All Aboard the Injury Train

Just when the team starts getting its players back, shit goes south. Elijah Mitchell is turning into just about every other running back picked up off the scrapheap by the ShanaLynch express. IOW, hurt. Like Mostert before him, Mitchell can’t stay on the field. He is out 6-8 weeks with an MCL sprain in his left knee after missing the first 10 games with a right knee sprain. Our new guy, Christian McCaffrey is also hurting, with what Shanny calls ‘knee irritation.’ Not sure how that is going, but I assume we will hear more tomorrow.

Kinda makes the Jeff Wilson trade look dumb as both these guys appear to be made in the mold of the original, Crystal Todd Shell. That being said, Wilson wanted out, as he wanted to be a starter, so whatevs. We get a 5th round pick. Our wheelhouse for drafting. But both these guys going down isn’t too far a bridge to cross so maybe they were a little hasty in trading Wilson to the Dolphins.

So, we are possibly down to Tyrion Davis-Price, the latest invisible 3rd round running back pick, and the guy who I like, Jason Mason, the undrafted guy that will eventually lead to the jettisoning of Davis-Price. Mason looks like the real deal. He’s got size and power. DP? Who knows? He looks just like Trey Sermon. A nothingburger.

My biggest concern with these guys is, can they block? The line has been playing well (side-eye to McGlinchey) and Spencer Burford’s ankle injury seems to be minor, so I’d imagine Juice may see more time in the backfield providing protection.

I think it’s kinda funny that the team that gave both Mostert and Wilson their shot are sniping about shit the team supposedly did to them. Funnier still, Mostert is (shock!) injured. Wilson missed time as well last game with leg issues.

But in the grand scheme of things, this is not an important game for us. We aren’t gonna be the top seed. All we need to do is take care of the division, Sure, it would be nice to beat these guys, but NFC games, and even more so, NFC West games are the bigger deal.

I mean, we ain’t gonna run the table, so a loss here won’t kill us. But for all the whining, from Mostert especially, fuck ’em. Throw in the fact that Miami is basically the 49ers East Coast version, it’ll be interesting to see how the student (Mike McDaniels) does against his teacher (Kyle). They are the ones flying across the coast, so hopefully we can get on them early and keep them down.

Our defense is playing great, but this is a team a lot like KC in that they have speed at WR, Tua Tagovailoa is killing it, and they are the 3rd best offense in the league. They don’t run a lot, mainly because they don’t have to, but their yards per carry with Wilson and Mostert averages out to about 5 yards a carry.

Miami’s defense? They are middle of the pack or worse in most stats, and they don’t have a particularly strong pass rush, and their pass defense is bottom third, but they did go and get Bradley Chubb from the Broncos. Although his 1.5 sacks in 3 games isn’t quite lighting it up. But we do need to account for him.

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Deeeeeefense!!!

In a game that saw the New Orleans Saints get a lot of their injured defense back saw a monumental struggle for scoring by both teams. The 49ers got into the red zone 4 times, getting 1 TD, 2 FGs, and a 4th down fail from the 1. Say what you will about the Saints, they have a very strong D line, a solid pass rush, and they harassed Jimmy all day (but only 1 sack-on the 4th and 1 from the goal line), and kept our run game in check, keeping us under 100 yards.

Our defense was even better, though, giving up nothing as NO was fairly effective at the field position battle, and moved the ball pretty well at times. The 49er D forced a fumble on Kamara on the 1st drive, which led to the early FG, and even though NO had pretty favorable field position after pinning the Niners deep in their own territory, kept NO out of scoring range all through the 1st half.

The 2nd half saw NO miss a FG from the 30, and Alvin Kamara get absolutely blasted by DPOY Talanoa Hufanga on the 1 and force a fumble recovered by Dre Greenlaw. After the Niners couldn’t get out of their own end zone, NO had another drive reach the 4. Amazingly, or maybe because of the earlier fumbles, NO threw SEVEN times from the 10 (with a defensive holding call thrown in) and only ran once with Taysom Hill as Dalton was sacked by Nick Bosa on the 4th down play. The Niners then ran the clock out to seal the game.

