MIAMI — The 49ers choked. No nice way to put it.
They had a 10-point lead with 6:23 left in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV and collapsed, lost 31-20 to the Chiefs. Controlled the game for 54 minutes and still lost by 11 points.
What a brutal way to end a magical season in which the 49ers never lost by more than three points until the Super Bowl.
“They were better than us today,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said of the Chiefs.
Except, the Chiefs weren’t better than the 49ers Sunday night. The 49ers beat themselves. They averaged a whopping 6.4 yards per carry, and still lost. Intercepted Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes twice, and still lost.
The shocking collapse began in the fourth quarter, but something strange happened at the end of the first half that foreshadowed the ending. With 1:53 remaining in the second quarter and the score tied at 10, the 49ers defense stopped the Chiefs on third and 14, but Shanahan didn’t use any of his three timeouts. He let the clock run down.
After a punt, the 49ers got the ball back, and Shanahan called a run on first down, but didn’t use a timeout after this play, either. He let the clock run down some more. Television cameras caught general manager John Lynch desperately signaling for a timeout from a luxury suite. Shanahan’s ultra-conservative play-calling led to no points for the 49ers on their final drive of the first half.
“We were good with that situation,” Shanahan said. “We would do that every single time.”
The 49ers got the ball to start the second half and drove for a field goal. They led 13-10. Then the Chiefs got the ball, and 49ers linebacker Fred Warner intercepted Patrick Mahomes. The 49ers got the ball back, and this time drove 55 yards for a touchdown — running back Raheem Mostert ran the ball into the end zone from 1 yard out, and the 49ers led 20-10.
Next series, the 49ers picked off Mahomes again — backup safety Tarvarius Moore intercepted him with 12:05 left. And the game seemed over. The 49ers defense had played well enough to win — it simply needed the offense to run the ball, take time off the clock and close out the game.
But it choked.
With the season on the line, Shanahan forgot about the running game, which carried the 49ers to the Super Bowl in the first place. On second and 9 with 9:52 left, he called a pass instead of a run that would have used up time. The pass fell incomplete, the clock stopped and the 49ers punted two plays later.
“We just do what we do,” Shanahan explained. “We tried to run the ball.”
At this point, the 49ers defense was getting exhausted. It had played well most of the game, but the 49ers offense couldn’t stay on the field, so the defense wore down. It gave up a 44-yard catch to wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who was wide open. No one covered him. The Chiefs scored a touchdown three plays later when Mahomes completed a 1-yard pass to tight end Travis Kelce, and the score was 20-17 49ers.
The 49ers offense had another opportunity to close out the game, but Shanahan made the same mistake as before. Called a pass instead of a run on second and 5 with 5:27 left. The pass fell incomplete, the 49ers went three-and-out and the Chiefs got the ball back.
And with 3:44 left, All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman gave up a 38-yard catch to Sammy Watkins, who simply ran right by Sherman.
“He made a play,” said Sherman, who didn’t have much to say.
Three plays later, Mahomes threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to running back Damien Williams, and the Chiefs took a 24-20 lead.
The 49ers still had an opportunity to win. More specifically, Jimmy Garoppolo had an opportunity to lead a dramatic game-winning touchdown drive and put himself in the conversation with Joe Montana and Steve Young.
But Garoppolo choked, too. On third and 10 with 1:40 left, he threw a deep pass to Emmanuel Sanders, who was open near the end zone. Garoppolo had a clean pocket, made the right read and threw the ball on time. It seemed the 49ers would win after all.
But his pass bounced 5 yards in front of Sanders. Wasn’t even close.
“We missed some shots tonight, just some plays that we usually make,” Garoppolo said.
Next play, Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark sacked Garoppolo, who spun around and chucked the ball with two hands to no one before going down. And the collapse was complete. The Chiefs scored another touchdown and Garoppolo threw another interception for good measure. He finished with 219 passing yards, one touchdown, two picks and just a 69.2 quarterback rating.
Not exactly Montana or Young.
After the game, left tackle Joe Staley sat at a podium looking crushed.
“I’m sorry,” he said to the media. “This is very hard being in this moment right now. You put your heart and soul and your whole life into trying to be a Super Bowl champion, and you get toward the end of your career and your realize how rare these opportunities are. The emotions are all still raw and real for me right now. I’m trying to answer questions, and I’m sorry that I’m not …”
Staley’s voice caught. “Put yourself in my shoes for a second,” he continued. “It’s tough.”
The 49ers are a fantastic team that had quite a journey this season and may even return to the Super Bowl next year — they’re that good.
But none of that matters now. They choked.
This article has 204 Comments
Such a disappointing loss. The defense played well for 3 and a bit quarters so hard to put too much blame on them but on that key chiefs drive they gave up 2 third and longs and cover 1 was a strange call by salah on at least one of those
I don’t blame garapollo too much. First interception wasn’t like he misread the defense. He was trying to throw the ball away but got hit as he threw and couldn’t get it out of bounds. Should have just take the sack but easy to say with hindsight. The second interception was just because we were desperate at that point to score. How did our offense go from continuously moving the chains to getting stuffed. Where were all these amazing plays KS had kept in his bag for this game? Hard to say without analysing the film but I’m guessing the chiefs adjusted and KS was too slow to readjust? Felt like everything was forced once we had a 10 point lead and yet that should have been the perfect scenario for us to go on and win using the play action to make some big plays and kill off the game
That was most the biasing refereeing i have ever seen, we lost to the refs not KC. This game is 100% proof of the NFL engineering outcomes. I just can’t give full credit for this game ever and that sucks.
No call on Mahomes by Jimmy Ward.
Here we go again. 49 whiner fans crying the refs beat us! Yes the officiating this year in the NFL has been disgraceful. Did that beat the 49ers ? No, the Chiefs actually did if you take off your rose~ colored glasses and look at the game objectively. What I saw was the score tied 10-10 at half time, both teams even. 49ers dominate 3rd qtr. 20-10. Chiefs dominate last quarter with 2 consecutive lightning quick scores against the 49ers “vaunted defense” which set up the garbage interception thrown by Janine Garrapolo aka Jimmy G. Again your defense which dominated all year, get smoked the last 7 minutes of the 4th quarter. Grant said the 49ers dominated for 54 minutes. B.S. not only is it a 60 minute game, they only dominated the 3rd quarter. Now quit complaining and enjoy the magical season. Oh and SHUT UP!!
You do pretty good complaining yourself FEM.
No offense, but this is a TERRIBLE take.
A very brutal and clear eyed take on the game .
To be out coached by ones self is the cruelest cut of all.
absolutely..very well said concise
Really not much more needs to be said other than Kyle Shahanan has been outscored 40-0 in two 4th quarter Super Bowls..
Gee. I didn’t know Kyle was HC for two SBs? When did this happen? Or are you Nostradamus, giving us an unpleasant look into SB LV?
I wish I could disagree with Grant here but I can’t. It’s just such a disappointing way to end a great season, and one that leaves me unsure as to whether we’ll ever see a better chance again. Garoppolo basically reaffirmed that everything the media was saying about him was accurate. Thing is, for most of the game he was the better QB. Maybe that’s due to the level of competition he was facing, but with the pick aside he was pretty great. But you can’t be getting paid like an Elite QB, you can’t be in the conversation of being “underrated” and “not given enough respect” when you miss that third and ten throw. He has got a long, LONG way to go.
I can say exactly the same for the defence. Grant seems want to put it all on Garoppolo and Shanahan, but no. Salah, and the entire defence, were not what they thought they were. They let themselves down big time. I doubt the unit is better next year.
I’d love to say “we’ll be right back there” but super bowl hangovers are a thing, and I don’t have faith in the makeup of this team, as of this very moment, that they’ll recover and make this wrong, right. Maybe in a week, or a month, or 6, I’ll have gotten that faith back, but right now I don’t believe in them. Even if they don’t suffer a hangover, the NFC isn’t getting weaker. The last team from the NFC to go back-to-back super bowl appearences was the Seahawks, and they were doing it off a win. Looking over the History books, and I may be wrong on this, the last team from the NFC to lose a super bowl and then return the next year to win was Dallas, in SB 5 and 6. Not to say this has any impact on what will happen, but it goes to show it doesn’t really happen. Patriots did it more recently, but this team is NOT in their calibre.
