Redskins 13, 49ers 17: Grades

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers defied the odds and beat the first-class Redskins 17-13 Sunday afternoon. Here are the Niners’ grades.

KAEPERNICK: B. Unusually efficient. Completed 20-of-29 pass attempts (69 percent) for 256 yards (8.8 yards per attempt). Three of his nine incomplete passes were dropped. He threw a long, beautiful touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin on the first drive of the game, but he never came close to throw for another touchdown. He also threw an ugly interception right to the Redskins’ defensive back in the third quarter. Kaepernick gets credit for leading the game-winning touchdown drive, but he didn’t finish it – Carlos Hyde did. Kaepernick still has never has finished a come-from-behind game-winning fourth-quarter drive. Maybe one day.

RUNNING BACKS: D. Like the previous three games, Gore ran just one play well – Counter OF. He gained 17 yards on four of those runs today. But he fumbled the fourth one, which set up the Redskins’ go-ahead field goal in the fourth quarter. Gore has fumbled two games in a row – both on counter runs. Carlos Hyde fumbled, too, but he scored the game-winning four-yard touchdown. He has become Greg Roman’s go-to guy in the red zone.

WIDE RECEIVERS: B. Former 49ers’ backup Trenton Robinson started at Nickel for the Redskins. Try as he might, he could not cover Anquan Boldin. Boldin finished the game with 9 catches for 137 yards and a touchdown – his best performance since Week 1 against the Packers last season. Michael Crabtree made a couple key catches and finished with five grabs for 58 yards, but he also dropped two passes. Stevie Johnson and Brandon Lloyd each caught no passes. Roman must be saving them for Thursday.

TIGHT ENDS: F. Vernon Davis caught three passes for a whopping 21 yards and he dropped one. It seems he knows he will get only four targets a game, mostly on short throws, none in the red zone. And it seems he’s going through the motions. He hasn’t shown up for a game since Week 1.

OFFENSIVE LINE: D. Couldn’t keep the Redskins’ front-seven out of the backfield. Even on the most productive runs, Gore and Hyde had to dodge defenders before they reached the line of scrimmage. Kaepernick had to scramble all over the place. He avoided more than one sack – the Redskins took him down just twice. During one of the sacks, Ryan Kerrigan beat Jonathan Martin around the edge, but don’t fault Martin. Sure, he got beat, but he’s supposed to get beat. He’s a backup facing a premier pass rusher – an obvious disadvantage. Roman needed to help Martin by chipping Kerrigan with a running back. And after that play, Roman made the adjustment. Good for him. The Redskins’ offense had the same problem – rookie backup left tackle Morgan Moses couldn’t block anybody. Jay Gruden never made the adjustment Roman made, and Morgan Moses gave up the game-ending sack.

DEFENSIVE LINE: B+. Justin Smith beat Moses and forced Robert Griffin to fumble on the final play of the game. Ray McDonald also sacked Griffin once. But the 49ers’ front-seven couldn’t stop Alfred Morris. He scored a touchdown and gained 125 yards on 21 carries – 6 yards per run.

LINEBACKERS: B+. The Redskins avoided the strength of the 49ers’ run defense – the middle – by running around it. Morris gained 89 yards on 9 outside zone runs – almost 10 yards per carry. But the Redskins’ couldn’t block the 49ers’ outside linebackers on pass plays. Aldon Smith beat Moses for two sacks and hit Griffin four times.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: A. Gave up just 11 catches and zero touchdowns – tough to do against any NFL opponent.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B. Committed three penalties, and Perrish Cox let a couple punts bounce that he should have caught. Those were the only negatives.

COACHES: B. Another great game by Vic Fangio. He’s the best defensive coordinator in football and he gets better every week. What a pleasure to watch. Greg Roman does not get better every week. He coached poorly – the offense scored just three points between its first and final drives. But Roman came through at the end, called a perfect drive under pressure. And he made the key adjustment of the game, the adjustment Gruden failed to make. And that was the difference in the game.

This article has 184 Comments

    1. Grant throws that stuff in I think just to rile people up. If the call is Hyde then Kap goes to Hyde, if the call was for him to throw he does that. You’re right though he has won in the 4th Q. Its not like on this drive the running game moved the chains for us. Kap made it work and the right call when when they lined up 3 WR’s and were maybe expecting pass. GR didn’t make all the right calls today but he go this one right and this drive right. At least Grant gave him credit for that.

    2. When has he thrown a game winner with 2:00 or less?

      He’s had chances, but I’ve watched every game he’s started and I can’t remember a single time … not trying to hate on the guy, facts are facts and I hope I’m wrong.

      But I don’t think I am.

  1. No Grant is right. I was asking people at the bar today if anyone can remember Kap leading and throwing a game winning TD in final minutes. No one could come up with one

      1. R: Kaps 7 GWD’s and 7 4th Q victories

        Those stats have a lot to do with how good a team is. If a mediocre QB plays for a bad defense he gets poor stats. A mediocre QB on a great defense pads can get good stats. Kaepernick is a field goal quarterback and not really a touchdown quarterback. In my book he’s mediocre as a quarterback in football games and a clown at his press conferences. I’d never by one of my grand kids his jersey for a game. Football is also part show. If he thinks it’s all about the team he should ask himself how much he would get paid if fans weren’t shelling out $200 a pop for a game to watch his play. He is costing his owner money but he’s lucky this owner is too clueless to figure that out. That last press conference was a joke.

