The Osteology Game

The 49ers will beat the Chiefs on Sunday. I don’t have any doubts about it. My bones are telling me this. They are very calm. You might even say they are smirky. Lounge chair bones. Chill dude bones.

Bones can be secretive, angry, edgy, brittle — all sorts of things. When it comes to football, though, a calm bone is the best bone.

The Saints game did something that no Niner game has done for years. It made defensive coordinators around the league go WTF. It made them scrap their plans to take a week off when their team was scheduled to play the Niners.

The Saints game was the most perfectly balanced game the Niners have played in many years, both offensively and defensively. In recent years, the team has not won any significant games or even insignificant games unless the defense was leading the parade, with little margin for error. The offense was always along for the ride and maybe just good enough to emerge with a few more points than the other team. The Saints game was a mutual effort by both the offense and the defense. The 49ers are now a team.

The Chiefs have a lousy offense. If they score more than ten points against the 49ers Sunday, it will be a surprise. They have no passing game and subsist almost entirely on their running game and their defense. Kind of like the Niners have been for the past few years. No team is going to beat the Niners running the ball. If they start passing it, we’ll see some interceptions.

The Chiefs beat the Chargers by hauling out the miracle machine. They were out gained two to one and swamped in TOP, but the Chargers turned it over once and didn’t put points on the board when they were there for the taking, keeping the crowd in the game till the end. Sound familiar? The Chiefs beat the Browns by just showing up at the stadium.

Because the Chiefs have so little offense, the Niners will probably have a conservative game plan that stresses one thing above all else: do not fumble that effing football. This will displease a certain disgruntled member of the blogosphere, maybe a lot of disgruntled members, but the first half will be played close to the vest. The score at half time might be fairly even, but the Niners will pull away in the second half and win easily. The same formula they used last year against Detroit and the Rams to close out the season. With maybe a little better first half results.

The noise is not going to bother the team. They got prepped for it in Seattle and know what to expect this time. Actually, the noise didn’t bother them in Seattle the first twenty-three minutes, either. But the team made the mistake of squandering red zone opportunities and allowing a couple of big plays and a couple of turnovers to wipe out the first twenty-three minutes and induce the feeding frenzy that followed.

This game is pretty simple. If the team does not turn the ball over, they will win. It is hard to imagine them continuing their awesome pace of turnovers. Or failing to realize that they would be 2-0 now, instead of 0-2, if they just kept their mitts on the ball.

But my bones are telling me not to worry. They won’t turn it over. Heck, they might even make a STATEMENT while they are in the midwest. We haven’t seen a STATEMENT game in the Bay Area for quite some time, either. I’m thinking Sunday, there’s a good chance we will see this long missing fellow. It’s actually not me thinking it, though. It’s my bones. They are giving me the wink-wink look. You can always trust your bones.

•   •   •   •   •  

NOTE: Below is a new feature we’ll be adding to the Outsider, courtesy of NoFear, who will break down a Significant Play of the most recent game. This play comes from the Saints game. At least I think this will be a new feature. First I have to ask NoFear if he wants to do it each week. Gulp. Hope I catch him in the right mood.

Featured Play of the Week

“This screen shot is of the Dixon TD play formation and the 23 heavy jumbo or whatever they call this personnel group.

As you can see, we have 3 TEs, Byham, Davis and Sims subbed in as the third TE, and backs Norris and Dixon in this power I formation.

Byham (#82, top) lined up next to Davis (#85, bottom) and then motioned over to the outside of Sims. On the snap Sims took the DE Will Smith and collapsed the line. Iupati pulled and took LB Shanle, in the two-point stance on the end, out of the play (child’s play for the big man). The safety Harper thought about coming into the hole and Norris steamrolled him giving Dixon a clear and huge path to walk in. LOS from the left (top) are #65 Sims, #74 Staley, #77 Iupati, #64 Baas, #68 Snyder, #76 Davis, #85 Davis”

“Next is +2secs shot showing Vernon blocking DE Charleston #97, and also how close the big nose tackle Ayodele #92, came to getting a trip on Dixon. He crashed through the line over Snyder (I guess, I can’t even find Snyder in the shot) and is just about to take a swipe at him here. There is actually a defender, LB Shanle, behind Iupati there.”

