49ers dismiss Vikings 27-10

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, foreground, is tackled by San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, center, during the second half of an NFL divisional playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. Also pictured at rear is defensive end Dee Ford. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

SANTA CLARA — Easy.

The 49ers hardly broke a sweat Saturday when they dismissed the Minnesota Vikings 27-10, a score that doesn’t reflect how one-sided the game was. The Vikings were lucky to score any points. They scored seven when 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon gave up a 41-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter. The 49ers immediately benched him and gave up just three points the rest of the game.

“I feel like I didn’t have to play a game, honestly,” linebacker Fred Warner said. “I’d be in coverage and I’d hear cheering and I’d say, ‘Wait, the play just started.’”

The 49ers defense sacked Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins a whopping six times, and Richard Sherman intercepted him once. The defense also gave up just seven first downs and a measly 147 net yards — a new postseason record for the 49ers.

“They’re pretty good, right?” George Kittle said.

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    1. Easy Peasy!

      I was confident that the Niners would pull away from the Vikings in the 2nd half, and they sure did that. What I didn’t see coming was the way in which the Niners defense stopped Dalvin Cook dead in his tracks. The Niners run defense was flat out dominant today, and once their front seven smelled blood in the water, they were like a pod of frenzied Bull Sharks devouring everything associated with the color purple!

      It sure seems as if the 49ers are now approaching maximum potential for the second time this season, and are rolling into the NFC Championship game in peak form! At this point, I almost feel sorry for whichever teams are left standing in between the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS, and their 6th Lombardi Trophy, because they are looking like an unstoppable force of nature!

      GO NINERS!

    2. Conspiracy theory
      NFL rigging to have Green Bay play KC in their 100 year anniversary to replay SB 1
      Calls go against SF and Ten
      Just watch

  1. What really impressed me of this team today is the way they raised their intensity up a notch in the second half, and squeezed the life out of their opponent. This is the hallmark of a championship-caliber team and it reminded me of the great Niners teams of the Walsh-Seifert era.

  2. The offense today looked like the days of Montana/Walsh when it marched right down for a touchdown on the opening drive.

    The defense is back! For those of you questioning Ford this week, you all got your answer. He’s the guy that balances everything out for Bosa and the others.

    Over 1/4 of the Vikings yards were given up by a CB who pretty much everyone on here knew beforehand was the weak link. Kudos to the coaches for pulling him so quick. Sit him the rest of the way. Moseley is better and far more physical.

    Cannot wait for next Sunday.

    1. I can’t wait either. But it is troubling about Witherspoon because he seems to be in the same category as Thomas. Both were drafted too high and it seems like the coaches just won’t let go of the idea that they made a mistake, and move on. Better lucky than good is not a bad thing.

      1. The difference between Thomas and Witherspoon is that Thomas isn’t a liability on the field. They drafted him too high and for the wrong position.

        1. I think there have been times when Thomas has been a bit of a liability this season, but there’s a significant difference between the positions they play. When a CB struggles, it tends to manifest itself in big plays and chunk yardage for the opposing offense, and it tends to be harder to cover up a struggling CB who is often left out on an island, without a whole lot of ways to help him out schematically, without leaving the defense exposed in other areas. That said, Thomas does seem to be playing better down the stretch.

    2. Me too! I wasn’t going to be afraid of whoever wins the Seahawks-Packers game, even if the 49ers kept playing the way they were towards the end of the season. Now that they are healthy and rested? We’ll murder ’em! I think that the Packers will be easier but I want the Seahawks! It’s time to crush them and make a statement to show who the real Kings of the NFC West are.

  3. Hey grant would you still pick the Vikings on a neutral field?

    I just didn’t get the hype all week on these Vikings.
    I know outsiders may not have known about the injuries this defense had and how important they were, but local journalists did, and still called a close game.
    I think a lot forgot how good this defense really was when healthy.

    And hats off to Kwon…. I honestly didn’t think he’d get through this game without re-injuring his pec. While holding my breath every time Ford took a snap.
    Crowd was thunderous and showed up ready on a sunny day.
    Next up Seattle 3 I hope! This time I want an embarrassment!

  4. Leading up to the Vikings game, one of you MFers said Tevin Coleman would have a big game. Don’t think I commented but I thought that was crazy talk. To whomever called Coleman’s big day – Bravo! Great call.

        1. Sorry Razor, I know you are from Elkhart.
          .
          I certainly was not the one who thought Coleman would have a big game. You and Rib were the ones.

      1. Good call Razor….
        didn’t se that coming, but I still can’t help but wonder what Mostert would have had with those touches. Lol

  5. The 1 thing the 49ers exposed against the Vikings is Sean Payton. The Saints are more talented at every position group than the Vikings. Payton’s offensive game plan was pathetic and he made no in game adjustments to counter the Vikings strategy. Mike Zimmer took an inferior Vikings team into NOLA and beat the Saints because he’s a better coach than Sean Payton. How many big games is Payton going to screw up before people realize he’s monumentally overrated?

    1. He’s also credited with one of the gutsiest calls in a big game to turn momentum and win the Super Bowl.

      He also won every game with Bridgewater at QB.

      Your take sounds like one of Grant’s hot takes.

      1. Drew Brees
        Michael Thomas
        Alvin Kamara
        Marques Colston
        Mark Ingram
        Jimmy Graham
        Darren Sproles

        How many Superbowls? If Mike Zimmer or Kyle Shanahan coached the Saints they’d have at least 3

        1. But neither of them have one, do they? Or are you counting Zimmer’s ring as a DB coach from his old Dallas days?

          Shanny blew his chance after blowing out the Pats in the first half.

          Zimmer has had an equally talented roster or greater than the one you cited above with maybe the only exception being at QB.

          You haven’t been watching much football if you think Kamara is all that. He had one fine year but even New Orleans fans have turned on him this year.

          Getting to the Super Bowl and winning it is no easy proposition. I’m amazed morons like you can’t take Grant’s hot takes but then come up with this garbage of your own.

          Are you a winner at life, Houston? Sorry, rhetorical question since you live in… Houston.

          I’m no fan of Payton because I think he’s a whiny biatch and arrogant as hell. But he’s not the thing keeping the Saints from winning. If Brees were to step away I guarantee you he’d still have the Saints winning. Oh and by the way- he has a large part in talent evaluation and bringing these players to New Orleans too.

          1. Not reading that diatribe. If you were less of an idiot maybe I would. Zimmer had Case Keenum and Kirk Cousins. Payton has had one of the best QBs in NFL history. Alvin Kamara not all that? You are literally a football imbecile. Stick to Russian nuclear disasters. You obviously have absolutely no idea what your talking about where football is concerned.

    1. Friggin’ overrated OC: I hated his game plan when he coached the Niners. One-dimensional, unable to adjust, easy to panic.
      Just too happy for the crushing loss of the Ravens… talking smack all year, they seemed to have the Lombardi before even playing in the po… losers

  6. The bad news – Niners still have not played their best game.
    The good news – Niners still have not played their best game.

    1. Agree. The 49ers future is bright. This year has been a year of growth. 49ers still not playing at the level I think they will get to under Shanahan. Room for improvement at LB, RB and WR. Also I expect Jimmy G to continue to improve and become more consistent.

  7. All you folks in here who picked the Niners to lose….🖕🏼🖕🏼🖕🏼🖕🏼🖕🏼🖕🏼🖕🏼🖕🏼🖕🏼

    1. I did.
      Three predictions this year: vs Browns, @ Seattle, vs Vikes.
      I am 0-3, and love to be.
      I’ll keep predicting, if ya’ll agree

      1. Long time reader, never posted before.
        I used to appreciate your well thought out posts but this season you’ve just been lazy and have a ridiculously bad case of recency bias. Go back to being the Houston we know from like 3-4 years ago. The one who thinks more logically. Thanks.

