Which 49ers are expendable?

I just wrote a blog saying the 49ers should cut David Akers ASAP. Are there any other players the 49ers should sever relations with at the end of the season? If so, who? Ted Ginn Jr. comes to mind. He doesn’t get any snaps at wide receiver any more, he lost his kick returning job to LaMichael James and now he’s bumbling punts. He doesn’t do anything well anymore. He’s…

December 17, 2012

49ers Week 15 grades: Offense

FOXBORO, Ma. – The 49ers beat the Patriots 41-34 and clinched a playoff berth. Here are the grades for the 49ers’ offense. Offensive line: B+. They gave up just one sack – Rob Ninkovich beat Joe Staley. Other than that, the offensive line gave Kaepernick a ton of time to throw all game. They also created huge holes in the running game in the first half when the 49ers averaged…

December 16, 2012

Manningham out vs. Patriots

The 49ers have announced Mario Manningham is out tonight against the Patriots. This will be the second game in a row Manningham misses with a shoulder injury. Without Manningham last week against the Dolphins, Randy Moss played 29 snaps, was targeted four times and made two catches. Vernon Davis played 57 snaps, was targeted twice and made one catch. Delanie Walker played 40 snaps, was targeted once and made one…

December 16, 2012

49ers Week 14 grades: Offense

SAN FRANCISCO – The 49ers beat the Dolphins 27-13. Here are the grades for the 49ers offense. Offensive line: C. They’re a big, strong run-blocking line that struggles in pass protection. The 49ers came out passing in the first half and the line wasn’t up to it. Anthony Davis gave up three sacks in the first half. He was a complete liability and he forced Greg Roman to abandon the…

December 9, 2012

Prediction: 49ers will beat Dolphins by two touchdowns

The 49ers will beat the Dolphins 24-9 on Sunday. The 49ers defense will not give up a touchdown for the second game in a row. The Dolphins defense will play the 49ers offense almost the exact same way the Rams defense played them last Sunday, and the 49ers will be ready for it. Jim Harbaugh, Greg Roman, John Morton and Geep Chryst will have a creative, aggressive game plan that…

December 8, 2012

What do 49ers do without Manningham?

Mario Manningham sat out the last two practices with a shoulder injury. If he can’t play against the Dolphins on Sunday, the 49ers lose a key weapon in the pass game. Manningham is second on the team in targets and catches, he’s dropped just one pass all season and he’s a deep threat. How do you suppose the 49ers wide receivers coach and pass game coordinator John Morton is game…

December 7, 2012

49ers Week 13 grades: Offense

SAN FRANCISCO – The 49ers lost to the Rams 16-13. Here are the grades for the 49ers offense. Offensive line: D. They were dominated by the Rams defensive line all game. They gave up constant pressure when Kaepernick dropped back, and they could not open holes in the running game. They also were flagged for numerous penalties. Running backs: D. Frank Gore – 23 rushes for 58 yards, and one…

December 2, 2012

49ers Week 12 grades: Offense

NEW ORLEANS – The 49ers just beat the Saints 31-21. Here are the grades for the 49ers offense. Offensive line: B-. These guys gave up pressure all game, but did not surrender a single sack because Kaepernick escaped every time. Anthony Davis was flagged for a hold which negated a beautiful throw by Kaepernick and a beautiful catch and run by Michael Crabtree which would have been a 35-yard gain….

November 25, 2012

49ers Week 11 grades: Offense

SAN FRANCISCO – The 49ers destroyed the Chicago Bears 32-7 Monday night. Here are the grades for the 49ers offense. Offensive line: A. They opened holes and gave Kaepernick plenty of time to throw in the pocket. They only gave up one sack, and that sack was Kaepernick’s fault – all his receivers were covered and he didn’t throw the ball away. Running backs: A. Frank Gore had 78 yards…

November 19, 2012

49ers Week 10 grades: Offense

SAN FRANCISCO — The 49ers tied the Rams 24-24. Here are the grades for the 49ers offense. Offensive line: B. They gave up five sacks, but not all were their fault. In fact, four of the sacks were due to Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick holding on to the ball for too long. On the fifth sack, Anthony Davis got beat by Chris Long, who sacked Kaepernick as he was…

November 11, 2012

49ers Week 8 grades: Offense

Here are the grades for the 49ers offense from their 24-3 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Quarterbacks: A. Alex Smith played one of the best games of his life. He only attempted 19 passes, but he completed 18 of them, and Delanie Walker dropped the one incompletion. That’s a 95 percent completion percentage. Smith broke Fran Tarketon’s record for the most completed passes in a game in which he threw…

October 29, 2012

Are the 49ers skimping on Vernon Davis?

