49ers 16, Vikings 24: Grades

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan speaks during a news conference after an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Vikings won 24-16. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

Here are the 49ers’ grades after their 24-16 road loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

GAROPPOLO: D-minus. He was up against the best defense in the NFC, on the road, without his No. 1 running back (Jerick McKinnon), No. 1 receiver (Marquise Goodwin), starting right guard (Mike Person), backup right guard (Joshua Garnett), and on top of all that, four of his teammates dropped passes. Still, Garoppolo threw a touchdown pass and averaged a whopping 7.9 yards per throw. He gave the 49ers a chance to win. But, he also threw three interceptions, and two were his fault. The final pick put the nail in the coffin: With the game on the line, Garoppolo threw a careless pass over the middle into triple coverage where no one was open. Inexcusable. Garoppolo also struggled in the red zone, where he over threw George Kittle, who was open in the end zone. Since Garoppolo became the starting quarterback last season, red-zone efficiency and interceptions have been two issues for the 49ers. Through six starts with San Francisco, he has thrown eight interceptions. Today, his quarterback rating was miserable – 45.1.

RUNNING BACKS: D. Alfred Morris and Matt Breida split carries and averaged merely 3.7 yards per carry. Neither was a factor in the passing game or the red zone, and Morris fumbled at the one-yard line. The Niners sure could have used Jerick McKinnon. His season-ending injury hurt the entire offense.

WIDE RECEIVERS: D. Marquise Goodwin injured his quad in the first half and missed most of the game. He caught no passes. Pierre Garcon caught just two passes for 21 yards. Non-factor. And Kendrick Bourne caused a pick-six by running the wrong route. He should have made a “sight adjustment” and ran a slant when the Vikings blitzed from his side – that’s what Garoppolo expected Bourne to do. That was Bourne’s job. But, he didn’t adjust his route, and Garoppolo got picked. Bourne shouldn’t have been active for this game. Richie James is better. The 49ers best receivers Sunday were Trent Taylor, who caught four passes for 28 yards, and rookie Dante Pettis. He made two catches, and both were big plays – a 22-yard touchdown catch in the end zone, and a 39-yard catch in the middle of the field.

TIGHT ENDS: C-plus. George Kittle almost had a fantastic game. He caught five passes for 90 yards, and would have caught six passes for 94 yards and a touchdown had Garoppolo not overthrown him in the red zone. But, Kittle seriously hurt the 49ers’ chances of winning by dropping what should have been a long catch catch during the second quarter. On the next play, Garoppolo threw a pick-six.

OFFENSIVE LINE: D. The 49ers came into the game with two right guards – Person and Garnett. Both got hurt in the first half. The 49ers had to move rookie right tackle Mike McGlinchey to right guard and play backup Garry Gilliam at right tackle. So, it’s no wonder this group struggled. It created little room to run, and allowed nine quarterback hits and three sacks. Left guard Laken Tomlinson was responsible for one. He was late to slide to his left, strong safety Harrison Smith ran past and clobbered Garoppolo.

DEFENSIVE LINE: B-minus. DeForest Buckner was great – he recorded 2.5 sacks. The rest of the defensive line played well against the run, but not against the pass. Buckner remains the only threat to hit the quarterback. Designated pass-rusher Cassius Marsh never touched Kirk Cousins. And Solomon Thomas made an egregious mental error when he jumped offside on fourth-and-1 late in the game.

LINEBACKERS: A-plus. Fred Warner played better than Reuben Foster ever played last season, and Foster played well. Warner was outstanding. He recorded 12 tackles and forced the 49ers only turnover, when he chased down Vikings starting running back Dalvin Cook from behind and stripped him. Warner is a playmaker.

SAFETIES: C-minus. Both Adrian Colbert and Jaquiski Tartt played well against the run. Tartt even recorded a tackle for loss. But, he also gave up a touchdown catch to tight end Kyle Rudolph in the red zone. Rudolph ran a classic “Stick Nod” route – out and quickly up. Tartt ran with him but never turned his head to find the ball. Colbert’s mistake was less obvious. During the Vikings third series, Cook made a 17-yard catch out of the backfield on third-and-3 when the 49ers blitzed. Colbert was supposed to cover Cook on that play. Missed assignment. The Vikings scored a touchdown later during that drive.

CORNERBACKS: C-minus. Richard Sherman played well and the Vikings hardly tested him. But, Ahkello Witherspoon gave up a 22-yard touchdown catch to Stefon Diggs, and never turned to find the ball, just like Tartt. And K’Waun Williams gave up a 19-yard catch to Adam Theilen on third-and-five, because Williams didn’t cover the flat as he should have in the 49ers Cover 3 defense. Missed assignment No. 2. A few plays later, the Vikings scored another touchdown.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A. Robbie Gould made all three of his field goals, and Dante Pettis returned one punt for 14 yards. Impressive.

COACHES: C. Kyle Shanahan’s team hung tough on the road in an early game against a killer team, and were in it until almost one minute left. He gets big credit for that. He also shares blame for the loss, because the 49ers lost this game in the red zone. The offense made four trips inside the 20-yard line and scored only one touchdown. The 49ers had chances to win and wasted them. Red-zone offense has been an issue since before Garoppolo was the quarterback. So, he probably isn’t the issue – Shanahan’s scheme is. The outside-zone running play doesn’t work well when the safeties line up so close to the line of scrimmage in the red zone. The field is so compact down there, it’s hard to “stretch” the defense, which is the goal of the outside zone. Shanahan has to honestly examine his own performance in the red zone. Will he?

This article has 358 Comments

    1. Sure, Solo made a bonehead mistake, but so did Jimmy G, Alfred Morris, A. Witherspoon and K. Williams.
      Add to that what seemed like a concerted effort by the defense to miss tackles is enough to spread the blame around for me.

      This was a “what could have been” type game because without those mistakes we could have won.
      But, there aren’t excuses here, a loss is a loss.

      I know many here don’t see positives in losses, but I saw some today.
      1. Pass rush showed improvement and Armstead had a complete game.
      2. Pettis is going to help us sooner than later.
      3. Warner was our best player today.
      4. Kittle will be JG’ favorite target.
      5. McGlinchey will garner some votes for Pro-Bowl if he continues his quick growth rate.

      Also, the team now knows that they can play head and head with top tier teams which will help their confidence going forward.

      1. If you are referring to Witherspoon not turning his head on that touchdown pass as a boneheaded mistake- you are wrong. That pass was not completed because of him not turning his head. Witherspoon had his lead arm in the right position it was just put in a place that only the receiver could get it beyond Spoons reach. It was a perfect pass. If Spoon turns his head to track the ball he loses the receiver and half a step. The ball was placed perfectly so the receiver could catch it in stride. It was not a jump ball tracking situation. This is unlike the TD Tart gave up because that was at the back of the end zone. If Tart turns around he get the interception. If Witherspoon turns around the ball is still out of his reach.

        1. Had his head been turned watching the pass its possible, but not guaranteed, that he could have elevated and made the pass even harder to catch, he could have had his arm up to deflect the pass before it arrived in the receivers pocket. Fact is at this level you have to have your head turned when running with a WR, you have to be able to read his eyes and see him react to the pass, turn your head and make a play on the ball. If the catch is made, you live with it…but never turning your head is like striking out looking in baseball…

          1. eMJay,

            I agree with your point; and also think this part of your description shows just how hard it is to be a top-notch cornerback against a very good passer and receiver combo:

            ” . . . you have to have your head turned when running with a WR, you have to be able to read his eyes and see him react to the pass . . . ”

            Having your “head turned” to see the ball, and “reading the eyes” literally can’t happen at the same time, so timing and instincts are a must.

            Here’s hoping Witherspoon keeps developing, and grows with Sherman’s example.

        2. willtalk,
          Not turning to track the ball is bad technique.

          IMO, a DB who does not turn to track a pass has already lost the match up because he is playing not to make a mistake instead of playing to make a play. You have to give yourself a chance as opposed to hoping the pass hits you when it comes down.

          If the QB throws a neatly placed pass for TD, the DB just swallows his pride and moves on to the next play. But if you can turn and possibly make a play, you have to give it a shot.

  1. It was a game of collective ‘if’s. Cant point the finger in any one direction. The tackling was terrible, the blocking wasn’t much better, dropped passes, interceptions, missed assignments and yet at the end of the game the Niners were still in it. That was a winnable game and the Niners did everything to lose it. Penalties were an improvement except for bone head Thomas (someone else jumped too). Any news on Person or Garnett?

  2. Garoppolo – Worst game of his career. If there’s a “book” on Jimmy, it’s take the middle line-of-sight routes away, force him to complete timing passes long or wide.

    Backs – Morris looked slow, Breida looked small. In defense of Morris, the end zone calls were weirdly slow developing. The Vikings also stacked the box. Breida had some nice late runs.

    Receivers – Liked the big catches by Pettis. Not bad considering they were missing thier most explosive WR.

    Tight Ends – B+. Kittle’s big drop was 50% on Garoppolo. An overthrow. He was so wide open Jimmy should have put air under it. (Now about that “book”…)

    O-Line – Not bad considering who they faced, and losing two right guards. On the other hand staying on the field counts as a grade-able ability.

    D Line – B. Maintained energy despite being on the field most of the first half.

    Linebackers A – Warner was great.
    Linebackers D – Coyle was the weak link. Team speed will drastically improve once Foster’s back. Hope Malcom Smith is ready.

    DB – Splash plays overshadowed by poor tackling, weird coverages. Someone tell them it’s legal for a DB to turn his head. Tartt missed a gimme end zone pick that turned out to be a Viking TD.

    Coaching – The goal line runs were weirdly slow developing, almost like draw plays. Made good adjustments, got the O Kick-started… but too late. Clearly from the first few drives the Vikings plan was to charge the outside runs, clog inside passing lanes.


    The 4 year injury curse continues into a 5th season.

    Considering its a road game vs a top team, the 49ers almost won despite multiple mistakes. The team is heading in the right direction.

    The “Book” on the 49ers has been written (at least for now).
    – Clog Garoppolo’s middle passing lanes. Force him to beat you with outside or long timing passes.
    – Throw at Coyle, misdirection runs, QB runs.

    1. I think the word bust for S Thomas would be to kind….I argued over and over with my buddy when they picked him.He was a non factor his whole college career ,had one great bowl game and was a combine warrior..Dude cannot play,I would be upset if he was a fourth round pick,he looks like trash!
      All though the picks we’re concerning I’d still rather have Jimmy than a about like Alex Smith,he throws pick because he tries to make something happen.Unlike Alex who will lose a game but never try to make a play and have no picks…We were in that game because of Gorropolo,two less drops and we probably win that game with four turnovers..There’s alot to be improved but Lynch and Shanahan have showed there building this thing the right way,JG will be fine..I’ve brought it up before but no team suffers injuries like the 49ers,Shanahan is a great play caller but I’m starting to believe he’s to much of a players coach the Niners seem injury prone and undisciplined

        1. Because you are freaking over one mistake DURING THE FIRST GAME OF THE SEASON and are using it to justify your preconceived belief that Thomas is a bust. Only idiots do that.

            1. Again, only idiots think like that. People who actually think with their brains instead of their rear ends realize that Thomas is better suited inside where he and Buckner looked to be stout during the preseason, yet the coaching staff had him playing edge during the game. People using their brains will also see that the Thomas miscue in the game is actually a continuing trend of a lack of discipline by the team as a whole.
              Meanwhile, idiots will crow about the miscue and cite his rookie season in order to validate their preconceived belief that Thomas is a bust.

              1. Armstead and Ward were considered to have had good rookie campaigns, so the answer to your question is no.

              2. MWD, even if you excuse Thomas’ excessively stupid penalty, he made 1 tackle today, and it wasn’t a tackle for a loss of yardage.


                That’s simply not good enough. Not good enough for a starter and CERTAINLY not good enough for a top five pick who is no longer a rookie.

              3. As Scooter has pointed out though 49ereasons, he wasn’t playing at his position of strength. Thomas belongs on the inside, not on the edge.

    2. yes he is. Malik Hooker at safety and Marshon Lattimore at cb were my choices instead. Didn’t understand why he was getting so much love to go that early. I was screaming at the tv when we picked him.

