Why the 49ers will beat the Seahawks

Let me start by listing everything that’s working against the 49ers this week. They are trying to win their third game in a row. They haven’t won three games in a row this season. Seattle’s crowd and home field advantage – the turf – will be tough for the Niners to overcome, even more so than last Sunday night. At least the Niners won’t face a time change and will have…

December 21, 2012

Roman: “I think Crab matches up well against everybody. Crab is a player who’s ascending.”

SANTA CLARA – This is the transcript of Greg Roman’s Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers.   Opening Statement: “Good afternoon. Everybody is working hard, everybody is focused. We know how good Seattle’s defense is. I think they are statistically the third ranked defense in the league in yards given up. But the reality of it is, they’re good at every position, safeties do a great job of covering…

December 20, 2012

Dump David Akers

Last night in my grades, I briefly mentioned that the 49ers should cut David Akers. Let’s expand on that. Akers is the weakest link on the team. He’s the worst kicker in the NFL this season. For the last few months he hasn’t been able to hit 50-yard field goals. In the playoffs, you need a kicker who is money inside 40 yards. Last night, Akers missed a 39-yarder. In…

December 17, 2012

49ers Week 15 grades: Defense and special teams

FOXBORO, Ma. – The 49ers beat the Patriots 41-34 and clinched a playoff berth. Here are the grades for the 49ers’ defense and special teams. Defensive line: B. Justin Smith did not play particularly well, and then he left the game with an elbow injury. On the other hand, Ray McDonald played his best game of the season. He had half a sack all season, and he had two Sunday…

December 16, 2012

49ers Week 14 grades: Defense and special teams

SAN FRANCISCO – The 49ers beat the Dolphins 27-13. Here are the grades for the 49ers defense and special teams. unable to get the football to the best tight end in the NFL. Not good. Defensive line: B. Justin Smith had five tackles, a QB hit and a leaping pass deflection at the line of scrimmage. He’s getting better as the season moves forward. Ray McDonald got pressure on Tannehill…

December 9, 2012

Harbaugh is sticking with Akers for now

SANTA CLARA – Here is what Jim Harbaugh said about David Akers at his Monday press conference. Q: What’s David Akers’ status? Do you expect him to be kicking on Sunday for the 49ers? HARBAUGH: “I do. We’ll see what his health status is this week, but all implications are he’s working through something. He’s kicked well in practice, he’s kicked well in games. I thought the one he missed…

December 3, 2012

49ers Week 13 grades: Defense and special teams

SAN FRANCISCO – The 49ers lost to the Rams 16-13. Here are the grades for the 49ers defense. Defensive line: A. Justin Smith may have had the best game of his season. He had a team-high 8 tackles, including three for losses, 1 sack and 1 QB hit. Isaac Sopoaga and Ray McDonald helped limit Steven Jackson to 48 yards on 21 carries. Linebackers: A-. Aldon Smith had a sack…

December 2, 2012

Harbaugh on A.J. Jenkins and LaMichael James: “We’ll learn more about them and see how they step up.”

SANTA CLARA – Here is the transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Friday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers.   How did the week go? “Good week. Got a chance to work on our turf field today. And playing on turf this week. But, overall, good week. Thought the focus was good and the practices were good.”   Does the rain infringe upon your preparations at all? “Probably a couple different ways…

November 30, 2012

Jewel Hampton promoted to 49ers active roster

The 49ers announced this afternoon they’ve moved undrafted rookie Jewel Hampton from the non-football-related injury list to the active roster. With Kyle Williams and Kendall Hunter on the injured reserved list, Hampton becomes the 52nd man on the 49ers roster, which means they can still sign another player at any time. They were spotted working out kickers at their facility this morning.

November 27, 2012

49ers Week 12 grades: Defense and special teams

NEW ORLEANS — The 49ers just beat the Saints 31-21. Here are the grades for the 49ers defense and special teams. Defensive line: B+. Justin Smith had 1.5 sacks – he’s coming on at the end of the season, just like he did last year. Ray McDonald almost sacked Brees on the first play of the game. McDonald didn’t do much the rest of the game. And Isaac Sopoaga was…

November 25, 2012

49ers Week 11 grades: Defense and special teams

SAN FRANCISCO – The 49ers destroyed the Chicago Bears 32-7 Monday night. Here are the grades for the 49ers defense and special teams. Defensive line: A. They held the Bears rushing attack to just 3 yards per carry. Justin Smith got consistent pressure on the quarterback for the first time this season. Ray McDonald tackled Chilo Rachal in the end zone for a safety. Linebackers: A. NaVorro Bowman had a…

