Same as it Ever Was . . .

Here we are in the final week of the regular season. Kudos to Jim Harbaugh for making the playoffs (and possibly winning the NFC West) in his 1st 2 years as Niner coach. For all the improvement of the team in this short period of time, and for the daring (if not crazy) mid-stream switch-out of Alex Smith for Colin Kaepernick, certain troubling things don’t appear to be fixed. The 3rd down conversion rate is still an abysmal 35%, for 23rd in the league. Sure, it’s up from 29% (and 31st) last year. Astounding considering the Niners were nearly in the Super Bowl. The passing game is up a little from 29th to 25th. All the new WRs have helped a little, and Crabs is having a solid year, but VD has disappeared, Manningham (as well as KW)  is now hurt, and Moss is getting some time, but not as much as I anticipated. Walker has gotten more looks, which is good and bad as he’s dropped a lot, and fumbled a few. The run game is doing better, but has also gotten hit by injuries (Hunter) and animosity (Brandon Jacobs). Gore is doing very well despite his age, and LaMichael James has done pretty well covering for the injured Hunter.

The Niners offense is identical to last year’s, as far as points scored goes. The defense is also ranked about the same in points allowed, although the Niners dropped a few spots due to the recent beat-down. That being said, the Smith to Kappy switch-out didn’t cure the 2-steps-forward-1-step-back deal. This team when on, beats the likes of Green Bay, New England, and Chicago with relative ease. Yet, when things don’t go well, they lose to (or tie) the likes of StL, Minnesota, and  the recent debacle vs Seattle. The wins were studies in offensive effectiveness and defensive domination. Solid running, errorless passing, and tight defense, with a few turnovers led the way. The losses were pretty much across-the-board failures. Strange coaching decisions, horrible special-teams play, defensive lapses, and killer penalties have plagued the losses. Strange, to say the least, that this team can’t put 3 games together when you look at last year’s 8 game winning streak.

All in all, a quandary. The AZ game should be little more than a formality, but as we all know, this team can look last with the best of them. I’m not too worried about it, but going forward, the Niners need luck to get the playoff bye, and will likely host a playoff game in the WC week. Chicago or Minn likely. Even still, the Niner playoff run is supposed to be about the NFC Championship game. One that will likely go through Green Bay AND Seattle. A tough row to hoe at this point.

About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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34 Responses to Same as it Ever Was . . .

  1. Nipper says:

    Go Chuck!

  2. 12th man says:

    Vikings lost by 9 in GB, they are coming of a solid beatdown of the then 12-2 Texans in Texas. Sunday is a home division game they must win and Peterson is playing off the hook. It is no easy game for GB, I expect the Vikings to win. Don’t give up on that bye just yet.

  3. unca_chuck says:

    Hey, it’s possible, but Green Bay’s on fire. I’d love to see it. If Minn can get Peterson going, they can do it.

  4. unca_chuck says:

    Morning Update: Neither Justin Smith nor Vernon Davis has practiced since their injuries. Davis hasn’t been cleared to play yet by the independent neurologist..

    The Niners also look to activate either Ricardo Lockette or Chad Hall, both practice squad WRs. Lockette is 6-foot-2, 211 pounds, Hall is 5-8, 187.

    Don’t know what this means for AJ Jenkins, but, really, 2 WRs go down, and you still don’t get playing time? Got to wonder if the guy will evenr get playing time.

  5. Del Mar Dennis says:

    The quest for a sixth Lombardi Trophy has ended — J. Smith has a tron triceps. Y’all can get back to your normal life once again. Or in my case, I can go buy one. I can’t make one on my own.

  6. unca_chuck says:

    In other news, Richard Sherman wins his appeal for his Adderal suspension. In a scenario much like baseball MVP Ryan Braun, Sherman’s positive test procedure came under scrutiny when his piss vial broke, and another vial was held under it to collect it. In other words, they aren’t disputing the test results, they are disputing the procedures.

  7. Spitblood says:

    If I was Jim Harbaugh I would rest Justin Smith until the second round of the playoffs. Cardinals? Nope. Vikings or Bears? We got either of those games without Smith. Adrian Peterson isn’t going to beat the 49ers with or without Justin. I’d use Justin for the Packers game in Lambeau and then in the Super Bowl. That’s how I’d use him. I’d hold Justin out of round one and three. Let him rest.

    The loss of Justin Smith simply underscores what some of us knew going into the Seattle game – Kaep needs to pass more to offset the points a D without Justin will give up. Pass, Pass, and Pass some more.

    And Harbaugh should be commended for turning around the team and winning back to back division championships; however, in Bill Walsh’s second year Walsh won the Super Bowl. So let’s not keep comparing Harbaugh to Walsh. Harbaugh is good, but he ain’t no Bill Walsh, and I know it’s a different era in the NFL but Harbaugh has made his fair share of mistakes. Changing the qb mid-season was one of them. Some advocate and are still advocating keeping Kaep on the bench. I’ve always advocated starting Kaep at the beginning of the ’12 season. Remember….. Harbaugh has never won a championship anywhere. Maybe Jim Harbaugh doesn’t know what it takes.

  8. unca_chuck says:

    It was Walsh’s 3rd year, skippy, but whatever. You are very good at looking in the rear view mirror. As was V.

    Justin Smith has a partially torn tendon, and may make it back for the playoffs if he can build up his arm strength.

