49ers 27, Panthers 46: Grades

Here are the grades for the 49ers’ 27-46 Week 2 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

QUARTERBACK: D-. Blaine Gabbert completed just 47 percent of his passes, averaged just 6.8 yards per throw and compiled a pathetic passer rating of 64.9 even though he had forever in the pocket to throw. And his numbers would have been even worse if the Panthers’ hadn’t turned the ball over four times. Gabbert managed to score two touchdowns off those turnovers. Despite the touchdowns, fans probably would have been begging for the coaching staff to replace Gabbert with Colin Kaepernick had the game been at Levi’s Stadium.

RUNNING BACKS: D. Carlos Hyde and Shaun Draughn weren’t as bad as their numbers. Those backs averaged only 2.4 yards per carry, but they had zero room to run – the Panthers’ defense played at least eight men in the box most of the game. I primarily downgrade this group for Carlos Hyde’s first-quarter fumble which the Panthers returned for a touchdown.

WIDE RECEIVERS: D+. Torrey Smith beat rookie cornerback James Bradberry early in the game for a 28-yard touchdown pass, but Bradberry won the matchup overall, breaking up a pass and intercepting another intended for Smith in the second half. The Niners other receivers combined to gain just 67 receiving yards total. Quinton Patton’s best play was a block during Vance McDonald’s touchdown. And Jeremy Kerley was a non-factor.

TIGHT ENDS: B-. Vance McDonald had the play of a game for the 49ers’ offense with a 75-yard catch-and-run to cut the deficit to seven points during the fourth quarter. But that was the only pass McDonald caught, and he dropped a deep pass a few minutes later. Garrett Celek and Blake Bell were non-factors.

OFFENSIVE LINE: B. Provided fantastic pass protection most of the game. Couldn’t create running room against the Panthers’ jam-packed defensive front, but I don’t blame the offensive line for that. Chip Kelly needed to vary his runs and call more downfield passes to get the Panthers to back off the line of scrimmage. More on Kelly and the coaches below.

DEFENSIVE LINE: F. Gave up 100 rushing yards to Fozzy Freaking Whitaker and 176 rushing yards overall. Also hit quarterback Cam Newton exactly no times. Rookie first-round pick DeForest Buckner was invisible most of the game.

LINEBACKERS: D. Shared responsibility with the defensive line for the terrible run defense and non-existent pass rush. But I give this group a higher grade than the D-line because Ray Ray Armstrong and Gerald Hodges both forced fumbles which the 49ers recovered.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: D-. Jimmie Ward was the worst cornerback on the field. He gave up seven catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns. The other starting corner, Tramaine Brock, gave up two long catches to Ted Ginn Jr., but only the second one counted because Ginn Jr. failed to land both his feet in bounds the first time. Rashard Robinson, the rookie fourth-round pick who weighs 177 pounds, knocked himself out of the game simply by running into Kelvin Benjamin. Good draft pick.

The worst player in the game might have been safety Antoine Bethea, who looked old and slow. He gave up two touchdown catches, including a 75-yarder to tight end Greg Olsen.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C. Shaun Draughn recovered a kickoff that bounced off Ginn Jr.’s ankle, but the kickoff-coverage team gave up a 59-yard kick return to Ginn Jr. a few minutes later.

COACHES: F. Chip Kelly, supposedly an offensive innovator, ran the same inside-zone-read running play all afternoon and the play never worked. Instead of making an adjustment, Kelly stuck with his vanilla game plan and the offense averaged just 2.5 yards per carry and a putrid 4.7 yards per play. Last season the Niners averaged 5.0 yards per play under offensive coordinator Geep Chryst. Marinate on that.

On defense, coordinator Jim O’Neil clearly didn’t prepare his players to face Panthers’ backup running back Fozzy Whitaker, who became the starter after Jonathan Stewart left with an injured hamstring. Whitaker averaged 6.3 yards per carry.

O’Neil also failed to generate any pressure with his “exotic rushes,” which were so effective last week against Case Keenum and the Rams. I guess we see why they were so effective. The Rams are bad.

Finally, O’Neil overexposed his corners all game, which Rex-Ryan disciples tend to do. During the third quarter, O’Neil made Ward shadow Benjamin, an absurd assignment that led to two quick touchdowns for Carolina. Memo to Jim: Ward can’t cover big wide receivers. We learned that two years ago when he gave up three touchdowns to Brandon Marshall. O’Neil must have missed that game. I guess we know why he got fired by the Browns.

Despite a brand-new coaching staff for the 49ers, this season so far has been pretty much the same as last season.

This article has 429 Comments

  1. Ok …

    Not gonna argue with any of your grades, Grant ..
    Spot on .. (for a change) … but … here’s a thought ..

    Blake Bell used to be a darn good QB …


    Stop reading Seb’s posts .. and
    read this one !!

    1. I wrote that they should stop running into the teeth of the defense, but they ignored my advice.

      I wrote that they should stop the unforced errors, but they ignored that advice.

      I also wrote previously that they should not blitz all the time. They should try to get pressure with 4 rushers and keep everything in front of them. Bethea and Brock surely did not read that post.

      I said that the Panthers would negate Hyde, and dare Gabbert to beat them with his arm. Too bad Gabbert was not up to the challenge. Those 2 picks in the 4th quarter allowed the Panthers to run up the score.

      I said that if Chip wants to win, he should not sheathe his most potent weapon. Gabbert, with his accuracy problems and lax ball security, should volunteer to make the QB job a competition. Gabbert can start, but once he fails to lead the Niners to a score, Kaep gets his chance. He would play until he fails to lead the Niners to a score. It would reward success. Keeping Gabbert in only rewards failure. This way, Chip can finally have a competition, and the better QB will emerge.

      I generally agree with Grant’s grades, but he may have been too harsh. It is better to not get too high after a win and too low after a loss.

      1. I like the competition idea. Problem is, whoever wins isn’t likely to be much better than the loser. If you only changed three players to genuine quality players, QB and two wide receivers worth a damn, it would have been a much better outcome against the Panthers. Back to maybe next year. Again.

  2. It was bad all round. I think you are generous in your grades for the TEs and OL. They were passable, but not B quality. Regardless of whether the team was facing a stacked box the OL did nothing to open any kind of holes. There was little movement up front. They did handle pass protection pretty well for the most part though, for the 2nd week in a row.

    The D was awful. Just awful. If not for some turnovers this would have been a 50+ game for the Panthers. Routinely beaten at the LOS, no penetration, no pass rush, missed tackles, broken coverages, CBs losing 1 on 1 battles. Won’t win many (any?) games playing D like that.

    1. Panthers D attacked the middle of the combo block in the inside zone play with multiple bodies. Nothing the OL can do about that. Play caller has to switch it up.

      1. The OL will struggle to get a hat on all hats when that happens, but they should still be able to get some push on the guys they do get too. I’d have to see it again to be sure, but it didn’t appear to me they were getting much of any push.

          1. Yeah ok. For mine its a D+/C- for run blocking, a B+/A- for pass blocking, with an overall of around a C+. Will be very interested to see how PFF rates them.

            And still light years ahead of where they were last season.

      2. Not switch the play calling what you are describing is the perfect scenario where the QB pulls the ball and begins to threaten the edge. Teams are going to notice as the Panthers did that Gabbert won’t pull the ball and run. Think about it Ponder was even getting credit as a running in this offense. The point of the play is for the QB to be a threat to the edge. Please ask Chip about this……..

  3. Grant,

    Agree with your grades for the most part. I think the oline grade is a bit high, they had no push all game. Same with the TE’s. They had 1 good play, the McDonald TD, and 1 bad play, the McDonald drop. McDonald has a thing for dropping passes deep down the middle against the Panthers.

      1. Not really. I thought his play was about the same as last week for most of the game, at least the passing part. He pushed the ball downfield a few more times today. It’s the grounders on the short/easy throws that kill it.

  4. These grades are ridiculous Grant and you know it. This is written as if all you did was look at the final score without watching the game and I know you watched the game. This was the defending NFC Champs and we played them with no pass-rush and a limited QB. People are a kidding themselves if they think we’re going to run a potent passing attack with an inconsistent QB. People are kidding themselves if you think you’ll be able to dominate any conference champion without a blue chip pass-rusher. Angry at coaching? That had us leading in the 1st Q and only down by 4 at the half on a short week and then came back to keep it within 10 in the 4th? The NFC Champs. There’s a reason. This is the team that blew out Seattle and Arizona in the playoffs. What are the 49ers that you’ve written about so extensively? A flawed team no? Without consistency at QB. Grades are poor because of it? Quel surprise dude.

    1. Well, the score could have easily been closer to 60 points had the panthers not had all those turnovers.

      Even with all those turnovers they put a 46 spot on us. I would say Grant’ grades were pretty fair.

