Game Day! (The) Silence (of) the Lambs

Here we are, the final game of the opening week of NFL 2016. We get the east coast/west coast Monday Night double-header. Cool for us on the West Coast, but if there are any 49er fans in New York, they get a 10:40 pm start time. Kinda sucks for them, but Monday Night Football has always been a bit of a fuck-a-row for the East Coasters.

Anyhoo, this game is going to be a test for both teams. Chip kelly is for all intents and purposes seemingly done a decent job of taking a bunch of miscellaneous parts from the previous regime and a recent draft that focussed on both lines to give us a small sliver of hope that the team may have a solid base to work from. At least this is what gives me hope.

QB? Well, this is a bit of a quandary. Blaine Gabbert won the job merely by being there more than Colin Kaepernick. Nothing great, but not a lot of mistakes either. Kappy? Well, depending on how tonight goes, he could very well be the starter by next week. He will bide his time as the insurance policy. As far as routes go, I’m hoping we played it close to the vest as there was very little mid-range top deep passing.

RB? Both Carlos Hyde and Shaun Draughn played little in the preseason due to injury, but both showed a lot of solid running. Keeping Hyde healthy is vastly important to the fate of this team. Draughn is a very nice compliment to Hyde, and backups Davis and Harris even looked good.

WR? The big unknown. Adding Rod Streater and Jeremy Kerley at least gives us some experienced guys after Bruce Ellington went down again. Torrey Smith has an amazingly great attitude after basically being ignored all last season, so the hope is, as with the QBs that we can open things up tonight and get the ball downfield more than the 6 yard bites we saw in the preseason.

The O line, despite the shenanigans of Anthony Davis, looks vastly improved over last year’s version. Trent Brown has been very solid at RT so far, garnering praise at all stops, and the return of a healthy Kilgore Trout cannot be understated. Andrew Tiller replaces a reluctant AD and pushes him to backup RT. Joe Staley is still in fine form, and FA acquisition Zane Beadles has been solid as well as he has kept first round pick Josh Garnett from cracking the starting lineup.

Vance McD looks to be finally on the verge of a breakout year, and he’s decent enough as a blocker, as is Garrett Celek. Bell has shown flashes of good hands.

On D we should see a lot of improvement. The DBs are healthy and have looked nothing short of fantastic. Eric Reid had a nice pick 6 on Trevor Siemien, and the coverage was spot-on most every game with the starters.

The pass rush is another matter as no one has shown too much against us in the preseason to make a determination. Marcus Rush looked like a pretty good 3rd down option, but he’s on the PS for now. Aaron Lynch is serving his 4 game suspension, and a significantly lighter Tank Carradine steps in for him alongside Ahmad Brooks, the enigmatic on-again-off-again presence. Ray-Ray Armstrong had a very solid preseason and camp to push his way into the lineup alongside NaVorro Bowman.

The D line suffered a major blow since Ian Williams wasn’t able to make it back from his ankle injury. The entire D line hasn’t played a down yet together as NT Glenn Dorsey is also nursing nagging injuries, but we get to see the bookend Ducks Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner hit the field tonight along with Quinton Dial. The key here will be the rotation to keep these guys fresh against Todd Gurley. Mike Purcell at NT and Tony Jerrod-Eddie will also be rotating throughout the game, I’m sure.

So, shoot me for being a little optimistic. I think this team looks a lot better than it did one year ago. The coaching staff can’t help but be better than last year’s train wreck, and that should lead to a couple more wins than last year. Better overall play on both lines is my main reason for hope.


About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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135 Responses to Game Day! (The) Silence (of) the Lambs

  1. Winder says:

    You can see the players buying into Chipski’s game plan, and with a lead like we had I can see us getting a little too conservative but hey this is way better than I though I would see. And because it’s the stinkin Rams it’s way better than our 1st game last year.

  2. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, been saying that all preseason that they look like they are all on the same page.

  3. unca_chuck says:

    The pundits are already saying yeah, it’s only game 1, but the Rams D isn’t a joke. And we shut down their front 7 pretty fucking effectively.

    Oh well. Right to the road for an east coast trip against the defending NFL champs.

