In game 49ers should win, three questions they need to answer

I have just three questions this week for the 49ers, but they’re big questions. The only three that really matter.

Question No. 1. Can San Francisco beat a less-talented team?

I’d be absolutely shocked if the 49ers lose to the Bears Sunday in Chicago. Or anywhere, ever. Because as bad as the 1-10 Niners are, the 2-9 Bears are worse.

Click here to read the rest of my Sunday column.

This article has 206 Comments

  1. Brilliant! Only because the Kap apologists get to here it from a guy who doesn’t care and does not have agenda with Kaepernick. The truth is painful sometimes.
    Can’t win in this league with a running,limited QB who chokes in crunch time!

    1. Nevermind that the running game has been non-existent in any quarter, much less the 4th. You also seem to forget the big plays made in the vs Miami. Was that a part of their soft coverage plan? Kap isn’t playing his best, but he’s playing well…Oh…and you forgot to mention how Brady ran away from the close game to open the 4th quarter. Kap didn’t flop, he just couldn’t keep up with the Pats…

  2. #1 For the most part I agree, but players make stupid mistakes that changes games.
    #2 Both teams struggling eh….
    #3 The Niners QB seems to have improved statistically, it is what I expected under Kelly. Doesn’t mean he is a better QB.

  3. I’m thinking weather will be a factor…check the forecast. I see a untidy game, and I see Fangio making life difficult for Kaep. 9ers 22, Bears 24 (one TD by the Bears defense or special teams).

      1. I didn’t say Kaep couldn’t play in cold weather. All I said was weather could well be a factor. The Fangio element could prove interesting

          1. Seb, take your eye off the mirror and carefully read my post… Fangio will make things interesting (challenging) for the 9er offense and Kaep–won’t be a cakewalk. Fangio has nothing to do with Barkley. Weather will influence both sides.

            1. Reading comprehension needs tightening up. Your exact words were- ‘I see an untidy game, and I see Fangio making life difficult for Kaep.’

              You combined both elements. If you wanted to separate them, you should have just started a new sentence.

              From what you wrote, I could easily interpret that as ‘I see two things making life difficult for Kaep.’

              If you want to parse diction with me, you better stop looking in that mirror.

  4. Speaking generally, you are your record; dat’s it. There are reasons, and maybe excuses, but dat’s it.
    Grant rightfully points out the attrition to daBears and SF’s 4Q Follies.
    Vegas’ bettors have moved the line to 2.5 for SF.
    Yeah, but…the existential view is 1-10-0 & 2-9-0. Dat’s it.

      1. Barn burner, LOL. Yeah maybe if they can get a fire started. Could end up with a bucket of……we’ll call it bait.

  5. 49ers 2015 offense ranked 31st, right now they rank 28th
    2015 Kaepernick averaged 202 yards per start, right now he’s averaging 240
    49ers 2015 points per game ranked dead last, right now they rank 22nd
    49ers 2015 rushing ranked 21st, right now they rank 4th

    This years defense ranks last in points allowed, yards allowed and rushing defense. You can’t win with Trent Baalke doing the drafting, or Jim O’Neil doing the coaching. Jed, do the right thing….

      1. I love my wife, and she’s not jealous. You shouldn’t be either, Prime. Dude put his crib up for sale and bought a condo in NYC!

          1. Yep, he assisted in providing myself and my family with some great wins. So I’m grateful for that and wish him well as a member of the Jets next year. Just try and hold on a little longer, and it will all be over, Prime….

              1. What’s hard is seeing your fellow fans so polarized over our starting quarterback. Glad he’s moving on. Time to get wiser and draft us some Kizer….

            1. Sorry, Razor, but the NY condo is NBD. That is where his GF lives, but he may stay in SF, and buy a condo here because he does not need a high maintenance house.

              Why may he stay? Because he is personna non grata around the rest of the league, and if he thinks he has a hard time with the Bay Area media, they will eviscerate him in NY. Jets have salary cap problems, so he will need to take a big pay cut to go play elsewhere. Also, he will have to play against the Pats twice a year, the Bills will someday stop under achieving, and the Dolphins are improving.

