Your NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers!!!

Crazy crazy game yesterday. No reason to go into the details, we all saw the excitement, the drama, and the coming out of Colin Kaepernick. That being said, the Niners are facing a team that looks somewhat like the Falcons (pocket passer, pounder of a RB, and a dominant WR in Antuan Bouldin), but also like the Niners themselves. Big and strong on both lines, they try and impose their will on every opponent they face.

Flacco reminds me of Matty Ryan, in that I didn’t see him much, but he’s put up solid numbers his whole career. Ray Rice is a force to be reckoned with, and their defense is as fundamentally sound as ours is. Beyond the brother angle, this game is a very good matchup. Old school hard nosed football. Power running with some dramatic flair thrown in by the emergence of Colin Kaepernick and his running ability. Deep shots on both sides. All in all, a pretty good deal.

We’ve got forever before gametime but the wait starts now.

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About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers and SF Giants fan
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144 Responses to Your NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers!!!

  1. Flavor says:

    I’m looking forward to my prop bets. My favorite is the one where you guess the exact score for one (or both of the teams). I hit that the year Carolina scored 29 (or whatever they scored) and hit that at 60-1.
    It keeps the game interesting if you’ve got 3 or 4 possible scores a team could end up with.
    Of course, this year the game will hold my interest for another reason. We’re back baby, back in our rightful spot!

  2. Nipper says:

    Niners will take another one 35-31. They will not need Akers.

  3. Spitblood says:

    There’s something to being loyal to Akers, but where does loyalty end and practicality begin?

  4. twinfan1 says:

    Loyalty kicked in when Cundiff was the best alternative,

  5. Flavor says:

    I’m no Akers fan but I’d stay with him for the SB. You think Akers confidence is shot? How must Cundiff feel being cut in favor of Akers? Plus, I can’t think that trying your first kick in over a year in front of 100 million people on tv is the way to ease your way back into the job.
    Akers didn’t have a bad game. He nailed that kick, 6 inches to the right and it’s good. And all his kickoffs were blasted to the back of the endzone. Plus, he made his FG the week before.
    There is no good alternative here. None.

  6. Flavor says:

    and another thing that no one seems to care about: Billy Cundiff sucks. Horribly. I guess there’s the slight angle of him getting to kick against his former team but that’s actually a negative. Can you imagine how much fucking shit they’ll talk to him pre-kick? After he jobbed them out of a super bowl appearance last year?
    Just roll with Akers and don’t let him try anything over 40 yards unless it’s the end of the half or a game winning field goal. Any other situation, you go for it…….

  7. Flavor says:

    and I’m not a karma guy or a pussy who worries about jinxes, but if I WERE I can’t imagine a worse move incongruent with the stars aligning in our favor than to sign the kicker who ruined the opposing team’s super bowl chances last year right before you play that team in the super bowl this year…….

  8. Flavor says:

    Bottom line: Harbaugh fucked this kicking situation up. Big Time. All his other moves worked, he’s the fucking genius who had the nut sack to go to Kappy, yadda yadda, but he fucked up the Akers situation. The writing has been on the wall for 2 months, they knew he had an injury and they watch his confidence slowly descend from that moment onward. And if you’re going to pull the plug on him it was 2 weeks ago when you had them *battling* each other.
    Not now, not before the super bowl. And I still think Akers can hit a kick if we need it. Come on, it’s fucking kicking……

  9. Grumpy Guy says:

    His kickoffs and PATs are still good. I think Harbaugh has just been hoping he would work through it. Especially since the alternatives suck.

  10. Winder says:

    I think the two *right* teams ended up in the big one. Baltimore will give us the game of our lives, it will be a monster of a battle and i believe we come out on top. I think this SB will be one for the books.

  11. barleyfreak says:

    After the GB game, all anyone could talk about was Kaep’s running, but what is thrilling for me as a 49er fan is the “rest” of the package. He’s young, and inexperienced, and yet already he shows an amazing composure, and an ability in the pocket to find the open receiver and deliver the ball on target. If his career plays out like we fans are hoping, then years from now what people will be talking about is just that.

    His running ability will be there and evolve to extend drives, as will his capacity to deliver darts, or touch passes, etc. In fact, he has shown touch, and will IMO only get better at that. He is smart, hard working, humble, competitive, and already shows a very solid understanding of what it takes to win. At the podium in the post game interview, he was asked about being patient with not being able to run himself and he unselfishly pointed out that as long as Gore was ripping off 5 yards a carry, he could be patient all day long. Changing the plays to hand off and understanding how to beat down a defense is freaking priceless.

    As for his running, he already has displayed an understanding that he needs to preserve his health. The last two games he has slid, gone out of bounds and generally used his physical skills running to break down the defense and not get killed in the process. That is no small feat, as we know that “running” QBs can have very short careers. His composure and understanding in this regard can’t be understated, because despite the changes we’re seeing in mobile, running QBs, I do not see an epic fundamental change in the position. QBs will still have to make good decisions and ultimately beat opponents with their arm. Colin Kaepernick has shown great potential to do that and with an impressive composure at a very early point in his career.

    He’s a long way from eclipsing the legend of Joe Montana, but it’s impossible not to appreciate that we have a potential great QB at the beginning of his career, wearing the red and gold. I’m not exactly worshiping at the CK altar just yet, but I do appreciate that we just may have a QB that can be great, and for years to come. Good stuff, any way you slice it.

    • Spitblood says:

      Kid’s got potential to be one of the all time greats. I love the stories coming out right now about Kaep yelling/encouraging/correcting his fellow team members while the game is going on. That’s the stuff. That’s what makes you great. You gotta want it down deep inside – like Ronnie Lott. Maybe Kaep is the next Ronnie Lott.