We’ll just have to see, I guess. It all starts with winning that division, and getting a Bye. That’s where the focus needs to be. One way or another, next season we’ll be learning a lot more about the makeup of the team. I find it hard to care about the draft right now.
I have said it before and I will say it again……play Mullens….he has that Mississippi bloodlines broke all of Brett Favre’s records in college give him a shot…..we saw JimmyG choke, did you see him run outside the pocket, dude runs like he has ankle weights on….Shanny choked again what a shocker he can’t get out of his own way hire an OC for godsake
All in all a good season though just a horrible horrible way to end it , the HC choking and the QB choking
I’m not ready to give up on Garoppolo. But it needs to be acknowledged that what he is now is not what the Niners need him to be. Things like the run game will be less effective, in time, so he’s going to need to do more. He has been fine I think overall, but he deserves a good share of the blame for this. Next season is a big one for him.
Restructure that HUGE contract cutting it by 25% for one so they can sign better players.
I agree. Know that this would be “politically incorrect’ but Jimmy G should have been replaced: 1) after the Vikings game, 2) before the Super Bowl, 3) after the first instance that Jimmy G had lost his touch. Tough to lose a game when the resources were on the roster and live.
The defense game plan was terrible. Choosing not to blitz on 3/15 was atrocious.
The loss goes all around. It was a mistake to play Alexander. His lack of tackling was a difference maker. The defense couldn’t get off the field.
I’d said it all playoffs that Sherman was susceptible to double moves. He got exposed. Expect teams next year to continue to attack him the same way.
The team plays a first place schedule next year. I expect a finish similar to the rams. It’s time for Staley to retire. It’s time to move on from the failures of this super bowl. Sherman. Alexander. Coleman. James. With no draft picks and low cap room the next year will be an off year repaying debts from this run
Kyle definitley made some really bad calls in this game, really not just even the calls so much as the management of other aspects of the game. Letting all that time burn at the end of the first half, was a bad idea to everyone including myself, you guys, the TV commentators and even John Lynch himself. Abandoning the run and forcing passes in crunch time and so on. And through all that, it may seem harsh, but to me this one isn’t even on Kyle. This one’s on Jimmy 1000%. He had a deer in the headlights look during crunch time, repeatedly double clutched and second guessed himself several times. He showed terrible pocket awareness on plays that weren’t just bang bang little throws. Even many of those play calls showed that Kyle was trying to keep Jimmy from being exposed. Listen I’m the biggest jock sniffing Garrapolo fan this side of his own mother, but Jimmy choked in this one. There was a point midway through the fourth quarter, where they ever so briefly flashed a picture of #10 on the sidelines. It was the briefest 1/2 second shot. But the look of doubt and insecurity was written all over Jimmy’s face. And I knew right then we were in bad trouble. Even in the interviews leading up to the game, Jimmy is always nervous and scratching his eye, his face, eyes darting around, shifting from foot to foot. He’s been like that previously in press conferences, and it’s always seemed a little off to me. I don’t know where we go from here, because we have a solid squad, but what do we do to fix Jimmy? At this point he definitely is closer to Joe Schmoe than Joe Cool.
Have to agree…why would a FO pay a backup 126Million to choke? this is the question..
I am a fan of Mullens, he surveys the whole field, goes through the progressions and has that Mississippi bloodlines broke all of Brett Favres records in college and would save the team a lot of dough…its a no brainer…
JimmyG just isn’t that good
Again with the f-ing Mullens? SMDH. Tell us again the Niners record with Mullens at QB? We all know you are a Niners hater, but you don’t have to keep proving it.
Don’t even waste your time. Monty is a loser that is only happy when he can complain about the team. He was bitching and moaning non stop in the offseason and will never appreciate what this team accomplished.
JG doesn’t carry this team and never has. He’s good at times but so is Mullins, maybe better. Throw the win-loss column out and just open your eyes.
If what you say is true, better dump the entire coaching staff too, because somehow they are missing what’s in front of their eyes. But then again, some of the genius fans are advocating that too.
Well..not replace the entire staff, don’t get carried away or confused bud. But the staff can open their eyes more. You don’t have to be a genius to see JG doesn’t have the ‘it’ factor of a real good qb. Smack it harder now.
I agree EE. I put a lot into body language and Jimmy did not look like he wanted to be there yesterday. He was standing with his shoulders slumped at one point before the game and I hoped it was just nerves. Mahomes looked very relaxed and confident in comparison. We did not see the smiling “Feels great, baby” version of JG.
I get the feeling he is an introverted type of person and the week of media focus may have been too much for him. Either way, something was off with him. As you said, it was written all over his face.
Oh hell, even the great QBs have come up short when it’s crunch time. The difference is the “great” ones have been playing many seasons and have had more opportunities to show their greatness. This was Jimmy’s first time at the rodeo and yeah, he came up long by 5 yards. Don’t forget, he was battling Shannie’s mysterious clock management and a horrendously awful call at the end of the first half. That beautiful bomb to Kittle stands, they get points going into the half, could have been a different game.
But woulda, coulda, shoulda. Wilfred Brimley gets his ring, no more nonsense about destiny next season. Niners will still be top 2-3 in the NFC, maybe Jimmy gets a second shot.
No guarantee at anything, Rib. That’s what makes it so tough. In theory, they should be, but we’ve seen this happen time and time again. Like I just said to monty, I don’t think this should be the book written on Garoppolo, but he needs to be better next season. All you can hope for is the team gets another shot in either of our lifetimes. Because it’s entirely possible we also never see them play in a SB ever again, too.
That’s the difference between you and I, Renas. It’s played out the entire season. One of us looks to the bright side, the other only sees gloom and failure. We are not the 50 year cicadas, AKA the KC Chiefs. The team has a strong young nucleus. The contributions of this last draft? The UDFA talent the team seems to find? Are you kidding me? We are set for a long run.
That’s all we can hope for. And yet, we also need to note that we were an inch away from being the 5th seed. The NFL changes every year. The bottom line is we don’t know what’s going to happen. 50 years is a long time, but there were periods within that, that came and went, where the Chiefs would have thought that they’ll finally get over that hump. And they didn’t. You just never know.
Only 1 team out of 32 leaves the season happy. This team was not expected to reach the heights it did this season. You can focus on a loss in the SB or you can appreciate how much fun it was to watch them grow from 4-12 to 13-3 and a SB trip in one year. It’s all about how you look at it.
There is no need to panic. The 49ers make one more play they win the SB. That is right they were one play away from winning it all. If they had made a play on one of those two deep balls no one is criticizing anyone. What do they need to do this off season.
#1 resign Armstead, it is a necessity.
#2 draft a CB and a interior O lineman Rd1 and Rd3.
#3 sign a FA CB and an interior O lineman.
The coaching staff is excellent.
The D line with Armstead is very good especially if Jones and Blair can come back healthy. Thomas is a good #7 lineman.
LB’s are fine.
Safetys are fine if the resign Ward.
Wishnowsky is good and they have a decision to make with Gould. If they don’t resign him I liked the kid they brought in midseason.
WR fine with Hurd and Taylor returning. I would resign Sanders only if he signs for a reasonable price.
RB’s are fine. I see them releasing Brieda and moving up Wilson.
O line they need to improve in the interior especially with Richburg being questionable. I blame the G’s and the C for Jimmy G not being able to drive the team late. Their blitz coverage was terrible. So the sky is not falling I believe that with a couple of tweaks we will be back in the SB next year. (if we can stay healthy)
Well put, old coach. It’s only 12 hours on from the last defeat of the season and still smarts like heck. But posts like yours puts things in the proper perspective.
Good post OldCoach. As usual Grant Cohn has an ignorant take on the game and all the losers like Monty who have been hiding until they could find something to complain about come out of the woodwork like termites. This team made the SB one year after a 4-12 season and have a very young roster. This is just the beginning.
Perspective. Grant deemed this a 6 win team at the outset of the season. Very few of us saw 10 wins, maybe at best .500. And now here we are complaining of one play short of winning the whole thing. It’s like we were shopping for a Chevy, a Porsche dropped into our laps, we drove it for a while and now we’re wondering why it’s not a Ferrari.
#2 and #3: Got any names? Take a look at 2 CB in the 2020 draft: Trade down 9ers pick # 31, for Rd 2 draft pick # 52, Damon Arnette Ohio St., and a Rd 3 draft pick. SF Rd 5 pick # 176 for Troy Pride, Notre Dame. (He’ll be
moving up in the draft after his Senior bowl performance).
