From Lambs to Rams

The 49ers won’t play for a playoff spot on Sunday against the L.A. Rams. They won’t even face the real Rams — Rams head coach Sean McVay announced on Tuesday that he will not play his starters. But the 49ers still have plenty to play for. They want to beat the Rams. They want to become the Rams.

The Rams represent what the 49ers aspire to, an elite team. After winning only four games last season, the Rams turned things around fast. They have won 11 games this season and are the champions of the NFC West.

The 49ers’ record is 5-10 and they’re in last place in the NFC West. But since Jimmy Garoppolo became the starting quarterback, they’ve won four games in a row, and last Sunday they beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, whose record is 10-5.

The 49ers may just be in the middle of their own quick turnaround.

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This article has 160 Comments

  1. I don’t want to be the Rams. I want to beat the Rams. IMO, we have the better QB. Goff needs talent around him. Garoppolo needs a body with hands and a nanosecond of time.

    The Rams better win it all this season because the division and conference is ours starting next year.

    1. Spot on.

      I’ve had similar thoughts this season when folks have been referencing Salah’s defence against the legion of boom. I understand the comparison. And the history/context. But I don’t want the niners defence to be LoB. I want it to be better.

    2. Grant calling the Rams elite is premature. They haven’t accomplished anything special. They could be one-and-done in the playoffs. As you said, they better win it all this year, or their window will close very quickly.

  2. FAIL….what an insult………We don’t want to be the Rams…….we OWN the rams……we took a break from beating up on the rams…….

  3. I’m not a rams fan by any stretch, but they are one of a few teams going into the playoffs that are strong on offense and defense.

    We are possibly two years away from being on the same level with them. They have drafted well over the last few years and have solved their QB issues with the emergence of Goff. The seahags and the cards have had their run and are trending downward. The rams are now the face of the division with the 49ers quickly bring up the rear.

    We will need to make some smart moves in the draft and FA for us to become a divisional contender next year.
    Edge-Rusher, WR, O-line, RB, CB will greatly improve the team.
    I don’t believe that Lynch and Shanahan are counting on players like Arik Armstead, Aaron Lynch, Ron Blair and Tank Carradine to become our go-to guys at pressuring the QB.

    Our secondary doesn’t look as bad as it did early in the season with the exception of Donte Johnson who has been a liability.
    LB could become a major issue if Foster continues to reside in the tent every game. Brock Coyle and even Malcolm Smith can’t be relied on to be our long term answer at LB. Eli Harold is invisible when he’s on the field because of his menial contributions.
    LB will need to be addressed.

    Going back to the theme of this topic, may sense is that we are still a couple of years away from becoming legitimate contenders.

      1. Nick,
        Hope you are right. The scope I have is that we are not yet a well rounded team on offense and defense.
        Offense :
        O-line – still needs to improve.
        WR – no real #1.
        TE – Kittle is still young.
        RB – Hyde may not be here next year.
        QB – Garoppolo is a winner, but can rely on Beathard if JG gets hurt.?

        Defense :
        No real edge-rushers.
        Foster is our only impact LB.
        Secondary can still use some help.
        ST- Gould has been a find, but our returners aren’t making any noise.

        The rams are now the cream of the crop in the west. We can be 8-10 game winner next year, but unfortunately the rams will likely be a 12-13 game winner.
        Two more drafts and FA signings will quickly close the gap.

        1. Good qbs mask a lot.
          This team is still one of the least talented teams in the league.
          The o line, lb, db units are all below average… as are the edge rushers.
          There are still plenty of holes to fill before this is a quality contender but I am looking forward to seeing it. Its amazing how much a quality QB lifts the spirit😀.

  4. When i found out the Rams were resting their starters, my very first thought was what’s going on here is SO VERY OBVIOUS. McVay is scared to death that the Niners could actually beat his squad and send them whimpering into the Playoffs. He can’t have his starters get beat by a team with a losing record, that would crush their morale and give their first playoff opponent a huge mental edge. Well played McVay! I freaking LOVE IT.
    Its already happening, the Niners are getting RESPECT!

    1. OFF TOPIC
      I have been reading this blog for quite some time. But have refused to engage until that cancerous idiot sebnayah was gone. Kudos to whoever got that guy to leave. I think the mod(s) should have taken steps long ago to dispatch that inciteful, disruptive clown. IMO He really limited the potential for this blog and im sure there are many many like me that did not engage in the conversation because of him. Grant, you probably lost some readers for life because of sebnayah. I know because many times, I was on the brink of that sentiment myself.

    2. Maybe…or he doesn’t want his starters getting hurt and knocked out of the playoffs?..Plus the 49ers win would lower their 1 rd draft pick and maybe letting the Rams pick a spot higher??..Not saying he’s thinking that too.. But I think he’s worried about his starters health for the playoffs. This wouldn’t be the first time a playoff team pulled starters the last game and lost, nothing new. But sure their getting respect and hopefully better FA’s will want to sign now.

      1. Oh I absolutely agree that he wants
        his starters to rest and yes, sitting them is not an unprecedented move. But I would bet a hefty sum that he’s damned glad that this game isn’t a must win for his team.

