Tough Guys Don’t Dance

The 49ers have generously added yet another game for our viewing pleasure this year with their victory over the Panthers. This will be the third straight year the team has advanced to the NFC Championship Game. Bravo lads!

Has it really been only three years since the team finished 6-10 under the tutelage of Mike Singletary, after yet another in a long line of dismal, losing seasons? Wow. Time skeedaddles when you’re having fun.

14-4, 13-5-1, 14-4 and counting. That’s quite a bit of fun, IMO. We are picking in high cotton, guys.

Which doesn’t dilute how painful it will be if we lose this next game up in Seattle.

Some former players will no doubt be watching this game. Abrayo Franklin and Ricky Jean-Francois are home after two playoff games where they were scorched and trampled like rag dolls. Delanie Walker didn’t get into the postseason, nor is he likely to in the near or even distant future. Ditto for Dashon Goldson, who made more news this year for his penalties, fines, and suspensions than for his play. And, of course, Alex Smith, who had one of the best games of his career in the wild card round, only to see his defense spit the bit in historic fashion, a defense that began the year as one of the league’s best and finished it as one of the worst.

Should the 49ers squeeze out a win in Seattle Sunday, they’d be the first team in ten years — since the 2003-2004 Patriots — to make back-to-back Super Bowl appearances. And the first team since the 1991 Buffalo squad to return to the SB after losing it the previous year.

There’s no secret formula for victory Sunday. These SF/Seattle games are pure Ali/Frazier epics. Bruising all out wars. Turnovers could swing the outcome either way. More likely, the team with the most good players making good plays will walk off with a victory.

The first order of business for the 49ers is to hold the fort early and keep the Seattle crowd of noise makers from going into a frenzy. The team has played from behind in both of its recent trips to Qwest Field, so it would be advisable to get an early lead. It wouldn’t hurt either if Marshawn Lynch, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, or Russell Wilson broke a leg in the first quarter. I wouldn’t complain if all four of them came up lame, but that’s probably hoping for too much.

A month ago, nobody in the league thought any team could beat the Seahawks at home in the playoffs. They were considered a shoo-in to reach the Super Bowl. Then a couple of things happened to shake that assumption. First, the 49ers out slugged them at Candlestick, denting their aura of invincibility. And a couple weeks later, the Cardinals marched into Qwest Field and stepped on their throats 17-10, despite Arizona QB Carson Palmer heaving four interceptions.

The 49ers are not favored to win this game, but it’s no longer considered a slam dunk. I can’t say I’m confident the team will come away with a win Sunday, but they have shown some real grit and determination so far in the postseason, so maybe they’ll shock the world after all. A loss for the Niners would send them into the offseason determined to regain control of the division next year. But a loss by Seattle would be devastating to the franchise. If they can’t count on noise to get them to the Super Bowl, maybe they just aren’t good enough to go.

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63 comments on “Tough Guys Don’t Dance
  1. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    I also qualify as one of the yahoos that just enjoy watching the game. Easiest thing in the world is to play Monday Morning QB and second guess certain strategies in HINDSIGHT.
    For me they have won 8 in a row and I am happy.

    I try not to overthink things and what pleases me most about Kap is he’s taking care of the football and limiting his turnovers.
    That will be one of the keys to beating the Seahags on Sunday.
    If Kap takes care of the football we will be in the game.

  2. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Some random Niner facts from Pro Football Focus that a Seahag site has highlighted

    -Colin Kaepernick’s Accuracy Percentage of 69.1 ranks just 29th of 38 qualifying QBs.

    – Anquan Boldin’s 113.9 WR Rating puts him at number 10 out of 87 qualifiers.

    – Justin Smith has a Pass Rush Productivity of 9.8, good for 4th among 3-4 DEs.

    – Carlos Rogers gives up just 0.85 Yards per Cover Snap, the 10th best mark among 112 cornerbacks

  3. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    The weekly All 22 analysis confirming Panther gameplan of taking Crabtree away by doubling him and opening things up for Boldin

  4. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    I am happy they have won 8 in a row.
    Let me add that I’d be ecstatic if they stretch the current streak to 10 in a row.

    Ran across this video from a few years ago that is well done.
    I don’t recall seeing it and thought I’d share. A little dated but still inspiring.

