49ers 9, Seahawks 12: Grades

Here are the 49ers’ grades after their 12-9 road loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

QUARTERBACK: F. Statistically one of the worst performances we’ve seen from a 49ers quarterback in a long time. Brian Hoyer threw no touchdown passes, one interception, completed just 56 percent of his passes and threw for a mere 99 yards. Ugh! Instead of signing Hoyer, the Niners should have signed Jay Cutler, as I wrote during the offseason. Cutler led the Dolphins to a win over the Chargers today and posted a quarterback rating of 101.8.

RUNNING BACKS: A. Carlos Hyde was the best player on the offense for the second game in a row. He gained 124 yards on 15 carries, and another 19 yards on three catches. His backup, Matt Breida, played well, too. He gained 35 yards on four carries and caught one pass for three yards. He deserved more than five touches – he’s one of the Niners’ most dangerous weapons. Why not line up him at wide receiver and send him deep? Or line him up in the backfield and make him run a wheel route up the sideline? Be creative.

WIDE RECEIVERS: D. Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin each caught three passes for 26 yards. Garcon was an afterthought in the game plan. He didn’t touch the ball until the second quarter. Bill Walsh always made sure Jerry Rice touched the ball in the first quarter so he’d get in the flow of the game. Kyle Shanahan seemed more interested in getting the ball to Marquise Goodwin, who led the offense with six targets. Just like last week, Goodwin dropped a critical pass. This time, he was open at the Seahawks 10-yard line and possibly could have scored a touchdown had he not taken his eyes off the ball. He’s a track star pretending to be a wide receiver. The 49ers should have kept Jeremy Kerley.

TIGHT ENDS: Incomplete. I expected the 49ers would feature George Kittle in the passing game, but they didn’t. Hoyer threw Kittle two short passes and he caught both of them. I can’t fault Kittle for not producing more — the Niners didn’t give him opportunities to be a factor. They should have thrown at least one deep ball to him.

OFFNENSIVE LINE: B. These five players faced an excellent defensive line, and allowed just two sacks and committed only one holding penalty. One of the sacks was Hoyer’s fault because he held the ball too long. The other sack was a miscommunication after Hoyer tried to change the play at the line of scrimmage and the left side of the offensive line couldn’t hear him. The line blocked especially well in the run game, particularly on inside-zone run plays, just like last week. Laken Tomlinson was a significant upgrade over Zane Beadles at left guard.

DEFENSIVE LINE: B-plus. Every defensive lineman played well until the fourth quarter. Aaron Lynch and Tank Carradine both sacked Russell Wilson once and hit him twice, Arik Armstead sacked Wilson once, Solomon Thomas hit Wilson once and DeForest Buckner hit Wilson three times. But at the end of the game, none of the 49ers D-linemen could contain Wilson in the pocket – he rushed for 27 yards on the Seahawks’ game-winning touchdown drive. Had the defense forced Wilson to stay in the pocket, the game probably would have gone to overtime.

LINEBACKERS: C. NaVorro Bowman finished the game with 10 tackles. He was solid. Ray Ray Armstrong was exposed for what he is – a backup playing as a starter. Every time the Seahawks ran the read option, he forgot his assignment, which was to contain Wilson and force him to hand the ball off. Armstrong kept drifting toward the running back and allowing Wilson to run for long gains. Armstrong also committed an egregious penalty when he hit Seahawks wide receiver Paul Richardson out of bounds. Not smart.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: B. Eric Reid injured his left knee in the second quarter and missed most of the second half. He still finished the game with seven tackles. His replacement, Jimmie Ward, had five tackles. And Jaquiski Tartt, who started at free safety and moved to strong safety when Reid got injured, had five tackles, too. All three Niners safeties are good players. But the Niners cornerbacks are mediocre. Dontae Johnson committed a 20-yard pass interference penalty, and Rashard Robinson gave up the game-winning touchdown catch to Paul Richardson.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A. Robbie Gould made all three of his field-goal attempts, punter Bradley Pinion pinned the Seahawks offense inside their 20-yard line four times and Trent Taylor averaged 13.3 yards per punt return. This is a good unit.

COACHES: C. I’ll start with the defensive coordinator, Robert Saleh. He was the 49ers’ best coach for the second game in a row. His defense played well until it ran out of gas and Saleh ran out of changeups to slow down the Seahawks run game. Saleh should have had more than just one way to spy Wilson. Saleh used to coach for the Seahawks – he should know how important it is to keep Wilson in the pocket.

Now, let’s discuss the head coach Kyle Shanahan. He did certain things well. He made his team play cleaner than it did last week, which was one of my five keys to the game. The 49ers committed only six penalties against the Seahawks. Shanahan also made the correct adjustments in the run game. First, he featured the inside-zone play, which suits his personnel. The Niners ran that play 11 times for 126 yards. And when Shanahan called the outside-zone play, he always called it to go away from Seahawks defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, which was another one of my keys to the game.

But Shanahan’s pass offense was beyond comprehension. He didn’t call a single pass that traveled more than 18 yards downfield, and he called just two passes that traveled more than 10 yards downfield.

Shanahan called only short, quick passes, presumably because he thought pass protection was an issue. But if it was such a major concern, why did he go with an empty backfield so often on third down? Had he kept an extra player in to block, he wouldn’t have had to call two-yard passes on third-and-8, passes which had virtually no chance to make the first down. Shanahan ran the same rub pattern at least five times on third down and none of those patterns resulted in a first down. The Niners converted just two third downs all game.

The Niners’ next game will be Thursday night against the Rams. Their defensive coordinator, Wade Philips, will smother this abysmal passing offense unless Shanahan makes major changes to it. Let’s see what he’s got.

This article has 144 Comments


    DI DeForest Buckner, 90.8 overall grade

    T Joe Staley, 86.8 overall grade

    T Trenton Brown, 86.0 overall grade

    S Jaquiski Tartt, 82.6 overall grade

    S Jimmie Ward, 81.3 overall grade

    1. How the heck does Staley have a higher grade than Brown after giving up 1 sack to Bennett, 1 to Clark for a near safety (always take the inside rusher closest to the QB) and a huge hit by Richardson that decapitated Hoyer and almost took out Trenton Brown as well? Meanwhile Brown hasnt even given up a pressure in either game. I love Staley but these PFF grades are bogus.

