49ers review: Offensive player-by-player


49ers review: Offensive player-by-player

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Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.com
It's no big deal that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh didn't have any answers Monday at his press conference for why the 49ers' run game struggled. The bigger concern is that there were no solutions or adjustments on Sunday.Running back Frank Gore was stuffed on six of his 22 rushing attempts for no gain or a loss of yardage. And rookie Kendall Hunter was stopped for no gain on one of his two rush attempts. Let's take a look at where the breakdowns occurred on those plays:
First quarter, third-and-3 from SF 36: Gore's run play is designed to go off right tackle. But the 49ers' right side of the line loses its one-on-one matchups. Linebacker Leroy Hill doesn't budge against guard Chilo Rachal, and defensive tackle Brandon Mebane is unfazed by tackle Anthony Davis' block attempt. Result: Loss of 2 yards.First quarter, second-and-10 from Seattle 15: Gore takes the hand off toward the left side against a nine-man box. Lead-blocker Moran Norris does not block safety Earl Thomas off the edge. Norris looks inside and doesn't block anyone there, as Thomas comes in untouched to make the tackle. Result: Loss of 1 yard.Second quarter, first-and-10 from SF 36: Against an eight-man box, Gore takes the handoff and starts out toward right guard. Tight end Vernon Davis is unable to get any push against defensive end Red Bryant. Anthony Davis doesn't block anyone, and Norris misses his block on cornerback Marcus Trufant, who makes the tackle. Result: No gain.Second quarter, third-and-1 from Seattle 14: Against 10 men in the box, Hunter tries to run off right guard. Vernon Davis allows Aaron Curry to get inside of him to plug that hole where the play is designed to go. Norris chooses to block cornerback Brandon Browner on the outside instead of strong safety Kam Chancellor, who appears to be the more dangerous defender on the inside. Chancellor makes the tackle. Result: No gain.Third quarter, first-and-10 from SF 23: Rachal did not stick with his block on Mebane. Norris didn't drive anyone back as he hit the line of scrimmage. And left guard Mike Iupati, who was pulling on the play, was much too high and didn't have enough leverage to make a good block on defensive end Raheem Brock. Mebane was credited with the tackle. Result: No gain.Fourth quarter, first-and-goal from the Seattle 1: Iupati and center Jonathan Goodwin went to the ground with Mebane, opening space for linebacker Matt McCoy to fly in to make the initial hit on Gore. Brock went lower than Rachal off the right side to take away that potential lane. And Chancellor off the left side, stood up Norris to stack it up on that side. Result: Loss of 2 yards.Fourth quarter, second-and-goal from SF 3: Gore tries another run toward the left side. Defensive tackle Alan Branch gets inside Anthony Davis from the backside. The 49ers' interior linemen Rachal, Goodwin and Iupati are slanting to the left, just trying to hold on to get any kind of push. Again, Chancellor gets the better of Norris while setting the edge. This time, Chancellor throws down Norris as the play is stacked up. Result: Loss of 1 yard. Now, here's the player-by-player review of the 49ers' offense:Quarterback
3-Scott Tolzien: Inactive.
7-Colin Kaepernick: Did not play. (Follow on Twitter @Kaepernick7)
11-Alex Smith: He completed 15 of 20 passes for 124 yards, as the 49ers did not ask much of him. The 49ers converted just 1 of 12 third-down attempts, but seven of those were called run plays. On third-down passes, Smith completed 3 of 4 for 16 yards, with just one of his completions going for a first down. He also scrambled once on third down for 7 yards, but did not pick up the first down. His best play in the first quarter was his blocking. He got his left shoulder into cornerback Marcus Trufant, then he peeled off him to help out on safety Kam Chancellor to help Frank Gore pick up 12 yards. . . . Made a back-shoulder throw to Vernon Davis for 19 yards to set up the 49ers' touchdown before the half. Scored touchdown on a gutsy 1-yard run, as he eluded cornerback Trufant and then made it into the end zone in spite of linebacker Aaron Curry's hit at the goal line. . . . Made good fourth-quarter throw to Joshua Morgan for 26 yards while feeling pressure in his face from defensive end Tony Hargrove. His other nice pass was a 27-yarder to Davis that he lofted nicely over a defender.Running backs
21-Frank Gore: Started at running back and played 46 of the team's 52 offensive plays. He didn't have much of a chance with the Seahawks' defensive front overwhelming the 49ers at the line of scrimmage. He gained 59 yards on 22 rushing attempts. He also caught three passes for 19 yards with one dropped pass (that play wouldn't have gone anywhere).
24-Anthony Dixon: Played solely on special teams. (Follow on Twitter @Boobie24Dixon)
32-Kendall Hunter: As Gore's primary backup, he played six snaps from scrimmage. . . . Saw his first action with 3:40 remaining in the first half and was stuffed for no gain on a third-and-1 situation. Buckled outside linebacker Aaron Curry to pick up the blitz and allow Alex Smith to escape and gain 11 yards on a scramble. . . . Bounced off tackles 2 yards behind line and still picked up 4 yards to the 4-yard line in the fourth quarter. . . He finished with 4 yards on two rushing attempts.