      • 12th man says:

        Maybe Kap is the next Kap and you should stop living in the past?
        All this romanticising you do about Walsh and Joe has nothing to do with here and now, just sayin.

        Very strong team and coaching staff with solid front office = SB contenders and viable as such for the forseeable future. Get with the times Spitty.

      • Spitblood says:

        12th – it has everything to do with the here and now. Can you imagine the riches this organization has enjoyed and look to enjoy once again? If you can’t see that, you don’t appreciate it. That’s your bad. You need to get with the times, boy.

      • 12th man says:

        They had a winning tradition almost 20 years ago. Its back again and looks like it has staying power. Schemes aren’t remotely Walshian and players are their own stars in an era of player first team second, the opposite of the golden years. Get with the program and feel free to take notes.

      • Spitblood says:

        It’s about the domination…. Walsh and Montana dominated. That’s the parallel. Kaep and Harbaugh could too.

    • Winder says:

      Truly looks like the sky’s the limit with Kappy.I don’t see any real weakness in his game.

  12. Amen to that Barley. In the Super Bowl the teams appear to be evenly matched except in the one area of QB. Flacco is good but I think Kap gives us the decisive advantage that gets us the win. IMHO

  13. 12th man says:

    Niners win by 2 scores.

  14. 12th man asked about the closest prognosticators to the actual score of 28-24. I think it was him (Man) at 4 off the actual with a call of 27-21. That was the old criteria we used before settling on the scoring spread per Chuck. BTW Man Del Mar edged you out for second after Twin and Shaman with a spread of 5

  15. Alleykat says:

    With Akers right now it’s “All in his Head”….Like the Great band from yesteryears Electric Light Orchestra
    “I can’t get it out of my head, my field goals are all stone dead.Cause I can’t get them out of my head..no no no nooo.

  16. Spitblood says:

    Regardless who wins, one team will have a Division II qb with a ring. In an era with all the great scouts and so much money being dumped into Division I football, maybe they should focus more money on their scouting department. And at the pro level, it’s no longer about drafting a qb high. Russell is a 3rd, Kaep is a 2nd, and Flacco is a high first who looked to be a second or third until Ozzie found him. The key is a scouting department and a coaching staff in “Lock step.” Remember that one? “Lock step?” The Redskins got RGIII for a boatload of picks and second round money. HAHAHAHAAHAHA. We got Kaep for our own second round pick, and second round money.

    The great thing about Kaep being a Division II kid is that he wants it more. You can tell. His tat – “Against All Odds,” means he wants it, and he isn’t afraid of it. The best part about Kaep is that he’s fired up to win. If Kaep wins the Super Bowl, I wonder what the Yorks, Harbaugh and Baalke will do with Kaep’s contract. Is there a maximum? I mean, (and I understand it would be against the intention of the rookie salary cap’s first three or four years) but if Alex Smith is making 8 million per year, and Harbaugh didn’t have the faith he could go on a legit Super Bowl run with Smith, then Kaep’s worth more than 8 million per year. And what’s Kaep making right now? 1 million per year?

    • 12th man says:

      I think he makes $567,000 and as I understand it they can’t give him a raise until the end of year 3 but don,t quote me on that. He will make millions this year in endorsements, Tebow made 10 mil last year. Kap with a SB win on his resume should eclipse that easily.

    • Spitblood says:

      1st round money*

  17. 12th man says:

    Niners are better than the Ravens across the board. Spit mentioned old slow LB and to an extent he has it right, he didn’t take into account that Brady is a statue and even Ray Ray can pressure given enough time.
    Kap is no such animal, Niners will be balanced at the QB position, I think we will see him run and throw, a mixture of the Falcons/Packers games mixing it up, add Gore/LMJ and the Ravens are out gunned.
    Look for Crabs to reappear too.
    Flacco is a top tier QB, but like Rodgers he can’t win from the bench.

    Niners by 10-14 points.

  18. unca_chuck says:

    I keep thinking the Niners will wipe out their opponents in these playoffs.I was right once, not so right once. Baltimore? Again, I have no real sense of this team. Packers? Sure. So, the team I’m familiar with I got right. Atl? No.Balt? These guys are physical, they have a ryan like QB in Flacco, a stud runner in Rice, and Bouldin. They have weapons, and they have balance. They ARE a lot like the Niners.

    Sure,I think the Niners win.. This one should be close though. And it just may come down to Lefty Akers in the end. God help us all.

    I didn’t make up any ‘rules’ regarding who wins and how, but if it favors me, then hey, sorry . . . . .

    Funny, I don;t watch NFL Network much, butthey have consistently gone anti-Niners throughout these playoffs.

  19. 12th man says:

    Niners have 2 far better ILB than Ray Ray and I’m not sure which is better Bowman or Willis, there’s 2new sherriffs in town and Lewis is going down. No fairytale ending for him like Elway had cause Karma is a bitch and his is due.

  20. Grumpy Guy says:

    Keys:

    Ed Reed is a wily old son of a bitch. G-Ro needs to understand this and work with Kappy more these two weeks on looking off the safety. Don’t let Reed make the big pick that costs you the game. Be aware of where he is at all times.

    It will be a physical game. There will be blood. Players need to know going in that this will be the toughest game of the year and the Ravens will challenge us physically everywhere. Man up and expect it to be a knife fight in a phone booth.

    Joe Staley vs. Suggs. Suggs is a great pass rusher. He is just rounding back into form after the injury. Staley needs to keep him from getting to Kappy. Maybe not every play, but the overwhelming majority of them.

    Goodwin and 49er guards versus Ngata. We have to move that big SOB out of the way and give Frank room to run. Goodwin will need help – sometimes from Iupati, sometimes from Boone, depending on how the D-line of the Ravens lines up.

    Frank versus Ray. Lewis has made a career out of pounding people into submission. Frank is not easy to contain. Should be fun. Mic ’em up and listen to the hits.

