Happy Turkey Football Day ! ! !

Happy Thanksgiving, folks! As we all know, there is much to be thankful in Ninerland this year. 10-1 record. Tops in the NFL. The #1 defense. Relevance. Nick Bosa. The emergence of Deebo Samuels. Hope y’all have a great thanksgiving, and safe  travels should you be hitting the roads. We’re heading to Aptos for football, family, and fun.

On tap today is the usual clunker thrown out by the 3-7-1 Deetroit. They get this ignominious game every year, and they suck at it, going 7-13 in the last 20, and 37-40-2 overall. This turkey day they face da 5-6 Bearss. Call this one the Tidy Bowl.

Dallas has fared better all these years, going 31-19-1 on TG, but only 11-9 recently. Choke on that turkey leg, Jerry! Dallas faces the team that knows how to circle the wagons the best, the Buffalo Bills.  A Dallas loss would be a nice precursor to stuffing our faces, and watching Frank Gore is always fun. Here’s to hoping Buffalo keeps up the pace with the Patriots.

The night game actually looks a little interesting with the Saints trying to exact their revenge on a recent inexplicable loss to the lowly Falcons. Wall to wall football.  Break out the stretchy pants.

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Another One Bites the Dust and Another Big Game Looms

Great game against another team that was supposed to give us trouble. As we have come to find out, non-mobile QBs have big problems with ur pass rushers. As good as that looks down the road, our next game is against Lamar Jackson. The sophomore shining star, and MVP front-runner, of the NFL this season. 24 TD passes (including 5 tonight so far) and 5 picks. 880 yards on the ground and 6 more TDs.  His yards won’t be off the charts, because they don’t need to be. He’ll prolly end up somewhere around 3,200 yards, but with a rating of 106 he’s killing it this season. The Ravens will have Jackson and Ingram both go over 1,000 in rushing, and they have trounced the Pats, the Rams, and many others.

Then there’s us. Our pass defense is the best in the NFL.  We have been very adept at stopping the passing game, and we have been pretty good at stopping the run. How will be do next week? I have no idea, but if ever there was a game where we needed Kwon Alexander and Dee Ford, it would be this one.

But that is next week. This week we get to bask in the glory of beating the shit out of the Packers. The Packers looked thoroughly defeated about midway through the 2nd quarter as Rodgers never got going, and their only TD was aided by some crappy officiating. The game pretty much got away from the Pack on the opening play, when Fred Warner strip-sacked Rodgers, and Nick Bosa recovered to the 2. One play later,  Coleman ran it in for 6.

The offense was a little out of sorts early, and Jimmy G took too many sacks, but if that is the cost of negating the occasional ill-advised throws we’ve seen in Jimmy’s short career, so be it. I loved the slant (my favorite play that Taylor and Rice used to run to perfection) to Deebo that showed off his speed and netted a 42 yard TD. And the 13 formation (1 back, 3 TEs) looked like the drag route we run all the time as Jimmy rolls left and throws underneath to a crossing WR. Instead, George Kittle ran a post/corner route, and he was wide open and off to the races for a 61 yard score.

Gonna be an interesting game next week. They hype will be cranking up all week.

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Game Night! Green Bay of Pigs

Hey, we got flexed into prime time so disregard the sidebar game time. But I’m sure you all know that. Great to hear from 12th that the stadium is rocking these days. The game I saw, Pittsburgh, was loud, but there were a fair amount of Steeler fans there. Great fans for the most part, and it ended up being a solid win after all the turnovers.

And, here’s to hoping we learn something from the Raiders and not lay a gigantic turd. Losing 34-3 to the Jets? Ouch. Just when you think you can trust Gruden and the Raiders,  them, they grunt out an effort like that.

We got no help from the Iggles as they were stifled by the suddenly resurgent Seattle defense. Just left Seattle on Friday, driving my daughter’s car down with all her stuff as she relocates back to the Bay. Astoria and Cannon Beach in Orygun are pretty damn beautiful. Great little break from the action.

