49ers 23, Packers 20: Grades

GREEN BAY – Here are my grades for the 49ers, who beat the Packers 23-20 at Lambeau Field in a wild card playoff game Sunday night. KAEPERNICK: B+. His passer rating the first three quarters was 58.9, but his passer rating in the fourth quarter was 118.2. So, he was clutch, although he completed just half of his passes in the fourth quarter (4-of-8), and one of his incompletions was…

January 5, 2014

49ers 23, Cardinals 20: Grades

Here are my grades for the 49ers. They beat the Cardinals 23-20 on a last-second field goal by Phil Dawson. KAEPERNICK: B+. Excellent in the first and fourth quarter, bad in the second and third quarter. He was flagged for a delay-of-game penalty on the final drive of the game, but he also made two beautiful throws on that drive – one to Anquan Boldin for 18 yards and one…

December 29, 2013

49ers 34, Falcons 24: Grades

SAN FRANCISCO – Here are my grades for the 49ers. They almost blew a 10-point fourth-quarter lead, but ended up beating the Falcons 34-24. KAEPERNICK: B. His passer rating was 108.6 and he ran for 51 yards and a touchdown against a terrible defense. He also completed just 13 passes, and only a few of his completions actually hit his intended receiver in stride. All night, receivers had to adjust…

December 23, 2013

Return to the NFL winner’s circle

Here is my Sunday article on the last great moment at Candlestick Park. This article runs in the Press Democrat’s Sunday sports section. SANTA CLARA — A few days before the last game ever played at Candlestick Park, Vernon Davis walked off the practice field talking to Frank Gore after a morning walkthrough. Davis had agreed to do a one-on-one interview after the walkthrough about the last great moment at…

December 22, 2013

Harbaugh: “Beware of unnamed sources. They speak with forked tongue.”

SANTA CLARA — Jim Harbaugh spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.   How do you replace FB Bruce Miller and everything that he brought to the table? “Well, a fantastic football player, does so many things for us. [RB] Anthony Dixon will step up and do a great job, as he has been doing in that backup fullback role….

December 19, 2013

Dilfer: “If you’re a skill position guy for the Niners, you’re only getting the ball if the play was designed to get you the ball.”

Trent Dilfer answered questions about the 49ers’ offense Wednesday morning on 95.7 The Game. Here is a transcript. Q: After last game, Michael Crabtree talked openly about wanting the ball more. He was visibly frustrated after a couple of plays. How does a quarterback handle that? DILFER: After you learn the hard way early in your career how to deal with it, you kind of like it. You want a…

December 18, 2013

Harbaugh on Kaepernick: “There were 30-yard lasers on the run. Just haven’t seen anybody ever do that.”

SANTA CLARA — Jim Harbaugh spoke in the defensive meeting room Monday afternoon. Here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.   Opening Comments: “We’re glad to see you. We’re glad to be back. It was a great win for the team. We’re very excited about it. The biggest thing is the guys worked hard for it. They worked hard in their preparation. They worked hard in the…

December 16, 2013

49ers 33, Bucs 14: Grades

Here are my grades for the 49ers’ 33-14 win over the Buccaneers. KAEPERNICK: B+. He was outstanding at improvising and passing on the run. He struggled in the third quarter (3-of-10 passing) when the 49ers asked him to pass almost exclusively from the pocket – his accuracy deteriorated, his passes got tipped and he stared down his first read. But in the fourth quarter, Kaepernick moved outside the pocket and…

December 15, 2013

Harbaugh: “Crab is back.”

SANTA CLARA – Jim Harbaugh spoke to reporters in the defensive meeting room Monday afternoon. Here’s what he said about Frank Gore’s 51-yard run against the Seahawks, and what Harbaugh said about Michael Crabtree. Q: What did you see when you looked at the film of Gore’s long run at the end of the game? HARBAUGH: It was one of the biggest holes we had on the day to run…

December 9, 2013

49ers 19, Seahawks 17: Grades

SAN FRANCISCO – Here are my grades for the 49ers’ 19-17 win over the Seahawks. KAEPERNICK: D+. He was pretty good in the first half and awful for most of the second half until his 8-yard run to seal the win on third-and-7 at the end of the fourth quarter. That’s why I give him the “plus.” He missed wide open receivers all game and completed just 52 percent of…

December 8, 2013

John Clayton: “I still think Seattle can win because they’re the better team at this stage.”

