Segwe to 2020

The 2020 Combine is coming up later this month, which will get hearts fluttering with excitement for the draftniks among us. And for complete football junkies, the XFL is making another effort at forming a viable alternative to the NFL.

But the rest of us will have to wait for the official beginning of the new NFL season and the beginning of the Free Agency period, some time in early March.

The roster has been a turnstile the past five years, but it looks pretty settled right now. There are no gaping holes to fill and the draft cupboard is a bit bare, so this could be a quiet offseason for the 49ers.

The only significant drama at the moment is whether the team re-signs Arik Armstead, Emmanuel Sanders, and Jimmie Ward, who are all free agents. Personally, I wouldn’t sign Armstead or Ward to lucrative long term deals. They each played well this year, but it was the first time for both of them. Ward because of his injury history and Armstead because of four years doing nothing to justify being a first round one pick.

My guess is Ward and Sanders will try to stay and Armstead will go after the money.

Not sure which is worse – spending the offseason talking about how bad your team is or spending it talking about how they blew the Super Bowl. We could ask the Bills. They’re the only team to go to four straight SBs, but they lost all four of them. And followed that up with 25 years of awful teams.

At any rate, like Bakkentom suggests, it’s liable to be a long, boring offseason in Ninerville. Which is probably preferable to player mug shots and all the other assorted weirdnesses young lads with too much money and too much testosterone are prone to.

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Posted in Vacant Observations

Perspective Detective

Last week was hard to digest. Tough for us 49er fans, and no doubt tougher for the team and coaches. But they get paid for their grief, and we don’t.

Kyle Shanahan has been roasted a bit, while Andy Reid has been elevated to the genius room. Never mind it took Andy twenty years to win his first Super Bowl and most of the ones roasting Shanahan now were roasting Andy during his long travails in the Can’t Win the Big One category. Since Shanahan took his team to the SB in only his third year on the job, it seems premature to paste a loser label on him.

The same holds true for Jimmy Garoppolo. He’s getting more thumbs down than his HC, with some idiots even suggesting the Niners should dump him. Goodness. He led his team to the SB in his first full year as an NFL QB. I can’t think of any QB who has ever done that. Maybe I’m forgetting someone, but there couldn’t have been many.

Besides, Garoppolo is in some pretty good company. “Franchise” QBs who have lost SBs (without being targeted for the scrap heap): Ben Roethlisberger (honked out in his own territory against the 2010 Packers), Tom Brady (three time loser), John Elway (four time loser), Peyton Manning (two time loser, tossed a game ending int late in the fourth quarter against the 2009 Saints), Brett Farve (four straight incompletions with the game on the line against the Broncos), Russell Wilson (goal line int to lose an SB) …

At any rate, the 49ers have more pressing needs this coming year. They have to figure out a way to defend against mobile quarterbacks. The team lost only four games this past year, and only one of the losses featured a non-mobile QB – Atlanta and Matt Ryan. Plus there were two nail-biters against the five win Arizona Cardinals and Kyler Murray. And in all those other losses, the defense could not contain the scrambling QBs in the fourth quarter.

The 49ers will be hard pressed to repeat their 2019 success next year, but with the FO finally achieving harmony and competence, the team should be a contender year in and year out for the next decade at least. After two straight mostly botched decades, that’s amore, footballationistically speaking.

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Posted in Delusional Therapy

Chiefs 31, 49ers 20

The 49ers’ fairy tale season came to an ignominious end Sunday night in Miami, crushed to death at the fifty yard line as Jimmy Garoppolo stood motionless, unable or unwilling to throw the ball on fourth and ten with the season on the line and the Chiefs closing in from all sides.

Another fourth quarter melt down from HC Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers scored in each of the first three quarters and played brilliant defense, too. In the final quarter, they did neither. Even so, they got the ball at the end with plenty of time to march down the field and win the game, just like Joe Montana did in the same stadium in 1988. But they didn’t even get past midfield.

It’s easy and fair to say the better team won, the better HC won, and the better QB won. Still, there’s no escaping that the Niners had control of the game entering the fourth quarter and then they lost control of it – on defense and on offense. Kansas City was ready for prime time and the 49ers were not.

