Once More With Gusto

The Seahawks come to town next Sunday for an encore performance of “Kick my butt!”

It’s doubtful the 49ers will be as generous this time around as they were two weeks ago in Seattle, when they gifted the Seahawks with 14 points while also flubbing away 6 to 14 points that were easily within their grasp.

So this game will be much closer than the previous one. You’ve got one team trying to nail down a wild card spot in the playoffs and the other team trying to ruin a perfectly fine spot atop the board at next year’s Draft. Afterall, Arik Armstead has no interest in the Niners having the number one spot, where they could draft someone like Nick Bosa, who would immediately relegate Arik to the bench or more likely a search through the league looking for a job next year.

Kyle Shanahan also would no doubt like to bolster his sagging reputation with what would be a meaningless win rather than take the calculating approach of the turkey on the other Bay Area team by tanking out the season. But players don’t always cooperate with the wishes of their HC and they go out and win games they could easily lose even if they were trying, which they aren’t supposed to be doing, but they do it anyway.

Only vested veterans know how to show up, collect a paycheck, and give the illusion that they are playing hard and trying to win. Rookies, who now make up most of the 49er starters, do not.

The Niners have lost 10 straight games to the Seahawks. If Nick Mullens puts an end to that streak Sunday, he’ll be a big time hero about as long as Alex Smith was after the 2011 season. Less, even. Because Shanahan still thinks CJ Beathard deserves to be the backup QB next year. And that probably wouldn’t change even if Mullens beat the Seahawks, Bears, and Rams to close out the season.

At any rate, be sure to return here Monday when we will explain how we knew all along what the outcome would be.


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49ers 20, Broncos 14

Every dog has its day and Sunday the 49ers had their second WTF Dog Day of the year. The first was against the Raiders and this was against the Broncos. And both of them  were engineered by Nick Mullens, who has most definitely yanked the backup QB job from CJ Beathard‘s fumble prone fingers.

Of course, he got quite a bit of help from emerging superstar TE George Kittle, who caught seven passes for 210 yards in the first half! The Broncos must have decided at half time that maybe somebody should cover this guy, who was wide open during his rampage. When Kittle was shut out in the second half, a mere five yards shy of Shannon Sharpe‘s NFL record for TEs, the Niners also were shut out.

Kittle did become the first 49er TE to gain over a thousand yards in one season, surpassing Vernon Davis‘s 900+ yards. If he keeps this up, he’ll go down as the greatest TE in team history.

The Broncos came into the game with the supposedly better defense, but it was the no-name Niners that pitched a shutout in the first half. Why the porous 49er defense suddenly became potent is a mystery. They had rookies playing all over the place and doing very well. DJ Reed played nickel corner and led the team with 12 tackles and a sack. Marcell Harris filled in at strong safety and had seven tackles. Of course, Denver was without its number one WR, Emmanuel Sanders, and their other WRs were even more of the nobody variety than the Niner nobodies.

The loss put an end to any notions Denver had of sneaking into the playoffs this year. And it might have cost HC Vance Joseph his job. Not that we care a fig about that, even though he probably has a wife and maybe some kids and they’ll all be uprooted now and forced to live on a position coach’s salary somewhere else in the league while disappearing permanently from the public radar screen.

It’s tempting to think the Niners are poised for another hope inducing late season run of victories, like the five in a row Jimmy Garoppolo had last year, but one look at the upcoming schedule gives some pause to that delusion. Seattle comes to town next week, followed by the Bears (who beat the Rams Sunday), and finally the Rams to end the season. The Rams might be in a position to mail in the final game, but neither the Bears nor Seahawks will.


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Trending Up Meets Trending Down

The Broncos were left for dead last month. Their record was 3-6. Now it’s 6-6, after dispatching the Chargers and Steelers, and they might just slip into the playoffs if they keep on winning.

Imagine their delight to find the 49ers on the schedule! We aim to please.

They did spot the Niners their best wide receiver this week when Emmanuel Sanders tore his Achilles in practice. But it probably won’t matter much, at least against San Francisco, since damn near anyone can have a big day against our porous secondary.

The 2018 49ers’ season is shaping up to be one long tryout session for marginal players hoping to stick with the team next year. Everyone who’s been inserted at RB since the season began has been very successful. Matt Breida, Jeff Wilson, Raheem Mostert. The only one who’s stayed healthy is Alfred Morris and he’s the only one who hasn’t done much.

The secondary is another matter. Everybody who takes a stab at filling the constantly injured DB positions has been pretty much a bust. Antone Exum, Greg Mabin, Marcell HarrisJimmie Ward was modestly successful as a CB and a FS, but was known more for his versatility than his excellence. And of course he is best known for getting injured and limping off to the IR wing, as he’s done four of the five seasons he’s been here.

2018 also has painted a continuing pattern of the Kyle Shanahan offense. It is 15th in yards and 22nd in points. Bearing out this site’s observations that his offense is potent between the 20 yard lines and fairly  impotent within the Red Zone. It was that way with Brian Hoyer. It was that way with CJ Beathard, with Jimmy Garoppolo, and now with Nick Mullens.

