49ers

49ers offensive player-by-player review

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49ers offensive player-by-player review

Even in a game in which the 49ers were thoroughly beaten on this side of the ball, they had their chances.The 49ers gained a season-low 170 yards of total offense, and they allowed nine sacks for the first time since 1998. There were also plays to be made against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night, but the 49ers simply did not make them.And that began on the first snap of the game.As shown on the NFL Network's "Sound FX," 49ers quarterback Alex Smith failed to see wide-open tight end Delanie Walker down the field beyond the Ravens secondary."Got Delanie deep!" 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman said excitedly as the play developed.Instead, Smith rolled to his right and threw a 2-yard pass to Vernon Davis."God, we had a touchdown deep," Roman said to his colleagues in the coaches booth on a clip that aired on the show.On the sideline after that possession, Smith knew he missed an opportunity, too. "Hey, I had Delanie big on the first play," Smith said to 49ers quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst.The 49ers also had a 75-yard touchdown pass to Ted Ginn nullified in the second quarter because of a chop block. Frank Gore made a legal cut block on blitzing safety Bernard Pollard. But when guard Chilo Rachal got his hands on Pollard, that constituted an illegal high-low.Generally, the 49ers had no answers for the flood of blitzes and pressure packages the Ravens dialed up Thursday night. The 49ers set up some wide receiver screens, but they attempted only three passes to their running backs.
Here is the entire offensive player-by-player review from the 49ers' 16-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday:Quarterback
3-Scott Tolzien: Inactive (coaches' decision).
7-Colin Kaepernick: Did not play. (Follow on Twitter @Kaepernick7)
11-Alex Smith: He started and played every snap. Smith completed 15 of 24 passes for 140 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. He was sacked nine times for 44 yards, and he also gained 12 yards on two carries. . . He also had a 75-yard TD throw to Ted Ginn nullified by a chop block that had no bearing on the play. . . Smith was under pressure much of the night. He could've avoided a couple sacks by getting rid of the ball quicker. But he also avoided a couple sacks by escaping the pressure. . . He got away from defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and ended up completing 9-yard pass and a first down to Frank Gore. . . . Threw to the inside when Braylon Edwards was outside of Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb, who intercepted the pass at the end of the first half. Jim Harbaugh said the day after the game that he wishes Smith had gone to Ginn on the other side. . . Escaped pressure off the right side to scramble left for 8 yards and a first down in the third quarter.Running backs
21-Frank Gore: Started at halfback and played 41 of the 49ers' 54 offensive snaps. . . . He carried 14 times for 39 yards and caught just one pass for 9 yards. . . Got a piece of Ngata to allow Smith to get the ball to Vernon Davis on a third-and-2 for 20 yards. . . He was kept in to block on most of the pass plays, and his blitz pickup was generally very good, as usual. The Ravens outschemed the 49ers on one play in which Gore was responsible for blitzing linebacker Jameel McClain off the right side. But when the Ravens disguised the pressure, defensive tackle Cory Redding came through untouched past guard Chilo Rachal. Gore ultimately had to block two pass-rushers on that play, and didn't get either.
24-Anthony Dixon: He did not see any action on offense. . . . He had one tackle on special teams. (Follow on Twitter @Boobie24Dixon)
32-Kendall Hunter: He did not start, but saw 12 snaps in the game at halfback, including the final seven of the game when the 49ers were in no-huddle mode . . . He gained 14 yards on four rushes. . . He also caught one pass for 13 yards. . . Lined up on the left side of the formation, came across to get enough to Terrell Suggs in blitz pickup to provide Smith with time he needed for 18-yard pass to Michael Crabtree on a third-and-17.
44-Moran Norris: Started at fullback with Bruce Miller inactive and played 16 snaps in the game, including all of the 49ers' best run plays. . . . It was his first game action since sustaining a broken left fibula in a Week 2 loss against Dallas. . . He got a block on outside linebacker Paul Kruger to allow Ginn to get to the outside on an end around for 9 yards. . . . Block on Jarret Johnson sent him to the ground, allowing Hunter to gain 9 yards on his first carry of the game. . . . Good block on McClain to enable Gore to pick up 9 yards in third quarter.
49-Bruce Miller: Inactive for the game due to a concussion he sustained last Sunday against Arizona. He said he would've been able to play if the game were on a Sunday and not a Thursday. (Follow on Twitter @bmiller_49)
90-Isaac Sopoaga: He did not play any snaps of offense.Wide receivers
10-Kyle Williams: He saw just 15 snaps of offense. . . Did not have any receptions. . . Tried and failed to make one-handed catch on a swing pass when he likely could've gotten both hands on the ball. (Follow on Twitter @KyleWilliams_10)
15-Michael Crabtree: Started at flanker and caught six passes for 54 yards. . . He was on the field for 39 snaps in the game. . . Made a nice leaping catch against Webb for an 18-yard gain on third and 17 to pick up a first down on opening drive of second half. . . . Knocked down Webb with a block on a receiver screen, which allowed Ginn to gain 9 yards in third quarter. (Follow on Twitter @KingCrab15)
