Gut Check Game

Thursday night’s game is looking like the most crucial 49er game of the year. A Seahawks loss would give them an 0-3 division mark, probably handing the 49ers any tie breaker scenarios at season’s end. On the other hand, if the Niners can’t beat them at Candlestick, there’s little chance they can beat them at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

So, which team is going to show up Thursday? The dominant powerhouse that easily whipped the Packers, Lions, Jets, and Bills. Or the discombobulated mess that was easily whipped by the Vikings and Giants. The defense is playing well enough to be ranked 3rd in the league and first in 3rd down defense, but they are not getting interceptions or sacks — the game changing plays that were so prevalent in 2011.

That’s put the spotlight squarely on the offense, which is better than last year’s but prone to self-destruct if the team falls behind. When the Niners get the lead, they are tough to beat. They can control the game with their running and methodical passing, and even toss in a big play here and there, and wear you out. In their four victories, they’ve put up 30, 27, 34, and 45 points. In the two losses, they’ve puked out 13 points and 3.

It does not appear that any of our blognoscenti have a clue what will happen Thursday night. Don’t look at me for help, guys, not that you would, but if you did, don’t. Let’s hope Jim Harbaugh, Greg Roman, and Vic Fangio do have a clue. The Giants loss has thrust the team back into the nobody-believes-in-us role, which Harbaugh nurtures and cherishes. Enough with the We’re the Champs even though We’re Not attitude.

The team has responded well in the past to defeats, but the Giants game was more than a defeat. It was a manhood stripper. They pants us, kicked dirt in our face, and stole our girl friend.

These short week Thursday night games don’t leave any time to install new plays, so each team is basically coming in with a what-you’ve-seen-is-what-you’ll-get situation. Your men against our men. Coaching and game plans are de-emphasized and best team wins.

Nobody expects a high-scoring game. Both defenses are excellent. The Niners have a better offense, but the Seahawks have pulled three games out of their rears at the buzzer and have better special teams, an area of 49er weakness in 2012 that is going to cost us a game if we don’t clean up our act fast. We’re losing the field position battle this year, which was a strength last year.

I do not want to spend the next eleven days trying to purge from my mind an image of Pete Carroll jumping around happily on his sideline at game’s end. That is for sure. Too much to bear. Agony. I am demanding a victory, 49er guys. I don’t care how. Bring in Tonya Harding, if necessary. Are you listening? BEAT THESE BUMS!

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97 comments on “Gut Check Game
  1. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Just reminding you that different angles and coach’s film is avaiable $34 for rest of the season $39 for all of the NFL.

  2. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Fangio says pass rush is not the problem. Is this spin because it feels different but stats support his view.

  3. 12th manNo Gravatar says:

    Nice post Skeebs, captured the consensus feeling of the Faithful ” I am demanding a victory, 49er guys. I don’t care how. Bring in Tonya Harding, if necessary. Are you listening? BEAT THESE BUMS!”.

  4. winderNo Gravatar says:

    This is a must win game for us, there can be no doubt about it. We have to deflate those Seachickens. If we do lose this game the whole organization should be forced to watch Carrolls celebration daily for the rest of the season.

  5. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    I was neigbors with Tonya when she moved in and tried to hide across the street after her whack job, while she was training for the Olympics and forgetting to check her shoelaces.
    No thank you. Having the FBI and the worldwide paps crawling all over the place was more than I want to go through again.
    You keep her.

  6. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Win these next two National TV games, and nobody will ever remember the Gints game.

  7. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    I was a computer consultant and have fingers, will travel, and had a really nice to place to live in Beaverton, OR, for that contract.
    Tonya ruined it really quickly. WHACK, WHACK.
    One game at a time. But the next two are winnable, and would be sweet.

  8. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    “Alex is a great… No, he’s a good QB striving to be great. If the Niners make the SB this year, he will be an integral part and a team leader.”
    I can live with that assessment today from Steve Young.

