1-9 At the Break. What Now?

Since the Browns are the Browns, it appears they will once again garner the 1st pick of the draft. The 49ers look to be somewhere in the top 5, but a lot of that depends on the results here on out. Since this isn’t the NBA, and tanking is frowned upon, the 49ers are in position to make a little bit of a run here. Certainly Houston, Tennessee, and Chicago are winnable. Seattle, Jax (a recent phenom) and LA look a little tougher.

Yippee. 4-12 is no great shakes, but as we showed earlier in the season, we are competitive. We have no depth, and injuries derailed what little consistency we had, but losses are losses. That being said, the way we lost last year bears little resemblance to how we lost this year. For what that’s worth. Yeah, I know. Bupkis. Thing is, we likely end up in the top 3 even with a couple victories down the stretch.

The point being, getting Jimmy G in there next Sunday is paramount. We need to find out as soon as possible whether we can tie our wagon to him and ride him into the future, or if we need to trade up in the draft. Thing is, Rosen and Darnold are likely 1-2. Although Darnold is having a very inconsistent year. Rosen has jumped to the top it appears. Then there’s Saquon Barkley. A guy who could very well be better than Ezekiel Elliott.

Point being, this is the draft to stock up on offensive weapons. We traded our 2 for a shot at a starting QB.  Now we need weapons around him. We have a shitload of picks, including Chicago’s 2nd round pick, so we still have chips should we need to go the QB route. Beyond that, there’s still the real possibility of Kirk Cousins coming here. He’s a solid 7th in QBR (or 6th if you believe ESPN), so he’s holding up his end of the deal.

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(Not) Game Day! (For Us) :( Wither Jimmy G?

Never liked the bye week. It can disrupt the flow of a successful season and from what I’ve seen this year, teams come off the bye sluggish and out of sorts. And of course it halts our colossal one-game winning streak. But since we don’t get a game this week, we get to see some other games that could be exciting. The Raiders for example, the darlings of the preseason, are fighting for their playoff lives in their trade-a-home-game-in-Mexico-for a-stadium-in-Vegas game against the Patriots. Daunting to say the least. The bad news is we will get a bunch of shots of Prince (not so) Valiant.

Bills Chargers? Meh. The only thing there is the Bills are selling their future to bench Tyrod Taylor. The Bills give up 47 points and bench the QB. Nathan Peterman? The Bills are shooting their feet as they try to build on their unexpected early success.

The early games that looks promising is the Rams at the Vikings. Two surprise 7-2 teams who are possibly heading for a playoff showdown. Surprising for the Vikings as they[ve have to deal with a bunch of different starters this year at QB. Sam Bradford was hurt in week 1, Teddy Bridgewater got hurt in preseason, and Casey Kasum is their starter. Granted their defense is one of the better Ds in the NFL, but they are getting it done.

The Rams? Well, we’ve seen what they can do. Jared Goff is flourishing now that he is out from under the oppressive thumb of Jeff Fisher and is playing free and easy under the progressive offensive stylings of our ex-GM’s grandson Sean McVay.

Also the early Saints Redskins game could be a good one. The Saints are another team that seemingly came out of nowhere to lead their division. The Skins? A strange year. They’ve beaten Seattle and the Rams but have dropped two to the Eagles and got trounced by the ‘Boys. Makes me wonder if the West is for real this year.

The afternoon game that look good is Pats Raiders.  Other than that, there’s a whole lot of nothing.

For once the Sunday night game looks like a winner. Eagles Cowboys.

Monday night also looks pretty good. alcons Seahawks.

One last note. The 49ers need to get Jimmy G in there as fast as possible. He should be versed enough in our offense to get the team going, and for the 49ers to actually evaluate what they have in him. CJ BeatHard had a nice game against the Giants, but this season is about finding out NOW what they have in Garoppolo. The silver lining to all these injuries has been the opportunity for younger players to show what they have. Offense has been challenged by all the injuries at WR, and no one has really stepped up to fill that void, but defensively there have been some gems. Rookie Adrian Colbert looked very good at Free Safety, and we wouldn’t have seen him without both Tartt and Jimmie Ward going down. Rookie Ahkello Witherspoon has been decent as well.

