49ers, 15, Cardinals 18: Grades

Here are the 49ers’ grades after their 18-15 road loss to the Cardinals.

QUARTERBACK: C-minus. Brian Hoyer had the yips. He bounced passes to open receivers because he was trying to get the ball out of his hands before someone clocked him. The Cardinals beat him up all game. And when they weren’t beating him up, one his receivers would drop a pass or run the wrong route or fall down. I counted five drops, three miscommunications and two slips by the receivers. Most quarterbacks would have had this yips under these conditions. You can’t pin this loss on Hoyer.

RUNNING BACKS: C-plus. Carlos Hyde averaged a respectable 4.25 yards per carry, but had two very bad plays. First, he missed a block in pass protection, whiffed when the rusher was right in front of him. Then, he fumbled on the first play of overtime and was lucky the Cardinals didn’t recover the ball. The rookie, Matt Breida, averaged only 1.8 yards per carry, but had two very good plays – a beautiful block in pass protection and a touchdown catch which didn’t count because Trent Taylor committed offensive pass interference. More on Taylor below. The fullback, Kyle Juszczyk, had one great play – an eight-yard run on third-and-four during overtime. The running backs were the best position group on the offense.

WIDE RECEIVERS: F. These guys may have been the worst position group on offense. They certainly were in contention. Pierre Garcon was a complete non-factor – Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson took Garcon out of the game. Marquise Goodwin caught one pass and fell trying to catch another before he left with a concussion – his third concussion of the past two seasons. Aldrick Robinson dropped a deep pass along the sideline and ran the wrong route at least three times. And Trent Taylor committed an offensive-pass-interference penalty which was a determining factor in the outcome of the game for the second week in a row. This time, Taylor ran a rub route and set an illegal pick and negated the 49ers only touchdown. Had I called that play, I would have made Garcon run the rub route instead of Taylor. Garcon is a savvy veteran who knows how to run that route and would have gotten the benefit of the doubt from the official.

TIGHT ENDS: F. Garrett Celek committed a false start, Logan Paulsen dropped a deep pass in the red zone and George Kittle dropped a pass after taking his eyes off the ball for the second week in a row. Come to think of it, maybe these guys were the worst position group on the offense.

OFFENSIVE LINE: F. Or maybe the offensive line was the worst position group. I can’t decide. Center Daniel Kilgore gave up a three-yard loss during a run play and committed three penalties (one was declined and one was offsetting). Left guard Laken Tomlinson gave up a sack when he got pushed into Hoyer’s lap. And right guard Brandon Fusco gave up a sack when he couldn’t block a simple stunt – that’s when an outside rusher who loops around and rushes from the inside. Offensive linemen practice blocking that play every day in training camp. Basic stuff. Fusco, Tomlinson and Kilgore won’t be on the team next season. They’re brutal.

DEFENSIVE LINE: A. DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas sacked Carson Palmer once and hit him four times. Thomas’ sack came when he rushed from the inside, which is where he always should rush. I would rush him in the A-gap as a nose tackle, but he’s effective in the B-Gap, too. He never should rush from the edge. That’s Elvis Dumvervil’s domain. He sacked Palmer twice. Dumervil should start from now on, because he’s so much more effective than Arik Armstead, who made no tackles in this game.

LINEBACKERS: A. Ray Ray Armstrong made 10 tackles and intercepted a pass in the end zone, Eli Harold sacked Palmer once and NaVorro Bowman drew a holding penalty while blitzing up the middle. These three helped limit the Cardinals to just 2.3 yards per rush.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: B. Rashard Robinson is the weak link here. He committed two penalties just one game after he committed three. He’s a penalty machine and it’s too bad the Niners didn’t draft someone who can replace him at cornerback. Free safety Jimmie Ward committed a critical pass interference at the end of overtime. The game might have ended in a tie had he not made that mistake. But these guys held Palmer in check for most the game. I don’t fault the defensive backs for allowing the Cardinals’ game-winning touchdown drive. I fault Robert Saleh, and I’ll explain why below.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B-plus. Robbie Gould made all five of his field-goal attempts, Bradley Pinion averaged a whopping 50.1 yards per punt and Trent Taylor averaged a solid 10.3 yards per punt return. I downgrade this unit because it committed four of the team’s 13 penalties. As hard as the Niners played, they beat themselves once again.

COACHES: C. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh gets credit for creating effective pressure schemes to exploit the Cardinals weak offensive line. Saleh coached extremely well until the final drive of the game. I don’t understand why he stopped bringing pressure and started calling soft zone coverage during that drive. He allowed the Cardinals to gain 50 yards in just five plays, and he allowed the Cardinals score the game-winning touchdown. On that final play, Saleh called his basic Cover 3 defense. Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians called Triple Post, a pass play designed to beat Cover 3. Can’t fault the players for giving up that touchdown catch to Larry Fitzgerald. The coverage scheme gave them no chance to stop him.

I also don’t understand why Kyle Shanahan accepted that holding penalty during overtime after Buckner sacked Palmer. By accepting the penalty, Shanahan gave the Cardinals second-and-20 from the 49ers 35. Had Shanahan declined the penalty, the Cardinals would have faced third-and-15 from the Niners 30. I would have declined the penalty and taken the down from the Cardinals.

I also don’t understand why Shanahan called a run into a safety blitz on first-and-goal from the eight-yard line during overtime. That play had no chance to work, and Hyde lost four yards. I would have called a Sprint Right Option pass away from the safety blitz. That play would have allowed Hoyer to roll out of the pocket and evade pressure.

I also don’t understand why Shanahan didn’t call more three-step drops for Hoyer when pass protection was such an obvious issue. Shanahan kept calling runs and long-developing play-action passes against safety blitzes. Those are not plays you want to call against safety blitzes.

I also don’t understand why Shanahan’s offense failed to score a touchdown for the third time in four games. Chip Kelly’s offense never was this bad. Strange.

This article has 240 Comments

      1. What we need is Vic Fangio as DC. If Fangio was the 49ers DC, we wouldn’t have lost this game. He’s a free agent after 2017, by the by.

        1. Rankings
          Defensive PPG
          Bears: 27
          49ers: 24

          Yards Per Play
          Bears 16
          49ers 8

          3rd down %
          Bears 30
          49ers 29

          Both the 49ers and the Bears have the same number of sacks on the season, 9.

          Chicago can keep Fangio, he’s nothing special. Unless he can convince Justin Smith and Patrick Willis to come out of retirement.

          1. Thank you. I am tired of hearing about Fangio. That 9ers defense was monstrous, but that was by and large because of the players. This defense is being built the right way. They need help on the outside, both in terms of pass rush and corners, but I really believe this defense has the opportunity to be something special within a couple years.

            1. C4C… and MT9er…

              Hear ..Hear…Vic Fangio couldn’t do any better with this D…he was only good when he inherited a ‘bonus’ D…

            2. That’s because the niner’s braintrust never see the need to select a meaningful corner in the first round. Not since 2002(Mike rumph) have we selected a CB in the 1st round, and I don’t consider Jimmy Ward a corner. We continue to neglect the position, thus our current problem

            3. And need I remind you that the 49ers were interested in Fangio earlier this year, but the bears blocked it. Fangio has 10 times more experience coaching defenses than saleh. Look at the bears current defensive personell vs ours. Our is better.

    1. Are you looking to trade for a “difference maker” after a four and zero start?

      The Chargers are the only team (since 1990) to qualify for the playoffs after starting 0-4. The 49ers should “keep on keeping on” to develop what talent they have now.
      goal of 4 to five wins this year is still possible.

  1. DEFENSIVE LINE: A. DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas sacked Carson Palmer once and hit him four times. Thomas’ sack came when he rushed from the inside, which is where he always should rush. I would rush him in the A-gap as a nose tackle, but he’s effective in the B-Gap, too. He never should rush from the edge. That’s Elvis Dumvervil’s domain. He sacked Palmer twice. Dumervil should start from now on, because he’s so much more effective than Arik Armstead, who made no tackles in this game.

    LINEBACKERS: A. Ray Ray Armstrong made 10 tackles and intercepted a pass in the end zone, Eli Harold sacked Palmer once and NaVorro Bowman drew a holding penalty while blitzing up the middle. These three helped limit the Cardinals to just 2.3 yards per rush.
    Sure it wasn’t Arizona with the worst offensive unit’s on the field? Or am I supposed to assume that the defense just remembered to eat it’s Wheaties this morning.

    I can’t bloody wait for Armstead to be traded. I’m going to relish that one.

    1. I’d trade the outside DL 270 lb Armstead for the inside DL 293 lb Armstead that dominated the 2016 training camp before the shoulder injury.

      1. “that dominated the 2016 training camp”

        Or, not assign as much value to a)performances during training camp and b)glowing reviews from teammates about teammates.

        1. CFC – I hear you. Its always good to under-react to training camp reports. But Armstead (with all his flaws) at 293 could fork-lift guards into the pocket. With a bad shoulder. And it wasn’t reporters, but Staley and others commenting without prompting how destructive Armstead was in the 2016 camp.

          No matter how bullish I was about Armstead, I think it was a mistake to move him outside and drop all the weight. Better to have rotational inside pass rush depth than playing a guy at a totally wrong position.