  2. Overall good assessment of the game. I thought the team did a better job overall but the QB, WR and Coaching still was very suspect to me. Can anyone please explain why Juice got so much money?

  3. Dang, Cutler would have been a better choice. Good call.

    “But Shanahan’s pass offense was beyond comprehension. He didn’t call a single pass that traveled more than 18 yards downfield, and he called just two passes that traveled more than 10 yards downfield.”

    How do you know that? Our WRs could have been covered. Hoyer may not have trusted Goodwin (with good reason). You said the same thing in the preseason. Shanny corrected you and said they called deep balls, but they weren’t there.

  4. Missed the live Periscope. Some thoughts:

    – Difference in game was chaos production by Wilson. On set plays, the 49ers were better.

    – Agree with Grant that a good quarterback is worth a major percentage of the salary cap. It also allows teams to use all their draft picks instead of trading up in a sellers market for a quarterback.

    – Raduz fans were right calling Ray Ray Armststron “Flag Flag Armstrong”

    – Foster’s speed would have really helped vs Wilson’s scrambles. 49ers would have won if Foster played.

    – Good to see Armstead making plays.

    – Loved the way defenders flew to the ball. Lots of gang tackling. Only exception was final drive when they were tired.

    – Hoyer is playing badly.

    – Wish Shanahan would call more run plays.

    – Hate silver linings, but the 49ers defense beat up Seattle today. They will be sore.

    – Second game in a row Hoyer too head shots or late hits and nothing was called.

    – When Goodwin dropped the ball he was turning his head to run well before the ball arrived. It was a technique issue more than a vision issue.

    – Some of the late game defensive breakdowns were because defenders were trying to make a big hit, not paying attention to gap integrity. Bowman missed a tackle on final Seattle drive that way.

  5. Hey Grant, sounds like you’re butt hurt after you got made a fool during a press conference this week.

    – Kerley wouldn’t have made a difference.
    -QB play was suspect, but Cutler wouldn’t do any better.

    So you’re hypercritical of the game plan 2 games in. Shouldn’t Hyde be cut by now, by your previous points

  6. He didn’t call a single pass that traveled more than 18 yards downfield, and he called just two passes that traveled more than 10 yards downfield.
    SMH. You have a QB that is throwing for 4.7 yards per attempt and you think that the lack of deep passes is the coaches fault.

    You do this every year. You still blame scheme when it’s always been execution.

      1. and KS’ pass calls weren’t influenced by the “Hoyer-reduced-expectations” factor? You’re arguing a “chicken vs. egg” scenario on KS’ performance vs. Hoyer’s….not to mention what SEA “D” influence on options…you’ll need to pick this back up after more game replay study…
        And if we’re gonna blame one guy for the collapse in 4th, it’s Ray Ray lack of contain against RW,

            1. assuming KS thought Hoyer could pull it off at those points in the game– I suggest he went short due to lack ‘o confidence in Hoyer and rcvrs….
              sounds like the beginning of a diplomatically worded query to KS from you, yes?

            2. Grant: if you are that much smarter then KS as you are coming off as why are you not in football.? And i do not mean your present position.

            3. “There are ways to throw deep against Cover 3, as I explained in my game preview.”

              If it were that simple, nobody would run Cover 3.

            4. Like running seam up the middle ?

              With Hoyer throwing the ball, Goodwin catching it and Earl Thomas defending ? Yeah… That’s a dream matchup for an offense.

            5. We need a QB bad Hoyer will keep us back, if we go 0-5 I say give CJ a shot can’t hurt. As far as coaching I think Shan will be okay in time, other coaches Tomsula and Kelly fired by week 4 I trust lynch and Shan and will be patient we are in total rebuild mode needs time to grow, maybe Shan loves a QB in upcoming draft and Hoyer will help them get him

      2. are you sure? Hoyer threw a lot of short passes but what were his other options doing? what were their route concepts? 4 verticals is supposed to work against Cover 3 but the Niners don’t really have the horses to run that consistently. One of the major problems was that Hoyer couldn’t connect on many of the short passes that were there for him to take. He seems a tick too slow at pulling the trigger and often threw the ball too late to receivers that were sometimes practically a few yards away from him….one of them was pick!

        1. KS throttled back due to what Hoyer was able to do/what D was giving– in KS’ estimation, of course…can’t wait for the presser!

      1. Good grades Grant, I can’t find any gripes. I might give the DL a slightly higher grade as it’s hard to fault them for running out of gas thanks to an offense that simply cannot pass the ball or sustain drives. It’s hard to believe just how much better this defense is against the run, even without Foster on the field. You’re right about the safeties, they’re pretty good, I hope Reid is week to week. I wonder if Reuben Foster would have been the difference today, with his instincts and range, keeping Wislon contained, although it’s hard to win games when you can’t score a damn TD.

        Kyle made a nice adjustment calling many more inside-zone runs, and Tomlinson looks like a pretty substantial upgrade at LG, but my gosh, if there is anything this team has on offense it’s speed, so why no deep shots? It’s almost unfathomable.

        Brian Hoyer is as lost as I’ve seen a 49ers QB since Kaepernick hit the stretch starting with the Arizona game when he threw for 67 yards & 4 INT’s, including 2 first QTR pick sixes, and a 3.5 yard average. Hoyer seems to have no clue where he should be going with the football, and he’s clearly lost confidence already. He’s missing receivers, rushing throws even when he’s got time to let the routes develop, and not seeing defenders. It would help if he could extend a play now and then, but it’s clear not part of his game. To be honest, I never expected much from Hoyer, but I expected more than he’s given the 49ers so far. You’re right about Cutler, and I supported the idea when you suggested him this offseason.

          1. Speaking of Kaepernick, he’s still available.

            For a reason. In 9 tries Kaep eked out 2 wins against Seattle, never once at clink. That’s probably a good part of the reason why he’s no longer with the team. Having said that I sure hope the team gives Hoyer a shorter leash than they did with Kaepernick. Otherwise, expect 5 more years of futility against the Seahawks.

