5 Burning Questions For The 49ers in Week 5 Answered

Oct 6, 2014 at 12:07 PM

The 49ers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in using a formula that has become all too familiar since 2011. With a strong rushing attack, clutch passing and timely defense the 49ers improved to 3-2 on the season with the 22-17 victory. The win, coupled with an Arizona Cardinals loss in Denver cut the 49ers deficit to only one and a half games in the NFC West.

Let's get to the answers for the 5 burning questions that I asked on Saturday.

1) Is Frank The Tank back? - Yes

On Saturday I noted: "Since 2011, Gore has averaged 18.6 carries per game in 49ers victories. That number drops to only 11.6 carries in 49ers losses."

Gore finished the day with 18 carries for 107 yards. He churned out big run after big run and set the table for the offense from the outset with gains of 6 and 12 yards on his first two carries of the game. Throw in another 43 yards on 10 carries from rookie Carlos Hyde and the 49ers ground and pound offensive attack was back.

2) Will Ian Williams play? - Yes

Williams was in the starting lineup and played exactly half of the 49ers defensive snaps on Sunday, 26 out of 52, and finished with a quarterback hurry and a solo tackle.

Overall the 49ers defense went back to struggling a bit with pressuring the quarterback. Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith dropped back 32 times on Sunday and faced pressure on only 8 of those attempts. Part of this was due to Smith doing a good job of getting the ball out of his hands quickly, and some of it was due to poor play. The 49ers must get this improved before they head to Denver in two weeks.

Another bright spot on Sunday was the play of rookie Jimmie Ward. Ward has been the target of frustration by many fans and a few beat writers this season, but he finished yesterday giving up only 1 reception for 7 yards. Over the last two weeks Ward has allowed 4 receptions for a total of 24 yards. That's a good sign.

And how about Perrish Cox? After bouncing around for most of last year between various teams, he has been terrific to start the year. Through the first 5 weeks he has allowed a QB rating of 25.7 which is the second lowest in the NFL.

3) Will the 49ers be poor hosts to their old friends? - Yes

Although Alex Smith started off hot, the 49ers defense ultimately put the game away when Perrish Cox intercepted Smith. In fact, the interception came on the deepest pass Smith attempted all game, 23 yards.

Former 49ers first round draft bust A.J. Jenkins showed once again why the 49ers traded him last season. He finished the day with only a single reception for 3 yards.

The former 49er that was picked on the most though was 2013 7th round draft pick Marcus Cooper. Colin Kaepernick threw in Cooper's direction 9 times, more than any other member of the Chiefs secondary and had a QB rating of 113.7, and his only touchdown pass when doing so.

4) Can the 49ers contain Jamaal Charles? - Yes

With the exception of a 26 yard run in the 3rd quarter the 49ers defense did a nice job of containing Charles.

5) Can the 49ers put the special back in special teams? - Somewhat.

Anytime you get 5 field goals from your kicker the special teams is doing it's part. The only negative takeaway from Sunday when it comes to special teams was the play of the coverage units. Knile Davis ripped off a 34 yards kickoff return on his was to averaging 23.8 yards per attempt and De'Anthony Thomas pitched in with a 28 yard punt return as well.

Prediction Time:

49ers 23 Chiefs 10


49ers line grades courtesy of ProFootball Focus

Joe Staley = +7.3, +2.1 pass block, +4.9 run block
Mike Iupati = +1.5, -1.1 pass block, +3.4 run block
Daniel Kilgore = +.4, +.8 pass block, -.5 run block
Alex Boone = -3.0, -3.1 pass block, -.1 run block
Jonathan Martin = -1.2, -1.9 pass block, +.4 run block

Ray McDonald = +.6, -.5 pass rush, 1.0 run
Ian Williams = -.5, -.3 pass rush, -.3 run
Justin Smith = +2.9, -1.2 pass rush, +4.0 run
Ahmad Brooks = -1.8, -.1 pass rush, -.4 run
Aaron Lynch = +2.2, +.8 pass rush, +1.3 run

* Alex Boone has given up a sack each of the last 3 weeks, to go along with 6 quarterback hurries over that time.

