Let’s Mess With Texas

Wow. Quite the week for the Houston Texans. Fans were seen burning Matt Schaub jerseys outside Reliant Stadium after the Seattle loss last week. This after Schaub’s 3rd pick 6 in 3 weeks. The last of which pretty much handed the game to Seattle, as it came with 3 minutes left, and Seattle pretty much DOA on offense that game. It was a dumb throw on 3rd and 4. If he takes the sack, they punt and Seattle gets the ball at the 20 or inside. Instead, the score is tied, and all the momentum shifts to Seattle. He also threw a pick 6 in the win over the Titans, and the loss to the Ravens.

Gary Kubiak responded by backing Schaub down the line (for now), and the team had a players-only meeting today, ostensibly one would think, to support for Matty Iceberg. The point being, Houston is coming here with a major chip on their shoulder, and they are pissed off. 2 losses in a row, and their QB on thin ice does that. The turning point in the game to me was when Brian Cushing went out with a concussion in the 2nd half. Russell Wilson had big gains on the run, and the pressure dwindled. Seattle got their 1st score after he went out. Still, the Texans had the game in hand til the pick 6.

So, where does that lead us? Well, these guys are going to come out playing with a little extra giddyup, I’d think. Their asses are hanging in the wind if they come back 2-3. They have a strong run game with Arian Foster, and Matty Schaub can throw with the best of them, given time. And therein lies the key. If there ever was a game where we need to get pressure on a QB, it’s this one. Schaub is accurate when given time, and did a pretty good job against a very tough Seattle defense. For the most part. Lynch had to fight for every yard, and Wilson looked like shit through the air against JJ Watt and co. This could be a very tough day for the Niners on both sides of the ball.

It appears at this point that Brian Cushing is a game-day call. He participated in ‘light’ practice this morning, but has to pass all the protocols to hit the field Sunday night. The Niners? Staley is back, and he’ll be lined up against JJ. That’ll be worth the price of admission alone. The rest of the team? Man. Who knows? It was good to see the run game working against the Rams, but they suck. I keep hoping for some adjustments by the coaches regarding using a quicker passing attack, and getting the plays to the line and going much faster. Lynch had some success running, but they were hard-fought yards. Wilson was 12-23 for 123 yards and a pick for a 49.7 QBR. Given the state of our WRs, I don;t hold out a ton of hope for a breakout performance by Kappy.

Still and all, this is a statement game for the 49ers as well. They’d better take care of business at home, or they will seriously be hurting for the division. Yeah, it’s early, but losing this game and another tie breaking scenario with Seattle hurts their playoff chances. The wildcard is a far-off concern, but if the team continues to struggle against good teams, especially at home, this could be a quietly desperate season for the Red and Gold. In my mind it would definitely hurt the status of one Gregg Roman. This offense shows very little creativity in the passing game.

About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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63 Responses to Let’s Mess With Texas

  1. Irish Kevin says:

    over on Bleacherreport, LMJ supposedly tweeted he was unhapppy about sitting on the bench so much, but then retracted the tweet. I sure hope that does not get him into the dog house. I think he is correct in complaining. Put him in the backfield and use him like sproules.

  2. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, I agree. I hate that they don’t use him in specific situations where he’d be good. Get him involved in screens and plays to the outside. He’s fast and elusive in space and did fine last year when Kendall Hunter went down. He’s not the best blitz picker upper, but don’t use him in that role.

  3. snarkk says:

    Niners just released BJ Daniels. Surprise, Seattle immediately picked him up. Then, Harbs signs John Skelton to take his place. Skelton for Daniels? WTF?…

  4. unca_chuck says:

    Now this is off the wall . . .


    Heil Hitner???

  5. snarkk says:

    Being fined for that hit is ridiculous. It wasn’t head to head, and it seemed to me that he took it easy on the hit, led with his shoulder. If that hit is illegal, then football hits in general will be illegal. The fine should be struck off…

  6. NoFear49er says:

    Staley has to stay at LT but Watt moves around. He’ll get doubled in the A gap but that doesn’t seem to stop him either. I’m more concerned with Boone and Davis on the other side.

    As for Whitner’s fine, it’s the rule that’s killing the game as I knew it.

    Like most of these “let the offense score on long bombs every play to attract more of the female population” rules, the unintended consequences are even more nonsensical than the intended ones.

    Whitner is expected to shout loudly “drop it, drop it” in such cases nowadays. Next year he may need to develop the skill of snatching a flag from a velcro belt.