#3 OC lineman: Oregon prospect, OC Jake Hansen with 9er pick # 156
* “I see them releasing Brieda and moving up Wilson.”
* I see the 9ers FO releasing two RB’s! Jerick McKinnon, Matt Breida and moving up Wilson
Shanahan abandoned the run when it worked all season.
The Chiefs were loading the box, if the interior O linemen and RB’s hadn’t s*** the bed on blitz pick ups we would have been fine. Could that have been Shanahan’s fault? IDK, but it would be a more realistic criticism.
Agree, Old Coach. Jimmy actually had a 120+ QB rating up until the 4th Q. He was getting crushed in the pocket but KS stopped calling play action with rollouts that could have potentially given him more time to throw. And the number of blown calls by the refs was unbelievable. A blatant offsides and then two missed personal fouls by Chiefs players on Jimmy. While I have seen games where some calls were missed by refs, calls were missed consistently throughout this game. Bosa was being held routinely and not a single flag was thrown, IIRC.
Old Coach / Anyone
Your opinion on Oregon O-linemen, Calvin Throckmorton, Shane Lemieux and Jake Hanson?
Also Kansas OG Hakeem Adeniji, probably the best first for Shanahan’s ZBS?
I put this loss on the coaches.
Up by 10 points in the 4th Q and they aren’t running the ball??? Yes KC was prepared for the run because of the GB game, but still the running game was good.
Staleh didn’t make adjustments in the 2nd half and as a result KC receivers were wide open leading to TD.
JG made some hail Marys at the end of the game, now we know why BB traded him.
10 point lead with 10 minutes to go and they go in shotgun formation. WTF?
The freaking refs won this game – not the Chiefs
Chris Simms refuses to put the blame on his buddy Kyle Shanahan. Personally, I disagree – but it’s worth listening to his reasoning.
Have zero issue with how Shanahan handled the end of the first half. He did exactly what we’ve seen him do all year. If the OPI isn’t called they score and then get the ball coming out for the 2nd half. Worst case, Mahomes doesn’t get the ball back.
The 4th quarter was a turn to Shanahan past. With a 10 point lead he goes away from the run game that had been so good. There were a couple good calls that were batted down at the LOS, but in this circumstance running the ball on second down was the prudent move.
As for Garoppolo, the 49ers will be in the mix for years to come because of him. He is among the top 3 QB’s in the NFC.
The way yesterday finished absolutely sucks, but this season was terrific and can’t wait to see how the team is retooled for 2020.
Agreed. He let the clock run because he knew they couldn’t give the ball back to KC with anytime left on the clock and if Kittle doesn’t get called for a PI, they were in scoring position with 10 seconds on the clock. He played it the way you should with an offense like that on the other side.
This is a good breakdown of Shanahan’s play calling with the lead. The easy thing to do is say he didn’t run the ball enough but under the circumstances his play calls weren’t the problem. It was the execution.
Essentially Cohn is making excuses for Saleh and the defense because giving up the big play to Tyreek Hill on 3rd and 15 was the play that turned the game. They weren’t exhausted as Cohn tries to BS, the Niners had held the ball to that point longer in the second half than the Chiefs had and it was just a blown coverage. They get that stop and force a punt or 4th and long and they likely are running out the clock. There is always woulda coulda shoulda at different stages throughout the game but not calling a couple more running plays is not what lost this game for the Niners.
Grant is all in on Saleh. He called him a “genius” and can’t back down now.
Barnwells breakdown just furthers my statement that “There were a couple good calls that were batted down at the LOS, but in this circumstance running the ball on second down was the prudent move.”
And my comment includes the last drive. On the KC side of the 50, 3 timeouts. Perfect time for Samuel on a sweep for example.
Go back and compare how Shanahan handled that last drive to how Walsh handled the drive against Dallas back in 82. Similar situations.
Top 3 in the NFC??? Come on Jack. Rodgers, Wilson, Brees, Matt Ryan, Wentz. That’s 5 just there. Pray tell, who are you not including for Garoppolo to be top 3?
The only 2 better than Garoppolo are Wilson and Brees. Good news is that Garoppolo beat both this year.
You don’t think Rodgers is better? I just don’t see that. I can see an argument for Matt Ryan, or Wentz, but even that is a little flimsy when you consider the circumstances they’ve overcome to reach the SB. But I truly don’t see how Garoppolo even compares to Rodgers, even with the latter near the end of his career. I am convinced that if you swapped Garoppolo and Rodgers the Packers wouldn’t have won 13 games, and Niners would have won the Super Bowl.
No. I don’t.
One of the reasons Jimmy was so exciting to watch in 2017 was the off schedule plays that he made. In fact, Lynch cited that as one of the reasons they decided to give him the big contract. That didn’t happen too much this year. I don’t know whether to blame Kyle for trying to turn him into a pocket robot or Jimmy coming back from the knee injury or both. While lighter OL work great for zone running, I’m not so sure that they can hold up so well in pass protection. I think Jimmy needs to move around more to buy more time. Why KS abandoned the play action on those final drives is a mystery to me.
I don’t mind moving away from off-scheduled plays. Garoppolo has shown poor judgement on occasion, so it’s best to keep the stabilisers on as much as possible.
By no means do I think Garoppolo does not have the potential to be top 3. I think he can be a league MVP. But as of right now, there are few QB’s who would have won this game for them, Mahomes being one. It is by no means all on Garoppolo, but in my opinion he doesn’t get to be in the conversation with the very best when he misses throws like that third and ten. Just not good enough.
Jimmy is mediocre….he is paid top 10 money and his performance in the big show was not top 10 material….in fact it was rather weak he was 3-11 in the fourth quarter when it counted….can’t just blame the line or whatever even the completed passes minus one were behind in front high low just isn’t that good sorry man….no other team will even want him now after that choke job….the volleyball toss and first INT was just plain an embarassment…
The JG shine is wearing off, he can’t keep going on with just his good looks and smile. He doesn’t carry the team. The teams wins aren’t all because of him. They need to look at Mullins more?..JG hasn’t had the most starts but doesn’t seem to get better..and he’s paid too much. JG would be a very good backup qb on a top 5 team. Oh, he already was!
Garoppolo QB’d a team to the SB in his first full year as a starter. His numbers and especially winning percentage are among the best in the league and you and moron monty want the backup to play who won a grand total of three games and had a terrible int. ratio. You guys are beyond stupid.
Why do stupid people get hung up on win-loss ratios, dumb charts and lame lists..JG didn’t carry the team to wins, the ‘whole team’ did..including the D/O, running game..Kittle, coaching, ect,ect…JG doesn’t have that greatness factor, forget percentages of this and that and dumb lists. He’s not the worst but they’ll need an upgrade at QB and Mullins seems to read the wr’s and field better and can move the offense down the field pretty well. See if the better wr’s helps Mullins keep the int’s down . They’ll need to look hard at both Qb’s in camp. Plus JG isn’t worth that contract and they need to keep their options open.
WOW Jack, did you watch the SB??? I usually agree with your analysis but this is a big depart from sanity.
You don’t think Mahomes is better more dangerous than JG?
Let me put it this way, were you confident that JG could turn the game around when trailing by 4 or were you more scared that Mahomes could come back when trailing by 10?
And don’t give me your data-crap. What was your gut feeling?
Think you missed the point. Go through the list of QB’s in the NFC. The only 2 I’d take over Garoppolo going into 2020 are Brees and Wilson. Because of this I think the 49ers should be able to contend for the next couple years.
Mahomes is terrific. Fortunately for the 49ers they don’t need to worry about facing him again for another 2 years unless it’s in the Super Bowl.
As for Sunday, of course I was nervous about Mahomes. The defense was really disrupting him. Too bad Moseley blew his zone coverage on 3rd and 15.
And yes. I thought the 49ers were going to pull it off in the 4th quarter just like they did so many times this year.
OK, I thought you meant NFL, my bad.
The difference between Mahomes and JG to me is that when Mahomes has the ball, you always have the feeling that he can make something out of nothing.
I don’t get that feeling with JG.
That last pass to Sanders was an indication how inconsistent he can be . Rogers would not have missed that.
