Divisional Diversion

Week 12 is upon us and your San Francisco 49ers are in the drivers seat for that last coveted playoff spot. Expectations have changed dramatically during this tumultuous season. The 49ers defense has pretty much stayed true to course. The offense on the other hand has regressed badly among questionable play calling, fair to poor quarterback play, and injuries to Kappy’s wide receiving corps. Which at times have resembled corpses out there. Win all their games with teams not named Seattle, and they are in. Lose this next one, and with an AZ win, the Niners would be back out in the cold. As of now, the Niners own the 6th spot over AZ because of their better divisional record. Which makes this Ram game all the more important.

The good news for the Niners is they are currently 2-1 in division games while AZ is 0-3. Beat the Rams and they could lose to AZ in that last game, tie with AZ, and still get the 6th spot, providing Seattle does us the favor of beating AZ. Which brings us to the Rams. A team that has had a schizophrenic run this year. They’ve had 2 two=game winning streaks, and 3 two-game losing streaks. Along the way, they’ve played awful (after Sam Bradford went down to injury), and some great performances as Kellen Clemens has settled in as the QB. Most recently, speedster Tavon Austin had a coming out party in the beat-down of Indy in their house and, last week, a trouncing of the Chicago Bears and their once-highly-touted defense.

For sure this is a different team than the one the Niners trounced in their house way back in September, but defensively, they haven’t changed too much. Gore ran wild, over 150 yards rushing, and I’d think we would start out trying this strategy. Michael Crabtree should make his return to the field in this game, so we will finally have out complete set of WRs. Something that should also loosen up the running lanes. The Niners were missing Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith in the previous game with these guys and handled them easily, even with their starting QB in there. The biggest difference between this game and last is the emergence of 1st round WR Tavon Austin. He of the slow start and instant sensation these past couple games.

I’m hoping we handle these guys fairly easily, but I haven’t been very right this year. Except for game 1. Besides, we have out secret weapon, safety Chad Hall.

About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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240 Responses to Divisional Diversion

  1. snarkk says:

    I don’t think the Niners win this one easily. The Rams D has been pretty stout the last few games. Hopefully not a trap game with the Seahawks on deck. The Rams’s D is better than the half-assed D of the Skins last Monday night. I’ll go with a Niner win by 7. And, now at least we have a guy that will run back a punt for a few yards. LMJ actually looks like a punt returner, and muffed that one in DC, but at least he did it going after a short punt aggressively. I won’t dump on KWilliams now that he’s injured, but I’m still scratching my head why he was on the squad so long as the punt return guy when LMJ was sitting off the game day roster for weeks on end and doing nothing but tweeting how PO’d he was at not playing….

  2. 31-17 Niners. In a romp, 2 Tds to WRs, 1 to TE VD, Gore gets one plus a FG

  3. snarkk says:

    Playing the Rams hasn’t felt to me like a rival game for a long time. Pretty much since Georgia took ’em to St. Louis. Why not put them into the AFC West so they can play a real rivalry game with KC twice a season? Put the Chargers into the NFC West. I don’t think that’s too radical. It would take away from the Raiduhs/Chargers rivalry, such as it is, but I don’t care about that. Seattle is the real Niner rival now…

  4. unca_chuck says:

    That actually makes some sense, Snarkk. Not that it’ll happen. But yeah, the Seattle rivalry is getting pretty intense, so there’s that.

    This game? Well, the good new for me is Michael Crabtree is not even on the injury report, and will likely get back into the game. A quick recovery, yes. And one I hope he’s ready for. Having our best set of WRs to date should really help the passing game, to say the least, and open up the running lanes for Frank, and by proxy, Kappy.

    Again though, quicker passes would help the general offensive consistency, and hopefully keep the chains moving. This is the overarching problem with this offense in recent memory. It has actually plagued the team since the end of the Mariucci run. When Nolan got here, defense was king, and the offense went into neutral. And, at times, we are still trying to find 3rd gear. Gore looks to be a big part of the game, at least to start, and at least now, defenses may not be able to stack the box since we actually HAVE decent WRs, if not a deep threat. WE WILL stretch the field, though, with any kind of protection. Still think we can take these guys fairly handily.

