Carolina Comes A Calling

Criminy, things are starting to get very interesting in the NFL. Seattle, the early shoe-in for the NFC crown is staggering around like a punch-drunk sailor on shore leave. They have squeaked through most of their games this year amid injuries and some impressive comebacks, but how do you fall behind by 17 to the Buccos? Teams on the rise are the Niners and the surprisingly resurgent Carolina Panthers. The Niners didn’t even play last week, but their stock rose considerably due to the fact that Aldon Smith, Mario Manningham, Tank Carradine, and Eric Wright are back with the team and ready to play. And the fact they are still riding a 5 game winning streak. The niners didn’t really do bad without Aldon Smith, but the pass rush definitely suffered. Aldon missed the last 5 games yet remains the leading sacker on the team with 4.5. The hope is he picks up right where he left off. Tank Carradine, the studly injured defensive lineman who has been dying to get in to a game, and Quinton Dial, another defensive lineman who was drafted injured, has recently returned. So, a defense that has been stifling these past 5 weeks, giving up roughly 12 points a game, should now be deeper and healthier.

In that vein, Mario Manningham returns from last year’s knee injury. More promising news is that Michael Crabtree has just returned to practice, and he looks to be back on the field in 3 weeks. So, the offense which has recently thrived under Frank Gore and his fountain of youth 2013 season, has more weapons at their disposal. All this is well and good for the surprising 32nd (yes, last) passing team in the league. To offset that of course, is the fact that the Niners are the #1 rushing offense. Which works out (surprise) to 16th in the league for offense. They are 5th in scoring however. This directly relates to their 16 turnovers caused. The takeaway from this is that in theory the Niners are on the rise.

That being said, the Niners are facing another team on a roll of it’s own. Carolina is on a 4 game win streak of their own, and they are similar to the Niners in that they have a tough defense that doesn’t give up points, and holds on to the ball with a solid running game. They both have young strong QBs who can get large chunks of yards with their legs, and Cam Newton is having a great season so far after a disappointing season last year.

All in all, both teams are playing well and looking to keep their streaks going. The good news fro SF is they are coming off their bye week, and are healthier and stronger than when they last played in London while Carolina is travelling across the country. I think the Niners take this one in a fairly close affair that the Niners win going away. Let’s say 31-21.

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About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers and SF Giants fan
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31 Responses to Carolina Comes A Calling

  1. NJ49er says:

    Somewhow I don’t see this game as a shootout.

    Do like our chances to take the W however.
    Always tentative after a BYE personally.

    Be nice to see Mario and Aldon back in the mix.

    Most anxious to see how Tank and QDial perform with Aldon too.
    Eric Wright should get slot duty I’d guess? Maybe not.

    Be fun to see what Fangio was able to conjure up with the new pieces and a week to prepare them.

  2. Irish Kevin says:

    Nice article in the Chron, and I am not surprised at this at all. Bill Walsh eliminated the rookie hazing when he became head coach. He wanted the Rookies to be focused on learning football. Not worried about what a teammate was going to do to them or have them do.

  3. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, Walsh was definitely outside the norm where it came to team chemistry. His approach was always us against them, who ever ‘them’ is. The press, the other team, the world . . .

    However, he was never against razzing or berating his players. In other words, he’d pit himself as the adversary to give the players a sense of us vs the coaching staff.

  4. Allan Wikman says:

    “Seattle a ‘shoe-in’ for the NFC crown?”

    Who says so? You?

    Then you haven’t known anything about the 9ers’ missing bodies,

    yet positive expectations! And, oh yeah, if not obvious, always

    simmering below the surface, “Kaepernicity.”

    You sound like just another “media expert” who’s really a front-runner

    and/or pack-rat who, to belong at the bar, must go along to get along.

    Get some real insight, huh?

    Allan Wikman

    Kingston, NY

  5. unca_chuck says:

    Wow, Allan. Why don’t you learn how to read before you comment? What does ‘early’ mean? What happened in the Niner/Seattle game? Did that make you come to the realization that the Niners were the team to beat? How many ‘front-runners’ called Seattle the early favorite? Contradict yourself much? Or always?

  6. unca_chuck says:

    Stanfoo’s kicking the shit out of Orygun. 26-7 with 10 minutes left.

