49ers 20, Bears 28: Grades

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers lost 28-20 to the Bears Sunday Night. Here are the 49ers’ grades.

KAEPERNICK: F. His worst game since two games ago. Looked like Tony Romo looked last week. Committed four turnovers – one fumble and three interceptions. Would have been five turnovers but one of the interceptions hit the grass before a Bears’ defensive back caught it. Also committed a delay of game penalty on third down in the red zone on the final drive. So unlike him.

RUNNING BACKS: B+. The Bears could not stop Frank Gore. We predicted that. Gore averaged 4.8 yards per carry and scored a touchdown. He was explosive and elusive. Carlos Hyde was neither. He gained zero yards on four carries. The Bears were ready for the zone-read runs when he was in the game. We predicted that, too. Bruce Miller also averaged zero yards per carry. He was stopped for no gain on third-and-one.

WIDE RECEIVERS: B. Michael Crabtree led the team with 9 targets, 7 catches, 82 receiving yards and a touchdown. Of the two incomplete passes that were intended for Crabtree, the first was intercepted and the second was the 49ers’ final play, an incomplete pass over the middle. Anquan Boldin caught just two passes and was targeted just six times. Greg Roman must have forgotten about him. More on that later.

TIGHT ENDS: B-. Vernon Davis was open deep more than once but Kaepernick didn’t see him so Davis caught just three passes for 39 yards before he left the game with an injured ankle. He was seen walking with crutches after the game in the locker room. Derek Carrier made a nice 22-yard catch over the middle as he took a shot from Charles Tillman. Vance McDonald injured his knee in the first half but played in the second half. He was targeted just twice all game. He caught one pass. Kaepernick threw the other behind McDonald on a quick roll out to the left.

OFFENSIVE LINE: D. The run blocking for Gore was good on the Power off tackle runs and the Weak side leads. The pass blocking was not good. The 49ers’ offensive line gave up four sacks and Jonathan Martin gave up two sacks on the final drive.

DEFENSIVE LINE: D. Quinton Dial committed a roughing the passer penalty which set up a Bears’ touchdown before halftime. Justin Smith, Ray McDonald and Ian Williams dominated the Bears’ offensive line in the run game and shut down Matt Forte. Justin Smith had a sack, too, the only sack the 49ers’ defense recorded. Ray McDonald contributed nothing to the mostly-non-existent pass rush. When will Vic Fangio give Tank Carradine a shot?

LINEBACKERS: D. Patrick Willis played well – eight tackles. But Ahmad Brooks, Corey Lemonier and Aaron Lynch created no pressure on Cutler. The 49ers have had almost no pass rush this season without Aldon Smith.

SECONDARY: D. Created zero turnovers against Cutler. Hard to do. Jimmie Ward gave up three touchdown catches to Brandon Marshall in the red zone. Ward is a coverage liability in the red zone. Quarterbacks have been going after him in the red zone since the preseason and they will continue to go after him in the red zone until he proves he’s not a mark. And Chris Culliver gave up a 29-yard deep pass because he did not turn his head to find the ball. What else is new?

SPECIAL TEAMS: A. Special teams didn’t lose this game. Aaron Lynch blocked a punt which set up the 49ers’ first touchdown.

COACHING: F. The 49ers beat themselves. Four turnovers. Four sacks. 16 penalties. Can’t win that way. To top it off, Greg Roman called a pass for Michael Crabtree on the final play of the game – fourth-and-9 from the Bears’ 17. How many times will Roman call a pass for Crabtree at the end of the game and lose? That play has to go to Boldin.

This article has 152 Comments

  1. Wait…my memory must be failing me because I could have sworn that you had predicted that Carlos Hyde would out gain Frank Gore this game…and the rest of the season….didn’t I see that a couple days ago?

  2. Looking forward to the end of the Hairball era. The lack of killer instinct is appalling. His breeding ground of illegal behavior and acceptance of players from other organizations that have also had trouble with the law is embarrassing. While is better than the previous coaches, there is just something very distasteful about Jim Harbaugh. Haven’t really liked from the beginning, and his brand of football is outdated and archaic. He is also looking like this eras Marty Shottenheimer, he can get a team only so far.

    1. You nailed it, Millenium! Take the draft picks from Dallas, Miami, or Oakland for Harbaugh and install the Seahawks OC as new head coach.

  3. There was no flow to the game offensively. Very undisciplined play from the entire team. 16 penalties. Really?
    Play calling left me scratching my head. In 3rd quarter 3rd and 6 and Roman calls a run. Really?
    Worst part is we blew a critical opportunity to go up a game on Seattle.

  4. You neglected to mention under the coaching grades that Roman calls a run on 3rd and 6 inside the 10 FREAKIN yard line. This has been his issue ever since Harbaugh a CO came here. When the niners are up a score or two they take their damn foot off the gas and settle for FG’s when we need TD’s. I thought that decision there was one of the deciding factors of the game. One of the absolute worst coaching decisions ive seen from this staff. This loss is the worst regualr season loss of the Harbaugh era. Luckily its only week 2 and we play AZ next week. Win and we are in first. Short term memory. Go Niners

  5. I tend to agree with all your grades. This was a shocking loss, as the game looked in the bag by half time. Roman’s game plan worked well in the first half. At halftime I thought that his plan for the second half would be a balanced offense. Little did I know what a fool he was. The offensive line can run block but not pass protect on a consistent basis. That’s reality. He on the other hand engaged in fantasy. Yes, Kaep had his worst game ever as a Niner, but I believe we would have won the game had Roman gone conservative. He’s just not very smart.

  6. Your way too kind with those grades. Harbaugh lost the home opener in pre season and the regular season (with a 17 point lead this time) Probably not sitting well with the Yorks right now. It seemed like there was a flag after every play. The lack of discipline is glaring and falls on the coaching. It seems Aldon Smith’s absence has really hurt them.

    1. It amazes me how both Lowell and Grant will do anything to defend CK even with an F grade. If this would have been any other QB other than CK they would have crucified him. What do you think the head line would have been if Alec Smith would have had a game like this. The first thing Lowell would write is to get rid of him he can’t win in the clutch. CK lost the Super Bowl, He lost the Championship Game and he loses when the pressure is on. He may have great athletic skills, but that doesn’t make him a great quarterback. He just doesn’t know how to win when it really counts.

      1. the coaching staff lost the game–roman cost us a super bowl,championship, and it looks like this year too. Hey vic, how about a blitz on 3rd and long, and wheres the control on this teem 16 flags—-

      2. >>He lost the Championship Game

        Really? Here’s an exercise for you. Go back and rewatch that game. He didn’t get it done at the end, but the only reason the team was in it *at all* was because Kaep *was* the offense. 100% of it.

