Carroll vs. Harbaugh – Part X

SUNDAY WEATHER REPORT: 50º, 2 mph winds, 10% chance of rain

However these two guys managed to meet up, Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh face off against each other for the tenth time. They have become as entwined as peanut better and jelly. At least when the peanut butter hates the jelly. Carroll, born in San Francisco and raised in Larkspur, played college football at UOP and couldn’t make the grade in the USFL Honolulu Hawaiians. Harbaugh of course had a long and varied career as a successful QB at Michigan under (say it with me, Dennis) Bo Schembechler, and with the Bears, Colts, Ravens, and Chargers. Carroll took the long and winding coaching road, including stints with the Niners as their DC under George Seifert, and head coach of the Jets and Patriots, to varying amounts of success before becoming the head coach of the USC Spartans in 2000. Harbaugh spent a couple years with the Raiders as a QB coach before taking over that powerhouse of the Pioneer League, the USD Toreros. Success there got him the Stanford head coaching job in 2007, where he actively bugged Bill Walsh as much as he could to pick his coaching brain.

It was in the Pac-10 that the two first crossed paths. Carroll of course was king of college football, having won a couple national championships when Harbaugh came around. Harbaugh started the back-and-forth by saying Carroll would defect to the NFL in 2008, and blaming the news on an ‘insider’ at USC. Pete denied this, of course, and ended up coaching at USC 3 more years. Harbaugh also called USC the ‘best program in the country, and possibly the best college football team in history’ (sound familiar?). The fact Harbaugh beat USC as 28-27 as 41 point underdogs that year just added to the fun. Harbaugh lost in 2008, and then won the infamous ‘what’s your deal?’ game in 2009, 55-21, as Harbaugh went for 2 points on the last TD. Harbaugh’s record vs Pete was 2-1, having never lost in the LA Coliseum.

When various NCAA sanctions were about to castrate USC’s football program and take away Reggie Bush’s Heismann Trophy, Pete of course took off for the greener pastures of Seattle. Harbaugh meanwhile took Stanford to their greatest heights, and a #4 ranking as they defeated VA Tech in the Orangew Bowl. He interviewed for the NY Jets job in 2009, but they thankfully gave the job to Rex Ryan. Harbaugh then came to the Niners in 2011 as the Niners were looking to replace Aluminum Mike Singletary. In what was supposed to be a transition year in the wake of the lockout, and with little practice time, Harbaugh guided the Niners to a 13-3 record, validation for Alex Smith, and an opening day win over Seattle as Ted Ginn ran a KO and punt back for 2 TDs in the 4th quarter. They tacked on a win in Seattle later that season as the last time Seattle lost at home, until week 16 of this year at the hands of the AZ Cardinals. Harbaugh leads the NFL version of the rivalry 4-2.

Since then the teams have split their remaining skirmishes where the home teams have won. Seattle seems to hang their hat on the fact that they annihilated the 49ers in their house 42-13 and 29-3, while we squeaked our wins out at the Stick 13-6 and 19-17. All the while throwing fuel on the rivalry with Harbaugh calling the Seahawks cheaters for all their PED violations saying ‘if you have to cheat to win, then you’ve already lost.’ Brandon Browner said if he see Harbaugh he’d ‘wring his neck.’ Not so ironically, since that quote, Browner has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL for substance abuse violations among 5 other suspensions.  Fuel for the ever-stoking fires. The players seem to be having fun with it at least. Anthony Dixon called Seattle the ‘She-Hawks,’ and KJ Wright responding with the ‘Forty-Whiners’ in a twitter battle earlier this year. Hearing a miked up NaVorro Bowman after the Niners win over Seattle this year, they meet on the field and Russell Wilson says “Great game. We love playing you guys.”

Truth be told, and this is the beauty of the rivalry, is there is real animosity between the two coaches and now the fans. The ’12th man’ banner flown above the Stick was matched by a billboard in Seattle showing 5 Super Bowl trophies. In a very short time, this has turned into one of the most heated rivalries in all of sports. The fact that the winner of this game becomes the NFC champion and thus reaches the Super Bowl makes the game even more significant and intense as these teams prepare for the game in Seattle. All in all, it should be a spectacular struggle between 2 very very good defenses and 2 smashmouth offenses.