          1. B2W

            I agree with you about Armstead…remember what happened when they told ‘Tank’ to lose that weight and be a LB….perhaps we should learn from our mistakes….C4C just has bad wood for Armstead…always has….

            1. OTOH, in 2015 & 2015 only JJ Watt did better in pass-rush productivity than Armstead as a 3-4 DE.

              So maybe the problem isn’t C4C, but you and the others who have unrealistic expectations. That you can’t accept you’re wrong about his 2015/2016 performance because you pre-determined he was a bust and you want to make him a whipping boy.

              Because, let’s face it, the data is on his side of the argument, not yours.

  2. Agree with your grades.
    The Niners need to stop beating themselves. They could be 2-2 if they would reduce their errors.
    The coaches made some errors also, but I really think it is a lack of execution that is hurting this team, particularly on offense.
    This is going to be a long season.

  3. Yes, there was some serious bad coaching. Also the talent void is on full display every week. 9-7 would have been a disaster. This team desperately needs another top 5 draft, and looks like they are on their way.

    1. Needing another good draft is the best reason not to over achieve with a smoke and mirror roster. Drafting high again this coming season is essential in rebuilding. If you try to do it totally in free agency even with huge cap space it does not make the best use of your resources. The best use of resources comes from really good players on rookie salaries. When you have to pay all your productive players on new contracts you end up in salary cap hell and the team will naturally begin declining. I remember this new staff declaring that their aim is to put to together a team that will compete for a long time and not just a couple of years. That requires a good balance between players on vet salaries and those on rookie salaries. The best way to get that in place is having really productive drafts. The draft will be really important for this team in the next couple of years. The higher you draft the better the chances.

      We all saw how quickly a team can digress when the blow a couple of drafts in a row.

  4. “I also don’t understand why Kyle Shanahan accepted that holding penalty during overtime”

    Neither do I. Week after week we see Shanahan make coaching mistakes. In addition to this, 49 passes to 27 runs? The 49ers aren’t going to win with that type of play calling disparity.

      1. It would have made a big difference. This offense has shown that it is at it’s best when there is a run threat, and then they can use play action. Shanahan took that out of the offense in the 4th quarter.

        1. Seems legit. I thought last week KS got too cute when the run was working.
          But I’ve got those Hindsight Glasses on…….
          : >)
          (#Remodel-reconstruction in progress. Hard hat Area.)

      2. This is why Shanahan can’t abandon the run like he did yesterday:

        #49ers Brian Hoyer thru 4 weeks:
        Play Action: 26-39, 313 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT, 97.5 rating
        All other throws: 60-109, 545 yds, 3 INT, 57.3 rating

        From PFF

      3. Jack- Sure it doesn’t make sense unless the aim isn’t really to win but rather to experiment. That’s the sort of thing you do in the preseason. If you have that sort of leeway it can work for you as a form of justifiable way to ethically tank for the draft.

    1. I think Shanny accepted that penalty in order to push the Cards back further for a longer field goal attempt. Not saying I agree but that’s the only reason I can figure Shanny would accept that penalty.

      1. Shanahan may have been hoping for another sack. I know I was, but I would have taken the down anyway.

        He is a rookie at handling HC decisions.

        1. I do not think that was a bad decision.

          He was trying to win.

          If they declined thw penalty maybe they stopped them for just a field goal.

          But what’s the point if getting a tie?

          I prefer they go for the win and fail then settle for a tie.

    2. It’s because he’s HC and OC at the same time and all that pressure makes you forget the simple things in front of you.

  5. No way the DBs deserve a B. They didn’t keep Palmer in check. The pass rush did. Whenever Palmer had any time the secondary got torched. Robinson in particular. Really the front 7 was the only thing that kept the 49ers in this game. And worth noting that was against a team with three starting OL out of the lineup.

    1. “And worth noting that was against a team with three starting OL out of the lineup.”

      Which just begs the question, did the DL deserve an A?

      1. Credit where credit is due, the DL did perform well. But they were also made to look better than they are by a sub standard OL. Soooo, I say yes they deserve an A, but don’t expect that to be the standard every week.

        1. They tripled their sacks total on the year in a day so certainly credit is do but in sync with my comment above about competitiveness, when you’re playing scrubs you gotta call it for what it is.

    2. how about each primary rcvr for each team being taken off the board…Fitz was quiet till the last friggin play….Garcon was quiet too– lack of offensive targets/use as decoys?
      Or did both D’s force the removal of each rcvr and made O’s find other options to target?
      Our offense lost this game…our OL, our running game, our rcvr’s dropping/missing targets…more schooling during the season…Beathard should be making a start in next few weeks…
      And…Hyde is gonna break soon if he’s used like he was today.
      it’s clear to me now that Garcon is Hoyer’s comfort zone…Garcon stopped=Hoyer stopped=play action stopped=run game stopped…

  6. – Bad teams find a way to lose. Typical on/off pattern… One week the defense plays good but the offense doesn’t show up. The next week the offense comes alive but the defense is worn out from playing too any snaps the previous game. The following week the defense kicks butt but the offense is inept.

    Its been said you get to know the flavor of a team after about 4 games. What we have seen will likely be the season, with few games where the O and D both play well.

    if the offense continues to fail to maintain drives, expect the D line to wear out later in the season. More injuries too. Loss margins will increase.

  7. We all heard about this competition thing but I didn’t envision a race to the bottom. Several players (Kilgore comes to mind) are competing against……no one.

  8. Palmer got less protection from his OL. Got hit and sacked more but came through when they needed a play to win the game. Hoyer deserves a lower grade.

  9. Hoyer F+. The WRs dropping balls and running the wrong routes. That sounds like what we hear from the Kaepologists.

    Dumervile is a situational pass rusher. He can’t handle a heavy snap count. He needs to be fresh on passing downs. Lynch would replace Armstead.

    Would like to see a breakdown of Bowman this week since he wasn’t playing on short rest.

    1. That’s exactly what I was thinking. All the complaints over the past few years about inaccuracy and not being and NFL starting QB. Why should Hoyer get a pass? He is terrible. When they get to 1-5 or 1-6, start the rookie. What can it hurt?

      One huge difference between Hoyer and Kaep, is Hoyer’s ability to throw touch screen passes. A couple of his passes were perfect lobs into receivers hands…have to give him credit for those.

      1. Sure wished the coaches had called for more screen passes, but the last few years, they did not include them in the play book. They were almost as scarce as rollouts.

      2. Oh, and they were not perfect passes, Throwing lollipops like Hoyer did will give the defense time to react, and possibly pick them off.

        1. I agree, they hung in the air, and could be picked off. Just an observation that we haven’t seen those passes/routes much the past few years.

    2. No way Hoyer deserves a passing grade. He deserves a solid F for his woeful performance yesterday. He’s showing no pocket awareness whatsoever. His inability to extend a play, and help his OL is demoralizing. He’s rushing plays and spraying poorly placed balls all over the field. His body language is atrocious.

      I thought the 49ers were getting a steady, game manager of a QB when they signed Hoyer. Boy was I wrong. I am not sure he even deserves a backup role in this league.

      I hate to rush CJB into action, but I see very little incentive to stick with Hoyer at this point. He’s holding this team back.

      1. They should let CJB study from the bench, and work out to get stronger. Throwing CJB to the wolves will give him the Alex treatment. It would be much better to give him the Aaron Rodgers treatment.
        If John Lynch wants to win a damn game, he should sign a damn good QB.

        1. You’re right about that Seb. In a perfect world, it would be better to allow CJB a full season to develop his skill set and learn this complex offense.

          I wonder if it’s fair to the players though, for Kyle to continue to start a QB who gives the team very little chance to win games? These guys are playing their tails off, and for what?

          I understand that this team is in full rebuild mode, but they’ve got to address the QB position next offseason. I say the team should take a good long look at CJB and find out if he factors into their future plans.

      2. You can’t pin the offensive issues solely on Hoyer. Most QBs would look bad when the interior OL can’t block, the receivers drop five passes, the No. 1 WR can’t get open against Patrick Peterson, the No. 2 WR is out with a concussion, the No. 3 receiver falls and causes an interception, then later negates a touchdown by committing an offensive pass interference penalty.

        1. Grant:

          Per several blog posts I’ve made, do you think KS has too much on his plate during a game when he acts as both OC and HC? From an earlier post of mine.

          Can KS be the HC and OC during a game? I mentioned during the offseason that I wondered how KS would fare down on the sideline calling plays as opposed to up in the box calling plays. The sideline is like being in the forest with trees all around you. The box more like in an airplane with the ability to see all parts of the field. The hope was that he would have someone up in the box that could help him. Is that happening??!

          Note that McVay lets Wade Phillips entirely manage the defense during a game; so much so, that he actually sits and reviews previous offensive plays and plots his next offensive moves while the Rams defense is on the field.

          Maybe you could ask this question during one of KS’ pressers.


        2. That’s a fair point Grant, but let me ask you this: Does Brian Hoyer seem to have a very good grasp on this offense? We know Hoyer’s physical tool box is limited, but I thought he’d at least have command of this offense from a mental standpoint, and I am not seeing that at all right now. He’s also struggling to identify where the pressure is coming from, although I realize some of that is because either Kilgore is making some poor calls, or guys are just flat out missing their blocking assignments.