  2. Today was as close as he’s come. He did lead the game winning drive so I’ll give him credit for that. But having to do that against a dumpster fire like the Redskins just shows how pathetic this offense is. Embarrassing.

    1. I agree — I’ve been super tough on Kaep since the Bears game, but he did lead that drive. It’s smart to use Hyde at the goal line. Kaep has yet to make a pass which is what Grant is referring to.

      1. I wish more people REALLY knew football. If so, I wouldn’t be reading so many mindless comments. The ones that do about this game, know that the OL is a shell of what they used to be. They get their azz kicked weekly, especially in pass protection, but almost as bad in r i n blocking. Kaep is constantly too busy getting away from a pass rush to be ultra efficient. But whenever he gets a chance to throw in a clean pocket, nobody throws better. This is what Harbaugh refers to when he tells the media Kaep is one of the best pocket passers in the game. But the 49ers are one of the top penalized teams in the league. Many of those penalties have nullified many of Kaeps big plays in the passing game. Sunday’s game was a perfect example.

        Kaep is a helluva QB. Really. The 49ers need to get all of that OTHER sht together. QB is not their problem. You all should be thankful you have a QB like Kaep considering the aforementioned, plus injuries and suspensions to several KEY players. With all of that, Kaep has led the 49ers to 7-4 record. Imo, they have no business being anywhere near the playoffs. I’m amazed. When Alex Smith had the kind of challenges that Kaep is now facing, he was booed off the field, and 49er fans wanted him GONE. This was before the Alex lovers era, before Harbaugh showed him how to play QB. That said, be thankful for Kaep 49er fans. Because despite everything, he could very well have YOU in the championship game…..AGAIN

        1. I’m sorry, but Kap is not a helluva QB. He’s about average in terms of his effectiveness. This isn’t about Alex Smith. Kap doesn’t get the ball out quickly, and as a result takes a ton of sacks. Grant points out that the 49ers don’t use sight adjustments to counter the blitz, so perhaps that’s part of it, but it doesn’t change the fact that Kap is leading the league in sacks despite his athletic gifts. I agree the O Line isn’t a top-5 unit anymore, but they also aren’t a bottom-10 unit. If Kap threw the ball away like every decent QB out there, he’d have taken half as many sacks and would have kept a bunch of drives alive by staying out of 2nd and 17 or 3rd and 12.

          I’ll say this, Kap has talent (tall, fast, strong and huge arm) and he’s pretty good overall, but there are still holes in his game (pre-snap reads, hitting checkdowns, looking off safeties) that keep him from being a top QB, and that’s why we have one of the least effective offenses in the NFL despite above-average talent around him. Perhaps a new OC can help him get to the next level.

  3. I’m fine with Grants grades. Thought he was a little generous for special teams though, and Aaron Lynch’s 2 sacks were not mentioned.

    1. One of his sacks were not counted because of the helmet to helmet hit. Looking at that play, Reid was blocked into rg3 and hit him with the side of his head ad he was falling. How can anyone do that on purpose? These refs stink! !!

      1. Did D Jack have any catches? I think Garçon had one big gain but after that the secondary didn’t give up any big plays.

      2. One of the big plays was not on the secondary but Wilhoite and Borland who both bit on the play fake, opening up the middle and made it an easy crossing route pass for RG3.
        At the same time, RG3 was clearly outmatched and didn’t know what to do when Fangio brought the blitz. The Niner D gave up some big runs to Morris, and her comes Lynch. But I think the Niners were worried about D Jack. Seattle has no weapons at all. The D-Line looks revived with Aldon back out there.

        1. I’m not sold on Whilhoite. To me it looks like he avoids contact. I’d rather have Ahmed Brooks back there and have Aldon amd Lynch full time on the outside. Brooks is more than capable playing inside.

      3. Unless Bobo has an older brother with the same name he should be called Bob Griffin II. His grandfather was Robert Griffin and his father was RG JR which makes the modern iteration II not III if you’re going to do it properly.

      4. Yes the secondary does deserve a high mark for their play. When will so many of the clueless stop using stats as a sole tool to rate players? RG3 completes a high pct of his passes against EVERYBODY, better than 65%. Big friggin deal. The problem is RG3 can’t play the position. Kaep is completing passes at a lower rate due to OL issues, inconsistency at WR with dropped passes, injuries, suspensions etc, and still has the 49ers at the cusp of the playoffs. Let this be a lesson that there is MORE to this game than just stats. You see, when you know this game, you AUTOMATICALLY look at the WHOLE picture. Not just small pieces. (stats) Tell you what, you watch the stats, and I’ll watch Kaep lead the 49ers to the playoffs. Btw, Derek Carr (1-10) has better ‘stats’ than Kaep. Class dismissed

  4. Every team eventually faces a situation where they need a TD drive late in the 4th or they will lose the game.

    Kap has faced that situation only a few times.

    The biggest games like that were the SUPERBOWL and last years loss in the NFC Championship.

