Game Day – Cheese Doodle Time

Hmmm. This one is a real head-scratcher. The best offense goes against the leakiest pass defense? Aaron Rodgers gets to shred our ineffective pass rush and mysteriously non-existent defensive backs? Our suddenly crappy passing game tries to unbury itself from the dregs of the worst game in oh, the last 10 years? 20? And that’s saying something seeing as some the stiffs that have wandered through the team lo these past 10 have been terrible.

I think these guys will play a better game. And I think they can even win, given the fact that they aren’t as bad as that AZ game, and they ARE at home. Realistically though our D is swiss cheese, and the cheeseheads want to exact revenge. We’ve been the bearer of a lot of bad news to GB in recent memory, knocking them out of the playoffs a couple times, and smoking them in the regular season as well. All with CK as the QB to win those games. (another hmmm) So they want to hurt us.

No there no moral victories in football, but really now. If this team gets smoked in another disastrous-type game like the last two, there will be some major grumblings around 4949 Centennial Blvd. For all everyone’s talk about the goodness or badness of the team, another blowout will be hard to stomach. Yeah, the line is banged up and shakey. At some point though, you’d think the coaches would say move Boone back to RT, or get Shareece Wright at least somewhere near the field. They need to work on the line to get CK some time in the pocket. GB is 11th in pass defense, so maybe we can run to set up the pass. I don’t know. I see a better game, but not enough to win.

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Let the Sniping Begin

Here we go. Carlos Hyde, he of 3 games of NFL experience, has called out his QB for giving the game away last week. Yeah, Kappy had the wort game of his life, but Hyde is a bit premature here in selling out his QB. After all, Kappy has been to the Super Bowl, and Hyde has one good game under his belt.

Then you have Honey Badger saying Kappy’s dumbed-down offense was easy to read and attack. Then again, if Kappy doesn’t throw off his back foot and leave those wounded ducks out there for easy pickings, then that shit doesn’t happen.

Point being, this team has a tough schedule, and even the 2 softies coming up, the Giants and Ravens, both have decent to fair QBs. At the start of the season I thought we’d be at 2-1 for the GB game, but at this point 1-3 looks like where we will be. They HAVE to take the Giants and Ravens to be even remotely considered a decent team. After that, it’s Seahawks, Rams, Falcons. 1-2? I don’t know. We do get the Browns, Lions, and Bears later, but by that point Kappy better have a handle on this offense, or we will be in full Gaine Blabbert mode.

Which is not a good scenario. If Tomsula starts playing QB roulette, then the team is in deep shit. But if Kappy keeps playing like he did last week, Tomsula will have no choice. We are back to the Harbaugh scenario of teams stopping the run, or getting so far ahead we can’t run, and putting the game in Kappy’s hands and beating us. Granted some of this has to do with a shit line, but Kappy made some terrible throws last week.

Again, the only bad game of his this year. He needs to move on and show he can play a clean game. GB is not a good team to be trying to find you way against. Although Kappy’s recent success against them must be tickling the backs of their minds a little bit.

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Maybe the Sky IS Falling . . .

Well, a divisional game that was supposed to be a measure of where this team is came to pass with a major thud. Colin Kaepernick’s first 4 passes netted 14 points for Arizona, a team that needs little help to get rolling. Kappy’s worst day as a pro was flat awful as he threw late and off his back foot for the 2 1st quarter picks, or simply didn’t get enough behind his passes on the other 2. Both of those picks would have been completions had Kappy put more on them. Throw the guy open, in other words. 4 picks in his first 11 passes. Another game that was over by halftime. Can’t even blame the pass protection, as Kappy did have time, but missed badly The defense wasn’t terrible, but again we saw the 3 man rush give Palmer plenty of time to find wide open receivers. Again, the biggest target, Larry Fitzgerald, was often wide open 15-20 yards downfield for easy chunks of yards. And with little pressure whether rushing 3, 4, or 5, it is getting very hard to stop teams.

Then again, the team did lose a ton of defensive players. Still and all, I thought we had the horses to get somewhere close to these guys. Chalk it up to growing pains? Shit, look across the Bay. The Raiders laid the biggest opening day turd in their recent memory, and are now 2-1. Then again, Cleveland and Baltimore aren’t Pittsburgh or AZ. Curious to me are the Bills and their fast start. Tyrod Talyor is playing phenomenal football, and Buff’s defense is solid. On the flip side, Vic Fangio is in hell right now with a defense that can’t stop a snail. They are crippled on offense WITH Jay Cutler, and with him gone they are shit on a stick.

Is that where we are? No one is jumping the ship yet, but there appears to be little action on the sidelines when these terrible plays happen. No gleaning over pics of what the tendencies of the opponent are. There’s innuendo that the players are pissed at Kappy for his shit day, and he sure owns this one, but the game last week was all on the defense. They are not a cohesive team despite the very good first game vs Minnesota. A team that is now 2-1.

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In Phoenix, the Niners Shall Rise From the Ashes

Something like that. Hey you never know. AZ is coming off 2 impressive wins, but at the expense of 2 of he worst defenses in the NFL in Chicago and New Orleans. The Niners on the other hand beat a Minnesota team that shut down the Detroit Lions pretty handily last week. Course we were folded, spindled and Rothlisbergered last week in Pittsburgh. No shame there. It just got away fast.

Which brings us to AZ. For all their recent success (sort of), they haven’t made much noise in the playoffs recently. Lots of bridesmaid shit. They have a decent defense and a fairly solid offense, if they can keep Carson Palmer upright. Kappy? Well, he’s 4-1 as a starter vs AZ with 9 TDs and only 1 pick. Seeing as AZs pass defense is Whaley, I see a continuation of the deep passing game.