          Hoyer doesn’t seem to have an ounce of confidence left, in part, due to poor play from the interior of his OL, and drops aren’t helping his cause either. But you can’t play QB effectively when you’re playing scared (see Blaine Gabbert), and Brian Hoyer is playing scared right now. He’s been wildly inaccurate, in part because he’s rushing passes. He’s not allowing routs to develop, and I have no idea what’s going on with him and Aldrick Robinson, my gosh, they looked as if they had never practiced a single play together before yesterday. Once in awhile a QB needs to be able to bail his OL out by moving around in the pocket and buying a little extra time for his receivers to work back to him and improvise, and Brian hasn’t done any of that either. There’s also no doubt it would surely help Hoyer if the 49ers had a true #1 WR who can beat the oppositions #1 CB (like Patrick Peterson).

            1. I have all of the confidence in the world that ShanaLynch are going to get this thing sorted out and find their “guy” to play QB in the coming offseason. This team has a lot of cash on hand, and I hate to say it, but the higher pick the better. If this team is going to win some games, I’d prefer those wins to come later in the season, perhaps a strong finish heading into year 2.

              Are you ready to give me Kyle Shanahan’s top 3 college QB prospects in the upcoming draft class Grant? The 49ers might be wise to draft a couple QB’s to compete with CJB. Let Brian Hoyer compete next offseason as well, and watch him get soundly beaten out.

              1. I am sick and tired of SUB-PAR 49ers QB play! The one guy who finally actually developed into a decent, albeit limited QB, they trade to KC. Of course, that was on Harbaugh as much as anyone.

                The 49ers need to go all in on a QB, Cousins, Garoppolo, or Kyle’s favorite draft prospect.

        3. “I counted five drops, three miscommunications and two slips by the receivers.”
          ~ Grant

          Your C – grade for Hoyer is very generous. I understand the 2-3 tier talent level for 80% of our offensive players, but having a QB throw behind or over an open WR and use the excuse of miscommunication is asinine.
          In my humble opinion a good QB will hit an open WR even if he is off route.

        4. Your comments about Shanahan sticking to these long developing plays, even when the pass rush dictates that you get rid of the ball much sooner, is interesting. A sports writer for USA Today pointed out the same thing after the Falcons’s colossal choke in the Super Bowl. When New England made their halftime adjustments by sealing off the edges and forcing Atlanta’s running backs to run more between the tackles, Shanahan’s zone running no longer worked. The Patriots were then free to come after Matt Ryan. Ryan desperately needed some quick three step drop passes, but shanny wouldn’t give him any. No adjustments whatsoever. I think he comes up with good game plans but it’s clear he hasn’t learned his lesson and can’t or won’t make an adjustment when he needs to.

  10. Hoyer is garbage! Yes there were drops but there also were a lot of inaccurate passes. He doesn’t even try to evade defenders when there’s a little pressure he just folds and waits for somebody to sack him. Horrible

  11. http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/10/01/analysis-49ers-hoyer-sputter-away-a-victory-within-reach/

    “The clutch plays never came. With victory tantalizingly in reach Hoyer was just 3 for 11 for 7 yards in the fourth quarter (a 39.6 passer rating) and his longest pass went for 3 yards.”

    “One incompletion told complete story: On a third-and-7 in the waning seconds, Hoyer’s pass to Trent Taylor was so off target that it was caught on the sideline by a former college receiver named Kyle Shanahan.”


    “His lone interception came when Taylor, his intended receiver, got waylaid by a Cardinals defender on a third-and-4 pass in the second quarter. Remarkably, this was one of a handful of plays in this game on which a flag was not thrown.”

    Shanahan said: “(Taylor) got grabbed and thrown, is what I saw.”

  12. Marquis G. has to get off the field. I don’t want him off via concussion, but his drops and mistakes….its weekly, his performance is in the way. The 9ers receivers not looking the ball all the way in….this is not something we should see week in and week out. These are NFL players. I think Hoyers’ yips manifest through the offense. Yes, this will be a long season.

    But, unlike Chips teams, these guys play every minute they’re out there. That’s a good sign.

    But 3rd down conversions consistently not happening at a distressingly low conversion %age..,that’s a bad sign

  13. I really like Shannys offense. His problem is the interior o-line is poor and Brian Hoyer is a bad QB. Shanny will be successful but it’s prolly 2 years away. Right now, I would say the team has quite a few giant holes to fill.

    1. QB
    2. Center
    3. CB
    4. RG & LG
    5. LB
    6. WR

    The 49ers had 1 of the worst Rosters in the NFL. The rebuild will take time.

      1. When you get constant pressure plenty of QB’s get the yips. Now an elite vet might handle these situations better but no QB is going to be successful with out consistent OL and receivers when both unites crap out on the same day. I am not saying that Hoyer is the QB of the future, just that QB’s are not the answer to making a weak team successful. In the first half of the 2015 season the O-line and WR corps was probably worse than the present group yet all the blame was directed at the QB.

        Why do people do that? Probably for two reasons. They are usually in denial about the actual strength of the team they root for. The QB is also the most impactful position and thus the easiest to target as a quick fix for a weak teams woes. We can see the same mind set operating this season as well. Here we have a team that is being rebuilt from the bottom up and yet fans want a quick fix. Anyone with a modicum of logic would recognize that wins are not nor should not be the main factor this season. We know that Shanny has geared this roster towards establishing his system via the players he brought in even at the expense of probably better results with other players. So perhaps he is sacrificing wins for laying the ground work for the rebuild even more than he is letting on. This might be also why he is taking risks. In essence he is tanking with a purpose as coaches often do in the preseason. Or perhaps he is not, but I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt this year.

        If experimenting for the future and not really focusing on wins were the actual game plan does anyone believe he would let everyone know? I don’t think so. He would tell everyone they are trying to win. That is true but they are trying to win within their established game plan. Much like team are trying to win in preseason.

        Just think about it logically. If they were really trying to win they could have put together a far better roster considering the cap space the had available to work with. The reality is that for the long term just filling in needed spaces with temp players who do not fit in for the long term would have been counter productive. They could have gotten a better starting QB who didn’t know the system for wins. But he would have been replaced any way. Or gotten beat up taking sacks and hits like Boyer or any other QB operating behind this team would surely have taken.

        I remind people about the history of Jim Plunckett. He was beat up so bad in NE that by the time he got to the NIners he still had the Yips. It took him a whole other year sitting on the bench in Oakland before he returned to the QB he was coming out of college. Bad teams can ruin even very good QB’s. Even more so when they are thrown into a new learning curve. Plunckett is a good example because he was given another chance years removed from the situation that ruined him. How many QB’s are there who never are given that chance. Gabbart is not my favorite QB but he went from a bad team to another bad team. Thats not what I would consider being given a real chance. I don’t mean that they should be given a chance, just that or perspectives need to consider the circumstances before we label them as bad.

  14. Can KS be the HC and OC during a game? I mentioned during the offseason that I wondered how KS would fare down on the sideline calling plays as opposed to up in the box calling plays. The sideline is like being in the forest with trees all around you. The box more like in an airplane with the ability to see all parts of the field. The hope was that he would have someone up in the box that could help him. Is that happening??!

    1. Just my thinking, a HC gets input from the OC but can focus on the details of the game. Maybe Shanny felt that HE was the HC when he was an OC…

      1. Perhaps he feels that until he gets his offensive system in play he has to also be the OC. It might be a short term trade off for a long term good. You people need to learn to read between the lines to discover possible variables at work that might not appear on the surface. I am not saying this is definitely the case but it is certainly a possibility.

        People are constantly posting on how important it is for a QB to be able to read the defense and conversely the defenders to read the offense. Well life is like that. There are constant clues to tip you off if you can recognize them. People just don’t seem to be able to read and recognize predictive patterns. Success or failure in life’s agenda’s , as in a football game, are often dependent on the ability to disguise them and read the oppositions. For example, there were enough clues available as early as the (2013 ) 53 man cut to be able to predict the potential destruction of the 49’er franchise. But that required looking past the surface and recognizing the red flags.

        Things are not always what they appear to be on the surface.

    1. Last couple of years, Seattle has started poorly and then picked it up around the 4th or 5th game. This year will be no different (assuming Wilson doesn’t get injured).

      1. They looked like dog s*it for the first half against one of the few teams that’s probably worse then we are. Not to forget they played like dog s*it against us too. This isn’t the same Seattle team of years past. No second half rescue this year.

        1. Let’s revisit this conversation near the end of the year. If I’m right, well I was right. If you’re right, I win again because I can’t stand the Chickens :)

  15. When does Grant give up his 9 and 7 prediction?

    Still I like the fact that the team has been competitive in the last three games against division opponents. Each game they are inching closer to a win.

    1. In his periscope he did because he thought the Niners would have 2 wins so far. I think he thought the Panthers and Rams were winnable games.

          1. They are just another example how a team can regress in just one season. Hey teams often regress with in the same season. That was the major issue I had with people who believed that, other than the QB, the second half 2012 team was the same as the one that existed in 2011 and early 2012. We can just see what has happened to the west in the last half a decade. They went from the weakest to the strongest in the conference back to being weak again.

            Age, injuries and players either over or under achieving in a season also plays a major part.

  16. We’re a couple of plays and calls away from being 3-1 with Hoyer at QB. The people who weren’t expecting many wins this year (not me) are right so far.