            1. you’re wrong because it was kaps fault. like you said he didn’t get it done at the end. Sure you can say he played 3 quarters well. but isnt that his job. Every winning team is in it because of their qb. The problem is he fell apart in 4th quarter and with the game on the line he forced a throw that was picked. that is why the loss is on him.

              1. Minus Kaep, the rest of the offense laid a big fat goose egg: Hunter – 16 yds. Gore – 14 yds. Without his 130 yards rushing to keep them in it, you don’t even get a chance to hate on him for “not pulling it out”.

              2. CfC, I was commenting on the comment above about him “Losing the Championship game”.

                Otherwise, I’m in total agreement that last night’s game was Kaep’s low point as a starter.

        1. I agree. Kaepernick was the offense on that last drive . Just needs to work on his progressions and looking off receivers before he throws. I agree that Harbaugh gets too conservative at times . But overall he and his staff have given us 9ers fans some really great seasons and I appreciate it after 12 years of 6 and 10 . It wont last forever people . We can be competitive for a long time to come with what they are doing keeping the team young. And not overspending on vets.

      3. maven,
        There’s definitely some validity to your statements. But when gashing on CK, you also have to consider that even in his poor games in the SB and Championship games, he was only a couple of plays away from turning a loss into wins.

        Yes, I know that wins and losses often fall on the QB, but if we are willing to take an honest and subjective look, we’ll see that there is plenty of blame to go around.

        The loss in the SB could have been averted if a couple of penalties would have been called, especially on the Ravens 2nd half kickoff return for a touchdown.

        Last years loss against the c-hawks in the Championship game may have been different had our D not relaxed when Wilson spun out of the pocket and ran for about 5 minutes before finding a wide open receiver downfield for about 50 yrds – same goes for the TD to Kearse when the D relaxed when there was an offsides penalty called.
        Those are just a couple of plays (among many) that I singled out that would have tilted the game in our favor.

        Last night CK was lousy. No need to sugarcoat it. But the team was still in contention until the last series.

        The one solace I came away with was that if CK can look that bad and still make a run at the end of the game, then even a decent game from CK will win games more often than not.

        1. Every game we’re getting a large sample of CK’s game. Last week I thought he turned the corner. I won’t say last night was a set back. It was more of the same.
          It’s embarrassing to have the delay of game penalty in the red zone. Again!

          1. Fan,
            No argument from me. You are spot on bud.
            Kap can’t make those types of mistakes in a close game.

            The last pass to Crabtree looked like a catchable one, what do you think?

  7. “Davis was open deep more than once but Kaepernick didn’t see him ” The story of the last 2 years.

  8. Let’s not forget, after one of his pics Kaep got flagged for offensive language. You have to say something racial or derogatory to get that flag. What I believe he said I won’t type here and would make San Francisco very unhappy.

    1. They way the refs were throwing around flags last night, he could have said something along the lines of “excuse me sir, but I believe you were mistaken in your judgement” and they would have nailed him for it.

  9. – Agree with Grant’s F for Coaching

    Normally I see nuance and rarely give absolutist grades like A or F, but the offensive end of game weirdness is without peer. I’ve never seen a slow-down offense when a team’s 8 points behind with sub 4 mins left.

    – The MLBs looked much better then last week. The OLBs looked the same as last week. If Lynch can learn a few tricks to go along with his athleticism, look out.

    – Forget Tank is a 3-4 DE (or 4-3 Under DT if you prefer).

    Tank is a pass rusher. In obvious passing situations put him over the outside shoulder of the OT and say “sick-em” till Aldon returns.

    1. I’m not that upset with the players. They will adjust and learn. If not, they are who they are. I feel about the same about the talent level of the team then I did before the game.

      Not that upset with the loss either. The 49ers will end the season with one of the best rosters in the NFL. I will have fun this year.

      But Running out the clock when behind? The 49ers need a “Coaching Guru” to work with Harbaugh. His 4th qtr game/clock management skills could be the worst in football.

      Time to bring in some free agent coaches to compete with him in training camp? Seriously, he needs to improve.

      1. I tend to disagree about the roster. The secondary is weak and the lack of a pass rush makes it even weaker. Jonathon Martin is a bad NFL player. I still can’t figure out why he was signed in the first place. Let’s hope Davis comes back soon. Baalke has missed on several early round players that are now coming back to haunt the team. This strategy of drafting injured players and letting them redshirt doesn’t seem to be paying off.

  10. Grant/Anyone: How would you grade the stadium acoustics/noise on a 1-10 scale?

    Example: Seattle, 11. KC, 9. The LA Raiders of the 80’s, 1.

    I was in a place where there was pub noise obscuring the TV sound. It didn’t seem super-loud to me. Levis, 6.

  11. One must contrast the events of this week with the expectations Jed York had a just a month ago.

    The opening stadium good vibes wiped out because a Ravens player has the same first name as Ray McDonald. The commissioner doesn’t even show up… Then an epic 2nd half collapse for the cherry on top.

    I skipped the 5pm “big surprise.” The last big surprise was after the final game at The Stick… “boys to men” (really?) We were all half expecting the Stones to pop up on the 50 yard line.

  12. The turnovers are what lost this game. Plain and simple. Having Gore’s 54-yard TD run taken away on a very marginal call also didn’t help. There were also a few marginal calls against the D that extended drives – without those this game would likely have been put to bed. The D got gassed at the end as a result of those TOs and marginal calls, that kept them on the field.

    All other facets of the game were good enough to win, and win comfortably. And that is despite a pass rush that didn’t get much pressure on Cutler.

    1. Kap’s problem is that he still stares down his receivers and the safety
      and jumps the route.It doesn’t help when personnel on the offense line
      can’t whole even water at bay.I feel that if Montana,or SteveYoung where
      allow to come in teach him how to go through is progressions on pass
      plays he would become a great Quarterback!

    2. The Gore touchdown reversal is a moot point because Gore scored a few plays later.

      The penalties and turn-overs put Chicago in position to win, but non-adjustments by the defense (Fangio) allowed 28 points; 6’3″ vs 5’10” for three touchdowns! The Bennett touchdown was an offensive penalty, but again 6’6″ vs 6’2″ on a jump ball is good coaching by Trestman.

      1. I thought it was the next series that Gore scored. If not, yeah doesn’t matter, but if it was the next series, it was huge. That potentially would have put us up 24-0 in first half.

        1. It was the next series. Kaep fumbled the ball a few plays after Gore’s 54-yard TD was nullified.

  13. Fair grades across the board.

    If CK really wants to hone his craft he will need to learn not to lock-on WR’s.
    Of Kap’s INT’s, 2 were made on great defensive plays. One by a streaking and diving Conte, another by Fuller swiping the ball from Crabtree and having the presence of mind to catch it on the way down.
    CK’ 3rd INT came on a play in which he locked onto Carrier, Fuller had enough time to leave his man to make the INT.