    Kap has never thrown a td pass late in the 4th qtr to win a game. He makes poor decisions with the ball in those situations.

  5. What the?? Romo was just knocked down as he threw td pass and the freaking ref helped Romo get back up…….Is that legal? No zebra ever helps Kap up.

    1. I don’t know the rules but it doesn’t seem to provide any advantages. As coffee says high fives seem inappropriate.

      Crab’s made an a great catch on the sideline today. I loved seeing it.

    1. I don’t think it was a bad call at all. I think it was terrible execution by Martin who didn’t get low enough to create leverage. You can’t tell me you thought 4th and 1 inside your own 30 with a hand off 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage was a good call. It was all Gore that got that first down. There was penetration on the play.

      1. It was actually Iupati Kap tried to run behind and Iupati got stood up and provided no movement which is why Kap went nowhere.

  6. Carrier – 0 targets
    SJ and Lloyd – 1 target each for 0 receptions.

    Our offense is woeful. This notion that our D will bail us out every game is nonsensical and foolish.

  7. I agree with Grant about Roman, and no catches for Johnson and Lloyd, just seems like to many toys for Roman to handle. What is wrong with VD, he certainly not playing for a new contract extension. Perhaps he and Brooks will be gone next season , that will be a huge chunk of change relief for the cap. Although we got to find another passing TD.

  8. I thought VD showed a little fire on the run where he broke some tackles. His nemesis is coming up though. Really eager to see how this team responds this Thursday….

      1. What annoys me the most about VD aside from him being a cotton soft 265 lb china doll is the fact that he repeatedly runs his route 1/2 yard short of a first down. I saw at least 2 occasions where on 3rd down he cut his pattern just short of the line to gain. That shows a remarkable lack of awareness that even pop warner kids posess. I dont care if its a 10 yard route if its 3rd and 11 run it at 12 to guarantee that you secure the first down (that is if you catch the ball you musclebound stiff)

        1. Bos,

          I tend to agree with you but I’m not sure if that route is tied to Kaps drop or not. That looks like a timing pattern more than a depth pattern. I’m not sure but that is how it looked to me as Davis ran it twice and turned around at about the same point both times. The ball was also throw pretty much the second he turned. I think they are relying on him to get the extra yard after the catch which is not the best strategy in those situations when defenders are playing so close to the LOS.

  9. Somebody told me today we may have TOO many weapons, and that our offense was better when the weapons were limited because we didn’t have many people to keep happy so everbodu played harder. I think I agree.

  10. Ugly win, but better than an ugly loss (see Rams). Kap continues to progress in the pocket and this will help come playoffs.

    I think the team did ok overall except for penalties and drops. I also found that QB sneak on 3-1 a bit questionable given that Martin has struggled to generate push (St. Louis).

    I keep thinking that VD and Crabs are kind of phoning it in and wish they would stop and play ball.

    1. I don’t think they’re phoning it in, I think they’re just frustrated. Kaep locks onto to the guy he wants to throw to and that’s it. He’s never been a spread it around kind of QB. Crabs used to be that guy, and VD used to be a threat, but he’s banged up so Kaep is going to throw at Boldin most of the time.
      Even Stevie Johnson doesn’t get that many passes thrown his way.

      1. You just couldn’t go one thread without spinning a post about Crabs and VD lack of effort into it being because Kaep focuses on one receiver. Let’s keep trying to spin everything to it being Kaeps fault.

        You and your no excuses when it comes to Kaep, but you seem to be the only one still trying to justify VD’s lack of effort to his being banged up. He himself stated that he has been a 100% since the bye week. More and more you are varifying your hate for Kaep as being purely justifying compensatory excuses for any of the subpar play of a number of the players rears you seem to have your man crush fan lips planted against. It has to be someone else’s fault so Kaep becomes your choice of convenience.

        1. Willitalk — You can’t read anything without applying an agenda. Watch the game. This year and the year before. It’s always been that way since Kaep was the starter because he’s still developing. That’s not hate that’s fact. More and more the first year was an anomaly, where he came out of nowhere, and now we’re seeing the inconsistent player that everyone said he was coming out of college.

          Why don’t stop with the personal accusations and offer a counter argument based on Kaep’s play. You could have said that, “Hey! Kaep has thrown a TD in 18 straight games.”
          Does the offense look like a work of art in any way? And yesterday was one of more efficient games outside the pick.

              1. Fan
                MC and VD dropping passes is not frustration. Its a lack of concentration on crabs part and a flat out horrible hands issue on VD’s part. Both balls that were dropped a good high school player makes the catch. We are not asking for a ridiculous Beckham three finger catch while falling backwards. As for locking in on a WR, What has VD done to inspire confidence that he will make the catch? Or when he does that he will be beyond the yard markers? If im CK and i have an option to throw it to anyone else i take it

          1. Joe had won a Super bowl with no running game and Dwight Clark and Freddie Solomon as his WRs.

            Kaep is a failure. He’s not intelligent enough to play the position. In fairness, neither was his predecessor.