    But those people wanted to at least see a competitive team. And we are competitive. I remember last years embarrassing early loss to Seattle. The team showed no fight last year. This year has a different feel. CJ will be playing soon enough, probably after the bye week.

    1. That’s how football games are every week, that’s how competition is at the highest level. Each week the contest could go either direction but the good teams find a way to tilt it their direction. Most teams would have very different records if they just had a few plays here and there go their direction. The good teams find a way to consistently make those plays needed to win the game and are 3-1. The bad teams miss on those plays and end up 1-3 or 0-4.

      1. Are you really suggesting you see no difference in the competitiveness of this team vs the last two and a half years? I understand you’re disappointed in the results so far, but that is silly.

        1. Competitiveness is relative to the quality of the teams being played. I don’t think much of most of the teams we’ve faced so far.

          1. Carolina is 3-1
            Rams are 3-1
            Seattle is 2-2
            Arizona is 2-2

            Combined record of opponents so far is 10-6. The opponents so far haven’t been pushovers. 3 of the teams the 49ers have faced are in the top 11 in the NFL on offense gauged by Yds/Game. 3 of the teams the 49ers have faced are in the top 14 in the NFL on defense gauged by Yds/Game. I’m not saying the teams the 49ers have faced so far are the league’s best teams but they are no slouches either. I’m thinking the 49ers will be 1-7 at the halfway point and then who knows how the second half will go.

      2. Sniff all you want about the quality of the opposition. But we’ve lost 3 division games by a total of 8 points. A single play going the other way in any of those games would have altered the outcome. By any yardstick that shows Niners are competitive . There have been no blowouts, at no time when the team was run off the field. Something we’ve not seen from the team for quite a while, and frankly, not expected in a rebuild season such as this. When they finally do put it together, hopefully gelling by midseason, they are going to win some of these close games.

    2. 80, that’s definitely something that needs to be kept in mind. This is a bad team, but they are staying in the fight each week so far. It may not feel like it, but that is improvement. And teams that keep it close each week aren’t that far away from rattling off a few wins. Come the second half of the season if this team can stay mostly healthy I think they will win a few.

        1. as goes Garcon, so goes Hoyer…he has no reliable and consistent primary rcvr’s other than Garcon…yet…Kittle, Celek, Taylor, Robinson– all not effective replacing Hoyer-to-Garcon linchpin of this passing offense…just the RB’s could be consistent target options…
          Garcon bottled up, Hoyer can’t get play action working– see Trent T.’s performance today…
          play action stuffed…run game stuffed..

          1. Hey it’s one game people. What makes teams good is consistent production. Part of consistency is when a player, or position group have an off day that someone else picks up the slack. That has not been the case for quite a few years now. I wouldn’t give up on these players just yet. Even elite players have off days when the disappear or have subpar games. Losing these games are a blessing in disguise. Better than over achieving and winning close games. This team is not going to be in the playoffs or contend for them this year. The aim is to build a team that will contend for the championship for multiple years and with that in mind underachieving and losing close games works because it results in higher draft picks and a stronger team long term.

  17. Colts are one of the only teams in the league worse then us. If we can’t beat them next week then 1-2 wins becomes a real scenario. How incredible would it be if Shanahan ends up with less wins then Kelly?

    Might beat out the Jets for the #1 spot. Another great achievement under the York reign. Have a worse record then a team that everybody knows is tanking.

    1. Jets have already won 2 games. The Niners are now competing with the Giants, Browns, and Chargers for that magic first spot.

  18. Rashard Robinson needs to get gone, too. All he does is get those STUPID penalties that helps the other team. Not only that, he gets consistently burned! He couldn’t guard me! And I’m a 55 year old man who runs slow. I can’t wait to get our franchise QB of the future.

  19. Ah, yes … The 49ers considered drafting Dak Prescott in 2016 … But he was not quite good enough for them to draft him so highly in the second round … and this year of course DeShaun Watson was OBVIOUSLY not good enough for the third pick … They didn’t like Derek Carr that much either …. any wonder why this team stinks with no top QB. So now the team will probably obsess about a top receiver and not draft a top QB next year either, but it’s still a crapshoot if you don’t have people who can smartly LOOK at players. And now the Rams not only have a top young QB but beat the 49ers to the better young coach as well. And the 49ers will be stuck with a run of the mill head coach and GM for years. The curse of York Baalke lives on.

    1. Let me guess. You were screaming for Watson to be picked with the 2nd/3rd overall pick leading up to and on the night of the draft, right? The Rams have far more talent on the offensive side of the ball than the Niners, they just suffered under it coach that was still in the Stone Age for the last couple years. The fact that you think you can already determine the career paths of Shanahan and Lynch is ridiculous. Certainly understandable to frustrated, but comments like so many of these make one see why other fan bases call us “40-whiners”.

    2. I see no reason to give up on KS. McVay has an excellent DC in Wade Phillips. If you watch the Rams games, you can see where McVay sits down to study the laptop and plot his next offensive series while the Rams are on defense.

      I’m still thinking KS has too much on his plate during the game and that maybe he’s not getting enough intelligence from an offensive assistant up in the booth during the game. Sure wish Grant would ask him a question about this.

      1. Him being both is probably temporary. He needs to first establish his offense and then he can bring in a OC to run it. You people are so miopic.

  20. I agree with Grant’s grades except Hoyer was a F- minus.
    Hoyer, Kittle & the Robinson’s fooled many people by being good practice players. We’re talkin about practice, not the game.

  21. QUARTERBACK: C-minus. Brian Hoyer had the yips. He bounced passes to open receivers because he was trying to get the ball out of his hands before someone clocked him. The Cardinals beat him up all game. And when they weren’t beating him up, one his receivers would drop a pass or run the wrong route or fall down. I counted five drops, three miscommunications and two slips by the receivers. Most quarterbacks would have had this yips under these conditions. You can’t pin this loss on Hoyer.
    Those aren’t yips. I don’t even know wtf a yip is supposed to actually be but all that was on the field today was a bad QB. Wilson and Palmer have worse offensive lines yet they both won.

    1. Agree with Grant on this.
      Hoyer reminds me a lot of Jim Everett for the rams years ago. A decent qb provided you can keep his jersey clean but with enough pressure in his face he will fold.
      Any Idea of the average amout of time Hoyer had to throw the ball? Against Carolina he had about 2.2 seconds to get rid of the ball… this game was rough as well.

  22. I think the WR, O line and TE grades are a little harsh. That Card defense is pretty good. They deserve D’s, considering the Niners were 5 yards from winning the game.
    I would give Hoyer a D+. He threw a pick and was alarmingly inaccurate.
    Coaching should get a C+, because they should have accepted the sack and not the penalty. They also wasted a Time Out to prevent a DOG penalty. Play calling needs to get better, but the schemes were sound. They did play well, and were competitive, with a chance to win. Liked how they went bold on 4th and one. They would have gotten a B if they could have managed to reduce the unforced errors.

  23. Let’s keep it real fellas, we’re never reaching the playoffs with Hoyer & probably not with Beathard either. Hoyer is only good in practice or scrimmages and Beathard is not talented enough, he’ll be a good back up QB one day though..
    We must obtain Kirk Cousins for next year or draft one of the top 3 studs coming out in next years draft. Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen or Lamar Jackson (in that order of preference). I don’t give a crap if Lamar Jackson is not perfect for Shanny’s system, he makes plays!

      1. RGIII. If you’re going to sign a scrub, junk-offense QB, may as well get one who is at least accurate, can throw with touch and anticipation and make half-field reads on occassion. Three things you can’t say about St. Kaepernick.

        1. Lowell Cohn: Protests aside for a brief moment, Kaepernick goes 0-4 with this 9ers team. Anyone who thinks otherwise, is misinformed.

          And I agree!

          Either people become blind or they forget who played the last couple of years. I’m familiar with all the excuses, but shouldn’t they apply to Hoyer as well (Bad O Line, no time to throw). Let’s face it. The last time this team had a decent starting QB was ….

        2. Wrong. Kaep had a 90.7 QBR last season, and a 59.8% completion rate despite all the drops. I saw Kaep throw the ball over the LBs and in front of the safeties many times, so he does have touch. Kaep went to his third read many times, but even he was not open, since the WRs were rated last in the league.
          RGIII is trying to play on one leg. Kaep is fully healthy and would be a vast improvement over Hoyer, who had a 54 QBR last game. Kaep would shine with better support, and since Lynch signed 25 FAs, the Niners are way better than last season. Last season, Kaep could not win when the defense gave up 200 yard rushing games to third string RBs. This season, the run defense is stout.

          1. You are predictable. What was his record for all his greatness last year? One measly win!

            We all acknowledge that this OL is terrible and that protection is poor! Last year the scheme helped Kap. He is a sub par QB who makes bad decisions as a QB.

            I take Lowell’s opinion over yours anyday! He’s watched this team for years and even inspired Walsh according to you!

            1. Go ahead, kiss Lowell’s ass.
              I will just point out Hoyer’s performance. You seemed content to let Hoyer play, but I predicted he would pull a Gabbert, and was proven right.
              LC may make absurd pronouncements, but i can confidently assert that Hoyer lost his first 4 games, and Kaep may have won 3 of those games because he is superior to Hoyer with his 54 QBR.