As usual though this game will be decided in the trenches. Get a strong ass rush on Palmer and the DBs will be fine. No pressure means Palmer going deep. And as we saw last week, even the safeties got beat over he top. Over and over. Open up some running lanes and give Kappy time to throw and I think we get the offense rolling.

31-17 Niners.

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THE SKY IS FALLING!!! THE SKY IS . . . Nevermind

Panic is for the pussies. The 49ers were folded, spindled, and mutilated yesterday by Ben Rothlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers. A game that saw the Niners make TWO 17 play drives that netted 3 points, and failed on two forth and goal situations, and you get the idea. Time and again, the defense generated zero pressure on big ben and he torched us repeatedly. Yeah, the uncoverable Antonio Brown was well, uncoverable (9-195???), but when you make DHB look good, you have problems in the secondary.

Much will be made of this game, but I attribute some of this shittiness to the schedule. Having 4 days off and a travel day is no way to recover from a game. Pittsburgh was coming off a tough road loss, was having their home opener, and were on 10 days rest. The Niners were coming off a Monday night win, and had to travel cross-country on a short week. Tomsula didn’t use the excuse of blaming the short week, noting that they knew about the schedule way in advance, but that still doesn’t mean that they can survive the quick turn-around without some ramifications.

Bad as it was offensively, there were some bright spots. The offense looked good til the red-zone issues raised their ugly head. Kappy and T Smith connected on a nice deep post pattern that Kappy got over the LB and hit Smith in stride. Smith had 6 catches for 120 yards. 10 different 49ers caught passes so Kappy was spreading the ball around. But the issues were many. Hyde fumbled an exchange early that Pittsburgh capitalized on. VD and Boldin had drops. Miller dropped a TD pass in the end zone. Kappy was under a ton of pressure all day (5 sacks-37 yards to 0-0 for us). The run blocking was non-existent.

The defense? Well, the numbers tell all. Worthlessberger was 21-27 for 369 yards. A whopping 13 yards per completion. The D held DeAngelo Williams in check, but that was because the Steelers were connecting on everything in the air.

Bad game? Sure. Reason to panic and act like the season is over? Hardly. Non-division game on the road against a top-tier team is no reason to get too down on this one. St. Louis might be a little worried though. Getting spanked by the woeful Redskins is a bit embarrassing. Especially after coming off their emotional win over the (now 0-2) Seahawks.

The AZ game looms large.

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Game day 2 – Steel Town Homecoming

Week 2 of the Niners season is Jimmy T’s homecoming. Back to Pittsburgh. He’ll have a bunch of support from friends and family but not from the rest of river city.

As i suspect early on, and through ateast half the season, no one will take this team seriously nor give their opponents any points. The Niners get 6.5 for this one.  Actually smaller than I thought, given the 3 point home bump, and the supposed superiority of the Steelers.

hey, you never know. The Niners have won 5 of the last 7 meetings .

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Head East . . .

Flat as a Pancacke. Gonna have to dig out a track from that album. A band I discovered in 7th grade. The scheduling mavens in the NFL thought it would be a good idea to have the 49ers open their season on a Monday night, and then travel across the country on a short week (5 days off) to play a team that opened their season 4 days earlier (9 days off) in a ‘road’ game in their time zone. I guess respect is a fleeting thing in the NFL, but as Goodie Goodell has shown, he doesn’t give a shit about the players. Just about the TV money for Thursday night games.

Anyhow, the stage is ripe for a setback as the Niners face a highly regarded team in the Steelers, and the aforementioned short-week-travel double whammy.

Well, fuck that. Pittsburgh’s defense looked absolutely lost vs Brady, Gronk, Dion Lewis, and Edelman. They accounted for 260 of the 360 yards gained by NE. Sure, Pittsburgh gained 464 yards, DeAngleo Williams gained 127, and the uncoverable Antonio Brown had 9 for 133, and Heath Miller had 8 for 84, and hey, DHB had 5 for 58 . . . uh, shit. This may not be as easy as I thought. Pittsburgh, for all its vaunted this and that, still has Rothlisberger and a damn good offense.

So, what are we going to do? Well, as we saw last week, Eric Mangini is much more of a risk-taker than his predecessor. It worked to great advantage last week as 5 guys contributed a sack. Which tells me Mangini likes to disguise who’s coming from where. The DBs played solid in run support, and defending the pass. o, what happens? Well, I think we’ll bottle up Williams better than NE did. The worry IS Pittsburgh’s passing game. Brown is the hottest thing since hot things were invented. I’d imagine some bracketing thrown his way. Which means a lot of nickel D, which means a steady dose of Pitts trying to run through that. Jimmie Ward needs to pull up his pants as he’ll be the guy covering DHB one-on-one most likely.

Pressure is paramount. Rothlisberger isn’t the quickest guy out there, but he stands tall in the pocket and avoids hits better than just about anyone else. When they get to him, they need to stay on him and get him down. Broken plays are his specialty and they get a lot of yards off Worthelssberger buying time and finding the open guy.

Kappy is coming of a strong game vs Minn, a team with a good defensive backfield, of at least proving to the naysayers (you know who you are) that he can step up his game. He bought time well, and went through his progressions and avoided the one-done-and-run days of seasons past. Sure, it’s only one game, but it’s a start. 95% of the national prognosticators had Minnesota winning handily. Problem is, they like shiny things and sound bites. All they look at is St, Jim leaving and the retirements. They happened to overlook the talent that is ON the team and instead focussed on the players that left.

Since no one once again is giving the Niners a shot, I’ll go with 28-20 Niners.

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