Trap Game Supremo

On the face of things, this is a game pitting two resurgent teams who have surprised a number of people and taken the early lead in their respective divisions. Tampa’s is a little more shocking due to the competition (Atlanta and N’Orlins) they face. Still, the NFC west was supposed to be Seattle, AZ, and StL fighting amongst themselves while the Niners staggered around blindly looking for clues behind their star-crossed QB. Well, 4 weeks in, and the Niners have a two game lead over their foes, and surprised the hell out of the Eagles last week. Frank Gore says the Eagles quit in the 2nd half:

So, here we are, two surprising teams squaring off. The current talk among the fans on both sides is low-scoring grind-it-out football. Let me be the one to say fuck that. If the Niners learned anything last Sunday, it is that they CAN push the ball down the field. They need to come out and be aggressive on offense. Try to get on top of these guys. Tampa Bay couldn’t do shit against Indy’s decimated defense. Yes, they have Dwight Freeney, but little else. TB spent 3 quarters getting holding calls and other penalties and did very little offensively. The fact that they won speaks to how sad Indy is without Peyton Manning.

I call this a trap game because these are the kinds of games that Mike Singletary would completely blow chunks on. He would build up his team as being better than the foe, preach his smashmouth style, and say we will lay our venegance upon them (sorry, just watched Pulp Fiction) and triumph. Invariably, the foe would come out aggressive, as TB did last year, and get on top of the Niners and coast the rest of the way home. Sing would mumble about looking at the tape to see how he was so easily taken down by the other team.  

I also call this a trap game because of the obvious raising of expectations. Not too many prognosticators (shut up, Twin) picked 3-1 at this stage of the season (I figured 2-2 was doable). Harbaugh is in total denial mode that his team is this good. Frankly I like him doing that. The other coaches were the opposite. They would be praised for close losses, and befuddled by the myriad blowouts. Harbaugh doesn’t want them believeing the hype.

But the main reason I call this a trap game is the fact that I wonder if Harbaugh comes out and plays this close to the vest. I think htis would be a huge mistake. The 2nd half last week showed that they can push the ball down the field. They can run slants and deep patterns. If TB comes out showing 8 in the box, and tries to stop the run/short passing game early, I hope against hope that the Niners go for broke. Hit some big plays. Try to get on top of these guys for a change. Try to get a 14 point lead before these guys can catch their breath. Harbaugh’s a smart guy, and I know he’s waiting to unleash some things, but he’s also missing the key guy, Braylon Edwards. Still and all, I’d be drawing some big plays up for Kyle Williams early. In other words, i think the Niners can win pretty easily if they come out aggressive, and not play into TB’s style of game.



About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers and SF Giants fan
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54 Responses to Trap Game Supremo

  1. twinfan1 says:

    I’m not sure that was the smartest thing for Frank to say but I prefer a little swagger to Singletary thanking Seatlle for kicking our ass…
    Should be nice test for our run defense, Blount is a bruiser, they pushed us around big time last year.Funny- Sing was higher on his 0-5 squad than Harbaugh on this 3-1 group…4-1 after Sunday…

  2. unca_chuck says:

    Better to trash talk a team we just beat rather than give headline fodder to the Buccos.

    And, Frankly, he’s right. Being able to run out the clock at the end was a thing of beauty to me.

    Maybe we’ll meet ’em in the playoffs.

    • Del Mar Dennis says:

      Meet who in the playoffs? You gonna buy 53 tickets so the Niners can attend?

      • grumpyguy says:

        Del, we are almost a lock for the playoffs now, barring a total collapse. If not us, who? The Rams cannot buy a win. Seattle is a horrible team, firmly in the Luck derby. Arizona? We owned them when they were a good team; now they’re crap. Amazing as it may seem, the 49ers only have to reek somewhat less than the rest of the steaming pile here. So long as we don’t get a killer rash of injuries, it’s hard to see how we can fail to make it. Even if we only win 1 of the next 3, and 4 of 5 in our division, that is 8-8, and I don’t see any other 8-8 teams here.

  3. grumpyguy says:

    Could happen, but only if they start to win the games they should. They keep rolling over in the 4th quarter, they won’t even compete for a Wild Card.

  4. grumpyguy says:

    I feel pretty confident about keeping Blount in check. Only thing that worries me is the nose. Sopoaga has quietly been playing some of his best football this year, but gets lost of the glare of Justin, McDonald, Willis and Bowman, who are all making Pro Bowl cases. Hopefully Ricky-Jean can step up and get it done. Dobbs also will need to contribute in the rotation to give other guys a rest.

  5. Del Mar Dennis says:

    And, Chuck, please check your FF team. You have two guys w/ byes, and Mendenhall is iffy to go Sunday. I don’t want you just giving away games. That’s what we have Rob for. 😛

  6. Kevin says:

    The Niners win the division without a challenge. The Niners will either give Detroit their first or second loss of the season.