Jauan Jennings make the play of the day on offense when he caught a pass that was tipped straight into the air by Honey Badger, and kept himself on the field as the ball fell to him in the back of the end zone. The refs seemed fairly intent on keeping NO in the game with a plethora of bullshit calls. Most notably, a PI call on a play that could have resulted in a safety as NO was called for a facemask as Dalton was throwing out of the end zone, Kittle got called for holding on the Mitchell 11 yard TD run,and Bosa was called for roughing the passer on a play were Bosa was on top of Dalton when the pass was thrown.

That being said, the 49ers were the beneficiaries of 2 calls that absolutely changed the game. Jimmy threw an incredibly bad INT to Alontae Taylor (don’t know if the WR broke wrong or what) that was negated by the infamous illegal contact call, and a Hill pass to rookie stud Chris Olave down to our 8 yard line early in the 2nd quarter was overturned as incomplete despite looking to me and all the Saints fans like a completed pass. After a holding call and 2 incompletes, the Saints were out of FG range.

As far as injuries go, well, our RBs are beaten up as Elijah Mitchell has a knee sprain, and CMC has something going on as well. Since Wilson is gone, the job falls to Jordan Mason. I’m sure Mitchell will be out a couple weeks. CMC I don;t know. But we kinda knew that both these guys were fragile, but traded Wilson away anyway. I think Mason is the real deal though.

Don’t really miss Wilson yet. But Mitchell is following the career path of Raheem Mostert. His first name will soon be “Oft-injured”. Jeff Wilson left the game with some kind of injury, but his didn’t look serious as Miami romped over the Houstons.

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Week 12 – When the Saints Come Drag-Assing In

A month ago the Niners were 3-4 and staring at the cellar and a tough divisional road game against the defending Super Bowl champion Rams. 3 games (and a new toy in CMC) and a trip to Mexico and the resurgent 49ers are 6-4 and leading the West.

Next up is the New Orleans Saints. A team that has three quarterbacks that are way short of a buck. Andy Dalton has been OK, Jameis Winston has been a disaster (and was benched), and they’ve even given Taysom Hills some throws. But their problem is their defense. 25th in points scored. Still and all, Alvin Kamara is a solid RB, Olave and Landry are solid WRs, and Jauan Johnson is a good TE.

These guys won’t be easy, but if this team can keep up with the recent effectiveness on offense and keep killing it on defense, we should be able to notch another victory. Andy Dalton is not gonna break contain and get any yards running, and they giver up a lot of sacks. But they also get a lot of sacks, so the O line is gonna have to be strong.

I liked the idea of playing CMC early and Mitchell late in Mexico, but I want to see both of them pounding the Saints. They are in the bottom third in run defense and can be worn down. I also dug the quick passes and misdirection runs. Keep that shit up and we should be fine.

Three home games in a row, so we have to keep on keeping on.

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Hey Now!

Well, it took 11 weeks, but the 49ers put together their best game in quite a while (maybe ever in the Shanny era) as the 49ers got their revenge in a big way on the Cardinals. The local favorites in Mexico City laid a smack-down on the overmatched and gassed AZ Cards to the tune of a 38-10 shellacking. This is the 2nd dispelling of recent mishaps as the Niners earlier beat the (Wilsonless) Seahawks, and took care of the Kliff Kingsbury Kards, who had our number the last couple years.

Yeah, Wilson and Denver beat us, but let’s just treat that as an anomaly at this point. The 49ers played an interesting game with their running backs. In the 1st half, the Niners came out throwing, with CMNC being the major beneficiary of check-downs and swing passes as the Niners scored on three straight possessions to close out the 1st half.

In the 2nd half, Mitchell got his reps as the team switched gears to a running attack. Mitchell had 9 rushes for 60 yards, 6 on the first drive of the 2nd half, and the 49ers took the 2nd half kickoff in for a 24-10 lead. It was a bit of a departure for Shanny as HE was the one dictating the action. I tell you, just having CMC as a check-down is paying off hugely. Shit, even Kittle had a check-down catch.

And I really have to give the O line coaches kudos for getting a semblance of consistency out of the group. In the last 2 games, the line has given up 1 sack, and Jimmy had time to make adjustments and he was able to get through his progressions without getting hit. The 2 biggest plays for Jimmy (to me anyway) was the pass over the middle to Kittle as Jimmy Stepped up in the pocket, and threw Kittle open for the score, and the dart to Aiyuk in the red zone as the play was initially set to go to CMC. Jimmy stepped up, avoided the rush, and hit the target.

