49ers offensive player-by-player review vs. Chargers

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49ers offensive player-by-player review vs. Chargers

Here's the player-by-player breakdown of the 49ers' offense from their 35-3 win over the San Diego Chargers in the exhibition finale Thursday night at Candlestick Park:OFFENSE
Quarterbacks
1-Josh Johnson: He was the fourth quarterback to enter the game. In his four series, the 49ers achieved 10 first downs on his 28 plays. He had his best game and managed to get into a good rhythm while rotating possessions with Scott Tolzien. Johnson completed 9-of-14 passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns. He also gained 50 yards on five rushing attempts. He showed his athleticism when he picked up a bad shotgun snap on a third-and-2 play and gained seven yards. If the 49ers coaches evaluated his race for the No. 3 job as an even heat before Thursday night, this showing could've pushed him over the top.
3-Scott Tolzien: The 49ers managed three first downs on his three possessions, which spanned 11 plays. He was not sharp, and he was not helped by some dropped passes, either. He underthrew receiver Chris Owusu, who came back for the ball and dropped it in the fourth quarter. He pulled the trigger on an attempt to tight end Garrett Celek, who was covered. He did not see linebacker Bront Byrd who made the interception at the line of scrimmage. Tolzien completed 3-of-8 passes for 42 yards and one interception.
7-Colin Kaepernick: The 49ers' No. 2 quarterback had the best showing of his eight-game exhibition career. He threw two touchdown passes -- one while sliding to his left, and the other while rolling to the right. He played 29 snaps. He completed 12-of-18 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns. Kaepernick had the outstanding 32-yard TD pass to Delanie Walker, and he made some other nice throws on the move.
11-Alex Smith: Started and played the first five snaps. Coach Jim Harbaugh said they never intended for him to attempt a pass. They wanted him to enter the huddle, break a sweat and get out of the game without facing any danger.RELATED: Defensive player-by-player review
Running backs
21-Frank Gore: Did not play.
23-LaMichael James: He played very well, especially in pass protection, while playing 34 snaps on offense. He handled the opening kickoff and gave the 49ers good field position with a 39-yard return. Did a phenomenal job in pass protection against two former 49ers on Kaepernick's 32-yard TD pass to Delanie Walker. He picked up nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin and moved him to the left, away from Kaepernick and into the path of blitzing linebacker Takeo Spikes. That allowed Kaepernick to slide to his left and throw the ball to Walker. Took a short pass, made linebacker Darryl Gamble miss and picked up 13 yards in the third quarter. James finished with 27 yards on five rushing attempts. He also caught two passes for 26 yards. But he had difficulty navigating the Candlestick winds. He bobbled one punt and muffed two others, both of which he recovered.
24-Anthony Dixon: He played 25 plays on offense. His strong exhibition season came to a conclusion with 55 yards rushing and a touchdown on 12 rushing attempts. Bounced off linebacker Darryl Gamble near line of scrimmage and picked up nine yards on fourth-quarter run.
28 Rock Cartwright: He played eight snaps on offense and carried twice for five yards.
32-Kendall Hunter: He started and played seven snaps before calling it a night. Hunter carried four times for 23 yards on the opening drive.
45-Brandon Jacobs: Did not play (left knee).
49-Bruce Miller: He started at fullback, and made an immediate impact with a block on Chargers linebacker Takeo Spikes that opened way for Hunter's 9-yard run. Made a nice catch at left sideline for a 9-yard gain on opening drive. Those were the only two plays he was on the field.
57-Michael Wilhoite: He played two snaps at fullback.
92-Will Tukuafu: He played 23 snaps at fullback and had a very strong showing. He entered the game at fullback on the second snap of the game. He played seven snaps on the 49ers' 11-play opening drive. His block on Spikes opened the hole for Dixon on a 1-yard touchdown run to open the scoring. He had another tremendous block on linebacker James Mouton as a lead-blocker to help Dixon pick up six yards in the third quarter.Wide receivers
10-Kyle Williams: Did not play.
14-Mario Manningham: Did not play, as he attended his grandfather's funeral in Ohio.
15-Michael Crabtree: Did not play.
