Return to the Big Stage

How the West Was Won

Week 1: 09-11-11 — 33-17 win over Seattle (Whew. We HAD to win this one)

Week 2: 09-18-11 — 24-27 loss to Cowboys (Veeerrry disappointing. We blew it. Same old, same old)

Week 3: 09-25-11 — 13-8 win over Bengals (Hey! We won a road game in Eastern Time Zone!)

Week 4: 10-02-11 — 24-23 win over Eagles (WOWWW!! Unbelievable!)

Week 5: 10-09-11 — 48-3 over Bucs (Geez, this team might be good!)

Week 6: 10-16-11 — 25-19 over Lions (WE ARE FOR REAL!!!)

Week 7 was a BYE week, the team was 5-1, with three eastern road wins and a three game lead in the NFC West. With games coming up against Cleveland and Washington, 7-1 was a near certainty and it was clear that the 49ers were going to win the division and go to the playoffs. The rest of the year was a long, sweet ride on the bandwagon. When we whipped the Giants and Arizona to get to 9-1, the sights were raised to the Number Two Seed in the playoffs.

And here we are. 13-3 and closing the season on a three game win streak. Taking a week off from pregame anxiety, basking in success, and planning for a pleasant weekend seeing which four teams will be sent to the scrap pile along with the twenty regular season teams that have already landed there.

Of the eight rooting galleries who will spend this weekend in high anxiety, not all will be devastated by defeat. The Bengals have a super young team that has surprised the entire league and looks ready to compete in the NFC North for years to come. None of their fans expect them to go to the Super Bowl and will walk away satisfied at just making the playoffs. The Lions were expected to be good this year, but their fans will feel okay with just making the playoffs, too.

The Texans expect a little more, but their season was sabotaged by injury and nobody expects them to get more than one victory before exiting stage right and savoring the first playoff appearance in their entire history. The Steelers, Giants, Falcons, and Saints will be crushed by anything less than a SB title.

And then there is Denver. They should be stunned at making the playoffs, but somewhere along the way they got the absurd notion that God was running their team, and will be spiritually confused and disoriented upon learning this is not so. In fact, there could be the overwhelming discovery that he who would be God is actually just Mike Singletary playing QB. Denver honcho John Elway knows this and is in the strange position of secretly hoping his team loses and loses big, so he can remedy the situation without fan hysteria interference.

This might be a week of detached gloating for 49er fans, but that surely isn’t the case for Jim Harbaugh and his coaches. The only smart play here is to prepare to face the Saints. The only other possible opponent next week would be the winner of the Giants/Atlanta game. That bridge is easier to cross than the mine field the Saints represent. An extra week of game planning and prep work might go a long way towards defusing the explosive Saints offense. The O-line needs to re-watch the butt whipping it got in the preseason by the Saints D-line, too. A repeat of that jail break would doom any chance the team has to win.

If there are no upsets in the Wild Card round, each conference should have two great offenses remaining and two great defences, going at it in the Divisional Round. It’s often said that defence wins championships, but this year’s offenses are going to provide a stern test of that old saying. Do the 49ers have any more miracles in their repertoire? We shall see.

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49 comments on “Return to the Big Stage
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    We don’t need to be fetial this week. We can sit back and relax. We earned the bye so that other teams can go to war this week.

  2. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Jerry Jones insists he’s the right GM for the Cowboys. The successor to nowdead Al marches inexorably towards his destiny.

  3. AlbertEinstinkleNo Gravatar says:

    This interesting…. for those with an open mind.

  4. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Stinky- I’ve been on to Flynn since last year. Unfortunately he was a RFA and GB kept him. This year I’ve got a QB who went 13-3 and a coach that wants him back. I’ll continue to worry about wins until we are out of the play-offs. Until then, switching QBs is for fans that can’t enjoy a nice winning season. Personally, I’m enjoying the heck out of this season.

  5. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I’m surprised you haven’t mentioned Flynn won a National Championship in college.

  6. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Again only the most ignorant of ignorant football fans would even try to apply 2011 salary cap numbers to 2012. That ignoramus has no clue how the system works.
    The imbecile also has the unrealistic expectation that Flynn will sign for $7 mil a year

  7. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    This kinds flew under the radar but was reported Dec 8, 2011 on CSN

    “Ahmad Brooks is one of a handful of players to reportedly turn down a long-term contract proposal from the 49ers.Others believed to have turned down an offer are RG Adam Snyder, TE Delanie Walker, ILB Larry Grant, and S C.J. Spillman. Brooks has expressed an interest in staying with the 49ers long-term, but he apparently wasn’t thrilled with the team’s offer”

    Team’s success makes the players more coveted and will cost the Niners. They have to be smart when they pick and choose who to re-sign.

