On to the Land of the Rising Sun . . .

There is a house in New Orleans . . . they call the rising suh . . . uh, wait. Wrong city. It’s off to Phoenix, and the phrase, “it’s a dry heat, though.” So is a convection oven. As the 49ers try and make their way to a 1st round playoff bye, they travel to Arizona for a game against the used-to-be Chicago, used-to-be St Louis, and used-to-be Phoenix Cardinals. The names and cities may change, but the constants around those parts is the God-awful ownership that is the Bidwills. People around these parts give the Yorks a ton of crap for ineptitude, but for absolute mediocrity for stunningly long stretches of time, look no further than the Cardinals and their tight-fisted owners, the Bidwill family. Owners of the team since 1932, they have one lone championship in 1947. Since then, they’ve been in the playoffs 5 times. That’s 5 playoff appearances in 74 YEARS. Seeing as they are missing the playoffs again, let’s call it an even 75 years.

While this looks like a sure thing on paper, AZ has been on a pretty good run here in recent weeks. They’ve gone 4 of 5 (of course the loss was against SF on 11/20) by beating the Rams 2x, the Iggles, and the Cowboys. OK, not great competition, but AZ has been in just about every game, and have lost a lot of close ones. Much like the 2009 Niners. AZ has lost by 1 to Washington, by 3 to Seattle, by 4 to the Giants, and by 4 to the Ravens. Funny thing is, their recent success has come mostly at the hand of John Skelton. Their supposed savior, the oft-discussed-around-these-parts Kevin Kolb has gone 2-6 as the starting QB. He did engineer their win over Dallas last week, but while KK was battling turf-toe, John Skelton engineered wins over the Rams (2x) and Iggles, while losing to the Niners, for a 3-1 record.

Neither their offense or defense is putting up stellar numbers (23rd in yards, 24th in points on O, 25 in yards, 19th in points allowed on D), but they do have Beanie Wells at 916 yards rushing, and Larry Fitzgerald at 943 yard receiving. And Patrick Peterson (a guy I was very high on in the 2011 draft) is kicking ass as a punt returner (an astounding 4 TDs so far), and is playing a sold corner. He has 2 picks and 11 passes batted down along with 48 tackles. 

So, this is a game that could very well get away from the Niners. Az is a tough place to play, and these guys are strong on special teams, and with Fitzgerald, can strike quickly. The key, as usual, is pressure. Kolb is about as mobile as a mobile home, so get to him, and the rest should be fairly easy. Beanie Wells is good, but he’s not going to break anything very long. He has been fumble-prone as well. So the formula remains the same. Get on top of them early, run the ball down their throats, and get TDs rather than FGs. This is important, because any kind of punt battle could very well be won by their return game. Kick it in the end zone, kick it out of bounds. Or better yet, don’t punt. The last game went that way as the Andy Man only punted 3 times, and Peterson had 2 returns for 22 yards.

If I was to make a guess, I’d say 27-20 Niners.


About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers and SF Giants fan
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53 Responses to On to the Land of the Rising Sun . . .

  1. Berger says:

    The only reason the Cardinals beat the Cowboys was another Tony Romo screw up.

  2. unca_chuck says:

    I just think this game goes the distance as a tough one. It ain’t gonna be easy.

  3. phil fan says:

    Our three division road games remaining will all be Super Bowls for the home team. Beat the 49ers in their place and they can say ” 2011 sucked but at least we whipped the division champs at the end”. I think the games will get tougher from here on out. Every game tougher than the last including the playoffs. Including the Rams on the road. The good thing is that the 49ers have something to play for every game- seeding, home field- and we’re not just able to coast in ‘meaningless’ games. Not that I believe Harbaugh would ever allow that mindset to develop.

    Special teams will have to have a good day. I’d hate to see us get Ginned by Peterson

  4. grumpyguy says:

    I’d be happy with 3-1 down the stretch, and 13-3 for the season, with the Second seed in the playoffs.

    The Cardinals can beat us, if we come out flat and trip on our dicks, but Jimbo is not real prone to enabling dick-tripping. We’ll still score points incrementally but I don’t see the Tards scoring them as fast. I’ll call it 22-13, with a week’s worth of field goals. Close in the first half but then the Tards make a mistake that gives us one cheap TD. Also, I look for Aldon to pad his sack total as he closes in on Haley’s Rookie mark.

  5. unca_chuck says:

    Hey, Aldon gets over 10, I’ll be happy. He should end up with somewhere areound 12 or 13. Maybe 15 if he has another big day vs the Rams.

  6. unca_chuck says:

    Willis isn’t practicing, surprise surprise. But Braylon Edwards is . . . .

