Dilfer: “If you’re a skill position guy for the Niners, you’re only getting the ball if the play was designed to get you the ball.”

Trent Dilfer answered questions about the 49ers’ offense Wednesday morning on 95.7 The Game. Here is a transcript.

Q: After last game, Michael Crabtree talked openly about wanting the ball more. He was visibly frustrated after a couple of plays. How does a quarterback handle that?

DILFER: After you learn the hard way early in your career how to deal with it, you kind of like it. You want a guy who wants the ball. You want a guy who has the brass to stand up and say, “I want it in difficult situations.”

Colin is the leader. He’s going to handle that stuff well. He’s going to appreciate Crabtree wanting the ball. The harsh reality though if you’re a skill position guy for the Niners, you’re only getting the ball if the play was designed to get you the ball. They don’t have the type of offensive structure and Colin isn’t the type of quarterback that there are five eligible receivers and anyone can get the ball. This is a run, run-action, pick-and-stick team. They’re calling a play for a defense, for a player and, if that play is called wrong, that second, third, fourth option isn’t going to get the ball very often. So, Crabtree’s complaints should be with Greg Roman. Say, “Hey, you’re not calling enough plays for me,” because that’s how their passing game operates.

Q: How much are the 49ers going to miss Bruce Miller?

DILFER: I think they’re going to miss him a lot. Versatility of their scheme. They love to play big. They love big packages. Miller can play in the backfield, he can play inline tight end, they split him out and displace him to create looks in the secondary. For a big, thick guy he’s pretty agile. You can’t just put another guy out there and think you’re going to have the same versatility. I do think there’s going to be an adjustment period for the 49ers, trying to find another way to play in those personnel packages.

Q: Do you think they’ll just plug in Anthony Dixon? Or might they use Vernon Davis in the backfield a bit?

DILFER: I think you might see Vernon be more of a movement guy. That’s a good call. They can create some of the same looks by doing that. They may have to start playing more three-receiver sets, which is going to create different looks for them defensively but that could be advantageous for them as well. It puts more of a burden on the offensive staff of the 49ers to find some stuff that can become their bread and butter late in the season and into the playoffs.

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  1. G-Ro ..
    why not dust off the ‘ole
    “pass to Joe Staley” … ?

    (going forward .. I’m sure you’ll see a situation or two where it
    would still work )

  2. Hahah… what game was that MW? Didn’t 2 lineman catch a pass in that game?

    We better CRUSH Atlanta on Monday!!! The Bricks at Candlestick!!!

    1. I don’t remember, Benny ..
      I just remember .. as trick plays go ..
      that one was a thing of beauty !

      (Love to see it at the CLINK)

  3. I want to commend the guys that took the patient approach with our signal caller CK. There were true fans in this room that knew that Colin had a lack of receiving talent and was going through a learning curve playing from under center. Learning to read a defense, learning to go through progressions. Guys like Crabs, NinerMD, Jordo, Coach, Neil, Chicago, MW ( sometimes )
    Rib ( sometimes ). Sorry if I forgot to include other supporters of our signal caller.

    There are a few folks that just sat on the sidelines and didn’t comment at all.

    Then there were the two douche bags that constantly ripped on our signal caller as he went through natural growing pains that come along with the position. Especially in your sophomore year. I don’t have to mention their names, the room knows and they know who they are. Funny, as this team moves through the playoffs, they will attempt to pretend like they were supporters the entire time. We know better.


      1. I would love to have my own Kaepernick jersey MW, but money is tight for me right now and for the foreseeable future as well. I also support Kaep, but just like I did with Alex Smith, I don’t let that color my judgment of him.

    1. My Dad continues every week to ask the team to bring back Jeff Garcia!!! It’s all good though… I calm him down and tell him were ok with CK7 and give him another cold one ;)

      1. I still have my autographed Garia picture hanging over my computer! lol But, Kap’s the man. The first and only (s0 far) 49er jersey I’ve ever purchased in over 30 years of fandom. The kid is special.

      2. MidWest .. I hear ya ..

        The ball n chain about had a stroke ..
        when I bought both a #52 and the #7
        this past summer ..
        (retired, fixed income and all that )

        Benny …
        You can tell yer pops that
        Garcia doesn’t get much love with the likes
        of the bigger legends ahead of him..

        Loved his tenacity, though

    2. That’s the Christmas spirit, Bay. Forget about joyful celebrations and glad tidings to all; you have scores to settle and douchebags to name. Forget about coming together to celebrate our common good fortune; you have “fake” fans to marginalize and exclude from the fun. It’s not Christmas if you can’t spread a little hate, right?

      Merry F’ing Christmas.

      1. Hey Claude,
        we still have a week to go. And I’ve had to listen to the Dbags all season during the struggles so excuse me if I get my last laugh now that our QB is improving his play.

        Thanks for the early cheer Claude.

        Merry F’ing Christmas to you to.

      2. ninermd:

        I’m more annoyed than mad. No, the comment didn’t hit home because he wasn’t talking about me.

        You thought the comment was positive? Reading comprehension’s not your strong suit., is it?

        By the way, the comment was posted by bay, not 23jordan. I would think you could tell them apart, what with the way you’re always on their nuts.

        Did I word that correctly?

      3. claude balls says:
        December 18, 2013 at 2:19 pm

        I’m more annoyed than mad. No, the comment didn’t hit home because he wasn’t talking about me.

        You thought the comment was positive? Reading comprehension’s not your strong suit., is it?

        By the way, the comment was posted by bay, not 23jordan. I would think you could tell them apart, what with the way you’re always on their nuts.

        Did I word that correctly?

        Lol naaaa Claude you don’t sound bitter at all. Sounded positive to me. My name was mentioned in a good light. Pretty sure I can comprehend a compliment.
        You’re a mean one mr Grinch. Have some egg nog and relax Claude. No need to be bitter during the holidays. Merry Christmas mother****! :-)

        And Bay…. My bad mixing you with Jordo. But hey if both of you had shown up at the Seattle game non of this would have happened. Lol

      4. MD,

        Bay’s “positive” post was nothing more than his typical passive agressive shot taking and score settling. If you don’t see that, then, well, I just don’t know……….

    3. Good stuff Bay.

      I must admit, though I did continue support Kaepernic and never doubted he was and is our future….I did start to lose hope for this season…I didn’t think Crabtree was going to look as good as he has and didn’t think Crabtree would improve his pocket awareness and elusiveness as much and as quickly as he has….so I will eat some crow on that…..but i do it with a smile on my face.

      1. Kaeps problem this year was that because the Niner’s were in a position without a viable back up the staff had him playing conservatively as to not to get hurt. Kaep’s instincts are very good, but thy had him over thinking everything. Now that the season is winding down and they need every win he has gone back to his instincts and it has shown up during his last game. When he needed the third downs he just took it upon himself to use his legs to buy time or to run for it. He is back to his last season form because he is not playing scared to get hurt. Well that and that he has some targets that can get open.

    4. Boom! It’s not so much being the real fan. A real fan roots for one team only. Eh eeeemmmmm onelame!
      But the writing was on the wall as to what the 49ers were doing with him this season. If he had not had the experience of last year he would have struggled really badly. Those games last season helped him read and get the speed of the nfl understanding a lot quicker.
      They want him to be the future and keeping him in the pocket to take his lumps was a great plan. Now it’s starting to pay off.
      It sucks that some on here are and were still caught up in the Alex smith trade that they couldn’t see what was going on. Nope they wanted to take shots in defense of #11. Sad because some of them have a good football IQ.
      Claude you mad bro? Why the comment? Did it hit home? 23 didn’t mention anyone’s name. Only a true Grinch would repost a comment like yours. I thought 23 post was positive, how didn’t you?

    5. Hey, like him or don’t like him. Have patience or don’t have patience. See progress or don’t see progress – he’s our guy, the team’s success depends on his play, and of course he should have every “true” fan’s support. Finally bay is coming around to that point of view. Better late than never, right bay?

    6. According the article he’s Superbowl ready, but nowhere to be found on the writer’s top QBs index. Even generic “Bears Quarterback” gets a nod before our CK. Pfft.

      Then thank goodness for a killer D and a can’t miss kicker. As I’ve said before the more things change the more they stay the same.

      1. An his ability to make deep throws when needed, and the ability to run like the wind when needed. 3rd downs are better and so is the redone scoring. Not where we would like it to be, but an improvement. There have been some positive changes.

      2. Does Michael Vick come to SF in the off season? I am trying to find a place he’d go as a backup at his age. I am sure he’ll want to play for a contender and his style would be less of a downgrade from Kaep than McCoy would be. It’s going to be pay cut time, but I think we just might have a Vick sighting in the offseason.

      3. >>Does Michael Vick come to SF in the off season?

        Let’s hope the hell not. And if by some massive front office breakdown he does, lets doubly hope the hell he never sees the playing field.

        The last thing we need is wins thrown away by a QB that has made a career out of throwing inopportune coach-killing INTs.

      4. No way are the Niners intereste in Vick, new stadium, great team and no way they would want dog killers here, that would be a PR nightmare,the Bay Area very dog friendly region,people picketing in front of.stadium, don’t buy 9er tickets.Maybe the Chiefs.

  4. “If you’re a skill position guy for the Niners, you’re only getting the ball if the play was designed to get you the ball.”

    Unlike on any of Dilfer’s teams where you’d only get the ball if you bought one before heading down to your seat.

    1. Dilfer can shove it. He went on Scott Van Pelt’s national radio show after we beat Seattle, and chided the team and us fans for gloating over the win (he used the phrase “thumping (our) chests”). He went on to parrot the national media narrative that the win was basically meaningless because we were at home and only won by 2 points, and such a close, hard-fought win did nothing to disprove the notion that Seattle will be invincible in the playoffs.

      1. Dilfer is a hippocrite. He was pumping up the 49ers last year like no one else. He was praising everyone from the GM on down. He even vistited training camp multiple times. This year he hates them. I have a feeling the 49er front office had a falling out with Dilfer, and Dilfers man crush on Alex Smith. Dilfer is nothing but a Smither.

      2. Dilfer doesn’t hate the Niners. Geez if anyone criticizes anything about a team they get deemed as haters. He’s telling you what he sees and he’s right. This offense is often one read and go. Not always, but a majority of the time and you can see it if you watch closely enough. It’s why Smith got the rap of being Captain Checkdown. Kap doesn’t take the checkdown very often and instead runs, or takes a sack which Smith was also criticized for. That’s the system.

    2. Dilfer has been an A hole in respect to Kaep. However I don’t think this statement was more in respect to the offense the Niner’s run, in that they don’t run plays that allow a lot of time for plays to develop. More a quick hitting offense.