* No play better exemplifies Frank Gore than his carry on the first play after the 2 minute warning in the second quarter. On an off tackle run to the left Gore is hit after gaining only 1 yard, but he puts his shoulder pads down and continues to push the pile for another 6 yards.

* Colin Kaepernick finished14-26 on the day, but 3 of his incompletions were thrown away to avoid a negative play. When you take out the throw away's Kaepernick was 14-23 on his aimed throws giving him a QB rating of 103.7.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


  • rjpbobp
    Wow - great to see the migration of the very well informed football group to this site - 'tis indeed a pleasure to be able to go through the blog and read good discussions without the flamers and disturbers-of-fecal-matter. Thanx Jack for the interaction with the posters - it adds a great deal and encourages good discussions - keep up the great work!
    Oct 8, 2014 at 4:56 PM
  • Razoreater
    Moodys' injury still might be the driving force behind this move, although I believe Osgood received -5 from PFF so far this season. I know he committed a face mask, and gave up a couple touchdowns, so he may not be back....
    Oct 8, 2014 at 4:14 PM
    Response: Osgood had only a -1.6, and -.1 on punt coverage. Moody has the worst grade on the punt team at -1.5.
  • Razoreater
    I was wrong about Mr. Kilgore, and couldn't be happier about it. JJ cut for Ventrone?
    Oct 8, 2014 at 6:34 AM
    Response: Moody was injured on Sunday. Thinking that may have something to do with the return of Bubba. **UPDATE** It was Kassim Osgood who was cut to make room for Ventrone.
  • Ninermd/GoldxBlooded
    Hey Jack.... Had a couple of questions. 1 how come I can use my press dem name on here when I couldn't on webzone.?I'm registered as the half name above. 2 is there any way we can have direct responses to other posts? That's the one thing I like about PD. And if there is a way to do so will the moderation feature be gone in order to answer quicker?
    Oct 7, 2014 at 8:04 PM
    Response: Hey md. Not sure what you're asking with the first question. As for the second question that is something that I have brought to the webmaster and we are working through it. In the meantime thanks for your understanding and contributions.
  • claude balls
    Jack: Thanks for the quick response. I was thinking more about Boone's run-blocking. Also, I thought Kilgore performed pretty well in the run game when I focused on him, so I am surprised to see the slightly negative grade from PFF. Am I guilty of only noticing his good plays (small sample size) or did he do better than PFF indicates?
    Oct 7, 2014 at 12:02 PM
    Response: Got it.
  • claude balls
    Jack: Thanks for providing an alternative to the current mess at the pressdemocrat. Looking at the o-line grades makes me want to know when Anthony Davis will be back. I'd also like to know when Boone will be back to competent form, but I suspect the answer is the same to both questions.
    Oct 7, 2014 at 10:37 AM
    Response: Welcome aboard Claude. I agree that Davis will help the offensive line because I think it will help balance out their running game, but I don't agree with his return helping Boone. Even with Davis on his right side for the majority of last season Boone struggled in pass protection.
  • Brotha Tuna
    Last night was the second time I've watched the Seatards this season and I will say that I'm impressed with their offense; very imaginative. Which is to say that I hate their offense, of course! : >) Nice to see some football talk here; Brand X is a hot mess. Just for the sake of messing that up, there's an interesting story breaking about SJPD's internal investigation about off-duty officers working for the team. It helped explain the delay in getting the case to the DA's office. Getting it right was important.
    Oct 7, 2014 at 8:24 AM
  • Bayareafanatic
    I have five burning questions of my own. What does our defensive backfield look like when Brock returns? Offensively what does our game plan look like versus the Rams? Since I'm going to Denver, how are we going to create pressure versus Manning? Did anyone see Cousins beat Seattle's blitz with a RB in the flat? Will Gore still get the lionshare of the carries versus Seattle?