Good Jimmy/bad Jimmy
Do you guys think the 49ers/Sherman would consider a move to safety if Ward is not resigned?
Id say no too only because Sherm has too much pride.
Meh. He had 4 comeback wins and Sunday was the first time he failed in that situation this season.
Garoppolo was the only QB in the league who was top 5 in Completion percentage, YPA and TD passes. He also just completed his first full season as a starter with a SB appearance. Nothing wrong with being disappointed but there is a lot more positives than negatives surrounding this team and JG is a real positive moving forward. He’ll get better the more he plays.
And I’m fine with that. I’m saying that, right now, I don’t see him as top 3 in the NFC. He certainly has the potential to be, but speaking purely in the present, he’s not at that level for me. For the record, I feel like the defence is far more culpable for the loss than Garoppolo is.
I think the view of him as a top 3 is more about the leap he took this year and what he can do with more playing time. You always have to base it on what you think is going to happen beyond this season because this season is over. Garoppolo had his bad moments during the season and in the SB, but when you realize he just completed his first full season as a starter and they won the NFC, it really should give you optimism about the future.
“I think the turning point was when we got a turnover and then we didn’t execute on offense and they got the ball right back and drove it 87 yards or however far it was,” tight end George Kittle said. “As an offense, we have to end the game right there, and we didn’t.”
That’s where an experienced team realizes the urgency needed at that time and situation of the game. Jimmy, Kyle and all the playmakers need to learn from that moment.
Hammer says”As for Garoppolo, the 49ers will be in the mix for years to come because of him. He is among the top 3 QB’s in the NFC”
Maybe. This all depends on what the kid does in the off season. I think Jimmy needs to get stronger, smarter, faster and meaner. He has to have the kind of offseason where his game gets 100% better in all areas.
Garoppolo made tough throws all year. There’s nothing that he’s done since showing up in SF to think he won’t continue to grow.
Well he needs to work at that growth. I’m a big Jimmy G fan, but he is an unfinished product only if he determines that. He looked puzzled at the end of the game. He has many things to improve on. I think physically it has to start there. Become faster, it looks like he is running in mud at times.
“Well he needs to work at that growth.”
What about Garoppolo makes you think he won’t?
“but he is an unfinished product”
He’s started only 30 games in the NFL. No kidding he an unfinished product. He’s 24-6, and his only losses by more than 1 score have come to KC.
“He looked puzzled at the end of the game.”
This all changes if the OLine does its job and gets the hands of the DLine down.
“He has many things to improve on.”
The biggest area for improvement is minimizing the dumb throws.
“Become faster, it looks like he is running in mud at times.”
He’s coming off a torn up knee and wasn’t very fast to begin with.
All those points I mentioned where he needs to improve will be a direct result of not having the type of rushing attack he did in 2019.
He will have to do way more. That starts physically as he should expect to be blitzed up the yin yang next year.
Can’t believe we pi$$ed away another SB because we didn’t run the correct plays down the stretch and the guy behind center missed the throw to win it!
Why won’t the run game be good in 2020? There’s nothing to back that up. And BTW, Garoppolo was 5-0 without much help from his running backs at the end of 2017.
“Can’t believe we pi$$ed away another SB because we didn’t run the correct plays down the stretch and the guy behind center missed the throw to win it!”
As Alanis Morrisette once sang, Isn’t it ironic
We all know that worked the year before never works the second year in the NFL. Look at the Rams, and the Patriots from the previous SB.
Realistically teams will be prepared to the stop the Niners run game next year and take their chances on Garoppolo beating them. Add to that, see how Shanahan will call games and if he lets his QB actually be a QB.
Garoppolo’s far better than Goff and Brady’s almost my age. Father Time is undefeated.
The hardest thing for Jimmy G, Kyle and the rest of the organization is the monkey they will carry with them for 16 weeks next year, is can they win the big game.
That might include some regular season games along the way or into the playoffs.
When you choke away a game like that it’s not only about how you lost, but carrying that loss into the next year where no one lets you live it down till you overcome it.
They’ll be fine.
Lots of excuses. Throw out the win-loss column, JG doesn’t carry the team. He may have already reached his ceiling. He needs a big contract reduction to sign other players.
I couldn’t agree more
This loss hurt; more than the 2013 team. As I posted before, this team was such a joy to watch, and inspired more passion than any of Harbaugh’s teams (I only use the most recent Super Bowl visit in comparison; nothing compares to the Glory Years). And to know there was a lead in the 4th Quarter, only to have Patrick Mahomes do Patrick Mahomes-things was heartbreaking.
Having said all that, Grant’s analysis and grades were nothing but lazy. And the less said about the trolls that only come out to criticize, the better. Deciding Jimmy G has no potential in his career and is an “inaccurate” passer based on one overthrown ball to Sanders is as ludicrous as me saying his pass to Kittle that was right on the button (and called back due to Offensive Pass Interference) is evidence that Jimmy G is the most accurate passer ever. The reality is:
1. Jimmy was 18 for 21 at one point; and even after ending the game 2 for 10, was almost 66% in completion percentage; that is an accurate passer. And instead of just being lazy and saying Jimmy G is not a big game quarterback, one might take into account that there was much more pressure in the 4th quarter that greatly affected his ability to throw (I’ll get to Grant’s “A-” grade for the offensive line, which is an absolute joke, and the play calling in the 4th). Steve Spagnuolo is a defensive coach that lives off the blitz; he dialed up an over 55% blitz rate in the 4th quarter. The pressure, especially in the interior, was not handled by the offensive line, leading to rushed and inaccurate throws. Where Jimmy needs to be criticized in those situations is not his inaccuracy, but in developing in scrambling out of the pocket to create time and throwing windows (admittedly, harder to do when pressure is up the middle and his throwing side, the right side, was somewhat blocked by McGlinchey having to handle the Chiefs’ left end).
2. Grant’s theory that Kyle Shanahan blew the 4th quarter in his playcalling is lazy. Bill Barnwell does a play-by-play analysis of the drives to figure out when the Niners probably should have run; and he found arguably 2 plays total in the drives at issue. https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/28624233/barnwell-super-bowl-liv-andy-reid-masterpiece-how-chiefs-came-back-49ers-blew-it. This analysis is more in-depth, and points out that the pass calls were not that unreasonable. The one obvious situation for a run in my mind was when the Niners were down 24-20 and had moved the ball to the Chiefs’ 49 yard line with 1:46 left. With a 1st and 10 facing them and three timeouts, time wasn’t as much an issue so a run could have been warranted on either 1st or 2nd down.
3. Where Kyle should be criticized, and others have already pointed this out, is in his decision-making at the end of the First Half and the first drive of the second half. Kyle noting that he was content going into halftime tied at 10-10 is just a mistake; the Chiefs had come back from 24 points down and 10 points down in their last two games, and have the best passing attack in the NFL; playing safe in those situations (not attempting to score on the last drive of the First Half, settling for 3 on a 4th and 2 to start the Second Half) is playing to not lose instead of playing to win. The Chiefs offense is too explosive (as evidenced by the 3 straight touchdowns in the 4th) to not try and score as many points as possible throughout the game. You hope to score enough so that when the Defense is gassed towards the end of the game, as the Niners’ D was facing a Quarterback that was elusive enough to escape the rush and not go down despite being hit or run down in the backfield multiple times, there is a cushion to hopefully offset the inevitable Chiefs’ comeback. But let’s be clear; it is Shanahan’s play-calling that brought the Niners to the doorstep, and those thinking Shanahan is not the coach for the 49’ers or can’t win a Super Bowl here clearly don’t have any information worth considering.
4. The Chiefs’ MVP, other than Mahomes in the 4th, was Chris Jones. Mike Person got manhandled, and my biggest concern coming into the game was how the middle of the 49ers offensive line would handle Chris Jones when he is “on.” Jones will take plays off, but when he is “on” he is the second best defensive tackle behind Aaron Donald (who kicks out to end on occasion). Jones had at least 3 tipped balls, and constantly generated push into the backfield. More importantly, when the Chiefs dialed up the blitz in the 4th quarter, it was mostly interior blitzes or stunts that left Garland, Person, and Tomlinson missing pickups. That is why, even though the Niners ran the ball well (helped in large part by Deebo Samuel’s 3 carries for 59 yards to the outside), the offensive line did the team no favors in the passing game.
