49ers 26, Eagles 21: Grades

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers beat the Eagles 26-21 Sunday afternoon. Here are the 49ers’ grades.

KAEPERNICK: B-. Made both of the 49ers’ touchdowns happen. On the first one he scrambled left, drew the Eagles’ entire defense and threw back to the right, across the whole field to Frank Gore who was wide open. One of the most thrilling plays you’ll see. Next, Kaepernick scrambled to the left and threw a perfect pass to Stevie Johnson in the front-left corner of the end zone. Not many quarterbacks make those plays. But not many quarterbacks make the mistakes Kaepernick made in this game, either. Big Mistake No.1: He threw a pick-six to a safety standing right in front of him – a Matt-Schaub throw. Big Mistake No.2: Kaepernick wasted a timeout on fourth-and-two from the Eagles’ 43. He was trying to draw the Eagles offside and should have taken the Delay of Game penalty. Andy Lee ended up punting the ball into the end zone for a touchback. Big Mistake No.3: Kaepernick was flagged for Delay of Game on third-and-3 from the Eagles’ 11 with a little more than seven minutes to go, Niners up by two. If it was third-and-3, the 49ers could have taken a shot into the end zone to put away the game. But the penalty made it third-and-8. Greg Roman called a run for Carlos Hyde who gained three yards. The 49ers settled for the field goal and left the Eagles a chance to come back and win. Kaepernick is lucky his clock-management mistakes didn’t cost the 49ers the game.

RUNNING BACKS: B+. Frank Gore’s best game in five years. Gained 174 total yards from scrimmage. Hasn’t gained that many yards since he gained 177 against the Cardinals in 2009. Patiently waited for holes to open and exploded through them inside and outside the tackles. Carlos Hyde did not patiently wait for holes to open. He was in a hurry to gain 26 rushing yards on 10 carries.

WIDE RECEIVERS: B. Surprised they didn’t play better considering the cornerbacks they faced. Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin each caught just five passes, although Boldin made a beautiful 23-yard catch with one hand near the right sideline and Crabtree made a 25-yard catch down the left sideline. Brandon Lloyd twisted and caught a 23-yard pass over the middle Kaepernick threw behind him. Stevie Johnson caught one pass – a 12-yard TD. He barely kept his feet in bounds. Tough grab. Bruce Ellington didn’t receive any targets but received a handoff on a jet sweep and gained 15 yards. That’s a good way to get Ellington involved. Defenses have to respect Frank Gore running up the middle. He creates space for Ellington around the outside.

TIGHT ENDS: C-. Vernon Davis mostly was a slow decoy before he left the game with a back injury. And Derek Carrier caught just one pass. But he was an effective run blocker after Davis left.

OFFENSIVE LINE: B. Allowed constant pressure and five sacks (one was called back due to an Eagles’ penalty). But the offensive line pushed around a good run defense and continued to push them around into the fourth quarter after the 49ers’ offense had kept the ball for more than 40 minutes. The offensive line never seemed to get tired.

DEFENSIVE LINE: A-. Bullied the Eagles’ backup offensive linemen and crushed the Eagles’ running game. Justin Smith hit quarterback Nick Foles twice and Ian Williams chased him out of bounds for a four-yard loss and the 49ers’ only sack of the game. Otherwise, the defensive line did not generate much pass rush. Chip Kelly did the 49ers a favor sticking with his run game as long as he did.

LINEBACKERS: A-. Aaron Lynch took Corey Lemonier’s job as the right defensive end in the 49ers’ Nickel defense and played pretty well. He hit Foles twice and had one tackle for a loss. Collectively, this group gave up just six catches to the Eagles’ tight ends and running backs for 45 yards. Kelly did the 49ers a favor calling just two passes for Darren Sproles. And Foles did the Niners a favor overthrowing Brent Celek, who was open in the back-left corner of the end zone on third-and-goal from the 1-yard line with two minutes left in the game.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: A-. The best this group has played this season. Allowed a 42.3 passer rating. Jimmie Ward gave up a few catches but no touchdowns. Baby steps. Antoine Bethea and Perrish Cox each made two interceptions and Chris Culliver gave up no deep catches. Kelly did the Niners a favor by taking just one deep shot in Culliver’s direction. Foles did the 49ers a favor by overthrowing the deep pass and missing Riley Cooper who was a few steps past Culliver.

SPECIAL TEAMS: F. Allowed the Eagles to block a punt and recover it in the end zone for a touchdown. Allowed Darren Sproles to return a punt 82 yards for a touchdown. When has the 49ers’ punt team ever played this poorly under Jim Harbaugh and Brad Seely? The punt team’s worst play may have been in the fourth quarter when Andy Lee punted into the middle of the end zone from 43 yards away. Lee didn’t try to kick the punt out of bounds and pin the Eagles inside their 10-yard line. Inexplicable.

COACHES: A-. They get a minus because both of their challenges failed. The Niners’ challenges seem to fail most of the time. They get an “A” because they stuck with the base running game even after Vernon Davis left. In other words, the 49ers coaches did what they should have done last week. If they had stuck with the base running game against the Cardinals, the Niners probably would have won that game, too. Kudos to Jim Harbaugh and his offensive staff. They learned from their mistakes and reestablished the 49ers’ identity.

This article has 257 Comments

  1. Did you see Harbaugh took the blame for the wasted time out? Also how do give an oline that surrendered 5 sacks a B? Fangio is a genius. Where are all the S Johnson haters now?

    1. Just Lameareafanatic was predicting for Stevie Johnson to get cut. Laughable!!

      I agree with you Grant. Chip Kelly got conservative the 2nd half and didn’t attack the 49ers like I thought he would. No misdirection runs or screens to MCoy and not as many deep shots. Maybe that conversation with Roman pre game mesmerized him.

      1. Disagree with you on one point – Kelly called at least a half-dozen screens that the niners were all over, so Foles couldn’t connect on them. Multiple times, Ian Williams read it and made a beeline down the line of scrimmage chasing the RB.

        Favorite moment in the game – Foles scrambles right, Jordan Matthews (who I wish we drafted at 30) runs short in front of Foles thinking he’s going to get a quick pass and Reid blows him up from behind (legal since QB was scrambling), JM pops up and is immediately blown up by Brooks. Emblematic of how the niners punished the Eagles all game. Physically dominating win despite the pick six and two punt team TDs

        1. Another play with the common theme being physicality, was Nick Moody on special teams knocking an Eagles player backward into the ball carrier, which put him on the ground….

    2. At some point, Harbaugh needs to call out Kaepernick for his lack of football awareness (opposite of Russell Wilson). I get what Harbs is trying to do, but there is no incentive to get batter when no one is telling you that you have a problem. Kaep has a clock-management problem.

      1. It’s not entirely Kaep’s fault the plays got in late some of the time, that’s been doing on for 3+ years.

      2. How do you know that’s not happening behind closed doors? Why would Harbaugh, or any sane coach, rip his players in public? That would do no good.

    1. I wish the Eagles would fire the OC that called the 2 plays that cost Eagles the game, or even Chip Kelly. He’s worse then Harbaugh, calls for runs. NCAA coaching needs to learn to utilize the Qb and make them pass the ball, or don’t bother coaching the NFL.

      1. You’re all so quick to crucify Kelly and the Eagles OC for play calling, but I saw 2 things. First, the Eagles Oline didn’t give Foles any protection. He was hit early and often. Deep throws take protection and time.
        Which leads into the second part of my observation. Nick Foles looked hurt. He came in with a sore shoulder and left with just about everything hurting. Knee, Ribs, Shoulder, and skittish.
        I am sure Kelly stuck with the run to save his QB and give the line an opportunity to establish push. That scheme nearly worked.
        The Niners committed their signature game losing penalties. However, it appeared that the front office instructed the Officials to turn a blind eye in light of the previous weeks phantom calls. So, SF was gifted back a game.
        Perhaps actually watching the game would help when you critique the game Jim Mora.

  2. A bit generous on the O-line in my opinion. There was the jailbreak rush at beginning of game where no eagle got blocked, later both Staley and Boone whiffed on a number of blocks (Boone with some on both run and pass, wasn’t he crucial to have back??), and Kilgore still doesn’t get much push in run game. Like I said, very generous grade.

      1. The pass protection was at one point unbearable to watch. They made the Eagle’s DLs look like pro-bowlers :(

  3. Harbaugh has used coach’s challenge in the past to slow down the opposing offense and give the D a chance to catch it’s breath.

  4. How about Stevie Johnson on his TD? Did you see the isolation tape of him on that play? His route was somewhere between Spud Webb trying to shake a defender and Victor Cruz’s samba.

    1. Good analogy Brotha. Stevie is one of those athletes that does look good in an organized setting like practice. But when it’s game time, he shows up and makes big plays.
      He was a stud in Buffalo but he got no recognition because well it was Buffalo.

