Lots of pessimism floating around the web. Lots of questions in the air. There is good reason for it all. Our offense has fallen short in two consecutive games against top-tier teams. The defense has held up its end of the bargain, and has done so all season long. Against poor teams, the offense has been able to do well, do enough to get the job done. But against capable defenses and teams whose offense doesn't give away great field position, we're failing.
That's the downside. The upside is that if we can fix our passing game…and I'm not talking turning in Peyton Manning-like performances…I mean, if we can avoid entire quarters of 3 and outs… I mean, if we can get 200 yards from our passing attack… I'm confident we can beat any team, anywhere.
What it will take to get that fixed may be the return of Michael Crabtree. It could be a few tweaks. It could be better play calling. It may take improvement on Colin Kaepernick's part. It might be a combination of all of the above. It's fixable. I think we will get it fixed. Now, we'll still have to go on the road and get some tough wins in the playoffs. It's all doable.
Luckily we have hapless Washington on the horizon. Now if our offense can't get things going against them…my next Wednesday's piece won't be so kind.
Add Vic Fangio, Carson Palmer and Michael Strahan to the list of people who think that the call was BS. | Fangio claims Brooks hit Brees ‘within the strike zone;' Cardinals' Palmer, TV's Strahan dislike call (Inman)
Now add Tedy Bruschi. | Tedy Bruschi on Brooks penalty: "Get tough Drew Brees" (49erswebzone)
And now Ray Lewis has said he'll pay half of Ahmad Brooks' fine if he's hit with anything. That makes it a legal hit, right?| Brooks-Brees fallout continues (ESPN)
And that shows what the NFL knows… Does anyone who's a Niners fan think that the flag was warranted? I realize I view the games through tinted goggles. Any Niners fans agree with the call? Before you answer, you must know that Fooch will tell me where you live and I'll swim there from Australia to egg your house. | NFL: The correct call was made against Ahmad Brooks (Maiocco)
Here's your latest Mike Florio piece. I think this is the last one I'll include in the Nuggets. Let me know if any of you feel strongly about the inclusion of his pieces and I'll reconsider. I find them inflammatory and poorly written. | Harbaugh apparently didn't know the rule for roughing the quarterback (PFT)
More 49ers - Saints Fallout
Christian Gin has his take on the Saints game. Clock management killed us once again. Colin Kaepernick doesn't trust his receivers. What's new? | 49ers vs. Saints Film Review: Clock management was an issue again (Gin)
More criticism for Mr Kaepernick, this time from Matt Barrows. Is there anyone out there who doesn't feel that the criticism is deserved at this point? | Film review: Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Kaepernick; Eric Reid adjusts, Tony Corrente dissected (Barrows)
Infographic: Week 11 Recap (49ers.com)
Niners Lose In A Manner Most Foul (49erswebzone)
Colin Kaepernick's yards per attempt in the latest losses is pretty concerning. He's had under 4.2 yards per attempt in the last two losses. Only 10 games this year have seen a quarterback average so few yards with 22 or more attempts. Colin Kaepernick has two such games. Yards per attempt is one of the stats that the nerds value most. | 49ers fans might want to ‘pass' on these numbers (Branch)
Another scary thing regarding the passing attack. The blueprint for beating the 49ers has been laid out. Score 10 points or so and dare Kaepernick to beat you. If you have a decent defense, you're probably in luck. | Saints successfully dared Kaepernick to beat them (Branch)
Who wants to talk about Kaepernick contract extensions while we're suffering mid-season? Let's deal with this after the season, though I'm guilty of bringing this topic up at times. | What to watch in Kaepernick contract talks (ESPN)
Kaepernick's season of regression (Cohn: Non-Transcript)
Reports earlier in the day said that today was the day that Donte Whitner would become Donte 'Hitner' (too close to Hitler for me). Now it looks like it's off. Oh no…another controversy on the verge of blowing up! Can the team take any more. | Donte Whitner withdraws 'Hitner' name change (Gin)
49ers - Team from Washington Material
Washington v. 49ers by the numbers (Cohn - Cut and paste)
Crabtree's Impending Return
Were you counting the days until both Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree regained health? Did you think it would fix all of the 49ers' problems? Guess again, says BASG. | 49ers can't rest playoff hopes on Manningham and Crabtree (BASG)
Marcus Lattimore has been given a 21-day period in which he can practice before the 49ers must decide on whether to activate him or place him on IR for the year. Coach Harbaugh has already indicated that the team has no intention of activating him. There's an interview embedded. | Lattimore cleared to practice for 21-day period (Maiocco)
Mike Iupati's injury will allow either Adam Snyder or Daniel Kilgore to see some playing time. Who would you rather see in there. I really want to see what we have in Kilgore. I think we should beat Washington either way, so get Kilgore in. | Iupati's knee sprain likely brings Snyder into lineup, or Kilgore (Inman)
And the other big injury from the Saints game was Tarell Brown. PFT has the scoop. Bad timing for a guy looking for a new contract, though there's no indication as to how long he'll be out. Luckily Tramaine Brock has played well since taking over as the nickel back. Do you think he can excel as the No. 2? | Report: Rib injury kept Tarell Brown in New Orleans overnight (PFT)
Here's a little video on the new stadium in Santa Clara. | Welcome to the Most Tech-Savvy Stadium in America (Bloomberg)