Blowout turns into close call as 49ers hold off lowly Lions 30-27

San Francisco 49ers tight end Garrett Celek, left, is greeted by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, center, after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. At right is San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85).(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

SANTA CLARA — The 49ers won. That’s the most important fact about this game.

Not the fact they almost blew a 17-point lead to the Detroit Lions with fewer than 12 minutes remaining.

Not the fact the 49ers almost lost when Jimmy Garoppolo threw an interception the officials called back.

Those were mere footnotes. Tiny pieces of trivia. Here’s what matters: The 49ers didn’t blow their lead, Garoppolo’s interception didn’t count and the 49ers won 30-27.

Had they lost, their record would have been 0-2. They would have had a nine percent chance to make the playoffs this season. Only six of 71 teams that started 0-2 have reached the playoffs since 2009. The 49ers’ season probably would have been over.

Instead, the Lions season probably is over. Their record is 0-2. The 49ers are 1-1. They’re alive.

Click here to read the rest of my game story.

This article has 160 Comments

  1. Finally had a chance to watch the game in its entirety. I have to say, based on the comments I have seen from posters you would swear the 49ers were pretty bad a didn’t deserve the win. They weren’t bad, and definitely deserved the win.

    JG wasn’t amazing, but he was good. You could tell he was more aware of not being careless with his throws this week which led him to hold the ball a bit too long on occasion, but by and large he played well. It seems some people just expect him to be amazing every week. The fact it was just his 8th start somehow gets forgotten. He is still learning, and he will make mistakes.

    It also seems the final scoreline has people thinking the game was close. It wasn’t really. The 49ers were well on top for a lot of that game, but let up. Yes, not closing it out in the 4th quarter is a problem, but playing yourself to a 30-13 lead isn’t.

    The running game was great this week. The run defense also. The pass D however, especially the coverage aside from Sherman, was poor. Too many missed tackles as well. But despite not getting a lot of sacks the pass rush actually wasn’t terrible (not great, but not bad either). They got pressure.

    And for everyone piling on Thomas again, watch the game again. He actually played pretty well. Very good in run D. But also not bad rushing the passer. Still didn’t get many opportunities inside, but got some pressure when given a chance there. Also had some good reps rushing the passer from the edge for a change.

    1. I’m not one to pile on Solly. In fact this is the first time I’ve posted anything on him. My feeling is that he was a draft pick that was perhaps too emotionally based on the part of Lynch (Stanford and all). We’ll see. I will say this though, if Solly and his defensive mates play like they did yesterday, you will be happy if you miss the next game entirely.

    2. Yea, I thought Thomas responded well and created some disruption.

      Jimmy has to learn to not hold that ball so long, and get outside the tackle box so he can throw it away. I don’t like seeing him taking those hits when it’s entirely unnecessary.

      It was a game they were expected to win, and they got it done. The Chiefs are on the warpath, and we’ll need to play a perfect game to avoid a massacre….

    3. Agreed, Scooter. I thought Thomas responded well. He was disruptive and gave a high effort performance.

      Jimmy has to learn to get outside the tackle box and throw the ball away. Way too many sacks.

      A game we were expected to win, and they got it done. Now we got to focus on playing a perfect game to have any chance at avoiding a massacre at the hands of the Chiefs….

    4. “It seems some people just expect him to be amazing every week.”

      Growing pains should be expected, but extra scrutiny should also be expected now that he has a huge contract.”

  2. One thought that came to mind was, are the 49ers missing Eric Reid? Colbert, while surprising us last year has appeared to have blown multiple coverages.
    This is something that has plagued his career. He’s an amazing athlete that doesn’t always think straight.

    1. Your questions about Reid is a good one.

      If evaluating evidence of a “black list for kneeling,” ability to play should be considered:

      In Kapernick’s situation, his value as a backup QB is disputable; and In my opinion he’s a better backup than a starter because a “change of pace” quarterback causes more disruption if the change happens during a game.

      But for Reid, I think he is a higher quality DB than many I see starting on the Niners; and a lot of other NFL teams as well.

    2. One thought that came to mind was, are the 49ers missing Eric Reid? Colbert, while surprising us last year has appeared to have blown multiple coverages.

      Since Reid was converted to SS last season, I highly doubt they are missing his play at Colbert’s position, which is FS.

    3. Colbert is a great example of 49er fans getting too excited by some highlight reel plays over a short audition. I cautioned against expecting him to maintain that level of play. He might get back to it eventually, but the reality is he is a young player that barely played in college.

    1. I suspect Shanny made sure that whatever he gave up had minimal effect.
      But you can’t necessarily disregard spilled guts …

    2. If Harold told them to pick on Witherspoon, that was enough. Thankfully, KS benched him.
      It sure looked like Detroit knew where the receivers were running to, and blanketed them, leading to several coverage sacks. Who knows if Harold helped, but I am sure he did not hurt them.

