Best in the West

Eight years of Dweeb football came to a resounding end Sunday at Candlestick. The 49ers completely stomped the Rams in a game that had zero sweaty moments. Not once, even for a second, was this game in doubt. NFC West Champs 26, Outclassed Rams 0.

It’s pretty hard to lose a game when the opponent never gets closer than 35 yards from your end zone. Wow.

A year ago at this time, not even Edgar Cayce could have predicted the following headline: “Alex Smith leads 49ers to NFC West Title.” The only place this thought could have possibly surfaced would have been a comedian’s monologue. 49er fans would have winced uproariously.

Sunday’s victory caps an incredible turn around year for the San Francisco 49ers franchise. It’s like the crew of Extreme Makeover rolled into the downtrodden digs at 4949 Centennial Blvd. last January and completely restored the Gold in the 49er colors. The owner, the GM, the Head Coach, and The Team have all gone from the outhouse to the penthouse in one year flat.

Alex Smith, Frank Gore, and Adam Snyder. The three guys who are left from the 2005 foundation draft that represented the gleam in Mike Nolan’s eye. Isaac Sopoaga who came from the Erickson/Donahue years. These four blue collar guys have stayed the course through years of disappointment. They’ve seen headcase VD morph into Vernon Davis, Inc., Esquire, Duke of Dudeshire. The burned out carcasses of Nolan and Mike Singletary. The Michael Crabtree diva holdout. The tons of verbal sewage dumped all over them year after desultory year. These four guys most surely had a very Hallmark moment in yesterday’s victorious locker room. Survivors. Champs.

Winning the division has been the goal since Nolan hung the Win the West banner at HQ in 2005. Nobody expected it to finally occur as an anticlimactic moment. This title has been in the bag since the half way point in the season. Sunday was just a ceremonial moment. The focus has changed over recent weeks from the West to the NFC at large. Even the Super Bowl is not a far fetched notion.

To get to the ultimate game or have success in the playoffs, the team has got to stop leaving points on the field each week. Yesterday, they left 19 out there. Four field goals instead of TDs and one VD dropped TD. The unimaginative play calling in the Red Zone has become a worrisome factor. The Saints and Packers do not leave those points on the field. Those are the only two teams that the 49ers currently cannot hope to beat in the playoffs if they don’t maximize their scoring opportunities.

There have been positive signs in the passing game lately, though. Crabtree and Smith punctuated their arriving chemistry with a perfect 50 yard bomb Sunday. Kyle Williams continues to make a strong case for more playing time. This guy is dangerous with the ball. And he catches anything you throw at him. He may have moved ahead of Ted Ginn on the depth chart Sunday.

We’re also going to need Braylon Edwards, who has been hurt all year. Edwards, Crabtree, and Williams would be a dangerous group of receivers. Dangerous enough to loosen up the box for Gore. Dangerous enough to compete toe to toe with the Saints (at Candlestick) and the Packers anywhere.

Four games left to become dangerous. Four games left to reach the newest goal: a first round bye.

No matter how these remaining games play out, though, the 49ers have arrived as a big time team. They are only going to get better. Congratulations, fellas. This year has been a stunning success. You can keep it up, too. We won’t mind one bit.

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38 comments on “Best in the West
  1. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    Great post Skeebs…and congrats to our beloved 49ers…man its been a long time….what feels really good, like you said …their only going to get better….this is not some one year wonder…we’re BACK! As for the passing game…i noticed more timing patterrns this week…where Smith lets go and the recievers havent made their cuts yet …its coming around….this is going to get better…enjoy the ride my friends …go niners

  2. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Great article Skeebs, great win and a great season (so far).
    Need that bye and to get the Saints playing us at the Stick
    in the cold experiencing our hostile environment.

  3. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Who’s Got It Better Than Us?
    NOBODY!!!

    http://www.49ers.com/media-gallery/videos/49ers-Clinch-NFC-West-with-Win-Over-Rams/b308fa65-d8f6-472a-9b81-e030891a2b88

    Frank Gore is a humble man.

    GO NINERS!!!! NFC WEST CHAMPIONS!

  4. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    As the frondescence has left the trees the 49ers have found themselves in the play-offs.

  5. bigjon49erNo Gravatar says:

    I got a great clip for Kyle Williams. Damon Bruce plays it at the end of each show. It goes “And like that, (long pause) he’s GONE!!!(followed by old radio suspense music). It’s about time they started to see the Wes Welker type of reciever they have in Kyle. GO 9ERS!!!

  6. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    If the Niners keep winning, I may have to switch this to a Raiders’ blog so we can all have something to criticize. Those boys sure flopped in Miami yesterday.

  7. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Nice way of putting things Skeebs. Step one is complete and nowhere near being the end-game, the team looks hugry and I don’t see anymore loses this season. Whether we have what it takes in the playoffs still remains to be seen. We are growing and it is very good.

  8. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    It seems when the Niners win, many of the blog experts have not much to say.
    .
    It seems if they can’t tell us the sky is falling they are not filled with much useful info.
    .
    It seems their useful info these days is reduced to Alex can’t win a play-off game.

  9. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    I have TONS to say, Reno! Tebow’s going to the playoffs! Chicago, Buffalo, and KC left on the schedule (I can’t help it – Albu is a minor, minor league football town – especially compared to Denver, where they have statues, cathedrals, skyscrapers named after that gap-toothed egomaniac – but what fandom there is goes Broncs/Cowpatties, and I all ever hear on the radio is TEBOW!).

    The best team the Niners have played this year not named Ravens has 7 wins. They’ll get their chance to prove their worth to the big boys starting Jan. 14/15. The D’s in, will Alex be?

  10. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve heard Baalke sucks and our search was a sham. I was called many things not nice when I disagreed. I was told Jed was some kind of lucky sperm and couldn’t do anything right. No winners, no stadium. I was even told we were moving to L.A.. All I ever said was give him some time, even Eddie hired Joe Thomas. Us positivos were scoffed at. Skeebers resorted to starting his own blog, as people were taking on fake identities to malign him for saying positive comments about Jed and Alex. Jed is looking good now. The last frontier is Alex can’t win in the play-offs. I guess you guys might call something correct soon. I sure hope you are wrong about Alex and the play-offs. It would be consistent with the expertise I usually get here. At some point you guys need to call one correctly, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn sometimes.

  11. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    I called the O-line correctly – long, long time ago – when others called me all kinds of names. I called the improved pass defense early on. There’s two.

    You do realize that the Niners D is averaging giving up under 16 pts./game? The freaking 16-3 ’81 Niners gave up 16. Tebow could win with that D. I guar-own-tee it.

  12. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    RT- You are saying positive things! It makes me want to shout out with joy! Good job.
    .
    How about that Niner defense!

  13. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Looking out past the horse paddock at the vast sea of white in the open space beyond (snow, ice and the occasional mesquite and cactus), I still want to go to the Frozen Tundra Jan. 21/22. Frank in a sea of white! (Sub-zero again tonight, it’s affected what’s left of the brain.)

    Reno, I think in retrospect we see that Sing was a pretty darned good coach in improving the team. He had problems with personnel evaluation at times (and living people at all times, he wanted to tackle them) and was an incredibly inept game planner/game day tactician.

    Still, in my humble opinion, the team Harbaugh inherited was losing and needed improvement in key areas – O-line, secondary, pass rush – but was a far cry better than the 2-5 disspirited, listless, don’t-have-a-clue-how-to-win group Sing inherited in 2008.

  14. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    RT- I always thought we’ve had enough talent to be a play-off team since 2007. IMO, the coaching has been abysmal. I actually was very happy with the Nolan and Sing hirings. I’m glad I(a blind squirrel when it comes to evaluating coaching talent) was finally able to find an acorn with Harbaugh!

  15. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, I’m in the same boat, Bergs. I felt for a long time that this team was underachieving wildly during the end of the Nolan era, and year 1.5 of the Singletary era. I had no idea Harbaugh would turn this around so fast.
    .
    I mean, imagine what happens next year, after a full training camp, preseason, and another draft under Harbaugh and company.
    .
    The mind boggles.

  16. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    More depth for the DLine, a Ball-Hawking FS and a WR would be a good place to start for my Draft Board.
     
    Alex is still slow to pull the trigger at times but, he’s coming around. I’d like to see more designed roll outs as well. Glad to have the NFC West Crown again, been way too long.
     
    Harbaugh has them focused and they’re chipping away at the stacked boxes and pressure packages with the passing attack.
    Pittsburgh has one helluva nice rest before we see them on the 19th too.
    Hope Brother John lends Jim some advice on taking it to Big Ben.

  17. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    How about Aldon just abusing Goldberg too? Wait until Aldon packs on some more muscle weight and sees the Division again next year too.
     
