowns than Carolina’s passing game. They scored on a 27 yard run, and the game winning field goal was set up by a Ginn punt return.

      2. Jack,
        the info you are giving is subjective and doesn’t completely tell the whole story. You are actually beginning to sound like Claude. ( no offense Claude )

        You are only listing the games in which they blew big leads and lost. There are more examples of double digit blown leads in which they were still fortunate to win. Games like the Cards game last week, or New England last year come to mind. Actually those seem to be the only examples.

        I guess my whole thing is that this last game I really didn’t like how they took their foot off the gas, and I am not happy that Gore who should have been resting continued to carry the ball after they were up 17-0.

      3. Bay,

        Subjective is defined as “based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.”

        None of what I’m stating is opinion. The question was what the record was under Harbaugh when they’ve had a double digit lead, my response was fact.

        Have they given up big leads, sure they have. I never said they haven’t. Doesn’t change the fact they’ve only lost twice.

      4. Bay:

        Nice try, but you’re the one with the history of cherry-picking stats, although, to be fair, you haven’t done that so much recently.

        No offense taken.

    5. I guess number crunching is useful and always kinda fun, especially for aspiring aficionados y -nadas. It lends a certain scientific-technical aura to the discussion. But other than Kaperdini’s completions/attempts/yards and Frank’s yards and the receivers catches and yards – I don’t attend much to numbers. More interesting for me are the so-called “intangibles” – I say “so-called” because at certain moments in pretty much any game, those intangibles become more tangible and reveal a lot about the character of a team. They can sometimes give a pretty good indication of whether a team has “what it takes” (a classic intangible) to win. You guys can probably come up with more and better examples of what I’m talking about here than I can, but let me offer this one: Kaperdini’s flat-out down on the ground, that big oaf Dockett is laying on top of him, obviously using his weight and leg to try and hurt him – and this with a ref standing two feet away with the proverbial thumb up his – well, you know the proverbial place – and what happens? From fifteen yards away our young rookie receiver Patton sees what’s goin’ on and runs up to the scene and ref or no ref manhandles chump Dockett off Kaperdini. “Yes!” I exclaimed, watching that moment. These Harbaugh ‘Niners, down to the last man, play for and look out for each other. In his most recent column, Lowell emphasized how tough and competitive they are – and he’s right. Only, if I had been a member of Lowell’s hypothetical Honors Seminar, I would’ve delved a bit more deeply into that notion of competition and asked, “What kinda competition?” And gone on to answer that these ‘Niners compete to cooperate: they try to outdo each other in making the other guy look as good as they can, they compete to have the other guy’s back. That Patton moment showed me we got a team that has truly bonded – sideline demeanor shows this, too. And that, blog-friends, will make us more likely to win even when the numbers ain’t so good.

      1. I agree on many points, Max. Patton’s downfield block on a big play to Boldin really fired me up too! Heads up and unselfish.
        The numbers are useful or else Harbs& etc. wouldn’t bother breaking them down. It’s true that the numbers don’t lie; how they’re interpreted is the rub. They can lead astray. An over-obvious example: 2 CBs on a team; one has 18 deflections and 4 Ints, the other has 5 deflections and 1 Int. the guy with the smaller numbers may be better because nobody wants to throw his way, and opposing OCs and QBs are picking on the other guy giving him more opportunities. Now drilling down in the stats for 1st Downs and TDs allowed can reveal that, but point being stats don’t stand alone.

  17. The rumor mill… some NFL teams are interested in Jim Tomsula as possible HC. I think that could be a bigger loss then losing Roman. Jim T is key in the ongoing Okoye experiment (Okoye would likely give up football if not for coach Tomsula). His input was also a big part in drafting Tank. I’d hate to see he go before his creations are fully ready to stomp QBs.

    1. Have not heard mention of this on ESPN or NFL Network. Very little mention of Roman as HC candidate either, which is too bad.
      Love to see him move on.

      1. Roman won’t get a head coaching gig. The team would have to be a mirror image of the 49ers. Maybe Tampa? When you are a successful OC, the jobs come pouring in. Our team has been to the NFC Championship and to the Superbowl in its first two years and Roman hasn’t gotten a sniff.
        IMO it’s because this has turned into a passing league, and his passing offense is behind the curve.

        Right now the only names that I consistently hear being thrown out there are Quinn, Bowles, McDaniels and Gase.

      2. Well then that should make everyone happy as continuity between young QB and coordinator is essential. Don’t want to be changing offensive coordinators when things are finally starting to develop.

  18. This is a concern but not necessarily a big one as long as our offense allows our guys on defense to get enough rest on the sidelines.

  19. So for the year Dashon Goldson allowed 19-30 passes for 294 yards 4 tds and 1 int(121.4 passer rating) into his coverage while Eric Reid allowed 31-48 passes for 360 yards 2 tds and 4 ints(66.3 passer rating) into his. Good work Baalke.