      1. Did you also see Boone holding like crazy on the Stevie touchdown? How he didn’t get flagged was a miracle in itself.

        Boone not so indispensable after all, and Staley’s whiff is directly responsible for Anthony Davis getting injured.

        1. And the ref missed one face mask call on the 49ers and made the penalty something on the Eagles. Total horse manure as usual from the officials. Just made me sick that the team once again was inept and we should enjoy the W, lower expectation, our Qb did nothing as usual. No Fun League bites the 49ers again, and don’t play anybody in Fantasy if they are a 49er.

  5. “Chip Kelly did the 49ers a favor”…
    “And Foles did the Niners a favor”…
    “Kelly did the Niners a favor”…

    No Grant! Then Niners gave the Eagles a favor by spotting them 21 pts.

        1. So true. Not one of Cohn’s ‘predictions’ rang true. Just exposed for his lack of knowledge and his prejudices. exposed. Not sure why anyone would give any respect to the fool.

    1. Great point Ricardo! I too was irked and annoyed by the whole “universe did the Niners a favor” crap, but even if some of it’s true, you have to balance it out with the “favors” the Niners gave the Eagles. The same can be said of most any NFL game.
      Also, I’m very surprised we didn’t get a “take away Gores huge catch and run TD play and..blah blah blah.” C’mon Grant, how did you miss that opportunity? I see you took the opportunity to throw in a not so subtle dig at that useless Ohio State running back when you had it.

  6. He definitely left his tippy-toe marks
    in that corner .. didn’t he BT .. ?

    Everything about that catch and TD were awesome ! .. but ..
    did you notice any “slow-down” in Frank Gore’s legs on
    that 55-yarder ?

    h-mmm … yeah… Grant is right ..
    Gore is done !


  7. The secondary played some very good football today, and it coincided with the pass rush actually generating some pressure on the QB (even if they didn’t get to the QB much). No coincidence. Will be interesting to see if they can keep that up against a team’s first string OL.

    Grant, I see you took another backhanded swipe at Ward. How do you think he fared today? He gave up a couple of 3rd downs that I can recall, one of them was a poor play on his part where he got beat inside after being fooled by a Matthews head fake to the outside, the other he played well but Matthews made a tough catch. Overall, I thought he played ok.

    I agree with others that the OL grade is generous. They did ok in the run game, but were porous against the Eagles pass rush. With Kaep, he also missed a wide open Crabtree for a TD on the play before Johnson’s TD. Not sure how he missed that, it was a gimme.

    1. Scoot,

      It seemed like Ward was right there on just about every completion he gave up. He played fine today.

  8. Waaaay to generous with the o-line grade. They looked horrible half of the time. 5 sacks…. Missed blocks, getting out muscled at the line. Easily a C-

    A little to generous for the coaching too. Except Fangio of course.

    When a delay of game or burnt timeouts have been happening for years now, it’s not only on the qb. It’s flat out bad coaching.
    And who told him to challenge that catch? The coaches were a c at best.

    1. My grade:
      QB least a D
      RB B minus
      FB Inc
      Oline D to an F
      Dline C
      LB C
      Seondary D to an F
      WR low C
      Special Teams F
      Coaching D
      Overall game D

      1. So 2 ‘C’ and 1’F’ in a game where they pitched a SO against a reported (at least by Daddys boy) unstoppable offense? um ok.

  9. Dont care what the rushing stats say but thats a very generous grade for this o line. They stink right now. And its not just J Martin. So much instant up the gut pressure would disrupt any offense and until that gets better they have no chance to be a consitently good O. So times he can hot his back foot and survey the field. And of course the few times he did have time it seemed like no one getting open. Most of the passing yards came on busted plays or scramble drill plays

  10. Dylan MacNamara ‏@DylanMacNamara 54s
    Combined record of teams 49ers have played thus far: 11-4.

    I guess 2-2 isn’t bad, it just hurts when you gave away those two games.

      1. I expected more out of the Saints this year, and less of the Cowboys. The ‘boys seem to be maturing.

      2. If the saints were an actual good team again. It might have some validity. The saints are horrible and so is Dallas. I will however tip my hat to their running game. It is second to none. Until they beat a good team, I won’t buy the hype. They are streaky and usually disappoint when they need to win. They beat a name, not a good team

  11. Gore was the difference maker today…He was possessed. Crabtree was awful except for the one clutch catch…..I would not resign Crabtree unless he can finish season with no injuries.
    VD was rusty, Alex Boone and Staley were below average today….I’m ok with Grant giving Kap a B but if they lost it would’ve been a D…..He has way too much game experience now to keep getting delay of game penalties!!…Inexcusable!

    1. Too bad we don’t have a QB passing the ball like he should. I’m sick of Frank Gore hogging the ball. Gore is not a 25-30 runner. He never will be. I’m sick of Gore’s emotions about not being used. So what? you’re paid to block or catch the ball. You let your Qb be a man out there. I’m sick of this phony farce from CK. Can’t do nothing. No wonder I rather see a pop warner football then NFL to subject the west coast people to this.

    2. Crabtree is not himself. I am wondering if he is sulking having to share the ball and getting less looks…. He had a key drop today and a big penalty that got a first down called back.

      1. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the case for that’s what happens when you run the ball too much and don’t bother passing. If Crabtree’s contract is up, he’s gone, count on it. The 49ers have made a lot of broken promises to their WRs. I wish we had a Qb that can pass.

      2. Crabtree hurt his foot early but still led the team in targets. As for a penalty on him that called back a first down, that didn’t happen.

        1. That penalty wasn’t on him but there is nothing in his play in 3 years that warrants a big money deal.
          He’s an average WR. He’s the kinda guy that excels when there is a great running game and a true legit # 1 wide out. He is not the type of player to take over a game or be a game breaker.
          I’ve been saying it for years on here but people give me static back. Well tell me, and don’t bore me with statistics, has MC earned an extension with the 49ers?

          1. I am not a Crabtree fan, but I’d be willing to bet Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, or even Nick Foles would make him look like a HOF’er.

            1. was just thinking the same thing. Kap missed him on a wide-open TD. Plus, for the whiners bitching about his performance, Crabs was clearly hobbled today. He’s not Megatron, sorry, but he is a good-sized, quick, tough-to-tackle WR with great hands. Has he earned an extension? Yes, for the right price… $8M/yr doesn’t seem bad, $10/yr is probably too much.

  12. What’s the deal with our special teams? Especially with kicks and pints blocked two weeks in a row now.

  13. During the game when Niners were losing, I was wondering if Levi’s Stadium was built on top of native american burial grounds….Seemed like we were cursed.

  14. That pick 6 was bad but the eagles were disguising coverage making ti look like man. if it was kap made the right read but the slot corner was playing zone and after passing off the inside receiver he fell back into the passing lane. bad play by kap but better scheme by the eagles. Colin will be fine. any team not named Denver, new Orleans, or new England wishes they had a a qb like the one the niners are sending out every Sunday.

  15. Do not even call this a win. The Eagles should have won this game. They gave the freaking game away. When you have a team at 1 and 2, disarray, the OC needing to go, your QB can’t do diddly, your RB hogs the ball, and you don’t bother passing the ball, you shouldn’t win period. All the 49ers had was help from the official and 2 dumb calls by the Eagles on the 2. They should’ve ran the ball> They could’ve ran off time off the clock. They failed both times. I would’ve had DSproles running instead of McCoy, he’s garbage on the Eagles. I hope this costs the Eagles the playoffs, rather have Cowboys or Giants in the playoffs. NFC East is a joke every time they come play the NFC West, bad things always seem to plague the teams for whatever reason. This was the dumbest win by the 49ers, CK did nothing as usual.

  16. http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000401569/article/49ers-veterans-still-grumbling-about-jim-harbaugh

    These trouble in the locker room stories from national reporter Ian Rapoport keep resurfacing. He claims to have sources in the locker room. I think it is negligent for the 49ers beat reporters to remain silent regarding these stories. Don’t they have their own sources? Don’t they cover the 49ers everyday? I think it’s time for them to do their jobs and pick up their game notch. Perhaps Rapoport is right or perhaps he is just blowing smoke out is rear and inflaming the comments of a malcontent? Our beat reporters should be on this.

    I would love to hear Grant’s take on the recurring story.

    1. 49ers beat reporters for the most part are lap dogs. I can’t think of a major story in recent years any of them have broken.

  17. The good: Gore, Defense, Fangio game plan, P Dawson

    The bad:

    1. I was a nervous wreck at the end of the game. I was convinced eagles would score and Kap wouldn’t be able to successfully operate a two minute drill. Has Kap ever led the team to a come from behind win?

