A Debacular Success

Sunday’s 13-8 victory over the Bengals was probably the 49ers’ most exciting and satisfying unwatchable game in many years. And there are a lot of unwatchable games in contention for this distinction.

What made this ugly duckling sparkle over the many other honkers that have waddled through town in the past eight years was its significance in the grand scheme of Hopeful Signs. The Thursday night win over the Bears in 2009 was probably uglier than this Bengals win, since only the defense could take any pride in that embarrassing nationally televised event, but this ugly win had some real beauty to it.

The Bears game was at home. This win was on the road, out of the division, and in an eastern time zone. Three areas of noteworthy failure for recent teams. The 49ers had the lead in that Bears game and clung to it all the way to the end zone interception of Jay Cutler that sealed the victory. But this game required a come from behind effort in the fourth quarter, and by the quarterback many say can’t handle these kind of pressure moments, especially on the road. The defense then did what they failed to do against the Cowboys — close out the game. A true teamwide triumph.

Of course, this game will be quickly heaved into the furnace if it proves to be a fluke moment in what turns into another useless season, which is why its beauty lies in the realm of Hope and not Reality. For the moment, however, one can not only hope, but leap to amazingly ridiculous conclusions as well.

In that regard, let’s call this game the turning point psyche game. The day the team discovered itself. Discovered the will to win within. The ability to overcome its own shot feet, general ineptitude, and hostile crowd to find a way to win.

Too corny? What the heck. It’s Kool-aid Monday. There’s plenty of other days for handwringing and brutal analysis. Today is just a brief moment at the top of the NFC West. The team will reside in this less than lofty penthouse for at least two more weeks. Bottoms up, lads.

This may also be the game that featured three long term lineup changes. Chilo Rachal played so badly that Adam Snyder may well be our new starting RG. Rookies Kendall Hunter and Bruce Miller also played well in relief of the old standby twosome of Frank Gore and Moran Norris. There was another lineup debut of lesser star value, but important none the less — Isaac Sopoagna as short yardage fullback. We like this one, big time.

For those keeping track, this was not the game our offensive line found itself. How five large fellows could continue to wander lost in search of themselves week after week is a mystery for greater minds than this one. Man, these guys are just brutal. If they continue to play this way, there is no chance this team can be successful this year, or any other year.

And let’s hear it for Vernon Davis. For one of the few times in these parts, a guy shot off his mouth and then backed it up on game day. Vernon is probably the oddest runner I’ve ever seen, but he sure produces results.

In the end, the 49ers won a game they should have won and needed to win. That in itself is newsworthy. Let’s Hope it is not an illusion.

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48 comments on “A Debacular Success
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    This game had a sapid taste to it in that we ran more spread formations. We didn’t use it as a base but we did see more of it. On one play we had the RB wide in a 5 receiver, empty backfield set.

  2. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    It’s better to be lucky than good.
    Michael Vick is out 3 to 4 weeks with a broken hand. And what was nearly a sure thing “L” on the schedule is now up for grabs.
    OTOH, this erratic 49er team going up against a QB named Kafka gives me some existential pause.
    Still, if the O-line will actually block (a rare thing this season) and Frank Gore decides he cares (or gets his butt replaced by Kendall Hunter) and Moron Norris stays injured, and our DBs find a way to slow down DeSean Jackson, we might actually be able to steal a win Sunday.

  3. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    I noticed Boone got in the game for at least a few snaps….maybe its time to give him and Kilgore a chance…shit if we can block just a little better…maybe we’d see more of the play like the 4th qtr

  4. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Harbaugh definitely uses more of the roster than either Nolan or Singletary did.

  5. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    The Clments hit on Alex Smith was helmet to helmet but wasn’t called. Will the League Office impose a fine when reviewing the game?

  6. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    I had the same thought, Bullit. At least we paid him back by knocking him out of the game.

  7. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Bowman is leading the team in tackles now. Definitely playing well.

  8. barleyfreakNo Gravatar says:

    It’s truly bizarre to feel so thrilled with a win and disgusted with your team at the same time. Unless the Bengals turn out to be this year’s “amazing defense”, then I guess I’ll continue pining for an offense.
    But if there was any question before, for me it is answered — Gore looks slow. He goes down at the first touch. Keep Mt. Moran on the bench — and get Hunter in there more. That is too obvious.
    Watching the first 3 quarters all I could think of was how we were going to get slaughtered next week. Without Vick though, we have elevated from slightly below a snowball’s chance to slightly above. If we can just keep them under 3 points, our mighty mouse offense just might pull out another on the road. Woo hoo.