17-A.J. Jenkins: Started at wide receiver, and had a very strong showing with four receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown. He played 33 snaps in the game. He gained nine yards on a fly sweep on the opening drive. He did a good job to find an opening in the back of the end zone, where Kaepernick found him for a 12-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. Jenkins led the 49ers with 122 yards receiving on eight catches during the exhibition season.
18-Brett Swain: Started at wide receiver and played 41 snaps. He had a chance for a scoring catch in the first half, but he could not come up with a well-thrown deep ball with tight coverage from cornerback Greg Gatson. Made a good catch for 20-yard gain against cornerback DeAndre Presley in second quarter. He finished with three catches for 38 yards.
19-Ted Ginn: Did not play (right ankle).
81-Chris Owusu: He saw limited action in the first half. In the second half, he played 32 snaps. Tolzien underthrew him in the fourth quarter, but he came back for the ball and dropped it. Later, he dropped Tolzien's third-down pass that would've been a first down. He finished with just one catch for three yards.
84-Randy Moss: Did not play.
89-Nathan Palmer: He had an up-and-down night while playing 46 snaps. The highlight was a 51-yard touchdown pass from Josh Johnson in which he covered the entire distance himself after making cornerback DeAndre Presley whiff. But in the second quarter he had a well-thrown slant hit off his chest. He dropped another pass that would've been a first down. He finished with three receptions for 72 yards.Tight ends
46-Delanie Walker: He returned to action after missing two games with a right knee injury. He played seven snaps. He made an exceptional play on a 32-yard TD catch to haul in Kaepernick's pass, stay on his feet, lower his pad level to take on safety Atari Bigby at the 5-yard line, spin and get into the end zone while remaining inbounds.
47-Kyle Nelson: He played 18 snaps on offense and did not see a pass come his way.
48-Garrett Celek: He played 40 snaps and had a good showing with three catches for 54 yards. He had a good one-on-one block at line of scrimmage defensive lineman Vaughn Martin on Dixon's 17-yard run. . . Worked wide open and made over-the-shoulder catch from Kaepernick for 37-yard gain in second quarter. Also worked to open space in the end zone to catch 3-yard TD pass from Johnson in third quarter.
83-Demarcus Dobbs: Did not play (left calf).
85-Vernon Davis: He played three snaps and did not have any action go his way.
88-Konrad Reuland: He played 27 snaps and caught four passes for 22 yards. Made a good block on a linebacker to help open hole for Anthony Dixon on a 17-yard run on first drive. Reuland led 49ers with nine catches (73 yards) during the exhibition season.Offensive line
59-Jonathan Goodwin: He started at center and played the first 11 snaps, a drive that resulted in a touchdown.
65-Al Netter: He saw action at left tackle and left guard for the 49ers throughout the second half.
66-Joe Looney: He entered at left guard for the second series of the game. Good block on Corey Liuget to open way around left side for James to gain seven yards in first quarter. In the second half, he moved to center, a position he hasn't played since his sophomore year of high school. He had one bad snap out of shotgun formation, but otherwise played well.
67-Daniel Kilgore: He entered at center in place of Goodwin for the second series of the game. He played most of the second half and fared well.
68-Leonard Davis: He entered at right guard for the second series of the game and played into the third quarter.
69-Kenny Wiggins: He entered at right tackle for the second series finished out the game with no problems.
71-Derek Hall: He entered the game at right guard in the third quarter and finished the game there.
74-Joe Staley: Started at left tackle, and played the first drive, 11 snaps, which resulted in a touchdown.
75-Alex Boone: Started at right guard and played the first series, which resulted in a 49ers' touchdown.
76-Anthony Davis: Started at right tackle and had a good block on defensive end Corey Liuget on Dixon's 17-yard run on opening drive. He played the first drive.
77-Mike Iupati: Started at left guard, and played the first 11 snaps of the game.
78-Mike Person: He entered at left tackle for the second series, and did a good job one-on-one against defensive end Kendall Reyes to wall off the left side and allow Kaepernick to throw his 32-yard TD pass to Walker. . . Called for a questionable holding penalty on a run play in the second quarter.