  5. 12th man says:

    I’m a big fan of Gore. That said he is down to 3.6 yds average over the last 5 games. Stacked boxes are consistant for him all year so that’s not the issue. Even against the Skins, a poor run D, he didn’t get much. Age? Wearing down? Poor O blocking?

    I think all 3.

    He is on pace for another 1000 yd season, not to be sniffed at, but for the second straight year his second half of the season production is nothing to write home about.

    I think they need to rotate him more. Use Hunter, Booby and LMJ in situational football. I know Gore is the best blocker/blitz pick up man etc, but the other guys don’t get better by watching how Gore does it.

    LMJ is a better pass catcher and edge runner than Gore. Booby might be as good when used as a battering ram. Hunter is quicker and faster after the LOS.

    Gore in these later years is still an elite back, good at everything, but no longer excellent at everything.

    My 2c today.

    • NJ49er says:

      Wouldn’t disagree a lick 12th.
      Be nice to roll some new wrinkles out vs the Rams tomorrow.
      I’ve often wondered what it would be like to put Booby and Bruce in the backfield and show a different look too.
      Bruce can catch, no idea what sort of production we’d garner from Booby as a pass catcher but, worth a try if he’s got anything to offer?

      My preference would be Kendall and LMJ on the edges.
      We should have a full compliment of WRs tomorrow which, if Roman can get creative, might offer some new ideas for their Defense to wrestle with.

    • NJ49er says:

      I just don’t know what sort of blocker Booby really is either.
      Can’t say I can recall whether he’s ever been cast in the role?

      With VMcD and Vernon as receiving threats, maybe Gore/Bruce/Booby would free them up for more dual TE threats in the passing game also?

      Either way, we need some new ideas in the quick hitter dept IMO.

  6. rtfirefly says:

    Gore has averaged 4.1 yds/carry and over 80 yds in the last 5 games against the Lambs. The Niners aren’t changing much for this one. Put the same old crap on film for the Cards and Cowpukes.
    At least Kap is the QB. Alex was on his way to 0-2 last year before Kap bailed his arse out.

  7. unca_chuck says:

    12th, Gore will be fine. Speed was never his game anyway. 3 weeks ago he was the toast of the NFL. He needs a little help getting through the line. Running against 9 man fronts, as he did last week, will never work out well for him or anyone. I hope they disguise the run game better than they have. Run out of 4 WR sets.

  8. unca_chuck says:

    Dixon has had chances to be the short yardage guy but hasn’t been lights-out in that role. He tends to dance rather than pound. Blocking? Well, no one’s as good as Gore, but that’s the point. Gore is likely the best blocking back in the last 25 years. No one will reach his level. That being said, they do need to work these other guys in more. Much more. If anything, for a different look. This offense gets very predictable. Having Crabs back should help a lot. Even as a decoy. Which is another problem I have. They have a lot of guys who can make plays, yet they don’t use then.There’s talk of inactivating Baldwin. Ludicrous. Keep him in the lineup for 4 WR sets.

    For all the talk of Gore being or not being a Hall of Famer, his blocking alone should be a huge part of the equation.

    • NJ49er says:

      This might be a good spot to test the Read Option too Chuck.
      Rams’ DE’s like to crash hard.
      Rams have gotten hot, can’t take them lightly.

    • NJ49er says:

      Let’s not forget about Patton getting back in the mix also.
      Might be able to spread them out with a little help from Romans’ play calling.

  9. unca_chuck says:

    Patton got few chances when Manningham and Crabs were out. I don’t hold out much hope to see him doing much with them In the lineup. I’d love to see it, I just don’t think it’ll happen. At least Patton has the speed to go deep.

  10. Nipper says:

    Harbaugh knows best. If a guy has anything he’ll use him. That’s his job. Patton may not practice well for all that we know. They can’t fool around with guys. Either they produce or they don’t play.

  11. unca_chuck says:

    Lesson One is not to kick the ball to Tavon Austin. Kick the ball toward the sidelines every time. I don’t know why teams stopped trying coffin corner kicks. Worst case is a touchback, best case is a team pinned deep. No returns, no game breakers from guys like Tavon Austin or Patrick Peterson.