The run game was opening up giant holes, and gee, the return of the jet sweep was welcome, as Deebo, who caught 7 passes for 57 yards, had a brilliantly blocked 39 yard score. Best part of the play is center Spencer Burford going 30 yards downfield top flatten Budda Baker at the 3 to finish off the run.

The defense again pitched a 2nd half shutout for the 3rd week in a row. The stifling defense has 3 sacks, 2 picks, and ELEVEN tackles for losses. Dre Greenlaw was his bad ass self, flying all over the field with his LB-leading 9 tackles. Mooney Ward had 10 tackles and was a disruptive force from the opening bell.

Special teams were also solid with Wishnowski pinning AZ inside the 20 twice, and missed a third one by the length of half a foot as McCloud’s foot slid into the end zone for a touchback. Robbie boomed all his kicks into the thin air for TBs, and made his only FG attempt from 39 yards.

All in all, one of the best games this team has played in a while. From the coaching to all phases, a great effort. I will say though that AZ looked completely demoralized as the 3rd quarter progressed. They didn’t want to tackle anyone, and were simply mailing it in. The Cards are on HBO’s Hard Knocks in-season show. Can’t wait to see that one. They were coming off a pretty big win over the Rams, so this was a nice kick in the face to these guys.

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Dia Del Juego!! – Oncé Semana – A La Mierda Los Cardenales

Here we go! This is the beginning of the rest of the season. Are we contenders? Are we pretenders? Can we break the streak of the Cards and Colt Fucking McCoy? AZ seems to me to be playing better with McCoy rather than Murray, but I guess we will see for sure tonight. The team is getting healthy and the table is set for the Niners to make a serious run at the NFC West crown. Something that would make the playoff run a bit easier. Win this game and we are one up on Seattle with our previous win over them.

We came out of the Sandy Eggo game fairly unscathed, so there’s that. And we should have Greenlaw the whole game unless he gets another bullshit ejection. I don’t think we get carved up like we did last year against these guys as we were hurting, and we didn’t have Greenlaw or Al-Shaair back then.

I see that game last year a lot like the KC game this year. Without our two fastest linebackers in Greenlaw and Al-Shaair, we got cooked on screens, WR screens, and simple dump-offs that our edge guys just let happen by playing into the penetration they got. Our LBs got washed out and every screen pass was a 15 yard gain stopped by the secondary.

The Rams were doing this to us in our last game with them with Kupp (with Greenlaw and Al-Shaair), but the Niners countered by bringing them in closer to stop that shit. Something I think we will do again. One thing I would like to see is Ryans to ratchet up the pressure early. Forget looking to see if the base defense can handle what is going on. In the Charger game we gave up that first TD way to easily by playing base and not dialing up any pressure. Sure there was a couple busted coverages on the big plays, but they did hit a lot of medium to deep passes early with no pressure on Herbert.

We survived the high-flying Chargers by getting a lot of pressure on Herbert, and stifling their run game. Much the same is in order. Sure wish we had AA back, but he’s got a couple more weeks it looks like. If we can stop the run and force them to pass, we should be able to wreak havoc.

The game, as all others this season will go the way that the offense goes. AZ isn’t super explosive, but they have put up some big numbers this season. Shanahan REALLY needs to come up with some different red zone plays rather than simply running up the middle on 1st and 2nd down. The pass that Aiyuk dropped in the end zone was unfortunate, but that should have been the 1ST DOWN play.

Yeah, we have CMC and Mitchell, but we also have Kittle, Deebo, Aiyuk, and CMC as a pass catcher out of the backfield. We HAVE to get on these guys early and keep them down. I think we finally put together a solid offensive game. 31-17 Niners.

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No-Niner Sunday

Hitting a few prime time and Monday night games, and at least we kept our heads up last Sunday. 2-1 so far in prime time action, losing to fucking Denver, and beating the two LA teams. so, looks like some good games tomorrow. Jets and NE if only for the fact that the Jets have lost to the Pats for about 2 decades.