          1. Case and point, loser. If you ever get out of that $hith0le come see me, I live in the East Bay and I have a knuckle sammich for you tough guy.

            1. Did you seriously just threaten someone from behind a keyboard? Wow! I’m actually trying to make it work to fly out for the NFCCG. Not sure it’s going to work out yet. If I make it out, come out to Levi’s. I’ll buy you a beer and patch things up.

              1. Wow, you two can also drink your beer in the parking lot, unzip and see who pisses farthest, then wrestle in it.

    2. Prime….. I kinda feel the same with those who picked it to be a close game too.
      🤣🤣🤣
      But at least they picked a win.

      1. Like you said, it was a 6th seed coming in and they had not played or beaten anyone really all year.
        We are on our way baby!

  8. This game reminded my of a Bill Walsh offense. Open up the playbook early, pass often and get a lead. Then run, run and run some more, especially in the second half. Run to get first downs, run to take time of the clock, run to take out the opponents heart. Then run some more. What a great game

  9. 1. Great game on both sides of the ball. Our O line stepped up versus a formidable front 4 – Mcglinchey miscues not withstanding. O Line has done it all year even with injuries. Remember all the holding and false starts penalties in the Harbaugh days?
    2. Grant – “He (Bourne) and Deebo Samuel should be the starting wide receivers next season. Emmanuel Sanders has become an afterthought” If Bourne is a starter next year we are in big trouble. Bourne is a good #3 and ES is a good #2 receiver. We need a #1 and the good news is that this a great WR draft class.
    3. Ward had a good game and made a great play on Diggs to break up a pass. Mosely is solid. We need to draft and groom the heir apparent to Sherman.
    4. Greenlaw was flying all over the field. Warner , Greenlaw and Kwon are the best LB trio in the league.
    5. NFC Championship 1/19 3:30 PM
    6. I want Seattle. We did not play them at full strength this year. We had significant injuries in both games. I want shut those whiny little b!tches up for good. Niners 37 Seattle 9
    7. Then Bring on KC or maybe the Titans.

      1. I think Kendrick Bourne has filled that role nicely. I’m not sure we’re going to need Hurd other than depth. We might look to free agency for a veteran WR if we can’t retain Sanders. Not sure what will happen with Pettis- only he knows what’s going on in his head.

        I will say one thing- if the Niners cut Pettis I see Seattle jumping all over him and with the coaching and support group out there you just never know. It would totally suck to see him succeed up there. He’s been a complete bum in Santa Clara.

  10. Feels great there were no injuries, feels great Kwon, Ford and Tartt are back and feels great to be hosting the NFCC…. Here’s hoping the Packers win today. My only nitpick is why Saleh continues to play Witherspoon…. As I’ve mentioned over and over again he’s the Dante Pettis on defense. Its been beyond obvious this year Moseley is the superior player and it’s not even close. Thankfully Shanahan made the call.

    1. red
      Just curious how you know Shanahan made the call to pull spoon?
      I suspect after shanahan made the call last time, Saleh and Shanahan had a conversation?

        1. Why is KS and not Saleh the one pulling Spoon out of the game and replacing him with Mosely? Isn’t Saleh the one who should be doing this?

          1. cubus, I’d be very surprised if Kyle and Robert hadn’t discussed the situation prior to the game, and prepared for it accordingly. I have no problem with the Head Coach making the final decision. It’s clear that Kyle is at the top of the coaching hierarchy, and the buck ultimately stops with him.

          2. In general yes… I would assume Saleh has a fair amount of autonomy given Shanahan’s background.

            It could be something as simple as the top guy saying it was his call, as ultimately any decision like this will be laid at his feet. Or, he overruled the DC saying “guys, we’ve seen how this plays out already, replace him.”
            However if I were to speculate, I would guess that 49’s statement was correct and they had already discussed this scenario and most, if not all, were in agreement from Shanahan down to Woods.

      1. Ahkello Witherspoon was benched for Emmanuel Moseley for the second straight game after allowing a 41-yard touchdown to Stefon Diggs while it appeared Witherspoon was in position to make a play on the deep pass from Cousins.

        Diggs stepped in front of Witherspoon at the last moment, made the catch, and backpedaled into the end zone for Minnesota’s only touchdown of the afternoon. With Moseley in the game, the Vikings didn’t have a drive go longer than 8 net yards until the game was decided late in the fourth quarter.

        49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said afterward the decision to replace Witherspoon was his.

        “I’ve got a lot of confidence in Ahkello. I’ve got a lot of confidence in E-Man, what he’s done when he’s come in,” Shanahan said.

        “He knew if he was struggling at all, we weren’t going to hesitate. I’m sure if we left him in, he would have had a chance to play himself out of it. He was aware of that before the game and I loved how Moseley came in and played.”

        Read more here: https://www.sacbee.com/sports/nfl/san-francisco-49ers/article239197583.html#storylink=cpy

    2. When Witherspoon makes plays early, he generally plays well. When he makes mistakes early, he simply falls apart. He has talent, but he’s a head case, and unable to move past plays from a mental standpoint. While I disagreed with starting Spoon over Moseley yesterday, I do understand the thinking, as Moseley has played exceptionally well coming off the bench this season.

      Witherspoon has certainly flashed at times, and as a 3rd round pick (66th overall) I think he deserved a chance at a make-it-or-break-it coming into this season, because like most teams, the 49ers didn’t have a ton of talent filling out the bottom of the CB depth chart. That said, I suspect we’ve seen the last of Witherspoon as a starter for the rest of this postseason, and beyond. I think it’s now clear that, while he has plenty of physical talent, he doesn’t have the mental chops to be a starting CB at the NFL level.The end is nigh for Witherspoon, and he’s likely out of chances beyond reserve status for the remainder of this season. He is likely to find himself on the outside looking in, after the 49ers finish what they’ve started this season, and bring home their 6th Lombardi Trophy!

      1. Most of us felt the same way when Eric Davis kept getting burned by Alvin Harper back in the day.

        He turned out to be a Pro Bowl corner later.

  11. Most satisfing aspect is listening to the east coast media crying in shock about their pick being kicked to the curb.
    They are in denial about the 9ers.
    The only thing to do is win the SB and shut them up!
    Go 9ers.

    1. Because the Browns need someone to develop Mayfield. A defensive coordinator turned head coach for the very first time would be daunted by this initially. That’s why Saleh wasn’t hired.

      1. Don’t mind Salah not being hired, just not sure why the Vikings OC would be picked. I guess the Browns are in a similar spot the Niners were before Shanny – a not so favourable coaching spot.

      2. And it won’t matter anyway. If Saleh really does want to coach the Browns, that gig will be available again next year. Frankly, I’d rather chop off my fingers at each knuckle than coach the Browns, but to each their own.

  12. My biggest surprise about the 2019-20 9ers is the play of the O-Line.
    Not only how well they have played, but how well the 2nd string players stepped in and never missed a beat! Hats off to O-Line coach John Benton, as well as all the 9er coaches!
    * The only holes Lynch needs to fill is CB. One to replace Witherspoon and one (eventually), for Richard Sherman.
    * A new #1 WR and an EDGE rusher (to eventually take over for Ford) would be the frosting on a SB cake….

    1. Geep, I think Moseley will solidify his status as a starter opposite Sherman, heading into 2020. The 49ers do need to make finding Sherman’s successor, a priority during the offseason, and they’ve already got a head start on the process over the last 10 days, after signing both a CFL standout in CB – Chris Edwards, and the athletic, and versatile DB – Derrick Kindred, to reserve/futures contracts over the last couple weeks.just last week. There’s obviously plenty of more work to be done at shoring up their CB depth chart in the upcoming offseason, but it seems clear that ShanaLynch are prepared to do just that, while Witherspoon’s days of wearing Scarlet & Gold are abruptly coming to an end.

      1. The spoon is likely done in the offseason. Sherman starts in the last year of his contract. He is a team leader. Spoon has the ideal body for the position but not the motivation or mind for it.

