5 keys to determining winner of 49ers-Rams game

Click here to read my Week 1 preview.

  1. 49ers defensive plan – Stack the box. Stop the run. Dare the Rams to beat you with the pass.
    Rams defensive plan – Stack the box. Stop the run. Dare the 49ers to beat you with the pass.

    Both teams will try to make their opponents “beat you left handed.” When it comes to the 49ers and Rams, the passing game is the left hand. The offense that can punish the opposing defense for stacking the box with gouge pass plays will win.

    1. “Stack the box. Stop the run.”

      That’s likely what’s written on 100% of every defensive coordinators keys to the game list for first and second down.

      ” Dare the Rams to beat you with the pass.”

      With our secondary we wont have to dare anybody to test our defenders, they’ll be tossing bombs from the opening whistle.

  2. I suspect O’Neil will use a lot of blitzes to stop the run- maybe sending in a DB quite a bit, which will make for some interesting gambling outside. Reaser or Robinson to start?

    I also believe that since we have 3 capable QB’s, at least somewhat, that it gives the 49ers the freedom to set the QB’s free to scramble more often- another reason to keep Kap.

    I like the 49ers chances, but it will prove interesting what the health of the DL is and how effective they are at stopping Gurley.

    I also hope to see some passes T Smiths way.

  3. Good thing we passed on Prescott and drafted Drixel

    Another great move Baalke!
    That Alex Smith trade and letting Crabtree go because we have so many receivers is looking good too:(

    1. Ha! As if you had a real clue. 50,000 draftniks pick Joe Don BubbaSmith from Nowhere U. When he fails, they say nothing.

      But when he comes out with a very boring 25 of 45 (55%) for 225 dink-and-dunk yards against a bad defense while having pro-bowlers and all-pros and a highly-rated rookie RB to support him… Suddenly the 50-to-1 shot player makes them all geniuses because he didn’t completely suck…

      I used to hang-out with the draftniks in the old SFGate forums, the Utne Reader forums and the Official Forums. Y’all suck and make Baalke look like a Super Genius.

      1. I hope for Luck’s sake it does.

        Speaking of D’s, do you still think the 49ers should have gone all out for Sean Smith? Ugly day for him.

            1. No, bad coaching. Have to disguise and rotate coverage against Brees to make him think. When you play bump-and-run every time, the D-line can’t pressure him because the ball comes out so fast. Makes his job so easy.

              1. Right. Bad coaching. Norton couldn’t make an adjustment, so he benched Smith and hoped Hayden would be better, which he wasn’t. Norton needs to vary and disguise his coverages, and has to know the players’ strengths and weaknesses.

              2. part of the over all defensive scheme of using bump and run coverage is predicated on defensive pressure getting to the QB. I didn’t watch the whole game; but I didn’t see a lot of hits put on Brees. So while Smith and Hayden should have gotten their hands on their receivers at their release, the problem was compounded by Brees having enough time and awareness to know to go to those receivers (as opposed to being constantly harassed by the pass rush pressure).

          1. I understand changing your coverage against Drew Brees because of how intelligent he is but suggesting that bump and run against Cooks is a bad call doesn’t make sense. You are basically arguing that the defense should give potentially the fastest player in the in the NFL a free release.

      2. You think an OLD defense is going to get better during the year? They will hv injuries and get worse. Colts don’t mk the playoffs.

        On another note: How in the HELL is it fair for the 9ers to hv to play a Monday night game and then hv to travel across country to the Panthers when the Panthers played last Thursday. That scheduling is absurd. 9ers got screwed on that schedule,

  4. Including the pre-season Dak now has 95 pass attempts with 0 interceptions

    Luck had 5 int’s in his first 95 pass attempts.

      1. 45 pass attempts in his first NFL game with 0 interceptions. I get that going after his yards per attempt is the only thing you have but seriously, no need to be a hater. I get that you’re embarrassed that he’ll probably be a better QB by week 6 then your man crush Gabbert but rather then piss on the man’s wheaties you should try and remember what a good QB prospect looks like and respect the accomplishment.

        1. 56% completion rate and 5 yards per attempt isn’t much to write home about.

          He played fine for a rookie 4th rounder making his first start. No need to get your briefs in a bunch.

