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…

November 23, 2014

Five questions for 49ers

This is my Saturday column. These are the top-five questions and answers every 49ers’ fan needs to know: QUESTION: Why is Colin Kaepernick getting sacked so much? ANSWER: Jim Harbaugh’s offensive scheme. NFL defensive coordinators figured out Harbaugh’s offense lacks a way to beat blitzes consistently. Defenses are sacking Kaepernick on a league-high 9.1 percent of his drop backs and, when defenses blitz, they’re sacking Kaepernick even more frequently –…

November 22, 2014

Quality control: Week-11 run plays

Here is a breakdown of Frank Gore’s and Carlos Hyde’s rushing production against the Giants: Frank Gore Counter: 10 carries, 54 yards (5.4 yards per carry). Inside zone: 5 carries, 23 yards (4.6 ypc). Power: 3 carries, 16 yards (5.3 ypc). G Lead: 1 carry, 2 yards (2 ypc). Carlos Hyde Outside zone: 4 carries, 16 yards (4 ypc). Counter: 3 carries, 4 yards (1.3 ypc). Inside zone: 2 carries, 5 yards (2.5 ypc).

November 18, 2014

49ers 27, Saints 24: Grades

They aren’t dead yet. The 49ers beat the Saints 27-24 in overtime Sunday afternoon, handed Sean Payton his first loss in the Superdome since 2010. Now the 49ers are 5-4. Here are their grades. KAEPERNICK: B+. It was fourth-and-10 from the Niners’ 22-yard line, one minute and 34 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Niners’ down by three. Kaepernick had to save the game. He rolled to his right. Nowhere…

November 9, 2014

49ers need to let this man inflict some pain

This is my Saturday column. I bet you dimes to donuts the 49ers open Sunday’s game against the Saints with a running play. I don’t know this for a fact. I don’t sit in the 49ers’ offensive meetings. But I do know that the past two games — both losses — Greg Roman called 79 passes and 39 runs, a 2-to-1 ratio of passes to runs and, as a result,…

November 8, 2014

Frank Gore (hip) is limited in practice

This is Wednesday’s Week 10 practice participation report, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department. 49ers Did not participate: LB Dan Skuta (ankle), DE Justin Smith (not injury related), LB Patrick Willis (toe) Limited participation: CB Tramaine Brock (toe), RB Frank Gore (hip), WR Brandon Lloyd (hamstring), NT Ian Williams (shin) Saints Did not participate: LB David Hawthorne (hand), RB Khiry Robinson (forearm), T Zach Strief (chest), RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) Limited participation: C Jonathan…

November 5, 2014

Frank Gore: “When you’re watching the film, it’s just not us. It’s not us at all.”

SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of Frank Gore’s Wednesday interview. Q: What do you make of the offense’s recent struggles? GORE: We’ve got to do better as a group. Everybody, we’ve got to do better. Q: What about more Frank Gore? GORE: It’s a team. We have great players all around. Receivers. The backs. As a group, we’ve got to be more consistent. It always will be one…

November 5, 2014

49ers doomed by play-calling

This is my Tuesday column. The Bears and the Cardinals and the Broncos and the Rams are not defeating the 49ers. Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman are defeating the 49ers. Before the season started, if you had known the 49ers’ defense would rank second after eight games without NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith, what would you have expected the Niners’ record to be? 7-1? 8-0? If anything diminished the Niners…

November 4, 2014

Jim Harbaugh: “We’re not going to be concerned about what other people think or point out.”

SANTA CLARA — This is the transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Monday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department. Have you had a chance to talk to RB Marcus Lattimore about his future yet? “He’s weighing his options and we’ll have an announcement about that, as we said yesterday. Still to come.”   Do you want to just give him space and let him have plenty of time to kind…

November 3, 2014

49ers 10, Rams 13: Grades

SANTA CLARA — The 49ers just gave away a game to the Rams, a dreadful team that was trying its best to lose. Here are the 49ers’ grades. KAEPERNICK: D+. Was that him? Didn’t look like it. Whoever was wearing the red No.7 jersey looked timid, tentative, not explosive at all. Averaged just 7.18 yards per pass and 2.8 yards per carry, converted 3-of-12 third down and scored no touchdowns…