              In the off season, he will give an ultimatum- either he or Baalke, and since Baalke is taking ALL THE BLAME, Baalke will fall on his sword for the good of the team, and to save Jed’s rear end.

              Jed will get smart, and listen to the words of John Madden- Suits are cheap, and easy to replace. When deciding between players and suits, go with the player. Good coaches and good players are like precious rubies, and are to be treasured.

              Jed will kick Baalke into the financials, and elevate Chip’s buddy, Gamble. That will provide stability and continuity. It is no amazing coincidence that teams like the Patriots are in the playoffs because they have continuity. It is logical.

              Chip is staying. Grant was wrong, again. He will be wrong again. Chip sees Kaep as his ticket to fame. If he can resurrect Kaep, he will be hailed as a genius. Kaep is a perfect fit for his system, and it is no wonder that Chip got his way early after Gabbert failed so miserably. The only reason Kaep is here is because of Chip Kelly, and I think he threatened to walk if they had cut him, like Grant predicted.

              Another thing I think Grant is wrong about is Vic Fangio. He was fantastic when he had Cowboy, Willis and Bow. Now he has practice squad players. He just does not have the horses to win the race, and the Niners are 4th in running. I expect a big dose of Hyde in the I, Harris in the Zone read, and Draughn taking swing passes.

              1. Baalke isn’t giving up. He’s in the shadows as we speak, manipulating his support. I don’t believe in coincidences. So far, every time a players house has gone up for sale, he ends up cutting a trail out of town….

              2. Agree with some of what you wrote, Seb, but no way, no how is Kaep “a perfect fit” for Kelly’s system. Doesn’t have the accuracy.

          1. To be the coach for more than next season, he’ll have to show more than this year. For one, he’ll have to be able to attract a competent DC, unless he’s already on the staff. For another, he’ll need to establish more physicality and less finesse….

        1. Kelly will have another year, and Trent is gone.

          The new GM can focus on the draft for the first year, and decide what to do with Kelly later.

          There’s no good reason to throw away the termination clause money in the coach’s contract. And a top-rate coach is not going to jump into the Niners lap without a GM.

  6. NostraButkus: 5 Predictions for Bears vs 49ers
    by Bill Zimmerman

    NostraButkus was up to his old tricks last Sunday. He gave his predictions for the Chicago Bears-Tennesee Titans game and as usual, they were dead-on accurate.

    The Chicago Bears face the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday from Soldier Field. Loser gets the coveted number two pick in the NFL Draft. Here are 5 bold predictions for the game.

    Despite the lack of capable receivers, the 49ers defense isn’t exactly to be confused with the 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers. They give up massive yardage on the ground and have been giving up points in bunches. The Bears will score more than 23. Mark it down.

    Howard will have a big day and top 100 yards rushing.

    Kaepernick has made plenty of headlines this season thanks to his refusal to stand for the national anthem, Kaepernick will never be the guy he was under Jim Harbaugh…

    Final Score- Chicago Bears 30, San Francisco 49ers 24

    1. TomD’s Prediction:

      I’ll go out on a limb and predict a 49er loss.

      Last week, not only did they become the worst team in the 70 year history of this once great franchise, they accomplished this feet with the QB Kap lovers have clamored for.

      Guess what Kap fans, be careful what you wish for as the 49er QB has not guided this team to a win yet.

      Well, that win is now further away with Kawakami and other national beat writer’s claims of a massive, Baalke-Kelly in fight, both scratching and clawing in a winner-take-all match for ultimate power in 2017. Both Kelly and Baalke have their writer/leaker friends.

      Kap, having seen this before, is so disgusted he actually put his mansion up for sale.

      What does this tell you, Kap fans?…Well to find out, when he lists his new zip code, all of you (Seb?) can finally let us all rest in peace, and move with him…Please send us your reports, I’m sure we haven’t read enough of them…

      Bears 33-10….Merry Christmas, Kap Fans.

          1. He just seems to have that Willis, Kuekly type of attitude. I’m not saying he is at that level but he is really good. Instincts are off the charts…

            1. I agree. We have not had a force like that since Willis retired, and the 49ers could use it again.

            2. I’m not sure Willis and Kuekly have the same “type of attitude ” and whether college attitude translates to NFL success. Emotions carry college players further than they do NFL players.