  7. Irish Kevin says:

    Headline in the SacBee.
    Collision course: 49ers top-ranked running game vs. Carolina’s No. 2 run defense
    This is going to be a really interesting game if Carolina is able to stop Gore. What will the OC for the niners do. Do they have a plan even. over the last 6 games the Niners have not needed a plan B. Can hardly wait to see what Plan B looks like if Gore is stopped.

    Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/49ers/archives/2013/11/collision-course-49ers-top-ranked-running-game-vs-carolinas-no-2-run-defense.html#storylink=cpy

  8. unca_chuck says:

    I think having Manningham back will provide some much needed help in the passing game. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised to see this game start out like the GB game did. Pass to set up the run.

  9. unca_chuck says:

    Carol has very aggressive LBs and I think the Niners can burn them early with play-action seam routes to VD.

  10. barleyfreak says:

    I see our running game struggling. In fact I see this as a low scoring kind of ugly win scenario. 20-17. Despite our 2 weeks to prepare, I think CAR plays us tough. Certainly the best qb we’ve seen in a while (Henne, Locker, Palmer, Bradford, Schaub are all various shades of sh*tty). Or maybe MM’s return sends our worst passing game into the top ten. But I doubt it.

  11. unca_chuck says:

    Certainly you don’t believe the Niners have the worst passing game in the NFL, Barley. Looking at ESPN’s total QBR (hey, I have no idea how they figger it, but his running factors into it), Kappy’s 4th in the league. We have the least amount of yards because we have the best running game in the league. Running takes time off the clock and wears down defenses. We don’t need to pass as much as other teams. That’s a GOOD thing.

    How this comes into play this weekend remians to be seen, but I think we can pass if we need to.

    Like I said, pass to set up the run.

  12. Irish Kevin says:

    thats just it Chuck, that Niners have not had to play from behind since the Seattle/Colts game. Like I said above, What is plan B if the runnig game goes south?? I don’t care who is coming back, they are going to be rusty. You can not just turn on your passing game plan. So it is wait and see.

  13. unca_chuck says:

    Well, it worked against Green Bay. THe problem with the Indy game (and Seattle for that matter is that we gave up on running. Teams then teed off on Kappy.

  14. barleyfreak says:

    I think our passing will HAVE to be better for a long run in the playoffs. And this weekend, carolina and their run D might present that opportunity.

  15. Nipper says:

    Just win the damn game! How they do it is their little secret until then.

  16. Berger says:

    I hope Phil is OK. They had quite a blow over there in the Philippines.

  17. Flavor says:

    And nice to see Allan sign off that post with a full name and location–kinda classed this place up a lil’… Lqtm

  18. unca_chuck says:

    Good to know I can somehow bring the loonies here from whatever holes they crawl out of.

    Phil, you OK out there?

  19. NJ49er says:

    I’m kinda hoping Roman sneaks Jon Baldwin into this matchup, to take advantage of the smaller Secondary Carolina employs.
    Yes, Carolina has a yound aggressive front and, they’ve done a great job snuffing the run.
    However, they haven’t faced our type of running game to date.

    Expecting this to have a Playoff-type edge to it.
    Should be a good one.

  20. rtfirefly says:

    Phil is probably stringing vines over coconut-less trees trying to regain Internet access while cussing, “Everybody knows this is nowhere”.
    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=youtube+cowgirl+in+the+sand&FORM=VIRE7#view=detail&mid=0296B4668D4F829E56E80296B4668D4F829E56E8
    Phil is SW of Leyte IIRC. He told me the island name but I Mark Sanchezed it.

    Tomorrow,
    Gore runs for 75, Kappy for 50 with 200 in the air. Niners 23-16.

    Meanwhile, back in Oz, Alex is burning incense in front of a Chiefs bobblehead doll, chanting, “Please! I don’t wanna go to Denver next week and have to watch a real NFL quarterback. Maybe the team bus can get lost and I can spend the day at the zoo??? Thank you, Wizard, that I have 1 more week!”

  21. Flavor says:

    If Phil is south he’s hopefully ok but probably has a wild story to tell. I bet we don’t hear from him for months…..

  22. unca_chuck says:

    New thread is up.

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