The Countdown Begins . . .

6 days and counting before the Super Bowl. What a long crazy season it has been. From the finally broken W-W-L consistently inconsistent play of the team to the emergence of Colin Kaepernick as the weapon of choice for the 2nd half of the season, the team has gelled at the right time. The playoff games showed Baltimore that the Niners can run the read option with Kaepernick or with Gore. The playoff games showed the Niners can overcome adversity with the early pick 6 in the Green Bay game, and the 17 point deficit in the Atlanta game.

My hope for this game, however, is a faster start by the defense. Both playoff games the defense was on their heels early, and they gave up points. 14 in the GB game, and 24 in the Atl game. They settled down, created some turnovers, and shut down both teams to the tune of 3 point by GB (with a late garbage-time TD), and 0 points to Atl. I love the adjustments, although last week, I don’t thinkthey changed much, they just started playing better and wore down Atl’s line and got more pressure on Natty Ice.


Thanks to Kevin for the pic above. I’d love to figure out how to contact those soldiers and let them know we are behind them all the way.

About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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60 Responses to The Countdown Begins . . .

  1. shaman138 says:

    I’m having a hard time trying to decpipher how this game will go–both teams are so evenly matched and both have hard-nosed, physical D’s. The 9ers may be faster but the Poes have the edge with experience and knowledge. This one could really go either way and it will most likely be decided by turnovers and probably a little luck. So I’ll say SF will win this one by 7 just because of the Kapernick x-factor–SF over Faultimore, 24-17. But I won’t be surprised if the Poes take this one. We shall see…

  2. snarkk says:

    Saw a vid on CSNBA of VD and Delanie walking through NO, talking to Mindi Bach on the way. People were getting autographs from Delanie. Two observations.
    1. Why would anyone want Delanie’s autograph?
    2. He didn’t drop the Sharpies…

    • phil fan says:

      Yeah he’s had a hard time stopping the Kapper fastball but dropped plenny a Alex’s throws too. Maybe it was the tough catch in the 4th Q (?) across the middle where he held on after two big hits in the middle of the field- on the game winning scoring drive. On 3rd down too. I’ll look at that again to check. Don’t drop one in the SB Delanie

  3. Spitblood says:

    I don’t think that much of Matt Ryan. He throws a nice ball, but I don’t think much of him as a leader. The NFL gives guys nicknames who need them. Think Brady, Rogers or Brees need nicknames? And does Matt Ryan pass the foxhole test? Hell no. Neither does Alex Smith. Now Colin Kaepernick, yes. I’d want Colin in my foxhole because A.) He could chuck the grenades while I laid down a mean cover fire. B.) He’s skinny so he doesn’t have to eat much. C.) I’m pretty sure we’d laugh a lot. D.) He’d guide me through my dementia like a leader is supposed to.

    If Alex Smith was in my foxhole, I’d have to throw the grenades while Smith “managed” the covering firing. But eventually the scouting report would show Smith wasn’t a threat from long distances and while I was throwing the grenades, Smith would be shooting trees (in the stands) and the sniper would shoot me in the gut. Then I would be the one not eatting so much, and we certainly wouldn’t be laughing all the time because I would be dying of gut shot because Smith could throw grenades or lay down covering fire. And none of this would do my dementia any good. There’s no way we’d be on the Kaiser’s front door step (like we are now) with Smith. No chance. Now Colin? With Colin we’ll slay that bitch.

  4. Spitblood says:

    couldn’t* ….. damn dementia.

  5. Spitblood says:

    Remember back in the day when the 49ers couldn’t come from behind with Alex Smith and the fans who loved Smith pointed to games like the Philly game to prove Smith could in fact come from behind? (if you watch that game, Frank Gore lead the come from behind charge.) Well, gone are those days for the 49ers, but I’m not so sure that’s the case for the Ravens. I don’t think the Ravens can come from behind and score quick points. Sure, they can throw deep, but it’s a one dimensional quick strike offense. Take away the deep ball and what do you have? A quick strike offense is one that gets chunks in a hurry in a number of different ways. Kaep can run it for a TD, throw a bomb to Moss, or he can throw lasers for 20 and 30 yard passes, and don’t forget the screen.

    At the Pro Bowl, Jarred Allen was asked, “You guys beat the 49ers this season, how’d you do it?” Allen responded saying, “You have to jump on them early and make them play from behind.” But Allen added, “But now, with Kaepernick, it looks like they can play from behind now as well.” That’s a big psychological benefit for Roman, Harbaugh, Fangio and the rest of the team. If the game doesn’t go our way early, we’re still in it thanks to Kaep. I don’t think the Ravens can say the same thing, so I hope we’re able to jump on ’em early.