A lot of rookies are getting playing time (Trent Taylor, Kittle, Brieda, CJ, and of course Thomas and Foster) so by next year we should have a pretty good idea of who is worth keeping.

Most importantly, we need to solidify who our QB will be, Whether he is on the team now, or we are drafting one in 2018.

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The Loneliest Week in Football (and a mini-qb controversy)

Ahhh, the bye week. The bane of all that is an NFL season. And it comes after the epic one-game winning streak that the juggernaut 49ers are on. Granted, this suddenly becomes a little bit of a quarterback controversy as the heir-apparent Jimmy Garoppolo cools his heels on the recent success of Mr. BeatHard. You know, the guy who was beat hard in the AZ and Philly games. CJ certainly has the respect, if not the blocking success, of his teammates after his taking multiple shots, and bouncing back up. Games like that AZ game where CJ was hit over 20 times, and sacked 5 can scar even a seasoned vet. For a rook it is a tough path to success.

As it was he put together his best start of his young career against, well, a defense that appeared to be in matador school at times. Olé! But, be that as it may, the pass pro was solid with Trent and Joe back, and the run blocking was sufficient to get both Brieda and Hyde big chunks of yards.

The defense continues to play well as we dip into 3rd string defensive backs and the like. Adrian Colbert played extremely well at safety, but alas, broke his thumb on the first series of the game. He has surgery yesterday and is likely out for Seattle. Of course Tartt and Ward are both out with broken arms, so we will be scouting the taxi squads of other teams to find yet another safety. Or just move Reid back to free safety for the time being.

So, the big question is the mini-qb controversy. The 49ers made a fairly bold move to pick up Jimmy G in a mid-season trade, and while we have Chicago’s 2nd round pick anyway, it still is a pretty pricey nugget for a QB with little experience but a ton of upside.

Do you think we’ve seen enough of CJ to effectively evaluate him? Did his victory over the Giants warrant him another start? Or is this simply the time to see what Garoppolo brings to the table? I would find it VERY hard to think that the brain-trust sits Garoppolo all this season, as he’s a free agent looking for a deal once the season ends. So we would need to see him as much as possible I’d think. I find it hard to think they’d sit him even one more game. The coaches need to see as many reps as they can possibly get with Garoppolo at the helm. CJ was a 3rd round flier who very well may round out into a decent QB. Garoppolo was gotten to be the starter as soon as possible.

They need to play it that way. Feelings be damned.

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Win #1! And a Tragic Side Note

A win is a win but Jesus, the Giants defense was pretty lackadaisical about the whole tackling thing down the stretch yesterday. All in all though, having Joe Staley and Trent Brown back did wonders for the pass protection, and we also were able to run the ball. Crazy, I know. Funniest part was the 2-cup gatorade shower Kyle Shanahan got on the sidelines. He was laughing pretty hard, and so was John Lynch. Good to see that these guys get it. They aren’t so wound up in the seriousness of all of this. That in the end football is a game played by men. Men who have real problems and issues. As opposed to Ben McAdoo, who apparently takes passive aggressive behavior to new heights. To the point of losing his defense.

The Post of course is for patience . . .

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Not sure if you heard, but Marquise Goodwin suffered a terrible tragedy hours before yesterday’s game. His pregnant wife had major complications and their baby son passed away in the early morning hours yesterday. His emotional breakdown in the end zone after his touchdown was not known by anyone outside the team.

49ers' Marquise Goodwin makes heartbreaking announcement about infant son's death

 

 

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Game Day! (Or When is a Win Not a Win)

As of now the 49ers are #2 in the run for the #1 pick in the league. Based on Cleveland’s weaker strength of schedule they have the top pick. I suppose the strength of schedule can change by the time the season ends, but the Niners could very well fall behind the New York Football Giants by beating them today. There has been a lot of talk about teams tanking this season, like the J-e-t-s, but they went out and won 4 of 9 for something resembling respectability, seeing as the Jets were 5-11 last year and they did a fairly big purge.

