Trading Places

20-16, 24-9, 27-6, 38-7. Those are the scores of the past four Cardinals/49ers games — all San Francisco victories. The first one anyway. The last three were more like stompings.

Is there likely to be a reversal of Arizona fortunes this year?

Moving on to serious speculation, the 49ers will embark this Sunday on their quest to sweep all five remaining NFC West division games, thus ensuring them of a season record of no worse than 13-3. And also serving notice that they OWN THIS DIVISION. A 13-3 record would also lock up the second seed in the playoffs, since only the Giants and Saints could also achieve this record, and the Niners would win a tie-breaker with both of those teams.

Arizona brings a modest two game winning streak to Candlestick on Sunday. A win over the collapsing Eagles and one over the already collapsed Rams. It is unlikely this streak will be extended.

The Cardinals are in the midst of a QB controversy similar to last year’s 49ers. The installed starter, Kevin Kolb, is out with a turf toe injury and the lightly regarded backup QB who replaced him, John Skelton, is 2-0. Troy Smith stood in for Alex Smith last year and went 2-0 also. In Troy’s third game, however, he pitched a shutout and the party was over. Or should have been. Then coach Mike Singletary let it linger all the way through the last game of the season and his last game as 49er head coach.

The party should end for Skelton this week as well. Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt would no doubt view this as a blessing, since he could then restore Kolb as the starter and continue to attempt validation of throwing sixty million dollars at him this past offseason. The guess here is that Kolb will be a Cardinal longer than Whisenhunt will.

Kolb was the QB that a loud segment of the blogopolis insisted the 49ers should acquire at the end of the lockout. That segment is no longer loud, nor is it even visible, having wheezed off the blogs to await the next dreadful era of 49er football. If there is one. And they are still breathing.

Meanwhile, in New York, the Giants are still complaining that every break in the world did not go their way as they exhibited control over the 49ers last Sunday. Apparently, the game ending play was fully expected by the Niners and they had it covered, even if Justin Smith hadn’t batted down that last pass. IOW, Tom Coughlin was out-coached. Rather than admit it, he is claiming that Patrick Willis committed defensive holding, which prevented their play from working. Coughlin was also still bitching about the Delanie Walker shift, which drew the Giants offside on a critical 3rd and 2 play. Again, he was out-coached. Again he blames the refs. My guess is, the Giants feel their season slipped away last Sunday.

The Delanie Shift has now been used twice, once flagged and once not. It’s definitely drawn defensive coordinators’ attention, though. Which puts one teensy bit of hesitation into the opponent pass rush and is another example of Jim Harbaugh’s relentless search for every edge he can get in the battle to win games. Our coach. We love him.

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Posted in Vacant Observations
23 comments on “Trading Places
  1. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    Who’s got it better than us?

  2. BergerNo Gravatar says:


  3. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Being 8-1 is making many of us bibliophages of anything 49ers.

  4. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    “……YOU ARE A FACTORY OF SADNESS! I’ll see you Sunday.”

  5. DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Just an idle question…… the interception Sunday. People mention the ball bouncing off Ginn’s hands. I have no way to go back and check, but at the time my eyes told me the ball bounced off his facemask! Which is reality?

  6. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    Dennis…if i recall…it was both..through his hands …into the face mask…up in the air…and into db’s waiting arms 3 yards away….made me SICK 🙁

  7. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Lol, I guess the pressure is to much for Coughlin that he has to make stuff up. And, skeebs, you are so right, we do love our coach. We can’t take AZ lightly, we must crush them.

    I almost feel sorry for the Cleveland fan’s, it’s been a long time since Jim Brown.

  8. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    Ginn totally botched that play.
    Ball went through Ginn’s hands, hit his face mask and popped 3 ft up in the air for a room service pick. If Madden were calling the game he would have said it was a doink.

  9. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Saddest day for Cleveland was when Art Modell took their team and moved them to Baltimore which is ironic since Irsay moved the Colts in a similar fashion to Indy.
    To add to the misery that Raven’s team eventually won a Super Bowl.

