Capital Conquest

The 49ers continued their destruction of competitive balance in the NFC West Sunday by winning their sixth straight game and extending their division lead to five games. The magic number at the halfway point of the season is FOUR!

Putting this absurb dominance into perspective, if the 49ers go 3-5 in the second half of the season, Arizona or Seattle would have to go 8-0 to achieve a tie. I don’t mean to denigrate either of these two franchises, but neither appears capable of anything close to such an accomplishment.

For the second straight week, the team played an opponent with a good defense and a hamburger offense. When Alex Smith hit Bruce Miller for a 30 yard TD in the waning moments of the first half, it stretched the Niner lead to 13-0. Game over. Sit back and enjoy the day.

Also for the second straight week, the team came within inches of slaughtering it’s opponent, instead of just routinely beating them. A win is a win, especially since we weren’t getting many of them in the past eight years, but opponent slaughters are rip roaring fun and the team needs to improve on those missed inches.

Every team has a four minute offense. It’s designed to chew up the clock at the end of a game. The Niners have been working on a 30 minute offense the past two weeks. It was better this week than last, featuring two long field goal drives in the second half.

The sad, baffled coach’s face, which had a long, long run patroling the 49er sideline, is now working on the other team’s sideline. Washington coach Mike Shanahan looked so sad yesterday that his eyes did not bug out even once. I was tempted to feel sorry for him, but resisted the impulse.

Jim Harbaugh likes to get everybody involved in the game and Sunday was no exception. Smith completed passes to eight different receivers. Michael Crabtree again led the way with five catches. Vernon Davis was second with four and would have had five but for a dropped potential TD pass in the second half. If memory serves, Smith did not overthrow Crabtree even once Sunday, so maybe these two are finally getting synchronized.

This game was considered a trap game by many blogoviators, mostly because it’s nice to work that concept back into our vocabularies. Trap games only apply to good teams who overlook poor teams. There have been no trap games for eight years. The 49ers have been the trap game for others. A goodly chunk of guys on the current team were on those trapless teams of yore and it is difficult to imagine any of them not savoring each and every week that they can win a game. Maybe next year we’ll see some bona fide trap games. Not this year.

But Sunday’s game was indeed a punch the clock day. How’d it go at work today, honey? Fine. It’s next week that everyone is looking forward to. 49ers at home against the New York Giants, slayers of New England yesterday, in the Patriots own park, breaking Tom Brady’s 31 game home regular season victory streak. Now this will be a true GPS game for our red and gold boys. Is the team for real? Yes. Are they playoff real? Tune in next Sunday.

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48 comments on “Capital Conquest
  1. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    I have been saying this on a weekly basis but again the 49er Oline is holding up and playing
    penalty free games (knock on wood). No more devastating holding calls or false starts.
    Anthony Davis is not mentioned anymore which is a good thing for the RT. I truly believe that Rachal with his poor play was the major contributor to the OL stinking and he made A Davis a worse player by being next to him.
    Snyder has satbilized the RG position. Not spectacular but no stupid little mistakes that kill you. The NY Giant DL will be a major test much like the Lions.
    Being a home game at the stick gives us a huge advantage.

  2. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    I also thought the officiating crew sucked yesterday. On the illegal shift called on Peele they were talked into that penalty by the Redskins.
    On the onside kick why couldn’t VD signal for a fair catch? He was clobbered by the Redskins anyway. It’s not like they respected the signal and didn’t lay a hand on him. The ref got talked into that penalty too.
    A no call would have been appropriate.

  3. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    That illegal shift play looked like a clever attempt to draw an offsides penalty on Washington, getting us a first down. Peele could move back, but two guys moved at once after him. Not sure if 2 guys in motion simultaneously was the illegal part.

  4. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    The fair catch was also clever. If it got respected, Davis had an easy catch. The penalty was meaningless to catching the ball. On the replay, Davis missed the catch. Went right through his hands, but he cradled it off his lap luckily.

