6-22, 1-0

This is the record of Blaine Gabbert as a starter, and as a 49er starter.  Don’t kid yourself, though. this was an eminently winnable game.  At least in regards of our offense going against their defense. They are not very good against the pass. 19th in the league.

The surprise to me was the very stout defense vs a) the #1 rusher in the league in Devonta Freeman, b) the #1 wide receiver in Julio Jones, and c) the #5 overall offense in the league.

Granted, I do think our front line is solid and deep, so stopping Freeman isn’t that big a shock. Still, 12 yards in 12 carries IS a shock. That is flat dominating. My bigger concern was our makeshift cornerback situation. Dontae Johnson was bumped from his starting spot last year, and Marcus Cromartie was on the practice squad last week, as Tremaine Brock, Kenneth Acker, and Keith Reaser were all out due to injury. Throw in Antoine Bethea being out all year, and you have a very green defensive backfield. Although I will say Jaquiski Tartt is playing very well. As it was, 3rd year safety Eric Ried was the elder statesman out there.

Johnson and Cromartie both had very solid games and shut down a very potent offense. In fact the only blown play was near the end of the first half, when the Niners should have gone into a dime package, but instead ended up with NaVorro Bowman lined up against Julio Jones. The ensuing 54 yards pass to Jones set up Atlanta’s only TD to close the scoring in the 1st half. The 2nd half was the defense doing just enough to keep Atl (mostly) out of scoring range.

The Niners run game, while not outstanding, still did well for another squad built with spare parts on short notice. Shaun Draughn had 58 yards with a 30 yard scamper to set up Gabbert’s 2nd TD to Garrett (VD who?) Celek.  They managed to rack up 133 yards on the ground (to Atl’s 17) to go with the 185 in  the air. The Niners didn’t get a ton of pressure on Matty Ice, but the D line batted down a lot of passes, and Ryan wasn’t comfortable in the pocket. 2 sacks and 2 yards rushing tell the tale that the line did well containing him.

The good news in all this is the team is seeing a lot of young players step up and make plays. Unfortunately they all seem to be on defense. The offense didn’t help Gabbert with 6 drops. Jerome Simpson and Torrey Smith both had costly drive killing (and one turnover-creating) drops. Vance McDonald had a drop on the one pass Colin Kaepernick threw (and BTW, what a bunch of gutless fans who booed CK) as Gabbert was knocked from the game temporarily. Which would have been a 28 yard gain.

And finally, I have to wonder how much heat Atl’s head coach Dan Quinn is taking for kicking the FG with 3 minutes to play and facing a 4th and 1 from the 1. Sure, their defense was doing OK in the 2nd half, but on the road you have to go for the win. Very wimpy call.

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Clint Longley Anyone?

Some of you might be old enough to remember the famous Thanksgiving game from 1974 where Clint came in early in the 3rd quarter with Dallas trailing the Redskins 16-3, fighting for their playoff lives, and Roger Staubach freshly injured. He scored 2 TDs on his first two drives, and hit a hail-Mary TD with seconds remaining to win the game 24-23. The triumph of the uncluttered mind, indeed.

So, who thinks Gabby Gabbertson can be the next uncluttered mind? Yeah, thought so. So Niners in a nail-biter 28-27. Hah! Either that, or Gabbert punches Kaepernick in the face. This season went from guarded optimism to morbid curiosity in rather a hurry, since we’re going to hell in a bucket,  we might as well enjoy the ride.

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A New Dawn

In a galaxy far far away . . .

Who am I fucking kidding? Anyhow, the die is cast. Colin Kaepernick has been labelled pariah, and Gabby Gabbertson is now the fatted lamb being led to slaughter. Or something like that.

The front office has decided to pin all their suckitude this season upon their harried and harassed QB. While he’s having a shitty time, most QBs in this situation would be hard-pressed to succeed with the problems this offense has. One needs to look no further than last week’s GB-Denver game. 6-0 Aaron Rodgers was harassed and baffled for 60 minutes amid a ferocious pass rush and tight coverage. Rodgers, a perennial best-guy-in-the-league nominee, threw for 77 yards. Yes, 77 yards. Hmmm Think he forgot how to throw that day? No.  Pressure can stall out the best of QBs. Kaepernick isn’;t the best, but he certainly isn’t the worst. Certainly better than Gaine Blabert.

But no, we have our intrepid front office pinning this disaster of a season on Harbaugh’s choice of QB back in 2012.  Brilliant in its myopic-ness. No RB depth, no open WRs, No consistent pass rush, or pass coverage. Blame the QB.

Got it. Welcome to hell, Jed. if you have any sense, you will shit-can Trent Baalke at season’s end and hire someone who can build the front office from scratch.

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And So It Begins . . .

Vernon Davis is Casualty # 1 in the bloodletting. The 49ers traded him to Denver for a 6th and 7th next year, and a 6th in 2017. Normally this would be good news, but when you look at trent Baalke’s track record, well, al these picks he’s had haven’t netted enough to keep the team competitive. Especially on the offensive side of things. VD takes his stone hands and amazing speed off to Denver, where I’m sure he’ll provide Payton Manning with enough 12-15 yard passes to keep him happy.

Speaking of Trent, my biggest recent problem is, of course, running back. the Niners had, at one point, Carlos Hyde, LMJ, Kendall Hunter, Reggie Bush, Jarryd Hayne, Mike Davis, and a couple low-level draft picks. Well, Hunter signed an injury release, LMJ was cut, Hayne was recently cut, and we went from a plethora of guys to a minimal number. Hyde was getting dinged up before they let Hayne go. Hunter could have been PUPped, but they chose to chuck him to the scrap heap rather than wait the 6 weeks for his recovery.