        1. Cutler has (BFD) bipolar football disorder. He could throw 4 TD’s in a game or 4 int’s. He sulks when things don’t go his way and will throw teammates under the bus after making a boneheaded mistake.
          Definitely not the guy I would want leading our team.
          I’d rather take some lumps and bruises with Hoyer and wait for either CJB or one of the QB crop coming out next year.

    1. Actually CK can be worse. We’ve seen it (do we not remember last year vs Chicago???). Also, CK has NEVER beaten Sea in Sea.

      Please. Just stop.

      1. The game in Chicago was in a swirling wind and the Seattle teams he faced can not be compared to the level Seattle has sunk to now. The entire league has swung from the top division in league to the bottom one.

        I did not start it but your cherry picking to make a point is ridiculous. Especially comparing this Seattle team with the ones that had the best defense in the league.

    2. Nick… exactly. That rattled him from the start. And has never played up there before. It showed today. And Grant what number were you wearing in the huddle?
      No way you know for sure there wasn’t a deep pass called. Again knock the plays and play of players. Stop trying to overthink yourself and act as if you should be coach dude. You’re starting to get way over your head.

    3. Kaepernick is 1-7 against Seattle. Between him and Gabbert the 49ers lost the previous six games by an average score of 17.7 points which includes the two-point loss in the season finale last year. Which tells just how bad the other five losses were… That includes play-off caliber/championship caliber teams in that mix.

      So, in fact, Kaepernick can be worse because the historical record says he was worse. He had a game with a 20 QB rating. He had another around 36. He can’t win with good teams, he can’t win with bad.

      He’s been so inept that he’s helped cement Richard Sherman’s reputation as he’s thrown multiple INTs right to him because he so badly missed his WR that Sherman was the only man open.

    4. Nick,
      Kap couldn’t move the offense even though he practiced every day when he was a 49er. He’s been out of football about 8 months, do you really think he can just get on the field and play? Plus, he would only revert back to his old running tactics when there is a little pressure in the pocket because he would not be able to grasp Shanahan’ scheme right away (if ever).
      The Colin Kaepernick ship has sailed – best to leave it at that.

      1. Totally agree with the ship having sailed but lets not exaggerate negatives to counter. However, when nothing was there Kaep could always make something with his legs much like Wilson did in the fourth qtr. And Wilsons accuracy was poor the entire game. Although he did have his receivers make some drops as well.

  7. Why would you think Cutler would have come to SF?! This situation was no better than Chicago. Cutler is in Miami ONLY because of an injury during training camp, had Tan not got hurt Cut would be in the booth. And Miami was a playoff team last year and is coached by a guy who had coached JC to his best statistical season in his career. Think man think.

    It’s comments like that which totally derail credibility.

    And at the end of the day the Niners lost by 3 and had a chance to get a go ahead TD had it not been for a bad drop. It’s frustrating but had this been last year’s team they lose by 25. This is a marathon, the Niners will get them back at home, just watch.

  8. Grant ..
    Agree with your grades … but … I would have loved
    to look under the Smurf’s helmet .. when Armstead broke
    through the SeaChicken’s OL … and Wilson looked into the eyes
    of that 7-foot (something) .. behemoth …bearing down on him …

    Bet he went to the locker room and checked his depends !!

    Yeah .. so we lost … and Hoyer sucks … but ..
    it was a very exciting game nonetheless …

    I mean .. sure .. a battle of the Defenses.. but still exciting !
    Hey … with around 7 minutes left … the Niners were actually
    AHEAD …. and I thought this could be the
    time Niners win at The Clink ! ….

    (Then my rose colored glasses …. broke )

    1. I don’t want the Niners winning any close games this season. If they are not contenders winning is counter productive. Much like when the won that game that dropped them from the first pick in the draft during Tomsula’s era. Play tough but lose and clean up in the draft this coming season. Legit tanking is good strategy for a rebuilding team.

  9. Agree with most grades. But don’t toot your horn too loudly on Cutler. You also said that Hyde would probably get cut and Kilgore would get replaced by Zuttah. Plus Cutler had played 1 game. He hasn’t had enough time to go full Jay Cutler.

      1. ???? no never said he would be cut but that he didn’t fit the zone run and was on the outside looking in
        didn’t fit into the Shannahan offense, heard that from you numeris times

      2. I think the suggestion was that he be traded, due to not fitting the outside zone scheme, which I think the jury is still out on currently, due to OL, but today’s game will keep the Hyde supporters going till Thursday…Hyde did great today..BTW…

        1. If Grant were in the mood to argue about Hyde, he would remind us that if you take away his long run, which was more luck than skill, his average would be below Breida’s for the day. And if you take away his two long runs (the second one was slightly less luck) he would have been 13 attempts for 36 yards – whoop de do. People will argue about Hyde…..until he’s gone. Personally, I really like the youts.

          1. I would add that on Hydes long run if that had been Breida going through that hole he would have taken it to the house. No one would have caught him from behind. Still a good run by Hyde but he had a huge hole and no one even touched him till he was tackled. On his second run he did bounce off the line to make that one happen.

    1. MD,
      It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the fans get riled up after a couple of losses.
      I think we all knew going in, that beating Seattle (who has owned us in recent years) was going to take a super effort.
      Although we lost, my take going forward is that our team (especially our defense) gained some well needed confidence and have too feel very good about themselves.

      The offense will need that one game where everything clicks and falls into place. Also, it’s time for Shanahan to find a way use Kyle Juszczyk more than just lead blocking. KJ has the ability to catch like a TE – use him!

      But so far, this team is who we thought they were going to be; a 4-6 win team with a positive future going forward.

      1. AES I almost posted something similar yesterday about Juszczyk. He’s supposed to be this offensive weapon and he was largely absent from the game plan.

  10. As a team, the 49ers have nothing to be ashamed of. The Seahawks just made the big plays and we didn’t. Clearly, the 49ers have work to do and need to get back to the grind.

  11. Again, for a guy who never played at CenturyLink and a team that has lost only 5 games at Century since 2014 this performance was expected by Hoyer and one of the reasons I picked against SF.. Watch the Offense get on track this Thursday vs the Rams.. Hyde might run for 250 and Hoyer should have a field day vs a soft Ram secondary..