17-Braylon Edwards: He played half of the team's snaps, as he shared playing time with Ted Ginn. . . Three passes were directed his way. Edwards caught one pass for 5 yards, as the 49ers converted a fourth-down play on the final drive. . . Had what Smith called a "miscommunication" at the end of the first half on an interception. Regardless, Edwards could've done a better job of turning into a defender and preventing Webb's interception. (Follow on Twitter @OfficialBraylon)
18-Brett Swain: Inactive (coaches' decision).
19-Ted Ginn: He played 27 of the team's 54 snaps. . . . Made a nice leaping catch of a long ball in the second quarter. But the 75-yard catch and run was nullified by a chop block. . . He caught two passes for 21 yards. . . . Dropped simple pass that would've been a first down on a fourth-down play to end final 49ers drive. . . . Averaged 31 yards on three kickoff returns. Had three fair-catches on punts.Tight ends
46-Delanie Walker: Started as part of a two-tight end formation. . . He played 33 snaps in the game but did not have a pass thrown his way. . . Called for false start in second quarter. . . . Good block on Johnson as Gore picked up 5 yards to open second half. . . He had one tackle on special teams. (Follow on Twitter @Dwalk46)
81-Justin Peelle: He played just three snaps in the game.
85-Vernon Davis: He started and played every offensive snap. . . Davis caught four passes for 38 yards. . . . He got a step on McClain to make catch and turn up the sideline for 20 yards on a third-and-2 in the first quarter. . . . Down block on Cory Redding to allow Gore to pick up 3 yards on a second-and-1 in the first quarter. . . . Late in first half, he didn't go out of bounds at end of 7-yard gain at the Baltimore 40, and the clock kept running inside of a minute. . . . Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs worked against him and picked up the Ravens' ninth sack of the game. (Follow on Twitter @VernonDavis85)Offensive linemen
59-Jonathan Goodwin: Started at center and played every snap. . . Haloti Ngata worked him into a clump of bodies toward the left side of the line. Ngata was then able to shed Goodwin to get to Smith for a 5-yard sack in the first quarter. . . Got out front to block McClain for a Gore pickup for 6 yards in first quarter. (Follow on Twitter @Jgoody59)
62-Chilo Rachal: He did not start, but he played 36 snaps in the game at right guard when Adam Snyder had to leave with a hamstring injury. . . When he got his hands on blitzing safety Bernard Pollard while Gore was upending him in pass protection, it constituted a chop block. That penalty nullified the 49ers' biggest play of the game: a 75-yard Smith-to-Ginn touchdown pass. . . On next play, Ngata got past him to stop Gore for 1-yard loss. . . . Rachal was also confused on a second-quarter blitz when his attention was diverted by defensive tackle Pernell McPhee, who faked a blitz and dropped into coverage as Redding blew past him from the outside.
67-Daniel Kilgore: Inactive (coaches' decision).
68-Adam Snyder: Started at right guard and sustained left hamstring injury on second series of the game. He re-entered and played 18 snaps total in the game before sitting out the rest of the evening. The 49ers will continue to evaluate his status for Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams. . . . Redding got past him to put hit on Smith in first quarter to force incomplete pass. . . . Allowed pressure to Ngata on play Smith got away and found Gore for 9-yard completion. . . . McClain got past him cleanly with a spin move for a first-quarter sack. . . He also gave up pressure to McPhee that blew up a play, resulting in a sack by Ngata. . . Unable to move after getting beaten several times, the 49ers removed him from the lineup. (Follow on Twitter @ASnyds68)
74-Joe Staley: Started at left tackle and played every snap. . . Suggs got around him to force Smith to step up, where he was sacked by McClain. . . . His man got a sack in the second quarter through no fault of his. He mirrored Redding up the field for nearly 4 seconds, but Smith stepped up to try to buy more time and moved into Redding's path for a sack. (Follow on Twitter @jstaley74)
75-Alex Boone: He did not play at all on offense, as the 49ers went away from using extra linemen as blockers for this game.
76-Anthony Davis: Started at right tackle and played every snap. . . He had his most difficult game of the season after a string of outstanding performances. . . . Redding held him up and clogged running lane in third quarter, Gore slipped as he changed direction for a 1-yard loss. . . . On next play, failed to switch off on Ngata, who shoved past him for a sack of Smith. . . Drove McPhee off line of scrimmage as Gore picked up 9 yards in third quarter. . . . Suggs beat him to the outside for a 10-yard sack in the third quarter. . . . Suggs got around him again and chased down Smith for the sack and forced fumble in the fourth quarter. . . . Kruger beat him to put pressure on Smith to force intentional grounding penalty in fourth quarter. (Follow on Twitter @AnthonyDavis76)
77-Mike Iupati: Started at left guard and played every snap of offense. . . . On a day in which the entire offensive line struggled, Iupati might have struggled on fewer snaps than any of his linemates. . . McPhee used a swim move to get past him and pressure Smith on the play that resulted in an intentional grounding on final drive.
78-Mike Person: Inactive (coaches' decision).