  7. unca_chuck says:

    Criminy. One win over the Eagles and we’re Super Bowl bound. Heh heh heh.

    All kidding aside, losing this game wouldn’t be the death knell for the season, but these are the types of games this team has not won for quite a while now. Like since the expectations WERE to win games like this. Say 2002.

    Seattle is on the road playing the Giants, and AZ is on the road looking to give the 6kings their 1st win. The Rams will remain winless due to the bye week.

    So, since the 49ers have 5 remaining games with their intra-division foes, and they have a two-game lead on them, it really is the Niners division to lose. Yeah, it’s early, and yeah, they are thin at QB, but still and all, if they beat the teams they should they’ll be fine. They’ve already stole a game they shouldn’t have, and gave one away they should have, so again, the formula is incrementally improve as the season progresses, and let the post-season chip s fall where they may. Getting in the playoffs, regardless of the strength (or non-strength) of the division is still an accomplishment for a first-year coach.

  8. twinfan1 says:

    As much as many are trying to keep expectations low, the Eagle win was noteworthy in so many ways- on the road, good team, 20 point comeback, Alex Smith, the defensive stop at the end, Gore, Hunter, improved pass protection… this wasn’t a Hail Mary where they stole it- they kicked ass in every phase for the comeback…they were the better team.

    • winder says:

      Tru dat, and, what a moral booster it must be for the club. Winning is contagious and if they keep it up it will soon be expected.

  9. unca_chuck says:

    Well, no love from ESPN. They pick the Eagles to right their season in Buffalo, and they are picking TB on the road.

    They seem to be impressed with their crappy wins over winless Minn and injury-plagued Indy.

    I hope we come out aggressive. I don’t think we’ll do as well as TB in trying to grind out a win.

    • phil fan says:

      It will be interesting to see how Harbaugh game plans this one. Agree we should come out aggressive and grab a lead but we haven’t shown that this season. JH seems to start conservative then open it up 2nd half if we trail like last week.

  10. Del Mar Dennis says:

    Injury Report: OUT: Edwards, Brock, Norris DOUBTFUL: Sopoaga QUESTIONABLE: Spencer PROBABLE: Gore, Crabtree, Iupati, Snyder

    You know who else is questionable? Pharmaceutical companies. Seems like I get a different brand damn near every month. Don’t be messing with my medication. You guys think I’m a handful now, you better hope those pills keep coming.

    • winder says:

      dennis – I hope u got one of those medical Marajuana cards because it is one of the best relaxers of the body and mind. I did just read on the msn page that the feds are finally going to shut them down though(bummer).

  11. grumpyguy says:

    Looks like more playing time for Culliver this week.

    Chuck, not Super Bowl bound, just our crappy division. With a winning record in the division, and already two non-division wins notched, we have the inside track. They’d have to seriously screw the pooch over the rest of the season for any of the other lightweights to catch up. I’ll say it again, even if we win just ONE of the next three, 8-8 is pretty likely. I cannot see any of these other NFC West teams topping 6-10 right now.

    I’ll save any speculation on our playoff fate until I see who we draw, and how we are playing in December.

    • winder says:

      We really do have something to smile about. I want to see how we play AZ and the Rams. I say go for the jugular and keep going until we get it.

  12. unca_chuck says:

    The Rams are decimated by injury, and getting hosed by an OC trying to make his QB something he isn’t. Sound familiar?

  13. unca_chuck says:

    No worries, Grump. I was just busting Kevin’s chops.

    Yeah, the division is ours for the taking already based on 2 wins outside the division.

    If the team can stay relitively injury free for a while, it should be OK. Keep improving, and see what the playoffs bring.

  14. Del Mar Dennis says:

    We haven’t even finished Week 5 yet, and you guys are talking playoffs.
    I think Jim Mora had a thing or two to say about the playoffs…

  15. Del Mar Dennis says:

    Hey, did you guys hear that the Niners brought in three FA RBs on Tues. apparently to motivate Dixon? This was according to Maiocco. No names were listed, but it sounds like the coaches are trying to light a fire under his ass. He only played ST last week — again. No offensive reps. Even after all the talk about using all three backs.

    I dunno. In horse racing, we use the term “plodder” to describe a horse who runs around the track in 4th or 5th place and never makes a move because he only has one gear. I’m afraid Dixon only has one gear. He’s a plodder.

  16. twinfan1 says:

    Yeah, one of those running backs is going to get his first NFL start at QB at this week…

  17. Del Mar Dennis says:

    Alex and the Waco Kid have the same problem. They shoot (throw) with the wrong goddamn hand…

  18. unca_chuck says:

    Rest in troubled peace, Al Davis. I think right about now he’s suing Beelzebub for a better spot in hell. However you feel about Al and the Raiders, the guy was pretty damn smart, and helped make the league what it is today. Big beyond belief and greedy as all hell. He kept the AFL afloat by the force of his will, and stared down Pete Rozelle at every opportunity. For the betterment of the league as a whole. In the early days anyway.