    Anthony Davis was sorely missed, and Boone is working himself back in. Martin had a good game last week but was a liability this week.

    Even with some obvious shortcomings and the barrage of penalties, we still had a chance to win it.
    This team has enough fire-power to score 30+ points on most Sunday’s. Why we get conservative after taking a lead in the 1st half is going to kill us.
    It’s time for Harbaugh to get a little PCarroll in him and teach his club how to keep their foot on the gas until the end of the game.

  14. When is someone going to call Fangio to the carpet? Chris Cook has size and can play in the slot especially on the goal line. The basketball post up of Ward should not have happened if Fangio makes adjustments. Once ok, twice well dang, but three times then the coach is just a stubborn fool. Additionally, when are we going to see some of these exotic blitz packages he learned under Dom Capers. If ever a time it was needed to generate pressure I would think it would be the first half of this season until Aldon comes back. I get that not blitzing has worked for them, but sometimes you need to evolve and adjust to the game. Trestman schooled him and dictated the mismatch which should not have happened.

    1. Agreed. I said something similar. There was no need for Ward to be matched up in single coverage on Marshall. I completely agree with the fact we NEED to start blitzing. Having men in coverage is great until the QB has 5 seconds or more to sit in the pocket. DB’s can’t stay in coverage that long and I do not expect LB’s to do it either. Last night was very disappointing. Now I get the pleasure to listen to die hard bears fan right next to me and a Cardinals fan next to him tell me they are licking their chops

  15. Wow- just checked out Kap’s interview last night. The loss doesn’t hurt nearly as much as Kap’s attitude in the presser. For the first time ever- I am having real doubts about the guy. Instead of owning up to his mistakes- he claims he “made the right reads.” And he says the DB’s just made great plays- NO- most of the turnovers were from CK’s poor choices, he needs to own that. Same with his mistakes with locking on crab to end the games in the super bowl and NFC championship. He lost the games but he still maintains he made the right decision just made a bad throw.

    CK wouldnt even fess up to what he said to get the unsportsmanlike penalty.

    This is really bad news- How will he get better if he can’t correctly assess his work?

    1. I’m not sure how assessing your mistakes in front of the press is conducive to correcting anything.

      And a couple of CKs INTs did come on outstanding defensive plays as I noted above.

      I do agree on the fact that he needs to learn not to lock on and telegraph his throws.
      I believe that the stubborn part of his game is thinking that he can still laser his passes to his first read because of his cannon arm.

    2. I agree with your comments about Kap’s attitude but I think he is partly a victim of the GO offense that “puts people in the best place to succeed”. The coaches are telling him where the open man is supposed to be and Kap is just following the program. So many NFL teams and the 49ers especially are trained to be chess pieces and the coaches try to make all the moves. If we have talent, let them play the game like it’s supposed to be played. The way they keep talking about reps, reps, reps you’d think they were a Las Vegas dance act! Kap is suffering, like the entire pass offense, because the open man is very often not the one who is supposed to be.

  16. I agree with these grades. This loss goes right to the feet of Kaep, Roman, and Harbaugh. Kaep looked good in the 1st half then completely fell off the wagon. It was a disaster to watch. Why we go conservative after we get up is so dumbfounding to me. Last thing we should care about is running the score up in professional sports.

    Also, am I the only one who believes we kind of got pass happy in the second half. I’m not sure exactly what defense they were running but if I had to guess I’d say some type of a zone blitz. Kaep was confused and Martin got dominated. When Frank Gore is gashing them for yards – why not run it down their throats and playaction pass off of that. Yesterday reminded why I highly dislike Roman’s play calling. If in fact it is Roman calling the plays.

    On defense, whose idea was it to leave Ward on Marshall, 1 on 1, in the redzone. Not once but 3 times. That’s questionable coaching as well.

    The refs were terrible. I don’t blame this loss on them but a lot of those calls were questionable. The call on Frank Gore’s TD, GEEZ.

    We blew this game. If someone could find out what our run to pass ratio was in the second half I’d like to know. We became predictable which ultimately allowed them to sit back and feast. This can’t become the norm again.

  17. This loss doesn’t solely belong to Kaepernick. Did he make mistakes sure ( clock management and some of the interceptions). One if the interceptions was a beautiful pass that the DB jumped his route if he didn’t Boldin would still be running. Now to the blame and its the Oline, I dare anybody to be able to sit in the pocket and look at all of their checkdowns while the whole Dline is coming. The guy was running for his life. This oline doesn’t get fixed and the play calling when we got the lead we have no chance of making the playoffs.

      1. Any time a QB has a 4TO, I would say that QB will get 98% of the game. If that QB was named Alex Smith, it will be 1000%. If his name is Colin Kaepernick, it would be 20% for some people on this blog.

        1. Fan I guess you never got the memo. CK does no wrong because he is what got them here.
          And never ever mention Alex Smith in the same sentence as CK. It’s not good for our mental health.

        2. Don’t worry guys. The real fans who blamed everything on Alex have now been replaced by a new group of real fans who blame everything on Kaep.

          The tree of life grows it’s next branch.

          1. Rib, I think both Alex and Kaep have deserved the blame they’ve gotten. Neither is a top-tier guy.

              1. What voodoo is behind that?

                An incompetent OCD-riddled GM and an overly conservative Neanderthal coach, of course.

              2. So if the Lucky Sperm hadn’t saddled the team with those posers, we’d be winning SBs year in and year out. Amiright?

          2. Thanks guys. One thing we can all agree on, the backup QB isn’t going to be the fan favorite this year. At least we’ll be spared the WE WANT GABBERT!!! chants.

            I hope to god so.

    1. I agree. I didn’t address the OL. I agree there’s no way ANY QB is going to be making it to his check downs when he’s avoiding DL.

      1. Back to the D. Ward is a casualty out there, he may actually become a great nickleback but you’re right you can having him defend the best receiver on there team in the red zone. And our D was solid up to the point of the 3 and outs and turnovers, maybe they were just overworked. We need Brock back and I will feel a lot better about the D until the rest of the reinforcements come.

    1. Or put some type of pressure on the QB. Rushing four did not work. After the 2nd, and most definitely the 3rd, adjustments should have been made to pressure him. Football is chess. They made adjustments and we failed to follow suit.

      1. +1 they definitely saw that they had plenty of time to throw. If you know you have time eventually the WRs will be able shake off the DBs.