  20. Aaron Rogers throws deep accurately “like,” as Greg Roman might say, “nobody’s business.” Well, this Sunday we’re going to have to make it our business in these two ways: pressure Rogers relentlessly, intercept him deep a coupla-three times. Otherwise, I am not concerned. We will score against Green Bay. What it comes down to, then, is whether or not we can seriously disrupt Green Bay’s passing (i.e. scoring) game. If we can, we win; if we can’t – it could be tight . . .

  21. It’s not the pass defense as it is the pass rush. Aldon Smith is absent as an impact pass rusher. QBs have too much time. The blitz seems seldom used. And the Niners have gone to 3-man rush late in games. Recipe for disaster that depends on individually big plays instead of dominant team D.

    1. I agree. Aldon has not been dominant this season, even against substandard tackles. To my eye, he’s been slower coming off his stance. The UDFA Bakhtiari held him off successfully in week 1. Arizona has a below average O line but he didn’t have proportionate impact. Hopefully, he will do better on Sunday.

  22. It’s a regular season aberration but playoffs (And even playoffs like atmosphere) trend. We haven’t been as aggressive defensively in the playoffs. It’s hard to identify how less effective our DBs are in coverage vs our pass rush because they go hand in hand. Pass defense starts at the line of scrimmage. It’s also hard to tell if maybe Fangio’s play calling is more conservative…playing not to lose as most on this blog would say we do frequently.

  23. Sure, the playoffs is a new season. But the one caveat is that the same players are now extending themselves for more games. We seen a fall-off in play (with our defense) last year around this time. Albeit, the health of J.Smith was felt during the playoff run, but the entire defense looked slow and tired. It took a great game by CK to beat GB, and a great play by N.Bowman to beat the Falcons. In the SB, the Ravens (not an offensive juggernaut) scored more than 30 points to beat us. So yes, there is some concern going into the post season.

    Also, anytime you play against Aaron Rodgers you best bring your A game. Our pass rush has been underwhelming over the last few weeks and against Rodgers, who could beat a team with a fierce pas rush in his face because of his ability to make a quick release, there has to be some concern.

    But if this is our turn for a SB, we must ensure that all other depts. of the team play well.
    Offense, Special Teams, Coaching, Defense, will all have to be at their best to win out on through the SB.

  24. Pass rush has been a bit of an issue which contributes to the high pass yards allowed. Obviously thats concerning when you’re going against Aaron Rodgers. I don’t know that blitzing is the answer as a QB of Rodgers caliber will pick that apart for big yards. I think you stay the course against Rodgers and keep the same strategy that’s been successful over the past few weeks.

    1. Razor,
      Where that you hear of this?
      I thought Rodgers was married and had kids… I’d be surprised with this news if the story could be corroborated.

    2. I surfed that story and it’s hugely speculative. The site has a disclaimer that says it takes no responsibility for the accuracy of any rumors it prints. Some details might seem contradictory. At the moment I don’t think a fair conclusion can be drawn.
      I will say this. If AR has been switch hitting, based on the photos of his fiancée, he’s choosing the correct side of the plate! But that’s just me.

      1. I believe in the gay community they refer to her as a beard, quite the diversion though….Not sure I’m sold on this story, if for no other reason than the timing.

      2. Who cares if he’s gay or not. Lets focus on sacking his ass and stopping Lacy. Lets make them one dimensional.
        Who else loved watching Patton run up and shove a D lineman off of Kaepernick? That fired me up. He may be the one that gets the monkey off of Baalke’s back for not being able to draft and develop wide receivers.

      3. Doesn’t matter, it’s the timing of the story that has me wondering if maybe there was some extortion or something weird going on….Dunno

      1. He grew up in Chico, his fiançee is a life long friend, if he is gay, his family and close friends have kept it quiet. Best Qb, he must be held in check or the ninner pass scold be in for a long day!

  25. My thoughts exactly.

    Our secondary had never been great. For the most part they are pretty average (at least in pass coverage) but the pressure our front 7 (paticularly using 4-5 rushers) allows us to have a great pass defense without a great secondary. When that pass rush is ineffective then we really start to see the lack of talent we have on the back end.

    If our front 7 can get back to their old form, then we should be fine with or without Rogers. I like Wright covering the slot, and I’m good with Brock and Brown on the outside. If we are not able to create that pass rush then missing Rogers will hurt a lot more.

    My prediction is that our defense turns it up, the Smith bros. have a huge game and abuse Aaron all day. He will still have 300+ yds of course and it will likely be a very close score.

    SF 31 GB 27

  26. I think our D-backfield is very good, but not quite great. If we get a pass rush, then our overall pass D is great and SB worthy. Having Rogers go down hurts tho – lets hope he’s back soon and in the meantime others step up.