  9. 12th manNo Gravatar says:

    Link plz RT

  10. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:


  11. 12th manNo Gravatar says:


  12. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Don’t have time at the moment 12th. Down by 1 in the 7th, 2 on 1 out and a new pitcher coming in.

  13. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Scheist. Replacement refs did better.

  14. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Blast. They might be enough in this game.

  15. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Chuck, I wanted Sing to take over as full-time HC (if you couldn’t get Holmgren, or just for a year), then turn it over to Holmgren.
    I never called for Holmgren to be team god; I just thought he’d be a fine HC coming home to SF.
    Don’t pin it all on V and Spitty. I wanted Holmgren, too.

  16. 12th manNo Gravatar says:

    Holmgren was a decent coach, just not a good GM/Coach.

  17. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    One thing I hope to see tomorrow nite is some determination.
    Get rolling quickly, don’t let up.
    Also, make some NOISE if you’re at that game.
    Seattle has their 12th Man, we had people leaving early on Sunday.
    Make it a home field ADVANTAGE.
    Screw with their ability to get off on time.

  18. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Rob, what?
    Here’s Pete Carroll coaching against Jim Harbaugh.;_ylt=AhgJD7Q95jt6MkoTwKyKgSKbvZx4?fr=yfp-t-521-s&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&p=blazing%20saddles%20toll%20booth
    I couldn’t shorten it or figure out a longer clip, AMC has the rights.

  19. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    No kidding on this post. This is a great documentary.
    Also gives you my opinion of Pete Carroll and his coaching.
    Pete was one of the cartoons.

  20. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    It takes one skill set to be the leader in the locker room, and creative leader on the field. It takes a whole different skill set to be the guy who does the GM job. With all due respect to Parcells, usually the guy who is good at buying the groceries is NOT the guy who is good at cooking the meal. Walsh was one exception. Guys like Holmgren and Shanahan prove the rule.

  21. barleyfreakNo Gravatar says:

    Alright I’ve licked my wounds and am ready to see some daylight again. After a thorough outplayed/outcoached Sunday, it’s time to get on another two game roll. Or maybe three. I’ll start with one. Lots of running, lots of punting, penalties, roughing, fighting, ugly offense-free football on a Thursday night. 16-9, Niners.
    We’ll wake up 5-2 on Friday, questioning our offense, Smith, the meaning of life, and hopefully not Lincecum. Go all ye SF.

  22. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    “Here is the play diagram for the game-winning touchdown against the Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII. Because the primary receiver (Roger Craig) was lined up wrong…”

    I can't draw it on here. I'll learn. x was the first pop, but the long one to the z was 2. The h out/slant was 3rd.
    Roger ran the wrong route. Stuff happens in football.

  23. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    I never could learn how to draw,so I shouldn’t have tried to draw that play.
    The sky is not falling after that beat down by the Giants, but the skys are forming in Seattle.
    Time is running for the Hawks to fly high. It won’t last long.
    Beedub, beedub, beedub, That’s All Folks!

  24. NoFear49erNo Gravatar says:

    Willis was pissed off at “that Millen guy”, but I think he was right. Just hard to hear when you just got your ass whipped.
    Seattle’s tough to run on, presses the wide outs and they come after the QB. What to do? Put in the game plan that we know how to play and execute. Execution’s on the players.
    I hope Staley’s up to it because the backup RG makes the RT easier to beat if Boone goes to LT. Besides I think three Davises in a row is pushing the fates.
    btw, Berger, Boone starting at RG is one I owe you.

  25. NoFear49erNo Gravatar says:

    Grumpy, that’s a fair point and there’s so much work there, organization, and excellent and happy assistants are what will allow you to succeed or cause you to fail as much as anything. Even Walsh had help.

  26. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Run up the middle. If Frank is hurting, run Kendall up the middle.
    Throw medium out routes to Moss, Manningham, and if you want the middle, Crabtree, but put it on the money.
    Defense. Special teams. Run, run, run.
    Run first. The two losses featured the BWO and it didn’t work. Go back to Ground Chuck.

  27. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    I forgot VD. He’ll be ready for the playoffs.