  13. Rena’s:
    Because they are the Browns.
    If they were giving the choice of getting 68 Mustang fastback or a 99 Toyota Camry for free they would take the Camry because it’s newer. They are that dumb.

  14. Today’s pick to cheer for is easy. Green Bay. For those of you that have coached any sport, you know how hard it is to face a team three times in a season. Would it be great to beat the Seahawks for the SB? Of course! But, losing would be horrific. There are no guarantees in that game. Division game, which are always weird. Not just a mobile QB, but one of the best ever. Who needs it? I don’t. Are the Niners the better team. I think so. The better team doesn’t always prevail. Two of the Niner loses are to mobile QB’s. Why not play the statue known as Aaron Rogers. We’ve seen what the Niner D line does to QB’s line Aaron and Kirk and Jeff and the other statue QB’s in the league. We’ve seen what slippery little Wilson, Jackson and even Murray, who almost beat them, does to the Niners, and most other teams. It’s the unpredictability that they bring. No, I’d rather not even gamble. Could Rodgers rise to the occasion and give the Niners trouble. Absolutely, he’s probably a future Hall of Famer, but I doubt it. Wilson is a future Hall of Famer too and I think way more of a threat than Rodgers. The Pack will play better than the first game I would assume, but the Niners will win that game. How confident are you that the Niners can beat Seattle in a third rematch, and is a SB berth worth that gamble? Not to me, and I’m an avid gambler. Too much risk. I’ll be wearing green, white, and gold today. How about you? Go Pack!!

    1. Yeah, I’m all for the Seahawks having a long, difficult flight home tonight, and clearing out their lockers in the morning…

    2. Hogwash…
      I would love to see Seattle again with this healthy squad, and the beating they’re going to get.
      I view my lust for payback in the NFCTG bigger than any worry of losing.
      SF owes Seattle! And the talk of a one sided rivalry will be put to rest!
      It’s been a long time coming.
      And everything you’ve stated about them potentially losing to a lesser team stands with GB too.

      I say bring in the seahaks!

      1. Well, Niners lost at home to Seattle and won by an inch in Seattle. Niners crushed GB. I think the point spread vs Seattle in a CG would be 1 to 3 at the most. Against the Packers, 7 to 10. Packers are undoubtedly the easier route to the SB. But it’s all academic anyway. I think you’ll get your wish Ninermd. I think it more likely Seattle will win tonight because they are the better team. I took Seattle +4 and the under (46). It will be snowing for the second half. It should be a great one.

        SEA 24 GB 20

        Thanks for your opine ninermd. Much respected! Hope your right, but I hope I’m wrong! :)

        1. It’s just simply hating that team for me. And I want SF to embarrass them.
          And I know they will.
          Nobody got injured yesterday. It will be the first game played against them with a mostly healthy squad.
          I don’t think Seattle will be close.
          One luv. Go Niners

  15. I will say one thing about Akhello Witherspoon- I think he has talent. He’s right there on these passes but somehow lost the ability to play the ball.

    I’d rather we start Moseley rest of the way but I think Spoon could still turn out to be a good one. Aim to start him again next season.

    Eric Davis anyone? Sounds like a similar story.

  16. Hey Grant… Opportunity for a nice bundle of hot takes. How about driving a wedge into the 9er coaching staff on the matter of Witherspoon’s play? Theme would be: Saleh fails repeatedly to see Witherspoon’s horrible play, and Shanahan has to reach into Saleh’s domain and make things right. Maybe even pull Sherman into it. Stinks of rotten-dom in 9er land.

    Lots of ways this could go. Not only is there the Lynch/Shanahan rift lurking in the shadows, there’s a deep, festering disconnect between Kyle and Robert. Could be material for a HBO miniseries.

    Gotta find a way to fill the dead air until kickoff of the NFC Championship game.

    1. Hey Robot Moron, how in the world did you come up with such a manufactured hot take?

      On what planet does it make sense to infer any kind of front office, or coaching staff disunity, or dysfunction, when an NFL team has the kind of roaring success that the 49ers have witnessed this season? I don’t think any of that makes a lick of sense to the Forty Niner Faithful, or even the most casual football fan. Why in the world would HBO, or any other broadcast network waist their time and money on what could only be viewed as a lame attempt to entertain only the most brain dead of audience’s, in a bogus attempt to drum up controversy where obviously none exists? – Insert annoying buzzer sound here

      1. On what planet does it make sense to infer any kind of front office, or coaching staff disunity, or dysfunction, when an NFL team has the kind of roaring success that the 49ers have witnessed this season?

        On planet Grant.

      2. 49Reasons: Not sure if you know this, but Robot Moron is the old “Cassie Baalke”. The name changed but not the style. You’ll notice no responses from anyone else, because this is status quo.

        Personally, I like the jovial antagonism (with many grains of truth) against Grant. Grant is becoming tiresome and imo has shown virtually no growth as a journalist. What hit home for me was the way that Fonzi and the other guy merely humored Grant when they had him on their show – I got the impression that Grant was only on the show because of his old man.

        1. Thanks for the heads up cubus, my bad. I didn’t realize it was Cassie, nor did I pick up on the fact that he was actually taking a lighthearted, sarcastic dig at our friend Grant. Now that I understand his post was in jest, I find it amusing, and can appreciate the humor in poking a little fun at yet another one of Grant’s infamous hot takes. Bless Grant’s heart though, he sure isn’t afraid to climb out on a limb, no matter how shaky it might just be.

          GO NINERS!

      3. Grant was one of the first to ‘crack’ (fuel?) the story on Lynch/Shanahan discord. That, and unhappy scouts within the scouting department.

        Sure looked like the 9ers were coming apart last summer…per Grant.

        1. Sorry Robot, I didn’t realize you were being sarcastic. Your post was a jocular riff on one of Grant Cohn’s infamous hot takes. Now I get it, MY BAD bro! Apologies.

  17. Report: Vikings’ OC Kevin Stefanski will reportedly be the next Head Coach of the Cleveland Browns.

    That’s great news for the Niners, IMO, as they were not only at risk of losing their talented, 3rd year DC – Robert Saleh, but also potentially their VP of Player Personnel – Adam Peters, and either their Run Game Coordinator – Mike McDaniel, or Passing Game Coordinator – Mike LaFleur.

    Coaching continuity is typically an important piece of the puzzle for NFL teams looking to go on an extended championship run, and as we’ve witnessed throughout this season, when healthy, the 49ers have consistently been one of, if not the best defensive units in the entire league. That kind of dominance simply doesn’t happen by accident. While it’s certainly been a collective defensive coaching effort, from DL coach – Kris Kocurek, to Pass Rush Specialist – Chris Kiffin, on up to the front office, with guys like DQC – Brian Fleury, I don’t think there is any question as to who has been the driving force behind the Niners’ remarkable defensive turnaround. Not only has Saleh brilliantly adapted his scheme over the last 3 seasons, he has also done a fantastic job at game-planning and play-calling, while finding ways to consistently make those critical halftime adjustments, each and every week. I am stoked to know he’ll be picking up right where they will have left off, after this dominant defensive season!

      1. But, but, but… I’ve been assured by Grant that Reid is the far superior coach to Kyle…..
        Maybe playoff winning is optional?

        1. Along those lines……..

          On 9/20/18, Grant opined:

          …head coach, Andy Reid, is the best offensive coach in the NFL, the Bill Walsh or Mike Holmgren of his era. Reid could hold his own against both in their primes.

      2. So much the ribico hot take. lol. I’ll think I’ll leave those to others. Furthermore, I’d like to personally apologize to the coach Reid, as I know he’s an avid reader of the blogs. One thing this game proves: Mahomes > Jackson (oops, another hot take?)

    1. and getting worse for KC, but things working out for the 49ers…….

      Glad Saleh is staying- keep the cohesion.