Seattle can lay claim to winning the NFC West this year, but the NFC Champions will remain the San Francisco 49ers. Niners win 23-13. I think Russell Wilson has a bad day and commits a couple turnovers. Theusual clampdown by the defense keeps the score low.

About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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55 Responses to Carroll vs. Harbaugh – Part X

  1. snarkk says:

    I wanna see if Harvin is going to play. The short time he was in there before getting clobbered last Saturday shows he really adds something to that Shawk offense. If he does play, I wouldn’t doubt if the Niner defense is going to target him for some special hitting attention…

  2. Nipper says:

    Victory will cure everything. The past is irrelevant. The noise should be a non-factor. The weather who cares? Who likes who…..who gives a damn. Execution is everything. Show up and play. That’s all that matters.

  3. 12th man says:

    Niners are 4-2 over the Squawks just as you say Chuck, but to listen to all the Squawk fans and the pundits one would think the Niners have been the Squawks bitch. Don’t know about you guys but I’m tired of hearing it and I’m fairly sure the Niners will win this game.

  4. unca_chuck says:

    Well, the hope is that these last 3 road victories give us some sense of how to get plays off in a hostile environment. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, but the truth is keeping Wilson in the pocket limits his effectiveness. This game will be won in the trenches. The Niners wore down Carolina, but I’d love to see a few early blitzes thrown in. Sea may be without Percy Harvin again, so they’ll be leaning on Marshawn Lynch yet again. KJ Wright is practicing in a limited fashion, so he could be back as well.

    Rogers is the only one who may be MIA for the Niners, although I heard Bowman missed practice due to an illness. Not sure what the hell that means, but we’ll see.

    • NJ49er says:

      I’m almost inclined to think this is our window to adjust to life without Carlos, Chuck.
      I doubt he’ll be here when Camp opens this year.

      We’ll see what happens later.
      For now.
      We have another game to win.

  5. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, I didn’t even think Carlos would be back this year. With Brown and Brock and a draft pick or 2 I think we’ll be ok without him

    • NJ49er says:

      All about the $$$ Chuck.
      With TBrock getting extended, Cox being brought back over Wright, it’s wide open in terms of how this gets settled.
      I’d have my doubts about TBrown as well since he hasn’t re-upped.

      Can’t bank on Culliver returning full strength immediately, from his ACL either.
      Those injuries to WRs and DBs are often considered 2-yr injuries, due to the cutting, leaping and, start/stop demands of the position.

      I’m expecting to see additions from the Draft at WR & DB.
      Wouldn’t surprise me to see a pair of both either.
      We have the Picks to experiment with and, those positions are deeper this year.

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  7. NJ49er says:

    Chuck WP appears to be eating my replies?

  8. NJ49er says:

    With the Contract Carlos is carrying, he’s likely done.
    TBrock got the extension over TBrown too.
    Cox being brought back over Wright might suggest that Wright isn’t going to make an impact either.

    Add the uncertainty of Cullivers’ ACL repair to the mix too.
    Those injuries, to a guy that has to start/stop, leap and, change directions for a living, are often considered 2-yr injuries at his position.

    I’m guessing Baalke will add new WR/DB options from the Draft also.
    Might even see a pair at both positions, since we have additional Picks to experiment with.
    Class is deep at both positions.

  9. 27-17 Niners. All on Colin and he’s gonna have a real good game. We’re in for a treat.

  10. Flavor says:

    I’m not sure I’ve ever wanted to beat a team more than I want the NIners to beat Seattle this Sunday. I don’t have a real good feel about it but I certainly could see us winning this game. Agree with Snarkk, waiting to see Harvin’s status. I’d feel a whole lot better with them just going with the underwhelming Tate and Baldwin. Then you just focus up on containing #beastmode
    Niners win 17-13 and I celebrate wildly.