    1. Please stop. The stats Cousins currently has this season are the type that would cause the fan base to be in an nasty uproar right now.

      1. Mid…. its two games, and he has the stats to prove he’s not a flash in the pan. Washington is a dumpster fire. Do you really think he’s happy there with that owner and roster?

        1. The reaction of some of the fan base to games where our previous QBs had low stats in a winning effort more than validates my point. I am sick of fans complaining about how boring the passing game is in a winning effort.
          There is another fact in that Cousins has been out of Shanahan’s system for a while now, so the odds are highly likely that he would have go through bumps in the road just like Hoyer is right now. That what occurs with a rebuilding team.
          Finally, exactly what positions that Shanahan and Lynch tried to address in the off-season would you have rather seen them ignore in order to pay Cousins and hand Washington some draft picks?

  12. I feel like we would had won that game had Reuben Foster been starting at LB. With his incredible sideline to sideline speed, I would have loved to watch him in this game against Russell Wilson. I think he would of contained him much better.

  13. Exactly why did SF let WR Crabtree walk?

    SF’s expensive ‘offense weapon’ Juszczyk has done almost squat in two games:

    1 rush, 0 yards
    2 receptions, 17 yds

    An over-hyped waste of $$$ so far…

    1. The let Crabtree walk because he came in out of shape in the season after his injury. He was also a major part of the locker room problem that developed because of the Front Office undercutting Harbaugh. He is also a better complimentary receiver ( which he is in Oakland ) than the # one that he was for the NIners. It actually took him a bit to get back in the groove after his injury. The system here pretty much diminished everyone play and subsequent value.

  14. He’s a track start pretending to be a wide receiver.

    What are you, since you seem to be pretending to be a writer. Typos are embarassing, especially when you are criticizing someone in the sentence in which you make said typo.

  15. I am so excited and optimistic about our defense going forward. They are one of the youngest defenses in the league and in their 1st year in a new system and already are playing at an extremely high level with massive amounts of talent. They should only get better as the year goes on, especially after we get Reuben back. Pete Carroll said this after the game, “They look like they’re going to improve like crazy, because they’re so young and they’re so new at it. We’re lucky we got them early in the year.”

    Our offense is whole other story. However, Shanahan really struggled in his first year at Atlanta so I would say it is pretty clear it takes time to implement his system, especially when he has inferior talent compared here to the likes of Julio Jones and Matt Ryan. So with that, I am not going to get too worried about the offense just yet as I think Shanahan will put it together in time. At least he cut down on mistakes and off the top of my head, I would imagine the low # of penalties we committed on offense would be ranked near the best playing at Seattle over the last 5 years.

    I actually feel good about today, I have a better feeling about this team than at any point in the last 2 seasons so that makes me happy. Brick by brick right?

  16. Also, I had thought safety play was going to be an issue coming into this year and at the very least we would lack depth, but we look really solid at safety! Tartt is playing extremely well, Reid playing some of the best ball of his career up until the injury (playing the right position that fits his strengths), Ward looked great for being out over a month and missing a ton of practices while moving to a completely new system and position, and we have an undrafted rookie that has surprised everyone and has not looked out of place in his short time in the NFL as a rookie.

  17. The fact they played a full 60 minutes of competitive football is a major step up from last year. Yes, Hoyer is average, but he’s probably right for the team, right now. A top tier QB needs a viable O-line. I think 9ers getting to that point a lot faster than I would have thought. Hoyer might be better if they have a back that is good at pass pro and they call plays to let the back block, then release as safety valve. Makes you appreciate how skilled Gore was as a blocker. It was an entertaining game, that is a plus this year. Last year it was try hard for a half, then barf-bag 2nd half.

  18. East coast let’s don’t go there at this point no matter who is the QB this team is rebuilding and they are going through some groin pains. did anybody noticed that the ball was not thrown ahead of 1st down marker?

  19. Hoyer does not deserve to be a starting quarterback for us. Its incredibly obvious that he is not equipped for such a duty. It us really too bad as they had a chance to win this game but he and the Wide Receivers did not show up. I am excited about our Defense but some of the key pieces on Offense are not here yet. Great game Hyde!

    1. Hoyer is there only to implement the system. They really do not care if the win this year. Better if they don’t because it is to the teams long term advantage. Of course most fans want it now.

  20. I predicted a niner win and i think many here are missing just how bad Seattle is. I predicted a niner win because Seattle has no offense.
    Nothing on the field changed that observation.
    It took 3 preseason games for Hoyer to throw a TD PASS. He will throw one against the Rams.
    When your d holds the other team to 12 points in the NFL your offense HAS to win.
    I don’t think Shanahan is bad. Cutler wasnt interested in leaving the booth for SF. Hoyer is the best available QB Shanahan could sign.
    I also don’t think this D is as good as it is getting credit for. They have played against two vanilla offenses.

    1. I agree the offenses we have played are not that good, but I do not think our defense is being overhyped because they are an incredibly young group playing in their first 2 games in a new system. I think that is why everyone is giving them a lot of credit, as they can see how much potential they have and that they absolutely will get better the more comfortable they get in this system and as young players work through growing pains.

    2. No, the defense is light years better than last year, and they could have won the game with competent quarterbacking.
      I still think there are better FA options to improve the QB situation.
      Cutler only came out of retirement because of Gase. He never would have gone to toil for a 2-14 rebuilding team.

  21. Although I didn’t think we’d win the game, I’m impressed we stayed in the running to pull it out as long as we did. I didn’t expect that. After all, it’s so tough to win in Seattle and they have the better team. The Niners might be getting better at the new systems on offense and defense. There’s certainly a sign they’re working out the bugs. Tomlinson over Beadles, bug number 1. Johnson over Reaser, number 2. Next maybe it’ll be Lee over Ray Ray. And possibly they’ll try Robinson (or even Bolden) over Goodwin. Looking forward to Thursday. To me this is not a sure win, even given today. Can anyone comment on how good the Rams’ offensive line is?

    1. Much better than last year, it is still a work in,progress but Hurley has touchdowns in both games, goff is better but still locks eyes on one target, this led to an nit when he tried to get the ball to cooper kupp , cooper cup reminds me of a Korean athletic Dwight Clark. I believe rams have more talent especially on the O side. Still very happy with the performance, will be a work in progress but team is being built correctly,interesting that the bengal players want lap over dalton, have a great night!