  7. NoFear49er says:

    As for the name change, what, tres uno was unavailable? Idiotic ‘look at me’ publicity stunt.

  8. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, I posted that last night. I think. About BJ. Curious at best. The Marecic thing was a waste of time as well. Does Skelton more resemble Ichabod Crane? Is that it? Who the hell knows anymore. Daniels looked very good in PS, and I think Harbaugh/Baalke wanted to stash him on the PS but I knew from day 1 he wouldn’t last there. He didn’t even get the shot. Marlon Moore, who got a million reps in preseason, doesn’t even suit up. Fricking Lavelle Hawkins signed with the Chargers. Baldwin finally got on the field. It’s not like we need fast WRs or anything.

    These decisions sometimes make me really question if they see what is happening right in front of their faces. The “I need to look at the tape” symdrone.

    As far as the hit goes, I see at least 5 hits a game that should be called under their guidelines. Either call everything or call nothing. Or make them play without helmets.

  9. Flavor says:

    About a month ago, Kevin Lynch, a beat writer I respect, tweeted out something to the effect that LaMichael James runs the opposite of what you would think. He breaks tackles but can’t run away from anyone. Harb’s isn’t stupid, if LJ was a useful weapon they’d be using him. Think about it, why wouldn’t they?

  10. unca_chuck says:

    Why doesn’t Harbaugh use many of the WRs he has? Moore hasn’t even suited up for games, yet he got a ton of playing time in PS. KW has pretty much been a washout yet he’s out there. Baldwin finally gets to see the field last Thursday.

    I’m just pissed that the offense has looked so bad these games. The passing game is non-existent except for Boldin. VD gets a little, but other than that, no one gets open. I think Harbaugh and Roman are too simplistic in the passing game. There are no screens or quick passes to alleviate the usually constant pressure Kappy is under. Screens to LMJ can work if the rushers are getting in quick. Throw a slant? Shit we get one every 2 weeks. Speed this shit up.

  11. unca_chuck says:

    Think about it? Why don’t we run screens? And I mean NOT WR screens. Why don’t we trty to run outside? Pitches to LMJ? Yes, the bread-and-butter is Gore up the middle. But they need to change things up. They FINALLY ran Gore from multiple WR sets last Thursday. More of that would be nice. Putting WRs in their 4-5 WR packages would help as well.

    • Flavor says:

      I hear all that too. But Harbaugh didn’t run a Bo-Shem offense at Stanford and he didn’t run it last year. So the reason they are running this shit now? No clue. They aren’t crazy, maybe they have a reason, it would be nice if they’d ever open up to the media and give them an answer…….

  12. snarkk says:

    Chuck, I’ve been yelling about no screens in the Niners offense since friggin’ Sing was here. They just don’t do it. No earthly idea why. Gore used to be a pretty dang good receiver out of the backfield. If Hawkins does some good work for Diego, I’m going to be PO’d, and not just because Hawkins is an ex Cal guy. Looks like Rivers is back to having a good year, Hawkins may turn into a decent target…

  13. NJ49er says:

    LMJ is an open field/make people miss kinda runner.
    He’s obviously not big enough or, proficient enough, to handle blitz pickups at this point either.
    My thought was that he’d have been the answer to replace Ginn at PR/KR duties.

    Apparently, he’s not being trusted to handle punts, which means he’s not giving himself many options.
    He also had a big turnover in the SB last year, which could suggest a lack of trust from Rathman related to ball security.

    He won’t be the first undersized College RB that hasn’t weathered the NFL rigors, nor the last.

    Pissing and moaning via Twitter might also be getting him closer to the door too.
    We’ll see if he keeps a roster spot if/when Lattimore is added.

  14. NoFear49er says:

    The RB screens usually launch from a spread out formation. We don’t use a lot of them. The RB screens take a lot of practice time to get the timing down. That is the blockers set, punch and find their kick out target, backer or db. Today’s LBs and DCs are always looking for screen keys and are faster and better at shutting it down than in the past.

    While I think screens are something we could/should use in slowing an aggressive pass rush and as a situational play I don’t think it will return soon as a staple of the offense under Harbaugh. However, I do think a pitch option with a guy like CK7 running the read option would give defenses fits.

    I think we’d rather have another TE in the set than a scat back. But maybe James doesn’t have the hands for a scat back role either. If he keeps tweeting about insurance he should make sure he has enough of the income protection kind.

    Too, it would be a shame to waste the league’s top run blocking line. Oh yeah, we were doing that anyway until the Rams.

