Big Win Over Tampa Bay

West Coast Killers indeed. Tampa Bay learned the hard way that this isn’t last year’s 49ers, last year’s coaching staff, or last year’s Alex Smith. The 49ers put a beat-down on the slow-starting (and slow finishing) Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the tune of 48-3. The largest margin of victory since the heady days of Bill Walsh (and Super Bowl XXIX). The 49ers, if they beat Deetroit next week, would BECOME the West Coast Killers. A suddenly a very legit powerhouse in the NFC.  Hard to believe the speed at which they have assimilated the new offense of Harbaugh/Roman, and Vic Fangio’s newly aggressive defense. I guess Joe Staley was right when he said the O line doesn’t suck. The line pitched a shutout in protecting Alex, and opened up the tough TB D line for 211 (125 for Gore, and Hunter had some nice runs and 65 yards of his own late) yards rushing, and 205 passing.

The game yesterday was a thorough and complete beat-down of a tough NFC South team in the Bucs. One thing I like is the team has never taken the opening kickoff. They either defer, or the other team wins the toss. It seems to set the tone when they stop the opening drive. Especially when they can back it up with a TD. The Niners forced a 3-and-out, and scored in 4 plays to set the tone. The 2nd drive was stalled by the Gore fumble, but instantly erased by the Rogers pick 6. And the rout was on. Alex Smith now has the 3rd best QBR in the league at 104.1. His numbers weren’t huge, but they certainly didn’t need to be as the Niners threw for 205 and ran for 211. That’s balance. The big numbers in this game? 127.2 rating, 3 TDs, 0 picks. More importantly, he led the team on successful drive after successful drive.

The defense has suddenly become a ball-hawking (Nate who?) secondary that has 8 picks in 5 games. The D line has 12 sacks (including 2 by Aldon Smith yesterday) without blitzing very much. They confused and baffled Josh Freeman all day, and stuffed LeGarrette Blount to the tune of 38 yards.  This was a statement game that I was fairly sure the Niners would come out aggressive, and not buy in to the grind-it-out style that everyone seemed to think it was going to be. These guys came out throwing (mainly in 2 WR/2TE sets), so there was little of the spread formations that were used the last couple weeks. Althogh Walker did line up in the slot for some big plays, includiong the opening drive TD that Smith put in there perfectly. They even used a bunch of 3 TE sets that resulted in some decent runs, and they threw once out of that formation for a 12 yard gain.

The great thing to see is that, with all the different formations and sets the Niners are running, there is a ton of shit for other teams to try and figure out. Passing out of 3 TE formations, running out of the spread, and being aggressive with the offense has been the biggest sea-change for this team. Harbaugh has fully sold this team on his strategies, and philosophy. I really didn’t think it would happen this fast.

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About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers and SF Giants fan
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107 Responses to Big Win Over Tampa Bay

  1. twinfan1 says:

    “His numbers weren’t huge”… actually, they were. That’s why his rating was better than even Rodgers, who threw for 396 yards. The QBR isn’t just about yards, it’s about overall passing performance. His numbers were huge…

    • grumpyguy says:

      The huge number is ZERO… the number of INTs that Alex has thrown the last 3 weeks.

      That’s the big difference the last few weeks. Alex has made the plays to win, and has made very few mistakes of any kind, while our defense has capitalized on the opposing quarterbacks’ miscues.

      • robd says:

        ” The huge number is ZERO… the number of INTs that Alex has thrown the last 3 weeks.

        That’s the big difference the last few weeks ”

        you got it GRUMP ! now smith imo will be an asset more than a liability for us ! with our last few coaches it was just the opposite !

        TWIN !

        I LIKE THE NEW RATING SYSTEM !

    • unca_chuck says:

      The smallest number is the most important. As in 1 int in 5 games.

      If Alex keeps that up, the team will go far. +10 in the TO department 5 weeks in is mucho appreciado . . .