  18. Wow. Way to nice Grant! They sucked. Even when we looked like we would win by 30, we still looked terrible. From the opening pass (of course, it was over thrown), Kaep looked drunk out there. Greg Roman remains a liability. Same thing as last year, we start the season running this stupid pistol crap all the time, risk the health of our only QB and then move back to more conventional “I” formation as the season progresses (and realize we can’t win with Kaep running of sweeps all the time). Magically, we play better offensively as we transition.

    Lastly, our wr still have difficulty gaining separation against bigger CB’s. We have got to utilize Patton and Ellington more, if we are going to beat teams like Seattle. Seattle struggles against the little guys (see Chargers).

  19. Two issues I have with this game. The first is Vic Fangio for not making an adjustment in the redzone where Ward covers Marshall. When its 1st, 2nd, 3rd and goal, the bigger WR has all the advantage in that tight space because like basketball its just like a post up on the low block. Cutler just has to lob it to the back shoulder/post and its anyone ball. Usually that ends up being the bigger more athletic person. Last night that was B. Marshall.

    The second issue I have is the game management of Colin Kaepernick. This has been an issue he has not rectified in over 2 years. Last drive of the game and you take a delay of game penalty? Really? Blame Roman all you want but at the end of the day, you gotta organize everyone and get the play off. Even if the play call is late, call it off, take ownership. You know you have limited time, take control.

    Its only one game and the team is 1-1. But the panic today centers around the way we lost. Undisciplined penalties, poor decision making and losing to a team that was banged up and out “hearted us”. Next up, an angry, tough Cardinals team in AZ. We have beaten them every time for the past 4 years. This is their early Superbowl.

    1. Agree with the game management part except for that fact that it continues to be a problem that has plagued us. I will give some of the blame to Kaep but it’s obviously a reflection of the coaching he is getting. The coaches have to find a way to fix the problem. Then they need to make sure Kaep understands. I would say both are to blame equally. We shouldn’t still be having this problem especially after the NFC champ game last yr

      1. Who is in control of the play clock? You know before you enter the huddle how much time you have. Then you know the relay of the play call takes so much time. And then to break the huddle, get to the line takes a certain amount of time. If anything goes faulty between that time frame, you gotta take control and get the play off. This relying on the coaching staff and making sure he understands is crap.
        He is the leader of the offense. He should know this offense like the back of his headphones. Enough is enough of this hand holding. He is the franchise QB that makes millions of dollars. Do your frickin job.

        1. None of us have ANY CLUE what goes on between Kaep and the coaching staff. That relay from the staff to him could be taking long because they are trying to see the personnel the other team has on the field. So to ONLY blame Kaep is wrong. As I’ve said the blame falls on Kaep and the people he communicates with on the sideline. If it is ALL Kaeps fault, I EXPECT the leaders of the team to find a way to fix it. Regardless of what action they take.

    2. FDM, I watched the entirety of the Giants-Card game yesterday. Let me say I’m not that impressed with AZ. Giants, as awful as they are, should of had that game. You thought the Niners made boneheaded mistakes last night? Giants also had 4 turnovers including a fumbled kickoff. They let Ginn Jr take a punt to the house. Eli’s receivers, especially Cruz, must have used vasoline instead of stickum pre-game.

      The only way The Cards win next week is if the Niners play as monumentally bad as they did last night.

      1. Rib, regardless of how last week went for both teams, AZ vs. SF is always a blood bath. Both teams hate each other and its always a physical game. They will bring their best as this is their statement game of the year. Losing again to the Niners at home cannot be accepted by them.

        1. I agree, it’ll be an early GPS game for both teams. Even if the Niners lose and this board goes into nuclear meltdown, remember it’ll be the same record as this time last season.

          1. But as we know, homefield advantage is so important now especially with keeping pace with that team with the loud stadium.

  20. I’m tired of everyone putting this loss on Roman and Harbaugh. Roman came out and called a great 1st half. They were aggressive and passed the ball around very effective.
    The 3rd and 6 draw play was questionable but Harbaugh was playing the possession game and thought his defense could hold. They didn’t because of poor penalties and no half time or redzone adjustments.
    The last thing, throwing 3 picks and a fumble is never gonna fly in the NFL. He has to be a lot better!

    1. Agree Prime. This loss should not fall on Roman. 4 turnovers and 16 penalties. That was the difference.

      This may have been the worst loss of the Harbaugh era.

      1. So question is, has Harbaugh lost the locker room? When I start seeing bad penalties, poor execution, sulking, I think of past coaches who got fired.

    2. The 2nd half play calling should have been the same as in the first half. While Kaep still has things to work on, the coaches need to keep that killer instinct as well. The players only run the plays called. What you see on the field is a direct reflection of the coaches.

      1. I totally disagree. Penalties are caused by the players. Execution of the plays is by the players. The defense let up but the offense shot themselves in the foot. Turnovers are by the players. How is that a reflection of the coaching staff?

        1. The coaches are trying so hard to loosen the reins with CK but every time they give him more rope, he burns it.
          He is not ready for complete autonomy in running this offense. That’s concerning!

  21. agree with an earlier poster that many of your grades are too generous – the Niner run game (esp Gore) wasn’t as unstoppable as you say, often because the Bears had 8 in the box.

    Crabtree summed it up best: “We got a whole bunch of stuff we need to go to practice and work on. We need that killer instinct. We gave this game away.”

    This team isn’t as good as it thinks it is. Sure, we’ve been to the NFC Championship Game 3 years in a row, but we’re missing several of the players who excelled to make that happen, and some of the remaining players are now 3 years older (altho Justin Smith seems to be defying Father Time nicely, touch wood).

    For the average non-Niner/Bear fan, this game was a travesty of flag throwing. The NFL insists on tweaking the rules like this is some sort of playground game, but it serves to punish players who have learned heretofore legal techniques.

    But there’s no excuse: the Niners came in way overconfident (and weren’t some local writers the same?) and then found out that Brandon Marshall is a stud as advertised and Jay Cutler has a cannon as rumored. The only good thing about this loss is that it should reset everyone at Niner HQ back to “Humble” and serve as the foundation for the hard work and 60 minute effort required for the remaining games. Once you solve the mind/motivation issue, then you’ll go as far as your talent allows.

  22. Aside from the sub-par field performance and poor game management by Harbaugh/ staff, the look of confused dismay emanating from Jed York while he stared out onto his latest attempt at torn up sod from his darkened sky box spoke loudly in terms of his seriously underperforming team and his monolithic big box stadium. The camera moved from York and panned, for a prolong period, to Kapernick fighting back tears on the sideline was also shocking. I have to question their lack of emotional intelligence-don’t sulk get better be professionals at least try! Where is the guy laughing it up with Crabtree on the bench just weeks ago during preseason? No one can win with that those dudes their overall mental state is too unstable for pressure situations. Perhaps 7-9 with injuries and suspension(s) slightly better without. Good Luck 49ers I will continue to watch and wince.