      I hope Ward and Armstead work with the front office to try and make things work- I know Armstead will be hard to keep when accounting for Kittle and Buckner getting extensions. It would be REALLY nice if Bay Area companies worked to augment their salaries as a means of compensating them for any losses.

      Arrowhead turning on their team due to the drops- amazing.

  18. Texans 21 Chiefs 0
    AFC is very interesting this year.
    Can’ t Put this one on Reid, special teams are completely coming apart, 3 Chiefs have dropped passes, make that 4.

    1. Can’ t Put this one on Reid,

      Only of you think if the job of the coach is not getting the team ready to play and/or hiring a coaching staff that gets the team ready to play in the post-season.
      I guess Reid is above it all…..
      Or maybe he should just stick to being an OC?

  19. It isn’ Coaching to fail to catch the ball that hits you in the hands or not block the man right in front of you on a punt or to catch a punt or kickoff. That is high school football at best.
    These aren’t scheme issues or failure to prepare, it’s players not doing their fundamental job.
    Now don’t get me wrong, Reid does a bad job in playoff games, but that isn’t the problem today.

    1. Right…it is on the players.

      That is why I was so nervous for our game yesterday because 90% of the team was making its Playoff debut so to speak. Kudos to the coaches and players on never losing the intensity.

      Proud of our team!

  20. Jimmy Ward was great yesterday and has been all season. With his injury history do they sign him long term next year. He could be the next Jesse Sapoulo, injured constantly early in his career who then becomes a consistent Pro Bowl level player.

    1. He was slowed in is development as a free safety not just by injuries but by being constantly moved around the backfield. I always thought he was going to be a good one — great combination of talent, commitment, character, and effort on and off the field.

      I would guess he would be re-signed on a 3 year contract with incentives linked to percentage of plays in a season, and also performance metrics.

      1. If Paraag can work his magic and come up with an incentive based contract, we should keep Ward. Hardworking and talented player.

    2. OC: It’s too bad that Armstead took the full five years to reach his potential. The team stuck with him giving him the fifth year option. I think the team should work out a long-term deal with Armstead and I would like Armstead to provide a home-town discount. I know that’s an unpopular view, but think it is fair in this case given that Armstead’s production up to this year has been average at best (and not worth a 1st round top 15 pick, imo). Further, how much of Armstead’s great play this year is due to the other guys on that front four?

      1. I believe they would make the argument he has played in his natural scheme this season as opposed to past years….. I wonder where the market is for him- $14-16? I just wonder if the leadership in the locker room is strong enough to convince some of these guys to keep if moving- ie, but re-working deals, not pleading.

        I would sign Ward- Shanny loves him too. I suspect that the 49ers brass may also think the DL may be ok w others sliding into the slot and spending the $ elsewhere.

        This game is unreal. O’Brien should have gone for it at 4 n 1 to bury them……..

    3. I have been thinking about this and right now I am somewhat leaning towards letting him go unless they can sign him on a short term deal again, or at least a deal that is easy to get out of any year. I have always thought he was good, and he’s shown it this year, but he is still more a safe and fundamentally sound player than playmaker, and even this year he has had his injury issues and broken bones. I don’t think you can give him a long term deal with guarantees. Plus they have a guy waiting in the wings in Moore.

      He also had some interesting comments about his future a few weeks ago. While pretty much every other player coming off contract has said they want to be back, he was far more non-committal, mentioned money, and also seemed a bit miffed that he’s only just this year really gotten the opportunity to focus on playing safety.

        1. On the fence re Armstead. It’s a lot of money to invest in the DL. But he has been excellent this year and an important piece contributing to the dominance of the D up front. At this stage I would try and re-sign him, but probably wouldn’t tag him and if a team offers him a huge deal I would probably let him go and look to replace him in FA. As good as he has been I think part of his success comes from the play of the guys around him, which has freed him up a bit.

          1. Yeah. Like I said above, I would want a hometown discount and if he won’t do it, then let him go. You don’t think Julian Taylor could replace him?

            If there was only some way to free up Solly’s cap space………

            1. I think DJ Jones, Taylor and hopefully re-signing Blair would go some way to replacing him, but I would still bring a mid-range FA in. Probably an older guy on a short term deal. Someone like Derek Wolfe, for instance.

              1. What about somebody you liked a lot (understatement, LOL) a few years back who has fallen into disfavor – Muhammed Wilkerson. He’s been out for well over a year, but would you take a flyer for around $3 mil per year and then decide in training camp? He’s 30 years old. Could he play DT as well as DE?

              2. No way. This team is built on a team first, hard working mentality. Wilkerson has proven he is a me first personality and unreliable.

                But that type of DE/DT is the type I would be looking at to replace Armstead as a like for like replacement.

                Wolfe may be a bit too expensive, but that type of player.

  21. OK now we have a game! Both sides making mistakes. Whichever side wins here is going to have a tough time against Vrabel’s team.

  22. Do either of these teams know how to play special teams?
    Texans going for it on 4th down was indefensible. O’Brien is a bad coach.

  23. Wow! My Chiefs -10 and the over (51 1/2) wasn’t looking good but with these crappy defenses the game is on! I think Tennessee will put a whooping on either one of these teams, and the Niners will put a whooping on any of the three. Defense wins Championships and the AFC is a joke defensively!

    Early prediction! SF vs TENN SB

    SF 42 TENN 21

    Take the Niners and the over!

    :)

    1. I do as well- seems to me they changed that ruling.

      I had 49ers over Chiefs in the SB before this weekend- but I would prefer to not face them.

      1. “but I would prefer to not face them”

        Ditto!

        Watching KC in this first half reminded me of my colonoscopy prep – explosive!

        1. oh my! Quite the analogy there……… thankfully, haven’t “explored” that yet.

          My wife and stepnson are 2/2 from yesterday and were pulling a rooster stunt having taken Hou w 9.5…………. I reminded them of Kenny Rogers.

  24. Yea, I was at Super Bowl 19 at Stanford vs the great explosive Miami offense led by Dan Marino. Niners defense made them look average at best. I think this current Niner squad is darn near as good. They’ll handle KC’s offense and score a bunch on that lousy defense.

  25. Mahomes has all day to throw. Houston cannot generate a pass rush.

    Pocket passers dominating the playoffs. I don’t think the NFL has truly evolved into them just yet.

      1. LJ ran for 143 and passed for 365, so he was productive. Turnovers doomed him.
        .
        Watson initially played well, but his HC went brain dead.
        .
        Mahomes is a mobile QB. Rodgers is elusive. JG is not a statue in the pocket.
        .
        Tannehill had Derrick Henry, so he completed 7 passes for 88 yards, while Henry ran for 182 yards.
        .
        Brady, Brees, Wentz and McCown were all pocket passers who did not win. Allen and Cousins are mobile, but tried to deliver from the pocket.
        .
        Even Belichick is thinking of a mobile, dual threat QB.

    1. Well, is he going to fire himself?- they never brought in a GM, did they? I imagine the owner may be looking to do something now though, seeing as they have to account for the defense as well…………

  26. Watson seems to get a lot of good press, but almost every time I watch him, I’m not impressed. That last throw was exceedingly poor although completing it wouldn’t change the outcome.

    Mahomes, OTOH, is another story.

      1. Oh yeah, Mahomes >> Jackson.

        The stats probably bear out the accuracy, but Mahomes has a few more tools in the bag. Those last second, no-look passes that Mahomes can make as he is running away from pressure towards the LOS are unprecedented.

        1. Yes, and hopefully it will create opportunities for our defense if we meet in the Super Bowl…… I think we can run on them as well. I fear Mahomes and Hill, but that is about it.

          I think Tennessee can beat them at KC. Line will probably only be around 5 now after Henry has been running wild.

    1. Prime I am glad you and I agree on something.
      .
      Maybe 2020 is the start of a new relationship in the spirit of this blog.
      .
      Happy New Year.
      .
      GO NINERS!!!