  5. i’m not surprised by this reaction, i saw it coming but its way off base. i knew people would start to panic after they suffered the inevitable loss. this 49ers team is much improved over last year. they had a 4 day turnaround playing against a team with 11 days rest and preparation that went 15-1 last year. yet they stayed competitive into the 4th quarter. this game was never going to end in a win, and almost certainly was going to end in a blow out. the 49ers are a rebuilding team. they are nowhere near a Super Bowl contender. we knew this. i saw enough to stay optimistic. they were competitive for much of the game. the rams team is playing seattle tough and may win it. they are not a putrid team, and the 49ers blew it out.

    1. I agree with you. Huge over reaction. Carolina is simply a better team. I think Grants grades are rediculous. We have a new coaching staff, a lot of new young players and got beat by the second best team in the league on their home field. What the heck did you think was going to happen?

      1. Jerry

        Hellaciously good post ! Some of these ‘critiques’ remind me of that “Super Chef” TV program….totally mindless….

  6. I tend to agree somewhat with GM. The Panthers are a superior team, with homefield advantage, with weather even Cam said was tough to deal with. They are the reigning NFC Champ.
    The grades should be in the D-C range.
    I think next week is the more accurate test of the quality of the 49ers play.
    I think we have to be realistic that the Niners are at best a 6-7 win team.

  7. – Blain Gabbert has never been a good professional quarterback. The best he has ever been was a slight improvement over the awful 2015 version of Colin Kaepernick. That is not “good. I’m not a predictor saying he will never be any good. Just noting he has never been a good pro quarterback.

    – Rogers and Ellington’s injuries were a big blow. None of the 27 developmental receivers all named something like “Deandre” panned out. So defenses are keying on Hyde. If you become one dimensional against a good defense you get what happened today.

    – This was a very good offense we faced today. Benjamin was unstoppable. Give them credit for making great plays.

    – At this time the 49ers need to add an elite edge rusher, a big and physical #1 receiver and an accurate quarterback.

    – Crazy as it sounds, I’m not all negative. We are a developing team that went against one of the best under brutal circumstances and fought them tooth and nail. The score won’t shows it, but we bruised up alot of Panthers today. I’m excited as I was yesterday to see how all these young players develop.

  8. “Gabbert managed to score three touchdowns off those turnovers.”

    That’s not correct. One of the TD’s came after a Panthers field goal.

  9. 49ers fans should be relieved to know Seattle lost to the Rams, and the Raiders are losing to Atlanta, at home. LOL. I’d take SF over Seattle and the Raiders on a neutral field.

    The Niners never had a chance today, thanks to scheduling. They showed heart to keep the game close in 4th QTR! Niners are in good shape, all things considered, and I am a happy camper!

  10. This team can win now if we had a QB and what really sucks we didn’t draft our future QB this year so unless we make some sort of trade this is the product we will have for the next 2 plus years and by than some of the puzzle pieces will have moved on. I like Buckner but he isn’t Wentz or even Lynch.

    1. Seriously–will someone tell me why Baalke is still calling the personnel shots?
      The disparity of offensive talent between the two teams, after 5 years of drafting, is criminal.
      This is Joe Thomas all over again…and again ….and again.
      The Yorks are a curse to the Bay Area/Northern Cal.

    1. I’ll be looking for the podcast later since I’m too far north to get The Game on the radio very well. Sometimes The Game doesn’t separate out insider segments.

  11. Apologies if any of these observations or complaints are duplicates with someone else.

    1. The score does not accurately represent the ass kicking we received.
    2. size matters
    3. We cant cover big athletic receivers.
    4. Don’t dont have big athletic receivers of our own.
    5. I was critical of Ward when we drafted him. So were the analysts on NFL network draft show. MMayock was saying he had him rated as a 3 round pick.
    6. I wanted to trade up 1 spot and draft K Benjamin a few years back. Our WR have stunk for the last 4 years at least. We watched a lot of very talented WR come and go and Baalke did nothing. We are now stuck with other teams discards.
    7. Carlos Hyde – ha ha to those who drafted him in fantasy. Forever fools gold
    8. At least seattle lost. We get them next week. Their Offense maybe worse than ours.

    I am getting sick of games like this. Baalke needs to go and Denise York needs to reclaim the team from Don Trump Jr errr – I mean Jed.

    1. “I wanted to trade up 1 spot and draft K Benjamin a few years back.”

      Benjamin was taken 2 spots before Ward so they would have needed to trade up at least 3 spots to get in front of Carolina.

      1. I was hoping for a big receiver in 2014. Evans and Benjamin were my two targets. If Benjamin stays healthy he will be a heck of a weapon.

        Today was a good example of how hard it is to defend a team with multiple weapons. A crafty play caller can keep a defense off balance all day.

      2. Thanks for the correction assuming what you wrote is correct. The point is we lack dynamic athleticism on offense. We are easy to game plan against. Stop the run and make our qb and wr make plays they cant make. This week I saw a very speedy WR on Buffalo stretch the field. I saw K Benjam pulling down receptions while shooing cbs off him like flies. In NE they have a pair of quick speedy possession receivers who catch everything thrown in their direction and a TE caveman who is a goliath among cbs like Ward. WTF do we have? major changes are necessary. The men folk are getting ready to storm the York castle with pitchforks.

    2. Carolina went 15-1 and almost won the Superbowl without Benjamin. Imagine that. Give him credit for making truely great plays.

    3. Thanks for the correction assuming what you wrote is correct. The point is we lack dynamic athleticism on offense. We are easy to game plan against. Stop the run and make our qb and wr make plays they cant make. This week I saw a very speedy WR on Buffalo stretch the field. I saw K Benjam pulling down receptions while shooing cbs off him like flies. In NE they have a pair of quick speedy possession receivers who catch everything thrown in their direction and a TE caveman who is a goliath among cbs like Ward. WTF do we have? major changes are necessary. The men folk are getting ready to storm the York castle with pitchforks.

      1. Hammer,
        I certainly hope not. There aren’t too many (if any) positives to take when a team who had 4 turnovers still pins 46 on the board.
        We got spanked by a superior team, period.

        I agree with you that by the 3rd game we will have a much better perspective of this team. The seahags offense has sputtered the last two games and are primed for the 49ers to finally end the winning drought over them.
        We will know by this time next week if our defense that shut out the rams is capable of shaking off the big loss against the panthers by showing up again.

        This might the pivotal game that either propels the team forward with a signature win or exposes weaknesses that will take a few more drafts to hopefully shore-up.

    1. Moral victories are the type of victories bad teams have. So I hope the 49ers aren’t thinking of this as a moral victory.

  12. Because I enjoy Seahag’s schadenfreude, I decided to read some of the comments over on Field Gulls. This one made me laugh:

    “Fire Bevell hire Greg Roman”

  13. Beating the Grant spread doesn’t count for anything, Grant? :) And what kind of grades would you have given if they’d only put up the two FGs you predicted?

  14. ESPN Stats and Information

    Russell Wilson’s streak of 17 straight games with a touchdown pass was snapped in a loss to the Rams on Sunday. The new longest current streak belongs to … 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert (12 games).

  15. For any of you fools you want Kaepernick to start next week these are his stats against the Hawks 88-of-165 ,961 yards, 3 TD, 9 int, 48 carries, 342 yards, 0 TD , 2 lost fumbles

    1. Kaep was the last Niner QB to beat them. Gabbert has never beaten the Seahawks.

      Gabbert can start, but I want to see Kaep play.

  16. Yea it was a bad game but there are positives to take from it. 49ers played a great team who had 4 extra days of rest in their home opener and it was close for the first half. A 2nd half letdown wasn’t all that surprising. The o-line pass blocked very well against a very good d line. I like Chip Kelly’s scheme quite a bit. He has shown his willingness to adapt so I’m happy to see that. Unfortunately the 9ers don’t have many playmakers on offense. Gabbert really must improve or the 9ers need a new qb. CK isn’t the answer. Timing and accuracy are required in this offense and that is not Kaepernick’s strength.

    1. Houston

      Good post…for those who have never played football in North Carolina, take my word, that sweltering mess is so sticky you can barely breathe…good game niners

  17. Oh heck ya can’t win them all. Last year the 49ers might have scored 9 points and given up 50+. One word: rebuild.

  18. Yee, did I see a different game today???
    No the nines weren’t playing great today, but they showed that they can keep up with the #2 in the league. they were ahead 2 times, came back from a 3TD deficit to within 1TD.
    I say they that unlike last year, this time they had a chance to win the game!
    And if you want to play the what-if-game, they’re only one QB away from going to the playoffs.

  19. Over on NFL.com/standings .. they have
    the Niners listed in first place in the NFCW ..

    Wow !! … Better take a screenshot.. cuz..
    who knows how long that’s gonna last !