              1. I win!

                By the way, merely agreeing with someone does not firmly plant my lips on his posterior. Something you do with junior practically every week. It’s almost disgusting.

              2. East, you are trying too hard. You wonder why Prime and Cassie were banned? Keep attacking and engaging me.

              3. 80. I am just assuming that, since they have not haunted my posts, recently.
                Prime, with his vicious personal attacks, would have been banned a long time ago on many other sites.

              4. Apologies Seb, these threads are somewhat cumbersome on a phone. Still, you make wild assumptions!

  24. Many on here were wrong about the niners winning anything more than 4 games to start the season.
    Many on here are wrong about Shanahan being the offensive guru to save SF. I think he has shown the job is too big for him. You have 3 games SF should have won and Jim Harbaugh would have won.
    And finally many on here are wrong to think Cousins would be a good pick up next year to save this franchise. This team is an O line away from success. The successful teams have good O lines. Trent Dilfer has shown QB play is secondary to a good O line and punishing Defense.

    1. Trent Dilfer has shown QB play is secondary to a good O line and punishing Defense.
      And how to you explain Brady, Big Ben, Russel Wilson (no line), Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, Kurt Warner, Troy Aikmen, etc etc etc…

      I agree the line is a must fix but not just any old qb wins the superbowl and your point is not proven by citing the exception that proves the rule.

      1. Brad Johnson was terrible. Troy Aikman wasn’t great. He was Alex Smith 1.0. Captain check down behind an incredible line.
        Mark Rypien, Doug Williams, Jeff Hostetler.
        These are guys who had great lines and little talent.

  25. At what point does evaluation of the regime include the off-season moves? Would this team be better off with Smith vs. Goodwin? What about letting Kerley go, how are they doing on third downs? I know that Hoyer was the best option available, but was he really?

    For those Kap apologists out there, please don’t apply, he had his dress rehearsal and failed.

    Is Shanahan all he is cracked up to be or merely a good coordinator? So far as head coach he has been far less than stellar and does not inspire tremendous confidence going forward.

    Still don’t know why Juice was given so much money? To block?

    Glad our 3rd pick is sitting in street clothes each week and Williams is done for the season. Wonder how people would feel about that if Baalke had made the moves vs. Lynch?

    I did not think this team would get very far and have consistently stated as much. A 4-12 season was my prediction early on and I continue to stand by that. I am starting to wonder if this team loses to the Colts next week they may seriously fall below the 4-12 threshold and be in danger of being almost as poor, record wise as last year.

    I know the games are closer but the competition has been pretty mundane as compared to last year too. Additionally, the team is still having trouble in key indicators of decent play 3rd down conversion, penalty yardage, turnover ratio, red zone TD rate, sacks (this game is an anomaly), dropped passes (looks worse than last year).

    At this rate, the team will stay in the loss column. Good teams fix these issues, bad teams don’t.

    The games have been closer than last year because the defense isn’t as horrific. Think back to Tomsula’s tenure and the lack of wins there and compare.

    I think that not addressing the OL and not getting a true edge rusher will be an albatross all year long. Additionally, forgoing on Lattimore seems foolish given the challenges of the secondary and the fact the guy picked hasn’t even dressed. Yes, Thomas had a good game but now Armistead is out of position and his effectiveness is, well, self evident. The fact that Eli Harold had a sack should tell everyone just how bad the Cardinals OL was, not how good our DL is.

    Still hoping that things get better, but I am reminded the the Yorks own this team and have consistently made manure of a golden opportunity. The field at Levi’s should be testament to that alone!

  26. I figured the Niners could go 2-6 in the first half, and since they lost 3 games by 8 total points, they could have won 3 games so far.
    I figured they could go 6-2 in the second half, so a non losing season is still possible.
    Niners are competitive, and with an upgrade at QB, they could start winning games.
    I am heartened, the defense has really improved from last season, the veterans have produced and the young players are stepping up.
    The Niners should learn from this defeat. They should stop defeating themselves with those penalties.They should learn to be bold, and go for it instead of settling for field goals.
    Some day, the Niners will learn how to win.

    1. I am also very happy for King Solomon. He got a sack, and i thought he played well. Posters who called him a bust are premature in their assessments.

    2. Competitive? They are the same awful team of the last 4 years. Hardly competitive

      They have the worst coach in the NFC west…again. Months ago I told you that with this coaching staff, they will be picking Rosen in 1 year’s time and a bunch other number 1’s in the coming years. Overrated..

      1. Yes, the Niners were not blown out, and had leads in the 4th quarter.
        No, they will not pick Rosen. You are right, he is over rated.

  27. Sharks, quit circling…

    This team is good enough to win but not good enough to make so many mistakes and win.

    The Defense is getting better, overall…

        1. I will. Jed, JL and KS are deliberately tanking if they let emotions prevent them from signing Kaep, who is light years better than Hoyer.
          In Hoyer’s only playoff game, he threw the ball like the defender was the intended receiver. Hoyer has continued that trend in these first 4 games.
          Imagine. If only they had signed Kaep when they cut Barkley, they might be 3-1 now. Right now, they did not sign Kaep and are 0-4.
          KS needs to wake up and smell the coffee. He needs to make adjustments, and improving the QB situation would be a good first step.

  28. This is the tank for Darnold/Rosen season. I think the Niners need another draft to be respectable again, particularly in the OL and QB department.

    1. Darnold is a pick machine. 15 picks in his last 11 games. He’s Matt Barkley all over again.

      Another fun fact, only USC QB drafted since the 1970s has had any kind of career — Palmer. And he’s never been a great QB. The rest have been, more-or-less, a pack of Mark Sanchez’s.

  29. Get some perspective.

    We lost 14 games last year by an average margin of just over 14.6 PPG . This year we’ve lost 4 with an average margin of loss of 7 PPG this year, of which one was a 20-point blow-out and the other three losses were by 3 PPG. We have actually been competitive in 3 of our 4 games, unlike last year where it was, what, 3 of 16, maybe 4 of 16?

    Yet all you can do is cry and act is if Shanahan and Saleh and Dumb & Dumber. Your petty criticisms are pretty laughable. They took over a talent bankrupt team, made some mistakes, but over-all they’re doing an amazing job in making this pack of donkey droppings competitive week-in, week-out.

    And think about this. When Fangio’s defense was better than this, but not elite talent wise, the wheels fell of then, too. The 49ers dropped from #3 to #10 because the second half of the season they were a mediocre defense. And without that elite defense to prop-up the lousy offense, the offense dropped to 25th in scoring despite Saint ****ing Kaepernick, a much better WR corps, a pro-bowl TE, a better o-line, and a HOF running back. Yet many of you still have your chins attached to Harbaugh’s nuts!

    And Fangio… Without talent, where is he? His defenses have been 20th, 25th and now 27th in scoring defense. The 49ers are 24th under Saleh. Despite having a bunch of holes and losing their top-linebacker and quite possibly #1 difference maker in Foster.

    So, get some perspective and quit your whinging — we are four games in to a GUT AND REBUILD. Expect losing. Enjoy the bright spots. They are there. Don’t worry about the low spots, they’re inevitable and unavoidable as rookies make mistakes and bad veterans don’t get magically better because the previous coach has been fired.

    1. Moses, you are a voice in the wilderness. These “fans” need to stop worshiping at the golden calf notion of a rebuilding Niners winning week in and week out.

    2. Absolutely right, Mo. Excellent points.
      Everyone’s just frustrated because it’s been more than a year since we’ve won a game that meant anything. That’s a long time, and the frustration is understandable.
      But your last paragraph sums it up perfectly.
      Last year we were losing and totally noncompetitive. This year we are still losing, but we are competing and no longer an embarrassment.
      The Niner’s road to success will be a marathon, not a sprint.

    3. This defense has a top notch safety 4 top 10 draft picks, and has played 3 teams that quite simply are pathetic.
      The cardinals are old and decrepid.
      The seahawkes possible have the 2nd worst line in the nfl and the least tapented receiving corps.
      The Rams are talent stacked but lack experience.
      The gap is much bigger than any of you are seeing.

    4. Moses are you F$#@ing serious? Are you are the parent who voted in participation trophies?
      The 49ers have 1 of the easiest schedules in the NFL. They just lost to four trashy teams.
      Breaking it down for you and your PTA meeting:
      Carolina- had an entire off season to prepare for this team. Faced a QB who did not play in the preseaon and was still by all accounts recovering from shoulder surgery. Nurse Kelly can explain to you what shoulder surgery means for a QB who is throwing a football.
      Final score 23 to 3.
      217 total yards on offense. 51 yards rushing on 15 attempts. 13 first downs. Gave up 4 sacks and a WHOLE off season to game plan.
      10 penalties for 74 yards.

      Sf vs Seattle. 9 to 12. 248 total yards of offsense. 11 1st downs. 2 sacks.
      6 penalties for 66 yards.

      Sf vs la rams 39 to 41. 411 yards total offense. 4 sacks. 2 turnovers. 25 1st downs.
      7 penalties for 52 yards.

      Sf vs Arizona. 20 to 25. 305 yards including OT. 3 SACKS 1 TURN OVER 20 1st downs.
      13 penalties for 113 yards.

      You may be the best raw raw speaker at the PTA meeting but your speech here is irrelevant and unfounded. This team is much worse than last season with little signs of improvement.
      The opponents have gotten worse and the team has responded with even more bad play.