  12. NoFear49er says:

    Haven’t had Iupati to block the power run and Gore is taking too many outside lately. Also he seems to have become more a part of a committee. Gore needs touches and a flow in the game, always has.

    The general had a broken foot or some such IIRC so not likely he would have seen much work.

    The Rams didn’t have Stacy starting last we played. We may see him if he’s cleared from concussion injury. Taking him away will leave a hole in the secondary. Reminds me of last year’s games. They always do a good job of prep for us and they’re hot in the takeaway department just now. Not to mention Quinn and their D-line and the return of our favorite linebacker.

    We’re the better team if we don’t let them surprise us. Win or lose this one in the trenches.

    • NJ49er says:

      Yeh NoFear49er, Patton brook the foot vs the Rams back in September.
      Read that he has returned to practice this week, no indication that I’ve seen to suggest whether he’s available or not.
      Last I saw he was listed as Questionable so, I guess that’s a positive.

      Did see that their RB Stacy has been cleared too. He’s a load.

      Agree regarding Iupati too, Snyder isn’t a world beater, especially in the run game.
      You know the book on us, crowd the Box and take away Frank.
      Rams are a tough bunch under Fisher.
      Need to neutralize their DEs and Lauranitis.

      For us, allow nothing deep and, get after the QB.
      Trench warfare it is, for sure.
      Gotta protect Kaep and take some shots on their Secondary.

      Not gonna be an easy game. If we can disrupt Clemens as we did RG III, our chances are much better.

    • NJ49er says:

      Broke the foot of course – Apologies for the typo……

  13. rtfirefly says:

    Niners 20 Leg o’ Lambs 10 (with mint jelly)


  14. 24-23 the late Georgia Frontiere.

  15. NBC couldn’t have “flexed” in a better matchup then WAS@NYG for tonight? I understand the large markets and ratings, but I thought the whole idea was to put on meaningful games that have serious playoff implications. Seems to me the NFL is just lining their pockets with more cash. Why not do what’s best for the fans?

  16. unca_chuck says:

    The Jerk with Steve Martin. Monumentally stupid, but there are about 1,500 great one-liners in it.

    Another stupid rule is the rules around catching a pass. D Walker catches a ball, takes 2 steps, gets clobbered by 2 guys, hits the ground, and the ball come out after he hits the ground. Incomplete. Simply stupid. this ‘football move.’ 2 steps and a tackle aren’t football moves?

  17. The rules are so convoluted as to “football moves” and “completing the process” that I no longer know what does or does not constitute a catch in the NFL. I used to know. Now I just wait for the ruling while shaking my head in disbelief and curse uncontrollably.

  18. snarkk says:

    Patton and Baldwin both off the game day roster. Finally, a home game in the early afternoon, when it should be. Afternoon football in the sunshine. What a concept…

  19. rtfirefly says:

    Cards get big play on dropped ball ruled a catch. Waste that rule ASAP. You might as well flip a coin on the ref’s ruling. Now a 4th qtr TD. Bullllllllllll-scheist!

  20. Josh Gordon becomes the first NFL WR in history with back-to-back 200+ yds. receiving.
    Weren’t we trying to trade for him earlier? We didn’t need him, we had Kyle Williams.

  21. snarkk says:

    Reports out that Goody may take a draft pick from the Steelers for Tomlin’s try at making a foot tackle on the field. I’m all for it. Harbs better watch out, he looks sometimes like he’s going to pull a Woody Hayes on the sidelines and clothesline somebody himself…

  22. It’ time to HIT SOMEBODY!!!!

  23. D picking up right where they left off in D.C.

  24. Crabtree already making an impact. 😛

  25. 12th man says:

    Eagles Niners wildcard game in Philly?!?

  26. snarkk says:

    1st and 10 on the Rams 15, and they call two runs to Gore that go nowhere. Then, the shotgun on 3rd down, and phtttt, Kap gets run out of bounds. WTF kind of play calling is that?…

  27. 12th man says:

    Perfect kick Dawson.

  28. 12th man says:

    Staley done for the day…at least.