  3. Before the season I asked if Ahkello Witherspoon is this years Rashard Robinson. Unfortunaltely, it’s looking like more of a yes than a no. Obviously, the Lions targeted Witherspoon and he did not respond well which required his benching in the 4th qtr. Tartt is great (apparently) against the run but he’s not so great in pass defense. Colbert seems lost half the time. Having 3 out of 4 DB’s who struggle against the pass does not portend well against KC who is leading the NFL in scoring offense. I did not think Warner played well in this game and Elijah Lee looks terrible in his run fits. I’m not sure how Saleh wants his LB’s scraping on their run fits. Looks like the defense is struggling at times with their run lane assignments. That’s going to cause a big problem in KC. Thank goodness Foster is back this week. They need him.

    1. Witherspoon will need to show he can bounce back from the mental mistakes, and poor performance. Not sure how the CB’s coach can be happy with his players not rooted in deep to short coverage at all times, especially in the Red Zone….

      1. What about Thomas Razor? Ouch. 3 total Tackles on the season, and one of those is assisted. 0 sacks, zero QB hits, 0 QB hurries?

        I certainly does look like Breida is getting better as a pass catcher. He’s still got a ways to go before he runs routes like McKinnon, but I thought Breida looked great all around yesterday. Maybe he can assume the McKinnon role? I think Breida is more in the mold for what Kyle needs in a featured RB in 2018, as compared to Morris, but Morris has his strengths, and Morris also caught both of his targets yesterday for 32 yards.
        These 2 are really growing on me as a RB tandem, and I expect Kyle to continue to work these guys into a similar role as McKinnon, as the season progresses.

        Like I said last week, it’s not going to happen overnight. It takes time to get these individual players up to speed with certain plays and certain concepts because guys only get a limited number of opportunities to run these plays in practice.


        Kittle needs to work on securing the catch, other than that, he looks like a rising star!

        – another disappointing game for Solomon, who used to be known as King Solomon, who seems to be slipping further and further down the depth chart. I guess we can officially shelve the moniker nickname King to describe him?

        – Big, Big difference in the way the right side of the sline played yesterday with Mike Person at guard. In fact, Matt Breida was dominate running behind the right side of the line!

        – There is something definitely wrong with the way Saleh’s DL is lining up. If they continue to do this against Mahomes, he’s going to scramble for a bunch of back-breaking first downs!

        – Is Bourne becoming a consistent playmaker?

        – Where in the world is Trent Taylor. Has he recovered from his back? Maybe it’s time to give Richie James some playing time in the slot?

        1. IMO, the issue is partly Trent Taylor and partly Jimmy Garoppolo. JG is very late on his throws so far this season. He’s simply not making his reads quickly enough. There was a pass to Taylor yesterday that was totally on JG. Taylor ran a little 5-7 yard out. He was open on the cut and the ball should have been delivered before Taylor even turned to see the ball. It was thrown late and behind Taylor – well after the break – and the db was able to make a play on the ball. Those are the kind of throws that turn into pick 6s.

            1. I’ll defer to those here that know more than me but the way I saw it is as I posted – it’s not Solly or Spoon that’s the problem but the whole crew. Defense is a team effort. What I see is some pretty good athletes who are not playing like a team. This needs to be fixed. Like the saying goes – fix the problem…not the blame. Right now, there’s still room for optimism . The real pre season ends two games from now and, if Jack is right, we’re no worse than 2-2 and that ain’t bad.

            2. Agenda? Please …. Thomas has been outplayed by Ronald Blair, and two former castoffs in Cassius Marsh, and Sheldon Day. Nuff said!

          1. Say what? So Solomon Thomas was disruptive besides the fact that he registered only one tackle (none for a loss) and came up goose eggs in the QB pressures and QB hits department?

            Listen, either you’re getting to the QB and making tackles, or you’re not! He’s basically been demoted. In fact, Ronald Blair has been more productive than Thomas., and Cassius Marsh is getting more opportunities to get after the QB than Solomon Thomas, who has been relegated primarily to run stopping duties.

            Almost only counts in square dancing, horseshoes and hand grenades fellas.

          2. Oh please. Close only counts in square dancing, horseshoes, and hand grenades fellas.

            Either you’re making tackles and pressuring (QB hurries) the QB or you’re not. 3 tackles in 2 games, with ZERO QB hurries and ZERO QB hits, is not living up to expectations. Heck, Ronald Blair has outplayed Thomas so far this season, as has Cassius Marsh and Sheldon Day, two guys who were cast off by their former teams and claimed off of waivers.

            “The King is dead, long live the King”

      2. Razor,
        Agree about Witherspoon needing to “bounce back,” and was happy to see him play better when he was let back in the game. Also thought Ward did better in coverage than I expected, when he replaced Witherspoon.

        Witherspoon whiffed when got caught “stuck” with eyes in backfield, blow assignment; but also had some good coverage on a couple plays and then some interference calls that went against him in tight coverage. I would rather see him bag the penalties than play less aggressive, so I’m still hopeful that he will come around.

