Seahawks Crush 49ers, 24-0

 

Once again, the depleted 49ers have fallen to a team- that makes it their seventh straight loss (like I did not see that coming).  I am extremely disappointed in this team that was full of promise from the get-go this season and only have initial success to turn into this mess.  I am torn over who is really to blame, the coaching staff or the leader, Alex Smith; and I have come to the conclusion that it is the coaching staff, anything they have tried to do to make Alex Smith a better QB and leader is not working and I would love to see some coaching changes.  Their offensive playcalling was the worst it has been this season on Monday night- you would think they would step it up for such an important game.  But alas being the bad division, the NFC West, there is a slight possibility that San Francisco could contend for Division champions- if they can manage a 7-9 or 8-8 record, they could win it.  If there are not drastic changes fast, then I am afraid that this team is doomed for failure for the rest of the season and beyond.


Game Preview: 49ers Vs. Seahawks

 

This game preview is very spot on and I would agree with it on many key points.  Although I am pledged to the 49ers, as a life-long fan, I must agree that they are playing horrible and will always be the underdog.  I think they may have a chance with the injuries of RB Shaun Alexander and WR Deion Branch but they do not carry this team, the 49ers will have to beat a pretty good team.  That is why I am picking Seattle to win, although deep down I know the Niners can find a way to win.

San Francisco at Seattle – Nov. 12, 2007 at 8:30 p.m.

Overview: The Niners’ offense once again struggled mightily in a 20-16 loss in Atlanta — the team’s sixth straight defeat following a 2-0 start. The Seahawks blew a 21-6 lead in Cleveland and fell to .500 after succumbing to the Browns 33-30 in overtime.  In addition to easily beating the Niners 23-3 in Week Four, the Seahawks sidelined Niners QB Alex Smith with a separated throwing shoulder. 
When the 49ers have the ball: Smith, whose three interceptions proved to be very costly last week, is a good bet to continue focusing on TE Vernon Davis, who has performed well the last two games, catching 13-148-1 over that span. Seahawks OLB Julian Peterson, the team’s best pass rusher, might spend more time covering Davis, which could work to the Niners’ advantage. Getting RB Frank Gore (ankle) back in the lineup after a one-game absence certainly wouldn’t hurt. 
When the Seahawks have the ball: Head coach  Mike Holmgren put particular emphasis on shoring up his team’s running attack during Seattle’s bye week, but a well-rounded passing attack that is expected to get WR Deion Branch back from a foot injury that forced him to miss the last three games gives the team its best chance to succeed. Branch came up with seven catches for 130 yards against the Niners in Week Four.  
Matchup to watch: A Seattle pass rush that was invisible last week but came up with six sacks in the first game against the Niners this season will be trying to duplicate its Week Four performance against San Francisco’s banged-up offensive line.
By the numbers: The Niners have scored only 67 points during their six-game skid. … Former Niner Peterson has 17 sacks in 24 games with the Seahawks.
Key injuries: For the Niners, check the status of Gore, CB Walt Harris (knee) and S Keith Lewis (hamstring). OG Justin Smiley (shoulder) is out indefinitely, and OT Jonas Jennings (ankle) has been placed on injured reserve. For the Seahawks, check the status of Branch, RB Shaun Alexander (ankle/knee) and TE Marcus Pollard (knee). OT Ray Willis (knee) is still a week or two away from returning to action.

My Predicted Outcome: Seahawks 28, 49ers 13

Source: NFL Zone


Don’t laugh: 49ers in race in NFC West

 

Although the San Francisco 49ers are less than spectacular this year, there is still a chance that they can win the NFC West.  The 49ers, who are currently on a six-game losing streak, have recently held a press conference in which Head Coach Mike Nolan has discussed the possibility of winning the West.  Despite an offense that has displayed remarkably little scoring punch, the 49ers go into tonight’s game in Seattle just two games behind the Seahawks, who lead the division with a .500 record (4-4). 

Due to the inconsistency of the division and the conference as a whole, I would say that if they can get it together for a couple of weeks and compile a 8-8 record, they can win the West.  The four NFC West teams have combined for 11 wins – six against division opponents."We’ll see how it plays out over the rest of the season, but at the halfway point, you look at the record, and it’s going to be graded as a weaker division," 49ers linebacker Derek Smith   Certainly they have a chance, especially tonight with a weakened Seahawks team- if there was a time for the Niners to wake up and play better, now would be perfect.

Source: San Jose Mercury News


Former 49ers Coach Dick Nolan Dies

Dick Nolan, 75, former head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and father of Head Coach Mike Nolan, has passed away Sunday.