        1. Sure.. Prime ..
          why not ?

          I mean … heck .. think about it ..
          Just how far can the Niners go with
          Gabbert at the helm … ?

          Pretty sure he showed his true colors today..

          (of course.. all bets are off.. if he can shut
          the crowd up ..at the Clink .. next week ..
          with a win)

          1. How about we keep Gabbert and trade CK? He has better value right now and you could throw in AD?
            We all know what Gabbert was but I think he has a chance to be a really good bridge QB for the next year or so.
            Putting the other guy in now shows panic and you’ve given up after only 2 weeks. Chip is not an idiot. That would turn a lockerroom upside down when you are .500 and in 1st place. Bad idea!

              1. Pretty sure he’d accept a trade that included renogotiating his contract to play? Cleveland, Buffalo, Washington, LA, all need QB’s.

              2. Have you been paying attention? He already refused that. Why would he all of a sudden change his mind?

              3. A chance to play! A chance to get away from an organization that hates his guys? A chance to resurrect his career? Think!!!!

              4. I think if a trade was going to happen it would have already happened. I also think it’s funny, that you think Kap is terrible, yet at the same time has trade value.

              5. If a trade is going to happen it’s gonna be because a team is desperate like the Vikes.Cleveland right now looks desperate!
                Now what isn’t funny is that when you say trade value, I’m talking anything from a 4th to a 6th round pick and jumping for joy!
                What do you think he is worth?

              6. Grimey he’s good enough to start but not tradeable? No team in the NFL wants him but he can play for the Niners? Is that because of his contract or because he was a one hit wonder?

              7. Nice reply. It’s stupid night here on the blog featuring Grime and the waffler from down under!

              8. I figured I’d simplify it for you, since you don’t get nuance. Besides, you’re going to read what you want into whatever I write.

    1. Two weeks in a row! Three weeks if Seattle keeps playing like they have. How many times could we say that last season? Progress!

  20. Well, I’m not a huge Kaep fan, but I have to say that what I have seen from the OL so far in terms of pass protection it gives me some hope that if Kaep was playing he would be considerably better than what we saw from him last season.

    I think with Kaep at QB there would be more sacks allowed as he holds the ball longer than Gabbert, but he may also provide more downfield threat and not miss as many intermediate throws. Will be interesting to see what Chip does at QB moving forward.

        1. He’d rather risk the chance of taking sacks, which kills an offense at the expense that CK is better at the deep ball?
          Scooter that’s about as stupid as I’ve ever heard!

          1. Pardon? Where did I say I wanted to see Kaep instead of Gabbert?

            I was merely pointing out that the improved OL play gives me some hope that Kaep would be better than he was last season, and that it will be interesting to see what Kelly does at QB moving forward. Calm down mate.

            1. Scooter says “I think with Kaep at QB there would be more sacks allowed as he holds the ball longer than Gabbert, but he may also provide more downfield threat and not miss as many intermediate throws”
              A sack or sacks or risk of sacks kills an offense faster than anything.
              Yeah, you are high!

              1. Seriously dude, calm down. Where the heck did I suggest taking more sacks was a good thing?

                Stop trying to pick a fight and learn to read and comprehend before you make rash statements.

              2. Read your comment over and over! You suggested that if Kap played he’d take more sacks cause he holds the ball longer but better accuracy down field? Nice side step Scooter!

              3. Yeah, exactly, I said he’d take more sacks but but probably be more accurate downfield. So you can read. Just can’t comprehend.

              4. And I said that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. You’d rather rely on a guy who’s never been accurate or making good decisions while having the possibility of taking more sacks? What kills an offense more than taking sacks? You are in Seb stupidity class now, congrats!

              5. What’s there to say? You read what I wrote, you even repeated it. For some reason you are linking a comment that Kaep would likely take more sacks but be more accurate on intermediate passes to me implying Kelly should replace Gabbert. Not what I said, not what I meant. Just my thoughts on what would happen if Kaep was at QB.

            2. “Pardon? Where did I say I wanted to see Kaep instead of Gabbert?”

              You didn’t say it directly because you rarely pick sides, your m/o is to be impartial until one separates himself and then step in to say that you always liked’em.

              1. CfC, that’s BS. If I really like a player, I say so. Do it all the time around draft time. Which you then get all cranky about because apparently by making such comments I think I know more than the experts.

                Ironic then that now you say I’m impartial until someone separates themselves. I guess that must have been what I was doing when I started the whole comment with “I’m not a huge Kaep fan”, hey? And I’ve said I don’t think Kaep is a good QB many times.

                What you appear to now have an issue with is me not making knee jerk statements about players, or definitive statements that X player is great or terrible without some kind of qualifiers or, wait for it, actually waiting to see them play a few games before passing judgement. Its a crazy concept, I know. :-P

              2. Btw CfC, which players do you believe I have waited until they’ve proven they were good before I then claimed to have always liked them? Just curious where this is coming from.

              3. I never said that you don’t claim to like players. You present your affection for players in a well rounded statement that covers both sides. You lay out their positives and their negatives which is very safe. If he does well you point out that he did the positive things you saw and if he does poorly you do the same for the negative. You try to put yourself in a safe zone where you’re never really wrong about a player.

                You like lots of players but you rarely if ever commit to their success or failure until it’s obvious.

              4. “I’ve heard of Belgian waffles, but never Australian waffles.”

                In Australia the waffles eat you. Along with everything else.

              5. Such as, CfC? Which players have I claimed I always liked after sitting on the fence about them beforehand?

                I provide what I believe is a fair view of a player, which involves looking at the positives and negatives. But I usually say one way or another if I think they’ll be any good.

              6. Look Scooter if Im totally wrong and off base then It’s just me being an a-hole again and I owe you an apology. I’m not trying to pick fights with ya, I just call things as I see them and when I’m wrong I apologize. Maybe this is one of those times, maybe it isn’t.

                For the record I really don’t think of playing it safe as a character flaw.

              7. All good mate, I didn’t take offense to the playing it safe comment. I know I do and we’ve joked about that previously. I’m not one for making a lot of bold statements because I think there is usually a massive grey area and the truth often lies somewhere between extremes.

                I do take some offense to the idea that I claim I always liked guys after they prove themselves that I didn’t make any such commitment to previously. I genuinely don’t believe I do that. The players I say I always liked are guys I went into bat for at draft time (or when they were signed, if FAs).

              8. Like how you tried to convince everyone that Jimmie Ward warranted being a 1st round pick? Then when he matches up against anyone over 6’1 he gets beaten like a rented mule?

            3. If Gabbert continues to play like he’s afraid of failure, when Kaepernick is back to full force, Kelly will want to see what he can do….

              1. I think Gabbert should make an honest assessment, and admit his play is hurting the team.

                Gabbert, in a classy move, should allow it to become a competition. Chip needs to go bold and innovative.

    1. What did you think of that pass that VMac dropped? I thought it was on VMac. Had he caught it, he could have most likely scored, which would have put us within 3 points.

      Further, that second interception. It looked like BG expected T. Smith to run an out and he didn’t. Any idea whose fault that was?

      Also, interesting that neither Barrows nor Maiocco are laying the blame for this game on BG even if you take the poor defensive effort into account.

      I think at some point, I’d like to see what Ponder can do.

      1. “I think at some point, I’d like to see what Ponder can do.”


        This guy is high too. What are you smoking Cubus?

      2. I don’t understand the sudden panic at the QB position. In my opinion Gabbert was better this week than last and he had zero help this week.
        Too early to make a change, this offense needs more time to develop. Remember Kerley and Streater are new, Patton and Smith need to elevate their game and for sure, Gabbert has to show better command and accuracy.
        AND, the RB’s can’t fumble and the defense give up 40+

        We all just need to R-E-L-A-X

          1. Yeah when they were down by 2 scores. You have to force it that late in the game. If VMac makes that 2nd catch he scores. Whole new game but enough with the what ifs.
            I see an offense needing some work but it’s getting better. Gabbert was better today but it wasn’t about him today. You guys want to look at making changes? I’d start at the nickel position and Jimmie Ward, OLB, and our #1 RB turning it over!

            1. How about starting at the GM position?

              Im sorry if i sound like a broken record, I really do. But anyone else But York would have let this crabgrass in the lawn of life out the door.
              Since the York family took over, if your a winning coach, you get fired-if your a losing coach, you get fired.
              How do people like that get these positions of responsibility??????????????

          2. I was completely fine with one of the picks, it was on 4th on long and Gabbert threw it past the sticks… so who really cares? I would have been much more upset on that had he thrown some stupid 3 yrd cross patern.

        1. Gabbert had a 64 rating this game. Pretty crappy. But consider. In 2015 Panthers held opposing QBs to a 69 rating average at home. And that includes names like Rodgers, Brees, Wilson, Luck, Palmer. I guess those QBs should sit also.