          2. Fan77- One doesn’t offer a counter argument to irrationality. To imply that Crabs and VD are dropping passes, not finishing routes is because they are frustrated with Kaep is over the top example of you looking for anything to blame on Kaep. You have a notorious prima donna who is frustrated because he is not having the contract year he would like. Why? Who knows. But it’s on him and not anyone else. The other guy looks like he is either scared to get hit or just doesn’t give a shiit. You also claimed VD is banged up?. lol. These are the things I called you out on. Especially since you attributed their lack of production on Kaep. You can not seem to go very long with out having to bring in Kaep as the or part of the problem in the most ridiculous ways.

  11. But the 49ers’ front-seven couldn’t stop Alfred Morris. He scored a touchdown and gained 125 yards on 21 carries – 6 yards per run.

    Yeah, but if you take out his three longest runs – for 22, 16 and 30 yards, Morris averaged only 3.2 yards per run.

    1. The appropriate Grantonese is: “Take AWAY his three longest …”

      Apologies for all caps – can’t figure out how to do italics on this blog.

      1. Miguel:

        You are correct. Please excuse my sloppiness.

        For italics, type “” (without the quote marks and without spaces) before the text you want to italicize and “” (without the quote marks and without spaces) after the text.

        1. Wow, that didn’t work. Let me try again.

          Type the “less than” symbol, then “i” and then the “greater than symbol” before the text and then the “less than” symbol, then a slash, then “i” and then the “greater than symbol” after the text.

          If that doesn’t work, then find a site which teaches html coding and follow those instructions.

    1. I’m dying with this play calling. Im also tired of Crabtree starting. He needs to be demoted and Stevie Johnson should start. Lloyd should be third and crabs should be 4th.

      Cut roman, let crab and gore walk. Redo offense and move forward next year.

      There are many reasons for what I’m about to say not to happen but just dreaming: Resign harbs for a bridge contract (2 extension) on premise that he replace roman. He wins a super bowl and he writes his ticket.

  12. You know who had a rough day? Ryan Clark of the DerogatorilyNamedNativeAmericans.

    First he got killed by Boldin while trying to put a lick on him, then took the oxen shoulder from Hyde and got flattened on his way to the end zone.

  13. just another category…
    ” net points ” = three ( 3 )
    228 for and 225 against

    There are 18 NFL teams with larger margins than the NIners.
    This statistic goes hand in hand with the feeling of uncertainty
    – with five minutes on the clock in the fourth quarter, wondering:
    Will the Redskins score again and retake the lead? 2 chances.
    Will Coach Harbaw need a diaper on Thursday night
    if a similar game ending scenario takes place? probably.

  14. I think Harbs should get a lot of credit for letting the clock run down before calling a time out before that fourth down play at the end of the half. Very smart tactic to reduce the risk of failing to make a first down. It they complete the play they still have enough time to kick the field goal. However if they fail that just leaves the REDSKINS with only time for one more play and with a distance too far for a field goal attempt. Very low risk move.

    1. It appears that rational/plan was reinforced by an interview.The announcer in the game called out the coach for wasting clock by not calling a time out earlier. Duh! This is another example of why I often have so little respect for the so called experts. I knew exactly what they were doing. I don’t think I am that smart, the announcer was just being stupid by speaking before he thought. He was reacting to the Niner’s issue with clock management before actually considering if it applied to this particular incident. It’s never a good idea to make judgements about the present based entirely upon the past.

  15. Vernon Davis looks like the guy pre-Singletary. Dropping balls making bonehead plays(running route short of the sticks), he looks catatonic.

  16. Kaep just can’t win with some of you guys. It’s funny now. All year almost everyone has been complaining about why the niners refused to run the ball in the redzone. Kaep leads a driver all the way down the field. We get in the redzone, and now some of you want him to throw the ball. Who cares if he throws the game winning TD, we won the game. Exactly how majority of prefer it to be done. On the legs of one of our RB’s. And for all of the people who want Kaep to stay in the pocket, I hope he prepares to do a lot of running Thursday. Their DB’s will be locked on in man coverage. They may have a spy but we should us a back or TE to occupy him the entire game. As soon as he notices DB’s are running with their backs turned he should pull the ball down and run it.

    1. I agree. What makes Kaep dangerous right now is his running ability. Like Steve Young, he may get there someday. But right now he’s not there.

      Meanwhile, the defense looks Super Bowl worthy. Justin, Frank, and company aren’t getting any younger.

      Harbaugh/Roman made Alex Smith effective by having him do what he does best. Manage the game by getting them in the best plays most of the time and not turning the ball over.

      They need to do the same with Kaep by encouraging him to run whenever he can. Yes, he’s not a good pocket passer, but they don’t need him to be.

      Kaep is inexperienced and still gets fooled a lot. So they aren’t in the right play half the time and therefore can’t just pound the ball and wear out the opposing defense while still moving the ball like they used to. But if Kaep were running more, having to chase him around should eventually wear on those DL.

      The offense struggles when they put it in Kaep’s hands AND he doesn’t take advantage of his ability to run. Once it’s completely in their heads, this could slow down pass rushers concerned about staying in lanes, get LB’s creeping up, and hold the FS a few steps closer towards the line of scrimmage.