  5. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    To futher Berger’s cause here, I agree with a lot of what he says. Even the Carolina game we saw a lot more underneath outlet plays than the norm. Too many times there wasn’t an underneath outlet, whether it be Gore, the hurt Miller, or even V McD for 2/3 of the season. This has become much more of a priority recently. I think the Niners out-thought themselves in this regard. As in, with no underneath guy, the running lanes would be clearer and Kappy would have a chance for yards, but the flipside is if he can’t break contain, he’s toast and they lose yards with no one to throw to.

    Some of this was matchups, some of it was lack of tools, but a big part of the problem WAS the play calling.

    Flip-flopping on Kappy I see . . .

  6. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Unca- The confab is over for me. If they don’t remember the feelings being expressed when we were 6-4 and looking like there was going to be no play-offs then let them be bliss.

    Two major events happened, Roman changed his play calling and we got Crabtree back. Without both we are not playing this Sunday. There was no new wrinkle in the offense, we changed the philosophy of the offense from power and the element of surprise to match-up play calling with far better spacing in the formations. That is a whole different approach. We do still default to power at times but the philosophy has mostly changed.

    I had actually dropped the subject yesterday until bullit said I was whining over ball control offense. A false statement. I like and advocate a ball control offense. In clearing that up we went another of round of debate. All that this last round has confirmed to me is some watch the game one way and others differently. I pay much attention to the play calling and hated it when I could call almost every upcoming play correctly with Hostler and Raye. With Roman I could not call his plays very often his first year. Last year and at the first half of this year I could call most of them before the ball was snapped. Do you think the other team knows that too? It greatly affects winning and losing. Obviously RoBaugh was in a rut.

    You and I and Spitty were the ones calling out the coaching staff for being too Schembechler. Since then, this is a different offense with different game planning. So some choose to call us out and say we are Monday morning QBs.

    That is not how I look at it. I just wanted to win and 6-4 with 8 Pro Bowlers was unacceptable. So I bitched at what I believed the problem was, Greg Roman. I even proclaimed myself a Roman hater. His offense has changed so much since the middle of the season I’m even coming off my hater stance. But some chose to tell me I’m a whiner or that the offense is the same as before with just a little wrinkle. Whatever. I’ve stated my case, I’ll give them the last word and move on.

  7. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    BTW- Being a yahoo is a good thing. Especially on a blog. We’re all yahoos!

  8. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    I’m a google?

  9. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Well, I wasn’t a far gone as Spitty, but I was definitely of a mind that these guys were telegraphing a lot of their intentions. Especially the goal line offense.

    Telling was, last game Kappy threw the TD to VD from the jumbo set, and Kappy ran the ball in from a 3 WR set. As recently as the GB game they threw 3x from 3 WR sets. Just as bad as running from the jumbo down close.

  10. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Joe Montana discussing this week’s NFC Championship Game

  11. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    This is how Steve DeBerg and the Niners used modern technology of that day so Deberg’s signal calling could be heard.

  12. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Interesting tidbits from Branch that are all Harbaugh:

    “From 1946-2010, the 49ers never threw fewer than 9 INTs in a season. They’ve since had fewer than 9 picks for 3 straight years.

    One more: From 1946-2010, the 49ers committed 18 or fewer turnovers twice (1960, 2002). They’ve since done it 3 straight seasons.”

  13. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Need to swarm and gang tackle Lynch and stop him in his tracks.

  14. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Another preview of this Sunday’s game from a different perspective.

  15. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Wall Street Journal weighs in on Seahag push it to the edge
    defensive strategy

  16. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Oooops. Too much time on his, uh, hands?

    Embarrassing details have emerged in the recent arrest of New York Jets tight end Kellen Winslow, who was charged last month with possession of synthetic marijuana.

    Police approached Winslow, who was parked in his car outside a Target store in East Hanover, N.J., because they were summoned by a woman who complained that he was masturbating in the vehicle, according to police and court records obtained by

    [+] Enlarge
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
    Tight end Kellen Winslow will be a free agent in March. It’s highly unlikely that he returns to the Jets.
    The woman, whose name was redacted from the report, provided a written statement of her account. She was shopping inside Target when they arrived, police said.

    According to the police report, “She pulled into a parking space to the right of (Winslow’s) Escalade and noticed a make sitting in the driver seat with the window open. As she exited her vehicle, she commented to the male how cold it was. As she stood near the open drive side window … she [saw that he was exposed below the waist]. She stated that she believed he was masturbating.”

