Jack Hammer's Latest Articles

  • By Jack Hammer
    Apr 30, 2015 at 11:07 AM 11 comments
    For the first time since the 2011 draft the 49ers find themselves with a pick in the top half of the first round due to their 8-8 record in 2014. Trent Baalke enters Thursday night with a number of holes to fill on both sides of the ball, and the following is how he will look to fill those holes. Round 1, pick 15 - Dorial Green-Beckham - Wide Receiver, Oklahoma. The 49ers need to add playmakers on offense, and with DeVante Parker off the board when the 49ers pick comes up Trent Baalke goes with the best remaining wide receiver available. Green-Beckham made an instant impact with Missouri in college, and his ability to use his body to gain position will make him the instant redzone threat that the 49ers offense has desperately...
  • By Jack Hammer
    Dec 22, 2014 at 11:11 AM 51 comments
    Colin Kaepernick is no longer the hot hand. As the twelfth week of the NFL season dawned the San Francisco 49ers found themselves tied for second place in the NFC West with the Seattle Seahawks. They had battled through a myriad of issues through the beginning months of the season, but found themselves in position to make their typical end of season push into the playoffs. Instead they have been pushed into the abyss. The 49ers will miss the NFC playoffs for the first time since 2010, and will finish with their worst record since that season. That's what happens when you lose four out of five during crunch time in an NFL season. That's what happens when you have a three game stretch in which your offense can only muster 23...
  • By Jack Hammer
    Dec 15, 2014 at 11:34 AM 13 comments
    The 49ers were officially eliminated from the playoffs with their 17-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. This game looked like so many from throughout the season, especially over the last eight games. There was Colin Kaepernick missing wide open receivers including taking a sack instead of hitting a wide open running back, an inability to get into third and manageable situations, a defense that played well for a half, and injuries. Let's go through four things that led to the 49ers loss. 1) Injuries - Losing Frank Gore late in the first half was a killer. Gore was having an ok day running with a couple of big plays including a touchdown run to give the 49ers the lead, and when they lost Carlos Hyde the 49ers were left with a running back that...
  • By Jack Hammer
    Dec 8, 2014 at 10:01 AM 12 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers season didn't officially end on Sunday with their 24-13 loss to the Oakland Raiders, but for all intents and purposes it's done. All you had to do was watch them go through the motions in the second half to see it. Everything that made them one of the most feared opponents in the NFL the last three seasons has disappeared, discipline, hard nosed offense, tough defense, heart, all gone. With a loss next week in Seattle the 49ers will officially be out of the playoffs, and Jim Harbaugh and most of his staff will be out too. Let's get to the answers for the 5 burning questions that I asked on Wednesday. 1) Can Colin Kaepernick bounce back? - No. With the season on the line Kaepernick imploded. He threw an...
  • By Jack Hammer
    Dec 7, 2014 at 8:27 AM 5 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers are coming off the most embarrassing home loss in recent memory and travelling across the bay to take on the Oakland Raiders. The 49ers playoff hopes are hanging by a thread as a result of their 19-3 loss on Thanksgiving night to Seattle, a loss which has hung around a few extra days as a result of playing on a Thursday night, and was punctuated by the owner sending out a tweet about the poor performance in the late stages of the game which only served to fuel speculation around the future of the coaching staff. On the other side of this matchup, the Oakland Raiders come into this game on the heels of a 52-0 whitewashing at the hands of the St Louis Rams. Nothing has seemed to go right for Oakland this season, but their lone win over Kansas City came...
  • By Jack Hammer
    Dec 2, 2014 at 4:56 PM 39 comments
    Jim Harbaugh is a builder. Every offseason Harbaugh makes a pilgrimage to Peru where among other things he helps build homes for those less fortunate. This isn't all that different from what Harbaugh does in his day job as a head football coach. Whether the location has been the University of San Diego, Stanford University or now the San Francisco 49ers, Harbaugh has been a builder, but instead of building homes Harbaugh has build football teams. And those football teams have won. For all the winning that Harbaugh has done at each stop there has been a similar theme, none of his previous stops has been all that sad to see him go. This is a byproduct of Harbaugh's personality, he grinds on those around him to the point that they no...
  • By Jack Hammer
    Nov 28, 2014 at 9:33 AM 13 comments
    To say the San Francisco 49ers were defeated by the Seattle Seahawks on Thanksgiving night by a score of 19-3 is an understatement. They were beat up in every phase of the game as Seattle left no doubt who the better team was. San Francisco struggled in every phase of the game. The offense could not get out of its own way, and a series right before the half epitomized their struggles not only in this game but all season. With fifty seconds remaining before the half and with only one timeout they started with the ball on their own 20 yard line. The first play was a short throw underneath to Michael Crabtree for eight yards. It then took them twenty five seconds to get to the line of scrimmage for the next play. That's terrible. There's no way it should take that long to get a...