        Oddly, Sherman looked way out of position on the very first play of the game, giving up a gimmee 9 yarder to start.

    2. Is it my imagination or does it seem like the interior DL are playing “wide” on the line. In other words, when the cameras show an aerial view, it seems like there is a huge gap between the 3 tech and, I guess, the nose tackle. But it looks like the nose tackle is more responsible for the B gap and not around the A gap, so I guess it’s a 3 or 4 tech on the other side. I’ve noticed this now through two games. What is this alignment called?

      1. They’re very wide. Saleh mentioned it previously, but I don’t get it and they aren’t finishing, and little containment in nickel.

        1. Agree. That was my point of the post. Stafford climbed the pocket easily. From the TV angle it looked like he was being contained, but that was only on the sides. He was able to easily move up in the pocket and run when needed.

          I don’t remember which games exactly, but I noticed some other teams doing the same thing. Might have been teams with coaches from the Pete Carroll bloodline, but I don’t remember.

  4. My biggest concern is the defense or lack of. All that “talent” on that DL and they barely touched the statue yesterday… Yeah, the secondary outside of Sherman is weak but the line could help offset some of that. The entire D outside of Sherman lacks emotion/intensity and it shows. Speaking of the secondary, what happened to Colbert? The Punisher (lol) gets run over and misses tackles on the regular… Hardly the eraser some thought he would be. Looking at next week getting Foster back will help but man, this D could be in for a historically bad game. Hope I’m wrong but it’s starting to feel like a Jim O’Neil D again.

    As for Jimmy and the offense I think they’ll be fine… The loss of Goodwin is obvious out there but Jimmy needs to take off and run sometimes instead of holding the ball. There were times yesterday where he could have climbed the pocket and ran but instead took the sacks. Nice to see the running game take off though. We’ll need it next week.

  5. Has no one else noticed that article title has a big mistake in it?

    “Blowout turns into close call as Raiders hold off lowly Lions 30-27”

    Great editors you have there lmao

    1. Yes… Grant’s headline banner on the Press Democrat full article posting is “Blowout turns into close call as Raiders hold off lowly Lions 30-27.”

      Didn’t Grant rip the 9er organization several months ago for a somewhat similar editorial boo boo?

  6. Niners can beat the Chiefs.
    They will get Foster back. Hopefully, Goodwin can play and stretch the field.
    Hopefully, they have learned enough about Witherspoon, and will not let him start. They should put in one of their rookies, like Walsh did in 1981.
    Chiefs gave up a lot of points to the Steelers, so JG may be able to exploit the Chief secondary. JG just needs to concentrate on scoring TDs, and not settling for field goals.
    Glad to see the emergence of Breida, and he may allow the Niners to be balanced, so the play action will be more effective.
    Niner defenders need to start wrapping up, but once they do, the defense will get better, and force more punts.
    Niners need more pass rush. They should take a page from Patricia, and do more delayed blitzes up the middle. It seemed as though the QB could step up in the pocket and avoid the sack. Foster up the middle could be a good counter to that strategy.
    Niners need to feign weakness, and let KC take the Niners lightly. Stopping the KC offensive juggernaut may not be easy, but it could be done with better coaching.

      1. It may be obvious to you.. but I came up with this analysis on my own after lengthy film review of the Chiefs and the 49ers. You all really should be giving me more respect for the analysis that I have provided (for free!) to the head coach and front office of the 49ers organization.

        1. Sebbie… My eyes are rolling. I though you had abandoned your “Look at me! I’m smarter than you” attitude. Guess not. Just can’t get enough of yourself.

      2. Chris, I did not know you thought that the Niners can beat KC. So far, only me and AES have predicted a Niner victory. Most every one else are calling for a KC blowout.
        What is so obvious about advocating delayed blitzes up the middle? No one else on this blog has proposed such a scheme.
        Since it is so obvious to you, who would you replace Witherspoon with?
        Such mindless obligatory pushback of anything I write, is expected from you, but please reserve your redundant snark for those who say – the winning team scores more points.

  7. I think Person is the main reason the Niners won that game. I am not saying he is great or even good, I am saying without him doing the tough thing the Niners might of lost this game.

    Niners have a tough task next week. We get to see what CFC has been raving about for two years. Kansas defense is as bad as their offense is good. They have scored 80 points but have given up 65 so…..there is a small chance for victory.

    1. The 49ers oline actually played a very good game. They opened multiple holes in the run game and gave Jimmy a lot of time. The majority of the sacks were actually on Jimmy holding the ball too long. I’m not sure this would have been the case had Person not been able to go.

      1. Correct, the oline played a very good game and Jimmy did hold onto the ball too long in many instances. Obviously, he was trying to avoid an interception and this was his first 49er game to not throw and interception (not counting his debut and the end of the Seahawks game last year).

        Contributing to the sacks were the wide receivers not getting open. The Lions were in man coverage for most of the game and in man is incumbent upon the receivers to get open. They must do a better job against man coverage.