  17. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    It seems a chart from one of Bullit’s articles shows how up and down the Hags are on the run defense. I would love to be paid for finding out why. I hope our coaching staff is on it. My guess is running while Red Bryant in does not work. That guy is right there with Ngata for run stopping. If true, that would mean to throw on 1st down when Bryant is in and run the ball on downs when Irvin and Bennet are in as long as it isn’t 3rd and too long. Maybe come out with 4 wide on 1st down, get Bryant off the field for later first downs then and start running the ball. This sounds like a good spot for a 270lb slot receiver who can line up tighter and block when the situation calls for it. We just might have one of those around! Just a thought.

  18. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Well, one thing they have back is KJ Wright. He matched up pretty well with VD last game til he got hurt.

    With the weather likley not a factor this Sunday, I think we’ll see more throwing than in the previous couple games. Freom both sides.

  19. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Per Pete Carroll, Percy Harvin is out for Sunday’s game.

    KJ Wright is at full speed. Might want to test him out early and often.

  20. robNo Gravatar says:

    we HAVE to be able to collapse the pocket and get pressure up the middle vs. seattle this week ! watching russel wilson escape pressure step up and make plays is killing me !
    go niners !

  21. robNo Gravatar says:

    aw man percy harvin is out ?! aw shucks and i was so looking forward to seattle having all their weapons in for this game ! yup just like they got home feild because we were so healthy all season … too bad too sad !

  22. robNo Gravatar says:

    and btw ! after reading a few of berger’s post i started paying more attention pre snap to our formations and had to agree with his assesments ! we made it pretty easy to anticipate our intentions and harder to succeed vs. the better teams by being so predictable ! using more pistol and running and passing out of more spread out formations more often is helping us out too imo ! with crabs back and vernon up to full strength we should be going with these more and more !

  23. robNo Gravatar says:

    i would like to see us go with the read option three times and THROW off of it at least once ! we could get a big play out of it imho !!!

  24. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Actually, ROB!!!! the way to beat Wilson is to KEEP him in the pocket and not let him get loose on scrambles. Make him throw out of the pocket, and his lack of height becomes an issue.

  25. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Keep the edge, and not let him outside. That being said, the middle has to hold as well.

  26. NoFear49erNo Gravatar says:

    You just nailed it. We’ve largely ignored the pitch and play action elements of the option. Completely as far as the pitch.

  27. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Looks like you’ve hit a few Sam Adams there NoFear! Good to see you!

  28. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Carmen Policy wrote a letter to the 12th Man. Policy authenticated the letter on CSN,

    Dear Friends In Beautiful Seattle,

    All of us at Casa Piena wish to congratulate you, your Seahawks and my friend Coach Pete Carroll for providing the Nation with such an exciting 2013 season. Your fire and passion has created a marvelous rivalry with our San Francisco Forty Niners that has become the most intense, confrontational and “sound-bite-laden” match up in the NFL today. We are quite certain that your valiant efforts will be appreciated by fans throughout America as you fall just one game short of going to Super Bowl XLVIII in the Big Apple. Please note, that as the final whistle blows on Sunday January 19th and the Niners have become this year’s NFC Champions, that much of the Napa Valley and San Francisco Bay Area will be lifting a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon as a toast to your memorable but terminated season. Good luck next year and please consider visiting us this summer so that we can talk about the Forty Niners victory in New York and a sixth Lombardi Trophy on their shelf.

    Submitted with love and respect,
    Gail & Carmen
    Carmen Policy and the team at Casa Piena

  29. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    That’s one way to let people know about his winery. Free advertising is always a good thing. I wouldn’t mind trying a glass of his vino!

  30. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    7PM Century Link Field Seattle, WA
    The Sound of Silence as the 12th Man has gone home defeated

  31. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    We might be looking for The Sound of Silence but right now it is looking more like a Bridge Over Troubled Water.

  32. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    You can get 30-1 at my sportsbook if we win tomorrow AND our 270 lb. slot receiver scores a TD. Good luck with that shit.

    Step 1. Put money in toilet.
    Step 2. Flush.
    Step 3. Wave goodbye.
    Step 4. Draft another 270 lb. slot receiver next May.

  33. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Sometimes how we perceive things are far from the truth.
    For instance posters here complain about Carlos Rogers covering the slot and doing a poor job and he was done.
    The truth of the matter per Maiocco from Pro Football Focus stats
    “Of the 31 CBs who played 200 pass snaps in slot, Carlos Rogers T-1st allowing catch every 11.6 snaps, 11th allowing 1.05 yds/ coverage snap.”

  34. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    “Sometimes how we perceive things are far from the truth.”