  27. Here is volume 4 of the weekly “Archive Jive” ….This beauty came to us right after Niners stole Anquan Boldin for a 6th round pick.

    Sputnik says:

    March 11, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    The niners got I guy who is old and six mill a year (one year) and had Success Against the niners I don’t think he did any thing in the playoffs other than Super Bowl I call this a buddy deal or Should I say a brother deal bad Decision some of that money could of Helped Sign Darrell Revis or Dishon Gholdston but what do I know

    Reminder: Catch “Archive Jive” every Tuesday….Next week I will post the previous volumes in case anyone missed them…….
    Be afraid…”You may be next.” :)

  28. Here’s Niners 2014 home and away schedule.

    Home: Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers

    Away: Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, New Orleans Saints, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders

      1. Road doesn’t look so bad to me…Dallas is a joke in Dallas, and who knows whats going on with the Giants….We should have beat NO this year and will next year….Broncos are tough, but I feel like we match up well….but of course our division is brutal w/o question

      2. Leo – You’re right….It’s no that bad, I misread it and thought we were at Philly. Can’t wait to punk Jerry in his precious playground!

      3. Grant according to Eric Davis yes , by not assessing a fine the NFL is admitting the call was a mistake. What we are losing in this discussion of the letter of the law is the intent of the rule. Take any college level sports officiating class and one of the first discussions you will have is knowledge of the rule book vs the intent of the rule. Some of the worst officials I ever met could recite the rule book verbatim but if you tried to discuss intent or nuance they were lost. I taught sports officiating at the JC and I believe using the intent of the rule as opposed to the letter of that the rule the call against Brooks was a terrible call. imho

        1. No, the NFL stands by the call on the field. Birk just waived the fine. The NFL wants that play called that way, it’s been called that way for decades and will continue to be called that way. It works in the 49ers’ favor sometimes, like this season in Nashville.

  29. Grant:

    Should I assume that you simply are going to ignore Ahmad Brooks’ successful appeal of the fine he received for his sack of Drew Brees?

    1. Claude,

      I saw someone say that the rescinding of the fine does not mean the call was incorrect. Can’t remember who it was, but one of the beat writers I believe.

      1. Jack:

        That certainly is the NFL’s position. I haven’t seen the appeal or Birk’s decision, so I don’t know the scope of his review or what his actual ruling was. As far as I am aware, however, the league and its review officers aren’t in the habit of letting adjudicated personal fouls go unfined, so the reversal of the fine is a pretty good indication that Birk thought it wasn’t a personal foul. At the very least it casts doubt on the correctness of the on field call.

        I just wanted to see if Grant would at least acknowledge that the call wasn’t so obviously correct. He was pretty smug about it following the game.

      2. Seems to me this is one of the cases where the NFL got it right. Tape evidence showed the hit to not be malicious, thus avoiding any fine. But the League is probably OK with thenRefs call on the field. IMO the NFL wants the refs to throw the flag if it’s even close, to err on the side of laundry. The Brooks play was close, so I accept (grudgingly) that in the current environment that a flag gets thrown. Overturning the fine (which should not have been imposed anyway) was the correct final resolution. That the call effected the outcome of the game is acceptable to the League as they would rather be perceived as over-protective, especially perceived that way in Court.

        1. Contacting a passer at his shoulder line always has been a foul regardless of where initial contact was made. That was Pereira’s point — the same thing happened in ’94. This is old stuff.

      3. Thought this was the worst call of the entire NFL season. In real time it looked worse than what it was. The solution here is to make personal fouls challengeable and reviewable. These refs that have been on the job forever, are in there 60′s and the game is happening to fast for them.
        Also I am for moving the challenges to a centralized offsite location. That way there is less of a conflict of interest.

        1. They would not have overturned that penalty if it had been reviewable. If you touch a passer at the shoulder line or above or at the knees or below them, it’s a foul. Akeem Ayers touched Kaepernick below his knee when he threw an interception and the interception was called back. That was the correct call.

        1. If a defender contacts a passer at the shoulder line or above, the ref is throwing a flag. The NFL has been this way for 30 years. The NFL and Mike Pereira are not biased against the 49ers.

      4. Good call/Bad ball. It was called. The 49ers still had another offensive possession and went 3 and out, stopping the clock twice. Then the special teams makes a boneheaded penalty and the defense can’t hold.

        The offense played terrible that day.

      5. Grant:

        Now, you’re back to writing fiction. Mere touching and mere contact haven’t been consistently flagged ever. QBs’ helmets and necks get touched all the time when they get swarmed in the pocket.

        1. It’s a fact, Jack. The NFL doesn’t want backup-QB punt fests, so they’ll flag any hit on a passer that looks close to the neck or close to the knee.

