49ers’ weak pass rush gives Packers hope

Here is my Saturday column on the upcoming 49ers-Packers playoff game. GREEN BAY, Wis. — The 49ers can beat the Packers, have beaten the Packers, know how to beat the Packers, should beat the Packers and probably will beat the Packers on Sunday.But don’t count out the Packers just yet. A few factors work in their favor.The first factor is their quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. That’s an easy one. He’s still…

January 4, 2014

49ers 23, Cardinals 20: Grades

Here are my grades for the 49ers. They beat the Cardinals 23-20 on a last-second field goal by Phil Dawson. KAEPERNICK: B+. Excellent in the first and fourth quarter, bad in the second and third quarter. He was flagged for a delay-of-game penalty on the final drive of the game, but he also made two beautiful throws on that drive – one to Anquan Boldin for 18 yards and one…

December 29, 2013

49ers 33, Bucs 14: Grades

Here are my grades for the 49ers’ 33-14 win over the Buccaneers. KAEPERNICK: B+. He was outstanding at improvising and passing on the run. He struggled in the third quarter (3-of-10 passing) when the 49ers asked him to pass almost exclusively from the pocket – his accuracy deteriorated, his passes got tipped and he stared down his first read. But in the fourth quarter, Kaepernick moved outside the pocket and…

December 15, 2013

49ers 27, Redskins 6: Grades

Here are the grades for the 49ers’ 27-6 win over the Redskins. KAEPERNICK: B. He fumbled a snap, forced two passes into tight coverage and almost got intercepted both times, and converted just 29 percent of his third downs. That was not so good. But he did some good things – 134.5 passer rating, 3 touchdowns, no picks. In comparison to the opposing quarterback, Kaepernick looked like John Elway. WIDE…

November 25, 2013

49ers 20, Saints 23: Grades

NEW ORLEANS – Here are my grades for the 49ers’ 23-20 loss to the Saints. KAEPERNICK: C-. Kaepernick passed the ball well. He was 6-for-15 on third down and 2-for-3 in the red zone. His worst pass was an interception, but it didn’t cost the team anything. Kaepernick ran down the defender and made him dive for the end zone and the defender fumbled the ball out of the back…

November 17, 2013

Brooks: “It was a B.S. call.”

NEW ORLEANS — Ahmad Brooks sat as his locker after the game wiping his forehead with a towel. It was no use. After every wipe, beads of sweat filled his forehead almost instantly. He kept wiping anyway. A few reporters approached him mid-wipe. Q: Can we ask you a question? BROOKS: Do it. Q: On that play at the end when you were called for a personal foul, were you…

November 17, 2013

49ers 9, Panthers 10: Grades

SAN FRANCISCO — Here are my grades for the 49ers’ 10-9 loss to the Panthers. KAEPERNICK: F+. He completed just 11 passes and converted just 2 of 13 third downs. He had 46 net passing yards. That’s pathetic. He took 6 sacks and he threw an interception to seal the defeat. His passer rating in the fourth quarter was 0.0. But I give him an F+ and not an F because…

November 10, 2013

49ers 42, Jaguars 10: Grades

Here are the grades for the 49ers’ 42-10 win over the Jaguars. Quarterbacks: A. One of the best games ever by a quarterback who completed just 10 passes. Kaepernick scored three touchdowns, one passing and two rushing, and he averaged 10.2 yards per pass attempt and 9.3 yards per rush attempt. He made 10 breathtaking plays in the first half alone – designed runs, scrambles, pump fakes, passes on the…

October 27, 2013

49ers 31, Titans 17: Grades

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Here are the grades for the 49ers’ 31-17 win over the Titans. KAEPERNICK: A-. He threw some extremely accurate passes and ran exceptionally well. His passer rating was 93.2 and his yards-per-carry average was 6.2 – the highest in the game. He gets an A- and not an A because he made two poor throws in the second quarter when the 49ers were up just 3-0. First,…

October 20, 2013

Harbaugh: “It was no breakout game. That’s what Vernon Davis does.”

Here is a transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Friday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers.   Did DL Glenn Dorsey practice a little bit today? “Yes.”   How did he look? “Did good.”   Good enough to play on Sunday? “We’ll make that determination, but it was good.”   You’ve got a roster opening, are you going to use it between now and the game or is it kind of up in…

October 18, 2013

49ers 35, Rams 11: Grades

ST. LOUIS – Here are the grades for the 49ers’ 35-11 win over the Rams. KAEPERNICK: B+. He played very well – 115.7 passer rating – even though he rarely went through his progessions.  He didn’t have to – in this game his first read usually was open. This season if his first read isn’t open, he scrambles. On one play in the fourth quarter Kaepernick started scrambling to his…

September 26, 2013

Fangio: “We were ultimately the second-best defense on the field in those two games.”