              Both are (were) successful, but as far as you can see attitude, I’d say Willis was less demonstrative and more level-headed.

              1. To each his own, but unless Garrett is still available, I do not see a better prospect than Foster.

              2. Doubt it. There are several teams in the top 10 that could draft Foster depending on their situation.

              3. I think he does. There are at least five teams who could draft him in the top ten, including the 49ers.

          1. Yup I got Kaep returning for 1 more year with Chip and then drafting Mahomes in the 2nd.. I’m huge on him with Kelly…

            1. Kaepernick sold his house. He has no intention of returning. Mahomes in the second it is, then. He’s going to need a weapon to increase his chances for success. Instead of Foster, I’ll take Corey Davis….

              1. Kaepernick will be back. No other owner is going to want a distraction on his team, and Kaepernick would not make the same money as a free agent.

              2. Only if Baalke is no longer GM, but I expect Baalke to fall on his sword for Jed.

                If Jed is loyal to Baalke and retains him, just expect more losing……

              3. Then get ready for another sub par season with glimpses of highlight reel sorts and epic failures late in games.

  7. We all know about the fractures that eventually broke the team apart and ended Harbaugh’s tenure. If anything, things are even worse now. Instead of the team, the team, the team, it appears to be Team Baalke vs. Team Kelly. No one is safe,

    Openly blaming the coaching staff for problems in a pregame fluff interview showed, yet again, how toxic things are in Santa Clara.

  8. Matchup to watch: Bears linebackers vs. 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick — One time this season, the Bears got a challenge to defend a running quarterback. Marcus Mariota kept it on a zone read last week and ran for 29 yards. The Bears’ defense didn’t react quickly enough, Vic Fangio said, and the Titans had it blocked up. This season, Mariota and Dak Prescott are the only QBs to run for more than 17 yards against the Bears, so Kaepernick is the biggest rushing threat at the position they’ll have faced

    1. The inside linebackers will likely spy Kaepernick periodically, and that role will fall on rookie Nick Kwiatkoski and second-year ILB John Timu, the two youngsters starting for Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman. Kaepernick does not have a wealth of weapons to throw to, and he’s completing only 55.3 percent of his passes. The pass ‘D’ should have opportunities to make plays, but the linebackers can’t give up chunk run plays to the quarterback.

  9. The Bears will be going with the 4th starter on their depth chart as Cutler, Hoyer and Shaw have been placed on IR.

    “Matt (Barkley) was solid in the game Loggains (OC) stated, we need to be better around him.” 10 of his passes were dropped.

    1. There were at least 5(quite a bit more actually) in the last off season that would have significantly improved us. Where are they?

  10. According to ESPN’s matchup predictor, which is based on its Football Power Index, Chicago wins the matchup between the two teams 57.4% of the time.

  11. Grant I am sorry to disagree with you all the time, But sometimes I think you write just to needle me.

    I agree that both teams are deficient in talent, but you make out the Bears with Fangio, to be the next Monsters of the Midway.

    Kaep will attack their weaknesses, and since they are weak all over, he will hopefully score at will. In fact, I hope they get up by 3 scores and Kaep will do the classy thing and hand the ball over to Gabbert. It would show leadership, unselfishness and help team chemistry.

    Fangio will be desperate, so expect a lot of blitzes. Therefor, the Niners should invite the blitz, and target the area the blitzer left. I also envision more quick slants and swing passes to neutralize the pass rush. The Niners should establish the run, then do play action. Maybe even a third down bomb to Torrey.

      1. Prime, I want Kaep to get a hair cut and start wearing suits to his presser.

        With you in mind, I always lop off the dead wood……

      2. The Bear’s will do the pruning for Seb.

        Bears vs Titans, Barkely stats in 1st start. Imagine him vs an O’neil defense and Jordan Howard at RB:

        Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
        M. Barkley 28 54 316 3

    1. Name another current DC who can get a strong output from a ravaged unit. Fangio was able to do so here, and he is doing so again with the Bears.