November 19, 2012

Prediction: 49ers will beat the Bears in a field goal fest

The 49ers are going to beat the Bears 19-6. The Niners’ defense is going to have a huge bounce-back game. They’re going to make the Bears offense look completely inept. The Niners defense will stonewall Bears RBs Matt Forte and Michael Bush and harass backup QB Jason Campbell. The Niners defense is going to force a turnover, return it for a touchdown and limit the Bears offense to just two…

November 18, 2012

49ers Week 10 grades: Special teams

SAN FRANCISCO — The 49ers tied the Rams 24-24. Here is the grade for the 49ers special teams. Special teams: F. Let me count the ways the 49ers special teams failed against the Rams. They gave up two fake-punt passes for first downs. The first time, the Rams were backed up into their own end zone. Special teams coach Brad Seely called an all-out blitz to block the punt, so…

November 11, 2012

Week 7 grades: The defense

SAN FRANCISCO – The 49ers beat the Seahawks 13-6. Here are the grades for the 49ers’ defense. Defensive line: C+. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 103 yards on this group, which has given up 100-yard rushers two weeks in a row. However, when Lynch came Justin Smith’s way, Smith stopped him most of the time. Smith finished with a team-high 9 tackles, but he did get planted on his back by…

October 18, 2012

Harbaugh: “We’ve just been using Colin as an added weapon. We feel like we’re getting plenty of everything from Alex Smith.”

SANTA CLARA – Jim Harbaugh spoke in the defensive meeting room Monday afternoon. Here’s what he said about the 49ers 26-3 loss to the Giants. Q: How do you think Alex Boone did at left tackle after Joe Staley got hurt? HARBAUGH: Did fine. I don’t think any of us had our best day. It certainly wouldn’t be very human if it didn’t hurt today. But there’s no time. You’ve…

October 15, 2012

Week 6 grades: Defense & special teams

SAN FRANCISCO — Here are the Week 6 grades for the defense and special teams. Defensive line: D. They got zero pressure on Eli Manning. They held Ahmad Bradshaw to 23 yards on 11 carries in the first half, but they gave up 93 yards on 16 carries to Bradshaw in the second half. At one point in the fourth quarter they gave up almost 70 rushing yards on 7…

October 14, 2012

Harbaugh on the 49ers third-down offense: “We’d like to make it sensational this week.”

SANTA CLARA – Friday in the media tent, Jim Harbaugh compared Frank Gore to Walter Payton, evaluated Kyle Williams’ Week 1 performance and the offense’s third down production. Here’s a transcript, courtesy of the 49ers. I’m not trying to be fresh when I ask this, but how did WR Kyle Williams do? I think he had six punts in Green Bay? “Yeah, he did really well. Got to love it…

September 14, 2012

Harbaugh on The Handshake: “There’s nothing I can possibly add.”

I was in an airplane somewhere above Nebraska or Colorado when Jim Harbaugh spoke to the media in Santa Clara Monday afternoon. He reiterated all the good things his players did against the Packers on Sunday, and he spoke about the upcoming opponent – the Detroit Lions – and the “mini-controversy” surrounding last year’s slap handshake with Lions’ head coach Jim Schwartz. Here’s a complete transcript, courtesy of the 49ers….

September 10, 2012

Preseason Week 3 grades

Here are my grades for the 49ers preseason game against the Denver Broncos. QUARTERBACKS: B. Alex Smith and the first-team offense was 1-for-4 on third down and 0-for-1 in the red zone (Peyton Manning was 2-3 on third down and 2-2 in the red zone). Smith did complete 5 of 7 passes, including a deep TD to Vernon Davis. Smith also had one fumbled snap, one delay-of-game penalty and two…

August 26, 2012

Preseason Week 2 grades: The defense and special teams

Here are my preseason Week 2 grades for the 49ers’ defense. DEFENSIVE LINE: B+. The starters didn’t get much pressure on the quarterback, but they mostly shut down Arian Foster and the Texans’ great running game – Foster gained most of his yards in the second quarter against the Niners’ backups. Speaking of the backups, Ricky Jean Francois and Ian Williams played well, busting into the Texans’ backfield a few…

August 19, 2012