The Gauntlet

After three straight games against squirty QBs, the 49er front seven is probably relieved to face a normal pocket passer – even if it is the so-called top QB in the game. Aaron Rodgers can run a bit, but it isn’t playing dodge ball in the backfield.

PFT  says the 49ers’ three game stretch against teams that all have won 80% or more of their games is the toughest schedule any team has ever faced in the regular season. It’s precisely the sort of schedule any team faces, more or less, in the playoffs though. So, this will be a good look at how the team might fare if it does indeed make the postseason.

Many consider Rodgers the best QB in the league, even though his career has occurred at the same time as Tom Brady‘s, whom many consider the best QB of all time. Somebody seems to be wrong here. It appears these opinion pushers are spitting pixels from a southern orifice not generally known for eloquence except to the crude denizens who find any emanance from these anatomical regions to be extraordinarily humorous.

Be that as it may, Rodgers hasn’t taken the Packers to even a Conference Title game since 2010, the year they won the SB. Every year, the Packers are one of the SB favorites and every year they peter out way short of expectations.

The Packers are a lot like the Andy Reid teams – always good on offense, not so much on defense. That might not matter much if the Niners don’t see some of their injured players back in action Sunday night. Especially TE George Kittle and WRs Deebo Samuel and Emmanuel Sanders. They won’t have much pop without those guys.

Despite their number one pass defense ranking, there are skeptics in the league about the Niners’ defense. It hasn’t faced enough elite QBs, so they say. They’ll get a chance in the next three games to quiet those critics, or validate them. And as that challenge goes, so probably goes the team’s chances of winning one or more of these coming games.

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30 comments on “The Gauntlet
  1. WinderNo Gravatar says:

    At the moment I think Jackson is the most dangerous QB in the league. And that is saying something with Wilson right there with him. He has the ability to do many things very well. I really don’t like our chances in Baltimore. I think we are gonna need to be a lot healthier to beat those guys. But, this week even as banged up as we are I think we come out on top of GB. I also think we take NO unless we are so beat up to make it possible by then. I think we are on the brink of having one of the most exciting teams we’ve had in a very long time. Even the ones in the Harbaugh were it was mostly Frank Gore and a very good defense.

  2. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Maybe someday I will read my stuff before I post.

  3. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    If we can get Kittle, Deebo and Sanders all on the field at once and keep them there, our passing game will be just fine. And that will loosen things up for the running game too.

  4. NJ49ERNo Gravatar says:

    Winder we’re all guilty.
    Keep keeping it real.
    Appreciate your input.

  5. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Like I said previously this has been an unexpected season so far.
    Nobody thought this roster would be a missed FG in OT from being 10-0. 9-1 and if you are finding fault in that you need to take a long look in the mirror because you think you’re living a perfect life.

    I have always said that I’d be happy with a team that has a chance to win a game at the end of every game. To me that means your team is competent. competitive and can stand toe to toe with the best.

    The part of the schedule we are entering will surely be a test. It might expose the team’s shortcomings and how the coaching handles it.
    For most of this team they are entering uncharted territory and might have to learn on the fly what it takes to win in a highly sharged playoff type atmosphere. If there is failure I hope they learn from their mistakes.

    This team is a year ahead of their anticipated journey. At the beginning of the season the Niners were at best a marginal contender for a wild card. Now with another two wins they are a lock for a playoff spot and looking for home field advantage.

    Enjoy because I am confident the Niners will be competing for the Super Bowl in the near future with the foundation they have built.

  6. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    Copied the below from an acmepackingcompany comment and rigor from NN. Is AA playing all 4 downs? Big DE in base and DT in nickel?

    “Prior to this year, Armstead has 9 career sacks on 29 QB hits. Last year he had 12 QB hits and 3 sacks (his previous high). For context, ZaDarius and Preston both average over 1 QB hit per game for their respective careers. ZaDarius has 27 sacks on 72 QB hits, a very sustainable percentage, and he has 20 QB hits this year, 25 in 2018. Preston has 18 QB hits this year and 10 sacks.

    Armstead has been a solid and pretty complete player for several years, though injury-prone, but a bit disappointing as a pure pass rusher. It might be that the pass-rushing light bulb has come on for him or he’s finally healthy, but he’s on pace for 14.4 QB hits. That’s about what he did last year, but the sacks will be a career year for him, and by a lot.

    I do agree with you. Bosa looks like he will be a beast. DI Jones is sneaky good (He’s questionable, IIRC). Deforest Buckner is really good, so they have excellent interior push. Armstead is a nice player at the very least. I also think SF has 4 CBs that would immediately send King to the Bench. Tramon would be a close call.