  17. Tom Brady 38 for 53 for 349 yds. Some OCs like to go with what’s working – until it doesn’t.
    Roman goes with what’s working for one play and then says, better try something else!

    1. Like I told Daniners and Bay last friday, BB finds the flaw in your team and picks at it until you bleed to death. Vs colts they ran 40+ times cuz indy can’t stop the run, vs the bears Braby threw 28 times in the first half.

  18. 9 out of 10 times I prefer that the defense be on the field with 2 min or less and us protecting a 4 pt lead than the other way around. We got the crucial TD late in the game when it counted but once again had to sweat it out at the end. Not that im complaining il keep seating all the way to the superbowl if need be. I am a bit concerned with us being a “power running” team that has trouble picking up 3rd and short (questionable Qb sneak). Martin seems to have issues with getting the low leverage required for that play to work. What I dont understand is how Tom Brady who is 15 lbs lighter and plays behind an allegedly inferior line never fails too pick up at least a yard on the sneak. CK should watch TB film on QB sneaks and emulate him. How a big strong ox like CK cant pick up 36 inches escapes me.
    Great win on to Seattle

    1. BOS,
      when I saw Hyde’s TD run I couldn’t help but go back to the Ram game. Why the QB sneak. Why not run the ball with Hyde, our power back and live with the results. Oh well on to Seattle….

  19. BOS, it would not matter whose QB is back there if the OL cannot move the opposing DL an inch and fail to create a crease for your QB to sneak in.

    1. ricardo
      I hear you, but still our big tough run blocking o line cant get a push and the pats finesse pass blocking one can? especially when everyone in the stadium knows its a sneak.

        1. Why does it take so long for people to see that this offensive line is far from the elite unit it was perceived to be a few years ago. The decline began last year. It should be obvious now. They do open some decent holes every now and then but it is not consistent. That is were any consistency has to begin-on the line. The inconsistency has been entirely projected on to Kaep. Well if your line isn’t consistent then neither your Rb’s or the QB can produce consistently.

      1. Coffee – Hopefully Sabean will not be a cheap bastard and sign some worthy free agents….Sabean needs to have brass balls now. ;)

        Sorry…..Back to Niner talk

        1. Sorry Crab this is where I have to acknowledge that I’m an A’s fan. Yes that also makes me a masochist by proxy.

          1. It’s all good CFC, my brother played a few years in A’s organization (minors) so I’m cool with them.

            I can’t wait for turkey day……Bring on Pete!!

        2. Yea, if he had brass balls we might even win the World Series three times in five years. No, that’s impossible. Enjoy.

          The Panda may gain 100 lbs by this time next year with all that guaranteed money. Fat kills.

      2. Sox overpaid because the owners are more concerned about making a splash for their tv show than actual baseball. 5 yrs for 90 would be better but hey extra 2 mil/yr is nothing. Oh lord I can already see everything from “panda” hats/shirts/cups to bricks and pregnancy tests

        What a good baseball team would do is sign some pitchers but they will feign interest in lester 6/120mil and then say “we tried and he chose not to give us the discount he promised”

    1. There is no loyalty in sports Crabs. It’s proven every offseason. Panda has won 3 World series, so he’s taking the money now. Boston won the year before so he probably has the best of both worlds taking this deal.

      1. Rocket – I hear you bro…..Btw, sorry I flaked on fb picks this year…..I missed first week and then forgot to get picks in one week so I bolted.

      2. 2013 looks like an aberration not a harbinger of things to come. Not holding our breath with clay headcase bucholz as our ace

    2. Crab15,
      Leaving town with 3 championship rings ain’t to shabby.
      Why not get paid in Boston and also be a little closer to Venezuela?

      I’ll miss the Panda but he’s forever made his mark as a Giant.

  20. There was a Niners QB that in his 4th year had games in which the offense
    scored 17, 7, 13, 17 and 3 points. His TD to Int ratio during that span was 2TD’s 7 Ints. His name was Joe Montana. His team was one bad call away going to the superbowl that year.

    If you dissect most of our games, even in the wins there is no flow to our play calling. However we still play well enough to win if we play relatively mistake free ball. Versus NY, we had dropped balls, a botched field goal snap and a red zone RB fumble. If we convert those, it’s an easy game.
    Yesterday two RB fumbles and a drop by Vernon as well as Vernon falling down on his own forced this game to be closer than it should have been. Right now our defense is playing well enough to win this style of game. But we can’t be the one making the mistake. I like to rag on Roman, but if our RB’s don’t fumble and Vernon catches both deep balls, then this game isn’t even close. I would have thought that it was generally a well called game. Roman going to the spread was perfectly timed. Strategically a great move until he called a vertical route for Boldin. Head scratcher…..

    We may not like it, but this is the style of ball that we play. Close and ugly unless everyone executes. Play clean games with a sprinkle of better play calling and we could easily and should easily be 10-1 right now. I do have some head scratchers though.

    Why aren’t Lloyd and Johnson more involved?

    Vernon Davis’s struggles are season long now. Why are they not attempting to utilize other TE’s in the passing game? Even in his post games pressers, Vernon is not accountable.

    Why have we stopped running wide?

    Why have we completely stopped running Kaepernick?