“Finally, we have the td shot that shows a serious hole and Norris pushing the safety #41 Harper out of the hole in front of Dixon.”

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65 comments on “The Osteology Game
  1. robNo Gravatar says:

    omg ! is that really from nofear or from you skeebs ?
    that’s awesome ! keep it up !!!
    i never get to record the games anymore , so i can never go back and really see anything ! keep doing these so i can really see the plays you guys love and the ones you hate so much
    (because i’m lost half the time) !

  2. robNo Gravatar says:

    i’m guessing vernon helped out on will smith here .
    or did he go after one of the defenders in the endzone ?

  3. robNo Gravatar says:

    oops scratch that ! no wonder i’m confused all the time ! i mixed up vernon with simms !
    i think !

  4. robNo Gravatar says:

    again , awesome new feature !
    keep doing these and thx !

  5. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    It’s NoFear, Rob. I can’t tape anything, either, so I loved this shot, too. Don’t know what Davis did here. NoFear don’t get up too early, so you’ll have to wait till noon or so before he can answer your question. If he feels like answering it, that is. Testy fellow. Hahaha.

  6. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Is there a way to play this thing?

  7. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    This is where Moran Norris should be playing. 3rd and 1 or goal line. Not in base offense. We might have had a balanced offense last week, but only after we threw away the entire first quarter.

  8. robNo Gravatar says:

    skeebs , sometimes i think nofear is on the east coast here ! sometimes when i’m up late it’s been just me , him and NJ 49er up on the insider !
    (that’s like at 1:30 am. my time and 4:30 in cali !)

  9. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    I tried clicking some of the buttons, Berg, but it didn’t do nuthin’. It’s just a still screen shot. It would be nice to have a sequence of stills. Maybe I can get NoFear to do it. Probably have to send him a case of moonshine or something. We’ll see.

  10. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NJ works nights.

  11. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I think NoFear likes good quality beer. I remember one time he said he was drinking Sam Adams and listening to Clapton. I’d love to drink a six pack with him some day.

  12. robNo Gravatar says:

    never really can knock having a big fullback on short yardage plays ! BERGER
    norris is on my last nerve tho and not just because raye pushes his luck with him ! i hope we can find a little better fullback in next year’s draft maybe in rd. 4-7 !
    maybe NOFEAR will be kind enough to show us one of those plays where we run against a stacked box and get stuffed in his next post !

  13. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    If it “didn’t do nothin'”, does that mean it did something? You know, the double negative thing!

  14. robNo Gravatar says:

    nj works nights yup and i don’t work at all … !

    nofear likes good beer … lol !

    hey nofear how about guiness drafts and deep purple ?

  15. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    rob- There is nothing wrong with Norris as a blocking back. He actually does a good job. My problem isn’t with Norris, it is with Raye for making us so one dimensional by using him in the base offense, which creates too many 3rd and long situations.
    If I’ve said it once I’ll say a thousand times or more, if Moran Norris is the focal point of the offense we lose. KC could be an exception, but why even chance it?

  16. robNo Gravatar says:

    ” Actually, the noise didn’t bother them in Seattle the first twenty-three minutes, either. But the team made the mistake of squandering red zone opportunities and allowing a couple of big plays and a couple of turnovers to wipe out the first twenty-three minutes and induce the feeding frenzy that followed.”
    why did you have to bring this up again ? crap !
    i knew when they had that pathetic 4th down boondoggle they had just “screwed the pooch” as chuck likes to say !
    daggummit all three guys imo blew it bigtime on that one ! smith , norris and raye !

  17. robNo Gravatar says:

    good point berger (i know) … norris has his good points , but he’s getting up there age-wise and is pretty limited with the ball ! (i had hoped miller would make him expendable !) i wouldn’t mind throwing out a 4-7 on a FB next april !
    for now byham has been a pleasant surprise ! we tried with pascoe and a couple others , but it looks like we hit this time with nate B !

  18. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I am, right now, watching this play on my handy dandy VHS recorder. Yes, I am up to date, just like Jimmy Raye. I am using 1980s technology.
    Iupati and Byham get great blocks. The hole is a mile wide. Norris whiffs, dives right into the ground, but his guy has to go around him and Dixon does a good job of negotiating in the cavernous hole.
    I liked the previous play better. We had 4 wide at the 6. Gore goes up the middle for 4 yards to set up the Sardine Can score.

