Stuffed and Basted

The San Francisco 49ers Magical Mystery Tour ran out of hallucinogens Thursday night and the team crashed back to reality. Bummer, man.

Not hard to figure this game out. Nine sacks. 125 yards of game altering penalties. Short end of the straw. The play of the game may have been the TV shot of five or so Ravens descending upon Alex Smith while in the background two 49er O-line guys are standing there blocking nothing and looking at each other.

This game was tilted heavily toward the Ravens the minute the 2011 NFL schedule was announced last Spring. Back then, it looked like a family angle game to wrap up Thanksgiving Day, with the 49ers expected to be a dog breath team only too happy to get some national face time while being drubbed. No way the league interferes with the competitive balance of the Steelers or Patriots or Cowboys schedules like they did in this one. As it is, the Steelers may end up on the short end of the deal, since they have to travel to SF in two weeks on a normal week. A loss in that game could be the determining swing in who wins the AFC North.

I’m not complaing about the schedule, however. Let’s face it, the Rams and Seahawks both got tough early games this year that helped the Niners get dauntingly ahead in the division. The Rams imploded under the burden, but it’s not inconceivable that the Seahawks could close with a rush and finish 9-7 or even 10-6.

Superior preparation has been a key to the 49ers success this year and this game gave them no time to prepare. It looked a lot like the first exhibition game against the Saints in New Orleans, with the O-line getting overwhelmed all night long, most especially after Adam Snyder went out with an injury and Chilo Disaster Area replaced him. Chilo came in, whiffed his first effort and then lightly touched a guy in the back who Frank Gore had put on his face, resulting in a chop block penalty which negated a 75 yard TD for the Niners. Baltimore played a near perfect game at home, got their two biggest plays courtesy of the refs, and only squeaked out of the stadium with a ten point win.

As downer losses go, this one doesn’t hurt very much. The team has ten days to get ready for the Rams, get healthy, and get even more determined to get back into the winner’s circle and stay there.

The one area that can’t be excused in this loss is the 49er pass rush. As many have pointed out, it is not getting enough pressure and that is going to be an Achilles Heel against a team like Green Bay. The lack of pressure gave Joe Flacco all the time in the world Thursday night and turned a 50% passer into a 65% passer. It already cost us the Cowboys game and nearly cost the Giants game.

Unfortunately, there are no big mean pass rushers lounging around out there in Sofaville waiting for a late season phone call. Which means DC Vic Fangio is going to need to come up with some blitz packages that work. Maybe not in the regular season, but surely in the playoffs.

The team is missing Josh Morgan more than I thought it would. Neither Braylon Edwards nor Ted Ginn is reliable. Especially on third down plays or end zone efforts. Don’t really understand why Kyle Williams is not gettng more reps. Especially with Edwards clearly limping around at three-quarter speed. Are we saving Williams as a secret weapon in the playoffs?

Other than all three Thanksgiving games going against my wishes, it was a fine day of good food and the best company in the world. That would be Skeebette. My hero for the day. I believe I’m scheduled for lots of household chores today to balance the ledger. It’s only fair. And a good way to work off the Day After Grumbles.

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38 comments on “Stuffed and Basted
  1. robNo Gravatar says:

    the short week hurt us imo ! baltimore got real creative getting pressure on defense and we couldn’t handle it !
    don’t forget , we’re still young on the 0-line (iupati , davis , rachal and snyder ) with a new center and system !
    we’re only going to get better and will learn from this !

  2. robNo Gravatar says:

    the ticky tack calls didn’t help either !

    a few key mistakes got us too !

  3. Mr FletchNo Gravatar says:

    I’d also like to point out that FB Miller was out and replaced by Norris. Suddenly, our blocking looked much, much worse. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.

