Last Chance Saloon

The upcoming 49er game against the Oakland Raiders has taken on a gruesome spectacle aura. Are the Niners really going to lose and see their record fall to 0-6? Is Alex Smith going to finally and completely go down in flames? Is Mike Singletary going to explode/implode? Is the team going to give up on itself? Wimp out. Shrug and say, “Never mind”?

Raider fans have not yet come anywhere near having the sort of high hopes that Niner fans carried into this season. Their team is finally showing signs of credibility and that is making the Raider season a success already. Last Sunday, they broke a 13 game losing streak to the San Diego Chargers. A loss to the Niners this Sunday will hurt, but it will not be devastating.

The Niners have no such luxury of modest expectations. Indeed, this season is bringing to a head the entire rebuilding effort begun in 2005 by Mike Nolan and carried forward since mid-2008 by Singletary. An 8-8 season this year would have been viewed by most fans as a tremendous disappointment. A LOSING season will be catastrophic. Especially a losing season that is as epic as this one is so far showing itself to be.

The fan in me wants to believe that the stage is set for one of the most compelling and dramatic seasons in 49er history. That the team will stop the bleeding Sunday and go on an extended winning streak, confounding the doomsayers and vultures that are circling Centennial Blvd. in ever growing hungry numbers. Putting together a season for the ages and maybe even an NFL Films classic.

For that to happen, Alex Smith will have to go out on the field Sunday and take control not only of the team, but the entire franchise. Not many people think this is even remotely possible, but not many people believed in Eli Manning in 2007, either.

Even if it is not possible, at least it is a requirement, and that alone makes this game Sunday a turning point for the 49ers franchise. Singletary is probably already done in these parts, but Smith still has life, however feeble his pulse at this point. He will either succeed and the team will become a force or he will fail and the team will die along with him. There is no way David Carr is going to rally this team. The most he can do is help it finish out the season.

That Smith knows he is down to his last chance is what makes this moment worth watching. For him, it is the defining moment in his NFL career. The game where he either cements himself as a franchise QB or begins the long, irrelevant journey of an NFL backup QB.

My wife thinks football is pretty stupid stuff. But when I tell her all the Lifetime Movie elements that this coming Sunday presents, I’m betting she sits down and watches a 49er game for the first time in her life.

•   •   •   •   •  

Yesterday, there was some discussion on this blog about Eagles RB LeSean McCoy’s 29 yard TD run against the Niners last Sunday. Matt Maiocco weighed in on this play and gave Abrayo Franklin, as well as some other Niner players, a thumbs down. 29 yard TD runs always have more than one culprit involved. It’s a team game. At any rate, for those of you who like to have your own opinion, or like to measure Maiocco’s reliabilty, or just like the pretty pictures, NoFear has coughed up the visual evidence for us below.

•   •   •   •   •  

NoFear’s Replay of McCoy’s 29 yard TD run



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17 comments on “Last Chance Saloon
  1. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Looks to me like Mays (23) did not recognize the run and wasn’t there for support on the weak side. Goldson saw run and Michael Lewis probably would have seen it too and met McCoy at the line. Rookie mistake. The face mask on Soap is pretty glaring. Guess we can trot out the Refs Killed Us factor, after all. Instead 7 pts against us, Eagles would have had a 1st and 25.

  2. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebs- Good teams get calls, we are not one of those.

  3. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Here comes my daily rant. An offense can’t be successful with Moran Norris as the focal point. Fire Third and Long Mike!
     
    You can just make this yur first comment every day unless we see change. Fat chance of that happening. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  4. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Maiocco says Norris played 26 snaps. Can you believe that? He actually played about 10 snaps MORE than the Atlanta game. And dropped that critical 1st down pass that would have gained 6+ yards and maybe we don’t punt instead.

  5. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Meanwhile, Westbrook sits on the bench. Is there any coach in the league who would choose Norris over Westbrook?

  6. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Only one, Skeebs, only one…

    NoFear – awesome work on the stills. It was indeed a group effort on the D breakdown. Total Charlie Foxtrot.

  7. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    From Branch at the P-D: eight first downs in the first half against Philly. Eight Gore runs. Five yards and one turnover net.

    Think we might be a tad predictable?