          1. I agree he wasn’t all that impressive. Had all day to throw.. Playing behind the best line in football. A bunch of hype.

          2. Find me another rookie who went through his first 100 pass attempts without an interception.

            Luck’s first regular season game was 3 interceptions and 51% completion and they lost by 20.

            What looks better. Losing by 1 point with zero interceptions on 45 attempts or Losing by 20 with 3 interceptions on 45 attempts?

            Given the obvious answer to the question I’d say that Dak played fine for a rookie 1st rounder, who was a 4th round pick.

            1. Dak didn’t throw a TD today either and his team scored less than 20 points while losing.

              We get it that you liked the guy prior to the draft. So he didn’t throw any interceptions. Awesome.

              I’m much more impressed by what Carson Wentz did today. TD drive and throw on the first series, stayed poised and helped his team win. Very good performance considering he played a total of 38 snaps in the preseason.

              1. The biggest knock I have on Dak today was he was unable to convert a lot of decent early drives into TDs. In the end, only needed to convert one of those into a TD and the Cowboys would have won. He was also a little erratic in the 2nd half, and struggled with his downfield throws.

                He looked pretty composed though, and did a lot of good things for his first NFL game.

              2. Wentz’s day was more impressive I agree. It still doesn’t make Dak’s accomplishment any less impressive either. Your lack of appreciation is more about how you feel about me then it is the accomplishment. Bringing up my pre-draft predilection for the player shows that you now want to nit pick at any little thing he does to try and diminish not him but by enjoyment in him doing well. No need to hide latent hostility towards me by attacking a rookie who is outplaying his draft spot.

              3. Eh, not really Coffee. So he hasn’t thrown an interception. Hooray. He played fine but it definitely was nothing special.

              4. A 4th round QB that starts week 1 and goes his first 100 passes without an INT is special. I’m still waiting for someone to show another rookie that has matched that accomplishment.

      2. I thought Dak looked pretty good for his first game, playing as a rookie in week 1. He’s a confident kid.

        It certainly helped that the OL kept the pass rush off him for the most part.

        Wentz looked good today for a week 1 rookie starter too. Actually he just looked pretty good regardless of being a rookie.

              1. He’s doing pretty well so far this game.

                Decent day for QBs I’ve liked in recent drafts – Winston, Wentz, Garoppolo, even Prescott for his 1st game. A pity Bridgewater did his knee a week back… he probably would have looked pretty good against that Titans D.

              2. Winston looks fantastic. I knew he’d be good, but he’s exceeding my expectations which were high to begin with.

                Really solid first game for Wentz. Either he’s so good he doesn’t need to practice or the Browns are just that bad.

                Jimmy G was much better than I expected. You have to hand it to Belichick. No matter who is out there he has them playing well enough to win every game. Best Coach in the modern history of the game.

                Prescott wasn’t great, but he was good and has a calm about him that is really unexpected for a rookie QB. He played well enough for them to win, and that’s more than they had without Romo last season.

                Some really impressive games from the QB’s yesterday. Brees, Luck, Stafford, Carr, etc. Makes me sad that we have to rely on Gabbert.

              3. Winston has been far better then I imagined he would be with that said lets see how he fares when he isn’t facing the Atlanta defense and their woeful pass rush. They had 1 sack yesterday and it came from a CB.

                Jimmy G look great. His arc in the league reminds me of Rogers. Came in very raw and didn’t look very good early on but has sat behind a future hall of famer and now looks pretty solid.

                Wentz was very impressive. That’s what you expect a first round QB to play like but usually not in week 1. Like Winston, it’ll be interesting to see if he captures the same magic in week 2 when facing a much tougher defense.

                Must be nice to have a team with a QB that has a bright future ahead of him. The brightest thing in Gabbert’s future will be the lights in the tv studio when he becomes an analyst for ESPN.

              4. Yeah, I had very high expectations for Winston. I said at the time of the 2015 draft he was the best QB prospect since Luck, and so far feeling pretty good about that statement. Sure, it was just the Falcons, but he showed well for a rookie last year too. Mariota has been decent and has the makings of a smart, safe, efficient QB, but from what I have seen of the two of them, Winston was definitely the right choice by the Bucs.