    2. Kap still misses open receivers and seems to laser focus on his primary target.

    3. As everyone has indicated, O line sucked.

    4. Crabtree , who i never considered to be a true #1 receiver, was less than spectacular.

    5. Baalke has been unable to draft a true #1 receiver the last few seasons despite two very deep WR classes.

    5. Niners dont have breakaway speed on their team.

    1. Crabtree is a #1 receiver. Was playing injured in the game and still played well. Remember Kaepernick missed an incredibly easy TD throw to him.

  18. Justin Smith and Frank Gore are the heart and soul of this team. The Niner Offense should be alot better then it is, but the O-line is rickety and Colin brain farts way too much, and he was sorely inaccurate today. He missed some very easy throws. He does make a few exciting plays, and I want to give him credit for an insane throw to Frank Gore. But you just can’t consistently run an offense playing playground ball, and his pocket awareness is not getting better. We have a lot more games to go before Seattle. I think the Defense will be fine. It’s up to the Offense to find a groove….

    1. Fansince77-You are right that Kaep has pocket awareness difficulties. It might be because he can not remember what one looks like it having been so long since he has actually seen one. lol.

      1. He’s not the only QB to play behind a crappy O-Line. But a lot of times he’s sensing pressure that either is not there or hasn’t arrived. Or he’s holding the ball after he’s gone through his first read. He still doesn’t look comfortable as a thrower. He still tend to show a lot more emotion after a run for a first down or something.

        1. That comes from being sacked 4 times. Pressure will throw any Qb off their game.
          You are and have always been a lousy fan. They won, the Qb was part of that. Shut your pie hole and enjoy the win.
          If coaching sticks to the run this team is 4-0.

          1. Really? The QB did nothing out there. I’ll take a Tony Romo, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and other QBs that can and will throw 300 yards and not be afraid out there to gun sling the ball. Too bad today’s 49er fan like you has lower expectations for the team and you accept this. I don’t. I feel the Eagles were ripped off and had poor game planning. I would fire Chip Kelly for this type of loss and his OC. Foles is garbage next to McCoy the RB.

          2. The standard is not winning, but winning the championship. Colin started strong out of the gate with the game against the Cowboys, but it’s how you finish. He’s the same QB as last year with no improvement.
            You can’t defend Colin’s play with any meaningful observation. You make the same excuses for him. He’s only making incremental improvement. They keep trying to put the ball in his hands, and we keep reverting back to the same game plan of putting the ball back in the hands of Old Legs Gore.
            We knew the defense was going to take a step back, and he needed to step up. It’s one excuse after another with you. Last year he didn’t have enough weapons. Now he has plenty.
            We’re at exactly the same point last year, where we have to watch Colin go through growing pains yet again.

            For sure the line did not play well. Did Alex have a good line? Um. No. You see what you want to see.

            I never made excuses for Alex. Go back through the archives and look it up!

            1. So let me get this straight —

              If you criticize Harbaugh. It’s okay. You’re still a fan. If you rip on Crabtree. That’s fine too. And the O-line. How many of us ripped on the O-Line because of their weak game yesterday? Or if Gore is getting old and can’t hit the hole, time to bring in Hyde. Even Lame Area said that. We can offer critical opinions and criticize any position on this team, and any personnel, except Colin Kaepernick.

              The minute you say anything critical about him, like I don’t like his beats headphones Lame Area goes ballistic and calls you a troll.


              What has Colin done? He’s aloof with the media, makes bonehead mistakes constantly, and made horrible decisions at the biggest moment in the biggest games. And he’s only made marginal improvements since becoming the starter. He needs all the pieces around him to be good, and it’s still 50/50 on what kind of game he will have. This is his 4th year!

              Meanwhile little shrimpy Russell Wilson has surpassed him in the most important thing: Leadership. Composure. Intangibles. We are not the alpha top dog anymore. He has to rise up and surpass Russell. Close doesn’t count.

            2. Fan,

              The issue I’ve had with you from day one is the same I had with the Smith bashers: you blame the QB whether it’s warranted or not and are a chronic yeah/but commentator.

              Look, nobody is saying Kap is elite or a finished product, but he’s also not the deer in the headlights you make him out to be. In order for a QB to be productive and successful, every member of the offense has to do their job. You point out the struggles of the Oline and then in the next sentence ignore the fact that is a major reason why Kap struggles at times.

              If you actually look at this objectively you see some periods of time he has struggled such as the second half against the Bears and certain instances in yesterday’s game, but overall he’s played well the rest of the time including a great game passing wise against the Cards a week ago.

              Your sole purpose seems to be coming in here week after week to find a way to dump on the guy. That is no different than those who did the same with Smith. If you were actually objective and allowed for reasons why he has struggled at times, I’d treat your analysis with more respect but you don’t.

              Bottom line is Kap is still learning how to be a pocket passer. He is not there yet but has improved in his recognition and Progressions. He is not helped when the middle of the Oline allows defenders to run free but still makes mistakes like the pick 6 yesterday. He has ups and downs like most QB’s in this league yet wins far more than he loses. Accept the fact he is not a finished product and patience is needed. This team has been to a SB and NFCCG with him playing on raw ability. He will continue to improve but there will be games where he struggles. It is a natural progression for a QB learning to play a way he is not accustomed too.

              1. Rocket,
                Please don’t make a blanket statement that I’m just dumping on Kaep. Nor did I blindly support Alex Smith.
                Just because some people on this blog, not saying it’s you, are so sensitive to any critique of Kaep.
                I look at it like this.
                Alex Smith was not the guy we should have drafted in 2005, but we did so I want him to succeed. He got some bad coaching, and was surrounding by medicore talent. He got hurt and was thrown under the bus by not one by two coaches. But he was a team player. In his first year under Harbaugh, he wears the game manager hat. And guess what? The team won. It slowly built momentum and he played well in that first year.

                Now we had a reason to believe that maybe he wasn’t a bust after all. He had his signature game agains the Saints.

                We’re no longer losers. But meanwhile many wanted him gone and out of here regardless.
                The following year he had a great first game against the Packers, and some so-so games. he stunk against the Giants again, because the team wanted to insert Colin into the game. He had two solid games, agains the Bills and the Cards, and had a nice half against the Rams and then got his concussion and the rest is history.
                He’s not coming back and I don’t want him back. What I want is the QB who replaced him to be far superior, excel in all phases.

                Sadly he plays the most important position and he’s supposed to have that X-Factor to get the team over the top.
                Coming close and almost winning doesn’t cut it.
                Most will say I’m overly critical and perhaps too hard on him. Well hey it’s football, too bad!

    2. How the running game… Is how ck will go. Just that simple. He will not be a top flight passer without 4 wide if they’re not running.

  19. Hmmm A- for a defense who gave up zero points to an offense that was killing it the first 3 games. What do they need to do for an A grade? Give up negative points?

  20. “Chip Kelly did the 49ers a favor sticking with his run game as long as he did.”

    Huh? He called 44 passes to only 12 runs.

    1. Yeah and it’s not like throwing the ball worked anyway. <50% completion percentage, 4.5 YPA, and 2 picks.

    2. Yeah, it was a strange, backhanded complement sort of grading. Good grades across the board for the D, but then the discussion basically says the 49ers didn’t win through good D, they won because Chip Kelly and Nick Foles did them a bunch of favours. Basically, they got lucky.

      I tend to think you don’t get lucky to the tune of giving up 0 points on defense against one of the most high profile offenses in the NFL. Maybe they had a couple of instances where a better thrown ball may have resulted in a play, but that would be doing a disservice to the pass rush which hurried a number of passes, or the good job of the DBs and LBs in coverage making ball placement more difficult.

      1. “Yeah, it was a strange, backhanded complement sort of grading. Good grades across the board for the D, but then the discussion basically says the 49ers didn’t win through good D, they won because Chip Kelly and Nick Foles did them a bunch of favours. Basically, they got lucky.”

        Scooter, you say that as if you’re surprised.

    3. Right? I just let that idiocy sit there on it’s own merit. Figured it was just lack of knowledge.

  21. Kaep deserves at most a C. He made some great throws, but almost an equal number of bad ones. He keeps staring down receivers and overthrowing them as well. His game management also continues to be horrific site to behold.
    The RB grade should be no lower than an A. Gore was the offense today.
    The OL deserves a grade of C- because although they opened holes for Gore, they failed at protecting Kaep until late in the second half. That’s not going to cut it against a physical defense with an excellent pass defense.
    I agree with the rest of your grades Grant. Next up: the hapless Chiefs.

    1. I hate the running game. The 49ers should pass the ball more. CK is the worse person to have for Fantasy.

    2. Definitely agree with your take, Mid. Kaep did a lot of stuff out there that could have easily cost us the game. But in the end he also did the stuff that helped us squeak it out. And thank goodness for Stevie’s tippy-toe skills.