  5. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    I just remember two seasons ago what a big deal it was to beat Buffalo because it was a 10am game East of the Mississippi. WE have now done it 4 times this year
    so no biggie.
    Magic number is now 4 to clinch the division.
    Watching the Raiduh game I noticed Tebow barking signals and the ball would be hiked when he said GO. What happened to the third hut as in hut,hut,hut?
    Raiduh Nation must be feeling really bad losing to Denver. That was their trap game. Losing 2 in a row at home to division rivals can’t be good. Hue Jackson could be Mini Sing as I detect a lot of BS in his comments. They got fleeced for what they paid for Palmer. Getting Orton for a 3rd rd
    pick would have given you a similar QB. If this doesn’t work out they could be moving to LA soon and looking for a new coach.
    Niners dodged a bullet by not hiring Jackson.
    Last Alex Smith’s disco rollout audible yesterday was always a handoff to Gore. They need to work on more creativity and deception to these hand signals.

  6. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Apparently, Smith is calling two plays in the huddle. The two hand signals are “roll” with play #1 and the “incomplete” signal is go to play #2. They are not tip off audibles.

  7. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    The fact that the Niners have done this shift in other games and not been penalized leads to the confusion and now it seems like it’s subjest to the officiating crew’s interpetation.
    Fox blew it as this would be the perfect time to bring in Mike Pereira for his take but they didn’t. Perhaps he was indisposed in the can or something.
    Their shifts remind me of the Dallas Cowboys under Tom Landry
    who did this constantly before every play.
    I think you can have multiple players shifting as long as they are not set and then stay set for one count before the ball is snapped.
    How many times do you see a punt returner signal for a fair catch near the goal line and then block
    a gunner trying to down the ball. This doesn’t get called.
    I just have a problem with any official that can be intimidated in making calls. They lose their objectivity and cease to be neutral.

  8. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    I’m no rules expert, to be sure. So far, I haven’t seen anybody give an expert analysis of that play, either.

  9. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Of course, I watch the games with the sound off, so how would I hear one if they did give it?

  10. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    You are a student of the game.
    That’ll teach me to stop multi-tasking during the game. I was mashing potatoes to make a Shepherd’s Pie for lunch and was paying more attention to the potatoes than Alex Smith. I missed the other hand signal.
    I favor the Bullwinkle Moose Ears signal and the everyone shout signal. That’s something Harbaugh would do.

  11. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Shepherd’s Pie is a worthy distraction, though, no doubt about it.

  12. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t know the rules on fair catch either but my slant is that since the KO hit the ground first it can’t be fair caught. I’m also wondering why it would be a penalty to signal the fair catch in that situation. I hope some reporter will cover it this week.

  13. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I thought the illegal shift was a bad call. It is my understanding that a team can shift as many as they want as long as they are set for one second before the snap.

  14. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Good point. If it’s not legal, then what does it matter if he’s waving his arm or not? What makes that deception any different than some other kind of fake out maneuver?
    In the video above, check out Justin Smith’s fake fall down. He needs some work on that one.

  15. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Calling two plays in the huddle can be considered canny but I do not like it. I creates too many delay of game penalties along with needing to call unnecessary TOs. I would rather call one play, get to the line quicker and then audible if necessary. Maybe it is a crowd noise thing, allowing for hand signals instead of needing to yell out an audible.

  16. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I say give Justin Smith an Ocsar! The penalty looked legit, Justin just sold it better.

  17. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Here’s Shanny (tee hee)

  18. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    GrumpyGuy might steal that photo for his new avatar.

  19. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    The funny thing about Justin Smith is the two second pause before he flipped over.Then he acted like he was shot.

  20. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    This one’s for you. From Conan Obrien.
    Did you hear that Herman Cain was in Hamburg, germany a few years ago and was sexually harassing
    Heidi Klum. She kept saying “Nein, Nein, Nein” and that’s where he got his tax idea.

    I hope I don’t have to explain this to you.

  21. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    Another week.another win…man i could really get use to this…the offense has been a bit vanilla..but i believe its been by design…saving the good stuff for later in the year…hopefully starting with this weekend against NY Giants….although a loss wouldn’t derail would give the doubters a chance to raise questions about the legitimacy of the Niner’s record…the Giants are becoming the Media darlings with their last couple of wins …would really love to see the Niners hand them a beat down…nobody could say they ‘surprised’them with a good effort….my sportbook has the Niners a 3 1/2 point favorite…BTW…how about those Raiders…losing to the worst QB in the league…hahahahahaha…and Palmer their savior on a pace to throw 30 something int’ a half a season…hahahahaha

  22. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    bullit- He gets my vote for doing anything sexual with Heidi Klum.
    Like a lot of ideas, the 9,9,9 plan is a good one. But who thinks it would stay at 9,9,9. In theory it sounds good, reality makes it a bad idea. This is the basic tenet of the Democrat Party. Good sounding theories that, in reality, don’t work. Cain should rethink his 9,9,9 plan.
    My idea is to have a national sales tax. It would only be passed if the income tax was abolished concurrently.