    We are playing Seattle this week. Watching how they stopped the run up the middle, I hope we have a better plan that to run Gore up the gut 20 times. Even though Jordan has gone full pessimistic on us, he is correct about utilizing the TE against the Seahawks defense. I just don’t think I can stomach watching Vernon involved in the passing game anymore. I’d like to see more V-Mac and Carrier. Yes, Carrier.

    1. Did you really just compare CK to Montana? That can get you run out of here faster than a tick in a tornado…you should have seen what some of the blog’s stalwarts, like Bay, would say to the Smithers when they’d try to use similar stats to defend the former QB…

      Wait a minute, I just realized who posted…is this another case of someone stealing Bay’s avatar?

    2. Yes, and that QB also WON a super bowl the previous season, did NOT throw an Interception in that game and DID NOT have a Frank Gore, Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree or Vernon Davis on his team. Freddie Solomon & Dwight Clark at WR, Jeff Moore/Bill Ring at rb (who?) and Russ Francis and Charle Young are not anything near Boldin, Crabtree, Johnson, Gore, Hyde, Davis and McDonald.

        1. Joe the Legend? Or Joe’s actual history wherein during his 1st SB year he was running for his effing life almost every time he dropped back because his OLT was incompetent? If you’re going to invoke history it’s helpful to know it.

  21. Matt- Yes, Wilson got sacked 7 times. But what you fail to notice is the fact that Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” is back. As hard as AZ offense tried, they could ONLY manage to score 3 points against the Seakawks “D”. And they have the best NFL record 9-2.

    I believe we will be watching the “Super Bowl” on turkey day. The two best teams in the NFL slug it out. There will be blood left on the field from both sides. Carpenter could be back to shore-up Wilson’s blind side on the OL. The whole nation will be watching this grudge match!!

  22. Just a few observations on this game without having watched it a second time:

    The starting field position was a big factor on why the offense didn’t score a lot of points. If you start multiple drives inside your ten yard line you are in a bad spot and it played out that way.

    Washington has a pretty good defense.

    The int.thrown by Kap was not a bad decision or throw. The DB covering Boldin should have been called for Illegal contact for arm barring him across the neck which gave him the positioning needed to make the pick. Obvious penalty that led directly to a turnover and the officials missed it. I like the aggressiveness in going at the DB who hasn’t played much and letting your best WR try and make a play. As it was, it was pretty much the same result as a punt, so no harm done.

    The pass rush is night and day different for the better with Aldon Smith in there. He still isn’t even in true game shape and the teams pass rush is so much improved.

    The run defense really needs to tighten up with Seattle coming in. Too many big gains given up.

    Key dropped passes hurt this offense again and it’s continuing a bad trend that has occurred throughout the season.

    The run game struggled again which is worrisome because this team needs the run game to win.

    Eric Reid played his best game of the season imo. We need him more involved in all aspects as he was yesterday.

    Boldin is the unquestioned number one receiver on this team and the toughest player I’ve seen in a long time.

    1. If I may add the pass rush is night and day better with lynch also. Since his playing time had increased Ray Mac has had two sacks also. It would be great to have both sides a legitimate threat for a sack on every play. Like A Smith helps the cowboy it seems lunch’ pass rush ability’ are helping Ray Mac. That speeds trouble and spells more turnovers for the secondary.

      1. MD,
        Lynch is not physically right. He was hurt during the KC game. He was still hobbled yesterday and this week is on a short week.

        Their Oline is dinged up too. Keep the midget in the pocket on defense. On offense run Hyde wide and often.

        1. I’m starting to think you dont even watch the games because your analogies make no sense.
          Lynch controlled that game from start to finish. He’s a tone setter. He punished them early and then finished them off later with his bruising runs. Even if he is hurt, he is still effective. A 80% Lynch is more than enough. He only had 39 yards rushing but he set up every single scoring drive and kept the time of possession in their favor.
          This week we will find out if our defensive line can stop him as well as the smaller Borland who looked vulnerable yesterday when he was tagged by a bigger linemen.

          1. So lets see. The Seahawks passing game is struggling. They are being forced to beat teams with the run. In a must win game against the division leader they only hand the ball off 15 times to their bell cow. He averaged 2.5 yards a carry. And your response is that Lynch controlled the game from start to finish. Boy you are smart Canada. Smart as a fig leaf on a maple syrup bottle…. And that’s an insult to the fig leaf.

            1. Did you watch the game? Or did you just look at the box score?
              I watched that entire game and pretty confident in saying that the runs Lynch had, set up all those scoring drives. 2.5 yards a carry or whatever it was, was effective!
              Bay watch the games so you don’t look dumb!

          2. Prime how much of Morris running on us would you say is Dial at NT vs. Borland at ILB? My guess is both but I am going with 70% Dial vs. 30% Borland and or Wilhoite.

            1. I haven’t re-watched the game, but Morris looked like he was gaining most of his big run plays on runs off tackle, and some between tackle and guard. Not on plays going through Dial, per se.

              1. That’s a good call. I was just eyeballing and guessing in the few times I got a decent shot in the game of Dial getting pushed back a bit. Washington runs the ball well. The game Thursday could be really similar.