    • barleyfreak says:

      I hear that. Let’s face it, we got plum handled the last two times up there, and barely beat them the last two times here. We CANNOT let them put a beat down on us. That would sow some seeds of doubt, ya gotta think. If they were to get plastered — again– how much confidence going up there would they have the next go round?

      That said, I don’t see that happening. See my prediction below.

  11. Nipper says:

    Please whatever you nitwits do don’t buy pleated Dickies at Walmart! This will offend the wife! She will go on the radio and complain to a couple of gay guys about your attire. Only in SF!

  12. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, Nippy. I thought Dennis was the only one who could pleat your dickie.

  13. unca_chuck says:

    Flav, it will likely be determined by turnovers. AZ got away with 4 turnovers and won. In Seattle. We won’t be able to do that, obviously. But NO shot themselves in the foot with the early fumble. It took them the rest off the game to almost make that up. If not for Colston’s huge brain fart, they may have tied that game.

  14. dirtnrocksnomo says:

    One of your best threads yet, chuck.

  15. Grumpy Guy says:

    Given the injury to Crabs early, and our young QB still learning the game, I feel this has been a successful year in the face of adversity, even if this is as far as we get. But I would dearly love to beat Seattle in their own sty and win number six.

  16. shaman138 says:

    I usually have a good feel about how games will go but for this one I can honestly say I don’t have a fucking clue. It really could go either way. But the hot hand who plays well on the road in the playoffs almost always wins out, and right now that’s SF, so I’ll go with SF 24-21.

    As for that *other* game, I hope they both lose but I’ll go with Donkeys over Cheaters 35-30.

  17. unca_chuck says:

    Right Sham. They should just declare the Sea/SF game as the Super Bowl and make the AFC championship the consolation round. I guess I’d rather see the Niners destroy Manning than anything else. If we make it, that is.

    • Flavor says:

      I am absolutely rooting for a Niner/Denver SUper Bowl. THere’s nothing I like more than reminding my friends in Denver that we own their asses in the Super Bowl….

  18. Irish Kevin says:

    Chuck says IF WE MAKE IT. what kind of talk is that?? of course we are going to make it, Niners 20 – Hawks 13

  19. unca_chuck says:

    Hah! Fuck, Can’t wait for this game to actually start.

  20. snarkk says:

    I think the only way the Niners lose this game is turnovers. They can’t TO more than once, twice tops. Innocuous ones, if any. No fumbles on their own 10 or crap like that. They haven’t re-signed Kyle Williams, have they?…

  21. barleyfreak says:

    I asked my wife the other day which was more important for us this Sunday — Offense or Defense. My answer was…both. But I’ve thought about it and despite our poor offensive showing the last two times up there, I really think it is the D. We are built on D, and when our O struggles, if our D keeps us in the game, the offense usually feeds on that and picks it up and starts to get something going, When our D struggles early, our offense almost never seems to be able to get us back in the game. If our D cannot hold the game close and give our offense a chance to get some mo going, it’s over.

    That is how I think it will play out this weekend. I think our defense CAN hold it close, unlike the last two trips. The key is stopping Lynch, and keeping contain on Wilson. We have failed in their house doing just that. We have to stop Lynch. We have to make Wilson throw from the pocket. Our O will struggle at first but then start to impose its will, provided we’re not down 2 touchdowns (or more). Have. To. Keep. It. Close.

    I truly hope we can keep our composure. Chippy is fine, but do NOT get any PFs for mouthing off. Actions are louder than words. And hold on to the freaking rock.

    19-13, Niners.

  22. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, I’m thinking 2 TDs and 3 FGs. I think we get one pick 6 or near to it.

    Rogers is in, as the Nickel back.

    I wonder how Seattle plays it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them come out 4 wide and throwing to test our DBs early and then hit with Lynch.

  23. unca_chuck says:

    Andy Lee plays a big part in this as well Field position is key. If Harvin is in, they should kick to the sidelines and not even give him a chance.

  24. snarkk says:

    If the Niners lose, it’ll be the fault of his wife, Sarah. She got on the radio and made him change his pants. I think those khakis have been good luck — not a good idea to change them now…

  25. Irish Kevin says:

    Oh and I do believe that once Harbaugh got to the NFL is when he got conservative, I read today where when he was at Stanford his team scored 52 points against Pete the Cheats USC team.