    Aldon and Justin and Brooks versus the Ravens O-line. Get pressure on any QB, including Flacco, and big plays will be limited. Do not get pressure, and Torrey Smith and Boldin will run wild.

    Smith and Boldin versus our CBs. T-Brown has been inconsistent this year – some good, some not so good. Same with Rogers and Culliver. We need to win these battles on third down, and be able to get off the field.

    Ray Rice versus Willis and Bowman. This includes pass coverage. Rice is damned good. Willis and Bowman need to be better.

    David Akers versus David Akers. Enough said.

  21. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, the base D was a mess yesterday. There was no pressure and Goldson was beaten like a drum early and often. Once the Niners stopped their run game they brought in more DB help, which slowed their passing game. .

    I fear the base D having the same problems in the Super Bowl. Flacco is a deep thrower, and we need help deep.

  22. Spitblood says:

    Much like everyone else on this blog, I watched all the Ravens’ playoff games this year. I thought the Colts could have beaten the Ravens if Bruce Arians wasn’t in the hospital. The Colts’ red zone attack was terrible, and the QB coach turned OC wasn’t nearly aggressive enough. Then the Broncos returned two against the Ravens, John Fox went conservative with a Ferrari at qb, and Peyton coughed it up in crunch time. The Ravens then went to Foxborough and knocked Talib and Chung out of the game, and put a Donte Whitner-like hurtin’ on the Patriots’ running back. So who are the Ravens (by virtue of who they played in the playoffs)?

    First off all, the Ravens don’t give up sacks, and that’s important because of their deep passing game. If you’re going to throw the ball deep, you need to protect Flacco. Rob Nickovich got two sacks on Flacco, Mathis got one, and Von Miller (the guy who beat out Aldon for Rookie of the Year honors last year) got a half sack in five and change quarters of football. It’s not impossible to get to Flacco, but the Ravens’ line is tough. And the 49ers just had a tough time getting pressure on Ryan. I did just watch the Niner / Falcons game again, and Fangio did have Aldon chipping Gonzo a lot so that took away Aldon’s ability to get to the qb. I hope Fangio has Aldon pass rushing all the time. Having Aldon chip is a lot like Mike Singletary keeping Brian Westbrook on the sidelines because Westbrook couldn’t run block. But I respect Fangio a lot more than Singletary, obviously. And we did win. I don’t think Dennis Pita demands the same attention, so Aldon should be attacking Flacco a lot more. Have the 49ers pin their ears back all game and attack Flacco.

    • Spitblood says:

      And actually, I shouldn’t say Aldon was chipping Gonzo. Aldon was “jamming,” Gonzo, and it almost completely took Aldon out of the pass rush game when Aldon did jam.

    • Grumpy Guy says:

      It is not just about sacks though. Ahmad did not get a sack on the key play of the game – he just busted Ryan’s shoulder. A hit after the ball is away is not a sack, but it can pay dividends down the line. If you can’t sack him, at least knock him on his ass and give him something to think about about on his next drop.

      • Spitblood says:

        I completely agree with you. I think the 49ers should rush 5 all the time and then have a linebacker spy Ray Rice. Rice loves to pass block and then squirt out into a passing route. I say rush five, keeping Rice defending Flacco, then have a linebacker spy Ray Rice. If Bowman or Willis are guarding Rice as a spy, one of them could get an INT because Flacco looks for Rice when the pocket breaks down. Commit six to Flacco and Rice. If you get after them both, Torrey and Boldin won’t be as good.

        And if I was Fangio, I’d blitz liberally. We all know Justin isn’t Justin and that we’re having trouble getting a pass rush. So don’t go down like a chump. Get after Flacco with unrelenting pressure all game long. If he bets the blitz, don’t hang your head. But make him beat the blitz.

      • 12th man says:

        Spit, that scenario is utter crap. Send 5 all the time, plus a spy and blitz liberally? Taking a chance in spots is one thing, selling out to get Flacco down at all costs is crazy.

      • Spitblood says:

        Wow! It’s utter crap? Well that’s just hurtful but I like a spirited debate full of insults.

        So what would you do, 12th? Rush four and give Flacco time to throw deep to Torrey Smith? You do realize Torrey just dominated Champ Bailey, right? So who’s our Champ Bailey? Carlos? No. Brown? No. Culliver? No. So without a guy named Champ in our secondary, and without our once amazing pass rush getting home with four, how do you presume to defend the Ravens? A base D? No frills?

        I say blitz early and often and make the Ravens go max protect. Remember when Singletary was worried about Brian Westbook pass blocking? Well, this Super Bowl is about making players do things they aren’t dangerous doing. It’s my contention you want Ray Rice pass pass blocking regardless if Ray stones Bowman or Willis.

        So your plan is to rush four and blitz on a occasion? I can honestly respect that. But I’d bring the heat and keep bringing the heat. You don’t win Super Bowls playing conservative football. And that’s exactly why Harbaugh went with Kaepernick over Smith. It’s the same on defense. Balls to the wall until we’re holding Lombardi.

      • 12th man says:

        Spit, if the point you were trying to make is the niners need to pressure Flacco of course I agree. Your scenario means doing it at the expense of pretty much anything else and that means a loss.
        Niners rushing 5 IS them blitzing, add the 6th blitzer liberally and a spy and the field is wide open, plus if Rice made the second level there is nobody home to stop him because all the DB’s are manned up 1 on 1 or at best 1 man deep.
        Defense requires a balanced approach with calculated gambles every now and then.
        Pats front 4 does not generate much pressure, Wilfork is a great run stopper and occasionally makes a play in the backfield. Niners are one of the few teams that do get pressure with 4 which gives them a numbers advantage on the back end.