    • NJ49er says:

      That would work for me too NoFear49er, screens, motion, pitches.
      He’s dangerousl in the open field.
      Be nice to see him contribute somewhere.

      I’m having my concerns as to why he isn’t seeing more action.
      I know Rathman is a High Ball Security type of Coach.

    • NJ49er says:

      The fact that he’s not handling punts might suggest he’s not catching well enough to be trusted too?

      Running up the back of Staley last week seemed a little curious too.
      Something just isn’t adding up with him.

  15. Nipper says:

    As for pissing and moaning…….where’s Dennis?

  16. unca_chuck says:

    Well, I sure remember some of Alex Smith’s biggest fuckups would come on screen passes that he would clank off Gore’s hands, or otherwise mis-throw. They usually ended up in pick 6es. Yes, they are a little hard to set up and time correctly, but there IS a time and place for them. I, like NJ, don;t think it needs to be thrown 10 times a game, but mix them in once in a while if the pass rush is disrupting shit. A nicely disguised screen can gain a shitload of yards when you send the primary WRs mid to deep.

    And PLEASE lose the WR screen. They rarely set the blocking up for those. Mainly because there are so many guys crowding the line, they can’t block them right. .

  17. Is that what you guys think I do all day, just piss and moan? I’ll have you know I gripe, grouse and grumble as well. And just you wait. If John Skelton ever has to take a snap from under center, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet.

  18. Here are my LDS picks and number of games in parenthesis ().


    Sox > Rays (5)
    Tigers > A’s (3)


    Dodgers > Braves (5)
    Cards > Pirates (3)

  19. unca_chuck says:

    If ANY team is down to their 3rd stringer, they are in trouble, Dennis. You act like this shit is only applicable to the Niners.

  20. unca_chuck says:

    Well, subtract Brooks and Bowman from the Niner defense, along with a few others due to the cost of Manning, a wholly different coaching staff, as Manning wouldn’t come here and play under Harbaugh, and a myriad of different players, and you have a pretty much undefinable situation.

    But keep pining away, skippy. Nagging becomes you.

  21. And when Alex Smith has won a Super Bowl, been named MVP 4x, made the Pro Bowl 12x, named All-Pro 6x, won Comeback Player of the Year AND has his own Papa John’s Pizza commercial then you can use the two in the same sentence. Otherwise, don’t insult the man.

    • Nipper says:

      Time for a beer!

    • unca_chuck says:

      Well, ask Peyton how he feels about his brother having more rings than him. I’m sure he’d trade all that for another ring. Funny thing is, Peyton’s much closer to Alex Smith than Joe Montana. Actually, due to all of his playoff failures, Peyton will never reach Joe’s status.

  22. Is such a goddamn beautiful day outside and here I am sitting inside arguing over football, QBs and all other kinds of crap that I, nor anyone else here, has any control over.

    I’m taking a stand. I’m getting off my fat ass and going outside and enjoy the weather.
    Who’s with me?

  23. unca_chuck says:

    Well, someone here has to work.

  24. NoFear49er says:

    RE Manning’s post-season record, “Victory has a thousand fathers, defeat is an orphan”

    Amazing who fans decide to praise for a win and blame for a loss.

    • unca_chuck says:

      Says the guy who attributes nothing to Alex Smith. Rightly or wrongly that’s how it goes in the NFL. There are plenty of people who feel winning the Super Bowl as a QB cements you as a bona fide player. Just ask Jeff Hostetler. Or Trent Dilfer.

      I’m just jerking Dennis’ chain, BTW.

      • NoFear49er says:

        Oh, I know. Peyton does have the bona fides, and a ring. But he wouldn’t have worked here. I agree with that much.

  25. Nipper says:

    For anyone with a real fat-ass they’re putting in seats at the new stadium.

  26. Irish Kevin says:

    more accurately to compare Peyton to Jim Kelly of the bills. went to the big dance 4 times? and not one SB trophy

  27. snarkk says:

    SFGate scribes report other than Boldin, the Niner WR corps has 11 receptions for 93 yards in 4 games so far. That is beyond inept and ineffectual. Unbelievable the Niners are even 2-2 with that stat…

  28. unca_chuck says:

    the hope is Manningham and later Crabs come back and hit the ground running. Or the HC/OC develop a more WR friendly passing game.

  29. NoFear49er says:

    I expect to see Vernon posting #2 receiver stats but not the fullback chasing him.

    I wouldn’t count on Crabs contributing much this year even if he gets back on the field.

