Base Camp Established

At the halfway point of the 2011 NFL season, Hell has frozen over, the sun now rises in the west, and the San Francisco 49ers sit atop the NFC West standings. Shit, Martha, have I died and gone to Heaven?

In the second half of the season, the team has five division games and three games against NFL powerhouse teams. They should win all five division games, but the games against the heavyweights will define their league-wide status.

Thus far, the 49ers have defeated three teams with winning records and four teams with losing records. None of the three winning teams is considered a powerhouse. Two of them are early season surprises (Cincinnati and Detroit) and the third is a good, not great team (Tampa Bay).

The strength of the team is the defense, which has given up the fewest points in the NFL thus far. And the special teams, which have consistently won the field position battle. The combination of good defense and special teams has given the offense a whole lot of short fields and increased opportunities to score.

The offense itself has certainly been unique and entertaining, if not overwhelming or lethal. It seems to do just enough each week to win. This is not a bad thing, and is certainly better than just enough to lose. But there is definitely room for improvement, especially in the passing game, which ranks ahead of only Denver and Jacksonville in yards per game. The offense as a whole ranks 27th in yards, but 8th in points per game, thanks to all those short fields.

When the offense needs to go 80 yards to score, it generally doesn’t. Unless it’s the 4th quarter and it has to, and then it generally does. Need based offense.

The NY Giants come to Candlestick this coming Sunday and they are probably feeling pretty full of themselves after knocking off the Patriots in Foxboro, with Eli Manning out-dueling Tom Brady down the stretch. They probably think Eli can surely out-duel Alex Smith down the stretch, too. But can he? The Patriots defense is awful, a bottom feeder squad. The 49er defense is quite a bit better.

Interestingly, Eli and Smith lead the league in 4th quarter comeback victories. Eli has 5, Smith has 3. Since the Giants have won six games, it appears they have been behind in the fourth quarter in five of those six games. The 49ers have won seven games and trailed in the fourth in only three of them.

These useless stats point to the temptation to opine that each team will be behind at some point in the 4th quarter, or at least the Giants will be. A nail-biter deluxe. Personally, I’d prefer a game like the Tampa Bay mauling, but that might be pushing the envelope on the wish list.

Whoever wins this game will have the tie breaker advantage for what could be the battle for the second seed in the NFL playoffs. There is no greater testimony to the success of the first half of this season than the ability to reasonably discuss the second seed in the same sentence as the San Francisco 49ers.

 ← Previous Post

Next Post → 

wordpress stats plugin

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Vacant Observations
31 comments on “Base Camp Established
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I thought your wife’s name was Skeebette? Now we find out it is Martha?

  2. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    A plebiscite on PFT finds the 49ers as #2 in the power rankings.

  3. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Martha is the the nun who administers to the winos in the alley of life.

  4. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    It was also Paul McCartney’s dog.

  5. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Who administers to the beeros? Send her to me Friday night!

  6. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    That would be Mathilda.

  7. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    The Waltzer?

  8. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    None other. She handles whiskey, too.

  9. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Mariel, the Tequila nun, has a much better ass though.
    At least I think so. After a few shots of Tequila, it’s hard to tell.

  10. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Ron Fields released again – by Panthers. Albert Haynesworth cut by Patriots.

  11. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    I read that Haynesworth literally took four plays off in a row against the Giants going through the motions. Belichik can’t work his magic on Albert and Ochozero.
    Just like Hue Jackson ruined the chemistry of the Raiduhs by sitting Kevin Boss because he had Housh. I seriously think Hue Jackson is a phony just by his press conferences. He can be a smug Ahole and then Mr Defensive why you picking on me. Palmer now has thrown 6 picks which is devastating to another team who’s strengh is running the ball.

  12. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Wasn’t the Tequila nun Shirley MacLaine? As is Two Mules for Sister Sarah? She rode that ass all through the movie.

    One of Clint Eastwood’s weirder flicks . . .

  13. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    NFL 49er jersey sales increased 400% this past month. The bandwagon is loading up!

  14. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Well, my Alex Smith jersey is officially off oil-soaking duties . . .

  15. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Actually I wore it last year at the Seattle game . . .

  16. winderNo Gravatar says:

    I would rather be on the boulevard of life, that alley was a little too rough. The nuns were nice though. I’m already thinking that the perfect scenario would be GB coming to SF for the championship game. I can’t believe I just said that.

  17. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    This game has all the makings of a Playoff Battle. Would love to see Harbaugh take some deep shots on these guys early and often.
    Gonna be my barometer game for Alex. He needs to weather their pass rush and deliver.
    For me, I want to see our DLine get Eli off his mark and ruin their timing.
    Not only is the NFC 2 Seed on the table, respectability comes home to roost if we take down the GMen.