          I thought Carolina would have a drop off but I was dead wrong.

          1. Well I guess we should just put Blaine in that company since he put up similar stats right? The panthers secondary is a lot worse then last year. There playing rookie corners that are not any good. We did not take advantage of that. Plain and simple. This game was predictable. Impossible game to win even if you had Rodgers at QB.. Blaine needs to play better next week and win. It’s really that simple. He has proven nothing in this league to warrant a long leash. The time is now for him or he will get replaced.

            1. Prime,

              Talk about waffles. Have you checked this guy out?

              One day he loves Kaepernick. The next day he’s almost ready to buy a ticket on the Blaine Train. Then he’s ready to bench Gabbert again.

              He flips around more than a fish in a tin boat.

              1. First of all I will support whoever the QB is no matter what. I have always stated that at least Kaep has a track record in this league. Since this is a lost year why not go with Kaep and see what he can do. I have also stated several times that the future QB is not on this roster. I said I would buy a ticket to the Blaine train IF he played well and won. He did neither…

              2. Yep flush it down the terlet. Time to check in on how the A’s are do…ugh again?!?

              3. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that this team is rebuilding. They don’t have QB, or a legitimate Wr, they have a talented RB.. TEs are suspect although V Mac playing better this year. O line looks soild.. Best case scenario this team wins 6 games. That’s a lost season for me. But hey everyone’s expectations are different. Next week is a big week. Looking forward to it.

              4. RAW, so you gave Blaine the win or else ultimatum against a 15-1 team? You certainly do have high standards, especially for a “lost season”.

              5. Ribico, Panthers are not a 15-1 team this year. There 1-1.. They are a good team no question but plays were there to be made on offense and D… The QB gets the majority of the blame. That’s how it goes. I hope we win next week. We need it. Blaine needs it.

              6. Rebuild says “The QB gets the majority of the blame. That’s how it goes.
                Even after the defense gave up 46?

              7. Prime, Gabbert didn’t contribute in having the defense give up 46? How many 3 outs did they have in the third quarter. Was it not the special teams who help Gabbert get the ball at the 2? Was it not the D who gave Gabbert great field position to open the game where we settled for a FG? The defense was bad no doubt. It sure seems like you and others on here are looking the other way when it comes to facts about today. There was bad football all the way around. #2 needs to be a lot better.

              8. Yes Gabbert needs to be better but so do a lot of other things. I’m just commenting on your notion that the QB gets the majority of the blame? I don’t think Gabbert was the major reason we lost today.

      3. That was all on VMac, cubus. Huge drop, and then the INT right after it. Back to back horrid plays.

        On the pass to Smith, I’m not 100% sure what happened there. It looked like they weren’t on the same page, and when that happens it is usually the WR at fault, but who knows. The main thing is it looked to me like Smith was either not expecting it… or gave up on it and then realised too late that he was giving a free play on the ball to the CB. He was very late to react.

        Gabbert doesn’t take the blame for this loss. The team as a whole does.

    2. Scoot-

      Kap is no accuracy guy either. The QB answer is not on this roster. Ponder may be the best they have……….maybe.

      When we draft next year, Baalke must not be in the room.
      By the way, where the h–l is Redmond???????????????????

    3. I think you’re forgetting the type of ghosts he sees in the pocket and how he dances around expecting a sack, almost creating one. Additionally, he locks onto his reads too often and has poor field vision. Does anyone not remember that this QB’s play has seriously been on the decline since the championship game he lost in Seattle? That was his high water mark.

      I know people here think that Kap gives the team the best hope to win and that Kelly is a genius, but why is this genius not putting in the savior given what he and we have all seen of Gabbert? Could it be that he also knows Kaps limits and that may be far more troublesome than Gabbert’s?

  21. Grant you are the worst kind and of troll and represent exactly what’s so disgusting about the media in general. Rashard Robinson #33 is going to be an exceptional CB in this league and you trash his draft position cause he got his bell rung tackling Benjamin? The 49ers played terrible across the board and there are no moral victories or excuses so just stick to that. Why do you have to throw crap like this into you your game analysis? Makes you sound dumber than we all know you already are. You know very little about the game

  22. Dak: 125+ straight completions with 0 interceptions. 13.3 yards per completion and his first win, on the road against a Division rival.

    Cowboys didn’t deserve to get this lucky.

              1. He said out of the basement…not the house. Possible he’s in the loft above the garage or maybe the treehouse from when he was 7…I mean, wi-fi travels quite far these days.

  23. So where are all the people that jumped on my ass when I said the Seahawks were taking a big step back this year? Barely eek out a 2 point win against the Fins and then lose pathetically against the Lambs.

    Sticking to my training camp schedule prediction of the 49ers winning at home against Seattle.

        1. That’s true, if Wilson isn’t 100% they could pull off the sweep this year. Not likely but hey, anything is possible.

  24. The Rams has beaten the Seahawks 4 of their last 5 meetings! I think Fischer is one of the most overrated HC in the NFL but his team always plays the Seahawks tough.

      1. Man, it’s a toss up between them and the Rams and who has the worst offense in this division.

        So, if we beat them next week, that will put them last in the division right? That will be f@*^ing awesome!

  25. After 48 years of being a fan, I no longer root for the 49ers to win, so this is largely an objective comment.

    In one way, I am kinda shocked that Chip is putting all his chips on Gabbert as his QB. He must know that though Gabbert may certainly have a very good game here and there, his ceiling is not even close to being a contending QB in the NFL. I used to say Alex Smith’s ceiling was too low, but Alex is fifty times the QB Gabbert is.

    Possibly in today’s NFL, coaches get their three year guaranteed fifty million dollar contracts and just don’t care as much as they used to, I don’t know. But a dull offensive game plan playing a mediocre backup QB from an alleged offensive guy????? Geez, gonna be a fun three years (not really for 49er fans)

  26. By the way, I just don’t think it’s right continuing to get game plans and play calling emailed in during the game by Jimmy Raye.

  27. Two games is clearly too small of a sample size but so far the offense is at least scoring points.

    2014 Average points per game: 19
    2015 Average points per game: 15
    2016 Average points per game: 27.5

          1. How do you mean? They’re only +2 I doubt that’s accounting for the extra almost 2 TD’s a game they’ve scored compared to last year.

              1. It’s been two straight weeks of decent first half play, a terrible third quarter and a good fourth quarter.

                They need to get that fixed and play a full game.

              2. I think we have different definitions of what a ‘decent first half’ looks like :)

              3. I’m only speaking to the offense. The defense for the first two halves has been decent.

      1. Gabbert had all day to throw…. The only time he was sacked was when M Martin entered the game for one play. They were soild especially on the road. The run blocking was not great but what do you expect going against the panthers at there place.

          1. That’s a great question. He defentley doesn’t have much to work with. I saw some good today but mostly bad. He missed easy throws today. He was very relectant to run as well. Our receivers are a joke no question. He really struggles with providing good swing passes for the backs. Always behind or low. My heart tells me to give the guy a chance. My head tells me we better do whatever it takes to get a QB in the off season.

            1. I agree, RAW. That’s why I was asking those questions about certain passes. I like BG; I like the fact that he spends a lot of time in the film room. I think he has most of what is needed to be a good QB with the exception of accuracy. I had hoped that would improve, but I’m starting to think it probably won’t; but let’s see what happens next week. Also, I think if VMac had made that catch and taken it to the house, most of us would have given BG higher scores.

              1. Cubus I agree with everything you said. What I noticed today is when you have 6’4. 200 plus targets that can leap, accuracy is overrated!

          2. Prime-
            Very good point.

            Do you know why Baalke is still calling personnel shots?? Eddie would have shown him the door 3 years ago……………I simply can not wrap my mind around that one…

    1. I don’t get the difference in OL PFF rankings this week from last week. This week they all graded out fine but last week only Staley did. I thought the consensus reason was that last week they didn’t open up enough holes for the RBs. Last week the pass protection was good. This week the pass protection was good but the running game was worse. Can somebody explain to me how the entire OL scored higher than last week (except for Joe who has been consistently very good)?

      1. I expect that Grant had it right when he said the reason for the poor run game was because of extra defenders in the box, which isn’t the OL’s fault (they can only block so many guys). Basically, the OL did their job (according to PFF) but the Panthers D was able to make the play by having more defenders than blockers.

        I thought while watching the game the OL still didn’t have a lot of success moving their man, but I am probably wrong given PFF’s grades.

        1. Looks like Kelly doesn’t agree with you and Grant (although he hasn’t watched the film yet).

          Q: Initial thoughts on why you couldn’t get the run game going.

          A: It wasn’t like it was a loaded box. We felt like they gave you that they want. Most of the time they went two out or one high. We felt like we could have won the ball but we didn’t.


          1. In that case I have no idea why PFF graded the OL so highly, unless it is their belief the RBs were at fault. Or perhaps the TEs gave up every single run stop. I don’t know.