    • Grumpy Guy says:

      I would not expect him to necessarily be at anything like his normal effectiveness, if he plays. Those kinds of injuries usually take months to fully heal. This news does not sound good, at all.

    • Spitblood says:

      Unca – I’ve made that mistake about ten times on blogs….. that and I always confuse Ted Johnson with Teddy Bruschi….. and you always call me on that, too. Between you and Del you guys would make one hell of an editor. You can edit my posts for content and Del can take of the grammar (unless Del’s already marginalized himself in 2013).

    • unca_chuck says:

      OK, how bout this? Yer a fucking troll who has little to offer but endless blather regurgitated ad nauseum.

      Stupidity is always your excuse . . .

  9. snarkk says:

    I agree with Chuck’s basically WTF? take on Jenkins. You’re #1 pick basically doesn’t even sniff getting activated most of the year. I don’t care what position he plays, that’s not good. Then, when guys above him on the depth chart go down like flies, he’s active, but basically gets a few snaps, is ignored, and phffft. Early on, the buzz was this guy was a bust. Harbaugh roasted that notion. If Jenkins doesn’t even get a look in this Cards game, or have a ball thrown his way, then WTF? Bringing in losers off the street to maybe jump over him and play at this late date? Maybe they’ve been hiding him like LMJ, and he’ll break out, but all signs say otherwise. Am I totally out to lunch on this?…

  10. snarkk says:

    With Smith and Manningham out, Hunter gone, even KW, this has been a devastating series of injuries to key players. Essentially, they’re back into last year’s situation, going into the playoffs with a fair group of receivers. That sucks. Now, with J. Smith out at worst, diminshed by injury at best, I gotta say, it doesn’t look good for the playoffs. I can’t get real excited about an offense that now has to rely even more on Delanie Walker to get completions. Randy Moss better get a gross of Geritol, and start mainlinin’ it…

  11. NoFear49er says:

    This is the sort of adversity I was talking about when I said we haven’t seen Harbaugh deal with much adversity yet. If Seattle is any indication, we’re screwed.

    So what is it, ‘we have a top defense’ or ‘we have a crap defense with one outstanding player on the line’?

    Either way, how does having Justin Smith playing or not affect the offense or special teams?

    Judging by our last game we have a lot more to work on than a replacement for Justin on the line. Hell, the offense couldn’t even block a power run play against Seattle, which we routinely do several times in every game with Justin Smith on the sidelines.

    Sounds to me like Justin’s done for the year. We better figure out if we can play at all without him. And if we can’t play any better than we did last week without him it was all a big pile of bullshit anyway.

    • Grumpy Guy says:

      The offense was tired, from watching the defense get pushed up and down the field. :p

      It would be easier to make a list of the 49ers who played well on Sunday, rather than the multiple volume tome on those who sucked.

  12. Flavor says:

    there isn’t going to be any *resting Justin Smith until…*. He’s done for the year. A torn tricep isn’t something that gets better in a few weeks.
    I do have to wonder what the point is of calling this an *elbow injury* and refusing to talk about it except that ridiculous tangent JH sputtered out on KNBR about *The Cowboy ropin’ and ridin’, etc”. They KNEW he had a torn tri, what’s the point in shrouding it in mystery?
    JH over-thinks himself sometimes……..
    As Chuck and others have said, this is the wrong time time of year to be dealing with injuries to key guys—With Manningham gone, if VD can’t come back we have massive, major problems on both sides of the ball……..

  13. NoFear49er says:

    Torn triceps (tendon) could be breaking the bone attachment at the elbow. Three to six months for tendon to heal onto bone. Then physical therapy to regain range of motion and strength. Should be a season-ending injury if not career-ending for a guy who has to push around heavy objects.

    Just speculation about the “elbow injury” angle and time out since I don’t know shit about his injury or more than personal experience.

  14. unca_chuck says:

    FWIW they are calling it a partial tear. A small piece of tendon pulled off a bone spur at the elbow. And there is some possibility of rehab before the surgery. But we’ll see.. . .

  15. Del Mar Dennis says:

    Partial tear? It’s torn! Are they gonna tell me next that a member of the Gold Rush can no longer be a cheerleader because she’s “a little” pregnant?

  16. IF we’re lucky we go 2W-1L and out with our recent history (all season) and the arrival of the long dreaded injury bug. Apart from that I say we beat the Red Birds 20-16. Any other wild eyed optimists put there? What you gonna call VS the Cardinals?

    Phil: 20-16 Niners. Apparently this is the week to be grumpy. Not to be Grumpy Guy but fer the guys to be pissing and moaning at some of the other guys around here in a grumpy way. We have a 3 game season left at most. I’m gonna take it one at a time. Oh and fuck the Cards

  17. NoFear49er says:

    If the team is as pissed as I am with their performance in Seattle the AZs won’t cross the goal line. Kaep rediscovers Vernon and the o-line blocks the run again. 34-9 Niners.

  18. Nipper says:

    Yeah Niners win big time. Gots to have confidence!

  19. unca_chuck says:

    Well, if the Niners can’t beat the shit out of AZ, then we may be in trouble. 27-10 is in order.

  20. unca_chuck says:

    VD has passed all his tests so far. Just the simulated hitting test or WTF the last one is.

  21. unca_chuck says:

    Nrew thread is up……………….

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