After twenty years of trying and failing, Chiefs HC Andy Reid finally won his first Super Bowl. Along the way, he endured an endless stream of the kind of criticism now being heaped on Shanahan. We’ll see how long it takes Shanahan to get the monkey off his back, if he ever does and if some of us are still alive by then.

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Posted in Post Game Spread

Defense, Defense, Defense!

It’s blah, blah, blah week while we wait for next Sunday’s Super Bowl game. While it’s nice that the Niners and Chiefs are doing the yapping, and not some other team from the East Coast, it’s still a lot of hot air to breathe in and out.

I have no idea who will win this game. It doesn’t seem like anyone else does, either. Including the Vegas oddsmakers. If the Niners’ defense manages to slow down Patrick Mahomes, they might win it. If the game is a four quarter shootout, the Chiefs would probably prevail.

It still seems a bit unreal that the Niners are in this game. There was never a point in the season where making it to the SB was anything much more than a pipe dream. Making the playoffs was the only tangible hope. Right down to the final game and that last inch against the Seahawks. Then watching Minnesota take down the Saints and practically pave the way to Miami.

Nobody doubts the Chiefs credentials to be in this game. They’ve been knocking on the door for several years and should have been in this game last year, but for Dee Ford‘s egregious blunder in the closing seconds of the AFC Title game.

Likewise, nobody doubts Mahomes. He’s been unstoppable in the Chiefs two playoff games.

Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t inspire anywhere near that kind of respect. The 49ers got to this game like most people thought the Ravens would – by running the football. Garoppolo didn’t have to perform any heroics at all.

This leads many pundits to question his ability to handle the pressure of a big time game. Those pundits are mostly from the East Coast and clearly haven’t watched many Niner games this year. Garoppolo has been Mr. Clutch repeatedly throughout the year.

Looking on the bright side, this game reminds me of the 1984 SB, where nobody thought the Niners could stop Dan Marino and the Dolphins passing game. We all know how that turned out. And we know what happened to the unstoppable 2007 Patriots. Here’s hoping next Sunday we’ll see a similar outcome and that the old saying “Defense wins championships” will prove correct once again.

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Posted in Game Previews

49ers 37, Packers 20

The 49ers made it look easy Sunday night, pounding their way to a 27-0 halftime lead and cruising to the finish line. There wasn’t a moment of real anxiety the entire game.

The most laughable and yet telling stat of the game belonged to Jimmy Garoppolo: 6-8 for 77 yards. EIGHT passes thrown the entire evening.

But who needed to pass when Raheem Mostert was doing just fine racking up 220 yards on the ground with four TDs? That’s a 1940s style beat down. If I were a Packers fan, I’d wish I weren’t. Not with a Green Bay headline of MOSTERT OUTDUELS RODGERS staring at me on a cold, dreary Monday morning.

Deebo Samuels led the 49er receivers with two catches for 46 yards. George Kittle had one catch, Emmanuel Sanders none, Kendrick Bourne one. This was all in the beginning of the game, before Kyle Shanahan realized the Packers couldn’t stop the run if they tried all night. Which the Packers did and pretty much didn’t. This was quite similar to the Vikings game a week earlier. The Niners ran over them, too.

So the Niners will be heading to Miami for their seventh visit to the Super Bowl and their second attempt to win their sixth Lombardi trophy. This was not on anyone’s radar when the season began. We had a QB who had never played a full season, a FS who spent more time breaking parts of his body than playing his position, a rookie pass rusher who got hurt in OTAs and again in Training Camp, and a WR group that didn’t scare anybody.

Needless to say, every one of these question marks/problems were resolved favorably for the team. Nick Bosa was a force, Sanders came in a trade, Jimmie Ward finally played an entire year, as did Garoppolo. Even so, a trip to the SB is a wholly unexpected outcome. Most of the credit has to go to the defense, which played lights out all year. And they have their biggest test yet in two weeks when the Niners take on the Chiefs and their redhot QB Patrick Mahomes.

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Posted in Post Game Spread
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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