Let’s Go Get A Ring

Okay, here we are again. Back in the playoffs, number one seed, and as good a chance as any team to advance to the Super Bowl. Not exactly what any of us envisioned at the start of the season, but what the hey, we’ll take it.

Minnesota just did the 49ers a favor by knocking off the Saints, who looked like their toughest playoff opponent. But the Vikes did that in 1987, too, and that did not pan out too good for the 49ers. That playoff loss remains one of the most disappointing defeats in Niner history.

Fortunately, Jimmy Garoppolo was not even born yet and thus has no memory to be nervous about. Joe Staley was only three and was more concerned about his parents saying things like, “Ethel, this kid’s awful big for his age.”

Kirk Cousins finally won a game that guys making $30 million a year are supposed to win but Cousins never really had. That could be the breakthrough moment for him or just a nice way to head into the offseason after getting beat this Saturday. We’ll choose the latter scenario. Sorry, Kirk, but this is Jimmy’s year.

HC Kyle Shanahan wanted Cousins for his QB here and ended up with Garoppolo. I doubt he’s disappointed with that fortuitous development. Still, he knows Cousins well enough to be wary of his talent, and hopefully well enough to defuse it.

The Viking defense is probably more of a concern. They’re pretty good and have the best record in the league at stuffing tight ends in the passing game. That’s the position occupied by the 49ers’ best player, George Kittle. That might seem to be a big advantage to Minnesota’s efforts to stifle the Niner offense, or it could be a stat that doesn’t mean much because the Vikings played only one team with a super star tight end – Kansas City’s Travis Kelce, who had Matt Moore as his QB that day. Kelce still caught seven passes for sixty-two yards. So, once again, we’ll choose the latter scenario.

And in the Thank God for Small Favors department, win or lose, we will at least not be going to Green Bay for an Ice Bowl game.

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34 comments on “Let’s Go Get A Ring
  1. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Niners and recent playoff games.
    Avoid the special team gaffes (Kyle Williams fumble and muffs) and goofs (letting Ravens take a kickoff to the house).

    Playing a clean game on special teams should lead to a win.

  2. winderNo Gravatar says:

    The Vikings are a hard one to predict. Their History says they get very lucky and/or choke big time. I am hoping for the choke.

  3. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Good news:

    “Dee Ford is back this week for the 49ers.

    With Ford- 49ers defense % of blocks defeated: 63.2% (2nd)

    Without Ford- 49ers defense % of blocks defeated: 47% (16th)”

  4. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    There is some stat out there where with Bosa and Ford in 184 snaps the Niners had 24 sacks.
    When either Bosa or Ford were missing the Niners had 24 sacks in 810 snaps.

    The combo of Bosa/Ford is devastating.

  5. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    Another Raider stumble.

    Clelin Ferrell #4 is their Solomon Thomas. A no pass rush 2-gap DE got 4.5 sacks with 3.5 coming against the hapless CINN that had 1st rd LT on IR before season started.

    OAK takes Ferrell out on pass rush downs in 2nd half of this rookie season. Some never learn.

  6. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Alexander, Tartt, and Ford are all healthy enough to play. For all the injuries that have plagued this team the past two years, we’re surprisingly entering the playoffs about as healthy as the team has been all year. As we all know, playoff winners often come from the teams that are healthy.

  7. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Love to post this once in a while and seems appropriate this week. I can watch this over and over and it doesn’t get old.

    This is how you slay the Vikings.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzZYEG7foo8

  8. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    Attack Vikes CB’s and play lights out to Kittle, Samuel, Sanders, …

    https://www.ninersnation.com/2020/1/8/21055707/the-49ers-need-to-take-advantage-of-the-vikings-depleted-secondary

    Rhodes full of potholes this season and Hughes and Alexander out. Even a blind OC can see what we do here.

  9. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    This Saturday the endzones will be a blast from the past.

    Niners president A L Guido promised two things.

    The first was a commitment to permanently bringing back the traditional saloon font lettering in both end zones. The second was a guarantee of an extra decorative step, one that’d make the Levi’s field look like Candlestick Park’s did during some of the franchise’s most famous moments — but only if the team hosted a playoff game.
    “The end zones will be red,” Guido said in August. “I can promise all the fans that. But we’re going to save it for those days where it matters the most.”