  19. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Who does Byham block, Berg?

  20. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Here is the entire drive. It was the only effective drive with Norris in.
    1st and 10, 22 power I from the 14. Run up the middle, 4 yds.
    2nd and 8. 21 power I. Two wide, left side. 32 yds pass to Crabtree.
    1st and 10. 21 split backs(pro set variation). Pass to VD, 41 yds.
    1st and 9, goal to go. 22 Power I. 2 yd run.
    2nd and 7, goal to go. 4 wide, one back. run up the middle, 4+ yds.
    3rd & less than 2. 23, power I. 2 yd run over left tackle. TD.
    The best run was with 4 wide. The two long passes had good protection for Alex.

  21. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Byham blocks #51. Is that Vilma? What is interesting is Simms is at LT and I think Staley is at RG. This is where VHS sucks. VD is in 3 point at RTE with Byham behind his right shoulder. Byham motions across to the left, #41 follows across.

  22. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Actually, it looks like an unbalanced line with Simms outside of Staley. My VCR picture is not too good. Skeebers picture is more telling for me on the line alignment.

  23. FranchiseNo Gravatar says:

    Nice breakdown with photographic evidence. Funny how we’re paying closer attention and appreciation for our offensive line since the Walsh years. But even back then, the focus was more on superstars Montana and Rice.

  24. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Hey guys, NoFear sent two more screen shots, one at plus 2 seconds after the play started, and one of the td itself. Great stuff. Scroll back up to view them. Big huge thank you to NoFear.
    Let me know if you guys are experiencing slow load times because of these pics.

  25. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Actually, Norris dove on the ground and whiffed on Harper. It is a good thing Harper took the wrong side to pursue. If you look at the 2nd picture, Norris does not have his head up, he is looking at the ground, and that is where he is heading. It is also a good thing he didn’t meet a LB there or the play could’ve been stuffed, instead he was lucky to meet a circuitous DB.

  26. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I love the 3rd picture showing the great block by Byham on a LB.

  27. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Think you could squeeze through that hole, Berg?

  28. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    No thanks to Norris taking a dive. Good thing Harper went around him. Look at Iupati and Byham. That is just awesome blocking!

  29. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    BTW- Great block by Simms too.

  30. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Maybe Harper went around him because he was terrified of what he saw heading his way. Flight to avoid is as good as an actual block.

  31. robNo Gravatar says:

    more comments on this awesome post …

    form what i can see i’m guessing baas is the culprit on the big d-lineman getting such good penetration on the play ! (good point fear)

    to me it looks like snyder is the leg you see under anthony davis (who it’s my guess is cutting 99 here )… so it’s my guess snyder is cutting the guy who’s leg is seen behind vernon’s butt and who’s other foot is seen between his legs . (damn that just a bit sounds gay )
    simms obviously has the guy directly in front of him , which leaves snyder imo who no doubt must be trying to practice his shotgun snap here !
    this imo is why we need heitmann back so badly !
    the best part of these pics is iupati ! it’s pretty funny that the much heralded iupati has gotten much more critical press than the youngster davis so far !
    i didn’t even think iupati was blocking anybody at first glance ! OMG can you completely own anyone on a block more than iupati is here !!!
    it’s also great news for me , because if davis is doing so well and iupati , despite the qualms , can block like this … then watch out for us !

  32. robNo Gravatar says:

    on the down side for new orleans , who the heck is #41 and what is he doing on a professional football team with a tackle like that !?

  33. robNo Gravatar says:

    i mean sheeeeesh , he tackles about as well as micheal crabtree for chrissakes !

  34. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebs- Yah, he was afraid of his ankle getting broken! I hope they checked the ground to see if it was OK.

  35. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    You guys should watch Vernon in any given game. When he blocks down from on the line he is devastating. I think he might be our best blocker. It is hard to find OTs that block as good as him.

  36. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebers: “Because the Chiefs have so little offense, the Niners will probably have a conservative game plan that stresses one thing above all else: do not fumble that effing football. This will displease a certain disgruntled member of the blogosphere, maybe a lot of disgruntled members, but the first half will be played close to the vest. The score at half time might be fairly even, but the Niners will pull away in the second half and win easily. The same formula they used last year against Detroit and the Rams to close out the season. With maybe a little better first half results.”
    That paragraph made me angry, depressed, angry again, then wanna go jump off my ledge depressed again.
    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” ~George Santayana
    In other words, our coaching is utter horseshit.

