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

Should 49ers trade for Dwayne Bowe?

Tuesday is the NFL trading deadline, and according to Peter King, Kansas City Chiefs Pro Bowl wide receiver Dwayne Bowe is available. Evan Silva tweeted last night it would take at least a third round pick to trade for Bowe. The 49ers happen to have two third round picks next year. So, I ask you: Should the 49ers trade for Bowe? He’s big, he’s fast and he’s one of the…

October 29, 2012

Peterson sums up 49ers offense: “Run, run, run and try to throw it over your head for touchdowns.”

Patrick Peterson spoke to Bay Area reporters on a conference call Wednesday afternoon. Here’s what he said about the 49ers. Q: In terms of this being a rivalry game, what kind of buzz is going on in the locker room, and what sense are you getting from the veteran guys about how important the Niner game is? PETERSON: This is a huge game. One, it’s on Monday night and two,…

October 24, 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

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

Why the Giants defense can be susceptible to runs on third downs

Yesterday I broke down a couple of 49ers offensive line matchups with the Giants defensive front. I want to point out something. The matchups will not always be as simple as Joe Staley vs. Jason Pierre Paul and Anthony Davis vs. Justin Tuck. If you noticed against the Browns last Sunday, the Giants tried a variety of defensive linemen over all of the Browns’ offensive linemen looking for a soft…

October 12, 2012

When will Moss’ big-catch day come?

On Monday, Jim Harbaugh said Randy Moss will have his “big-catch day” soon, meaning Moss will catch a lot of passes. Here’s my question to you: How soon? Do you expect him to catch about eight passes and a touchdown against the Giants? Or do you think he’ll continue to get one target per game and play fewer snaps than Kyle Williams? I think the latter will happen. I think…

October 10, 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

49ers-Giants matchups: Part 1 – 49ers run O vs. Giants run D

The 49ers play the Giants at Candlestick on Sunday. In the meantime, I’ll break down a couple of key matchups per day. The 49ers running attack vs. the Giants run defense This is a lopsided match up. The 49ers average 6.1 yards per rush – that’s No.1 in the league by almost a full yard per carry. The Giants defense allows 4.5 yards per carry – 25th best in the…

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 explains what a “mixer” is, and more

SANTA CLARA — Greg Roman’s Thursday press conference transcript, courtesy of the 49ers.   Opening Statement: “Good afternoon. Really proud of how our guys finished out that road trip and we’re back here working on the Bills. Got a lot of respect for what we’re seeing of the Bills. They had tough second half the other day, but really it’s just as much a credit to the team they were…

October 4, 2012

Harbaugh on Bills: “Statistically a very good football team.”

SANTA CLARA – Wednesday in the media tent, Jim Harbaugh answered questions about the Buffalo Bills, Colin Kaepernick, Alex Boone, the rookies, Randy Moss and more. Here’s a transcript, courtesy of the 49ers.   The Bills obviously had a pretty rugged second half last week against the Patriots. What do you see from them? Obviously, they have challenging players on that side of the ball. What did you see from…

October 3, 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

Harbaugh on Crabtree: “Nobody I’d rather have catching the ball than him.”

SANTA CLARA – Here’s the complete transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Monday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers. Harbaugh explained why he suited three quarterbacks against the Lions. He also told two Muhammad Ali stories, praised Michael Crabtree’s “frog-like” catching ability, and more. Enjoy. “Sorry I’m late. I was getting a little something to eat. A little hungrier today than normal.”   Did you have a $2 steak? “No. It was…

September 17, 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

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

Training camp report: Thursday, the good – Vernon Davis and Josh Johnson

SANTA CLARA – Thursday’s practice was the last 49ers practice open to the media this season. It was a light practice – the players wore shorts and went about half speed. Alex Smith mostly played against the scout-team defense, but when he did face the starters he threw two touchdown passes – one to Kyle Williams in the middle of the end zone – right in front of strong safety…

August 16, 2012

Preseason Week 1 grades: The offense

SAN FRANCISCO – Here are my preseason Week One grades for the Niners’ offense. Offensive line: A. In the running game, they completely pushed the Vikings’ defensive line around. The 49ers averaged 6.3 yards per rush because the offensive line created gaping holes all night. Rock Cartwright gained 44 yards on 8 carries. When was the last time you saw Cartwright do that? In pass protection, the offensive line looked…

August 11, 2012