November 2, 2014

Jim Harbaugh says he thinks Vernon Davis is good to go now

SANTA CLARA — Here is the transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Wednesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department. Do you feel like facing an opponent so shortly after facing them the first time, playing one game and then facing them again, does that cause any kind of complications for the coaching staff? “It’s a salty opponent. We understand that. We’ve played them twice in the same year, now going…

October 29, 2014

Grading 49ers at the break

This is my Sunday column. The 49ers just finished dead week. These are their midterm grades. COLIN KAEPERNICK Pocket proficiency: B. Was a C-minus last season. Completed just 57 percent of his passes and posted an 81 passer rating inside the pocket in 2013. Has completed 69 percent of his passes and posted a 90 rating inside the pocket this season. He’s finding the open receiver quickly and throwing the…

October 27, 2014

49ers 17, Broncos 42: Grades

The Broncos eked out a 42-17 win over the 49ers Sunday night. Here are the Niners’ grades. KAEPERNICK: D. Carried the team in the first half. Posted a 140 passer rating in the second quarter. Would have been a 156 rating if Anquan Boldin hadn’t dropped a touchdown pass on third-and-goal from the 4 yard line. Kaepernick led a 7-play, 85-yard touchdown drive that took 2 minutes and 58 seconds…

October 19, 2014

49ers 31, Rams 17: Grades

The 49ers dismissed the Rams 31-17 in St. Louis Monday night. Here are the 49ers’ grades. KAEPERNICK: A. His best game this season. The Rams stopped the 49ers’ run game and forced Kaepernick to win with his arm. He did. His deep 80-yard touchdown pass before halftime hit Brandon Lloyd in stride. On the opening drive of the second half, Kaepernick converted a third-and-12, anticipated an opening downfield and fired…

October 13, 2014

49ers need to ride that stallion

This is my Sunday column previewing the 49ers’ upcoming game against the Rams. The final score might be closer than we expect but, come on, this game won’t be competitive. The oddsmakers in Las Vegas must be messing with us, favoring the 49ers to beat the Rams by just 31/2 points Monday night. Sure, the 49ers have kicked nine field goals the past two games and struggle to score touchdowns…

October 11, 2014

Greg Roman on Frank Gore: “We don’t want to just ride that stallion all day everyday.”

SANTA CLARA — Here is the transcript of Greg Roman’s Friday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department. Opening comments: “Afternoon. We’ve got a division game against the Rams. We know them well, they know us. [Rams defensive coordinator] Gregg Williams is back there as the d-coordinator. We have a lot of respect for him. He’s doing a great job with that defense. And, it really starts up front…

October 10, 2014

Kaepernick on Gore: “There’s some times he goes into a red wall and pops out the other end for 15, 20 yards.”

SANTA CLARA — Colin Kaepernick was interviewed by Bay Area reporters in the 49ers’ locker room Thursday afternoon. Here’s a transcript courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department. Are you going to get next in ping pong? “I don’t want to beat anyone right now.”   Are you a pretty good ping pong player? “Hold my own.”   Did you play a lot as a kid or more in college? “At…

October 9, 2014

Jim Harbaugh says Frank Gore is getting better

SANTA CLARA — Here’s the complete transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department. What do you see when you’ve looked at the Rams here? The last two weeks couple of close games coming off of a win before that. What kind of challenge do they pose to you guys? “Big challenge. Have always had knock-down, drag-out games with the Rams. Expect this to be…

October 9, 2014

How the 49ers mauled Josh Mauga in the second half

Did you notice how well the 49ers ran the ball inside in the second half against the Chiefs? Chiefs’ defensive coordinator Bob Sutton primarily used a two-gap scheme without a strong safety in the box to play the eighth gap. Chiefs’ linebacker Josh Mauga often lined up in front of a guard and was responsible for two gaps. Mike Iupati and Alex Boone mauled Mauga, and the 49ers gouged the…

October 7, 2014

49ers 22, Chiefs 17: Grades

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers eked out a 22-17 win over the Chiefs Sunday afternoon. But the 49ers should have lost. The Chiefs gave away the game. With four minutes and 19 seconds left in the fourth quarter Kansas City committed one of the stupidest penalties you ever will see: Fourth-and-2 at the Chiefs’ 36-yard line. Phil Dawson was on the field to attempt a 54-yard field goal and, if…

October 5, 2014