  23. Well, that was an embarrassing and disheartening loss. And look, it brought out all the armchair coaches. That only makes it worse. This week is going to be miserable.

    1. Good point Claude but its the way in which the team lost that makes it sting. Its was chaos that 2nd half with the turnovers, costly penalties, and defense staying vanilla. Fangio has to make an adjustment in the 4th Q but he didn’t. Why not put the bigger Culliver or Cox on Marshall in the red zone. Arm chair or not, you gotta try something different the 3rd time, never mind after the 2nd TD.

      1. FDM:

        I expect that Fangio considered his options and selected what he thought was the best one. If he put Culliver (who has never played the slot) or Cox on the slot receiver, he would have to replace him on the outside.

        The defense was playing without 4 projected starters, including two All Pros, and it still managed to throttle the Bears’ running game. Shame on Fangio for not fixing everything by the second game of the season.

        1. However, after the 2nd TD by Marshall on Ward, should Fangio not have made an adjustment? I get its week 2 and really a new defense with 5 new starters and a bunch of guys missing. But Fangio is notorious for sticking with what’s worked in the past that as we have seen, does not necessarily work today.

    2. Come on, balls. What kind of real fan are you if you don’t have the clarity of vision to understand the Niners will only win it all after they’ve fired Harbaugh and gotten rid of that mediocrity of a QB.

      WE WANT CARR, right?

  24. The day should started out the right way. Arrived at the Hyatt for the morning games. They had 200+ people watching the morning games. Left just as San Diego sealed the deal. Walked into Levi. The field of Jeans was fired up. There was a buzz in the crowd. Finally found the flaw in Levi though. All the assortment of food, and they don’t have hot links…..
    Back to the game.

    Right now this is a team that is void of an identity. We are a “power run” team without power run personnel. We lack the push up front to run the ball against bad defenses. Boone is not in game shape yet. Martin and Iupati are going to get Kaep killed. Baalke needed to bring in a quality body up front. Why spend money Stevie Johnson and Brandon Lloyd when you could have used that money to get a solid offensive lineman. I’d rather Kaep have more time to throw and have Ellington and Patton as my #3.

    Coaching F
    Harbaugh- Does not know how to step on a teams throat when he has them down. Little nuances of the game escape him. To still have time management issues at this stage is inexcusable. As the head coach the buck stops with him. All of his coaches short comings fall on him. Chicago’s coaches showed the ability to make in game adjustments. We did not. With 16 penalties and lack of adjustments, ultimately the lionshare of the blame for this one falls on your Mr. Khaki’s.

    Roman- Creativity just escapes this guy. When I saw him run the ball 3rd and goal from the 6 yard line it told me all I needed to know about him. What I already knew. A creative OC would get so much more out of the talent that we have on the field. Roman is not the guy for this job if we are go get to another level.

    Fangio- I love me some Fangio. Last night he may have been exposed a bit. Easy to look like a genius when you have a pass rush. Now that he doesn’t have one his job gets harder. No press, no blitz package. He left a rookie in to get torched for 3 TD’s never making an adjustment. The kid was giving up 6 inches.

    It’s tough for me to give Kaep an F because he fights so hard. However you cannot turn the ball over that many times and mismanage the clock in critical moments of the game in your third season. He lost his cool last night and was largely responsible for losing the game. One of the posters above mentioned that Kaep is a victim of this offense. The coaches are dictating where to go with the ball based on the defensive look they are getting. Expecting the WR to win a one on one matchup. Basically making Kaep be a robot. When throwing to his left, he is not reading a defender, he is anticipating his WR to win his one on one matchup and he is throwing to a spot.

    RB – B+
    Gore ran beautifully yesterday. Patient. Strong. He actually gets an A, Hyde gets an incomplete. He ran hard. He also had no where to go. Not a sliver of a hole to run through.

    WR/TE- B
    Crabtree is Kaeps guy. The ball was distributed to several pass catchers yesterday. Crabs, Johnson, Boldin, Vernon, Carrier, McDonald, Hyde. What kept this group from getting an A where 4 dropped passes early in the game and Crabs drop on the last play of the game. It would have been a tough catch, but a great WR makes that catch. Boldin would have caught it.

    Offensive line – F
    This group is holding the entire team back. I blame Baalke for this. Can’t run effectively behind this group. Kaep will not develop into a pocket passer behind this line. He fell back into run and chuck it last night because of them. What happened to Iupati? Wouldn’t want him back at any price. Jonathan Martin oh boy. I would love to see a bold move right now like Tampa made. Trade a high future draft pick for an Olineman on a team looking to dish. What will happen when we face a strong Defensive line? Our first test is next week.

    Defense – D
    The only reason they don’t get an F is that their defensive coordinator is not putting them in a position to win based on the personnel that they have. Obvious there is no pass rush. Send an extra body. What does it hurt, they were getting thrashed anyway. Fangio may have killed Wards confidence last night by setting him up to fail. Brooks and Lemonier are killing us right now. They are non existent.

    Refs / NFL – F
    Two weeks in a row we had big plays reversed on “Ghost” calls. Funny that both times the calls came on plays that would have put us in position to blow the opponent out. Last week it was the call on Lloyd that wiped out a huge gain by Vernon putting us into scoring range. This week it was the phantom call on Boldin that took by Gore’s TD. The 15 yard roughing call on Cutler was awful. Just awful. The lineman had a step at the QB and hit him midsection. NOT A PENALTY. Is the NFL trying to manipulate games to stay competitive to keep the viewing audience watching?

    Wasted a huge opportunity to go up on Seattle. Last year the bad call in New Orleans kept us from winning the NFC West. This year, the Bears game could be the one we look back on as the one that ruined our season….

  25. No major argument with your grades. But, you’re giving Boldin too much credit. He had multiple critical drops as well as the holding call on the would be Gore TD. F for Boldin this game. Hopefully he’s back in form next game.

  26. Hard to add to the foibles list. I’ll just say, there’s no good basic strategy in getting everyone involved in offense. It’s more of the long-developing pass routes with little imagination, and no short game. At least Chicago has big receivers for theirs and can be passed to. Both lines got pushed around. Maybe we can just trade organizatons with the Raiders and start over.

  27. We still have a great roster. And we may still win the Super Bowl. But some things are becoming very clear to me:

    1. Ward is a safety not a CB. I know the coaches want him to be a nickel. But in college he was better at making plays in front of him, and it looks to be the same for him in the pros.
    2. Kaep is a RB not a QB.
    3. Harbs’ style and system is more suited for college than pro. Yes, Harbs has had success at the pro level. But his blend of stubbornness, arrogance, and denial smacks of vintage Spurrier and Saban. And anyone who argues, “Oh, well, remember when Mike Singletary was coach? Is that what you want?” Doesn’t know what I want. I want a real pro coach with really innovative ideas who doesn’t look like he needs to take a massive dump when he’s watching Kaep try to get the play off.