      1. I agree Ribico which is why I give Kaep a C grade. He was an equal amount of good and bad yesterday.

  22. Chip Kelly gave the game to the 49ers. He should’ve ran the ball from the 2 and ate up the clock. The 49ers obviously have no rivalry with the NFC East if they don’t know how to play the game right. I hope Alex Smith passes for 400 yards next week and J Charles runs 30 times easily.

    1. Jim,

      You’re a real clown and a loser. You’re trolling a Niner site after your team lost to them. Get over it. Figure out how your team is going to stop the Cowboys from running for 500 yards against your team!

      1. He’s a 49er fan like you claim to be, Jordan. Least Jim sets the bar high for the 49ers, and when your QB can’t pass, Gore hogs the ball, that makes the expectation lower. I’ve seen you trolling the other sites causing trouble to other 49er fans. Why don’t you tell CK to try passing the football to his so called elite WRs? Just be lucky you play a few teams that don’t have a D or proper play calling. I got Alex Smith down for 400 yards easy against your joke Secondary. J Charles is running 30 times. Book it, chump.

        1. >>He’s a 49er fan like you claim to be, Jordan.

          What???? He hopes an opponent’s QB passes for 400 and an opponent’s RB runs it down our throat? WTF kind of fan is that? Oh, one like you. Both of yas take a hike.

    1. The defense was outstanding. Didn’t rack up sacks, but got pressure and changed the trajectory of passes. They forced runs inside, and passes outside.

    2. Yep, the D did a great job of keeping McCoy contained. Wasn’t just the DL, the LBs and DBs all helped limit the running game. Bethea in particular had some really good plays against the run. Managed to keep the Eagles in 2nd and 3rd and long situations. And did a very good job of stopping the Eagles passing game.

      Lowest offensive output from the Eagles since Chip Kelly took over.

      1. I was really impressed with Culliver yesterday. He actually looked like a legit starter for once.

      2. Lowest output in the Chip Kelly tenure? He must really like Harbaugh and Roman to do such a favor for them.

        1. Ha! Yeah, plenty of favours thrown around by the Eagles yesterday. They were very generous letting us have this one.

  23. I just watched nfl network breaking down the 9ers game. Deion said something like- we all know players in lockers rooms and we hear things and what I want to know is are they really playing for their coach- sorry I didn’t replay it to get the exact quote.

    So I started thinking about who prime time knows in the locker room and i flashed back to Mc hammer, a fancy hotel meeting and a rookie hold out. Mr Crabtree and Deion had a very close relationship back then. Started wondering if he is the mouse and not lamichael James. At first I started thinking that the rumors about discord with players and harbough might be more credible than I previously thought. But then I remembered that crabs is in his contract year and I wondered if this could some sort if posturing for when he negotiates a new contract with another team. For example, making an excuse for his low numbers if the team tanks due to it not being his fault but because other players have up on the coach.

    I apologize as this is probably not well organized but rather just my stream of consciousness typed out.

    1. I don’t know how much truth there is to the rumours of discord, but generally where there is this much smoke there is at least some fire.

      If it is true, all I have to say is the players seriously need to just suck it up. Maybe some of the vets have forgotten what it was like to play for inept coaches. Or maybe not enough players remain from those dark times to remind the younger guys how lucky they are to be playing for a coach that has brought the team some success in recent years.

      Finding a coach capable of getting a team playing winning football consistently isn’t that easy. And many top level coaches have a reputation of being difficult to work with. If players are thinking things will be better with another coach, they could be in for a real shock.

      1. Good points, Scooter. Maybe these guys should give Carlos Rogers or Tarrel Brown a call and ask them how it’s going, is life good?

    2. No, I personally feel Crabtree is out of here if we’re not going to pass the ball just because we got to make Gore happy and Harbaugh is more about the run instead of the pass. Harbaugh is too afraid and gun shy to expose his QB out there, so I don’t blame Crabtree if he bails on the 49ers.

  24. Per Chris Biderman (@ChrisBiderman)

    “The Eagles targeted Jeremy Maclin 16 (!) times, completed just five. He was on Cox’s side of the field for most of the game.”

    Cox has made a couple of errors here and there, including on one of the TDs to John Brown against the Cards. But he’s been playing very well for the most part. I find it hard to think he’ll lose his job when Brock comes back.

  25. If it is coming from Crabtree whether warranted or not. It makes me less likely to want him around. I remember that he would complain about Alex smith on a few occasions or not fully support him. Granted he had reason to but he is so polarizing. He seems really selfish and all about himself at times and all team at others. I think part of it might be related to insecurities about his injuries and about how he has been the target of both of the high profile playoff losses. I just see him as the type to deflect blame. Either way it’s just my hunch from what Deion said that the info is being leaked by him.

    1. If so, I agree, they should let him walk at the end of the year. If he cares more about putting up stats than winning games, let him go to the Cowboys.

    2. To add to your scenario, Rappaport is notorious for using players agents as sources for his news stories. Sometimes you’ll see him use the phrase “a source close to the player” after a quote in his stories, that always refers to a player agent or the pr branch of his agency. For using the quote and advancing the player/agent’s agenda, Rappaport is given access to the agency’s stable of players to write future stories…

      1. I can’t even say in your dreams because you’d have to be high on something to even predict that with how awful the Chiefs OL and defense have been.

  26. I think Grant was generous with the grades as well. I’m a big Kaep supporter. The whole argument about Kaep staring down targets, not getting comfortable in pocket, etc – those are not over the night fixes. The play clock issues and dumb timeouts those are things that should have been corrected after he took over for Alex Smith. It should most definitely should have been corrected last yr. I’m not sure where the play clocks are but they should be placed in the endzones where he has no choice but to see them. Those mistakes are truly high school mistakes.

    Gore was a beast. Until this guy goes Jerome Bettis and can no longer walk, RUN HIM. I don’t see how people argue he has lost a step when he consistently puts up 1,000 yard seasons. Now that we are attempting to have a passing game I assume the wholes in the middle will open up even more as the season goes on. I don’t know where Hyde is but he needs reps. More than anything he needs to watch a the master do it. I still expect big things from Hyde, but Gore needs to touch the ball at least 17-20/game. We have more success when he does, even when he is averaging 2.8 yds per week. FEED THE BEAST.

    WR’s well until our o-line meshes, gels, etc it’s going to be hard for Kaep to comfortably deliver the ball. I expect Boldin to be the #1 guy. I’m more than happy with letting Crabtree walk. He is a premadonna who has nagging injuries. I say we try to package him and draft picks in a trade for a true deep threat. Our WR’s did alright. Glad Stevie Johnson finally got into the mix. I still want to see more of Patton and Ellington on the field.

    Our defense was stellar. I was nervous. But they came through and won the game for us. D-line got some pressure. DB’s did a decent job. We looked like a unit on that side of the ball.

    Our special teams HAS to get it together. We can’t give up 2 TD’s on special teams.

    We won an ugly stressful game. We should win next week as well but we can not continue to make dumb mistakes.

  27. As I have said from the outset, exactly like last season. We came out with these exotic pass formations for 3 games, and they did not work in two. We went back to what the Niners are, ground and pound and controlled the clock, kept our defense off the field and managed Kaepernick’s pass attempts. Kaepernick will never be Rodgers. As soon as the Niners accept that, as Pete Carroll has accepted that WIlson (as good as he is) is not Drew Brees, the sooner we can get back to our winning ways. Kaep should be throwing 16-22 passes a game. Moreover, we only called one Kaep run and it was the perfect time. What Kaep needs to learn is to use his running ability when there is no one open. He had several opportunities to make big yards, but hesitated. He is Wilson, without knowing how to be Wilson (Wilson has much higher football IQ).

    1. I agree with that. His IQ is higher than Kaeps. I believe Kaep is a better athlete but that’s only going to get you so far in professional sports.

  28. This is purely my observation, but the 49ers have failed in their handling of Kaepernick on several levels. Harbaugh wants Kaepernick to be a true franchise QB in every sense of the word. I get it, athletically he is unmatched, but so were Randall Cunningham and Michael Vick. What they all lack, which cannot be taught, is football awareness. Kaep can play a clean game, but the coaches need to play to his strengths and not his weaknesses. Asking him to throw 30+ times a game is not his strength, and it almost always costs the team big. We have all seen him enough to know what he is. Seattle has chosen to never find out the ceiling for WIlson, they play the exact same game every week. He is never asked to carry the burden and he his football IQ is much higher than Kaep’s. I truly blame Roman and this nonsensical approach for Kaep’s inconsistencies. We have different plan for him every week and most of them fail. The one that seems to work and has led us to three straight NFC Championship Games, run to set up the pass. Mind boggling that know-nothings like ourselves can easily see this, but the Niner coaches cannot.