  8. AlbertEinstinkleNo Gravatar says:

    What a crazy, mixed-up world it would be if the 49ers had a starting quarterback we both liked. Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do….

  9. barleyfreakNo Gravatar says:

    “Jerry Jones insists he’s the right GM for the Cowboys. ”
    Which for me, may just be proof enough of the existence of God.

  10. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    He works in mysterious ways. Welcome to salvation, Barley.

  11. AlbertEinstinkleNo Gravatar says:

    I believe in Jerry Jones, Jesus and Eli Manning. Oh, and Smore flavored pop tarts…

  12. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    I wish I was ambidextrous. I’m sitting here trying to eat Cheetos with my left hand so I don’t gunk up my mouse and keyboard with my right hand and my dog is getting sick eating the crud I drop on the floor.

  13. AlbertEinstinkleNo Gravatar says:

    I’ll tell you boys one thing… Gregg Williams is going to take away all of Alex Smith’s little tricks. We all know ’em. The Ted Ginn out pattern? You know what I’m talking about. Ginn runs the fastest ten yards in the history of man and then at the top of the route gets the cornerback to turn his hips and Ginn cuts it towards the sidelines? That’s been there all year. Williams will take that away because he’ll make Smith hit Ginn on the deep pass, and Smith won’t.

    The Crabtree game on the sidelines… up, down, up down, going deep, coming back. That’ll be gone. The wheel route? Doubt it’s there. Tackle eligible? Nope.

    I’m not kidding you. This is an honest question. How are the 49ers going score?

  14. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, that ‘outstanding’ NO defense was 30th in the league against the pass. 12th against the run.
    Hmmmmm. I think Jim can come up with something. It’s all about the blocking up front. Give Smith time, and he’ll find guys. Kyle Williams needs to be healthy. Get Reuland (the TE on the PS) out there as well if Delanie and Bonnie can’t go.

  15. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Did somebody mention Delaney & Bonnie?

  16. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    The ignoramus likes to cherry pick stats. Oooh scary!!! Blitz coming. Niners might as well not show up.
    Two interesting stats this year was Niners were +28 in turnovers and Saints were -3.
    Niners had 44 sacks this year which is 11 more than the Saints totalled at 33.
    All this anto Niner Hater propaganda. Somebody thinks their Hanoi Hannah trying to demoralize the Faithful.

  17. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Harbaugh might bring in the old Niners to talk to the team about the playoffs because this is uncharted territory for most.
    Bring in all the heavyweights
    as Niners have quite of roster.
    Not a pep talk per se but just
    a tutorial what to expect and how to handle situations. A teaching moment.

  18. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    This is much better, bergs:

  19. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Be that as it may, Bullit, NO’s blitz, and blitz pick-up in general, has been an on-again off-again problem for this team. I’m glad the team has the time off to get healthy and look at film.
    We got a taste of NO in the preseason. And it was flat awful. And, while the team has come a long way from there, the stretch of games with Balt, StL, and AZ (2 of which they lost), they gave up 18 sacks. Granted, they did improve that to 5 sacks in the last 3 games (including skunking Pitts), but you KNOW blitz-happy Saints DC Greg Williams is going to dial up the pressure early and often.
    That’s the problem with Uncle Spitty. 6,000,000 lines of bullshit with a nugget or 2 of truth every once in a while. The signal/noise ratio is off the charts.

  20. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Keeping Chilo off the field will help some against the blitz, but it’s still at least a potential problem going into the playoffs. The coaching staff had better prepare for it.
    If Snyder is serious about leaving – and I think it’s a dumb move, his value will be less than he thinks – we might need to replace both Snyder and Chilo this off-season.

  21. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Baas and Wragge sure found it a hard row to hoe once they got out of here. Though they are both starting when they are healthy enough. Smiley was good after he left. Same kind of situation. The FO didn’t want to pay for him. Plus they have guys like Person and Kilgore Trout waiting in the wings.
    Not too big a worry now. Just have to wait and see how these playoffs shake out.