  2. twinfan1 says:

    As I said, the keys- more to the TEs, more running at the edges. The less informed, some network types among them, have insisted that Frank couldn’t run out of the gun, and couldn’t run outside. I’ve been showing the numbers refuting that nonsense for two years now. While Singletary was insisting on handing the ball to Frank in the “I”- he was averaging 3.1 yards a carry in the “I”, 4.6 out of the gun.They ran very little out of the gun yesterday, but Gore ran the edges consistently and well. And obviously, their best receivers are VD and Walker. The wide outs have been nearly worthless except for Morgan, maklng Smith’s numbers even more remarkable.

  3. grumpyguy says:

    The only thing that could have made it sweeter would be if we put this beatdown on the Vikings this year… just to watch Mike Singletary’s eyes pop out and his head explode when the media asks him why Alex Smith is doing so well after Singletary’s “Fooling Nobody” offense got trashed. That would have been good for a laugh or ten.

  4. Kevin says:

    Well Chuck I don’t think it would have happened this fast either, but the Phillie game force Harbaugh to take chances in the 3rd quarter being down 21 points. unlike Singletary, Harbaugh saw that Alex can handle the offense. So Harbaugh decide to test it in this game to see if Smith could repeat what he did in that 3rd quarter, and low and behold Alex came through with flying colors. Nolan and Singletary just didn’t see it, or they refused to change…whatever.

  5. Kevin says:

    Plus Nolan and Singletary did not have the right OC to call plays that would highlight Alexs strenghts.

  6. winder says:

    Yeah, whoever said anything bad about Alex? I haven’t had that much fun watching a game in a long-long time. Like I said on Skeebs blog: I’ll take some honey-mustard sauce on my crow please.
    I honestly didn’t think he had it in him, however, he certainly did. Anyway, it looked like the Stick was rockin and that the players could see what the 49er fans are really about. Also, we could see what our team is about too. Couldn’t be happier. I’m gonna have to watch close and see how the Lions OL operates tonight, I think we can get to these guys

  7. twinfan1 says:

    As Maiocco pointed out- it was huge that Alex had the playbook and Camp Alex- he was the de facto QB, head coach, and OC… this would never have been as smooth without that. It’s significant that Crabs has only caught half the passes directed toward him ( 11 of 22) -all the the others are are at 75-80 percent- the miscommunication has been with the guy who missed that time…

    • Kevin says:

      Yeah, I remember Crab being asked why he wasn’t at those camps, and his response was something like, Is Alex the starting QB?? I have not heard who the starting QB is. What an idiot

  8. unca_chuck says:

    Maiocco’s been blowing smoke up Alex’s ass for years. He’s finally right.

    And Crabs problems go back farther than just this preseason. He’s missed virtually all of the camps and all the preseason games. It’s fairly telling that Crabs came in catching anything and everything, yet the longer he’s here, the wobblier he gets. He’s done pretty well, but nothing spectacular.

  9. unca_chuck says:

    If there ever was a paper tiger, it’s the Deetroit Lions. They’ve squeaked by a couple teams (including Tampa, Dallas, and Minnesota) and smoked KC. They haven’t really played anyone too too tough. The 2-2 Bears should be a pretty good test tonight.

    Cutler? Still doesn’t do it for me. Neither Chicago or Denver has appeared to benefit from that trade.

  10. unca_chuck says:

    Morgan is likely out for the year. he needs surgery on his fractured lower leg . . .

    Ziggy or Long likely to come back.

  11. Flavor says:

    Morgan will be missed as a blocker for gore downfield but thats about it. Our best receivers are The Disease and walker with Gore probably 3rd best on the…..wait for it…..checkdown!

  12. Flavor says:

    Why Zigler? Cause he knows where the practice field is? Ziggy is gonna cone back, take one look at this offense and the new formations and go “what the fuck is that?”
    Ziggy is used to Sing’s “Caligula” formation where all the players were stacked on top of each other .

    • unca_chuck says:

      Ziggy’s fast and has good hands. He’s on the fragile side, but hey, they takes what they can get. He was on the team early in camp. He’ll be fine. Williams was in kate as well. I hope he gets more time out there.