    1. Comparing Harbaugh to Spurrier and Saban is an extremely far reach. He’s been to 3 NFC championships games in 3 yrs. I don’t think spurrier even had a winning season.

      1. I’m not saying Harbs can’t coach in the pros. I just think his style and system are better suited for college.

  28. I’m disappointed in the coaching. For as horribly as we played offensively in the 1st half, we were still up 17-0 at one point. I just hate to see JH continuously get conservative when we get a lead in hopes that our defense will force turnovers and create more seperation with the score. JH knows the other team has to press to get back into the game and he continually trusts the defense to stop them. The problem this year is this is not the same defense. We have several pieces missing.
    We need more from this offense. We can’t keep making excuses for them or Kap. I will say this. Crabtree slowed down coming across tge middle on that last pass. If he keeps running, that pass is right there for 6. Instead, he drifted deeper upfield instead of continuing to cross the field and it looked as if he was led too far. Good throw, bad route. One of the few good throws Kap made last night.
    I said it the whole time during the entire live game blog. We let them stay in the game. This organization has issues. Issues that won’t allow this team to compete for a super bowl this year. I’m a s big a Niner fan as anyone on this blog. However, I’m a realist as well. We just have too many problems this year. Almost too many to name. How many times have you said to yourself this year, ” No not another injury, coaching rift article, player unhappiness article, or arrest.” What’s gonna happen next?
    Lastly, Kap got the contract he got because the front office hopes he is what they need him to be? I’ll say it again and I’ll say it now. “I’m not so sure he is the guy!” There, I said it.

    1. Jordan,
      outside of Russel Wilson, name one QB that can function behind this line in “this system” and be successful right now. Behind this line the way it exists right now.

      1. Bay,

        Andrew Luck. Because he makes sound decisions with the football and reads defenses better than Kap. Remember what Luck did to us last year?

  29. I am starting to have doubts about Baalke, Harbaugh, and the whole staff. As good as this team is, they are really tough to watch sometimes.

    1. LSX,

      We’ve not agreed on anything in the history of my time on this blog. However, that just changed. I agree with you 1,000,000, 049 percent! !!

  30. First off, let’s not all jump off a bridge. We’re playing without our starting RT, our top 2 TEs got hurt, we’re missing a top-3 MLB and a top-3 OLB, and our starting CB2. It’s game 2 of a long season. We’ll smack AZ next week and everyone will be back to praising Kap and Co. (Except for Roman).

    – It must be said – and I know this sounds like a homer complaining here – but the D would have looked a lot better had the refs not extended multiple drives multiple times with h0rse$hit flags on 3rd down. Especially in the 2nd half, it was apparent we were getting tired. That said, the refs are bad for both teams. Some of the penalties were legit, and the 9ers have to adjust and overcome.
    – Marshall’s first grab was unreal. No need to blame Ward for that.
    – Bennett’s TD was Offensive PI. Hard to believe it wasn’t called in this game
    – Totally agree that Fangio needs to give Carradine some reps in pass rush situations. McDonald was getting nothing going. Lemonier was worse than useless. Lynch had a couple pressures early, but nothing in the second half. Our DBs can’t hold up for 8 seconds of coverage.
    – Would love to see more Gore, especially when it’s obvious they can’t stop him.
    – Kap was late on a few throws (the Conte pick in particular), and made some ill-advised passes (the 2nd Fuller pick), but he also looked good in the first half escaping pressure.
    – Our biggest weakness offensively is our inability to beat teams over the top with a WR. Multiple times the Bears would roll to single-high safety, leaving Crabtree 1v1 w/ no help over the top (safety was shifted to the 3WR side). Instead of going deep, he still runs 5-yard outs that the DBs are all over. Hopefully next year is the year we draft a big, fast WR1. Boldin, Johnson and Crabs are all wonderful players, but they are all short-throw possession receivers. Perhaps Patton or Ellington can be used to add the threat of speed.

    1. Hear you. Especially taking the top off the D with a WR. We never tried it yesterday. Not with Vernon ( before injury ) and have yet to insert Ellington in that role. If anything just as a decoy to open up the underneath.

  31. Listening to the radio on my way to work this morning, I heard Trent Dilfer talking about Kap’s interceptions. Dilfer puts the blame on Kap for two of them – the first and the third – and I agree completely.

    The first interception (not the overturned one) was the result of Kap locking onto the receiver combined with a bad throw and a great play by the safety. In and of itself, I do not think his decision making was bad on that play, but his execution was horrible.The second interception was a great play by the DB. Sure, the ball could have been placed better, and the throw did look like Kap forced it a bit, but I think Crab wins that one most of the time. The third interception was, in my opinion, a poor decision, and Dilfer said the same thing. The throw did appear to be a bit behind, but it appears to me that Kap just did not expect the DB to break away from his man to intercept that one.

    Dilfer thought the fumble was all on Kap, and I agree. He needs to secure the ball better.

    With respect to Kap’s grade, I agree with Grant and others – an ‘F’ is well deserved for this game. However, I did notice that early in the game, when Kap had some time to throw, he was going through his progressions on some plays. Unfortunately, he was inaccurate from the first pass attempt of the game, and he never really overcame that inaccuracy. Couple his inaccuracy with bad pass protection, and we get a disaster.

    As for Kap’s development, I think we saw flashes of what we saw last week, but also a lot of Kap trying to win the game himself. Last week, he did not play or act like a playmaker – he played and acted like a QB. This week, he seemed to want to be the playmaker again. Maybe it is because the pass protection was horrible, or maybe it was because they thought they could take advantage of a perceived weakness with the Bear’s defense, but whatever the cause, this week we saw college Kap.

    The only place I quibble with some folks here on the assessment of the game is with respect to the defense. Sure, there were mistakes, and the lack of pass rush hurt, but the defense did its job for three quarters, and likely would have done enough to win in the fourth quarter had the offense been able to control the ball, move the chains and run time off the clock. But the turnovers gave Cutler and the Bears too many chances, and the defense was worn down by the fourth quarter.

    So, in my book the QB deserves an ‘F’, the offense overall deserves a ‘D’, the defense deserves a ‘C+’ for three quarters and a better effort by the offenses in the fourth quarter, special teams deserves an ‘A’, and coaching deserves a ‘D’ – yes, there were some bad plays called, but poor execution by the offense nullified some nice play calling as well.