  7. Berger says:

    Aldon (pronounced All Don) All the Time!

  8. phil fan says:

    This week’s scoring predictions VS Cards:

    27-20 Niners Chuck “..AZ is a tough place to play, strong special teams, can score quickly”
    22-13 Niners grumpyguy “close 1st half; Card mistakes in 2nd give us cheap TD. Aldon shines”

    Predictions coming in early this week so will start collecting here and move the list over to Game Day post when chuck puts it up. No prediction yet from me but I don’t see this being too high scoring a game. I too would love to see Aldon collect a couple more sacks against Kevin Kolb AKA “The Statue”.

    • phil fan says:

      phil predicting 23-13 Niners “3 FG in 1st half, 2 TD 2nd half”

      twinfan calling for 20-10 Niners “Chuck is brilliant when he listens to me” ((lol good one)

    • phil fan says:

      27-13 Niners snarkk
      26-24 Niners barleyfreak ” we’ll give up 3 TD’s and a FG. We’ll score 2 TD’s and Akers (MVP!) will hit 4 FGs”
      27-10 Niners Kevin

      This is the tightest grouping of scores we’ve had yet. barleyfreak -and Chuck to some degree- are calling for a squeeker.

    • phil fan says:

      This week’s scoring predictions VS Cards:

      27-20 Niners Chuck “..AZ is a tough place to play, strong special teams, can score quickly”
      22-13 Niners grumpyguy “close 1st half; Card mistakes in 2nd give us cheap TD. Aldon shines”
      23-13 Niners phil “3 FG in 1st half, 2 TD 2nd half”
      20-10 Niners twinfan1 “Chuck is brilliant when he listens to me (wink)”
      26-13 Niners NinerDog ““Go deep early to Edwards; KW has a big game; no suspensions!”
      19-16 Niners Flavor (and Grant) “It’s a toss up; they’re playing well, we’re injured”
      27-13 Niners snarkk
      26-24 Niners barleyfreak ” we’ll give up 3 TD’s and a FG. We’ll score 2 TD’s and Akers (MVP!) will hit 4 FGs”
      27-10 Niners Kevin
      20-10 Niners rob “we’re going to double up the retardinals”

      This is the tightest grouping of scores we’ve had yet. barleyfreak, Flavor -and Chuck to some degree- are calling for a squeeker.

  9. twinfan1 says:

    First I want to congratulate Chuck on his eloquent post on Alex- proving that the closer Chuckles comes around to my way of thinking, the sounder his comments are…Insert the winking guy..
    20-10 Niners

  10. unca_chuck says:

    Don’t flatter yerself, skippy.

  11. NinerDog says:

    I would like to see Edwards come out and make some plays. These two teams hate eachother bigtime. If Adrian Wilson gets a chance to put Edwards or Crabtree to sleep going across the middle he will. Hopefully Edwards comes out loose and him and Alex hook up for a long one.
    KW will definitely show up because his homies will be at the stadium.
    Just don’t want anybody to get suspended for fighting or some crap like that.
    I’m thinkin 26-13 49ers….

  12. snarkk says:

    Niners win 27-13…

  13. robd says:

    our defense hasn’t allowed a rushing TD all year ! the record all time is four !

  14. barleyfreak says:

    Grant played really well last week in place of Willis. There wasn’t even a drop off. But the Rams are really, truly terrible. AZ is not a great team, but a better team, at home, and very motivated. Willis will be missed. Despite all Harbaugh’s efforts to keep Freddy Soft away, there will be an ever so slight Division Crown Hangover and we’ll give up 3 TD’s and a FG. We’ll score 2 TD’s and Akers (MVP!) will hit 4 FGs — including the game winner in a squeaker which will have all the doubters wondering if we can beat Pittsburgh. We can, and will, but that’s for next week’s prognostications.

    26-24 Niners

  15. twinfan1 says:

    Now that they’ve reached my projected preseason win total and Alex has gained a bandwagon, I’ll need to find new ways to drive Death Threat off his ledge. How about guesses on what his new contract will be? Maiocco guesses 2 or 3 years at about 10 million per. I’d say give him back the money he gave them when his contract was restructured , so I’ll say 2 years 24.8 million total..this gives enough time to see if the Kapper can handle the job going forward. Of course, coming off his second Super Bowl win, the question might be if the Yorks can dig up the bucks Alex will demand for the new 7 year deal he’ll have coming. Pujols money sounds about right..

  16. Kevin says:

    Hey Chuck, when are you going to update the score for 12/4? Come on you slacker. It is already Thursday!!
    Oh and I am more inclined to say the score will be 27-10

  17. twinfan1 says:

    Does anyone know a site for Thusday night football other than that VIP site? If I didn’t have good malware protection it would have trashed my hard drive..