Born in Pittsburgh and raised in White Plains, N.Y., Dick Nolan played college football at Maryland. He got his start in the NFL as a player, playing defensive back who played for the New York Giants, Chicago Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys.  After nine seasons of playing, Nolan retired and soon became assistant to legendary Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Tom Landry.  Six years later, the 49ers hired Nolan to head up a team that has not tasted post season success in a long time and boy was he up for the challenge.  San Francisco went 7-6-1 in his first season before breaking through in 1970, going 10-3-1 and getting the 49ers’ first playoff win at Minnesota before falling to Dallas in the NFC title game.  Soon after his moderate success, the 49ers started to lose big again and he was relieved of his duties.  Nolan then coached the Saints from 1978-80, going 15-29 with the perennially downtrodden franchise, which fired him after the Saints lost the first 12 games of the 1980 season. 

He has enjoyed a life of fulfillment and is survived by his wife and six children. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Source: NFL.com

Picture courtesy of SFGate.com


Prediction for Remainder of 49er Season

I have to say that I agree with this person’s assessment of the 49ers team and what their potential is for the rest of the season. I just would aim a little lower due to the fact that they cannot beat some of the worst teams in the NFL. I would even go as far as to say that when the St. Louis Rams face the 49ers a second time this season- they can break their winless streak. Here is the prediction courtesy of ESPN:

San Francisco 49ers (2-6)

Surprise: Rookie linebacker Patrick Willis leads the NFL in tackles. After that, there really hasn’t been much to smile about around the 49ers.
Disappointment: What happened to their running game? Frank Gore made the Pro Bowl last season. This year he has 435 yards at midseason.
Prediction: 6-10.

Source: ESPN


When Do The 49ers Fire Mike Nolan?

This article, in the Press Democrat, is a nice look at the main problem for the San Francisco 49ers- the Head Coach. He is clearly trying things that are not working and a different view would be widely accepted by fans all across the board.

There is no leadership on the team because there is bad play-calling and an overall bad job by the coaching staff. I suspect that the coaches thought that it would be easy to trick some of these defenses with their strange offensive schemes, but hello it’s not working. Here is a little advice from me: start using lesser used WR’s that don’t get the coverage of WR Darrell Jackson, improve the O-Line- that’s one major problem,and start pressuring the opposing QB, because we have big, threatening defensive weapons that would thrive if they pressured the QB more.

Well, here is the full article:

When do the 49ers fire coach Mike Nolan? I ask this question because his tenure has been an obvious failure — the loss at Atlanta was the worst humiliation in a string of humiliations. So when does the guy get the ax? Or to be more generous, what can the 49ers do to delay his firing?

If there’s any hope for Nolan — it’s unclear there is — one thing has to happen fast. Owner John York needs to strip Nolan of his dual role as general manager and head coach, and make him only the head coach. I’m not sure they actually call Nolan general manager. He’s beyond general manager. He’s the 49er football czar, in charge of everything having to do with the team, and I understand why York gave Nolan all that power.

Terry Donahue, the previous general manager, was an abject failure who ruined the team and York did not want to repeat that fiasco. So he combined general manager and coach in one position and hoped for the best. Fair enough. Except he didn’t get the best. He got the worst.

Nolan knows zilch about being a general manager, has no experience or talent in that area. I don’t blame him for it. He is a coach, a lifer, and his focus is narrow. He understands nothing about putting together a team. He thinks he knows what he’s doing, but that’s part of his delusion.

York immediately needs to take general-manager duties away from Nolan and grant them to Scot McCloughan, vice president of player personnel. McCloughan is a good football man and could perform better than Nolan, but if York can find someone better than McCloughan that’s OK by me. The only one he can’t select is Nolan, who has de-selected himself by incompetence under fire.

This demotion is not so humbling for Nolan when you think about historical precedent. Sure, Bill Walsh could do all the football jobs and so could Jimmy Johnson. But they are (were) special men, and Walsh really was a football genius.

Other great coaches cannot perform both roles. Like Mike Holmgren. We knows he’s a terrific coach, but he was floundering in Seattle until management took away his general manager duties after the 2002 season — it’s what I’m suggesting the Niners do to Nolan. When Holmgren could focus exclusively on coaching he became a better coach and took the Seahawks to the Super Bowl after the 2005 season.

Mike Shanahan, a superior coach to Nolan, has both roles and is not doing a good job this season in Denver. Maybe someone needs to demote him. The point is, Nolan hasn’t even shown he can win. Asking him to be czar and coach is beyond him.

