Okay, fellow blogpulsive disorders, it’s time once again for the annual NFL Reality Show predictions. Get out those chin scratchers and hmmm mullers and make a wild, hair-brained guess, gussied up as expertise. What will the 49ers’ record be for 2012?
Predictions will be accepted throughout the week and the booth will close at midnight Saturday. Sorry, Chuck, only one prediction per customer. The winner (or closest to actual record) will be announced after the regular season ends. The prize winner(s) will be able to gloat for an entire year. Last year’s winner was … let me see, who was it? Who’s that handsome dude in the mirror there?
Despite rampant blog frustration, Jim Harbaugh put nothing on tape during the preseason that opponents didn’t already have from last year. Virtually no effort was made to show off either Randy Moss or Mario Manningham, the prize offseason acquisitions. Nor was anything displayed during the team’s trips to the Red Zone other than the vanilla power ball sets.
The offense opened up in the fourth preseason game, but that was scrubeenie time, where tackles and blocks are missed and everybody gets open. Playground ball. In addition, none of the starters were involved, so none of the tape is particularly useful. Half of the players in that game are no longer on the team, and the other half won’t be playing.
So, we’re almost as much in the dark about what we’ll see on opening day as we were last year. Coming off a 13-3 record, versus a 6-10 record, does lighten the weight of the darkness considerably, though. At least for one game.
It doesn’t dispel the weight of the monkey on the back of this franchise, though. The opening day opponent, the Green Bay Packers, have had the 49ers’ number for most of the past fifteen years. They are 13-1 against us, with the T.O. catch playoff game after the 1998 season being the Niners lone victory. That’s plain old outright embarrassing.
Meanwhile, we have the curious case of Parys Haralson, long time marginally talented OLB, stirring up the pot in the week leading up to game one. Haralson has been placed on IR and replaced by veteran LB Clark Haggans. Nobody knows exactly what’s wrong with Parys or why the Niners are being so secretive about it. Perhaps we’ll get the mutilated answers in Harbaugh’s press conference today. Parys was not going to play a whole lot this year and his contract for next year is too pricey for a backup, so this story should be falling into the yawner bin. The team’s refusal to discuss the matter is all that is giving the story traction.
The players return to work for real today to begin preparations for the Green Bay game next Sunday. If I were a chaplain, this would be a good time to praise the Lord and pass the armor. Another NFL season is upon us at last. Go 49ers!