    Not when it comes to one Alexander Douglas Smith. He just plain sucks no matter how you look at it. Perceived, preconceived, conceived, prenatal or cesarean. Alex Smith has sucked since the day he was born.

  35. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    You go back Jack and do it again

  36. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Nice choice of songs, I like that one. But what are we going back to do again? Draft Alex No. 1 overall > Aaron Rodgers? Compound that mistake by keeping Alex for eight seasons (played in seven) trying to justify the first mistake?

    The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the infliction of cruel and unusual punishment. I had to endure eight years of Alex Smith as a San Francisco Forty Niner.

    Give me cruel and unusual punishment every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

  37. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    No if you want to play the hindsight game then we shouldn’t have drafted Gio Carmazzi in the 3rd round of the 2000 NFL Draft.
    We should’ve taken your favorite Mr Bundchen. That would’ve tilted the NFL on it’s axis.

  38. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    See. That’s what makes the NFL Draft so great and unpredictable. I LOVED the Carmazzi pick when it happened. Oops. Even after hours of watching video and dissecting each and every aspect of a college player, the fan, much more importantly, the team that drafts him, truly never knows what comes next.

    My friend, Gump, summed it up best…

  39. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Hey, Bullit. Peter Dinklage just lost to Bryan Cranston for best actor in tonight’s SAG Awards.

    To say Pete was short-changed would be an understatement.

  40. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Pete? Short? And under?

  41. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    I just got off the phone with Berger. I had to call him tonight. He didn’t call me this entire week. I thought something was wrong. Berger usually calls me 3,4,5 times — at least — a week. But Berger just knew something was wrong, and he feared the bad news, so he never called. — and he was right — I had broken “My Left Foot” Daniel Day-Lewis, and was pretty much out of commission this entire week and many weeks to come… But everyone knows that I wouldn’t let a hairline fracture of my fifth metatarsal stop me from enjoying and commenting on Championship Sunday.

    Hit somebody!!! So I got hit as well. So be it.


  42. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Hey my fellow Niner fans! We’ve won five Super Bowls and are on the cusp of winning our sixth. But even if we do, we’re nobody. Why?

  43. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Berger, my best friend. We are the nobody’s who have to wait. Wait until what? We’re the Niner fans. We don’t wait for shit.

    I’ll wait until early next morning when you wake me with a phone call that speaks of Jim Harbaugh’s early childhood.

    “Papillon” Love me some Steve McQueen…

  44. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    A little James Taylor is apropos

  45. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    GAME DAY!!!

  46. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve got a feeling, that tonight’s gonna be good night.
    Shut down the beast and stop the noise. GO NINERS!!!

  47. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    I’m watching highlights: Week 7, 2012: An Alex Smith TD to Delanie Walker propels the Niners to a 13-6 W over Seattle.

    We got none chance without those two guys today. 😛

  48. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Sounds like you broke more than your foot, Dennis. BTW, any part of your body you haven’t broke yet?

  49. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebers, I’m a walking M*A*S*H unit. Check that. I’m a limping M*A*S*H unit. Screw “Hot Lips” Houlihan, we got Dwight Hicks and the Hot Licks!

  50. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    When Del called I was drunk and he was drunk. I wonder if anything said was worth saying! I remember laughing a lot!

  51. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    “When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.”
    —Henny Youngman

  52. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Should have known the Chargers would make the playoffs this year. They released Takeo “Playoff Killer” Spikes in the past offseason.

  53. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Our 270 lb. slot receiver just made a 13 yd catch and 1st dn.
    Al Michaels, “Do you believe in miracles?”

  54. EarlNo Gravatar says:

    Theme song for the Patriots effort today.

  55. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:


  56. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Let’s fire Greg Roman! That will make everything better.
    Until we fire Jim Harbaugh, nothing changes. Nothing.

  57. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    So help me Christ, Berger. If you call for Greg Roman’s head this morning…

    By hook or crook, I will limp up to Reno, NV and punch you in the goddamn throat.

    Did we fire Jim Harbaugh yet?

  58. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Berger, I’m going to semi-pin this loss on you. Why? I’ll tell ya why. Go back months ago when, YOU, told me about our 2014 Mock Draft. You said with the 30th pick the Niners will draft…

    I stopped you right there. I said we’re picking 30? That means we lose the NFC Championship Game.

    I hate being Nostradennis on that prediction.

  59. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

  60. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    And the 2014 NFL Oscar for the Best Nigga in a Leading Role goes to…

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