  22. Grant – Relating to this comment “He didn’t call a single pass that traveled more than 18 yards downfield, and he called just two passes that traveled more than 10 yards downfield.”

    I think this was obviously part of Shanahan’s gameplan since he knows the Seahawks arguably have the best safety duo in the league, definitely the best FS in the league, and he did not want to go into this with trying to have a not so accurate QB trying to throw into tight windows 15+ yards down field against the best FS in the NFL. Yah maybe he could of taken a shot, but he did not want to put Hoyer in that spot and did not think that would give his team the best chance to win. You have to work with what you got…and unfortunately, we got Hoyer.

    Obviously this offensive game plan did not work too well, but it did give us a chance to win the game. I honestly do not believe that any offensive game plan would had worked against this defense with the talent we have on offense at this point. I mean we have seen much more talented 49er offenses with great offensive minds like Greg Roman go into Seattle over the last 6 years and have amount the same amount of success as we had today. So why not go with the gameplan that minimizes the risk of turning the ball over as much as possible?

  23. Defense allowed Wilson to run late in game due to being horribly tired. Wasn’t TOP like 37:00 to 23:00?
    Also Ray Ray is horrible. They need Foster to have a chance to win games this year. He is/would have been the difference. With Foster I feel they can be a top ten D-if they can get a shut down corner next year and re sign Reid and stay healthy ….Sky is the limit.
    Offense simply needs a different QB. Hoyer just is one of those guys that buckle under pressure and cannot sense it. His instincts in high pressure situations just aren’t there. I’m a bassist and let me tell you it’s like a drummer. Having time and an internal metronome with good instincts can’t be taught….if there not there in a live Music situation many things can go wrong when the pressure is wrong or a mistake made….a guy with it can save the day.
    Hoyer is like a guy that can play but his time and metronome are just not very good naturally. When things get crazy he reacts poor. He’s the opposite of Montana.
    Nice guy and good when he’s got time but that won’t cut it.

    1. My thoughts exactly on Hoyer and I mentioned this earlier today. He is a great practice player and has looked great much of training camp, but when the pressure comes at game speed, he just freaks out and cannot handle it. Like you, I think he is a great guy and wish him the best. I would be happy to have him as a backup QB here.

  24. I like Tartt & Ward together as safety’s

    Kittle May be the key to getting this offense going, Which may mean starting CJB. He can’t do worse & the familiar Iowa connection may get this offense out of 1st gear. Hoyer is bringing nothing to the table right now.

  25. hey, where’d the chum-churners go– michael-of-kezar, chucky brown, and Seb’s therapist, Dr. R?
    no need for them in this thread huh?

  26. Accurate grades in my opinion.

    One concern regarding Hoyer, besides the fact that he is just a place holder and not very good, is that he appears to be very short with his teammates. He does a lot of yelling and after a bad play in body language is horrible. I wonder if this is one reason he has not stuck around with any club for any length of time? Of course the main reason is that he is not very good.

  27. Grant, good grades, I generally agree with them all.
    However, I questioned your call for those deep passes because I thought that Hoyer would not have had time to throw them. After his pick, he went safe with the short passes, because he wanted to throw the ball quickly. Niners should have put the TE in motion to pinch in the DE so Hoyer could roll out to buy time.
    Seahawks shaped the Niners by taking away the deep passes and gave them the short passes.
    I advocated the Niners line up Hyde deep in the I and let him pick the hole to run through. It was nice to see Juszczyck throw that block to spring Hyde for that big run.
    I still think that saving time outs for the last 2 minutes of each half is a sound strategy, but the Niners squandered them again, so they probably do not read these posts.
    I could not believe I heard Tim Ryan talk about milking the play clock with 12 minutes left with a tie score. Letting the play clock run down to below 5 seconds all the time was obtuse.
    The Seahawks ran the no huddle and caught the Niners trying to substitute, and won the game. I wanted the Niners to do that.
    I said that the Niners needed to contain RW in order to win, but he broke containment too many times.
    I said the Niners should not run into the teeth of the defense, but they did it anyways on 4th down.
    I agree, the Niners should have used the TEs more in the passing game. They should have utilized Juszczyck more, too.
    Generally, I am happy that the Niners were not blown out. They actually had a lead with 7 minutes left. The defense was stout, but the offense is sputtering. Hope KS will admit he does not have all the answers, and hires an OC.

  28. Just a thought, Seattle ESPN power ranked at #8 as compared the San Francisco at #29. Someone had asked me before the game who would win and thought Niners would loose by 20 or more points based on: ranking, visiting team, crowd noise, new and young players, key injured players out (Foster), new playbook scheme and coaches. Disappointed the offense left defense on the field too long, although score was tight in this game up to last 7 minutes when it should have been heavily favored in Seattle behalf..

    For the changes taking place, not bad. There were times of disappointment and execution could have been better but I see growth from last week and believe it will continue. Lets see how the 9ers fare against a 500 team.

    No, not going to get down this team just yet, looking for improvement each week taking into account opponent.

  29. http://www.sacbee.com/sports/nfl/san-francisco-49ers/article173877201.html

    “… I just stopped,” Staley said. “The guy still killed the quarterback. And I’m like, ‘Unnecessary roughness! What the hell was that?’ And they’re like, ‘You can’t even hear … no one can hear the whistle.’ And I’m like, ‘I blatantly heard it.’ I heard it for three seconds.”

    Hoyer, who had a mark on his forehead and a band-aid above his right eye after the game, said he heard the whistle as well and figured the play was dead.

    “I think everybody heard the whistle,” he said.

      1. Yup, and the no call before our final FG. It was clearly pass interference on Seattle. Oh, and Armstead getting held late in the game wasn’t called either.

        1. Yeah, the zebras had a bad day. On the play Goodwin dropped the ball he was clearly held by Sherman right before he goes into his cut. Sherman literally grabbed Goodwin’s shoulder pads and refused to let him turn.
          Very next play, Garcon gets mugged by Sherman with the ball in the air and then Sheldon Richardson hits Hoyer borderline late but drives him into the ground. That play is usually called a penalty in today’s NFL. Then they missed the obvious hold on Armstead when the QB scrambled. Those 4th qtr non-calls played a huge roll in the outcome of the game. Hope Lynch & Shanny go ballistic on their call with the NFL this week.

