So close, yet so far. the season can’t get started soon enough, but the scheduling Gods gave us a toughie as the 49ers face the NFC Championship game losing Minnesota Vikings on the road. This is the same Vikings team that stole their previous playoff game with an improbable 60 yard TD with time expiring on the clock to beat the Saints. They were so thrilled about the state of things at QB that they let Sam Bradford go, declined Teddy Bridgewater’s 5th year option, and let playoff hero Case Keenum walk to Denver so they could throw a 3 year/$84 million deal to our once and future savior, Kirk Cousins.

The NFL makes strange bedfellows, and we were gifted (maybe) our own savior in Jimmy Garoppolo in a mid-season trade while Shanny’s choice to lead us out of the wilderness is now a Vike. Certainly a storyline that will be followed by many around the league. Cousins certainly has a much better team around him, what with that defense, but we have added some weapons ourselves. Sure, we lost Jarick McKinnon, but we lost something we haven’t had, so there isn’t anything to really miss. He would be great as a pass catcher out of the backfield, but hopefully they’ve been working with Matt Brieda to pick up some of that work.

For this team, it is all about the pass rush. Our defense will go as far as Salomon Thomas, Arik Armstead, and DeForest Buckner can put pressure on the opposing QBs in the base defense. They’ve shown glimpses here and there this preseason, but Thomas looks worlds better than he did last year, and a healthy AA is imperative.

The defensive secondary has improved by a lot on paper, but we will see what happen on the field from the get-go. They face Cousins, Stafford, Mahomes, Rivers, Bradford (or Rosen), Rodgers, and Goff to start the season. Quite the who’s who of NFL QBs.

Two teams get an early kickoff to the season tomorrow as the 2017 divisional playoff game is revisited by the Atlanta Falcons and the Super Bowl Champion Philly Eagles. Should be a fun one. Foles gets the start while Wentz gets fully healthy. Atl will once again ride Matty Ice into the season.

About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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49 Responses to Antici—pation

  1. Winder says:

    I can’t wait either, longest off-season that I can remember. Anyway, maybe we get lucky and the Vikings don’t click on all cylinders. Maybe Cousins isn’t at a comfort level yet. I am glad they are our 1st game because this is the game where no one knows what any team really looks like.
    Niners 23 – 20

  2. Lurker John says:

    Yeah, like I said yesterday, a brutally long week of waiting. Tomorrow night’s game will help a little. We’ll learn a lot about this team starting on Sunday. Tough game in a tough building to start things out, but fuck it, they’re going to have to start beating the best of the best eventually to get to the ultimate prize. May as well start now.

  3. Lurker John says:

    Gotta get pressure on Cousins, or it will be a long game.

  4. unca_chuck says:

    I’m not too scared of Cousins as long as we are hitting him. He turns to mush when facing constant pressure. It is a great test early. But too much should not be read into it.

  5. NJ49er says:

    Kirk will rely on a solid Defense and a running game until he’s completely comfortable with the Offense.
    Our focus should be to stop Dalvin Cook.
    Force Kirk into throwing on 3rd down.

  6. rtfirefly says:

    Cousins stinks in season openers. 0-3 with a buttload of fumbles and ints.
    Their O-line is a mess. But…

    Minn. defense and home field and 10:00 am give them the game 27-19.
    Niners 9-7 for the season.

  7. unca_chuck says:

    The little spot of Luck talking to Sherman is pretty cool. Good to see the mutual respect they have and he class they both show. Good shit.

  8. rtfirefly says:

    15 new Game 1 QB starters this year, the biggest turnover since 2000. Should be interesting!

    • rtfirefly says:

      Darnold will be the only rook starting. Mahomes and Nate (yep, him lol) Peterman the only developmental sophs. Peterman better than Tyrod Taylor? I want some of what the Bills are having.

  9. Lurker John says:

    BTW, my avatar change last night was for the obvious start to the new NFL season, but also because the SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS SUCK ASS, and I’ve had my fill of them for the rest of the year. Talk about a team in need a 49ers-like overhaul, what the hell has happened to this franchise? This is a team in desperate need of new blood at the top, and I have zero confidence that they’ll make those changes.

    That said, GO FORTY-NINERS!

  10. Lurker John says:

    I’ve been listening to a lot of these guys lately, this from the excellent “Going for the One” record. RIP to the great Chris Squire and his memorable bass line on this song:

  11. unca_chuck says:

    All of their early stuff, Fragile esp, is outstanding.

