PictureVance McDonald
It was a much needed bye week for the 49ers with several of the players rehabbing injuries. A few players took the opportunity to visit family, their alma maters and/or just get away for some R&R.




Vance McDonald headed to nearby Lake Tahoe for a beautiful change of scenery.  IG vancemcdonald89

Carlos Hyde returned to Ohio State, Urban Meyer tweeted that it was good to have him back @elguapo 


Michael Wilhoite returned to Washburn University and attended practice. @MichaelWilhoite 


Bruce Ellington returned to Moncks Corner, SC @_Elling10


Chris Culliver spent time in the big apple, NYC @Cullyinthehouse


Anquan Boldin stayed in the bay area and even asked his twitter followers if they had suggestions on where to watch the World Series @AnquanBoldin 
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Ian Williams returned home to visit family.
"Enjoyed the much needed bye week by going home to see family! Blessed to have so many amazing people in my life. Can't wait to get back to work tomorrow on finishing this season strong #questforsix"

@IWilliams95

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Bruce Miller returned to Orlando for UCF's homecoming with his lovely lady Leanne Massey. The Knights enjoyed a 34-14 victory over Temple. 

IG brucemiller49

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Eric Reid celebrated an early Halloween with his family. 


@E_Reid35

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Stevie johnson stayed in the Bay and enjoyed some of the traditional fare at Fisherman's Wharf while also staying on top of all of the World Series action. #SFUnite


@StevieJohnson13

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Nick Moody returned to Florida, spent some time with his adorable daughter Elena and ate some pretty tasty BBQ. 

IG nickmoody_

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Kaepernick spent some time at his favorite charity Camp Taylor. They even had an early birthday celebration for him. His actual bday is 11/3. 


IG kaepernick7
IG camp_taylor 

 
 
PictureDoug Pensinger/Getty Images
No one on the 49ers team or staff made any excuses that injuries were a part of the loss to the Denver Broncos but even Peyton Manning acknowledged that they were a factor. Manning after the game: "They have some injuries that I think put some pressure on their defense and we were able to take advantage of that." 

The resounding theme amongst Harbaugh and the players was the 'Next Man Up' mantra regarding how "Players need to be ready whenever their number is called," Antoine Bethea

Patrick Willis: "It's been a season of injury but we make no excuses. When one man goes down it's another man's opportunity to step up. Our guys have done a great job at that." 

Vernon Davis: "It's been tough for us but we can't blame it on the injuries. We still have to play. We have guys that can back certain guys up and we believe in them." 

Eric Reid on what the game would have been the outcome with all of the starters playing:  "That's something we can't worry about. It's a hypothetical situation that isn't real right now. No matter what the situation is, we got to go out there and play."

I think Ahmad Brooks summed it up the best saying about the injuries "It probably caught up with us today. We have a lot of key guys out." 

 
 
Picturechatsports.com
Just last week Chip Kelly was mic'd up and two notable quotes from Kelly (There are usually quite a few) were "Culture wins football,"  and "Culture will beat scheme every day." Was this foreshadowing? Was this coincidence? The Eagles were in a very similar situation to the Seahawks last season. Although there haven't been any reports of violence by DeSean Jackson towards teammates, he does have diva like tendencies. He didn't show up for his exit interview at the end of last season and had reportedly missed a few others. After seeming to not completely buy into the Chip Kelly system, the team tried to shop him around but ended up getting no takers, character probably having a little to do with it, but guaranteed salary likely being more of an influence. During the off season he was released and we all know the rest of the story. 

Skip ahead to Friday afternoon before week 7 of the 2014 season and the Seahawks pull the surprise trade of Percy Harvin to the Jets for a conditional pick. The first opinions on the wire were shock and disbelief that Seattle's most dynamic player, went for a ridiculously cheap price. Now, with perspective, you could say at least they got a pick for him, remember, the Eagles couldn't get anyone to take Jackson. 

The similarities are remarkable. Both players have had a big impact on the offense, well, Harvin did when he was healthy. They are both WRs that have a little 'me complex' going on. Both teams have been offensively productive and have winning records with those players. Neither team has had rumors of 'toxic' locker rooms or personnel conflict. Both teams have built a strong culture that Harvin and Jackson seemingly did not embrace. Both teams believed that culture was more important than an individual player or scheme. 

Without Jackson, the Eagles only loss has been to the Niners. How will Seattle fare without their deep threat? Since it's nearly a third of the way through the season, there aren't a lot of speedy WRs waiting in the wings ready to jump in at a moments notice so it will be a challenge but Seattle has won without him before, and will do so again. No one in the NFC west will relax by any means, but one less weapon on the offense is still one less weapon. 

 
 
PictureBilly Hurst - AP
It was a questionable start for the Niners letting the Rams get a 14 point jump on them in the first quarter. 24 unanswered points and a pick six for rookie Dontae Johsnon sealed the win. Unfortunately for the 49ers, this win came at a cost. 

Patrick Willis left the game with a toe injury due to the turf and was seen later on the sidelines in a walking boot. More will be known once the team returns to the bay area. 

Jimmie Ward injured his quad. 

Mike Iupati left the game with a concussion. 

Stevie Johnson took a direct hit by a knee to his hip and left the game but per the 49ers twitter account, it isn't serious. 

The Niners are already without key players: Navorro Bowman, Aldon Smith, Anthony Davis and Tramaine Brock so the Next Man Up motto has already been in full effect. Expect to see much more from Dontae Johnson and Chris Borland this Sunday when the 49ers face the Denver Broncos. 

 
 
PicturePeter Aiken/Getty Images North America
It's a fantastic accomplishment to be named special teams player of the week after successfully knocking in five field goals in one game. It's even more impressive that two of those FGs were from longer than 50 yards away (52 & 55). Phil Dawson came through with 15 of the 22 points that the Niners scored in their victory over the Chiefs but what does not go unnoticed is that the Niners have not been able to convert in the red zone. 

Six of the nine offensive drives resulted in points. (One of those drives was the end of game/victory kneel down) Only one of those drives ended with a touchdown to Stevie Johnson. This is not new for the team. David Akers was the leading offensive scorer during his tenure with the Niners. In the 2011 season Akers scored a total of 166 points. 

There's a great Niners Nation article breaking down the 49ers red zone plays vs. Chiefs that shows where missed blocks and the lack of development in plays, including Kaepernick not always seeing open receivers, have stunted the Niners offense at the end of drives. 

Kap, however, is developing through his progressions more this season and adding WR weapons may be a part of it. Crabtree, Boldin, Llyod, Johnson and Patton are a formidable group of weapons not to mention Miller at FB and Davis at TE when he's healthy. 

Obviously a win is a win, but to allow teams to stay in the game with a chance at a winning drive is not the optimum situation. The defense can clearly win games for the team, but relying on them to do so shouldn't be the expectation.