      2. Undercenter

        You’re right…Mike Person was the reason that the niners won yesterday…Should we all say ‘Thank heaven for Mike Person’ or ‘Thank heaven for Josh Garnett’ …for not being able to play ? They both suffered foot injuries, but Mike Person got off his hind-quarters and went out and played one helluva game. My question is why doesn’t Garnett learn to play with some pain ? I still think that he’s a sissy…and should be part of a package deal with Solomon Thomas for some REAL trade goods….! After all, these are two first round draft picks….

        1. “hey both suffered foot injuries,..”
          Person suffered from a grade 1 “foot strain”, minor versions of which heal in a week or two, Garnett suffered a “dislocated toe” that involves torn foot ligaments which can take six weeks normally to heal. I expect Garnett to be ready to play in a couple of weeks.
          However, since Garnett was overdrafted and paid too much and has been injured in the past, it is perfectly reasonable to expect his dislocated toe to miraculously heal in less than week..

          1. Mood_Indigo

            Thank you for the run-down on strains and sprains, and breaks which I have experienced all of. I believe that having a player on my team that is useless as much as Garnett has proven to be is counterproductive at best….Garnett has been on IR almost as much as Jimmy Ward, and they are two of the highest paid players on the team. This, to me, is foolhardy….This is taking up space on the roster that more deserving players deserve….

  8. I have a decent feeling about next week at Arrowhead! Getting Foster and maybe even Smith back could be the key! Niners need to FINISH games, and score points in the RZ!

    1. I hate to say it, but this game against the Chiefs is going to be a blow out. Our defense will not be able to cover this passing attack and now our offense has lost confidence it seems, especially Jimmy G. I don’t even want to predict a score because it will be an embarrassing loss,

      1. I don’t agree with regards to Jimmy. He was a gunslinger in the Minny game and conservative yesterday. It didn’t help that the receivers didn’t get separation; he just made decisions to prefer sacks over throwing into very tight coverage (probably wise most of the time, but no doubt he missed opportunities as well). They showed a number of clips yesterday where the receivers were tightly covered, but I’m waiting for an All 22 analysis.

        I was a bit surprised though, because last year he frequently went off schedule and was very successful. Yesterday, he decided to stay on schedule and took a lot of sacks.

        I think he’ll come out slinging more against KC, but hopefully will dial it back a bit to minimize interceptions. I think Jimmy will be fine even though some people are starting to think we would have been better off with Cousins or even if we had taken Mahomes in the 2017 draft.

        I agree with Sherman. The offense getting 30 points should have been plenty; the defense was more the issue.

        You’re probably right, though, Mahomes is going to put up some big numbers.

        1. Also, as Scooter said, we have to remember this was only Jimmy’s 8th start. The problem is that he received a huge contract so everyone, including me, is expecting more. I wonder if expectations would be lower if he had been franchise tagged this year.

          1. The expectations on JG were high, but most of it was based on playing in games that didn’t matter as far as playoff implications. Now he is playing against teams that have some film on him and with increased expectations on his shoulders. So far he’s been a little shaky at times, but he was better yesterday overall than he was in Minnesota. He just has to keep the upward trajectory going and things will be fine. The hardest part of the Niner schedule is the first half so it was going to be a struggle to come out with a winning record during this stretch. The key will be staying in a position where they can still contend with a big second half.

            1. He is holding the ball too long. Now if some one with a different angle could tell me if its him or the WR not getting separation, Id like to know.

              1. It was a combo JG being more careful with the ball and the WRs weren’t always getting open. JG’s mistake was not moving off his spot and getting rid of it. But the Lions edge guys did a good job not giving him much room to escape sideways.

        2. My fervent hope is that Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill don’t set NFL single-game records next week. The Niners have not shown that they can cover fast receivers, nor hurry/sack opposing QBs. And Andy Reid is a helluva better head coach than Mike Patricia…

  9. Mahomes has got to come down to earth sooner or later. The dude is not going to throw 80 TDs this season. If Niners can hold him to Stafford like numbers they have a punchers chance. And red, “statues” don’t throw for 4,000 plus season after season.

    1. Young Patrick may not give Uncle Sherm the respect he deserves. Uncle Sherm will need to show young Patrick that he can run the same routes as Tyreek Hill and Robinson, and as precisely :)

      Meanwhile, it’s time Andy Reid starting saving up his timeouts to exchange each for a box of donuts in the off-season..

      1. Prime… here’s the good news. OC’s secondary doesn’t even have a Sherman. So if you look at it. Ours is better than theirs. They are aweful.

        With Goodwin back it gives so many more options to the offense. This coverage short to intermediate isn’t going to be happening every play now that they have to worry about a deep threat.
        I see a shoot out l. Not a blowout.
        I think the Niners come roaring back after being down. And Reed loves to get conservative and blow leads.

    2. Mahomes has been fantastic but he’s had all kinds of time to throw the ball. The Oline for KC has been excellent. Unfortunately that is not going to change this week against the 9ers pass rush challenged defense. Going to be a long day. Good thing is the KC defense isn’t that good either so at the very least we should have a high scoring and entertaining game.