      The lack of talent is nothing new. This was a talentless team for much of this century. Those teams were better coached than the team on the field in 2017. And there have been some real scraps at the HC position.

      Stick to the popwarner half time speeches and hold your enthusiasm for professional sports until the team deserves the praise.

  30. Kyle Shanahan is not the genius the media has made him out to be. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones made him appear to be better than he really is. Chip Kelly had a much worse OL, worse receivers, and the same average QB situation and he produced way more than Kyle is. To me it is inexcusable. Oh and Chip also had a much worse defense. I wasn’t a Chip Kelly fan but if he had this defense he would be at least 2-2 this season. I am tired of hearing this is a rebuild. Nothing promised from year to year. We could have won the division this year with better coaching.

  31. Thank you “MosesZD” for bringing some sanity to this post. I am so tired already of the homers bitching and whining about the 49ers coaching staff. We have brutally stunk for the past 3 years… and finally we bring a coach in like Shanahan who clearly knows what he’s doing and “voila” we become competitive again. I understand fans want to return to the playoffs over night but it doesn’t happen like that. This stuff takes time. Young teams lose close games. It’s the way it goes. That’s the NFL. I said at the beginning of the season we would be competitive but lose a lot of close games.

    This team plays hard but honestly, not so sure they earned that win yesterday. Multiple drops by WR, terrible throws and execution from Hoyer, DB’s getting torched… and penalties. My lord, the penalties. There will need to be a higher level of discipline to stop these penalties. That has got to stop. I thought the defense played very, very well… (aside from the DB’s, particularly Rashard).

    Regardless, this team has some players to build around. DeForest Buckner, Solomon Thomas, Reuben Foster, Jaquiski Tartt, Jimmie Ward, Eric Reid, Trent Brown, Trent Taylor, Carlos Hyde, Kyle Juscyzk and George Kittle. I’d even say keep Garcon around as long as you can because he’s still damn good.

    1. Back in college, a friend who was Giant’s fan derisively referred to the Niners fans as Fortywhiners. And this was during the Bill Walsh era. I later learned that this moniker was well known. There was no blogs or social media but loud complaining fans made their voices heard on the radio. I was impressed how vocal fans would call for trading or benching starters who had a bad game and the team lost. After 15 years of mostly awful football, fans appear to be particularly cynical and short on patience.

      I personally am pretty pleased to see proven schemes being put in place on both sides of the ball. Sure, the first-time coaches are making mistakes and there have been insufferable number of penalties and player miscues. But most of the young players are learning and getting better, The weak links are well known. Some of the vets in the current roster will be gone in a year or two as new drafts and better players are available through FA.

      Time to be patient.

      1. I completely agree with all of your points, especially the patience part. I do wish I were your age though when it comes to the patience part. BTW the whine part of my pseudonym has nothing to do with the 49ers or 40whiners.

        1. Well, winning in NFL is very, very difficult. You can’t draft or “free-agent”/buy your way to a Lombardi (like Eddie did in 94) any more. A really good draft has 50% success rate. Salary-cap means Lynch has to be careful about handing out contract extensions before evaluating scheme-fit of players in game situations. The only situations NFL teams have quick turnaround is when talented teams that are underachieving due to lousy coaching or schemes. Last year’s Niners team was probably the least talented team since Walsh took over (except the 2005 team that Donahue gutted earlier). Fans can chose to whine and assign D’s and F’s to players when they may not even know who or what was exactly responsible for a failed play, or they draw some optimism from the process of rebuilding.

      2. I don’t think whining is limited to any particular team’s fanbase. I see it with Jets and and Giants fans out here in NYC. Cut Manning, he’s washed up. Cut OBJ, he’s a nothing showboat. Cut JPP, the one handed guy is too stupid to play football. It goes on and on…..

  32. A decent defensive scheme and the Cardinals would have gone 3 and out virtually the entire game with their scrub line. Saleh wasted Solomon Thomas the entire game playing him outside where he was easily handled play after play after play. He cannot disengage from tackles.. Hoyer was hurried but he threw countless bad passes, off the mark to open receivers.. He didn’t make plays. He was not alone but a QB who misses open receivers will 100% not make completions.. A mistake laden team with no confidence is not going to win football games in the NFL

    1. Or it could be young players making mistakes because they do that… Carson Palmer thinks so… And I’ll take his word for it…

      “They got a little out of sorts on that last play at the end,” Palmer said. “There was some miscommunication and they weren’t doing what they were doing earlier.”

      As he was explaining how the 49ers managed to (pretty much) take Fitzgerald, a likely HOF WR, out of the game until that last play.

  33. The 49ers’ latest loss included many of the same mistakes that ailed them in the first three, costly penalties and dropped passes chief among them. While coach Kyle Shanahan clearly disagreed with a handful of calls that went against his team Sunday, the Niners finished with a whopping 13 penalties for 113 yards. According to ESPN Stats & Information, they also had four drops, giving them 12 for the season, the most in the league.

    Although the record doesn’t show it, this Niners team is indeed better than the one from a year ago. There are some good, young pieces in place with guys like defensive linemen DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas, receiver Trent Taylor and right tackle Trent Brown among those making their presence felt in Sunday’s loss. Linebacker Reuben Foster, a potential game-changer, returns soon from a high ankle sprain.

    But the fact remains that more are needed, particularly at some of the game’s most important positions. Quarterback clearly tops the list but a No. 1 edge rusher to complement Buckner and Thomas, a top cornerback to take some of the heat off Rashard Robinson and/or a game-breaking receiver to become Shanahan’s new version of Julio Jones would all be welcome additions.

    No matter how much cap space or how many draft picks the Niners had last offseason, they simply couldn’t address all of their many needs in one offseason. They did what they could to put a foundation in place but they still need more cornerstones.

  34. to focus on the positive, at one point yesterday I thought watching this Niner team was like watching the very early days of the Walsh team – but whereas the Walsh team was conspicuous by how wide-open the receivers were, this team manages to allow its running backs to run from the line of scrimmage through often wide open spaces. you can see how if this team had a very good quarterback (matt ryan) and a great wide receiver (julio jones) and a good one, it would easily score about 30 points a game.

    however, we dont have that set of personnel. Hoyer is a great backup, but his well-known propensity to hold onto the ball too long plus a large number of misfires on wide open (by NFL standards) receivers means that he’s just good enough to start for a team without a true franchise qb (the drops yesterday didnt help). But the league clearly hasnt caught up to Shanahan’s system yet. It will. The league caught up to Walsh, and along with late 70s rule changes on PI, he’s a fellow who changed the game. the rules are different now, and they remain an independent variable, but for now we have an interesting system, and mediocre personnel. the draft cant come soon enough

      1. The current leadership made the talent level clear by how they formed this year’s roster. What else can you do but build when the talent level is low and it also doesn’t match the new overall plan?

        If you don’t enjoy the building precess what else is there when only five years since 1946 have ended without frustration. I guess there is always the scape goat game that some look for every week.

        At my age I need to find football enjoyment now because “next year” isn’t a gift that anyone can be sure of. I’ve enjoyed three of the four games this year.

  35. As I mentioned before, Shanahan should consider treating the rest of this losing season like practice and give CJ some playing time. Get him some experience and lets see what he can do. I don’t expect it to result in a bunch of wins but I doubt he’d play much worse than Hoyer… This offense needs a spark and Hoyer simply isn’t cutting it.

  36. Some perspective:

    Team ranking:

    Offense: 26
    Rushing: 17
    Passing: 23

    1st downs: 24
    Yards per play: 26

    Turn over percentage: 9
    Scoring percentage: 20
    Average drive time: 28

    Team Defense: 22
    Pass (Yards): 25
    Rushing (Yds): 16

    Penalties: 1 (we’re number 1, we’re number 1…except in wrong category!)
    Penalty Yards: 2

    So yes, for all those who say we are on the verge of more positive things, you are right. We aren’t the 28th worst team in the league, but we are among the 25th worst teams in the league.

    For all the offensive prowess the average drive time is the killer for me. The coach should have some direct impact here as schemes can be used to control clock time. It is an improvement from last year, but not by much. If that is ok with everyone, then great.

    I keep hearing about how this is about the future (brick-by-brick) but that confidence is earned by solid maneuvering and management. That has not been evidenced. The preview of that was the preseason games (four of them). So far this team has played 25% of the season and it doesn’t look dismal but it doesn’t look particularly good either.

    All those pie in the sky pronouncements are long gone (Williams and Breida would make Hyde expendable, lol). Now you hear cut Robinson or play Witherspoon. I have to laugh because Witherspoon was so bad he didn’t even get to dress. That will not fix this team. There were things that could have and maybe should have been done before, but it’s water under the bridge.

    Hoyer is the guy going forward (though my viewing partner cheered loudly when he had to leave the field and Beathard came in, only to groan after the one play). Fusco stinks and will continue to give Hoyer the yips. Tomlinson and Kilgore aren’t much better. The receivers aren’t very good beyond Garçon. Hyde is the best offensive weapon (please don’t get hurt). The rest ….