The afternoon has the Vikings and the Cowboys. Dallas, along with the whole NFC East seem to be paper lions. Just like the actual shit-bag Lions. Then again, Minnesota? Philly? Man, this NFL is now just impossible to gauge as to who is really good and who is not. KC and Buffalo? Real deal. Titans, Dolphins, Ravens, and Jets are all 7-3 or 6-3. Are they real though? Minn and Philly are 8 and fucking 1. I don’t think either team is very good but all these teams are playing the bottom-feeders

We of course are 5-4 but also, the pundits are saying ‘best 5-4 team’ yadda yadda yadda. I still don’t know what we are. We SHOULD be better than 5-4. We should also be scoring more points. I’m really holding my breath for this game as the Cards ALWAYS give us fits. For once I’d love to see this team just beat the snot out of someone.

Might as well be now.

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Onward and . . .

. . . where? Upward? I hope so. But here we are again, coming off a hard-fought victory and running straight into into our nemesis, Kilff Klavin, uh, Kingsbury and the Arizona Cardinals. It isn’t as bad as I thought as Kingsbury is 3-3 against the Niners, but he’s riding a 3 game winning streak, including the brutal beating last year at the hands of Colt Fucking McCoy. A game I saw and declared the worst game I have ever seen live. And I’ve seen some SHITTY teams. Joe Reed? The singing quarterback? Steve Fucking Spurrier? Anyhow . . .

As luck would have it, Kyler Murray is injured again, and Colt is coming off an impressive victory over the LA Rams. 26-37 for 238 and a TD. Of course the Rams were using their backup as well, John (who?) Wolford. Connor, the guy who REALLY killed the 49ers last year, got 69 yards rushing and 2 scores. DeAndre Hopkins continues to wreak havoc now that he’s back, getting 10 catches for 98 yards.

Not sure what the deal is with AZ. They have a ton of talent, they have an explosive offense, a hard-hitting defense, and playmakers all over the place. Kyler Murray, Budda Baker, JJ Watt, Zach Ertz, shit they have our old punter Andy Lee for fuck’s sake! He was on our team 9 seasons ago! yet they continue to never get to where they should be going. Injuries, weird coaching decisions, internal strife, all kinds of weird shit. But they sure seem to get healthy against us.

And yeah, we are coming off a tough victory against another team that can’t seem to get out of its own way in the Chargers. But once again, it was our own ineptitude that kept that game close. 5 trips into the rez zone netted 2 TDs, a dropped TD, a missed XP, 17 runs up the middle inside the 5, and 3 FGs.

22 points is still not the offensive explosion all these wonderful weapons are supposed to provide. Deebo has been disappearing lately as Brandon Aiyuk is getting a lot of action, and granted, he fumbled and dropped a TD, at least he’s getting open. Samuel got open on one play that Jimmy missed, but otherwise had a quiet 2 catches for 24 yards. Kittle? 1 catch for 22 yards. Jennings is getting more action that those guys.

I get that Kittle has to block as Mike McGlinchey is a shitty pass protector, but man, we have to get him involved in the passing game. Elijah Mitchell had a very strong game running, CMC had a fairly quiet game but caught everything thrown his way and had some nice runs.

The problem? Give ya ONE guess. Our scaredy-coach Kyle Shanahan. I don’t get the absolute refusal to do ANYTHING other than run up the middle inside the 5. Most of the plays that got us there were inches away from being TDs. And the ONE TIME Kyle passed, BA dropped it. Thing is, that should have been the FIRST DOWN play. Not the 3rd down play. Throwing on 1st down at least puts it in the defense’s head that hey, they might not run up the middle EVERY FUCKING TIME.

Sorry, but it drives me nutty to see the offense do the same thing over and over and over and the results are the same. Run, run, sack FG. Run, run, scramble, pick. Run run run, FG. We don’t even do any misdirection anymore. Fuck it. Just do QB sneaks when you get close.

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What a Day That Was

Man, got to tell y’all yesterday was quite the day. I’ll let the photos tell the tale of the pre-game festivities, but what a thrill it was to get onto the sidelines before the game. The pre-game spread in the VIP lounge was pretty awesome as well. Turkey, salmon, prawn cocktail, beer and wine, all on the house.

