Flat as a Pancacke. Gonna have to dig out a track from that album. A band I discovered in 7th grade. The scheduling mavens in the NFL thought it would be a good idea to have the 49ers open their season on a Monday night, and then travel across the country on a short week (5 days off) to play a team that opened their season 4 days earlier (9 days off) in a ‘road’ game in their time zone. I guess respect is a fleeting thing in the NFL, but as Goodie Goodell has shown, he doesn’t give a shit about the players. Just about the TV money for Thursday night games.
Anyhow, the stage is ripe for a setback as the Niners face a highly regarded team in the Steelers, and the aforementioned short-week-travel double whammy.
Well, fuck that. Pittsburgh’s defense looked absolutely lost vs Brady, Gronk, Dion Lewis, and Edelman. They accounted for 260 of the 360 yards gained by NE. Sure, Pittsburgh gained 464 yards, DeAngleo Williams gained 127, and the uncoverable Antonio Brown had 9 for 133, and Heath Miller had 8 for 84, and hey, DHB had 5 for 58 . . . uh, shit. This may not be as easy as I thought. Pittsburgh, for all its vaunted this and that, still has Rothlisberger and a damn good offense.
So, what are we going to do? Well, as we saw last week, Eric Mangini is much more of a risk-taker than his predecessor. It worked to great advantage last week as 5 guys contributed a sack. Which tells me Mangini likes to disguise who’s coming from where. The DBs played solid in run support, and defending the pass. o, what happens? Well, I think we’ll bottle up Williams better than NE did. The worry IS Pittsburgh’s passing game. Brown is the hottest thing since hot things were invented. I’d imagine some bracketing thrown his way. Which means a lot of nickel D, which means a steady dose of Pitts trying to run through that. Jimmie Ward needs to pull up his pants as he’ll be the guy covering DHB one-on-one most likely.
Pressure is paramount. Rothlisberger isn’t the quickest guy out there, but he stands tall in the pocket and avoids hits better than just about anyone else. When they get to him, they need to stay on him and get him down. Broken plays are his specialty and they get a lot of yards off Worthelssberger buying time and finding the open guy.
Kappy is coming of a strong game vs Minn, a team with a good defensive backfield, of at least proving to the naysayers (you know who you are) that he can step up his game. He bought time well, and went through his progressions and avoided the one-done-and-run days of seasons past. Sure, it’s only one game, but it’s a start. 95% of the national prognosticators had Minnesota winning handily. Problem is, they like shiny things and sound bites. All they look at is St, Jim leaving and the retirements. They happened to overlook the talent that is ON the team and instead focussed on the players that left.
Since no one once again is giving the Niners a shot, I’ll go with 28-20 Niners.