      • Spitblood says:

        My scenario takes into account that Justin and Aldon aren’t getting home. Steve Young said, “Getting home with four is the magic elixir.” But the 49ers aren’t getting home with four, so blitz liberally and put Flacco back on his heals. When you do that, you make Ray Rice blitz, but he does “squirt” out occasionally so account for that.

        And on the whole, I agree with you that defenses need to be balanced with smart gambles, but sometimes you have to set a tone. There is no better team to set a tone against than a team with a deep passing game because it takes time for the receivers to get deep.

      • 12th man says:

        Ok a more reasonable approach. Just one thing though, the Niners ARE getting home with 4. Sacks are the stat that jump out but hurries, knock downs batting down are just as important. Niners blitzed a total of 5 times against Atlanta, but all the important plays came from rushing 4. Ahmad put Ryan on the ground and injured him, he also knocked down a pass near the end of the game, Aldon got hurries several times creating incompletions, it takes looking at the whole picture to figure out if your front 4 are getting it done and against the Falcons they definitely did, just a little slow on the whole D for the first quarter.

  23. 12th man says:

    The x factor is Kap, Ravens are vulnerable to a read option, highly mobile QB, especially on the edges. They will honor the run game and try to take away the deep stuff. If Kap gets to the second level he can be gone. The underneath stuff and play action deep combined with read option run game will overwhelm the Ravens D.

  24. phil fan says:

    So Kap is superior to Flacco and ILBs Willis and Bowman are better than the Ravens guys- lewis- what else? Their receivers are better? DL? RB Rice? Who has the edge in the various positions?

    Man said:

    “Niners have 2 far better ILB than Ray Ray and I’m not sure which is better Bowman or Willis, there’s 2new sherriffs in town and Lewis is going down. No fairytale ending for him like Elway had cause Karma is a bitch and his is due.”

    “Niners are better than the Ravens across the board. Spit mentioned old slow LB and to an extent he has it right, he didn’t take into account that Brady is a statue and even Ray Ray can pressure given enough time. Kap is no such animal, Niners will be balanced at the QB position, I think we will see him run and throw, a mixture of the Falcons + Packers games mixing it up, add Gore/LMJ and the Ravens are out gunned.”

    Phil:

    “Amen to that Barley. In the Super Bowl the teams appear to be evenly matched except in the one area of QB. Flacco is good but I think Kap gives us the decisive advantage that gets us the win. IMHO”

    Where do we have the edge? Where do we lag? Coaching is a wash right?

    • phil fan says:

      Advantage Niners: ILBs, run game, read option/Kap, speed on O? (Sando: …my mind turned to the few players on each team with the raw athletic ability, notably speed, to make game-breaking plays. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, tight end Vernon Davis and possibly running back LaMichael James are three such players for San Francisco. Receiver Torrey Smith is one such player for Baltimore.)

      Advantage da Crows?

      • 12th man says:

        It’s not that Kap is superior to Flacco, although he may be, it’s that he has to be accounted for on every play as a possible RB which in theory leaves something else more easily available. What makes it extra hard to defend is Gore, especially from the pistol or andy wide formations because the Ravens are comparatively slow at the first and second level. They rely on experience beating speed but with Kap that won’t work every time and when it doesn’t the kid can gash them for big gains with his arm or legs.

        So sayeth I.

  25. twinfan1 says:

    Yesterday’s games went about like I called them, the SB teams are who I picked before and after the QB change, they’d be the same teams without the switch. Thiis will work out fine for everybody, no one more so than Smith. Anyway- 17-16, Niners. Hopefully it won’t take Fangio as long to figger out how to defense the Ravens as he did the Falcons or we lose this time. Flacco is an excellent QB with some top receivers.No pressure, no win. Without the pressure towards the end, Niners are home for the rest of the winter again. It would have been a shame for Fangio to fuck up what 2 quarterbacks did to get us here. Here’s some good stuff on both.

    • Spitblood says:

      So you think Smith would have come back from 17 down? They have a word for that….. “delusional.”

      • Nipper says:

        Spit ready to take on Twin?

      • TOUCHDOWN TOMMY says:

        Spitblood

        Kaepernick’s numbers were very Alex Smith like. 16 for 21 1 TD and 226 yards,
        Nothing spectacular about his running. It is not clear what the basis of your premise that Alex Smith couldn’t make this comeback. You are full of crap as usual because they came back within the structure of the offense. Foolish to play the speculation game.
        Saying that the Colts would’ve won if Arians wasn’t in the hospital is total horseshit..

  26. 12th man says:

    My biggest fear for the game is if the Niners get a 10-14 point lead is that they go too conservative and let the Ravens back in like they did with the Pats. Would Jim be willing to embarrass John in the SB?

  27. barleyfreak says:

    Our OL played really, really well against ATL. We imposed our will running and when we threw, CK had adequate time. But I think all of us predicted that as ATL’s DL is undersized and not very imposing. The Ravens DL front is much, much better. Our OL was smacked around in our last meeting with BAL. That was of course at least one Adam Snyder ago, and the rest of the line, especially Davis and Iupati, are playing much better. So I don’t give much credence to that game because our makeup is different, with Boone and with CK as QB. But our OL will have a more difficult time than with ATL.

  28. barleyfreak says:

    I’ve given Flacco shit before and I have to give him some credit. He has an arm and can make great throws — when he has time. NE has a shitty defense. Come on. They suck. Our secondary is better. So we got smoked in the first half against ATL. Against who? Tony Freaking Gonzales, Julio Jones, and Roddy White. Those three might be the best 3 receiver tandem in football. Seriously. Yep, 24 points in the first half. Zilch in the second. As others have pointed out, you have to pressure the qb, it’s a major duh. If we can’t get to Flacco, then it becomes a shoot out. I have some concerns about our pass rush. But our secondary is better than some suggest.