    • grumpyguy says:

      Ziggy was in camp and should know some of the offense. He is a tall target who runs really good routes and has reliable hands. He actually is not far behind Morgan and a similar player. We kept other guys – because speed at WR became an issue – but with Morgan gone, I think he makes sense as a replacement.

  13. robd says:

    imo there might not be anybody happier for alex than coach sing imo ! all mike s. did wrong was agree with cheapass dr deyorkian and try to go with crappy coordinators instead of the top notch ones he really needed imnsho !

    • unca_chuck says:

      I beg to differ, Rob. The Vikes are 1-4 and reeling with McNabb. 17th in team defense. Sing regulary dogged Smith, and the Niners (with 85% of Aluminum Mike’s players) are 4-1 and kicking ass.

      He and Teflon Mike ought to be a little embarassed by what’s going on with the 49ers.

  14. unca_chuck says:

    All aluminum Mike did wrong was to not have a viable candidate for OC when he fired Martz. And to hire the underwhelming Jimmy-Hat Raye. And to run a stone-age offense. And to run a bend-and-break defense. And to set his QBs on on a merry-go-round regarding starts. And to ignore the effectiveness of Smith playing from behind and scoring points and not trying that to start a game. And to favor ‘his’ guys over the better players . . .

    Et cetera et cetera et cetera . . .

  15. unca_chuck says:

    One sign the D line is doing its job is that both inside LBs are in the top 7 in solo tackles.

    Bownam is tied for 3rd with 36 and Willis is tied for 7th with 32.

    Most excellent. Fangio/Tomsula are doing wonders with this defense. The front 7 especially.

    Actually, the DBs are lights-out as well.

  16. twinfan1 says:

    Mike was like Tricky Dicky- he surrounded himself with yes men – as a novice HC, he needed men to challenge him, but he was too insecure for that. Mike Johnson had some promise, I thought- Smith’s QBR was over 90 after Raye left. Of course he had to go after Harbaugh was hired but he would have been canned anyway- he challenged Singletary on starting Troy Smith, who is already out of the league, as I said he would be. You can catch him with the Omaha Nighthawks…

  17. twinfan1 says:

    Tonight’s football game suddenly became must viewing.

  18. Kevin says:

    and where are all the guys that wanted the niners to go after McNabb?? I would love to hear from them.

    • unca_chuck says:

      McNabb pretty much quit on the Skins. I wanted nothing to do with the guy . . .

      Kolb was the guy I thought might be worth a look, but I think Freeman is still a pretty good option. As a backup at this point.

  19. unca_chuck says:

    Yup. This’ll be a good test for Detroit . . .

  20. unca_chuck says:

    Another interesting stat. The Niners defense is #2 in the NFL in points allowed per game at 15.6.

    3rd best QB, 2nd best defense. The paper Lions next?

    Bring it on.

  21. unca_chuck says:

    The NY Football Giants did us no favors in knocking out Tavaris Jackson. They may actually become relevant now.

    Whitehurst looks like the better guy in there in Seattle.

    • Flavor says:

      If it turns out that they couldn’t figure out whitey was better than Jackson, who everyone knew was horrendous, then that coaching staff is incompetent

  22. Flavor says:

    just caught the replay on NLF.com of the post game news conference. Smith said: “These coaches spend a lot of time teaching us, that’s just what they do.”
    Again, I’m not sure if this is more of a highlight of Sing and Nolan’s incompetence or the brilliance of the staff that’s been assembled by Harbaugh. It was obvious that the Niners were more prepared for this game. Rogers was jumping routes without a care in the world, he knew what was coming.
    It’s great to see a pro team respond to a college coach for once. Well, JH has the cred because he played in the NFL, but think about how many college coaches came up and stunk up the joint. JH has them listening to his teachings. Very cool….

  23. Flavor says:

    And Chuck, you threw out that “2nd best/3rd best” stat up above. How about the running game? 215 yards (or whatever it was)? That’s an identity baby, and it’s only gonna get better with the OL finally figuring out how to work together and Gore sharing some of the load with Hunter so he’s super fresh in the 2nd half…..

