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.
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
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.
Gotta get pressure on Cousins, or it will be a long game.
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.
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.
And knock him on his ass.
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.
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.
15 new Game 1 QB starters this year, the biggest turnover since 2000. Should be interesting!
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.
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!
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:
I sat 4th row for this album tour. I sat right in front of Squire.
All of their early stuff, Fragile esp, is outstanding.
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.
Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy . . .
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.
Then you look at Foles getting hit in teh end zone and they throw a flag for a textbook tackle
14 penalties in this game, and there’s 40 seconds left in the 1st half.
That was a complete yawner of a first half.
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.
Annnnd the 16th penalty.
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.
The biggest call of the night, on the Julio Jones 52 yard reception, they muffed, even with a challenge. Totally changed the game.
Jones is on my fantasy team too. That one hurt,
Cool. Another 40 yards for Julio.
Wow. Penalty fest. That TD would have been nice for me. Jesus. Atlanta continues to struggle in the red zone.
26 fucking penalties, all while Goodell looked on. What a joke.
Do you mean lack of reps because of the way they’ve changed practices and camp?
Yes. They cut down heavily on hitting, and the 2-a-days in the last collective bargaining agreement back in 2011.
I keep coming back to see Bradshaw get knocked on his ass. That’s hilarious.
LJ, here’s a pretty good article about the changes to training camp and the possible effects. They are spot-on.
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.
Yeah, especially the early games. Last night’s was a joke of misfires and mistakes across the board.
Yes it was, and boring to boot, despite the tight ending.
I am going with 9-7 this year and unfortunately a loss to the Vikings to start the year.
I think we’d all be pretty happy with that.
Double bad LB news today, Watson to IR for a hammy pull and Smith ruled out for the game.
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.
Well sort of . . .
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.
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.
Yup. Went to Sequoia HS in RC in ’79 to watch DB tryouts as a senior in HS.
This article pulls apart all the weaknesses that Kirk Cousins brings to the table. Maybe we’ll win this sucker after all:
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.
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.
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,