49ers review: Offensive player-by-player


49ers review: Offensive player-by-player

The 49ers had 253 yards at halftime. Frank Gore rushed for 103 yards, and Alex Smith completed 10 of 13 passes for 108 yards.It's not that the 49ers got conservative in the second half. They just didn't play as well. Smith had a chance to have a big second half. But he was off-target on some of his throws, including what would've been a big gainer to Michael Crabtree.It was a sloppy second half, which opened with receiver Braylon Edwards stepping out of bounds before receiving a short pass from Smith.The 49ers managed one first down on their first five possessions of the second half. But even when the offense looks horrible, the 49ers have rarely turned the ball over. On Sunday, it was another turnover-free day for the offense.
Here's a player-by-player look at the 49ers' offensive performances from their 20-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday:Quarterback
3-Scott Tolzien: Inactive.
7-Colin Kaepernick: Did not play. (Follow on Twitter @Kaepernick7)
11-Alex Smith: Started at quarterback and completed 15 of 24 attempts for 177 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. His passer rating was 98.8. He also rushed for 22 yards on four attempts. . . . Again, he did not have any turnovers. . . Showed athleticism in first quarter when he avoided pass-rusher Jabaal Sheard in the pocket about 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage, scrambled right, avoided cornerback Joe Haden and dove head-first, eluding defensive tackle Phil Taylor to pick up 3 yards on a third-and-2 play. . . . Opened himself up to a big hit from safety Usama Young with a late slide at the end of a 9-yard keeper in fourth quarter. . . . On next play, overshot a wide-open Crabtree 20 yards down the left sideline.Running backs
21-Frank Gore: Started and played 53 of the 49ers' 64 offensive plays. He rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown on a career-high 31 attempts. It was his fourth consecutive game of 125 yards or more. . . . He was initially ruled to have a second touchdown but referee Bill Leavy overturned the borderline call on review. He was close to another score on three plays later, but Leavy did not rule in favor of coach Jim Harbaugh's challenge. . . Gore did not catch a pass. . . . Picked up stunt around right side to allow Smith time to throw 41-yard pass to Michael Crabtree. . . . Missed a couple snaps in third quarter with a twisted right ankle but returned to the game and is fine.
24-Anthony Dixon: Did not play on offense, but was credited with one special-teams tackle. (Follow on Twitter @Boobie24Dixon)
32-Kendall Hunter: The 49ers' No. 2 running back played nine snaps in the game. He gained 26 yards on three rushing attempts.
44-Moran Norris: Inactive. He has been out since sustaining a fractured left fibula Sept. 18 against the Cowboys. Norris returned for limited practice last Thursday and Friday.
49-Bruce Miller: Started the game at fullback and played 29 snaps. He had one pass thrown his way, which deflected off his fingertips. . . . Called for a false start when the 49ers were backed up at the goal line. The half-the-distance-penalty did not cost the 49ers any yardage -- more like a foot. . . . Had a knockdown block on linebacker D'Qwell Jackson 7 yards down the field on a run in which Hunter picked up 26 yards. . . . Good lead block vs. cornerback Joe Haden on Gore's 26-yard run in second quarter. (Follow on Twitter @bmiller_49)
90-Isaac Sopoaga: He played 13 snaps as a blocking back, and came up with an 18-yard pass reception late in the fourth quarter on a crucial third-and-3 play. . . . Big block on Jackson at goal line on Gore's 4-yard TD run in first quarter. . . . Missed block on linebacker Chris Gocong, who shot through a gap to stop Gore for 1 yard on a third-and-2 play in first quarter. . . .Missed another block on Gocong as Gore was stopped for 1-yard loss on goal line.Wide receivers
10-Kyle Williams: The 49ers' No. 4 receiver played seven snaps in the game. He did not have any passes thrown his way. (Follow on Twitter @KyleWilliams_10)
15-Michael Crabtree: Started at flanker and played 38 snaps in the game, the most of any of the 49ers' wideouts. He had five receptions for 54 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter. It was his first touchdown of the season . . . Drew a critical pass-interference penalty on Haden on a third-and-5 play that gave the 49ers a first down on opening drive, leading to a touchdown. (Follow on Twitter @KingCrab15)
17-Braylon Edwards: Entered the game at split end on the second play and played 33 snaps in the game. He caught four passes for 42 yards. . . . After being out since Sept. 18 with a torn meniscus, he got banged around on his first play when Smith threw behind him on a quick slant. He said after that play he did not think about his knee again. . . . Held block on cornerback Sheldon Brown down the field to allow Joe Staley to pick up 17 yards on tackle-eligible play. . . . Made outstanding diving catch for 8-yard gain midway through first quarter. .. . Had block on defensive end Jayme Mitchell that allowed Smith to get to the outside for 9-yard gain on third-and-1 play in second quarter. . . . Lost track of where he was on the field and stepped out of bounds on first play of the second half on pass thrown to him. (Follow on Twitter @OfficialBraylon)
18-Brett Swain: Inactive.