        1. yup. was at the game. 1st play that irked me was the goal line fumble when Morris already fumbled but recovered the play before. Give the guy a break for a down. It was probably in his head that he almost fumbled away the ball. They kept running the ball. Switch it up for a down. 2nd play, Kittle wide open down the left sideline. Catch the ball and hes gone, the pick 6 doesn’t happen 1 play later. Garcon in the end zone. Seems like he got scared. Cant drop that pass

      1. Garcon = 1 TD drop. Kittle should have had his catch. That is caught by most good TEs in this league. = 2. Pettis had a tough catch but he reaches for it and pulls it in, and it’s a TD. That’s 3. There was one more and I’m drawing a blank. Not Jimmy G’s fault. Lots of receivers let him down today.

        1. That Pettis none catch was a good defensive play by the corner. He had his arm positioned in the right place to break up the pass. Lets not get carried away and blame every difficult catch on the receivers. One could also blame Jimmy G for every overthrown pass. He had quite a few this game. Players will make mistakes and also not always make hard contested catches.

  3. I’m starting to buy into the whole ‘our training staff is not doing something right prevent injusries’ theory.
    We cannot be this unlucky with injuries for these past few years.
    We had some great plays but just way too many errors. If we were more locked in and didnt keep shooting ourselves in the foot. we would have that game. Good teams win a game like that.

    1. 4 years in a row (2014-2017) the 49ers have had far more starters losing play time due to injuries than average.
      Thats 4 different coaching staffs, two different managements.

      It its continuing for a 5th season.

      It’s why I’ve been predicting 8-8 the last few months. Two years isn’t enough to build team depth for deep playoff runs.

      1. Re time to build enough depth to sustain injuries…

        It took 7 years of losing football to acquire the 2011 roster

        Year – Name – Overall Pick

        2005 – Alex Smith – 1
        2005 – Frank Gore – 65
        2006 – Vernon Davis – 6
        2007 – Patrick Willis – 11
        2007 – Joe Staley – 28
        2008 – Justin Smith – 4 (Free Agent $45m)
        2009 – Michael Crabtree – 10
        2010 – Anthony Davis – 11
        2010 – Mike Iupati – 17
        2010 – Novorrow Bowman – 91
        2011 – Aldon Smith – 7

        Key players – 11
        Top 11 overall draft picks – 7
        First round draft picks – 9


        – I left out less than perfect high profile picks and free agents like
        Bass 33, Lawson 22, Mays 49, Balmer 29, Rachal 39 and Clements $80m.
        Mistakes are an inevitable part of building a team. (I liked Lawson, but did he play at a pick 22 level?).

        It does show that late first round picks have more bust potential. Draft slot matters.

        – I included free agent Justin Smith’s draft slot to reinforce the message great players (usually) cost great draft picks.

        – I was arbitrary about identifying “key players.” The main idea was to show what it takes to acquire talent.

        – It took Bill Walsh only 3 years because he was Bill Walsh. All five 49er Super Bowl winning teams were lead by Bill Walsh trained quarterbacks.

        1. Some very good points Brodie.

          Gotta dissagree with you though on the long pass Kittle dropped. I’m sorry but, if a QB has to put the ball in a better spot than that to assure the TE is able to catch the pass, then the TE isn’t starting NFL material. Sure, Kittle did have to reach his arms out, but that’s because he clearly misjudged the football. After watching the play at least a dozen times, it’s clear to me that Kittle never even fully stretched his arms out for the catch. That’s a drop any way you look at it, not an overthrown pass.

          All things considered, my outlook remains about the same. I expect this team will find a good offensive rhythm at some point this season. The only question for me is whether they’ve dug themselves too deep of a hole to climb out of by the time they find that rhythm. And, given today’s injuries on the OL, I am starting to have my doubts.

          1. Garçon should have caught that pass in the end zone and Kittle has to make that grab. Jimmy G wasn’t great today but if those guys make those plays it does not make Jimmy G have to force things later

            1. Last year, Goodwin and Bourne made some contested catches which made Jimmy G look good.

              The throw to Kittle was catchable, but no matter how we paint it, I think Jimmy G had a bad game….happens to all the better QBs. Good thing is, it happened against a Terrific defense like the Vikings.

              I would be worried if the same happens against, say…..the Packers.

              1. Kittle misjudged the ball and closed his hands before the ball arrived. You can not catch a ball if your hands are together. Garcons miss in the end zone was also not an easy catch. He should have caught it but lets not pretend it was an uncontested drop.

          2. Your wrong. Brodie uses this site as his personal website…Jimmy can’t throw an out pattern? That’s the ‘book’..? Where do you get this garbage? We have had ‘more injuries than average over the past few years? Do you follow football dude? It is football, btw. Then you say that the OL played ok??
            The OL is why we couldn’t get anything going all game. Jimmys release saved alot of sacks…and to put 50% on the QB for Kitties horrible drop…I would catch that pass 100 out of 100 times and if not it’s not cuz ‘he put too much air under it’ Freakin armchair QBs and their air under the ball

            1. Guru

              – I didn’t say Garoppolo couldn’t throw an out pattern. I said coaches would take away what Jimmy does best (the middle stuff), test how Jimmy throws out pattern and deep patterns.

              – Its a fact the Niners lost more starters due to injury than average each of the last 4 seasons. Lots of articles on that, including some Niners Nation articles breaking it down by numbers.

              – I’ve been a major Garoppolo fan for years. Noted in this blog in 2014 the 49ers should draft him because CK seemed exposed to injury from his play style. Wrote countless posts praising his quick release since the trade last Halloween. Try to control yourself.

            2. Guru, are you under the impression that I thought our OL played well today? Because they didn’t play well. I do think it’s fair to question whether the 49ers braintrust adequately addressed their OL this offseason. Additionally, I also think they are experiencing some tough luck in terms of injuries. On top of that, a few players atypically dropped catchable passes today, and they were some costly drops.

              Again, a lot of blame to go around, and most of Jimmy’s struggles today were a product of poor OL play and dropped passes. I hope that clears up my stance.

            3. Guru,

              When claim to be able to make the catch 100% of the time, and call somebody else out (incorrectly, btw) as “using the site for a personal page” the credibility drops quickly. Brodie posts statistics and information, and is no SebNY.

              A couple other dozen post more, and a lot of that is just trying to bait Grant into an argument. Disagreeing with somebody else’s points does not show they are using the site more ‘personally’ than anybody else.

  4. First off Joshua Garnett is a paper player. No one touches this guy and he goes down! Same old with him. CUT HIM!
    Garcon was another goat of the game drops to key plays one a TD!
    Coyle was just plain horrible.
    Play calling in key situations even worse. Yeah, lets keep giving it to MORRIS! He nearly fumbled the play before his fumble and then you waste a down late in the game first and goal! SOME GENIUS Shanahan is !

    With this schedule and these players 6-10 at best now!

  5. Unfortunate not to steal this one……. the lack of a pass rush is going to be an on-going issue (I was hoping Attachou would prosper here and Marsh is useless). Foster’s return will add a lot of speed and Jimmy G will hopefully be a bit more disciplined next go. Considering the 49ers made the mistakes and were still in the game, I think we shouldn’t be too bitter.
    Beat Detroit next week, get Foster back and go find a pass-rusher.
    – The Bears game is going to be a lot more interesting from the looks of things……….

  6. The best thing about today is that everyone else in the NFC West lost as well.
    No worries and next week is a must win. Simple as that!

  7. I think the Vikings were just a better Team. Our defense was good today. If not for the pick 6 the defense would have held them to less than 20 points which is good enough to win games. Losing Goodwin and both Guards was tough. We must beat Detroit next week!!!!

  8. Shanahan has to do something about the penalties. I don’t think Thomas is a bust and still think that he will turn out to be a solid player, but it was a boneheaded play. Next game, Sheldon Day should start with Buckner on the inside instead of Thomas.

    Players need to compete and realize that if they don’t have game smarts and make mistakes, they will lose their starting spot, even if they are the 3rd overall pick.

    1. Thomas barely played on the inside all game from what I saw, which I think is a big issue for him. He needs to be getting reps at 3T, not be stuck on the edge.

        1. Only to those who wanted another prospect instead of him. Someone like, oh I don’t know, Marshon Lattimore, who was lit up like a freaking Christmas tree today by Fitzpatrick throwing to Evans.

              1. That Khalil Mack deal looks like a win for the Bears.
                The 49ers have to address the OLB position this offseason.

          1. Kinda tough Scooter, when you’re talking about a “tweener”. Not quite big enough to dominate inside, and not really athletically built to play on the edge. Solomon Thomas is a classic tweener, and should never have been drafted top 20, let alone top 5.

          1. Exactly CFC.

            But please folks, let’s not overreact to 1 game. It’s fair to say that the deck was stacked against the 49ers this week. This game was penciled in as an L on my schedule, and that was long before the McKinnon injury.

            The injuries are what concern me more than anything. This team seems cursed this season. Not sure how you fix that.

          2. …or even late in the first round.

            But since he was taken #3 overall……
            * runs around the room with head exploding”

            There, I already feel better … as anyone can with an exploded head…

  9. Yeh I don’t buy this “sky is falling” take either. This team played an outstanding team on both sides of the ball, in their home opener, and were within a Solomon Thomas bonehead move from having a legit chance to tie.

    Grant is right in some respects. Receivers were a big disappointment. DBs didn’t practice basic technique in turning around. RBs were what we thought they would be. BUT, he didn’t point out the much better discipline. Especially with the new defensive rules, this team did not shoot itself in the foot, and the VIkes actually did at times with their penalties.

    OL was solid in pass protection (except Gilliam but who expected more?). Kittle can get open. Play calling had the defense guessing all day outside of the red zone. I don’t see a bunch of D grades, just a few individual D’s and a great deal of Bs and Cs.

    1. Your an idiot. They were not solid in pass pro. Count how many hits our franchise player took. Then go count how many Brady takes. Smh. Until you come back with the numbers don’t comment anymore thank you

  10. One more thought. What I did see was a team that still does not know how to win. Still makes crucial mistakes and can’t make the big plays (Pettis’ TD was an exception).

    But that hopefully will change with experience and confidence.

  11. Grant said: “Shanahan has to honestly examine his own performance in the red zone. Will he?” Bingo…

    I personally don’t think Kyle has a lot of confidence in what he does. His team plays sloppy, now into our second season, not a good feel for what to call in dagger territory. Look at his Red Zone record. It’s woeful..

    Until he he gets his guys to play with cold blooded execution he is at best an OC.. And even with a superior team in Atlanta with a great Offense he blew the 2016 Super Bowl vs New England. He either grows a pair, wanting it more than anything or move on..

  12. tackling and special teams play are expected to be shoddy at best early in the season because most of the starters saw so few snaps during the pre-season games and there is no live contact or tackling in training camp. at this point of the season, all teams are battling the same issues so it is a matter of which teams best can keep from beating themselves while they get in tune with regular game speed. Missed protections, missed site adjustments on secondary blitzes, dropped passes, ball security, errant throws, jumping offsides on 4th and inches when everybody in the stadium knows the ball is not going to be snapped are the type of self-inflicted errors which cost an eventual playoff berth because these early season games are there for the taking. Rule #1 – before thinking about defeating the opponent is NOT TO BEAT YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!

  13. I love you guys who keep trying to defend S Thomas..It’s not that we wanted someone else it’s that when you’re picked #3 overall in a draft people expect you to be an elite player!He looks like a back up situational player not a number 3 overall..Mr Magoo would tell you so…just stop it already
    You don’t have to call people idiots,bring up stats ,none of that anyone with a set of eyeballs can see as to this date Soloman Thomas is looking like a big fat bust!You don’t think as Niner fans we want him to do well?!

    1. He has been disappointing, but not a bust either. He had 3 sacks his rookie year…..not much when you compare his draft status, but not peanuts either. I would think because the 9er Mgmt have invested so much in Thomas, they will let him play out his rookie contract.

      So let’s take a call 4 years later if he is a bust or not.

        1. Sadly, he was drafted to be an edge in base/run downs and slide inside on passing downs.
          They said so when they drafted him. Which made no sense given who the team already had.

          1. Exactly! They were looking for someone to help on the edge. They were pretty much set in the middle. For an inside player he was over drafted especially since he was considered a tweener. The only way his draft position would have been justified is if he was successful on the edge. Put him at his 3T in the nickle and that certainly might improve his play. However, their are just to many other good defensive line players to build the defense around him at his best position. He is not that much, if at all, better than other players on the team even at his best position.

            While not worthless player- he is certainly a disappointment from what they expected him to be considering his draft position. The situation sort of reminds me of what some posters were suggesting with Ward. It was all about putting that player in the position that they were more likely to succeed irregardless as to whether that was the position the team drafted them to play because of need. In both situations they were over drafted. As many posters stated if Thomas were drafted in the second round he might be considered a better pick.

