49ers Report: Kaepernick could very well be as good as Montana someday

by David Zizmor

 SANTA CLARA–We were just talking about how bad the NFC East is and no team better exemplifies that than the Washington squad their really bad and they displayed that last Monday night against the 49ers. It’s kind of surprising to think they made the playoffs last year and were kind of the toast of the league and Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III displayed his skills as he injured his knee in that playoff game last year against Seattle and it’s been a tough road ever since.

Washington is just not a very good team this season and Griffin is having a lot of trouble on offense he really has had trouble passing he doesn’t look right in fact if you look in the past game comments from 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks “we respect Robert Griffin he’s a good player he’s a warrior he also shouldn’t be out there, it’s just not right there’s something wrong he’s not healthy and he should take a break before he gets back out there” but you know what the 49ers don’t care.

The 49ers had two tough games against Carolina and New Orleans and the way they lost those two games was pretty tough they lost by a total of four points by one point to Carolina and three points to New Orleans and in that New Orleans game if you don’t like that penalty for the personal foul called on Brooks for the clothesline hit on Drew Brees late in the game when he fumbled you would think the 49ers had the game stolen from them.

They lost their two games in a very tough manner and everybody was claiming the sky was falling “the Niners stink, their going to miss the playoffs, Colin Kaeppernick he’s not as good as we thought he was” the offense needs to pick up the pace for sure but the defense has been playing great football and the Niners still are 7-4 right now this isn’t a team that hasn’t completely fallen out of the playoffs race. They had a couple of tough games and they were right in  those games if a couple of breaks go their way they could have got the win and everybody would be happy and nobody would be complaining and moaning.

Fans and media would be saying that the Niners would need to be doing a couple more things and “hey their winning so who cares” this is a good team and Kaepernick has not been quite as dynamic as he was last year but lets’ remember this is a guy who started only 20 football games in his young career and after 20 games former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana was still struggling a little bit in fact if you look at Montana’s statistics for his first 20 games their almost identical to Kaepernick’s it’s almost scary how close they are in terms of their numbers.

 

Kaepernick and Montana were in different eras their not one to one comparable but Kaepernick still has a lot of room to grow and you won’t be surprised and you’ll see him grow and become a much better quarterback as time passes the offensive line has struggled a bit this season that’s played a part in Kaepernick’s struggles and we all know the problems of the 49ers with their wide receivers being unhealthy.

As the receivers get healthy and they get more weapons on offense back in the fold you see Kaepernick get better, also the coaching staff needs adjusting their realizing there are some things they need to help Kaepernick with so their doing their best to make things a little easier for him. The most important thing is the wide receivers. Mario Manningham is getting better each week you saw him in this week’s game against Washington catching several slant passes.

Which you might remember back in the 80s and 90s under former head coaches of the 49ers Bill Walsh and George Siefert those were the bread and butter of the 49ers offense with receivers like Jerry Rice, John Taylor, Freddie Solomon, Dwight Clark, and many others were catching slants left and right. You couldn’t stop them it’s a great play and if you catch it and you get tackled you get seven yards and if you catch and you break a tackle you could go for a long one.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk radio

Kaepernick rebounds in 49ers’ easy win in D.C.

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By Morris Phillips

The most non-descript Monday night win in 49ers history?  It felt like it.

Colin Kaepernick bounced back with a three touchdown passes and a career best quarterback rating while the Redskins had their poorest performance in Coach Mike Shanahan’s estimation since he came to Washington in 2010 in a cross country snoozer that went to the 49ers, 27-6.

“Going into this one, it was by any means necessary and our guys rose up to the challenge and got it done,” Coach Jim Harbaugh said.

San Francisco reclaimed the final spot in the NFC playoff picture with five games remaining and enjoyed a relatively stress-free night in Landover, Maryland ahead of  pivotal games that will likely be a lot more dramatic than this one.

After a competitive first half, the 49ers ran away as the Redskins went limp, totaling only 30 yards of offense after halftime.  Robert Griffin III’s miserable sophomore season continued and the 49ers’ defensive front seven closed down Alfred Morris’ running lanes.  Griffin 17 pass attempts totaled just 127 yards and one interception, and Morris had 52 yards on 14 carries.

“We haven’t been dominated like that since I’ve been here,” Shanahan said.

“We’re all frustrated,” Griffin III said.  “Everybody is tired of losing.”

Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin–aided by Kaepernick and his 235 yards passing—provided all the fireworks, combining for nine catches, 164 yards and all three touchdowns.  Davis and Boldin have all of the 49ers’ receiving scores this season, which means they welcomed the news that Michael Crabtree will make his season debut on Sunday against the Rams in a late announcement made after the game.

The 49ers’ response to a two-game losing streak was workman-like and rooted in San Francisco’s collection of Pro Bowl-level talent on both lines compared to Barry Cofield, a 8th year defensive lineman with an above modest 6-year, $12 million deal signed in 2011, listing as the most notable, starting offensive or defensive lineman in the Redskins’ current starting lineup.

Washington lost a third consecutive game and fell to 3-8 one season after the Redskins won the NFC East.  The 49ers improved to 7-4 and remained tied with the Cardinals behind the 10-1 Seahawks in the NFC West.  The 49ers see all three divisional opponents in the final five weeks with the final game at Scottsdale against the Cardinals looming largest.  And their play on Monday suggested that the team may be closer to playing its best football in the season’s final quarter.

LaMichael James provided a 32-yard kickoff return and a 40-yard punt return as the 49ers enjoyed a healthy edge on special teams.  James’ big punt return set up Davis’ 1-yard touchdown reception five plays later that put the 49ers up 24-6 with 3:35 remaining in the third quarter.

49ers looking to rebound against Redskins

By Gabe Schapiro

This Sunday at 5:40pm the San Francisco 49ers (6-4) face off against the Washington Redskins (3-7), at FedExField. The 49ers are tied with the Arizona Cardinals for second in the NFC West, three games back of the first place Seattle Seahawks. The Redskins are in last place in the NFC East, one game back of the third place New York Giants.

Last weekend San Francisco lost to the tough New Orleans Saints, 23-20. It was a close game throughout, and saw five lead changes. The 49ers were up 20-14 with eight minutes left to play. Saints kicker Garrett Hartley rattled off three consecutive field goals, the last coming with no time left on the clock, to complete the come-from-behind win for New Orleans.

Despite leading for stretches of the game, San Francisco was largely outplayed. Colin Kaepernick struggled again, completing just over 50% of his passes, 17-of-31 attempts. He threw for 127 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis had touchdown catches. Due in part to focusing more on the pass, Frank Gore never really got much going. He rushed for 48 yards, half of which came on a single run, on 13 carries. As a team they totaled just 196 yards. It was their defense that kept them in the game, forcing three turnovers (two forced fumbles, one interception).

After winning five straight, they have now lost two in a row. The task gets a little easier this week against Washington, however, as they look to get back to their winning ways. The Redskins came into the year full of optimism and promise, but haven’t lived up to that billing. Their offense has some electric weapons but they have been prone to turnovers. Their defense has been one of the worst in the league.

They are led by sophomore star Robert Griffin III. After undergoing major knee surgery in the offseason and not playing in the preseason, it looks as if he is still getting back into the swing of things. Despite struggling at times, he still has a strong arm and the ability to be a playmaker with his legs as well. His favorite weapons are wideout Pierre Garcon and tight end Jordan Reed. They also feature another star sophomore, running back Alfred Morris, who is having another fine season. They have the best rushing attack in football, averaging over 155 yards on the ground per game. As a whole, they rank 13th in points scored.

Their defense is far and away their biggest Achilles heel. They are ranked 30th in the league, giving up over 30 points per game. They are slightly better against the run, but couldn’t be considered good either.

After falling to two tough opponents, San Francisco could be set up nicely for a bounce back this week. Washington’s offense is worth being a little concerned about, but the 49ers defense should be able to get good pressure on RGIII, and force some mistakes. They kept Drew Brees from dominating last week, they should certainly be able to do the same against a lesser opponent.

On the offensive side, San Francisco should have a much easier time moving the ball downfield, both on the ground and through the air. Look for them to get back to their roots and lean much more heavily on Frank Gore. Kaepernick throwing the ball 31 times isn’t a winning formula. With that said, he should also have an easier time this week. As long as he stays away from turnovers, they should be fine.

Mario Manningham, now entering his third week back in action, has had a limited impact so far. He has recorded just four receptions for 38 yards. Michael Crabtree should have a much larger impact once he returns, and that appears to be imminent. There has been no official word yet, but he has been participating and practices, and should make his 2013 debut either this week or next.