Anyhow, back to us, the braintrust went ahead and said that BeatHard would be the cannon fodder to get beaten harder today, instead of the shiny Ferrari in the garage, Jimmy Garoppolo. Trent Brown has been moved to LT in place of the injured Joe Staley, so at least he might slow down some of the pass rushers. And I’d imagine that Staley’s return would signal that it would be OK to pull that Ferrari out of the garage.

So, there you have it. A game that has draft implications as these guys, the Browns, and the Giants may not have 3 wins between them all for the next 7 weeks, but one of them wins tomorrow.  I think we have the best shot. Cleveland is on the road in Deetroit, so that should be a cakewalk for the Lions.  Beyond that, I’d think this team is very focussed on winning more than lining up for next year’s draft. The new coaching staff has the team behind them, and the front office is being very quiet about things, so the sense is that the team, while sucking hard due to injuries and inexperience, is heading in the right direction.

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(Loss) Number 9 Number 9 Number 9 . . .

Well, there one way to beat the heat at the newly minted Levi’s Oven Stadium (the big LOS), and that’s to go in November. Again I’d like to thank 12th Man for the tickets. My wife and I had fun walking around, and checking shit out. The weather was crisp and clear and it was nice to sit in the sun.

The game? Oh yeah. So much for victories. This team that came out of the gate this year actually looked fairly decent and made a bunch of games close, but in the end they were losses. As the injuries have mounted up, absurdly so I might add (14 players on IR, 3 listed as out, and another 8 listed as questionable), it is getting harder and harder to maintain any kind of consistency on either side of the ball. The usual suspects raised their ugly heads to thwart any momentum. The game started with a long AZ drive that stalled on the 19. Former Niner Richard Dawson doinked the kick and suddenly the 49ers were on the march. they made it pretty far into AZ territory when our expensive fullback Kyle Juszczyk coughed up the ball for a 60-something return to the Niner 2.

So, 5 minutes after kickoff, I figured the game was over. It turned out to be true, but for what it’s worth, the team is still playing its collective ass off. Especially on defense. Even after the trades and injuries. But again, the team was undone on a few big plays. The defense kept AP under control but for 3 long runs that tipped the balance. Eric Reid had a nice pick in the end zone off of Drew (Who) Stanton, Niner killer that he is to close out the half. The Niners even got it to 14-10 and had the ball, but the usual tipped pass/ineffective run/incomplete pass followed, and the rest was a slow grind to the loss.

The only excitement came when CJ was cheap-shotted by ex-Niner Antoine Bethea on a scramble/slide, and Carlos Hyde got into a scuffle with Frostee Rucker* (best name in football) after the play, and both were thrown out, along with Haasen Reddick. In the end it didn’t matter as CJ then bounced a pass off Trent Brown’s helmet and the drive was stopped short of the end zone.  Woulda been 20-17 but as usual, day late, and a buck short.

All in all, the Niners are a team in disarray. CJ was a mess out there, and this was my worry bringing him in. The line is banged up, and CJ was wildly inconsistent. He missed some wide open guys, and lacked the strength to get balls to their targets on a lot of passes. He also held the ball way too long on 3 of the 5 sacks given up.  Jimmy G is here to save the season I guess, but we will see if he even gets in after this last debacle. They may be better served waiting until after the bye and hopefully getting healthier. Not a bad strategy. Thing is we all knew the team had little depth and with so many players hurt it is hard to do serious evaluation of talent when they are literally signing guys off the street. This very much reminds me of the 1978 49ers that were signing defensive backs off the street as well.

The latest injuries include Jaquiski Tartt suffering a season-ending broken arm, and  Juszczyk suffering a neck injury. So, as with previous weeks, the team finds a new and different culprit to make a mistake and seal their fate.

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Game Day!

The Jimmy G era starts, sort of. He’ll be watching from the bench and there’s talk he won’t start this season, but that is ludicrous. He’s here for his audition. He’s here to see if he’s a viable option before we decide on Sam Darnold/Kirk Cousins/Josh Rosen.

Could be win 1. Need to get a couple.

Big shout out to 12th for sending me his tix for the game today. My wife hasn’t been to the new stadium yet, so we’re gonna see win 1? Who knows, who cares. Thanks again, and I’ll buy you a couple next week when I’m there with my son. Maybe Irish will come along for the ride.

 

 

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