  29. I didn’t watch the game too closely yesterday- Somehow I focused on the game just long enough to see that bizzare “Pick” penalty. Somehow running crossing routes 5 yards away from eachother is a pick? Who knew.

    But I heard Deion’s report yesterday about a player close to him not being on board with harbaugh- Why doesn’t he flat out say Crabtree, we all know who told Sanders. Honestly- Harbs should male Crab inactive the rest of the season- the guy is mediocre (just like Sherman said) and takes balls away from Brandon LLoyd who is the better player. Crab is so slow he is simply a possession receiver and too often is used as Kaeps security blanket.

    I would say cut him- but the salary is guaranteed and if the niners get another WR injury- crab could be needed- but in the current set up, based on crab being super slow- he is a 4th best WR option.

    1. What difference does it make? York will probably fire Harbaugh anyway. The team is in disarray until we get a real QB that’s not afraid to pass.

      1. CK is afraid to pass???? What team are you watching? The problems are all from an over-thinking offensive coordinator who has never gotten close to sniffing a head coaching job even though he has coached in three straight NFC championship games. That fact says it all…. Greg Roman is a poor coordinator. The guy over-complicates the game plan and ends up shooting himself in the foot trying to be too cute.

      1. Boldin is the clear #1- his play over the last couple years have shown how average Crab is. Then Brandon Lloyd, stevie johnson and finally crabtree.

        Just watch- after crabtree retires- he will tell stories about how messed up his foot really was- there was a reason he fell to #10 in that draft- teams saw the foot and could tell he would be hobbled by it during his career.

        I am hopefuly about Ellington and Patton- havent seen enough of either to make any judgement- but those top four- i have watched their whole careers.

        1. Thanks for answering. I don’t think Crabtree is mediocre, as you say. He is a possession receiver, as you say, but so are the other three, no? However, if he left and we could keep the others next year, I’d be happy. They all are very good, plus we would see Patton.

  30. So, one reader/poster of the blog speculates that Crabtree is the player that is talking to the media and suddenly everyone else on the blog “knows” it’s Crabtree and wants him gone?

      1. Maiocco stole my story. I’m not sure if I’m excited about that or if I feel jilted for him not citing me for his unoriginal article. Hehe!

      2. Not hard to guess who the source is leaking that cancerous information. I’m telling you guys, Crabtree was a bad idea from day one!

        1. If these rumblings are true there can be number of people who are unhappy. My money is on crabs as one of those guys. But it could also include staley for how harbough handled his best friend’s situation (Alex smith); could be lamichael james; that other running back from the giants that we got-I always forget his name; it can be any of wide receivers or any back up running back as they still see gore favored; Boone or Vernon Davis with their contract situations; or anyone for that matter since harbough is very cut throat and looks like he sacrifices people and their feelings for the sake of his plan for winning.

      3. @DeionSanders · 26m
        To many that this may concern @KingCrab15 is not my source. My sources wears uniforms,suits and ties. #Truth

  31. I dunno, guys, maybe we should tap the brakes on this Crabtree Witch Hunt since we don’t know anything. Anything at all. And this is rippling out from comments from Deion Sanders? The dude never stops running his mouth.

    1. there isnt a witch hunt- some of these things are pretty obvious. Remember- fans have access to these players twitters, video’s of interviews done everywhere- we get press video’s of almost every player after every game on CSN- it is kind of easy to tell what a guy’s personality is. It was clear that the rappaport story at the beginning of the year came from LMJ- Rappaport pretty much confirmed it when he was the ONLY writer to express shock that he can’t find any other team (dude feels guilty that he ruined a career)

      Some writers really don’t understand how informed fans are with the additional sources. Larry Krueger just mentioned on the radio how “a coordinator” met with a group of niners after the game and received a major eye roll afterward while walking away. Gee- wonder who that could be? Vic Fangio- the guy who had his best game of the season- or G-Ro- the architect of the 30th placed passing attack? It doesnt take a genius to think he probably got the eye rolls from the offensive line that absolutely looked lost yesterday.

  32. As a 49er fan, I am disappointed that once again, I see several QBs with 300 yard games, leadership, player patting the stats, and the 49ers once again do nothing out there. They get help from the refs. Phil had bad play calling, should have ran the ball those 2 times rather then pass the ball and let the clock run down, and the offense is a joke with Foles the fraud and McCoy the joke whereas they should’ve ran Sproles more. I refuse to accept this win from the 49ers as the real 49ers would’ve had better passing. These numbers from CK rank him like 17th among 32 QBs that had better numbers then him. I’m tired of the excuses on CK, either he learns to pass or get rid of him.

    1. >>As a fantasy football fan, I am disappointed that once again, I see several QBs with 300 yard games.

      Fixed that for you, Dump.

      1. Wow, one 49er fan picking on another 49er fan that saw something different, what else is new? I do agree that CK is not doing enough QBing out there.

        1. I’ve heard it all from “fans” around here. Dump Alex. Dump Harbaugh. Dump Balke. Dump Kaep. The faces are different, their lame arguments the same.

    2. PFF has Kap ranked 4th in the league. Their stats account for throw aways, spikes, and dropped passes.

    1. Exactly what I’ve been thinking, razor. Coughlin has lost and won back that locker room many times. He’s known to be a disciplinarian, but has learned he needs to dial it down. End of the day, success keeps a locker room happy.

  33. Sheesh !

    We won the game ! …
    Isn’t that the only thing that matters ?

    Next up … Alex …

    Don’t think he can beat Kaep … even with
    all of his “faults” !

    1. Smith doesn’t have a chance with that horrific OL that he plays behind. He’s in for a world of hurt, and I’m luvin’ it.

  34. “Frank Gore’s best game in five years. Gained 174 total yards from scrimmage. Hasn’t gained that many yards since he gained 177 against the Cardinals in 2009.”

    Gore gained 182 yards against Seattle in week 7 of 2012. 131 rushing and 51 receiving.

  35. Yesterday was a much better experience at Levi. The crowd was more into it. They got loud at the appropriate times. TONS of fights us. Lotta intensity.

    Coaches A-
    Love that these guys went back to basics. Defensively well prepared. Fangio had a great week of practice and it showed. Very disciplined staying with the backs were the linebackers. Offensively balanced. That is all you can ask for. Don’t know where the issue is with the play clock running down but that is inexcusable in your own stadium. All in all, take special teams out of it and it was a dominant performance. Got to balance the RB carries out or Gore will have zero left in the tank in the second half.

    QB- B-
    Not penalizing Kaep for his on field “play”. His “play” mistake came on a very well disguised defensive coverage. Great individual play on the pick six. The offensive line was once again terrible in pass protection especially in the first half. Kaep still managed two TD’s and a couple of well timed runs. Take away his three throw aways, and Kaep was at 62% completions. Also 7 different players caught passes. Nice distribution. For the season this offense is converting 51% of 3rd downs. What I do knock Kaep for are the bone head plays that happened yesterday. Running out of bounds and losing five yards instead of throwing it away. The timeout he took as they were about to punt. Clock management is either on the QB or the coaches system. Gotta get fixed. It’s terrible.
    Great game plan yesterday. Lotta pulls. Loved to see Miller out in front on the pull runs. They hadn’t used those as often as they did yesterday. Love how hard Hyde hits the hole, What I hope is that he can learn to be patient like Frank. Let the hole develop then hit it hard. Would like to see more balance on carries so that Frank got something left in the tank come Dec and January.
    WR / TE B-
    A few drops from this group. The only thing that makes up for it was the fact that there were a couple of spectacular grabs. Vernon dropped a big one early, Crabs dropped an easy Wr screen that was nicely set up and Stevie dropped one that was a little behind him but very catch-able. The WR’s are just as much a victim of the system as the QB. For more of the underneath stuff to open up for them, Roman has got to take one or two shots downfield period. Harbaugh is stubborn in this sense. Wish there was more clarity on why they don’t do it. Same as the Bears game, I watch quarter by quarter as the other teams safeties creep close and closer to the line of scrimmage and we do nothing about it. Single safety up top. Drew Brees would pump to one side and hit the deep slant down the midde on the other side. Football 101. Unfortunately those pages in the football manual were torn out of Harbaugh’s playbook.