    Defensively it’s a little hard to tell. Buckner is solid, Armstead is out of position and underweight, Thomas is still young, Ward and Tartt are good, Mitchell is solid. Lynch should play more. Reid and Foster definitely are lynchpins on the field. Foster being the best player on the field when he’s available. The rest are up and down and mostly down.

    1. Look at the scheme under Shanahan. The offensive and defensive schemes are solid NFL schemes. they simply don’t have the players to make it work yet. This is a multi year rebuilding project. If you look at the Rams, they had play makers all over the place. They now have a good coach and a quick turnaround because their roster had talent before the coach arrived. Lynch/Shanahan didn’t have that luxury. The 49ers had one of the worst rosters in the NFL so it will take time to rebuild. Take comfort that the 49ers have a good coaching staff that is really great at scheme and game planning. They just need the players to make it work.

      1. So why didn’t they bring in play makers? They had opportunities. This whole it takes time only works if some of the pieces turn out to be more than lumps of coal.

        Fusco, Zuttah, Hightower, Watson, Robinson. Were these good moves?

        Could other players have made a bigger difference?

        1. Goes back to the point……”The offensive and defensive schemes are solid NFL schemes. “………its possible they thought that should be enough to win 8 games……not a bad prediction but they forgot it all comes down to the players……….

          the schemes we have would be perfect if executed by a better QB and DB’s………

        2. They brought in Garcon and Goodwin. That was a very good plan. They brought in a guy who has a strong history as a #1 and then a speed burner who can stretch a defense. They brought in the only QB available in FA who knows this offense and then drafted a TE in Kittle and a good slot receiver in Trent Taylor. You can definitely see the plan and it makes sense. They missed on their o-line moves and then didn’t do enough to address the secondary. This rebuild will take time but you can see the makings of a management group that has a definitive plan they’ve executed. I didn’t go into this year thinking the 49ers could win 9 games. I expected 4-6 wins. The 49ers have 30 players on their roster that were just added this season. It will take time for these guys to gel and for Shanahan to create a winning culture. Expecting that many new guys to come together and win immediately is simply fantasy. There are reasons to be optimistic. Shanahan and Lynch are definitely good football people.

            1. I thought they would be 1-3 at this point. 49ers would be 2-2 at this point if Trent Taylor didn’t have 2 absolute BS calls on him for pass interference.

              1. I some what blame the coaching. They should stop calling those pick plays, it is just another opportunity for the refs to throw a flag.

              2. Rookies make mistakes. The refs don’t give rookies breaks. A veteran hides this stuff better too.

              3. However, I do totally agree that Taylor was jobbed for that first OPI call. What made it worse was that the DB was grabbing him 10 yards down field, so there should have been a defensive holding flag.
                Funny how the league never showed the play again, but with the magic of replay, I saw a travesty of justice and corrupt officiating.

              4. True. Rookies make mistakes and rookies never catch breaks from NFL officials. The OPI call against the Rams cost the 49ers that game. That OPI call was just about as bad as it gets in officiating in my opinion. The OPI call against the Cardinals was a rub route that is technically against the rules. BUT a ref can call that OPI literally dozens of times per game but they never call it. Watch the official who threw the flag on Taylor against the Cardinals. The rub happens and the ref doesnt call it. He only reaches for his flag after it’s apparent the receiver would score a TD. I’m sure the ref was going to not call it until he thought it impacted the play enough for the 49ers to score a TD. It’s either a penalty or not. Call it all the time or never call it.

                Having said that, the discussion about Taylor’s penalties is just evidence that the team is battling in every game. If 2 officials calls break another way the 49ers are 2-2 and tied for the division lead. There is reason to be optimistic with the new regime.

              5. True and good point Houston, but the OPI was hard to tell from the viewing angle and TT said nothing at the time of the call so…

                Look a team that relies on calls will lose every game. A good team makes its own destiny (just ask the Patriots-just kidding).

                I said at the beginning that rookies will cost one to two games. Trent has one. Which is next, Kittle?

                The team will go through immense growing pains (salute to you BT) but we can still see what is right before our eyes and not simply say “brick-by-brick” or “rebuilding ” as if this is a panacea for all that is troubling the team.

                We have a rookie head coach that has made some big mistakes, some that have cost games. Is that indicative of him as a coach or a mere learning coach. I don’t know, but I simply don’t ignore it and say it will go away with time either. It’s something to keep in mind.

                I have always predicted a very conservative win total for this team because I knew what they had. I have not forgotten that.

          1. Goodwin was a crap signing. Torrey Smith was better. Goodwin has a major injury history and has NEVER been productive. Torrey Smith, with a half-***ed QB like Flacco was a major deep threat in the NFL even if he had a limited route tree.

  37. I am with seeing what CJ can do…….this season is over.

    At least we can see CJ and determine if we need to draft a QB next yr.

  38. Looks like Trubisky is getting the next start in Chicago. The way things are going right now Trubisky will be the next Tom Brady. I’m guessing John Lynch may be second guessing that Solomon Thomas pick and wishing he picked up Deshaun Watson or maybe Trubisky if he plays well.

    1. Watson and Trubisky are both mobile QBs, and some posters say that a mobile QB cannot be an accurate one.
      Lynch is not second guessing his wise pick of King Solomon because he played well and had a sack last game.
      Watson played well because he has the proper support, like Dak Prescott. Good O line, talented RBs and WRs, and a stout defense.

      1. No we say that a running QB is not generally an accurate QB because they have worked on their running vs. passing. Big difference.

        1. Posters are panning Lamar Jackson, saying that he is only a runner, and is inaccurate.
          Kaep did not ignore his passing and only concentrate on his running. I think it was the exact opposite.

      2. Nobody says that. People say running QBs don’t learn important pocket skills and tend to fail like crazy in the NFL. Street ball, like RGIII & Kaepernick, doesn’t work for long in the NFL because teams take away your athleticism strengths leaving you with nothing but your pocket weaknesses.

        1. Ok you expanded it and I nutshelled it.

          I was thinking of my audience. Should have been more expansive and said that running QBs have a hard time in the NFL because they have relied on their athleticism and not developed their passing skills.

    1. With all the defensive woes, it would have been the height of folly to go offense with that first pick. Pundits were panning Watson, and predicted he would last until the second round.
      Sure am glad the Niners used their first 3 picks for defense, although I was not hot on Witherspoon.

      1. BS. The 49ers picked a d-lineman when the defensive line was their strongest position group. If they were looking to shore up a terrible defense then they needed to select a LB, Safety, or CB with the #3 pick.

        1. Well, my last mock had Malik Hooker, after trading back to garner more picks, and he just made an interception his last game. I thought MH was the closest player to Earl Thomas.
          Still. they did not know that Tank would respond so well in the new system, and Armstead was coming off shoulder surgery, so those were 2 big question marks.
          After giving up historically bad rushing stats, the Niners desperately needed to upgrade their D line. The former D line was a sieve, so drafting King Solomon was a wise move. Added depth on the D line was wise, especially now that Tank threw a track.
          Solomon Thomas was a top 10 rated draft pick. Many teams wait until later to draft MLBs, and since this last draft was so deep in DB talent, they could afford to wait until later. However, Witherspoon was a head scratcher, because other DBs were available, and he had the reputation of being a light hitter.

          1. Players chosen after Witherspoon-
            Alvin Kamara RB.
            Dewuane Smoot DE.
            Cooper Kupp WR.
            Pat Elflein C.
            Dan Feeney OG.
            Taywan Taylor WR.
            Jordan Willis OLB.
            Chris Wormley DE.
            Duke Riley LB.
            Fabian Moreau CB, was taken 15 picks later than AW.
            Kareem Hunt RB was picked 20 players after AW.

  39. I had hope way back in the day when BW was hired, but those first two seasons weren’t that much fun to be a 9er fan. Likewise, I have hopes for the new regime now, but I’m not having fun yet.
    3rd down futility
    Red zone futility
    Time of Possession futility
    4th Quarter futility
    It’s all too familiar, and so, like chronic pain, the mere hint of it is depressing and frustrating. But I’m in for the long haul, hoping for better.
    Having amateurs on here nit picking the coaching staff is just spitting into the wind. The “we shoulda drafted so&so” narratives are pretty useless as well.
    Our team is still sucky; ain’t changing much this year.

  40. Giving Hoyer a C- is a generous stretch……The Niners could be 3-1 right now if he played like a C- QB….3 games and 1 touchdown? Like I’ve said a hundred times, there is a reason he’s on his 7th team…He’s not even a stop-gap QB…it took him 10 years to get 46 touchdowns….

      1. Skittish could be used to describe some beat writers as well……can’t wait for the next post of Hoyers 5 best throws, riveting stuff sir. How about you post the 5 best throws of his career, that might be worth a read.

        1. dReed209 – so quick to condemn, but, just out of curiosity, how many drops also have contributed to Hoyer’s woes (a couple of which were in the EZ or definitely would have put the offense in the low RZ)??? I can think of at least 9, but with your recall, I am sure you can find at least 4 or 5 more.

      2. Re most QB’s couldn’t handle the pressure … Carson Palmer sure did …
        Hoyer made so many pathetic throws without a lot of pressure. Missed seeing wide open options so I find it hard to accept he goes through progressions well or can read defenses quickly… Wish SF would get ball in Juice’s hands more often. The SF play where QB fakes hand off then pivots, rolling out with FB or TE leading was fun to watch – seemed to be working consistently. Tent Brown is a monster.

