Game VII – I Got Nuthin’

In what should be a laugher for the Rams, I don’t hold out much hope for this one. Our banged up and hopeless secondary against this high-powered aerial attack? Our anemic pass rush vs the Rams stout O line? If Goff challenged Sherman all game, we might stay close, but they aren’t that foolish.

Our only chance, much like the first half of last week’s game, is to keep their offense off the field. We kept it close, had the lead, and actually had a chance to  . . . well you know.  So the chances of winning are small but I’ll  be watching. And hoping.

This game ends the real tough part of our schedule that I thought we’d struggle with, even with Jimmy G. Without him? well. 1-6 will be here. and who know about the rest? Our best game statistically was our worst loss. We play the tougher teams of the league, on the road, very well. We could have beat Minn. We could have beat KC, and damn fucking well should have beat GB, all on the road. We barely hung on to beat Detroit as Jimmy G did his best Beater impersonation and threw a game changing pick that was mercifully called back. The AZ game? CJ’s worst.

Tomorrow never knows,

 

 

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The Silence (Roar) of the Lambs (Rams)

This one I think IS a bloodbath. As good as we played, I wonder if the offense crashes back to earth after 2.5 quarters of some good football the other night. The defense came around for a little bit once we started getting pressure on ol’ one-leg, but Jared Goff is young and spry and has a much more talented receiver corps to throw to.

I don’t see how we can even stay in the same area code, let alone win.  Sure, we will hang in there for a little while, but in the end we will get toasted.

44-17 Rams.

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Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

Well, we all saw the debacle that was yesterday’s game. Funny thing is though, there was a lot of good amid the collapse. The Beater looked very good at times, till he tossed the duck for a pick. The defense played very well for most of the 2nd half after an atrocious first half. We stopped turning the ball over in the 2nd half. The penalties were way down (2). the defense went to press man coverage in the 3rd quarter, and with the blitzing we slowed Rodgers to a crawl on 3 straight possessions in the 2nd half after the opening 2nd half drive for a FG. Including a goal line stand. And we got 3 sacks on a gimpy Rodgers.

The bad? Well, the penalty on Sherman was a killer. Ticky tacky or no, they call that shit every time. The pick. Green Bay started picking up our blitzes and gave Rodgers time to throw (and run) just in time to steal the game away. Shanahan’s play calling to me left a lot to be desired.

To me, the players played as well as they possibly could. And the coaching was very good this game. For all the atrocities in the first half, Saleh adjusted to the maelstrom by going man-to-man and pressure. It worked for a while. So, while the offense was racking up points in the 1st half, the defense was sucking. Then the defense stepped up, and the O started sucking. By the end they both sucked just in time to give it away.

The main problem I had with the play calling came after the goal line stand. EVERYONE knew we were going to run left on 1st down, as it had been a very successful play all game. That would have been a PERFECT time for play-action. Fake the run left and roll-pass to Juskdydfyu or Kittle for 12. Instead it was 3 and out. We even stopped them after that series, but as we all know, giving the ball back to Aaron Rodgers is a pretty silly strategy.

And then there’s the pick. Admittedly it was a ballsy call on 3rd and 3 to go for the win. Maybe for Jimmy G though. I don.t know. CJ hit Goodwin on that deep pass in the 2nd quarter that was a thing of beauty. Goodwin was behind the coverage when the ball came out, and he simply accelerated to the ball, beating both defenders for the TD. However, the pass to Goodwin on 3rd and 3 was woefully late and underthrown. Sure, it was basically a punt, but a pick got the crowd, and the Packers, fired up. Of course we gave up a 21 yard scramble to a guy who was wobbly as fuck to seal our fate.

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For What It’s Worth This Game Day

Here we are at week 6 and we are already playing out the string. Sad? Yes. Depressing? Yes. But hey, at least we aren’t the Raiders. Jon Gruden, he of the 10 year/$100 million deal, has already alienated the team, the fan base, and has dismantled a promising Raiders team. All at the altar of his own hubris. The Raiders, who were looking to give their Oakland fans at least a couple solid seasons before they wing their way to Sin City in a couple seasons, are instead 1-5 and in complete disarray offensively and defensively.

But I digress. Here in Ninertown, we are suffering the slings and arrows of multiple injuries and a fairly porous defense that has left defensive coordinator Robert Saleh on the proverbial hot seat going forward. The offensive scuffling is understandable as the 49ers have lost to injury their starting QB, their starting WR, their starting and #2 running backs, and have suffered dings and injuries to just about all of the offensive linemen. A line thin to begin with.

Tonight we are traveling to the unfrozen grass of Green Bay. Site of some recent success a few regimes back. But again I digress. The newly constituted and semi-turned over lineup of the current team is game enough. Our backup QB is suddenly fighting for his very NFL life as his last game was a comedy of errors and strip sacks. The 49ers racked up yards and stats but failed in the end to even keep the game close. Of course the pass catchers did their best to not help CJ Beater by dropping the obligatory 1 or 2 passes to kill drives and cause turnovers.

So, this season has once again become an extended training camp for the current roster. The defensive backfield, which had such promise a short few weeks ago looks terrible as Ahkello Witherspoon becomes the target of unrelenting pressure as no one wants to throw to Richard Sherman’s side of the field, and we cannot get anyone near the opposing QB.  Our safeties have been an exercise in frustration as they are nearly always out of position on screen passes, and get burned deep regularly. But again I digress.

