Game Day # 16! Gateway to the Playoffs

For the only week of the year, all of the NFL games are scheduled for Sunday. And if there ever was a week to have 16 TVs to watch all the games, this would be it. In the NFC at least, just about all the playoff spots are in a state if flux, and the idea to make the last weekend all divisional games had paid off in spades. The NFC East and NFC North have play-in games as Dallas, minus Tony Romo, squares off with Philly, and Chicago faces Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers at Soldier Field. Carolina, Seattle, and the 49ers all have a shot at getting the 1 seed. AFC? Ehhh. Don’t care at this point. Brady and Manning look to meet again if the script follows the pattern. Indy and Cincy might have something to say about it, but I doubt it. KC? Alex Smith? One would think the AFC wildcards are a quick exit. We’ll see. The combo of Miami or Balt don’t scare anyone either. The NFC? Well, whoever the wildcards are look to beat the North and East champs handily.

Anyhow, back to AZ. They started badly, but have re-inserted themselves back into the playoff race by winning 7 of their last 8, including a beat-down of the Colts, and most recently a fairly stunning road win over Seattle in the house that noise built. AZ is throwing the ball a ton, and is overcoming the 21 picks by Carson Palmer simply by throwing more. As evidenced by their win over Seattle where Palmer threw 4 picks and still won. Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd lead the way. Both are close to 1,000 yards, and both account for nearly all of their TDs in the air. Defensively AZ is fast and tough. They have the # 1 rush defense in the league and are 6th overall in yards per game given up. LBs Karlos Dansby and John Abraham are leading a group that has improved as the season has rolled on.

All that being said. I think AZ has been playing for their lives for a long time. Running on adrenaline too long, and will come back to Earth. Niners win 28-20. I also think the Rams manage to contain Russell Wilson and take Seattle at home. 2 seed and the bye. Book it.

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About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers and SF Giants fan
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203 Responses to Game Day # 16! Gateway to the Playoffs

  1. IH1979 says:

    Yep. A loss and possible date in Dallas much better. Dawson should’ve extended his miss streak right there. Major fuck up

  2. philippinefan says:

    12th called for 24-21 Niners (I think) so that was the closest to actual 23-20 this week

    • 12th man says:

      Niners were fortunate to come away with a win Phil. I agree with the need to run NF, no question, but they need to call them at the right time and about half the time it looks wrong to me. Far too conservative again. A one score game is not enough and almost wasn’t today.

      Niners almost never go for the jugular. preferring instead to rely on the D.

  3. Nipper says:

    Burp……..who won?

  4. unca_chuck says:

    I’m not too worried about GB even with Rodgers. Again though, I’m worried about the pressure. Palmer had too much time. Rodgers won’t miss the shit that Palmer did. But we’ve always gotten a lot of pressure on Rodgers with out base defense.

    This game will see, but I see a lot of Hunter and Gore.

  5. 12th man says:

    word press is eating my posts Chuck. Nothing controversial so I don’t know why.

  6. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, still don’t know. I released ‘em.

  7. unca_chuck says:

    In other words, I’m only blocking people, not words.

  8. NoFear49er says:

    12th man,

    Hard to call Harbaugh too conservative after gambling on a 56 yd FG (after an earlier miss) under 2:00 to go ahead and risk leaving the Cards at mid field with plenty of time left. Risky to the point of stupid, but it worked so it’s brilliant. And after they tied it nothing but pass plays to get into FG range.

    • 12th man says:

      NF, 1 decision in 10 doesn’t make Harbaugh a go for it coach and IMO the Niners were only in that position due to a risk aversion 2nd and 3rd qtr.

      17 points and absolutely sat on the lead that slowly eroded. I am not a chuck it downfield every down guy either but the Niners deserved the close game they got because they made it that way.

      A win against a good team on the road, but unnecessarily close IMO.

      • NoFear49er says:

        A risk averse HC of a team with an anemic offense and strong defense? That’s one of the questions on the application I think.

      • 12th man says:

        Seems to me to be that way by design NF. They turn the heat up when needed. It’s a calculated game plan, I don’t believe the O is anemic, it is conservative with a lead, a different proposition.

      • NoFear49er says:

        I’d guess our offense rates in the bottom quarter of the league or so. Not exactly one with which you’d want to play catch up. It begs conservative play calling even when the fans cry for more.

      • 12th man says:

        I guess the question is is it ranked so low due to ineptitude or because when the team has a one score lead the coaches choose to be conservative and rely on the D? A clue may be that when they win the coin toss they defer every time, preferring to rely on the D. To me I see more than enough skilled players on O, what I don’t see are enough higher risk plays as the coaches look at the risk/reward ratio from a strong D viewpoint.

      • NoFear49er says:

        Yeah, I guess one can choose to believe our HC (not in danger of losing his job immediately anyway) is holding the offense back from putting more points up early and that we are 12-4 in the toughest division in the league despite our coaches if it fits a particular narrative. Just doesn’t make sense to me. Then again, I usually try to figure out why a particular play was called instead of knocking it because it wasn’t what _I_ would have called. It’s hard to argue with success, but that doesn’t mean fans won’t.