      2. Just for the record….

        Did anyone happen to notice that our ole’ Game manager managed to win another one ? Boy ! That sure was a mark of brilliance to trade Alex Smith to the Chiefs and hold onto Colin Kaepernick….The best part of it is that the KC blogs don’t have to go through the snide arguments that we from the Bay Area do….they just have to read the top line of the Sports page ” ….Smith Wins Again !”….THANKS HARBAUGH !!

        1. Yes the KC fans do as I was interested in their thoughts and went to read a KC blog last week, and for some reason Alex Smith is still a very polarizing player. Half of their fanbase hates Alex and are already calling for Mahomes. Makes me feel a bit better that it was not just us, I mean they are complaining about 10+ wins every year, and said they do not care because Alex does not have the arm to win in the playoffs (sound familiar??). It is truly a spectacle to see how quick the target moves for every fanbase.

          Alex is a damn good QB and deserves better than SF or KC fans trying to run him out for a young QB that has not proven anything.

          1. The fact that some of you still bring up Alex Smith tells quite a bit about why a portion of the fan base hated Kaep purely because he replaced Smith. It was the same with Young when he replaced Montana. It remained thus till he won in the Superbowl. I strongly suspect that it wouldn’t have made a difference if Kaep had. The Smith guys would hate him until his dying day. Smith was never as bad as his detractors made him out to be. However he was never as good as his fans thought he was. The success and failure of a QB depends quite a bit on the support from the rest of the team.

            1. I actually liked Kaep too, I mean for what he came out and did his rookie year, it was hard to not get excited about him and think of how good he was going to be for us. So I was torn on the situation with him and Alex, but ultimately thought they were making the right decision based on potential.

              Now, none of that pistol type stuff works anymore. Kaep and RGIII are out of the league after having incredible first two seasons, so everyone was wrong, it happens.

  30. This is exactly what everyone should have suspected from Brian Hoyer. There’s a reason he’s moved around so many NFL teams. He’s not a good QB. Believe it or not Brian Hoyer can be much worse than he’s playing right now. We will see Hoyer string a few good games together where he looks almost competent. Then he will slide into abysmal play that could be even worse than we’ve seen so far. Predicting a 9 win season when Brian Hoyer is your best QB is almost laughable. This is a 4-6 win team and thats only if Brian Hoyer finds a way to play better.

    1. I have an annual ‘bragging rights’ bet with my BF who, despite all his virtues, is unfortunately a Cowboy fan. I called the 49ers at 4-12.

      1. I hope you are right. The Niners need to lose this year put themselves into a better position to grab a QB in the draft. It is far more cost effective to get the highest priced player for five years on a rookie salary than to sign a vet through free agency for what they will cost. The money saved can be used to fill up the roster through free agents. For the amount a good QB would cost you can get at least 3 top flight skill position players for the same price.

  31. He’s a track start pretending to be a wide receiver. The 49ers should have kept Jeremy Kerley.

    Something I’ve been saying since he was signed. I think he, and that linebacker Smith (and Ray-Ray by Baalke), were terrible signings. And for the money they paid Jewels, he’s been a waste.

    As for the game… I’m not distraught. I expected the 49ers to play better than the national media thought we could. I didn’t expect to win unless we played a near perfect game which is kind un realistic considering the roster-turn-over (30 new players) and all the rookies (15) on the team.

    As for Shanahan’s play calling, the sad fact is that Hoyer is a journeyman QB with a weak arm that, basically, means he can’t really challenge a Cover 3 defense since he can’t really throw the routes you need to throw against a FS like Earl Thomas. But, despite all the whining about him, he’s been better as a pocket-passer than Kaepernick who was one of the worst pocket passers in the NFL. But he’s still a journeyman QB who’ll probably be a good coach someday.

    But beyond Hoyer there were other points of failure. For example, twice 49ers DBs had INTs in their hands. Twice they hit the ground. One of them looked like it had Pick-6 written all over it. Make that Pick-6 and it’s a victory.

    Another game-changer was when Goodwin dropped his second potential TD reception in as many weeks. That lost TD, had everything else played out the same, would won the game for the 49ers. And there were more mistakes that weren’t quite as glaring. Execution errors on the offense and defense.

    But, over-all, there were bright spots. The running performed pretty well against the Seahawks line/defense that’s supposed to be elite. The defense held Wilson, one of the best QBs in the NFL in check most of the game until, basically, they ran out of gas. And the secondary, while not perfect, held Wilson to an 80.2 QB rating which is hard to do considering his lifetime QB rating is 98.9 for his career and 93.9 against the 49ers (career). Plus he’s been, pretty much, money in big games with a 94.1 playoff QB rating including a 104.6 against the 49ers.

    In fact, this was the 4th best PD (QB rating wise) the 49res have ever put up against Wilson AND at just 5.08 Yards per Attempt, the YPA, by THREE YARDS, was better than every other game (10 in all) where he averaged just over 8 yards an attempt. So, from that measure, yesterday (PD wise) it was better than anything we’ve done against since Wilson’s first game against the 49ers in his rookie year.

  32. good stuff Grant but have to respectfully disagree on Cutler – million dollar arm, 10 cent head, and underperformance is always the result. Hoyer isnt a long term solution either, but for a team starting it’s rebuild…well, it is what it is.

    thot the team played tougher in seattle than any other niner team since the SuperBowl year. some of that is the aging process at Seattle, and probably their not getting up for a game against the division doormat. good sign that the team is playing hard, but this is just the start.

    i like the way Shanahan et al are making quick changes when they see underperformance. sets the right tone, and over the course of the next 18 months they’re going to find a few players.

  33. Going to be tough Thursday no matter how terrible the Rams are

    Defensive Snaps: Dontae Johnson 82, Rashard Robinson 82, Jaquiski Tartt 82, NaVorro Bowman 81, Ray-Ray Armstrong 68, Arik Armstead 67, DeForest Buckner 67.

    Offensive Snaps: Joe Staley 49, Trent Brown 49, Daniel Kilgore 49, Brandon Fusco 49, Laken Tomlinson 48.