  28. robNo Gravatar says:

    ANYBODY here think the giants watched film of the vikings game and might have used some of the same things the vikings did against us ?

    is it me or did we show some quit there in the 4th quarter vs. the giants ?

    49ers 29 seahags 0


  29. barleyfreakNo Gravatar says:

    “ANYBODY here think the giants watched film of the vikings game and might have used some of the same things the vikings did against us ?”
    More like the Niners watched the game film of the Viking game and decided to use some of the same things that didn’t work against them. Or something like that.

  30. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NoFear- You owe me nothing.
    Sometimes I’m right,
    sometimes I’m wrong.
    When it is all said and done,
    it is juat a blog!

  31. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Get the sweep rolling. Once accomplished the Super bowl is ours! The one thing the SCO formations are good for is running the sweep against big physical linemen like the Seahawks have. Bunch them in tight and run around them. When they adjust their splits wider to cover, go up the middle. If they are doing too much two gapping to stop the run, drop back and go deep. When all that stops working because the one gap schemes are not giving us time to drop back, spread the formations to make them declare their intentions and just pick them apart slowly. All that said, nothing else matters if the sweep is rolling.

  32. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Niners win 24-6.

  33. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Niners 16-13

  34. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    23-16 Niners. A late pick seals the game. Rogers knock of dropping ints stops for one night . . .

  35. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    First time I’ve heard you endorse the SCO, bergs . . .

  36. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    First nad foremost, they need to lay off the gimmicks. Play sound football.
    Free your mind and your ass will follow.

  37. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Those words are for Jim Harbaugh.

    Of course, Pete Carroll is Maggot Brain.

  38. NoFear49erNo Gravatar says:

    Berger, was that a poem? ‘cuz it didn’t rhyme wortha sh!t.
    You called that one and I said it wouldn’t happen. Don’t get used to it.
    That’s funny Barleyfreak. I was thinking the same thing. I hope we’re done with that madness.

  39. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    There are uses for the SCO. I don’t like it as a base offense. Most all sports require spacing to allow the play makers to excel. Football is like that. It was Walsh’s philosophy. That is where I heard it first. It is also a major factor in basketball, soccer and hockey. When a team loses sight of spacing they become subject to being overplayed and it becomes force on force instead of good strategy. If we face a team with a decimated D-line why not go SCO and bull doze them. Rarely do match ups like that present themselves. Seattle is not decimated and are not likely to be bull dozed but they have some big slow D-linemen. I would like to see us try to bunch them and run around with sweeps. If it does not work, go with better spacing.

  40. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NoFear- I am not a poet,
    and I do know it!

  41. NoFear49erNo Gravatar says:

    Berger, yeah, spread the receivers. We have fast enough receivers now to make it work and Crabs and VD underneath. Alex must look at more than one of them, however.
    Staley’s questionable last I read. Can we protect the QB well enough to make deep routes even threatening without him playing?
    Those sweeps need a lot of players to be on the same page and on time to be effective. Difficult to get it right.
    Kaep will play. The question is how big a role?
    Peter King brings up the notion of doing away with the extra point. So few games affected by it against all the time required for it, I’m not sure it’s a bad idea. And I’m pretty old-school on stuff like that.

  42. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    What about teh 2 pt conversion?

  43. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    You could have the option of taking the seven, or taking six and trying for two. Personally, I don’t find the PAT that offensive, but it would not upset me much to see a change, either.

  44. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. Nah.

  45. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    I guess back in the day those extra points were harder to do. They are nearly automatic, but when they do fail, the consequences can be fatal. I remember a NO game where they came back and scored a TD on a crazy-ass seemingly game-tying play as time expired, only to blow the extra point and lose by 1.

  46. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:


    Joe Vetrano, back in ancient times, hit only 92%. Gordie Soltau was shy of 94%. Tommy Davis – a guy who got WAY less respect around SF than he deserved – hit well over 99% and set the record for consecutive PATs that stood for a long, long time. He could not kick for distance, but he was deadly accurate on PATs and was a great punter as well for most of his career.
    The Gone but Never Forgotten (miserable SOB) Steve Mike-Mayer hit an atrocious 86 percent.
    In modern times, Nedney and Akers have NEVER missed a PAT. 205 kicks, no misses.