  24. unca_chuck says:

    Deetroit? They look like Tampa Bay so far.

  25. unca_chuck says:

    Weeeeell, maybe not.

  26. twinfan1 says:

    Academy Award for Hue Jackson? My God, man, Al wasn’t all that wunnerful…I know it’s tough to say “we’re finally rid of the bastard”, but enough is enough…

    • Flavor says:

      this post is an utter crock of bullshit. You obviously know nothing about how his players feel about him. He NEVER forgot them. He lent them money when they were in trouble. He paid for fucking EVERYTHING when they went out. To write what you wrote here, I’m sorry, it makes you look like an ignorant dumb ass….

  27. twinfan1 says:

    How many head coaches did Al have? Everyone of them is saying of Hue: “that lucky fucker”…

  28. unca_chuck says:

    I figured Gruden would say something. Like “bury his ass already.”

    Did I miss something?

  29. unca_chuck says:

    Chicago is wearing down.

  30. unca_chuck says:

    Without Forte, they are bereft.

  31. unca_chuck says:

    Don;t want to say anything, but Cutler is playing a hell of a game.

  32. Flavor says:

    All I saw was Jackson fall to his knees after the win, crying his eyes out, and you could see he was trying to force the tears away so he could get back up and look like a head coach again. Go watch it. Certainly nothing to mock, that just makes you look like a dick, Twin….

  33. Flavor says:

    go take a look at this video around the 1:06 mark till the end. Yeah, great fucking *actor*. Your 7:21pm post is a crock full of bullshit. Academy award? Watch this video and say that again….

  34. Flavor says:

    here’s more fucking *acting* from Jackson.
    http://tinyurl.com/3zzv5wc
    Stop trying to play the fucking opposite of everything all the time. Admire the man for showing some raw emotion and keep your own issues of being the guy who is the single voice of dissent on every fucking topic…..

  35. Flavor says:

    fucking hell of an actor, man.

  36. twinfan1 says:

    Whatever, everyone knows Davis was despised.. You know it too, your’re just in one of your snits. Eat it.

  37. twinfan1 says:

    Uncle Cuddles was one of the the most hated men in football.That is not a voice of dissent. But what the hell, maybe Hue loved the man for giving him the job.Better guess, he knew Al couldn’t fire him…

  38. Flavor says:

    No dumbfuck. Have you ever listened to his players speak about him? He has given 9 (NINE) HOF inductions. That’s the record by many. To say he’s despised is a joke. He’s despised by everyone who isn’t a Raider player, former player, family member or Raider fan.
    There’s still a lot of fucking people that would be willing to go to bat for the guy.
    Just admit it. That was a dumb fuck post. You make them often (like when you called me out for how many games were left “I’m never wrong!” only to find out that you were again, wrong).
    Calling out dead men is a joke. I would think, you would know this more than most. Al Davis had passed his prime by decades in the league but he was honored by many until his death. We should all be so honorable in how we treat the people in our own lives the way Al treated his players and their families…..

  39. twinfan1 says:

    STFU, he’s hated by the many he’s fucked,. pal. And it’s a long list. Fuck off.

  40. twinfan1 says:

    Not many men have screwed two whole cities..

  41. unca_chuck says:

    I’d say 95% of the players who played for dirty Al loved the man with an all-fired passion. He’s done more for guys who played for him than any other owner. By far. Not even remotely close. Yeah, he was an asshole of the highest order, and he fucked over some players (hello Marcus Allen) but his loyalty to the team and its players should be noted and mimicked by all the other owners.

    I never liked the guy, but he was one of the reasons the NFL is as strong as it is now.

    You don’t have to like it, Mike, but it was true.

    • unca_chuck says:

      Don’t forget Irwindale. He got $10 mill from them to look at a gravel pit.