  9. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Harbaugh should really think about putting combinations of Hunter, Gore or Dixon in the backfield as multiple backs.
    Instead of running out of the I run split backs.

  10. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    I posted this yesterday and nobody commented.
    For a special teams play it showed imagination and was quite clever and innovative. The special teams coach that devised this is Genius. It worked!


  11. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    The 49ers are dead last (213.7 yds/gm) in the NFL in offense. I thought we fired the old guy who wore the silly fishing hat.
    One more bit of good news: The Puppy Killer’s hand isn’t broken. It’s just a deep bruise. He could still play Sunday.
    And one bit of ironic news: Frank Gore “sprained his ankle” right after he fumbled. Awfully coincidental if ya ask me.

  12. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Tom Brady did something yesterday that Alex Smith has never done. He threw 4 picks.

  13. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Bullit, you don’t even want me to list ALL the other things that Tom Brady has done that Alex will NEVER do in his lifetime. Don’t go there.

  14. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah Philly’s going to play the will Vick play game with the Niners in order to screw with the gameplanning.
    Vick hurt his hand after using it to brace himself after a hard hit.
    All week it’s going to be will he or won’t he? Hate this BS or gamesmanship.

  15. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Dennis you’re such a sensitive dude. Why do you think that was directed at you? I just made a factual statement. Brady has equaled his total INTs in 3 games that he threw in the entire 2010 season.

  16. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Was Taylor Mays hurt? He was on the Bengal’s inactive list.
    The only ex Niner that did anything was Nate Clements.
    I saw Lawson make one play.
    So much for revenge and vindication.

  17. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Mays had been injured but was supposedly healed. Not enough to be active, I guess. He’s listed as a 2nd stringer, I think.

  18. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    I imagine this was a very bad defeat for the Bengals. Their fans have probably written them off now. Nobody is supposed to lose to an NFC West team at home.

  19. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    With all the distractions in Cincy (6 lb. of fed ex-ed herbal medicine for Simpson, Carson Palmer holding out, the usual suspects lineup, Mike Brown’s tight-fisted ways), this likely has little to no effect on the hopelessness of the fans in Cincinnati at this point.
    I mean, 43,000 ain’t that bad. I don’t know if it’s butts in deats or tix sold, but before the heydays of the 80s, 22,000 was the norm at the Stick. I watched the NO greatest comeback game from the upper box, 50 yard line.

  20. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, chuck I used to make up my mind on gameday if I was going or not and just pick the tickets up there.

    This was an uninspiring win but I do believe it was a very big deal for our team moral and unity. I’ll take a win any day.

  21. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Like they say, a win is a win. In football each one is important. This is Harbaugh’s first road win. Good, bad, or indifferent, it’s an accomplishment.
    Singletary always tried to rally the troops after hard-fought losses. It’s much better to rally the troops after hard-fought wins.
    Doesn’t mean that the season is awash in playoff hopes and dreams, but if they can steal a couple wins from some of these upcoming opponents (fricking Dallas was oh so close) and take care of the division, they are in the drivers seat.

  22. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    Looks like Chilo Richal might be replaced (finally)….this may sound crazy ..maybe try him at center… last year they moved Bass to center cause he played guard like Rachal…the free agent center we have, has been getting handled pretty easy…..i believe Rachal’s like 330 or something…maybe he can play center????

  23. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    And while their at it..try Boone in place of Staley

  24. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Rachal dropped down to about 305 during the offseason. Said he felt lighter on his feet and his knees didn’t hurt any more. Didn’t improve his play, though, it looks like.

  25. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Rachal’s problems, like some of his line mates, is not strength or speed. It’s largely technique. He is sloppy and plays too high. When he gets a step behind in pass pro he is a lunger. And for the love of God, he cannot stop the false starts.
    Generally, I’m sorry to say, there is no cure for stupid.

  26. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    For the record, Tony Promo was the poster child for the NFL Media Hype machine leading up to the 3rd nationally televised game for Jerry J.O. in as many weeks.
    Now Vick goes on record to challenge the Officials about getting tossed around like a defenseless puppy while in the pocket, just in time for the 9ers to arrive to start the yellow flag parade.
    Geez Michael, the 9ers ‘D’ was credited with breaking Tony Promos’ rib and, if you can believe that, he was also in the pocket and didn’t get a flag thrown.
    We know you’re not complaining. We call it whining.