Overall, it was tough. And I understand gut reactions resulting in inane and ignorant comments in the heat of the pain; which is why I definitely did not go on this site the whole game, nor did I look at social media. But, for a team that I predicted at the start of the year would have between 7-10 victories, I am more than appreciative of what they were able to accomplish (while bemoaning the missed opportunity to add a sixth ring). As we get closer to the draft, I will again delve into seeing what the Niners do in improving the team, seeing who they keep, and hopefully doing enough to make contending for Super Bowls a regular occurrence again (including offering my two cents as I do). #ForeverFaithful
I completely agree regarding the Play calling.
You can nitpick a bit regarding 2 drives or if you ask me 1 drive… because that was the only drive where they had 10 point lead and could play for time. On that drive they went 1. run 2. pass (first down) 3. run for (1 yard) 4. Pass (inc) on 2nd and 9 5. (pass inc.) on 3rd and 14.
The problem I have with simply saying they should have run more is… I don’t think you can play for the clock when you have a 3 point lead against a good offense. Especially when they are loading the box. Believe it or not 1st downs allow you to eat up clock too, and more of it. On this drive Shanny actually gave Jimmy a shot at an easy first down if he sees Kittle at all… and he was wide open but Jimmy never saw him.
I also agree with trying to score at the end of the half because if you do you can double up. The logic of not even trying because you’re afraid of their offense makes no sense. Its like saying offense we don’t think you can do this, and defense if the offense fails we don’t think you will hold up. It’s coaching scared period.
Just another big game choke under the Yorks….so many now, the curse
THE CURSE OF SANTA CLARA GROWS STRONG IN YOUNG JED
im so used to losing big football games under the Yorks I expected it
So if the Yorks get the blame for the loss in the big game, who gets the credit for getting to the big game?
Sheesh, the logic of some in here.
This guys breaks down the Niners last drive. I don’t get how you call that bomb to Sanders. I see the logic behind the playcalling but if you score you’re giving the ball right back to Mahomes with 1:40 and three time-outs, and you were scared to give him the ball at the end of the 1st half.
As bad as I felt last night and into today I will have many great memories of this season. Going from 4-12 to the SB was incredible. From Kittle’s catch and run against the Saints to Greenlaws tackle versus the Seahawks on the last play of the game, I will remember this season with great joy. The last game of the year will not ruin that. What I will remember most is watching the last game I will ever watch with the greatest 9er fan I ever knew, my Pops and in that the last game was the Saints game makes it even more special. Lets stop all of our whining for a minute and enjoy the great ride they gave us this year. GO NINERS!!!!
This was a great 49ers season. Not just excellent football, but a brand of football that’s fun to watch played by likeable players.
The draft and cap treasure Lynch inherited was spent., but there’s a good core of young talent that makes me hopeful of sustained high level play.
Yep. Going from 4-12 to 13-3 was amazing. I was hoping for 8-8. To get to the SB was fantastic, but the ending left a lot to be desired.
Still, the memories of the Glory Years will sustain me.
Gaining that 6th ring will only be sweeter.
Sad to read all the negative comments on here. No one expected the Niners to reach the super bowl, and most would have gladly taken a winning season. We lost on a few plays and yes there were some odd calls and bad plays, as there are in every loss. As fans we should be grateful for this unexpected run…I feel badly for the players and coaches. Kyle is a young head coach and was not aggressive enough–the end of the first half was telling. But he had the team ready to ice the game until that 3rd and 15…you have got to blitz on that play!!! Again, not aggressive enough. But if they rush 5 and give up a big play, that gets second guessed too. The game really hinged on a couple of plays that Mahomes made….Jimmy G had his chance to write his name in the books with that deep ball with under 2 minutes left. But he is young.
We had a lot of things go our way this year and I will be grateful for the entertainment all the way into February. At least we get some instant perspective with Andy Reid finally getting his super bowl win after decades of second guessing…all of the narratives depend on the outcome of the game. A few plays here and there and the Niners win. Then the narrative changes completely with just a few plays difference. That is what makes sports fun but there is no need to obsess about what went wrong…next year we strap it up with some new players…
Thanks to the 49ers players and coaches who brought unexpected joy this year. I feel for the older players who may not get another shot but the structure is in place for a long run. Enough whining, let’s get ’em next year and years after that.
Go back and watch that 3rd and 15 and watch Bosa. 7:12 left in the 4th
He’s held so badly by Fischer it’s insane. He beats him inside and gets a full arm across the throat hold.
It should have been 3rd and 25 or it could have even been a sack. That was a massive swing and the hold is egregious.
To make this morning even more challenging check the 49ers cap room.
There might be some Paraag Marathe magic that means we have more long term cap space, but the pile of cash to spend John Lynch inherited is pretty much gone.
Then there are the traded draft picks
2nd (Seattle via KC)
3rd and 4th (Denver)
Does the ~$21 Mil include the NFL cap increase from (2019) $188.2 Mil to 2020 cap increase projected range of $196.8 million to $201.2 million? (An ~ $8 to ~ $13 Mil increase).
Cap guys, how much does cutting McKinnon and Goodwin save us in cap space?
How much would they save if they cut Gould, Goodwin, McKinnon and Pettis.
According to spotrac.com, cutting Pettis will only save about $400K. Can’t really cut Gould because he counts $5.1 million towards the salary cap but his dead cap is $6.6 million.
Pettis would save about $378k, and Gould would save nothing. It would actually be at a cost of 1.5 mil to cut him so he’ll be back for sure.
Jack / Anyone
Have you, or anyone, heard what the latest NFL Cap increase for 2020 will be?
Latest I seen was from Seahawks wire…..Projected 2020 NFL salary cap could reach $201.2M…..If this is true, it’s approx an $8 Mil increase
** ~ $ 10 – 12 Mil cap increase?**
I was writing everything Jack and cubus were saying, and as I posted I saw they already replied. Couldn’t edit and delete my post without writing something, so…something.
Spotrac.com shows that Solomon Thomas counts $8.96 million towards the salary cap but has a dead cap of only $4.65 million. Overthecap.com, however, shows the same salary cap number, but the dead cap is also $8.96 million. I’m guessing that overthecap.com is correct, but if not, cutting ST could provide some relief in trying to sign Armstead.
Thomas is break even; no savings.
I’m just putting this out there for discussion purposes, but according to overthecap.com, here are some cap savings if the following players were let go. Let me be clear that I’m not advocating that any of these guys be let go, but if Staley were to retire, for example, it looks like that could result in a $10.75 million cap savings:
Jimmy Garoppolo – $22.4 million in cap savings
Dee Ford – $9.7 million
DeForest Buckner – $14.36 million
Richard Sherman – $12.988 million
Joe Staley – $10.75 million
Juice – $5.55 million
Tevin Coleman – $4.9 million
Gould, McKinnon, Goodwin and Pettis have already been discussed.
Of those, the Niners may attempt to re-negotiate Coleman (unlikely Coleman agrees, given the fact running backs are already not getting a lot under the salary cap with the new capology philosophy, and the benefit of the reduction is usually by extending out the contract, which would affect the Niners’ ability to re-sign Kittle and Buckner), and Staley (his work this year was poor at the start, above average by the end of the season, but not one of the premier left tackles anymore). I wouldn’t cut any of the others.
Coleman is toast like Sherman in one on one coverage. Dee Ford would have to sign a team friendly contract to stay. I doubt that happens.
I expect Staley to retire.
Mentioned Vic Beasley would be a nice addition to this team. History with Shanahan.
Staley said he was coming back.
Bye Jimmy….bye Ford….bye Sherm….bye Coleman…..and for the love of God please I do not want to see SThomas on a professional football field they ran right at him when he was in….horrid
Of that list only Coleman is gone IMO.
With Coleman, McKinnon and Goodwin combined give them about 13 mil in savings.
That should give them around 27 mil in cap space.
Once that is done, if more space is needed, look for a restructuring of Jimmy’s contract.
As long as Jimmy G is the 49ers QB they will never win a super bowl. Been a 49er fan my whole life (46 years) but I watched him CHOKE 4x’s this year. Defensive back Ward should NEVER play in the NFL. My 99 year old grandma can cover better than that.