    • Flavor says:

      Exactly. And chuck, you KNOW the reason I’m calling twin out on this. Being the dissenting lone voice on everything has gotten old but certainly nothing to freak out over. But look, using they same schtick against a dead man, especially when his post was fraught with errors and basically lies, is just total bullshit

    • twinfan1 says:

      I’m well aware of Al’s selective generosity, and certainly those who benefitted from it, at least LIKE him. I doubt that the coaches and players he fucked or didn’t pay share the love. Like I said, Hue was probably crying because he’s the only coach Al can never fire…

  42. Flavor says:

    Fuck the cities. I’m talking about players, human relationships. If you were a raider, and you didn’t cross Al, he was there for you for life. You seem to think all these people are “acting”. I’m going to refrain from embarrassing you any more tonight because I don’t need to get any more emails from you about “what I did to you”. You’re as bad as Dennis when it comes to admitting a mistake. But you’re almost worse if you’re looking to ply your schtick at the expense of a dead man. And since I’m bailing now, to keep you from sending me 3am emails, I will ask that you stfu about this and move on. Either that or I will battle you all the way to a fucking “call to Bea”.

    • twinfan1 says:

      From NBC Bay Area:
      “He’s number one in our hatin’ hearts.Al Davis, associated with the Oakland/Los Angeles/Almost-Irwindale Raiders since 1962, has topped E-Poll Market Research’s findings of the most-hated sports figures .Rounding out the list’s top five: Philly QB Mike Vick, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, golfer Tiger Woods and one-time Red Sox and LA Dodger Manny Ramirez.
      Davis has recently overseen a rather disappointing on-field performance — and has added to his legacy by firing coaches and then shooting holes in their character on their way out the Alameda door.Another factor may be the long memory Californian’s have of his wandering-franchise ways, having sued Oakland, Los Angeles and poor Irwindale along the way.The adjective “creepy” was most associated with Davis. And in his most recent epic press conference, he did look a little rough, but, let’s be fair — we’re all going to age.It’s when you tell the press your former coach was a coach-beater and morally loose that stokes these hating fires without throwing in the much-needed qualifiers like “possibly” or “allegedly.”
      But, hey, good on you, new coach Hue Jackson, for taking on the job, intangibles and all.”

  43. Flavor says:

    Here’s an idea: just fucking say, “you’re right Craig. That 7:21 post was out of line.” it would be like Dennis saying “I admit I was a dumbshit about Alex smith.”

  44. unca_chuck says:

    Well, all in all, Detroit is pretty good. This will be a tough game, mainly for the crowd noise, Megatron, and Suh, but get the corwd out of it early, and the Niners can win this.

  45. Flavor says:

    Ha, more spewed bullshit from you. You’re worse than Dennis. You wanna go at this all night? I’m fired up dude, I am happy to do this till you ait your 7:21 post was utter bullshit inflamatory drivel that was written only to support your usual “lone wolf– go the opposite of everyone” posts. Can’t do it? Didn’t think so.

    • twinfan1 says:

      Actually, my take on Davis is shared by many, sonny. But I ‘m not going to go into with you all night, you’re drinking and looking to pick a fight. He was a dick, that’s no minority opinion, pal. I’d say Huey was crying tears of joy.

      • Flavor says:

        Ha, save your “drinking” posts for Dennis. How about you stfu or I start re-posting emails. I am not going to have you lie right now. Your usual responses to bloggers when you are embarrassed about looking like a dumbfuck is to say they are drunk. How about I re-post some @calls to Bea” emails? Fuck you, you are a bitter old man who can’t even take a blog fight any more. I wouldn’t care except you are still able to put down and disparage everyone along the way. So, fuck that. If you can’t take the heat stop spewing it out on everyone. Including dead people.

      • twinfan1 says:

        Oh, just settle down. That Al was hated is not a minority opinion.

  46. twinfan1 says:

    Mafia scum are nice to those who are “loyal”. BFD. He was a hated man- and, as I said, one of the most influential men in all of sports at one time. But pretending he was a beloved figure is a fucking joke.

  47. Flavor says:

    Fine. If that’s the post you want to go out on regarding this, I’m fine with that. Carry on.

  48. unca_chuck says:

    Mike, 95% of the people that worked for him, loved him. He did more for his retired players than most of the other owners combined.

  49. unca_chuck says:

    Frankly, I don’t give a fuck.