SANTA CLARA — Vic Fangio spoke in the media tent Tuesday afternoon. Here’s a transcript courtesy of the 49ers.   We saw CB Darryl Morris got promoted to the active roster. Is that a sign that CB Nnamdi Asomugha won’t be able to play Thursday? “Well, we had the opening with the roster, and we do have some questions with our health at the corner position. So, we just felt it…

September 24, 2013

49ers 7, Colts 27: Grades

SAN FRANCISCO – Here are the grades for the 49ers’ 27-7 Week 3 loss to the Colts. KAEPERNICK: D-. His second horrendous game in a row. He completed just 13-of-27 passes for 150 yards. He also threw an interception and fumbled. Kaepernick is the kind of quarterback who wants to feed the ball to the receivers he trusts but he trusts just one receiver – Anquan Boldin. Kaepernick hardly looks…

September 22, 2013

Harbaugh wants the 49ers “to make significant improvement this week.”

SANTA CLARA — Here is a transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Monday press conference courtesy of the 49ers.   Anything going on with NT Ian Williams? What’s his prognosis? “It looks like he’s going to be out for the year. Disappointing, he’ll have surgery today.”   It was a broken ankle? “Yes.”   After watching the play, any thoughts on just the block? “No, an unfortunate play.”   How do you…

September 16, 2013

Harbaugh: “We feel like we have a good plan.”

SANTA CLARA – Jim Harbaugh spoke in the media tent Friday afternoon. Here’s a transcript. Q: Are you satisfied with the week of practice? HARBAUGH: Yeah, I think it was a real good week, both teams ready to play. Excited to go up to Seattle and get this game going. Q: What did B.J. Daniels offer as the scout team quarterback this week? HARBAUGH: He did a real nice job….

September 13, 2013

Kaepernick’s brilliance masks issues for 49ers

Here is my Monday column. Enjoy. SANTA CLARA – Let’s focus on the good after the 49ers’ Week 1 win over the Packers, a very good team, probably not a great team. THE GOOD After just 11 starts, Colin Kaepernick probably is the best quarterback in the NFL. You could say he singlehandedly beat the Packers. His defense gave up 28 points, he had no rushing attack and still he…

September 9, 2013

49ers 34, Packers 28: Grades

SAN FRANCISCO – My grades for the 49ers after their 34-28 win over the Packers: KAEPERNICK: A. He outplayed Aaron Rodgers and shredded the Packers’ defense despite having no rushing threat, one wide receiver and one tight end. Kaepernick may be the only quarterback in the NFL who can pull that off. Here’s his final stat line: 29-of-37 for 412 yards, 3 TDs, a 129.4 passer rating, 9-for-18 on third…

September 8, 2013

49ers-Packers matchups: Pass rushers v. Eddie Lacy

The Packers’ favorite personnel grouping on offense is “11” personnel – one running back, one tight end and three receivers. This gives Aaron Rodgers four immediate receiving threats on the line of scrimmage and one running back in the backfield to pick up a blitzer or a free rusher. But the Packers’ rookie running backs, Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin, did not pass protect in college. Pass protection is new…

September 7, 2013

Packers have a painful plan for 49ers, but a solution is in the strategy

Here is my Friday column previewing the 49ers-Packers game. Jim Harbaugh has to understand Clay Matthews isn’t bluffing. Matthews wants to take out Colin Kaepernick. Every Packer does. Matthews said so. If the 49ers run the read-option, the Packers will try to hurt Kaepernick. They’d be nuts not to. It’s legal. It’s smart. Knocking him out is the Packers’ best chance to win, and the read-option play is the best…

September 6, 2013

Vic Fangio names Eric Reid the 49ers’ starting free safety

SANTA CLARA – Vic Fangio spoke in the media tent Tuesday afternoon. Here’s what he said. FANGIO: I just want to let you guys know we’re going to miss Parys (Haralson) here. I want to laud his career here and his stay here. He was a great teammate, a great friend of the organization, a really good player and we’re all happy for him that he’s going to be able…

August 27, 2013