With ya JD….people would roast me on here when I said JimmyG is mediocre..Well he is … nothing special and at a whopping 26million a years its a fkn joke….just cut your losses and get Mullens up to speed…year after that with the money saved can play the FA market better……
Not sold on Kyle…he outhinks himself…just run out the clock you idiot…sheeeeesh….
It was Mosley who blew the coverage on 3rd and 15, not Ward. He didn’t drop into the deep zone he was supposed to cover.
Grant, what do think, back in July, your odds were of writing this column in February?
Niners had a chance. It would be totally different if JG had connected with Sanders.
Niners fought hard, but came up short. However, it was not due to the lack of effort. The players played their guts out.
The coaching, on the other hand, is open to second guessing.
Not showing faith in Jimmy at the end of the first half was a crusher. I feel it effected the whole team as well as jimmy. Going for it would have pumped offense and defense up. That show in confidence does wonders to a team. Look at Reid and the fourth downs. Just letting them go for it sends a message to you guys we are in it to win it. I know that is corny but it is true. His offense was exuding confidence and you just knew they we winning.
Shanny did not totally blow it and neither did Salah. It was combination of unfortunate events and a great play that swung the mojo to Hill. Then Kyle asked Jimmy to win the game and he came up short. I knew it was coming and maybe Shannys lack of confidence came back to bite him. He played OK missed some throws he usually makes at crunch time. I saw the look on Jimmys face and could tell he was nervous and we were in big trouble. He did not have any confidence and was playing scared. He was a sitting duck back there. Mahomes slipped many near tackles and made the throws Jimmy did not convert. I know Jimmy is no Mahomes no one is. Kids a flat out baller. Jimmy is young and I would give him another year and I would probably keep Shanny too ! lol Great year considering I did not think the were a playoff team in preseason.
Go Niners !!
Grant is right. We choked. No other way to sell it. You don’t give up 21 points and put up zero in 7 minutes without calling it a choke job!
Saleh, Kyle, Jimmy, the entire defense. All choked and it’s embarrassing!
Mostly the offense PT…..JimmyG was 3-11 in the fourth and why and the hell are we passing when Mostert is getting 6.1 yards per carry? So far Shanny is 46-0 points in the fourth quarter in the Super Bowl….Kyle is trying to be OC and HC at once it cost the team…..
It looks like they coach and play scared when they can’t be the bad bully. That is their identity. It’s the Superbowl and Andy Reid just wanted it more then Shanny, He coached not to lose.
Even if they connect on that long bomb, Mahomes still has 3 timeouts for the tying FG. They didn’t play good situational football.
Vic Beasley will be available this offseason. Nice upgrade. Young enough to replace aging line.
We need WR’s and corners. Why would we go get a defensive linemen/LB?
Because he’s a name people recognize
Jack what do you think the team needs to address position wise?
As of right now their top 2 needs are CB, Interior OL, WR.
Samuel and Bourne are good, but they need a faster Sanders type.
Draft Henry Ruggs III- WR-Alabama
Jack: Would you keep Sherman and his $13 million cap number? I can see arguments either way, but at this moment I think I keep him for one more year.
Because Ford will not be back. Thomas needs to go as well. Receiver they have Deebo Bourne and Hurd.
No cap savings by releasing Thomas. He’s an adequate backup so why take a $9 million dollar hit AND pay someone to take his place.
Cubus cause he sucks…didn’t you see them run right at him? he is a liability
So you would rather pay someone not to be on the roster, as well as pay someone else to replace him and instead of allocating 9 million to the position allocate something like 14 million to it?
Keeping in mind that that is an additional 5 or so million that can’t be used on anyone else?
I actually like them to keep Ford – I don’t mind Thomas at a discount, he was serviceable – We need a WR for sure not knowing if Hurd is another – Pettis – Sanders seems OK but would like an upgrade. Number one WR would be amazing with Deebo on the other side. Armstead is gone, great year but we will be OK without him. I would like another inside LB and a cheaper quality edge DL to pair with Bosa and Ford. Keep building the trenches !!
Amari Cooper could be worth the money as a number one in Shanahan’s system. But if the teams signs Cooper, they will have to part ways with Ford, Buckner, and possibly Gould, to make cap room.
Ford isn’t going anywhere
Because Matt has bad ideas, and wants to spend over $10 million a season for a bad player in Beasley.
This place is full of bad ideas from people who don’t have a clue. Let’s dump the players responsible for getting to a SB berth because they didn’t win it….brilliant!
Everybody wants every body gone or keep this guy and get that guy…what about your 26million dollar choker Jimmy G???? he is the top 9th paid QB and he chokes…sorry folks is what it is
The entire team choked Monty including Jimmy, but get rid of him? Don’t be ignorant.
You’ve done a great job pointing fingers all day. Leave it at that.
Joe Montana struggled occasionally. Steve Young too. All the great QBs are susceptible to poor play around them.
Were you dropped on your head as a child?
Garoppolo needs to improve, for sure, but you can’t get rid of him after what was overall a successful season. If he stinks it up next year we’ll then it’s more of a question. But for now who will help the Niners more? Too many holes to address to add more holes to cover.
Mullens…draft a young QB with the money saved on Crappollo you could boster the entire secondary= is what it is
Because you can totally win a Superbowl with the Colt McCoy’s and Tim Rattay’s.
Or as someone here suggested, Andy Dalton. OMG.
I was thinking paint chips.
Looking forward, I hope the Niners trade away players in order to get more draft picks. Letting Armstead walk may get a compensatory pick if the Niners do not sign a bunch of FAs. He may lured away with a big payday, and I do not think the Niners have a lot of cap space, especially if they sign Buckner and Kittle long term.
Emmanuel Sanders and Jerrick McKinnon may be a cap casualties, although if they accept a restructured contract, they may stay.
The Niners need to re-sign Ben Garland, Sheldon Day and Ronald Blair.
Hopefully, they can trade CJB for a 5th, Dante Pettis for a 6th, Tevin Coleman for a 5th and Solomon Thomas for a 5th. Maybe bundle some of them for a higher draft pick. Then bundle some of those picks to move up in the draft.
49ers make the SB after being 4-12 the year before and were a few missed plays (and ref calls) away from winning the SB yet we have some idiots on here talking about getting rid of some of their better players. Good grief.
Yes, some guys will no doubt be cut/ let go. I highly doubt any of the high profile names being mentioned will be among them.
After an amazing season, the most entertaining part of the off season is guessing the rearranged team and draft. Relax. No One on this blog is the GM. We all have varying degrees of understanding and life experience.
This how people coup and entertain themselves, until the new season starts. Try not to be so condescending and bitter.
Perhaps you could contribute to making it better by inject some of your knowledge and passing it on.
This site has a great core of long time knowledgeable regulars. But remember, with Grant writing the most pessimistic takes of all the pool, he’s going to draw in those who see things in the same light.
Has nothing to do with Grant. Listening to local sports talk yesterday made me want to bang my head against the wall. Some similar stuff in here.
You guys sound surprised. Mahomes and Andy Reid are the golden boys right now. It would have been the same if the Niners won. Mahomes crumbled under the stifling defense of the Niners and Reid cannot win the big one. Its always nice to pile on cause that’s what people are drawn to.
I’m more upset about how the Niners lost. As for wholesale changes, and getting rid of top end guys, well that’s just people talking out of their rear end.
Kyle Shanahan needs to spend the entire offseason going through situational football. Studying time, time of possession, play calls from not only his teams, but the history of the NFL, especially in the playoffs.
So Hammer, you are saying sports fans in general are doofuses ??
Well, folks that think the 49ers would be better off moving on from Garoppolo need to get their head examined. That’s just one of the recurring themes over the last less than 48 hours.
Add in the folks who are up in arms over how the end of the first half was handled. This one makes me wonder if they really paid attention this season.
And now we’re into the part of the year in which the team should go after every player with a recognizable name while getting rid of some of the best players to do so.
Yup, pretty much hit the nail on the head.
Preach on Jack Hammer.
Yup….i’ve pretty much turned it all off….wounds are still fresh :'(
i think i’ll keep under wraps until FA and draft time.
Hell of a run fellas…..man what a year!
My family and I just recently moved out of California to Tennessee. We’ve been homesick from time to time, but watching this season has really helped my family and me to forget all that and just enjoy the moment. I love this team and these players. I really hope we can make a return next year, but I know the realities of this game and the likeliness of that happening. Either way I had a great time enjoying this season with my sons and really shared some precious moments with them that I will never forget. Thank you to this organization, coaching staff, and all the players who left it all out there on the field.