      6. Grant,
        you were as stubborn on this call as you were with your Dallas pick.
        IMO, if this play happened 10 times to QB’s not named Brees in N.O., they call it once.
        The only call that I saw that was worse was the Golden Tate TD called by the replacement refs.

      7. C Balls – I’m with you….I don’t care what that clown Mike Pereira says, that was a perfectly legal hit. It cost Niners a #2 seed.
        Pereira will do/say anything to protect his refs. Half of these refs are out of shape or too old. They are absurdly out of position at times.
        They should have yearly agility test as part of the hiring process and retaining process. Weight limits, vision test and age limits too. They should be able to run under a 6 second 40 and their vertical should be at least 10 inches. :)

      8. … they’ll flag any hit on passer that looks close to the neck or close to the knee.

        That’s the first factually correct statement you’ve made (slight hyperbole), but it doesn’t mean that the penalty on Brooks was correct.

      9. No, incorrect because the video clearly shows that Brooks struck Brees on the shoulder, which is legal. Also, because Matt Birk says so.

        Btw, that’s a b/s response from you. I have never once said the call was incorrect merely because I say so. I have laid out in detail how the call was an incorrect application of the relevant rule, and I have supported my argument with a video of the play that definitively shows where Brees was struck and, more importantly, where he was not struck. That’s pretty much the opposite of “because I say so”.

        You also suggested that I claimed the NFL was biased against the 49ers when I did no such thing.

        I would appreciate it if you would stop mischaracterizing my comments.

      10. You cant dwell on something that wont be changed or that it will change anything. Its why you score lots of points so if a bad call goes against you have a cushion to absorb the call. Bad calls have happened since sports were introduced into life. However there seems to be an abundance of bad calls this year which leads me to think the refs need more training. The lack of a call in the Chief/Charger game is the latest of bad officiating.

      11. Grant:

        Yes, Mat Birk, the man who has been entrusted with the power and authority to review and pass judgment on correctness of penalties and fines.

        Who do you have that says the call was correct? Mike Pereira? He based his opinion on an incorrect understanding of the facts (he too mistakenly believed that Brooks clotheslined Brees)? By the way, if Mike Pereira was still employed by the league and had any authority in this area, his judgment on this topic would be subject to review by Matt Birk.

        I believe that is check and mate. Not that you will ever admit it.

      12. … He based his opinion on an incorrect understanding of the facts (he too mistakenly believed that Brooks clotheslined Brees). …

      13. Grant:

        When the NFL says the refs made the wrong call, you’ll be right.

        The league doesn’t have the final say on the matter; the hearing officer does, and the hearing officer said the league was wrong. His decision is final.

        Keep trying.

        1. The hearing officer said the refs were wrong for throwing the flag? All I see is Birk overturned the fine. A lot of fines have been overturned this year. That doesn’t make the refs incorrect for throwing the flag.

      14. I totally disagree, Grant. You don’t see the reversal of a fine as a tacit admission by the NFL that the flag was erroneous?

        1. No, it’s a unilateral decision made by Matt Birk that Brooks shouldn’t have been fined. Merton Hanks thinks Brooks should have been fined. That’s why Hanks fined him. The NFL will continue to flag hits like Brooks’.

      15. Grant:

        As far as I know, the hearing officers’ decisions are not made available to the public, so we’ll never know for sure. That said, Birk didn’t merely reduce Brooks’ fine; he rescinded it completely. You are free to draw your own conclusions from that fact, but it seems obvious to me that he didn’t think Brooks committed unnecessary roughness on Brees.

        1. That’s a big assumption. You tend to hammer posters who assume things without evidence. You’re breaking your own rules. Why?

          Birk’s decision won’t affect the way refs call games.

      16. Grant:

        I acknowledged up front that we didn’t have Birk’s decision, and that we can’t know for sure the scope of his ruling. And I didn’t assume anything without evidence. I explained how the elimination of the fine was pretty strong evidence that Birk didn’t think there was a penalty. That’s not at all like the assumptions with which I take issue.

        I would love to hear a counter explanation of how Birk’s decision can be interpreted favorably for the league.

        Referees may or may not continue to throw flags for perfectly legal hits on the QB. But it looks like when they do, the hearing officers will make sure defensive players aren’t fined for them.

      17. You kill me, Claude. When the NFL says the refs made the wrong call, you’ll be right

        The NFL still believes that Golden Tate caught a TD pass by placing one hand on a football that was firmly secured by a player from the Green Bay secondary, so….

      18. >>If a defender contacts a passer at the shoulder line or above, the ref is throwing a flag.