    Take it to Craig’s blog if you want to continue.

    • twinfan1 says:

      And many hated him. It’s not a BFD, just a well known fact. Look, Craig can hate on me when I go, I’ll be past giving a shit, as Al is now.

    • twinfan1 says:

      Perhaps the funniest thing about this manufactured brouhaha is that only the brain dead don’t know that had Al lived, Jackson would have joined the legion of head coaches canned and cheated by Al…

  50. Flavor says:

    Ummm do not bring this to the flap. I’ll drop it. Most of what I said is dead on but I will admit I’m over reacting. Good night.

  51. Flavor says:

    Chuck, I’m tired of my posts going to spam. I’ll email you a way to fix it tomorrow.

  52. NJ49er says:

    Geez Guys, can we all just get along?

    Opinions are what they are, accept it and agree to disagree for a change.

    We’re 4-1, going to Detroit to see if we can hand them an L –
    Love him or hate him, Al has gone to the Great Luxury Box in the Sky. R.I.P.

  53. Berger says:

    unca- About your 8:41 post, I knew the people Al screwed in Irwindale. They were friends of mine. I have nothing good to say about Al Davis, so I’ll say nothing.

  54. grumpyguy says:

    Man…. it’s a good thing that we banned Spitblood, Chuck. How else could we all sit here and sing Kumbaya together? LMAO.

    As for Undead Al, he was a Raider. Fuck the Raiders. I’m a 49er fan. I don’t care about the fucking Raiders.

  55. phil fan says:

    THIS is kumbaya? Haha Spit would have made it harsher true. And some of us wouldn’t be here either…

    As a former resident of San Diego I got nothing good to say about the Raiders. I’ll say nothing (following Bergs) except Rest in Peace Mr Davis.

  56. phil fan says:

    NJ49er: With you on the old stale arguments and endless debates re: AS, etc. As I said on another blog “I’m not joining the misery train! Have at it,” It’s been proven again, Harbaugh builds QBs. Resurrection of Alex being the latest PROOF. End of subject (for me).

    What interests me are a couple other things. Harbaugh; how is he doing it? What is ‘good coaching’? Teaching technique? Being supportive of the players? Positive attitude? Football IQ: Knowing how to play the game to win? What?

    Also interested in the smooth transition to a stronger defense. Like Chuck I was concerned about all the guys we let go starting with A Franklin. Yet his replacement Soap goes down and RJF anchors a D line that holds big bad Blount to 38 yards. Our DBs are mostly new and are far more effective than the old crew. How come? Niners D is ranked #5 over-all!

    Seems like the 2011 draft has panned out pretty good with A Smith, K Hunter!, Chris Culliver, even Colin Jones and Kaep looking good. So Harbaugh knows how to get the most out of the guys they get. Even the vets on the team are like Gore, AS, VD, Staley are buying in. How does JH get this under-achieving crew to play together and become more than a bunch of talented individuals?

    Me, I dunno.

    • Berger says:

      Alex did not need to be resurected, he just needed a decent coach. Did anybody watch him in college, or under Norv Turner. He’s always been a decent QB, except in college where he was great. I’ve always wanted to see what he could do with a coach hat knew his ass from his elbow. That would not be Nolan or Sing. I’m getting very close to calling him a good pro QB. He’s sure looked that way, so far, under a decent coach, Harbaugh.

      • phil fan says:

        Agree, never thought he was a “bust”, just a talented young guy turned loose among the wolves with no help. (A victim of shitty circumstance)

  57. twinfan1 says:

    As I said, this was a manufactured argument about Al Davis- *I* don’t hate him, and I’m not not glad he passed away. Once upon a time he was a relevant figure in the NFL, decades ago. I probably shouldn’t have said Hue was acting, though. I’m sure he does love him, although taking the job while watching Al turn the shiv in Cable’s back must have been unsettling. It would be kinda funny to find out that Amy was the real coach killer though…

  58. Flavor says:

    I was pretty impacted by watching some of the images from that game. Maybe my emotional reaction to what I thought was a genuine emotional reaction caused me to go a little over the top last night when, in my eyes, you were mocking it or even doubting the man’s sincerity. But I appreciate you saying that you “probably shouldn’t have said Hue was acting.” I’m now done with this…..

