Marvin will be along later to give his thoughts, as he does so well, but I wanted to get a few of my reactions and observations on the table.
1. I, for one, am glad Kaepernick was running again. I certainly don't want to see him carrying the ball 11 times a game, but his legs are too dangerous NOT to use them. The good news is that Kaepernick's accuracy continues to improve. He was on the money all day. He even had some very nice touch passes over defenders. He did have Vernon open in the corner for an easy touchdown, but over threw him. Kaep still needs work when he puts air under the ball. The bad news is that Kaep continues to key in on guys. Vernon and Boldin seemed to be his only reads and the myth about the other guys not getting open can be put to rest. Williams, Baldwin, and McDonald are getting space from defenses and Kaep is still throwing to Davis and Boldin. Kaepernick must learn to distribute the ball to become an elite QB. Right now it doesn't seem like he is going through more than two reads. Still, as long as his accuracy is there, Boldin and Davis are catching everything.
2. I love the commitment to the running game. I was definitely of the opinion that Gore was washed up. Yesterday was a very Gore-like day. He got the yards they needed, read his blocks well, and was spectacular in the pass game. The pass he caught and took up the sidelines had me checking my calendar! I thought it was 2009 all over again! I'm not sure why it took us three games to remember, but we are bullies. That is our offensive identity with or without all of our weapons.
3. Tramaine Brock! He is playing with so much confidence right now! Every play he makes adds another $100,000 to his contract for next year, whether it is with us or elsewhere. What if our CB group for next year looked like this: Culliver, Brock, Morris, and a few rookies? I'm less scared by that propsition...
4. Dorsey is hurting. He was getting pushed backward and sideways all day. Credit him for gutting it out, but he needs to heal. I hope they rest him for most of the Jags game and then he will have the bye week to get better. Dial looked good, but he is not ready to hold the fort against a real team.
5. Speaking of Dial, I was happy with what I saw. His size and strength stand out immediately. The one complaint I had was that he was VERY slow off the line. Given that problem, it is amazing how much space he was able to eat up once he got going. I say we give the kid as much time as he can handle against the Jags. We can see how he does against a very good running back in MJD and we don't risk much.
6. Kendall Wright ate Carlos Rogers' lunch. In fact, Carlos might want to make sure his kids still have their lunch money. Wright was the bright spot of the Titan offense, not counting Johnson's TD against our 2nd string defense. It was another example of the secondary's biggest weakness over the last few years. Small, shifty slot receivers with good hands give this defense fits. Rogers was a step behind all day and wasn't getting much of a jam on him either.
7. Once again, Joe Staley stands up for Kaepernick after a hit. I love the attitude. They stand up for each other.
8. How many of you have complained about the roster spots used for Special Teamers? I admit, I have often wondered why we were letting guys with potential go to keep vets like Kasim Osgood. Question answered. In 2011 we had a weak offense but made it to the NFC Championship with a dominant defense and a lights-out special teams. Our defense this year is good, but with Aldon out, McDonald ailing, and a lack of depth at NT, dominance probably won't be there. Our offense has sputtered, but it is stronger than our 2011 version. This ST unit can help fill in the gaps.