Sunday’s game against Arizona is a key division game, but it’s also a key game for another reason. Colin Kaepernick has had two melt down games in his past three starts. Another one this Sunday would rattle the foundations of 49erville.
The first three weeks of a season tend to produce some head scratcher games, and this year has been no different. Dolphins over the Patriots in Week 1, Bears over the Niners last week, along with Browns over Saints and Chargers over Seahawks. This Sunday will probably feature a few more, but after that, the good teams start to emerge, the bad teams begin to sink, and the Cowboys go 1-1 all the way to 8-8.
At this point, we don’t know if the Bills, Texans, and Cardinals are for real. The Eagles look solid, with strong second half performances in both their games. The Niners have had two straight poor second halves, which is a bit bothersome. This is a team that should be wearing out opponents and dominating them in the last quarter. But the opposite has been true.
The 49ers claim their only focus is on football, but Sunday’s cluttered performance sure bore the signs of an unfocused team. The FO has no doubt interviewed Ray McDonald extensively and the fellow teammates who attended his party, and are convinced of his innocence, which is why he’s still playing, despite the outside elements wailing for his suspension. Add to that distraction the pomp and circumstance surrounding the opening of the new stadium, and it would be no surprise if the team was not completely dialed in.
Yesterday, the SJPD reported on the May 25 incident involving McDonald and his fiance, when he called 911 because she had wielded a gun during an argument. I think somebody should remind Ray what happened to Steve McNair when he was dating a dangerous woman.
One of the offseason moves has turned out quite well so far, the substitution of SS Antoine Bethea for the departed money grubbing, personal foul magnet Donte Whitner. Stevie Johnson has not had a huge impact yet, but he’s grabbed the third WR spot and his modest contributions have invariably resulted in turning third downs into first downs. I’d expect his impact to grow as the season progresses. And if Derek Carrier continues to make tough receptions like he did against the Bears, he might just surpass Vance McDonald as the 2nd string TE.
Sunday’s temperatures are expected to be in the high ’90s in Phoenix, which is not a favorable forecast for a team that’s faded down the stretch in its first two games. The Cardinals, on the other hand, have come from behind to win each of their first two. It’s going to take a big effort from our lads to win this game.