            Could also just be Chip covering his behind.

  28. I don’t want to jump the gun on this one but unless Peterson’s ankle injury is far more severe then they are letting on it looks like father time is finally catching up with him. Averaged 1.6 yards a carry in week 1 and has matched that figure so far tonight.

  29. Tell me how a guy like Jordy Nelson can go up and grab a jump ball and Torrey Smith can’t? Worst free agent signing in Baalkes tenure!

    1. Smith made his mark with the help of the Flacco double pump. He doesn’t have that here.

    2. “… and Torrey Smith can’t? Worst free agent signing in Baalkes tenure!”

      No, I’m pretty sure that’s still Darnell Dockett with Shareece Wright not too far behind on that list.

          1. Yeah but they had insurance and figured out an injury settlement. The Niners are still on the hook for the 22 million guaranteed and he has I think 5 years left at 8mill? And he sucks!

            1. His main problem is that he has been miscast as a #1 WR when the reality is he is better suited to playing Robin.

              1. 3 coaching staffs now are having a hard time getting him the ball. Have to say it: another one hit wonder!

  30. So here’s another two plays I didn’t understand why they were ruled the way they were. The catch by Gin on the sideline was made but he lost it going to the ground. It was ruled a catch. The announcers indicated that the refs felt he had control of the ball long enough to count as a reception. Reaser intercepts Newton in the end zone hits the ground and then loses it. It was not ruled an interception. From my vantage point it looked like Reaser had control but lost it after he hit the ground.

    1. My understanding is that Ginn’s was ruled a catch because he apparently had control of the ball for two steps before going out and then losing the ball (I thought that was debatable though). Whereas Reaser didn’t get both feet down, and the contact of his arm with the ground jarred the ball loose. That was definitely the correct call.

      1. Yeah, but when it comes to running the ball, if a RB hits the ground with his forearm and lets go of the ball immediately after that, it is not considered a fumble. So you’ll say it’s different for passes. But this wasn’t a pass it was an interception. So the rules that govern an interception are the same as those that govern a pass?

        1. The same rule applies in all instances. In the instance you describe for the RB, he has already established control of the football. When he hits the ground he is down immediately, doesn’t matter then if the ball comes out, it isn’t a fumble, and he doesn’t need to maintain possession to establish control (as that has already been done).

          For a player that hasn’t established control of the ball such as Reaser on the attempted INT, they need to maintain possession through hitting the ground. Same as with a receiver.

          1. And establishing control is generally considered to have happened if the player makes a “football move” which includes several steps.

            1. The big difference to me was that Ginn was not “going to the ground” while catching the ball (as Reaser was). I thought looking at the replay it seemed like Ginn (barely) secured the ball before having it knocked out of his hands while he was out of bounds.

        2. A pass is still a pass whether it gets received or intercepted. Receptions and interceptions are governed the same. If you go to the ground during the catch, you must control the ball all the way through the act. Ginn was already out of bounds when the defender knocked the ball out of his hands, which is a second act.

  31. There was also one other play that my pals and I couldn’t understand. If I recall the play correctly, there was an offensive penalty on CAR and the 49ers declined it. CAR was then in second with 4 yards to go. WTF??!

    The announcers never explained the call. We never did figure out what happened. Anybody else remember that play?

    1. That one was a bit of a head scratcher for me too, but I think it was a case of Kelly needed the ball back and had limited TOs left, so he was prepared to give them yards to take the 2nd down rather than back them up and give them an extra down.

    2. They did not want them to replay the down. They did save their time outs near the end of the game to stop the clock, but alas, it was not good enough. If Vance had caught that pass, it might have been a different story.

  32. There was something magical about Harbaugh’s Niners. Chip Kelly’s team is a big – meh – not sure if he doesn’t have the players, the QB, yeah it’s the players. There was Gore, Vernon Davis, Mike Iupati, P Willis. This team feels so vanilla and bland.

    1. The Kelly 49ers remind me of the Nolan-Singletary era: great against bad teams, okay to terrible against the strong teams, and trying but failing to come back out of a hole they dug for themselves. It is still early, but that is what I see from this team.

      1. I have to differ on this. Nolanterry’s teams were routinely blown away by better teams and the coaches looked befuddled if not utterly clueless. The Niners did not get blown out yesterday and the coaches overall did a decent job (I don’t buy Grant’s grades). There is a huge gap in talent, particularly on the offensive side, compared to the top 5-6 teams. On the D side, there is a disturbing lack of pass rush, and line is inexperienced. The coaches are working with limited talent with experience and more talented but inexperienced players. Singletery had far greater talent at his disposal when he was fired.

  33. From Kelly’s presser:

    Q: Do you think accuracy is a concern for Gabbert?

    A: Yeah, you could say that. I think he missed a couple but he also put the ball right on the money a couple of times and we had some drops so it’s a combination. It’s not just one or the other. If it’s one or the other, it’s an easy maneuver, but if it’s not then there’s no answer. For some of those he puts the ball right on the money and the balls not caught so receivers got to help out the quarterback and the quarterback has to help out the receivers.


  34. Not much to add at this point except that I don’t think enough consideration is being given to the short week, travel and weather. To their credit they played them close in the first half, but to me it was not surprising at all that they faded. The plus I take from this game is Gabbert, who moved the offense better than I expected. One side note: McDonald is an anomaly. His TD was his best play as a Niner and then he reverts to dropping a well thrown ball he so desperately needs to catch. Really pathetic.

  35. “Cam Newton’s average time from snap to release was 2.59 seconds, 7th longest time in Week 2, yet he was only pressured on 17% of dropbacks.”

    Jeff Deeney PFF

          1. Looking at the free agent market, I would say the best move is to go after Alshon Jeffrey to pair up with Smith and address the other needs via the draft.

        1. The question is what does this team need more: a QB; #1 WR; edge rusher; or shutdown CB?
          Unless you have a winning entrenched starter, QB is always the first answer. Pass rusher is #2, on this team CB should come before WR. Our current WR’s can handle the short routes that this offense runs but our CB’s are going to get burned routinely. Get a more accurate and consistent QB and these WR’s will look like pro bowlers in this scheme.

        2. #1 by a mile is an edge rusher.
          #2 a serviceable starting QB.
          #3.a serviceable starting receiver

          The CBs will look once the opposing QB is under pressure.

          1. Newton was especially sloppy. Threw a tipped pass that got picked on his first attempt of the game. Made a poor decision taking a shot in field goal range at the end of the first half and almost got picked again. And scrambled while holding the ball carelessly below his waist for a long time before finally getting stripped. But the Niners couldn’t stop him when he locked in.

            1. Grant,
              It’s all about the lack of QB pressure. No doubt that Newton’s pocket play has improved by a lot over the last two seasons, but even the erstwhile Johnny Tequila of the Browns after a night of partying could take apart a decent secondary if he had 2.6 seconds to throw.
              The lack of pressure without blitzing worried me in the off season when the starters played, and now it’s pretty stark with Lynch away.

              1. When Panthers pulled away in the second half it was all about Newton. He stood on his spot in the pocket unbothered and just dealt.

              2. Pressure is the great equalizer for a defense. Just look at what Denver did to Cam in the SB. There isn’t a QB in this league that won’t have success if they have time to throw.

              3. Exactly Rocket! If you can disrupt the timing of another team’s attack it will do wonders to your game.

  36. Bethea can’t be the last line of defense on passes. I would rather have Reid play that role. Reid was at his best when he was able to read the QB and ballhawk. We haven’t used him right since he was a rookie.

    1. I thought that in schemes with a single high safety, the FS (Reid) is the last defender. I’m not sure the scheme they were playing (quarters?) where Bethea was the last defender. But normally Bethea can defend a TE. Somehow the DBs were fooled on that play.

  37. I stick by my 5-11 season projection so I’m not surprised the Niners got thumped by Carolina in most facets of the game. Same thing could very well happen in Seattle too unfortunately.

    However, with the OL playing consistently well (except when MM enters) I did think the running game would be better than this… I do miss the FB position though and this offense is just so… finesse.

    Not having Aaron Lynch on D is painful. Harold has improved a bit but watching Tank and his clunky play hasn’t been encouraging. He just doesn’t seem very athletic nor confident and it shows. Without a pass rush we obviously know the secondary will struggle against QBs like Newton, Wilson, Palmer, etc.

    Bottom line is until this team kicks Baalke to the curb and finally identifies its long-term solution at QB (we have 3 backup QBs), beating good teams will be hard to come by.

  38. “Blaine Gabbert…averaged just 6.8 yards per throw”

    That’s nearly 2 yards more than a week ago against a much better defense.

  39. Browns are super hurting for a QB, yea I know what else is new but if there was ever going to be a last opportunity to trade Colin this might be it.