        Patent BS, Grant. It’s entirely capricious the way hits are flagged. Steeler’s William Gay creams Cleveland’s Jason Campbell with a concussion inducing helmet to helmet hit. Putting the lie to your claim, the umpire, *right there in the backfield*, didn’t pull the flag in the game. Putting the lie to your claim, none of the other refs, observing, felt compelled to pull the flag. Yet Gay was fined by the league afterwards. The exact opposite of the Brooks case.

        http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/bills-nfl/browns-still-fuming-over-hit-to-qb-campbell-20131130

        Here is exactly what the league was saying in the fine situations in both cases – they f-ed up making the call on Brooks and f-ed up in not making the call on Gay. Not even you can be that obtuse in denying that. Your dad, a son of Brooklyn, didn’t raise some schmuck who doesn’t know how the world works.

        1. Nah, you never know how I’m coming. I might do it southern fried, or I might just do it round the outside.

          Happy new year.

    2. “If you touch a passer at the shoulder line or above or at the knees or below them, it’s a foul.”

      This simply is not true. I watched a Jaguars defender who had been blocked and fell down to his hands and knees then launch himself at the knees of Case Keenum but no call. The O-lineman immediately went to the ref complaining and the ref shook him off. No fine from the NFL. I watched a Rams defender bury the crown of his helmet into Jake Locker’s sternum at exactly the same point where Brooks forearm crossed Brees’ chest and no call by the refs and no fine by the NFL. You can’t say it’s against the rules if it wasn’t called in those instances and no fines from the NFL.

      The problem with these rules is the extremely wide variation in application from the refs.

      1. The problem with these rules is the extremely wide variation in application from the refs.

        This. I stopped watching the NBA when it became clear that the league wanted the referees to apply the rules differently for superstars. I hope to God the NFL doesn’t make that same mistake.

        1. You’re accusing the NFL of changing like the NBA but that’s not the case. The refs have called the game this way for decades. You’re actually asking the NFL to change how they’ve been calling games.

      2. Grant:

        It is not true that referees have been throwing flags for merely touching the QB’s head or neck for decades. That’s at least the third fiction you have resorted to in order to support an incorrect call.

        If you have to keep making things up to justify that call, perhaps it’s time to reconsider your position.

        And let me be clear on one last thing. I don’t view this call as evidence of some change on the part of the NFL. I simply think it was a bad call. The video clearly shows that Brooks did not hit Brees in the head or neck. He hit him in the shoulder with his arm, which is perfectly legal. It was a violent hit, but violent hits are not per se illegal.

        1. But it is true, Claude. Referees have been throwing flags for decades if contact is made to the passer’s shoulder line or above it. Nothing new here. The NFL has wanted the game officiated this way for decades. It’s all about protecting the passer.

      3. C’mon Grant, saying the NFL has been called this way for decades is absurd. It’s simply false. The Brady Rule intended to protect QB’s knees is only 5 years old. The hit on a defenseless player rule is only 2 years old. It’s obvious the NFL is taking extreme measures to protect itself from future lawsuits and to protect marquee players. The Brooks hit on Brees would not have been a penalty 3 or 4 years ago. The Donte Whitner hit on Steven Jackson would not have been a penalty 3 or 4 years ago. Quite honestly, to suggest that the NFL hasn’t altered how they call hits on QB’s or receivers is plain silly.

        1. The NFL has flagged hits to the passer’s shoulder line and above for decades. The Brooks hit on Brees would have been a penalty 3 years ago and 23 years ago. Mike Pereira compared the hit to a hit in ’94.

      4. If Brooks hit Brees “above the shoulders” the fine would have been upheld. Brooks did not hit Brees above the shoulders. If Brooks hit Brees above the shoulders, Brooks elbow would not have been at the numbers just below the NFL symbol on Brees jersey. If Brooks hit Brees above the shoulders then Brees shoulders would not have gone backwards the way they did while his neck and head stayed in the same place. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t call it an illegal hit and then say the NFL was justified in reversing the fine. You are wrong. Common sense dictates you are wrong. Pictures dictate you are wrong. Video evidence dictates you are wrong. If all those things didn’t prove that you are wrong then the fine would have been upheld.

    1. They need O-line help so it looks like Mathews…..I would rather have Anthony Barr though.
      Grant are you ready for the Sun Bowl? Kickoff’s about 30 min away. Go Bruins!!

      1. Grant – No live UCLA Bowl blog for us? :-) ….not many UCLA fans in here. I’m still recovering from the 2nd half of Duke game at MSG.

  30. current power ratings
    (same spot as last week, okay?)
    1. Seahawks.
    2. Broncos.
    3. Panthers.
    4. Patriots.
    5. and….
    help us out with this, Mister Harbaw, willya?
    Oh, yeah; …. the San Francisco 49ers.

    You are fighting an uphill battle, sir.

    1. Alex/DS disciple – Way to finish strong (2-5)…..LMAO!
      9-0 and end up playin road game in playoffs….it doesn’t get any better….ha ha ha….Happy New Year lonely one.