                Garoppolo is a good example of the benefits of letting a young QB sit and learn a bit. Not every QB needs that time, but Garoppolo did. It takes a very smart, confident and poised individual to be able to step right in as a rookie QB and not let it break you.

                One guy that has surprised me by how well he has developed is Carr. I honestly thought he was handed the starting job too soon and would break like his brother.

              5. At the time I don’t think there was much doubt that he had the best skill set of his peers in the draft but I like many doubted that he had the maturity to handle the NFL. I felt he’d get in trouble or simply not put in the time needed to succeed.

                Hope he keeps it up.

              6. I had some lengthy conversations about Winston leading up to the draft. There were quite a few people not sold on him, and not just because of his off field issues. Our own blog host for one.

              7. “Our own blog host for one.”

                Well, QB’s can be a difficult lot to sort out. With the likes of Mettenberger and Grayson my record so far shows that I’m good at picking back ups. Guess I have something in common with Baalke.

    1. “Dak Prescott struggled throwing downfield against the Giants, completing 2-of-10 passes thrown more than 15 yards downfield for 36 yards.”

      Ed Werder Twitter

    1. Maybe the tv cameras makes you nervous but you sound more fluid and smooth on the radio. Plus your inflection and pacing make me think someone has Annie Hall on the tv in the other room.

    1. Miami should have won that game. Eighty yard TD pass right in his hands dropped by Stills. They also missed a 27 yard field goal. Completing either of those would have won the game. Earl Thomas had a terrible game. But their luck at home continues.

    2. I agree Under. Miami did a good job containing the run which helps Wilson use play action. When he can’t he is very uncomfortable if he can’t scramble around.
      Miami beat themselves today and the Hawks did not look impressive

    1. I noted that as well. Quite the cross-country latitudinal diagonal jaunt; even more than Boston-San Diego.
      But beats the sweltering heat and humidity of Miami in September; probably kind of chilly for them though on the edge of Puget Sound.

  5. Woo hoo- hate to root for NE, but happy to see AZ lose, especially at home. As I said earlier, I believe there is much more parity in the league this year.

    1. Maybe there’s something to that “reverting to the mean” everybody was talking about a few years back. And it affects teams other than the Niners?

  6. The officiating in Week#1 has been spotty at best, shoddy perhaps. They need to tighten up a number of things. And hey, no dog in the fight, my team doesn’t play until tomorrow. Talkin’ NFL; the NCAA is its own animal.

  7. My impressions about these games.

    Parity has come to the league. Did not see any team dominate.

    Dak looked OK, Wentz did too, but he was also playing against the Browns. Osweiler, Siemian and Garapolo did well, too.

    Saw Oakland go bold and win. Hope Chip is taking notes.

    Niners should learn from all of those teams who squandered time outs, and could not stop the clock with less than 2 minutes to play. 3 of those teams lost.

    Sorry to see NE win , but glad to see the Cards lose. Seahawks look vulnerable, so this next game is huge. The NFC West is wide open.

    Niners will win if they can exploit the Ram’s weakness, which is their secondary. Chip should start with 4 wide and send all 4 deep. Hopefully one of the 4 will be uncovered. Vance should have a good game.

    The Ram’s strength is their D line, so the Niners should not run into the teeth of the defense, but run around them.

    Niners should not blitz a lot. Other teams tried blizting, but it left a lot of man on man, which was exploited. Niners should use the Ducks to collapse the pocket while keeping containment, and rush only 4.That way, they can use 7 to keep everything in front of them. They should not allow any big plays.

    Chip should stress that players need to get out of bounds if they want to stop the clock, and stay in bounds to keep the clock moving.

    Chip should put all this week’s bonehead mistakes on tape all together, and show the team why they want to reduce the unforced errors. They may cost them the game.

    Rams will key on Hyde, so Gabbert should beat them with his legs.

    Gabbert should work on being deceptive. I would like to see some pump fakes and naked bootlegs.

  8. Just checked out football picks….
    Damn good job CFC and diptown that is impressive… 12 picks correct.

    I hope you laid some coin down in Vegas and can add to the coffers for end of the year message board party :D

    1. I guess it is a good thing I couldn’t remember where I did the picks at then (hosting site) as I probably would have changed some! – w Gronk being out, etc……

      I leave to the 49ers gm in a bit- hopefully I will get that W for the 49ers correct too.