    • guiseppe says:

      Remember back in the day when Alex Smith stole your lunch money? Man, that must have really damaged you. Try to turn the page and be happy that the 49ers are in the Super Bowl.

      • Spitblood says:

        I double dog dare Alex Smith to try and steal my lunch money at any point in his lifetime. Sweet Jesus I could have avoided a lot of Niner pain by inventing a time machine and making sure he played soccer.

  6. Chico says:

    Awesome photo. Where was that taken? Anyone know?

  7. unca_chuck says:

    Spitty, you are treading back into bye-bye territory. Don’t push it fuck-o.

    Just be thankful the Niners have the best backup in the game. For one more game.

  8. snarkk says:

    IMO, the only way the Ravens win this thing is they get at least one bomb type TD pass, and a couple more long bombs to set up another couple of TDs and/or couple of FGs. Torrey Smith is pretty good at getting behind the defense, and we’ve been susceptible to that off and on this season. Keep the long bombs to a minimum or not at all, and the only thing that can lose this for us is turnovers. Ginn needs to step up, no mistakes. As for Akers, if it comes down to his foot to decide the game, well, we just better not be in that position…

  9. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, Ginn actually was pretty decent in these last couple games. Those returns were killed by penalties though. Mistake free, yes. Goldson is always the wildcard. He got burned early a few times in Atl, and had a stupid penalty in the GB game, but has otherwise done OK. Brown has done well even with the TD off him in the Atl game. That was just a flat excellent catch.

  10. NoFear49er says:

    Army Guard guys on top of an Army shithook.


    One of the guy’s sister has them and their unit id’d.

  11. unca_chuck says:

    Thanks, No Fear. I dropped ’em a quick thanks on their facebook page . . .

  12. Chico says:

    Yeah, big thanks to No Fear.. I scooped the photo and put it up on my wall.. Lots of friends and family that are/were service members who are Giants/Niner fans. They’ll love it.

  13. Dragging this forward- trying to keep up with the many threads on SB Week:

    Super Bowl Scoring Challenge Niners VS da Ravens. Step right this way gentlemen and lay ‘em down. Who you gonna call?

    Chuck: I’m going with 31-20. I think our offense can run on Baltimore, and if so, then the passing game opens wide. I also think our D line will eventually get to Flacco and he’ll make a critical mistake. Contain Rice, and I think we can slow their passing game to the point of frustration. Baltimore has also been burned by big returns on both kickoffs and punts, so I think the Niners have an advantage on special teams as well. That is, if it doesn’t come down to a FG.

    Twinfan: 17-16 Niners. Well, it will be closer still in 2 weeks… 3 or less. I have it 17-16 Niners but I’m hating how the kicker deal has been handled. It was way late before they brought in competitors. Anybody remember that guy who was working at a bar like a week before the Falcons signed him and he kicked 5 FGs or so to win a MNF game?

    Grumpy Guy: 28-27, 49ers. With these teams (49ers and Ravens), both want to run, to get some big plays in the air, and beat the holy fuck out of you with their defense. I think we are *slightly* better, but it’s close. They weren’t right much of the year with Suggs and Lewis hobbled but that’s over. I’ll make my call now – a very close game, but we’ll squeak through. 28-27, 49ers.

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

    12th man: Niners win by 2 scores. 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.

    barleyfreak: 21-17, Niners. 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.

    Spitblood: If the 49ers blitz Flacco a lot, 38-24, Niners. If the 49ers rush 4 most of the time, 38-30. 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

    NJ49er: Let’s say 24-13 Niners. We have to use our speed to win this one.
    Our Defense is younger and faster than theirs. Our Offense is capable of beating their LBs. Another situation like we saw in Atlanta. Work the crossing stuff and keep RayRay moving laterally. He won’t cover the likes of Vernon or Delanie. Get Frank, LMJ and Bruce into the pass routes too. LMJ in the open field is something I want to see. This all comes down to handling their pass rush and not giving up sacks. Perhaps spreading them out could prove to be profitable? See what Jim and Roman cook up for the fast indoor track. Looking for us to ‘out quick’ them. Be nice if we could get something in the way if production from AJ too, since no one has seen him do anything all year. He could prove to be the secret weapon we hope he should be.
    As Spit eluded to, I too would like to see a game plan involving the short screen game to keep RayRay moving laterally and slowing the anticipated pass rush pressure.
    Get on the edges, LMJ, Frank, Bruce too. Kaep will no doubt take his deep shots to keep them guessing too. Spread them, screen them, work them sideline to sideline.
    They’re an older Defense in some key areas and we need to utilize our speed.
    Crossing routes all day to wear Ray out. Randy gets a RING!