    • twinfan1 says:

      I just wish ESPN and Comcast would be done with it. They love this shit, but 150 times is enough. Actually, I thought maybe Hue was crying because it was one of the luckiest wins ever. They were horrible…

      • Flavor says:

        Everyone is giving Huff the credit, I haven’t seen one person give credit to that linebacker who changed Schaub’s course and prevented his from just running it in. Didn’t catch who that dude was but he’s really the one who “saved” that game……

      • twinfan1 says:

        “I haven’t seen one person give credit to that linebacker who changed Schaub’s course and prevented his from just running it in.”
        But that was Al, guiding from above..

    • phil fan says:

      Can’t argue with your feelings Flav, they were genuine, human.

  59. unca_chuck says:

    Phil, for the past 4 seasons I was convinced the team was better than the coaches were allowing them to be. What’s the opposite of synergy? Antergy? Conergy? Shitergy? Whatever it was, that’s what was happening. 2007 and 2010 were such absolute fuck ups that I lost track of what was really going on. I’ve blamed the coaching staff for a long time, for Smith’s problems, as well as the defense’s inablilty to close games, but I was very leery this season of how fast they could effect meaningful change. The first couple games were iffy at best, but by the 3rd game, amidst the false starts and blown coverages, the team was making plays. The Philly game was eye-opening in the fact that they pulled it together seemingly out of nowhere at halftime. It just clicked.

    Now? Well, the dismantling of TB was phenomenal mainly because they did it with an aggressive set of plays. Passing downfield, and some nice runs. Teams can no longer stack the box because Smith has shown he can go downfield with confidence. The defense has been getting pressure without blitzing regularity. A very big deal.

    Deetroit? The toughest part of that game will be the crowd noise. Chicago was flailing for the whole first half, yet took the lead. Yeah, Stafford hit the long pass to Megatroid, but beyond that, they were nearly as inept. This is another game that the Niners can come out aggressive and get on top of these guys early, take the crowd out, and coast to a win. They weren’t amazing, but they were good. Suh is a beast, but Nick Fairley was invisible. I think the Niners should show pass (3-4 WR sets) and run up the gut on them. Believe it or not.

  60. twinfan1 says:

    People do seem to forget that Harbaugh did inherit some talent- that’s no disrespect for the job he’s done- he’s getting something from that talent. But I’ve always disagreed that building a playoff team would be an arduous process- of course, I had more faith in Smith than others, making the postseason should be expected, IMO.

  61. unca_chuck says:

    ESPN LIVES for that kind of shit. They’ll milk it til the cows come home. In other words, all week. Just like they’ll jump on the Niner bandwagon if they beat Deetroit. It won’t be the darlings of the NFC North anymore, it’ll be the resurgence of the 49ers. Return to glory, blah blah blah.

    ADD theatre at its finest.

  62. unca_chuck says:

    This is the NFL. Parity really does rule.

    EVERY team is close to turning things around. No matter how bad. This IS the biggest difference between football and baseball. Jerry Jones may sue for the rights to generate his own income outside the purview of the NFL, but for the most part all the money is shared, and small market teams can compete with large market teams for players. The talent level for every team is high. How many times in recent memory have teams gone from worst to first? NO, Deetroit, AZ, Indy, among a bunch of others have done this. You have to be fairly inept (hello Matt Millen and Dr. York) to keep a franchise in the shit-house for long periods of time.

    Singletary inherited a lot of talent. He did nothing with it. Shit, Nolan had the team off to a good start, and after the 2006 season, things were looking up. Much like 2010. Hence the trepidation this season.

  63. unca_chuck says:

    Houshmanzada is in for a look at WR.

    He played for brother John in Baltimore . . .

