• By Chris Wilson
    Jan 12, 2019 at 12:05 PM
    The San Francisco 49ers utilized All-Pro tight end George Kittle at an unsustainable rate in 2018. The availability of Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. provides the Niners with an opportunity to prevent an impending problem before it comes to fruition. The San Francisco 49ers had a dangerous addiction this season, and one that few offensive masterminds other than 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan would have been able to mask. While that addiction proved to be dangerous for opposing defenses in 2018, a failure to act this offseason would have dire consequences for San Francisco once the 2019 NFL season begins. Despite failing to meet preseason expectations, the 49ers' passing attack performed surprisingly well in 2018, given the storm the team's offense was...
  • By Nicholas McGee
    Jan 11, 2019 at 9:28 AM
    For all the injuries that impacted the San Francisco 49ers in 2018, Kyle Shanahan's offense still performed to an admirable level. Using both their second and third-string quarterbacks after Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a torn ACL, the Niners ended the year 16th in total offense, 15th in passing and 13th in rushing, excelling throughout the season on the ground despite losing Jerick McKinnon before the start of the season. All those numbers do, however, leave considerable room for improvement, with the 49ers 21st in scoring and a disappointing 27th in offense by Football Outsiders DVOA metric, which measures efficiency. In an offseason where most are calling for defensive additions,...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Jan 8, 2019 at 6:36 PM
    Another San Francisco 49ers football season is complete, and the offseason is still in its infancy. Though, it feels as if we haven't seen the 49ers play in a thousand years. The playoffs may be going strong, but for 49er junkies, we may as well be standing on the edge of an event horizon watching the seconds tick by like centuries. I'm never happy to see football season leave, especially when the 49ers picked up more of a competitive edge during the second half of the season. The four-win 49ers beat the Seattle Seahawks at home, held the Chicago Bears to 14 points and had a second-year tight end set the NFL single-season record for receiving yards. However, a sliver of me is happy to have my Sunday afternoons back. After completing two seasons in the Kyle...
  • By Richard Madrid
    Jan 4, 2019 at 4:31 PM
    How did he do it? By being an elite athlete playing tight end. Seriously though, George Kittle had a breakout year in his second year in the NFL. In 2018, he finished as the team's leading receiver and surpassed the 1,000 yard mark for receiving yards this season by Week 14 with a 210 yard receiving performance against the Broncos. He finished with 88 receptions for 1,377 yards, and five touchdowns, 890 yards more than the 49ers' second leading receiver. Kittle is the first 49ers pass catcher to eclipse 1,000 yards in a season since Anquan Boldin did it in 2014. In fact, he joins Boldin, Michael Crabtree, Terrell Owens, and Jerry Rice as the only 49ers receivers to go over 1,000 yards in a season in the last 20...
  • By Peter Panacy
    Dec 30, 2018 at 6:44 PM
    The San Francisco 49ers fell to the Los Angeles Rams in ugly, turnover-prone fashion in Week 17 by a score of 48-32. Let's grade out the Niners efforts, position by position. A final score of 48-32 makes the San Francisco 49ers' 2018 finale sound much closer than it actually was. The Niners were in the hole to the playoff-bound Los Angeles Rams 31-10 by halftime -- a score marked by four first-half turnovers, off of which the Rams scored 21 points. That sets San Francisco's season-ending turnover differential at minus-25, after the team set a new NFL all-time low in forced turnovers in a non-strike season with seven. The 49ers recorded zero takeaways in Week 17. Fortunately, there were some good performances by the Niners on the day, including a...
  • By Peter Panacy
    Dec 30, 2018 at 8:39 AM
    The San Francisco 49ers' 2018 comes to a close with a road bout versus the Los Angeles Rams, and these five points will be of interest to Niners fans with the offseason on the horizon. Most San Francisco 49ers fans probably didn't think a 4-11 record would describe what the Niners' situation would be heading into a Week 17 regular-season finale versus the Los Angeles Rams. But that's what it is, and head coach Kyle Shanahan's squad will look to continue playing the spoiler role against a Rams team that could still lose out the No. 2 NFC playoff seed with a loss to San Francisco paired with a win by the Chicago Bears this weekend. Because of that, Los Angeles head coach Sean McVay won't rest his starters like he did last year when these two teams...
  • By Nicholas McGee
    Dec 29, 2018 at 6:27 PM
    When the San Francisco 49ers walk off the field at the Los Angeles Coliseum, it will mark the end of a season many have been wanting to come to a close for a long time. It has been a painful campaign for the Niners, who unsurprisingly never recovered from the loss of Jimmy Garoppolo to a torn ACL in Week 3 and in reality have been playing out the string since that point. Yet, while most are already looking towards the offseason and the draft, there remain numerous reasons to pay close attention to the 49ers' season finale with the Los Angeles Rams as they pit themselves against a Super Bowl contender. Here we look at what matters in Week 17. Kittle's pursuit of history You won't hear Kyle Shanahan saying as such, but the result is...