        1. Sure he’s glad it’s not a must win..just don’t think he’s pulling starters b/c he’s “very obviously scared to death” to lose sending them whimpering into the playoffs…It’s not really about his starters b/c it would crush their morale losing to the 49ers, it’s that Gurley, A.Donald and Goff will need to be healthy, big picture thing.

  5. F the Rams… Niners will become a dynasty once again with Shanahan and Jimmy G. Why settle to be a lowly Ram?!

    Speaking of Shanahan….

    “I hate to say this, but we needed this,” cornerback A.J. Bouye said. “It humbled a lot of people. We recognize it and we’ve got to get ready for (Tennessee) and just get it rolling going into the playoffs.

    They’ve (49ers) got a hell of a coach, (Kyle) Shanahan,’’ Bouye said. “He really outschemed us. We tried to adjust, but even with the formations they had we couldn’t adjust to the stuff they were beating us out.”

    1. No, no, no. As we’ve all been informed by this blog, and many of the members thereof, Shanahan is not a real head coach but just a trumped up offensive coordinator who needs to hire a real offensive coordinator so he can learn how to coach.

    2. That’s why I just shrugged off all the negative articles Grant wrote and the comments agreeing with him on Shanahan. Reading some of the “he needs to hire an OC” takes is particularly funny now. It was obvious to me from the beginning that the biggest problem this team had was talent- especially at QB – followed by learning a complicated system that takes time to get comfortable in. Not surprising that the offense has gotten better with more game reps and a competent QB. However I’m still of the belief that we need to upgrade the WR position and obviously the Oline. The Jags made the WR’s a non factor for most of the game and the Niners need that guy who can make a play when they run into a defense like this. I also agree with the idea that Jimmy Graham would be a nice addition especially in the RZ.

      There’s a lot to be positive about and the rebuild can be accelerated now that they have JG, but they are still missing a number of key pieces.

          1. “Grant was all in on it too. Mentioned it numerous times.”

            Sure did. IIRC, Seb was the only one who wanted an OC before Grant mentioned it. But in seb’s case, he wanted Kelly as OC, probably because he thought Chip would convince Shanny to bring back Kap. But back to Grant. From 10/11/17.

            http://www.pressdemocrat.com/sports/7515469-181/grant-cohn-whos-at-fault

            1. Not hiring an offensive coordinator.

            “He made himself the offensive coordinator. This was his first major mistake.”

            “Shanahan should be focusing on one job — being a good head coach.”

            “By spreading himself so thin, Shanahan has underperformed at both of his jobs.”

            1. I think it was fair to question the need for an OC. KS is a first-time HC and to be OC at the same time could easily have been overwhelming. Maybe it was at first. I thought that perhaps an OC was needed to handle some of the mundane tasks that OCs do; but I always wanted KS to call the plays during a game. But I guess he has assistants and QB coach that can handle these tasks.

              1. Cubus,

                He never needed an OC because he had Coaches handling different areas of the offense already. It was just a title and he could have given it to somebody if he wanted to but it was redundant. This was pointed out a number of times but it was ignored in favor of finding a reason to criticize Shanahan.

              2. Agree with your take here Cubus. He’s grown as a HC. He frequently talks about players and coaches, himself included, focusing on making themselves better week to week. He mentioned it regarding Hyde’s Super Bowl comment, like whoa! redirect your focus to the Rams game.

      1. I think it was part of Kyle’s strategy not to game plan using the WR’s much, which kind of makes sense since the Jags are strong at CB………the game plan was to make the Jags LB cover………exploiting Paul Posluszny was brilliant…..

      2. Which WRs didn’t the Jags make a non factor this season? Who are these WRs that step up against such Ds? There really was only 1 all year – AB. And he had a big day during a game in which Roethlisberger threw 5 INTs as they chased the game. So what you are saying is the 49ers need to find the best WR in football (and play from way behind). Where are we finding this player?

        Or maybe, just maybe, we should accept the 49ers have a pretty goos starter coming back next year in Garcon, and the Jags DBs are actually really good, which is why it was so important the other positions saw more use.

        1. Scooter as we discussed last week we have a difference of opinion on how good the top of the WR group is. I think it needs to be better and you don’t. Agree to disagree.

          1. Sure, but your argument here was not a good one. Using the Jags game as an example of why the 49ers need to improve at WR doesn’t take into consideration what the Jags have been doing all year to WRs.

            1. If I was only using the Jags game as the reason for my opinion I’d agree with you but I’m not. It was just an added example on top of the others I gave last week (remember how I mentioned we don’t have WR’s who score TD’s?) as to why we need to be better at the top of the WR depth chart.

              1. And as I pointed out it is a bad example. You were using this game to further your point. But it doesn’t.

              2. Well again we disagree. It’s further evidence that we don’t have a difference maker at the WR position. While as a whole the Jags have held teams in check, they have given up some TD’s and catches to WR’s this season. The 49ers WR’s didn’t challenge them very much and it just adds more credence to my assertion that this team needs to be better at the top of the depth chart.

  6. “The 49ers have three quarterbacks this season with more than 1,000 passing yards. Brian Hoyer (six starts) had 1,245 yards for San Francisco, rookie C.J. Beathard (five starts) has 1,430 while Garoppolo (four starts) has 1,268 yards.”