Not sure how we win tonight. Green Bay does at will what we don’t defend well. Screens and broken plays. The ONLY way we win is to discover that missing pass rush. Rodgers isn’t exactly at the peak of health, and is nursing injuries of his own, so we won’t be chasing him around the field, but he is a master at throwing from outside the pocket.

Pressure must come from the edges and we MUST hold the middle to get to Rodgers. Otherwise it’s a bloodbath.

We as usual keep it close but fail in the end.

24-16 Packers.

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Super Bowl

We got injured. Again and again and again. In today’s NFL, it is getting harder and harder to field a team that can survive the rigors of a typical season and stay healthy enough to reach the playoffs in good shape. And go from there. Even harder, although Philly just did it, is the ability to pick up the pieces should your quarterback go down.

We of course are in the middle of this with the injury to Jimmy G. Our backup, CJ the Beater, seems to be able to keep us in games, but can’t get us over the hump the way Jimmy G did. Last year. For all the hooraw around Garoppolo, and I was firmly entrenched in the love-fest, Jimmy G was 1-2 to start this season before getting hurt. Funny thing is, with CJ’s next start, both CJ and JG will have 8 starts under their belts. Jimmy is of course 6-2, and Beathard is at 1-6, and more than likely to not be able to beat Green Bay on the road for a 1-7 start to his career.

Looking at the Beater’s numbers last week, and they look like a team that was playing from behind. Which they were. But they shouldn’t have been. 34-54 for 350 and 2 TDs is a good job, and the 150 rushing is also very solid. We statistically dominated the game. Josh Rosen was 10-25 for 170. 75 of that came on the first AZ play. Ooops. So Rosen went 9-24 for 95 yards the rest of the way. AZ rushed for 56 yards and was 2-12 on 3rd down conversions to our 10-17.

And they had a 16 point lead with time running out.

The big problem with this game of course was the turnovers. FIVE in total. Pierre Garćon provided AZ with their first one on our revolving brand of our usual customary whiff on a catchable ball that was then picked off. CJ was responsible for three more as he was strip-sacked twice, once for the backbreaking TD the other way that salted the game for AZ as we were behind 2 with 4 minutes left, once on a promising drive early in the 3rd quarter, and a pick on a desperation pass on 4th and 19.

The worst turnover however, was the fumble by Robert Mostert, the guy replacing the guy (Brieda) replacing the guy who was supposed to be the starter (McKinnon). The Niners were driving quickly down the field and would have taken the lead. A lead they held for all of 10 seconds this game.

For all the shit the defense has been getting, this was a solid effort by them. Granted, it’s the Cards, and AZ dropped a shitload of passes, and generally looked like a winless team, but the tackling was better than in recent games. Rosen had some pressure, but 1 sack ins’t enough.

So, once again, we are at the point where we need to lessen the turnovers and make plays. Good luck in GB . . .

 

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Game Day V – Forward to the Past

Again, all I am looking for is increments improvement by the defense. I don’t think we will have problems on offense, at lease as much as the defensive issues have been.

Anyhow, I’m in the Cascade mountains east of Seattle visiting my daughter. I’ll be sure to wear my Niner gear today.  Fun fact, the Seahawks are playing the Rams in Seattle today, so it should be nutso in town. It would be cool to see a game here.

If we are going to win any time soon, it needs to be today.

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The Walking Dead

Well, walking wounded anyway. As of now, Joe Staley, Mike McGlinchey, Westie Richberg, and Dante Pettis all have knee injuries. All are questionable.  However, Pettis is the only one ruled out for next game here in the Ohlone Indian Burial Grounds against AZ. Matt Brieda has a shoulder injury, but should be ‘fine’ according to Shanahan, Garćon’s ankle should be OK, and Goodwin’s quad/hammy is still an issue. Solly Thomas also had a shoulder injury but should be back. Tartt, yes another shoulder injury, is expected to be back as well, although Exum has played pretty well in Tartt’s absence. And Sherman’s calf will have him out one more week as well.

The good news is Kendrick Bourne had himself a nice game last week. CJ BeatHard was beaten pretty hard as he fought for yards like his predecessor who was knocked out for the year. All in all though, Beathard had a very good game, and he should have been the winner, however, we still make crucial drops at the worst times, and what could have been a touchdown for Celek ended up being an 80 yard return the other way. The much-maligned defense actually kept the Chargers out of the end zone, but the damage was done. What should have been a one point lead for the Niners ended up being a 9 point lead for the Dawgs. A lead we couldn’t overcome as our late comeback was undone by a sack/pick.

AZ? Well, they are a completely shitty team that we should be able to handle. Sam Badford, he of the 4 picks and 3 fumbles in 3.5 games, was benched for their savior Josh Rosen. Rosen has a tough row to hoe, even with a shit-I-should-have-retired-when-we-were-decent Larry Fitzgerald still playing. He’s off to a slow start, but nothing says ‘let’s get back on track’ like a visit to Santa Clara for Fitzgerald.

That being said, I think we win going away. 28-13.

 

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