God bless my fellow faithful. Never forget how bad we had it…..(cough cough Tomsula)
That’s funny – I am the one saying kneejerk reactions after the loss such as getting rid of a raft of good players is stupid, yet I am the one that is bitter? Trust me, I am very relaxed and definitely not bitter. If I sound condescending, maybe it is because I am amazed that so many people want to overhaul a team that was excellent. Right now many 49ers fans are prisoners of the moment and are unable to see past the loss in the Super Bowl to understand/ appreciate how good this team is and that mass changes aren’t needed.
As for my
understand/ appreciate how good this team is and that mass changes aren’t needed.
That’s kinda been my point, Big Scootie. Mass changes are not needed, but they are coming. That’s why they needed to seize their opportunity, and instead they pissed it away….
I don’t foresee mass changes coming. As with any team there will be some guys leave and some new faces every year, but highly doubt we see mass changes for a while.
I know a lot of people are concerned about losing Armstead, and to a lesser extent Ward. But if the team really wants to keep them they can find the cap space, and if not both guys are replaceable. Tbh, as much as I like Ward I am not sure I want to gamble on him staying healthy again.
I agree with you on the lack of changes. They can keep most of the roster together with the exception of some guys like Goodwin and McKinnon who will likely be cut to create some more space. I don’t know if they can or want to keep Armstead with the money it will take, but they aren’t looking at the big contracts of Kittle and Buckner until 2021 so they can fit in whoever they want this year knowing Staley is only going to be around for one more year and Sherm might be a one year guy too. They have flexibility at the very least.
It’s not just the players. Woods won’t be here either. The team may or may not be as special in terms of chemistry and execution. The physical and mental fatigue that comes with playing 3 playoff games. All of these factor into the odds saying you won’t make it back, and it is that realization that fills me with the disappointment and heartache of knowing that we’ll forever be regarded as the chokers of SB 54. The only way to change that view is to return for 55 and win it….
If Kyle, Lynch and the rest of the coaching staff/ front office, as well as playing roster, is as good as many were saying it is this season, this team should be poised to be pushing for the SB for many years to come. If they are a flash in the pan then tbh the team was just lucky to even get to the SB this season, let alone be close to winning it.
Thank you for clarifying this and taking the time to add your thoughts.
I agree with you in regards to Ward.
This offseason will definitely be more interesting than in years past when it was all only about who we could sign/ draft. Paraag will need to do some cap gymnastics with some upcoming contracts…. Buckner, Armstead, Ward, Sanders, Kittle etc.
Once that is done… it will be what free agents can we bring in to replace some of the casualties… and who we can bring in via the draft.
I don’t expect ward to cost a ton because of his injury history and his position (safeties just don’t command a lot of money) Armstead and Buckner however are different deals.
Sadly while I like our younger players I really think this group of receivers needs someone like Sanders or better as while Deebo is good and emerging another player is needed that Jimmy can trust going forward.
Next year should tell us a lot more about Jimmy too as it will be his second consecutive year in the system, which should help a lot. Plus as he is not rehabbing he should be able to focus a bit more on his fundamentals to help improve his (consistency/ accuracy). There is a lot to be excited about given how well he played in spite of some of his glaring weaknesses.
Yes, how the team approaches FA and the draft will be interesting. I, like everyone am curious to see how hard they go after keeping guys like Armstead, Ward and Sanders. To a lesser extent Blair as well – he under-ratedly was a very good rotational pass rusher this season.
I’m really not worried about the Buckner extension in terms of cost. He already has a high cap number. Any deal they give him should be able to be done without significantly increasing his cap hit for next season. The team just needs to get it done. The Kittle extension is the one that will have the main impact on cap space.
I agree with you that they need another WR. If they don’t re-sign Sanders, will be interesting to see which direction they go. Given WR is expected to be a strength of the draft I will be interested to see if any WRs get released by other teams that might be worth picking up. But my expectation is that the team will draft another WR this year.
CB and interior OL are also positions I will be interested to see what they do, and if they don’t re-sign Armstead, whether they look to bring in a vet DT/DE to replace him. Lots of interesting things to see what happens over the next few months without needing to manufacture additional things like replacing JG or Ford.
They need a speed receiver. Sanders at this stage is not that guy. Too bad they’re up against the cap or Robbie Anderson would be the wr to target in FA. Gonna have to target one in the draft. CB is the number one priority, followed by IOL. Person and Garland look done to me, plus you’ve got Richburg again coming off significant injury. The obvious solution would be to target a starting CB in FA, and then trade down from 31, thereby allowing you to draft your OG/C and wr in rounds 2 and 3. If I’m Lynch, I’d think long and hard about tagging Armstead and then trading him just like the Chiefs did with Ford….
Draft crush: Henry Ruggs III
Jimmy has a possession guy in Deebo. Now get him a guy to take the top off.
How high does he go, 15?
I’ve seen many mocks where he goes as early as 12 and as late as 26.
We probably can’t afford to trade up so he might be unrealistic but if he falls, he’s exactly what this offense needs.
Tagging Armstead is definitely an option. Might be difficult to get much in trade for him though – he’s good and if he hits FA he will get a large contract, but not sure how many teams would be willing to trade much draft capital plus sign him to a big deal.
I also think they will look to trade back with their first round pick.
CB is a tricky one. They aren’t going to move on from Sherman. So it comes down to whether they are looking to replace Moseley as a starter through FA (or at least give him another person to compete with other than Witherspoon). I think they should, but will be curious to see if the team does that. I think the more likely option is they look to the draft for that player.
WR… yeah, a good speedy WR that can start would be fantastic. Going to be difficult to find that guy in FA. Might also need to be a draft pick, but they are short on those. Sanders might be the best option for the 2020 season.
I’m not sure I completely agree with that.
I dont think the deep ball is necessarily Jimmy’s game.
Additionally Sanders had multiple games where he got over top of the defense. I can think of NO, LA and KC just off the top of my head. The nice thing about him is that he’s not just a deep guy like Goodwin.
One thing to remember is they have Taylor and Hurd coming back at WR to add to the mix. They’ve struggled staying healthy but neither seems like a long term issue. I would be shocked if the Niners don’t trade out of round one to add another pick and then possibly again like the Seahawks did last year. They could land a good WR or IOL with a pick in the second. If a guy like AJ Terrell fell they could look at him as a CB to replace Sherman in another year too.
Yup….I say we roll with the same formula we’ve been cooking with all last year…..obviously Shanny’s system works and there isn’t an adjustment that Kyle doesn’t have a counter for. We just need to continue to add depth pieces and work that salary cap. Arik will be missed, but I’m hoping a combo of Blair, Taylor, and Jones can be just as effective. Not sure how the Ward situation works out, but hope to sign him on the cheap. I wonder if niners trade out of 1st to get a 2nd and 3rd/4th.
Does the team have to resign Kittle this year? He is under contract until the end of the 2020 season. A torn labrum should create a cautious approach to his long term deal. It is in the Niners immediate best interest to postpone the Kittle deal until they have more cap room next season, if the goal is to maintain the nucleus of this team under the current cap.
Man, that was a tough loss. Couldn’t bring myself to read any 49er news but it’s all good now. Great, great year that I thoroughly enjoyed. Looking back the 49ers played in probably the top 3 most entertaining games all year. Ravens, Seahawks, and Saints were probably the best games of the year. I will spend no time whatsoever relitigating the 2nd half of the SuperBowl. I’m not a woulda, shoulda, coulda guy. 49ers lost and thats all there is to it. I do believe the 49ers will be even better in the years to come so the future is bright. In a few weeks, I’ll start formulating what I hope the 49ers do in the offseason but right now I’m going to enjoy a fantastic year on the heels of 5 horrible years. Faithful
I’m still pretty gutted myself, but like you said, what a year! From 2nd worst in the NFL to the Super Bowl Is a heck of a turnaround.
This team has a great young core and the future is bright!
Gonna lose some pieces, but I’m still excited for the future.
++++ to what you both said.
Yes all things considered, great year, great turnaround, set up nicely for the future, but for fox sakes, we choked it away! End of the day the young, genius coach made another huge blunder in the critical moments of a championship moment!
What huge blunder did the young genius HC make?