    That says alot about Kyle……He is a genius…..

  7. I am thinking maybe they not play JimmyG this final game……what is the point?…….we’ve seen what he can do……let CJ finish the season……

      1. What’s there to lose? Season’s over; most types of injuries heal during the offseason.

        As far as what’s to gain- reps against a real opponent (not the practice squad) in a live bullets scenario is invaluable. You can’t fully compensate for live (real-time) game scenarios.

        What are you guys attempting to achieve by sitting JG? Makes no sense.

        1. what are you trying to achieve by playing him?

          the “reps” argument is weak – he already started 4 games…….and the rams are playing backups…..

          Reps are to prep you for the next game…..there is no next game……

          Right now JimmyG needs the training camp……not a game against rams backups

          Makes more sense to have CJB play……let him finish his rookie season……

          1. Dude you make zero sense. What are you afraid of? Some random freak injury that keeps him out next year? That’s the wussiest approach you can take to just about anything. Why don’t all teams that have nothing to play for pull their QBs for the rest of the season?

            It’s called game situations and you can’t mimic that in practice and gaining camp.

            Based on your logic the Niners shouldn’t have played their starters at all this year after getting eliminated. But hey, there’s no evidence of players playing together in game situations making them a better overall team, right???

            Don’t forget the most important thing to whomever runs the organization- selling season tickets. You want the fans to watch, stay engaged as much as possible.

            You might want to consider that the team is better not only due to Jimmy G, but because the individual players are also playing better as a team. I think Shanny and a few other professionals stated this just this week.

            Hey One, why don’t you stop commenting for the last week or so so you don’t risk Carpal Tunnel and we can all have the luxury of your wisdom in full effect next year?

  8. Yeah but Goff is no Hoyer.

    Lil cohn ranked hoyer an A after losing 9 games in a row. That would be a grade that cohn thinks Jimmy G has yet to reach.

    1. Well sometimes Jimmys towel isn’t tucked into his pants in a perfect gentleman’s square. That’s worth a full letter grade right there.

  9. Congratulations to John, and his Bevo’s Revenge for defeating the defending champion, Razoreater and his Amsterdam Invaders in the blog Fantasy Football challenge. Todd Gurley was just too much for me to overcome. Good game, and I hope you’re around to defend your championship next season. Great job!

    1. Thanks Razor,
      I had a good team and had to ride out some tough losses early on. But you’re right. Gurley was the backbone of that team and put up ridiculous numbers… far better than I expected.
      See y’all next year.

  10. McVay has definitely done a good job, especially with Goff. BUT the real story with the Rams is what an absolute terrible coach Jeff Fisher was at every place he stopped. That Fisher was able to coach so long in the NFL is a joke.

  11. LOL. Nothing wrong with Grant’s comparison that SF would like to have the same fast turnaround as Rams. True dat.
    BUT Red had it right too! Hahaha!
    We don’t want to be the Rams. We want to out perfrom them! We love to hate the damned Rams.
    I think SF is competitive next year in the Division, but Shanahan vs McVay will play out for a number of years.
    As to Eels comment above: Let’s just say a lot of arrows pointing up lately…….

    1. Which pro football team song was ever good? Nooooo-body’s!!
      ‘Member “Houston Oilers”. Or “San Diego Super Chargers”?
      PPPPFFFFFTT!
      The Ozzies, Limeys and Euros pull it off on some of their futbol club songs, sort of, but the NFL songs seem like they were penned by The Monkees.

  12. How are the Rams an “elite” team when they have not won a playoff game?

    As for sitting Jimmy G, WTF would the 49ers do that? All systems go!

  13. A lot of bravado on the board today based on the winning streak but I disagree. The win against the Jags was entirely due to their self destruction and a quick whistle which cost them a fumble recovery. That game showed me we are still a ways off before we can expect to compete for the division. The Rams are far ahead in the rebuild imo. They have a young QB barely scratching the surface in year one of the system, an elite RB who is dominant in the run and pass game, a trio of WR’s that compliment each other really well. They are going to be an offensive juggernaut for some time. Defensively it’s not even close. The Rams have us beat at ever level and again are in the first year of the system.

    I am encouraged by what I’ve seen so far, and I think this team will be very competitive as soon as next year, but the Rams have a lot more talent on their roster.

    1. ” The win against the Jags was entirely due to their self destruction and a quick whistle which cost them a fumble recovery.”
      That does sound like Grant’s familiar refrain that goes like: “If you leave out the two longest runs of 33 and 37 yards, the RB average 2.5 yards a carry” :)

      The Jags self-destructed because they were frustrated by an excellent game plan that was almost flawlessly executed by a QB who’s showing elite skill set playing against the top-rated defense.
      Jaguars Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey said. “They found the right quarterback to go with their system. They played a good game, they had a good game plan and they executed. That’s what it boils down to. They executed their game plan better than we did.”

      1. Agree, Mood. Several JAX defensive players have said that they were outschemed by KS and when JAX adjusted, KS adjusted as well. Further, JG has shown in every game that he can readily move the team between the twenties. This last game, the team finally had a higher percentage of success in the RZ. Let’s see them continue to do that against the Rams.