    Oct 7, 2014 at 7:44 AM
    Response: Good questions. When Brock is ready to go I think you need to stick with the "hot hand" in Cox. Culliver is a big play waiting to happen so it would be nice to see Brock slide into that spot.
  • Rustytrombone
    1st time commenting from across the water in Maui. This is in regards to MD noticing Gore gets up slow after a run. I'm hoping Gore is doing what Jim Brown used to do. Jim Brown would always get up slow. Said he wants the D to think he's tired so he can punish them some more.
    Oct 7, 2014 at 4:41 AM
    Response: Welcome aboard Rusty!
  • Ninermd
    Yes I did Bay. You didn't hear the crowd when he ran him over? The 49ers sideline was going nuts over that hit.
    Oct 6, 2014 at 8:35 PM
  • From Canada
    Hey all... I thought this article was well done, thanks Jack. It's refreshing to read an article about football :-) I think Hyde will be a beast after he learns to be patient. I also like how Kaep is spreading the ball around. I just hope VD can get back to form and help us stretch the field.
    Oct 6, 2014 at 8:25 PM
    Response: No problem Canada. Thanks for checking it out and joining the party.
  • Rudy
    Alex Boone is strictly a contract player, got his $ and stopped giving a $!?t not worth a damn
    Oct 6, 2014 at 8:15 PM
  • ricardo
    Good work Jack! Is there any way this place could have a more interactive way of responding to others comments? I'm getting tired of the "other" place :)
    Oct 6, 2014 at 7:54 PM
    Response: Thanks Ricardo. We're working on it.
  • Monsterniner
    Great win against a very good team but we still need to get better in situational football because for second week in a row we missed the opportunity of finishing the game with a TD in our last drive and because of that we had to ask our defense to do it with a late stop. We lost the Super Bowl and the last Championship Game because we were bad at situational football and I see that those issues are still haunting us.
    Oct 6, 2014 at 6:21 PM
  • bayareafanatic
    MD did you see Hyde truck that CB? Hyde needs to learn to run lower. He can be an even bigger force.
    Oct 6, 2014 at 6:02 PM
  • Scooter_McG
    Good point regarding Hyde and patience. There have been a few occasions where his desire to hit the hole hard has resulted in outrunning his blocks and hitting a brick wall, or missed opportunities for bigger gains. Not many negative yard plays due to his style, but he could be ripping off some more yards with a little more patience added to his game.
    Oct 6, 2014 at 5:49 PM
  • Ninermd
    I'm not saying he is tired, I saying he looked tired. I watched the game last night and the way he was getting up after those nice runs, he looked like I do at 3 in the morning getting up for work. I still think he has some gas left in the tank, but at his age and the body language after almost every run, I'm starting to think he's starting to show the wear and tear. I'd love to see him looking youthful in the playoffs. Hyde is a spitting image of Gore. I still remember saying the same about gore back then. I can just hope Hyde can be half of the cutter Gore is. His vision is the best I've seen in SF since Hearst. Love our two headed monster. I'm glad Roman and Harbs finally woke up after their usual two three week strike on the run game.
    Oct 6, 2014 at 5:20 PM
  • Ninermd
    Gore at the end of the game looked tired... I'm hoping they can cut down on his carries a bit. Even though the record says it all with the attempts I'm also hoping Hyde can get his patience and continue to carry some of the load. He looks like a great future workhorse for our beloved 49ers
    Oct 6, 2014 at 4:54 PM
    Response: I don't agree with the take that Gore was tired at the end md. He gained 22 yards on his last 4 carries of the game. 13, 2, -1, and 8 yards. I do agree with you though on Hyde. I like his explosiveness, but if he had been just a little more patient I think a couple of those runs could have been even bigger. Remember though, Hyde went to a Big 10 school so he won't make a good NFL back ; )