            I spend a lot of posts defending the teams rebuilding strategy and process. But Thomas was just a bad pick. A conversion reach. They thought he would be effective as an edge rusher and that just didn’t pan out.

          2. Which made no sense given who the team already had.

            They had a unit that was torched in the run game during 2016, desperately needed improvement, and had a former first round pick who had trouble staying on the field. So the pick made perfect sense.

            1. They were torched in the run game that year due to multiple reasons we basically resolved with the transition to the new defense. The year they were torched they ran a 3-4, didn’t have a NT on the team, and had a DCthat basically asked his players to “guess” when filling gaps in their run fits (this came from his former players). The next year the niners switched to a 4-3 which moved Defo closer into the interior and brought in Earl Mitchell. As to the role of a run stuffing DT/DE, while he is now thought of as injury prone, there was no reason to think he was at that point in time, and the niners also already had Blair on the roster. Additionally, run stuffing DE’s are about the easiest role to fill in NFL and are going the way of the Run Stuffing MLB (see Bowman after his injury).

      1. While he is not a bust in the conventional sense of having little to no value to the team, he is a bust as the edge rusher he was drafted for. Being a potential edge rusher is the only way his draft position at # 3 could be justified. And since it is obvious that he will never fulfill the role he was drafted to fill, he can logically be labeled as a bust.

          1. Facts are overrated. What matters is “truthiness”. Fans have projected their logic (Thomas has been brought in as an edge rusher because he was drafted #3) on to FO’s viewpoint, and metamorphosed them into “the truth” :)

    2. I think the problem with Thomas is where he was drafted. The expectations for a top 3 pick are that he will be a high impact player who becomes a core part of the roster. The reason some of us didn’t like the pick – that doesn’t mean I don’t like the guy just the fact he was taken higher than he should have been – is because he was a lot like what we already had in Buckner and Armstead in terms of where he fit best and he really was not a great pass rusher in College. Great against the run, but you can find those types of players on day two. Someone mentioned there wouldn’t have been a problem if he was drafted in round two and that is a great point. Thomas is a good player, high character, works hard, but he’s not a top 3 talent which is what people are holding him too.

      I still believe Thomas can be a good player in this defense, but they have to move him inside on obvious passing downs. That is where he operates best. It doesn’t help the kid if they keep asking him to do something he isn’t capable of.

    1. Ha, that defense has been lousy until they got an elite player. No different then Fangio in S.F. Was nothing special after he lost the stars that were carrying his defense.

      1. Well, now he has two stars – Mack and Roquan Smith for at least the next 4 years and a lot of other nice pieces on defense.

        1. Yup, and we’ll all have to start hearing about what an amazing coach Fangio is again. He’s just like Shanahan senior. When he has hall of fame players on his team, he wins and when he doesn’t he loses.

      2. The Bears defense was ranked the ninth best defense in 2017, and the 2014 49ers defense was ranked the 10th best in the league.

        1. Yep the Bears defense was already good and they have some DT’s who get a great push in the middle. They were the most impressive pass rushers last night.

  14. The Vikings secondary looked much more physical to me than the 49ers catchers. I realize it’s the first game, but I wonder if it’s partially due to the fact that our WRs practice against a secondary that is average at best and just weren’t ready for a physical secondary.

    1. Yea because All Pro Richard Sherman and Witherspoon are just average at best and Xavier Rhoades and Terrence Newman used to make Stefan Diggs cry at practise, they would hit him so hard. Good point genius

          1. Yet they still lost the game. When it mattered, he couldn’t get to a gimpy Rodgers as he brought GB back from a 20 point deficit. Was he worth that contract in the last quarter of play?

    1. Yes, now we will see Josh Allen in all his glory. I recall there were commentors here who rated Allen highly.
      My prediction was that the McDermott-Beane team’s days were numbered the day he drafted Allen. My view was confirmed when they traded McCarron away and made Peterman the starting QB.
      If Dorsey can rescue the Browns, then the Bills will be the new Browns….

  15. Khalil Mack’s first half:
    • Strip sack
    • Fumble recovery
    • Pick-six

    Worth every penny.
    Hey Rocket, wonder what they would say to you in Chicago right now if you walked in and told them only QB’s should make $20 M a year.

        1. I do but you really were hoping to make me eat some crow today I’m sure:)

          Last night was a great example of why I feel the way I do about paying him that money. He was very good, don’t get me wrong, but the Bears were getting more pass rush up the middle than they were from Mack and his pick 6 was a gift from Kizer. Mack is going to make that defense better no question especially when he gets into true game shape, but one of my points when I disagreed with this contract was the fact you can scheme to take anybody out of a game defensively and that is exactly what the Packers did in the second half. As soon as they went up tempo, the pass rush disappeared and they moved the ball up and down the field. To me you spend money in all areas of a defense and build a rotation up front with good depth. When you give a 90 million guarantee (Rodgers only got 8 million more guaranteed on his deal which is incredible) to a defensive player eventually you are going to see it in the lack of depth in other places. I would have kept Mack this season and forced him to play under the 5th year option, but at the end of the day the Raiders decided they weren’t paying him like a QB and I think they made the right decision.

    1. He’s been very impressive. I don’t have an issue with how much he is being paid, what stuck in my craw was giving up the two firsts +. That I felt was too much. But $20M average for an elite edge guy is what the going rate is.

      1. How many first round picks do teams go through before they find a player like Mack? Especially when you factor in the second rounder they received with the player the two firsts were a bargain for an elite pass rusher.

          1. Yep. I argue that it wasn’t the price paid for Mack that is the problem, it’s the fact that the team that paid that price wasn’t ready for him yet.

            1. Meh. There was a lot of cackling going on during the first half tonight. Mack did a good job of letting up while chasing that last Packers TD.

              1. Sure whatever Jack. His first half performance was nothing special especially given the circumstances. You’re also right that he’s responsible for giving up that lead and for the offense not being able to score more then two field goals in the second half.

              2. It’s exactly why Gruden didn’t give him the money. Mack put up good numbers for the Raiders, yet that D overall wasn’t very good. We saw the same tonight.

              3. Yep defense is truly a team effort and you need quality at all three levels to play it effectively. QB is the only position where one guy makes a massive difference.

    2. They would point to Rodgers and say that he brought them back from a 20 point deficit to win the game. Mean while Mack put little to no pressure on the gimpy QB who was the difference. So who was worth their big contract in this game?

  16. Its beyond obvious that he hates this team and he revels in every loss and enjoys irritating fans. He’s a dirtbag just like his father. Paying him to write is the same as burning a pile of cash.

  17. The real problem with today was that they didn’t follow Seb’s 10 point plan!

    And our intel from Minnesota wasn’t as good as Hikitini’s!

  18. For their first game of the season they played a 10 am game in a tough environment against an excellent defense and they were in a position to win. I can handle that kind of loss.

    I didn’t see anything out there on offense that has been worried yet. I think they are more then capable of being successful in the redzone and don’t think that will be a regular problem for them. If it is then I’ll start to worry. Got to say it’s just nice to see a QB that can throw for more then 170 yards a game. 4 receivers of two or more catches and 6 different pass catchers all together. Again, it’s just nice to see a real NFL QB at work behind center. It’s been awhile.

    1. I suspect Grant gave Jimmy G a D- grade because he is setting us up for an article about how the team should have signed Cousins and traded Jimmy.

      1. He probably gave Garoppolo a D- grade because boy wonder threw 3 picks, completed less than 50% of his throws and had a rating of 45.1.

        1. Yeah, perhaps you didn’t see where Bourne admitted that the one interception resulting in a pick six was on him. Also, let’s just ignore the TD throws that were dropped. I would have graded Jimmy with a C+ or B-.

          1. Yeah I saw it. Doesn’t change anything. Still was under 50% with more picks than TD’s.

            If the QB had a different number and name on the back of his jersey he wouldn’t have so many excuses being made for him.

            1. I’m rewatching the game now. Garcon dropped two passes in the first half alone. But let’s ignore those as well. Vikings are a top defense and it was a tough game for the entire team including Jimmy. I stick with my C+ or B-. It wasn’t Jimmy’s best game, but he didn’t get much help.

              1. “I’m rewatching the game now. Garcon dropped two passes in the first half alone”

                Impossible. Garçon was targeted 3 times.

                First drive – 1st play – catch (the second target on this drive was a defensive hands to the face, 1st down 49ers, no play so no incompletion for Garoppolo)

                3rd drive – 2nd and 11 – ball thrown behind Garçon and into a sandwich between two defenders. If you call that a drop I’d argue all day.

                4th drive – 1st and 10 – ball batted down at LOS.

                “he didn’t get much help.”

                You mean like Garçon having to leave his feet to make the catch on the first throw of the game? Or Pettis making a terrific grab in the back of the endzone for the TD?

              2. Not impossible, Hammer. Look at the stats. He was targeted 6 times and made two receptions for 21 yards. Check Yahoo sports stats for Garcon.

              3. You said “Garçon dropped two passes in the first half alone.”

                I just detailed the throws that went his way in the first half for you. 3 Targets. Caught 1 and 1 was batted down. The other one was behind him in a very tight window.

              4. “Of all the mistakes the 49ers made Sunday, perhaps none was more jaw-dropping than Pierre Garcon’s first-half drop of what should have been a touchdown.

                Since 2015, only two other NFL receivers have a lower drop rate than Garcon, who somehow wasn’t able to corral a Garoppolo pass that should have been a 15-yard TD.

                Garcon can be excused for the rare gaffe, but it’s worth noting that he and Garoppolo only connected on 2-of-6 targets for only 21 yards Sunday. Those numbers need to be an aberration for the 49ers offense to produce this season.”


                I’ll leave you with that as I’m done.

              5. “Pierre Garcon’s first-half drop of what should have been a touchdown.”

                Yeah. That was actually on the third possession of the 3rd quarter.

              6. “doesn’t change the conclusion in my opinion.”

                Your opinion is your opinion, but saying Garçon dropped 2 passes in the 1st half like you did is wrong because it didn’t happen.

              7. Garcon did not make plays people have come to expect from him. The ones he missed were catch able balls but certainly not easy drops. Compared to most of the games we have seen Jimmy play he was off target more than he was on. Even consensus elite QB’s will have those games. It is just that to many Niner fans tend to see things through their own preconceived biases. All players will have off games as well as games that they can do no wrong. A player is never as good as their best game or as bad as their worst.

                What comes to mind is the posters who used to pooh pah any talk of past QB’s not getting any help from their receivers or O-line. I remember the response that an elite QB will always elevate the players around them. While this has a degree of truth to it, that will not always happen. A QB when they are not at their best still requires the players around them to often compensate by helping them out with great plays. Certainly except for Pettis’s TD that didn’t happen for Jimmy in this game.

                I can remember when every off target throw was proof to certain posters that the QB was not accurate. Every throw into coverage was proof they could not read defenses. Every sack by a bad O line was because the QB held the ball too long. etc. etc. Many of you know football but really lack objectivity.

                Shanahan often makes a statement that may of you can learn from. Stats are less important than what a player does with the opportunities that they are presented with.

            2. As a Jimmy G supporter I don’t see anyone making excuses for him. There were some plays left on the table today specifically Garçon and Kittles that if those plays were made, the Niners are not chasing the game, the play calling is different and it’s a one possession game. Anyways that’s how the game unfolded and I’d rather have Jimmy G because his bad was still almost good enough

              1. Ehhh, the one to Kittle was a bad drop, but the safety was in position to make a tackle so we don’t know how that might have changed things.

                The one to Garçon was another high pass thrown late which put Garçon into the DV.

              2. In any case those plays get executed it changes the game. But whatever, it’s week one, it’s a meaningless loss lol 😂

              3. Jack,

                The next play was a pick six, so, even if Kittle was tackled, there’s a significant chance that pick six doesn’t happen on the very next play.

              4. Ex,

                You could say that about every play in every game, but who knows what the next play would have been. Maybe he throws a TD or maybe it’s a pick 6 or maybe it’s a run.

                The drop was a bad play, and there’s no way of knowing what woulda/coulda/might have happened.

                The point was, people keep acting like that was a missed TD when in reality it probably would not have been. Would they have eventually scored a TD or FG? Nobody knows.

          2. I’d give Jimmy a C+, given the circumstances. Not his best game to be sure, but this loss wasn’t on Jimmy, it was on the injuries, subpar OL play, and too many dropped passes.

            This years team seems cursed more than anything. We’ll see if the law of averages evens out at some point. I am starting to have my doubts.

            Should they have drafted a OG? Probably. Should they have signed another uninjured free agent OG other than extending Tomlinson? Probably. Should they have held onto Trent Brown? Not sure.