  27. robNo Gravatar says:


    ” Now Vick goes on record to challenge the Officials about getting tossed around like a defenseless puppy while in the pocket, ”

    post of the day !

  28. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Should I be fortunate enough to be around for Jerry’s Funeral, I’ve got plans to attend with some friends dressed as Sourdough Sam with a big Foam 49er Finger.
    No….Not the usual Finger you see on TV either.

  29. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Great Idea. I like it.
    Yes, ‘Whitner bit’ is an understatement.
    Whole Secondary is trying to get on the same page too. I have no expectations other than to improve as we go. We still don’t have a QB that scares anyone.
    This OL might be better off learning to Zone Block? We’re not ready for Prime Time yet anyway.

  30. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Here’s a good laugh for you. The Chad Henne quote following the Cleveland loss is one for the ages.


  31. robNo Gravatar says:

    oboy ! we made the front page of yahoo

    it says
    ” ugly game makes dubious nfl history ”


  32. robNo Gravatar says:

    i hope philly wins the superbowl !
    why ?
    because if their big money free agent spree pays off maybe dr. deyorkian will let jed sign a top free agent or two instead of going the bargain basement route for 6 or seven new players !

  33. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    The 2 media darlings Jets and Eagles are not in 1st place and
    they are in a panic. Rex Ryan guaranteed a Super Bowl for the Jets this year. How does a practice squad player Victor Cruz torch the invicible Eagle secondary for 2 long TD catches?
    Look at New England. Haynesworth is inactive and Ochocinco can’t get into the flow and dropped a sure TD on Sunday.
    I am curious besides Namdhi
    and Hasslebeck who should they have signed? Their LBs are playing better than last year and Franklin is not missed as their rush D is ranked 3rd. in fact they are 8th in total defense.

  34. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Rob, Philly won’t win their division, let alone the Super Bowl. They may not even beat the Niners. This isn’t baseball. You can rarely buy your way to a Super Bowl victory. Just look at Dan Snyder. He’s been trying for 12 years.
    The only team remotely living up to the preseason hype is Dallas, I’m sorry to say. Although they have been lucky so far. GB is GB. They were expected to be this good. NE, despite the epic meltdown last week, is still the class of the league. Until the playoffs anyway. The good news is Romo will choke somewhere down the line when it’s real important. Like game 1 of the playoffs. . .
    I’ll never forget the ESPN wonk who (at the end of preseason last year) breathlessly declared Tony Romo the best QB in Dallas history. Fricking Danny (twinkie defense) White has more playoff success than Nomo.

  35. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    I also believe Carlos Rogers is an improvement over Clements
    and given the choice between
    McDonald and Franklin the Niners made the right choice.
    Whitner had a bad game against Dallas but I still like him at safety. Akers will be in the Pro Bowl along with Andy Lee
    The Free agents they signed were not fringe guys.

  36. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    The Niners have 5 picks, all of them by DBs. In 3 games.
    Last year our DBs picked off 9 balls. In 16 games. I think there’s improvement there.
    The D line, minus AF (my haranging notwithstanding) has gotten a ton more pressure out of their base D than at any point last year. Coaching? Could be. But we don’t miss AF as much as I thought they would.

  37. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    I read somewhere that Franklin wasn’t exactly lighting it up in N.O., either. Brian de la Puente is now their starting center, though, with Kreutz injured.

  38. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Looks like Vick will be playing this week after all.

  39. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    In other good news, Norris will be sidelined 4-6 weeks. He may never see the field here again.

  40. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    It isn’t about who we should have signed as FAs this year. It’s about who we should NOT have drafted on the Offensive Line over the last 6 or 7 years or whatever. We have invested high picks in a very, thoroughly mediocre group of guys. Baas, Snyder, Staley, Rachal, Wallace, Davis and Iupati. What do these guys have in common? So far, they have all been pretty much journeyman-level players. Not a true Pro-Bowler or even a real threat of it in the bunch. Seven years of suck, except *arguably* for the one year with Larry Allen and a healthy Jennings, and all we have to show for it is Baalke’s “We did a nationwide search and I won this T-Shirt!”.
    Rule Number One in the NFL: teams that frack up the draft, SUCK.

  41. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    When you consider they passed on Oher for Crabs, it becomes even more galling. He was the guy I was very surprised we passed on.