      1. was asking………

        you have enough content, comeback like “DS” is not necessary or responding to some poster you know is baiting you is beneath you…..

        the point is the poster is not DS, so why even bring up the name….

      2. Yeah crabs. Quit saying its Ds. Onelame wants his fame. It may be easy for him being a troll, but credit is deserved.

  31. I want to wish Grant and everybody on this blog a Happy New Year. Let’s resolve to continue to make this the best Niners blog. No offense Jack. ;-)

    1. Feliz Ano Nuevo to all y’all. We’re doing dinner out tonight then tucking the car in to the garage before the DUI Festival begins. We’ll pull corks on a couple of “Saver” bottles, then blast the air horn at midnight to get the neighborhood dogs all riled up. Have fun, be safe.

  32. Eric Mangini news…The Miami Herald hints that 49ers “senior offensive consultant” Eric Mangini could be a possible GM replacement for the Dolphins.
    Jeff Ireland would obviously have to get the boot first, but beat writer Armando Salguero composed an interesting list of candidates to replace Ireland. It leads off with Mangini. Owner Stephen Ross reportedly wanted to hire Mangini before the 2011 season, and Ross supposedly “loves” Mangini for reasons Salguero “is not clear on.” Word is Mangini wants to get involved in front office operations.

    read here:
    http://miamiherald.typepad.com/dolphins_in_depth/2013/12/most-of-what-goes-on-around-a-football-team-happens-behind-the-scenes-practices-are-closed-the-locker-room-is-closed-except.html

      1. Grant – For what it’s worth Hundley’s dad told my buddy at Bruins last home game that Brett is coming back…Hey, it’s better than no news.

      1. Jack – I like the old school classic uniforms…I don’t like the black uni’s either bro. Yes we are getting a bit old too…. out of touch with these young whippersnappers.

  33. I’m glad Brooks won the appeal. I disagreed with the call at the time but I understood it. It was such a close play that the Saints fans would still be whining today about the No Call if a flag hadn’t been thrown. Officials are the human element to the game. Receivers drop passes, tackles and blocks are missed, refs calls get missed. That’s part of the game. Let’s not be whiners. Moving forward. Gung Ho.

    1. Tuna – some crowds influence the refs better than others. If that Brooks hit took place in San Diego. No flag would’ve been thrown. IMO

      1. Interesting. It may just be Brees’ stature in the NFL. I don’t think that’s intentional on the refs’ part, but Brees and Brady get calls other guys don’t get. Also, CK gets fewer calls than most younger QBs because he runs sometimes. It’s a bogus, misapplied standard, but it’s out there.

      1. ah man… well i think we’re very fortunate to have gotten Cox back. He knows the system, is conditioned, and will play his same role at dime…

        Like i said before I feel good with Brock and Brown on the outside….and I don’t see much of a downgrade with Wright at the slot…. Our defense will fall or rise with our pass rush

  34. Grant, why didn’t you include points allowed by the 49er defense the past three games? I believe they have given up 58 ponts for a 19.3 per game average.

    And over the same three game period, GB defense has given up 102 points for a 34 per game average.

    Just seems that points allowed would have been an important stat to include.

    1. Grant, my bad, this was about pass defense and you did show the 49ers were allowing 2 TD’s per game, about the same as the Packers. I guess those extra 14 points they have been giving up per game have come on the ground, lol.

        1. Really? I thought it was pretty clear all season Barkley would drop. He threw 15 picks as a senior and injured his throwing shoulder.

          If that’s true, that’s the only thing Barkley and Hundley have in common.

      1. Yeah, not comparing their play just draft stock.

        I don’t see the hype with Hundley. He is a very good athlete who gets a lot of yards off passes thrown about 5 yards within the LOS with YAC. When asked to play from the pocket he is erratic.

      2. A 20 yard out is an impressive throw. He stared at the receiver from the snap and had a clean pocket. For the most part that game was exactly what I have watched him do the last 2 years.

        A few good throws, a few clunkers and a lot of YAC YAC YAC. Inconsistent from the pocket.

        1. Hundley resets his feet in the pocket and goes through his progressions on other plays when his first read isn’t open. He’s six years younger than Kaepernick and more advanced than him in those areas and a more accurate passer, too. Hundley also is a quicker and more elusive runner than Kaepernick, who is a slow-starter and a long-strider with one gear.

      3. I’d say they’re about the same from a coaching standpoint. We’ll see how it plays out. Usually when you get this set on something it ends up being true to some extent eventually.