  37. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    Be honest, how many of you guys had to look up “The Osteology Game?” You really should not of had to, Mr. Skeebers all but gave you the answer in his first two paragraphs. “Osteo” is one of the few root words that I still can remember. Not sure if it’s because I’ve had my hip replaced, or the fact that I think of an ossuary every time I see it. Speaking of which, if ya ever get the chance go check one out. Pretty neat, and can be pretty scary. Especially as we approach Halloween. Go take the wife and kids and give them and yourself a good scare on Halloween. Which reminds me….
    Happy Halloween! 😈

  38. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    Ever wondered what Charlie Brown dressed up as the Devil would look like on Halloween when he goes trick or treating?
    “I got a rock.” 👿

  39. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Dennis, I had just watched the Star Trek movie on Netflix with the young Kirk and young Leonard “Bones” McCoy. I couldn’t get bones out of my head, so I slopped them here. I had to look it up myself. I always get those “O” medical words mixed up.

  40. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Berger, I never liked Norris. But you are punkin’ him so relentlessly I’m starting to root for him. I’m even getting tempted to write a column talking about what a great player he is just to piss you off. Not good.

  41. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    “Finally, we have the td shot that shows a serious hole and Norris pushing the safety #41 Harper out of the hole in front of Dixon.”
    I must have stumbled upon the Moran Norris Fan Club. Norris “pushed” Harper out of the hole in front of Dixon? Come again? As the Bergermeister has already pointed out [after I told him to watch the replay], Moran Norris doesn’t not “push” Harper out, hell, he doesn’t push anyone out, he just fell down. That’s it, Norris did a face plant straight to the ground. Nothing more, nothing less.
    Let’s get one thing, and one thing straight:
    Moran Norris is a MUST CUT player ! ! !

  42. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebers- My problem is not with Norris it is with Raye, and Sing too if he is mandating this bad play calling like we had in the first quarter. Norris is probably a good guy and he is definitely a good blocker. But Raye? Let me explain it this way, Norris is a Moran and Raye is a moron.
    The problem is you chose the wrong play to try to make me look bad. Norris dives on the ground on this play. If he was up against a LB the play would’ve been stuffed. He was terrible. Have you actually seen the replay? Del called me a ouple of days ago to tell me how Norris whiffed on this play, long before you posted the pictures. We scored despite him. He usually does a good job of blocking. You should at least pick a better play if you are trying to make me look bad. He usually does a decent job, just not on this play.
    I guess I made you mad when I punked Obama?

  43. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    You’re getting paranoid, Berg. I didn’t choose the play at all, and certainly not to make any particular point. Just a fun close look at a TD and how it happened. I’m hoping we can get more like it, even ones that might show what went wrong on a play, rather than what went right. Or even what an opponent did to us. Just good football 101 analysis.

  44. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    So who chose the play? I guess that is where NoFear comes in. He spends more time on the blog trying to punk my ass than anybody in history. It is really why I would like to drink a six pack with the guy, so I could tell him I don’t hate him. We just disagree on some football philosophy. It is no big deal to me. I am now assuming he picked the play, and it is only elementary why he picked this play. Here comes his awesome response as to why I am a teen-ager. He likes the word puerile.
    Who did you vote for? Obama or McCain? I really don’t care but if you have an Obama bumper sticker on your car I will need to see what you look like. It is the only time I ever feel superior to another person, ever.
    I know who NoFear voted for, he just dislikes me because we disagree on football philosophy. It is OK to disagree! Can anybody figure that out?
    I like Norris, I don’t care for Raye. He threw away an entire 1st quarter against the New Orleans Saints. I didn’t like that, apparently you didn’t notice, or care.
    I’m starting to drink, I will go away for the rest of the day. I may or not be back tomorrow. You and NoFear have fun.

  45. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Actually, one last post. Nevada plays today vs BYU. I can’t watch it because I don’t have Direct TV. It is going to drive me batty.
    Who loves you idiots more than me? Nobody! Even if you voted for Obama.

