Every-49er review from Falcons game

Tight end Vernon Davis said he’ll take time this week to watch film, get in a couple workouts and travel back home to the DC area. Then, he’ll meet up with his brother and Dolphins cornerback, Vontae. The Dolphins are also on the bye week, which I should’ve known before I asked Vernon if he’d get a chance to watch his brother play this week. Oh, well. You can listen to our brief podcast here:



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If you haven’t checked it out already, here is the video recap of the game with still shots from award-winning photographer John Burgess.


And, now, here’s what you’ve been waiting for . . . the every-man review from the 49ers’ 45-10 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday at Candlestick Park:



7-Nate Davis: Designated the team’s No. 3 quarterback. Did not play.

11-Alex Smith: The backup QB. Did not play. He told CSN’s Mindi Bach today that he plans to remain around the 49ers’ facility during the bye week and assist Michael Crabtree with his acclimation into the team’s offense.

13-Shaun Hill: He’s now 7-1 as a starter at home in his career. It was the worst statistical game of his NFL career, as he completed just 15 of 38 passes for 198 yards, with three sacks and an interception. . . . He was under pressure throughout the game. . . He also missed a couple throws, but none in which receivers were open down the field. . . . Isaac Bruce was tightly covered on a third-and-8 from the Atlanta 21, but Hill could have kept the ball inbounds and given Bruce a chance to go make a catch. . . . Beat the blitz with a 22-yard scramble in the fourth quarter. . . . He was the team’s leading rusher with 53 yards on four attempts.


Running backs

21-Frank Gore: Inactive due to ankle injuries. He plans to continue to receive treatment at the 49ers’ practice facility during his bye week.

24-Michael Robinson: Saw limited action as Coffee’s backup and his usual duty on special teams . . . Made a nice open-field tackle of Eric Weems on a punt return. . . . Did not have any rushing attempts, and was targeted on just one pass (incomplete).

29-Glen Coffee: Made second career start. Rushed for 45 yards on 12 carries, and caught four passes for 21 yards. . . . Made a mental mistake when he assumed Josh Morgan scored a touchdown. He went to the sideline and was late getting on the field when the 49ers got into the huddle to run a play from the 2-yard line. The 49ers spent a timeout, and the 49ers needed it later in the half. Instead, they were unable to challenge a fumble ruling that probably would’ve been overturned. . . . Three plays later, outran linebacker Coy Wire to the pylon for a 2-yard TD run on third-and-goal in the first quarter. . . . Did not pick up defensive end Jamal Anderson on play that resulted in Hill incomplete pass. . . . In the third quarter, he picked up a blitz nicely to allow Hill to complete a 12-yard pass to Morgan. . . .But later in the third, he was late picking up a Mike Peterson blitz, resulting in another incomplete pass. . . . He hobbled off the field in the fourth quarter with a mild ankle sprain but returned to the game and should be fine.

44-Moran Norris: The 49ers more two-TE and three-WR sets than usual, so Norris saw less action. He had one carry for 2 yards.


Wide receivers

18-Micheal Spurlock: Played on special teams. . . . Made a hand-swipe tackle of Weems for a 3-yard return . . .  He did not play on offense, nor did he have any return duties.

81-Brandon Jones: Suited up for second game with 49ers.  . . . Saw limited action. Tried to use his speed on a go-route in the third quarter, but Grimes had good coverage down the field on the incomplete pass. . . . In all, he had two passes directed his way. He is still looking for first reception with 49ers.

83-Arnaz Battle: He saw action as the No. 3 wideout, and caught one pass for 9 yards. . . . He also handled three punts: two fair catches and one return for 2 yards.

84-Josh Morgan: Started at split end, and caught four passes for 78 yards, while Hill targeted him nine times with pass attempts.  . . . Took a short pass from Hill and broke the tackle attempt of cornerback Brent Grimes. It looked as if he would score, but he appeared to slow down when he kept checking over his shoulder to find the nearest defender. Cornerback Brian Williams tripped him up at the 2-yard line after a 61-yard gain. . . . He was penalized in the fourth quarter for offensive pass interference.

88-Isaac Bruce: Started at flanker, and was held without a catch. He was unable to create any separation on the Falcons’ secondary. . . . He was the intended target of four passes and got his hands on at least one of the throws.

89-Jason Hill: Saw action on special teams and on offense in the fourth quarter . . . Demonstrated his special-teams value once again when he kept an Andy Lee punt from going into the end zone on the second quarter. The 49ers downed the ball at the Atlanta 4. . . . He was the intended target on a pass in the end zone in the fourth quarter, but Grimes broke it up nicely.


Tight ends

46-Delanie Walker: Started the game in a two-TE set . . . Falcons defensive end Jamal Anderson pushed him back on the goal line and was able to stop Coffee for no gain. . . He made two bad plays on special teams. He was flagged for unnecessary roughness on an obvious call in which he threw Weems to the ground out of bounds late in the second quarter. . . . That play came after he was ruled to have fumbled a kickoff return that was turned into a Falcons TD three plays later. It appeared Walker was down by contact, but it doesn’t matter. It was ruled a fumble. . . . Looked back and made adjustment to underthrown Hill pass that went for a 39-yard gain. It was his only reception of the game. . . He averaged 20.3 yards on four kickoff return.

85-Vernon Davis: Started at tight end and played every snap. . .  He and Shaun Hill clearly weren’t on the same page on a couple of “hot reads.” As Davis explains in the podcast, the Falcons did stuff in the game that they had not seen on film. . . . He ended up catching five passes for 51 yards, as he was the intended target on 12 pass attempts.


Offensive line

59-Cody Wallace: Inactive; coaches’ decision. Wallace has yet to suit up for a game in his NFL career.

62-Chilo Rachal: Started at right guard. . . Missed block on a play netted Coffee 2 yards but could’ve gone for a lot more in the third quarter . . . defensive tackle Thomas Johnson beat him badly for a 7-yard sack in the fourth quarter . . . Coach Mike Singletary is clearly not satisfied with Rachal’s play, and there might be a change coming when the 49ers return to action Oct. 25.

64-David Baas: Started at left guard and played the entire game. He missed a block on Jonathan Babineaux on the first play of the game that resulted in no gain. . . . He then gave up a pressure on Hill’s pass that was tipped and intercepted two plays later.

65-Barry Sims: Reported as an eligible receiver on some goal-line and short-yardage situations. . . . He also reported as an eligible receiver on a first-and-10 from the SF 24 to help in pass protection to allow Hill to attempt a deep pass to Brandon Jones, which feel incomplete.

66-Eric Heitmann: Started at center, and did not have one of his better games. Although his pass protection was good, he did not get sufficient push on run plays against the Falcons’ interior linemen.

68-Adam Snyder: Started at right tackle, and sustained a left thigh contusion that forced him out of the game in the first quarter.

69-Tony Wragge: Did not see any play time on offense. Saw some action on special teams.

74-Joe Staley: Started at left tackle. . .  Defensive end John Abraham made some plays against Staley. He ducked inside past Staley to stop Coffee for a 1-yard gain in the middle of the first quarter . . . Abraham also beat him for a sack.

77-Tony Pashos: Entered game at right tackle when Snyder was injured. He generally played OK, but he allowed a big sack to defensive end Kroy Biermann on and third-and-7 from the Atlanta 30 that knocked the 49ers out of field-goal range in the second quarter.


Defensive line

90-Isaac Sopoaga: Started at left defensive end. Tony Gonzalez blocked down on him, allowing Michael Turner to score on a 7-yard TD run . . . He finished with three tackles in the game.

91-Ray McDonald: Sustained a left ankle sprain in the first quarter and did not return.

92-Aubrayo Franklin: Started at nose tackle. . . . He had been playing very well, but he did not have a good game. . . . He never got set before the snap on a goal-line play, as he was pushed back on Turner’s 1-yard TD run late in the first half. . . He was cleared out of the way on a Turner 16-yard run up the middle in the third quarter . . . He was credited with four tackles.

93-Demetric Evans: Saw action on defense and special teams. He got involved in two tackles on defense, but he did not do well as a blocker on kickoff returns.

94-Justin Smith: Started at right defensive end. Split blockers to drop Turner from the backside for a 1-yard loss in the first quarter. . . . Supplied the only semblance of pressure on Ryan when he hit him as he was throwing on a second-and-25 play late in the first quarter . . .

95-Ricky Jean-Francois: Inactive; coaches’ decision.

96-Kentwan Balmer: Saw reserve duty and do not make any impact. . . In fact, he and Franklin never got properly set with their hands on the ground before the snap when Turner ran directly over them for a 1-yard TD at the end of the first half. . . Balmer also was not very good as a blocker on kickoff returns.



51-Takeo Spikes: Started at “Ted” linebacker and recorded six tackles. . . . He was also called for unnecessary roughness late in the game when the Falcons were taking a knee to run out the clock. Spikes got in one last hit on Dahl, who had been antagonizing the 49ers all game.

52-Patrick Willis: Started at “Mike” linebacker and was credited with 12 tackles and two forced fumbles. His pass coverage was far from perfect, though.

53-Jeff Ulbrich: Inactive because of concussion he sustained on kickoff coverage against Rams on Oct. 4. He will be reevaluated at Stanford on Wednesday.

54-Marques Harris: Inactive because of hamstring strain he sustained against Rams.

55-Ahmad Brooks: Saw action as the only reserve outside linebacker. . . . He was credited with one tackle, but did not get pressure on Ryan as a pass-rusher.