      4. You are comparing Hundley to Kaep! I know in the past grant you have said do idiotic things for example, the cowboys winning the SB… Then your prediction of Tyler Wilson being the steal of the draft… The niners made a mistake drafting Reid instead of Cyprien, Elam etc… You also predicted that the niners were certain this past draft that in the first two rounds they would go corner… So many more idiotic things I have read out of your mouth that I can’t remember all of them! This one takes the cake!! Kaepernick who is easily a top 10 QB in the NFL, while Hundley is very inconsistent at the college level… Kaep has a much stronger arm, is faster, and more accurate… On top of all that he set a record in the NFL in last years playoffs! Just do yourself a favor and stop your predictions cause you have NO clue what you are talking about… You are a good writer but your football knowledge is not there…

        1. Kaepernick is not more accurate than Hundley. That’s clear. Also, Kaepernick throws to Crabtree, Boldin and Vernon Davis. Hundley throws to Shaq Evans, Jordan Payton and Devin Fuller. That has to be factored in. Also, Kaepernick plays in a run-first offense. UCLA’s running game stinks. Hundley carries that offense.

      5. Kaepernick also plays in the NFL grant! Not the pack 12… You are comparing a kid who is wildly accurate in the college game! Kaep dominated at Nevada and played with no pro prospects! Hundley plays with tip notch talent around him…. Kaep has also played in a SB and played very well… Why don’t you pull up kaeps numbers the last 6 games…. Check is QB rating out… Kaep in a year will be the best QB in the NFL!!!

    1. Seems like McCarron fits that Barkley model better. It’s too early for me to have mocked it, but I don’t think Hundley lasts to the second. Just a hunch.

  35. Good preview of the play-offs
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/01/sports/football/a-statistic-behind-every-super-bowl-contender.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0&rref=sports&hpw&pagewanted=all
    “The 49ers have averaged 18.1 points through the first three quarters of every game, while allowing just 9.6; that 8.5-point differential is the best in the N.F.L. San Francisco has a habit of dominating teams early and letting up on them late: the 49ers have been outscored in the fourth quarters of games this season, 119-117. But will the team be more ruthless in the postseason? “

      1. My favorite quote from your article:

        Against weaker teams, Kansas City’s formula has been successful. Quarterback Alex Smith’s average pass this year has traveled just 6.63 yards in the air. According to the N.F.L.’s Game Statistic and Information System, that gives Smith the 36th lowest average among the 37 qualifying quarterbacks (ahead of Jacksonville’s Chad Henne). If the Chiefs are going to beat the top teams in the league, it will take more than good field position and an effective ground game: Smith will have to beat teams with deeper passes.

  36. Have a fun night ringing in the new year everyone. Be safe and make sure you catch the junior 49ers in the Rose Bowl tomorrow.

  37. SBNation’s Niners Nation blog and acme packing co blog are doing joint posts with each other this week….Sounds kind of corny to me.
    http://www.acmepackingcompany.com/49ers-vs-packers-wild-card-2013/2013/12/31/5258340/49ers-packers-player-swap-patrick-willis-navorro-bowman-donte-whitner

    We don’t need anybody but us in here….This is the best blog on the planet, we are unrivaled! We are king of all blogs! ♛…
    We are the champions my friends… Happy New Year Niner Brothas! ♥

    1. I will guarantee you manziel will have a better pro career then Hundley… Hundley is a little better version of Morris from Miami… Except Hundley will go a couple rnds higher… Hundley is tanninhill in the pros…

      1. Riiiiiiiiggggggghhhhhttttttt………..

        1. Luke Kuechly isn’t a first round pick.
        2. Jarius Wright is better then Kendall Hunter.
        3. Tyler Wilson is baby Brett Favre.
        4. Terrelle Pryor is the best QB in the Bay Area.

      2. “He definitely has been the worst starting quarterback in the Bay Area. The Raiders’ Terrelle Pryor has outperformed Kaepernick in nearly every statistical category.”

        More or less. All fun aside, how surprised are you at Kuechly’s level of play? He has been phenomenal. Have a happy New Year and as always, I wish you and your family the best.

      1. Really, Leinhart? Their games are so different. Just by boom or bust? At this point my guess is he’s somewhere between Colt McCoy and Jake Plummer.

      2. His skill set isn’t what I was referring to Brotha, but to how he craves the publicity similar to what Leinhart did.

  38. Mix in some food with the booze fellas or you’ll be shouting at your shoes tomorrow morning. I’m at a killer party…hope you are all having a good New Years!

  39. Happy new year!
    I was listening to Tom Tolbert on knbr, and he talked about how the playoff teams have either good qbs or a average qbs with a strong d behind them. So if you had to rank the remaining qbs, no to ride on I. The nfl’s second season, who would you take?