    • Irish Kevin says:

      Oh and don’t give me that crap about their is a difference between college and the pros. The Niners scored 50+ points against The Chargers and against the Broncos in Super Bowls!! USC wasnt exactly chopped liver back in the day!

  26. Spitblood says:

    Here are a few unique takes on this game that you won’t read anywhere else, and that’s why I’m so great. First off, special teams. We’ve all heard the old Parcel’s adage, “When going on the road, pack your defense and special teams….. and don’t a forget a laptop so you can find hookers on craigslist in your hotel room….(Parcels you dirty SOB).” Defense is a given, but I’ve watched enough Seattle games in Seattle to know that the crowd feeds off one thing more than any other – the opposition’s special teams’ mistakes. What got the Seattle crowd into the game last weekend? Missed field goals. What put the 49ers away in 2012 when visiting Seattle? A David Akers blocked field goal returned for a touchdown. If it’s me, and I know this will be greeted with skepticism, but if I’m Harbaugh and Seeley, I play the game conservatively when considering my special teams. I don’t let La Micheal decide this one. If it’s five yards deep, don’t take it out. And fair catch. I don’t ask Dawson to kick a 50 yarder unless it’s to win the game in the final seconds. Nothing fires the Seattle crowd up more than a great special teams play. Play conservative. Don’t make the defense have to pickup both the offense and our special teams.

    Regarding Marshawn Lynch…. do players forget to go low when tackling Lynch? I mean, it’s almost like the Clash of the Titans when Percius’s (sp?) men all die at the look of Medusa. Medusa runs right, DBs look him in the eye, they turn to stone, then they forget to go low for the tackle. How many players try to arm tackle Lynch? He leaves a battered and torn battlefield behind him of men turned to stone and commentators claiming “Beast mode got ’em again!” Hogwash. They looked the ugliest man in the universe in the eyes pre tackle and turned to stone. Hit him low. Don’t look him in the eye, then hit him low. Our linebackers might even consider having some sort of hand held mirror for run plays so they can locate Lynch via reflection. Find the center of his jersey, then take it down two click and take out his knees or even his cleats. Done. Next problem. But don’t hit him high. Don’t arm tackle him. And don’t look him in the eyes.

    Did anyone really watch the Saints / Seattle game last week? I’ll tell you one thing… you can run on Seattle. Now here’s the thing- we’re division rivals. They know our run tendencies so maybe it’ll be tougher for us to run on Seattle than say the Saints. But Frank Gore did pop one the last time we met at the Stick. Ingram and that young Robinson for the Saints kid ran all over Seattle last weekend. In fact, that game could have been a lot closer if their kicker didn’t look Lynch in the eyes pre kick, twice, and IF Drew Brees played only slightly better than a high school qb for the first three quarters of the game. I mean seriously, Drew Brees stunk in that game. He was awful. Nobody was even writing about that after the game. But anyway, I feel the Saints could have won that game if they punted instead of trying kick field goals (Sean knew his kicker sucked before the game started), and if Drew Brees played somewhat decent football. Neither happened but the run game kept the Saints in the game. Seattle’s run defense is suspect, and other sportswriters and NFL coaches have noticed this. Number one defense during the season is one thing. How their defense is playing right now is another thing entirely. They’re beatable.

    If it’s me, I surprise the Seattle defense with different runs using Kendal Hunter’s speed. Why not put Gore and Hunter in the backfield at the same time? Hunter can get the edge. Gore can’t. Hunter can surprise ’em on the delay, Gore can’t. I think Hunter’s got more upside even though Gore popped the long one last game against Seattle. But I’ve been crying for more Hunter all year long. They don’t listen to me.

    And what about Kaep? I love the kid. I do. He’s a bastard. No, literally. He’s a bastard in a basket and I love him for it. Talk about your built in drive to succeed. Adopted, won’t talk to his mother. Nurtured by white people. Talk about torture. Kaep reminds me of the old Jack London book “White Fang,” where White Fang is caged and that mean old man pokes him endlessly with a sharp stick until it’s time for White Fang to pull the sled. That’s what it’s like to be raised by white people in Wisconsin. That kind of situation would make me angry enough to stare right though Medusa. Put Kaep at linebacker on run plays and remind him he’s adopted. Have Fangio make Willis call a defensive play in the defensive huddle called, “Heidi Russo.” Lynch won’t stand a chance. In fact, Kaep would knock Lynch out of the game!

    But aside from Kaep’s missed linebacker opportunities in this game, Kaep needs to focus on his footwork in the pocket. You don’t, can’t and won’t win this game throwing on the run. Throw from the pocket and set your feet. The DBs are going to be all over our WRs like white on Jerry Rice. The football must be accurate, and the only way for passes to be accurate will be for Kaep to sit in the pocket, trust his protection, set his feet and locate his receivers.

    And one more thing. Push off. I’d love to see Crabtree or Boldin send the refs a message in their press conferences. Hold a press conference and say, “Seattle gets away with murder in their secondary at home, and we respect the refs letting everyone play, but fair is fair. If they can mug us, we should be able to push off. In the Green Bay game, the refs let us play and Jordy Nelson pushed off in the end zone for a touchdown against Trumaine Brock. So there’s your gold standard. If the refs let the DBs mug Boldin and Crabtree, pushing off should also be allowed. It’s the ying to their yang. It’s a reciprocal action, and if you can hold and interfere with a receiver, the receiver should be able to retaliate. Plain and simple.

    So if Harbaugh follows my formula of conservative specials teams plays, tackling the gargoyle low, more Hunter, reminding Kaep he’s adopted and our WRs pushing off, we win 24-21. Simple formula. What’s not to like?

    • Irish Kevin says:

      I see you still have a flair for Bullshit Spit, this is not for a ride on the merry go round! You go all in and play balls to the wall. You are on the road and you have nothing to lose! Harbaugh has been playing conservative play all year long. Only during the last 4-5 games has Kaep shook him off and started to run when needed. Some of Kaep best games if you ask me.

  27. unca_chuck says:

    I see you think you get paid by the word, Spitty.

    Special teams and conservative? Wow. Earth shaking.

  28. snarkk says:

    Kap’s new nickname from his adoring fans — “the Bastard”.
    Not sure if that one will take off…

  29. unca_chuck says:

    Besides, you are wrong, Spit. I get not returning shit 8 yards deep in the end zone, but what helped the Niners win in Carolina was the 50 yard FG early. Dawson is money. No reason not to trust him. FGs have been a big part of the offense. Sure you want the TD, but points are points. They will be hard to come by on Sunday. A great return can win games and tilt the field position battle, as they showed last year in NE and a few times this year.

    I know you are saying this to be contrarian, mainly because you started out bitching endlessly about how conservative the offense is. Now that they are turning it loose somewhat, you disagree with that? In the playoffs? Brilliant. But really. 50,000 words?

  30. unca_chuck says:

    Oooops. Too much time on his, uh, hands?

    Embarrassing details have emerged in the recent arrest of New York Jets tight end Kellen Winslow, who was charged last month with possession of synthetic marijuana.

    Police approached Winslow, who was parked in his car outside a Target store in East Hanover, N.J., because they were summoned by a woman who complained that he was masturbating in the vehicle, according to police and court records obtained by

    Tight end Kellen Winslow will be a free agent in March. It’s highly unlikely that he returns to the Jets. The woman, whose name was redacted from the report, provided a written statement of her account. She was shopping inside Target when they arrived, police said.

    According to the police report, “She pulled into a parking space to the right of (Winslow’s) Escalade and noticed a make sitting in the driver seat with the window open. As she exited her vehicle, she commented to the male how cold it was. As she stood near the open drive side window … she [saw that he was exposed below the waist]. She stated that she believed he was masturbating.”

  31. unca_chuck says:

    Per Pete Carroll, Percy Harvin is out for Sunday’s game.

  32. unca_chuck says:


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