The Homestretch

Monday Night’s game in the Superdome just about guaranteed that the 49ers will not be letting up in the month of December. Nobody, even the Packers, wants to end up in New Orleans during the playoffs.

If the 49ers can avoid coughing away two games down the stretch, it’s likely they will be facing the Saints in Round Two of the playoffs. At home. The Saints are only 3-3 on the road this year, so they are beatable at Candlestick. Maybe.

The Packers, Saints, and 49ers are clearly the top three teams in the NFC, and none of them look like they will stumble in the coming month. After them, Detroit has been exposed, the Bears have no QB, the Eagles are toast, and the Giants are fading. That leaves Dallas and Atlanta as the only teams capable of catching fire this month and getting into the elite mix.

Over in the AFC, it also appears to be a three team race for dominance among the Patriots, Ravens, and Steelers. All the other contenders are a definite notch below these three.

The NFC Wild Card round looks like one game will be held in Dallas, probably against the Falcons. And the other game in New Orleans, probably against either the Bears or Lions. The AFC Wild Card round is too muddled at the moment to hazard a guess. The AFC West is going down to the wire between Oakland and Denver, and it’s unsure whether Houston can hold off the Titans in the AFC South. The Jets could get into the picture, but they look more likely to implode than explode at the moment.

Injuries can definitely alter the picture. In the past few weeks, Houston has gone from a serious SB contender to a squeak into the playoffs and call it a season team. They’ve lost their starting QB and now their backup, too. Ditto for the Bears in the NFC North.

At this time of year, every significant injury is a done for the season deal. There’s nothing available on the street, either. You better stay healthy or have some seriously good backups ready to step in and play.

The 49ers have been fortunate with injuries so far this year, with only the Josh Morgan season ender on their resume. Braylon Edwards has been dinged all year, but the team has won without him. They might not fare so well in the playoffs. It would be a big plus to the passing attack if he finally got healthy and contributed in December. At the moment, only Michael Crabtree is carrying his weight as a WR. Maybe Kyle Williams will see more and more action.

One of the great stories of this season has got to be Adam Snyder. Here’s a guy who has been knocking around the fringes of the team since he was drafted late in the third round of the 2005 draft, making himself valuable by learning all five O-line positions, and failing miserably every chance he had as a starter. His play at RT two years ago was so bad it looked like his career was going to peter out soon. This year, out of the blue, he steps into Chilo Rachal’s spot at RG and coincidentally the entire O-line suddenly jells into a formidable crew. It could be argued he’s been the MVP of the season. Without him, Chilo would be in there, sacks would be soaring, and we’d be down to our third or fourth string QB by now.

And without Adam, there’s no way we would be sitting here at 9-2 talking about a first round bye in the playoffs. Cheers to Snyder.

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32 comments on “The Homestretch
  1. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Del Rio has been canned. Let the coaching bloodbath begin.

  2. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Who’s next? Spagnuolo, Turner, Sparano, Morris, Caldwell, …?

  3. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Coughlin may have ‘coached’ his way onto that list after last night. Another late season collapse by the G-men.
    Andy Reid could end up walking the plank. Someone has to take the blame for the whole ‘Dream Team’ fiasco.

  4. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Due to a rash of injuries throughout the league we are seeing parity at it’s finest. Which ever team has the best backups will probably take all the marbles. The coaches will take the blunt of all this and Skeebs those guys you mentioned could very well be out of work in a bit. I imagine they will just shuffle over to another team.

    Teams like Houston and Indy are a perfect examples, they were good enough to be contenders until they lost the one guy they don’t have replacements for.

  5. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t want to serry with the Saints. I would rather keep some space between us. If we play them in the post-season it needs to be at the Stick. They look too scary good at their dome home.

  6. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Suh just got a two game suspension.

  7. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    The Lions will promptly win two straight, do a little chemistry, and bench him for two more.

  8. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    I take it back. Lions play at Superdome next.

  9. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    The Saints have averaged 35 pts./game in their six wins at home. Nope, don’t want to go there.