  9. That was an opening Sunday of exciting football. If the 49ers can generate a little sustained on field heat I will be satisfied.

  10. Okay baby, finally the day of reckoning or as others might put it wreckoning is here. New chapter in Niner lore begins in a few hours bringing to an end one of the longest off seasons in recent memory.

    1. UC, considering last season’s off season, this one is a walk in the park. I will take this one any day over the last one, which was a dumpster fire and train wreck all rolled into one. They kept on saying that it could not get worse, and it did.

      1. Seb – Wasn’t commenting on dumpster fires. Last off season went quick as the dumpster fire as you put it, kept the off season entertaining at least. This year it was only a campfire with Kaep (doesn’t want to be a Niner) and AD (better draft some o-lineman). Long boring offseason it was. Of course pre-season had its moments also, Kaep losing his ability to stand, AD confused as ever, and the idiot who beat a 70 year old man to a pulp. (his name doesn’t deserved to be mentioned) Maybe for you it was quick offseason but for me it was looooooooooooong.

        1. Please, you may call it entertaining, I would call it torture.

          This season had little drama. Kaep kneeling? it took 3 games before it was noticed. After the initial blowback, people started to realize that stand up against injustice is admirable.

          I am jumping for joy that AD is back because he gives the Niners a better chance for winning. His threat to retire was solely because Baalke was giving him more headaches. Instead of treating him with kid gloves, Baalke decided to beat him with a stick to prove who’s boss.

          Miller was not even going to be on the field much, because he did not catch the ball much during the off season and does not fit into Chip’s system. I think it is bizarre that a player who just made the team behaved so erratically. I do not think it was only alcohol.

          With Chip at the helm, the time flew by. Cant wait for real football to begin.

          GO NINERS !!!!!!

  11. “Seahawks CB DeShawn Shead earned PFF’s top corner-grade for week 1. Saw 53 snaps, only allowed 3 receiving yards, and broke up 2 passes.”

    Baalke doesn’t like cheap, up-and-comers.

  12. Chip Kelly has the speed to actually run screens. He has the QB who dink and dunk. I think that is how you beat STL. Hyde and Draughn should lead the team in receptions today. It’s going to take 31 points to win tonight.

  13. Just read the comments by Doofus Dilfer. Sounds like he was parroting Baalke, and confirms my suspicion that Baalke told Kaep to not be uppity and keep his head down. That went over like a lead balloon, and Kaep forced the Niners to give a million dollars to promote social justice, not because they want to promote social justice, but because Kaep was making them look bad.

    To all of you who thinks that Kaep does not have the right to protest; there is a fine line between forced patriotism and fascism. Look at North Korea. They executed some one for not sitting up straight.

  14. Someone told me long ago
    There’s a calm before the storm,
    I know; it’s been comin’ for some time.
    When it’s over, so they say,
    It’ll rain a sunny day,
    I know; shinin’ down like water.
    I want to know, have you ever seen the Blaine?
    I want to know, have you ever seen the Blaine
    Comin’ down on a sunny day?

  15. You said
    He cannot get there from here, baby
    And he don’t care where he’s goin’
    Here’s to your thin red line
    He’s stepping over
    Thought you’d never miss him
    ‘Til he got a Fat City address
    Non-stop talker, what a rocker!
    Blue eyed murder in a size 5 dress
    Blaine, nothing stays the same
    Blaine, yeah he hits the ground running
    Blaine, and nothing stays the same
    Blaine, yeah he hits the ground running
    No, he don’t ask for permission
    This is his chance to fly
    Maybe enough ain’t enough for you
    But it’s his turn to try
    Thought you’d never miss him
    ‘Til he got a Fat City address
    Non-stop talker, what a rocker!
    Blue-eyed murder in a side-swiped dress
    Blaine, nothing stays the same
    Blaine, and ya hits the ground running
    Blaine, and nothing stays the same
    Blaine, yeah he hits the ground running
    Blaine, nothing stays the same
    Blaine, and he hits the ground running
    Blaine, and nothing stays the same
    Blaine, yeah he hits the ground running
    Take a look at this!
    Hey, man, that suit is you!
    You’ll get some leg tonight for sure!
    Tell us how you do!
    (Come on, Chip, give me a break.)
    Hey, hey, hey, hey, one break coming up!
    Blaine, and nothing stays the same
    Blaine, yeah he hits the ground running
    Blaine, and nothing stays the same
    Blaine, yeah he hits the ground running
    Blaine, and nothing stays the same
    Blaine, yeah he hits the ground running
    Blaine, and nothing stays the same
    Blaine, yeah he hits the ground running