56-Scott McKillop: Saw action on special teams, and was not credited with any tackles.

98-Parys Haralson: Started at outside linebacker. . . . Ducked around block attempt by guard Harvey Dahl to drop Turner for a 3-yard loss. . . .Although he was credited for two tackles for loss, he did not get any pressure on Ryan to help take the heat off the 49ers’ secondary.

99-Manny Lawson: Started at outside linebacker. . . . Fullback Ovie Mughelli tied him up on Turner’s 7-yard TD run in the first quarter . . .  Made a nice play to strip the ball from Jerious Norwood after a swing pass. . . Did not get much pressure on Ryan, though he did administer one hit on the QB.


Defensive backs

22-Nate Clements: Started at cornerback and was mostly responsible for shadowing Roddy White throughout the game. Although he was not responsible for all of White’s eight receptions and 210 yards, there is no sugarcoating the fact that he did not have a good game. He went for the pick of a Ryan pass 9 yards downfield, and failed to make the tackle of White, who stayed on his feet and ran the rest of the way for a 90-yard TD. . . . Clements was good in run support with one tackle for a loss.

23-Marcus Hudson: Saw action on special teams, helping out on one tackle.

25-Tarell Brown: Saw action on special teams. Sustained a groin strain in the second half. His status is not known.

26-Mark Roman: Saw action in the 49ers’ six-DB alignment. Then, he entered at strong safety when Michael Lewis was injured. Roman had two tackles in the game.

28-Curtis Taylor: Suited up for first time in his 49ers career, and played on special teams. . . He was credited with one tackle.

30-Reggie Smith: Inactive; severe groin strain. His status for game Oct. 25 against Texans is uncertain.

31-Dre’ Bly: The 49ers’ third cornerback . . . oh, boy. . . He appeared to have Tony Gonzalez stopped short of the first down on a third-and-10 pass but he was called for a facemask penalty that gave the Falcons a first down. . . . Two plays later, he made the interception, celebration and fumble that led to his public apology on Monday.  . . He was credited with three tackles.

32-Michael Lewis: He made a nice play on a loose ball along the sideline to secure the ball while in bounds. . . . He sustained his third concussion since Aug. 18 when his head was down while helping make a tackle on Turner for no gain.

36-Shawntae Spencer: Started at cornerback, and broke up a short pass to Marty Booker on a third-and-4 situation to end the Falcons’ first drive . . . He broke up two passes in the game, and of all the players in the secondary he fared better than anyone.

38-Dashon Goldson: Like many of his teammates, he had his worst game. He was beaten by White in zone coverage on a 31-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter . . . Took a bad angle to come up in run support against Turner in the second quarter, allowing him to get outside and gain 33 yards to the SF 5-yard line  . . . Surrendered a 20-yard pass to Michael Jenkins in the fourth quarter, and was also called for pass interference on Gonzalez in the end zone. . . . He had seven tackles.


Special teams

4-Andy Lee: He averaged 43.8 yards (40.2 net) on five punts, including one inside the 20.

6-Joe Nedney: Not exactly the way he wanted to open the game. Nedney booted the opening kickoff out of bounds, giving the Falcons the ball at the 40-yard line . . . .He made a field goal from 39 yard but also missed from 48.

20-Allen Rossum: Inactive; coaches’ decision. It was foreshadowing of a move the 49ers would make the next day when he was released to create spot on 53-man roster for Michael Crabtree. Rossum isn’t staying unemployed long. He will reportedly sign with the Cowboys on Wednesday.

86-Brian Jennings: Nedney’s missed FG was no fault of Jennings, who delivered his snap on the money . . . .Although he was not credited with a tackle, he inserted himself in the action on punt coverage, too.


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Practice squad

T Alex Boone

LB Diyral Briggs

DE Murtail Burnett (WR Dobson Collins was released to make room for him on practice squad)

TE Joe Jon Finley

FB Brit Miller

OL Drew Radovich (released from practice squad on Monday, and OL Khalif Mitchell took his spot)

RB Kory Sheets (the Dolphins signed him off the 49ers’ practice squad today)

WR Dominique Zeigler (he’s returned to practice after being unavailable for the first couple weeks with an ankle sprain)


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Roster exemption

WR Michael Crabtree: The No. 10 overall draft pick ended a 71-day contract stalemate when he signed a six-year contract on Wednesday. On Monday, Crabtree was placed on the 53-man roster. He will remain in Santa Clara during the bye week, and is expected to make his NFL debut Oct. 25 in three-WR formations against the Texans.


Injured reserve

CB Walt Harris: Sustained torn ACL in right knee during organized team activities on May 19. Harris, 35, is not under contract to the 49ers next season, but he said he plans to rehab and play again.

RB Thomas Clayton: He sustained a torn ACL in right knee in the 49ers’ exhibition opener Aug. 14 against the Broncos.


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