Denver should be familiar with Shanahan’s office, too, having seen first hand the original version from papa Mike Shanahan‘s tenure there. That, along with the bookend pass rushing terrors Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, could make for a long day for Mullens. And a continuing long year for us.


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Seahawks 43, 49ers 16

The 49ers rolled up nearly 500 yards of offense in Seattle on Sunday and … got beat by four touchdowns!

If you throw out the losing part, and the 98 yard pick six by Bobby Wagner, and the fumble at the Seattle two yard line by Jeff Wilson, and the muffed punt by Richie James, the team would have been in a nail-biter.

It was an impressive day for QB Nick Mullens, give or take the stuff above. He threw for 414 yards compared to Seattle QB Russell Wilson, who only put up 178 yards. Of course, Wilson threw for four TDs, none of which went the other way, but tut, tut.

It wasn’t all good news, though. The loss buried the team in the NFC West cellar, where they will remain, giving them four straight last place finishes in the division and a fourth straight year of double digit losses. Still, after consulting with Rob !!!, I can confidently predict that next year the Niners will be great!

The losing seems to be wearing on HC Kyle Shanahan, who picked up a fifteen yard unsportmanlike penalty in the fourth quarter for screaming, “Fuck You!” at line judge Walt Coleman. Coleman reportedly mumbled back at Kyle that perhaps he should direct his epithets at the guy he sees in the mirror each morning.

For you history buffs, the 49ers five takeaways through 12 games are the fewest by any team since 1940. This probably has something to do with being 2-10 instead of a more robust 3-9 or even 4-8.

The team now slinks home after its eighth consecutive whipping in Seattle and can look forward to three straight home games where they will be wildly cheered by two of Chuck’s drunken friends and a couple of homeless guys who crawled into the stadium through a crack in the foundation. Those games are against the red hot Broncos, Seattle again, and the NFC North leading Bears. So maybe “look forward to” is a bit euphemistic. The final game is in Los Angeles against the Rams, who may or may not have anything to play for.

All in all, another spellbinding finish to another mind boggling season is just around the corner. Is 2-14 possible? Most definitely.


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Bend Over, Here It Comes Again

The 49ers make their annual trek to Seattle this weekend for their annual trouncing by the Seahawks. This will be the seventh consecutive year of embarrassment and futility up north.

At the beginning of the season, it looked like things would change this year. Seattle was descending and the Niners were ascending. But Fate instead chose to continue its inexorable haunting of the southern franchise. As the season winds down, it’s the 49ers who are trending even further downward than their previous downwardness and the Seahawks are trending back upward.

This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Seattle. But they jettisoned their malcontents, retooled with younger players, and seem poised to sneak into the playoffs once again with barely a backward glance. When the Niners announced their retooling, back in 2015, it was all a hoax. Their old players left, the cupboard was bare, and here we are with arguably the worst team in the league.

The backup QB battle between CJ Beathard and Nick Mullens is all that passes for on-field drama for the Niners these days, while tanking their way to the end of the year. Mullens gets the nod as designated punching bag this week. He looks more fluid than Beathard, especially while getting sacked and ducking around in the pocket trying to avoid them.

But off-field drama is where the Niners tend to shine, anyway. Dickhead Sherman spent this week trashing his former team’s record and denigrating the talents of their QB Russell Wilson. Sounds like DH is peeved the Seahawks didn’t fall apart without him and Earl Thomas and Michael Bennett. And gives credence to the rumors that the defensive guys up there were jealous of Wilson.

I think Sherman came to the Niners thinking they were going to be a playoff team and beat his old team in the process. Which makes his comments nothing but sour grapes, considering he’s shooting off his mouth from a 2-9 team.

Soon to be a 2-10 team.


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2018 Schedule
9-9, L: Vikings 24, 49ers 16
9-16, W: 49ers 30, Lions 27
9-23, L: Chiefs 38, 49ers 27
9-30, L: Chargers 29, 49ers 27
10-7, L: Cardinals 28, 49ers 18
10-15, L: Packers 33, 49ers 30
10-21, L: Rams 39, 49ers 10
10-28, L: Cardinals 18, 49ers 15
11-1, W: 49ers 34, Raiders 3
11-12, L: Giants 27, 49ers 23
11-25, L: Tampa 27, 49ers 9
12-2, L: Seattle 43, 49ers 16
12-9, W: 49ers 20, Broncos 14

12-16: vs. Seattle, 1:05 pm, Sun.
12-23: vs. Bears, 1:05 pm, Sun.
12-30: @ Rams, 1:25 pm, Sun.
 
2018 Draft Class
1. OT Mike McGlinchey
2. WR Dante Pettis
3. LB Fred Warner
3. DB Tarvarius Moore
4. DE Kentavius Street
5. CB D.J. Reed
6. S Marcell Harris
7. DT Jullian Taylor
7. WR Richie James
 
2018 Prognostications
Closest to the Pin:
  Mr Fletch: 7-9

Bakkentom: 8-8
Grumpy: 8-8
Winder: 8-8
Bullit: 9-7
NJ49er: 9-7
Skeebers: 10-6
Spitblood: 0-16
Rob!!!: 16-0

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