Fight to the Finish – Game 16 – Nolan’s Last Stand

Groupology event from Anna Piranah:
The software is at my.groupol.ogy, but you’ll need a private invitation in order to participate in this multimedia event that will feature videos, Candlestick memories, photos and live chat during the game. If you’d like to participate, please send email to


And Candlestick’s . . .

Here we are at Week 16, and there are still 18 teams still in the running. That means only 14 teams have been eliminated, and 10 teams are fighting for the last 4 spots. Crazy thing is, the Niners can still land the #1 seed, the 2, the 5, the 6, or they can be eliminated from the playoffs entirely. The unlikely scenario of the Niners gaining the #1 seed got a huge boost from the suddenly sleepless in Seattle. The 12th Man couldn’t help the suddenly anemic Seattle offense out of their malaise, and they suffered a beat-down at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals. A team themselves on the edge of the playoff hunt. Carson Palmer did all he could to give Seattle chances by throwing 4 interceptions, but it mattered little as the AZ defense kept Russell in check to the tune of 89 net yards passing, and 103 yards rushing (71 for Lynch). If it wasn’t for the picks, this should have been easier for AZ, but Seattle has to be reeling a bit right now. They’ve lost 2 out of their last 3, to division rivals no less, and have another division foe in St. Louis next week.

So, as this applies to the 49ers, don’t take your foot off the gas. Win tonight and clinch a playoff berth. Don’t leave this shit up in the air. I sincerely didn’t give AZ much of a shot, but AZ played godawful on offense and still won fairly easily against the vaunted Seahawks and their 12th man. Seattle went nowhere all day, and were 2-13 on 3rd down conversions. This brings to mind the earlier Niner game in Seattle, which they won handily. Or did they? That game, the Niners were missing Mario Manningham, Crabs, VD got hurt midway thru the 2nd quarter, Ian Williams was chop-blocked and broke his ankle, Willis was hobbled by a groin injury, Miller dropped a TD pass in the 1st quarter, and Kappy missed an open VD and was picked off early. Throw in the 5 turnovers, and you have a recipe for failure. Yet, for all that the Hawks had a 5-0 lead at the half, and a 12-3 lead at the start of the 4th quarter. This is where the game got away, as the Niners kept forcing the ball in the air, and the defense got gassed due to our 38 second drives, and Seattle scored a couple late TDs.

I hope the 49ers just play the game tonight and don’t get caught up in all the history around the Stick, the hoopla, and the circus atmosphere for the game tonight. It’s hard enough to win in the NFL without a shitload of distractions. And there are quite a few tonight. The Niners should be able to run on these guys. And if TB proved anything, it showed that we CAN run against 9 in the tackle box. But that was with Bruce Miller. He’s out, and the run formations look to be different with Boobie Dixon in the backfield with Gore. Still and all, Atlanta is travelling across the country amid a completely failed season, and shouldn’t put up too much resistance. The recipe is the usual. Get on top of them early, and put them away. I’d love to see Colt McCoy get into the game by the end of the 3rd quarter.

About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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229 Responses to Fight to the Finish – Game 16 – Nolan’s Last Stand

  1. 12th man says:

    Maybe yesterday was just another glorified practice too Richard Sherman?
    Squawks have not played well on O for a while but yesterday their D wasn’t at it’s best either allowing Palmer to move the ball well. Palmer threw 4 picks, 2 his stupidity and 2 bad luck.
    Squawks are still a good team capable of beating anyone but just like the other good teams they can be beat too, home or away.

    I posted yesterday that on balance, looking at the play off caliber teams, that the Niners are probably the best of them right now. The Eagles went off in a big way yesterday but it was against one of the worst D performances I have ever seen from a Bears team. No way the Eagles plays like that against the Niner D, so I stick with my belief that the Niners are currently playing the best football of any team in the NFL.

    Seeding will play it’s part in how easy/difficult the path to the SB will be, but however it all plays out next week, the Niners are playing well enough and this year have enough depth, especially D line to go all the way.

    So in short, I’m feeling bullish, GO NINERS!

  2. unca_chuck says:

    This is pretty cool

    • Very cool Chuck. Really brought back some great memories, thanks. Today feels like a playoff game especially as we’re playing at home fighting for a good seed and the crowd will be pumped. So will the team I’m sure. 34-14 Niners

  3. Irish Kevin says:

    Chuck, you will not, I repeat Not see Colt Mccoy, like I said, Harbs does not have the killer instinct that Walsh had. Up by 40 yeah Walsh would bring in the second string. Harbaugh goes up by 14 and he goes into Play not to lose mode. Run, Run, Run

  4. unca_chuck says:

    One can hope, Kevin.