          1. Gabbert has not played well enough to keep Kaep on the bench. Decent 4th quarter play and the Niners could have pulled an upset. Throw 2 picks and its time to be creative.

            Chip should declare he wants to play both, because Gabbert alone is not doing the job. He is too inaccurate, and everyone knows that Chip wants accuracy.

            Gabbert should admit that his play is hurting the team. It is time to make adjustments. They should not wait until it is too late like last year.

            Insert Garnett and Davis to bolster the run game. Do not run into the teeth of the defense. Roll out the QB more, or should I say roll him out at least once.

            Niners got desperate, and it played right into their hands. When there is an empty backfield, it is just declaring that they are going to pass the ball.

            I noticed that they put Hyde in motion, but then threw him the ball behind the line of scrimmage. Maybe Chip should tell his QBs to throw it past the sticks.

            1. Seb-

              Kap has not played well enough to start. Gabbert does have accuracy problems, and its infuriating. But so does Kap-who is not very astute at reading defenses.

              Davis? Clearly doesn’t know what he wants, other than a paycheck.
              He does not factor into the future of this team……….

              1. Saw, most other teams would bench Gabbert for his poor play. Those 2 picks in the end kinda defines Gabbert.

                Gabbert is a swell guy and probably helps old ladies cross the street, but his inaccuracy and poor decision making is just not good enough for him to keep his starting job.

                If Chip wants to win, he should not worry about hurting Gabbert’s feelings.

            2. And Kap can’t play! I almost spit out my dinner laughing when I read that Chip wants accuracy and you implied that Kap has that. He struggles about the same if not worse than Gabbert with accuracy issues. It was a knock on him as a prospect.

        1. Technically the chiefs were going to bring Hogan to their PS, but much like Driskel, Hogan was claimed. I don’t remember a year when so many PS guys got claimed off waivers.

  40. I’d noticed in the Thursday opener that the Panthers OL had showed improvement. Cam took some hits, but they performed better in run and pass blocking than the debacle of the SB. I expected their OL to be formidable vs SF. I did not expect a complete or almost complete lack of pressure on Cam. It’s hard to beat any QB who is unfettered in the pocket; beating a good one is even harder.
    The DL wasn’t getting it done against the run either. It remains to be seen if our DL is bad or the Panthers just over-matched them.

  41. What I saw was a team that had a CHANCE to win this game. They might not have had the players to do it, but they had a chance to win it. If you didn’t think the same after they came back to within 1 TD, maybe you should give Tomsula a call! he’s getting lonely.

  42. Another lost year under York leadership–tell me something new!

    How Baalke is still employed after fans left the stadium food to rot by not showing up and still sticking with the same stable of QB’s when you know what they give the fans is like doing the same thing over and expecting different results….

    Fans sticking with the York’s year after year also falls into the above category.

  43. Not sure what all the hand-wringing is about. When the schedule was announced and even during the preseason almost everyone had this game down as a loss. Bring on Seattle.

    1. Yes it should be no surprise that the Niners lost this game, but I think it blew the bubbles of a few overzealous fans here.

      The Niners actually didn’t play too badly considering the disparity in talent between them and Carolina imo. The defense held up pretty well in the first half especially, but eventually the better team is going to impose their will and we saw that happen in the second half.

      The problems this team has are the same as most thought before the season began. Gabbert usually won’t lose a game with a mistake, but he’s not going to put together a string of good drives and score points either. Yesterday they had 1 scoring drive, and it came after a fumble near mid field. The rest of the their points were scored after the Panthers set them up with fumbles in the red zone, and 1 big play to McDonald. It was the same kind of thing the week before against the Rams. The final score made it look like a blowout, but it was 14 to nothing with the Niner defense dominating into the 4th quarter before the Rams folded their tents. The defense has played reasonably well enough to beat a few teams they will see on the schedule, but the offense is far too inconsistent at this point. As we saw yesterday, they have to be able to run to have any chance at moving the ball consistently. Gabbert can usually complete the short throws to keep the sticks moving, but without a running game, he can’t carry the offense.

      1. Rocket,

        Good post. I would add to the disparity in talent, the disparity in the number of days of rest, that it was an early road game, and one would think that the Panthers were more accustomed to the heat and humidity (those sound like excuses, even to me, but it’s also the truth).

        Here’s a stat that I haven’t seen anyone mention: 49er ball carriers had the lowest yards before contact this week at .4 yds per carry, this week. It’s hard for a RB to do much, without any room to run.

        With the Seahawks dinged up, Sunday’s game will be interesting.

        1. I see a number of posters had the .4 yds per carry before contact number, and that it’s for the season, not just yesterday.

  44. Also,

    It’s worth noting that Cleveland Brown fans started a collection to buy Jim O’neil a bus ticket out of Cleveland due to his horrific defenses.

    Oneil was a York/Baalke hire. Chip wanted a different DC, but I doubt it would have helped since all summer I’d mentioned Chip’s inside run, over and over was a source of fan irritation in Cleveland also.

    Putting up a 50 Burger kind of says it all in the Upcoming Power Rankings.

  45. Niners laid an egg, and everyone had a hand in it. However, it is just one game, and they need to learn from it and make adjustments.

    O’Neil looked great the first game, but the Panthers are way more talented than the Rams. His blitzes put the corners on an island, and the receivers ate them up. The DC was out coached, and the Niners should have put Johnson on Benjamin. Ward was getting torched.

    The Panthers were grabbing the shoulder pads. The Niner defenders need to give a fore arm shiver to the solar plexus, maybe they will get them to keep their arms in front of their bodies.

    Even with all the problems, the Niners came back to be only 7 points down in the 4th quarter. It is better to not dwell on the negatives, keep their chins up, and focus on the next game.

    Chip needs to channel Bill Walsh on the side line. He should not be too up, or too down. He should treat both victory and defeat in the same manner.

  46. we kept fighting the hole game, thats what i noticed at the game.d was gased in the second half,it was hot we baked like turkeys in the stands.gabs was all over with his throws,the secound pass to vmac was a tough catch to make,stretching out defender on ur back.vmac is doing much better they should have went to him more he was getting open.just to many mistakes to pull it out.we looked tired, short rest and hot zapped us.on to next week, we can win in seattle.

    1. East, you are right. Top pass-catching TEs would make that catch, but VMac is not one of them, at least, yet. How was the experience in the stands?

  47. Bill Belichek deserves the accolades he’s getting now…but when it comes to half-time adjustments, give me Bill Walsh every time. Count me as also unimpressed with the versatility of the Chip Kelly offense.

    1. I thought Chip had read The Art of War. Running into the teeth of the defense was not very effective, or smart, and to keep doing it was obtuse.

      1. To Johnny Cash’s ‘When the Man Comes Around’…

        “And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder
        A Press-Democrat writer saying,
        ‘Come and see,’ and I saw, and behold a blue sphere’d avatar”

        There’s a Seb goin’ ’round takin’ names
        And he decides who to trash and who to blame
        Everybody won’t be treated all the same
        The world taken by storm turnin’ brown
        When the Seb comes around

        The hairs on your arm stand as a ghost
        When Chip fails to read his ev’ry post
        Will you partake of that loony boast
        Or disappear like a looser bal’loon clown
        When the Seb comes around

  48. Didnt watch the game (tough being in So-cal), I guess I didn’t miss much. Grades seems to speak for themselves. It’s hard to fathom such horrid grades yet bringing it within 7 in the 4th. Can someone explain that to me?

    Also how did Gabbert look compared to last week ( balls in the dirt, overthrows, etc)

    1. Panthers were were sloppy. Keith Reaser dropped a pick at the end of the first half that could have been the Panthers’ fifth turnover. But they turned on the gas at will.

      1. They didn’t turn on the gas at will until the second half. I don’t think it was adjustments, just that the short rest, travel, and weather wore us down. How many days does it take the guys in the trenches to recover from a hard fought game?

      2. Newton is going to give you a shot at an Int at least once every game. Reaser had it and couldn’t hold on. Just another in a mountain of mistakes you can’t make against a good team when on the road.

      3. Though the score was still close, turning point in the game was the one play 78 yard bomb to Olsen in the second qtr. That signified Niners were going to have issues stopping Carolinas passing game.

        1. And that was right after the niners had taken an early lead. One would see that the defense and lack of run game were big factors in the loss.

    2. Leo,

      It was 31-10 in the 3rd quarter. The Panthers fumbled and muffed a kickoff on back to back possessions to hand the Niners 10 points. The Niners held up pretty well in the first half, but the Panthers dominated in the second. The score was closer than the play indicated in the second half.

    3. A good rule of thumb is to look at the “grades” off all the beat writers and then come to an average, some will rate groups higher and other lower. Always take that grain of salt.