    2. Seb-
      your crazier than some of the bumbs I used to see at “Martys top ‘O the Hill” dive bar right there in your Sebastapol.
      For the sake of your own credibility, would you tell us why all these people in the NFL and the sports journalists tune in to listen to you????????? And then make their decisions, one way or the other, based on the things you say?
      Like nobody has a clue but you?
      Your either an ego-maniac, or your messin with people-the second of which has always been my suspicion…………

      1. Saw, just a literary license.

        However, Jed admitted he reads my posts, and gets the message loud and clear.

        I am glad they may not read my posts, but do what I write. They have started to use Kaep in the pistol, Hyde in the I, and when Kaep rolled out, bought time with his legs, discombobulated the DBs so Kaep could throw a TD to a wide open receiver, I felt like they followed my instructions to a T.

        When Chip says he does not debate blog posts, why did he even mention blog posts?

    3. Give it a rest.

      Kaep will “do the classy thing” is a laugher to start with; and then you fantasize further by thinking HE will hand the ball over to Gabbert.

      Maybe that’s a coach’s call?

      Yeah. The fake fly sweep will have Fangio confused, as will the college read option; and a quarterback that can’t read pre-snap good enough to audible himself out of a social embarrassment.

      Your hero is a distraction on the Niners way to 4 and 12 (next year).

      1. Grant, your screed about Kaep just made me think you want him to fail….’when the 4th quarter comes around, he fails every time…a big flop’

        ‘Can Chip out coach Fangio?’

        Sounds like you are damning with faint praise.

    1. Kiko Alonso would never come to the Niners if Kaep is QB.

      I like Floyd, and Brian Quick and Cordarrelle Patterson would be my other FA WR targets.

          1. He will get money somewhere else along with the ability to get the ball. Floyd is a deep threat, Kap cannot throw outside the numbers!

            1. It won’t be Baalke that cannot attract free agents. HE will offer up tons of money. Players will decide if the players around them will. make them better. Again, whose career has Kap improved since being a 49er?

              1. No crabtree took less cause NO ONE wanted him… He lasted a very long time in free agency cause he is a bit*h

              2. NOBODY! I cannot recall a player that Kap has made look good or who’s had career numbers or gone to a Probowl.

      1. Alonzo had a big problem with Kaep supporting Fidel Castro. His father was from Cuba.. He had some words for Kaep as he should.

      1. Can the Niners pass on Watson the way he has been playing lately. 9-9 2 Tds to start game at VT.. Saben calls him the best QB he has seen since Cam.

        1. If you said that Watson was the best prospect last year, and had come out, yes. However, this year, he had a couple games where he was just not good. Poor decision making and inaccurate passes.

    1. He’ll end up on IR from the center exchange shattering his wrist. I’m not particularly excited about him as an NFL prospect and even if he became an NFL starter I’d bet the mortgage he never plays 16 games in a season.

            1. We’ll see. He sure has the potential to be at least. Still a lot of question marks because of that offense he’s in. Why I keep saying I’d take him after #60. Let’s get two picks in and then make a small trade up to get him before someone else does. Our 3rd and a 5th or maybe a 6th will get us back into the 2nd round.

              One thing that makes me feel good about him is his pedigree and that his father has kept him in the company of professional athletes his whole life. Makes me feel like this is a guy who wont be star struck and has the potential to be a leader of men.

      1. No not really. Coaches and especially players have far more to gain from winning games then earning the top draft spot.

          1. Don’t worry… MidWest … remember ..
            it’s early.. for the mocks… and this one has
            the Niners at #2 … but .. if they beat
            Da Bears … Niners might drop below where
            Kizer will probably be taken .. then …
            it all hinges on Baalke still hangin’ around …

            If os … it’ll be the best ACL available … ;-}

            1. You do if your accuracy and decision making need to get better. I do not understand the hype around Kizer. Sure he has the tools, but he is not the master of them.

              1. Hope not because the team needs a good QB that is accurate and a good decision maker.

  12. Grant More numbers: The Bears are missing nine starters. We’re talking one starting defensive lineman — Lamarr Houston. Both starting inside linebackers — Jerrell Freeman and Danny Trevathan. One cornerback — Kyle Fuller, the best corner on the team. Both starting wide receivers — Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White. The starting tight end — Zach Miller. One starting offensive lineman — Kyle Long. And the starting quarterback — Jay Cutler.