    Good grief. To paraphrase Stengel, can anyone here coach this game?

    http://blog.pressdemocrat.com/49ers/2010/10/new-oc-but-singletarys-fingerprints-still-on-offense.html

  8. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I just looked at this play again. The arrow on the 5th still shows McCoy going around Willis. He actually cuts inside. I think Goldson took the correct gap but the RB made a great cut inside the block on Willis. Mays did not get over but the play broke down because Franklin got pushed to the ground. I guarantee if we have a stud 2 gapping NT in on that play it goes for no gain. Give me Casey Hampton, Kelly Gregg or Vince Wilfork. Yes it was a team effort, it always is, but Franklin just killed us on this play.

  9. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Rob should be checking in pretty soon to suggest we sign Merriman now that the Chargers have released him.

  10. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Merriman has lost a lot of his explosiveness since he got hurt. He might be worth a flier though. Bring him into TC next year and see if he can be a third down specialist going forward.

  11. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    Don’t be too hard on AF, Berger, coach said he’s still working out the kinks.
     
    “Sometimes when a guy doesn’t go through training camp, it shows,” Singletary said.
     
    Now what was Franklin doing that was so important that he couldn’t attend training camp? Oh yeah, that’s right. He was busy thinking how he was going to spend all that $7M the Niners paid him.

  12. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Fuck AF. He’s old, and just bought himself a ticket out of town. He won’t get shit regarding a contract unless he wakes up and smells the reality.

    For all the abuse heaped on Smith (NoFear), the pla calling is still a glaring fucking weakness on this team.

    How much does Indy run the gun/spread? 75%? 80%? tHERE IS no reason they can’t run this offense.

    None except Singletary is too scared to be labelled ‘finesse.’

    For 19 games, Sing somehow didn’t notice that the team moved the ball and scored points when playing in hurry-up or spread formations. I figured he’d give Johnson a LITTLE leeway regarding the offense. Well, no.

    Back to the same stodgy offense that sputters and stalls as it tries to stubbornly establish the run.

    better to be labelled a smashmouth failure than a successful finesse team.

    Thanks, Mike. You fucked the team JUST like yer predecessor did in 2007. Not learning from your mistakes, and bashing your head against the same brick wall. “It’s the players, not the plays.” “Execution.” “I have to go look at the tape.”

    Fuck me for thinking you had a clue, Mike.

  13. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    IOW, nothing will truly have been resolved by Smith until the fucking coach lets him play. 6 years in the league, and they’ve never played to Smith’s strengths.

    Granted, he fucks up at inopportune times, but better to have a LEAD when you have your brain fart, rather than down by 7. The fumble was a bad breaker. He does that with a 14 point lead, it doesn’t hurt so much.

    Fuck it. It’s good theatre in that we get to see how they completely brain-freeze another possible victory.

    Fuck Singletary. Fuck Jimmy Hat Raye. Fuck Manusky. Promote Mike Johnson and let him run the offense.

  14. robNo Gravatar says:

    i still think it sucks the refs blew such a blatant facemask penalty ! sop would have saved our bacon on that play !

    i wonder if having mike lewis in on that play would also have helped !

    franklin and willis blockers are trying to do similar things …
    77 put AF on the ground here

  15. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    You write me nasty emails, I’ll post nasty words on your blog, Skeebs!!

    JK…

  16. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Rob, that happens on about 75% of every play of every game. They catch maybe 5 a year.

  17. robNo Gravatar says:

    i understand some holding and what-not chuck , but that was a pretty clear facemask ! those are kind of easy to spot !

2020 Schedule
9-13: L Cardinals 24, 49ers 20
9-20: W 49ers 31, Jets 13
9-27: W 49ers 36, Giants 9

10-4: L Eagles 25, 49ers 20
10-11: L Dolphins 43, 49ers 17
10-18: W 49ers 24, Rams 16
10-25: W 49ers 33, Patriots 6

11-1: L Seahawks 37, 49ers 27
11-5: L Packers 34, 49ers 17
11-15: L Saints 27, 49ers 13

BYE

11-29: W 49ers 23, Rams 20

12-7: L Bills 34, 49ers 24
12-13: L Washington 23, 49ers 15
12-20: L Cowboys 41, 49ers 33
12-26: W 49ers 20, Cardinals 12

1-3: L Seahawks 26, 49ers 23

2020 Draft Class
1. DT Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
1. WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
5. OL Colton McKivitz, West Virginia
6. TE Charlie Woerner, Georgia
7. WR Jauan Jennings, Tennessee
 
2020 Prognostications (Mulligan Version)
WINNERS:
Bullit: 6-10
NJ49er: 6-10

LOSERS:
Skeebers: 7-9
Winder: 4-12

ABSTAINERS:
Grumpy: DNP
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