      1. Speaking of which…

        Well, I guess I’ll have to face the music…Our old “Game manager” couldn’t manage to win this week against The Colts…..No, Alex Smith only completed 33 of 46 pass attempts for 292 yards with 0 Ints. and 0 TDs… while Andrew Luck completed 21 of 31 attempts for 179 yards with 2 Ints and 2 TDs…heh…imagine that….


        1. What that tells us is that stats don’t tell the whole story. I know you are a big Smith fan, and I am a fan of his too, but he is what he is and that’s a conservative, risk averse QB who can only take you so far. That’s why he’s no longer a Chief.

          1. rocket

            I do know that you also are a (sorta’) Alex Smith fan…but consider this if you will…how can you be considered ‘çonservative’ with 46 passing attempts in one game and 292 yards passing ? That , to me is a ‘gunslinger’…

    3. I haven’t watched any of the Chiefs games but in looking at the stats, there’s some weird stuff going on with their offense. KC has 10 passing TD’s but 0 rushing TDs. Mahomes has only thrown 55 passes which is the lowest total in the top 25 QBs in the league. If you just look at the stats, I would say Tyreek Hill is a big play guy that opens up their entire offense. Contain Hill’s YAC and you’ve got a chance to win. Having said that, The 49ers defense isn’t good. I don’t like our chances going into KC for this one.

      1. There was a news story in the past couple of days that stated that every down that Mahomes does not pass feels like a wasted down. Maybe the lesson is that unless an opponent can stop what you’re doing at will, then keep doing it. Not sure the Niners defense has a prayer to alter KC’s course…

  10. As several ex-NFl players have pointed out, September is just an extension of the pre-season with regard to player’s readiness and playing form, especially for rookies and young players. Niners are a very young team. Together with their early injuries, they have been impacted disproportionately in a negative way. The good news is that this young team will play better and more cohesively as the season progresses. The chances of more major injuries are lower further into the season, hopefully…

  11. Will Malcolm Smith play Sunday? Or will he be the continued tease? I was happy when they signed him two years ago, but must admit that I no longer expect much, if anything, from him. I would like for him to surprise me and make a difference in a game, sooner rather than later.

    I am very much in love with Fred Warner. He is only going to get better as he learns and gets more accustomed to the pro game. What a great pick.

    1. I think Smith is now the backup……. and Lee was decent aside from a missed tackle.

      Warner and Foster will allow the team to mask some blitzes with their ability to cover- Sherman hasn’t really been tested…… I do wonder if Ward should replace Colbert and wonder when we may see some of Moore and Reed in the secondary.

      It would be nice if Grant could touch on the Moore, Julian Taylor and Reed scenarios…….. Hopefully, they hold up this weekend at KC and it will be a moot point.

  12. “That’s definitely a thing — learning how to win,” Kittle said.“

    So last year’s winning streak wasn’t meaningless?

    “Breida ran 66 yards for a touchdown”

    Breida did an excellent job at ‘getting skinny’ as he hit that hole.

    One guy has told us over and over about how good Breida is/will be. Good call willtalk.

    1. There were 6 starters on offense who weren’t playing in any of those 5 games at the end of last year. Not to mention those on the defensive side.

      1. But also a lot of similarities. Within that 5 game winning streak there were a couple of nail biters like yesterday. This young team like last year buckled down and kept fighting for that win. Almost certain,that was a product of “learning how to win” from last years experience.

        The point is you have to go through the process of learning how to win in order to win. That’s why those games last year were critical.

      2. “New season, new team. A lot of turnover from a season ago.”

        Nobody said it would guarantee wins this season. And while there’s a lot of turnover this year, they’re are more returning players than new ones. It’s good to see that the returning players didn’t forget how to win.

        Quoting Grant.

        “Last year, the 49ers probably would have lost this game. They lost five games in a row by three points or fewer early last season. They were the team that made the mistake that lost the game. They were the team that beat itself. They were the team that didn’t know how to win. On Sunday, they weren’t that team.”

        1. They had 6 starters on offense yesterday who didn’t play with the team at all during those 5 wins, and I think there were at least 3 new starters on D.

          “Last year, the 49ers probably would have lost this game. They lost five games in a row by three points or fewer early last season. They were the team that made the mistake that lost the game. They were the team that beat itself.”

          They also were the team coming from behind in all of them.

        2. 6 new starters on offense yesterday, and I believe 3.

          Yeah, last year the team was always the one coming from behind to try and win too.

              1. Whatever. The point is that the returning players (which outnumber the new players) learned how to win last year as Kittle confirmed. Hence the winning streak wasn’t meaningless to the returning players.