  • By Jack Hammer
    Nov 26, 2014 at 12:22 PM 7 comments
    On Thanksgiving night the best rivalry in the National Football League will fire up once again when the San Francisco 49ers host the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium. They will bring identical 7-4 records into the game, and with Philadelphia taking on Dallas earlier in the day a 49ers victory will push them into a playoff position due to holding the tiebreaker advantage. A lot has been made of the 49ers recent struggles on the road in Seattle, but the Seahawks have been even worse in San Francisco. The Seahawks last road win against the 49ers came on October 26, 2008, their first game under the great Mike Singletary. With that as a backdrop here are 5 burning questions to which the answers will be key to the outcome of the game. 1) Can...
  • By Jack Hammer
    Nov 24, 2014 at 4:03 PM 7 comments
    A hot topic coming out of the 49ers 17-13 win over Washington yesterday has been the defense giving up 125 yards to Alfred Morris on 21 carries. Morris is the third running back to go over 100 yards on the 49ers this season, and with Marshawn Lynch visiting Levi's Stadium on Thursday there is cause for concern. While Morris' numbers are impressive, it should be noted that 90 of those yards came on five carries. On his other 16 carries he managed to average only 2.18 yards per carry. This needs to be taken into account because it wasn't as if Morris was making runs that were allowing Washington to dictate the flow of the game. Let's take a look at the five big runs that the 49ers defense allowed on...
  • By Jack Hammer
    Nov 24, 2014 at 10:47 AM 6 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers defeated Washington 17-13 on Sunday for their third win in a row and improve to 7-4 on the season. The game was a near carbon copy to the last game the 49ers played at Levi's Stadium when they lost 13-10 to the St Louis Rams. The difference was the offense made the plays down the stretch to pull out the victory which sets up a great matchup on Thanksgiving night with the Seattle Seahawks. With the Eagles and Cowboys facing off earlier in the day, a 49ers victory will push them into a playoff position. Let's get to the answers for the 5 burning questions that I asked on Friday. 1) Can the 49ers keep Robert Griffin III on the ropes? - Yes. Griffin may be the worst starting quarterback in the NFL. He is a mess in the...
  • By Jack Hammer
    Nov 22, 2014 at 9:12 AM 15 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers ride a two game win streak into their contest on Sunday against Washington. San Fransisco currently finds itself with a record of 6-4 and only one game out of a playoff spot. Washington comes into the game on the opposite side of the spectrum, having dropped their last two games and by virtue of their 3-7 record having no realistic shot of reaching the playoffs. The 49ers have been surrounded by controversy throughout the season, from the suspension of Aldon Smith to the Ray McDonald situation, and most recently Ahmad Brooks "quitting" on the team last week against New York. Fortunately for San Francisco, the Washington team has had their own mess and the central figure is Robert Griffin III. Three weeks ago Washington went into Dallas...
  • By Jack Hammer
    Nov 17, 2014 at 2:03 PM 11 comments
    The 49ers travelled across the country for a 10 a.m. start for the second week in a row, and just as they did a week ago came out on the positive side of a close game. Their 16-10 win over the New York Giants, combined with old pal Alex Smith leading the Chiefs passed Seattle vaulted the 49ers into second place in the NFC West and sets up two very big games over the next eleven days. Let's get to the burning questions that I mentioned on Friday. 1) Do your best - * Frank Gore had his best day of the year in terms of yards after contact with 54. * Aaron Lynch had 9 quarterback hurries, the most by any 49ers defender all season. * Eric Reid had his best day of the year in pass coverage, giving up a passer rating of 0 and...
  • By Jack Hammer
    Nov 14, 2014 at 8:17 AM 28 comments
    I am scrapping my normal 5 Burning Questions piece this week. Instead I am dedicating this to my father. Growing up my dad was a tremendous athlete. He loved baseball, Mickey Mantle was his hero growing up, and he played it every chance he got. As he was nearing the end of high school he was good enough to have scouts from the Philadelphia Phillies come to town to watch him play, and offer him a contract to play for one of their farm teams. He did not sign that contract, instead he chose to stay in that small town and raise a family with his high school sweetheart. Together they raised three children, a daughter and two sons. He taught them everything he knew, and passed along his love of athletics to each of them. Whether it was cheerleading,...