    1. However, I did notice that early in the game, when Kap had some time to throw, he was going through his progressions on some plays.
      Agreed and although nice to see you do allude to the poor accuracy which is quite troubling but the other problem is that when the pocket isn’t clean and when he doesn’t have time to throw he’s still making really bad decisions. He’s progressing but it feels like it’s not as far along as it should be by this point. Could just be impatience but it could be that this guy’s ceiling as a passer isn’t all that high.

      1. “[B]ut the other problem is that when the pocket isn’t clean and when he doesn’t have time to throw he’s still making really bad decisions. ”

        Agreed, Coffee. We did see some nice plays and decisions last week when the pocket broke down, but not this week. That inconsistency bothers me.

    2. Nice to see someone give the D some respect. I thought they played pretty well for the most part, despite not getting much pressure on the QB. The first 6 drives they stopped well. They had to deal with short field, limited time between possessions, and ticky tacky penalties that extended drives at the end of the game. They were gassed at the end.

      In the red zone the Bears exploited the size advantage of Marshall against Ward – good offensive coaching. I see a few people are throwing Ward under the bus but it was a poor decision by Fangio to leave Ward isolated against a guy like Marshall.

  32. It was an ugly and extremely disappointing loss because the Niners had this win in the bag.
    Chicago came back with 28 unanswered points because the Niners let them, not because they were the better team. Rarely does an NFL team commit 4 turnovers and still win, but the chance to tie the game and go into overtime was still there, right up until Crab’s last non-catch. What stings the most is the lost opportunity to gain a one game lead over Seattle.
    Those opportunities are going to be very hard to come by in the next several seasons because the arch enemy and despised nemesis from Seattle isn’t going to go away. The Niners have to forcefully take their rightful spot in the division back from Seattle. San Diego did SF a huge favor that the Niners shamefully squandered. The positives that can be taken from this embarrassing loss are that the Niners really should have won. They had Chicago beat down and on the mat, going through the 10 count, but the horrible game officials, by stealing Gore’s beautiful touchdown run, basically made SF sit in their corner while they gave Chicago life saving first aid and a chance to get up and continue to fight. Without that BS holding call on Boldin, Chicago would’ve done the old Roberto Duran, stayed down and said “No Mas!” I so hate to come off sounding like a whiner, but I really and truly believe that without that ridiculous holding call that game would’ve been effectively over and done with that coup ge grace Gore touchdown.

  33. Reading through some of the comments here, it really should be required for some of you to watch the game again after the emotion has worn off because you see things very differently. It’s for that very reason that I don’t comment on here on game day (well also because I enjoy the company of actual people I’m watching the game with as well) and don’t make comments right after the game because you don’t see everything the first time around and tend to dwell on the negatives.

    Anyone questioning the talent level or the play of the defense needs to stop. The defense was excellent most of the night and the talent level on this team allowed them to play one of the sloppiest games of the Harbaugh era and still be in position to tie it at the end.

    I’ll go through and point out some key plays that cost the Niners a win:

    Up 17 to nothing with the defense pitching a shutout, 2 penalties give Chicago key 1st downs which lead to a TD right before the half. Cox gets an illegal contact penalty on 3rd down to extend the drive and then Dial gets a roughing the passer penalty. Marshall made a great one handed catch a couple of plays later and it’s 17-7.

    The 9ers get the ball first in the second half get a penalty on the opening KO return and start from their own 10. They move down the field with a combination of running and passing, burning time off the clock and converting 3 3rd downs. They get all the way to the Chicago 5 yard line with a 1st and 5 after an offside call on the Bears, and then proceed to call 3 straight running plays into a stacked 8-9 man box which results in a 1 yard loss and settling for a FG on a drive that would have pretty much ended the game with a TD. Huge turning point right here.

    Bears get the ball and go 3 and out, well they would have if Lemonier hadn’t gotten called for illegal hands to the face on 3rd down. Drive continues when it should have been a 3 and out.

    Defense gets Bears into a 3rd and long again, and Dontae Johnson gets called for an Illegal contact penalty that again extends the drive. Bears get some momentum and finish drive by again taking advantage of 1 on 1 coverage on Marshall from the slot on a play Ward had good coverage on but got beaten for position by the bigger man. Simple box out by Marshall and it’s TD.

    Niners get the ball back and on the first play Kap throws outside to Crabtree who tips the ball into the hands of Kyle Fuller (we all liked him in the draft) and Fuller returns it to the 6. First play Cutler throws to Bennett who clearly pushes off Reid and is wide open for a TD. I have no problem with a penalty not being called there as long as the officials are consistent. Problem is they weren’t. On a night when they were calling every possible questionable penalty in sight, they ignored a key one that resulted in a TD.

    Next possession for the Niners, they wind up in a 3rd and 7, Staley false starts making it 3rd and 12. Oline holds up well in protection but Kap leaves the pocket and rolls to his left, throws late across his body and is picked by Fuller again who read Kap’s eyes and left his man to jump in front of Carrier who had beaten his man.

    Defense is on the field again and Culliver gives up 20 yard gain to Jefferey on an out to put Bears into great scoring position again. Fangio incredibly leaves Ward 1 on 1 with Marshall in the slot again, Marshall runs a fade route with the entire left side of the endzone open, again gets position and catches the TD pass. At that point you have to double him but they didn’t and it cost them again.

    Niners get the ball back with 7+ minutes on the clock and decide they are going to make it last possession of the game if possible and try for OT. I’m ok with the strategy but too many mistakes again cost them on this drive and ultimately the game.

    Oline had actually held up pretty well in pass protection until this drive. I’m reading all the hand wringing about how bad they were and it’s unfounded. Overall they held up pretty well and stuffed a number of blitzes by the Bears, but they picked this drive to break down a couple of times.

    Martin gives up inside position to Willie Young who sacks Kap. Niners recover and face a 3rd and 3. Bears bring a Safety blitz, Kap avoids the safety, runs out of a tackle by the LB on that side who also came on the blitz and runs for a first down. Incredible play that keeps the Niner drive going.

    2 plays later, Oline holds up in protection but Kap slides out of the pocket to his right and finds Crabtree for a first down on the sideline.

    Next play, Kap takes a 3 step drop and either pump fakes or pulls it down and that gets him sacked on a play Martin gets beaten around the corner by Willie Young again. Ball has to come out quickly there so put this sack on Kap and Martin.

    Niners face a 3rd and 13, Bears run a stunt that Boone gets beat on, but Kap escapes and picks up 7 to make the 4th down attempt more manageable.

    Bears bring a blitz on 4th down, Oline holds up well, Kap again slides out to his right and hits Crab again for a first down.

    Next play Oline holds up well and Kap hits Carrier for another 1st down inside the Bear 20.