  4. barleyfreakNo Gravatar says:

    I can’t blame the short week. I can however indict Rachal, again. He is the un-glue that keeps that unit in a state of entropy. They were starting to look sketchy before Snyder went down, but seriously, when that guy gets in there, they really fall apart. Bizarre. I gotta think JH, et al, see this and look to Kilgore, Person, Boone, the equipment manager — anyone — as a possible option at RG.
    Our WR corps has been, and continues to be, uninspiring. Crabby is playing well, but after that, we got nobody. Ginn really is 10 different kinds of useless as WR. Sure he will make some catches once in a while when the planets align just so, but I do NOT want the ball thrown to him at a crucial time in a big game. Can you imagine that 4th down pass thrown to him late in a playoff game? Shudder.
    All in all it was an egg laying fest by the O. I think Smith could have avoided maybe a couple of sacks by throwing it away. But 9-2=7 and that still sucks. Even AZ put up 24 points on the Ravens so we definitely have some work to be done here.

  5. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Easy to pile on now but I have always been convinced that Chilo Rachal is the Balmer/Taylor Mays like and should play for someone else. He clearly makes the Oline worse and does not mesh well with Anthony Davis. It kills me to see Rachal looking for someone to block as the guy he let pass him is sacking Alex Smith. The common element is we had Rachal and Norris playing instead of Snyder and Miller.
    No way in hell do we offer Rachal a new contract. He sucks.

  6. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    The game gave me dipsomania. Luckily, I was too depressed to keep drinking and just went to bed.

  7. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Our offensive issues caught up to us in this game. Our WRs are banged up – Crabs has his foot, Braylon has not been healthy all year and seems to not really believe he should be out there, Morgan is gone for the year, and Ginn as a WR is a pretty good kick returner with hands of stone.
    So no one is getting open very well, and then you have our line, with neither Chilo nor Snyder the real answer at right guiard, Davis still learning, and Staley still Staley (YES, Joe, you DO suck, at times).
    So no big surprise that Alex spent the night running for his life and eating turf. The good news is, two years ago with Singleneuron, we would have lost 48-3. The bad news is, with the playoffs looming, it will be tough to solve these problems without at least another off-season.
    Still, the first order of business is just not to suck. Harbaugh has at least succeeded there, where others failed. We’re still 9-2, still bound for the playoffs, and still playing (for the most part) sound entertaining football. Enjoy the ride.

  8. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    The short week and traveling 3 time zones had more to do with this loss than anything. I am not worried about my 9-2 49ers.
    I’ve never seen Flacco this accurate. As well as their defense and QB played, they won by only 10 points. I have no doubt we beat this team in a rematch.

  9. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I would have gone to 4 and 5 WR sets right out of half time and neutralized their pass rush with short hot reads. Instead we went with the WCO and some 3 WR sets.
    Baltimore was taking away the deep patterns and the hot reads. With 4 and 5 WR sets you can’t do both unless you go with a dime package. Now you can go 1 RB with 4 WR and run. I believe Harbaugh did not adjust well in this game but he had done a great job so far this year and he has a lot of confidence in our O-line and our ability to run the ball. Problem was our formations were allowing traditional defensive packages and our O-line was playing poorly.
    We have a QB that can run the spread, use him for that to change things up sometimes. My feeling was that is was close at half and JH did not see the need to change things up. Hopefully, in retrospect from this game, he’ll see it in a similar situation when needed in the future.

  10. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Going into this season, Flacco was a 1-7 record (including 2 bad games that knocked the Ravens out of the playoffs) against the Steelers away from at least one SB appearance in his three years in the league.

    This year, he has had two of the best games of his career, being a key part of a Steeler sweep.

    Also, the Ravens are two complete head-scratching losses (Jags and Seahawks???) away from being 10-1. Don’t look now, but they are competing with the Pats for home field throughout the playoffs and will almost certainly get at least a first round bye.

    East Coast night game, 4 day week – don’t sweat the loss.

    Just make sure Chilo and Norris get a Pakistani taxi driver to take them to the first game in Week 3 of Jan. Somebody who can’t tell the difference between the Mausoleum and Candlestick. They can watch on TV.