  47. NoFear49erNo Gravatar says:

    The point made was something like 20 missed PATs since 2010 season started. (no pun intended)
    King offers moving the kick back, mandatory two pointer, and drop kicks as possible alternatives. Interesting debate I think.

  48. robNo Gravatar says:

    so i guess from seeing the response to my last post that no one here is worried that teams might have picked something up from the gameplan the vikings used to beat us ! does harbaugh just have to open things up a bit and show some more things offensively ? we all know kappy had no chance on a few of the plays he was in on !
    another question i have is how come it was so easy for people to see how kappy was so handicapped by the gameplan and didn’t see it when alex smith had such bad coaching for so many years ?

  49. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    So far there isn’t a CK negative observation cult here like Alex Smith has.

  50. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Negative Observation Cults only form when someone actually wins the starting job. Every backup QB is everyone’s effing sweetheart.
    Except for David Carr, of course. He was sufficiently awful for fans to only need to see him once.

  51. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Looks like Staley is playing, Manningham out, Jacobs in.

  52. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    It’s the old backup QB symdrome. No one is as good as the guy that isn’t playing . . .

  53. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Screw both Alex and Kaep. I’m ready for the Tolzien era to begin.
    19-16 Blue and Green.

  54. NoFear49erNo Gravatar says:

    DeLuca, I think it was our game plan agains the Vikings and Giants that did us in, not theirs. What do you think the Vikings did differently to beat us?
    Who blamed coaching for Kaepernicks missed throws and bad decisions?
    Folks start screaming to see what the backup can do when the starter flops. A lot of backups got to be starters that way.
    They get paid a lot of money to play fooball. Hard to blame fans for not thinking an adequate game manager hurt us with his three turnovers. Except, of course, for those who think Alex walks on water.

  55. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Dennis, the Coyotes’ worthy opponent gets 4 points just enough to win by 0.34 points, on Thursday right before the next game?
    Nothing like Vegas gamblers.
    The Coyotes went from 3rd to 7th without a down being played in the NFL.
    That’s the red flag on the field. I want it reviewed. We want our win back.

  56. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    What did John Belushi cough at the Greek council meeting in Animal House?

  57. NoFear49erNo Gravatar says:

    Same thing said about Goldson’s gift to the hawks and burning two TOs already.

  58. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Make that our 3rd and final TO already, NoFear.
    Reminds me of the Mike Martz days.

  59. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebers, like we checked our guts at the door tonight so far.

  60. NoFear49erNo Gravatar says:

    Hope we don’t need a challenge.
    Maybe a Kaep play in the red zone, if we see it again.

  61. NoFear49erNo Gravatar says:

    Better get Vernon into the game.

  62. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    We need to keep it close and hope Harbaugh has some magic pixie dust at halftime.
    Not a good game, for the second week.

  63. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    WTF was that? Why are they passing like Alex is Peyton Manning?

  64. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    The wasted timeouts meant we could not use Gore on that last drive.

  65. robNo Gravatar says:

    right … more vernon , and some kappy too next half imo

  66. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Could be 30 minutes to Internet Armageddon.

  67. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    We lost the running game again. Jim, RUN, RUN, RUN.
    Just ‘cuz Frank only gets 3 on first down, don’t suddenly think this offense is Air Freakin Coryell.

  68. NoFear49erNo Gravatar says:

    What’s with all the deep shots? The idea is to send some deep and take the reliable underneath stuff when it’s there that may break open on YAC. A single TD is most valuable in this one. Hell, it may be the team with one wins.

  69. winderNo Gravatar says:

    We are showing absolutely no confidence on offense. i think Gore took a pretty hard hit on the next to last series and he might be in there more as a decoy than a RB. Alex is looking terrible in just about every way and our OL can’t hold back Seattle rush. We are being outplayed again and it shows, not so much in the score but you can bet the players know it.