The play that cost them the game was the 3rd and 15 that gained 44 yards. If they don’t convert that, we are talking about what a brilliant game the Niners played to get #6. That’s football.
Tough, tough loss after a great and unexpected year. While the team is young and full of promise, it remains to be seen how they respond to this loss. These things have a way of changing the psyche.
Of all the teams to lose to this one was the best but it does not take away from the sting of the loss. The collapse was in many ways historic and I felt more deflated than the previous loss.
Why am I advocating trading away players? Because the Niners have the 31st pick, then none til 156. They will not be able to tap into this deep draft, and they have several needs.
Coleman is expendable with the emergence of Mostert, and Wilson waiting in the wings. The others are from areas where the draft may bring upgrades. I hope they trade CJB to Washington, because his grandfather was GM there, and he might have a decent chance competing for the starting position.
If the Niners do not get any second, third or 4th round picks, maybe the best strategy would be to move back from the first round. Denver has 12 picks, so the Niners may move back 15 spots, get a second round pick, and get back their third and 4th round picks.
Witherspoon and Moseley are adequate CBs, and if Sherman moves to safety, the safety position is secure, while extending his career like Ronnie Lott. The biggest need may be at IOL, and getting a tall speedy WR may be the better option than spending cap space on Sanders. The WR class is deep this draft, with Hurd and Taylor returning. Armstead may walk due to a huge payoff, but Blair, and Taylor may return to replace him.
Then, best player available. Maybe they can find some gems with additional 5th round picks. Kittle and Greenlaw were 5th round picks.
Man the press is crushing Jimmy Garoppolo.
A bit unfair. I’ve thought all season that it was on Shanny for not cultivating his QBs skill set. Even when they had opportunities he just never let him learn the next level skill set on the job in live action.
They’ve been pretty much crushing opponents but you would never see Shanny throw deep. How do you expect JG to make the biggest throw of his life downfield if you never do it in games? Lame.
QBs even more so than other positions need to get in rhythm and be utilized to remain effective. Instead Shanahan took him out of use when he could have gotten reps in during playoff action.
Then 1:40 before halftime he basically tells his QB “I don’t trust you at all” and sits on the ball.
This was a great season but Shanahan is mostly to blame for the end result. You get what you put into the season. In Jimmy’s case he just decided to make him a “game manager” when he needed more from him to beat an offensive juggernaut.
Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal but the Niners blew perhaps their best opportunity at a ring. It gets harder from here on, from a personnel and mental standpoint. Not to mention the ridiculous schedule we have this coming year.
Wasn’t that the story this year?
Well, it’ll be a first place schedule. And the usual tough division. Cards wil be tougher. But it’s also the AFCE and NFCE. I can’t see any of those teams beating the Niners, if Niners are on their game next year. And they’ll need to be on their game if theres any thought of getting back to the SB.
Garoppolo didn’t throw deep as much as others did but when he had the highest completion rate when he did during the regular season. He didn’t sit on the ball at the end of the half either. He played it exactly the way you should play it when the offense on the other side can score with little time on the clock. He ran the clock down until KC called a timeout. Then he got more aggressive and if not for a PI on Kittle they are in position to kick a FG with little time left on the clock. He played it perfectly. The schedule next year looks weaker on paper than this years was. They play both the AFC and NFC north which were the two worst divisions in football this season.
Fake ass niner fans don’t deserve jimmy g. Lamar jackson cant even win a playoff game. Hes trash.
Niner fans deserve to go back to the 4-12 days before jimmyZ.
Yall a bunch of sorry a$! Haters, deserve to lose
I agree with you about the fake ass niner fans. The non-fake ass variety are fine with JimmyG
Shanahan never wanted Jimmy G. A shotgun wedding put together by John Lynch. By his own admission, Shanny wasn’t very keen on JG, since we all know that he wanted his man crush to play QB.
I think Garapollo has promise and I feel for the young man, in spite of his Hollywood good looks and fat bank account, but I don’t think he’s a good fit for Shanahan.
JG seems timid, quiet and shy, even sensitive. Shanny is anything but sensitive. He was ripping him a new one on the sidelines at the Super Bowl.
I don’t think that’s the best way to coach him.
It will get very interesting from this point forward as Lynch was visibly upset. How often did you ever see Trent Baalke on the sidelines?
Lynch was invested and he wasn’t happy.
That’s going to be the story of the off season.
Not how Kyle responds, but how John Lynch does.
Some of your thoughts have crossed my mind. I remember when Mullens was in the huddle and KS was talking in his helmet and Mullens said something to the effect of “shut up”. The huddle cracked up, but I don’t think KS could hear him. I get the feeling that KS can be every bit the nagging spouse.
I do think Jimmy is going to have to free lance a little more at times even though KS wants him to be a pocket robot. At times he is basically gonna have to do what Mullens did.
For me Nick Bosa was the MVP on defense this year. He far exceeded expectations regarding every aspect of his play including “availability”. He was the highest graded 49er defender in the Superbowl by PFF and below is a link to a Baldy Breakdown: Bosa was dominant.
I never waivered or doubted Little Nicky Bosa. Those that did were proven to look foolish. Those that participated in trying to paint him as a racist look small….
Nope, you didn’t. You were a staunch supporter throughout the draft and forward. Good call!
Check out the Baldy breakdown. There’s a play where as he is rushing Mahomes and he recognizes Kelce coming across the formation and breaks off the rush to block Kelce. This totally destroys the play resulting in Mahomes throwing it away. Great recognition.
This is true. I had my doubts even through the first 4 weeks. I was proved completely and utterly wrong.
The first best thing Bosa did was terrorize opposing QBs.
The second best thing was removing the look of Cesar Sayoc’s van from his social media feed.
His genes and work ethic are responsible for the former, his agent for the latter.
For those who care:
The most glaring coaching mistake was having T. Moore covering Kelce in the RED ZONE! Are you kidding me he hardly played all year why was he in that position in the super bowl? He would be the last person I would have cover Kelce. I’m sure Salah is regretting that one as I do see that as a game breaker. Don’t know what scheme or defensive play call would put him that spot. Moore should not have been in that position trying to cover one of the best TEs in crunch time in the redzone in the Super Bowl !! GEEZ that stings.
One of the depressing things about losing a super bowl is how difficult it is to return the next year . Only 5 teams in 54 years made it back to SB after losing the year before, only 5 and one of those teams were the 1991-93 Bills.
I saw my first game at Kezar in 1953 ,thats 7 SB in 67 years. About one per decade…Grrrrr.
Yep, odds say we won’t get back.
The Niners got 4 rings in the 80’s. This team is young and has a good foundation. JG will be able to throw during the offseason, and sync up with his receivers, since he does not need to rehab his knee.
JL has had a couple very good drafts. He has found starting UDFAs. With the injured players coming back, this team has few weaknesses. Other teams are not going to find the Niners to be pushovers. The Niners will still be a daunting challenge for every opponent.
Hopefully, KS will learn from his mistakes. He should promote Mike laFleur to OC and have him concentrate on clock and game management. Instead of worrying about what plays to call, KS should mainly concentrate on being the HC.
Extending Buckner and Kittle will require good cap management, so players they would like to retain may be allowed to walk. The Niners should target a FA WR. Devin Funchess might be the big tall WR they are looking for. He is 6′ 4″, 236 lbs.
If the Niners can shore up their IOL and avoid major injuries, they may be a force to reckon with, and could vie for another ring.
Funchess is BIG and slow. He also has been breaking down. Pass. Robbie Anderson would be a much better FA, but they’d have to pay handsomely for him.
This draft is WR rich and they can probably get someone later.
They need a speedy corner and a replacement for Staley.
Trade out of the first and get another second and a fourth.
Trade anyone they won’t use and get a pick. I’m sure some team would bite on Pettis and it wouldn’t surprise me if he was a success in his next landing pad.
He has the same 40 time as Jerry Rice.
Robby Anderson weighs 190 lbs. The Niners have enough lightweight WRs.
I agree, they should draft a WR, but must use their first round pick on an IOL. Unless they manage to get more picks, they may have to wait until pick number 156. Glad you agree with me and advocate trading back, and trading away players to get more picks. (See my 8:34 AM post.)
Henry Ruggs III-WR Alabama
Does Nick Mullen’s return a 2nd or 3rd draft pick?
Comments are closed.