    Offensive Line – C-
    It’s a story of two games. Run game I give them a B. While they run blocked nicely at times, the play calling on the runs were partially responsible for the success. Bouncing runs outside with Miller leading the blocks worked beautifully. When Hyde ran hard trying to pound it there was no where to run. Pass protection was awful. Injuries, no consistency, poor blitz pick up, they lose more battle than they win. I’ll give it a D- and leave it at that. If we ever want Kaep to set his feet we need to create clean pockets early in games. Otherwise get used to run and chuck.
    Defense A
    Held an elite running back to under 2 yards a carry. Pressured Foles into less than 50% completions. Shut down the screen game. Created turnovers. Cox and Bathea played out of their minds. The only reason this is not an A+ is that Culliver was beaten deep three different times and Foles missed his receivers.
    Special teams D+
    This group put us in a hole early and almost lost the game for us. Angle kick away from Sproles jeez. Dawson is B A A A C K………

        1. Hmmm well that almost makes up for the fact that his overall score for the year is a -4.4. Actually not really.

  36. Alex Smith is passing for 400 yards and J Charles is running 30 times. Book it. KC going to thump 49ers.

      1. I feel Alex Smith is motivated for revenge and he’ll be asking to pass more to show up Harbaugh for back stabbing him with that bench and trade.

        1. That may be true (though I highly doubt it but I’ll play along), but he has one of the worst OL protecting him. He’s not going to do much with that.

          1. At least KC is not missing their OL like Phil was. Of course then again, Foles is not even a reliable QB and McCoy is ineffective. 49ers got help to get that win. They won’t get it next week if the Commish has his way. 49ers will go 1 and out in the playoffs, guaranteed. They’re a 5 or 6 seed easy.

            1. From what I’ve understood from the Chiefs fans around me, it doesn’t matter if that OL has an injury or not because it will continue to stink regardless. Smith will be a piñata next Sunday. Book that.

              1. Jim Mora Sr, and this game yesterday was a pathetic game to have the Eagles give the 49ers the game. When you are down on the 2 yard line, your opposition out of time outs, you run the ball in. You run the clock. Again, 49ers, out of time outs, run the ball, run SProles, not McCoy, Sproles. you do not pass as Foles tried to do. Then Foles threw too deep when short and easy was working. ANd I’m not an Eagles fan either.

  37. It’s getting harder and harder to come in here after a game. Not sure who the bigger trolls are: Jim Mora/Dump York or Grant.

    At first glance, some obvious issues jump out. Boone is struggling big time in all facets, and Iupati is a swinging gate in pass protection. Staley completely whiffed on the sack that reinjured Anthony Davis and the pass protection as a whole was sub standard. I couldn’t believe how many times these guys looked confused as to who they were supposed to block and how many times they took the wrong man leaving a clear path open for pressure on Kap. It’s one thing to struggle in pass pro, but this is ridiculous. I’m wondering if Kilgore is calling the wrong pass protections at the line as I believe that is his responsibility. Whatever the case this is a disaster area right now.

    As far as Kap goes, I don’t think you can fairly grade him because he’s spending half if not more of his dropbacks avoiding pressure, much of it right up the middle. He was inaccurate at times yesterday, but he also had people in his face while making some of those throws so it’s tough to come down to hard on him for all of them. He is definitely going through progressions when he has time, and the pick six came on a play when he it was a catch and throw situation that the Malcolm Jenkins played perfectly. That is a one read throw and Kap thought he had man coverage because it was disguised so well. That was a great play by the defense and another lesson hopefully learned for Kap.

    The TO call when trying to draw the defense off side was a brain cramp on Kap’s part. No defending that, but the time management is still a problem from the Coaches on down. So many times they were breaking the huddle with 10 seconds to go which makes it impossible to shift out of a bad play which Kap tried to do on the times they took delay of game penalties or had to call a TO. This has been an issue from the day this Coaching staff arrived and I blame them more than the QB because it happened with Smith as much as it has with Kap. There is no reason for it especially considering the fact they focused on shortening the verbiage to avoid this problem. It keeps popping up at times and needs to stop.

    The defense was incredible, nothing else to say. No favors, just great defensive play and domination of the LOS. The Dline dominated and had Foles rattled which is why so many throws were off target. He took a beating and by the end of the game was just getting rid of the ball to avoid getting hit. That is what consistent pressure and run stuffing does for a defense. You break opposing players will and spirit and that’s what happened to Philly’s offense yesterday.

    Perrish Cox is turning into a great story. Guy is released twice last year, signed to a vet minimum with low expectations of making the roster out of TC, and now he’s the best CB this team has on the field. Talk about turning around a career.

    Lynch is looking like a big time steal in the 5th round. He’s playing on sheer ability with little knowledge and is making plays. If they get him to a point where he plays with focus and technique, wow.

    Ward looked good overall yesterday and didn’t give up any big plays. He’s a work in progress but as Scooter has stated, he’s played pretty well in 3 of the 4 games so far. Have to remember he’s a rookie out of a small school who is learning on the fly. Expectations need to be tempered.

    Punt coverage was a disaster yesterday and again it started up front with confusion on who to block. Unacceptable to have that flaring up at this point of the season. The punt return for a TD was due to guys losing contain and leaving their lanes. Just an awful performance from this group yesterday.

    Lastly, these continued reports of animosity in the locker room are concerning, but they would be more worrisome if the team was laying down on the field. They are not, and in fact are playing hard, so until I see signs of unrest affecting the effort on the field I’ll treat it with the respect it deserves, which is none.

    1. hafta agree with you, rocket .. and although
      there are those, here, who expect perfection from
      Kaep … the look of determination on his
      face during that planned run up the left side ..
      said a lot for me …

      He’s getting there, guys … cut him some slack !

      1. I’ll turn on the Sunday Night, Monday Night, and Thursday Night rather then watch an inept QB that can’t do a thing on the 49ers. 200 yards and a win is like a high school QB and I thought the 49ers were an NFL team, not NCAA Stanford, not the high school powerhouse De La Salle, the Santa Clara 49ers. I’m sick of cutting Ck some slack. It’s like slitting your wrist over and over when CK can’t do the job out there and fans accept it. I want something a lot bigger from CK. I want high rolling, not this chicken feed he’s giving, and I’m sick of the interviews, feel sorry for me, wearing sunglasses. Ck is the worse person to talk to after games.

            1. jim ..
              ya wanna take a vote among the regulars ..
              to see just who the troll is ..?

              (ya kno .. between you and me)

        1. Hey, hey, hey…now, now, now!!! He has so many physical tools! He just doesn’t understand the game of football yet. Give him 5 years. You’ll be eating crow then! Trouble is, he looks about as awkward as when he was running the UofN under Ault.

      1. FDM,

        My guess is Brock takes over and things go back to the way they were to start the season. Cox has played well but I think they want to see Culliver become a legit starter and having Cox as a backup is a great luxury. Now that they’ve seen him play this well, they’ll have no qualms about replacing a starter if they don’t perform up to expectations.

        1. I was thinking that Brock would move inside to the slot and be the 3rd DB. Then again maybe Culliver would be better on the inside since he does not play the deep ball as well. Its good to have these problems of depth I guess.

          1. FDM,

            Anything is possible, but they went through TC and decided on Brock, Culliver and Ward as the starters so I don’t see them going away from that when Brock returns. Obviously if somebody struggles they will likely be more confident in giving that player the hook knowing Cox can come in play well, but I don’t think they’ll do that right out of the gate whenever Brock returns.

            I don’t think Culliver is an option as a slot CB. They’ve never played him there at any point, and I think they like his size on the outside.

    2. Nice break down rocket, as usual.

      Giving up the inside pressure by the OL is a real problem moving forward. They need to get that fixed asap. Boone was atrocious in the first half. And Staley owes Anthony Davis a big time apology – that was an awful attempt at blocking Brandon Graham that led to Davis’ injury. The whole line played better in the 2nd half though.

      The pass rush was vastly improved, and no surprise, the secondary looked much better as a result. My concern is the pass rush fared well against an OL playing 4 backups. Can they repeat that against another team’s first strong OL? Because they need to. Only 1 sack, but they were pushing the pocket, giving Foles limited time, and getting hits on him. They have to keep that up.

      On Cox, I think he’ll stay in the line-up when Brock comes back. It will be either Culliver or Brock that loses a starting job. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is Brock – wouldn’t be the first time a player loses a starting job due to injury.

  38. >> I couldn’t believe how many times these guys looked confused as to who they were supposed to block and how many times they took the wrong man leaving a clear path open for pressure on Kap.

    Would you account for that with the turnover in players, shifting positions along the line, guards now playing tackles and etc? I said it yesterday in the game blogs, it looked like the Oline players had just been introduced to one another that very morning. No group cohesion whatsoever.

    1. rib,

      That is likely part of it, but these are veteran players most of whom have been together for 2-3 years now. I understand the odd breakdown, but when you see it to the extent we are right now, it’s a big time issue that goes beyond unfamiliarity in my opinion.

