Road Graders

Last Sunday’s home game against the Cowboys was a GPS game as to how competitive the 49ers were against one of the better teams in the league. The results were mixed. Yes in the first half, no in the second half.

This Sunday’s away game against the Bengals is a GPS game, also. It’s a game the team should win, but it’s also a road game and the Niners have not fared well in that department in recent years. Last year, they even managed to lose a road game to the worst team in the league, the Panthers. That loss set in motion the musical chairs QB rotation and the eventual demise of Mike Singletary.

Sunday’s game is also important if the team is to reach the Bye week with any sort of credibility. After the Bengals, the 49ers play at Philadelphia, home against the Bucs, and then at Detroit. They won’t be favored in any of those three games, and the Philadelphia game is so certain to be a loss that the team would be better off just forfeiting it and staying home for an extra week of practice.

As you may have deduced, credibility has a far different meaning around these parts than it used to have.

There is no denying the first two games have been a let down. Off season concerns about the negative impact of the lockout on teams installing new systems and regimes have proven to be true. The 49ers have not played with much cohesion. The style of game they have played has also been a let down, since it is a reminder of a previous style which was burned at the stake last December. Neither the style nor the results have jibed with Jim Harbaugh’s or the 49er players’ off season statements about what a dynamic and forceful offense this team would have.

So, here we are again, looking at a season of grinding for wins and hoping to sneak into the playoffs only by virtue of playing in the NFC West. A tad of a downer.

On the plus side, Harbaugh has made sure the fans don’t have any illusions about this year and he has driven this point home with two straight base offense practices conducted in real time games. We even won one of them.

At this point, hopes for the season rest on how quickly the team gels and how poorly the other NFC West teams fare.

Not exactly an adrenalin pumping scenario. Much more like a pull up the chair and watch a four hour documentary on the history of dentistry.

The Bengals will be entering this game sporting three of our former players and four pounds of NorCal dope sequestered at police headquarters and not at the home of WR Jerome Simpson. Whether this impounded dope gives the Bengals players more or less focus during the game is yet to be determined.

One thing is certain about this game. It will not be Bill Walsh vs Sam Wyche in a game of dueling imaginations. No, this game looks like fundamental trench warfare. A get a W any way you can game.

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32 comments on “Road Graders
  1. robNo Gravatar says:

    this game is a big test for us ! we have the talent to match up with cincy , but we’re on the road !

  2. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    While we rapine our way through the NFC West, dentists are rejoicing their new found competition for ratings on the history of their profession!

  3. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    If we lose I’ll start hoping to suck for Luck.

  4. robNo Gravatar says:

    now we’ll get to see if we can rebound from our first loss ! it’s also a good chance to see if we look like we’re improving from week to week !
    we might do both , or we might fall apart like we’ve done over the past several seasons !

  5. robNo Gravatar says:

    i’m looking for a win !

  6. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    If we *can’t* beat the Bungles, even on the road… it will time to curb all expectations for the season. Since mine were pretty modest anyway, I won’t be too disturbed. I don’t know about sucking for Luck… our division is so crappy anything less than 5-11 would be hard to do… but I’m definitely thinking in terms of a two- or three-year plan here.

  7. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Eric Branch pouring salt in the wound:
    “The 49ers are 4-36 on the road in non-division games since ’03.”
    That’s some serious garbage.

  8. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    It’s a new day! A new regime!
    Yeah, whatever.
    The trend here that pisses me off is playing to the level of their opponent. Seattle is obviously shittier than Dallas, but both games hinged on 4th quarter doings. Both games were in serious doubt at the end. Both games the 49ers were leading.
    THAT is the trend that has been the bane of this team for 4 years now. Losing 4th quarter leads. The Niners were beating Atl, NO, and Philly late, and lost all those games. All good teams. I think they were beating Carol as well, but I can’t remember. The difference between 6-10 and 10-6. GB 2 years ago? There have been a bunch of others.
    Why can’t the Niners take the lead, and keep the pedal down?

  9. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    It could be worse. It wasn’t long ago we were usually behind from the get go. And everyone moaned that we never got off to a good start.

  10. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Well, it was as recent as last year that the Niners wee 6th in scoring on their 1st drive. They COULD get into the end zone, but once there, they’d shift their strategy to prevent mode. They tried to prevent both teams from scoring.

  11. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    That was after Jimmy Raye got canned. Raye never once had a TD drive to start the game.

  12. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    And some blogger, I can’t remember his name, complained often that we didn’t open up the offense till we were behind by 21.

  13. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    That was 2 years ago, skeeby . . .

  14. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Skeeby, eh? Is that a sub-category of Skippy?

  15. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    A combo of sorts . . .

  16. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    The overall poitn is, for once i’d just like to see these guys play an entire game trying to push the ball down the field. Go 60/40 pass.
    If anything, just to see what the hell happens. We’ve been in the run-first mode for so goddamn long, it makes me sick.
    1st half last week, Smith was 12-16. 2nd half, 4-8. Great start dogshit finish.

  17. robNo Gravatar says:

    nice try CHUCK
    playing to the level of the opposition was …
    sometimes true in the good old days
    never true under erickson/nolan
    and completely unexceptable now !

  18. robNo Gravatar says:

    jerry rice just said on espn that he thinks it’s time to “take the shackles off” alex smith !

    i have to agree , why not go for it !

    another nfl analyst on the same show just predicted thsat the 9ers would win the division !

    me too !

  19. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    It’s time to “take the shackles off” Alex Smith? I’ll trade that for what’s behind curtain #3, Monty. “Lock ’em up in a pillory, hit ’em with tomato soup cans and throw away the key?”
    Alex just got zonked!

  20. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Harbaugh’s mum’s the word motif might be bad for the blogs, but you can see the thinking behind it. If you don’t say anything, nobody can rip whatever it is you do say. Clever. Not much steam behind ripping a guy for not sharing his thoughts and plans.

  21. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebers- That would work better with wins and a copacetic offense.

  22. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Berger, exactly. Bellychick can get away with being a total A-hole, because he wins games. Harbaugh should establish some bonafides before he goes all KGB on the media.

  23. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Harbaugh is nothing short of an anal retentive asshole. He acts like he holds the secret code to the DEFCON system. Well, Jimbo, you don’t.
    As Sgt. Hulka told “Psycho,” “lighten up, Francis.”

  24. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    We had better be at DEFCON ONE by Sunday is all I can say. I don’t fancy the mood of the blogosphere if we trip on our dicks against the Bungles.

    “Gentlemen! You can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!”

  25. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    For you others out here on the lt. coast, what time to you start your football Sunday when the Niners play at 10:00 AM? More importantly, what time to you start drinking?

  26. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Harbaugh on spread offense: “It’s what we’re working on.”
    Read the full transcript @ Grant Cohn:

  27. robNo Gravatar says:


    “For you others out here on the lt. coast, what time to you start your football Sunday when the Niners play at 10:00 AM? More importantly, what time to you start drinking?”

    it doesn’t matter , being a 9ers fan over the past few years , you’ve never stopped drinking !

  28. winderNo Gravatar says:

    dennis – that would be 7am here. I agree that taking the shackles off Smith is a good idea. I think we should let him call his own plays too. This way we should be able to see the total package, as if we havn’t had that view already. But, who knows, it certainly couldn’t hurt.

    rob- that is so true, there is no such thing as a drinking problem as long as you don’t run out.

  29. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    49ers win 27-16

  30. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    bullit- If we run the Spread, we win 41-17.

  31. robNo Gravatar says:

    we win 19-17 ! akers kicks 4 feild goals and the game winner !

  32. 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