  23. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Tony- Good point, we need a loss to get some of the doubters to come back and talk to us again. This site tends to be more positive than the others. Personally, I like that.

  24. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Interesting that the Broncos took a Field Goal off the scoreboard near the end of the first half
    ran a nother 3 downs and then missed the FG and ended up with zip. In the 4th quarter when the game was tied the announcers were remarking how good that FG would’ve looked at the time. Turns out a punt return and long run made that point moot, but there are no automatics when taking points off the scoreboard.

  25. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    Come back over to SF Gate.
    Hater Trolls are abundant.
    Trying to figure out which one is V now since he’s gone off the grid.
    I hate guys that don’t stick to their guns. Bandwagon fans are the absolute worst. they expect you to just forget all the crap that they fed you for 10 months
    and act like we’re one big happy family. In the back of you mind you know they’ll turn on the team when things get bumpy.
    Just because I supported the team at the start of year I was called an idiot homer. Now the same guy wants to be my pal because after 5 weeks he decided we were for real and his gravy train?

  26. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    bullit- I tend to be a very positive person. This attitude gets you killed on the blogs by the know-it-alls. I always thought we had talent, but we had bad coaching, Nolan and Sing. I can’t say yes or no if Erickson was a bad coach, he was doomed by Donahue.
    I’ve been cursed at over and over for saying this team has talent. Anybody disagree now? My worry was if Harbaugh was going to be a good coach after getting burned twice by coaches that I was very enthusiastic about their hirings. So far, so good.
    I say, “never mind the bullocks” and have fun on the blogs. If it becomes stressful, get a job. Or get a hobby if you have a job.

  27. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    bullit- I went to log on at the Gate and it didn’t work. I don’t have time to figure it out today.

  28. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    bullit- I tried logging on again and it worked. I didn’t post anything.
    I did read some comments. Seems the thing for the Alex haters is to say he can never win a Super Bowl. Why not? I don’t see any reason he can’t. If Dilfer is a game manager, then Alex is a megastar game manager. Dilfer sucked compared to Alex. Did anybody notice Dilfer won a Super Bowl?
    I’m not sure if it is the game plan or the QB that is not so aggressive but Alex and Harbaugh seem to be good for each other. They seem to think alike. I want to see a more open game plan but Harbaugh didn’t go very aggressive with Andrew Luck last year. This QB and coach might just be right for each other.
    And I do believe if Alex is still here in ensuing years he will win a Super Bowl. Heck, why not this year? I’m going to say this for the first time, I think Alex Smith is a good QB, one that can win a Super Bowl!

  29. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Wow, I think I just jumped off of the fence and on to the Alex Smith bandwagon!

  30. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    And on the 7th day, the earth moved.

  31. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    People who say Smith can’t win a SB are the same ones who said he couldn’t win the starting job, then he wouldn’t last six games, then he couldn’t lead us to the playoffs, then he couldn’t win a playoff game, and now he can’t win a SB. These people are the ones who have actually jumped on the Smith bandwagon the hardest!

  32. robNo Gravatar says:

    ok SKEEBS … superbowl ?

    first how about

    (cue jim mora)

    PLAYOFFS !!???

    PLAYOFFS !!!??

  33. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    rydordy just posted on the Gate that every defense we have faced so far is middle or near top of pack in the NFL. Is this true? This would make our offense look a bit better!

  34. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Lol, I think I’ve said some of those things about Alex before,and worse. Thankfully, I really don’t mind being wrong on some things, and this is one of those things. I can’t remember him having the pocket presence that he has now, I still think he holds onto the ball a little too long but what the hell do I know.

  35. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    He’s right except for Tampa Bay.
    They are ranked 29. Seattle 16,
    Redskins 13,cowboys 12, Lions 11, Eagles 10, Browns 6, and Bengals 4.
    We are ranked 9th.
    The Haters were posting we played a bunch of cupcakes which is one dumb argument. You play the schedule given to you. That’s the way the NFL works.
    Anyway pretty impressive group we played on the defensive side.