        1. They will likely win against the Rams who are resting some starters. But the key here is that the Niners’ performance is rising to the challenge against play-off bound opponents. The players have the confidence that they can win. Hopefully, next season the confidence will turn to an expectation to win.

      2. Mood,

        The self destruction had nothing to do with Garoppolo and the Niner offense. The Jags offense turned the ball over deep in their own territory multiple times, and the defense didn’t get a fumble recovery they should have. They took 40 yards in penalties on one Niner drive. The Niner offense was good but benefitted greatly from the turnovers which were poor throws by Bortles for the most part.

        I also look at the fact the Jags have a terrible record on west coast trips and lost to the Cardinals a few weeks ago when looking at the whole scope of the game. It’s great to win and I’m not down on the team at all. I’m a big Kyle Shanahan fan (been calling for him to be hired for a long time) so you don’t need to sell his scheme to me either. Just trying to keep things in perspective while a lot of the board is in a we’ve arrived mode.

        1. woow…easy there Rocket…I think you are off base on this one.

          Kyle’s game plan against the Jags was perfect…….

          1. We didn’t rely on our WR’s – knowing the Jags had the best CB’s combo….
          2. Having JimmyG roll to his left instead of the right was confusing the Jags
          3. using the run to set up the pass was good – even though we didn’t get big chunks

          The Jags didn’t travel to SF just to be unraveled………they were confused by Kyle…….which is what frustrated them….

          And we scored Touchdowns……..2 beautiful TD passes…….those were not given to us, we earned them….

          you putting too much into the “west coast trips”…….the jags are a very good team…..that travel talk is irrelevant…..

          wtf… JimmyG finished with a passer rating of 102.4 against the best defense……..and you think the game was given to us?

          1. OneNiner,

            I said the Jags self destructed and they did. 4 Niner TD’s were a direct result of self inflicted errors by the Jags. 1 pick six off a deflection, two other picks which resulted in short fields and a drive in which the Jags took 40 yards of penalties. That is self destruction.

            Everything I pointed out is true including the poor play by the Jags on WC trips. Not trying to diminish what the Niners have accomplished the past few weeks but this team still has a long way to go to get where some of you already think they are imo.

              1. yea..rocket….why are you hating…..:)

                “Jacksonville’s defense ranks in the top three in the NFL in points allowed per game, takeaways, yards allowed per game, passing yards allowed per game, completion percentage allowed, sacks, interceptions, opponent QBR and rushing touchdowns allowed.

                The Jaguars are shutting down even the best quarterbacks in the league, beating the likes of Ben Roethlisberger and Russell Wilson.”

                With all the takeaways – they could have still shut us down or make us kick field goals…..something we’ve been doing on a regular…….

                But NO – we crushed them……with our Golden Boy QB……

                Dude – we are that team…..we will still beat them anytime – anywhere……this was no fluke…….

              2. Oneniner,

                You believe what you want to believe, it’s your prerogative. I tend to wait for more information before drawing conclusions.

            1. That’s why most teams in the NFL win these days. They force teams into mistakes. That’s how the Niners won.
              Self destructing happens because teams take away what the other team does well.
              Like One said, forcing Poslusky to cover in the passing game was brilliant.
              Using short intermediate passes exposed the LB’s and took away the Jags exceptional corners.

              On offense, the Jags could not get to Jimmy G and for a team leading the league in sacks,was stymied.

              So the argument of self destructing is an insult to brilliant coaching and the 49ers stepping up and playing a great game.

              Did we go 0-9 because we self destructed? I think not. Teams just outplayed us.

              1. So the argument of self destructing is an insult to brilliant coaching and the 49ers stepping up and playing a great game.

                No it isn’t. Both can be possible at the same time.

              2. No it isn’t. Both can be possible at the same time.

                It certainly can but last Sunday, Marrone got out coached and the Niners players out played the Jags players.

              3. I disagree. The Jags outgained the Niners and the game was close. The difference was the TO’s and that’s not on the Coaches.

              4. The difference was the #1 defense faced a team prepared to expose its weak links. That’s putting together a brilliant game plan and the 49ers players executing it.

                The turnovers by the 49ers defense was again, the players stepping up and making plays.
                Again execution of the scheme.

                To say the Jags self destructed is weak. The 49ers won that game because they played better.Not because the Jags didn’t play well.

              1. That is often the case but in this game it was Bortles being Bortles imo. It’s hard enough to recover from one pick thrown deep in your own zone, but 3 is insurmountable. Still a great effort by the Niners and as I mentioned earlier I’m not trying to diminish what they’ve accomplished. I just think some of you are jumping the gun a bit. The Rams have a lot more talent on their roster and aren’t going anywhere.

        2. — perhaps the story largely eclipsed by the JG media “wurlitzer” is KS’ improved game mgmt. & play calling?
          — not discounting the “Garoppolo effect” — but perhaps happy coincidence/synchronicity with KS’ improved play calling…along with:
          — O staff game improvements
          — key O positions (Goodwin, Taylor, Celek, & now Kittle) playing better: JG & KS get them and the ball in position at the right times– those times being when the D can’t interfere just yet…
          — and a good portion of: “the breaks finally f’ing coming our way” — like the frustrated, penalty happy Jags D, having been truly mesmerized by their own press clippings…then schooled a bit against KS & JG…

            1. Wasn’t that due to a bad call on whether the player had made a catch? Not a penalty? Both calls were bad, one erased a TD.