      1. OK, how is asking your QB to do better trolling? How is asking Gore to stop being the 20-25 time runner trolling? How is asking Harbaugh to be a coach, quit bellyaching to refs, take the call and stop overreacting? How is wishing for the good old days where a QB can be allowed to pass for X amount, create excitement, trolling? I know back in the old days of Montana/Young, 300s weren’t many, but they were there each year. You take CK’s 200 yards, X 16, 3200 easy. Then how did Montana/Young score 4000 yards passing in a season?

        1. Jim / Mary / DS,
          leave. You are not wanted. You are move douchy than a troll in my opinion. Your posts add no value. Adios….

          1. Grant values everybody’s opinion. There is another 49ers forum that doesn’t allow what you call trolling. There’s 49ers dot, Webzone, try them out.

            1. Im sure you know ds. I wished Grant would do the same. But heres an Idea
              Howabout you go to your own teams blog and post. Afterall this is a Niner fan blog. How about you give it a try? Youre so predictable . And since this is Alex week, Im wondering how many posts we are going to see from you. And under how many names.

              1. As we are no longer on the opposite sides of the Alex Smith divide, I cut you some slack. But you realize he is whining about the exact same things you were back when 11 was playing for us.

              2. ribico:

                If you read his comments under the Dump York name, it seems obvious that Jim/Mora/Dump York is parroting bay’s arguments back at him. That’s a level above the typical trolling we get here.

              3. Claude, it’s the same person that’s been on here with several different names lately. Good ‘ol V doing what he’s done on SFGate for years.

    2. It seems as if the verbiage has changed and not everyone is on board. Sometimes coaches can outsmart themselves by thinking too much. It seems that may be part of the problem. But the players should be communicating that to them. They are on the field, they should go back with suggestions of how to correct the problem. Unless you have coaches unwilling to listen, which goes back to coaches over thinking.

  39. Just finished reading the post game blog…..Sheesh! things don’t seem to have changed much around here…..the 9er’s win the game, and the finger pointing from the fans just keeps on coming….the win is whats important, not the stats. Now relative to the comment from Deion Sanders, true or not, this is somthing that can turn into a Cancer that will divide the locker room…
    Personally, I don’t see Jim Harbaugh coaching the 9er’s next season, and the reason behind that is the lack of a new contract….think about it, JH comes aboard and takes the team to a 13-3 record and the NFC Championship game in his first season…the second season he takes them to the Super Bowl. If I’m Jed York, I reward my head coach with a new contract after season two because of the teams success and the promise of good things to come…..but, that was not the case, and all we hear is that contract talks are shelved until after the season…..to med this doesn’t bode well for Jim Harbaughs future with the 49er’s….if there is any truth to the rumors of the rift between Harbaugh and Trent Baalke, then the assumption by many that JH has worn out his welcome in SF could indeed be true……though I hope the 49er’s and Jim Harbaugh can come to an agreement on a contract extension, I would guess that Greg Roman will be gone as OC if that happens,,,his play calling sucks, plain and simple.
    Should the 49er’s and Jim Harbaugh part ways, I look for Jon Gruden and Jim Tomsula to be the top candidates for the job…IMHO of course.

    1. I’d be happy with Gruden. I’d also be interested in seeing what the possibility of getting Bill Cower to come out of retirement. With all that I’d rather keep Harbaugh because it sets a bad precedent. No one wants to coach for an organization who gets rid of you after having 3 straight runs to the NFCCG

  40. lets make a wager on the game…..Alex smith is average. I love the dude too, I am a Utah fan. he is not shredding us in san fran.

    1. A player that got shunned, driven out by a coach installing his boy in CK, not given a fair chance by that coach in SF, unjustly traded to KC, you can’t tell me Alex Smith has not been eager for this opportunity. I feel he can and will gun sling the ball if he’s smart. I hope not 49er fan doesn’t pull another false alarm on the KC team like they did to Phil. Really classless.

      1. Alex Smith is far from a gun slinger lol. Talk about safeties playing close to the LOS. There is very little shot of him throwing the ball deep.

        1. Once again, stats, stats, stats…..they make for good back and forth bantor, but will have little bearing on the outcome of the game this Sunday…..the passing stats for the 9er’s haven’t changed a hell of a lot sincve Harbaugh installed Kaepernick as the starter…..as I noted in my previous posts from seasons past, it’s the offensive system and play calling that dictate how many passing yards the QB will have (along with completions, obviously)…..it’s pretty evident that the way the 9er’s are going to be competitive this season is to primarily run the ball, and pass when necessary or to mix it up a bit

  41. – Defense A-. Great effort. Would be an A if the Eagles O-line wasn’t decimated. The 2011 defense would have sacked Foles 5 times.

    – Fangio A+. Rarely seen a team better prepared. The drills vs the practice squad (WRs rotated, calls delayed to simulate time scarcity) worked spectacularly.

    The league did their best to assign the 49ers an L by scheduling a game in Denver on a short week. Fangio’s preparation could actually lead to a 49er victory over America’s quarterback.

    – Pass Blocking D. What’s up with Staley? He whiffed badly in the Bears game. Whiffed again yesterday. Boone is staler then a mummies sack lunch.

    – Gore A+. Yesterday was a classic example of Gore’s ability to diagnose what the D does, and make the right decision in a split second. Several runs were stuffed at the designed gap, but Gore hit the other gap seamlessly. Makes me think more designed counter runs would work.

    – Kaepernick. F-, F-, A+, F-, A+, A+, F-, A+ and so on. See Colin makes mistakes many high school QBs wont. See Colin make plays only Elway (on a good day) could.

    Think Colin is the worst QB in football? Wait 5 minutes. Think Colin is the best QB in football? Wait another 5 minutes.

    With each passing game, its increasingly looking like this is the Colin we will always have. He will turn 27 this year. Is it too late for Harbaugh to affect some of that neuroplasticity groovyness that transforms 20 year old athletes into polished QBs? Will CK7 always be a baseball pitcher with a helmet?

    – Game Management F. Harbaugh could very well be the most clueless late game coach in the league.

    I don’t have intimate knowledge of how coaching staffs work, but the first part of the game is usually game plan related (scripts?). That’s on the OC. The latter part of games challenges the ability to adjust. The HC has more to do with that. Could Harbs be Roman’s ball-n-chain?

    1. CK 200 yard day is an F.
      ANd it amazes me how when QBs throw 300 plus, majority win their games, Ck did better then him.
      Why not send CK to the pro bowl already. Let’s ignore the high numbered QBs. Let’s send CK, then let’s send Cam Newton, and let’s send the Ram backup QB of the week to the pro bowl since mediocre seems to turn on a 49er fan for it’s all about the W.

      1. >>it amazes me how when QBs throw 300 plus, majority win their games,

        It doesn’t amaze me that an idiot fan wouldn’t know that 300 plus yards is in no way a majority win.

        Damn time warp – It’s the return of the Lamonicas. md, bay, Jordan… get back to this year – 2014, OK?

      2. 2014 teams with QBs passing over 300/game have a total of 8 wins, 8 losses – .500 ball. Same as our F QB’ed team.

        Jeez, why am I even responding to this troll.

    2. Coffee? I’d like some. Nothing like a good cup-o-joe the morning after a Niner victory.

  42. Regarding all these stories of the locker room against Harbaugh, don’t forget that half the locker room hated and feared Bill Walsh when he was winning. It’s all about the wins.

    1. Leo the Lion i have never heard an ex 9er say that they hated B.W. They may have feared him because he had the final say on the roster but i do’nt think they feared him as a man.

      1. I don’t think players hate their coach, or would say that publicly, but look at it this way. What percentage of people really like their boss? Gossiping about the boss to other people makes it almost a sense of relief or a venting platform.

        JH is a very competitive/demanding type of personality. You don’t think some players hate that? Its natural and for Deion or Trent Dilfer to make that public is ironic considering they both played in the league for many coaches. You cant tell me either them didn’t have some sort of run in with some of them. Its a competitive environment the NFL, its not new players are unhappy.

  43. Kap was like Longfellow’s little girl with the curl. When he was good he was very good indeed, when he was bad, he was horrid.

    The TD pass to Stevie J, the pass to Crabtree, the bootleg end around for a crucial first down are were things of beauty. But there was the pick 6, the critical delay penalty which turned a third and 1 into a third and six, and not to mention the brain fart in wasting a timeout when obviously they were going to take a five yard penalty and punt. (Although the Eagles could have declined the penalty…).

    Kap has not yet played a complete game this year, but neither has the team. Still 2-2 is a lot better than 1-3 which many of you were predicting going into this game. Three of the next four games (KC, at Rams, at Den, Rams) are winnable. I will be pretty happy at 5-3 tio end the first half.

    With the Raiders, Skins, and Giants on the schdeule in the second half plus home games against Seahawks, Chargers, and Cards, I see us at 6-2 in the second half 11-5 overall.