  42. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    When you hear that Singletary pushed HARD for Mays, and pushed for the 1st round guys they got (and the previous few drafts), and the fact he had to be talked into Willis, gives you some kind of idea as to how bad this shit was.
    Baalke had his first untainted draft his year, and it looks OK for now. The Sing/Scotty/Nolan drafts of the past will hopefully become a distant memory.

  43. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Baalke was handed a job that NO other NFL team would have hire him for given the same situation. The play, or lack thereof from the OL lies sorely with him. He brought in all this crap. He take it with him when he leaves.

  44. robNo Gravatar says:

    WOW that put the cat amongst the pigeons !

    OK one at a time



    The 2 media darlings Jets and Eagles are not in 1st place
    I am curious besides Namdhi
    and Hasslebeck who should they have signed? ”

    the best part of this one was watching asamogua and seeing that the only people he could bring down sunday were his own teammates !
    if you saw my posts i never once wanted us to sign either namdi a. or hasselback !
    (btw i WAS one of the few people it would seem , who thought the carlos rogers signing was a good one and was also pushing for sop over franklin … and have been for years )
    what i was pushing for wasn’t even a big name free agent haul (CHUCK) just barry cofeild and j. joseph ! NOT tons of mid to low price gambles like we got !
    i still do think that philly will get it together , just not this week !
    i also think that dr. deyorkian is still putting in his two cents worth , and is holding jed back from really going all out to do what he should and wants to do to build this team up ! that was the main point i was trying to make !

  45. robNo Gravatar says:

    ” It isn’t about who we should have signed as FAs this year. It’s about who we should NOT have drafted on the Offensive Line over the last 6 or 7 years or whatever ”

    is it just me or is our 0-line lookig much better this yr. ?IMHO of your listed group ,
    staley is pretty good and will only be better now that we have harbaugh and solari here !
    snyder was a fourth round pick and not a bad one at that ! i was never big on baas as the first pick in rd. two , but the giants seem to think he was worth the big money they paid him … as a center !
    iupati is a beast and anthony davis wouldn’t have been my first choice , but you’ll never hear me complain about using a high draft pick on an 0-lineman ! we can only hope that given time , the line with two rooks from last year , a new center and raw rachal will get it together asap ! don’t forget we have a new system for them to absorb as well !
    ” Rob, Philly won’t win their division, let alone the Super Bowl. ”

    SEE MY POST ABOVE (in case you missed it)

  46. robNo Gravatar says:

    baalke might have done a much better job of drafting than i first thought ! considering aldon and hunter , my high hopes for copernicus and even gulliver looking good … this draft looks pretty darn good !

  47. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Rob I loved Anthony while at Rutgers. He played on the Left side there. They were more of a running Team but he is a pretty athletic kid. Good balance and a mean streak. (Jersey Attitude)
    I see him whiff too much right now and wonder if he’s having issues with the blocking assignments or just not concentrating on his technique? He still reaches and plays too high too often.
    I feel he’s still a better option than Staley on the Left side but, until he polishes his form he’s not gonna get whiff of action over there.
    He gets after people in the run game though. Still hoping he comes through for us.

  48. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

2021 Schedules
09/12: W 49ers 41, Lions 33
09/19: W 49ers 17, Eagles 11
09/26: L Packers 30, 49ers 28
10/03: L Seahawks 28, 49ers 21
10/10: L Cardinals 17, 49ers 10
10/17 BYE
10/24: L Colts 30, 49ers 18
10/31: W 49ers 33, Bears 22
11/07: L Cardinals 31, 49ers 17
11/15: W 49ers 31, Rams 10L
11/21: W 49ers 30, Jaguars 10
11/28: W 49ers 34, Vikings 26
12/05: L Seahawks 30, 49ers 23 12/12 · 10:00 AMCIN
12/19 · 1:05 PM v ATL
12/23 · 5:20 PM v TEN
01/02 · 1:05 PM v HOU
01/09 · 1:25 PM @ LAR

2021 Draft Class
1. QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
2. OG Aaron Banks, Notre Dame
3. RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State
3. CB Ambry Thomas, Michigan
5. OG/OT Jaylon Moore, Western Michigan
5. CB Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon
5. S Talanoa Hufanga, USC
6. RB Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
2021 Prognostications
Bullit: 12-5
Grumpy: 13-4
NJ49er: 11-6
Skeebers: 14-3
Winder: 12-5
Rob: 17-0
Spitblood: 0-17