  11. barleyfreakNo Gravatar says:

    Plenty of blame to go around after a loss. Interesting that there are certain repeating scenarios that surround our infrequent suckitude. I am calling it the Chilo-Moran effect. We’re not alone in observing this. From the mouth of Mike Sando:
    “Bad things seem to happen when Rachal is in the game. ”
    Anyway — I’m certainly not panicking. We’re 9-2 and we got beat by a very good team in a very difficult place to win. We have time to work some shit out. I have great faith in JH’s competitive nature coupled with his intelligence. I would be shocked, shocked I tell you if some of our back ups on the OL don’t start getting some reps at RG.

  12. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Niners were just too predictable on offense yesterday.
    Eric Davis said something very interesting. Since Snyder also plays center he knows the line calls and helps out Anthony Davis.
    With him out of there Rachal knows even less than Anthony Davis
    and thus the confusion. The chop block call that brought back the TD was ticky tack BS. It had to involve Rachal and it just stirred up so many unpleasant memories from years past.

  13. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    If I was Alex I’m not sure to trust Edwards in a one on one situation. That should have been an easy TD pass at the end of the half. The throw was perfect. For some reason unknown, Edwards goes behind the DB. If he cuts in front it is a TD. What was he thinking? We lost two TDs because of bonehead mistakes, Rachal and Edwards. Time for the coaches to teach. Hopefully we learn from our mistakes.

  14. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    The difference was also that Ravens used their TEs in the passing game. We didn’t and it
    compromised the offense with 3 WRs running routes with one running at 3/4 speed. Offense should’ve been sneaking a back or a TE out because max protect just meant they rushed more guys.

  15. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    I still can’t get over Suh claiming he did nothing wrong. He said he stepped on the Packer player while he was getting up getting his balance. The video replay will show that Suh clearly stomped on the Packer player.
    Suh has a future in the WWE. I think he will be suspended for more than one game and it’s gonna hurt the Lions bad. I wonder if the team reflects the personality of their coach, Jim Schwarz. 3 of the top 4 players with the most personal fouls are on the Lions.
    Wonder why?

  16. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    bullit- If we don’t bonehead our way out of two TDs we should’ve scored, nobody is talking about the TEs. Just my opinion.

  17. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    “NFL: 49ers-Ravens highest-rated program in NFL Network history, most-watched cable program on Thanksgiving since at least 1994.”
    NFL certainly got what it wanted out of this scheduling effort.

  18. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Hard game to watch but we were in it most of the way in spite of our selves. Why we were rushing only 3 for many plays still has me baffled. We did not adjust to anything their D did and we paid dearly. I gotta admit that Smith is a pretty tough character to withstand the pounding he took.
    Hopefully, this game will wake the team up and maybe a coach or two because we were totally out-coached.

  19. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Goldson was fined $25K and Early Doucet was fined $10K for starting the scrap. Sounds about right as it’s just financial and no more suspensions.

  20. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah Fangio’s effort was one of his lesser ones. That being said, trying to scheme with 3 days, and a 6 hour flight against their D is a tough deal. However, our D should have been a little more risky.

    This same thing happened against Dallas. We had Romo beaten up and on the ropes, and then stopped with the pressure, and played cover. Romo and Witten picked us apart, as Flacco did, and was able to keep moving the chains.

    Whitner’s missed tackle did hurt however.

  21. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Howlong will the boy named Suh be suspended? His procrustean ways don’t seem to be working so well.

  22. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    One game if they want people to argue it’s not enough, and two games if they want people to argue it’s excessive.

  23. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    At this point, I’d say there would be less argument about excessive than lenient. Suh is about as popular now as skunk deodorant.

  24. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Willis was fined $7,500 for his personal foul for making contact with Card’s QB Bartel in his slide.
    When Suh says he’s not that kind of guy to pull this crap it makes you wonder. I’d give him 2 games and wouldn’t argue with even 3. There is clearly a pattern to his behavior here.
    Trying to be Conrad Dobler or supplanting current bad boy Harvey Dahl.
    I found it funny to hear Romanowski on the radio commenting on Harbaugh and Schwartz and what was the classy thing to do. Romo is all about class right? He’s the guy that shot a loogie into JJ Stokes face on Monday Night Football and they showed it in super slomo.
    Wrong guy to ask to comment on class and decorum.