  22. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Baas got big money from Giants, continued his trend of getting hurt, and is in the playoffs just like his former teammates. So are Abrayo, Clements, and Lawson. Not so for Spikes. Wragge got cut for a backup job, got one with Rams, then became starter over the high-priced FA that Mr. Zero raved about two years ago when he was touting the Rams who went 1-16. As the world turns.

  23. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Ahh, poor TKO. Backed the wrong horse yet again.
    Did you catch Nate Clements in the locker room crying last weekend? He was in a playoff drought nearly as long as TKO (11 years to TKO’s 14).

  24. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Missed that, Chuck, but good for him. Classy guy.

  25. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    He was pretty much the Alex Smith of the defense while with the 49ers. No way he could live up to that contract. He was very good against the bigger WRs (Larry Fitzgerald springs to mind) out there. The small fast guys ate him up.
    10 picks in 4 years for Clements. Rogers got 6 in 1.

  26. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    unca- Try this one. The Derek Trucks band plays it on Crossroads 2010 with Susan Tedeshci and Warren Haynes. I probabaly mispelled some names. With Clapton, Delaney and Bonnie:
    And the Crossroads version:

  27. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    I was never a huge fan of Delaney and Bonnie. Their stuff was usually a little too pop for me. But damn, they sure hung out with the right crowd. One of those songs they show pics of all the people D & B played with, Including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Dead, and obviously the Allman Bros, George Harrison and Eric Clapton.
    That 2010 version is pretty damn good, Bergs . . .

  28. robNo Gravatar says:


    ” they got the absurd notion that God was running their team, and will be spiritually confused and disoriented upon learning this is not so. ”

    oh jesus SKEEBS that’s FUNNY


    post of the month imho !

  29. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    You get Derek Trucks, his wife Susan T, along with Warren Haynes and anything they play will sound good. I’m going to find Midnight in Harlem from Crossroads. I’ll be right back. Here it is:

  30. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Speaking of music suprisingly this is from Sept 2011 of one of my favorites from college.

  31. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    rob- I think my wife is still mad at me for talking trash at you the other night. The fact we were both(especially me) drunk off our asses and laughing has not dissuaded here.

  32. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    bullit- Good one. Here’s my favorite Steely Dan song:

  33. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Berger,keep an eye on ‘Bama DT Josh Chapman on Monday night.
    Feisty inside guy that is very tough against the run.
    I’m adding him to the ‘List’.
    Might have to pass on OLB Courtney Upshaw in favor of DE Jared Crick.
    I’m thinking Poe might be too tall but, he’s intriguing at 350lbs.
    Crick is a younger Justin Smith, we need him in the rotation.

  34. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    I am wondering if Kellen Moore ends up being drafted by the Saints. Same size as Brees, he could be his clone. How he performs at the combine will be telling.

    Here’s ywo guys you might not have heard of from the Sporting News that the Niners might consider.
    “Ryan Tannehill (6-2, 222), senior, QB, Texas A&M

    Tannehill’s NFL potential finally took off after winning the starting job during the 2010 season. So far this year, he hasn’t disappointed.

    Tannehill has displayed much better pocket sense. Combined with his foot quickness and athleticism, he moves efficiently to avoid pressure and can re-set, either in the pocket or outside, with accurate throws. He does an excellent job of reading defenses. When he finds open receivers, Tannehill gets rid of the ball quickly and is usually on target. He is more poised than before, and doesn’t panic as plays breakdown. Also, he doesn’t throw the ball up for grabs to avoid sacks.

    Tannehill has good arm strength and does a good job of throwing the ball where only the receiver can make a play. For a player who was viewed as a likely fourth-round pick entering the 2011 season, we have heard scouts talk about him being a high second-round pick now. PROJECTED: Second round.

    Chase Minnifield (6-foot, 188), senior, CB, Virginia

    Minnifield, the son of former Cleveland Browns cornerback Frank Minnifield, has played so well in his two years as a starter that many believe he can become a better NFL player than his father. Chase Minnifield has the height NFL teams love. He also has long arms and natural ball skills, consistently breaking up or intercepting passes.

    In today’s NFL, many cornerbacks have the skills to play either as an outside cover or as a slot corner. That is where Chase helps himself greatly with better foot quickness and agility than most corners his size. Minnifield seems at ease playing off the ball in zone coverage. He has a good feel for spacing and is able to read and react quickly to passes.