            Are the injuries anything more than bad luck? Probably not.

          3. Pettis also had to make a good play to keep his feet in bounds.

            Something every NFL receiver has to do lest they no longer be an NFL receiver.

          1. Every QB no matter how good they are has bad games. Joe Montana had games when he totally sucked. The thing is fans tend to remember the good from their hero’s and forget the bad. They also tend to do the reverse for the players they do not like. In respect to Joe they forget all the interceptions he threw. In the “Catch” game against Dallas he had already thrown 3 interceptions before that key franchise changing play even happened. Yet how many fans remember that. It actually was not one of Joe’s more accurate games either.

            Jimmy did not have a good game. That was compounded by the below par games of the team around him. That also was compounded by the key mental errors made by players. Still the team was in a position to win at the end.

  19. People need to stop saying our receivers dropped everything. Yeah Kittle did have that one big drop, looked like he had regressed to his rookie year on that play.

    But Garcon does not drop anything. Excellent play in the end zone by the Vikings secondary, and not the only one. Credit where it’s due. Good defense.

    1. I would disagree..he was in the air by himself and had two hands on the ball….then dropped it..good receivers make that play…That’s why guys like Hopkins Beckam and Brown are all over commercials and ESPN….They catch those balls…I’m a big fan of Kittle I think he has all the potential in the world,I think he is a match up nightmare,but difference between him and guys like Witten and Gronk is they make those catches…I think it’s a thin line between mediocre and greatness..Kittle has the tools but making big plays will make the difference between making average plays in games,it’s really that simple to me.

        1. Kittle did not make the catch because not because of hands, but because he didn’t track it well. He closed his hands before the ball got to them. You can see by his bodies reaction that he was reaching for the ball to the point that it took him off stride as well. It is difficult to stretch and turn your head to keep track of the ball at the same time. He misjudged the ball. He should have made the catch but then again it was not an easy drop.

          The same applies to Garcon. His drops were not easy catches. On one pass he was in the air and might have even absorbed contact before the ball hit his hands. This is a catch that Garcon was perfectly able to make ( at least in the past ). Receivers also are not always at their best. It’s not like the drops they had were easy uncontested catches. The reality is that both receivers and Jimmy had off games at the same time. Better throws and those drops might not have happened. Receivers making catches they usually make and the same holds true. Take away the mental errors and blown assignments and those sub par performances would not be enough to cost them the game either.

    2. Garcon dropped two passes that should have been caught in the first half alone. The TD catch was a tough one to make but not for a WR with his pedigree. He’s known for making catches in traffic.

    1. He did but two were essentially handoffs on jet sweeps.

      I gotta say though, Mahomes in that offense is going to be must see TV. That arm throwing darts to Tyreek Hill isn’t fair to the rest of the league. They are going to be something special. The question for the Chiefs will be how well their D can hold up. They aren’t very good to begin with but with the big plays, they are going to be on the field quite a bit in some games.

  20. I think this game goes 49% on team and 51% on coaches. There will be ups and downs especially the first game but we need the coaches…and players…but definitely coaches to minimize these mistakes. Drops and JG missing key passes and bonehead penalties.

    I do feel positive coming out of the game but we need to play like winners. Tartt grab that pick and return it. Kittle catch that over the shoulder pass and score. Garcon “your tough” make that catch. These are things that can be fixed. I look to all coaches and locker room to get Niners to make the plays to win.

    GO NINERS!!!

  21. Bourne on the pick six:

    “I was supposed to run an under route, Jimmy put the ball (inside) and I ran a hitch route (to the outside),” Bourne said. “Just a missed (assignment) by me. Just thinking of another play … Where he threw it was right, and I was wrong. It was on me. I told him I owe him one. I’ve got to get that play back. That’s stuff that can’t happen.”


    1. Maybe this gaff by Bourne will mean that Richie James plays next week. I’d like to see Taylor and James on the field at the same time.

  22. What we saw today was pretty much what I expected while arguing with a number of folks on here during the offseason about “meaningless” wins.

    For the first time in his career Garoppolo made a start in a hostile environment, with a rookie RT in a game that really meant something.

    The game went pretty much like his first couple starts, move the ball between the 20’s and forced to settle for FG’s after faltering in the red zone. G made a few good plays, forced a few balls instead of taking the open check down and the D didn’t drop some like they did last year.

    The defense played good enough to win, holding Minnesota to only 17 points while keeping them off the board over the last 19:22.

    You don’t go on the road and win against good teams when you turn the ball over 4 times and score only 1 TD on 4 red zone trips.

    New team. New year. Same result on opening day.

      1. No. It’s not only on him, but his play today contributed to it, as did some poor play calling by Shanahan.

        I keep hearing about how he had to deal with poor OL play. If the oline was so bad, how come the offense was able to score 13 points AFTER losing Person and Garnett compared to only 3 with those two?

    1. I dunno. I’m sure there will be plenty of people pointing at his stat line and saying how great he was, or pointing at his highlight reel TD run. But if you watch the whole game he wasn’t that impressive. That one run really saved him. Other than that he was 17 runs for 38 yards.

      I’m sure those that love them some Barkley will now point out the OL was being beat, and it was, but Barkley showed exactly the same tendencies as he did in college, but with fewer explosive plays against NFL calibre players. Lots of negative runs and minor gains, interspersed with a big run and couple of medium gainers. He was part of the reason the Giants struggled to consistently move the ball all day.

      1. Oh please Scooter. Give me a break. Remember, this is a rookie we’re talking about. 128 all purpose yards in his first NFL game. 5.9 yards per carry. Those numbers are real, not fake. Barkley is a lead pipe lock for OROY.

        1. Yeah, I’m not surprised you chimed in.

          He’s obviously a great athlete and has a lot of talent. I just don’t like all the negative plays and yards he misses on the ground. He’s an explosive play hitter at a position where I think you need consistent yardage getters to keep the chains moving. But then the game is changing and the passing game is being used by some teams to consistently pick up yards so maybe he’s exactly the type of RB teams need these days.

      2. Rookie RB facing one the toughest defensive lines in the league this season and he still managed to be the only offensive player to score in his first NFL game. All things considered, the shoddy offensive line not being a small part, he did pretty ok.

        1. The Jaguars have a great D, but worth pointing out they were tied for 7th worst yards per rush last season. Its their pass D that is awesome.

            1. Not strange at all. That pass D stopped a lot of drives last year. Took the ball away a lot. Hard for RBs to score when that happens.

    2. We were told that Barkley was overrated. Hmm.

      We were told that Landry was better than Chubb. Chubb sacked Wilson today while Landry was predictably injured. Hmm.

      We were told that Edmunds was just an athlete. Hmm.


      “The bright spot on defense was rookie Tremaine Edmunds, who led the team in tackles, registered his first NFL sack and had a couple passes defended. He was solid against the run, too. Matt Milano was effective against the run and came up with a fumble recovery on a play made by Edmunds.”

      1. Just a bit early for a post like this #80. One game in and Landry didn’t play while Edmunds was part of a defense that got steamrolled in Baltimore. Might want to save this until we have a little more to go on.

        1. “Just a bit early for a post like this #80.”

          As opposed to people saying Landry was better than Chubb before the draft? Based solely on college performances and Combine numbers.

          “One game in and Landry didn’t play”

          Yes, and when I wondered if there was an injury red flag that we didn’t know about, I was basically laughed at. The red flag ended up being his back, but lo and behold he missed his first game because of an ankle injury.

          1. Who said Landry was better than Chubb? From my recollection Chubb was viewed universally as the best all around DE in the draft. Landry might have had the best bend/speed combo as a pass rusher to some, but I didn’t see anybody saying he was a better player than Chubb. Who laughed at you when you thought there might be an injury issue with Landry?

            1. “Who said Landry was better than Chubb? From my recollection Chubb was viewed universally as the best all around DE in the draft.”

              About half of this blog’s draft gurus. Yes, Chubb was viewed as the best all around DE in the draft by the TV guys. But on here it was different with some people.

              “Who laughed at you when you thought there might be an injury issue with Landry?”

              The same people that loved Landry. They didn’t want to hear anything bad about him. Laughed at may have been the wrong choice of words, scoffed at was more accurate.

              The reason I made the Chubb/Landry, Barkley, and Edmunds comments is because those were ridiculous takes by smart people that were trashing elite prospects to make their draft crushes seem more attractive, or to just be a contrarian that knew better than all the experts.

  23. 1. Garoppolo D minus is absurd. He is the only reason we had a chance to win in the 4th quarter.
    2. Our offseason mistakes are haunting us.
    3. RG has been an issue for 2+ years.
    4. We lack a dynamic , true # 1 receiver.
    5. Still trying to make sense of the McKinnon contract.
    6. We dont a have a redzone target who will win contested balls. We also dont have a bulldozing goal line RB.
    7. In the PressDemocrat NFL season prediction post 1 month ago I called KC winning the west and Mahonnes being a surprise star. We play KC in two weeks.

  24. Off Topic:

    Frank Gore in his first game as a Dolphin: 9 rushes for 61 yards, a 6.8 average with a long run of 21 yards. (And they beat Tennessee).

    Hang in there Grant, some day your bold prediction that Frank Gore is washed up will come true. :)

    1. I believe I said he had no snap left in his legs, which has been true since 2013. But he can still function without burst, as he has proven. First-ballot Hall of Famer.

  25. Sigh, of course, Hikutini did not provide any intel, so Minnesota lost. Oh, wait……So, Hikutini divulged tendencies of JG so Minnesota could anticipate his throws?
    Niners decided that they should settle for field goals in order to win. Hmmm…
    Interesting, Minnesota feigned weakness, so the Niners thought that Cook was gimpy. Why did the Vikings do something like that?
    Niners decided that they are perfect, so they do not need to concentrate on stopping the self inflicted wounds.
    Niner RB decided to stay upright, and fight for every inch, so the Vikings could hold him up and strip the ball. They sure missed Frank Gore, who only had 9 rushes for 61 yards, for a 6.8 yard average, and a 21 yard run.
    JG must be able to throw the ball, and catch it, too.
    Maybe the Niners should fire their OC, and replace him with some one more competent. Maybe he can reduce the unforced errors.
    If posters are declaring Thomas a bust, imagine what they are saying about JG.

      1. I hope the real John Lynch stay up late to burn the midnight oil, because he should be alarmed at how unprepared, unfocused and unimaginative the Niners looked, with unforced errors and poor execution.

        1. Why this epiphany? I was talking to a media personality this weekend, and he lamented the fact that many posters can hide behind the anonymity of a blog name, just to be able to troll others.
          I need to stand behind my words, and if so many others will endure the slings and arrows, why should I be different? I will continue to present my ideas, but since I will do it in a calm, respectful tone, I hope to engage in pleasant civil discourse, with like minded Faithful Niner fans.
          Since being confronted with medical challenges, I have used this site to escape from the grim realities. Similar scenarios like all of us have had to deal with at one time or another. Believe me, some blog bully spewing hate is the least of my worries.
          Anyway, my name is already common knowledge, so if Grant can use his name, I can do no less. Yes, I am a 63 year old Niner fan, who does not claim to be a coach, or former player. Just a person who loves his team, and yearns for a return to more Glory Years.
          While I do like the name Seb, my friends call me PO. I will respond to either, but plan to take a page from Grant, and ignore the vitriol. So agree or disagree with me. Just use facts and logic to bolster your arguments. I will fully admit I have been wrong at times, and have conceded that my tongue is sharp at those who deserve it, but this journey through life is uncertain every day, and this season will unfold in a manner we all will not be able to foresee. Like life, I will hope for the best, but expect the worst.
          it is, just a game, after all. It is merely entertainment. I hope many others will take a page from Juan, and realize that I do not take myself too seriously, but am comforted by the fact that I see my words do have an effect. Now, at least, people are focused on reducing the self inflicted wounds, and can debate the merits of intel. When John Lynch was talking about Coach Speech, I felt like he was talking to me. ;p

  26. JG did have a bad game, regardless of the drops. Jimmy’s consistent pinpoint accuracy wasn’t there today. He’s still letting balls sail on him. The silver lining is that we were able to move the ball against a good D. Unfortunately, we had some mistakes in the RZ.

    Sherman looked OK. Witherspoon needs to locate the ball better, but he can run with NFL WRs. Warner looks like a steal. Buck had 2.5 sacks and spent some time on the edge. The D got some much needed stops, three straight 3 & Outs at one point. And this was without Foster.

    We hung in there with one of the best teams in the NFL despite having four turnovers and multiple drops.