  70. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t get what Harbaugh is doing. This is not our game. Nothing to VD, and high risk passes that aren’t happening.

  71. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Now as the field compresses you need a play or two from Alex to get us close to the goal line

  72. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    There is one, to Crabs.

  73. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    There is your other one, to Walker.

  74. robNo Gravatar says:

    nice job at half by the coaches ! they want to put a corner on vernon … let him clear for a WR !

    TD 9ERS !

  75. winderNo Gravatar says:

    It’s obvious the coaches looked at film at the half and decided for the dump off over the middle. A thing of beauty.

  76. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    I think Frank is tired from running so much.

  77. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    This was about as expected. The game featured two run heavy teams with the #1 and #4 defenses in the NFL by yards, 2nd and 3rd by points.

  78. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Their drops were the difference.

  79. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Alex had one bad play, but it didn’t cost us when we got the 3 and out stop, then went down and scored with the short field anyway.

  80. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    It is hard to believe our receivers are so bad at getting open. At some point the coaches need to look in the mirror.
    They did get open a little after we scored a TD using the underneath routes.
    I was very surprised how well we ran the ball up the middle.

  81. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    How many Patrick Willises were on the field? He was everywhere!

  82. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    1st place feels good!

  83. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Freank Gore needs 464 yards to become the 49ers all time leading rusher!

  84. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Frank and the D are weary, bruised and battered after tonight’s game.
    Welcome to the NFC Worst divisional games.
    Crucial that we develop a passing attack. Now, not next week.
    That game tonight was brutal. Dodged a whole handful of bullets. If it had been a New Mexico shotgun, the Niners would be in 3rd place.

  85. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    What surprised me about Seattle is how much they one gapped on the D-line. They have many 2 gappers, Clemons is the only natural one gapper on the starting line. We ran traps and took advantage of the over penetration. It did help them in pressuring the QB but our coaches adjusted well. I have not watched Seattle this year but this is the first I have seen them shoot gaps like this. Maybe they saw the Giants do well with that, but that is what the Giants do well. They draft those kind of D-linemen for that kind of game plan.

  86. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    After 5 yards as long as the QB is in the pocket it’s defensive holding as the Seahags were chucking the receivers 10-20 yds downfield.
    Not one flag was thrown.

  87. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Niners now have 10 days to heal and prepare for the Cards.

  88. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Harbaugh cost a lot of Niner fans who bet on the 7.5 pt spread by declining the safety.
    In hindsight Harbaugh blew it by taking points off the board.
    It’s true that the Seahags could’ve tried an onside kick but Niners wol’d’ve been up by 9 and a 2 score margin.
    When Harbaugh thinks it through
    he should’ve taken the points because one of the tiebreakers is point differential but it would be one big longshot for that to occur.

  89. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Probably the wise decision, Bullit. In the heat of the moment, Jim wanted Pete to remember this one.

  90. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:
    Have a good night Coach Carroll. Not yet, I’m not done serenading you.

  91. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Coach, how’d it feel at Candlestick today?

  92. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    I just wanted to some 3-Dog Night while Skeebs and Mrs. Skeebs are asleep.
    Good luck trying to win the division, Pete. Hope your team had a good flight home, and is ready for our team in your house.
    Try to figure it out, Pete. I know it’s a long night.

  93. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

  94. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Wrong Bullit. There’s no reason to put the ST on the field for a free-for-all type onsides kick. What iof Walker or Brooks goes down with a knee injury? Then you put the defense on the field for a play or 3. Cappy should have scored in the Jets game, then. He didn’t, to save the ST and defense from having to risk unnecessary injury out there.
    You going to count ungotten points from now on? 9 would be the answer.
    Better to take the knee and get off the field with the win without risking undue injury. Harbaugh well learned his lesson when Josh Morgan went down last year in garbage time. He isn’t making that mistake again.
    Point differential is what, 4th on the list of determining factors? The more salient point is the Niners are 1-0 in division games, and Seattle is 0-3.

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