The Rams are fighting for their playoff lives tomorrow. At home against the Ravens no less. I guess it would be nice to see if someone could slow the Ravens down, but I highly doubt it.

Anyhow, I think our offense will do better than Green Bay’s defense, so we win going away. A win would further give us breathing room for home field aqws we would have a 2 game lead and head-to-head, and with the Saints looking like they are about to lose, we would be that much better down the stretch.

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Rough Road Ahead

Here we sit, 9-1 and on top of the NFL, according to some of those wonky ‘power rankings’ for this crazy 2019 season. Easy Street? Sure, but . . .
Image result for rough road ahead gif"

. . . there’s always a big but. The but is of course the last 6 games. Our remaining teams have a combined .683 winning percentage. Take out the Falcons and that rises to .760. No small task. And given that we are pretty banged up, the task becomes even tougher. Our stout and deep defense has lost Kwon Alexander and Dee Ford. Our daunting pass rush was slowed down by mobile quarterbacks these last 3 games.

Up next? Well, he ain’t mobile, but he is a long-lasting thorn in the 49er side, and local Chico boy, Aaron Rodgers. You know, the guy we could have drafted waaaay back in 2005. He’s ‘only’ 6-4 in his career vs the Niners, but he’s thrown 13 TDs and 2 INTs. The fun part is our 2-0 playoff record vs Green Bay. Both engineered by Colin Kaepernick.

At this point, this, along with the Falcons game appears to be the most winnable. The Packers seem to be winning by smoke and mirrors. Their signature wins so far are wins over a (Ma)homeless Chiefs team, and a win over the Cowboys. They inexplicably lost to the Chargers, and beat the Iggles.

Can we take them? Sure, if we can rediscover our pass rush. We don’t have to worry about the scrambling aspect of Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray (2x), but as we have seen over the years, Rodgers is very adept at getting outside the pocket and throwing accurately on the run.

Contain and destroy is the word of the day.  I think we can take these guys fairly handily.

31-17 Niners.

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Game Day! Must Win Time

Hate to say it but even at this stage of the season, this is a must-win game vs the Cards.  Mainly based on the rest of the schedule in front of this game. With a streak of bad luck, this team could go 1-6 for 9-7. Shit, even Atlanta is starting to play up to their preseason expectations. I think we should  be able to eke out 3 more wins, even with the daunting schedule, and that would put us at 11-5. Win the division? Not sure. But that game in Seattle to close the season looks like it may decide the division. Lots of football between now and then.

Thing is though, we are getting slowly decimated with injuries. Kittle needs to be ready down the stretch, and so does E Sanders. The passing game totally revolves around those two guys. As does the run game. Yes, the defense is playing out of its mind, but even they are getting picked off one by one. Our depth along the line is being tested with Blair is out with an ACL tear, and of course so is Kwon Alexander.

So, we need this win to stop the bleeding, but also to get our division record on track again.

Playing here, we should do better than two weeks ago, so I;m thinking 28-17, Niners.


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Myles Garrett and the NFL

Everyone has seen the footage by now, so we all know what happened. Garrett was suspended ‘indefinitely’ by Jolly Roger, so we will get to see what that means. I think it will be somewhere around 16 games. a full season. What Vontaze Burfict did was at least within the confines of a football play, dirty as it was. As was what Damarious Randall did to Dionte Johnson in yesterday’s game. He was later seen bleeding from his right ear as he went into the medical tent. And what happened to Juju Smith-schuster when he was hit in the head twice by  Greedy Williams and Morgan Burnett. The Juju play wasn’t even flagged despite the double-tap as he lay there unconscious, but Randall was ejected for his spearing.

But what Garrett did was crazy. If he had hit Rudolph with the crown of his helmet, he very well could have cracked Rudolph’s skull. Yeah, this is a violent game, and rivalries run deep, but I think for the most part players respect their opponents to the point of trying to play clean and within the rules.