  49. I see 8 to 9 winnable games on the schedule, especially once CK7 takes over the starting QB job.

    Sep. 25 at Seattle Seahawks
    Oct. 2 Dallas Cowboys
    Oct. 6 Arizona Cardinals
    Oct. 16 at Buffalo Bills
    Oct. 23 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Oct. 30 BYE
    Nov. 6 New Orleans Saints
    Nov. 13 at Arizona Cardinals
    Nov. 20 New England Patriots
    Nov. 27 at Miami Dolphins
    Dec. 4 at Chicago Bears
    Dec. 11 New York Jets
    Dec. 18 at Atlanta Falcons
    Dec. 24 at Los Angeles Rams
    Jan. 1 Seattle Seahawks

    1. Cheattle broke the rules. Chete Carrol too. Were they taking banned substances? Did they pump in extra crowd noise? Cheattle is done. 49ers 31 Cheattle 3.

      1. It’s either —
        1. The Rams and Carolina defensive fronts are very good, which is true, or
        2. Our oline, man on man, is poor at run blocking, which I can see with Beadles on the left side but not on the right, or
        3. A combination.

        I think it’s probably (1).

              1. It seems like Gabbert keeps the ball about 1 every 10 or so zone/read run plays.

                I understand Kelly doesn’t actually want his QBs frequently running, but Gabbert seems to skip alot of keeper opportunities. He hands the ball off even though defenders are converging on Hyde.

                Is Gabbert being keeper shy? Seems like Carolina didn’t bother honoring the keeper.

              2. Brodie,

                Not really. Carolina did a good job of staying sound on their assignments. There was always a backer or safety waiting in the hole for Gabbert to keep. The one time the backer vacated he kept it for a TD.

  50. That 3rd & 7 conversion to Benjamin down the middle…you can’t cover that any better than what Ward did. Fantastic job of grabbing it on the way down by Benjamin.

      1. Yep he is a big time weapon for them. Ward seemed to be really close on a number of those catches but just a fraction of a second late.

            1. *Rocket takes a sip of his beverage. It’s the same beverage as last week but for some reason people aren’t calling it Hatorade this week. It’s more like Crystal Clear Reality Water.

              1. Lol. Until the next win anyway. You know the peaks and valleys that are coming our way before this thing is over BigP.

              2. Rocket,
                So true. This blog will tear itself apart if/when Gabbert gets benched for Kaepernick, who looks like a starving baby giraffe with an afro. Hopefully Kaepernick has been sneaking in a few cheeseburgers behind Nessa’s back.

                *Gets popcorn.

            2. Terry Gannon sit down Sampson back in the day! Everyone thought Jimmy Valvano was crazy to do that but it worked!

        1. Ward =cant cover big time WR’s. Was it you or the waffler from down under that said Ward was every bit the worth of a 1st round pick?

        2. Yep, Ward had pretty good coverage throughout the game. Its one of the reasons why PFF gave him a pretty good grade for the game. But he got beat at tne catch point by a bigger man. Its a problem he has had a few times in his career. He needs to learn how to make a play on the ball against bigger receivers and stop them getting it.

      2. The point to note is that the Niners would have been in the game had they not turned the ball over multiple times. Against the Superbowl team from last season. On the road. On a short week. Opponent had rested for and schemed for 10 days. Playing 10 am.

        I see a few things that indicate that the Niners are getting competent coaching. The talent level disparity with the top 5-6 teams is large but it getting clear where the shortcomings are. The DBs are fine as a group. The ILB situation is OK. The D line will improve, esp, run defense. The big questions on D is whether Lynch’s return will enable consistent QB pressure without blitzing. On offense, the will continue to be who they are — for the foreseeable future.
        The ST coverage also needs to improve.

  51. Those two late possessions when Gabbert threw int’s kind of reminded me of the last two possessions when the 49ers lost to Carolina at the Stick back in 2013. Especially the interception on the throw to Smith.

      1. For a first round pick Belichick would likely do it, but he will have to find the heir apparent sooner or later so he should hang onto him. Brady is pushing 40 and Belichick has shown he is not overly loyal if he has better and cheaper option.

        1. I’ve been saying, if Jimmy is the real deal, they’re more likely to trade Brady.
          Not till the off season though, but if that were the case I’d be all for getting Brady and developing a draft pick behind him.

            1. Kizer is a big kid. He’s built like Daunte Culpepper. Massive legs on that guy. Still needs experience, but looks like a real good prospect.

            2. I’m all aboard the Deshone Kizer train…but lets let him stay through his senior season in South Bend please? One more year with ESB as his go to guy, maybe a defense than can get off the field, and 2017 will be the year of the Irish…haha.

              1. Dudes a beast…been a while since they had a Michael Floyd type wr (not that Fuller wasn’t amazing, wish he had stayed but he’s balling now in houston).

                I wonder how much better theyd be had Robinson not had the concussion concerns.

        1. Gotta say Jack, if the 49ers had a QB that was capable of throwing downfield with accuracy, there would be a lot less b&m’ing about Torrey Smith. There were chances for some pretty big gains where Smith was had a step on in breaking routes but the ball was waaaaay off target.

    1. Jimmy G. has looked very good, but tap the breaks on sending whatever it takes to get him. He’s in a system he’s been able to learn for a couple of years sitting behind one of the best to ever play the game, and has thrown from a clean pocket more often than not. The Cassel comparison is a good one and while Jimmy G may be better than Cassel, he also may not. I’d rather draft and develop our own.

        1. Jack,

          It’s not so much that I believe this organization can draft and develop a QB, it’s that if you look back over time, not many backup QB’s who looked good and were traded ever amounted to much.

          Think about it, why would the team that knows the player the best be willing to trade that player? Especially in the case of the Patriots. Tom Brady is near the end. Barring a king’s ransom, why in the world would they trade a QB who they believe is a legit franchise QB?

        2. That’s a good question and the obvious answer is under the current administration the chances are slim. The solution is change the current administration but that’s unlikely so that leaves us with finishing low enough in the standings that they get a shot at one of the top options, or they wait another year. As to whether Chip can develop one, that remains to be seen but he’s had some success with average to below average QB’s previously, so maybe he can get the most out of a good one.

    2. If the guy is that great, Belichick is going to part with him? When his starting QB is pushing 40? I totally seeing that happening. Not.

      1. This guy is on a whole other planet then Cassell. The only thing they have in common is they both played for the Patriots. JG is a top 15 QB right now.

        1. You should look up things before you post.

          The Patriots under Cassel were 12th in passing offense and 5th overall in the NFL in 2008. Making him a top 12 QB in the NFL that season. According to ESPN Cassel was the 8th best QB that season.

          JG’s played a whole 2 games so lets not overhype him just yet. I still say this is more Belichick than JG.


          1. eMJ 6 quarters? Haha. Maybe you should turn in your NFL card. I hear most people who play in 2 NFL games play 8, but what do I know.

            1. Wilson,

              eMJ is correct. Garoppolo has played only 6 quarters this year. He was injured yesterday and likely to miss their game Thursday night.

              1. eMJ, I was wrong, I was traveling all day and missed all the NFL games. So Hammer’s point begs the question why in the world would we want a QB who’s only played 6 quarters and injured already.

              2. Simple. Garoppolo is better than what the 49ers already have, his injury might not have caused him to miss this week if they played a normal Sunday game, so he could potentially get reps this season later on and be far better prepared for 2017 than anyone they might have a shot at in the draft.

              3. Possibly, or he could be benefiting from possibly the best coach ever in NFL history. He might be better but I think its too early to be saying we should sell the farm for him. How’d the Chiefs deal work out. Why would the Patriots trade for him when Brady’s approaching 40?

              4. Hammer I just think I’d like to see a whole season of play knowing Hoodie’s record with guys like him.

              5. What would a whole season do to change your mind? You’ve already compared him to Cassel, and he started 15 games in place of Brady back in ’08.

              6. Now that you say that, I wished I’d never written it. I guess what I hope is some other team road tests Hoodie’s used QB rather than us.

              7. wilson…BB is a defensive coach. It would be like saying that Ronnie Lott benefited from having Walsh as his coach.

                Yes, he benefited, but more of from an organizational and talent level, not so much coaching (that was Seifert).

                And Walsh was a better coach than BB. BB did not revolutionize the game like how Walsh did.

              8. And Walsh was a better coach than BB. BB did not revolutionize the game like how Walsh did.

                I understand what I am about to say is sacrilegious, but Belichick is a better Coach than Walsh. Walsh was an offensive innovator and produced some of the best offenses in history, but Belichick always gave him fits as DC for the Giants, and has won in every capacity there is to win. To be able to field a perennial SB contender in the modern NFL is simply amazing. You can give Walsh the edge in personnel because he was one of the best in the HC/GM dual role, but as simply a Coach, Belichick is better imo.

              9. eMJ, while I was wrong earlier not having looked at any NFL stuff for 2 days I am not wrong on this. Make sure you read what I wrote then respond.

