Thursday, November 21, 2013
Behind enemy lines: 49ers links
By John Keim
Robert Griffin III isn’t the only young passer enduring scrutiny this season. So, too, is San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick. Yes, there are reasons for his struggles. But the bottom line is that the Niners' passing game isn’t working well, and he’s the quarterback.
Just look at the past two games: The Niners have 161 combined net passing yards, and haven’t had a pass play longer than 17 yards. As this San Francisco Chronicle story says, New Orleans dared Kaepernick to beat them last week, and he couldn’t.
The numbers just haven’t been pretty. And in the fourth quarter (and overtime), ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson notes that Kaepernick ranks 34th out of 35 eligible quarterbacks when it comes to completion percentage (44.1). Here's more on that topic.
A good look at some Niners’ issues, based off film study from their loss to New Orleans. And in this same article, Sacramento Bee reporter Matt Barrows looks at Kaepernick’s passer rating from last week when he threw to tight end Vernon Davis and receiver Anquan Boldin, and when he threw to others. Yes, the Niners’ passing game has struggled, but, as in Washington, there are missed opportunities.
Third down passing numbers haven’t looked good lately for San Francisco’s defense, which still remains excellent. It's not like the offense is doing well on this down lately, either.
The Niners don’t have much of a passing game, so they must rely on the run. That’s why they’ll miss injured guard Mike Iupati. Here’s what ESPN analyst Matt Williamson said of Iupati: “I wouldn’t say it is one of the worst offensive lines in the league or anything. But this offense doesn’t have much room for error, and if the run blocking falters, they could be in further trouble.”
Here’s more on changes to San Francisco’s starting lineup, including at cornerback where Tramaine Brock is expected to start once again. Here’s why.
Former Redskins cornerback Carlos Rogers knows what a splintered locker room looks like. He used to be in one. He said that’s not happening in San Francisco after two straight defeats and a lot of offensive struggles.