  41. 49ers keep sledgehammering round pegs into square holes when they don’t fit.

    The team they inherited from Baalke is smash mouth football—his philosophy still is felt although they cleaned house.

    Grant’s plea for 3-step drops this game (although I might change to a 1-step drop for the remainder of the season) matches the skill set of the smashmouth blockers up front. They wouldn’t know what a sustained pass block looks like if Ex-49er greats, Tackles, Harris Barton, Bubba Paris, and Guards Jesse

    Sapolu/Randy Cross taught it to them.

    This teams needs more housecleaning, I don’t care if you pluck 5 of the best O-Linemen off everyone’s practice squad.

    Another message needs to be sent, yesterday.


    Arik Armstead is who we thought he was. A bust. But this bust hurts at pick # 17. LSU’s Arden Key looks like a must now.

    1. Also,

      Since the stench of Baalke still permeates with smashmouth, the only logical option is to agree with Seb.

      Time to bring Kap back. With this O-Line, Kap, it’s smashmouth until next season, when we can spend our entire Kapology on Offensive linemen !

      1. You think that’d actually make a difference? Per Chris Biederman — Kaepernick’s #s under pressure during the Harbaugh years when he was mostly surrounded by an elite team:

        45.6% Completion
        2,030 Yards
        6.1 Yards/Attempt
        12 TDs
        11 INTs
        114 sacks
        63.8 QB rating.

        FWIW, his Tomsula numbers were worse. That is, without an elite team to bail him out, he was worse. Far, far worse coming in somewhere around 48.0.

  42. I find it interesting Grant has been silent on the Kaep discussion, yet has the nerve to retweet his dads thoughts today….. that kaep would be 0-4 on this team. Hardly surprising where you stand, that was made obvious when you were pimpn Gabs last year until Kaep took his job back. What is a surprise is how you used ur dad to get ur opinion out…..hasn’t daddy already done enough for ya? I felt you were cowardly for posting a story about hoyers best 5 throws, instead of touching on the trump vs nfl storyline which includes kaep and sf……this confirms my suspicious suspicions. What “beat writer” says if they would have called this play I drew up last night they score a td…..The one and only Baby Cohn.
    Apologies to my good friend Seb who hates when I rip Grant, but the kid is a joke. Most the time I skip his bogus article and start browsing our comments, much more interesting reading material anyhow.

    1. Reed, please do not keep disparaging Grant, or his father. All you have to do is say that you disagree, and outline your points why you think you are right.
      I totally disagree with Lowell, but I do not call him a coward or his son a baby.
      I just will respectfully disagree, and elucidate my thought processes.

  43. Although the record doesn’t show it, this Niners team is indeed better than the one from a year ago.

    But the fact remains that more (playmakers) are needed, particularly at some of the game’s most important positions. Quarterback clearly tops the list but a No. 1 edge rusher to complement Buckner and Thomas, a top cornerback to take some of the heat off Rashard Robinson and/or a game-breaking receiver to become Shanahan’s new version of Julio Jones would all be welcome additions.

    No matter how much cap space or how many draft picks the Niners had last offseason, they simply couldn’t address all of their many needs in one offseason. They did what they could to put a foundation in place but they still need more cornerstones.


  44. OT, but my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims in Las Vegas.
    Now posters know why I want a well regulated Second Amendment.

    1. Hmmm,

      Just Saturday you posted this for my enjoyment, Seb, and I was not amused at your ‘gallows humor:’

      sebnynah says:

      September 30, 2017 at 10:17 am

      Lynch mentioned that the Niners should stop shooting themselves in the foot. I wonder where I have heard that phrase before.

      Tom D’s Take: It seems, Seb, your ‘knack’ for sending me these ominous warnings just prior to the actual event is your ‘morbide specialte’, and will continue until Grant stops your perverse sense of humor.

      Please seek help, Seb, and discontinue your arsenal humor.

      1. Posters are on to you, Seb—one day the protector of civil rights, the next, the ‘Hypocrite and Chief’, posting to Cassie Baalke that a woman’s place is at the shopping malls, not the table, talking football with men.

        Or calmly discussing football with Jaunhunglo one day, and the next, posting stereotypical viewpoints about Latino’s:

        sebnynah says:
        September 28, 2017 at 8:58 pm

        Being in the landscape business, I have many interactions with Latinos.

        They may cram 8 people into a car, but one always is sober.

        TomD’s Take: Your hypocrisy knows no bounds, Seb. Saying that one Latino is always ‘sober’ is painting with the broad brush of stereotype. Your fraudulent activity has been laid bare for all to see.

        The only marker left at the intersection of sincerity and polar opposite, is found in tonight’s episode of the Twilight Zone.

        1. *Seb’s original comment was on Thursday, 9/28/17, Article: “Robert Saleh on Solomon Thomas: We need to find ways to get him inside…”

  45. They have been in all the last 3 games and in the Opener they were so mistake laden they could have won that one too with an absolutely woeful Cam Newton that day.. It all starts with the coaches building a culture of confidence followed by execution. Then you assess your talent and put them in as many situations for their skill sets where they can win.. That ain’t happening yet.. This team should be at minimum a 2-2 team at this juncture..

  46. Buckner’s overall Pro Football Focus grade currently sits at 93.3 — No. 1 among all interior defenders, including standouts like J.J. Watt, Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald.

    1. Yeah, like I said yesterday during the game – he, Ray Ray and Dumervil were just about the only players on D earning their paycheck…

    1. Not playing CJ assumes he’s not ready….Niners are in a difficult place. Do you play him and risk destroying his confidence, or at least wait until the mid to 3/4 point of the season to see what you have for the draft ?

      If you wait until the 3/4 point, a trade could be worked for a pass rushing DE or impact WR from teams who are out of contention with our bevy of draft picks….The 49ers are in the drivers seat here and are still working on whether Baalke’s # 17 pick in Armstead is a bust.

      1. “Calculate what his QB rating would be if those dropped passes had been caught.”

        Go ahead. Then do the same with the other 31 QBs. I bet Hoyer would still be in the bottom 5.

      2. Through Week 3.


        “Total QBR incorporates information from game charting, such as passes dropped or thrown away on purpose.
        Total QBR splits responsibility on plays between the quarterback, his receivers, and his blockers. Drops, for example, are more on the receiver, as are yards after the catch, and some sacks are more on the offensive line than others.
        Total QBR has a clutch factor which adds (or subtracts) value for quarterbacks who perform best (or worst) in high-leverage situations.
        Beginning in 2016, Total QBR is now adjusted for strength of opponent.”

        Hoyer QBR: 27.2, ranked 28th in the league.

              1. I’m inclined to agree with Grant on this one. But I don’t see point in assigning percentage of the blame to each culprit of the passing game. From pass protection (which has improved but still not adequate) to inconsistent receivers, there is sufficient blame to go around. However, the passing game is also the component of the well-choreographed Shanahan offense that takes the longest to click. The running game, OTOH, appears to be improving steadily and seems to be only held back by Hyde’s health woes.Trent Brown’s run blocking seems to have improved and even as a newcomer Tomlinson is better at run blocking than Beadles.

        1. QBR is a mess. Bad thing to rely on.

          Charlie Batch’s 186-yard, two-pick game has ESPN’s best QBR ever

          To review, in that Steelers-Buccaneers game, Batch threw 17 passes. Two of them were interceptions thrown directly into the hands of the opposing defense. Two of them were long touchdown passes that easily could have been intercepted if the defensive backs had done their jobs.* One was a legitimately good touchdown pass. On the other passes, Batch went 9-for-12 for 90 yards.

          Does that sound to you like the greatest game any quarterback has ever played in NFL history? If it does, there might be a place for you in ESPN’s analytics department.

          * The defender actually had one of those INT-turned-TDs in his hands but it bounced it off his chest into the hands of the WR who was perfectly covered.


          Anyway, QBR is terrible. It was not a good game by Batch. It was a lucky game in that he only threw 2 INTs and not 4.

  47. Just the salient details:

    How Steve DeBerg’s Brian Hoyer’s turnovers are debilitating the 49ers

    Week 1: Panthers 23, 49ers 3
    Points off Hoyer’s turnovers: 14

    Week 2: Seahawks 12, 49ers 9
    Points off Hoyer’s turnover: 3

    Week 3: Rams 41, 49ers 39
    Points off Hoyer’s turnover: 7

    Week 4: Cardinals 18, 49ers 15
    Points off Hoyer’s turnover: 3

    Hoyer as of Monday ranks 30th in the NFL with a 67.9 passer rating ahead of only Joe Flacco (65.0) and DeShone Kizer (50.9).


    It’s not just all him. But QBs are highly leveraged in football and their performance, more so that any other position, effects the team’s fortunes.

  48. Something I hadn’t actually noticed during the game but I think Matt Barrows outlined – apparently Thomas was playing Leo in base with Armstead at big end. If that was the case, good move. Armstead seems much more suited to big end than Leo. Also was good to see Thomas getting reps at 3T in sub-packages – another good move.

    Also, on Thomas, while he still relies too heavily on the bull rush, I did notice he had a couple of rushes from the edge where he went around the OT, and did it quite successfully. Didn’t get any sacks that way, but he did get some pressures/ QB hits. Definitely progress on this part.

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