    I think Torrey Smith is a great WR right now. Boldin is a beast going up for the ball, but Boldin is not as fast as as White or Jones and Pitta is a far cry from Gonzo. Point is, our secondary will play better against BAL than they did against ATL.

  29. barleyfreak says:

    The Ravens have a good OL. But I think when the chips are down, we are the hardest team in football to run against. I have a shit ton of respect for Ray Rice — he’s dangerous. But I think we contain him and keep their rushing mostly snuffed.

    This game smells low scoring. The casual fan may be disappointed, for it sets up as a slug fest. I see some big hits, personal fouls, blood, snot and vomit. 21-17, Niners.

  30. 12th man says:

    Lots of knowledgeable guys here are predicting a low scoring brutal game and that is certainly the reputation of both teams. While I do expect a physical, tough game, I really don’t think the Ravens are built for a guy like Kap on defense, they are a tad slow and that’s all the difference he needs. As long as Kap isn’t overwhelmed by the size of the game he will have a big day and at every level so far he has risen to the challenge so I figure he will again.

  31. unca_chuck says:

    12th, Harbaugh/Fangio more than learned their lesson about stepping off the gas in the NE game. They kept the pressure on Rodgers after getting that lead.

    If we get a good lead, we’ll keep it. Again, though, the start of this game is important. They can’t go down big again and expect to come right back. They need to NOT go base D and then react to the problems with that defense. We stopped Atl’s run game with and extra DB in there. They have to do the same thing in the Super Bowl. Don’t come out rushing 4 and laying back.

    Goldson HAS to be beat over the head with not biting on play action. He’s the goddamned FS, not a linebacker.

    • 12th man says:

      I think they do come out in base Chuck, nobody knows if it is effective or not (including coaches) until it is tried and the reality is if base rushing 4 is effective it gives the Niners the numbers advantage in coverage. If base proves to not be enough I hope they don’t wait too long before changing things up. Agree about Goldson, he plays as a tweener which is both good and bad, Flacco is good at moving the safety so Goldson needs to be very disciplined.

  32. unca_chuck says:

    We have enough guys who stop the run. Goldson doesn’t need to be one of them. He has to stay home.

  33. Spitblood says:

    I don’t know if I see a low scoring Super Bowl. You can run on the Ravens. Ballard 91, Hillman 83, Ridley 70 (before he was knocked out of the game). Those guys aren’t Gore and James. You setup the run and then it opens up the pass, obviously. I think the 49ers score in the high 30s. The Ravens score comes down to pressure. Aldon not having to chip or jam Gonzo could mean more pressure, but I still think the 49ers will need to blitz Boldin…. a lot. If the 49ers blitz Flacco a lot, 38-24, Niners. If the 49ers rush 4 most of the time, 38-30.

  34. barleyfreak says:

    How do you guys rate BAL’s defense? My take is that they are very physical. We’ve just beat ATL and GB, neither of which IMO have the same physicality (with an F) as BAL. Kaep has played CHI, NO, STL, SEA, ARI, NE, MIA, GB, ATL. The more physical of those really probably were the SEA, STL games. We certainly struggled against those two. Not sure about CHI because I think their D was overrated based on their bevy of TOs.

    My sense is that BAL will present a far greater challenge than GB and ATL’s mediocre defenses. 12th — that is why I see this as a closer game.

    • 12th man says:

      For me I think our O-line is equally as Fysical as their D and on run plays is superior. Ravens can be run on both between the tackles and on the edges with a good blocking scheme. Niners have just such a scheme. Ravens forte is getting after the QB, hence Brady and Manning having a tough day, but Kap is athletic, a good decision maker and he has probably the best run game the Ravens have faced this year. Incidentally Houston whacked the Ravens easily 43-14 and ran for 183 yds on them in that game, Schaub was 23/37 256yds and 2TD.

      That is where I think the Niners have superiority, once the run game is working it opens Kap to throw and run.

      • 12th man says:

        oops, it was 43-13

      • Grumpy Guy says:

        Gotta remember though – they did not have Lewis for that Houston game. They are just not the same team without him.

      • 12th man says:

        from an intensity standpoint I agree, but he is not the guy he used to be as a player, Niners can run at or around him, Miller will take him out more often than not.

  35. Alleykat says:

    Props to Wes Welker’s wife Anna,for laying into Ray “The Thug” Lewis!!
    Man she is “Smokin Hot”
    Right up this Kat’s’ Alley..

  36. Irish Kevin says:

    I did not go back and read all the posts after the game, but Jed York could be Eddie’s son!. and if that is the case, bring on the next 10 years of greatness

  37. unca_chuck says:

    Kappy struggled with StL mainly because they play zone. Chi and GB are both man coverage. Easy to run on, and easy to pick apart given the time. Atl plays underneath zone, and Kappy was able to pick that apart, since he had time.

    • barleyfreak says:

      He had time against ATL. Will he against BAL? A quick cursory look shows them at 37 sacks — we had 38. ATL had 29. I don’t use stats much because they don’t always tell; the whole story. How is BAL’s qb pressures, etc? In short what do they present on the DL that is an upgrade to ATL when it comes to rushing the passer? FWIW, they lead in sacks in the post season, with 6.

      I’m not worried that we will won’t find ways to move the ball, I just think it ain’t gonna be as easy as the last two D’s and CK will not have as much time. That’s where play calling and effectively mixing run/pass is on the coaching.

  38. unca_chuck says:

    Here’s what Anna Welker had to say about Ray Lewis:

    “Proud of my husband and the Pats. By the way, if anyone is bored, please go to Ray Lewis’ Wikipedia page. 6 kids 4 wives. Acquitted for murder. Paid a family off. Yay. What a hall of fame player! A true role model!”

    You go, girl.