    Here is where things go sideways in both playcalling and execution.

    Roman calls a read option on first down that the Bears are waiting for. They stuff it for a two yard loss. Got way too cute there and needlessly wasted a play.

    2nd down, again Oline holds up well, but Kap makes two mistakes on this play: 1st, he throws a bad ball intended for Johnson 5 yards out of bounds instead of giving him a chance to make a play and 2nd, he completely ignores Gore who is available for a checkdown in the middle of the field with no Bear defender within 10 yards of him. If he throws it to Gore right there they are setup inside the 5 with a first down at worst, and a TD if Gore makes a man miss. Two costly mistakes by Kap on the same play.

    Faced with 3rd and 7, Niners are late getting play in, Kap incredibly doesn’t see the play clock ticking down and they take a delay of game penalty making it 3rd and 12. Another huge mistake and one that should never happen especially with a TO still on the board.

    A gain of 3 on 3rd down leaves them facing 4th and 9. Bears bring a blitz, Kap steps up in the pocket and throws inside to Crabtree, but leads him a little too far and Crabtree doesn’t make the catch. End of ball game.

    I went into a lot of detail here on the final possessions for both teams simply to show the difference in playcalling and execution. The Bears know their strengths and executed them, while the Niners made mistakes and ultimately shot themselves in the foot.

    The bottom line is there is clearly no question the 49ers are a more talented team than the Bears and the defense played well enough to win this game going away for the most part. What cost the Niners was an extreme number of penalties that were more than double the yardage the Bears were assessed and 4 turnovers. You don’t win games with those kinds of numbers on the negative side.

    Bad news is the Niners blew a game they should have won and now have to go to Arizona possibly without Vernon Davis. Good news is the Cards don’t look like a juggernaut either and could be without Palmer which is advantage Niners. We’ll see which Niner team shows up for this one. If it’s the one that played Dallas, they have a great chance to win; if it’s the one that played sloppy and mistake filled football last night, they don’t.

    Whatever the case, let’s all try to stay away from the hyperbole that has permeated the board last night and today. The season is not over, the team isn’t full of untalented busts and there is a lot of football left to be played. Pace yourselves accordingly.

    1. Nearly 1/3 of the Bears first downs were off defensive penalties. At one point on my live blog last night I noted the 49ers defense may have been the Bears best offense.

      1. Jack:

        Do you chalk up those defensive penalties to

        (a) poor execution
        (b) poor coaching
        (c) Harbaugh losing the locker room
        (d) bad refereeing or
        (e) some combination of the above?

    2. Thanks for the thoughtful breakdown, but I wouldn’t count on it stopping the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments.

      1. Claude,

        I know it won’t, but when I have time I like to do it. It is as much therapy for me as it is trying to quiet the masses.

        It’s a pretty simple game to break down sometimes. 4 TO’s and double the penalty yardage of your opponent equals a loss. Not that complicated, but then what fun is it to leave it at that?

        1. rocket:

          Please don’t take my comment the wrong way. I enjoy reading your comments because I can count on them being fact-based and well-reasoned.

          1. I didn’t Claude. I just meant that is why I continue to do it even when it falls on deaf ears or in this case blind eyes.

    3. Rocket, when the 49ers got the ball on that last possession I was sure they were going to at least try for a quick strike TD to not take too much time off the clock, attempt the two-point conversion and then if it failed, still have enough time to make a stop on defense and get the ball back to go for the winning FG. I’m not a big fan of playing for a tie to take the chance of winning in OT when there is a chance to win the game in regulation.

      1. Space,

        I think they decided they needed to slow things down and get Kap’s head back into a good place after the two picks. It’s a catch 22 because if they try to score quickly, they run the risk of another turnover which pretty much ends the game right there, or they give the Bears too much time to drive for the winning score. As I said, I don’t have much of an issue with the strategy, but I do with the execution.

    4. Well said rocket. Couldn’t agree more. As I said right up the top in my first comment, this loss comes down to the TOs and penalties. The rest of the game was good enough to win and win comfortably. The D played very well for the most part, despite not getting much pass rush.

      1. Scooter,

        If the defense competes the way they did for most of this game over the course of the season, they’ll be in good shape.

        1. If the D plays the way they did while Bowman gets healthy and Aldon serves his suspension, the team will be in good shape when it gets them back. So long as the offense doesn’t commit lots of TOs and they cut back on the killer penalties on 3rd downs.

    1. Passer rating is going to be great when you throw TD passes Grant. As always however, it is not a great tool for analyzing overall game play. The defense played well with the exception of some bad penalties on 3rd down and Ward not being given help on Marshall in the Redzone. Cutler didn’t do much without all the help he was given.

    2. “Cutler’s passer rating in the second half was 139.6. The 49ers’ defense fell apart.”

      If you mean “falling apart” by committing penalties that allow the Bears to convert over a third of their 3rd downs, I agree.

        1. Cutler averaged 4.9 ypa. They didn’t fall apart. They were undermined by the offense putting them in a hole in the 4th quarter and penalties on 3rd down that allowed their second TD drive to continue. Meanwhile they held Cutler to pretty pedestrian passing numbers and completely shut down the run. The defense played well overall and this would have been a pretty easy win without the turnover barrage in the 4th.

          1. Sorry, rocket, but it was a tale of two halves. Maybe Cutler did average 4.9 yards per attempt; however, look at his second half stats. You may think the overall totals were rather pedestrian, but he made some throws count, regardless of how far down the field they were. SIX points is 6 points regardless of how far the throw was. At the end of the night, all that matters is the scoreboard. It may have been ugly, but a win is a win.

            1. Mike,

              This is one of the best passing offenses in the league and are going to make some plays. What I disagree with is the notion that the defense fell apart. They were penalized on two straight 3rd downs plays that they had defended and should have been off the field on. Then they get thrown back out to defend short fields twice in succession after Kap ints.

              Cutler had a good second half mainly because he was gifted great opportunities by the Niner offense and penalty calls on the D. The defense played well enough to win this game; the offense gave it away.

        2. Just read this morning… from now one, the Bears are going to bash Culter in the chest with Dial’s helmet during pre-game warm-ups.

        1. The TOs and penalties kept them on the field far too long, with only small breaks between. They were gassed. Without the TOs or penalties to extend drives we’d be singing the D’s praises.

    1. Bottom line, I would rather be going to bed last night and waking up this a.m. as Cutler instead of Kaepernick.

  34. Has something happened to the website? I now have to put in keywords in the search engine to find the latest blog. Anyone know what’s going on?

  35. Harbaugh has to go. We all such great hope for him because of the time he spent with Bill Walsh, but it’s very apparent he learned NOTHING from Walsh. Harbaugh should be fired today.

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