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

What’s a Harbaugh worth?

Here is my Wednesday column on Jim Harbaugh. Under no circumstances should the 49ers give Jim Harbaugh a contract extension this offseason. Let him play out the final two years of his deal. Or let him win a Super Bowl before giving him a raise. Apparently, Harbaugh wants to be the highest-paid head coach in the NFL. Hey, so do I, but I don’t deserve to be. Harbaugh doesn’t deserve…

February 26, 2014

Road game on a Thursday is not the scenario for a 49ers recovery

Here is my Tuesday column on the upcoming 49ers-Rams game. You don’t have to look hard to find reasons to pick the 49ers to beat the Rams Thursday night in St. Louis. Here’s one: The Rams stink. Last Sunday they got destroyed by the Cowboys, a .500 team the past two seasons. And the Rams showed no emotion while they got stomped. It was like they expected it and didn’t…

September 24, 2013

Dahl says the Rams’ D could “differentiate between run and pass early” against the 49ers last season

SANTA CLARA – Craig Dahl, a former St. Louis Ram, spoke to Bay Area reporters Wednesday afternoon. He was asked how the Rams’ defense played the 49ers’ offense so tough last season. Here’s what Dahl said. Q: You were on the Rams’ defense last season. Why did you guys play the 49ers’ offense so well? DAHL: We had a few tips off of film. We were able to differentiate between…

June 12, 2013

Dolphins-49ers matchups: Part V – Kevin Coyle vs. Jim Harbaugh, Greg Roman, John Morton and Geep Chryst

The 49ers play the Dolphins Sunday at Candlestick.  In the meantime, I’ll break down five key matchups. DC Kevin Coyle vs. Jim Harbaugh, Greg Roman, John Morton and Geep Chryst The 49ers offensive brain trust got embarrassed last week by Jeff Fisher. Kevin Coyle is no Fisher, but you can bet Coyle will try to duplicate what Fisher accomplished against the 49ers on Sunday. The Rams stopped Frank Gore and…

December 8, 2012

Sunday matchup: Dolphins defense vs. 49ers offense

Defensively, the Dolphins played the Patriots fairly tough on Sunday, allowing only 10 yards rushing in the first half.  Unfortunately, the Fish gave up over 100 yards rushing in the second half. Mike Nolan, their defensive coordinator last year, left them with some pretty good talent and schemes, so they are not a dismal unit. The Dolphins have two 49er games against the Rams to study because Jeff Fisher’s defensive…

December 5, 2012

Fangio on the Rams: “They’re playing good football.”

SANTA CLARA – Here is what Vic Fangio said about the Rams at his Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers.   How much have the Rams changed in three weeks? “They haven’t. They’re playing good football. They came into our game and played very well against us. They had a game against the Jets where the turnovers kind of set them back. And then last week they played very…

November 29, 2012

Is there any way the Rams can beat the 49ers?

No. There is no way the Rams can beat the 49ers on Sunday, unless there’s an act of divine intervention. The Rams offense doesn’t have a good enough run game or offensive line to sustain 14-play touchdown drives against the 49ers defense. St. Louis will find itself in too many second-and-nines and third-and-eights. Their offensive line is not good enough to block the 49ers pass rush in those situations. I’d…

November 9, 2012

Cosell on 49ers offense: “When they cross the line to too much pass, that’s when they have their problems.”

NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell spoke on the Murph and Mac Show Thursday morning. Here’s what Cosell said about the 49ers offense. Q: Jeff Fisher praised the 49ers offense more than the defense yesterday on a conference call. What do you think of that? COSELL: It’s coach-speak, but you have to understand what Jeff’s background is. Jeff’s a defensive coach, and defensive coaches always think in terms of not turning…

November 8, 2012

Fisher says Rams, Seahawks and Cardinals are “quite a ways behind” 49ers offensively

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher spoke on a conference call with Bay Area reporters Wednesday morning. Here’s what he said about the 49ers. Q: Did you feel the NFC was an ascendant division when you took the Rams job – a lot of young teams? FISHER: Yeah, I feel like the division has improved. Obviously, after the first half of the season you can say it certainly has,…

November 7, 2012

Fisher on Rams: “Still feel like we have a fine quarterback in place here.”

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher spoke on a conference call with Bay Area reporters Wednesday morning. Here’s what he said about the Rams. Q: When you were considering the Rams job, did you look at the NFC West and analyze it, and if you did, what did you see from that division? FISHER: Certainly very, very impressed with what took place out there and the great job that…

November 7, 2012

Top-5 head coaches in the NFL

Who are the top-five head coaches in the NFL? Let’s start the discussion by listing coaches who used to be in the top-five but aren’t any more: Jeff Fisher, Mike Shanahan and Sean Payton. Am I leaving anyone out? Fisher’s a defensive guy who hasn’t coached a dominant defense in quite a while. Shanahan’s an offensive guy who hasn’t coached a dominant offense since John Elway was a quarterback. And…

May 18, 2012

McDaniels (!) isn’t interested in Niners

McDaniels, 34, who was fired by the Broncos this season after five wins and one videotaping controversy in his final 20 games, reportedly had misgiving about the Niners’ Big Three: 29-year-old Jed York, two-day GM Trent Baalke and executive vice president Paraag Marathe.

January 6, 2011

Cardinal win; Harbaugh mum

Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh – big surprise – didn’t announce he’s bolting to San Francisco, Denver or Ann Arbor, Mich., after the Cardinal routed Virginia Tech, 40-12, tonight in Miami.

January 3, 2011

Singletary, Chargers’ Rivera have a history

Here’s a good story from today’s San Diego Union-Tribune on the connection between Mike Singletary and San Diego defensive coordinator Ron Rivera. Rivera was Singletary’s backup at middle linebacker on the 1985 Chicago Bears and later played alongside Singletary for five seasons. Rivera notes that Singletary, the Hall-of-Fame player, had a unique ability to absorb Xs and Os and the subtleties of the game. It’s not a trait generally assigned…

December 16, 2010