    BTW, the event I posted about has been cancelled due to technical difficulties.

  5. rtfirefly says:

    Romo is OUT for the season – back!

    Kyle Orton, anyone?

  6. unca_chuck says:

    Sounds like horseshit to me. Jerry Jerk off is covering his ass.

  7. snarkk says:

    I don’t know if Romo out is good or bad. I don’t want the Niners to face the Eagles in Philly…

  8. unca_chuck says:

    The only thing I’m worried about is Seattle. And I’m not as worried as I was before yesterday.

    Shit. Wish I was going to the game tonight.

  9. unca_chuck says:

    Philly is pretty hot these days though.

  10. unca_chuck says:

    It WOULD be hysterical to see Dallass win with Ortron behind the wheel.

  11. Flavor says:

    the best thing about that AZ win (besides us still being alive for the NFC West) is that it broke up that air of invincibility bullshit they have enjoyed at home. Shit, Tampa Bay should have beaten them earlier this year up there.
    Bottom line: if we face them in the playoffs up there we don’t have to have any nagging doubt about whether it can be done by ANYONE or not. AZ is a decent team, especially their D, but we are much better.

  12. Flavor says:

    I know it’s not really a debate or not yet but if I have my choice of who to play, Philly or GB (both on road) I take Philly in a nano-second. Fuck going to Green Bay to play Rodgers. A rusty Rodgers is still a beast I don’t want to see us tangle with.
    Foles has been good this year but he has no playoff experience and our D will shut them down. Plus, they couldn’t beat Minnesota last week and they were missing BOTH Peterson and Gerhart. Gimmie Philly all day long and twice on Sundays

  13. 11 personnel group is our strength from what I hear. Thats 1 RB + 1 TE + 3 WRs which gets FG, VD, Boldin, Crab and MM/Patton? on the field. Im looking for deep passes to test M Nolans cover 3 early then intermediate ones if Falcs can cover/stop deep. This should open up running room for Frank and the RB corps.

    Next best package is the 21 with 2 RBs (Frank+Boobie?), 1 TE and 2 WRs used maybe 25% of the time. So Ive heard; lets see how it plays out. I expect lots of yards passing and running from us and scoring in the 30s. Lets get it done!

  14. Spam filter hard at work Chuck…..

  15. OK. I just returned from the liquor store with brandy in hand. Christmas is the one time a year I drink brown alcohol. What’s left of my pancreas can’t take much more.

    I was out all day ringing a bell and holding a bucket. Not for the Salvation Army, I was collecting donations to help pay for Tony Romo’s back surgery. At least we don’t have to worry about losing to Tony and How bout dem Cowboys!

  16. NoFear49er says:

    Lots of injuries of serious consequence this week. Mostly I hope for an injury-free game and a win at home better yet.

  17. unca_chuck says:

    Another 3 and out and just keep scoring.

  18. PW with a missed tackle to allow that 3rd dn conversion. A few more of those and I’ll be asking if we traded Patrick Willis yet?

  19. twinfan1 says:

    Has Dawson kicked a field goal wasn’t squarely in the middle? He doesn’t just make them, there’s absolutey no doubt.

  20. twinfan1 says:

    Happy Holidays. Maybe I’ll pop in for the playoffs. That’s not a threat..

  21. Irish Kevin says:

    Damn, 3 points and against the Falcons?? Really??

  22. That was a quick 1st Q in terms of actual time spent. I know why. We didn’t have to burn a TO. Stop the presses!

    • Irish Kevin says:

      Yes running up and down the field and no TD’s the quarter goes quickly. Relatively penalty free also.

  23. IH1979 says:

    What a fucking stupid play call right there

  24. unca_chuck says:

    Sheesh. 3rd and 1 blues. If we aren’t the worst at that I don’t know who is.

  25. Grumpy Guy says:

    Got too clever for our own good that time. Just run it on 3rd and 1.

  26. Irish Kevin says:

    Merry Christmas to all you mooks. Thank you Dennis for that term!!

  27. unca_chuck says:

    What’s this 3 man rush shit?

  28. NoFear49er says:

    The secondary did a shit sloppy job on that one.