The largess was due to James Cregg, Assistant Offensive Line Coach for the 49ers. His father Jim is friends with Diana (seen pictured below) who has known my wife since 6th grade.

Went to the 49ers museum, and I got to say it is pretty fucking cool. The statues alone are great, but there’s a ton of old memorabilia and all kinds of cool things.

Here are some pics.

Pregame Walk with Maggie my 10 year old Lab

Joe and Bill

Me telling Bill to tell Joe to throw to Dwight

Me and TO sharing 81s while Dwight saves the day

Jerry’s 208 TDs

The Trophies

Deeeeebo!

Assistant O line coach Jim Cregg and his father. My new best friend. Jim came from the LSU coaching staff and has a National Championship ring.

Glad I brought my hat and Sharpie to the game. The GOAT

Jerry, Diana, me, and Burns

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A Startling Development – Game Day Thread – Beat the Bolts

The football Gods have smiled on me. A friend of my wife is a huge Niner fan and has two extra tickets for the game tomorrow. I’ll be going with a friend of mine, and she is flying up from LA with a friend of hers Suhnday morning. Her friend knows one of the coaches, so these tickets have VIP access to the field before the game, and whatever pre-game activities there are. She has never been to a game before so she is psyched.

I’m pretty psyched myself to be able to get on the field, but the pregame stuff should be fun too. I’m just hoping against hope this team gets their collective shit together and plays a good game. The very good news is that Dre Greenlaw and Azeez Al-AShaair are both back on defense. And of course just about everyone else is back as well. No AA, but this is as healthy as we have been in quite a while.

Screen Shot 2022-11-12 at 10.16.58 PM
Here’s the list of returning players for the game

These guys have to prove sooner or later that they are actual contenders this year and not just pretenders.

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Bring on the Chargers

Let me start this by saying I feel bad for the city of San Diego. They had an absolutely dedicated fan base and a team that was mercurial to say the least. Through their entire existence they have been an exciting team From the get-go in 1960 and the high flying AFL days of Sid Gillman, John Hadl, Tobin Rote (who won them their one and only championship in 1963), Dan Fouts and Air Coryell, and one of my favorite WRs in the game ever, Lance (Bambi) Alworth, the Chargers were always pushing the limit of offensive firepower. Even up to the Drew Brees/Philip Rivers era they always scored and scored a lot.

But they seem to always fuck up. A more snake-bit team you can’t find. They have lost more games in weird ways while STILL winning a ton of games. The most infamous being the 2006 playoffs against The Pats when, on 4th and 5, Brady threw a pick to Marlon McGree with 6 minutes left and the Chargers up 21-13. Instead of just laying there and sealing the win, or even dropping the ball as it is 4th down, McGree gets up, gains 2 yards and promptly fumbles the ball. Brady gets the pats int the end zone, converts the 2-pts, and SD eventually loses 24-21.

The Chargers lost a game when Philip Rivers was trying to spike the ball and kick the winning FG, and instead fumbled the snap, KC recovered, and kicked THEIR game winning FG 20 seconds later. The Chargers lost a game to the Broncos when they were up 24-0 at the half and turned the ball over on 5 out of 6 2nd half possessions, losing 35-24. Blowing a 4th and 29 against the Ravens, on and on.

Now? Same shit different era. The Chargers are always competitive, but lose close games all the time. With Justin Herbert, they are once again an offensive powerhouse but the same weird luck still dogs them.

Now of course they have a head coach hell-bent on losing games for his team. Brandon Staley single-handedly kept the Chargers out of the playoffs last year with multiple ludicrous 4th down failures. Down the stretch they lost to the Raiders and Chiefs in games they should have won.

The Raider game had the infamous timeout called by Staley at the end of OT. The Raiders were going to let the clock run out as they had the ball at mid-field and the tie would have put both the Raiders and the Chargers into the playoffs. Instead, Staley calls a timeout. The Raiders decide to go for the win and get it with a FG. The Chargers fall 0ut of the playoffs.

Derp. This year of course, Staley has revretted and punted late in games where he should have gone for it.

I just hope we keep the streak going. The Chargers ALWAYS play hard and they always play close, but they somehow pull bad juju out of thin air.

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