There’s something else. Nolan is a bad offensive coach, knows nothing about offense, doesn’t even know the plays. He’s certainly not what you’d expect from a head coach, and he desperately needs help in the offensive area. He did OK last year because he ceded the offense to Norv Turner who was, in effect, the head coach for offense. Without Turner or a Turnerlike person, Nolan is up the creek.

His current offensive coordinator, Jim Hostler, is a beginner, has no experience and is learning on the job. That’s a serious no-no for a team that was supposed to be a playoff contender — forget that — and for a team that wants a new stadium. With Hostler and Nolan the Niners will be lucky to sell out the rest of their home games this season. The way things are going they can forget about a stadium.

Nolan needs to bring in a big-time football guy to run the offense.

It is a sign of his inexperience that he chose Hostler in the first place. I’d like to suggest Sam Wyche who is retired and, according to what Bill Walsh once told me, is the most creative assistant coach he ever developed.

What’s the benefit of Wyche? He is smart. He is experienced. He was a 49er assistant in the glory years and he understands the West Coast Offense and he understands the Niner mindset and is a link to the 49er past. If Nolan doesn’t want Wyche, that’s his business. Let him find someone as good or better. And let him do it fast.

You see the seriousness of Nolan’s position. He needs to make big changes and these changes involve diminishing his role. So, how long does he get before York fires him? That’s easy. He gets the rest of this season and he gets next season. If he makes these changes and the team does better in 2008, well, good for him.

But if the same ineptitude prevails next year, York should fire him during the season or immediately after. Enough is enough.

What I’ve proposed is fair, and I hope Nolan takes it that way.

Someone needs to save him from himself.

Source: Press Democrat


49ers Re-Sign LB Roderick Green

The San Francisco 49ers re-signed veteran LB Roderick Green and he should be expected back to practice soon. When the 49ers moved to a 3-4 defensive scheme this summer, he became expendable but now it seems they want him back. Here is the full article:

The 49ers and Roderick Green have agreed to a contract, according to Green’s agent, and the pass-rushing linebacker is expected to begin practicing with the team this week. Green, 25, had 4.5 sacks last year despite playing just half the season. Yet, when the 49ers moved to a 3-4 defense this summer, he became expendable. The 49ers had hoped that the pass rush would be supplied in large part by free-agent linebacker Tully Banta-Cain. The former New England Patriot, however, has only 1 1/2 sacks over the first half of the season. Green worked out for the team yesterday at which point he agreed to the contract. The 49ers also signed offensive lineman Sean Estrada to the practice squad.

Source: Sacramento Bee


Bad Time to be a Niner Fan?

Ever since the beginning of the season, the San Francisco 49ers were the sexy sleeper pick for NFL regular season success but they seem to have lost steam. Although they have loosened the purse-strings to get such free agents as CB Nate Clements and WR Darrell Jackson. Especially with the tandem of young offensive talent in QB Alex Smith, RB Frank Gore and TE Vernon Davis, it seemed they were destined for a good season.

A contributor to MSNBC even went as far as to pick the Niners to lose in the Super Bowl to the powerful New England Patriots and now for sure, he is eating crow now. The main problem with the 49ers is that no one is assuming responsibility as a leader of this team and once they do find that leader will they be considered a decent team. Here is the rest of the article:

Yet, as we in media laugh over our mid-summer miscues and reference obscure hyper-caffeinated sodas from the early 1990s over email, there is one group out there that’s not exactly yukking it up over the Niners’ misfortunes. That’s, of course, the Niners fans who have suffered through this nightmare of a season.

At 2-6, and owners of the 31st ranked total offense in the league, it’s been anything but fun and games for the San Francisco faithful in ’07. Frank Gore — the NFC’s leading rusher in 2006 — has yet to break the 90-yard mark this season and now finds himself out with an injury, while neither Alex Smith nor Vernon Davis have shown any real signs of improvement from last year. Darrell Jackson’s been a non-factor since the preseason and the offensive line’s been an utter mess. At 32nd in passing offense and dead last in the NFL in yards per game, the Niners offense makes the ’06 Raiders look like Jerry Glanville’s Run N’ Gun teams of the early ’90s.

And though rookie Patrick Willis’s been solid and Clements has done a good enough job at cornerback, the defense isn’t exactly putting the clamps on its opponents either. In the bottom third of the league in pretty much every defensive category, they’ve been more “walk right on through” than “lock down.”

Losers of six straight, the season’s pretty much done in San Francisco.