  12. unca_chuck says:

    No kidding about the Giants. They have a new scouting department as of last year but only time will tell if they got their shit together yet. They made a lot of changes last year to the scouting and player development departments. Thing is, it takes 3-5 years to see the fruit.

  13. unca_chuck says:

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy . . .

    • Lurker John says:

      That’s awesome. You’d get thrown in jail for that shit today. If some of the calls in the first half of tonight’s game are any indication, it’s going to be a long season for defensive players.

  14. unca_chuck says:

    Then you look at Foles getting hit in teh end zone and they throw a flag for a textbook tackle

  15. unca_chuck says:

    14 penalties in this game, and there’s 40 seconds left in the 1st half.

  16. Lurker John says:

    That was a complete yawner of a first half.

  17. unca_chuck says:

    Tell ya one thing, the lack of training camp reps is really messing with these first few games.

    Shoulda been a PI on the deep pass.

  18. unca_chuck says:

    Annnnd the 16th penalty.

  19. unca_chuck says:

    If the NFL wants to improve the product, get rid of 2 preseason games, and extend training camp.

    It’ll never fucking happen but it would help these penalty-fests that happen for the first few weeks.

  20. rtfirefly says:

    The biggest call of the night, on the Julio Jones 52 yard reception, they muffed, even with a challenge. Totally changed the game.

  21. unca_chuck says:

    Jones is on my fantasy team too. That one hurt,

  22. unca_chuck says:

    Cool. Another 40 yards for Julio.

  23. unca_chuck says:

    Wow. Penalty fest. That TD would have been nice for me. Jesus. Atlanta continues to struggle in the red zone.

  24. Lurker John says:

    26 fucking penalties, all while Goodell looked on. What a joke.

  25. Lurker John says:

    Do you mean lack of reps because of the way they’ve changed practices and camp?

  26. Lurker John says:

    I keep coming back to see Bradshaw get knocked on his ass. That’s hilarious.

  27. unca_chuck says:

    LJ, here’s a pretty good article about the changes to training camp and the possible effects. They are spot-on.

    • Lurker John says:

      That’s interesting. I knew changes had been made, in the name of “player safety,” but I hadn’t considered how that might affect play on the field. With all these rules changes made since that 2011 article, it’s easy to see why there appears to be more mistakes being made during games.

    • unca_chuck says:

      Yeah, especially the early games. Last night’s was a joke of misfires and mistakes across the board.

  28. 12th Man says:

    I am going with 9-7 this year and unfortunately a loss to the Vikings to start the year.

  29. 12th Man says:

    Double bad LB news today, Watson to IR for a hammy pull and Smith ruled out for the game.

  30. unca_chuck says:

    Smith may never play a meaningful down for us. This is fucked up.

    I’d like to know if there’s a correlation between the elimination of 2-a-days and extended hitting in preseason to the rash of injuries teams seem to be suffering through every year.

  31. Lurker John says:

    I was just watching “Invincible” about Vince Papale and the 1976 Eagles, and Dick Vermeil’s first year coaching the team. Early on Vermeil talks about how tough camp will be, with “6 straight weeks of two-a-days.” Aside from the fact that Mark Wahlberg is 6 inches shorter than Papale ever was, that’s a pretty comical contrast to what Chuck was talking about above, when we can’t seem to get to the first game without half our fucking linebacking corps going down with injuries.

    Brutal training camps back in the day. I seem to remember the 49ers having camps like that in the oppressive heat of Rocklin during the Walsh years.

    • Winder says:

      I think they did that all through the Redwood City days also. Players might be stronger and faster now but they sure aren’t tougher.

  32. unca_chuck says:

    Yup. Went to Sequoia HS in RC in ’79 to watch DB tryouts as a senior in HS.

  33. Lurker John says:

    This article pulls apart all the weaknesses that Kirk Cousins brings to the table. Maybe we’ll win this sucker after all:

  34. unca_chuck says:

    You pressure him, he fades badly. You can say tht about a lot of QBs, but he;s high on the list of happy footed guys.

    • Winder says:

      Our DB’s are gonna be tested. One thing he can do is throw a good deep ball. I think the game for them will rely on Dalvin Cook and how he come back from the injury. They also have the ex-Raider but he is mostly just a power back.

  35. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, they’ll be tested, just not deep.

    Here’s an article on cousins’ ineffectiveness.

    Might be stat-wonky but watching him try deep passes outside the numbers, he was iffy at best.

    New thread is up,

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