    Info Matt Maiocco

    0-3 with a dead legged defense can make the wheels fall off a season fast. What I want Thursday is the 49ers eek out a win with no major injuries.

  34. Coaching criticism… It’s a little early… There’s a fundamental problem in that some people are being entirely unreasonable when they fail to consider the tools the coach has to work with. Even if those tools are ‘his fault.’

    Welcome to For the Win’s ranking of all 32 NFL starting quarterbacks. These rankings are based entirely on film study, with each passer being graded on six attributes: Accuracy, arm strength, athleticism, pocket presence, field vision and pre-snap ability. For a more thorough explanation of the grading click here.

    Brian Hoyer #32

    Some day, Hoyer will make a fine NFL coach. He clearly gets what coaches are asking him to do; actually executing those instructions is just beyond him. Hoyer isn’t accurate and his arm is among the weakest in the league. The game seems to move too quickly for him, which is how such a smart player commits so many turnovers.

    Are you going to challenge one of the fastest, most athletic defenses sporting one of the best Free Safeties in the NFL with a weak-arm, some-what-slow QB who can’t reliably make the reads and throw the passes necessary to challenge that FS? Or the pass defense?

    You do that with Hoyer and it’s a 4-int day. Like the Texans found out in the playoffs against an elite KC defense two years ago.

    It’s time to recognize Hoyer is a very limited bridge QB. His job is to run the offense while the other players learn to play the offense. He’s not here to win games or lead the 49ers to the playoffs or any such thing. He’s a place-holder until a better option comes along.

    But until one does, the coaches are limited in what they do in game planning which must be constructed in recognizing what he can and can’t do. And challenging ball-hawking/elite pass defenses is something he can’t do.

    So criticizing the coaching staff two-games into the season, and acting like ‘the worst thing ever,’ because all they can do is work within the limits of their players… I don’t buy off on it at this point. Walsh couldn’t win much with DeBerg (starting 0-7 on the way to 2-14 in 1979). Shanahan isn’t going to win much with Hoyer.

    But in the meantime, the coaches are getting a better handle on the roster while those players that are quality players (especially the young ones) on offense will get reps and develop more/better skills. And in the first year of a gut-and-rebuild, that’s about all you can do… No matter how unreasonable your expectations were when you predicting a glorious rebound.

  35. Grant: Covering the last 3 years, would you please have your intern tally the game grades, assigning a numeric value, similar to a GPA, and give us an average season-ending grade for each position group? And perhaps a quick year-end summary. I prefer your scoring to other sources because of your objective style and being on the ground with the team. An old adage states if its quantifiable it is fixable.

  36. Not that Hoyer is anything special but I think his confidence is wavering due to last week’s bad protection and the fact he’s thrown two stupid (and similar) interceptions. Obviously there’s a reason he’s bounced around the league and I think it’s only a matter of time before Bethard gets some playing time.

    On the bright side, Tomlinson seems like an immediate upgrade and the running game shows promise. The defense is really coming around and once Foster returns they’ll shutdown some teams (currently ranked 9th for what its worth). I have a feeling we’re going to bury the Lambs on Thursday night since the Niners will want to serve notice on prime time – especially the defense. Yes we lost yesterday but I think the players are gaining confidence (Hoyer excluded) and when/if the passing game comes around they’ll be in most games.

  37. Grant, what is your current thoughts on our head coach being the play caller? I think that is a real problem for Shannahan, especially in the second half. I understand Hoyer is limited in certain areas, but the overall play calling and game planning is not what I expected from him.

  38. I’m still not understanding the reasoning of why Kyle Juszczyk was given so much money. If he is an offensive weapon, he is an invisible one! He had 17 snaps yesterday, one more than Garret Celek.

    Is Eli Harold better than Aaron Brooks?

  39. Goodwin must be cut, or prac squad….or team chemistry will tank. Can’t have passes hitting you in the hands 2 weeks in a row. Other guys need to get targets now. There is a consequence for actions and choices, no matter how much potential.

  40. Max 1st stated it best:

    Max First Stels says:
    September 17, 2017 at 9:46 pm
    The fact they played a full 60 minutes of competitive football is a major step up from last year.
    Last year it was try hard for a half, then barf-bag 2nd half.

    TomD’s Take: Eary on , most on this sited predicted unknown DC, Robert Saleh was a train wreck waiting to happen; combined with an inexperienced offense and a bad O-line we were going to be a dumpster fire.

    Looks like Saleh’s proving everyone wrong, and now that we’ve jettisoned Baalke’s players (laid a foundation), the 2018 draft will be about the O-Line and, as Shanahan stated, finding that ‘stud z receiver’ (Z receivers typically line up off the line of scrimmage on the wide side of the field, making it tougher to jam him).

    49er fans, let us not forget not a string in the offensive spider web vibrated w/o Baalke doing the vibrating….Who can forget Chip Kelly’s original choice for DC (Billy Davis) for Jim O’neil….Folks, we are light years ahead in our rebuilding than those ACL/character issue drafting days !!!

    “Billy Davis says Trent Baalke, Jed York denied Chip Kelly chance to hire him

    Chip Kelly apparently wanted to hire former Eagles and 49ers defensive coordinator, but he was denied. There’s plenty to take from that.”
    by David Fucillo@davidfucillo Aug 1, 2016, 12:35pm PDT


  41. Young team struggling towards respectability; work in progress. Incremental improvement by OL. Hoyer lacked accuracy, made catches harder than they needed to be. Might have converted a couple of 3rds if he could’ve delivered the ball better. On the Niners late drive I thought Shanny got too cute with his play calls. The run game had them on their heels but he came off it and stalled. If you’re running the rock, run it until they show they can stop it.

    On another note, and off topic for Grant’s post, for those who might be interested Bob Padecky has a fine piece on the PD about a renewed cross-town rivalry HS game. I found it very much worth the read. This is what Bob does so well at this point in his long career; the reflective articles.