              2. Just read this on PFF:

                Chris Borland, ILB: +1.9

                Breakdown: He’s human! Well, almost. Three missed tackles in the run game are all that kept Borland from his fourth straight monster game. A low six tackles for Borland, but all six were stops and two of his missed tackles would have gone for stops had they been fulfilled. Six games is a small sample size, but there’s little doubt Borland is already among the upper echelon at the position.

                Guess I was wrong.

          3. Marshawn lynch looked like garbage yesterday vs the cards. They shut him down in the first three quarters and he didn’t get his totals till the game was pretty much in hand. Arz sold out to stop the run and Wilson and did a pretty good job of it. Their offense hurt their defense yesterday. They are horrible without Fitz. That’s plain to see.

            Bay I was actually talking about our lynch. With the pass rush. He’s helping Ray mac significantly. Like A Smith does with J Smith is what I was talking about.

      2. Ninermd – while I agree the pass rush improved once Lynch started getting more playing time, Ray Mac’s two sacks have come in the two games that Aldon Smith has played. Lynch was already playing the lion’s share of pass rush snaps for quite a few weeks before Aldon returned. So I think it is fair to say the entire pass rush has benefited from Aldon’s return, far more so than from Lynch. Which isn’t surprising in the least, as Aldon takes the attention of the offense and provides 1-on-1 matchups for other guys.

    2. The run defense is a bit of a concern. Third time this season they have let a power back run for 100+ yards. They’ll need to tidy that up quick with M. Lynch this Thursday.

      1. Funny how perception works. Fangio’s group gives up 125 yards to the only true threat that Washington has and folks are talking about what a strong game he called.

          1. Brotha:

            The PFF blurb quoted by wilsonm73 would seem to support your impression. For what it’s worth, I too thought there were missed tackles on some of Morris’ bigger runs.

            1. Morris is strong and lowers his shoulders well. He’s not an easy tackle for sure. I bet Vic has all those cued up and ready for practice this week.

              1. Agree, he’s a good back. I think Cully tried to cut his legs with a shoulder roll, but bounced off. I think Morris may have bounced off TJE one time also.

            2. Washington did a good job of getting to the second level, but the 49ers D just didn’t make the play.

              On one you have Brooks jumping inside and Dial tripping as he pursues down the line. The next is Tony Jerod-Eddie missing a tackle as he scrapes down the line. Then it’s Culliver missing the tackle at the line of scrimmage, and Cox not making the play.

              It’s the same problem they are having on offense. Poor execution that they need to clean up.

              What’s interesting is that while they have given up over 100 yards to three power running backs they have a record of 3-0 in those games.

              1. You scooped my comment by 5:00 (gnashes teeth).
                On tv I noticed Borland checking the replay on the big screen after most plays. He made a face watching one of his whiffs. I liked that.

        1. Jack:

          I think people were so relieved/excited to see a pass rush that produced 5 sacks that they didn’t focus on much else.

          1. But of those 125 yards, did it ever look like WSH was threatening to control the game on the ground?
            It’s like the old adage, he threw for 300 yards but so what, they lost? Numbers and stats are never accurate enough in this game!

            1. Smh.

              You do know, don’t you, that there’s a difference between “not always” and “never”? Your phobia is rearing its ugly, uninformed head again.

            2. I think Morris could have easily controlled the game if they stuck with the run. Anytime he ran wild, Borland got stuck trying to fill the wrong gap. When they went up the middle, Borland was amazing.

              The Niners are clearly the better team but didn’t play like it.

              1. I am not sure easily really applies. He did everything he could to win the game. 21 carries for 125. If they had just run Morris more you’d have seen more base defense and less break away runs and more 2-3yd carries. I don’t know that they could have moved the ball more effectively with him running more. He might have had a few more long runs but it wouldn’t have controlled the game as you speculated.

    3. I think you are right regarding Reid, Rocket. He appeared to play a good game, having good depth in coverage, not biting on play action or jumping underneath routes unnecessarily, and had a couple of good stops.

      I thought he played well against the Giants too. So hopefully its all coming together for him right now.

  23. I think yesterday illustrated our O’s lack of a home run threat. 5 of our first 8 drives started inside our own 15 forcing us to march a long way to score. Not having any home run threat forces our disjointed offense to string 7 or 8 plays together (which often bogs down). When we fail and punt the ball back all the other team has to do is get 1 or 2 first downs and once again we are pinned back at our goal line which forces more conservative playcalls and leads to more punts. its a self fulfilling prophesy. There is literally a 5% chance that we will score on one play from 60+ yards and even that needs to entail a blown coverage or a defender falling down. A home run threat is an inconsistent offence’s best friend

    1. Agree on the home run threat. There’s no one on the team that threatens to score on any given play. VD used to be that way. All our receivers are possession type. Boldin catches the ball, the rest might. No one strikes fear in the other teams fans or defense.

  24. I believe that Kap has a problem when it comes to “down and distance.” Far too many times I’m seeing the ball being thrown short of the first marker on 3rd downs. Maybe Kap should communicate better in the huddle and remind WR’s/TE’s to get past the sticks on 3rd down routes. A pass thrown on 3rd/4th down must be beyond the first down marker (except screen passes). Throwing short of the marker and hoping somebody breaks a tackle should only be as a last resort. An occasional slant is ok but you can’t rely on guys breaking tackles over and over again….Especially in the playoffs.