  64. twinfan1 says:

    Well, I said 10-6, and no, I do not say 10-6 every year. Again, the main diff is the level of confidence in Smith. He may still shit in his pants, but I thought he’d thrive in the WCO. Those who were talking 7-9 and worse were mostly not confident in him. Lotsa blather about other factors but it’s all bullshit- the diff between 10-6 and 6-10 is all whether Smith is who I think he is or what most had thought….

    • phil fan says:

      That’s what was so dang frustrating about the Niners for past 5 years: talented players for the most part, getting better each year but underachieving due to piss poor leadership, coaching, front office, etc. Finally we got a coach. 48-3 did not come out of nowhere. A long process finally paying off for us a little bit.

      No substitute for leadership, huh?

    • grumpyguy says:

      I’m surprised by Alex – but everything else is not BS. I’m also surprised, a lot, by the defense. Having some good players does NOT make a good defense. If it did, no one would be throwing on the Eagles. There is a lot of scheme and chemistry on that side of the ball too. With Franklin, Lawson, Takeo, Clements leaving and a new safety alignment, I expected a lot of spinning of wheels before everyone gelled. Fangio has done a good job thus far just getting everyone on the same page. It’s also helping a lot that Sopoaga looks much better in his second turn at the nose, and Bowman has been good beyond all expectations – no one I know was expecting him to have more tackles than Willis at this point. Basically, we came up all sevens on defense. We’re still vulnerable to passing, and that will only get fixed with time for Culliver to mature and another free safety to be drafted (Goldson is a SS, no matter where he is now). It’s not as big a story as Alex’s season, but it’s a big part of our success. Now if we can keep a few receivers healthy…

      • unca_chuck says:

        Aldon Smith is coming on in a big way these past 3 games. He is a big plus so far.

      • twinfan1 says:

        So what’s their record if Alex was the piece of dung you thought he was?

      • grumpyguy says:

        With the defense playing as well as it is, and Alex less productive (not epically terrible, just more like the offense was the first three games)? We still beat Seattle and lose to Dallas. We lose to Philly but beat Cincy and Tampa (though it is not a blowout win). So 3-2 at the moment, Probably finish around 8-8. If Alex continues to play like he is, and the defense too, we could *easily* make 10-6, and I’m not even going to tease Skeebs anymore for saying 11-5. Hell, 12-4 isn’t impossible given our soft second half schedule. If Alex was good but the defense sucked until the bye, again around 8-8 or 9-7. We’re not a team built to win track meets. If both Alex underperformed and the defense starting slow until after the bye, probably 7-9 at best, possibly worse, depending on the details.

        The offense and defense are synergistic – having both playing well can yield results somewhat better than simply adding the two. that’s the key to our success so far: we are doing everything pretty well. Not terrific on defense, maybe, but solid throughout. And Alex has been making a case for terrific, anyway, over the last six quarters. If he can keep it up – if this is what he can do in Harbaugh’s system, and the defense has his back – then 12 wins is not pie in the sky anymore.

  65. unca_chuck says:

    I had ’em at 8-8, but I was concerned with the turnover on defense, and specifically the secondary. Clements I wanted gone, but I didn’t know too much about Rogers or Madieu. The secondary’s play has been revelatory. But it starts up front. The base D (a 4-3 on passing downs) is getting consistent pressure. In large part due to the rook, Aldon Smith. 3 sacks in the last 2 games.

  66. unca_chuck says:

    They had faith in McDonald (I didn’t), and didn’t bother with AF (I thought they should have). Soap has been solid in the nose. Even Nolan’s guy, RJF, had a great game last week.

  67. twinfan1 says:

    I think most everybody here expected 1-4 at this stage, with Seatlle the only win. After the blow out loss to Philly, the Kappenmeister got the call against Tampa and suffered his first loss as a starting NFL QB.The calls for Carson Palmer grew louder and Harbaugh confirmed that he was the third head coach to get suckered by Smith. Palmer was unavailable, but Smith was released and left San Francisco in a Groucho Marx mask.

  68. unca_chuck says:

    Whatever, Mike. A lot of people were guardedly optimistic. I had ’em at 3-3 at the bye.

    Spitblood was about the only one who was formulating that scenario.

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