  42. Grant,
    Jay Cutler? never, never, never. Lynch and Shanahan’s first and most important goal was to change the culture in the FO and the locker room . Cutler would have been a huge step back in that area. Yesterday Cutler put up 19 points versus a middle of the road Charger D. Hoyer has looked terrible versus 2 of the best defenses in the NFL. I’m not going to jump ship on Hoyer until this thurs, if he continues to stink it up against the Rams then I will agree he wasn’t the best signing but Cutler certainly was not the answer. We may just have to hold our collective breaths and hope the D continues to improve (and they will especially when Foster returns. I have been watching a few of the top QB’s in college so far and it is very possible that the 9ers could get a very good QB in the draft as late as pick 10 to 12. Then next year they could have a real competition between Beathard and their draft pick.

    1. Coach the Rams defense is pretty darn good as well. It won’t be easy to run on them.
      We have to score points and make momentum turning plays. Example: M. Goodwin the last 2 games. You make those catches and those are game changers. We need those type of plays to build confidence and momentum.

      The last TD by Wilson gave the Hawks huge momentum and let their defense pin the ears back and rush.

      Unfortunately we are a young team learning how to compete.
      I’m looking at Jimmy G next year to sign here. Since we passed on Trubisky which was a huge mistake, sell the farm for Jimmy Garrapolo.

  43. Hey Grant , like most of your grades , don’t like the incomplete for TE , the 2catches ok ,but they blocked rather well ,I thought . Offensive line ,major upgrade , enough said . Wr not enough garson , and No look Goodwin ,drops. QB here’s our problem , he’s weak armed , smart , check down , not mobile at all ,journeyman .My thinking on this is he is letting CJB grow into his role . ( And the speed of the game ) In hoyers defense he did take two hits that weren’t called . ( Wonder if it would of been the same call if it were RW) leaving him stunned ,and gun shy . Guess I’m wondering when the CJB will get the call . ( His mobility would of helped ) ( w / play design ) I hope to see him in the coming weeks , as I think we have nothing to lose . HB , wow far cry from what we thought we were going to get . We have Two good backs right now . Like both . FB being underutilized to say the least , have to have some plays that are designed for him in the Arsenal , he is a match up nightmare for most lbs . Coaching ,,,this is were the debate starts ,was it play calling,or QB check down ,or what the defense was giving us , or combination of all . Agree the play calling could of been more creative . Agree that the QB is most of the problem ( arm strength) I think at some point you have to let CJB see some live action ,not only to see what’s in the cupboard , but it would show the team we’re looking for the right answers . Now I’m not saying start him ,but putting some healthy competition back at QB would help . One thing you can say about CJB is his excitement is infectious ,and certainly not scared , question is, is the game speed to fast still ? Anticipating , waiting patiently to see if shanny is coaching him up . IMO think he going to be better than hoyer by mid season . Expecting to see him before mid season . Now my favorite part ( we’re I played) Defense — overall major improvement’s across the line ,for all of them ,they played strong ,smart ,and for the most part kept RW in check most of the day . Lb did well , exempt rayray. ( Note ,Imo if Foster played we would of pitched a shut out) for the most part . CB did well ,but like most of the defense ,was out of gas by the mid 4 quarter, but definitely there was improvements. Safety think we’re going to be better than expected ,and it looks good at the moment barring injuries . ST played better than expected to , agree with you there, again change it up on the return from week to week ,and keep them off balance . And let that speed take advantage of coverage , kicker/ punter, did more than expected ,not making it easy on the opposing offense . Really liked what I saw there . Overall definitely saw major improvement’s from most of the units , guys we went into a hostel environment , played a playoff team . And physical beat them in most categories . Only place that stuck out was QB play . We are Young ,best part here ,we are getting better fast , and we just rocked Seattle at home . After all when was the last time Seattle/ 49 game was decided by 3 points . Though we lost ,sure starting to look like we headed in the right direction . Hey Grant don’t think we were throwing the ball deep cause of questions on the offensive line . Ie game plan , guess we could argue that out ,but like I have said before, the first job of any coach is to protect his team .( I players ) IMO can’t risk getting either one hurt ,and slow going is the way it’s going to be . Like Atlanta , Washington . But I do agree with you ,we should have some play designed for specific players with alternative routes ,and vices . ( FB ,TE ) learning to pressure them offensively .

  44. At 6-2, 230, with Steve Young type speed, 49ers should hope Sam Ehlinger declares after his sophmore year and sign him…..Anyone see that game vs. SC—Darnold looked like a statue while Texas ran the option and I-Smashes with Ehlinger.

    But I like Browning also. Sent the 49ers the Browning story after Folsom upstet Los Angeles powerhouse, for the California D-1 state Title…Growing up between Sacramento and Sanfrancisco, I saw the Browning upset of State powerhouse on TV.
    He threw for over 500 yds
    Here’s video of that Championship game 1st half:


    Sam Ehlinger, Texas, Dual-Threat Quarterback – 247 Sports

  45. Hoyer’s performance yesterday ranks right up there with Kaepernick’s performance from week 10 in 2013 against Carolina at home.

        1. However,

          Anyone who knows Shanahan, know he idolized Bill Walsh, collected all of his videos for the 49ers to supplement what Harbaugh recollected.

          Also has Walsh’s books in his library.

          Bill Walsh only sat Joe Montana his 1st Yr. If he did play him, it was only in positive situations, on the other side of the 50 yard line or vs weak teams, to build confidence.

      1. Razor,

        I think the Arizona game at home to start the second half would make more sense.

        Hoyer is bad, but this receiving corps is bad too. They have Garçon and ……..? Goodwin has 2 killer drops through 2 weeks, Taylor isn’t going to scare anyone, and that’s it.

        Without the gash runs by Hyde yesterday they are unde 200 yards in total offense.

    1. Kap’s Career QBR= 59%.>>>>Montana on record saying you can’t win with QBR in the low 50’s….Seb, still arguing vs. the great one.

      1. TrollD, Kaep’s career QBR is 88.9.
        Joe Montana stated that a QB with a completion percentage in the the high 40s and low 50s is limited. Kaep’s career completion percentage is 59.8 %. If you factor in all the drops, it would be at around 65%.

  46. Well… at least Cohn has gone from Navarro Bomwan sucks and his career is over to…. he is “solid”.

    But he was right about Jay Cutler damn it!!!! I mean playing the chargers defense and playing seattles defense is the exact same thing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *