How the Mighty Have Fallen

Click back to a year ago, and the 49ers were one of the top-ranked teams in the league. No.2 in fact. The Harbaugh-to-Cleveland rumors hadn’t surfaced, and the whole behind-the-scenes nightmare of innuendo hadn’t surfaced either. What happened? Well, we all remember. Injuries, blown leads, more innuendo, whatever. We ended up 8-8 and not the #2 team.

As it was across the league, in 2014, PFT had it right picking the AFC playoff teams, going 6 for 6. The order wasn’t spot-on, but that’s a pretty good job. The NFC had surprises in Dallas (Ranked 14th in the NFC) and Detroit (ranked 12th) taking the Niners (ranked 2nd) and the Saints (ranked 4th) who fell out.

What does it mean for this year? Who knows? Most likely, diddly. No one certainly stuck their necks out and said the Niners would go 13-3 in 2011. I thought they’d be a WC team. Then again, I had said that for a while because the team had talent. It was the coaching that was suspect. And that’s the rub. No one in any position of doing prognostication goes out on a limb for a team that hit the skids. Or a team that’s on the rise.

The latest power rankings look like this:

NFC – – – – – – – – – – – –

1. Sea
2. Green Bay
3. Dal
4. AZ
5. Philly
6. Det

In other words, they picked the playoff teams from last year. The only exception being that someone has to represent the NFC South. the AFC is the same.The Niners are down with the also-rans at 19th. Again, what does this mean? Squadoosh? Are the 49ers the 19th best team in the league? Not unless you believe that the players they have won’t be any good. This is the 5th ranked defense that didn’t have Bowman or Willis through most of the season. The defense should be fine.

As I’ve said, the big question is the offense. 30th in passing is not very good no matter how you parse it. 4th in rushing is fine, but it sure didn’t seem like we were very effective at it. For al the talk of limiting Kappy’s rushing, he ended up with 639 yards. He had 524 yards when he was supposedly running too much. My take on this is the coaching staff went way too hard in the wrong direction. There is telling your QB to try and hang in the pocket, but then there is leaving him hung out to dry to take a sack. In his ‘running’ year of 2013, Kappy had 39 sacks.  In his misbegotten year in the pocket,  he had 52.

The passing yards were similar, the TD numbers were similar, even the fumble and INT numbers were all close. Why the disparity in the seasons? Well, injuries played their part, especially on the offensive line. But the play calling (surprise) seemed lacking to say the least. 15th in 3rd downs (40%) is smack in the middle of the league. 50% on 3rd and under 4 yards is shitty. All these numbers are down from the previous years. Why? More than one team came out of our games saying they knew what was coming a lot of the time, based on formation and tendencies. Sure, you can say that all teams know most of the time what’s coming, but that’s bullshit. This isn’t 1975. Which is where our offense has been these last few years.

Also, this team lost leads in 6 games.

Bears? 17-7 at the half.
AZ? 14-6 lead
Rams? 10-10 tie
Oaktown? 10-10 tie (13-10 Niners in the 3rd)
Seattle? 7-3 lead
SD? 28-7 lead

Harbaugh would go conservative and sit on leads. 11th in scoring in the 1st halfs of games. 30th in 2nd halfs.

Bring on the Geepster.

About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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44 Responses to How the Mighty Have Fallen

  1. robbiedeluca says:

    Nice post Chuck

  2. Lurker John says:

    That about sums it up.

  3. 12th Man says:


    I remember a well known pundit rolling his eyes at someones suggestion that the Niners would make the playoffs in 2011 on T.V. The pundit was a 3rd string QB career clipboard holder who’s name escapes me, Sean something?
    Anywho, the pundit, and most of the rest of the experts had to choke on their words and I figure that is likely this year too.
    Harbaugh didn’t exactly come storming out the gate with wins last year and that was before the injury bug really became contagious. His shitty O got worse and his message was tired.

    Lets see what happens.

  4. alleykat69 says:

    Sean Salisbury? 12th?
    If so his career was about as exciting as Scott Bull, Jim Drunkemiller,Gio “I never played a game in the NFL Carmazzi(sp?) etc etc etc..

  5. Nipper says:

    In the words of Skeebers, we’re screwed. Sir Spitblood from Geneoushire probably agrees.

  6. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, every village needs an idiot, Nipp.

  7. Winder says:

    It’s kinda sad really. 49er fans that have given up on the season before it even starts. I see it as Elvis Costello says “don’t bury me cause i’m not dead yet.” In other words a brand new start.

    • NJ49er says:

      Optimists vs. Pessimists Winder.
      We’ve sucked before but…we’re not Cleveland 😀
      Thank God.

    • unca_chuck says:

      Shot, I understand the uncertainty, but to say we are in for 10 years of suck is hysterical blather.

      It’s the glee factor that’s disconcerting.

  8. unca_chuck says:

    Don’t plan my funeral before the body dies.

    Unfortunately for Layne Staley, he was a bit prophetic.

  9. Berger says:

    I expect to be in the play-offs this year. I’ll wait to see the offense form or 3 pre-season games before I go any farther than that.

    • 12th Man says:

      Same Berger. We need to see the team operate but I see no reason for pessimism. To me I think the talent level team wide is good enough and that the D will hold its own. As Chuck says, its all about the O, and I figure even a little more creativity should be enough to make playoffs.

      RB I don’t think will see a drop off from Gore, using 3 good RB. WR are better, period. TE can’t be worse than last year. Kap, off the leash, is a force of nature, and I figure another year of experience and the extra training he took this off season combined with a more open playbook will pay dividends. O line looks to be healthier and no hold outs and with a more cohesive play selection should see better results.

      It is easy to get wrapped up in the name game, meaning who is the O co-ordinator for instance, but who the hell was Greg Roman before 2011? What the hell had he achieved?
      Ditto Jim Harbaugh, a college coach with no NFL credentials whatsoever. In fact the only guy on staff at that level with a resume worth shit was Vic Fangio and the take on him was he got worse each year of tenure. Not exactly all stars to say the least. They became household names because they won. Who is to say whether this particular group will win or not before even playing a game?

      Its horse shit. Blind fear of the unknown from small people who feel comfort in the known and are afraid of the new. Hysteria squared.

  10. Berger says:

    Armstead I signed!

  11. Berger says:

    Oops, I meant, Armstead is signed!

  12. unca_chuck says:

    Everyone’s accounted for.

    Dubs win!

  13. Winder says:

    What a good fucking day. The G-men scored 10 runs, our # 1 pick signed, and the fucking Warriors. In the immortal words of Frank Zappa: “God don’t make ham”
    I’m not religious but I really like this.

    • Winder says:

      “Cows”- I guess I had God on my mind

    • Funny. You’re not religious. I deeply am. But we can agree on one thing: “God” don’t make ham.

      THERE IS NO GOD!!!

      • Winder says:

        Hey dennis good to see ya. I’ll leave all the tough questions to others, like is there a God? How the fuck should I know. But, i do know we’ve scored 21 runs in Cincy the last couple of days and that’s sayin something.

  14. Nipper says:

    All this happiness will not square with the Skeebs! Not enough pessimism!

  15. Winder says:

    WTF we got 11 today.

  16. Berger says:

    Dennis- I say we get a Triple Crown this year in horse racing! Call me if you want to wager a six pack.

  17. Now I’m sure some of you are asking yourself how could I be deeply religious and not believe in God? Simple. Same way I was born and raised a 49er Faithful and will be until the day I die: They’re my family.

    But I hate the 49ers and I wish they were dead.

    Now don’t tell me you haven’t said those exact same words to a family member and/or loved one throughout your life at least once, and probably more often on a consistent basis. If you haven’t? You’re either a lying sack of shit or the next member of the “Lying Sack of Shit Hall of Fame” to be introduced by Charles Ponzi.

    The Niners are my family. But that doesn’t mean I have to eat Thanksgiving dinner or spend Christmas with them. Fuck them. They can all take a long walk off a short pier. I’m no longer going to watch them play or give a flying fuck about their well being.

    I hate the 49ers. I wish they were dead. But they’re my family.

    Merry Christmas

    • Berger says:

      Too bad the cancer site of dumb and dumber cut you. You are writing in their wheel house. I think they might take you back these days if you don’t say anything negative about St Jim.

  18. Berger says:

    The number one thing Harbaugh did was bring in Kaepernick as the starting QB. Anybody who worships Harbaugh but hates Kap is probably chemically imbalanced because those two were joined at the hip.

  19. Nipper says:

    It’s Sunday a day of worship. Lets all bow our heads and pray Skeebs doesn’t jump from a bridge and take his gang with him.

  20. snarkk says:

    If it were one thing only that peeved me about Harbs, it was the ridiculous sitting on the lead approach. Must be that old Michigan / Shembechler grind it out stuff. Having witnessed the Walsh pedal to the medal/step on their throat approach that worked for a decade, it was painful to watch…

    • Winder says:

      Actually it was physically nauseating to me. However, in all reality one can’t pin the whole shebang on just Harbs, it was a group effort. But, in the end the buck stops at Harbs door.

  21. rob says:

    Imho we should look at lance briggs and santana moss in free agency

  22. NJ49er says:

    Great tribute song to the Memory of BB –

    • Winder says:

      Nice. We lost Gary too not so long ago.

      • NJ49er says:

        Yeh Winder, just a few years ago I believe.
        Gary could rip up a guitar with the best of them.

      • NJ49er says:

        All the years I listened to BB King, I just now realized his given name was Riley.
        I always knew him as BB for ‘Blues Boy’.

        Like they say, you die twice.
        1st, when you cease to breathe on this earth.
        2nd, when the last person speaks your name.

        BB will live forever me thinks 😀

        What a lifetime of achievements he leaves behind.
        Saw him once, with Buddy Guy.
        Fantastic show.
        I’m thankful to have seen him play live. Fantastic entertainer and an even better human being.

        RIP BB……

  23. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, Saw BB King in South Shore in the late 70s. Great show. Such a distinctive sound. Will truly be missed but never forgotten.

  24. unca_chuck says:

    I’m down with Moss, but Briggs not so much. Even with all the losses in the LB corps, I still think we are fine at this point. a cheaper alternative is out there.

  25. unca_chuck says:

    New thread is up.

  26. rob says:

    I’m very impressed with that changes tomsula is making too.
    The bad news is Justin smith’s retirement is making my 10-6 prediction for 2015 feel awful shakey

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