      • 12th man says:

        I would not argue the success of the conservative nature of the game plans as far as the regular season with exception to 2 games the Niners possibly would have won if a little more adventurous. That doesn’t mean fans, you and I, should sit through a game, albeit a win, that was down to the wire due to sitting on a lead for 2 qtrs. Unless of course your view is that the lack of O in the 2nd and 3rd was due to an inept O that was not inept in the first qtr and came alive again in the 4th when reqd?

        Also I think the same calculated game plan almost lost the Niners the game last week too. For my money that’s too close for comfort.

        Yes the calculated game plan wins more than loses but in the playoffs there is no room for error ergo I am not a fan in the percentages gameplan. I think if they are winning a game they should keep winning it, not lower the risks and go conservative and hope the D holds. Also, I don’t know how you view the D performances the last few weeks but it has not held up its part of the bargain.

      • NoFear49er says:

        I’ve been plenty critical of our defense lately, offense, too. It’s just a matter of where we find fault. To some a failed play is automatically a bad call because it didn’t work. I look a little deeper whenever possible to see why. Rogers loses a receiver and gives up a big play, most see that’s on Rogers. Goodwin misses a block and Gore gets stuffed, it’s a bad play call to everyone.

  9. unca_chuck says:

    I understand not running very much against AZ. What I don’t understand is running out of the jumbo formations in short yardage situations. We telegraph exactly what we are doing and it doesn’t work 4 out of 5 times.

  10. NoFear49er says:

    How do you think VD was left uncovered on the goal line TD play?

    When you run you’re trying to find the softest spots to attack, the LB tendencies, show the defense different formations and personnel and see how they react, run different plays from same formations, same plays from different formations, and establish some plays to base your play action off of, run the clock, control the ball, and dishearten the defense. Making five yards is that much better. They aren’t all going to be touchdowns but they should all be useful parts of a total game plan.

    All this crying about the run is like Eisenhower coming down on Patton for his lack of etiquette.

    • Irish Kevin says:

      That is in your opinion. my opinion is that for the last 8 years everyone and thery mother knows the Niners rely heavilly on Gore to get the job done. Nolan, Singletary, and now Harbaugh. The get the lead and go straight to the run. 5 mins into the 2nd quarter and they run the ball 3 straight times, twice with Gore and once with Hunter. They got 0 yardage and used up a whopping 3 mins. Oh yeah those three plays ate up clock time. What did that prove?? What Harbaugh should have seen from that is the running game was going no where fast. So he should have gone back to the pass and scored some points to put the game away. Walsh did not leave points on the field. Manning does not leave points on the field. Mike Holmgren did not leave points on the field.

  11. NoFear49er says:

    Dallas holds!

  12. unca_chuck says:

    Crazy game. Maybe Ortron is the missing piece.

    • rtfirefly says:

      The amusing thing to me is that Chi traded 2 1sts, a 4th and a 7th, in addition to Orton, for Cutler. I distinctly remember LMAO at the Bear and Singletary-woshipping (long departed)Geomak over that one.
      Then Orton gets benched for Tebow. Who is playing today?

  13. unca_chuck says:

    I get jumbo on the goal line. You can chip and get clear. But not on the 35 yard line. Not when we never do anything BUT run then. I get the trench war and all that, but we have to be near the bottom on 3rd and 2 or less. Because we pack the line with bodies and try to run up the middle. Spread the formation and run. Play action. Something other than the run up the middle. It isn’t that hard to figure out. Our tendency is to run up the middle on 3rd and 2 or less. ALL THE TIME. It works, like I said, maybe one out of five times.

    • NoFear49er says:

      Maybe they’re just trying to get better at their power running game. It is our bread and butter.

      Remember that spreading the defense spreads the offense. More difficult protections and more clear shots to the QB. If that’s what Harbaugh was trying to avoid to make sure CK7 was still suiting up for the playoffs, it seems to have worked.

  14. unca_chuck says:

    My point is we end a lot of drives by not converting 3rd and short. The Niners started the game running reverses, pitches wide, and changing things up. They were successful going underneath but couldn’t sustain drives. After the 1st quarter, the offense went into hibernation. Even that first one stalled. Like I said, I get them passing a lot because AZ defends the run well. But when it did come time to run, they should put in 4 WRs and spread the field. Not the jumbo package which telegraphs what we are doing,.

  15. NoFear49er says:

    Totally incompetent officiating changing the games. How ridiculous can it get?

  16. unca_chuck says:

    It’s an ongoing theme this year. At some point you have to look at the bent-nose factor. Like I mentioned before , there used to be 2 or 3 really bad calls in a given season, Now it’s 2 or 3 game-altering calls a week. I hate Dallas but I’m glad they got the 6 on that drive because they were jobbed by the refs.

    I’m also glad they followed that by missing the conversion . . .

  17. NoFear49er says:

    Nope! Orton not the answer.

  18. rtfirefly says:

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
    Who needs other entertainment when you’ve got Jerry and his Boys?