  36. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    winder- There are some that can’t bear the thought of the Niners winning if Alex is the QB. They are dying inside right now. I just want to win, no matter who the QB is. That is you too! Just win baby!
    I’m fairly good at watching strategy as it pertains to skill sets. Most just blame the QB. I never gave any QB much of a chance with Sing, and Nolan was just a terrible strategist. He definitely knows more about football than I ever will, but that doesn’t make him a good strategist.
    Get me a D-line, a good QB and a good play caller and that will be a winning team. Fill in the adjacent parts to get better with each part you improve, until that team is competing each year for a SB title. I believe that we are currently one of those teams if we stay healthy.
    One thing I have to say about Harbaugh, I have never seen so much innovation in the running game. It looks boring but he (and Roman) can definitely strategize well. If one pays attention to what he is doing in the run game, this is very exciting. I’m watching to see which coordinator learns to math up against it. He is doing to the running game what Walsh did for the passing game. This is either new stuff or something I don’t remember seeing before. This is straight forward running with “We are here to fool you!” Alex just might be his perfect QB.

  37. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    In this offense, the biggest thing about the QB is not to turn the ball over. You don’t have to throw for 400 yards every week, just don’t give away cheap points. Alex has been able to nail that so far.

    As for SBs? How many guys playing now have won one? If you take away Peyton, whose future looks nonexistent, and Brady, who is getting up there, it’s a pretty short list. I would trade Alex straight up for Rodgers. Or Brees. Not for Rothlisberger because we don’t need the off-field drama. Eli is a toss -up, he is no better than Alex in my view. So, two guys. Compare that to two years ago, when there would be twenty guys on that list… or more… and you see how far he has come. It’s probably going to be the Packers…. but we have a chance. That’s more than you could say the last 8 years…

  38. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Anybody who gets to the playoffs has a chance. It’s not like the pre-salary cap days where dominant teams were really dominant. In baseball and football, you see wild card entries winning it all a lot, and top seeded teams rarely. All I’ve wanted out of this year is to get into the playoffs and set the foundation for doing it every year. Anything else is gravy.

  39. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    I’m getting a big bang out of seeing the Raiders flop, too. Yesteday’s loss to the Broncos was about as embarrassing as it gets. I’ve never seen a coach lose a team as fast as Hue seems to be losing his.

  40. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    What was said about Oakland is still true about the Raiders: There is no there, there. Its not a team, it’s a huge sucking leadership vacuum, and it has been ever since Crazy Al went around the bend. They need to bring in a big gun to drain that swamp unto the last drop.

  41. robNo Gravatar says:

    WE need to take advantage of smith’s mobility more with bootlegs rollouts and what-not !

  42. robNo Gravatar says:

    DEL if maclin has a big game tonight i might win both of my fantasy football games !

  43. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Anyone see the movie Bucky Larson, Born to be a Star?
    If not, Google it, then tell me whether Als’ kid (Mark)? is Bucky.
    As for Sunday, I’m hoping the NYG prepare all week to stack the box for Frank and, have Alex and Harbaugh open up the deep routes on that weak NYG Secondary.
    Would love to see Braylon and Vernon go off on these guys early and often. Get Crabtree and Kyle on their LBs too. We’ve been too conservative with the passing game thus far.
    Use Frank/Kendall & Dixon to sit on them in the Second Half.

  44. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Bullitt, you can’t call a fair catch on an onsides kick because the kick hits the ground.

  45. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Bergs, didn’t see yer earlier response to the fair catch thing.
    It’s a penalty to try and deceive the kicking team by signalling a fair catch that isn’t possible. Esp on an onsides kick. Everyone knows the guy catching the ball gets nailed. If you signal a fair catch and then run with the ball, it’s a delay of game penalty.

  46. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    These penalties on onsides kicks are only significant if they determine possession or a do over.
    They ought to penalize a punt returner calling for a fair catch who then blocks an opponent trying to down the ball. It gives the guy that called the fair catch a free shot when the other team isn’t supposed to touch him.

  47. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    We get the #1 Fox broadcast crew this week of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. I think it’s more because of the NY Giants.
    One thing they haven’t cleaned up is Ahmad Brooks and his offsides penalties of at least one a game.
    It’s driving me crazy that he needs to get the jump. The penalty is not worth it as 80% of the time you are giving them a first down.

  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