    Phil: 28-24 Niners. Close but da Niners get the cigar for #6

    winder: 24 – 20 Niners in a real snot rocker, this one could get real ugly.

    shaman138: 24-17 Niners. I’m having a hard time trying to decpipher how this game will go–both teams are so evenly matched and both have hard-nosed, physical D’s. The 9ers may be faster but the Poes have the edge with experience and knowledge. This one could really go either way and it will most likely be decided by turnovers and probably a little luck. So I’ll say SF will win this one by 7 just because of the Kapernick x-factor–SF over Faultimore, 24-17. But I won’t be surprised if the Poes take this one. We shall see…

    2nd edition. Plenty of time to get yer bets in gents

  14. Alleykat says:

    Aldon Smith named winner of the Bill Walsh award.

  15. unca_chuck says:

    A guy from Cal Nat’l Guard said they’ve gotten over 23,000 likes on that pic . . . !

  16. snarkk says:

    Rumor that the MVP of the upcoming Puppy Bowl is a schnauzer named Alex…

  17. Flavor says:

    Aldon Smith winning the BW Award is a bit of a head scratcher since it’s supposed to go to the team MVP. Justin Smith has won it twice and I think an easy case could be made for him winning it a third time. But whatever, it’s voted on by the players, they know more than I do about who’s *most valuable* to the team…….
    Phil, I’m going with a super bowl score of Niners 35 Baltimore 16. I almost went with the Niner/Dolphin score but I don’t think Akers gets a chance to kick so I’m going with 5 td’s and I’m already on record as saying I think Baltimore will score something with a *6* in the ones spot since 3 of our 5 SB’s have featured that number in the loser’s one-spot column. And the Niners scored 26 in their first SB so a *6* has shown up in the ones column of Niner Super Bowls. That’s important to those of us who bet on exact final score because anything with a 6 in it usually pays 40-1 or so (except 16). I don’t, or at least I *hope* Baltimore doesn’t score 26 points and if I give them 36 then I’m picking them to win by a point. So that’s why they have to score 16. But I’m going to bet on them scoring 6/16/26/36 just to cover all my bases…..
    I’m gonna be in Reno for the SB with a bunch of old college buddies so you guys get a break from me for the super bowl…. 🙂

    • phil fan says:

      Gotcha ‘covered’ Flav. Have a great time up there

    • NJ49er says:

      Flavor I’m going to use your numerology trends with the Super Bowl Roman Numerals depicting the number 47, or XLVII.

      Since we haven’t been in the Show for 18 years, I’ll invert 18, (just to reverse the curse).
      18 becomes 81.
      Year of our first Championship of course.
      Good omen.

      We can all agree, the wait has been way too long.
      Extra Long in fact.
      Extra Long = XL for my purposes here.

      We want to forget the XL portion.
      Subtract XL from XLVII
      You got it, VII
      VII = 7
      Kaep’s jersey number.
      Advantage 9ers

      We’ve played in, and won, 2 SBs with the number 5 (Roman numeral V of course).
      2 + 5 = 7
      Kaep again.
      Advantage 9ers.

      Our SB winning numeral V, sits dead center, between the XL and II.
      The bulls eye on any target is always Dead Center.
      So, one can only come to one correct conclusion…..
      V = Victory

      • Flavor says:

        See, what I like about this analysis is that it involves math. And math, as we all know, involves logic and proof which you have brilliantly outlined in this post. Well done!

  18. unca_chuck says:

    Nate Silver got it wrong. We’ve overcome the w-w-l thing, We beat the SI jinx. The Niners are going to take it.