There’s been a lot of debate lately about whether the 49ers should pass the ball more to Vernon Davis. Here are some stats to help inform the discussion: Last season, the 49ers targeted Vernon Davis on 21 percent of their passes. They targeted Michael Crabtree 25 percent of the time. This season, Crabtree is still receiving a quarter of 49ers the targets, but Davis’ target percentage has dropped to 17…

October 23, 2012

Harbaugh on Vernon Davis: “We couldn’t get him the ball in the passing game.”

SANTA CLARA – Jim Harbaugh spoke to Bay Area reporters in the 49ers’ defensive meeting room Friday afternoon. Here’s what he said about Vernon Davis’ performance against the Seahawks. HARBAUGH: “Vernon had one of his best games. His blocking was outstanding. Certainly, the touchdown block highlights it, but he’s blocking Red Bryant pretty consistently the entire game. He just did one heck of a job and allowed our center, our…

October 19, 2012

Week 7 grades: The offense

SAN FRANCISCO – The 49ers beat the Seahawks 13-6. Here are the grades for the 49ers’ offense. Quarterbacks: D. Alex Smith did not have a good game, but he did lead one touchdown drive in the third quarter and that was all the 49ers needed to beat the Seahawks. Smith was five-of-five on that drive for 60 yards and a touchdown. On the other drives, he was 9-of-18 for 90…

October 18, 2012

Week 6 grades: Offense

SAN FRANCISCO – The 49ers just lost 26-3 to the New York Giants. Here are the grades for the 49ers’ offense. Quarterbacks: F. This was Alex Smith’s worst game under Jim Harbaugh. Smith threw three picks – the most he’s thrown since 2007. In the first half he missed a handful of open receivers. Then he tried to force a few passes and got picked off. At the end of…

October 14, 2012

Harbaugh lists Kaepernick as one of nine playmakers on the 49ers offense

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what Jim Harbaugh said about the 49ers offense at his Monday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers.   We talked to offensive coordinator Greg Roman yesterday. He noted that it was obvious early on that QB Alex Smith was hot. That WR Michael Crabtree was hot. When you see that early on, do you then start to tailor the calls to fit the hot hands, so…

October 8, 2012

Week 5 grades: 49ers demolish Bills 45-3

SAN FRANCISCO — Here are the grades for the 49ers 45-3 demolition of the Bills – a truly awful team. Quarterbacks: A. Alex Smith had the best statistical performance of his career. His QB rating was a near-perfect 156.2. He also rushed 3 times for 49 yards. He completed 18-of-24 passes, but only two passes were bad – a screen he threw too early to Kendall Hunter, and an overthrown…

October 7, 2012

Roman on Alex Smith: “He’s just gotten better incrementally in everything we ask him to do.”

Greg Roman’s Thursday press conference transcript, courtesy of the 49ers.   Opening Statement: “Good afternoon. Didn’t take our players long watching the film of cleaning up the Detroit game, moving on to Minnesota and seeing that these guys are a very, very good defense. They’re well coached. They’ve got a diverse scheme. They’ve got [Vikings DE] Jared Allen, who some regard as the best pass rusher in the National Football…

September 21, 2012

Lions-49ers matchups: Part 1

The 49ers play the Detroit Lions Sunday night at Candlestick Park. In the meantime, I’ll break down one key matchup per day. The 49ers run offense vs. the Lions run defense Upon first glance, this matchup seems completely one-sided in the 49ers’ favor. Last season when these two teams played, the 49ers averaged 7 yards a carry. For the entire 2011 season, the Lions gave up an average of 5…

September 12, 2012

Packers-49ers matchups: Part IV

The 49ers play the Green Bay Packers in three days. In the meantime, I’ll break down a few key matchups a day. LOLB Ahmad Brooks: 6-3, 259 pounds, 28 years old, 33 ½-inch arms vs. RT Bryan Bulaga: 6-5, 315 pounds, 23 years old, 33 ¼-inch arms. Brooks has been a consistent pass rusher the last three seasons – averaging 6 sacks a season over that stretch. Bryan Bulaga gave…

September 6, 2012