44-Moran Norris: Started at fullback, and played 32 snaps as the 49ers tried to feature the power run game. . . He had his hands full against Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor (see above). . . . He got a block on linebacker K.J. Wright at line of scrimmage to help Gore gain 7 yards. . . . Blocked cornerback Brandon Browner on play in which Gore gained 16 in the fourth quarter.
49-Bruce Miller: Played solely on special teams. He was called for a holding penalty on a kickoff return at the start of the third quarter. He did not make any tackles on the coverage units. (Follow on Twitter @bmiller_49)Wide receivers
10-Kyle Williams: Inactive. (Follow on Twitter @KyleWilliams_10)
15-Michael Crabtree: He was not fully recovered from July surgery to repair a broken left foot. He returned to practice last week and was on the field for the second snap of the game. Crabtree played 13 snaps, including just one play in the second half. He caught one pass for 4 yards, and dropped a ball on his only second-half play that would not have gained any yards. (Follow on Twitter @KingCrab15)
17-Braylon Edwards: Started and played 34 snaps in the game. He caught three passes for 27 yards. . . Used his body to shield Marcus Trufant on a comeback that picked up 12 yards on a third-and-3 in the fourth quarter. . . He looked to have inside position on a slant pattern in the end zone, but Smith's pass was high. . . . The 49ers got a first-and-goal from the 1, to set up their only offensive touchdown when cornerback Brandon Browner interfered with him in the end zone. (Follow on Twitter @OfficialBraylon)
19-Ted Ginn: He played just seven snaps on offense and did not catch a pass, but he played a huge role on special teams with kickoff and punt returns for touchdowns. . . . With the 49ers clinging to a 19-17 lead inside of four minutes, Ginn used his speed to get the sideline on 102-yard kikoff return. He prematurely began to celebrate at 20-yard line before noticing on the JumboTron that Earl Thomas was close behind. . . . Made several would-be tacklers miss on punt return, including Dominique Byrd.
84-Joshua Morgan: He started and played 36 snaps in the game. Morgan caught two passes for 28 yards, including a 26-yarder that helped set up a fourth-quarter field goal that gave the 49ers a little bi of breathing room.Tight ends
46-Delanie Walker: He was on the field for the 49ers' first offensive play of the game as a second tight end. He played 26 of the 49ers' 52 offensive plays. He had just one catch for minus-1 yard, but played very well on special teams with four tackles. (Follow on Twitter @Dwalk46)
85-Vernon Davis: Started at tight end and played every snap of the game. Alertly adjusted to back-shoulder throw for 19-yard gain against coverage of Aaron Curry. . . . On deep ball, Marcus Trufant held his arm which might have been the reason he didn't reach out to haul in the pass. No pass-interference penalty was called on the play. Davis was the 49ers' leading receiver with five catches for 47 yards. (Follow on Twitter @VernonDavis85)Offensive linemen
59-Jonathan Goodwin: Started at center and played every snap. He took the blame for a premature snap that resulted in a poor exchange that Smith quickly recovered.
62-Chilo Rachal: Started at right guard, and got off to a slow start. On the 49ers' second drive, he allowed a defensive tackle to get past him to put a big hit on Smith as he was throwing. He was not on the field for the 49ers' third possession, but returned to the game on the next series. . . . He pulled and got the block on Chancellor that helped spring Gore for a 7-yard gain in second quarter.
67-Daniel Kilgore: Inactive.
68-Adam Snyder: Entered the game at right guard for the third series of the game. He also reported as tight end and blocked down on defensive end Red Bryant on play in which Gore picked up 16 yards. . . . He lined up at tight end for a short-yardage play, and when he legally shifted off the line of scrimmage, Seattle was coaxed offside for a 49ers' first down. (Follow on Twitter @ASnyds68)
74-Joe Staley: Started at left tackle, and generally did a solid job . . . . Called for false start on second offensive snap. . . . Got 10 yards down the field to block Chancellor on a 12-yard run by Gore. . . . Chris Clemons got around him to put a hit on Smith as he was throwing on fourth-quarter incomplete pass from Seattle 4. (Follow on Twitter @jstaley74)
75-Alex Boone: He played five snaps while reporting into the game as a tight end on run downs.
76-Anthony Davis: Started at right tackle and played every snap in the game. See above for his performance on the six runs in which Gore was stuffed. (Follow on Twitter @AnthonyDavis76)
77-Mike Iupati: Started at left guard and played every snap. . . . Seemed to play too high, which did not allow him to be as effective as he could've been in the run game. (See breakdown of run plays above.)
78-Mike Person: Inactive.

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals


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?


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.