  39. unca_chuck says:

    And, speaking of Ozzie’s crazy train, we get this from Tim Brown:

    “We all called it sabotage . . . because Callahan and Gruden were good friends,” Brown said. “And Callahan had a big problem with the Raiders, you know, hated the Raiders. You know, only came because Gruden made him come. Literally walked off the field on us a couple of times during the season when he first got there, the first couple years. So really he had become someone who was part of the staff but we just didn’t pay him any attention. Gruden leaves, he becomes the head coach. . . . It’s hard to say that the guy sabotaged the Super Bowl. You know, can you really say that? That can be my opinion, but I can’t say for a fact that that’s what his plan was, to sabotage the Super Bowl. He hated the Raiders so much that he would sabotage the Super Bowl so his friend can win the Super Bowl. That’s hard to say, because you can’t prove it.”

    Yikes. So Callahan threw away a shot to win the Super Bowl just so he could piss off Al Davis and help John Gruden? That’s one hell of a friend. Brown also goes on to say that Callahan entirely changed the game plan from a run-first attack to a pass-first one 36 hours before the kickoff, thus causing Barrett Robbins to go off the deep end and go AWOL in TJ for 3 days and miss the Super Bowl.

    I wonder if Tim can see the black helicopters . . .

  40. Spitblood says:

    Word is that Jerry Rice has some insights about what Tim Brown said. Sounds like Jerry’s thoughts are “can’t miss.”

    Baltimore’s defense can be had. I think Baltimore’s defense was opportunistic in the playoffs thus far. Here’s how the stack up. Defenses against the run – Baltimore 20th, 49ers 4th. Pass: Baltimore 17th, 49ers 4th. Points: Baltimore 12th, SF 2nd. Yards: Baltimore 17th, SF 3rd.
    Sure, Lewis, Suggs and Reed didn’t play together for most of the season, and they’ve got mojo now. The numbers are hard to figure on the defense side because those guys weren’t on the field together for most of the season, but even with those guys, you could run on the Ravens in this year’s playoffs.

    It’s my hope that SF goes with more power run plays in the Super Bowl. Remember when Alex Smith was the qb and Harbaugh and Roman would pull the entire student body left and right with Miller leading? That’s what I want to see more of. I like the read option, but it can’t be the only way the 49ers run the ball against the Ravens. They need to do more pulling and trapping with Kaep behind center and the 49ers in I formation with a lead blocker. Then go play action, then go with the read option.

    • Grumpy Guy says:

      I think we’ll be able to run on them some. And Kappy will get a few big plays in the air. I’m more concerned about keeping Flacco from having the time to connect with his WRs, and avoiding turnovers.

      And it is really important that we come out ready to hit and be hit. We looked sluggish the first few minutes of the Atlanta game, on both sides of the ball (though more defensively). Can’t do that with this team.

      • Spitblood says:

        I wasn’t happy with the 49ers’ coaching staff in the beginning of the Falcons’ game. I thought the game plan lacked balls.

        I think the key to the Super Bowl, like you Grump, will be getting pressure on Flacco. You’re right that Brooks hitting Ryan changed the end of the game. But we didn’t get to Ryan until the end of the game. I hope we get to Flacco early and often with a lot of blitzing.

      • 12th man says:

        Grump it’s not an east coast game on a travel week this time around. Atlanta was a 9am game for the Niners, I think that does have an effect to some degree. They should be time acclimatized by game day, don’t they travel early for the whole SB week circus? And the game is later in the day.
        Hopefully that hall helps a little.
        Oh and did I mention it’s the freakin Super Bowl? To come out flat for that game would mean Callahan is calling the plays on both sides of the ball.

  41. TOUCHDOWN TOMMY says:

    What is hard to stop with the Ravens is Ray Rice and their screen game.
    Would look for ways to neutralize that and blow it up.

  42. unca_chuck says:

    I’m not worried about screens. No one has thrown screens against us with much success. I’m worried about Rice, Bouldin, and Smith. It’s up front that determines the success of their run game and ours. If the Niners don’t get pressure, it’ll be just as bad a 1st half as last week. Which is why I’d like to see us come out blitzing. Nail Goldson’s feet into the turf 20 yards downfield so he doesn’t bite on play action or double moves.

    Balt’s LBs are slow. I’d look to stretch them with a lot of LMJ on pitches, and maybe a screen or 2 of our own. Miller had a phenomenal game blocking last week.

  43. unca_chuck says:

    And one last thing (well, not last). I think the biggest run of the game for Frank was the last one of the day for him. 3rd and 15 on the 8 yard line, and he gets 10 to give Andy Lee room to punt, and Lee pinned Atl far enough back to not even come close to reaching the end zone on a Hail Mary pass . . .

  44. 12th man says:

    Ravens are 4.5 point dogs to open the line.

  45. 12th man says:

    From Sando
    Kaepernick has the NFL’s highest Total QBR score (94.1) and second-highest passer rating (105.9) in the playoffs this season.

    Sando also manages to fit a praising of Russell Wilson into this piece on Kap of course.

  46. 12th man says:

    I hope AJ Jenkins takes a leaf out of Crabs book and works his ass off in the off season and TC cause as of right now he has shown just about nothing in any game this year, for a #1 first round pick that is dismal. Crabtree would be hearing it from all of us, not sure why Jenkins is getting a pass.

    Harbs said Jenkins would have to step up when Manningham went down but he simply hasn’t.

    So much for writing his name in an envelope the night before the draft, sounded good and promising at the time.

    Too soon to write him off but he needs to get his ass in gear quick or the team will pass him by.

    • barleyfreak says:

      Well he sure isn’t getting a pass from me. Hey, maybe I’m wrong and he puts on 15 lbs, memorizes the playbook, and kicks some serious ass next year, but my gut says nope, ain’t gonna happen. Maybe he has some kind of NFL career, but as a first rounder, I wouldn’t bet on it as there is ZERO evidence to support it.