John Clayton was interviewed on Tuesday about the upcoming 49ers-Seahawks game. Here is a transcript. Q: What do you see happening in this game? CLAYTON: I still think Seattle can win because they’re the better team at this stage. I think they go down there hitting them at a good time. Michael Crabtree is not going to be 100 percent because literally he’s having his training camp now. You can…

December 3, 2013

49ers 23, Rams 13: Grades

SAN FRANCISCO – Here are the 49ers’ grades for their 23-13 win over the Rams. KAEPERNICK: A-. This was the most accurate Kaepernick has thrown the ball since Week 1 against the Packers. Kaepernick completed 68 percent of his passes for 9.8 yards per attempt against the Rams. My only knock on him is he did not play well on third down – the 49ers converted just 4 of 12…

December 1, 2013

Rams have made gains — enough to win?

Here is my Saturday column previewing the upcoming 49ers-Rams game. SANTA CLARA – If the 49ers lose to the Rams on Sunday, you can forget about the 49ers. The 49ers currently cling to the sixth and final NFC playoff seed. The 49ers can’t afford to lose to the Rams and fall behind in the race for the final Wild Card spot. The Rams have improved since the 49ers embarrassed them…

November 30, 2013

49ers 27, Redskins 6: Grades

Here are the grades for the 49ers’ 27-6 win over the Redskins. KAEPERNICK: B. He fumbled a snap, forced two passes into tight coverage and almost got intercepted both times, and converted just 29 percent of his third downs. That was not so good. But he did some good things – 134.5 passer rating, 3 touchdowns, no picks. In comparison to the opposing quarterback, Kaepernick looked like John Elway. WIDE…

November 25, 2013

Redskins can be troublesome

Here is my column previewing the 49ers-Redskins Monday Night game. Sure, the 49ers should beat the Redskins Monday night, should blow them away. The 49ers are a good team fighting for a playoff spot and the Redskins are 3-7, going nowhere. I just can’t help noticing a few factors which work in the Redskins’ favor against the Niners. Take this one, it’s the craziest thing: During the Jim Harbaugh Era,…

November 22, 2013

Kaepernick: “I don’t think there is any concern on this team.”

SANTA CLARA — Colin Kaepernick answered questions in the locker room Thursday afternoon. Here is a transcript. Q: The deep passing game hasn’t been effective the past two games. Why hasn’t that come through? KAEPERNICK: It’s a variety of things, whether it is how the defense is playing us or we’re just not hitting things. There is a lot of things that can go into that. Q: Did the Saints…

November 21, 2013

49ers 20, Saints 23: Grades

NEW ORLEANS – Here are my grades for the 49ers’ 23-20 loss to the Saints. KAEPERNICK: C-. Kaepernick passed the ball well. He was 6-for-15 on third down and 2-for-3 in the red zone. His worst pass was an interception, but it didn’t cost the team anything. Kaepernick ran down the defender and made him dive for the end zone and the defender fumbled the ball out of the back…

November 17, 2013

Time to mobilize the QB

Here is my Thursday column explaining how to improve the 49ers pass game. SANTA CLARA – What would you say Eric Mangini does for the 49ers? They hired him in the offseason to be an offensive consultant, but the offense keeps getting worse. I asked Jim Harbaugh what the Mangenius does and Harbaugh said, “Several things,” and listed none of them. So I assume Mangini does nothing. Jim, you need…

November 14, 2013

Roman on Kaepernick: “There is still an element of, ‘I’m seeing something for the first time.'”

SANTA CLARA – Greg Roman spoke in the media tent Thursday afternoon. Here is a transcript. ROMAN: I know how hard it is to play down there in the dome. They’ve been very successful down there. Their defense is playing at a very high level right now, ranked very high in a lot of different categories. They play complementary team football with their offense and an aggressive scheme. They’re very…

November 14, 2013

Does Kap struggle with progressions? Harbaugh: “I understand what you’re doing, glomming onto somebody’s opinion.”

SANTA CLARA — Jim Harbaugh spoke in the defensive meeting room Monday afternoon. Here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.   How do you explain what’s happened, as far as the passing game goes, last ranked in the league coming into this game and just really not ever being able to get anything going against the Panthers? “Well, if you look at the last four quarters of…

November 11, 2013