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals

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AP

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals

TEMPE, Ariz. — Blaine Gabbert will get his first start for the Arizona Cardinals when they play the Texans in Houston on Sunday.

Coach Bruce Arians announced the decision after Friday's practice.

Drew Stanton, the starter the last two games, bruised his knee early in the Thursday night loss to Seattle last week. He stayed in the game but has been limited in practice all week.

Arians said it will be a game-time decision as to whether Stanton or recently signed Matt Barkley would be Gabbert's backup.

Gabbert will be making his 41st NFL start. He has a 9-31 record. He signed with Arizona last offseason and was the third quarterback until Carson Palmer broke his arm against the Los Angeles Rams in London and was lost for the season.

49ers Mailbag: Should Shanahan give up play-calling?

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USATSI

49ers Mailbag: Should Shanahan give up play-calling?

Believe it or not, the 49ers’ offense is improved from last season.

The 49ers ranked 31st in the NFL in 2016, averaging 308.1 yards per game. Although the offense is producing just a little better (325.9 yards per game), their ranking this season has shot up to 21st in the league.

The 49ers have had a different head coach and different person running the offense in each of the past four seasons, so their continuity has been severely lacking.

Next season, the 49ers should finally have carryover from one season to the next.

The direction of the offense is one of the topics addressed on this edition of 49ers Mailbag (questions were submitted via Facebook):

Now that we have Jimmy G do you see 49ers getting an offensive coordinator or will it still be Kyle calling the plays? (Julio Orozco)
I'm not sure why the arrival of Jimmy Garoppolo would have any impact on the 49ers’ offensive structure, but in any event, the answer is a resounding, “No.”

Kyle Shanahan has been hailed as one of the best offensive coordinators in the NFL. The reason he was hired as 49ers head coach was, in large part, because of the success he achieved while designing offenses and calling plays.

Why would he give that up? It makes no sense.

Rob Demovsky of ESPN this week identified the 32 primary play-callers. There are 18 NFL head coaches with offensive backgrounds. Twelve of those coaches call their own plays.

Shanahan has a staff of assistant coaches on whom he leans. Passing game specialist Mike LaFleur and quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello are closely involved in working with Shanahan on the passing game, while running game specialist Mike McDaniel, offensive line coach John Benton and running backs coach Bobby Turner spearhead the involvement in the ground game.

But, make no mistake, it is Shanahan who calls the shots. And that's the way it should be. If Shanahan stepped aside as his own offensive coordinator, he would be diminishing his biggest strength as a coach.

What do you see happing with the Hyde situation? We drafted Joe Williams and Breida seems to be a bright spot. There’s a lot of talk about Barkley from Penn State with that high 1st rounder. (Manny Hinojos)
There does not seem to be any movement toward a long-term extension for Hyde. It is getting to the point in the season where it makes a lot more sense for Hyde to play out his contract and hit the open market.

There is no question in my mind the 49ers like Hyde a lot. He has scored some major points with the organization for his performance on the field and how he has responded off the field.

GM John Lynch loved it when Hyde came to the defense of quarterback C.J. Beathard, tussled with Arizona lineman Frostee Rucker and got ejected from the game.

That said, the 49ers are not going to break the bank for Hyde. A multi-year agreement has to come at the right price. My personal feeling is that running backs are luxury pieces when the remainder of a team’s roster -- especially the offensive line -- is set.

Shanahan and his father, Mike Shanahan, and Turner (the assistant coach who served on both of their staffs) have achieved a lot of success without investing heavily in running backs. That’s why I think the 49ers would be best-served by investing elsewhere and using another mid-round draft pick on a running back.

With Joshua Garnett coming back next season how aggressive will Lynch and Shanahan be in trying to get guards this offseason? (David Hartless)
Garnett is not a particularly good fit for this offensive scheme. The presence of Garnett can help increase the competition next offseason, but I do not believe he is being penciled in as a starter.

The 49ers will certainly be aggressive in an attempt to upgrade the guard positions. Currently, Laken Tomlinson and Brandon Fusco are the starters. Neither will be assured a starting job when the offseason begins.

The 49ers did not see enough from Garnett to determine he has a future with the organization, but he will be given the opportunity to come back healthy and prove himself.

Is Eric Reid in long-term plans? (Grant Rasmussen)
I do not believe so. I think the 49ers would like their starting safeties next season to be Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt – with Adrian Colbert as the front-runner for the No. 3 job.

The 49ers can also be expected to add a player or two in free agency, as well as the draft, to provide a competitive environment in the offseason. The 49ers seemed to telegraph their intention with Reid when they moved him to linebacker with Ward and Tartt remaining as the starting safeties.

That position change lasted about a week, as Ward’s injury prompted the team to move Reid back to safety. Reid is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. It's entirely possible there will not be a big market for him, but I do not believe the 49ers are going to be ultra-competitive in retaining him on the open market.