    Can’t even dream of picking a win, and I forgot to predict this one, but I thought something like 20-10 or some shit, but Carolina is a big test for this team.

    One of the biggest takeaways, besides the Kerley love, is the fact that the Niners had 2 penalties for 10 yards. One game, yadda yadda yadda, but this looks like a well coached team.

  4. rtfirefly says:

    It was a good game. 28-0 doesn’t lie. I just don’t think it was a great game. It was 14-0 with the Rams driving deep into Niner territory in the 3rd when Keenum made that horrid pass with all the time in the world to throw. The way our D completely overmatched the Rams O by that point, it should’ve been a 28 pt. lead already. Keenum’s blunder kept it from being 14-7 or just 14-3, still a game at that point. That INT took whatever air the Rams had in their balloon completely out.

    A W is a W is a W and I’ll take it, and shutting out the L.A. Rams is undeniably satisfying, really satisfying. But I want to see what happens the next three weeks. Then I think we’ll really know if we’re onto something, or if it was just a case of completely outcoaching, outpreparing the opponent.

  5. rtfirefly says:

    It doesn’t help that I just watched the Steeler O start dismally, then catch fire and have their will, run or pass, against the Skins. The Rams don’t deserve to be in the same league.

  6. unca_chuck says:

    We may lose the next 3 but it won’t mean we suck given how they go. Roadies in Carolina and Seattle back to back os a bitch, but what do you do? Seattle nearly lost to the Fins at home. Looks like we have a better defense than the Fins, I’d think.

    Well, the big take away for me was beating their D line. The Rams may not be very good, but their D line is one of the best, and for 3 quarters we had our way with them. We ran all over them. 150 on their D is nice.

    As I said at the time, I’m concerned about Gabbert. He rushed shit when he didn’t need to, and he missed a sure TD early on. He looked solid at other times, and our WRs actually helped our QB today. Something I haven’t seen in a LONG time. Kerley is a flat steal. T Smith got little his way, and by his comments it seems like he had a few opportunities. But Gabbert could have easily had 3 picks on inexplicable passes. One a pick 6 right after the horrible pass by Keenum.

    • rtfirefly says:

      The Panthers? Maybe Cam’s still woozy. But I shudder to think of our O against their D in their house. Anything less than a blowout would be a good thing. The Seahawks big problem in game 1 was their offense. That’s some reason for optimism for a road upset. That would be mind boggling. The Cowboy game looks like a good matchup to see how good we really are.

  7. Winder says:

    Right now I don’t give a fuck about the next few games, I’m gonna enjoy this one for a little longer. I haven’t had this much fun watching a game for quite awhile now. I doubt we beat the Panthers next week I am gonna be looking at how we play the game. I know it’s only one game but if we can actually make teams pay for their mistakes then we are on the right road.

  8. Berger says:

    This game was predictable. I told my friend it was a lock and he put a lot of money on the money line at +135. I was pretty sure our front 7 was really good and the Rams run the Sardine Can Offense. Easy peazy. Fisher is almost as bad as Singletary for running the SCO. When a really good front 7 meets a Sardine Can Offense it usually equals a win.

  9. Berger says:

    The other thing with the SCO is the QB is limited to his options. So the QB usually looks a lot worse than he actually is, see Smith, Alex.

  10. Berger says:

    Chip’s play calling is very conservative, as I’ve been trying to tell you guys. Difference is he uses formations that give the QB a lot of options and allows the blocking assignments easier for the line. The difference was the Rams and 49ers both did a good job of stopping the run but our QB had more options. He also had more time to throw than Keenum. That poor guy was under siege. But QBs are often under siege in the SCO. I blame the Rams coach much more than the Rams players.

  11. Berger says:

    I liked what the result of our 3rd rd ACL pick tonight. Since he did good I’ll call him Kerley instead of Curly.

  12. rtfirefly says:

    From ESPN via 49webzone:

    The Los Angeles Rams still have not scored a point since Dec. 24 1994.

  13. Nipper says:

    Well at least the 49ers beat the damn Lambs. Apparently Chip was happy with his QB despite a few throws he wished could come back.

  14. unca_chuck says:

    New thread is up. . . .

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