  • bayareafanatic
    Jack why do you think there has been such a reluctance to throw verticals to the WR's? I joked with my buddy this weekend that Roman was coaching for his job. Deep balls to receivers, screens, fly sweeps, reverse pass. Looked like Hugh Jackson's offense.
    Oct 6, 2014 at 4:37 PM
    Response: Crabtree, Boldin and Johnson aren't burners so they need a double move to get behind the DB and that takes too long for this o-line. Davis being down only compounds the problem. The good news is we've seen them take a few shots the last 3 weeks and finally hit on them yesterday.
  • bayareafanatic
    Frank has completely proven me wrong this season and I couldn't be happier. Would really like to see his carries begin to get managed. Loved seeing Hyde get more carries. Two headed monster.
    Oct 6, 2014 at 3:22 PM
    Response: You were wrong to say Gore was done, but right about reducing his snaps. Yesterday was near perfect with Gore getting 39 snaps and Hyde getting 31. It should pay dividends in December and January.
  • Garry
    Jack I know the special teams need to pick up their coverage units but let us not forget they also picked up the big first down with the fake punt. That was a huge play that had to be done just right perfect short snap and good blocking and not tip their hand.
    Oct 6, 2014 at 2:11 PM
    Response: Very true. I definitely should have mentioned that. Thanks for adding it here.
  • Scooter_McG
    Nice analysis Jack. The pass rush wasn't very effective, but they did have some critical bat downs at the LOS. The coverage was pretty good for the most part though, especially once they contained Junior Hemingway. Only gave up the short stuff, and typically did a good job of wrapping up straight away.
    Oct 6, 2014 at 1:35 PM
    Response: Thanks and welcome aboard Scooter. Smith did such a good job early on of getting the ball out quick that it really mitigated the rush. Finally the 49ers blitzed in the 2nd quarter and you could clearly see that rush affect Smith.
  • scarecrow668
    Negative grades on pass rush across the board except for Lynch. Too early to say, but he might even be better than Brooks at this point (who hasn't been himself this season). What a good pick. Still, the lack of a consistent pass rush and poor special teams coverage are my biggest concerns at this point, Boone's lousy play a close third.
    Oct 6, 2014 at 1:31 PM
    Response: Lynch will definitely give them some options once Aldon Smith gets back.
  • Shane
    Jack, Here are the 2 biggest personnel decisions that I find baffling. I feel like Carrier is just plan and simple out playing McDonald and that even Kap has more trust in Carrier than McD. However, Vance gets the snaps because he is a 2nd round pick and Carrier is an UDFA. Then on the other side of the ball, Tank looked good all the preseason while getting a ton of time, and our pass rush sucks yet he is inactive while UDFAs like TJE and Dobbs get the snaps! its incredible. (I fear the answers are going to be: blocking and ST but come on, really?) whats your opinion.
    Oct 6, 2014 at 12:34 PM
    Response: Carrier is definitely the more natural receiver between the two and the 49ers are utilizing him in a similar fashion to how they used Delanie Walker. McDonald has really developed as a blocker. I wouldn't be surprised to see them move on from Celek after this season. Carradine had a good preseason, but he was playing against backups and recently noted that he is struggling to pick up the playbook. Fangio, rightfully so, won't throw Carradine out there until he trusts him.
  • Brotha Tuna
    Interesting numbers on Kilgore. My live game impression was he was better than that.
    Oct 6, 2014 at 12:26 PM
    Response: Any kind of positive number is good. Kilgore is another guy who often gets ripped on when it's not deserved.
  • ChicagoNiner
    Thanks Jack, This is Chicago49er joining the webzone. I had enough of the press. Please take over that site and let me know. In the meanwhile I will be on the web.
    Oct 6, 2014 at 12:13 PM
    Response: Welcome aboard Chicago. This is the place to be for 49ers fans.

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