    Now if that is enough to win the division only time will tell.

  44. I think Kilgore needs to be upgraded this season with the USC rookie. He’s too small, can’t get any push in the run game, and the pass rush up the middle is terrible. If he’s not to blame, he’s certainly not a help there. The guards are playing terrible too, but somehow I think if Goodwin were here, things would be better.

    Look how much Travis Frederick made a difference in Dallas. Really hope this injured USC kid gets back and gets in there.

    1. Boone is the biggest problem right now with Iupati a close second. Neither one of them can pass block right now to save their life.

    2. If Marcus Martin isn’t activated, it might tack a 5th year to his rookie contract. He’s only 20, so that might be a good thing. Let his body mature, watch film for a year and have a killer “rookie” 2015. By then Brandon Thomas might be ready too. The future of the O-line looks good.

      Last season Tank suited up for a game, then his knee got sore. The 49ers lost his 5th year for nothing. If 2014 turns out to be another developmental year for Tank, they will only get a few years out of him before he flies the coop.

      Unless there’s a chance for Marcus to really contribute, its better to get that extra season out of him. He’ll be a 25 year old beast.

        1. Ahhh, I didn’t know. Thanks for the info.

          I’d love to see what Marcus can do. His college footage has him dominating NTs and pulling around tackle from center. Major athletic talent.

    3. Kilgore has the second best overall grade out of the offensive line group. He’s been ok. The bigger problem has been Boone and Iupati. Both are just a hot mess when it comes to pass pro.

      1. Jack i agree the G’s have been the biggest problems but the T’s have been pretty bad also. In fact it surprises me that Kilgore is #2 who is #1?

          1. So his run grade did improve. I thought he looked a little better than usual in that regard…..

          2. That’s pretty impressive considering this being his first season with the team. All arrows pointing up for this kid.

  45. It’ll come down to Arizona/Seattle. I think Seattle is going to get the nod, more stability then the 49ers and Arizona. 49ers look to be a 5 or 6 seed easy. CK might have 3400 yards, not enough for a Pro Bowl. I hope Alex Smith passes for 400 yards.

      1. Jim Harbaugh to be out of here is what I root for and no, I’m not that Jim Mora that wants a job. I root for everybody but CK, Roman, Harbaugh, and Gore. Why? CK can’t pass, Roman can’t draw a play, Harbaugh all this and that in controversy and GOre hogs the ball, can’t catch, and that one catch doesn’t count. Of course if it didn’t, CK would’ve had 180 yards probably.

        1. Jim so you root for all the 9ers except for CK Gore Roman and Harbaugh, cool so who are your favorite 9ers?

      1. 49ers MUST have buyer’s remorse.

        I doubt it. Right now, the two QBs seem to be playing at a similar level. If the 49ers hadn’t traded Smith, they wouldn’t have obtained the drat picks that became Tank Carradine and Carlos Hyde. Although neither has contributed much to date, I expect they will become significant contributors in the not too distant future. I don’t think anyone can dispute that Kaepernick+Hyde+Carradine > Smith.

        Plus, the 49ers wouldn’t have been able to sign Smith to the kind of team-friendly contract to which they signed Kaepernick.

        The only way there would be any remorse is if the 49ers would have finished better in 2012 and/or 2013 with Smith than they did with Kaepernick. Although one can speculate that such a thing would have happened, I don’t know how you can reach such a conclusion with anything approaching certainty.

      2. >>49ers MUST have buyer’s remorse.

        Mary, maybe *your* team’s braintrust makes personnel decisions based on a single game’s performance. Oh, they don’t? Silly me, I forgot, it’s only fickle fans who do those kinds of things.

  46. A few observations:

    * Gore vs Hyde: with Gore, every step he takes, before or after getting the ball, is used to position himself to find a seam and hit it at the right moment. This means that if the line is being overpowered (not too often in the run game), Gore can look bad once in a while. Hyde, on the other hand, seems to prioritize getting up to speed quickly and make secondary finding the right hole. While Hyde is young, and some RBs do in fact learn how to run in the NFL, there’s a chance he just might not have the right athletic and killer instinct to be a great runner. Hope he’s the former, not the latter, but the jury is out because the difference btw the two in this game was marked.

    * Not only was our pass blocking incredibly poor, the scary thing is that Boone and Iupati were beat on bull rushes. Both Boone and Iupati are physical beasts, and while anyone can fall prey to a bull rush in the right circumstances, Boone had this happen repeatedly. He better strap it on if he’s going to earn his new contract.

    * Kaep, Kaep, Kaep… Whereas he came out like a thinking killer when he took over for Alex, he now shows some of the very flaws that got Alex benched: amazingly, the lack of guts to throw at receivers who are open by NFL standards (sometimes wide open), staring down receivers, bad decisionmaking, and yes, even Alex’s inaccuracy on short throws. Everyone has seen more ability than this in Kaep, but if we’re going to go to the SB – and win it – he simply needs to be better. Here’s one chilling thought: unlike many of our prior QB heroes, how many end-of-game drives has Kaep led us on? In some of the most important games in the last 3 years, the Niners have had the ball with 2-5 minutes left, and we have precious few memories of the come-from-behind last minute drive. Instead, a lot of drives stall out somewhere between our own 40 and the red zone, and we’ve been left to look to apportion blame to various people, including the coaches. I submit that a great quarterback is able to rise above these limitations and make something happen. Or do we forget that Joe’s backfield in 81 consisted of Bill Ring and Lenvil Elliot, two most assuredly non-HOF talents.

    A few grades:

    Gore: A+. In fact, Gore gets a lifetime grade of A+. For about a decade, most times this team is doing well, it’s because Frank Gore is doing well. And when it isnt doing well, it gets back to doing well when Frank Gore starts getting the ball on a regular basis.

    Fangio: A. Gotta give the man credit for taking a team that was averaging 30+ points a game and coming back on teams like Seabiscuit and slapping them against the wall like rag dolls. Zero points on offense. That’s domination.

    D-line. A. If they had managed to put more pressure on Foles without blitzing, it would have been an A+. Justin Smith: whatever he’s taking to remain a force at his age, please keep taking it.

    Lbs: A.

    DBs. A-. One very weak drive, but that was it.

    OL pass blocking: F
    OL run blocking: C+. It is clearer than ever that the great Frank Gore makes the line appear to be good, but that’s it. Boone should donate his game check to charity, he was an embarrassment – and Iupati should think about doing the same

    WRs: S. Johnson, B+, Crabtree C, Boldin B-

    Kaep: C, and this needs to improve significantly or we’ll be watching SEA, AZ, and others in the playoffs.

    Harbaugh: A-. The man is a freak, and it is what it is. But he turned chicken sheet in to chicken salad, and that’s worthy of big time respect – unless you’re a diva with C level talent.

    As always, one man’s opinion, respectfully submitted…and thanks for reading.

  47. Moving forward Alex Smith and KC are having a pretty game tonight. Looking forward to your upcoming game!!!

    1. What kinda moron are you? Why would you not be worried about the opponent your team is facing? Instead you are on here busting our balls. Get a life Mary, Maria or whatever your name is!

      1. Prime Time – I think if anyone doesn’t have a life it’s you guys. You’re on here 24/7. I hardly read anything any more, except I like Grant’s articles — He keeps the 49ers HONEST. KC’s going to be a good test. Frankly, if they play inspired football like on Monday, SF won’t win.

        1. Yep, that’s why Grant likes you, you like his articles. Most regulars on here come despite Grant’s articles to interact with each other.
          As to ‘keeping the 49ers honest’; this from the woman who lied about having a connection to the team? WTH do you know about honesty? You have no cred.

          1. Didn’t she rave about the comment section previously, noting it was the reason she liked this blog?

          2. Tuna — Most of you would pick the bones off a dead bird and you question my integrity — what a laugh. Go back to complaining about each other, your coaches, the team, CK,GRANT and a myriad of things. I assure you I will be interested in what Grant has to say about this week’s game as well as many others to come, b/c it affects my team’s standing. And by the way thank god for Pete Carroll, Russel Wilson, the rest of the gang and all the coaches.
            Grant, keep up the good work!

            1. >> Grant has to say about this week’s game as well as many others to come, b/c it affects my team’s standing.

              What *grant has to say* effects your team’s standing? lol. With “logic” like that, I sure hope you are never my ambulance chasing attorney.

  48. All right, what is KC doing tonight? Getting ready to put a score like that on the 49ers next week. Whoo! Alex Smith has got to be excited. He’s going to put up huge numbers against the 49ers. CK is going to throw 4 picks easy. Remember, they are not beating a fluke Qb. They are beating Brady on the Pats like a drum. The 49ers will run the ball for they are too scared to pass, but KC will snuff that out.

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