19-Ted Ginn: He started at wide receiver and played 26 snaps in the game. He had one pass intended for him but it was incomplete. . . Averaged 16.5 yards on two kickoff returns, and had two punt returns for a 9-yard average. He also had two fair catches.Tight ends
46-Delanie Walker: The 49ers' No. 2 tight end played 27 snaps of offense. He did not have any passes thrown his way. . . Outstanding blocks on Gore's 24-yard run when the 49ers were backed up at their own goal line. He started the play with a block on safety Mike Adams and then blocked linebacker Scott Fujita to allow Gore to get past the first two levels. (Follow on Twitter @Dwalk46)
81-Justin Peelle: The 49ers' No. 3 tight end entered when Vernon Davis left the game in the second quarter. Peelle played eight snaps in the game. . . Good one-one-one block on defensive end Jabaal Sheard on 26-yard gain by Gore in second quarter. . . . Picked up 19 yards on a pass over the middle in second quarter for his only catch of the game. . . . Sheard tossed him aside to stop Gore for no gain in third quarter.
85-Vernon Davis: Started at tight end and played 56 snaps. He caught three passes for 27 yards . . . He missed seven plays in the second quarter when he injured his right arm. He returned and played all of the second half . . . He handled right defensive end Scott Paxson to open hole for Hunter on a 26-yard run in the first quarter. (Follow on Twitter @VernonDavis85)Offensive linemen
59-Jonathan Goodwin: Started at center. Had block on defensive tackle Phil Taylor to seal the backside on Hunter's 26-yard run in first quarter. . . . Got 6 yards down field to block Jackson on Gore's gain of 14 yards in second quarter. . . . Was late getting over to help Adam Snyder when Taylor got past Snyder en route to a sack of Smith. (Follow on Twitter @Jgoody59)
62-Chilo Rachal: He did not start, but he entered the game to play a couple of snaps at right guard. Blocked defensive tackle Brian Schaefering one-on-one on pass play in which Smith hit Davis for 7 yards.
67-Daniel Kilgore: Inactive.
68-Adam Snyder: Started at right guard. Switched to left guard for one play when Mike Iupati left the field briefly in the first quarter. . . . Took safety T.J. Ward to the ground to open lane for Gore on a 26-yard run in second quarter. . . . Taylor initially used a club move to get around him on way to a sack. . . . Jackson bounced off his block in third quarter to throw Gore for a 1-yard loss at end of third quarter. . . . (Follow on Twitter @ASnyds68)
74-Joe Staley: Started at left tackle. Teamed with Iupati for a take-down double-team block on defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin on Hunter's 26-yard gain in the first quarter. . . . Started out blocking on Paxson and peeled off into the flat to catch pass from Smith for a 17-yard gain on a tackle-eligible play. . . Didn't hold block on Mitchell on sweep to left side on which Gore was thrown for 3-yard loss. . . On next play, handled Mitchell in pass protection on 19-yard pass to Davis. . . (Follow on Twitter @jstaley74)
75-Alex Boone: He did not start but he played 12 snaps of offense as an extra blocker. . . He moved Sheard out of the way to open hole for Gore on his 4-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. . . . Called for a false start when he remained in the game at left tackle the play after Staley caught his pass.
76-Anthony Davis: Started at right tackle. Manhandled Sheard on play in which Gore ran to his side for a 5-yard gain in first quarter. . . . He provided flawless pass protection throughout the game. (Follow on Twitter @AnthonyDavis76)
77-Mike Iupati: Started at left guard. He got enough of Gocong to allow Gore to get into end zone on 4-yard run in first quarter. . . . Got a kickout block on Ward that provided lane for Gore to gain 24 yards when the 49ers were backed up at their own goal line in first quarter. . . . Missed one play in the first quarter when he took a shot below the belt. . . . Block on Paxon opened hole for Gore's 14-yard gain in second quarter.
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.