  16. Grant,
    Do you have a prediction and score guess?
    I have the niners with a score of 26-23 but it’s mostly because I want to believe we can be a 6 win team that can make a for a few exciting games… and if we don’t win this game I don’t see us getting above 5 or more likely 4.
    Prediction we jump out to an early lead but fail to score TD’s… Gurley breaks one and the Rams take the lead in the late second /early third… The pace then starts to catch up to the Rams D by the late third and we get hot and get a couple late td’s. Rose colored glasses in full affect I predict a close win in Carolina only to watch us get blown out and then lose 4 in a row:(.

  17. Regarding Kaep and 9ers “giving” $1M. With Kaep will we ever know if it really went to a worthy cause? There was no press release from any organization thanking Kaep for the support and this us the acid test. With 9ers they have given jotjing, they simp,y have claimed to have parkec $1M in the SVCF, which is an org that helps donors determine worthy causes. It is not a charitable cause! So let’s hold feet to fire on this stuff if they put it out there to help their PR.

    Did Trump ever give to the fallen heros? This is why things like these PR moves need follow through and follow up. Trust but verify.

    1. To be honest, they dont have to verify anything, its there money, not yours. Your just a normal person just like them. They dont owe anyone an explanation on how they spent their money. Just sayin

  18. Now, I was told to never bite off more then I could chew
    But then you better bite enough for if you don’t, my boy, you’re blue
    Now I wonder, can others see the system that I see
    Or do they see and say they don’t and blame it on society?
    The days I’ve spent on Earth come to over just eight thousand
    And as I live and learn because there’s always someone mouthing
    Speaking on an issue, praise you or they diss you
    Long as I am strong, the words fly by me like Scott tissue
    My people, from nig— to negro to man of color
    Killed my father and my brother so that you could rape my mother
    Now you wonder, why is it through instinct you fear
    Wouldn’t dare me to stare, one for yourself, you’re out of here
    Not to worry, to harm you not intention of my creed
    But to stop your greed and give me what I need
    Opportunity, for a life for me
    And generations to come with in tranquility
    Now harmony, is a total love of things
    For those who are inclined or better yet like to sing
    But piece of mind it is my right for the spark will ignite
    ‘Till I can catch a cab at Midtown at midnight
    ‘Till I can be myself and not be thought as worse
    ‘Till I can buy a slice from Howard Beach to the ‘Hurst
    ‘Till I can get the pill without fear of eject
    And occupations which I seek I can have if I select
    Now if I so select and reach out to make touch
    How can you say that I ask for too much?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93-ZIpIJVu4

  19. While msg is I think good, it’s delivered in a package marked Victim. Nothing changes until and unless the one not satisfied looks within themself and starts change there,then changing the environment first for themself, and by extension everyone. MLK showed us the way.

      1. I want to see how Gabbert plays tonight first. If Blaine doesn’t crap his pants we should tallk to Cleveland. We could use an extra draft pick or maybe Josh Gordon.

  20. Really entertaining opening weekend of football. Some crazy finishes and solid debuts for young QB’s. Let’s hope we see a win tonight because there won’t be a better opportunity to get one for some time.

  21. Is there any word yet on whether Davis is playing? I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the pre-season hype around Brown is legitimate but if it isn’t, our o-line could be a big ol pile of burning garbage.

    1. WTF?!! A roster move the day of the game? Bizarre. Harper must have really impressed them in his short time. Wonder if he’ll see any action.

      1. “Wonder if he’ll see any action.”

        If he does I wonder what that says about the playbook and the competition around him on the team.

      2. I’m not surprised in the least. Two of the starting four WRs weren’t even in TC and one guy only played in one preseason game (if I recall correctly).

        I chalk this move up to Chip Kelly; I’m not sure it is a bad thing. We’ll see.

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