    The dude was seemingly in and out of touch with reality these past 12 years, but he certainly had his own crazy as shit ideas on how to run that organization. Good, bad, or indifferent, a one-of-a-kind guy.

  19. Del Mar Dennis says:

    Not that I really give a rat’s ass, but who runs the Raiders now?
    They go on the market? I think Rob is looking to buy an NFL team.

    • phil fan says:

      Heard the spawn of Al control/own the team. Maybe they will wanna sell. If Rob buys ’em will they suck as bad as his Rhinos? Fine with me, I hate the Rayduhs.

      But Del didn’t Rob kick you ass in FF last year? Rumors, rumors…

  20. unca_chuck says:

    Amy Trask?

    Doesn’t Al have any spawn?

  21. phil fan says:

    NFL Political Donations Show the League Leans Right

    Al must have been a Pub; just a guess based on the way he played Rozelle and the NFL (as a maverick). Seems the owners tilted these results based on volume of their donations. Niners and Raiders not mentioned in this news report. But suppose the 49ers donated mainly to Left wing candidates: despite Alex’s tendency to roll right does this mean the 9ers will tend to want to run plays to the left of the LOS? Sweeps, reverses, passing plays? Is Alex really a Republican?

    Just some thoughts and dumb ones I admit. But hey I’m bored just killing time before tomorrows game. We already had our gigantic pep rally and bonfire out here which was a great success and am very much looking forward to F****** the Bucs. So’s the wife who is steadily becoming a Harbaugh fan.

    • Del Mar Dennis says:

      No surprise to see the Texans’ owner, Bob McNair, atop that GOP donation list. Bob was really big in the thoroughbred industry a few years back. He had a couple of horses run in the Derby (both ran up the track) when he owned Stonerside Stables. He’s since sold it to one of the Sheik’s to concentrate mostly on his football team. I think he still might have a few stallions and broodmares. I know he’s got a real good football team now.

  22. NJ49er says:

    I don’t see Harbaugh’s Team ever getting trapped Chuck. He’s too focused on improving. What could be a concern is Ice missing the game and allowing the middle to be exploited.

    We’re an ongoing work in progress and from everything I hear and read, these guys are jacked to play for him.

    Our goal for the game is to execute and take nothing for granted. I like our chances.

    TB has a good Team but, it’s highly unlikely they’re going to know the play calls this time around.

  23. Del Mar Dennis says:

    Chuck is a 48 pt. underdog today in our fantasy league. That’s a bigger spread than when Oklahoma plays one of those shitty Div II schools. I think I’ll tease that sucker up to 54 1/2 and take my chances on the parlay card.

  24. Del Mar Dennis says:

    Two early scores for my RB1, Adrian Peterson. All Day baby…

  25. Del Mar Dennis says:

    And now a TD for Big Ben…the hits just keep on coming.

  26. Del Mar Dennis says:

    Seabass w/ a 54 yd FG. Guess who?

  27. Del Mar Dennis says:

    Guess what? A third TD for Adrian Peterson. He might be in for a Gayle Sayers afternoon…
    Where the hell is everyone? I know you no good heathens aren’t at church…

  28. robd says:

    watchit sucka !

  29. Del Mar Dennis says:

    Curtis Painter to Pierre Garcon is on a roll today. Who wanted to draft Painter? That’s right. Instead, we took that fucking glove-wearing dummy who can’t even color within the lines.

    Kevin Kolb is a fumbling machine. He’s lost at least one in each game this year. Of course he’s my goddamn backup. That’s OK, he’ll be back on my bench when Tony Romo returns from his bye next week. How bout dem Cowboys!

  30. robd says:


    trap game ? how can any game be a trap game for us !
    you’re right about harbaugh imo , i think he’s going even more slowly implementing his best stuff than he wants to because of the lost offseason time !
    good move !

    thx for the link on frank !

  31. Del Mar Dennis says:

    Three INTs for the Puppy Killer today, and we haven’t even reached the half.
    I bet Hallmark makes a card for just such an occasion…

  32. Del Mar Dennis says:

    Big Ben now w/ 3 TDs and counting on the afternoon. Bout goddamn time.
    I guess he needs to play with a bum ankle all the time…

  33. Del Mar Dennis says:

    Make that FOUR TDs today for Big Ben.
    They ought to sprain his other ankle just for good measure…

  34. Kevin says:

    Well IMO, the 3rd and 4th quarter are a blue print for success. If Smith does not have a 300 yard game passing I will be surprised. the Sac Bee is still spewing the party line, Gore running.

    • Del Mar Dennis says:

      You’ll be surprised if Smith does NOT have a 300 yd passing game?
      Shit, I’ll be shocked if he does. We’re avg. 178 yds through the air/gm.
      He’ll be lucky to get 200 yds. This is gonna be a game of field position and FGs.

  35. Kevin says:

    3rd and 4th quarter of the Eagles game. clarification there

  36. unca_chuck says:




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