  29. Joe Staley is out. My vodka bottle is out. Time to call in the reserves on both accounts.

  30. snarkk says:

    LMJ better not make me start to look back on the good ol’ days of Kyle Williams fielding punts…

  31. 12th man says:

    LMJ ain’t gonna be back there for long if he don’t catch the friggin ball.

  32. Alex picked off in the end zone! Drives the length on the field and then has a brain fart.
    I’m sure there’s at least two good excuses why he threw that pick.

  33. rtfirefly says:

    Alex, beautiful drive downfield. Oops, wrong colored jersey in the end zone there, old boy.

    Why not? I’ve got Bears-Vikikgs on Fox. Some brain damage there methinks.

  34. 12th man says:

    Snyder you ass…
    Boone is a good LT though, played well there before in relief of Staley.

  35. unca_chuck says:

    Yeesh. Acting on the hold there.

  36. snarkk says:

    Niners outplayed the Rams in Q1, but only up 3-0. Not a good result…

  37. unca_chuck says:

    Shit. This red zone crap is getting frustrating.

  38. 12th man says:

    Roman has to change his playcalling rapid., This makeshift O line ain’t giving anyone 3 seconds today.
    Pistol, shotgun, no huddle, 3 steps, run game.
    Limit the 5 or 7 step drops until they have gotten some success in the quick passing game, then sprinkle a few in.

  39. rtfirefly says:

    Good TD drive by Alex, God, I wanna shoot some NFL/Fox execs.

  40. snarkk says:

    With Crabby back, we need to see a bunch of quick slants…

  41. Irish Kevin says:

    So, regressing back to poor to good play calling. Pussy call on 3rd down, don’t play to win kick the FG!! Fuck this play calling. Brady, Brees, Maninning, would have gone with the pass to get the first down!!

  42. snarkk says:

    Nice of the Cards to lose today. They suck on the road…

  43. 12th man says:

    Shotgun baby!

  44. 12th man says:

    Quick hitters, shit, Roman is figuring this out?

  45. Alleykat says:

    Atleast Roman or probably Kap said fuck him I’m running today! Fuck holding me back.

  46. How the fuck is that a penalty? This league sucks. I hope Goodell is happy.
    He’s losing a lifetime fan because of his actions.

  47. NoFear49er says:

    CK7 looks good today. Nice to have the weapons back.

    Way too many bullshit calls though. Let ’em play the game.

  48. unca_chuck says:

    There you go. Boldin’s on fire. Stupid fucking penalty call there. There’s 8 guys tied up and falling down. That’s not a penalty. WTF is wrong with reffing these days? I guess I shouldn’t complain with all the calls the Rams are getting.

    I tell ya though, having crabs out there is opening up running lanes for Kappy.

  49. snarkk says:

    I agree on these calls. How was that a penalty on hitting a “defenseless receiver”? WTF? It helped the Niners, but the next one will help the Rams. Ridiculous…

  50. Challenge the spot! Harbaugh/Mangini are the fucking worst.

  51. unca_chuck says:

    Damn. Reid needs that.

  52. unca_chuck says:

    Hold ’em to 3 here and I’ll be happy.

  53. unca_chuck says:

    Justin Smith is having a game. He seems to be heathying himself up.

  54. unca_chuck says:

    Be nice to see an effective 2 min offense.

  55. Not blasphemy, but the god’s honest truth: Bowman > Willis. Been that way for awhile now.

  56. Neighbor’s B-Day. Free pizza and ice cream. Be back for the 3rd Q. 😛

  57. snarkk says:

    If running Gore on a sweep fails miserably 4x, do you run it a 5th? If you’re Roman, I guess you do…

    • NoFear49er says:

      I hate to see Gore on anything outside as it’s rarely successful. Sometimes it serves to set something up later in the game though. Oh wait, that was Walsh, nevermind.

  58. JT says:

    What a stupid cunt, snatch, twat, first series. EVERY fucking team knows the niners will run with a lead. Harbaugh is a stupid mother fucking cum drinker

  59. snarkk says:

    Rams are really coming hard on the rush. Ripe for a screen, draw, etc. Or, at least I would think so. There might be one of each in the playbook. Somewhere…

  60. unca_chuck says:

    Got to the 2nd read.