    What say you out West regarding TE Coby Fleener from Stanford?
    He looks like an interesting weapon.

  18. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    The franchise record for sacks by a rookie is Charles Haley’s 12 in ’86. Aldon has 9.5, so he’s well within reach of it. We all know how good Haley turned out to be.

  19. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    And his sack-celebration dash to the bench was pure genius.

  20. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    For us, the play-offs is like the weald or uncultivated country.

  21. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah Berger, you took the words right out of my mouth.

  22. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    You’re on fire, Winder.

  23. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    NJ, Fleener is a stud. He blocks well, and doesn’t drop much. He’s VD with hands . . .

  24. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    If Aldon stays healthy and works hard, I see *many* Pro Bowls in his future. He is the real deal.

    NJ, right now I’d say WR or right guard first. But we do need a FS, and I believe Whitner and Goldson are both on one-year deals, aren’t they?

    Any DL who comes in will have to be pretty damned good to break into this rotation. We already have two development projects in Dobbs and Ian. But, yeah, if the right guy is there, DL is always a need.

  25. robNo Gravatar says:

    i say we trade our whole draft and 2nd round pick in 2013 for andrew luck !

  26. robNo Gravatar says:

    nice post skeebs … but i did think we had a good shot at winning our division (this preseason) !

  27. robNo Gravatar says:

    I wasn’t as high on kyle williams as some here but i think we found our speed WR !
    imo as long williams catches it with both hnds he’s a better option than ginn with the game on the line

  28. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Rob, I saved everybody’s preseason predictions and will regurgitate them after the last game. As I recall, you had more than one prediction.

  29. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    The blogs are like coming out of a movie theater. If you saw a dog, you’re inclined to talk about each and every hamburger moment in the movie, supplying yourself with entertainment where none existed in the movie. If the movie was great, you’re more inclined to just say wow and think about the beauty you just witnessed. It’s not just the Niner critics who have gone mum, so have all the optimists. What we’re seeing this year is a true work of art. It leaves us a tad speechless.

  30. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebers- I like your explanation a lot better than my explanation from earlier on this thread. I’m going with it. Good job!

  31. robNo Gravatar says:

    SKEEBS

    LOL

    did you manage to find the one where i said we’d finish 13-3 ?

    i hope so !

  32. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    IIRC, I had 9-7 and then changed to 7-9 after I witnessed the opening game.
    .
    rob will be correct because he threw out every record possible. rob should’ve been a politician!

  33. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    I had 7-9, Skeebers. No need to rub it later. I overestimated by 2 games in ’09 and 3 games last year.

    I like it much, much better this way.

    (Skeebs, your sister got half their annual snow last night, here in December. Snow and record cold, like the rest of the state. I thought I saw reindeer, but it was just another UFO.)

  34. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    *rub it in – LOL, my fingers are frozen

  35. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I had 6-10. I’ve never been so happy to be proven wrong.

  36. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Grumpy I like OLB Courtney Upshaw from ‘Bama along with Crick at Nebraska. Hard to know where they’ll slot but, they could be around late 1st.
     
    I do know Goldson is on 1 year deal along with Carlos, Whitner might be 3yrs? I’d still like a DB with FS ability and the NT Poe from Memphis is enormous. Not sure how Ian is being groomed yet either.
    I love the fact that we’re young and fast and showing signs of putting it together as an Organization again.

  37. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

2020 Schedule
9-13: L Cardinals 24, 49ers 20
9-20: W 49ers 31, Jets 13
9-27: W 49ers 36, Giants 9

10-4: L Eagles 25, 49ers 20
10-11: L Dolphins 43, 49ers 17
10-18: W 49ers 24, Rams 16
10-25: W 49ers 33, Patriots 6

11-1: L Seahawks 37, 49ers 27
11-5: L Packers 34, 49ers 17
11-15:L Saints 27, 49ers 13

BYE

11-29: @LAR

12-7: BUF (MNF)
12-13: WAS
12-20: @ DAL (SNF)
12-26: or 27 @ AZ

1-3: SEA

2020 Draft Class
1. DT Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
1. WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
5. OL Colton McKivitz, West Virginia
6. TE Charlie Woerner, Georgia
7. WR Jauan Jennings, Tennessee
 
2020 Prognostications (Mulligan Version)
Bullit: 6-10
Grumpy: DNP
NJ49er: 6-10
Skeebers: 7-9
Winder: 4-12

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