        1. Denver Post…

          A source said Fangio became frustrated with Scangarello’s unwillingness to keep his foot on the accelerator in several situations.

      1. Does it need to be viewed as a replacement? How about an addition – assistant to the HC on offense or something like that.

        1. Could do. But would be curious as to what his responsibilities would be without either doubling up on what someone else already does or taking responsibilities from someone.

          1. How about studying the opponent coming up and putting together a “white paper” on which plays or strategies would be effective. KS can then take it into consideration when he puts his gameplan together.

            1. cubus
              Somewhere in the dark recess of my subliminal consciousness, I recall Sanny’s pop doing
              something that….Or maybe I’m just hallucinating?

            2. Could do. They already have people doing that advance scouting of opponents, but probably not providing previous OC experience and suggestions. In saying that, would Shanny, LaFleur and McDaniel want/ need another person in the mix providing such advice on how they should think about attacking an opponent? I’m not against bringing him back, but just seems a bit superfluous to me unless Shanny decides he wants to move another staff member out.

              1. “unless Shanny decides he wants to move another staff member out.”

                or Shanny decides to lighten his workload a bit.

              2. Scooter
                I don’t believe it was something “official.” Just KS and his pop running things by each other…. I see this, what do you see kind of thing.

              3. GEEP, what Mike S does, from my understanding, is more an unofficial advisory role along the lines of what you said. But the team already employs people officially to do advance scouting of opponents. Every team does.

              4. Big Shanny’s IPod has video access within 30 minutes of every drill, meeting and practice of the 49ers. He’s Kyle’s Don Vito….

  27. Don’t be surprised if the Texans fire Bill O’Brien and come after Robert Saleh and Adam Peters. The other probable targets are Josh McDaniels and Nick Caserio.

    1. Interesting. After letting Clowney go and the pathetic defensive performance today, they might want to switch from a HC with an offensive background to one with defense.

    2. I think if Saleh gets hired he’s tagging Ed Dodds as GM.

      I’m not a fan of McDaniels as a head coach but if they got Caserio that would be huge for the Brownies.

      Dodds is a pretty decent GM candidate and frankly the most attractive thing about hiring Saleh. Saleh is Mike Nolan 2.0. He’ll have some initial success but he’ll lose the team after a few seasons. Overly focused on the defense his offenses will struggle to flourish. Like Nolan. Saleh will only get one opportunity as a head coach and will eventually go back to being a DC or position coach.

  28. Enjoying watching the Seahawks losing, but Packers need to keep the pressure on. Wilson can score quickly if your not careful.

  29. Neither of these teams defense is any good. GB has 0 pass rush. Russell is being Russell. Single handily keeping them in the game, if not winning it. Green Bay’s offense is nothing but short passes. Niners will beat either one, but I’d still rather face GB. Jimmy will carve them up like a Thanksgiving turkey.

          1. He’s (she’s?) more Seb than Seb is. I’ve been mostly scrolling past everything y’all are going on about, but sometimes reflexes kick in.

  30. Packers are letting Wilson beat them.
    There defense is pretty bad and their offense looks tired and slow.
    Drives me nuts what Wilson does to defenses in the second half of games.

    1. another GREAT game ……. playoffs have been wonderful- the NFL is king.

      C’mon GB!

      They are learning how hard it is to squash the Wilson bug.

  31. Over on FieldGulls.com they all agree the Niners will be in the SB. They also all agree that they will be rooting for the AFC. And, oh yeah, the refs suck. LOL.

  32. Scooter
    I don’t believe it was something “official.” Just KS and his pop running things by each other….I see this,
    what do you see kind of thing.

  33. FU Cheating Pete and your brood of Seachickens! FU 12th man!

    Felt so wrong rooting for the Packers but what’s done is done.

    Now to go wash off this dirty feeling.

  34. This is so hilarious. I posted two weeks ago telling Seahacks fans what a great game it was, showing respect and it’ll be great to see them again.

    I go to FieldGulls.com today and learn I’ve been banned.

    Talk about a bunch of freaking Gen Z sissies.

  35. As much fun it may have been to beat Seattle, it isn’t worth the risk and having to deal with their ANNOYING fans and coach……….. and phony QB peddling his holy water.

    – Miami is pretty nice in February……….. if it is Nashville, ticket prices might not be too bad in my opinion though, I hate that the Super Bowl is so expensive and corporate…… a larger percentage to go to the teams participating to distribute to their own fans.

    1. The same person that covered him the 1st game. Hey, I thought u were “done with this team”? I see you still pop up😂😂😂

  36. I’d say the early line will be Niners -7 and the O/U 48. I think this game will be closer than the blowout but at this point I’d take the Niners and the over. My unofficial guess would be SF 34 GB 24. Weather looks good for the game 60*/10% chanced of rain. Absorb it all!! A chance to go to the SB. Unbelievably, this will be the 16th time the Niners have been in the NFCCG! They’ve won it 6 times, winning 5 SB’s and losing 1. They have lost 9 times! Can you believe that? So many times they could have been in the SB! As much as we have celebrated with their success, we have also endured countless heartbreaks. Thats what makes this opportunity so special. Enjoy it. It’s not easy getting here, and even harder to win the next one! If you have any chance at all, go to the SB if they get there. I’ve attended the first 5 and every one was the trip of a lifetime with memories that will last forever. Go for it!!! It’s only money! You can’t take it with you!!

    1. Through the years since the BW era, it always felt like the Niners had to go through a historically great NFC team to get to the SB. The Harbaugh era was the exception when they beat the Falcons, who were good that year but not a great like the Cowboys, Redskins, Bears, and Cowboys again.
      I’m not taking the Packers lightly but the Niners are clearly the better team, and more complete too. The Packers are flawed and Jimmy G played well in the Sunday Night matchup. Feels like the team is complete and healthy now too. Did that have Dee Ford in the reg. season game?

      1. Having Ford, Kwon and Tartt back really helped. Earning that first round bye was huge.
        .
        The Packers are another team to be considered great, and a stern challenge. There were some epic playoff battles in the 90’s, against the Packers.

  37. Well I was close. I said SF -7 and the O/U 48 to open. It’s -7 and 45. It will be interesting to see where the money goes. Early T-Time today boys! Don’t work too hard! :)

  38. I feel like the only other team as battle tested as us would be the Chiefs. They’ve dealt with injuries across the board and have had their defensive struggles, but were still able the get that the bye week. I think we are destined to meet up in the SB. Titans without question have been battle-tested throughout the playoffs, but I still feel like they haven’t handled it like the Chiefs and Niners.

    That being said, that would be quite the match-up their offense and our defense, although i think we get the edge against their defense. Anyway great weekend of football. Nice to see my team in the NFCCG, and my new hometown Tennessee in the AFCCG. Another good weekend of football on the way.

    1. To me the Chiefs are the only scary team left in the playoffs.
      What I mean by that, is that they are the only team that could beat SF if both teams play near their best. That offense is scary if they are hitting on all cylinders

    2. Record setting wunderkind QB, the talk of the league, legendary coach, Niners pretty much overlooked in all the hype…where have I seen this before? 1984 season perhaps?

      1. And Mahomes shares time with Rogers in some of those (overplayed) Allstate TV ads–reason enough for the 9ers to take those two down.

        1. Oh yeah, those are annoying AF.

          Without exception: Gieco, Farmers, Allstate, Progressive, Liberty Mutual… I find it interesting and curious the marketing geniuses feel the need to sell insurance with silliness.

    3. The great thing about a Chiefs Niners Super Bowl is that the Chiefs will be coming off a tenderizing RB with Tennessee. Henry can’t be fun to tackle. My hope is that Tennessee doesn’t abandon the run game and lets Henry soft up the Chiefs defenders ahead of the Super Bowl.