Sure, the mind-set takes time to permeate the league, but because of the myriad rule changes, warranted or not, and helpful or not, are there to protect these guys from each other (and to help offenses score points, can’t forget that). Clotheslining went the way of Night Train Lane. Head-clubbing, the way of Deacon Jones. Pounding receivers till the ball is thrown, the way of George Atkinson and Mel Blount. Touching the QB, Tom Brady, of course. Helmet-to-helmet is just the latest indicator of trying to keep these guys from later incapacitating injuries.

Funny thing is, you look at old footage of Ronnie Lott, and he didn’t hit that way. Like most people back then, they led with the shoulder. Look at Lott, and his shoulder pads were huge. Linebacker pads. Players wore much bigger pads back in the 70s. And they used them. Now, with smaller pads, i guess you have faster players, highers collision speeds, and a fundamental change in tackling style. Leading with the head.

Yeah, guys have stuck their heads into hits since forever, but more often than not, they ended up hurting themselves. At some point soon, I think they are going to install accelerometers into every player’s helmet, and if it goes off during a game, the player is penalized/ejected/suspended, whatever.

Garrett? I think he’d be charged with assault with intent to maim if he had hurt Rudolph. Like I said, I think he gets a full season of games suspended. maybe even up to the 2021 season.


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Doctor Doctor, Please !

Yeah, that last game hurt in so many ways. Namely, Joe Staley fractured his finger. I guess it was the one he couldn’t stop Jadeveon Clowney with. He’s likely out, but shit, Justin Skule did just fine in his spot, and couldn’t have done much worse than Staley did against the Hawks.

Matt Breida is hurt yet again, drawing comparisons to Crystal Todd Shell, the oft-injured linebacker back in the day. Paper Matt?  Ahkello Witherspoon was held out, I guess for no other reason than Emmanuel Moseley is playing so well in his stead that they don’t need to rush him back.

But as we saw, after Emmanuel Sanders left the game with a rib injury, the offensive continuity left with him. Being down George Kittle as well really put  a crimp in Jimmy’s game, and he misfired some shit, but the drops were all killers, and the pass pro (as well as run blocking) was atrocious.

These are all thing was can work on, and hopefully we can get somewhat healthy down the stretch here. Because we have a ton of tough games after this AZ skirmish.

If they had only listened to me and not played the starters that last AZ game, we’d be healthier.

Anyhow, here’s the latest injury report. The good news is DJ Jones’ injury was thought to be season-ending, but he should only miss a week or 2. Unfortunately Blair looks like he has a torn ACL.

Joe Staley
Status Questionable

Staley fractured and dislocated his finger and could miss multiple games, Matt Maiocco reports.

D.J. Jones
Status Out

Jones (groin) has already been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Cardinals, Cam Inman of The San Jose Mercury News reports.

George Kittle
Status Questionable

Coach Kyle Shanahan expressed hope that Kittle (knee/ankle) will make enough progress this week to return Sunday against the Cardinals, Cam Inman of The San Jose Mercury News reports.

Emmanuel Sanders
Status Questionable

Coach Kyle Shanahan considers Sanders “day-to-day” as a result of the rib injury that forced him from Monday’s 27-24 loss to the Seahawks, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com reports.

Weston Richburg
Status Questionable

Richburg suffered a left hand injury during Monday’s 27-24 loss to the Seahawks, but he shouldn’t have to miss time, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

Ronald Blair III
Status Questionable

Blair will have an MRI after suffering a potentially serious knee injury during Sunday’s 27-24 loss to the Seahawks, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.

Marquise Goodwin
Status Questionable

Goodwin (wrist) failed to catch any of his three targets, and suffered a wrist injury in Monday’s 27-24 loss to Seattle.

Matt Breida
Status Questionable

Breida will go for a second opinion on his ankle, but initial reports are that the injury isn’t too serious, but he may still need to miss time to let it heal, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports.

Ahkello Witherspoon
Status Questionable

Robbie Gould
Status Questionable

Oh, Robbie. How we missed you last weekend . . .

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