  • By Jack Hammer
    Nov 10, 2014 at 9:59 AM 16 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers 27-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday may have gone a long way toward keeping their playoff hopes alive. With the season on the line in overtime, two of the young guns on the 49ers defense came up huge. First up was Quinton Dial with a sack of Drew Brees, and on the very next play it was Chris Borland making a tremendous hustle play to recover a Brees fumble that had been forced by Ahmad Brooks. Phil Dawson then came on and sent the 49ers home victorious with a knuckle ball that almost missed wide left and wide right. History shows that teams with a 5-4 record have a, get this, 49% rate of reaching the playoffs. The 49ers will need to get some help to be among the top six teams in the NFC and the scenarios are endless, but the only focus...
  • By Jack Hammer
    Nov 7, 2014 at 2:28 PM 4 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers loss last Sunday to the St Louis Rams has put them in a nearly do or die situation. The 49ers are currently in the eighth spot in the NFC playoff picture, not the best place to be in when travelling to take on the New Orleans Saints in the Mercedes Superdome. The 49ers defeated New Orleans in 2012 when Sean Payton was serving a yearlong suspension in the wake of the "Bountygate" scandal. The last time the 49ers were able to win in New Orleans with their head coach on the sidelines was a 38-0 victory on January 6, 2002. With that as a backdrop here are 5 burning questions to which the answers will be key to the outcome of the game. 1) Will Rombaugh be able to silence the critics? - Following a loss to the Rams which...
  • By Jack Hammer
    Nov 5, 2014 at 2:33 PM 36 comments
    In the wake of the 49ers loss to the Rams last Sunday the grumbling among those calling for the dismissal of offensive coordinator Greg Roman has turned into a roar. That's understandable. The 49ers find themselves with a record of 4-4 and teetering on the edge of elimination from the playoff race. Fans look at the run to pass ratio and point to that as the reason their team lost the game. "Roman isn't playing to the strength of his team" they say. There is definitely some truth in that. Against the Rams the 49ers called only 18 running plays to 41 pass plays. That doesn't look like the 49ers way at all. As Colin Kaepernick ran for his life in the first half, getting sacked six times Roman continued to dial up pass play after pass play. Let's go back a step to...
  • By Jack Hammer
    Nov 3, 2014 at 11:04 AM 8 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers 13-10 loss to the St Louis Rams on Sunday has put their season on the brink. With a record of 4-4 for the first half of the season, they have put themselves into a position where each game is pretty much a must win if they are going to make their fourth straight trip to the playoffs. The game continued a theme that has been ongoing throughout the season, inconsistency and lack of balance offensively. Look for more on this later in the week, but for now let's get to the answers for the 5 burning questions that I asked on Friday. 1) Next man up! - Marcus Martin made his first career start, and it was certainly baptism by fire. The rookie center anchored an offensive line that gave up eight sacks on...
  • By Jack Hammer
    Oct 31, 2014 at 12:34 PM 7 comments
    Sunday afternoon the San Francisco 49ers will face the St Louis Rams for the second time in 2014. The 49ers defeated the Rams In the last meeting between the two teams only three weeks ago the 49ers came out on the winning end of a 31-17 score. The 49ers are coming off their bye week and bring with them a 4-3 record, tied for second in the NFC West with the Seattle Seahawks. With the bye many of the players that had been battling through injuries are in much better condition and ready to finish off the first half of their schedule. In addition, the 49ers have not lost a home game against a division opponent since October 26, 2008. The Rams come in on the complete opposite of the injury spectrum. They will limp into Levi's Stadium with a 2-5 record and a roster which has been...
  • By Jack Hammer
    Oct 29, 2014 at 1:10 PM 16 comments
    There may be no more polarizing figure in the Bay Area football scene than Colin Kaepernick. It seems as though you either love him or hate him, there's no middle ground. Scott Kacsmar of Football Outsiders put together a list of quarterbacks with the lowest turnover rate in NFL history. The percentage represents the total number of turnovers, interceptions and fumbles divided by the total number of drop backs. To make the list a minimum of 1500 pass attempts were required. Joe Montana came in at 6th with a 3.12% and Steve Young was 14th with a 3.35%. Current 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick did not make the list because he has only 863 passing attempts. Kaepernick currently has a turnover rate...
  • By Jack Hammer
    Oct 24, 2014 at 2:12 PM 11 comments
    When a local media member asked 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh what kind of work the 49ers coaching staff needed to get done during their bye this week the answer was simple, "Preparation for upcoming opponents and self-scout and there will be players that will come in and we'll be available to those players." Let's focus on what the 49ers might find when they do their self-scouting. It has been clear since the 2011 draft that Jim Harbaugh wanted to open the offense up. With their second round draft pick the 49ers selected Colin Kaepernick who had broken NCAA records running the pistol spread offense at Nevada. Two picks later they selected running back Kendall Hunter who had been successful running out of the spread offense at Oklahoma State. They followed that...
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