  46. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Just got an update, 21-7 Nevada with less than 2 minutes to go in the 2nd! Go Nevada!
    Pac-10 just beat Texas convincingly. Stanford just kicked Northern Women’s butts! In college, my first love is Pac-10, but I love my University of Nevada.

  47. robNo Gravatar says:


    try this link on your computer for the nevada game !

  48. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Nevada wins!

  49. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Unfortunately, the news is, and I definitetly disagree with my good buddy Dennis, Dennis loves Jose Guillen(Baseball). Is there any way to dump this guy?
    Jose Guillen is nothing more than Moran Norris in a different sport. Suck on my DelMar! Jose Guillen is DelMar’s boy! What say you Del Mar? Still loving Jose Guillen? One flap down bayby!

  50. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Absolutely no doubt we win tonight’s game if Jose Guillen was never signed. Giants baseball, torture!

  51. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    One hour to go. Bones still calm. Heart racing. Fingers crossed. Votive candles lit. Hands clasped. Prayers wafting skyward – some downward. Doors locked. Shades drawn. Phone turned off. Gun cocked … oops.

  52. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Well, we got that out of the way! I’ve got fresh coffee, anybody comming over?

  53. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    BTW, 3rd and 2 at the goal line is where the Sardine Can Offense should be used. Not 1st and 10 to start the game.

  54. robNo Gravatar says:

    NINERS 24
    CHEFS 21

  55. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    WIN the goddamn game! And go Kyle Williams!
    20-13 Niners!

  56. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    Just like you called it, Skeebers. Close to the vest for the first half. And we all see where that’s got us. Our coaching sucks. We deserve to lose this game. We really deserve to lose today.

  57. bigtimNo Gravatar says:

    looking like the niners are going 0-3 the whole team is just stinking the field up today.
    the coaching staff and Mr jimmy run it up the gut Raye are just plain bad, its hard to be positive when the calls are so bad.
    even Smith was pissed on the sidelines about the play calling

  58. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    The play calling wasn’t that bad but not much a team can do when the O-line gets its butt kicked the way ours did. Our O-line looked like it had a couple of rookies on it.

  59. robNo Gravatar says:

    replace raye now

  60. Mr FletchNo Gravatar says:

    Pathetic display. Out played, out coached. Maiocco had an article this week about Baalke looking forward to the 2011 draft. Guess that’s about all we have to look forward to, as well.

  61. Mr FletchNo Gravatar says:

    Better coach for 2011: Cowher or Gruden? Discuss.

  62. bigtimNo Gravatar says:

    neither Mr FletchGruden is in a long term contract and there is no indication he is going anywhere.
    Cowher is just another guy in the Singletary mold power running old school for get that.
    innovation and deception is what works in the NFL that old school shit is just that old news

  63. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Above I said the play calling wasn’t that bad and that is true but it wasn’t good either. It was better than the first quarter vs the Saints, but not as good as the final 3 quarters of the same game.
    It is just bland and lacks good rythm. KC said they were concentrating on stopping the run and Raye kept running up the middle from bunched formations. I think our lack of rythm comes from the schme not concentrating on getting the playmakers open in space, whether it be in the run or pass game. Our line had a tough game but Raye just doesn’t seem to grasp the importance of spreading the defense.
    I think Jimy Johnson said it best during the game vs Seattle. He said with the type of offense we run there is no margin for error.

  64. robNo Gravatar says:

    here …

    “On the other sideline, the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs were a team that acted as if they’d been handed a cheat sheet before a final exam. One 49ers source said the Chiefs defense was calling out plays — often correctly — before the snap of the ball.”

    ” The play-calling was, at times, dumbfounding. Three straight runs while trailing by 21 points with 16 minutes left? The Chiefs were more prepared, more imaginative and, simply, better coached. ”

    beyond raye’s playcalling i think a well coached offense would have looked a lot more like a well oiled machine out there (vs. a lesser team like KC) and a lot less like a chinese fire drill at a retard convention !

    replace raye now !

    replace smashmouth now !

  65. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    I guess my last comment went to the spam filter. That’s OK, it wasn’t that funny to begin with anyway. Let’s just say the odds of me waking up tomorrow morning in a good mood are about the same as Rob waking up funny. 😆

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