  61. JT says:

    Davis got his nuts massaged!!!!

  62. unca_chuck says:

    Hope that was just a punch to the giblets . . .

  63. Irish Kevin says:

    With the lead Harbs and Roman go into their play not to lose mode instead of playing to win and crushing a division rival

  64. unca_chuck says:

    This is good to see. Gore should go to the HOF for his blocking.

    Dixon dances his way to a 2 yard loss.

  65. unca_chuck says:

    Booya! They cannot cover Boldin for shit

  66. snarkk says:

    I wouldn’t call any more sweeps, regardless of who is running…

  67. Irish Kevin says:

    They better score a TD

  68. JT says:

    Harbaugh is a little faggot pussy. Niners need to shove their cocks up Ram asses, pull out and but in their mouths

  69. Irish Kevin says:

    Pussy play calling

  70. snarkk says:

    Why not a play action pass on 2nd down when you’re on the 6 yard line?…

  71. snarkk says:

    Unreal. They didn’t even try a pass play into the end zone. WTF is going on here? Afraid Kap is going to throw a pik?…

  72. Irish Kevin says:

    Stupid, stupid, stupid!!

  73. unca_chuck says:

    I’m not crazy with that set of plays there, but at least they got down the field and gave the D some rest. The killer here is the Rams can waste all this with one big play. Something we don’t try very much of. A stop and a TD and this game is over.

  74. Alleykat says:

    I’m sick of seeing Fucking FG’s
    God Roman is killing me like Uncle Fester use to under Single retard!!!!!!

  75. NoFear49er says:

    Some of this is CK7 deciding pass or run. Looks like he’s been doing okay to me.

  76. snarkk says:

    If Lattimore has any chops next year, I think Gore will be phased out by mid season…

  77. unca_chuck says:

    Time for a runback

  78. snarkk says:

    Now throw one immediately into the end zone…

  79. And we have to burn a TO after that t great play. THAT’S why this team will not win the SB again this year.

  80. snarkk says:

    Here’s where I call a draw…

  81. And Frank just fumbled. Another reason why this team won’t win the SB this yr.

  82. snarkk says:


  83. 12th man says:


  84. snarkk says:

    From having Rams on their heels and ready for a kill shot TD, to fumbling it away. The offensive efficiency is just not up to snuff…

    • snarkk says:

      I’m too old I guess. I remember the days of Walsh when after a long gainer like the Crabby reception, the defense was on its heels, so the Niner offense would get the new play in, get up to the line, and immediately throw a pass to John Frank or to Brett Jones over the middle in the EZ for a TD, or a post to JT for the TD. This team just can’t get that done, they can’t even get a play called…

  85. Alleykat says:

    Fuck Frank.Way to kill that drive!!

  86. unca_chuck says:

    How does the FG look now?

    THe D stands tall though. One damn return would be nice.

  87. So, I ask again. Who would you guys rather play in the first rd of the WC?
    DET, DAL of PHI?

    I still don’t have an answer myself.

  88. NoFear49er says:

    Davis the D and Dixon make Gore’s putting it on the ground look like a good idea.

  89. snarkk says:

    Strange call by the Rams on that trick play. Let the second guessing begin…

  90. I’m thinking maybe PHI would be last on that list as of NOW considering how Nick Foles has that team rolling. Remember who wanted to draft that guy from Arizona? Thought so.

  91. 12th man says:

    fake punt on your own 17…really?

  92. Alleykat says:

    VD baby!! Beautiful role out by Kap and sucked the D in.

  93. 12th man says:

    I suggest they try a fake punt again

  94. 12th man says:

    Not a big fan of this clock play on D.

  95. NoFear49er says:

    Meanwhile the Denver Mannings are tuning up the KC defense.

  96. 12th man says:

    WTF, 4th and 11? no FG making it a 2 score game

  97. snarkk says:

    Smart to take out the starters here. Hopefully Staley isn’t badly injured. I was surprised at how well Crabby ran. He should be in good game shape for the Seattle game. Meanwhile, has Manningham disappeared or what?…

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