  35. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    bullit- Del was on Tannehill last year. I got on the bandwagon at the beginning of the year. In following him this year I noticed he struggles at the end of games, closing them out. His team gave up a lot of games late. He wasn’t much of a closer. Everything else he was great at. When you look at his throwing motion, arm strength and quick release, along with good pocket awarness, someone might like him in rd #1.
    Minnefield. I like this kid a lot. He’s definietly on my radar for our 1st pick.
    Moore. He has it all, except arm strength, and a bit of a long release. I see him as a Ty Detmer type. He’ll have a long career and get some starts, but in the NFL you need a bigger arm. Sometimes when these kids get to the NFL they do develop better arm strengh. If he does he’ll be a good one. Probably 3rd round.

  36. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    FYI Here is the first chance to look at prospects away from their college teams from PFW

    Here are the college all-star games for 2012 NFL draft prospects that will be played following the 2011 season:

    Jan. 16, 2012
    Eastham Energy College All-Star Game — Kino Park, Tuscon, Ariz.

    Jan. 21, 2012
    East-West Shrine Game — Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla.
    The Battle of Florida — Florida Atlantic U Stadium, Boca Raton, Fla.

    Jan. 28, 2012
    Senior Bowl — Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Ala.

    Feb. 4, 2012
    Players All-Star Classic — War Memorial Stadium, AT&T Field, Little Rock, Ark.

    I guess the Hula Bowl is no more and too bad East-West Shrine Game is now being played in Rob’s back yard instaed of Palo Alto (used to be SF)

  37. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Lamar Miller RB from the U

    Preparing for the future

  38. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    bullit- I haven’t been following prospects as much as I have in the past. Maybe because we are not drafting in the top 10 this year. You just happened to pick 3 that I have actually been following.

  39. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Привет всем нашим русским читателям. Добро пожаловать в футбол 49er. И ебет монголы, тоже!
    Just a little shout out to our Russian fans.

  40. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Greg Manusky just got the axe in San Diego. Tee, hee, hee.

  41. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Niners worked out TE Cody Slate yesterday. He was one of KC’s last training camp cuts.
    Looks like Delanie Walker not able to go and shows lack of confidence in Conrad Reuland

  42. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, this’ll be a trying time for DCs. Got to winder about Nolan in Miami. Did Sing get swept out in Minnehaha?
    Curious about Reuland. He looked great in the preseason. He caught everything thrown his way, and he has decent size/speed. Not sure about his blocking, but . . .

  43. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Bruce Davis lasted one day on the PS. He’s been replaced today by OLB Ricky Elmore. Baalke is staying busy, it looks like.

  44. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Maiocco reports that both Kyle Williams and Ted Ginn are practicing today.
    Only D Walker is out.

  45. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Landry Jones is returning for his Senior Year at OU.
    No draft and no NFL for him in 2012.

  46. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Perhaps Elmore is insurance in case they can’t sign Ahmad Brooks.
    He looks good as a outside speed rusher!

  47. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Jimmy Raye sighting. I’m watching the Under Armour All American High School Game on ESPN right now. Jimmy Raye is one of the assiatnt coaches on Herm Edwards’
    White Team.
    The Black Team is coached by Steve Mariucci and his OC is Ted Tollner.
    Some interesting players. Deion Sanders III plays DB and was burned on a 75 yd TD pass he was defending. He’s only 5’8″.
    On the White Team is Trey Griffey, son of Ken Griffey Jr and he a wr that’s made 2 catches for 20+ yds
    Speaking of kids, on a side note Barry Sanders Jr RB just committed to Stanford. Most of these kids have a hard time filling their dad’s shoes and find it’s hard to live up to their accomplishments.

  48. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Patriots OC Bill O’Brien gets Penn State HC job. We get to keep Greg Roman. Goody.

  49. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

2021 Schedule
09/12 - 10:00 AM @ DET
09/19 · 10:00 AM @ PHI
09/26 · 5:20 PM v GB
10/03 · 1:05 PM v SEA
10/10 · 1:25 PM @ AZ
10/17 BYE
10/24 · 5:20 PM v IND
10/31 · 10:00 AM @ CHI
11/07 · 1:25 PM v AZ
11/15 · 5:15 PM v LAR
11/21 · 10:00 AM @ JAX
11/28 · 1:25 PM v MIN
12/05 · 5:20 PM @ SEA
12/12 · 10:00 AM @ CIN
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
2020 Prognostications (Mulligan Version)
Bullit: 6-10
NJ49er: 6-10

Skeebers: 7-9
Winder: 4-12

Grumpy: DNP