          1. #80 and Jack Hammer

            Here’s a thought to perhaps prevent another food fight…
            If you chart the past 20 seasons, you’ll find that in most cases, players stay an average of 3-4 years with a winning team…That prevents the 40% (JH) from opening up slots for rookies, eliminating the need for all of our alloted 7 draft picks and permitting some trades (fourth round and below ) As it stands now, the 49ers don’t have tradeable assets other than veterans who aren’t playing…Why are we paying for non performance..? There are almost a half-dozen veterans who are not on the field except for weekly practices….Walsh would have ‘moved’ them….

  13. With the Josh Allen draft pick, appointing Nathan Peterman as starting QB, then predictably pushing Allen into starting in game two, and finally with the Vontae Davis mid-game retirement, I’m officially crowning Bills as the new Brown….

    1. Yeah, the Bills are certainly in the catbird seat for the first pick — and the top pick in every subsequent round — in the 2019 draft.

      Sure hope the Niners are able to pick up the DROY edge rusher in that draft. Otherwise it could get real uglier.

  14. diptown

    “Don’t put that club back in your bag”
    Ward was out of position on two consecutive pass attempts at the end of the game, and good passes would have given us the loss….Colbert is young and must learn from his mistakes…Ward is not young, and has not learned from his mistakes…’baffles me that we have held onto him for so long…he still has trade value….I think….

    1. he still has trade value….I think….

      Nope. All this talk about bundling him, Thomas, and Garnett in a trade is laughable. We woudn’t get more than a mildewed jockstrap with a broken cup for the three of them.

  15. Mahomes is on the fast-track to stardom, but even outstanding players are due for a bad game now and again.
    The Chiefs will come into this game overconfident.

    Mahomes will be so eager to destroy and embarrass our secondary that he will take too many chances that will backfire.

    I have yet to see how Mahomes reacts after taking a sack, Sunday will be a good time to find out.

    We have yet to play our best game and the Chiefs have yet to play their worse. We could certainly hope it happens on Sunday.
    Here’s my “sticking my neck out” prediction:
    49ers – 27
    Chiefs – 24
    Yeah, I know, I’m crazy.
    But I’m a wild and crazy guy.

        1. We’ll have decent success with the Chief’s defense. Mahomes will have some moments but I believe we get a key special teams or defensive TD.

  16. Seems like a lot of handwringing today.

    I keep hearing that this is a game they would have lost last year, but I don’t ever recall them being up 30-13 in any of those close losses.

    Yeah it got closer than it should have at the end, but the D still made the plays at the end to seal the deal.

    The positives are that they improved a bit in the redzone, didn’t turn the ball over, forced a turnover deep in Detroit territory, and made explosive plays on both offense and special teams.

  17. the 49ers should of lost this game if it weren’t for over throws by Stafford, it was like 4-5 times were their WR’s were wide open down the field. The 49ers need to figure out their CB issue quickly along with their safety position as well. Maybe having Foster will help but I doubt it. Also their is still no pass rush beside only their best defender, which is good but they don’t even get any pressure from any body else. Then the last issue is WR. They must have the worst WR group in the league. Yes Borune caught a TD pass but only 57 yards was the highest from their WR group. If the Lions had a better run defense, who knows what the game would of looked like. After two games their biggest weakness are showing. Lack of pass rush, no WR help and the weak secondary except Sherman.

    I have seen people say we have a great young WR group and this is only year 2. So if we have a good WR group then is it the QB then. I was going to give JG the benefit of doubt because he has no weapons, (in my opinion) but if people say we do then it has to be the QB play.

    1. Not only is it beginning year two for implementing Kyle’s system, it’s only game two in the books for the 2018 season. Fourteen games to go–some will stink badly, others will smell rather sweet.

    2. I guess some of us like to see the glass as half-full.
      Yes, we have a ways to go, but we have a young team still under construction that will continue to grow.

      Only the over exuberant around here have pitched the idea of possibility making the playoffs this year.

      It’s obvious that we are 2-3 years away. We have seen the making of some players becoming future stars.

      Among other players to build on.
      Next years draft will bring in more young players to make us better. I know many may not have the patience to wait until then (I respect that), but we are getting better from game to game as our young players get more acclimated to the NFL.
      We’re going to be ok.

      1. AES,

        You are a tad over optimistic in the players you listed and described as future stars. The Niners have some young talent and a QB that could be become a franchise caliber player, but other than Buckner and Garoppolo, , none of these guys has done anything to give the impression they are going to be stars. Some look like solid players and others are too early in their careers to know yet.

        1. Yup, I prefaced the word ‘future’ because many of these guys are rookie to 3 year players.
          I guess that I have a reason for optimism given the old guard of Baalke’ draft record.

          We could revisit this at the end of the season but I believe my optimism will pay off.
          Playoffs? Likely not.
          Young improving team, yes sir.

          Btw, Aaron Lynch (Bears) look like he’s around 290 lbs. But that’s an altogether different topic 🤔

          1. I agree with you AES. The players you listed have the potential to be really good and are the building blocks for the future.
            You can build around these guys and every year keeping adding talent and competition to every position. In that group there is gonna be some big time play makers.
            My top 5
            2.Jimmy G
            3.Reuben Foster

          2. I’m not saying the players you mentioned won’t become good or even very good players. Just that counting on them to be future stars is a tad over optimistic. Most of the players on that list are unproven or haven’t panned out due to injury or lack of production. I think this team is going to be a playoff contender soon, but it’s more about the offense being a top ten unit than it is about individual players at this point for me.

