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.
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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.”