    Here’s my list to start the discussion:

    1. Tom Brady
    2. Aaron Rodgers
    3. Peyton Manning
    4. Drew Brees
    5. Andrew Luck
    6. Cam Newton
    7. Andy Dalton
    8. Phillip Rivers
    9. Nick Foles
    10. Russell Wilson
    11. Alex Smith
    12. Colin Kaepernick

    As a niner fan I wish I could put Colin higher. And while I don’t think smith is a btter qb, overall I think he’s doing a better job and am more rims adverse to trust he can get it done.
    But Colin is so hot and cold, it’s scary and unpredictable.
    Peyton is great in the regular season, but shaky in the playoffs.
    Hard to bet against Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, and both are on flawed teams. Even without Reggie Wayne, Andrew luck is still a comeback machine.
    And nick Foles is running that chip Kelly offense pretty well, we’ll see how he does in his first playoff game.
    I hate drew Bree’s but you gotta respect his game.

    So how high would you rank Colin? Maybe above smith, but that’s it.

    1. Yeah, above Smith for sure. The rebound of 2 to 11 wins was impressive to the max and Smith had his role in that turnaround, then again they were playing a 2 win schedule and flamed out against the tougher teams on the schedule. Smith is like a … meh.

      Except for the 2 win schedule that could also be said about our Niners. Kaep is a tough QB to figure out, he is the anti-Smith for sure. The “good” Kaep can do something jaw dropping on one play and then the next play the “bad” Kaep makes you want to scream at the TV. Even with that inconsistency and (a nod to the Lamonicas out there) his low stat numbers, he was good for 12 wins. Not many others on your list were able to pull that off in their second season.

      For that reason, I have no great fear of any other the other teams in the playoffs. Even if our QB is rated near the bottom, we can hang with any of them. And when and if our QB whisperer can iron out the “bad” Kaep over time, watch out.

      1. Happy new year rib,
        I’m not a big smith lover like some people make me out to be. I do think he is underrated, and on the right team, like the 2011 niners, he’s good enough to get it done.
        He is tough as a 2 dollar streak like harbaugh said.
        My big worry about kaep, is sometimes when the going gets thought, he looks lost and frustrated and that can’t happen in the playoffs.
        The niners did win 12 games and he played a part in that. He’s had very few turnovers these last few games which is just as impressive as his throws.
        Now he walks into Aaron Rodgers house, I hope he gets it done!

      2. Fan the last 6 weeks the competition has not been great but there have been a few playoff calibre teams/games. In each of those games the offense and specifically CK found ways to move the chains and score when needed. The most impressive and encouraging thing is this happened in critical moments of the game. Just like a playoff game.
        The Niners offense is picking up steam, the defense is red hot, no one wants to play SF.

      3. The defense has given up yards to teams with good Qbs.
        Offense is hit or miss which is my concern. It’s two steps forward , two steps back with kaep led offense. It’s hard to know what to count own. In my opinion.

    2. 1. Manning
      T-2. Rodgers
      T-2. Brady
      4. Brees
      5. Newton
      6. Luck
      7. Rivers
      8. Dalton
      9. Foles
      T-10. Wilson
      T-10. Kaepernick
      12. Smith

    3. Happy New Year to all!

      Fan, I agree on the top 4 QBs in no particular order. I don’t know where to put CK, but based on his performance in Dec, I would put him above Dalton, Rivers, Foles, Smith and even Wilson. Just my opinion.

    4. First tier:

      1. Rodgers
      2. Brady
      3. Brees
      4. Manning

      Those guys deserve the top 4 spots – great, experienced QBs that have all done it before. They can win the big games without much support from their D.

      Second tier:

      5. Luck – Colts are always in the game with him on the field. Of the remainder he’s the guy I’d trust most to win a playoff game for you even if the D is not performing well.
      6. Kaepernick – of the remainder, he’s the one that can (and did during last year’s post-season) catch fire when needed and win you big games.
      7. Newton – hasn’t done it before in playoff games, but has that same Kaep capability.

      Third tier:

      8. Wilson – I’m not convinced he’s in the same league as Kaep or Newton as far as ability to win you a big game if the D isn’t playing well. He’s struggled a bit this season, and I think it is largely because teams have realised if you stay disciplined in your rush lanes and don’t let him escape to extend plays, he loses a lot of his big play ability.
      9. Foles – the wild card. Doing well in Kelly’s offense, but have to see more of him before I’d trust him with the game on the line.

      Fourth tier:

      10. Smith – I like Smith, but can’t put him in the above tiers. He’s honest and won’t lose you a game, and he’s proven in the past he can also win big games, but end of the day I wouldn’t trust him to win me a championship.
      11. Rivers – has lots of big play ability, but also a tendency to tank it when they need him most. The Romo of the AFC.
      12. Dalton – also finds ways to lose too often.

  40. Hey Grant, your hat is on backwards (press conference). Are you trying to look like you are from the hood or did you just get it backward like you do most things ? ;)

    1. You are being too hard, Tim. It’s not his fault those things don’t come with instructions.

      I kid. Happy New Year to all the Faithful! And Grant too.

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