  39. Jimmy g weeks 8-17
    Comp pct 69.6 = 2nd in nfl
    Pass yards/att 8.6 =2nd in nfl
    Pass td 20 = tie 4th
    Passer rating 108.1 = 4th

    Damn jimmy is a superstar, baller.. carried this team last half of season

  40. I have been a big fan of Wishnowski since he was drafted but what has happened to his KO’s lately? They have been short and very returnable or is our KO coverage been really bad lately? I wonder if it has to do with muscle fatigue in a rookie who has never punted and kicked off this much.

    1. They have been short and very returnable or is our KO coverage been really bad lately?

      Could that be a ST strategy, in attempt to keep the opponents starting position short of the 25?

      1. I wasn’t real pleased with the kickoffs, but some of that may have been due to head winds, which is probably why he seemed to be driving the ball at a lower trajectory than usual. Wishnowski’s masterful punting was a different story though. In 4 total punts, he allowed ZERO return yards, with two muffed catches and two punts landing inside the 20 yard line.

    2. I noticed this too. Every Wishnowsky kick was short of the goal line it seemed. I was wondering if the 49ers actually had a strategy to get the Vikings to return the ball. Wonder if they saw something with ball security they thought they could exploit.

    3. I agree. They are not only short of the goal line, they do not have much loft.
      .
      That ball should be kicked as high as possible, to allow time for the coverage team to get down field.

    4. I was at the game last Saturday; the wind did pick up and affected kickoffs. I don’t think enough credit on the muff punts is being given to Wishnowsky, who’s balls were doing some funny action (I don’t know if that was due to him employing his specialty kicks, or because of the wind).

  41. Really looking forward to articles this week on the similarities with the 81 team. Coach in his 3rd year. 13-3 record. Breakout offense and defense performances. Playing a team in the NFCCG that they destroyed during the regular season.

    1. Well this fan could do without another “the catch” moment.
      It was nice seeing a game again when it’s over at the start of the fourth.

      1. True. If the 49ers win the next 2 in blowouts I would be ecstatic. But legends aren’t made without suspense. Maybe win the Superbowl this year with blowouts and then next year allow some drama.

  42. Why do I write like the Niners could easily lose? Because like Juan mentioned, the Niners have failed in the NFCC Game 9 times, including twice in the JH era.
    .
    Whoever their opponent is, they are one of the 2 best teams in their conference. The Packers will not roll over and lay down for the Niners. The Packers also have a history of beating the Niners in the NFCC Game.
    .
    Sure, that first meeting was a blowout, but do not expect the same results. I will say that this next game will be a dogfight, and I hope I am wrong. Maybe the Niners will crush them. However, the Packers have improved their defense with the Smith’s pass rushing, and Aaron Rodgers can drop dimes, too. The Packers have a good RB, so they are balanced, and they may have learned from their mistakes.
    .
    The Niners can improve, too. JG needs to have better ball security, and McGlinchey had playoff jitters. While they had overall good clock and game management, the Niners still had to burn a time out to prevent a delay of game penalty. They allowed too many return yards, and if Deebo’s knee was not down, it could have changed the momentum of the game.
    .
    The Niners will not be more rested than their opponent, like they were with the Vikings. Right now, the Packers are relatively healthy, so the Niners do not have that advantage over them. The Niners should not expect they will be able to grind down their opponent in the third quarter.
    .
    Yet, I am happy. The Niners have gone from 4-12 to the NFCC Game, which is nothing short of a miracle. JL has assembled a very talented team with depth. KS has vastly improved his clock and game management, and has learned how to close out games, unlike last season. The overall coaching has improved, and the players are peaking at the right time. Getting back 3 defensive starters was a boon, and JG is showing the doubters that he is a leader, and a winner.
    .
    The Niners are one game from the SB, but they need to be level headed and focused on this next game. They should not be complacent, and the best lesson is remembering the Falcons game. Many thought it was going to be a blowout, and the Niners got punched in the gut.
    .
    If the Niners are prepared properly, can play focused, disciplined and in control, and can make quick adjustments to handle adversity, they can win. Even if it is by one point, that is all they need, on their road to glory. I am so proud of this team, and I am jumping for joy, now that the Niners are relevant again.
    .
    GO NINERS !!!!!! SIX !!!!!!

    1. Frank: Yes. Well, when I see 5 weirdos dressed in togas stabbing a guy in the middle of the park in full view of 100 people, I shoot the bastards. That’s my policy.

      Mayor: That was a Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar, you moron! You killed 5 actors! Good ones!

    2. Are you going to predict another 24-23? One point win? Either you are not analyzing the game properly, or you fixated on one point games. At some point you will be right but it will get super old by then.

      1. No one knows what the score will be, until they play. Any guess is as good as another.
        .
        24-23 just shows consistency. I did predict Niners 28-20, against the Falcons, but the score was 22-23, until 2 seconds were left, and the Falcons scored that gimme TD, and the score went to 22-29.
        .
        No matter what, I am predicting a Niner victory, even if it is by one point.
        .
        Some have predicted a Niner defeat, so am I a better fan than them? At least I always want the Niners to win.

  43. Just heard Scangarello let go by the Broncos…any chance he comes back? Although, there is a new OC opening with the Vikings now….that would make sense since Kubiak’s system is still there.

  44. I see some Seahag’s fans calling for Carroll’s head. A few even mentioned he might have the onset of Alzheimer’s.

    He certainly seems to have had some major lapses in the last few games – like this one yesterday:

    “But the Seahawks opted to punt, and in so doing they allowed the too many precious seconds to evaporate from the game clock. The third-down sack happened with 3:22 left; the ball was snapped for the punt with 2:41 remaining in the game.

    Carroll was asked about the lack of urgency to get the play started. In response, he didn’t have much to say.

    “There was a little, you know . . . I don’t know . . . . Go ahead,” Carroll said. “That’s a good one to pick on.”

    It is a good one to pick on, especially since throughout the second half the Seahawks displayed on offense the kind of nonchalance that suggested they didn’t realize they were trailing by multiple scores.”

    https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2020/01/13/pete-carroll-defends-punting-with-fewer-than-three-minutes-left/

  45. This run at the SB feels different than last time because we have a suffocating defense and a QB who is not a gimmick.
    Also the unity between the players is evident. It truly looks like a brotherhood from afar.
    I can’t wait till Sunday.

    Go Niners!

  46. I predict 49ers will break the record own by the (J Lynch) Bucs in 2003.

    …..beating all their opponents in the playoffs and SB by 2 scores……

  47. I could see Bill O’Brien getting the pink slip, but Pete Carroll? Yes, he is one of the oldest coaches in the league, but he is a very fine coach. He does have lapses, like on the goal line in the SB, but he has produced a competitive squad that has a legendary defense.
    .
    Every HC could be second guessed about late game management. The Seahawks were a walking MASH unit this season. He put together a team with smoke and mirrors. He had to deal with 3rd and 4th string players. Pete forged them into a cohesive unit. Hollister was not even on the team at the beginning of the year.
    .
    I have nothing but respect for Pete Carroll’s coaching skills, but want him to lose every game. He was one inch from beating the Niners to claim the division. He was one inch from forcing the Packers to punt with a minute and a half left. It took Aaron Rodgers throwing a perfect passes to beat him.
    .
    I sure am glad that the Niners do not have a third meeting with the Seahawks. Russell Wilson beat the Niners at Levis this season. Even with their injuries, the Seahawks would have been a formidable opponent. The Packers are no slouches, either, but anything can happen when both teams play twice every year. Both teams know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, very well.
    .
    The hiring of Stefanski was a head scratcher, the hiring of Judge is a big gamble. The hiring of Rhule is good with his record on improving teams. McCarthy better not screw things up, and fix that defense. The hiring of Rivera was probably the most logical choice.

  48. I gotta question some of you Niner fans.
    All scared to play the seahaks.
    I just don’t get it. They never once faced a healthy 49ers team this season.
    No doubt they would have destroyed them and sent them home questioning their future.
    To bad the trash a** Packers beat them.
    It would have been nice to get payback for the NFC Championship the refs gave them.
    Oh well on to the Packers and then the Super Bowl!

