Although the San Francisco 49ers came out of Foxborough, Massachusetts with a narrow victory over the New England Patriots, a few players nearly cost the 49ers the game. The disturbing part is that this isn't the first time these players have hurt the 49ers this year.
Here are the culprits who need to be benched immediately.
How many botched snaps did you count in this game? I tallied at least four. The chemistry between center Jonathan Goodwin and new 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick leaves much to be desired, namely getting off a snap without disaster.
Bad snaps were an issue in the 49ers' loss to the Rams and could have cost them the win against New England. With the problem only worsening, it's clear the 49ers need to bench Goodwin for his backup Daniel Kilgore. Besides, Goodwin is the oldest starting offensive lineman on the team at the age of 34, and the team may be better off switching to the younger Daniel Kilgore sooner than later.
Did you see that David Akers miss from 39 yards? That's because David Akers is done. We knew he couldn't kick much outside of 50-plus yards, but now he's struggling to make kicks within 40 yards.
We shouldn't be too surprised because he's second to last in field-goal completion percentage. Also, he's not even making half of his field goals from beyond 40 yards, which costs the 49ers points and valuable field position.
At this point, the 49ers just might be better off signing a kicker out of the Canadian Football League than going another game with Akers. It's that bad.
Ted Ginn Jr.
Ted Ginn Jr. is no longer an explosive return man. In the Sunday night game, he looked like he was impersonating Kyle Williams with two near-muffed punts.
Lately, every punt seems to teeter on the verge of disaster with Ginn waiting for it on the other side.
In the Saints game, he muffed a catch that led to a touchdown, and two weeks ago, he failed to field a toss from quarterback Colin Kaepernick which led to a defensive score in a loss to the St. Louis Rams.
At this point, the 49ers should designate LaMichael James as the full-time return man as he's shown explosiveness on kickoff returns. A quality return man needs focus and desire, and it just hasn't been there this year with Ginn.
The 49ers do not want to go into the postseason with personnel that's ill-equipped to handle high-pressure situations. That's what cost them the NFC Championship game last year and to replicate that scenario would spell doom again.
Starting LaMichael James over Ted Ginn Jr. and picking up a new kicker are essential to the 49ers' success for the remainder of this season and in the playoffs. Also, if Goodwin and Kaepernick can't figure out how to get off a snap without making a "football follies" highlight reel, start Kilgore at center.