The problem? Well, your #1 backup RB is Reggie Bush. A 30 year old guy who isn’t exactly Ironman. He’s more like Crystal Todd (for you oldsters out there). To exacerbate the problem, you just cut your nominal punt returner in Jarryd Hayne. So, your backup RB is now your primary PR. Your primary PR, who was your 3rd strong RB, is now gone. Bush of course already hit the IR with a calf strain after his 2nd rush of the season. So, Mr Durable is now your starting RB as well as your PR. What could go wrong?

Exactly. Nice work Trent.  or all the talk of Jed fucking the team over, one needs to scrutinize the job Trent Baalke has(n’t) done in recent drafts.  I said the bullseye would be squarely on Trent’s forehead if the team cratered, but he seems to be doing a masterful job of deflecting everything wrong with the team to Harbaugh’s guy Colin Kaepernick.

Problem there is Jed believes him. Might as well start Gabby Gabbertson and let the hilarity reach an all-time high. As in Jimmy-Hat fun times. Troy Davis, anyone?

. . . sigh . . .

Frankly, this year will be interesting only in the fact that they don’t look to do much winning. I’d better start watching more Cal games. this team needs to draft a QB and 5 offensive linemen.

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Game Day! The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

maybe. What used to be filled  with excitement now gives way to morbid curiosity.  Game day. What used to be a rivalry  for the ages is but a meaningless division game between two also-rans.

Oh well, the question is, when will I start work on replacing that faulty power steering pump? My Su days seem to be getting a little more wide open.

Shit, at this point all I want to see is this team making adjustments. They have no RB depth and cut their backup RB and feel-good story Jarryd Hayne. Nice move.

Jesus.  Hard to get that Trent Baalke isn’t catching heat for building a team with no depth. Reggie Bush is no way a reliable backup. Two plays, one IR stint already.

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The Edge of Wetness

. . . or, As the Stomach Turns . . .

This season is apparently following the path of last year’s amid locker room gossip, infighting, and innuendo threatening to fracture a team that is already falling apart at the seams. This season, we have the more and more believable scenario that Aldon Smith and Colin Kaepernick were at opposite ends of the Nessa love triangle. This of course breaks the ‘bros before hoes’ code adhered to by broheims everywhere, but apparently not in Santa Clara. This of course is part of the underlying reason that Jay Glazer says that CK isn’t very well-liked among his teammates. Aldon Smith even took to blaming his departure from the 49ers on this issue rather than the glaringly obvious point he was arrested yet again for drunk driving and being generally stupid in public. Lets hear it for missing the point entirely.

You’d think that these guys would be a little bit more professional about things like this, but I guess not. If Aldon couldn’t keep Nessa happy, who’s to say he has any claim on her once they break up? Tough shit, fuck-o. Anyhow, this ain’t the Tiger-Beat blog, so on with the season . . .

Next up we have the other disappointing team in a division of lingering disappointment, the St Louis Rams. They of the hundreds of draft picks stolen from Washington, and the Jeff Fisher system that will supposedly drag them out of the dirt. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to respectability. They have played very well in beating Seattle and AZ, but inexplicably lost to the Redskins badly. They rank 31st in yards AND points on offense (who’s last? Yay us!) but their defense is 10th. A far cry from the 31st ranked defense that we are. They are starting to get their run game going with Todd Gurley, but the one thing our defense is pretty good at is stopping the run. Thee pass is a different story.  We have befuddled Bridgewater, Rodgers (some), and Wilson (some), but gave up the ghost to Little Ben and Carson Palmer.

At some point, the 49ers ve to either forge an identity from all  the changes they are implementing or they will remain at the very bottom of the league. Not necessarily a bad thing when there’s a guy like Jared Goff available in the 2016 draft, but with a shitload of teams all sucking, there may be a headlong race to the cellar.

There are (holy shit!) TWELVE 2- or under-win teams in the league right now. We are 29th in the league (14th in the NFC) standings-wise, so an unlikely winning streak can get this team back into contention. Hyuk! Continuing the downward spiral will put us in contention for Goff, but like I said before, I’d go broke trying to predict how Trent Baalke would play this upcoming draft.

If he’s even here for it.

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. . . And the Shit Will Be Flung . . .

On Thursday, the mouth who roars, Deion Sanders, called out Jed York for the shit he’s trying to call a football team among the galling losses this season. Saying: “The management and ownership should be ashamed. This team is three years removed from a Super Bowl and they’re putting that product. Colin Kaepernick has nowhere to go, nowhere to throw. We’re here seeing this live. No one is open. They’re not blocking a soul. This is pathetic for a team that was in the Super Bowl just a few years ago.”

Yeah, funny he doesn’t remember his days of being a mercenary football player who played on shitty Atlanta and Washington teams for a buck or a few millions. Pretty easy from your studio chair where you will never catch heat for your blather, but whatever.

This report was followed up today by a Jay Glazer report that the players are not really behind quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He stressed that is isn’t because they don’t like him, just that he isbn’t warm and fuzzy, I suppose. This information of course is being disseminated from the proverbial unnamed locker room source (see POTD). Funny that last tine this happened, all the shit came true and the team fired their HC and the rest is history. So, is Jed setting up Kaepernick to take the fall for this season? If so, then this is the death knell for the team for the foreseeable future.

Not to be too dramatic here, but really. If they shit-can CK, that means our starting QB next year is Blaine Gabbert, and a draft pick. Aaaand that gets us where?

I figured if this season went down the shitter, Baalke would be the one to feel the blade from Jed. Apparently Baalke is playing his “CK was Jim’s fault!” card.  Fuck ’em both.

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