  27. The Good.
    – The niners moved the ball fairly well against the best defense in the NFL. Last year the Vikings only gave up 15 pts per game on average.
    – Shanahan’s play calling for the most part was pretty good, he schemed guys wide open on multiple occasions.
    – The Run defense looked pretty good, holding the vikings to less than 4 yrds per carry and getting multiple stops to give the offense a chance.
    – Sherman passed the eye test and appears like he might remain a solid cb in the league.
    – Buckner was his dominant self.
    – Warner was very impressive in his debut, if he continues to improve and if (and this is a big if) Foster can remain on the field this could be a great tandem

    The Bad.
    – In spite of moving the ball well the niners continue to come up short in the red zone. While many are putting all the blame on Kyle, from my eye, the plays were there but balls were dropped and/or overthrown. Yes, Kyle may need to adjust his play calling a bit but unfortunately this oline doesn’t have any road graders or “red zone” targets, so his options are a bit limited. Maybe he will need to consider going to 4 wides, and shot gun formation down there to take advantage of the quickness he has with Pettis, Taylor and James? (Just spitballing there)
    – Jimmy’s decision making continues to be questionable at times. It seems every game he has a couple “what were you thinking” throws. In many ways he reminds me of Kurt Warner/Brett Favre where he is both capable of winning or losing a game for you.
    – The receivers continue to struggle catching the ball… unfortunately the dropsies now are even affecting Garcon, one of the most sure handed receivers in the game.
    – The Dline had one of the most favorable matchups it will have all year with multiple Viking linemen being ruled out for this game. Against which the interior pass rush looked good, but the edge was once again non existent. There is no scheming for a complete lack of NFL talent and that’s what they have playing on the edge.
    – The Oline injuries were absolute killers, on a few plays I counted 3 rushers that got through cleanly on the same play. I’m not certain if they were unblocked blitzers or just beat their man that quick or a combination of both, thats way too many free rushers.
    – Next year the niners need to invest in some offensive guards and edge rushers, just like they needed to last year and the year before that (This is the most agonizing takeaway of all for me, while everyone knows what the issue is, no one is doing anything about it.)

  28. Morris doesn’t fumble on the goal line we likely win that game.

    Kittle comes down with that pass and scores easily we likely win that game.

    Garcon comes down with that long pass in the end zone we likely win that game

    Thomas doesn’t have brain lock we… well 3 out of 4 ain’t bad.

    This, against the team with the best defense last year, one game from the SB last year, odds on favorites to make it to the SB this year, in their rocking house, 10 AM start, playing our rookie right tackle at right guard, our best receiver from last year sidelined … somehow I’m not all that depressed over this loss.

    1. The thing about the Morris fumble that irritated me the most is that he fumbled the ball twice in succession. He recovered the first fumble. I would think that after the first fumble happened to him, it would be fresh in his mind to “take care” of the ball.

      1. “The thing about the Morris fumble that irritated me the most is that he fumbled the ball twice in succession.”

        The thing that irritated me most about that play was that they ran into the same area two plays in a row against a D that was packing it inside.

    2. “Kittle comes down with that pass and scores easily we likely win that game.”

      Kittle wasn’t likely to score on that drop. He had his head up and the safety was in position to make the tackle around the 35/40.

      “Thomas doesn’t have brain lock we… well 3 out of 4 ain’t bad.”

      This play looked bad, but only cost them about a minute of clock and 1 of their 2 timeouts. Plus the penalty could just have easily been called on Marsh since he also jumped.

      Should add, If Garoppolo doesn’t sail a ball over the head of an open Kittle in the endzone.

      If Garoppolo doesn’t throw a pick on the first play after the D goes 3 and out and they had just cut the lead to 24-13.

      If only Garoppolo doesn’t throw into triple coverage and instead throws to an open Pettis running an in route on the second play of the 2 minute drill.

      They lost. There’s no moral victories in the NFL. If there were than the first half of 2017 with Hoyer/Beathard should be looked at as good because they were able to play just good enough to make many of the same mistakes while losing 5 of the first 6 by 3 points or less.

    3. Rib,

      So your scenario has those things changing for the Niners while everything stays the same for the Vikings? You do realize that the Vikings would change their mindset if the Niners made those plays right? You also realize that the Vikings fumbled deep in Niner territory before Morris fumbled on the goal line and they had some drops and misplays as well?

      It’s football and the better team won. Woulda coulda shoulda is a waste of time because you have to do it for both teams, not just the one you cheer for.

      1. rocket,

        “we likely”. Never said it was a done deal.

        Also, fumbling on the 30 is a world of difference from fumbling at the goal line.

        I’m not going to woulda coulda shoulda for the super bowl favorite, they should be better than that. They’d better be if they plan on going deep in the post season.

  29. Ill keep it short.
    This team left a Win on the field yesterday.
    JG looked human and scared at times.
    The injury bug is our best player
    That’s all. Hopefully they learn and get better.
    Couldn’t ask for a more tough place and defense to start your season with.
    On to the lions with hopefully a starting RG.

      1. Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter said that as the relentless pass rush kept coming after Garoppolo, he started to look afraid of getting hit.

        “As the game goes on, you have to bring the pressure on him. You see that he’s starting to get scared,” Hunter said.

      2. Wasn’t the overrated Mike Zimmer supposed to be overmatched by the scheme and play calling of Kyle Shanahan who had months to prepare?

        1. There’s a myriad of reasons that go into this loss, and one of them is Shanny. Gotta give Zimmer his Mountain Dew. Good game, Mike….

          1. Meh, we saw a team make many of the same mistakes that they made last year while losing 5 of their first 6 in close fashion. This wasn’t anything new.

            And also, this was more about poking Razor who constantly said Zimmer was overrated and that Shanny would put him in his place.

  30. Most ‘experts’ thought the Niners would lose rather easily on the road against a SB contender in the Vikes and they hung in there for 4 quarters. First game of the season so one loss isn’t going to ruin it (nice to see Seattle and AZ lose too). The turnovers and drops were huge and there’s things that need to be cleaned up obviously but once they get past those this team can be dangerous…. I think they bounce back big against the Lions next week. Also looking forward to watching Warner and Foster play together. The rookies stood tall yesterday!

  31. Rather lose the first game and do well the rest of the season than win the first and suck the rest of the way. I believe that happened not that long ago.

  32. Happy to see the 9ers in the opponents red zone relatively frequently…now they just gotta score….

    On to the next week.

  33. Bourne should be cut for running the wrong route on the pick 6. He’s been unimpressive all offseason and that just topped it off.
    Bring in Dez, he has to help in the red zone

    1. You beat to posting that about Bourne. They probably should have kept Robinson. I understand that James is not a replacement for the WR body type that Bourne is, but I’d still like to see what Shanahan can scheme with both James and Taylor on the field at the same time.

  34. A loss is a loss, but I’m not too distraught over yesterday’s loss. There were plays that could have been made, but weren’t, but I still thought they Niners competed and could have won the game. Jimmy and Kyle will hopefully learn from this, make some tweaks, and be better next week.

    Other than the one completely boneheaded neutral zone infraction, which everybody and their mother knew the Vikes were trying to draw, I don’t recall many penalties against the 49ers, so that may have been an area of improvement from the pre-season. I haven’t re-watched the game, so maybe there were more penalties than I recall, but that seemed like one silver lining from the game.

    1. It’s a very young team and there is going to be more growing pains along the way.
      It was a competitive game even with the 49ers down 24-6.
      All you are looking for is growth from week to week now. Eliminate the turnovers, sync the offense, tackle better and give yourself a chance to maybe be a wildcard team.

  35. Losing teams play the what if game. While there are many things that the team can build upon, the mental errors, the poor execution and lack of pass rush will be a serious challenge going forward.

    Have to say that the D was better overall.

  36. The morning after :)

    Nothing has changed the Niners still lost. There is not one single play that comes to mind that signifies the lost. It was a collective effort by both the defense and the offense.

    Defense – Can not tackle, after the Morris fumble allowed the Vikes to escape, didn’t really stop the run game, couldn’t get off the field on third down. Pass pressure was okay but nothing to scream about.

    Offense – I thought was going to be the strongest unit was actually the worst unit. Drops lots of drops, Garcon dropped at least three and I am sure he would be the first to say he should of caught those balls. JG threw 3 interceptions and was inaccurate on other throws, and Morris had the fumble. The run game was non existent and was not at all impressed with Brieda, you just touch him and he fell down. The play calling was suspect as well.

    This was a collective lost orchestrated by KS. It sits on his shoulders alone, this team was not prepared or disciplined enough to compete with one of the better teams in the league. The Niners had ample opportunity to win this game and they did not.

    1. The defense played good enough for the 49ers to win. They gave up one long drive and gave the ball back to the offense again and again in the 4th quarter and it couldn’t hold up its end.

    2. Not one, but 5 things we can def pinpoint that would have changed the game.

      The Morris goal-line fumble, thats 3 points off the board at least. And he was running well before, didn’t see much of him after.

      The Kittle whiff. That could have been 6 right there, 3 almost guaranteed, instead it turned into 7 going the other way.

      The Garcon drop in the end-zone…to me it looked like the DB arrived early, should have been PI. But again, thats 7 off the board (I believe they got 3).

      The Kittle overthrow/miss in the endzone. It was high and fast, but it could have been caught. 7 off the board (I think they got 3).

      The Thomas jump. That changes the complexity of the last drive, its possible the Pettis has a chance at a good return that puts them much closer, opens up the playbook with more than 2 mintues left, possible no 3rd INT.

      To lose by 8, with all those factors, and the injuries, you don’t look for moral victories, but you use this as fuel to show that you can compete with a playoff team, a team who most likely is better than last years NFC championship game team. Get the W next week and this can be the Niners v Cowboy OT loss in 2011 type game.

      1. Must mean that the other 26 teams really sucked. They couldn’t tackle, even on the fumble that Warner caused the running back probably broke 3 or 4 tackles.

        1. Tackling seemed to be better in the second half and they did cause the Vikings to go three and out three times in a row. I’m pretty sure that in almost every recent season, tackling has been a problem for most teams in their first few games. Agree that it is not an excuse, but just pointing out that this usually happens.

          1. The Vikings didn’t miss many tackles. I am not alone seems like most of the defensive players admittedly tackling was a problem.

        2. Yet despite that they still only allowed 17 points and held their opponent to the 10th lowest yards per play average so far in week 1. The 4.8 average was a big improvement over a year ago.

          If they can keep that up all year they’ll be a top 5 defense.

    3. I disagree UC. I thought the team was ready and played well. The defense played well, especially in the 4th quarter and I didn’t have a big problem with the play calling either. The biggest problem was Garoppolo. While he did make some great plays – the TD pass to Pettis was incredible – he made some poor throws and was late on others. I’ve read numerous takes on here bemoaning drops by the receivers and I only saw one true drop which was the one by Kittle. The pass to Garcon in the endzone was a late throw by Garoppolo – Shanny was giving it to him on the sideline right after the play – and it would have been a great catch if he came down with it, but it certainly wasn’t a drop considering he got hit just before the ball arrived. Two of the three interceptions were on JG with poor throws and he made another bad throw when he threw it too high for Kittle in the endzone.

      I’m not trying to dump it all on JG, but he didn’t play well overall. The protection was about as good as we could have hoped and the defense held up as well as could be expected. The guy who really didn’t play well enough was the QB. He will be better as time goes on I’m sure, but he still throws to many picks and has to be more accurate on the touch passes. The Golden boy dropped back to earth. It will be interesting to see how he responds.

      1. It wasn’t Jimmy’s best game for sure, but I think you’re placing too much blame on him. He was under a relentless pass rush (which was even more effective because of the very good Viking secondary), the likes of which he has probably never seen before (at least in the NFL). He was holding on to the ball longer, likely because the receivers weren’t getting open. Even the best QBs have bad to marginal games when the other team’s defense is very good (the JAX game last year was an anomaly). It’s not fair to expect only the QB to step up and perform “lights out” under these conditions and not the rest of the team. Kittle has to make that catch. Garcon was brought in to make tough catches particularly over the middle. Bourne has to run the correct route so that a pick-six doesn’t happen, especially when a sideline route is called. Alfred Morris has to “take care of the ball”, especially after having recovered his own fumble on the prior play (I still can’t believe that he fumbled the ball on two successive plays near the goal line).

        The thing I take away from this game is that the 49ers are a team to be reckoned with and can play competitively against any team. We couldn’t say that in years past. The players, coaches, GM just need more experience.