              1. I don’t remember off hand but the fumble was legit and ruled dead way too early which was the point. I don’t recall the Lee return being wrongly called back.

              2. Yeah, but I think the counter point is the 49ers also got screwed over on another call that would and should have been a TD, but instead resulted in the Jags retaining the ball. And I believe that was the drive they scored a TD prior to their onside kick recovery. It was a big momentum shifter and allowed the Jags to get back in the game.

              3. The Elijah Lee return was not a bad call. The receiver didn’t have complete control of the ball. The quick whistle took away a legit fumble recovery from the Jags.

              4. The officiating has been bad all year across the league.
                But no way did the non call on the fumble cost the Jags the game.
                They had plenty of chances to win the game, but the 49ers played better overall.

              5. “49ers also got screwed over on another call that would and should have been a TD, but instead resulted in the Jags retaining the ball. And I believe that was the drive they scored a TD prior to their onside kick recovery.”

                Yeah, it ended up being a 14 point swing. Had we got the TD, it would have been 44-19.

              6. Those zebras pitched a stinker Sunday. Poorly called game.

                The Triplette admonishment while drawing his flag against the Jags player that came up and bumped the 49ers player into him had me laughing pretty hard….

        3. Rocket,
          I think you’re off base here. The Jags got a lot of breaks as well – like the obvious catch and fumble by Yeldon, the onside kick recovery, and numerous questionable calls by the refs.

          The Jags lost because they got out coached and out played.

            1. Rocket,

              I think you exactly right. There is an exuberance demonstrated here that eclipses the capacities and capabilities of this current team. The 49ers took a big leap forward, but they still have a ways to go.

              I think that Shanahan has really grown into his role. He had trouble with this earlier in he season. His players have too. JG has been a tremendous salve to all that ailed the team but he is still growing and there will be setbacks.

              The game was a good one. Not perfect by any stretch. Nevertheless , hats off to the entire team on taking the next step forward. No one could have anticipated this.

              If you remember, the very people saying how great everything was were saying this was an evaluation season just a few weeks ago and talking about NFL players who wouldn’t make another team’s first string. The 49ers got a couple of lucky breaks which they were able to capitalize upon.

              Perspective is important and that’s why I always appreciate your take even when I disagree Rocket!

              1. “If you remember, the very people saying how great everything was were saying this was an evaluation season just a few weeks ago and talking about NFL players who wouldn’t make another team’s first string.”

                The roster still needs to be fixed, that hasn’t changed for us everything is great people. The difference now is that we have a franchise QB. Garoppolo has almost single-handedly made our offense respectable this year. Our exuberance starts with JG. We are excited about the future because we have a franchise QB for the first time this century. And why shouldn’t we be excited ?

                Shanny is going all in for the playoffs next year. I think at least half of our cap space will be spent on quality FAs. I think we’ll have another strong draft. There’s plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

              2. I’m not so sure on a free wheeling free agent period for the Niners.
                I think it will be more like last year where they want to add quality leadership guys.
                Then in the draft, take some young playmakers.

    2. In the balance, we’ve had more questionable calls cost us in games this year than we’ve gotten to help us in games this year. . In the end, AJ Bouye said it best:

      “They’ve (49ers) got a hell of a coach, (Kyle) Shanahan,’’ Bouye said. “He really outschemed us. We tried to adjust, but even with the formations they had we couldn’t adjust to the stuff they were beating us out.”

      We got a forward-progress save on the fumble. But, in the end, we beat them. We negated their great pass-rush. We beat their outstanding corners. We reset the Bortles is a Bad QB needle. We stuffed Fournette and made him look like a scrub.

  14. “The Rams represent what the 49ers aspire to, an elite team.”
    That’s a Raider fan trolling Niners fans. Rams are a very good team now but Niners will be a better team than the Rams by next December, barring injuries to key personnel.
    Looking at Rams cap situation while paying under $7M to Goff, Rams’ future success hinges Les Snead’s team ability to draft well in the later rounds. I would consider Lynch’s team to do better in that area because Niners have more experienced and a bigger team of talent evaluators. Ran Carthon, the guy most responsible for drafting Aaron Donald is now with the Niners.

  15. With McVay resting starters the 49ers have a better chance of win number six, drafting in the 10-12 range. Mots of my developing draft crushes will be gone. But there should still be help at key spots.

    Speaking of “key”, I was liking Arden Key’s footage. If he’s truly 6’6″ 265 he moves incredibly well for someone that size. Not sure if there are off field or injury concerns.

    I’ll be rooting for 6 win Bengals, Dolphins, Raiders Sunday. Its Bengals vs Ravens, Dolphins vs Bills, Raiders vs Chargers. Not sure how SOS shakes out.

