So, Thursday night, 49ers against the Cowboys. Two franchises in search of their former glory.
Best guess is that neither team will be reaching the Super Bowl this year, but one or both might make the playoffs. Or neither.
The starters probably won’t play very long, but we should finally get a look at the Niners’ top four draft picks, Mike McGlinchey, Dante Pettis, Fred Warner, and Tarvarius Moore. We’ll also see what our new FA RB Jerick McKinnon. We won’t see our other big name FA, Dickhead Sherman, who pulled his hamstring last week.
The defense will be mostly unchanged from last year and won’t strike fear into many opponents. Warner has looked good in camp, but he won’t be a starter. Arik Armstead is injured again and Solomon Thomas is still not a pass rush threat. Deforest Buckner is the only stud on the D-line, but he can’t do it all by himself.
We should, however, at last see the return of a dynamic and scary offense this year. Not in the game against Dallas, of course, which will feature CJ Beathard at QB for most of the game. Come September, though, this is a team that will be tough on opposing defensive coordinators.
That’s assuming the offseason book written by these DCs on Jimmy Garoppolo is a dinky little thing that wouldn’t scare a flea. Dallas QB Dak Prescott had a far less impressive second season than he did in his rookie year, and that’s a common tale for young QBs in this league. You can bet Rams’ DC Wade Phillips has pored over Jimmy’s tape from last year and has a book that will be much larger and more sophisticated than the tomes written by other DCs.
But that story won’t be told until September. For now, we’ll have to content ourselves with re-training our butts for three hour vegetation sessions of exquisite anxiety, exhilaration, pain, anger, and all the other emotions that go into the noble art of the professional couch potato.