    Maybe the Browns decided to suck for Luck because they lost this past weekend on a botched snap for a point blank FG that would have won the game.

  10. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    The way Alex’s luck has gone as a Niner, he’ll probably get hurt, Kaepernick will come in and tear up the league, and Alex will wind up running the WCO in Cleveland next year.

  11. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I would like to say that would make Del happy but he hates Kaep too.

  12. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Last year everyone was wowed by Sam Bradford and marvelled that the Rams were set at QB for the next 15 years. OC Shurmur left to become HC of the Browns and they bring in Josh McDaniels. Although hurt, Bradford has also been very mediocre. Sando of ESPN has the following stats on Bradford

    A quick look at where Bradford ranks in NFL passer rating for categories, according to ESPN Stats & Information: •12th in passes from outside the pocket.
    •17th in third-down passing.
    •18th in passes against pressure featuring at least one defensive back.
    •19th on deeper passes.
    •20th on play-action passes.
    •22nd on shotgun passes.
    •23rd on screen passes.
    •23rd against four or fewer pass-rushers.
    •25th on second down.
    •28th on perimeter throws (outside the yard-line numbers).
    •28th against five or more pass-rushers.
    •28th on shorter throws.
    •29th on first down.
    •30th from inside the pocket.
    •30th on passes inside the yard-line numbers.
    •31st in the red zone.
    •42nd in goal-to-go passing.

    Bradford has one of the last contracts that are very unfriendly
    to any trades as they would take a huge hit on the cap. Maybe the problem is the OC McDaniels and not the QB.

    If they were in a position to darft Luck they couldn’t because of Bradford’s contract and might trade Luck for a bushel of #1 picks. The rumor is it would take 3 #1’s.

  13. barleyfreakNo Gravatar says:

    To Coughlin, and “control”,
    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  14. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    That Browns fan said that there are more important things in life other than football.
    The hell there is. Week 11 starts tonight. Jets/Broncos. Check your FF lineups.

  15. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebs there is a very poignant message within your article.
    Our Coaching Staff exposed a weakness in Gilbrides’ Offense.
    This 9er Staff has hit the ground running in terms of preparation each and every week.
    Football is a chess match. Nolan and Singletary played checkers in too many cases,and, being predictable gets you beat.
    IMO, we are likely working on a wide open Offense every week in practice and exposing only what we need to show in order to win. Once we get to Playoff football, we have options that no one has seen on film. It started with the end zone shots to Braylon last week against the NYG. I counted at least a half dozen throws in that game that Alex and Receivers missed by poor timing.

  16. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Now I can listen to the NY Fans crying even more.
    Jets get Tebow-ed

  17. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Berger, I have another DT for you to look at. Still like Crick, but this guy is worth some attention too.
    Jerel Worthy – Michigan St. 6’3″ 310
    Run defense: Packs power and has quick feet to handle one or two-gap run defense responsibilities in the box. Tough to move, stands up blockers when anchoring against the run.

  18. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I’m also leaning toward CB Chase Minnifield, 6’0″ 185 4.49 and FS Markelle Martin, 6’1″ 198 4.47.
    Either guy could help us. Minnifield seems like a guy Baalke might lean toward, he’s capable of making the move to FS.
    His Dad was a Pro too, Frank Minnifield, Cleveland Browns.
    Not to mention, Chase is a great athlete. Played wide receiver, running back, cornerback, quarterback, kickoff returner, kicker, and punter.
    Since you got me started on Draft prep, thought I’d pass some ideas along.

  19. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    NJ- With bowl season a month away it is time to know who to watch for. I appreciate the input. Your DT sounds like one to watch. For safety I want to see Mark Barron one more time. He is big and fast, and we all know how good the Alabama defense is.

  20. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    There seems to be some good prospects for 3-4 alignment DEs this year. It doesn’t look to be a good year for NTs.

  21. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    It is that time of year for the omnibus of draft publications and talk to start up.

  22. 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