  18. Kevin says:

    I see steam coming out of Denny’s ears over that kind of money being given to Smith.

  19. unca_chuck says:

    3 years, $27 mill . . .

    After that’s it’s Cappy time. Unless Josh Johson comes calling .. .. ..

  20. twinfan1 says:

    Smith will be what? 30? If they’re going to playoffs regularly it will be Smith again.

  21. twinfan1 says:

    That’s why you don’t presume Kappy of anybody will be the QB

  22. grumpyguy says:

    Let’s win a playoff game THIS YEAR before we worry about the foundation of our new dynasty…

    Posterity will attend to itself.

    • phil fan says:

      Agree with the grumpyguy….

      3 years sounds right. Bucks will depend on how far we go in POs. (Starts dreaming) “….hmm, win the Super Bowl he should be worth $10M++ per year”

  23. twinfan1 says:

    I’ve leave the reality to you, GG. I’ll dream if I like.

  24. twinfan1 says:

    There’s always reality alla Death Threat if one is bothered by some harmless optimism.Anyway- unless he crashes and burns, Smitrh will getting a new contract.And a new one after that if they make the playoffs a habit..

  25. unca_chuck says:

    Like I said, we’ll deal with that when we get there. He gets a 3 year deal this offseason.

    • twinfan1 says:

      If you’re going that route, we’ll deal with his next contract when “when we get there”. He may not get shit depending on how the rest of this season goes.
      If I want to make conjecture on how it might go, why does that concern. you? You said
      “After that’s it’s Cappy time.” That’s conjecture, too. “We’ll deal with it when we get get there”..

  26. twinfan1 says:

    Like I said- if it goes as I’ve outlined he’ll the QB when you daugher is a Grandma

  27. twinfan1 says:

    After his 7 year contract is up he will father childen with Denny, 3 darling little boys with distended bellies..

  28. phil fan says:

    LOL you’re as loopy as I am today! Love it, haha

  29. Kevin says:

    So who thinks the Niner defense won’t stop Pitts?? I mean come on Cleaveland holds them to 6 points into the 4th quarter??? WTF???

  30. unca_chuck says:

    It’s hard to tell game-to-game how teams will do. But Pitts looked pretty pitty last night.

    The bitch is really the scheduling. Pittsburgh gets 9 days (plus a travel day) to face the Niners.
    The Niners get 3 (plus travel) to face Balt, and play Seattle on Saturday after the Monday night game.

  31. Kevin says:

    I am just saying…Pitts is supposedly a top team??? Maybe they had a play down to your apponent moment?? and a division rival and all?? But the Niners had that last week with the Lambs. So I just don’t see Pitt doing much against the Niners.

  32. Kevin says:

    Of course Pitts has less to prove than the Niners so maybe that was the lackadaiscal attitude?

  33. unca_chuck says:

    Shit, NO got stomped by the Rams, and lost to TB. Every season is littered with head-scratching results. It’s hard to maintain your focus for an entire season I guess, and Pitts WAS playing on a short week. Something that can be a challenge. I don’t think it bodes anything either way as to how they play vs the Niners. Maybe THEY were napping and gearing for the Niners. . . Either way, they got out of there with the win. Kinda like our Seattle game to start the year.

  34. Del Mar Dennis says:

    Sounds like you guys are already looking ahead to our playoff matchup with the Saints. That’s OK, so am I. And I wouldn’t put any stock into that Saints loss to the Rams. Like Chuck just said, it’s hard to maintain your focus for an entire season.

    Best thing about being me? I don’t even bother to maintain my focus for a day. Let alone an entire season…

  35. unca_chuck says:

    It’s exactly why this game worries me. AZ is going to come out for the kill. They are going to try and start fights and get the Niners in retaliation mode. This is going to be a tough game for these guys to keep their composure. AZ is feeling pretty good about itself all of a sudden.

  36. Kevin says:

    Dennis, where the hell have you been?? building that shrine to A Smith, so you have somewhere to put a replica of the SB MVP award he is going to win?? Just asking.

    • Del Mar Dennis says:

      Alex the MVP of the Super Bowl?

      Even Santa Claus couldn’t make wish come true.

      • Del Mar Dennis says:

        And I mean the real Santa Claus. The one played by Edmund Gwenn in “Miracle on 34th Street.” Santa can make all the things happen for a little Natalie Wood, but he would take one look at that wish list and say,…You must be kidding!

  37. unca_chuck says:

    Surely you’re joking, Dennis.

    n e w p o s t


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