  29. unca_chuck says:

    There you go. Shoulder to chest. Unsportsmanlike. Fuck Goodell.

  30. This new Roger Goodell NFL is a fucking joke. Might as well put the skirts on now and get it over with. What I’m watching now is NOT football.

  31. rtfirefly says:

    Refs 4 SF 3 Atl 3

  32. IH1979 says:

    This has the makings of Az/Sea

  33. unca_chuck says:

    This is unbelievable. When you take away the right to hit guys, what do you have?

    • Flavor says:

      Hitner knows the strike zone. That wasn’t the strike zone. And when they know who you are, you better fucking hit the heart of the strike zone.
      That one’s on him.

  34. unca_chuck says:

    Every goddamn play is unsportsmanlike

  35. Just looking at Jimbo pisses me off to no end.

  36. unca_chuck says:

    Tirico just said that play drew an unsportsmanlike AND a personal foul?

    Goodell is going to drive fans away from the game at this rate.

  37. Grumpy Guy says:

    Terrible PF call, but I blame Goodell, not the refs – too damned hard to get these bang-bang hits. If you can’t get it right, it should not be a rule. The Unsportsmanlike, that’s all the refs for being pussies when they were challenged, and the fans booed after seeing the replay. Bullshit, all around.

    • Flavor says:

      blame Hitner. He knows the strike zone unless he’s an imbecile. He hit him at the highest end of the zone, if you are known by the lg don’t expect any favors. Stupid on Hitner.

      • Grumpy Guy says:

        Yeah but if you go low they call you for going for the knees. There really IS no strike zone anymore – the league is now hostile to hitting.

  38. NoFear49er says:

    In the process of making a catch. Defenseless by rule. Stupid rule but not new. What was the other personal foul called?

  39. The question is, will you people stop watching? That’s the only way to change this BS.

  40. Irish Kevin says:

    This is good, so far the Niners have not shown they play well on offense when playing from behind, Harbaugh panics or Roman does not have a good game plan, probably a combo of both

  41. Grumpy Guy says:

    McDonald has no feel for the passing game.

  42. IH1979 says:

    McDonald you POS!

  43. Irish Kevin says:

    I am going to be sooo pissed if the Niners lose this game!! 3 points is just inexcusable for the offense they have!!

  44. Grumpy Guy says:

    We better get our asses in gear or we’re going to be down two scores here.

  45. From our last two drafts, we have exactly one GUY — Eric Reid — helping this club at the moment. Let’s give Baalke an extension at the same time we waste one on Bo Schembechler Jr. Pathetic.

  46. Grumpy Guy says:

    Wow. Almost a disaster there on ST. Good play by James to square that away despite contact by his teammate.

  47. rtfirefly says:

    Really lookin’ like the Niners got caught up in the Candlestick history hoopla. That and Vance sux.

  48. Kap forget we’re in red and the Falcons are wearing white?

    Joe Montana was on the Dan Patrick show this morning and said Kap lacks accuracy.
    Minor flaw.

  49. Irish Kevin says:

    Damn did the Defense drink the same cool aide as the offense

  50. rtfirefly says:

    No pass rush worth a shit. O-line’s worse.

  51. Grumpy Guy says:

    Damn it, Rogers… have to make that play.

  52. Can’t drop those freebie INTs. Damn.

  53. Flavor says:

    I have people over who I wish weren’t over. They don’t care about football. Dinner is happening and I’m in my office (after saying I was going to get more wine) watching a few seconds of this game online. Why didn’t Harbs challenge that spot (sound is off online). Wouldn’t that be easier than calling a TO? Or Can you not challenge inside of 2 mins?

  54. Grumpy Guy says:

    Defense has played pretty well, for being left on the field a lot of the 2nd quarter. But the offense just has not sustained drives or moved the ball at all since the one FG.

  55. Grumpy Guy says:

    Harbaugh had BETTER do some of that halftime adjustment shit or the divisional race is over. And we’ll be out of the playoffs if AZ beats us next week.

  56. Irish Kevin says:

    They have a Field Goal!! Useless, might as well have a goose egg!!

  57. xoot says:

    My kid’s pissed off about the 9ers zone coverage on one side. wtf? I guess he learned that from video games. I have no idea if he’s right.

    I think the 9ers tackling in the backfield has sucked and Kap, except for a couple of passes, has been terrible. The Falcons are all in on this one, Nolan especially. I’d say some half time adjustments are in order.