      In respect to the loss of Miller, this is where it bites the Niner’s in the rear that they allowed their developmental H back Gray to get away. Not of their projected replacements are really good receivers. When you run a position by committee the defense usually also knows by the player what type of play you are running.

  5. So without saying it, what Dilfer is saying is that Kap is a one-read QB?
    Don’t have to be politically correct, just come out and say it man.

  6. very interesting points by Dilfer, and somewhat disappointing to at least one old fan of the multi-option Niners of the 80s and 90s. but if it works, that’s great.

    Kawakami has a very interesting piece about the Baalke-Harbaugh relationship, and I will speculate that it explains how a number of players who have hit the Niner roster (ie brought in by Baalke) have been underutilized (ie not used by Harbaugh/Roman)- Baalke seems to have a tendency to want to keep a certain amount of the roster in the form of fast, sometimes shifty offensive players, but Harbaugh seems to always want to go big. So, LMJ, AJJ, Hunter, Ginn, and probably others (Moss?) have gotten minimal snaps or targets.

    1. That makes sense actually….its ashame really I would love to see LMJ used in a bush or sproles role….and i would love to see hunter get a lot more action also.

      As for Ginn and AJ, they were and are garbage.

      It’ll be interesting what deep threat WR we add to this roster next year.

      1. TG has around 1300 all purpose yards this season so far…not really garbage. He’s averaging 15 YPC and is on pace for about 40 catches. We could use a deep threat like him. Now AJJ…he’s garbage.

  7. Dilfer is certainly right that until recently the Niners seemed to be a one- or two-read offense at best (in practice if not in theory). But to this fan’s eyes, that looks to have improved in the last few weeks; Kaep seems to be reading the field more often and going past that first or even second option. Perhaps I’m wrong – I see only what the TV cameras show – but that’s what it looks like to me, as if the presence of three serious receiving threats is forcing Kaep to read more deeply. It looks like improvement. Now if only he’d find Gore more often.

    1. Umm, he’s still sticking to who he wants to throw to based on the film. That’s most likely why Crab was upset. I saw specifically 2, maybe 3 plays, where Crab was open but Colin forced it to a guy that was either well covered or doubled.

  8. Differ is the biggest moron out there pretending to be an analyst today.

    It’s like giving a veterinarian a Doctor show on TV.

    This guy had no clue how to play the position in the NFL and now he stays relevant by making blatantly absurd statements. He won a Super Bowl ring by virtue of a killer defense and talented teammates. So did the 3rd string QB on that team.

    He should change his last name to Pilfer because he pretty much stole that Super Bowl ring.

    1. Except that he’s making perfectly reasonable, thoughtful comments, that I happen to agree with.
      What’s absurd about his statements exactly?

      1. Angus:

        That’s easy. He’s not an Alex hater and he’s not yet a member of the Church of Kaepernology. These guys crack me up.

      2. No Claude. He’s an Alex lover. Why? Because they’re spitting images of each other and he thinks that by somehow validating Smith as a top notch QB he would be validating his own career.

    2. It’s kind of amusing really. The 49ers finally dump Alex but the debate lives on.

      “He sucks!”
      “He’s awesome, you suck!”

      It’s too bad the internet wasn’t mature when Montana was shipped out and Young took over. We have these sorts of arguments over a mediocre check-down artist. Can you imagine the debates over a 4 time Super Bowl winning quarterback?

  9. Dilfer is one if the best interviews on 957. They opened with him by saying “it must have been a throwback to watch Baltimore win without scoring a TD” and Dilfer simply laughed. He’s a humble guy and doesn’t act like he was better than he was. I always like his input.

    1. He always has something negative to say involving kaep.. He was Alex smiths best friend so he is quick to insult kaeps game… Kaep is coming alive people and I expect him to absolutely dominate in the playoffs…

      1. Dilfer is absolutely right on his comment on keep. It has nothing to do if his a friend of Alex Smith. Kaep only plays better against lowly teams with lesser talents.

      2. Good for Alex. If indeed KC faces your flavor if the month team this year then I hope to god KC beats the crap out of them. Go Niners

      3. I’m with you Rocket. Dilfer’s great, self effacing, humble, and has a pretty engaging and emotional personal story too.
        Good thing Kaep’s a little more thick-skinned than some of our fellow posters, who can’t seem to handle the plain and obvious being pointed out.

  10. Cape sez:
    “..Kaep only plays better against lowly teams with lesser talents…”

    really cape ..?

    I seem to remember Kaepernick beating
    Brady in his own house, once ..

    1. Mwniner, Tell me, when was that? Was that light years ago? Without the 49ers defense and Gore, to tell you the truth Kap it just an average Qb at best.

      1. Very much like Russell. Cape is just sour because the Hawks got exposed 2 Sundays ago. There really not that good and they are predictable as ever on offense once you stop Lynch and keep Wilson from escaping the pocket. Looking forward to seeing them again in late January!

      2. Prime,
        It sounds like you loss a couple of your case recently in court. I suggest that you better concentrate on your next case or you might not have a van to practice your profession, because you won’t have any more clients to represent.

        You’re looking forward to playing the Hawks in January, but I don’t think that the 49ers are looking forward to playing the Hawks at Seattle comes January.

      3. The Hawks have been exposed, their secondary actually sucks, they do nothing but hold on every play, Sherman is a fraud, if the refs call the game like they are suppose too, the Hawks won’t be going anywhere.

      4. Hey tool, you don’t need a van to practice law, you just need a brain that functions well and I can bet you anything that prime has much higher IQ than you do.

      5. Cape last win by the Niners over Sea proved Harbaugh can out coach Carroll. The rah rah doesn’t work in the playoffs. It’s chess not checkers pal!
        The Hawks got exposed. Stop Lynch, keep Wilson in the pocket and easy win.
        Loud noise won’t mean much when we can run all over that defense and with an officiating crew mandated to call a square game!
        As for my van, do you want to borrow it for your paper route?

      6. Razor…. Idk why I laugh everytime at that video, but I do. I love it. Simplicity at its finest.

        Capeman…. Do us all a favor. Go to that billboard we just put there, climb all the way to the top of it. Out your seahawk suit (wings included) and jump. I hear those suits are aerodynamic and are guaranteed kaaa kaaaa

      7. Chicago49er,
        Prime should have a good IQ at least, especially being a Lawyer. Glad that you’d share to all us your profession working in the gas station pumping gas and cleaning windshields. And btw, you’re one sorry individual go grab some pine meat.

      8. That’s right Cape, my IQ says Hawks are OVERRATED! Not battle tested, have not played in enough big games and when they do, they wilt!
        49ers have been in playoff mode since Dec.1st and the scary thing is our QB is finally rounding into form. Oh no for NFC! And we haven’t even talked about the best part of our team, the defense. Yikes!

      9. Capeman, just making noise like the rest of the Seahold fanbase. It’s the only thing they know how to do.

        Hey Capeman, don’t you have something to go bellow at?

      10. Cape at one point you could talk football, now your just angry because you realize what I said about the fading Hawks stings. Sorry that losing has made you sour! Keep calling names though, it works for losers like Bay and I guess you now. Welcome to that club!

      11. Prime,

        And you know what, for your information the game against the New York Giants is just a preview how well the Seahawks play on road in a cold, snowy, and windy weather. And will all know that the Super Bowl will be played in the same kind of environment.

        I know that the 49ers will make it through the first round of the playoffs against the lowly division winners like the Bears or Lions and Eagles. Good luck against either the Panthers or the Saints in the second round. Hope to see the 49ers come to Seattle in January, because you’ll see how the Seahawks and the 12th man will make Kap and the 49ers look like a team in disarray.

      12. The Giants? I think a couple of us on here could come together and form a team and give the Giants a run.
        I now think Seattle might not make it past the 2nd round. Niners will get 5th seed, Carolina will end up playing you guys up there and win. So all this talk is or not.

      13. Prime,
        Your conception or your belief makes me laughed. Do you honestly think that the Seahawks would allow Carolina just come to Seattle like the one they did against the 49ers at the stick and the beat the 49ers?

        But I don’t blame you for your false idea, especially your expectation for the 49ers to go back to the Super Bowl, and your last hope is to root for Carolina to win, which isn’t going to happen anyway.

        The chances for other teams to come to Seattle and win against the Hawks and the 12th man are very slim. Kap, the 49ers, Drew Brees the Saints, and the other teams already found out how tough it’s to play in Seattle.

      14. Cape says “The chances for other teams to come to Seattle and win against the Hawks and the 12th man are very slim.”

        Well should we just punch Seattles ticket as SB champs or is this yet another story of Goliath blowing his load way too early?
        You sat here for weeks on end talking about how Seattle was going to beat the Niners in Candlestick? What happenned? Now it looks like your clinging to this home field advantage garbage. Playoffs is whole another animal my friend. Playoff experience is huge. No one thought we could go to ATL last year and win, what happened? If either CAR or SF has to go to SEA they will win. I’ll bet you that!

      15. >>your expectation for the 49ers to go back to the Super Bowl, and your last hope is to root for Carolina to win.

        No, it’s not a last hope. It’s a wish that a final Championship game is played at Candlestick, home of Champions and tradition.

        As a Seahold fan, you wouldn’t understand talk of Champions so why don’t you scoot over to a Seattle board and clang and clatter with the rest of those idiot noisemakers.

      16. Prime,
        I think you were probably misinformed, for one thing, Atlanta is nowhere near the Seahawks capability, and secondly, the Hawks are a much better home team than the Falcons. You can take that to Las Vegas and bet on it. And third, there’s no comparison when the Seahawks played the 49ers at the Stick and loss 19-17, fortunately, for the 49ers Gore got a hole to run through and if not you won’t be bragging a win in 6 minutes to go on the clock…

        If the 49ers come to Seattle it will be different it will be a lot tougher game for 49ers and the outcome of the game will favor the Seahawks and the 12th man.

      17. Cape in the playoffs home field gets too much credit except for the bookies. After the Niners win over SEA you think the 49ers will be intimidated to go up there and the noise will affect them? There a better team at home because teams are unaccustomed to the noise. The 49ers will not be intimidated. In fact they have faced a pressure cooker many times last year. In fact they are in playoff mode 3weeks ago. Right now going into the playoffs I’d say the 49ers are rounding into form. The Hawks are hoping and praying home field carries them. Not an ideal way to win a championship.

      18. Prime,

        Being a lawyer, I thought you would be a lot smarter; your false interpretation that the Hawks need the home field advantage in order to win is absolutely is ridiculous. They already proved to everyone that they could win anywhere and play against the best teams. It doesn’t matter what the weather present, they’re always up to the task, and the Hawks records will speak for it.

        If you think the 49ers were very good playing the hawks at the stick, you might consider watching the game again. Like I said in my early comment, the 49ers barely got the win with six minutes left on the clock the Seahawks were leading 17-16 in the game, a third down for the 49ers was stopped by the Hawks defense, but a Penalty was called on the Hawks defense prolong the 49ers last drive before Gore made the run from the 49ers 39 yard line to the hawks 12 yard and the 49ers got the winning field goal.

      19. Cape I never said SF played well against Seattle in the win. The offense was terrible but they still won. My point is we figured out how to beat Seattle now. The blueprint has been constructed on how to beat you guys. I’m fully confident our staff will out coach you guys once again, no matter where they meet again.

      20. Prime,
        You know what, I can believe in what you’re saying about all this crap, blue prints and now the 49ers exposed them, now they know how to beat the Hawks…

        Prime can you please tell me how did the 49ers do against the hawks last year after they beat the Hawks at the stick 13-6. The 49ers played the Hawks in Seattle and they got humiliate by the Hawks 42-13 blowout game.

        And you’re telling me that they know how to beat the Hawks in Seattle. But I give you some credit for trying to make yourself feel better, knowing there’s a big mountain to climb and twice kap and 49ers tried too but they failed both times.

      21. It doesn’t matter what the weather present, they’re always up to the task, and the Hawks records will speak for it.

        Yep. Zero Super Bowl titles under their belt speaks loud and clear Flipper. Now tail-walk back to the sea.

      22. Cape,
        This year has proven that no team is invincible. Just look at the Broncos. Their offense looks unstoppable. And then the Chargers beat them and now there’s a “book” on how to beat them.
        Seattle has a physical defense, but their D-Backs are now on notice with all the holding, mugging, and cheating. The league will not let them get away with it.
        I was not a big believer that Michael Crabtree would make that big a difference, but it’s clear Boldin is the perfect 3rd down WR against the Hawks.
        The X-factor will always be Colin. He’s not elite or at Russell Wilson’s level, I will admit that, but if he plays well, then the Niners can match up with the Hawks.
        Russell has intangibles, but he’s also had some pretty bad games. He’s the MVP because he bails out the team. The Niners, and Panthers, have proven they had the D to contain them, and then the pressure is back on the Seattle defense, where they need the home crowd to get the extra beat.
        The Niners lost 2 games badly, and 2 close games. They could easily have the same record as the Hawks. But they didn’t make the plays. Colin didn’t make the plays.
        But the Niners won all their wins. They beat the lesser opponents, and they beat your Hawks.
        Your Hawks should have lost to the Panthers, and were given a gift from the Texans and Bucs.
        It’s all a matter of perception.
        I hate to say it but the team that scares me is the Packers. Once Aaron Rodgers comes back, anything can happen. They just keep hanging around, flying under the radar. People forget how good he is. But when healthy, he’s no doubt the best QB in the league.

      23. Fan 77,

        Kap is the best Qb that ever that played in the NFL. There’s no comparison between Kap and A, Rogers. He has a canon for an arm, a high IQ and he has speed he can run for big yardage.

        Aaron Rogers for the last four seasons wasn’t even among the Top passer in the NFL, he,ll never win a Super Bowl, Aaron Roger can’t even win football games without his top receivers, he’s not too smart. He can’t even run like Kap and can’t even throw the football 50 to 60 yards down the field and his inconsistent, and he can’t even make the other players around him play better.

        That’s why he’ll never be in the Hall of Fame, not like Kap he’s on his way becoming the best Qb in the NFL ever. And all the Kap fanatics will agree with me on that.

    2. Capetrash, you are a disgrace and a pathetic soul. I could care less about what you think or what you believe in. I have zero respect for a troll posting on another teams blog. Go back to your gloomy hole where is dark and miserable. You are not even a true seacock fan, just picking the flavor of the month.

      1. Chicago 49ers,

        You are clueless when you open your mouth; and you have no idea in what you’re spouting about you pretend to act like an intelligent individual, but your ignorance shows in many ways. By the way, when you post your ignorant comment, it shows a lot how intelligent you really are. You’re a miserable pathetic person, go cry in your mama’s shoulder.

      2. Wait, hahahahaha! Cape is calling someone miserable and pathetic? Now that thar is funny, I don’t care who you are. I think that Puget Sound fog has gotten between your ears. Do you go on Evangelical websites to promote the Devil, too? Trying to sell pork sliders at the Temple or Mosque? Airconditioners to Eskimos?

  11. Alex Smith haters probably can’t believe it that his making a lot of improvement on Andy Reids Offense. Alex is certainly making the most of it, and he’s putting up big numbers as a Chiefs Qb. He never had this kind of success with the 49ers. The Kansas Chiefs are getting hot at the right time heading to the playoffs.
    It looks like the Chiefs vs. Seahawks in the Super Bowl.

    1. Good for Alex. If indeed KC faces your flavor if the month team this year then I hope to god KC beats the crap out of them. Go Niners

    2. When Smith can throw five TD’s in a game that traveled a combined thirteen yards in the air, you might want to give Charles some credit.

      1. The credit goes to Andy Reid mostly guys. It was the same screen plays that he used in Philadelphia. Props to both Smith and Charles for doing their jobs well, but Reid deserves a pat on the back.

      2. Absolutely. I don’t want to see the Chiefs do well because of the draft pick involved, but I like to see Smith performing well. Great guy. If Charles stays healthy, I think they have a good shot at the Super Bowl.

      3. The KC offense is getting better by the week because the new guys including Smith are now getting comfortable with the system. Smith has thrown 14 TD’s and 2 Ints in the past 5 games. He’s starting to master the offense. Reid wanted Smith for this very reason. It’s an offensive system that is perfect for what he excels at.

      4. explain that to me when the the pass to charles after the raiders closed to 35-31 went at least 25 yards downfield–geez dont let the truth ruin your theme
        by the way anyone who belittles a screen pass for a td is ignorant…it is not an easy play to execute…if it were more teams would be doing so…if you watch smith in the raiders game on those screens you will note how he looked off the defense then threw to the other side, and the pass has to be timed well if the play is going to succeed

      5. Like I said earlier, props to both Smith and Charles for doing their jobs on those plays, but it is Andy Reid who deserves most of the credit. After all, the touchdowns scored were on classic Reid screen plays that he utilized effectively in Philadelphia with Brian Westbrook.

      6. Midwest,
        I agree. It takes a special type of player to turn those screens into big plays and Reid has had Westbrook, McCoy and now Charles, who I think is the best of the three. He’s a perfect fit.

      1. Yeah, he’s been around since last year but I forget what his previous screen name was. I just remember his e-mail address.

      2. F77

        DS was the blog moron; he had massive difficulties understanding that Alex Smith was immensely limited and that Kaepernick is the future. His rants always contained an obsessed focus on that single point, and a plethora of spelling errors.

      3. >>DS was the blog moron…His rants always contained an obsessed focus on that single point, and a plethora of spelling errors.

        Fan, in other words DS was no different from a lot of the regulars still posting here.

        He was science-fiction fan, gender-bending individual. Not the sort of soul that should inhabit sports forums and as far as we know, no longer is.

      4. Rib – Your DS comment is priceless…LMAO! My wife just asked me what’s so funny? I said “Rib…….from the 49er blog”…….she said (in a weird tone) “what’s a rib?”…..lol

    3. I hope KC does well in the playoff. That guarantees the 49ers to not lose a game because of some phantom bs call. I can accept a lost if we got beat on the field and not because of the refs. If KC is in the superbowl, there is only one team that the league can sell/hype the game to the public, and that is the 49ers. Not the Seahawks, Carolina, or NO but only the 49ers.

      1. Niners /KC would make for an awesome story line to pimp the big game. NE is in a down slide, and who really wants to see Manning choke again? Cincy, Miami, Colts don’t have it.

    4. >>He never had this kind of success with the 49ers.

      Except 2011. And 2012.

      He has a good defense. The same thing he had with the Niners. The same thing your so-called MVP has.

    5. Cape,
      It would be nice to see Alex beat you guys in the Super Bowl. Oh, and btw he’s a product of the QB Whisperer – Jim Harbaugh!

      But if there is one thing that seems to be a constant with c-hawks fans is that they presume to much. I guess that is a carry over from your old QB M. Hessalbeck when he predicted an overtime win against the Packers in 2008. How did that one work out Cape? (lol)

      1. Alex had a great defense carry him and now he has Jamal Charles. When the weather gets bad anything can happen. Peyton manning looks beatable suddenly.
        Pats are suspect too.
        I end expecting the chiefs to do anything in the playoffs but any objective fan can see their offense suddenly is not a weak point, it doesn’t matter if it’s a screen pass to Charles, that’s Andy Reid’s offense.
        Niners can beat any team on paper, but it will be harder going into Lambeau to beat the packers, the panthers and if course the Seahawks. They can do it but they will need a good game plan and execution.

      2. “We want the ball, and we’re gonna score!” shouted Hasselbeck after Seattle won the toss–and then he promptly went out and threw a 52 yard walk-off pick 6 to Al Harris. One of the most iconic moments in Seacock history–which says a lot about the tradition of that franchise, doesn’t it.

      3. Fan, just curious, why are you always talking about Alex Smith? I think the blog stays clean when we don’t discuss him anymore.
        One, who really cares anymore what he is doing as we are in the best time of season and getting ready for 49er playoff football, and lastly, hasn’t enough been said about a guy no longer part of the organization?

  12. Niners billboard going up in Seattle.

    By smokeydesperado91 on Dec 17 2013, 10:02p 12

    1st off I have to say well played Niners fans. That is indeed a good one up to 12′s buying a brick and flying a banner over Candlestick. I also appreciate that the remaining funds will be going to the Seattle Children’s Hospital. Nice of them.

    Obviously to try and top the Niners billboard we must wait and hope that the Seahawks make a return trip to New Jersey and win the Super Bowl. If the Hawks win my idea is this…we raise funds for our own billboard in San Fran. It can be simple and to the point.

    Pete Carroll holding up the Lombardi Trophy and underneath the picture of PC it should say……………………………………………

    Who’s Got It Better Than Us?? NOBODY!!!!

    Yeah I think that would be sufficient.

    Obviously I don’t know if there are copywrite issues or anything like that but hey I’m just supplying the idea. I will leave the details to somebody else.

    1. Pete Carroll holding up the Lombardi Trophy and underneath the picture of PC it should say……………………………………………

      Who’s Got It Better Than Us?? NOBODY!!!!

      The list of teams that have it better than the Cheathawks:

      Dallas Cowboys
      Pittsburgh Steelers
      Miami Dolphins
      New England Patriots
      Denver Broncos
      Kansas City Chiefs
      Tampa Bay Buccaneers
      New Orleans Saints
      New York Jets
      New York Giants
      Washington Redskins
      Baltimore Ravens
      Indianapolis Colts
      Oakland Raiders
      Chicago Bears
      Green Bay Packers
      St. Louis Rams

      Until the Cheathawks win one Super Bowl you have no right to even proclaim that Flipper. And even if your current flavor of the month does win a Super Bowl, it still wouldn’t even be close. Stand down son.

    2. Cape,
      Why is it that when we want to show pride in our rich football history/heritage (5 Lombardi trophies) you c-hawk fans try to push it back to the dark ages?
      I would remind you that the 49ers 5 trophies are documented and well preserved in NFL official league records.

      And yes, Wilson is a very good young QB. But he has yet to make a super bowl appearance last I looked.
      Kap took some grief from the Faithful for not getting us over the top in the super bowl, but you could ring that up to the fact that we in 49er nation would rather see our QB win the big one as opposed to trash talking about our QB having better stats during the season.

      To put it in simple for non 49ers fans to understand, we 49er fans only get excited about Lombardi’ which is a concept c-hawk fans have never experienced.

  13. 1. I love the Niners; have since the mid sixties and will until I die.
    2. Kap is a talented QB. Do I think he needs work and experience; yes. Is he a Probowl caliber player; I think so.
    3. The Harbaugh Offense does not appear to be similar to the Walsh offense. It is not as QB friendly. This maybe why Alex is playing better in KC since Reid is a member of the Walsh school of offense thru Holmgren.
    4. I would love to see the offense use Kap’s abilities better. He can really throw the ball down the field and he throws well on the move so incorporate more of those plays into the offense.
    5. Some great memories of candlestick; from freezing to death while watching Willie Mays, McCovey, Marichal and the Alou brothers play baseball to the Walsh/Montana/ Lott era 49ers. BUT; the place is a freezing windy dump which I will not miss.
    6. A Merry Christmas to all Niners fans, and thank you Balke and Harbaugh for making my team relevant again. That is a great Christmas gift.

    1. Good post! I think Kaep will begin to shine again now that they are not making him play so conservatively as they did in the early part of the season. His instincts are good if he is allowed to use them rather than playing not to get hurt. Every game is important so they have no choice but to let him play.

    2. Nice post. I remember first visiting The Stick for a night Giants game, maybe 61-62. I was a kid. Maybe a fetus. Anyway we’re sitting there on the 1st base line and some lefty launches a howitzer shot and it just goes up into the fog, and was never seen again. The Umps ran around the outfield for a minute and then signaled Home Run. Later another lefty bangs a shot down the right field line, and neither the Umps nor the players had any clue if it was fair or foul, it was just gone. I think they ruled foul. When they built more seats in center field the fog was somewhat reduced.

      1. I’m exposing my ol’ fartdome Brotha but saw the Beatles last live show at the Stick.You could hear them a bit more than the Cow Palace show a coupla’ years before-couldn’t hear much at that one but screaming girls,exciting!

  14. That 70 yard rope to VD in the endzone has Capeman and his brethren crapping…..Can Wilson make that throw? No. Is there another quarterback in the NFL that can make that throw? No.

    1. Razoreater, who care’s how far kap can throw the football. The bottom line here Kap is inconsistent and there’s no question that Russell Wilson is a better Qb then Kap. You should stopped comparing the two Qb, because you know and everyone else knows who’s a better Qb right now and that’s Wilson.

      1. Yes Russell White is the better QB right now, but it is very early in both their careers, if that is all you got, that is really bad.

      2. Danny Quinn cares.
        Inconsistent enough to beat Russell “Rainbow Brite” Wilson the last time they faced off.
        I repeat, there is only One quarterback in the NFL that can, and has made a throw like that in live game action. That quarterback is Colin “Kaepurnicus” Kaepernick!

      3. Midwest, I have came across people like him in my life. He is not a football fan or a fan period. He is a drama queen seeking attention by selecting whatever is the hot topic for that time. A fan does not change teams by will! Your team is just like blood and it will flow in you until you die.

      4. Chicago….. I heard the other day that the fan rule was you have a primary team and a secondary team. That’s a real fan. :-0

      1. Aaron Rodgers can make that throw. Russell Wilson is way ahead of Kaep right now. Kaep is like Michael Vick, DaMarcus Russell, Vince Young, etc. He’s physically gifted but playing QB is all behind the ears. The big arm did not help him stay in bounds in the Saints game did it?
        Kaep is all potential, and she flashes glimpses of what could make him special. He’s also flashed all his weaknesses and why he could be a one year wonder.
        Time will tell. I’m hoping for the best but let’s not pretend that the time management and the one read and done are not going to be an issue in the playoffs.
        There. Here comes the hate…

      2. Hammer, that ball traveled 70 yards in the Air. Look where VD catches the ball. If he doesn’t snag it out of the air, it hits close to the back line of the endzone.

        Fanwhatever, I’ve yet to see Rodgers make that throw. Please provide a link….

      3. “Kaep is like Michael Vick, DaMarcus Russell, Vince Young, etc.”

        It’s JaMarcus and no, Kaepernick is not like them.

      4. Mark has it right – it was a 60-yard bullet. Kaep throws it from just past the 40-yard line and Davis catches it (arms extended) just over the goal line. Brilliant throw.

      5. I don’t remember the season, but it was early in Aaron Rodger’s career. I think it was after he was MVP on a monday game. He rolled to his right, then threw it across the field the left, didn’t even stop, just fling it out there and it went maybe 50-60 yards. All the announcers replayed it a bunch of times. And I thought, crap, how did we not draft that guy?

      6. By the way best of luck this weekend Razor, you deserve credit for staying on top for most of the season and I’ll be patting myself on the back until March how I went from last to the championship game.

        Either way I just hope both teams compete and it’s close.

      7. CFC

        I generally like what you post, got lots of oomph in you, but your math is a little off, no?

        If Kaep releases from the 41 and Vernon catches it at the goal line, and this is 52 yards, then the field in Tampa Bay is an anomalous 93 yards long, correct?

        So the math again, and plug in these figures:
        Kaep released at the 41
        The field is 100 yards long from goal line to goal line, 120 yards long from endline to endline.
        Vernon caught the ball over his shoulder halfway between the goal line and the endline while running at top speed just to track the ICBM.

        Now the math:

        That ball travelled at least 64 yards in the air, and was caught at a height of at least 6′ from the ground. To determine the eventual landing strike zone of that ball would require calculus using the arc of the pass, its ultimate height, the trajectory from Kaep’s arm, and the velocity of the ball upon release. That was no high arching Brady bomb; no, that was a frozen rope, a laser-locked missile. 70 yards is probably underestimating the throw.

        Let’s also be honest about another thing: from rewatching the play, it’s evident that Kaep put every last ounce into that throw, and that if he was back at the 20 yard line and had put more air under it, it would likely have still reached the goal line.

      8. @E

        It took one replay to realize what I had seen. I did not need your very accurate formula, and wonder why some did. I’d love to see that throw broken down on that football science program to determine the actual speed of the football flying through the air….I’d take a guess at around 60 mph.

      9. It was 60ish on a rope. I don’t know if there is another guy in the league that can throw a ball like that. Kap rarely puts any air under his throws, if he did he’d probably be able to throw it near the length of the field.

  15. Personally, I don’t think Dilfer’s comments are off the mark. The film supports what he says.

    Has Kap improved since Manningham and Crabtree have returned? Absolutely, but it’s not because he’s suddenly going through all of his progressions. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when he does but the majority of the time he doesn’t.

    When I say film, go back and look at last year’s Super Bowl and you’ll notice it there. Go back and look at when we thrashed the Patriots last year. Look at the Green Bay game in week 1, look at the Seahawks game we just won, and lastly even go back and look at our most recent win @ Tampa.

    I was one of the ones last year that STRONGLY believed Kap was an upgrade over Smith and I still hold that opinion. My point is that he has some growing to do.

    Notice that I didn’t point out any games we lost in…they’re all wins. Point being that Kap has this “pick and stick” mentality in both wins and losses. It’s a growing pain I guess.

    1. Jack/Md – What substance was this scoundrel abusing? Any rumors floating around? Those bloodsuckers at TMZ are probably on it.

      1. I haven’t heard anything about what it was for. But giving its seattrol. Ill go ahead and stick by my accusation. Lol I must have been under a rock, but when did Seattle sign Cox?

      2. Probably weed as he tested positive for it during his first stint in the league and this suspension is tied to that positive test.

      3. Funny thing,since Cox joined the CheaterHawks he has gained 20 pounds of muscle and has been taught how to hold and how to pass interfer. They don’tcall their HC Pete the Cheat for nothing !

      4. Crabs no I didn’t I was born in catoosa a small hospital outside of Tulsa. The parents lived their for two years an I have family that come from OK. (Natives) so since I’m basically a Cali boy since the age of 3 I always kept that part of OK with me. Plus my uncle played for the SOONERS one year. Never made it in football but was one hell of a business owner.

    2. Seahawks CB Brandon Browner suspended indefinitely by NFL

      By John Boyle

      Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner has been suspended indefinitely for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. The league has not yet announced the suspension, but Pete Carroll comments earlier Wednesday indicated that he knew resolution was coming in the case.

      Browner, who last year served a four-game suspension for a performance enhancing drug violation, appealed this suspension three weeks ago and he and the team had been awaiting word of the appeal. Browner has missed the past four games with a groin injury suffered in last month’s win in Atlanta.

      Brower’s appeal was reportedly based on the fact that he had fallen into the third stage of the league’s drug program not because of a failed test, but because he had missed a test while out of the league and playing in Canada. Browner initially was in the league’s drug program because of a failed test during his brief stint with Denver prior to playing in the CFL.

      Players who fail a test in the third stage of the league’s drug program are suspended indefinitely and allowed to apply for reinstatement after a year. Browner, 29, is a free agent after this season, and given Seattle’s depth at cornerback, and that this is his second suspensions in as many years, it’s likely he has played his last game as a Seahawk.

      1. Trying to leverage a technicality, like Sherman last year, to escape punishment for getting busted. Same stuff from that squad over and over. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, then its another juiced up Seahawk.

      2. Legion of Doom? Nah. Legion of Appeals.
        Let’s see here, a guy getting paid $millions screws things up for himself by burning some bud and he’s getting shafted right? The guy is a former PED cheat and a loser and he screwed up, again. I get process, but at some point the problem employee gets fired. Yeah, even Union members. Pete’s done with him.

      3. Thanks Grant. People under estimate the powerful psychological addiction THC holds. How many millions of dollars is this young man giving up because he could’nt stay away from weed.

      1. Browner will get reinstated next Christmas and the Niners will add him as insurance for our run as a repeat Superbowl Champion….

  16. You know this idea that they’re a quick hitting offense, that they don’t allow time for plays to develop, and therefore, alternate receivers aren’t going to get many passes is bs. The Patriots and Broncos get rid of the ball even quicker and involve more receivers. Every receiver knows the ball could be coming to them on every given play. If Dilfer is right, that’s just another strike against Roman and his unimaginative offensive mind. He isn’t worthy of the talent he has to work with.

    1. Alan that’s how I read Diflers comments. He was simply stating how GRow had limited this offense by not utilizing all his weapons. Keep in mind Grows expertise is the run game.

  17. Fan77,
    There. Here comes the hate…”

    Nah, no hate Fan. I can’t hate a person who compares CK to JaMarcus Russell. Feel sorry for you? Yes. But not hate (lol).

    1. AES I don’t think Russell Wilson is that good. He’s too small. Vic Fangio figured him out. All they did was spy him with either Bowman and Brooks and those magical nothing out of something plays became punts. More worried about Carolina than anything.

      1. That was superb game planning by the Godfather. I can’t wait to play them again. I wanted to play them last year in the playoffs…..

      2. Prime,
        I believe that RW is a top 5 QB in the league which makes him darn good. He may be small in stature but he makes up for it with savvy (beyond his years) and the ability to extend plays. Also, he may have one of the best RB’ and O-lines in the league.
        But the guy is a baller.

        In CK and RW, we may be looking at the next line of great QB’ for the foreseeable future and only time will be the judge on who the better QB will be.
        These two can become Brady vs Payton 2.0 imo.

        I firmly believe that CK has not even scratched the surface of his potential whereas RW’ ceiling may come in the next couple of years.

      3. The Hawks are coming down to earth. Like someone said in the thread, so much has been made of it that the refs are now calling it straight.
        Like it or not, Lynch is slowing down. Hasn’t done much damage to us.
        Wilson was insignificant against us. And 12th man or not, defense travels.
        People like Capegirl talk because they are uneasy. No one wants to play us right now.
        Our QB is turning a corner, he has big game experience, he’s won an NFC Championship and come within inches of winning a superbowl. All things that Wilson has never done.

      4. Bay,

        I couldn’t agree more, CapeMAN is a troll. Fine.

        What I object to, is your calling him CapeWOMAN as an insult. You are saying, “women are less than men, so I’m going to insult you by calling you Capewoman, take that you troll.”

        Knock it off, it’s bigotry.

      5. Now, that’s decent comeback.

        One of the funniest arguments I ever witnessed was in college when two guys argued for more than twenty minutes about whether Potsie or Ralph was cooler. And they both were serious. Drunk, but serious.

      6. There’s no doubt Bay don’t like women’s. Bay like little boys, that’s why he joined the little boy’s baseball league. That’s the reason why he addresses other people with girly names, his hatred towards woman for what reason, we all don’t know. Maybe, he wanted to play Barbie doll when he was small. But his not allowed too. You just can’t deny it how much Bay adores and loved Kap (kent).

      7. Bay,

        Since your responses have, for the most part, been limited to, “Shut up!,” I’m going to take that as a tacit admission that you can’t defend your use of “girl” as a derogatory term.


        Bay’s “…..Ralph Mouth, Lenny, or Squiggy,” comeback was a good one? Man, that’s a serious curve you’re grading on.

    2. AES, i really like Russell Wilson as a person and a football player. He is committed and a true leader. However i believe Russell is over rated and his success is partly due to the system and the surrounding roster. I agree with Prime here that the league will figure out how to stop him by containing him in the pocket and stopping the run. I do not want to discredit his success but he is not in the same level of Brady, Manning or Aaron R.

      1. Well said Chicago. He’s good but a guy who broke onto the scene by making nothin plays into something. Once teams figure out that by using his size as a disadvantage, and by keeping him in the pocket and don’t give him outside lanes, those broken plays are easier to contain.
        Also, like any offense, you stop the run and make it one dimensional, it’s tough on any QB. I thought the last game we beat them by spying him with Brooks and Navarro worked brilliantly. They kept the rush lanes closed and were patient in the pass rush. Fangio deserves a lot of credit.

      2. Prime,
        For the most part the Niners had a good game plan against Russell. But he has a few bad drops and they almost won the game.
        For this year I think Russell is an MVP candidate, mainly because even though teams game-plan to keep him in the pocket he somehow still made plays.
        But he will slow down and in the long run won’t be as effective scrambling like he does.
        Same goes for Kaep. He’s fast but not very agile. He can run away from most DE and LBs, but a team like Seattle can contain him, much like the Niners can contain Russell.
        He’s really only had one really good game and that was last year in Seattle. In game 2 this year, he only completed 9 passes. CK gave them the game with all the picks and fumbles.
        The Niner D is playing lights out. Dawson is kicking the crap out of the ball and CK is doing enough for now. Let’s hope that’s enough to get it done.

      3. Yeah like the one where Wilson scrambled and threw to a wide open Tate only to skip the ball off the ground. Part of Wilson’s 4th quarter choke.

      4. You like the one where Colin ran out of bounds in the 4th Quarter instead of hitting the ground and running the clock?
        That was clutch!

      5. I am using recent game examples. You, not so much. You are crowning Wilson, I’m just giving examples as to why you are wrong. You are wrong a lot.

      6. Bay,
        Recent example would be the record of Seattle, which is the best in the entire NFC.
        Yes he came inches within winning the SB, only to waste a time out, and then throw 3 passes to Crabtree while not looking at anyone else. Oh wait, that’s not a recent example.
        Recent example is beating a bunch of mediocre teams, under throwing Crabs in the Seattle game, then having Frank Gore rip off a long run to put the team in FG position. And our coach had so much confidence in him, they call three running plays in the middle of the field.
        Niners win the SB when Colin develops into a pocket passer, not because he an throw it 70 yards. After all the accolades you bestow on him, the Niner offense only scored 2 touchdowns against a team with a losing record.
        Merry Xmas buddy!

  18. Time to blow out the candles at the stick. Its almost Christmas and the Falcons should be a fun way to celebrate as the elusive sixth gets closer to coming home to Cali

    1. “Yes, those memories are still there,” former 49ers placekicker Ray Wersching said. “But it’s old. It’s got to go.”

  19. Really looking forward to watching Dixon at fullback on Monday night. On his first play after Miller got hurt, he absolutely blew up the LB on his block.

    1. Jack,

      Was that a play near the goal line? I saw a run on which he blasted into the line and out other side, knocking a Seahawk flying. The only thing I didn’t like is that the Seahawk in question wasn’t Sherman.

  20. mark says:
    December 18, 2013 at 5:51 pm
    “explain that to me when the the pass to charles after the raiders closed to 35-31 went at least 25 yards downfield–geez dont let the truth ruin your theme
    by the way anyone who belittles a screen pass for a td is ignorant…it is not an easy play to execute…if it were more teams would be doing so…if you watch smith in the raiders game on those screens you will note how he looked off the defense then threw to the other side, and the pass has to be timed well if the play is going to succeed”

    Alex made some very nice throws to Jamal (although Charles had to reach for one and had to one hand it). But using a little logic tells me that not many players could have run those catches for a TD.
    I’m a huge fan of my boy F.Gore, but he won’t run a couple of those in because he doesn’t posses Jamal’ speed.

    Even on the very nice 25 yrd pass from Alex to Jamal on the sidelines, you have to admit that not many players have the ability to cut against the grain and use track speed to out run the defense like Charles.
    Hey, not taking anything away from those plays but I doubt very much that no other back on the Chiefs team would have taken a couple of those all the way.

    1. again a qb has to have great timing on the screen–it is a skill–throw it too early and the receivers isnt ready for the ball, the blocking isnt set…throw it too late and the defense gets set up for it…john brodie was a great screen passer, cause he had the timing down

      1. The thing is a good high school QB can throw a decent screen pass, but a 25 yard out on a rope is a different story. Gotta have an arm.

      1. A few of his TD passes were completed well behind the line of scrimmage. It’s simple math. If you stop sniffing Smith’s jock you would realize that nobody is ripping Smith, but simply commending Charles for putting up almost 200 yards receiving from basically the line of scrimmage. That is extremely impressive.

        From ESPN.com:

        “I didn’t do much,” Smith said. “I mean three screens for touchdowns. I’ve never been a part of anything like that or seen that.”

        Charles joined Shaun Alexander, Jerry Rice and Clinton Portis as the only players since the merger to score five touchdowns and gain at least 200 yards from scrimmage in a single game.

        “I don’t know how anybody can be more valuable to a team and the success that we’ve had than he has,” Reid said.”

      2. BigP:

        You’re changing your position. Before, you wrote about the total number of yards Smith’s TD passes traveled in the air. Now that mark has pointed out the factual error in that particular assertion (that’s what you get for relying on rotoworld), you’re trying to change it into into something else.

        And while Jamaal Charles deserves much praise for the ridiculous amounts of YAC he had, I give some of the credit to a Raiders’ defense that didn’t seem particularly interested in tackling him.

        Finally, why do those who aren’t impressed with Alex Smith invariably use some sort of homoerotic insult when arguing with those who disagree with them? It’s ironic when it comes from the Kaepernick fanboys, but they’re not the only ones who do it.

      3. Claude,
        His passes traveled a combined 13 yards in the air. I didn’t change anything. Go Google it. I don’t know anything about anything homoerotic, but I do know that when you credit a QB for screen passes turned into TD’s instead of the RB who had a historical day, you have an agenda. I thought Smith played outstanding. I think Charles’ performance was unreal. Three of Smith’s screen passes were caught for a combined 13 yards behind the line of scrimmage, and he had the one nice rope to Charles. I didn’t rely on Rotoworld for anything, I simply linked it because it was the first site with the info. The football talking heads have been talking about Charles’ performance all week and that was brought up. It wasn’t brought up to denigrate Smith, it was brought up to show just how special Charles was on Sunday. He was outstanding.


      4. BigP:

        I think what you’re trying to say is that his passes traveled a combined 13 yards past the line of scrimmage. That’s different from traveling a combined 13 yards in the air, which is what you wrote initially.

        The homoerotic reference was to “stop sniffing Smith’s jock” dig at mark.

      5. Big P i am not necessarily disagreeing with the 13 yards claim, i just dont understand it—if you look at the 71 yd td pass to charles, the line of scrimmage was the 29 yard line and the pass was caugh about the 50 yard line—21 yards, give or take..already more than 13—perhaps you could be so kind as to explain to me your understanding of what the 13 yard s reference is alluding to…are we substracting from that the screen passes behind the line of scrimmage? even on the pass charles caught with 1 hand, the pass went parallel to the line of scrimmage, but looked to cover at least 13 yards

      6. Smith has been on a good run the past few weeks, but those 3 TD’s were a combination of futility by the Raiders and some serious wheels and instinct from Mr. Charles.

    1. I don’t think he’s an idiot. Hageman is a special player. However, I don’t think he realizes that the 9ers don’t actually have a need for DL at this point and their first round pick will have more impact at a position such as CB or WR. Counting TJE and Dobbs the 9ers will have 8 DL for next season, already more than a 3-4 defense can typically keep on a 53 man roster.

    2. Mid,

      Keep in mind he’s basing the picks on his list of who he has rated where. While I don’t think the Niners will go DL with their first pick, you just never know if the value is there.

  21. Fansince 77 says:
    December 18, 2013 at 8:48 pm
    “I don’t remember the season, but it was early in Aaron Rodger’s career. I think it was after he was MVP on a monday game. He rolled to his right, then threw it across the field the left, didn’t even stop, just fling it out there and it went maybe 50-60 yards. All the announcers replayed it a bunch of times. And I thought, crap, how did we not draft that guy?”

    Fan, we drafted that guy 3 years ago. His name is Colin Kaepernick. If you still have any doubts about him just refer back to Harbaugh’ remarks a couple of days ago.
    Hey, its obvious that no one here is going to make you a CK believer, and that’s quite alright. But at least be fair in giving CK a few years in the league before settling on one opinion.

    1. AES, Fan is not going to support CK. Its personal man however he is entitle to his opinion. All i care about is another Super Bowl baby.

      1. I like Colin. Just because I have criticism of him doesn’t mean I want him to perform poorly.
        But we’ve been done this road before with Colin early in the season. He hasn’t done anything. Until he wins it all or makes the crucial play at the right time, I don’t think he deserves any accolades for being physically gifted.
        It was the same way when Steve Young was here. Until you prove you can make the play when it counts, you’re nothing.
        That’s the standard here.
        Just because Colin can throw it 80 yards? So what? Michael Vick has a strong arm, and is had some nifty runs too. In fact he was more dangerous when he scrambled. So was Vince Young.
        But those guys can’t play in the pocket. VY is broke and MV is on the bench.
        If Kaep didn’t have that elite D to back him up, we would not be talking about him. His numbers are at the bottom of league. Forget the QBR that ESPN is forcing down our throats.
        Colin is our guy and he has to raise his game or this team will not go anywhere.
        Remember he disappeared in the 3rd quarter in the TB game, and it should have been over by halftime. Same goes for the recent Rams and Redskins games.
        Seattle has the speed to chase him down in the open field so he has to make the play in the pocket.
        Who wouldn’t take Aaron Rodgers over Kaep? Those guys trade teams, and the niners are a lock for at least 2 SB. Look what happened to the Packers when he went down!

      2. Ok Fan, thanks for explaining your rationale for constantly talking negatively about Colin despite his effort against Tampa. So if i understand you correctly you like Colin but until he wins the Super Bowl he has not accomplished anything, correct! I can understand your view point since winning the big game is the ultimate goal. I just have some questions for you: how come you have been very positive about Russell Wilson and he dose not have a trophy? Yes Russell has played really well this year but how come you do not talk about his mistakes and poor mechanics? If you are just criticizing Colin for his lack of performance shouldn’t you also appraise him for his strengths?

        Just wondering, thanks

      3. Chi-town Niner,
        Russell Wilson has made some plays to win games for Seattle. He bailed them out with the right play, in the clutch. He runs around like a crazy chicken and then flicks the ball the WR at the last minute. He single-handedly won at least 2 games this year in the closing minutes. He also has a strong defense and good coaching to back him up.

        Colin has yet to do that. He’s physical abilities can often overshadow these smaller, intangible things, in my opinion.

        It’s really the same criticisms of Smith. Smith just happened to have harder road, bad coaching, shoulder injury, etc. He sucked in my book, until Harbaugh came around and you can see glimpses of potential.
        It was equally frustrating watching him as a Niner QB.
        But now he’s with the Chiefs so if he does well, great for him, individually. When he plays poorly, there’s no reason to throw a shoe, a Michael Jordan Old school Nike, at the flat screen.

        When Colin starts to consistently make passes to 3rd receivers. I’d be the first to praise him for it.

      4. Fan fair enough but Colin has made some amazing plays in the short amount of time he has been here. Of course he is not in the same caliber as Aaron or Brady in the pocket but lets give him a chance. His game is improving for a young QB and without him we would be in trouble. As far as Alex goes, he was doomed from the day he was drafted since our OC left to Green Bay and he had horrible coaches to bring him around. The major difference between the QB busts you mentioned and Colin is the fact that Colin does have the IQ, work ethic and the determination to succeed. Trust me i wished we could have a perfect QB but i rather have Colin than most of the Qbs around the league.

      5. Some Yahoo said,
        “Russell Wilson has made some plays to win games for Seattle. He bailed them out with the right play, in the clutch. He runs around like a crazy chicken and then flicks the ball the WR at the last minute. He single-handedly won at least 2 games this year in the closing minutes. He also has a strong defense and good coaching to back him up. Colin has yet to do that.”

        Last game Colin bought time with his feet and created that TD to Crabs. He also bought time with his feet and shot a ball 70 yards down field for a TD. Actually did it twice but VD decided not to leave his feet for one of those plays.

        Versus Seattle Colin iced the game with a first down run. Big play at a big moment.

        Versus Seattle there were big plays that Colin made that either came back because of penalty, or the refs failed to call them at all. Either way, he’s stepping up and making those plays.

        Wilson that you want to compare him to on the other hand was a 50% passer for 48 yards when his team needed him in the second half. But you keep tooting that horn.

        You don’t know much and your assessment of my Niners starting QB is unrealistic and off. I have a years worth of reading your bu!!$h!t to know you don’t know jack. ( sorry Jack ) I called you out as a troll over a year ago. Nothings changed but the date.

      6. I think Fan77 is forgetting Kap’s performances against Green Bay both in the season opener and the playoffs last year. Domination.

      7. Or how about 4 TD passes to beat Tom Brady and the Pats in NE. The kid has some signature wins under his belt he just didn’t close it out in the SB(not gonna talk about the terrible officiating).

      8. But Wilson has not played in big time pressure games like Kaepernick. Overall the 49ers are battled tested, Seahawks are not. That will play a factor in January!

      9. Wilson has only 1 less playoff start than Kaepernick, and he too had his team in position for a comeback win in Atlanta. His defense couldn’t seal the deal, Kaepernick’s did.

    2. if you are going to cite harbaugh’s comments re kaepernick i am sure you must therefore accept his prior comments that alex smith was elite

      1. Mark,
        I’m sure that they know that Harbaugh said Smith was elite. But knowing all the Kap apologies and Smith’s haters, they will disagree with Harbaugh.

        In five years, we’ll find which of the two Qb that will have a successful and a long career in the NFL. The funny thing is, how many times did the Smith haters tried to replace Alex with different Qb and Alex keeps coming back? I’m sure most of that young Qb who was supposed to replace Smith isn’t playing in the NFL; they’re either unemployed or retired.

        And yet, the 29 year old Alex Smith that they bashed and threw under the bus is having a lot of success and an outstanding season in the NFL, and he got his team to the playoffs. Who knows, a lot of strange things happened in the NFL? Maybe, for what Alex been through in his young NFL career with the 49ers, it might be his time this season to win a Super Bowl.

      2. The funny thing is, how many times did the Smith haters tried to replace Alex with different Qb and Alex keeps coming back?

        What? Are you actually asking how many times fans tried to switch quarterbacks? That doesn’t make any sense at all. Unless you’re talking about our Madden franchises, we can’t switch quarterbacks. We’re fans.

        Unless you’re counting Nolan, Singletary, and Harbaugh as Smith haters, you’re comment doesn’t make sense.

      1. MW, thanks for posting the link. The more I listen to Jed the more impressed i am with him and so glad he is the owner of this great organization. GO NINERS

  22. Another myth destroyed.


    Many commenters have labeled Greg Roman’s play calling unimaginative and predictable. One of the biggest complaints, if not the biggest complaint, is that he call too many runs up the middle.

    PFF just released some numbers on inside runs (between the tackles) vs. outside runs (outside of the tackles). Of the 48 RBs studied, Frank Gore has the third highest percentage of outside runs, which in turn means that he has the third lowest percentage of inside runs.

      1. Jack:

        I know. This particular myth didn’t seem right when it first popped up, and after the 100th time I read it, I was fairly certain it was b/s, but it’s still nice to have the data for the next 100 times the myth will be promulgated as absolute, bedrock truth.

        That said, I don’t expect the data to change very many minds. People believe what they want to believe.

      2. Jack,

        They’ve struggled with the play clock from day one. It’s not a myth and neither is the Red zone difficulties. While they have a good ranking and have had spurts where their Red Zone play has been good, they’ve also had issues with settling for FG’s instead of TD’s quite often as well.

    1. Claude i have always questioned how PFF differentiates between inside the tackles and outside. Grant quoted last years PFF stats on Gore and the # of inside and outside runs and his ratio was far higher on outside runs then i could believe. I’m curious how they differentiate between inside and outside? Is it where the play was designed to go or where it ends up going? I have a feeling that plays i identify as inside the tackle box they identify as outside, or i could just be wrong.

      1. old coach:

        Here is what the author says about the distinction:

        Inside runs are defined as rush attempts between the offensive tackles in either ‘A’ or ‘B’ gaps, while outside is considered ‘C’ gap and out.

        Although the article doesn’t address it, I assume PFF doesn’t try to ascertain where the play was designed to go, but instead looks at where the running back actually ran. I don’t know how it defines plays in which the runner tries to run inside the tackles, but bounces outside when the hole closes. I assume that would count as an inside run since the runner initially tried to run inside, but that’s just an assumption.

      2. Coach,

        The high number of runs outside the tackles makes sense when you consider their bread and butter running play is the Power O.

    2. We should take a look at stats on how many drives go 50 yards or more that end up in FGs. Also, how many times we couldn’t get it into the endOne when given a short field (ie start at the 50 or in opponents territory). While our red zone offense is decent, I am pretty sure we have not done a good job of converting turnovers and good kick returns to TDs.

      1. “I am pretty sure we have not done a good job of converting turnovers and good kick returns to TDs.”

        The 49ers have scored 108 points off 26 turnovers or 4.15 points per. That’s the highest number in the NFL. The 2nd highest is Denver with 91 points off 23 turnovers or 3.96 points per.

  23. Grant/Jack/Anyone with access to the PFF Premium content:

    Is it true that Donte Whitner is PFF’s third highest rated safety this season?

      1. Thanks, Grant.

        So, is Whitner having that good of a season, or is there a flaw in the way PFF ranks safeties? I remember when people tried to discredit PFF’s evaluations 2-3 years ago after it rated Dashon Goldson as the 38th best safety.

        1. PFF can’t always know whether a DB is in man or zone coverage so it’s tough to trust their coverage grades, but they seem pretty accurate.

          I’d agree that Whitner has had a good season, but I also think he hasn’t been tested much in coverage, for whatever reason. I think that will change in the playoffs.

      2. Claude…. Whitner sure passes the eye test with me this yr. He lost weight in the offseason and looks much faster\quicker in coverage.

      3. Grant i think you’re right regarding Whitner not being tested as much this year. Eric Reid has turned out to be very good in man coverage so it has allowed the 9ers to keep Whitner in the box where he excells. You have to admit Reid was a very smart pick.

      4. Thanks again Grant. Thanks old coach. I agree that it sure looks like Whitner is playing well this year.

        This information supports the conclusion that Dashon Goldson was largely responsible for last season’s coverage issues.

        As for testing Whitner in coverage, it will be interesting to see how Atlanta attacks the 49ers’ secondary Monday night. If it attacks at all. The Falcons sure look like they have packed it in for the season.

      5. Grant says: “I’d agree that Whitner has had a good season, but I also think he hasn’t been tested much in coverage, for whatever reason. I think that will change in the playoffs.”

        That’s the kind of stuff I worry about with a player like Whitner. I have the same concerns.

      6. “Trufant and Rhodes are good too, though.”
        Yes, but neither would have got any playing time this year let alone be a starter and ROY candidate. The positional need just wasn’t there.

      7. Having Reid playing so well has really benefitted Whitner. Just the stability of knowing the guy next to him will carry out his assignment can make a huge difference. From what I have seen (though can’t verify) he hasn’t been left one-on-one as much this year either.

      8. He’s probably better suited as a FS than SS, but he doesn’t mind coming down and making a hit at the LOS. He and Reid could play interchangeably. He sure looks a good talent.

      9. I’m thinking he could be had right around where Reid was taken. You’re right, Reid and Clinton-Dix could really be confusing interchanging positions and assignments….

      10. I don’t think that’s a foregone conclusion. It’ll depend on how the rest of the league values him. I could see him getting more money elsewhere, but I could also see other teams not placing a high value on a 5’10″ strong safety. And you know he’s not giving up his job to a rookie, especially not on Fangio’s watch.

      11. I agree with razor – Whitner will be gone. Too many other, more important contracts to put that money towards.

        Not sure they’d go another safety in the first round though.

      12. Its doubtfull that the 9ers would go S in the first round in back to back years but id like CJ Barnett from OSU and he can be had in the mid rounds although he is more of a FS

  24. Remember when Vernon Davis said this after Kap’s first start?

    “…I was just so proud of him at that moment because the ball that he threw me, it was one of those balls that you see Tom Brady throw. Second window, right on the money. I didn’t expect the ball to come because we’ve ran that play quite a few times and the tight end usually doesn’t get the ball on that play. But, he saw it and he just put it there.” (emphasis added)

    Seems to kind of contradict Dilfer’s statement, doesn’t it?

    Now that said, yes, Kaepernick does need to improve on going through his progressions and not locking onto a single receiver; Dilfer isn’t completely off base. But he’s capable of doing that. He’s done it in the past, and has been getting better about it week to week, especially since Crabtree’s return. Hope to see continued growth in that area.

    1. I’ve seen some QB’s take 8 years to develop, seeing what Kaep has done in just a years worth of starts lets me know that we are in good shape for years to come at the QB position.

      1. Yes Bay I completely agree. People seem to often forget the lack of game experience he had…They alway want to try and compare to smith, how about we try and compare Smith’s first 16 games to Kaeps first 16 games….and lets go from there.

      2. >>how about we try and compare Smith’s first 16 games to Kaeps first 16 games….and lets go from there.

        How about we not. Unless you want to equate a 2-14 team to one that was one game from the Superbowl. And the representative overall talent within. If you want go from there, be my guest, it’ll be a lonely journey.

        Jesus, the logic of some people.

      3. Pretty much a lock we extend Kap…any ideas how much cap space he’ll eat? Look what happened to the Ravens, Flacco has an epic playoff run, wins the SB and gets $20M which cost the Ravens a slew of players (Boldin being one) and now they are struggling to make the playoffs. Right now CK & RW are bargin basement steals but both teams are looking at some big bucks to sign them again. If either wins the SB this year it could be a one & done. Any thoughts?

      4. well at least now you admit that alex smith has developed…..his development may have taken longer as he did not have the fortune of being drafted by a super bowl caliber team with a coach that knows something re quarterbacks, dont you think

      5. Ribico-

        I certainly do not equate this SB caliber team to our garbage team we were fielding back then…I was more talking about individually analyzing each player for instance how they read their progressions, how they reacted to certain defenses and certain situations….. I was not talking about purily comparing stats or win %

        Again Kap is barely more than 16 games into his career and he is virtually as good as Alex in many areas and a lot better than him in other (paticularly the deep ball). My point was if has come this far with so little game exeperience, I’m sure with even more time we will see even more progression.

        That was my logic and I didn’t really see anything wrong with it…. but to each his own i guess

    2. So as you said, Kap needs to get better at it. Particularly, he needs to do it with more regularity. Dilfter isn’t off base at all in my view. It’s just an area of growth. Once he gets it though….man is our future bright.

      1. After athlete is different. Smith got dealt a bad set of cards. That’s well documented. Colin walks into a perfect situation, with a good coach, a SB contending team. He shows flashes of potential, but he hasn’t done anything. Neither has Harbaugh.
        This is Colin’s 3rd year. He’s 25. He should be farther along in the progression department.
        It works for now, but let’s hope he hasn’t hit his ceiling on reading defenses.

      2. Well, I agree that he needs to be further along right now. My hope is that he improves on a weekly basis. Not sure I’ve seen a ton yet, but obviously teams have played us differently since having a full complement of receivers back; which has led to Kap executing better.

      3. >>Kaepernick is 26.

        The same age as Peyton when his performance (4 ints) caused the infamous outburst from his coach – “Playoffs? Don’t talk about playoffs. Are you kidding me. Playoffs?”

        And he was right. A 6-10 season and Mora was gone. Manning seems to have survived.

        Grant, exactly how far along in your career were you at 26?

      4. If I’m not mistaken I think that would be right now

        I think I remember Grant mentioning his age a little while ago.

        And how is Journalism to be compared to playing football…especially when a football players career at best will last 10-12 years while a journalist can be writing until his deathbed….

        Geez the logic of some people

      5. Ribs

        Well it turns out that, for the most part throughout Peyton’s career, Mora’s repulsion at the thought of discussing playoffs is about right. You want to call Peyton the greatest ever, fine, but you can’t “Talk About Playoffs”!!!

    1. While I do agree that they do need each other…was the previous GM (McCloughan) that terrible in bringing in talent? I don’t think so…and don’t forget he’s making the personnel calls with the Seahawks right now. I’d say Harbaugh has been the bigger reason for their success the past few years. It’s no coincidence.

      1. Yea I gotta say Harbaugh. He took basically the same roster Sing and Nolan had and made them winners. Though I really like trent and give him props for his accomplishments, I would take Harbs over him in a second. He just knows his football and know exactly how to be successful.

      2. Disagree strongly regarding 2010 and 2011 being “the same roster”. 2010 Bowman had no clue (I know, I watched him the few times Sing put him in for Spikes in pass downs), 2011 Bowman was an all-pro. 2010 Brooks started the season with a ruptured kidney, 2011 Brooks was a pro-bowl alternate. Aldon Smith set a rookie record for sacks in 2011, the 2010 Niners had no pass rush (see Brooks kidney injury). 2010 secondary had no Whitner or Rogers, 2011 Rogers was a pro-bowl CB. The 2011 roster was significantly better than the 2010 roster before Harbs worked his magic.

    2. I voted for Harbaugh because he’s shown he’s worth about 5 wins per year, but draft ninja Baalke has done a great job as well.

    1. I take exception to one part of Shaughnessy’s column. He said writers covering political campaigns do’nt have favorites, they do’nt care who wins or loses. Thats pure crap a political writer does’nt give up his right to vote or to financially support a candidate, he or she just needs to reveal their feelings to the reader and then be fair. Bob Woodward wrote one of the most important books of the 2nd half of the 20th century. His book and his reporting brought down a president, a republican president. Bob Woodward is a dyed in the wool hard core republican. That did’nt sop him from bringing Nixon down. Sports writers can be fans they just need to set it aside when they start writing. Lastly i believe what most readers object to is’nt critical reporting but the writings of those writers who are critical for the sake of being critical.

      1. “Lastly i believe what most readers object to is’nt critical reporting but the writings of those writers who are critical for the sake of being critical.”

        Or writers who express their criticism in a snarky, know-it-all way.

  25. The 49ers offense has averaged 5.9 yards per play on 1st down during their 10 wins, and 3.1 yards per play during their 4 losses.

    They have run the ball on 58% of 1st downs.

    They have been in 22 personnel on 42% of 1st downs, and 21 personnel on 35%.

    When in 22 personnel on 1st down they have run the ball 72% of the time.

    They are balanced in 21 and 12 personnel on 1st down.

    When in 11 personnel on 1st down they have thrown the ball 80% of the time.

      1. Chicago,

        They already have worked on it. Some context on those stats. They got a little heavy with the 22 stuff in the middle of the season, but since the loss to NO they have used this group on only 28 of 109 first downs and most of those have come late in games when working the clock.

      2. Thanks Claude. Hopefully it will help with the writing stuff too. I started it for a piece on how they might replace Miller. Now I need to write it.

        Question. What would be more interesting, a piece on replacing Miller or the Baalke/Harbaugh dynamic?

      3. I’d rather read about how they replace Miller. That’s right in your wheelhouse Jack. The Harbaugh/Baalke subject is a non-story to me, pure media speculation.

        It’s pitiful how bad Kawakami’s article looks with all that text crossed off. So much for facts, huh?

      4. Jack:

        The piece on replacing Miller, unless you know facts about Baalke/Harbaugh to which the rest of us are not privy.

      5. Claude,

        No one outside of the building is really privy to any of the Baalke/Harbaugh stuff, but I think it is interesting on a couple levels. One is the whole good cop/bad cop angle that Maiocco discussed today, and another is the short term/long term focus of their positions.

        Who was the last coach with personnel power to win a Super Bowl?

  26. Dilfer basically was describing the offense..not offbase at all..The offense was designed with 3 people in mind..Vernon,Gore and Crabtree..Boldin was a one-year rental..but when crabs got hurt..It now became boldin,vernon and the Gore show..Dilfer was rite..kendall hunter will get scraps,lamichael will get scraps,vance scraps,dixon scraps-well lil more now that miller is out..and baldwin sitting on the bench..where he can’t help the team at all..The offense is what it is..Which idk what it is. And I don’t think the Coaches know how to classify it either..lol

  27. Here’s a piece by K.C. Joyner on ESPN insider copied and pasted for 49er fans.

    If there is a common denominator among most of the NFC playoff contenders, it is that each has at least one significant weakness. The New Orleans Saints struggle when playing tough opponents on the road, the Chicago Bears are dead last in the NFL in rush defense, the Carolina Panthers cannot hit the vertical pass and the Dallas Cowboys are going through a December collapse that is epic even by their own recent standards.

    The one team that is generally considered an exception to that rule is the Seattle Seahawks, who are the favorite in the NFC right now. But the team that has the fewest weaknesses outside of the Seahawks is the San Francisco 49ers. In fact, the 49ers also have tremendous strengths in every area of the game. If they indeed make the playoffs, they are the team best suited to beat Seattle.

    Passing offense
    Colin Kaepernick has experienced some negative moments during his second starting season with the 49ers, yet his 67.9 Total QBR — a mark that ranks seventh in the league — illustrates just how strong his overall level of play has been this year.

    Kaepernick has also shown an improved ability to protect the football. His 1.9 percent bad decision rate (BDR, a measure of how often a quarterback makes a mental error that leads to a turnover opportunity for the opposing team), is three-tenths of a percentage point lower than his solid 2.2 percent BDR last year (a BDR of 2 percent is quite good) that ranked tied for 18th among qualifying quarterbacks. Even more important is that Kaepernick is trending in the right BDR direction, as he has posted a 0.6 percent BDR since Week 11.

    Anquan Boldin has been a key contributor to Kaepernick’s superb metrics. Boldin has a reputation as a possession receiver, but his route depth numbers this year indicate he is having a very notable impact on the vertical passing game, as well.

    Anquan Boldin YPA by Route Depth
    Route Depth Comp Att Yds TD Int Pen Pen Yds YPA
    Short (up to 10 yards) 45 60 437 3 0 1 5 7.2
    Medium (11-19 yards) 20 29 365 2 0 4 27 11.9
    Deep (20-29 yards) 5 10 156 0 0 1 5 14.6
    Bomb (30+ yards) 0 0 0 0 0 1 31 31.0
    Total 70 99 958 5 0 7 68 9.7
    Vertical (11+ yards) 25 39 521 2 0 6 63 13.0
    Stretch Vertical (20+ yards) 5 10 156 0 0 2 36 16.0
    To notch double-digit figures in any of these route depth categories is considered a feather in the proverbial statistical cap, and Boldin has achieved that goal in five categories thus far.

    Tight end Vernon Davis can match Boldin in that arena, as he has double-digit YPA marks at the medium (13.1 YPA), bomb (32.1 YPA), total (11.2), vertical (16.0) and stretch vertical (19.6) route depth levels.

    Having two targets of this quality is enough to power a passing game, but the 49ers also now have Michael Crabtree, who returned to the lineup three weeks ago after missing most of the season due to an Achilles injury. Crabtree is still getting up to speed, but with four of his past 10 pass targets resulting in a gain of 10 or more yards, it appears he is starting to hit his stride and thus could make this aerial attack even more dangerous.

    Rushing offense
    The 49ers rank fifth in the league in rush yards per game (137.07) but their most impressive number in this area is their remarkably high 8.9-yard mark in the good blocking yards per attempt (GBYPA) metric. (Note: GBYPA gauges productivity on rush plays with good blocking, which is very roughly defined as when the offense does not allow the defense to disrupt a rush attempt).

    To put this number in perspective, consider that in most seasons there are normally about five full-time running backs who will end the year with a GBYPA of 9 or more yards and the Niners are close to that mark for their entire team. It is worth noting this metric does not include scramble yards by quarterbacks, so Kaepernick’s 8.5 yards per scramble makes this team even more dangerous on the ground.

    According to ESPN Stats & Information, San Francisco ranks second in the league in Total QBR allowed (34.5), fourth in passing yards allowed per game (199.71), third in net yards per pass attempt (5.73), ninth in interception percentage (3.1 percent) and 13th in sacks per pass attempt (7.4 percent).

    That last number is fairly good at face value, but is even better when noting it has been achieved despite the absence of pass-rushing ace Aldon Smith for five games. His four sacks over the past four games are key to San Francisco leading the league with a 12.2 percent sacks per pass attempt rate since Week 12, a mark that indicates this portion of their pass defense is on the rise.

    Rushing defense
    The Niners rank sixth in the league in rush yards allowed per game (99.36) and tied for first in yards after contact per rush (1.20). They also rank ninth in rushing yards allowed to opposing running backs, and haven’t allowed an opposing team’s running backs to gain a total of 100 yards since Week 6.

    San Francisco also gives up the fewest yards per rush on rushing plays that gain 10 or more yards (14.30), so even when a team is able to put up a solid ground gain against this group, the 49ers defense limits the upside of those gains.

    Special teams
    According to ESPN Stats & Information, San Francisco’s special-teams platoon has racked up a 31.69-point showing in the special teams expected points added (StEPA) metric that gauges how productive each special-teams group is when taking into account facets such as field position, time of possession, game score, etc. This means that the 49ers’ special teams have added just more than two points per game to the team’s bottom line, a mark that places them third in the league. One of the key contributors to this showing is kicker Phil Dawson, who has hit a team-record 24 straight field goals.

    A major benefit of having across-the-board strength of this caliber is that the 49ers are capable of playing any type of game. It is why San Francisco is the only team in the league to post seven games with 30 or more points scored and seven games with 14 or fewer points allowed. The 49ers can formulate and implement whatever strategy is necessary to win, and that makes them the most dangerous team in the NFC playoffs.

      1. “…and that makes them the most dangerous team in the NFC playoffs.”

        You couldn’t have said it any better than that, Grim!

    1. Great stuff Grimey,

      Before the season started and during the one thing I didn’t want was to have to play Seattle seahawks in Seattle to get to the SB. But now that I think about it there would be no better feeling than beating the Seattle Shehawks and their 12th man in Seattle on our way to a 6th ring….no better feeling.

      Its going to be crazy if thats what it comes down to

      1. I think they know what to expect, and their last two experiences there will help them the third time around. I don’t know if they”ll win but it’ll be a more competitive game and they have a shot to get it done.

  28. Candlestick Memories and a happy holidays to the 49ers Faithful

    Despite Candlesticks reputation for being one of the oldest, most run down football stadiums located in one of the worst neighborhoods in the Bay Area, Candlestick will always remain a very special place in my heart.

    To me Candlestick was much more than the traffic to enter or exist the park, the run down facilities that made you cringe or the cold place that made you feel that you were in siberia! Candlestick was the place were i felt pure joy after watching one of the greatest wide receiver Jerry Rice catch a beautifully thrown pass at the 15yard line right on front me and took it to the house for a TD! Candlestick was the place that i felt the overwhelming rush of happiness when Steve Young almost fell to the ground but managed to gain control and threw a pass in between several defenders to Terrell Owns for niners to finally defeat the packers and the fans exploded with tears and joy! I witness Jerry Rices last game as a 49er in the candlestick when Owns set the record for the highest number of receptions in one game. I remember watching Garrison H run the ball 93 yards against the jets to secure a victory for our team at the stick.

    I still remember the feeling of fear by hearing Bryant Young scream when he broke his leg against the Giants and suddenly the score board did not matter! I witnessed Jeff Garcia pulling out the victory after falling behind against the Giants to help us advance to play Tampa Bay for the NFC championship.

    I have so many more memories from Candlestick however what makes this place special was not just the game of football. Is the power of being one regardless of your age, color, heritage, religion, political believes, gender, socioeconomic status or even nationality. Whats memorable is the feeling of unity you share with your 49er faithful, to collectively experience joy, sadness, anger, frustration and pure ecstasy as one.

    Sorry for my long post, i wanted to share it with all the 49er faithful around the globe and to let you know that i am proud to be a 49er fan.

    Also, since the holiday season is here i would like to say thank you for sharing your opinions on this blog and i wish you a very happy and successful new year. Hope to celebrate a 49er victory with all of you very soon. GO NINERS

      1. Awesome post, Chicago. Very poignant. Growing up in Salinas as a kid and young adult in the ’80′s and ’90′s, I didn’t have the opportunity to attend many 49er games–and by the time I was in a position to do so, the dark times of the aughts were already upon us (so needless to say, the games I did attend during that time offered some terrible displays of football). But I was glued to the television for each of those moments you referenced in your post–and many more, of course. I can only imagine how intense and unifying the fan energy must have been for you and the other true Faithful in those stands.

      2. Gabriels49er, although I was not in the Bay Area after Jeff Garcia left I still watched all the games during the dark ages but our heritage is rich and full of glory. Wish you a happy holidays

      3. A rich and glorious tradition, indeed. Happy holidays to you, too, Chicago. Enjoy Monday night–wherever you happen to be. And enjoy the rest of this season’s ride.

  29. On a side note, I just deactivated my Facebook account, just don’t give a crap, about Holly Rollers who hate gays, what people are eating and if they are at Starbucks.

      1. My best two friends since college, who are not on Facebook, have totally different political and social views then I do. My two brothers also have totally different political views then I do. We can’t just select Vanilla ice cream, for everyone. Although I lean to the left, I have many friends and family that are right wing conservatives. Anybody that is important to me, knows my number.

    1. Neal
      Good on you, Braveheart. I’m ambivalent about Facebook. It’s annoying and invasive and full of fluff. Yet at 63 years old it’s an effective way for me to keep up with siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins and old friends and their families. There was a time I sent out 100 Christmas cards. Now just two; an Auntie and a stubborn old friend who don’t have e-mail.

  30. Can we all agree to make a concerted effort from this point forward to shrink the font size associated with the name of our former QB, say to around the size of the name “Braylon Edwards”?

    A goal worth striving for!


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