  19. It was an ordeal with a shanked FG and a Crabtree strip at the goal line but the D refused to let us lose. We got the ball back and Frank put us ahead to stay = ticket to the dance. After that we should lose? Naw we will win this sucker

  20. Spitblood says:

    Regarding Obama, Pollard and NFL player safety, I could honestly see some crazy changes coming to the NFL. I do NOT think that getting rid of kickoffs is the answer. You can’t change the structure, but I do think you can continue to change the rules in a way that would affect the game immediately. Here are some ideas:
    1.) Fining players doesn’t work in big games. If I can deliver a devastating hit in the Super Bowl that helps win the game, why not? I’ll take the fine and deliver the hit. But what about ejecting the player? Getting ejected doesn’t help win the game. And what’s to say a one time big hit is intentional? If you follow my line of thinking, the answer is soccer. Yellow card, red card. Think about it. If fining doesn’t deter in big games, ejection would but it can’t be controversial. It wouldn’t be if there was a warning.
    2.) The NFL must have full disclosure. The NFL must work everyday to not only help understand head injuries caused by the sport, but the NFL must also disclose all of their findings to their players and the nation. In doing so, past players and their families (eventually) couldn’t say, “You knew and you didn’t tell us,” like Junior’s wife recently has done in a lawsuit. Full disclosure, and maybe even some kind of agreement upfront – “You play, you get paid and you know brain trauma is a very real possibility,” so the owners aren’t liable.
    3.) More required padding. Eric Dickerson used to wear every single pad known to mankind. Other players didn’t. Padding is optional. It shouldn’t be. The NFL can regulate Frank’s socks but not his pads?
    4.) The NFL should sponsor increased drug testing at the high school and college levels. These NFL players aren’t building muscle mass illegally in the NFL where the tests are. They’re building illegal muscle mass that creates faster and stronger players at the lower levels. If the NFL doesn’t want to help with drug testing, make a statement that if a player is caught at the lower levels using steroids they’re banned from playing in the NFL for life.
    5.) Take the weight rooms out. You read that right. Make the game more about endurance, flexibility and cardio, and less about muscle mass. It’s laughable to think of football players doing hot yoga at the team’s facility, but guess what, it’s the muscle mass that’s creating the head injuries. Bill Walsh and Bobb McKittrick’s offensive lines were more finesse than power. That could easily be the game if that’s what the owner’s made a priority. And sure, some guys are naturally huge and that’ll make other guys want to cheat, but it’s the culture in the NFL that the owners are fostering that could kill the game. It’s literally an arms build up. You get bigger, the team gets bigger, the other teams have to get bigger, quicker to keep up. If the owners get together and take out all the trainers, nutrition specialists, etc., etc,, designed to make the players bigger and stronger, you’re not going to have the arms build up. Forget about the trainers trying to build mass. Just have trainers helping to heal injuries.

    I know this all sounds crazy but the NFL needs to start changing ASAP. When the President speaks out in an era where change is impossible, there’s trouble.

    • unca_chuck says:

      Good luck with that. Goodie Goodell already wields too much power. Having him mandate HS and college drug testing will never happen in 20 lifetimes. Pads? No. Weight room? No. Stiffer penalties for hits? That will happen.. However the NFLPA will fight this tooth and nail every step of the way. As they already have.

      At some point there will be sensors put on all helmets. Helmet-to-helmet contact? Instant penalty if it’s over the sensor limit.

  21. Irish Kevin says:

    Made me LMAO, they would be better off with Alex Smith!! Head line in Yahoo sports:

    Jets reportedly considering JaMarcus Russell

  22. unca_chuck says:

    Smith makes too much sense. The Jets are making the Raiders look like genuises. The Raiders burned 5 picks (or whatever) on Carson Palmer and Terrrelle Pryor. Neither of whom should be in the NFL at this point. Getting Gradkowski would be an upgradefor them now. Or even Alex.

  23. unca_chuck says:

    Damn. The Rams just announced they WON’T be hiring Rob (Revolving Door) Ryan as their Defensive Coordinator, citing philosophical differences.

  24. barleyfreak says:

    A notable quote below from the espn nfcwest blog,

    “The Ravens want to force Kaepernick to beat them with his arm. ”

    Work for me. I also continue to see comparisons to Vick. To me , that is a joke. CK’s arm, accuracy, pocket presence and poise are already worlds above anything Vick has shown. I am AOK with them hyper focusing on not letting him beat them with his legs. And I am still somewhat puzzled that everyone is so obsessed with his running. They are ignoring what ultimately is going to kick ass over the next ten years. TD passes. I guess it is the shiny new object syndrome.

    • Spitblood says:

      I don’t think the media knows what John Harbaugh intends to do to stop Kaep. Surely John just saw Frank and LaMicheal in the Falcons’ game feed off the read option. Nolan keying on Kaep is what won us the game. I’d be willing to bet that John makes Kaep run the ball. Think Kaep and Jim didn’t see Pollard knocking out the Pats’ running back? John knows he can beat Alex Smith. I think you’re right, though, Barley…. I do think the end result will be Kaep needing to be a pocket passer in this game, and I think Jim anticipates that.