            Lynch has a lot of talent. It’s unfortunate he doesn’t have the will to make the most out of it.

      2. Balthazar B

        For the most part, I agree with you…but think of what a ‘bundling’ of that magnitude would do for our payroll….

  18. Good win.

    Improvement shown in the redzone and reduction of turnovers.

    When the team was losing close games last year it wasn’t due to blown leads, so that doesn’t fly with me.

    Yeah the game got close in the 4th but the D still made the plays necessary to finish it off.

    Nice to see explosive plays from the offense and special teams.

    The first few weeks of the season are so whacky. Almost like extended preseason.

  19. Gordon to the Pats for a 5 round pick. We couldn’t do any better than that. Now of course people will say we didn’t need him and he’s a trouble maker. We could of used him and now still have the worst WR group in the league.

    To be fair I would say bottom 5 in worst WR group.

    1. Ok niner… “bottom 5 in worst WR group.” I take that to mean the 9ers WRs will rank in the bottom 5. I’ll copy this comment and come back to it at the end of the year.

  20. Thank you New England. Seriously don’t need another head case roaming around weed land in the city.
    Don’t care about the potential. The dude can’t play a full season. And obviously can’t ” pass the grass upon the left hand side”

  21. Yes please save it for the end of the year Cassie. They will still rank in the bottom come the end of the year. Talent wise and production will be in the bottom 5. Now if they get behind in lots of games and have to throw the ball WR catches and yards will get inflated big time, so keep that in mine as well.

    1. Deal is we revisit 9er WR production at the end of the regular season. Pure production.

      No twisting numbers based on someone’s perception of game conditions. If we did that for the 9ers then we’d have to do that with the remaining 31 teams–guessing game conditions for the other teams to get at comparable, ‘real’ numbers.

      I believe 9er WRs will rank in the 14th through 18th range, not bottom 5.

      1. I believe 9er WRs will rank in the 14th through 18th range, not bottom 5.

        Barring any injuries — including to the QB, of course, and either OT — you’ll probably be right.

  22. Just finished watching the game again and it was worse than I thought upon watching it live. The Lions really left a lot of plays on the field. There were 4 different times Stafford over threw receivers who were open for big plays and likely TD’s, and a few others that were dropped. The secondary was really poor yesterday and the pass rush was inconsistent as per usual. This team will be in a lot of high scoring games this season.

    1. The thing I’ve noticed about Whitherspoon is that he makes this kind of celebratory no catch signal with his arms when the ball is overthrown to a receiver who beat him. It just gives me the impression that he somehow thinks he contributed to the receiver not catching the ball. I saw him do this last year and both games this year. I don’t know maybe it means nothing.

      1. That kid needs to play better, bottom line. He will be tested, and retested all day this Sunday against the Chiefs. I hope he is up for the task

  23. Way too early look at stats.

    Breida leading the league in rushing.
    SF 3rd in rushing.
    12 penalties, only six teams have less.
    4th in kickoff return average, go Reed!
    Gould is perfect with 3 of his FGs coming from 40+ YDs.
    13th in sacks.

  24. Cool stuff……

    It was reported that after the game against Detroit, Sherman was the last player to leave. He stayed behind and sat down individually with each member of the defensive backs group to go over different aspects of the game. Sherman is taking the time to teach these young players the nuances of the game and what it takes to be continually successful

    Sherman has set a new high standard for the 49ers. His leadership just two weeks into the regular season is evident and infectious. It’s bleeding through the locker room and the expectation of winning is becoming commonplace.

  25. Just re-watched the game and I am higher on McGlinchey than I was. He clearly made a few mistakes, but those can be corrected. He was responsible on a few of those sacks, but initially did well and most of those sacks were on three and five step drops when the ball has to come out quickly and it did not. He has a high motor and appears to love finishing blocks. He moves very well for such a big man. Very good performance for only two games in the pros. They are building this team in the right direction.

    1. Coaches love it when they receive additional coaching from veteran players. As long as the message is the same and everyone is on the same page it’s great

  26. “Coach Matt Patricia, formerly the New England Patriots defensive coordinator under coach Bill Belichick, implored his defenders to play tight man-to-man coverage, which was effective for most of the game. Garoppolo was sacked six times, largely because he was waiting on his receivers to break free from defenders while the defensive line collapsed the pocket.

    But Garoppolo’s receivers weren’t breaking free — and it provided a lesson for 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan and his quarterback going forward: Other teams are going to look at what Patricia orchestrated and try to replicate it, rather than allow Garoppolo to throw to open windows in zone coverages, which he’s proven to be good at.”