  25. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Harvey Dahl, UNR!

  26. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Have to root for the Giants at New Orleans tomorrow. If the Saints win, they have a good chance to win out and finish 13-3, which means the 9ers would have to lose no more than one more game (they have the tie-breaker) in order to get the bye.

  27. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Three of the five we have left should be gimmes… two at home against NFC Weak- err, West, teams. And I cannot see us losing to the Retardinals, even in Phoenix.

    So its the home game with Pittsburgh, and the game in Seattle that worry me. Win at least one, and the bye should be ours. Lose both, and we may have to play another game.

  28. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    12-4 and yeah, we get the bye. Hopefully the Ram game ends up being a backup game. The good thing is the other teams chasing us have harder schedules. We’ll see how things stand after this weekend. NO may end up one game behind us.

  29. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    We have no reason to think we can’t compete. We hung with a very stout Defense.
    It looks like Fangio will be planning to incorporate some Raven Zone Blitz packages into his scheme soon. If nothing else, we’ve got a leg up on Pittsburgh now I’d say.
    I’m dying to get some guys into our DL rotation like Baltimore has. That DLine of theirs is outstanding.
    I’m proud of our D for keeping Runnin’ Ray Rice out of the End Zone too. Stand up play Spillman.
    We might want to try Anthony Davis at RG and Alex Boone at RT just for fun during the final month too. Chilo is a joke. Both Boone and Anthony played LT in College and I’d like to see Boone work the edge for comparison.
    Goes without saying that we’ll be looking for DL and WR help in April too. Braylon doesn’t seem to be the leaper he once was. Knee and issue still?

  30. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I watched the Sound FX piece tonight from the Ravens game and there was some interesting chatter going on between Ray Rice and Aldon Smith after a Smith tackle. Seems like Aldon was talking some smack. Kid has some stones apparently.
    Fangio played coverage all night too, made Flacco look like Rodgers or Brady. Give anyone time to make reads you normally get beat.
    We’ll make adjustments. It might actually help us through the stretch run now too. I like the piece I read from Maiocco regarding Crabtree and the play calling. Seems like he’s finally feeling a little competitive, which is something we’ve needed from him for a long time.
    I now see why Alex makes those high throws his way too, he goes after it in traffic, something Braylon seems to avoid.

  31. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Berger, another WR that looks interesting is Kendall Wright from Baylor. Smaller slot-type guy but runs and catches very well. He’s credited with a 40″ vertical.
    Have to check on him come Combine time. Looks like DeSean Jackson-type burner.

  32. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Looking at the schedule we play the Steelers at home on Monday Night and then have a short week to prepare to travel to Seattle as that game is on Sat Dec 24 Christmas Eve. At least it’s just less than a 2 hour plane ride.

  33. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Where’s Berger with the WOTD? Just because the Niners aren’t playing this Sunday doesn’t give you the right to skirt your duties. You’re probably taking a nap and sawing off some logs. I can hear the stertor from here.

  34. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Blaine Gabbert just got replaced (coach’s decision) by Luke McCown. Thank Christ we didn’t draft that quarterback. Look up Fredrick P. Soft in the dictionary and you’ll see Blaine’s picture. Pussy.

  35. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Football can sure get weird. Seattle beats the Ravens at home then today loses to the Redskins at home. Bizarre. Niners can clinch division next Sunday.

  36. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    How sweet it is Skeebers.
    Would love to see CKaep get some reps this month too.

  37. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    ESPN is reporting that Niner LB Coach Jim Leavitt might be on short list pf candidates for the vacant Kansas head coaching job. Kansas just fired Turner Gill after a 2-10 season. He had just completed his second year as the head coach.

  38. 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