NFL Wild Card preview

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) before an NFL wild card playoff football game against the Houston Texans, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Check out my NFL Wild Card Weekend preview below.

This article has 384 Comments

  1. Hmm, Grant likes the Colts, too.
    .
    Interesting, the Colts ran the ball and crammed the ball down their throats. Luck will not be sacked if they go jumbo, and dominate. Quentin Nelson is a beast.

        1. In other words, those who make premature judgments will have those opinions laughed at. It takes more than a few games for talent or lack thereof to be revealed. At least a couple of seasons, like Kaeps goose eggs over his last two.

          1. Rib, this is a results driven league, so Kaep has not excelled lately. However, I also believe in redemption, like Jim Plunkett. He was kicked around, and nobody wanted him, but then he came back and won a couple SBs. I just think Kaep can do the same, once he ends the blackballing with his lawsuit.

  2. Grant picked the Eagles? Hmmm, with a hot QB, and a Fangio led Bear defense?
    .
    Guess he thinks Foles is fully healthy.

  3. Arizona trades #1 pick with quarterback needy team:
    49ers select:
    2)Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio St.
    36)Nasir Adderley, FS, Delaware
    67)Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M
    97)Andy Isabella, WR, UMass

      1. Yea, in the 6th round I’d target a developmental offensive lineman. They traded for Coleman plus they’ve got Gilligan, and still have Garnett. I expect they’ll resign Person, and we’ve got Staley for another year or two….

      1. I like Baker but I’d be surprised if the Niners were interested. He doesn’t fit the profile of the CB attributes favored in this system.

        Best case scenario for me is the Cards taking Williams and Bosa falling to #2. Could happen.

  4. Watson looks like the second coming of Kaep. Running around aimlessly, getting sacked, throwing interceptions. That last crappy pass in the end zone was vintage Kaep. Either one couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat. LOL. Talk about Deja Vu.

            1. Some day, Luck would like to compete in a SB like Kaep. With his O line, he may even win one.
              .
              Luck has too much class to denigrate a QB who has set a playoff rushing record. Unlike you.

              1. Protection ends for the quarterback once he leaves the pocket. The pocket is the safest place on the field, bar none….

              2. Watson tried to deliver from the pocket, and fizzled out. They let Luck roll out, and he sliced and diced them.
                .
                Wilson, another mobile QB, rolled out and scored. The era of the mobile, QB is emerging.
                .
                Collapsing pockets can be dangerous, too. QB is a sitting duck. Harder to hit a bird on the fly.

              3. My bet is the Super Bowl will be the era of two pocket passers going at it for the championship.

              4. Well let’s see whose left:

                Brady
                Bree’s
                Phillips
                Foles
                Trubisky
                Jackson
                Mahomes
                Russell
                Prescott
                Luck
                Goff

                Yup. Pocket passer heavy.

              5. Seahawks could not run the ball. Cowboy defense is legit. Glad the Seahawks lost. They did not deserve to win because they lost to the Niners. However, I wished the Cowboys had lost, too.
                .
                Right now, I am looking at a Bear- Ravens matchup because of their defenses. Do not think the Rams and Chiefs will make it to the SB because of their weak defenses.
                .
                Immobile QBs-
                Brady
                Brees
                Foles
                Goff
                Rivers.
                .
                Mobile QBs-
                Luck
                Prescott
                Jackson
                Trubisky
                Mahomes.
                .
                5 immobile- 5 mobile. Wonder who will prevail.

              6. The immobile as you categorize them, can all read defenses.
                Your boy could not. He fizzled out!

              7. Dak Prescott made a 16 yard run to convert a third down, that led to a TD and a win. Mobile QBs can deliver from the pocket, but also have an additional weapon, which is inherently advantageous.
                .
                Sure, ideally, a QB should deliver the ball while being protected in the pocket. However, if the protection breaks down, a mobile QB can use his legs to avoid the pass rushers. I do not think that QBs should roll out of the pocket every play, but the threat to run just puts more stress on the defense. The escapability factor that a mobile QB possesses is a positive trait, unlike being a statue in the pocket, and getting sacked easily if the pass protection breaks down.
                .
                Responding to Prime’s screed, Kaep can read defenses just fine. He has thrown for over 400 yards. In the SB, he threw for over 300 yards and ran for over 50 yards. With a stout O line and talented receivers, coupled with a decent defense. Kaep can win games. Previously, he struggled when the O line acted like turnstiles, and the Defense gave up 200 yards to third string RBs.
                .
                The only thing preventing Kaep from playing is the Blackballing. It is so strong, they will not even let Kaep try out. Once he wins his lawsuit, things will change.

              8. Like you care about blackballing Sebbie…

                sebnynah says:
                August 27, 2017 at 6:18 pm
                If Hoyer can play like that, I will not mind if Kaep is blackballed.

                Hypocrite…

              1. 90.3 QBR, 16 TD to 4 int ratio, yet the defense allowed the franchise’s worst run defense in history.
                .
                Kaep could not play defense, also. I blame Baalke, most of all, and thankfully, he was fired for dismantling a SB team.
                .
                You think Colt McCoy, Matt Barkley, Savage, Osweiler, Hoyer, Butt Fumbler, Gabbert and others were superior to Kaep, which shows your lack of football knowledge.