      I truly hope Jim doesn’t play conservative in the first quarter because Kaep is so young. Kevin Gilbride, in the first Giants’ Super Bowl with Eli, called a lot of running plays and said openly, “We’ll start throwing the ball more once Eli gets comfortable in the game.” I can see the reasoning in that, but I think Jim knows that Kaep can handle all comers. I’m hoping for an early, aggressive passing game. It’ll only add to the Colin Kaepernick legend.

  25. Spitblood says:

    The 49ers are in a really interesting position after the Super Bowl. I don’t believe in jinxs, so I can look ahead while I hope the team isn’t.

    The 49ers will get a huge savings from the Colin Kaepernick’s rookie salary cap contract. In addition, they’ll save by releasing Smith. There may also be some contracts that need to be restructured, and now, finally, the 49er organization has some leverage over players regardless if the 49ers win the Super Bowl – “You want a shot at ring? Play in SF.” That goes for free agents, but more importantly, it goes for our own players. Think now that the 49ers have a potentially awesome offense that Dashon Goldson doesn’t want to play in SF?

    I don’t pretend to know what the 49ers’ salary cap looks like after Baalke makes his cuts, retains some more players, and restructures more contracts. Nobody knows. But I’m confident they will be in better shape after the draft because the 49ers have something like 10 picks. The 49ers could package up picks to move up to get a real impact player – trading with a team like the Saints who need picks and have a relatively high draft pick this off season. Because the team is so good, late round picks mean less, so package ’em up and trade up.

    I believe the 49ers have some unique off season options. They could go out and get a free agent pass rusher like Dwight Freeney, or a DT like Richard Seymor. Unca’s boy, Mike Wallace, will probably be available this year as well. The 49ers should guard against jeopardizing their salary cap – guard against mortgaging for the future, but I have faith in both Baalke and Harbaugh to avoid such pitfalls, especially when they have so many draft picks.

    Like the Falcons a few years ago, the 49ers are in position now to package up picks and move up into the first round to get an immediate impact player. I think in the first round the 49ers could get a dominant defensive tackle, drafted in the top 15, who could immediately contribute and learn from Justin Smith. For my money, if I’m the GM, I package up picks to get a high first round pick and I use it on DT.

    But the 49ers also have other needs. They could use a new kicker, a third string developmental quarterback, another safety, corner, offensive tackle, running back and another wide receiver even though Kyle Williams and Manningham will be healthy, and Moss is coming back.

    Jim Harbaugh was on KNBR recently saying how his team is poised to make a run at three Super Bowl rings. I honestly believe that’s just what he’ll do…… hopefully more.

  26. Alleykat says:

    Ray Lewis suspected of using a ban steroid during his recovery from his torn bicep muscle.
    Antler-velvet extract!!
    Hey Dennis…,Did Ray hook up with you for his fix at your Pub in Pinole,Antlers?
    Hope they ban his ass from the game,but Goodell has no balls for that to happen.

  27. unca_chuck says:

    Gawd, Spit. Hire a fucking editor. No one reads your tomes. A lot of important guys are signed. The biggest decision next season is Goldson. He’s so all-over-the-place though. His start in the Atl game was atrocious. His WAY late hit in the GB game was boneheaded as well. He can be good at times, but he hasn’t been very good lately. I wouldn’t burn the coin to sign him to a big deal. He wants something like 4 years/$30 mill. No way no how. They could even franchise him again, but he’d be VERY pissed if that happens.

    And, as I’ve said a million times, they have flexibility at the corner position. There are a ton of DBs in the draft. If they find a FS they love in the draft, get him. If they find a CB they love, move Culliver to FS.

    The Niners have 14 picks this draft when you wade through the supplementals. If they trade Smith it should be for 2014 picks.

    • Grumpy Guy says:

      Without Goldson’s hit on Hernandez that gave him and a few other Patriot receivers alligator arms, we might have lost that game – and the division. I doubt we would have made it to the SB as a wildcard.

      He is inconsistent as hell, but he does make his share of plays. I would not let him go without a very solid plan to replace him. I have not seen enough of Culliver in run support to consider him that plan. In any event, Culliver has the most upside of our CBs and should stay there.

  28. unca_chuck says:

    Wouldn’t that be poetic justince? Ray Lewis suspended for one game. His last one!

    Yer right though. Goodie Goodell won;t do it. Ray could go out and kill a guy and he wouldn’t suspend him.

  29. unca_chuck says:

    New thread is up . . .

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