    1. I actually preferred the Seahawks because they’ve played an extra game, but I also wanted the Ravens in the SB too. Nothing you can do about it, but beat the team that’s in front of you.

    2. ninermd- i wanted a rubber match w Seattle….your right, they never faced us when we were even close to %100…..and payback for 2013….not to mention years of abuse when playing them in Seattle etc……..
      That was my “heart” though…… i viewed these teams as being ALMOST identical……2 poor teams with GREAT qb’s…..in the 3rd Q of the game last night…..as i was trying to talk myself into REALLY wanting to play SEA…..i made the argument that GB had more weapons offensively….( Jones, Adams Arodg)…..and so SEA with only RW and Metcalf would be the easier opponent…….then my mind was changed in the blink of an eye……
      you see, i had just watched RW escape pressure in the pocket , effortlessly, and complete a pass……..
      Then the epiphany occurred when AR just got swarmed instantaneously!!!! Just looked like a statue!!! The pressure came….and instead of any attempt to escape……he just braced for impact!
      That really is the difference between these 2 teams and those 2 qbs!!!!! Its also why we smoked GB and escaped in SEA……..
      Yes…..we would have beat SEA……..but i prefer the rout of less resistance……for no other reason than i prefer to enjoy sundays game in the same way i did on saturday……and not have to sweat it out as i did for the last month of the regular season!

  49. Couple interesting stats to consider:

    Defense finished the Vikings game with the fewest snaps since facing the Bengals. They were able to follow that up with a blowout against the Panthers at home. Not a good omen for Mr. Rodgers.

    PFF has Staley and Garland as not giving up a single pressure against the Vikings. Not a good omen for the Smith’s.

    1. I’m pretty sure I heard on the Greg Papa show this morning that Coleman hyperextended his arm/elbow on that WWE style body slam he received courtesy of one of the Vikings D-linemen.

      Anyone else hear anything about this? I mean I think we’d be just fine with Mostert and Breida, but always helps to have depth at the position.

  50. I am not scared for the Niners to play the Seahawks. I am happy the Seahawks lost, because the Niners dominated the Packers, in their last meeting. The Niners do not need to face the Seahawks a third time, because they failed to beat the Packers. I still think the Niners could beat the Seahawks, because the Niners have returned 3 starters on defense.
    .
    Unlike some, who wanted to play twice in the Clink, I want the path of least resistance. I want the Niners to get healthy and stay healthy, not exhaust the players with grueling contests, or suffer attrition. Playing extra games and traveling, just makes it twice as hard to win.

      1. I think Marc Spears said in a podcast before the Seahawk game, the Niners players know, “They can beat these guys.”

        They can play with anybody anywhere. The prove that all season. They had a let down game against the Falcons and it took a great WR — Julio Jones to get that extra inch needed for the TD.

        They — at the worst had the Seahawks game tied at Levi’s but decided to go for the win. At the time I thought they should have settled for it– still do — but each season and journey plays out for whatever reason.

        They travelled across the country after playing a Sunday Night game , in a monsoon, and helped the Ravens to 20 points Almost won it with a rookie kicker!
        This team is has it all cooking — and has an even temperament, with a loose fun bunch. They would handle Packers and would have handled the Seahawks too. And then if they Chiefs get by the Titans, they would have a chance to shut him down like the Niners had to slow down Dan Marino in his 2nd year — or they would have to slow down Henry like the Niners had to stop Icky Woods.

        Nothing is guaranteed — they have to go take it — but they have the horses to do it!

  51. So far today, the 9ers have received a tad less national media love than the other three teams playing next weekend. For a long while today, the NFL’s top-loading webpage featured Rogers, Tannehill, and Mahomes in a composite photo–Jimmy no where to be seen.

    Kinda cool to be disrespected coming into the Championship Game.

    1. It’s gonna be the Patrick Mahomes show here for the next week unless the Titans knock them off too.
      I’m picking a TEN Niners SB.

    1. Seb can’t handle ‘smash mouth football’…Seb wants to fake falling down and cry for his mama if the pass isn’t thrown his way….

      Seb hates Juszczyk and would rather replace him with a receiver who falls down, because, as Seb says, and I quote: “Kyle is less than astute for not resigning Kaep.”

  52. No surprises — 49ers dominate
    For once this year, a game went according to plan
    By Mark Saltveit@taoish Jan 13, 2020, 6:30am PST

    “Mitch Wishnowsky was a masterful tactical punter, allowing no return yards at all on 4 punts, with two muffed catches (one a 49er fumble recovery that lead to 7 pts.) and two punts landing inside the 20.

    NFC Championship–That’s where our 4th Rd. Pick put 49ers!!!!………Go Wish, Go Utes, Go 49ers Baby!***

    https://www.ninersnation.com/2020/1/13/21061995/49ers-vikings-final-score-defensive-domination

  53. Here’s what I expect in the NFC Championship game:

    HC LaFleur will adopt a similar game plan as Sean McVay did in the 2nd game against the 49ers. He will move Rodgers around a lot, changing the launch point and making it somewhat more difficult for our pass rushers to find him. Rollouts and getting the ball out quickly, like Goff did, might give the Packers the best chance at making a game out of it. But Ford, Alexander and Taart are back so I anticipate this strategy will not result in a win, just give them a better chance than in the first game.

    1. Might combine that with keeping in an extra blocker and running shorter routes. At this point, Saleh has had to adapt to almost every different scheme thrown at him this season. He should be ready to adjust in a more timely fashion….

  54. I have a feeling if its Us and the Chiefs in February…..most pundits won’t give us a chance

    Seems like we’ve been disrespected all season long, just my opinion of course.

        1. I thought I read somewhere that Saleh moved Sherman around briefly in a recent game. Sounded like a new wrinkle in their man coverage scheme. I can’t find where I read about it though….

          1. Sherman moves around in man every once in a while, he did at least once that I saw Saturday afternoon, but for the most part he sticks to the left side.

            1. Do you have any ideas behind this adjustment, Hammer? Is it simply the more you can do, or the play of Witherspoon, or something else?

              1. From what I recall, didn’t Sherman play a snap in the slot? Can’t recall who he was marking. Tbh outside of that one snap the broadcast coverage outlined I don’t recall seeing Sherman doing anything other than playing left outside CB.

    1. I remember listening to a Steelers beat reporter that he felt the Burfict hit affected him…….. had he stayed with the Raiders, they would have won 10, I believe……….. next year, their schedule is pretty brutal though.

    2. Most didn’t because it’s not plastered all over ESPN.
      He’s nothing but a racist pile of ****!
      Great father and respects women like a gentleman.
      Yeah kind of hard to feel sorry for this dude.

  55. According to Larry Krueger Joey wants to join Nick at the 49ers as soon as he becomes a FA (2021). Would make for a heck of a DL, and Joey can play a bit the same way Armstead does – LDE on early downs and DT on passing downs. Doubt they would sign Joey if they keep Armstead though (and presumably extend Buckner).

      1. One can hope!

        Tbh, the chances of the Chargers not tagging him for at least one year are probably pretty slim. So if they want him in 2021 they would probably need to work out a trade.

        1. Boy, wouldn’t that be something.

          Speaking of Bosa, he seems to be a lock for DROY. I noticed he landed at #1 on NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks’ and Danial Jeremiah’s top 25 rookies of the 2019 season. No surprise there, what a talent! It was also great to see Deebo getting some well deserved recognition, coming it at #8 on their list!

          Just how good is ShanaLynch’s 2019 draft class shaping up to be?

          Hurd will be back after a “redshirt” year
          Greenlaw will be coming off of a very impressive rookie campaign
          Skule will be more than a full year into his NFL strength & conditioning
          – The Niners have found their punter in Wishnowski

          In a word …. SENSATIONAL!