    Will remind us of successful times at the Stick.

  10. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Draft radar is getting crowded too 😀

    https://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2020/01/08/minnesota-safety-antoine-winfield-jr-declares-for-2020-nfl-draft/

    Very productive but….5’10” isn’t ideal IMO

    Great numbers though.
    172 TKLs/7 TFL/4 Sacks/9 INTs

  11. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Another WR for the radar screen Bullit –
    Declared early from UCF

    Gabriel Davis – 6’3″/212

    34 Games – 152 RECs/2447 YDs/16.1 AVG/23 TDs

  12. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    NJ

    Donovan DuVernay is Devon’s younger brother who’s a DB that never plays
    and is leaving because his brother is graduating. Not a big deal.

    A guy to keep an eye for next year is Texas LB Joseph Ossai who just had 3 sacks in the Alamo Bowl. He’ll be a junior next year.

  13. NJ49ERNo Gravatar says:

    Sorta figured it was due to the separation.

  14. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Pretty good analysis of what might happen Saturday from THE ATHLETIC

    “Kyle Shanahan in focus: When the 49ers blew out the Packers in Week 12, a veteran coach credited San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan as a differentiating force through his scheming. Specifically, Shanahan showed the ability to create and exploit mismatches. The coach thought Green Bay was more apt to simply run its offense. With the 49ers and Vikings running very similar offensive schemes in their divisional-round matchup, the same coach was asked whether Shanahan might again hold an edge once again.

    “The (Gary) Kubiak way, the Mike Shanahan way is they run their stuff — this is what we run — and it can be very effective,” the same coach said. “But Kyle, what he does is adapt what he does against the defense. He makes changes, not in his scheme, but different ways to attack it. That, to me, is the difference.”

    What Shanahan might exploit: Minnesota has listed cornerback Xavier Rhodes as a full participant in practice, an indication he’ll play against the 49ers despite ankle and shoulder issues.

    “If Xavier Rhodes plays, Kyle will go after him,” this offensive coach said. “They are going to try to put pressure on to get the safeties down in the box, which is what (Vikings coach Mike) Zimmer does, and then take shots off play-action. If Zimmer is dropping everyone out, they will throw checkdowns to the backs and kill them with the backs. If you watch Minnesota, they are either a pressure team trying to play it tight to stop the run, or they put everybody up there and they drop them out.”

    A word on these defenses: Both teams figure to spend much of the game in their base defenses. That is because San Francisco finished the regular season ranked first and Minnesota was second in offensive plays using two running backs.

    “For most defenses, there is shock value when you have to fit the two-back run, but both these teams play against it in camp and OTAs, so this really is, in Mike Zimmer’s words, big-boy football,” a defensive coach said. “Who can reestablish the line of scrimmage and then keep it going? You try to limit the run, but then there’s play-action, and if not the play-action, it’s the screen game. I could easily see this thing becoming a battle of two at-times-elite defenses, specifically their fronts.”

    Big-boy football did not always serve the Vikings well against New Orleans last week. They lost four yards on four plays using 23 personnel (two backs, three tight ends) from the 3-yard-line and closer. They did score a touchdown on one of those plays from the 1-yard-line, but just barely. Will the Vikings win those matchups against the 49ers, or might they use lighter personnel? Twenty-three personnel was once a staple near the goal line, but not any longer. Only 10 teams used it from the 3-yard-line or closer during the regular season. Overall, teams were five times more likely to use 11 personnel in that area of the field. No team has used 23 personnel against the 49ers from the 3-yard-line or closer this season.”

  15. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    From ESPN the Seahags are going to be in trouble next season as Clowney is UFA and can’t be franchised.

    “Some team is going to give Clowney a huge deal. If it’s not the Seahawks, given that Ezekiel Ansah is a free agent after an anonymous season and rookie first-round pick L.J. Collier was a healthy scratch in the wild-card win, Schneider is going to have to go shopping for edge-rushing help. Defensive tackle will also be a concern, with Al Woods, Quinton Jefferson and Jarran Reed all free agents. The Seahawks have been comfortable filling their defensive tackle spots with low-end free agents and draft picks, so unless Reed’s market fails to develop, I would expect some new faces around Poona Ford in 2020.