      • Spitblood says:

        Crabtree took a long time to develop into the receiver he is right now. Crabs is blossoming right now and it’s year what for Crabs? Crabs has both hands and great route running ability. I think Jenkins only has hands – at least that was the scouting report on him coming out of college, and there’s already evidence to support that (despite Jenkins’ recent drop). It’ll take Jenkins years to become a great receiver that Harbaugh, Roman and Kaepernick can trust. It doesn’t happen in year one, and it might not even happen in year two. But it will happen. It’s like Nolan said, “Some players come into the league ready to contribute earlier than others.”

      • 12th man says:

        Actually Spit I think Crabs caught 8 passes his first game, that’s from memory though. He did take 3 years to become the player he is today. Granted Crabs came onto a team thin at the position, but Jenkins has 0 catches in 18 games as a first round pick and he isn’t injured! You keep saying he will be fine but what do you base that on?

        I hope you’re right and he is just a slow developer but so far I haven’t seen a damn thing that gives me any inclination one way or the other.

        Barley I tend to agree, as of right now it don’t look too promising but there is still time I guess.

      • Spitblood says:

        Crabs was drafted 10th, Jenkins like 29th or whatever. There’s a difference between the two. Jenkins is a long ways from a bust. People were saying the same thing about LaMicheal James, and the same thing about Colin Kaepernick.

      • 12th man says:

        Spit, I wrote this at the bottom of the page “4 appearances, no catches, 1 drop in 18 games.” He was drafted 29th in the first round. Any way you slice it that is not looking good for the kid at least so far.

        LMJ had Gore and Hunter in front of him, nobody expected much from him this season and Kap has to beat out Smith who Harbs said was the starting QB in training camp so no expectation there.
        You are making up parallel scenarios that don’t equate to try defend Jenkins and still haven’t said why you believe he is or will be good.

      • Spitblood says:

        We’ll just have to wait and see. In my very ultra humble opinion, wide receiver is the one position that takes the longest to get up to speed.

  47. 12th man says:

    Charlie Garner, remember him?, gives Tim Brown some cover for his story.
    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/01/22/charlie-garner-agrees-with-tim-brown-sort-of/

  48. BTW thanks to Twinfan for posting the vids above. The Kaepernick one is the most and best quality video I’ve seen of the Niners all year after I downloaded it. Nice thanks from coconut land. Alex I’ll watch next…

    • 12th man says:

      Yeah good vids. Kap sure has made a lot of spectacular plays so far in his short NFL career.
      I remember those dark days all too well from the Smith vid, glad for him he came out on top in the end. He gets a SB ring and played a large part in earning it this year.

  49. unca_chuck says:

    Spit, do you make this shit up as you go along? Do you not think people don;t remember 4 years ago? Crabtree missed all of training camp, preseason, and the first 5 games of the 2009 season. In his first action he caught 5 balls for 60 yards. Great? No, not really. But he came in cold and caught passes. He has always put up decent, if not spectacular numbers. Jenkins (yeah, on a deeper team), came in slow and overwhelmed. He still hasn’t whelmed yet, despite the loss of Kyle Williams and Mario Manningham.

    When they sign a guy off the street 1/2 an hour before kickoff, you know you are not in anyone’s plans. Can he work his way back onto the team’s good graces? Sure. But again, getting Chad Hall was a direct result of AJ still not being ready to play in the NFL.

    • 12th man says:

      Chuck I should of read your post before replying to Spit, you had it all covered already.

    • unca_chuck says:

      4th round fliers don’t factor into a team’s roster plans. And most get on the playing field if the 2 guys in front of him get hurt. 1st round WRs do.

      Again, they are saying that after an entire training camp, preseason, season, and post season, that Chad Hall is the better option. Ginn shouldn’t be the better option, let alone walk-on guy.

  50. unca_chuck says:

    The problem with the Tim Brown theory is that Rich Gannon must have been in on it as well. 5 picks? Ouch.

    And if Callahan is so stupid as to sabotage his own career for the betterment of his friend Chucky, then la de fricking da, he’s a moron of the highest order.

    • unca_chuck says:

      “I’ll show those Raiders! I’ll fuck up the Super Bowl so they lose, and I become, well, uh, a hack of an NFL head coach, fired a year later, the laughingstock of college football, hated by the state of nebraska, and an afterthought for the rest of my life. Yay me. I showed them!”

  51. TOUCHDOWN TOMMY says:

    When Michael Crabtree was drafted you just need to look at the coaching and state of the team’s talent especially the offensive line.
    AJ Jenkins didn’t have the obstacles that Crabtree had to overcome.

  52. Nipper says:

    It’s so nice everyone gets along. Fellowship is a wonderful concept.

  53. 12th man says:

    Niners are thin at receiver, Crabs, Moss and ????? Yet the #1 pick is a non factor, says it all right there so far.

  54. 12th man says:

    The let Greg Williams out of his cage today and reinstated Sean Payton

  55. unca_chuck says:

    You think this has ANYTHING to do with the fact that Goodie Goodell is travelling to New Orleans to host the Super Bowl?

    Timing is everything.

  56. Winder says:

    Hard to believe that AJ is so bad that we couldn’t use him even at cleanup time. There must be a story behind this.

  57. Winder says:

    Maybe once U get into coache’s doghouse U don’t leave for awhile if ever.

    • unca_chuck says:

      No way could it be that bad. AJ and Kappy worked together for the first 8 games on the scout team. You’d think they’d build up some kind of rapport. I don’t get it. He must not be showing much.

    • 12th man says:

      Could be Winder but I have a feeling he hasn’t picked up the pro game sufficiently. Here’s hoping he does cause another Rashaun Woods would suck when the Niners do need a contributing WR now and next year. Woods was picked 31st in the 1st round by the way.