    1. I’ll take Pettis over Miller, he’s more versatile, IMO. But that’s me.

      Miller: 4 reception for 25 yards (6.25 AVG) and 1 TD, 2 kickoff returns for 15 yards. 2 games, 40 total yards from scrimmage, 1 TD.
      Pettis: 3 receptions for 96 yards (32.0 AVG) and 1 TD, 4 punt returns for 28 yards. 2 games, 124 total yards from scrimmage, 1 TD.

      1. Don’t get me wrong, Pettis is not a bust. He is talented with a very good QB. Anthony Miller is more talented with a middle of road QB.

  27. For you old timers:
    The addition of K.Mack to Fangio’s D reminds me of adding Fred Dean to the young Niners’ D in ‘81.
    But Trubiskey, bless his heart, isn’t Joe Cool.

    1. That’s why the trade and massive contract may back fire on the Bears. Mack made a good defense better but they don’t have the offense to take advantage of it.

    2. Trubisky’s throwing reminds me of a certain QB that came in and took us to the Super Bowl thst meeded work on his touch passes. Last nights game I saw one single floater and it was an accident that he completed.
      He is the spitting image of #7.
      Can he work on his fastballs?
      He better because they were saying last night the CHi is growing uncomfortable already. Personally I’m not impressed with his game.

  28. I thought both Seattle and Chicago looked pretty good………

    On to KC.

    Any game plan suggestions? Grant?
    Is Saleh going to go with Witherspoon or do you think Ward or Mabin goes to Corner? If Tartt can’t go, is it Exum?

    – can we get an update on Taylor, Reed, Moore and if they are ready to contribute sooner than later……..

  29. Good news. The Seahawks allowed 6 sacks, so Wilson will be running for his life this season.
    Looks like both the Seahawks and Cards are very beatable, so the Niners could possibly have 4 wins from them.
    I had considered a division record of 2-4, but now am thinking it might be 4-2. Looking at the schedule, that might mean a 9-7 record with a chance at the wild card.

  30. I have a feeling that Grant will provoke the Shanahan preferred Cousins drama for the next 5 years minimum. As we watch this soap opera unfold, let’s keep in mind Vikings have significantly better WRs than the Niners and better rbs and better O line. I would say they are about even in the TE department with slight edge to Kittle.

    Point being, I expect Cousins to put up some pretty good numbers this year and his supporting cast should be taken into consideration.

    1. Cousins went over 4000 yards and 20+ TDs with nothing around him in terms of play makers, a running game or OL last season. He has played like a top ten QB on a lousy team and now finally gets to play with a talented roster. If the Viking OL can hold up they’ll have one of the best offenses in the league.

      1. If we extrapolate Garoppolo 2017 stats over the course of the entire season – 25 TD and 4,800 yards with even worse WR and O Line

        1. That’s a flawed way to compare and even then the numbers wouldn’t be as good as Cousins when he had a healthy team around him. Last season the Skins were down to their 4th string RB, were missing receivers and their number one TE, had players off the street starting on the Oline and Cousins still played at a high level. This guy has been underestimated for years for whatever reason and now is showing how good he is with a decent team around him.

          I have high hopes for JG, but the expectations many had for him were based on a limited body of work whereas Cousins had been doing it for 3 seasons. Cousins is the better QB at this point but that should be expected given his experience compared to Garoppolo’s.

  31. KS points out that a WR ran the wrong route, putting the sole blame on the player.
    Maybe, with better coaching, the player will be coached well enough to run the right route.
    KS needs to be able to finish games. He should not go conservative on offense. Instead of running twice into the teeth of the defense, then coaching JG to take a sack rather than trying to complete a pass, not risking an incompletion that stops the clock, maybe KS should be aggressive, and strive to make first downs and sustain drives. That would keep the ball away from their opponent. The best strategy would be to drive the ball down the field and score, making it a 2 score game for the opposition to overcome. That strategy would also eat up the clock, thus preserving a win.
    KS seems to have not learned much from the SB. He almost let this game slip away. He went into a prevent defense, which only meant he almost prevented the Niners from winning. He needed to be aggressive, not predictable. Everyone knew he was going to run the ball, so they stacked the box and stymied the run. KS should have kept his poise, and devised plays that are easy completions so the clock kept running. Swing passes, fly sweeps, bubble screens could be something the defense does not expect, thus making their effectiveness stronger. If the defense stacks the box, maybe it is a good time to do a play action pass.
    Ks should have called for more QB roll outs. JG was frustrated by the tight man to man coverage, and the pocket collapsed so he took 6 sacks. By rolling out, JG has a chance to use his legs to get a first down. He also is accurate while throwing on the run, so that strategy will help the Niners be less predictable, while sustaining drives, which should lead to more scoring.
    I am critiquing KS not to say he sucks and should be fired, I am hoping that he is humble enough to accept criticism, and learns from his mistakes to become a better coach.
    KS is learning about game management, nuances and the intricacies of being HC. Some day, he will learn how to become a successful HC. No wonder Sherman said this felt like a loss.

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