    Here’s where Grants full of it, first off the 49ers are missing there best NT from last season which was Ian Williams Matt Miaacoo said the team considered him the defensive MVP last year but didn’t play a single snap this season. Grant talks about missing LBs? Really? I guess we’re healthy at LB and missing Bowman is no big deal lol Armstrong was balling before he got hurt and was going to end up starting beside Bowman so there goes our starting LBs and now we got Bellore and Hodges’s that have never been starters on there previous teams and now there starting because of injuries. Brock is horrible and our best CB is a rookie(Robinson). Yeah a rookie that hardly played in college, that should pretty much sum up our secondary. Now for our safeties Bethea is old and slow and should pretty much retire(I hope) Reid is an average safety at best and should be a SS because he’s a liability in coverage. Aaron Lynch our best pass rusher supposedly can’t even finish a game or get on the field for that matter.

    I’m not even going to waste my time with the offense so I’m going to leave it with this; Joe Staley would PROBABLY be the only offensive player that could crack the Raiders offensive starting lineup and even that might be a stretch.

    Grant your not fooling me. I hope the 49ers win but don’t act like the 49ers have no injuries and should win this game. So when did Jay Cutler being out become a loss lol Barkley played very well last week I think Cutler not playing helps the Bears.

  13. Off topic & political:
    For those with interest: a group of Vets have ‘deployed’ to North Dakota in support of the self-described Water Protectors this weekend. As a Vet I respect and support their demonstration and considered attending myself. I encourage others to support this cause. Thank you.

    1. BT, I admire those vets who support the water protectors, and think you are a good guy to support their cause.

      See, there are some things I like about you. ;p

      1. Thanks. In the end, there are more important things than any petty rivalries I may entertain.
        I regret not going this week.

        1. BT ..

          while I support the vets… it’s cold enough
          where I’m at … North Dakota .. at this time of the
          year would be like jumping into a freezer !

          Way too “temperature deprived” environment ..
          for this Bay Area native boy … ;-}

            1. yeah.. I hear ya Brotha… but.. for me
              if I ever wanted to be in the snow … I looked up
              at Fremont peak .. or the Oakland hills ..
              (sometimes) … and then … drank a cup of hot
              chocolate …

              (I usually changed my mind after that )..

              My corpuscles start forming icicles ..
              somewhere around 69º … ;-]

  14. So Chip keeps team East all week…in hot, humid weather. He could have gone to a climate closer to Chicago…he could have stayed over in Youngstown! Which would have been much closer on top of that. What’s up with that? We know what Harbaugh would have done….

  15. OT, but the selection of the top 4 college teams is frustrating, because one could make a case for several teams on the bubble.

    My solution? Designate 8 major bowls. The Cotton, Orange, Rose, Fiesta, Citrus, Sugar, Peach and Alamo Bowls.

    Set up a playoff format with the 16 top teams.After the Bowls sort out the top 8, Play 4 additional game within the first 2 weeks, but not on the days the NFL plays. During the next 2 weeks, have 2 more games to decide the finalists, and play for the national championship on the Sunday before the SB.

    Instead of 2 games to decide the national champion, there would be 7, so the TV revenues would make it very lucrative for those colleges. For the Bowls, they should assign the 6 major conferences and two at large bids

    A 16 team playoff system would make those bowl games .relevant, and would not exclude deserving teams. It would also make millions, if they are smart enough to implement it.

    1. You could supplant the Dr. Pepper guy as the (re-) inventor of college football playoffs. No one has thought of what you propose. No one… If only the rest of the world could rise to your level of brilliance.

          1. Hahaha. Seb lays claim to the origination of every word in the language, and idioms from other languages as well. Any word we may use, we obviously copied from him. Shame on your plageristic axe!
            : -)

  16. Whats’ the over/under on when Darren will make his appearance on this blog… 4:23 left in the 3rd quarter? Other?

  17. How can the Niners win? By unleashing Kaep. Let him wreak havoc by his running, and his threat to run. I want to see the Sundance Kaep, because he is deadly accurate while on the move.

    Chip needs to not only take a page out of the Bill Walsh playbook, he needs to assimilate whole chapters.

    I hope Kaep runs for a score.


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