San Francisco 49ers vs. Cleveland Browns: Game Day Open Thread


The San Francisco 49ers are in Cleveland today to take on the Browns looking to build on the momentum of last week’s win.

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The San Francisco 49ers are in Cleveland today ready to face a Browns team with little more than draft position on the line. It’s not the most exciting matchup on the NFL docket today, but it’s a game that still has some intrigue to it. Sort of.

After last week’s thrilling overtime victory over the Chicago Bears, there are whispers and murmurs around the Bay Area – and nationally – that perhaps Blaine Gabbert might be able to lead this team in 2016. Maybe he hasn’t been as bad as first advertised. Certainly, there are many on the team as well as around the league who see Gabbert as a significant upgrade over deposed starter – and perhaps, maybe soon to be ex-teammate – Colin Kaepernick.

Having led the 49ers to victories in half of his starts (2-2), Gabbert has shown that while not a flashy quarterback, and that he is more along the lines of a quarterback who can manage a game decently well, he’s beginning to gain the support of his teammates.

Of course, last week’s overtime strike, a 70 yard catch and run from Gabbert to Torrey Smith to clinch the win certainly had plenty of flash to it.

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Said receiver Anquan Boldin after the Chicago game:

"“His body of work the last couple of weeks speaks for itself. You don’t play the way that he’s been playing just by luck.”"

Asked if Gabbert could be the future at the quarterback spot, Boldin responded by saying, “I think so.”

Those quotes could mean one of three things – Gabbert has either begun to make believers out of his teammates, Boldin is basking in the afterglow of getting so many targets (31) and receptions (18) over the last three weeks, or Boldin really just wants to take a shot at Kaepernick.

Gabbert has one more year left on his deal with San Francisco and over these next four games, he just might be able to parlay that into a more secure, financially lucrative deal if he can prove that he’s the 49ers’ future at the position. But only if he plays well and leads the team to a couple more wins.

As shaky as San Francisco’s quarterback position may be, it is certainly still miles ahead of the train wreck that is Cleveland’s quarterback position. Johnny Manziel, Cleveland’s starter for now – at least until the next pictures of him partying his brains out surfaces and he’s then compelled to lie about it – is getting yet another shot to prove that the Browns didn’t waste another first round draft pick on a quarterback who just can’t seem to cut the mustard in the NFL.

Spoiler alert, they did.

Next: San Francisco 49ers: Previewing the Browns

Manziel remains a Brown and is starting for no other reason than Cleveland has no other options. Not only that, they very likely fear the public relations nightmare that comes with admitting they absolutely screwed the pooch with the Manziel pick and tossing him on the scrap heap. They are hoping against hope that Manziel can play well enough down the stretch, leading the Browns to a few wins, and then deal with his immaturity, his seeming party first/football second attitude one way or another in the offseason.

So for a game in which the teams themselves don’t have much to play for, there is still plenty left for the players involved to play for. It makes for a more compelling matchup than a 2-10 Browns and 4-8 49ers team might otherwise have.

42. Final. 13. 53. 20

What are the biggest storylines to you? Do you think Gabbert is the long term solution? Do you think he can solve San Francisco’s quarterback problems or is Kaepernick still the guy the 49ers need to lean on?

This is your place to talk about the game and all things 49ers. Step on up and make yourselves heard. Let’s hear what you think!