  58. 12th man says:

    Now this did surprise me, Jerry Rice says Callahan did sabotage the team to lose the SB. This story gets crazier.
    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/01/22/jerry-rice-agrees-with-tim-brown-bill-callahan-sabotaged-us/

  59. TOUCHDOWN TOMMY says:

    Remember that AJ Jenkins was going to be mentored by Jerry Rice and train with him in the hills.
    That was just a bunch of feel good malarkey that never happened.

  60. Alleykat says:

    AJ sure needed to get with Jerry ,besides all his vast knowledge as the “Greatest Reciever of Alltime” those hills up off of Edgewood Rd where Jerry always ran,would even get Pablo Sandoval in shape.
    AJ get your shit together next year,are even Eddie D will come out an say: “Your Gone”!!

  61. 12th man says:

    I watched the game again since I had a little free time today, heck of a win. I missed all the post game stuff before, Frank Gore should become a coach when he hangs it up in a couple of years cause he sure as heck ain’t gonna be a TV talking head. Emmit Smith is eloquent compared to Frank.
    On to the SB baby.

  62. Alleykat says:

    Yeah,have to agree 12th.His kid was more entertaining.
    Could be a good RB coach,but I love Tom Rathman,he does a fantastic job coaching these guys.
    Hey just for the hell of it,im giving out major props to an unsung 49er:
    Alex Boone has done a tremendous job IMO,taking over at Left Guard.That was a major hole to fill coming out of camp,and as usual Jimbo believed in him,and he came through bigtime to help make them the “Best” OL in football.This Bud’s for you Alex!!!

    • 12th man says:

      good call Kat, Boone has been a real boon to the team 😉

    • barleyfreak says:

      Boone was the missing link in the OL, as defined as “He who replaces the weak link”. Gone are the Rachal/Snyder turnstile days.

    • NoFear49er says:

      Iupati’s been pretty good there, too!

      I know you meant RG and I agree with you, he’s been a good player and a surprise to me. He’s hardly ever standing alone looking around scratching his head wondering who he should have blocked like his predecessor.

  63. Spitblood says:

    Tim McDonald leaving Fresno State to coach Jets’ secondary. McDonald with the Jets, Norton with the Seahawks. Rathman with the Niners. Anyone know any other Niner players who are coaching the NFL?

    • Grumpy Guy says:

      Bill Musgrave – Vikings’ OC.

      Matt Cavanaugh – Bears’ QB coach.

      Dwaine Board – Browns’ DL.

      Kevin Greene – Packers OLBs.

      Ken Dorsey – Panthers’ QB coach.

      Ray Brown – Panthers’ OL Assistant.

      Anthony Lynn – Rb coach for the Jets.

      Jimmy Robinson – Cowboys’ WRs.

      Pre-dynasty era players Mel Phillips and Howard Mudd recently retired I believe from long careers as NFL assistants.

  64. unca_chuck says:

    Always liked Mel Phillips. He was on the early 70s teams that almost were . . .

    • Grumpy Guy says:

      Mel was an outstanding safety. Unfortunately, he broke his arm almost every year during the late 60s and early 70s, and I’m not exaggerating. Actually, one year he didn’t: just to mix it up, he broke BOTH arms that year. Guy may have set a career record for most games played in a cast.

  65. Alleykat says:

    Do you believe this Horseshit:
    Fran Gore was fined 10,500 for wearing his socks to low in the NFC Championship game.
    Fuck i could see after second TD mocking the fans and starting his dirty bird pose.But fucking socks???
    Geez,.that’s gonna make a difference in tackling him.

  66. Spitblood says:

    I hope Harbaugh and Fangio learn from last week’s slow start. Here’s how you avoid the slow start.

    Show the team the play in the Super Bowl between the Giants and Patriots where K Mitchell fakes dropping back into coverage, lets the guard slide over to help his tackle, then Mitchell blitzes and almost sacks Brady for a safety in the end zone (or maybe he did – it’s the dementia). If we start out on D, have Willis and Bowman practice doing the same thing. Blitz early and often – fake the guards and running backs out. Bring linebacker, corner and safety blitzes. Bring unrelenting pressure on Flacco. If Flacco burns the blitz, so what? We just hung 40 on the Packers and came from 17 down against Falcons. We’re invincible.

    If we start out on offense, target Pollard. Put a bullseye on the guy’s chest. I’m not talking Bounty Gate, I’m talking pulling and trapping guards and tackles downfield with plays designed to get offensive linemen into the second and third levels. Go with Kaep under center, I formation with Miller and Gore. Pull Iupati around the right side and get him on Pollard. You get plays intentionally designed to knock linebackers and secondary players into Christmas and later in the game they won’t be so spry and it might keep Kaep from getting licked in the 4th quarter when Kaep’s pumped up and trying to will a Super Bowl win.

    If we blitz early and use the power run game to knock the stuffing out of Ravens’ secondary players, we’ll win the Super Bowl handily. Remember – it’s the play calling that gives our players the advantage physically. The first half of this game won’t even be about the score. The first half of this game will be about imposing our will on the Ravens – it’ll be about who’s left on the sidelines in pain, talking with trainers and calling their backups into the game. Aggressive play calling gives us the edge if Harbaugh, Roman and Fangio call plays designed to beat the hell out of the Ravens. If I was the coach, early on it wouldn’t be about plays that advance the football; early on it would be about calling plays that created “crack back” blocks or mismatches that overwhelmed secondary players with our monster linemen.

  67. unca_chuck says:

    New thread is up.

    AK, yeah, the Minn game earlier this year, the Minn defender was fined $7,500 for nearly decapitating Alex Smith. Goldson was fined $10,500 for a sock violation. Lunacy.

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