    Posted by Thegreatreynoldo on Nov 20, 2019 | 2:20 PM

    Armsteads rookie year
    He had the highest pass rush productivity as either a DT or 34 DE, unsure which, and then he had a couple years of playing injured / going on IR. Last year he was healthy and played well, was a top run defender in the NFL with a bit of pass rush. This year he has took every aspect of his game up a notch. He came in as a raw prospect, and lost critical 2nd/3rd years of development due to injury but has always flashed potential.

    Posted by rixor on Nov 20, 2019 | 9:55 PM”

  7. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    Here is the article with very good comments.

    Seems their weakness is in the middle, both pass and run D. Blake Martinez and safety play. Amos new and Savage a rookie.

  8. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    Had to post this comment from the bottom. Says it all. They have Smith Bros, Kenny Clark, and experienced but average Blake Martinez.

    8-2 Start
    One of the luckiest 8-2 starts in NFL history? Green Bay only has a +45 point differential (and the officiating has been decisively in its favor).
    Wk 1: Trubisky throws the game away
    Wk 2: Cousins throws the game away on 1st and goal when GB couldn’t stop Dalvin; plus incomprehensible officiating all game
    Wk 3: Phantom holding call on Emmanuel Sanders takes away a TD which gave Denver the lead
    Wk 4: Loss
    Wk 5: Amari Cooper drops a walk-in TD on first drive and then a phantom holding call brought back a Dallas TD two drives later, and an INT followed
    Wk 6: Officiating debacle Monday night vs Detroit
    Wk 7: Carr fumbles into the end zone for a touchback when extending the ball on a play which would have given the Raiders the lead
    Wk 8: Gets to play KC without Mahomes
    Wk 9: Loss
    Wk 10: More brutal “Lambeau Officiating” goes against Carolina in a close game

    Posted by trent9876543 on Nov 21, 2019 | 2:24 PM

  9. winderNo Gravatar says:

    I remember the ’95’ GB game where the officials took the game away from us. It was blatant bullcrap. That game may have given us home field that year buy went to GB instead.

  10. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    DJ Jones is practicing again so he should bolster the run defense
    as he’s proven to be a good fat guy in the middle that anchors the run defense.

  11. bakkentomNo Gravatar says:

    Very good commentary of all-22 footage of key 49er plays throughout ARI game.

  12. NJ49ERNo Gravatar says:


  13. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    49ers inactives:

    WR Marquise Goodwin
    TE Levine Toilolo
    QB C.J.Beathard
    RB Matt Breida
    LT Joe Staley
    DE Dee Ford
    K Robbie Gould

  14. winderNo Gravatar says:

    NJ- there can be no doubt that Frank is a 1st ballot HOFer. The human bowling ball.

  15. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    So far, so good.

  16. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Very impressive. We’ve pretty much completely outplayed GB.

  17. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    The Ravens showdown looms even larger now. Could even be a Super Bowl preview, if we can get past Wilson and the Squawks.

  18. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Winder he’s had my vote for a long time.
    ACLs in both knees in College and still ticking.
    A RBs RB.
    All heart.

  19. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    Did anyone think they could hold Rodgers to 104 yds?

    The defense really started hitting tonight and they are downright scary.

    Kittle means so much to the offense and makes everything work.

    Superb win!

  20. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, and that’s without Ford and Kwon.

  21. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    There are four legitimate Super Bowl contenders right now: The 49ers, the Seahawks, the Ravens, and the Patriots. A few other teams are a step below, hoping to sneak up to that level. But for now, it’s those four.

    In a real sense, our playoffs start next week. Shit Now Gets Real.

  22. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Panthers should’ve beaten Aints today. Panthers rookie kicker missed 2 extra points and a chip shot FG and they lose by 3 points.
    This was home game for Aints and they are no longer invincible in the Superdome and beatable.

  23. winderNo Gravatar says:

    We are gonna have to come up with a plan to stop a QB like Jackson. We did a good job on Wilson but in the end not good enough. We barely stopped Murray. So it’s the real mobile QB’s that give our defense a hard time.

  24. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Most of the defense was outstanding tonight but to me 3 players were extraordinary.

    DJ Jones was the fat man in the middle that outquicked the Packer center and made a bunch of plays for loss especially a 4th down momentum busting TFL when the Packers were still in the game.

    Second was Jimmie Ward who is playing at a extremely high level that befits his first round draft status making tackles in open field and breaking up passes.

    Fred Warner has picked up the slack with loss of Kwon Alexander and is a tackling machine and being in the right place to make plays.

  25. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Some great ‘congrat’ videos embedded within the piece on Frank.
    Go Frank! 😀

  26. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Is it safe to say Pettis is losing ground to Deebo?
    Doesn’t look like the messages were received by Pettis apparently.

  27. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Deebo has put Pettis on the bench.

    Per Shanahan Witherspoon is working to regain his starting corner spot.
    E Mosely was the hidden gem they discovered with Witherspoon’s injury and has a future with this team and gives them a 3rd or 4th quality corner, something that has not been said for quite a while.

  28. 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