    1. 10-12 range should still be helpful. I don’t think Fitz or Chubb last that long. I have some kind of intuitive hesitation about Key despite his size and athleticism; can’t quite pinpoint what bugs me. Hope he’s not another Mingo. Lynch values “want to” in guys, so if he looks in Key’s eyes at the Combine interview and is satisfied with that and effort on tape, I’ll be good. Connor Williams could slide there, if not Nelson.
      David DeCastro was top guard prospect and went #24. Couple of other DBs in that range look solid.

      1. Brotha Tuna – I’m only just formulating my draft wish list. Read a few blurbs about Key’s leave of absence for “personal reasons” and shoulder injury, but I don’t know details. Physically he’s a prototype edge rusher, but how is his attitude and shoulder?

        Often the best Edge and Corners are gone by 10-12, but its a good spot for O-line and receiver. Especially if there’s a run on quarterbacks pushing BPA down.

        OT has more value, but OG Quenton Nelson would be a great addition. Last few drafts its been the 49ers curse that the best talent is in a non building block position like Edge, CB, OT, QB (and many say WR). This could happen again. If Nelson fell to the 49ers I’d be happy.

  16. Since the change at QB the 49ers are averaging 27.5 points per game. That would put them 5th in the league.

    Pretty good. Biggest reason for hesitation is that these last 3 weeks have been against AFC opponents, and outside of New England and Pittsburgh that conference is awful.

    1. So the fact that JAX had the best defense in the league meant nothing. Jack, if I were comparing posters to ships you would be a supertanker. Filled with knowledge, but very, very slow to turn around. But even supertankers make the turn eventually, even if it is at a glacial pace :)

      1. Yeah they are 2nd in points allowed at 16.9 per game, but have you seen the Jaguars opponents this season?

        Take out the 49ers game and they gave up an average of 26 points per game against the other 3 NFC West teams. Even the Cardinals with Blaine Gabbert at QB put up 27 points. The 49ers o put up 34.

  17. I love that pre Jags game the game was going to be a true litmus test for the 49ers and Jimmy G, to see if the previous 3 games were just a case of playing sub par opponents. Now post game we have some people presenting reasons as to why the 49ers weren’t that impressive, were lucky to win, Jags lost the game not the 49ers winning it, Jags always travel poorly in the west, etc, despite getting 44 points against one of the best Ds in the NFL.

    Lets be honest, the 49ers played a good game against a good team and were deserved winners. There were some patches during the game where they showed their inexperience and areas of deficiency, but were able to overcome it to win. Sure, the Jags didn’t play their best game, but some of that was because they were made to. 49ers started hot both halves and got the Jags off balance and out of sync. Made them chase the game and showed how important it is for Bortles to not have the game put on his shoulders.

    1. Also, there were at least three JAGs defensive players who were very complementary of KS’ game planning and adjustments as well as the execution by the offense. If the JAGs really believed that they lost the game primarily because of their poor play, would these players would have made these statements.

    2. “I love that pre Jags game the game was going to be a true litmus test for the 49ers and Jimmy G,”

      Yup. Before that it was the Titans that was going to be the litmus test. LeBeau and his exotic blitzes.

    3. Speaking for myself, I never said the Jags game was a litmus test for anything. In fact had I been here and commented I would have mentioned how poorly the Jags have played on the WC and the fact they lost to Gabbert and the Cards a few weeks ago.

      I also didn’t say the Niners weren’t impressive. I said that the Jags self destructed which is why the Niners won the game. If you disagree that’s fine, but nothing I said was incorrect. 3 picks inside your own 30 that lead directly to TD’s is not going to win you many games.

      The Niners did what they needed to do and won the game. JG played well again. The Oline protected well. The offense as a whole looks like it’s really coming along. I have nothing but respect for Shanny and have been a long time supporter of his. However I think some of you are jumping the gun here and your expectations for next season are getting out of control again, much like this season when people were predicting 9 wins or more or past years when predictions for Tomsula and Kelly led teams were unrealistic.

      This team has improved a ton over the course of the season and now look like they could be competing for a playoff spot in a year or two, but they still have a lot of holes and opponents will have a lot of film of Garoppolo to study as opposed to the game and a half they had before the past two months. The Rams have a lot more talent on their roster and have a lot more answers at key positions than the Niners do. We’ll see what happens this offseason but to expect the Niners to overtake the Rams next year is expecting a lot.

      1. “I would have mentioned how poorly the Jags have played on the WC and the fact they lost to Gabbert and the Cards a few weeks ago.”

        I did it for you

      2. Well, I’m not about to make any predictions about next season until we see what they do over the offseason.

        My “issue”, for want of a better word, with what you are saying is that you appear to very much be dismissing that the 49ers play was a very large part of what contributed to the Jags imploding. This wasn’t just a case of the 49ers getting lucky. They played well. They got to the Jags and got them out of sync. They made Bortles have to try and beat them, which is something most teams have failed to do this year. So while you dismiss the Bortles INTs as proof of how the Jags lost the game, what I saw was a team that dominated at the start of both halves and forced the Jags into an uncomfortable situation they aren’t really built to handle.

        And where you see a team that benefitted largely from a lucky call, I see a game in which there were a few pretty big decisions by the refs that could have gone either way. And that call isn’t what decided the game – the better team on the day won.