          1. As good as Bosa and Deebo have been, the guy that has me most impressed with his play during the second half of the season is Greenlaw. He’s been excellent down the stretch. Great 5th round pick.

            1. No doubt Scooter, that kid gets better and better by the game. Imagine Greenlaw’s potential once the game slows down a bit more for him, playing loose, more reacting and less thinking.

              1. Most underrated 49er, K’Wuan Williams. All the guy does is man the slot which is the hardest part of the field to cover.

    1. Iggy Cohn
      @grantcohn
      No idea why the Chargers drafted Joey Bosa in the first place. He’s going to be a bust.
      2:16 PM · Aug 24, 2016

      Not to mention he doesn’t play hurt.

      1. Heh, Grant wasn’t much of a fan of those Bosa’s was he!

        My only real concern with having both Bosa’s would be that you’d have two DEs that play very similarly. It’s good to have guys that provide different match up problems for an opponent. If they signed Joey I think it would need to be with the idea he would slide into DT fairly regularly on passing downs and have a speedier pass rush specialist they can bring off the edge (like what Dee Ford provides, but doubt they can afford his salary, Buckner and the Bosa’s).

        1. Yep, unless or until we change our defensive philosophy, Scooter is 100% correct. We’re gonna need another speed rusher on a rookie contract that will enable us to move on from Ford at some point….

          1. It depends to some degree on what they do this offseason. If they spend big to keep all their guys and/ or replace anyone with another rich contract they probably aren’t in a great position to add a contract like Joey in 2021. But if they are a little bit more conservative this year, maybe let Armstead go and replace him with a guy on effectively a 1-year deal, then shouldn’t be a problem. They can also let Ford go pretty much any year without significant dead money, so if they can find a cheaper replacement for him a lot of his cap space can be switched to Joey Bosa.

        2. Exactly.
          I would prefer another speed rusher… as you can flip your ends to take advantage of matchups more… btw there are several solid pass rushers that will be available this offseason. Which means there are several scenarios that SF can look into depending on how they decide to shape the line going forward.

    1. Yes, I expect that to be one of the top considerations for the 49ers first pick in this year’s draft. Bryce Hall is someone I think the 49ers might consider strongly.

      1. Scooter:
        Agree, Hall would be a nice 9er draft pick. He led the nation in passes broken up in 2018 with 24. He also totaled 62 tackles, two forced fumbles and two interceptions! He had 20 tackles with four passes broken up in an injury-shortened 2019 season, after suffering an injured ankle that took him out for the season. It could drop where he’s drafted and allow the 9ers to draft him. Trying to find out if his ankle injury will allows him to participate in the 2020 combine.
        * I read a scouting report that said he looks stiff-hipped and not that twitchy. Combine results would resolve those questions!

      2. I can’t believe the niners will ever take a CB in round 1, until I see it. This FO has earned my respect and trust no doubt, but it seems they continue to devalue the CB position every year. Hopefully the reason is that they prioritized the passrush, and now they can focus on the secondary, since that seems to be set with Ford/Bosa. I’ll be interested to see how they address FS this year. I’m hoping we get Ward on a cheap 1 year prove it deal, he needs to prove this year was not an anomaly. Although I get that in his mind he needs to cash out while his stock his high. However, look how long Tre Boston was on the market. I doubt he gets what he’s looking for out there.

        I also hope they prioritize signing our depth pieces like Blair, I really think he would have broken out this year.

  56. Witherspoon may be playing poorly, but he sure seems like one of the high-character, team-first players the team has tried to draft/recruit. Kudos to his team-first attitude.

    “To Ahkello Witherspoon’s credit, he continued to help the team. Shanahan said that Spoon went up to special teams coach Richard Hightower and told the coach that he was willing to take all of Emmanuel Moseley’s reps to help out the team and allow Moseley to remain fresh for defense. Shanahan said that spoke to the way this Niners team is built.

    Witherspoon ended up playing seven snaps on special teams. He covered five punt returns and two kick returns for Moseley. It may not seem like much, but that’s a great team gesture. Despite not playing up to his standards, Witherspoon didn’t sit on the bench and pout. He put the team before himself. ”

    https://www.ninersnation.com/2020/1/13/21064152/injury-updates-no-news-is-good-news-for-the-49ers

    1. The head coach said Kittle hasn’t come up to him during a game once in three years to ask for the ball to be thrown to him or anything related in the passing game. Shanahan did say that Kittle comes up to him “about every seven plays,” suggesting what type of runs the offense should call, and who Kittle needs to hit.

      We really luck-ed out the #1 TE…….its been fun watching him develop to a future HOF….

  57. Rebuild soars into historic territory: In the NFL’s 50-year post-merger period, the 49ers’ ascent has almost no parallel. Only one other team has gone to a conference championship game after at least four consecutive 10-plus-loss seasons. The Jaguars reeled off six straight double-digit defeat slates before their 2017 AFC championship trip. The 49ers’ Jim Tomsula, Chip Kelly and first two Kyle Shanahan seasons produced a 17-47 record. No disrespect to a fluky Jaguars team, but Shanahan’s third 49ers squad is far superior. The Coach of the Year candidate’s presence, and the Browns passing on bringing defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and other staffers to Cleveland, gives San Francisco’s rapid revival staying power.”

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nfl/afc-nfc-title-game-intriguing-matchups-qb-intel-reports-winners/ar-BBYTaQp?li=BBnb7Kz

  58. Shanahan wanted either Derek Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo in the draft and the Browns drafted Johnny Manziel instead.

    Looking back to Kshanny’s time with the Browns tell you much about him….

    Carr, Cousins, JimmyG = all excellent play action QB

  59. I wanted the Niners to extend Armstead before the season, and give him a fair contract.
    .
    Now that he has played so well, Armstead will probably be too costly, and other teams will out bid the Niners.
    .
    All I can hope is for Armstead to take a home team discount, because he likes his team mates so much.
    .
    They need to sign Buckner,and rework Kittle’s contract. Sanders may be too expensive, but winning the SB will make their contracts rise almost exponentially.

    1. I wanted the Niners to extend Armstead before the season, and give him a fair contract.

      Did you? I remember you wanting to extend Buckner before the season… but the word was Buckner didn’t want to extend as he thought he would make more by waiting.

      I don’t remember much regarding Armstead. However, I remember many of them wanted him gone.

      1. Armstead could have been locked up at a much lower salary, than his future contract, and the Niners had cap room to do it. There were questions about Armstead, so he could not command top dollar. Armstead was the one who would be a free agent next season, so he is the one they needed to target. Buckner had 2 years before he became a Free agent, so he was less of a priority than Armstead. Now, Armstead will likely leave for a big payday.
        .
        Buckner should be extended before next season, although they should have re-worked his contract, too, so he would not cost so much, if the contract is spread over many years.
        .
        Kittle should have his contract re-worked because he is the best TE in the league.
        .
        With Taylor and Hurd waiting in the wings, Sanders may be too costly. McKinnon may be a salary cap casualty.

        1. I know they could have locked up Armstead earlier this season for far less than they could now. What I don’t remember is you ever saying they should lock him up this offseason.

          I remember you saying that about Buckner and hoping they would get some comp picks for Armstead if he was allowed to walk after the season. I also remember many arguing that the niners should not have used their 1 year option Armstead and should have let him walk already.

          1. I did it because they had 35 mil in cap space still, and I wanted them to spend it, instead of saving it. Armstead was the most logical player to spend money on, and I wanted them to retain talent.
            .
            I think I even mentioned they could franchise tag him, but I did not want another Cousins situation. A multi year deal spread over several years at a reasonable price would have been their best move.

  60. I really liked Witherspoon’s response to Moseley starting.
    .
    Witherspoon offered to help on STs, and anywhere he can help the team win.
    .
    Sounds like he is taking his demotion with grace and class.

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