    • Nipper says:

      Crabs despite his ability is a dud. Some guys just keep getting hurt. Bad karma? Manningham? So far, where is he? Oh yeah …..hurt…Staying healthy in football is damn near impossible. Predictions in football are a joke. A cruel joke.

  30. unca_chuck says:

    Yup, just ask Samuel Brannan . . .

  31. unca_chuck says:

    I thought I posted this.

  32. I think it’s actually beneficial for Schaub to be playing on the road this week. First INC pass and the home fans would calling for his head on a pike. Schaub might actually be able to relax some without all the undue pressure.

    No big revelations here, it’s going to be a battle of the big boys up front. I foresee a lot of running and more conservative play calling — on both sides. I’m thinking a low-scoring affair somewhere in the high teen’s. But no excuses with the weather. Going to be a beautiful Sunday evening. The track will be fast, and the turf course listed as firm.

    • Irish Kevin says:

      I agree, the Niners are going to fall into the running game cause of its success against the
      Rams. If they score more than 10 points it will be because they are down by greater than 10 points and it will force them to go to the pass. This is sad, The niners have trouble passing the ball so they revert to Singletary’s offense.

  33. unca_chuck says:

    As I’ve been wont to say for, oh, these past 8 years is spread the formations and run your offense from there. Letting defenses pack the box and us trying to run against it is futile. Us throwing short passes against the same D is futile as well. We need to be the aggressor on offense. If teams come out packing the box, spread the formation. With WRs, not backup TEs and FBs. Take advantage of how teams play us. None of this do-it-how-we-planned shit.

    • snarkk says:

      I’m failing to see why Roman is considered some sort of offensive genius. His game plans and play selection have been looking pretty mundane to me. Maybe if he has some WRs who could actually get open and catch the ball, he’d look more adventuresome. But, IMO, the lack of WR talent should make him search for more ingenious offensive plays, not what we’ve been seeing. And, I don’t mean shifting guys around before the snap…

  34. snarkk says:

    If the Niners think they’re going to run all day on Houston, I’d have an alternative plan ready. The Texans pretty much bottled up Lynch for a tough 98 yds on 17 carries for a 5.8 yards per carry average, but that included one run for a 43 yarder. Take away that breakout run and Lynch had to work real hard for what he got. Kap may need to have some runs in this game, ala Wilson did against Houston – he had 10 runs for 77 yards…

  35. The Breeders’ Cup is in four weeks at Santa Anita. With the Texans in town, I was hoping to bump into Matt Schaub and ask him for some betting tips. He sure seems to know a whole helluva lot about the Pick 6.

  36. unca_chuck says:

    Thank God you’re net breeding, Dennis.

    I’m very nervous about this game. I just hope this coaching staff has a better plan than what they’ve shown so far. Good defenses have pretty much shut these guys down with ease. GB had a decimated secondary that we wasted, but the Colts and Seahawks did a good job of taking the run away without giving up anything in the air. Their base defenses pretty much got in Kappy’s face both games, and blitzes weren’t handled well at all. And we countered with nothing.

    Jon Baldwin gets his chance to play, and he brings size and speed to the WR position, so the thought is he should draw some attention. I mean. more than Celek would. Or Miller. Marlon Moore, preseason wonder, has barely hit the field, and Osgood even less so. We HAVE wide receivers, but we aren’t using them.

    Baffling to me.

    Lose this game, and we are hurting for even a playoff spot.Well, maybe not that serious, but the division is pretty much out of sight. By game time, the Niners will know whether Seattle is 5-0 or 4-1. Their game is Sunday morning, and will be interesting to say the least to see how Seattle does. They’ve escaped a couple losable road games with wins. I’d like to think their luck will run out, but they are playing very well.

    • I don’t breed, and I don’t drink and drive any more. I not only save lives, but I don’t create any unnecessary ones either. I’m furthering America’s progress by doing nothing. This country should give me a goddamn medal.

      • 12th man says:

        I think you deserve a Knighthood at the very least Dennis! Have another Raider beer on me, this Bud’s for you.

      • Nipper says:

        How about “the most interesting Dennis in the world award.” That would be a winner.

  37. 12th man says:

    Berger you don’t need parlor tricks to talk to me, just say hi anytime 🙂
    I don’t always (or often) agree with you but at least your POV is cogent rather than just taking an argumentative contrarian position and trying to argue it ad nauseum, “winning” by shear post volume and boring the piss out of every reader in the process.
    Life’s too short.

  38. unca_chuck says:

    New thread is up . . .

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