  • By Richard Madrid
    Dec 28, 2018 at 10:54 AM
    The Bears came into Santa Clara for a Week 16 game with the 49ers in what is becoming an annual tradition in a storied rivalry. The two teams have met six times in the last seven seasons, splitting those games 3-3. The rivalry itself favors the 49ers 34-32-1, with the 49ers also boasting a 3-0 playoff record against Chicago. The latest meeting featured a Bears team well on its way to making a deep playoff run sitting now at 11-4 and a 49ers team not quite able to find its edge yet with the obvious starters missing and on its way to their second losing season under head coach Kyle Shanahan. That didn't prevent the 49ers from making it a competitive game,...
  • By Richard Madrid
    Dec 27, 2018 at 12:46 PM
    A couple of weeks ago, I took a look at a brief moment in the Broncos game surrounding rookie safety Marcell Harris. The specific sequence on key third and fourth down stops propelled the 49ers to a win over a then Broncos team looking to make a playoff push and provided a glimpse into what the 49ers hope to be developing at the strong safety position in the event they do not bring back Jaquiski Tartt. Today we're going to look a little deeper at Harris' past three performances. Harris was a sixth round pick (184th) overall in the 2018 NFL Draft out of the University of Florida. The safety missed all of his 2017 season at Florida with an Achilles tear and the 49ers took a chance anyway. He began the 2018 season...
  • By Winston Chung
    Dec 27, 2018 at 9:06 AM
    The San Francisco 49ers have only draft position, spoiling the Rams' seeding and divisional pride to play for when they head south to take on the Los Angeles Rams in their final game of the season. Here we discuss the odds and analysis from a betting perspective. When: Sunday December 30th, 2018 1:25pm PST (FOX) Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California Line: Rams -10, total at 49.5 Los Angeles Rams The Rams got healthy in the form of a 31-9 win over the Arizona Cardinals in the desert and will look to keep their confidence up against another NFC West bottom-dweller. The Rams' offense in 2nd in yards per game, 3rd in points per game, 4th in weighted offense,...
  • By Peter Panacy
    Dec 23, 2018 at 6:36 PM
    The San Francisco 49ers managed to go toe to toe with the playoff-destined Chicago Bears, ultimately falling 14-9 in a defensively stout contest at Levi's Stadium. Yet there's a bit more to discuss and grade than just the defensive efforts from the Niners. The San Francisco 49ers were unable to continue their recent trend of playoff spoilers in Week 16, ultimately falling to the NFC North division champions, the Chicago Bears, by a score of 14-9 at Levi's Stadium on Sunday. In many ways, the game will be remembered by two plays -- first, the hit by safety Marcell Harris on Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, that created quite the sideline fracas and ended up in three player ejections, including cornerback Richard Sherman. And the second, of course, was...
  • By Nicholas McGee
    Dec 23, 2018 at 9:37 AM
    Of everything that has been salvaged from the San Francisco 49ers' 2018 season, the emergence of Nick Mullens is the most unexpected and the most valuable. Since being pressed into service by injuries to Jimmy Garoppolo and C.J. Beathard, Mullens has surpassed all expectations and heads into the Niners' Week 16 tilt with the Chicago Bears with a 3-3 record having helped orchestrate a late-season surge that has seen them claim wins over the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. Most passing yards thru 6 career games since 19701. Cam Newton - 1,8472. Marc Bulger - 1,8153. Patrick Mahomes - 1,7974....
  • By Peter Panacy
    Dec 23, 2018 at 8:23 AM
    The San Francisco 49ers look to continue the spoiler role in Week 16 as they host the playoff-bound Chicago Bears. Here are three storylines for the red and gold to watch for this Sunday. The San Francisco 49ers can continue their recent trend of spoiling opponents' playoff hopes in Week 16, as they prepare to host the 10-4 NFC North champions, the Chicago Bears, this Sunday at Levi's Stadium. After coming off back-to-back upset wins at home over the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks the last two weeks, the Niners will have to contend with a top-tier Bears defense ranking third in both points allowed (264) and all-purpose yards given up (4,352). This makes for a tough task for quarterback Nick Mullens and Co., who will look to move the ball against Chicago...