      3. With regards to the interceptions, two of those were triggered by the niners and one was definitely a result of a bad throw by Bortles and/or miscommunication with his WR. The interception by Williams was just a superior play made by an individual. The pass really wasn’t that bad. The other one was caused by Reid moving into the space of the WR and causing him to slow down because he feared being blasted by Reid. Bortles threw to the spot where the WR should have been had he not slowed down (you could argue that Bortles shouldn’t have made that throw, but from what I saw he was already in his throwing motion and then Reid made his move). Imo, a superior play by the defense.

        Secondly, people have been saying since after the first game that review of game film on Jimmy G. will lead to defenses being able to stop him. That has not happened and, imo, he has gotten better, if you adjust for the strength of the defenses he has played against.

        “I don’t feel like it was him so much as the scheme,” Jacksonville nose tackle Marcell Dareus said. “They made tremendous plays, all up and down the field. It’s a pretty cool scheme. Their guys were ready. They knew their assignments and executed to a T.”

        But hey, let’s ignore the praise the opponents have given both KS and JG, because…….

        http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000898329/article/jimmy-garoppolo-making-football-fun-again-for-giddy-49ers

      4. Rocket, you talk like the Niners had nothing to do with those 3 turnovers. That’s pretty insulting to the effort the Niners D put out. K’wuan literally sky-ed for his pick, an incredibly athletic move. Dontae’s pick six was because the Jags receiver cut off his route when he saw he was about to be clocked by Reid. Witherspoon was the only thing remotely a gimme. Remember, two teams were on the field, nothing was “given”
        .

  18. Players 49ers just disqualified themselves from:

    #3. William Connor, OT, to Colts
    #4. Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, To Browns
    #5. Bradley Chubb, DE, to Tampa Bay
    #6. Josh Allen, QB, to Denver

    Etc., Etc..

    Reply
    Prime Time says:
    December 26, 2017 at 6:44 pm
    Barkley still in the mix?

    Prime, Barkley is still in the mix. However, you noted he’s a once in a generation player so it wouldn’t take much for those ahead of the 49ers to develop a draft crush…….What if he has an unbelievable bowl game ?

    1. With the 49ers choosing 11th (with a win Sunday). 49ers have a late 2nd and two early 3rds. They could use one of the 3rds to trade up to around pick 7 of they call in love with someone.

      7 or 11, there are still some good choices, especially with a run on quarterbacks.

      1. I think they will try to get more picks rather than trade up. There still may be a trade down option as we saw last year with a couple of trade ups in that area for QB’s, but if they stay put there will be some good options at OL, CB and WR most likely.

        1. Last year’s trade ups like Houston (from pick 25 to pick 12) and KC (from pick 27 to pick 10) would be ideal. They got the Bills and Browns an extra first rounder in the 2018 draft.

          What teams are good enough to be picking late, but still needing a quarterback in the near future?

          Current Draft Slot, Team – Notes

          13, Arizona – Palmer not getting any younger, but its in the division and would only fetch a 4th and change.

          14, Washington – If they don’t hold onto Cousins. But if that happens there’s one less team drafting a QB. Cancels out from a pure numbers perspective.

          16, LAC – Rivers not getting any younger. Would fetch a 3rd rounder + day three pick

          26, Jacksonville – How do they really feel about Bortles?

          28, New Orleans – Brees not getting any younger. Would take their 2019 first and more. If they make a deep playoff run, I don’t think they’d be ready for a major rebuild move like trading the 2019 first.

          29, Pittsburgh – If Roethlisberger retires.

        2. I agree. If they were able to drop back a few to pick up more ammo they might be able to get another pick at the end of the first or early second.
          This might allow them to go after some combo like Landry and Okafore (sp) from central Michigan.

    1. Well,

      There have been some front offices additions. Possibly between them we find our next Dana Stubblefield.

      Stubblefield as a rookie had 64 tackles and 10.5 sacks and was the 26th pick of the 1st Rd.

      1. Nelson fills some ‘big’ needs. Apparently he has the right attitude to punch Carroll and the hawks in the mouth at the 12th man.

        Don’t know if he fits Shanny’s outside zone scheme.

        1. I do know that Ohio State’s, Price,does though, but is a RG. Maybe the Niners could move Garnett to center ? Walsh always had guards and centers who could interchange. Shanahan believes in this also.

          Billy Price, G/C, Ohio State
          Height: 6-4. Weight: 315.
          Projected 40 Time: 5.34.
          Projected Round (2018): 1-2.
          12/9/17: Price has impressed NFL evaluators, both with his work in fall training camp and in the games of the 2017 season. They say that Price plays within himself. They like his awareness and call him an above-average athlete. He isn’t overly fast or twitchy like the Pouncey brothers, but Price has movement skills and is better than average in space. The sources also like that Price handles big nose tackles well, which can be difficult for centers and is a hard-to-find talent. As a result of his well-balanced play, Price is being viewed as a prospect who could go in the early rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft. One team source thought that if Josh Garnett and Laken Tomlinson were worthy first-round picks, then Price could be as well because they feel Price is a better prospect than either of Garnett or Tomlinson. Teams are projecting Price to be a starting center in the NFL.