        1. Cubus,

          I’m a realist. I don’t think about what could happen if everything goes right because it never does. What we saw yesterday was a clearly superior team playing at home against a much improved, but flawed team. My expectations were that the Niners would lose but hopefully be competitive and they were. The biggest problem however was not what most were suggesting – Oline, Dline, secondary etc. – it was the QB play. Garoppolo missed too many throws and his accuracy was poor far too often. Yes he was facing a lot of pressure at times, but other times he was not and still didn’t make the throw he needed to make. I’m not saying he sucks or it was all his fault, but he was the biggest disappointment in a game where everything else went about as good as could have been expected.

            1. I don’t see it that way because I don’t buy the argument that there were a number of dropped balls. There was one clear drop. The others that some are referencing as drops were contested and not a case of the receiver just not catching it. Again I’m not saying it’s all on Jimmy, but he clearly did not play well enough and most of the missed opportunities were on him more than they were on the receivers imo.

              1. So Bourne copping to the interception being on him, mean nothing.? We all do a lot of speculating on this blog, but when a player says it was on him, I think we have to believe him.

              2. I wasn’t referring to Bourne. I said in the earlier post that 2 of the 3 picks were on JG. Obviously the pick 6 was not his fault. I just disagree with the idea that receivers were dropping balls all game. I’ve watched the game twice and see one obvious drop.

              3. Even without the Bourne play Garoppolo had a rough day. The pick on the pass to Pettis was a terrible throw and the pick to end the game was a terrible decision thrown into triple coverage with Pettis wide up on a crossing route underneath.

                He was barely over 50% in the first half, 7-13, and was worse in the second at 8-20.

                It was just a bad game for him. Yeah it’s ok to say he wasn’t alone, but those two picks weren’t on anyone else.

                The D kept them in the game. Time and again they got the ball back quickly for the offense and all they could manage was 3 points. Who’s to blame on missing an open Kittle high in the endzone.

                Garoppolo found himself really up against it yesterday for the first time in his career and it showed.

              4. It looks like Hammer and Rocketo want to put this loss at the hands of Jimmy G. That’s fine I guess if you never really intended to look at the game from all the other factors that go into a football game. Oh well. Onto the Lions now

      2. Rocket,
        2 nodes.
        If I recall, there were about 5 passes by Jimmy G that could and should have been intercepted last year.

        In yesterday’s game his pass for the pick 6 should not have been thrown. It was a panic pass because 3 defenders were coming at him and he was not able to plant himself before throwing.

        Jimmy G has to learn that some times you just throw the ball out of bounds and live to see another play.

        Also, Minn, knew that JG had to throw because the offense was facing a 3 and 8 and the run game was a non-factor. But, had Kittle made the catch on the previous play we’re having a different convo today.

        What makes this loss tough is that we had numerous opportunities to win the game.
        With the mistakes and loss of players (injuries) we actually still made a run at the end in a game that by all measures could have been a blowout. Kudos to the defense for keeping the it within fighting distance.

        While some sound like the roof has collapsed after 1 game, I see good times ahead.

        1. AES,

          Good points and I see it the same way. I’m encouraged by what I saw more than I’m upset about the result. My belief going into this season is that the offense was good enough to be top ten and they could win 9-10 games. Nothing I saw yesterday changes my thinking in that regard. If anything the defense looked better than I thought they would.

        2. AES:

          Bourne said that he ran the wrong route. It wasn’t Jimmy’s fault and, of course, he has to throw that ball before Bourne makes the break to catch it. Jimmy threw it in, per the play, and Bourne broke out, resulting in the pick six. I’ll post what I posted yesterday:

          Bourne on the pick six:

          “I was supposed to run an under route, Jimmy put the ball (inside) and I ran a hitch route (to the outside),” Bourne said. “Just a missed (assignment) by me. Just thinking of another play … Where he threw it was right, and I was wrong. It was on me. I told him I owe him one. I’ve got to get that play back. That’s stuff that can’t happen.”


          1. cubus,
            Bourne may have run the wrong route but Polo still threw the pass off balance with no zip on it.
            The worse case scenario had JG thrown with his feet planted was that the pass may have gone out of bounds instead of the ball sailing on him.

            At one point it looked like Shanahan took JG to task on the sidelines about throwing the ball without properly planting his feet.

            The positive is that these are technical problems (on both players) that can be corrected.
            It usually takes a few games at the beginning of the season for a team to catch it’s stride.
            Good times ahead.

      3. We do disagree at times Rocket but never a problem, Garcon should have caught that pass in the end zone, Morris fumble and the defense failure to contain them at the 4 yard line and much more. No doubt JG didn’t have his best game besides the interceptions his accuracy was suspect as you noted. The team made way to many mistakes on both sides of the ball and I think that’s where we differ I see the team and you think its more on JG, I think Jack and Grant think along your lines.

        I might be hard on the mistakes and its only for the fact the game could of been won. I also should state that I think the team is well on its way to being once again a force in the NFL. Lots of mistakes and still a chance to win at the end….

        1. the game could of been won”

          Yeah, that’s the most frustrating part of yesterday’s game. Myself and many others had this game down as an L, but they were in position to “steal one”.

          With Seattle and Arizona both losing yesterday getting out on top even if only week 1 would have been great.

        2. UC,

          Even when we disagree you are a gentleman and a good sport.

          We can agree to disagree on the play to Garcon in the endzone. It would have been a great play if he had caught it, but no way I classify it as a drop when he got hit at the same time the ball arrived without even having it secured. The only clear drop I saw was Kittle’s.

          While I singled out JG’s play as the biggest contributing factor to the loss, he certainly wasn’t the only reason. There were mistakes made that have been pointed out. I just don’t focus on a dropped pass or a fumble as much when the same things happened to the other team. Those things tend to even themselves out most of the time and that was the case in this game imo.

          The Niners had a chance to win the game but I don’t buy the idea they would have if not for these mistakes because you can’t assume everything would have stayed the same for the Vikings in that scenario. They were leading by 18 late in the 3rd quarter. If the Niners are closer the mindset changes for the Vikings and the way they play changes with it.

          The bottom line is the Niners lost to a better team. Simple as that.

  37. Adam Schefter is reporting the 49ers will work out Erik Walden and Hau’oli Kikaha. Walden was in the Seahawks camp for a few before getting released. He had 36 tackles and four sacks for the Titans last season and played a starting role for the Colts the previous four years. Kikaha was a 2015 2nd rounder by the Saints and returned from a 2016 torn ACL to record 10 tackles and four sacks last season….

  38. I didn’t expect the 49ers to win this game so this loss wasn’t a huge surprise. The O-line issues may have played into the running game issues but it’s obvious the 49ers running game needs major work to jump to the level of respectability. Jimmy G had a bad game but everything I saw can be easily corrected. After one missed opportunity in the red zone, there was a critical 2nd down where JG was rolling to his left, didn’t set his feet, and badly underthrew Kittle in the flats. The cameras showed Shanny on the sidelines talking to JG after the drive and if my expert lip reading skills caught it correctly, Shanny told JG to “effing set your feet to throw the ball, lets go.” I loved that piece of coaching. We do not yet know what this team is going to become. The 1981 49ers that went 13-3 and won the Superbowl started out the year 2-2. It takes a team some games to find themselves for the year. The 49ers are clearly in that stage right now. Let’s see what Shanahan does with this group over the next few weeks. So far the NFC West is 0-3 so this loss isn’t the end of the season. Now hopefully the Raiders take care of business.

  39. 49ers spent a 1st round pick to shore up the run game, and for week 1 at least still could not run the ball effectively to the right side.

    McGlinchey was beat repeatedly in the run game, whether it was while at his natural tackle spot or down inside at guard.

    1. What? Were you watching the same game I was Jack? Now you seem to be pulling stuff out of your arse, bro!

      The 49ers ran the ball very effectively in the first half Jack. Did you miss the 14 play, 69 yard drive which ate up over 8:00 minutes off the clock (which unfortunately ended in Morris’ fumble at the 1 yard line)?

      The 49ers were actually most effective running the ball over the right side of the line, as opposed to the left side, prior to Garnett’s injury. In fact, they averaged 5.5 yards per carry, running over the right side of the OL before Garnett went down!

      Here are all of the running plays of the first half, minus the 3 carries inside the Vikings 5 yard line:

      – Breida over LT for 4 yards
      – Breida over RE for -1
      – Morris over LG for 4 yards
      – Morris over RT for 5 yards
      – Breida up the middle for 9 yards
      – Breida over LT for -1 yards
      – Morris up the middle for 14 yards
      – Morris up the middle for 4 ards
      – Morris over RT for 5 yards
      – Breida over RT for 4 yards
      – Morris over RT for 14 yards
      – Morris over RT for 11 yards

      That’s 6.0 yards per carry before the drive stalled with the final 3 runs inside the Minnesota 5 yard line.

      Add these 4 runs inside the Vikings’ 5 yard line ….

      – Morris over RG for 1 yards
      – Morris up the middle for 1 yard
      – Morris over LG for no gain
      – Morris up the middle for no gain (fumble)

      …. and you end up with a 4.62 yard per carry average in the first half. And that’s with a backup RG for a large portion of the first half.

      They ran the ball 7 times over the right side of the OL in the first half, and averaged an impressive 5.5 YPC.

      DO THE MATH! It was only after Garnett went down early in the 3rd QTR, and they were forced to shuffle the line and bump the rookie RT in to RG

      Why you gotta make stuff up dude?

      1. “Morris over RT for 5 yards”

        More like Morris ran over RT, ran into a wall at the LOS and cut to his left for 5 yards.

        “Morris over RT for 14 yards”

        This play didn’t happen. The next run after the Breida run for 4 yards was Morris for 11 on a run that actually went between the RG (Garnett) and the center, not off tackle which took them to the 14 followed up by a completion to Kittle and then the failure from inside the 5.

        1. Wrong Jack, check the box score. ESPN breaks down every drive, play by play.

          You got caught trying to shape the narrative to fit your own opinion. The 49ers didn’t lose this game because they couldn’t run over the right side of the OL. That’s fake news, own it!

          They lost this game because:

          1) They played a better team, especially when that team was playing at home, in one of the most hostile environments in the league
          2) The 49ers have been plagued by a huge number of key injuries
          3) A few receivers made a number of uncharacteristic drops

          End of story. This had nothing to do with coaching, McGlinchey, or a failure to address the right side of the OL.

          And if these injuries are going to continue, this season will soon be lost because of them.

          By early in the 2nd half of the first game of the season, the 49ers were without their #1 RB, their #1 WR, their #1 & #2 ILB’s, & their #1 & #2 RG’s. BRUTAL. And they lost by one score. BFD!

          1. I’m not wrong. Here’s the copy and paste from ESPN starting with the Breida run:

            2nd & 10 at MIN 43
            (7:30 – 2nd) M.Breida right tackle to MIN 39 for 4 yards (D.Hunter).
            3rd & 6 at MIN 39
            (6:49 – 2nd) (Shotgun) J.Garoppolo pass short middle to G.Kittle to MIN 25 for 14 yards (H.Hill).
            (6:06 – 2nd) Timeout #1 by SF at 06:06.
            1st & 10 at MIN 25
            (6:06 – 2nd) A.Morris right tackle to MIN 14 for 11 yards (H.Smith).
            1st & 10 at MIN 14
            (5:45 – 2nd) (No Huddle) J.Garoppolo pass incomplete short left to P.Garcon (E.Griffen).
            2nd & 10 at MIN 14
            (5:43 – 2nd) (Shotgun) J.Garoppolo pass short middle to G.Kittle to MIN 5 for 9 yards (M.Hughes).
            3rd & 1 at MIN 5
            (5:01 – 2nd) A.Morris right guard to MIN 4 for 1 yard (E.Griffen).
            (4:16 – 2nd) Timeout #2 by SF at 04:16.
            1st & Goal at MIN 4
            (4:16 – 2nd) A.Morris up the middle to MIN 3 for 1 yard (E.Griffen, A.Sendejo).
            2nd & Goal at MIN 3
            (3:37 – 2nd) (Shotgun) J.Garoppolo sacked at MIN 8 for -5 yards (D.Hunter). PENALTY on MIN-X.Rhodes, Defensive Holding, 2 yards, enforced at MIN 3 – No Play.
            1st & Goal at MIN 1
            (3:14 – 2nd) E.Mitchell reported in as eligible. A.Morris left guard to MIN 1 for no gain (H.Smith, E.Kendricks).
            2nd & Goal at MIN 1
            (2:30 – 2nd) A.Morris up the middle to MIN 1 for no gain (L.Joseph). FUMBLES (L.Joseph), RECOVERED by MIN-H.Smith at MIN 2. H.Smith to MIN 2 for no gain (P.Garcon).