  58. Grumpy Guy says:

    Kap still looks tentative – but Crabs and Boldin made the plays we needed anyway.

    Gotta keep it up, now.

    • Grumpy Guy says:

      VD’s hands are a sometime thing. He can outrun any LB and most DBs, but catching the ball is an adventure. When it’s a tough catch like that wounded duck shorty there, it’s even MORE of an adventure.

      • philippinefan says:

        yup too many bad throws too. Montana sez “Kap lacks accuracy” per dennis but hey so did Steve Young for awhile

  59. philippinefan says:

    Crab and Boldin are our best bets. VDavis scary. Is MM playing? I heard Patton is in?

  60. Irish Kevin says:

    Even Gruden knows they should not be running, spread the field and throw the ball!! Oh and there is some guy up there named Jerry Rice who agrees!!

  61. Irish Kevin says:

    This is Harbaugh, he is going to try and run down at the 20

  62. That’s why I never blame the officials. PI? What’s the point.

    3rd and 4 and we run Hunter? Did we fire Jim Harbaugh yet?

  63. rtfirefly says:

    FG. No killer instinct.

  64. NoFear49er says:

    No guts, no glory. Or maybe no confidence. I’m with Irish Kevin on that play call.

  65. philippinefan says:

    How bout that FG Kev?

  66. Jim Harbaugh is Marv fucking Levy. Couldn’t enough just to lose the big one.
    Fire his ass. I can’t handle losing big games.

  67. NoFear49er says:

    The worst that happens is an INT on the long end. Other than that if you blow one play can still kick the FG and if you blow it on fourth you’re still tied and they have a long field. Should have put it in the EZ there.

  68. NoFear49er says:

    Why did he slide? He had green grass in front..

  69. philippinefan says:

    We need two more scores 10.14 pts for me to feel we can win this

  70. philippinefan says:

    VMac with big block del. Who drafted him?

  71. rtfirefly says:

    Run, run, run, that’s how you win!

  72. unca_chuck says:

    Well, an ugly win is still a win. Put these guys away already

  73. Irish Kevin says:

    So now we are seeing what Kaeps is capable of when he runs the offense, runs, passes, let’s gore run. Let Kaep call the plays, who needs Roman

    • philippinefan says:

      He won the TB game for us and now is putting team on his back (arm, legs). Lets get 10 more and bag these Falcs

      BTW it will be Mike Smiths FIRST loss to West Coast team since 2008

  74. unca_chuck says:

    Pass rush is not there at all.

  75. IH1979 says:

    Ryan’s a good QB. Fuck.

  76. That looked like the Eric Reid I saw often at LSU. Hard to bitch, though. Kid’s had a great rookie campaign. Can’t cover ’em all. We have ourselves a game again.

  77. Irish Kevin says:

    I am glad the Falcons are keeping it close, keeps Harbaugh from going into his play not to lose mode!!

  78. rtfirefly says:

    So much for my call. Would you believe, er… 26-17?

  79. philippinefan says:

    Need another TD now 20-17 is not safe

  80. I hate when the DBs give the WR a free release. Why? Punch ’em in the goddamn throat at the LOS. You get one shot within 5 yds. Use it.

  81. Irish Kevin says:

    Uh-oh, I made a mistake Harbaugh has gone into his play not to lose mode, run, run, run.

  82. Irish Kevin says:

    Well looks like the run is going to bail him out…in spite of his play calling!!

  83. philippinefan says:

    Love me some Hunter!

  84. Nolan blitzed BOTH corners on 1st and 10? I guess if you’re gonna get fired again, go out swinging.

  85. rtfirefly says:

    We’re getting close to the spread and over/under. Let’s see how creative the refs can get.

  86. Grumpy Guy says:

    Under four minutes. Don’t give up any cheap long plays.

  87. philippinefan says:

    2 score game lets hold the ball at the end

  88. Grumpy Guy says:

    We’re getting people near Ryan – but he is very good at feeling it and moving away from that pressure in the pocket.

  89. Irish Kevin says:

    How’s the prevent defense working for everyone here??

  90. Irish Kevin says:

    The run got Harbs a TD instead of using up the clock, so let’s go to the prevent D to show them!!

  91. Grumpy Guy says:

    We’ll need at least one First down, maybe even two to close this out, or Ryan will get another shot.

  92. Irish Kevin says:

    Are you kidding me!!!

  93. Grumpy Guy says:

    Fuck. Ghost of 1972 right there.

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