Taking a closer look at Ryan's criticism of Shanahan

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Taking a closer look at Ryan's criticism of Shanahan

There is no shortage of blame to go around for the Atlanta Falcons’ collapse in Super Bowl 51.

The Falcons built a 28-3 lead in the middle of the third quarter and let it slip away, ultimately falling to the New England Patriots, 34-28, in overtime.

Matt Ryan voiced one previously undisclosed factor in the collapse this week in an interview with Pete Prisco of CBS Sports, pointing the finger at the new coach of the 49ers.

Kyle Shanahan has been the focus of a lot of the blame, but critique from the league MVP was a new one.

The Falcons quarterback faulted his former offensive coordinator for taking too much time to relay the play calls. Ryan said he did not have enough time to change any of the plays – presumably checking out of called pass plays to run the ball.

Here’s what Ryan told Prisco:

"Kyle's play calls -- he would take time to get stuff in. As I was getting it, you're looking at the clock and you're talking 16 seconds before it cuts out. You don't have a lot of time to say, 'There's 16 seconds, no, no, no, we're not going to do that. Hey, guys, we're going to line up and run this.' You're talking about breaking the huddle at seven seconds if you do something along the lines.

"With the way Kyle's system was set up, he took more time to call plays and we shift and motion a lot more than we did with (former coordinator) Dirk (Koetter). You couldn't get out of stuff like that. We talk about being the most aggressive team in football. And I'm all for it. But there's also winning time. You're not being aggressive not running it there."

The 49ers can point to mismanagement of the clock for their own Super Bowl heartbreak. The 49ers’ offense had the perfect play call at the perfect time against the Baltimore Ravens late in Super Bowl XLVII.

But with the play clock striking :00, coach Jim Harbaugh was forced to call a timeout from the sideline. A split-second later, the ball was snapped and it appeared the quarterback run would have easily ended up with Colin Kaepernick in the end zone.

Much like after the 49ers’ loss, the Falcons left plenty of room for second-guessing.

Two of Shanahan’s plays calls, which directly led to the collapse, will forever be scrutinized.

The first came with 8:31 remaining in regulation and the Falcons holding a 28-12 lead. On third and 1 from the Atlanta 36, Shanahan did not remain conservative with an expected run play. He swung for the fence.

Receiver Aldrick Robinson, whom the 49ers added this offseason as a free-agent pickup, was breaking free past the Patriots secondary for what could have been a touchdown. But just as Ryan was unloading, New England linebacker Dont’a Hightower hit him and forced the fumble. Running back Devonta Freeman whiffed on blitz pickup, which would have provided Ryan with enough time to target Robinson deep.

Ryan’s explanation does not appear applicable on this play, though. In watching the replay, the Falcons broke the huddle with more than 25 seconds remaining on the play clock and the snap occurred with :15 to spare.

The other questionable sequence came after the Falcons – leading by eight points -- got to the New England 22-yard line with less than five minutes to play. The Falcons lost 1 yard on a run play on first down.

On second down, Ryan was sacked for a 12-yard loss. Before that play, the Falcons broke the huddle with :19 on the play clock. The snap occurred with :04 remaining. The game clock was running, so the Falcons had reason to attempt to burn as much clock as possible.

In the fourth quarter, the Falcons never seemed rushed to get off a play. The closest they came to delay-of-game penalties were when they snapped the ball with :04 on the one play and :03 another time. The majority of their snaps occurred with :10 or more seconds to spare.

If the Falcons were guilty of anything when it came to the play clock, it was that the offense did not waste more time. After New England pulled to within 28-9 late in the third quarter, the Falcons ran only six offensive plays while the game clock was running.

On those six plays, the Falcons snapped the ball with :13, :09, :14, :20, :13 and :04 remaining on the play clock. If they’d snapped the ball with one second remaining each time, they could have shortened the game by 1 minute, 7 seconds. The Patriots scored the game-tying touchdown with :57 remaining in regulation.

Uh-oh: Is Kyle Shanahan going to be Harbaugh-tastic in his timing?

Uh-oh: Is Kyle Shanahan going to be Harbaugh-tastic in his timing?

Until now, Kyle Shanahan’s hiring by the San Fracisco 49ers looked great because of his two-and-a-half predecessors – the last days of Jim Harbaugh, the misplaced concept of Jim Tomsula and the couldn’t-make-chicken-marsala-out-of-old-Kleenex problems surrounding Chip Kelly.

But now, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has told us all that Shanahan has a gift we in the Bay Area know all too well. Specifically, that Shanahan took too long to call plays to the Super Bowl the Falcons vomited up to the New England Patriots.

Now who does that remind you of, over and over again?

Yes, some things are evergreen, and too many options in this overly technological age seems to be one of them. Data in is helpful, but command going out is what bells the cow. Ryan said Shanahan was, well, almost Harbaugh-tastic in his timing.

“Kyle’s play calls -- he would take time to get stuff in,” Ryan told Bleacher Report. “As I was getting it, you're looking at the clock and you’re talking 16 seconds before it cuts out. You don't have a lot of time to say, ‘There's 16 seconds, no, no, no, we're not going to do that. Hey, guys, we're going to line up and run this.’ You're talking about breaking the huddle at seven seconds if you do something along the lines.

“With the way Kyle's system was set up, he took more time to call plays and we shift and motion a lot more than we did with (former coordinator) Dirk (Koetter). You couldn't get out of stuff like that. We talk about being the most aggressive team in football. And I'm all for it. But there's also winning time. You’re not being aggressive not running it there.”

And the reason this matters is because the Atlanta Shanahan had multiple good options on every play. In San Francsco, at least in the short term, he’ll be dealing with minimal options. That could speed up his choices, as in “What the hell, we don’t have Julio Jones.” But it could also mean more delays, as in, “Okay, him . . . no, maybe not . . . no, he just screwed up that play last series . . . oh, damn it, time out!”

In short, it’s growing pains season here, children. On the field, on the sidelines, and maybe even in Kyle Shanahan’s head.