            Please show me where that 14 yard run is. If you think that 11 yard Morris run went over the RT I’d suggest watching the play again. He ran it off the right side but it was up the 2 hole between the C and RG.

            They actually scored more points after the injuries on offense that you mention. Are we going to use the loss of McKinnon as an excuse all year? He was hurt over a week before the game. Yeah they were forced to also go without Foster, something they’ve known about for months.

            Heck, the Vikings were playing with their backup center and a banged up offensive line. Injuries happen in the NFL.

            1. Does the crowd noise affect the home team’s OL the same way it affects the visiting teams OL Jack? Were the Vikings forced to move a rookie RT to RG for almost the entire 2nd half? Apples and oranges.

              I understand, injuries are part of the game. That doesn’t change the fact that, losing a bunch of key players at multiple positions, as early as the first game of the season, almost always has a major detrimental effect on your chances of winning, on the road, against perhaps the best defense in the NFL.

              In other words Jack … if someone had told me a week and a half ago that the Niners would lose their featured duel-threat tailback (and a guy whom Kyle had featured heavily in his early season gameplans) 8 days before their first game, that they would lose both their starting, and backup Right Guards (forcing their rookie RT to bump inside to RG for almost the entire 2nd half), they would lose their most effective deep threat (and probably their best all around WR in the first QTR), and would also be forced to play without their starting MIKE Linebacker, as well as their starting WILL Linebacker … I would have expected the 49ers to get blown out, on the road, in Minnesota, as I would for most teams in the league, if they had suffered the same fate.

              That’s my point. I don’t think there is any question that what derailed the 49ers yesterday, more than anything, is their harsh string of key injuries. It’s not like this team has really had a chance to even gel, this early in the season. You add a bunch of key injuries to the equation, you’re likely going to lose to a team like Minnesota, on the road.

              And it’s not like it was even a lopsided loss. The 49ers had more first downs. Almost as many total yards, and loss by 1 possession.

              That’s life in the NFL! Your going to suffer losses like this when you are up against so many factors going against you. In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Patriots had been beat by an even worse score had they suffered the same fate as the Niners, on the road in Minnesota yesterday. The 49ers were ripe for the classic snowball effect yesterday, considering all of the circumstances going against them

              Football is a game of momentum, and sometimes Jack, it is in fact, bad luck, and nothing more. And if the 49ers continue to lose this many key players to injury, their likely going to have a very rough season.

              1. Here is an example Jack:

                On the first offensive series of the 1998 NFC Divisional Round game between the 49ers and the Falcons, the 49ers starting tailback, Garrison Hearst broke his ankle. It was a devastating injury. Hearst had been the 49ers all purpose weapon that season. In fact, when you combine Hearst’s rushing attempts and receptions, an estimated 35% of the team’s offensive plays during that season, went through Garrison Hearst. He rushed for over 1,500 yards that season, and caught 39 passes for over 500 yards.

                During the previous week’s Wild Card game, Hearst had 25 total touches, rushing for 128 yards on 22 caries, while adding 15 yards on 3 receptions.

                After Hearst went down, an eerie, quiet hush went over the 49ers sideline. The 49ers OC Marty Mornhinweg was rattled. He’d just lost the engine of which he ran his offense. HOF QB Steve Young went on to throw 3 INT’s during that game, and finished with a Passer Rating of 61.7.

                The 49ers lost by 2 points.

                Sometimes it is all about the injuries.

              2. They lost because they were 1-4 in the red zone, and had 4 turnovers.

                We’ve seen this song and dance repeatedly since the start of 2017.

              3. After McKinnon’s torn ACL was announced 8 days before opening day, I predicted that the 49ers offense would struggle early on this season. Prior to his injury, I predicted otherwise.

                And that was before they lost their best WR, and 2/3rds of their active OG’s.

                Just saying.

              4. I’m not sure why I am arguing with you Jack.

                If memory serves me correctly, you stated that the aging veteran – Alfred Morris, with his 57 receptions over 6 seasons, was a better fit for this offense, than Jerick McKinnon, as I practically wet my pants in laughter.

                I don’t know, maybe that wasn’t you, but whoever it was, clearly has no clue how Kyle was planning to evolve his offense this season.

                This is now an offense in transition. That’s what happens when you lose the all purpose, dual-threat RB you’ve been designing your offense around, right before the start of the season.

              5. I know reading can be hard sometimes, but yeah, I said that he was better in the running game because he had a better feel for Shanahan’s scheme.

                I think I have a pretty good idea of how they planned to utilize McKinnon and was excited to see it. Didn’t happen and they have kinda the same backfield set up as last year now.

                Comparing the McKinnon injury to the one that Hearst suffered and its impact on the game is apples and oranges. Hearst was hurt at the beginning of the game. McKinnon was hurt more than a week before the game.

              6. “Now 8-8 might be pushing it.”

                If they are 3-3 after week 6 they have a really good shot at that 9 wins.

              7. The McKinnon injury changed Kyle’s 2018 playbook. 8 days prior to the season opener is simply not enough time to adjust. And one of the reason it is that much tougher to change a playbook on the fly in 2018, is thanks to the current CBA. With the current NFL-CBA, teams have limited opportunities to work on these plays. It’s not like it was in the 80’s, 90’s or even last decade.

                Kyle can, and will make adjustments, but the players simply don’t have enough time to install and properly work on those plays. Thus, the expected end result is sloppy, mistake filled football.

                Like I said last week, the McKinnon injury was just about worst-case-scenario. Aside from losing Garoppolo, losing the one player who was to be featured more than any other player on the roster, is a major setback. Kyle came out and basically echoed this point. So, this was a major setback, made worse by the timing.

                Kyle will certainly adjust accordingly. There is a reason he’s considered one of the brightest offensive minds in the league. However, thanks to a brutal early schedule, time is unfortunately not on their side.

                What has made Kyle’s offense so special as it has evolved over the years, is the way in which it’s so difficult for the defense to differentiate run from pass. But Kyle isn’t content because, the NFL is like a living, breathing organism, and it’s constantly evolving. What Kyle’s been looking for over the last few years in order to continue to evolve, is Jerick McKinnon. Or at least, the player Kyle felt Jerick McKinnon had the potential to be in his offense. He’s the guy Kyle felt was capable of taking his offense to the next level, provided he could stay healthy. Jerick represented the next evolution in Kyle’s WCO. Not Alfred Morris. Morris is yesterday’s Shanahan lead offense. Admittedly, it was a bit of a risk. However, with risk, comes the potential of reward.

                Yet, the issues that presented themselves on Sunday, didn’t end there. The Mercury News – 49ers notes: injuries to goodwin, guards wreak havoc.

                So it goes from very bad, to worse, in the course of one half of football. On the heels of an almost worst-case-scenario injury, with the loss of McKinnon, the 49ers suddenly found themselves having to shift their rookie RT to Guard. Yah, that’s right. But, McGlinchey has never played OG in his entire life. And here he is, playing nearly the entire 2nd half of a football game, while facing perhaps the league’s top rated defense, on the road in one of the most hostile NFL stadiums, and the rookie is suddenly playing a position he’s never played in his entire life.

                Yah, what could possibly happen? lol.

              8. “8 days prior to the season opener is simply not enough time to adjust.”

                What a load of horse manure.

                They moved the ball just fine between the 20’s. It was all about the red zone just like last year. That’s why they lost despite having more yards per play and more first downs.

    2. Hammer,
      Responding to your 8:59am.
      Good thing the season doesn’t end after 1 game. If it did, the Bills should be dismissed from the league.

      Lynch said that this team would be built brick by brick. Some want a prefab building with all the bells and whistles right now, that ain’t hapnin.’

      I saw a couple of bricks go up yesterday in the play of Pettis and Warner. McGlinchey will be just fine as well.

      1. Yes. Warner was really solid. It should be fun to watch this front 7 come week 3.

        Nzeocha played well too. He’s an upgrade over Harold.

        Pettis did a good job of stepping in after Goodwin went down after a kinda rough start.

  40. Concussions.
    The NFL is confronted with a loss in popularity, which will drive down profits, and replace football as the pre-eminent sport in America, since it is truly unique to the United States. Some may claim Kaep is the problem, but when 110 out of 111 players studied had brain damage, there may be the true problem. Parents are not allowing their boys to play, so the sport will be relegated to poor people, both black and white, who only see the opportunity to escape poverty. For money, they will sacrifice their health, with eventual heartbreak and sorrow.
    How does the NFL deal with the problem? Glad they have stopped denying it is a problem. Maybe they should stop downplaying the dangers, and support more research. Maybe they should treat former players with treatment and compassion.
    Brains are complex organs, but of course, the Egyptians did not think it had any function, so they threw it away while mummifying corpses. Too bad the NFL is following in their footsteps. If the NFL was truly serious about concussions, they would implement a protocol in which every player would get a brain scan so they would have a baseline to compare with, when assessing a player after a concussive blow. To all who think that would be so costly, it would bankrupt the league, the technology has advanced so much, it should just be included in the physical. They poke and prod every other part of the player’s body, so a brain scan is not invasive, and only costs 1200 bucks, usually. They should just consider it a part of business, and they are protecting their investment.
    The league need to make improvements in their helmets. They should make more than a feeble attempt to make them safer, and it seems like they spend more money designing the team emblem and colors, than improving helmet safety.
    Maybe they should install accelerometers in the helmets. It does not always need a helmet to helmet crash to cause the brain to accelerate against the skull. Sometimes, the helmet will bounce off the field with concussive force.
    Thankfully, the US Government is studying improvements in helmet technology, because soldiers are confronting similar problems dealing with IEDs. They want to make helmets safer, because of the onslaught of PTSD. Maybe they could collaborate in new designs.
    I am glad the NFL has installed new helmet rules when tackling. I just hope they stop flagging legal hits and have arcane arbitrary guidelines that are inflexible with no established protocols. Maybe the refs should allow HCs to red flag a play, with a 20 second time limit, until everyone is satisfied that it will make the game safer, but not unfair or too lengthy.
    I love football as a fan. I think it will stay relevant if they make a good faith effort to show that they care.

  41. I’m surprised so many are talking about how unprepared the 49ers were.
    If you break it down by position. In this game Minnesota had the better dline, linebackers, cornerbacks, safeties, wide receivers, running backs, Tight end, and arguably quarterback. Surprisingly the Niners probably had the better O-line going into this game.
    They played a team with Super Bowl level talent. A team that had the number 1 defense in the nfl points wise last and added a pro bowler to it. A team that has talent at every position and improved at quarterback.
    Yeah they had their opportunities and missed them this happens. However, when the other team is vastly more talented at almost every position group, the turnovers go against you and your team is unprepared, it should be a blow out not a one possession game.

    I’m just trying to put some context to what we saw yesterday.

    1. Agreed Shoup. I think those that are making excuses drank a little too much offseason Kool Aid. I thought the Niners were well prepared in all facets, didn’t take too many bad penalties and played well overall. They just played a superior team in their building. Shouldn’t be a surprise they lost.

  42. rough game but lots of positives,Jimmy was pressing most of game cause of the drops and poor execution. if kittle,garcon,pettis make just those 3 catches we probably win this game and Jimmy throws for about 350 against what most think is the best team in the NFC.and that’s with a make shift oline and are best receiver out,just got to build off this and move forward.i expected a loss but the woulda,coulda,shoulda was strong this game.

  43. different name same long rambling posts. don’t bother i didn’t read it just scrolled past .life is to short to read all that blather

  44. Oh and… everyone who picked the Niners to lose this game really have no room to comment. They did what you predicted…now on to the next game.

  45. Take away from the grades column: Be depressed.
    Take away from many commenters: Be depressed.
    I’m not depressed.
    I’m watching a rebuilding team struggling through injuries and showing grit and some signs of progress.
    Down two starting inside LBs, two RGs, rookie RT playing RG, journeyman OT just back from injury, starting receiver lost, two endzone drops, and gave up three picks and a fumble,…….and still in it near the end…….against a top defense and a consensus playoff contender on their home field.
    I’m not depressed.

    1. +1

      * I would add that they also lost their dynamic play-maker 8 days before the game.

      ** Off to hopefully see the Rams lose- Raiders need to control the clock with the run game and dink and dunk…. we’ll see how it goes.

    2. I agree. To play arguably one of the best teams in the NFL, and arguably the best defense, close with the errors we made shows a competitiveness that has been missing the last few years. Garroppolo wasn’t perfect, receivers dropped passes, but the run defense from the last half of last season seems legit with the work this week, and Sherman provides coverage on half the field (now defensive backfield just needs to learn how to turn their heads to the ball).