  • By Levin T. Black
    Dec 22, 2018 at 12:24 PM
    I present to you some interesting statistics involving the San Francisco 49ers and their players. These are not your everyday boring statistics. Some I found, some I have personally computed. Feel free to tweet at me if you know of one that I didn't use. If it is a good one, I will edit this article and give you the credit or add it to a later Off the Beaten Path Statistics. Let's begin with one that has already been talked about. 49ers tight end George Kittle has already shattered the NFL record for most yards after the catch (YAC) by a tight end in a single season with 763 according to NFL.com. The Kansas City Chiefs' Travis Kelce had the record with 656 in 2016. Kittle is currently second in the NFL, behind the Carolina Panthers' Christian McCaffrey,...
  • By Levin T. Black
    Dec 21, 2018 at 12:15 PM
    The whispers started while San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens was picking apart a hapless Oakland Raiders defense in his first career start. Following back-to-back wins in Weeks 14 and 15, those whispers have turned into the biggest topic of conversation surrounding the team as it enters the final two weeks of the 2018 season. Mullens has started six games this season, the most of any 49ers quarterback. If you expand those six games to a full 16 game season Mullens would set a team record that not even Steve Young or Joe Montana approached. Mullens has averaged 292.33 yards per game, has completed 64.5 percent of passes and has 10 touchdowns to six interceptions. That equates to 4,677 yards, 27 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in a full season when...
  • By Winston Chung
    Dec 20, 2018 at 8:10 AM
    The San Francisco 49ers, Kyle Shanahan and Robert Saleh got their signature win of 2018 in finally beating the Seattle Seahawks by the score of 26-23 in overtime. Not unlike the end of the 2017 season, the Niners are playing their best football and beating playoff teams in late December but can that continue against the vaunted, Monsters of the Midway defense of the Chicago Bears? Here we discuss the odds and preview from a betting perspective. When: Sunday December 23, 2018 at 1:05pm PST (FOX) Where: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California Line: Bears -4, total at 43 Chicago Bears The Bears clinched the NFC North with their 24-17 win over the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field,...
  • By Nicholas McGee
    Dec 19, 2018 at 6:23 PM
    Though the San Francisco 49ers' hopes of playoff contention were effectively ruined by the torn ACL suffered by Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 3, a disappointing 2018 season has still led to criticism of Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch, and to questions over their talent evaluation. What had looked like an extremely positive 2017 class now looks majorly flawed. Fifth-round pick George Kittle is a bona fide star, but Reuben Foster's release for his off-field troubles, the struggles endured by third overall pick Solomon Thomas, C.J. Beathard being outshone by Nick Mullens and the likes of Ahkello Witherspoon and Trent Taylor taking steps back have combined to place scrutiny on the Niners head coach and GM. Yet that scrutiny should be much less intense after the last two...
  • By Richard Madrid
    Dec 19, 2018 at 11:59 AM
    In what is arguably the best win since the move to Santa Clara, the 49ers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 26-23 in an overtime thriller, their first win against Seattle exactly five years and eight days from their last win against the Seahawks in December 2013. The Seahawks had won the previous 10 contests until Sunday. The 2018 season has not been without its drama though, with Bay Area blogger prognostications that head coach Kyle Shanahan would, or should, be on the hot seat. The criticism is unwarranted and quite frankly, ridiculous to even suggest at this point. The 49ers' lack of...
  • By Peter Panacy
    Dec 16, 2018 at 6:55 PM
    The San Francisco 49ers finally ended a 10-game losing streak to the Seattle Seahawks, beating their NFC West division rivals 26-23 in an overtime thriller. Let's grade it out by position. The San Francisco 49ers no longer have to worry about answering questions regarding their elongated losing streak to their NFC West division rivals, the Seattle Seahawks, who will have to wait until Week 16 to clinch a playoff berth this season. Meanwhile, the Niners got their fourth win of the year after beating the Seahawks 26-23 on a game-winning overtime field goal by kicker Robbie Gould amid an increasingly wet field at Levi's Stadium on Sunday. Head coach Kyle Shanahan's squad looked nothing like the group that was embarrassed 43-16 two weeks ago up in...
  • By Peter Panacy
    Dec 16, 2018 at 7:45 AM
    The San Francisco 49ers have another chance to play spoiler, this time in Week 15 as the playoff-hopeful Seattle Seahawks come to town looking to continue their elongated win streak over their NFC West division rivals. The last time the San Francisco 49ers beat the Seattle Seahawks was back in December of 2013 -- a time when a Niners-Hawks game was must-watch television. Since then, the 49ers have fallen on hard times while, at 8-5, Seattle is a mere one win away from securing a playoff berth again. Two weeks ago, the Seahawks drubbed the Niners 43-16 in a completely lopsided game at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. The quick turnaround is interesting, yet another loss would mean the 49ers and their fans will have to endure yet another year of hearing about that...
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