  18. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    The Giants rush defense is ranked 25th. I disagree with your offensive approach to this game.
    The strength of the Giants D is their pass rush. If you start taking deep shots you are playing into their hands.
    Offensive gameplan should be similar to what we did to Detroit.
    If you want to throw the deep ball do it off play action after you have established the run.
    Get the screen game working again.

  19. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    bullit I’m thinking Frank is hobbled a bit. We could hit some big chunks on their Secondary.
    My feeling is they’ll load the box to stop our ground game and expose themselves deep.
    Don’t disagree with the your logic, they can be run on. I’m hoping we can jump out early and play ball control late.
    Harbaugh seems to be pushing the right buttons so far so, I’m hoping to see him change it up a little. We’ll see what he’s got in mind.
    Kendall on their LBs in pass routes would also be something worth seeing.

  20. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    bullit- I agree with your game plan. I keep hearing this will be, or should be, a shoot out. I hope not. I think we run on them to keep their possesions down, therefore keep their scoring down. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is Alex loves to run the spread, so if it comes down to that we will probably be seeing a shoot out.

  21. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Maybe this winning ugly is making fans kef. They want style points. I just want wins. Style points would be nice but wins are much better.

  22. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    A win is a win, ugly or not. And they don’t put anything extra on the Lombardi Trophy because you looked good. We need to keep working at becoming a more well-rounded offense, to help us win the big ones in the playoffs, but if pounding it down their throats beats the Giants, then by all means pound that sucker.

  23. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Everyone associates pretty wins with lots of passing stats. To me, 200 yards rushing is mighty purty, too.

  24. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, it’s interesting that Harbaugh has tried a lot of different things offensively. Last week it was the 2-plays-in-the-huddle deal. I wasn’t too crazy asbout that as it seemed to slow down the offense and it only served to confuse us. Still and all, a different look than previous games. They’ve run a lot (Cleve, Wash, Sea), thrown a lot (Cincy, Philly), and mixed everything in very well so far.
    The Cleve game saw Smith trying to hit Crabs on some deep balls. It didn’t work out, but they tried. Shocking to me was seeing Crabs and Smith talking on the sideline. If they can gain some consistency (and Smith hit Crabs on some nice slants last week), then this offense CAn show some new wrinkles. Having Crabs and Edwards on either side running deep routes would be nice to see once in a while.

  25. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    unca- I was wondering aloud a few days ago if calling two plays in the huddle was so we could use hand motions at the line, negating some of the effect of the crowd noise. I don’t like calling two plays either because it causes delay penalties and unnecessary use of TOs, but the crowd factor could make it a useful tool.

  26. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Berger, the 2-plays-in-the-huddle has been in place, in one form or another, for a few years. How they implement it was different last week, and maybe they did it a lot more last weekend than before. I don’t know. There was the deal (under Johnson? Raye?) where there was a pass and run called every play, and there was some kind of audible to switch to the pass. The run was assumed.
    Skeebs, yeah, there’s clamor for big passing yards a la GB or NE, but the problem there is they don’t have a run game to speak of. If they COULD run, they would. Cam Newton is a good example of this. He’s all-world in yardage, but he’s thrown a lot of picks, and he’s fighting from behind a lot of the time. Therefore, he has a lot of yards (300 per game), but Carol is 2-6. Yes, a lot of that is on their defense, but living and dying by the pass is hard to pull off if you don’t have a Rodgers or Brady (or P Manning) behind center. Newton is doing a hell of a job, but still, putting the onus entirely on him at this stage of his development isn’t going to work. Witha defense and a semblance of a running game, they’d be VERY tough.

  27. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Hue Jackson lost the game to a very pedestrian Bronco team by trying to show off his new acquisition C Palmer to justify what he paid for him.
    Palmer’s 3 picks, beyond stupid penalties and an unprepared defense led to a loss.
    Hue Jackson’s ego got the best of him.

  28. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Well, he didn’t have McFadden, but still, it’s not like they couldn’t run. Bush had 96 rushing yards.
    Hue pulled a Mike Martz and went pass-crazy. palmer is good, but he’s rusty as hell. They shouldn’t be putting the whole game on him. The Raydurrs had a 10 point lead with 6 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. It took all of 2:45 for the Broncos to score 10 points and tie it.

  29. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I love this Cam Newton kid. He’s having a great year, possible for rookie of the year. What I love is his attitude. He is saying he is a failure for being 2-6. I disagree that he is a failure but I love the attitude.

  30. 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