      The biggest concern was continuing issues with the offensive line. McGlinchey looked every bit the rookie, and here’s hoping his learning curve is quick. The less said about our guards (Tomlinson, Person, Garnett), the better. And Gilliam hopefully will be supplanted very quickly by Shon Coleman.

    3. +10 Brotha
      Grant’s Grade posts on losses is catnip for depressed Niners fans (also some Raider fans?). I thought the Niners did OK considering the injuries, youth and inexperience. It was encouraging to see the defense and Jimmy G (without a run game once a rookie started playing out of position at RG) hang in there within striking distance till the very end. If anything, I was disappointed by the execution errors by veterans such as Garcon and Morris on offense.

        1. In contrast, I was encouraged by the defense, especially the adjustments that the defensive staff appeared to have made at half time. for example, Cousins converted only 7 first downs in second half after converting 12 in the first half. He completed just 6 of 16 throws for 79 yards in the second half.

          1. Morris fumbled on successive plays. He was lucky to get the first one back. After that first fumble, he should have known that he had to take better care of the ball. A veteran should never make the same mistake on back-to-back plays.

    4. Yep, well said Brotha. Got beat by a very good team, but were still in the game right to the end. Had chances throughout the game.

  46. Matty B.: “Dante Pettis became the first 49er since Vernon Davis in 2006 to score a touchdown on his first NFL reception ….”

  47. After watching a few games this week I can’t believe anyone want to reduce or drop the preseason. If anything Coaches should be playing their starters more instead of living in fear they will get hurt. The quality of play this weekend was a joke. Nobody can tackle, numerous pre snap penalties, players gassed less than half way through the game in many instances. The first couple of weeks of the regular season (maybe more?) have become preseason for the starters.

    1. “we had some injuries, and I had to move some guys around”

      What?!?! From what I’ve been reading in the comments section over the last 24 hours I could swear that it was only SF that was dealing with this.

    1. Mood,
      Gore =HOF
      I was at the Stick when he took two 80 yard TD runs to the house against Seattle.
      I still smile when I think about it.

      1. AES,
        Good memories.
        I was at the Stick on December 8, 2013 (my last visit to the Stick) when Gore ripped off a 51 yard run to the right on a first down early in the fourth quarter (he was tackled eventually by one R. Sherman). Dawson kicked a field goal and Niners won 19-17.

  48. Wrt to Jet’s injury. It was big. I saw Morris lined up wide frequently in yesterday’s game. I doubt Zimmer was too concerned with Morris as a receiving threat, he would have had to respect Jet out wide.

          1. They had to put a body on him. The D would have to make an adjustment If Jet was burning that body. The outside threat of Jet could have drawn an extra defender at times, freeing up the middle of the field. The Vikes wisely focused on taking away the middle, It wouldn’t have been as easy with Jet playing.

          2. “Depending on the coverage” being the main thing. Having a CB on Morris was dictated by the coverage, not because they felt they needed a CB to cover Morris.

              1. What indications does anyone have that McKinnon would have been a more effective runner than the two we currently have carrying the load?

            1. “Depending on the coverage” being the main thing. Having a CB on Morris was dictated by the coverage, not because they felt they needed a CB to cover Morris.”

              Yes, meaning that they were likely going to have a CB out there whether it was Jet or Morris. So while they could have put a LB out there, it wasn’t a decision that was based on the HBs receiving ability. The difference between the HBs it that Jet on the outside could force the D to make adjustments, not happening with Morris. In other words, Zimmer didn’t have to respect Morris as a receiver.

    1. It would not surprise me if the 49ers trade for a RB like Abdullah in order to at least bring back the receiving threat to the RB position.

        1. Bell would cost at least two first rounds picks plus a contract that is more than what the team is paying McKinnon. Given that Buckner is up for an extension after this season and that the defense desperately needs an edge rusher, I do not see Bell as being an option. Abdullah however could potentially be acquired for a low round pick and would be off the books after this season.

          1. There is zero chance that Bell would cost 2 first rnd picks. He would not even cost 1… The most the Steelers could ask would be a second rnd pick. They would have a tough time getting that. 1. He is a RB and there not valued as much as other positions. 2. He would be a free agent at years end. I do agree that Abdullah is a target for SF. He is inactive for tonight’s game. But a trade ain’t happening until that week 2 game is over. Great minds think alike Mid. I have been targeting Admeer for a while as a Target.

            1. There is zero chance that Bell would cost 2 first rnd picks. He would not even cost 1… The most the Steelers could ask would be a second rnd pick. They would have a tough time getting that. 1. He is a RB and there not valued as much as other positions. 2. He would be a free agent at years end.

              Normally I would agree with this, but Bell is largely considered to be the best at his position, so it would not surprise if the Steelers wanted two first round picks for him.

              1. I think a second rnd pick the Steelers would immediately trade him. Look at Conner in that system how well he played. A 4th rnd pick 2 years ago. Plus it’s going to be very hard for Bell to go back to Pitt. They have publicly not been very nice to him. I think the further this goes just like with Mack, the better chance they move on.

      1. Surprised that they didn’t really utilize Juice yesterday. Only 2 targets after averaging 4 per game over the last 5 with Jimmy G at the end of last year.

  49. Bottom Line COACHING SUCKED!
    Players SUCKED!
    Goats…..Garcon, Pettis, Kittle, Morris. Those 4 do their jobs we win simple!

  50. If only they would have listened to me and limited unforced errors, scored touchdowns instead of field goals, caught the ball instead of dropping the ball, used more flea flickers, implemented poached intel, fell down before fumbling, used more miss direction, and rolled Jimmy out more, just to mention a few of my many well thought out (not really) suggestions that Kyle has refused to consider, we might have prevailed. I question Kyle’s football acumen. Sincerely, Seb

    1. Juan, JG rolled out and hit Pettis for a TD.
      Yes, I agree, they were way past the first down marker, so they should have watched the ball into their hands, and not started to run before they tried to catch the ball. Even if they caught the ball and fell down, that would be way preferable to dropping the ball.
      Another critique is the coaching. Moving McGlinchey to RG when he had never played that position before was a head scratcher. It should have been wiser to move Tomlinson to RG because he played that position in college. It also would have put a veteran next to McGlinchey, so the right side was strengthened. That pick six was forced because the right side of RG McGlinchey and backup RT Gilliam let pressure through too quickly, and made JG throw too soon. Of course, the Vikings attacked the right side, because it was weaker than the left.
      I will assign most of the blame for this loss on the coaching. Saleh should have warned the defense that the Vikings were going to try to draw them off sides. The simple solution? Tell the defense to watch the ball, and not move until it is snapped.
      Yes, the players made mistakes, and beat themselves, but the coaching was lacking. They did not prepare the players well enough. The talent is there, but the implementation of the game plan, and the execution of the plays, showed their weaknesses, and detracted from their strengths.
      Hopefully, this game taught them that settling for field goals is a good way to lose.
      Maybe KS will finally have to admit that an OC might help them become better organized and efficient. Do not know why he is so stubborn. Jed could hire an OC with no salary cap considerations. An OC could help them score in the red zone. Let KS still call the plays, but let the OC help the offense become more focused, with less unforced errors.

      1. “Moving McGlinchey to RG when he had never played that position before was a head scratcher. It should have been wiser to move Tomlinson to RG because he played that position in college.
        – So rather than making McGlinchey move to RG where he can keep his stance and steps the same for the most part. They should have moved the him to LG and moved Tomlinson to RG, so that they both have to change their stance and footwork, and additionally shuffled the line in such a way that no one has played next to the same guy and eliminate all continuity? What they did makes sense to anyone that has played on the line.

        I will assign most of the blame for this loss on the coaching. Saleh should have warned the defense that the Vikings were going to try to draw them off sides. The simple solution? Tell the defense to watch the ball, and not move until it is snapped.
        – Yeah I’m pretty sure he and everyone in the huddle was saying that. It was just a dumb mistake.

        Yes, the players made mistakes, and beat themselves, but the coaching was lacking. They did not prepare the players well enough. The talent is there, but the implementation of the game plan, and the execution of the plays, showed their weaknesses, and detracted from their strengths.

        I disagree, the niners had offensive players running free on multiple occasions against the best defense in the league. Minnesota is vastly more talented than SF at this point in time. This was a case of Alabama vs Vanderbilt, going into the game Minnesota had the better, more proven players at every position group save the Oline. In that scenario badly outcoached teams get blown out, they dont have a chance to win in the end.

        1. Shoup, if anything, they should have moved Tomlinson to RG, the position he played in college, and kept McGlinchey at RT, the position he has been assigned to since OTAs. They should have put Gilliam at LG.
          Then they would have a veteran (Staley, Tomlinson) on both the left and right side. Instead, they played McGlinchey out of position. He had never played that position before in his life, and he is a raw rookie in his first game. Guess what? the Vikings attacked the right side, because it had a backup, and a rookie playing out of position on that side. They attacked the weakest spot in the line.
          I said the coaching was lacking. I did not say the coaching was incompetent. Incompetent teams get blown out. Unprepared teams tend to make mistakes that cost them the game. I agree, the Niners do have talent, and they were competitive. If they stop shooting themselves in the foot, they might actually win games.

          1. Maybe but you are stating these things without and understanding what the players are being asked to do or what they are capable of doing.

            As to Tomlinson, you keep going back to his college years. That was 2014, he hasn’t played that position since then. Given the length of NFL seasons he’s had thousands more reps at Left Guard and had a year of getting used to working with Staley.
            Also GG hasn’t played Guard in his professional career either.

            By making the move you suggest..
            – McGlinchey would have to change his stance and footwork
            – Tomlinson would have to change his stance and footwork
            – Staley would have to work with a new guard next to him
            – Richburg would have to get used to working with different guards on both sides of him.
            – GG would be playing a position he hasn’t played before, and have to work next to two players he’s never had to work with
            – And finally, McGlinchey would have to work next to someone he’s never worked next to since both he and GG have only really been tackles.

            Basically there wouldn’t be a single Olineman that was used to working with the man in the position next to him. Do you not believe in Continuity?

            What the niners chose to do allowed Richburg to stay working with LT next to him, and LT continue working with Staley next to him. It only messed with the continuity on one side of the line and didn’t ask multiple players to change their footwork learned over the past few years.

    2. Detroit, the next opponent, will have Eli Harold. He flat out stated that he is seeking revenge, so he provided invaluable intel on player scouting reports, coaching tendencies and locker room dynamics.
      KS better take that into consideration, and devise new schemes that Eli Harold is unfamiliar with. Maybe throw in a flea flicker, bubble screens, fly sweeps and the hook and lateral.
      JL better learn that one should not trade Niner players to upcoming opponents.
      Jets utilized intel by reading Stafford’s hand signals, so they knew what play was going to be run. No wonder they anticipated routes and snagged 4 picks. Hikutini provided intel for Minnesota, and they got 3 picks from JG.

  51. Grades were fair when considering the explanatory narrative.

    I’m thinking the Niners may go 8 – 8 this year; and wont be bummed about that is they beat Seattle in Seattle.
    Hoping that to be followed by 10 – 6; and 13 – 3. We were a quarterback, coach and corner away from “not being terrible” two years ago. Now we need an edge rusher, respected O-line and better DB play.

    QB is human;
    OL depth and OL play is still an issue, but still better than last year.
    Neither running back is a big deal;
    Receiving will be better due to Pettis being ligitimate.

    D-line is improved, but no edge rusher is a problem.
    LB play will be improved with Foster back, until he goes out again.
    DB play was not good. We wont know how good Sherman is until the other DBs are better and he “has to be tested.”

  52. I fear for Matthew Stafford next week, his Oline is going to get him killed. I’m going with 6-8 sacks for our D.
    Patricia already hearing the boo-birds.
    Not a pretty scene so far in Detroit.

      1. UC,
        Are the Jets this good, or the Lions this bad?
        Imo, the answer is somewhere in the middle.
        We’ll have a better idea two weeks into the season on the direction teams are going.

        Interesting to hear what Patricia has to say after this game.
        What he should say: We got our as*es handed to us, plain and simple.

  53. Looks like the Raiders are beating the Rams. I almost want the Raiders to win, because that would put the Niners in a 4 way tie for first place in the division. However, I am always happy when the Raiders lose.

  54. Grant,

    BTW, wanted to add that you were spot on in assessment of Niners 3rd round draft pick of Warner.

    “Warner should start at weakside linebacker as a rookie. Good value. Good pick.

    GRADE: A-minus.”

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