          Read more at http://walterfootball.com/draft2018OG.php#pTQryrkGmZJd8jTt.99

          1. I just think Garnett would be a better center at the pro level than a guard, and would be super at the double teams….If this occurs, the Niners could Nab Nelson (as # 80 suggested) at 11, and package a pick (as Brodie suggests) to move up in the 1st or early 2nd to get Price…..Walla, there’s your RG, LG and Center.

            What a nasty bunch !

          2. I’m really high on Price. My earlier draft plan had us getting Price and Nelson. That might not be possible now since we’re no longer able to trade a top 5 pick.

            My plan now is take Nelson if we keep #11 or trade down and take Price. And sign a G or C in free agency.

  19. RB Matt Breida discusses Jimmy Garoppolo, decision to join 49ers
    4 hours ago • 2 comments
    By David Bonilla

    What does Breida say when people ask him about Garoppolo?

    “I tell them he’s ice cold, man,” Breida answered. “It’s kind of funny how nothing affects this guy and how he carries himself. You would think he’s been a starter for the past 10 years. And, like I said, he’s just a great guy, and he just knows how to win.”

    “He always makes sure the team is on the same page,” Breida continued. “If we’ve got to have an extra meeting before the game, we have it. Just little things like that to make sure everyone’s together and ready to get this win.”

  20. “The 49ers’ have fallen down the NFL draft order since our last mock draft, dropping from the fourth-overall to pick No. 8.

    Our friends at Draft Wire this week published their latest four-round mock:”

    Round 1 – Pick 8: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
    The 49ers’ offensive line in 2017 may be the team’s weakest position

    The 49ers need to protect Garoppolo while improving their run blocking, making Nelson a logical pick for Draft Wire analyst Luke Easterling:

    “The 49ers keep dropping in the draft order, but it’s because they finally found a franchise quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo, so they won’t mind too much. In this scenario, the 49ers protect their new asset with one of the best offensive line prospects in recent memory.”
    http://ninerswire.usatoday.com/2017/12/27/49ers-address-offensive-line-with-first-pick-in-4-round-mock-nfl-draft/

  21. Matt Maiocco‏Verified account
    @MaioccoNBCS
    Follow Follow @MaioccoNBCS

    Jimmy Garoppolo surpassed Hall of Famer Kurt Warner’s record for passing yards in his first four starts with a new team. Garoppolo has thrown for 1,250 yards with the #49ers. Warner had 1,217 yards passing in his first four starts with St. Louis Rams in 1999.

    8:04 AM – 25 Dec 2017

    TomD’s Take: Warner had a summer camp, Torry Holt, Issac Bruce and Marshall Fault….Quite an accomplisment, JG !!!

    1. Absolutely! JG is for real. Wait til we have a running game to compliment him. This offense is going to be really good. Oh wait, it’s already really good. I guess I should say this offense is going to be elite, maybe as soon as next year.

    1. Raz

      Good post…It’s been an observation of mine that with those 20 (or so ) IRs that we have, that we might have been playing the Rams ‘rest ’em game all season. I certainly am suspicious of some of the ‘injuries’ that have sidelined several of the niners….
      Come Spring training ’18, we can show up with 20 fresh, well rested, well trained, and hungry soldiers looking for work to go along with the new Draftees and FAs that Lynch and Shannahan have picked up….and as Carr has pointed out, they’re NOT just Olinemen…It sure narrows down the positions that we need in the draft and FA….Just a passing thought….

    1. Thx Cassie. That was fun. I think my first coaches came from that mindset.
      I got to play full pads football from 4th grade on. In 4th and 5th my team ran the Single Wing. As did most of our opponents! In sixth grade we got to try the fullhouse T, and moved up in 7th to the very progressive Missouri MultiWingT, which had the audacity of starting out fullhouse and shifting pre snap to a WingT.
      We could run OR pass out of that formation!
      ; >)

  22. Who needs a QB? How will it effect the draft? One name we will start hearing after the season is Alex Smith, rumors are the Chiefs are ready to move ahead with Mahomes. Smith would look very good with the Jags and a few others.

    1. Jags, Browns, Jets, Cards, Giants, Bills.

      All those teams could use a vet/bridge QB if they draft a prospect.

      You could also add Eli Manning to the conversation as he might be in the same position as Alex Smith.

          1. They might need a QB if Big Ben retires. And a ready to win now team, a vet QB might be perfect for them.
            There is huge need at QB for a lot of teams.
            Luckily we have ours and can focus on giving him some more weapons.

    2. Eli could be a candidate to Jags as well. Tyrod Taylor on the move.
      Cutler? Tannehill? Cousins? McCarron? Brissett? Bridgewater? Keenum? Bradford? Glennon?
      Bills, Jets, Pats? Phins? Jags? Saints(future)? Az? Hags(#2)?
      ? Vikes=WTH?
      Browns = Stay back! Keep away! DON’T get too close!!

  23. So the Rams are elite? These same Rams the Niners in the early throes of figuring out Shannies system hung 39 points on? A failed two point conversion from going into overtime with? All this with Hoyer at QB, who’d eventually be benched for the rookie? Methinks we are not far from the Rams as we speak. Even with our current roster. Not far at all.

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