    I can’t see them losing in the wildcard round at home against Det/Chi/Atl (their almost certain opponent). Which means Saints @ Niners January 14 or 15.

    Yippee hallelujah! Playoffs again. For real. No dream.

    What we need is a good NorCal storm starting about a week before the game and not ending until the final gun. You know, the kind that puts the outlying parking lots underwater and turns the Candlestick turf into mush. Maybe they can schedule the game for high tide, too (anybody want to look that up for me?).

    Let’s let Frank and the D carry the ball in the game. Akers – lots of Akers.

    The Niners can beat the Saints under normal circumstances, but playoff games are a war; the best team doesn’t always win, and the games can turn on one underexpected big play. Let’s pray to the rain god and get all the help we can.

  10. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    3:03 PM on Sat., a wimpy 4.6 ft but perfect timing for an afternoon game!
    4:22 PM on Sun., 4.1 ft. Not much help there.

    Playoffs??? Playoffs???

  11. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Thing is, the Niners almost beat NO at home last year. Last year. A little better effort and (editorially) we win that game. We can certainly win here against them. On the road in GB? Bring on the snow . . .
    Houston still hasn’t fallen out of things, but losing Leinart didn’t help. TJ Yates? Sounds like a NASCAR driver . . .

  12. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NJ- I’ve watched Fuller twice this year. It was early in the season and I don’t remember his style much, but I do remember being impressed.
    I’m trying to find out more about 6’4″ 350lb NT Poe and 290lb DE/DT Winn for the first round. I believe we have a huge need for more depth in the front 7. Our starting front compares with Pittsburgh and Baltimore but we can’t keep our guys fresh with a deep rotation. In close games our D-line is often too tired in the 4th quarter.

  13. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Exactly Berger.
    After seeing Baltimore rotating fresh guys and devouring our OL, we need some depth.
    Not sure where Ian and Dobbs factor in but, I’ve liked Crick as my 5-Technique guy.
    Winn is good, Poe worth a look and, Worthy from Michigan State seem interesting.
    At DE, I’m intrigued with Melvin Ingram and Jake Bequette if we pass/miss on Crick.
    I still like OLB Courtney Upshaw as well.
    What has me curious right now is, where do we look for the FS/CB or WR?
    Which goes earlier? DL, Secondary or WR?
    I also love TE Coby Fleener from Stanford.
    We have plenty of time to Scout the Draft.
    Right now, we have Playoff football to prepare for.
    How long have we waited to enjoy that?

  14. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Rob, I’m hoping for a new 2 wheeled ride myself, Kaw Z1000.
    Enjoy and, stay off the sidewalks. Also, don’t speed.

  15. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    What’s that old joke about fat girls and scooters?

  16. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    They are fun to ride until one of your friends sees on one!

  17. winderNo Gravatar says:

    rob – Have fun with that rocket. Here in Hawaii we’re paying $4 a gallon and when you think of it there is really no where to go. Good choice.

  18. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Very sad news. Chester McGlockton currently an OL coach for Stanford died of a massive heart attack this morning. He was only 42. Condolences to his family.
    Chester RIP.

  19. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Our old friend Jason Hill was waived by the Jaguars.

  20. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I really like Jason Hill. I would love to get him back.

  21. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    One of your heros is a Longhorn fan

  22. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I’m a huge Chuck Norris fan!

  23. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    I loved the line from Brian Wilson when he was on the Lopez show where he said he could throw Chuck Norris 100 MPH.

  24. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Some good news Snyder practiced today in full pads but was limited as was Gore and Bruce Miller
    Not so good news Braylon sat it out. He should tske another 2 weeks and play only when he’s 100%

  25. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    If Morgan had not gone down, I think we would have given Braylon time to heal. When it rains it pours.

  26. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Niners are favored by 14.5 over the Rams.

  27. unca chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Christ, we should get J Hill back. He wasn’t too bad.

    Either that, or GET FURKING K WILLIAMS OUT THERE ! ! !

  28. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Let’s remember a potential rental if Braylon can’t go.
    Randy Moss for a Playoff Run?
    He missed the Ring with the Pats.

  29. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

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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