                “he could be benefiting from possibly the best coach ever in NFL history.”

                The operative word is “possibly”. Belichick isn’t just a defensive coach. Where are you getting that stuff from? Look at his coaching tree. I never said he was the greatest coach, possibly allows for future achievements since he’s still coaching.

              10. BB is the head coach/gm. He delegates his offense and defensive roles. He’s never been the offensive guy, he made his way up through defense. When the pats won their first 3 SB titles, it was Weis and Crenell as OC and DC (respectively) and both called plays. Weis was also the QB coach, working directly with Brady, except for his last seaosn.

                This is why in the seasons following both Weis and RC leaving (do you remember the hug on the sideline of all 3), there was a running comment about how they hadn’t gotten to or won a SB without Weis and RC.

                After CW left, it was McDaniels who took over on offense, thats what parlayed him into the Broncos HC. It was then Bill Obrien taking over that got him the Penn St job, that landed him the Texans job.

                And the last 4 or 5 years its been Josh McDaniels again as the OC, calling the plays, etc.

                If you look at BB coaching history, he has never been an offensive coach, outside of 1977 when he was an assistant to the TEs, WRs and Special teams coach. Since then he was ST and defense only. Its his game, its what he does. As far as I can see, there shows no history of him even being an offensive player, he looks like he probably played MLB in HS.

                Coaching trees include both offensive and defensive guys…thats why Seifert (defense) falls under Walsh (offense), just like Ray Rhodes, the DC in 1994 when the niners won the SB.

              11. Rocket,

                While you might be right, that BB is a better HC than BW, we’ve only seen him with TB at QB. I think BB benefits from an a GOAT QB candidate, just like BW did, and there’s no real way to separate the two.

                You did come up with a compelling argument that BB’s NYG defenses gave the 49ers fits, at times, but those defenses were LOADED. Starting with the best defensive player of all time, so, again, hard to separate player from coach and say, “yeah, it was the coaching.”

              12. NO NO NO. BB is not better than Bill Walsh.

                Hoody was caught cheating multiple times.

                Bill Walsh won with class.

            1. What does supporting Gabbert have to do with the fact that JG has played 6 quarters this year and is injured?

              Take your bias out of it.

              1. Your over here running your mouth about turning in your NFL card cause I suggested that JG is a top 15 QB.. The guy is a very talented QB who has been well schooled. A very good arm and extremely accurate. On top of that he is mobile as well. He is nothing like Cassell. Supporting Gabbert and running your mouth about JG is laughable. It would take at least our first rnd pick and then some to aquire JG. What don’t you tell me what it would take a team to aquire Gabbert..

              2. 6…S I X…quarters.

                Let him play out the year before talking about how good of a player he is or does Matt Flynn not ring any bells??

                How many qbs *cough* Scott Mitchell *cough* had really great years *cough* Matt Cassell *cough* and then were signed or acquired for way too much *cough* Elvis Grbac *cough* and that team regretted it *cough* Neal Odonell *cough* *cough* Rob Johnson *cough*

                Systems make qbs much more than qbs make systems.

              3. You continue to compare QBs that were NEVER talented… TALENT is very important.. But hey lets just enjoy what we have now.

              4. I think you’re looking back at those QBs with hindsight.

                In the years when they were “good”, no one was talking down on their talent. Scott Mitchell was the prototypical, 6’5″ rocket arm pocket passer. No one in that time was talking bad about them, like draft picks, but now that time has passed everyone acts as if they all saw it coming.

  52. Sorry Seb….

    -Q: When you say Blaine is your starter, does that mean he’s your starter for the duration or is it week to week?

    -KELLY: He’s our starter. I’ve got a lot of confidence in Blaine. So we’re not thinking or talking about… not having Blaine in there.

    It’s about everybody on offense playing better.

    1. Jack, its OK. I want Gabbert to succeed, because that means the Niners are winning.

      However, if he is hurting the team, I want players who could help the Niners to win.

  53. Grant,
    That is the rap on Kelly, Simple offense that has been cracked by the league.
    I am not an expert by any means but watching film on the Kelly teams for the last two years in the league, this offense looks the very much the same. I am sure there are new wrinkles but this is not something new. This last game, no one was fooled by either play calling or scheme.

    1. I think the defense giving up almost 40 and the Hyde fumble, with a lack of any running threat, was more of an issue this game than anything.

      Niners go up 10-7 off Gabs pass to Smith and what happens on the ensuing offensive series, Olson 70+ yard td on 1st down. That is a back breaker.

      1. So was all the 3 outs to start the 3rd Quarter there bud. Defense can only take so much especially playing in the heat like they did all day.

        1. So the 70 yard td to Olsen was at the end of the 3rd quarter?? The Hyde fumble for a scoop and score…that was the end of the 3rd quarter??

          Jesus, you really need to work on your reading comprehension.

        2. Oh stop with the 3 and out nonsense. They have up the Olson YD after a nice drive and gave up another TD on the first possession after the half.

          1. The Defense and Special teams set up Gabbert all day what are you talking about. First drive where we settled for a FG. A special teams turnover at the 2 yard line. Missing wide open recievers. Continues to throw behind and low to RBs out of the backfield. He had some good moments but mainly bad. Your expectations are not what mine are that’s clear.

            1. I’m talking about the 59 yard drive that put them up 10-7. The defense was decent, but also got a lot of help from Panther penalties that put them in – down and 20 type situations.

              They had no answer for Newton in the 3rd quarter starting with the opening possession when they were fresh from the halftime break.

              1. I agree with that.. Although you cannot start the third quarter in this system with multiple 3 and outs or short possessions. Especially in the heat that they were playing in. It effects the Defense major in an up tempo offense.

            2. That’s what good football teams, they set up their offense for success and vice versa. Did Jimmie Ward and Traimaine Brock help out the offense and special teams at all yesterday?

              If you think there is a QB out there besides Brady who can carry a team in todays NFL you maybe should be a pro scout for someone. Gabbert is a manager, not a gun slinger and if you think Kaepernick is a guy who can come in make this offense better, convince me why?

              1. The only thing I can say is that when Kaep had a good line he performed well. The opportunity to convince you might be in about 3 weeks. Hopefully not cause that would mean we are 1-4 at that point.

              2. Would Kaep have a good line now? Thats debatable.

                Is this line on the same level as 2011-2014? Definitely not. And, at this point, I think its too early to abandon the plan and go for broke on Kaep. He is too unproven and a wild card, and the likelyhood of failure, I believe, is much greater with him (he’s more prone to turnovers and he hasn’t shown that he’s evolved mentally).

                True, with Gabbert you might hang on too late, but you’d rather hang on too late and let colin finish up the year (win or loss) so you know what you have with him then swap him in too early, regress, and miss out on any opportunity at .500 and above record.

    1. As well they shouldn’t. On the list of issues with the team, QB is not the top 3 atm. You don’t put a new roof on your house when your foundation has termites.

      Solidify the line play, get a run game going, and then lets see how the team is performing on offense.

      1. He deserves a couple more starts I agree with that. Its up to him to keep it. The O line has performed very well though. Gabbert has barely been touched in 2 games. Very few teams can run on the Panthers at there place.

        1. Or pass either, as evidenced by that 69 QB average rating from last season.

          At the top of Niners problem list is playing previous season SB runner ups. That opinion may chance if they f it up in Seattle this week, but I’m doubting it. Seattle has more troubles than Niners imo.

  54. hmmm. I know this. If harbaughs teams put up 27 points a game they’re securing home field advantage in the playoffs. 37 points given up by the defense and a bunch of believers think CK would have won that game. Oooook!
    This is what will definitely put a nail in the Gabbert CK talk.
    When Gabbert and co go up to Seattle next week and hang 27 on them in a route. Or even just a good win. The debate is over. Because we all know CK has never done this. So CK fans. Are you rotting for a win up north or another loss for more drama circulating the qb position right now? I’m interested to know.

    I have a feeling the “6th man” might have a few more cheering for them this Sunday.

    1. MD, I am hoping that Gabbert does not hurt the team by being inaccurate and turning the ball over. It will be a dogfight up there, it might even be a ball grabber.

      I am fine with Gabbert starting, but i also want to see Kaep play.

      Sheathing your most potentially lethal weapon is a good way to lose.

  55. Has anyone taken into consideration the NC Panthers are ranked number 1 in power rankings and 9ers are 28th. I think SF played pretty well for a young team with new head coach. Kept it close twice until middle of 4th quarter. Plenty of blame to go around, but I think with current circumstances flashes of brilance was observed. No need to push panic button or blame game with personel changes, I believe this team will get better.

    1. I hope the Niners do not pull another Devey, and be too stubborn.They should make adjustments sooner, rather than later, because if they wait too long, it may be too late.

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