    1. It is fairly known, and coached, among professionals that your route should be run at least one or two yards past the sticks on 3rd down situations so that the catch will give you the yardage necessary for a first down. I am sure coaches who are aware of the finer points of the game constantly remind the players of this factor on a weekly basis. In addition, it is common in the huddle for the QB to mention a pattern and then add “sticks” as a tag again as reinforcement to the players to remind them about the distance needed for the first down and the need to run their routes beyond the chains.

          1. Prime – I’ve said way worse over the years…..without deletion…..Wow, maybe Mike is the blogmaster……I am the Rodney Dangerfield of the blog now, I tell ya …I get no respect. ;)

  25. The 49ers have already played the games that save their season. They passed.
    This game is the test to see how far they get. If they win this game I personally can feel confident that they could go deep into the playoffs again.
    They lose and it’s the offense struggling still. I’m gonna have to think no Superbowl.
    This is another must win, with a measuring stick attached. IMO

  26. If the Niners win all the remaining games they go to the playoffs. Its simple as that. Win your in. If the Niners lose a game then they are going to need some help.

    Eagles and Cowboys play each other twice – one loss by either one of them and Niners win the head to head.

    1. Now that was truly a stupid article . To even get on the playing field at this level, professional football , an athlete has to give everything ,physically, emotionally and mentally to just make it to the sidelines. Does this idiot think that Harbaugh would, for even one play, put a player on the field who would not help him win. There is more than enough real stuff to consider about these 49ers that has an effect on the game, than this garbage!

  27. Re Maiocco… Anthony Davis still has concussion symptoms.

    I doubt he will play Thursday. His absence has a big affect on the run game. Jonathan Martin is a big drop off. I’d be tempted to move Boone to tackle, Looney at guard.

    Based on recent play, I’m expecting little offensive rhythm. The team that hits a few big (listening Vernon?) plays and avoids turn overs will win.

    1. If you’re trying to motivate Vernon for a game against Seattle, you may not want to use the words “big” and “hits” in the same sentence.

      Note: the foregoing was just a joke. It does not reflect an actual belief that Vernon Davis is soft, faking injury, a quitter, etc., and it most certainly does not represent an attempt to curry favor with those who hold such opinions.

  28. “Right tackle Anthony Davis still is experiencing post-concussion symptoms and his availability for Thursday’s game is up in the air,”

    This guy needs to get himself together and get out there on Thursday….

      1. I never said he needs to get back out there. I was stating my opinion on how these players aren’t as tough as they use to be. If he doesn’t pass this “protocol” then he shouldn’t be out there. Old school players wouldn’t have said anything about a concussion and again…. I’ll bet there are a lot of players that still don’t today. Get the truth about what I said straight Claude. Thanks Bud.

        1. I am not arguing just sharing the other side of this one from my personal experience.

          You never hear from those players until they join in a lawsuit suing the NFL. I think of guys like Seau and all the no name guys who did exactly what you said and are paying for it now. Sure they could go back in and play.

          I know you said you kick boxed and knew what it felt like to get your bell rung. I grew up playing sports, skateboarding and BMX’ing without a helmet. I racked up a few concussions. No big deal till last year when I was mountain biking in Moab, Utah and got a rock to the cheek fracturing my skull in three places (had a helmet on) and giving myself some minor TBI. All the other ones I got better and went back to playing in a few days or a week. Apparently it all adds up cause this one has taken 14 month and I am not recovered. Experiencing what I have now I’d go back and do things difference, wear a helmet, not play and heal my head. I work with our troops. It give me a whole new experience on what they’ve gone through in battle and how long it takes to recover.

          I used to think a lot the same way you did, not any longer. Now man I’d do it differently every time. Its not worth it for me.

        2. Ninermd:

          If you don’t think oneniner’s comment expresses an opinion that is close to the opinion expressed in your earlier comments regarding concussions, then one of us needs to work on his reading comprehension.

      1. It “rub some dirt on it” you idiot. I doubt you were ever told that in your life. Since you’re such an internet tough guy. And your football knowledge from Madden 02 doesn’t teach you those things. I understand why you have no idea what it means.

          1. If you knew how to tell a joke. I’d get it. Here’s telling jokes #1 rule. Now pay attention.
            The delivery and punch line are everything.
            Now I’m not buying your lame excuse, but in case you try to use it again. Rememeber this #1 rule. That way you don’t look like a liar. Mmmkaaayyy?

            1. How do you rub dirt on a concussion? That’s why I said throw it.
              Explaining things to you is like talking to an 8 year old, donkey that is!

              1. lol….ninermd the clown actually thought you could put dirt on a concussion ……the moron is filled with hate…….he didn’t understand what you wrote instead he responds with hate….

  29. Sooo if buffalo can score in the redzone. That gives me hope that our team can do the same. Buffalo has been equally bad lately in the redzone.

  30. According to reports from Detroit, most of the people who got the free tickets are local to the Detroit area. I’m not watching the game, but the first score was described as being scored in a relatively silent stadium and that the crowd is neutral.

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