  19. unca_chuck says:

    Another tough season for Jerry’s kids. Can’t say I don’t love it.

  20. NJ49er says:

    I think Jerruh should have paid Orton $20Mil.
    He still had a turnover end his Season.

    • NJ49er says:

      Maybe he’ll fire Kiffin now and switch back to whatever Jerruh thinks will work next year.
      DUMBA$$

      • NJ49er says:

        Sh!t. Jerruh should just fire everyone.
        Except for the Owner/GM/CEO/Scouting Coordinator/Media Relations Expert/Promo/Dez and the Team Bus Driver and just start over again.
        They’re OHHHHHH SOOOOO close.

      • rtfirefly says:

        He has to keep Tony and his winning tradition.

      • NJ49er says:

        Also good to see that the highly compensated backup QB can throw a Pick in crunchtime too RT.
        Why mess with success?
        Give him a Contract Extension while he’s at it.
        Jerruh should just fire the Coaching Staff and do it himself.
        Think of the cost savings.

      • rtfirefly says:

        He could play Quarterback, too! Genius, NJ!

    • NJ49er says:

      Why not RT?
      He’s quite the CEO of all things Dallas afterall.
      Americas Team and all that schtick.
      I live for his every media moment.

      Just to flip him off.

      • NJ49er says:

        I am grateful of course.
        Without his Draft War Room accumen and saavy, yet tenacious, personnel decision making skills, we wouldn’t have Eric Reid.

      • NJ49er says:

        This is why good GMs skalp not so good GMs on Draft Day deals.
        Always good to have Picks in your pocket.

        Thanks to the nitwits in DC, St Louis will rise to defeat us sooner, rather than later, due to the RG III sellout.
        Rams now hold Pick #2 courtesy of mortgaging their future, at the expense of the NFC West.

  21. NJ49er says:

    Jerruhs A$$ in crunch time = Titus Fishcunt

  22. NJ49er says:

    Anyone catch the quote from Kaep in reference to ‘Putting things on film that people are a little worried about’?

    I have a vision of some Secret Playbook that only gets opened during Practice.

    All I care about now is taking the first step back to the SB seriously and, coming away with the WIN in Lombardi Town.
    Seems like the right place to start the trip IMO.

    Too many years of Playoff disappointment there that need to rectified.

    • NJ49er says:

      I wonder whether Harbaugh has any magical ideas about practicing in the elements somewhere cold?
      Hard to simulate cold weather conditions, unless there’s a large refrigerated facility available somewhere in the Bay Area.
      Special Teams Units especially.
      Kicking and catching rock hard footballs isn’t an easy task.

      • unca_chuck says:

        Well, it’s about 24º this morning in the Bay Area. They should fly out tomorrow and practice there. I never understood why teams didn’t do that anyway. Get acclimated and all that. Esp for east coast/Denver games.

  23. Nipper says:

    Black Friday! Enjoy.

  24. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah NJ, all those Green Bay losses were here. I was at both of the NFC Championship games Green Bay won. Both were miserable rainy days.

    Of course I missed the Owens Owens OWens game.

  25. unca_chuck says:

    Well, Chud’s already gone. He got his walking papers early. May the Shwartz be with you is likely out as well. And none too soon,. That team is too talented to be 6-10.

  26. unca_chuck says:

    Ahh, forgot about the Shanahan Shuffle. Napalming bridges wherever he lands.

  27. unca_chuck says:

    It’s too funny seeing Daniel Snyder and Jerry Jones, the 2 guys with the most hands-on (read: meddling) approach to team ownership (now that re-un-dead Al has not returned from the grave) have the hardest time coming up with a winning formula.

  28. Irish Kevin says:

    My opinion is that for the last 8 years everyone and thery mother knows the Niners rely heavilly on Gore to get the job done. Nolan, Singletary, and now Harbaugh. They get the lead and go straight to the run. 5 mins into the 2nd quarter and they run the ball 3 straight times, twice with Gore and once with Hunter. They got 0 yardage and used up a whopping 3 mins. Oh yeah those three plays ate up clock time. What did that prove?? What Harbaugh should have seen from that is the running game was going no where fast. So he should have gone back to the pass and scored some points to put the game away. Walsh did not leave points on the field. Manning does not leave points on the field. Mike Holmgren did not leave points on the field. The list of coaches that put teams away is long.

  29. unca_chuck says:

    Kevin, Kappy threw 34 passes, his 2nd highest total this season. And we ran 23 times.

    I was OK with the playcalling until 3rd down. That is my biggest issue with the play calling. We go jumbo, thus forcing the defense to pack the line and then we try to run against it. Dumb. Put in 4 WRs and spread the formation on 3rd and short. Play action. Or even a run. SAs long as the D doesn’t have 8-9 guuys up close you can run. Forcing the D to pack the line and running against it is ludicrous.

    Besides, the 1st drive in the 2nd quarter was 2 incomplete passes and a 4 yard Kappy run. I certainly understand the Niners trying to establish the run. And they did have a good drive stall in the 2nd quarter when Mr. Clean missed a 24 yard FG to close the 1st half.

    New thread is up . . .

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