Of course, there’s always April’s NFL Draft to look forward to, right? After all, that’s the saving grace of any terrible NFL team. Right? Hello?

Eek. Not quite.

Back on Draft Day in ’07, the 49ers swapped their first-round pick in the ’08 draft for the Patriots’ 28th pick overall in 2007. Joe Staley, the player chosen with that pick, has been a nice piece on the Niners line.

He’s NOT a top five NFL pick.

The fact that the 2007 Patriots — arguably the greatest team in NFL history — own the rights to the Niners’ 2008 pick has become the salt in what’s been an ever-expanding wound to San Francisco fans everywhere.

David Fucillo, editor of the popular 49ers fan site, Niners Nation explains, “The draft pick issue is like the ultimate knife in the back. Whenever I feel like it can’t get worse, I think about that draft pick, and well — it gets worse. Even worse is that it’s going to the best team in the league. All I can hope for is that Roger Goodell decides to take the 49ers pick from the Patriots as part of the punishment. If this was David Stern running things, he’d finagle a way to get the pick back to San Francisco (since they have been one of the marquee franchises in the past).”

hat’s not happening, David.

Whereas fans of the Rams, Jets, and Dolphins can rely on misty-eyed dreams and pigskin-related fantasies of Glenn Dorsey, Darren McFadden, and Brian Brohm wearing their teams jerseys next year, 49er fans have nothing of the sort to look forward to.

Fucillo agrees, “There’s not much. I guess, perhaps, we can always hang our hat on the yeoman-like effort of punter Andy Lee, currently third in punting average and third in lowest punt return average.”

Yep, that’s how bad it’s gotten. They’re hanging their hats on the punter in San Francisco this season.

Source: Fox Sports


49ers Fall 20-16 to Falcons

Just when I thought San Francisco had a shot at their third win this season- they continue on that awful slide to failure. They put together a decent offensive front but then it all fell apart when there defensive line could not stop Warrick Dunn.

Mike Nolan is in a whole load of trouble and if he cannot break even (8-8), I think the owners should fire him- he has only brought more embarrassment to this franchise. Alex Smith surprised me with his decent play, coming back from an injury is tough- especially at QB. Now I’m just counting down the days until we fall to the Seahawks on Monday Night Football- or maybe the 49ers will wake up and play decent ball, which is out of reach at the moment.


Game Preview: 49ers Vs. Falcons

We have finally arrived at Week 9 in the NFL schedule and both of these teams are underachievers, so then picking a winner would be difficult. Offensively, Atlanta surpasses San Francisco but the Falcons have been having bad luck all season long. When it comes to defense, both teams are on even keel so that makes picking a winner even more difficult. There are so many injuries on the 49ers side, but I think they can pull out a win. Here is a game preview, followed by my prediction:

Overview: Drew Brees carved up the Niners like a holiday-season turkey in the Saints’ 31-10 victory in Week Eight — San Francisco’s fifth straight loss after a fast 2-0 start. The 1-6 Falcons’ season from hell resumes after last week’s bye with Joey Harrington regaining the starting QB job from the injured Byron Leftwich (ankle).

When the Niners have the ball: Both QB Alex Smith, who had missed most of the previous three games with a separated shoulder, and RB Frank Gore, who was listed as questionable with an ankle injury entering the Saints game, appeared to be laboring vs. New Orleans, particularly Gore, who was noticeably limping at game’s end. TE Vernon Davis had his best game of the year against the Saints (6-71-1) and could provide a challenge for Atlanta’s so-so pass defense.

When the Falcons have the ball: Don’t be surprised if Harrington tries to follow in Brees’ footsteps and go for the jugular right from the get-go against a Niners secondary that could be missing CB Walt Harris, who was carted off in the second half last week with a knee injury. Falcons WR Roddy White, who has provided a bright light in a dreary season, will have his work cut out for him against Niners CB Nate Clements, who has played exceptionally well for the most part this season.

Matchup to watch: The Falcons believe Trey Lewis, who will be taking over for the departed Grady Jackson at nose tackle, has great potential. San Francisco’s shaky interior offensive line could enable him to get off to a fast start in his new starting role.

By the numbers: The Niners have gained more than 100 yards rushing in only two games and have yet to pass for at least 200 yards in any game. … Four of the Falcons’ losses have been by a TD or less.

Key injuries: For the Niners, in addition to Smith and Gore, check the status of Harris, WR Darrell Jackson (quadriceps) and OT Jonas Jennings (ankle). For the Falcons, Leftwich could miss up to three games.

My Predicted Outcome: 49ers 27, Falcons 17

Source: NFL Zone