    Seattle will also need to make some tough choices on the other side of the line, where former first-round pick Germain Ifedi, sixth lineman George Fant, guard Mike Iupati and fill-in center Joey Hunt are all free agents.
    =====
    Trouble in the trenches on both offense and defense?

  16. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Somehow the Seahawks come out of contract problems every year. I think it’s the Russell Wilson factor. Players want to play in Seattle. I also think the FO is very player friendly. Hopefully after this year we get some of those players wanting to come SF.

  17. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Don’t know what it means and it probably doesn’t mean much but it’s about as much research I do all season.

    Teams coming off a bye week this year
    Wins- 11
    losses- 21

  18. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    11 good teams, 21 bad teams.

  19. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Lol. you are mostly right.
    teams that did lose.
    Saints, Texans, Eagles, GB(that one doesn’t count since they played us)
    and the vikings.

  20. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    “Mostly Right” might have been a good title for this blog.

  21. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Significant factor? Vikes are 2-4 thia year playing outdoors.
    They were 8-2 playing in a dome.

  22. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Who’s not excited???
    Niners are not supposed to be here this year. Team is ahead of schedule.
    You have to credit Lynch and Shanahan for bringing this team this far
    in a short time. From 4-12 to 13-3 is a great leap.

    Go Niners and let’s kick some Viking ass today!!!

  23. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    49ers inactives today

    QB C.J. Beathard
    RB Jeff Wilson
    WR Jordan Matthews
    TE Daniel Helm
    DL Kevin Givens
    LB Azeez Al-Shaair
    CB Dontae Johnson

  24. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Crowd is loud before the game.
    The energy is at a high level.
    Levis will be rocking and might match or surpass the Stick.
    Vikes prepared for noise in this game like they did for Superdome.

  25. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Witherspoon is going to kill us today.

  26. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Have lead at half.

    Niner D has neutralized cook who has 19 yds on 10 carries.

  27. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    PR fumbles. Niners have ball as Mostert recovers.
    1st and goal. Time for the nail in the coffin.

  28. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Outstanding performance.

  29. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    One down Two to go.
    Run Defense was dominant.

    Niners will host NFC Championship Game. LET’S GO!!!

  30. WinderNo Gravatar says:

    That was fun.

  31. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    With 4 mins to go in the 3rd quarter the Ravens are in trouble with score 28-6. Still a way to go but this could be a huge upset.

    That would make KC the favorite to be the AFC opponent in the Super Bowl.

  32. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    6th Lombardi a done deal.

    Pop the bubbly.

    We faced Ravens without Kittle or Sanders in a driving rain. We would have whipped them but tonight! Whoa

  33. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

2019 Schedule
9-8: W 49ers 31, Buccaneers 17
9-15: W 49ers 41,Bengals 17
9-22: W 49ers 24, Steelers 20
9-29: BYE

10-7: W 49ers 31, Browns 3
10-13: W 49ers 20, Rams 7
10-20: W 49ers 9, Washington 0
10-27: W 49ers 51, Panthers 13
10-31: W 49ers 28, Cardinals 25

11-11: L Seahawks 27, 49ers 24
11-17: W 49ers 36, Cardinals 26
11-24: W 49ers 37, Packers 8

12-1: L Ravens 20, 49ers 17
12-8: W 49ers 48, Saints 46
12-15: L Falcons 29, 49ers 22
12-21: W 49ers 34, Rams 31
12-29: W 49ers 26, Seahawks 21

Playoffs

01-11: W 49ers 27, Vikings 10
01-19: W 49ers 37, Packers 20
02-20: L Chiefs 31, 49ers 20

2019 Draft Class
1. DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
2. WR Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
3. WR Jalen Hurd, Baylor
4. P Mitch Wishnowsky, Utah
5. LB Dre Greenlaw, Arkansas
6. TE Kaden Smith, Stanford
6. OT Justin Skule, Vanderbilt
6. DB Tim Harris, Virginia
 
2019 Prognostications

Closest to the Pin:
   Bakkentom: 10-6
   Bullit: 10-6

Grumpy: 9-7
Skeebers: 8-8
Mr Fletch: 7-9
NJ49er: 7-9
Winder: 7-9

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