              2. You think Colt McCoy, Matt Barkley, Savage, Osweiler, Hoyer, Butt Fumbler, Gabbert and others were superior to Kaep, which shows your lack of football knowledge.

                Those guys are not cancers in the lockerroom.
                Like you on this blog. Ironic.

                sebnynah says:
                January 5, 2019 at 5:43 pm
                Sometimes I will take a contrary viewpoint just to argue.

                So you are a a hole just to be a a hole?

              3. He’s a narcissistic troll pure and simple, alternating between putting people down and inviting responses and then claiming victimhood when it gets too much. Additionally, he thinks he wins exchanges when people decide not to play with him anymore. Classic troll.

              4. Yup, you all are the real trolls, constantly attacking and sowing dissent.
                .
                I am a die hard faithful Niner fan, who just want them to win more rings.
                .
                Cancer on this blog site? Yup, that perfectly defines you. Constant insults, lack of knowledge, and hate.

              5. East, this says it all. Lonely, troll, lacking self confidence and flat out jerk.
                I mean who argues to argue if you don’t truly believe in what you are arguing?
                Loser!

                sebnynah says:
                January 5, 2019 at 5:43 pm
                Sometimes I will take a contrary viewpoint just to argue.

                Cancerous!

              6. Seb,
                Are you on the PD’ payroll?
                If not, Grant should be sending you a check for garnering as many hits as you receive from your off the wall comments.
                I guess it’s true what they say in Hollywood : “Negative attention is better than no attention.”

              7. Prime, maybe you had not noticed, but I do that all the time with you. I will not agree with you, and once you make a statement, I will counter it. Luckily, you are usually wrong, so I am glad I opposed your view.
                .
                East, you like to dish it out, but sure can’t take it.

              8. AES, I am sure Grant likes the clicks, but he shakes his head over the massive amount of pushback from my comments. He is no pilgrim, so he knows how it works.
                .
                Grant threw me a cookie when he advocated for the Niners to sign Kaep. He also knew I would take the ball and run with it, and draw the loonies with me.
                .
                Personally, I just want to talk about and calmly, civilly discuss tactics and strategies about the Niners, the team I love.

              9. Prime, maybe you are getting a tiny bit smarter. Hope you will learn your lesson, and stop engaging me.
                .
                How many times have I invited you to scroll past? Get a clue.
                .
                But, like a moth to a flame……

              10. There are 124 comments of which 56 are Sebbie’s. Over 45% of the comments are his. And he has the temerity to call others trolls. Own it Seb!

              11. LOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!

                FREAKIN SEBS!!!!!!!!!
                Did a little fruedian slip, did you, and admitted you love to fuss and argue! I’ve known that for years! To the Sebs, its sport!!!!

                Many, many a chuckle…………….

              12. Saw, Grant himself likes posters to argue or agree with him.
                .
                Maybe your beef is with him for advocating arguments.

          1. Your daddy needs one?
            .
            I do not have an ice pick. Automatic ice maker made that obsolete for years.
            .
            However, that is a Baalke special. He likes to stab, then twist.

  5. Colts – more balanced team
    Seahawks – vet QB
    Ravens – stronger defense
    Bears – stronger defense

    Wright is not a scapegoat. Having 41 players on IR since 2017 is a clear sign that injuries are an issue that needs to be resolved.
    Players should not have to have their hand 24/7 like you are suggesting the 49ers should have done with Foster. At some point, these grown men need to stand on their on two feet, made their own decisions, and face the potential consequences of those decisions.

    1. if players are injured during a game, it is hard to blame the strength and conditioning coach. how can you blame him for broken arms, ruptured achilles tendons or knee injuries or shoulder stingers when the player has a history even before he came to the Niners…..acls are not something which strength training can negate on most occasions….now hamstrings and groin pulls and strains are another issue

      also, look at the type of player shanahan wants, especially on offense…….those backs are too light to withstand a full season of punishment……..can’t blame the strength coach for Garcon’s neck fracture, but Pettis’s body is a bit soft and needs adjustment on diet and has to firm up

      somebody has to be the fall guy for 2 less than decent seasons if shanny is not going to bounce position coaches or coordinators

        1. more dominant and a higher skilled player who is more developed will hurt those who are of a lower skill set or not as well developed……like men playing boys……..can’t handle the pounding or the stress

    1. If you are referring to your assessment process, then yes it is flawed since he has been with the Browns, Chargers, and currently the Colts.

      1. I was not sure, that is why I put it out there as a question. Maybe his name was familiar, because I mocked him in the draft. I sure did not want Will Redmond and Rashard Robinson.

  6. Well, I predicted the Colts would beat the Texans. Thought Luck had the hot hand.
    .
    Now, I also predicted the Seahawks would beat the Cowboys, because they have a running game. Hope the dreams of the whole state of Texas are dashed. Pete Carroll will have some joker up his sleeve. Look for a double reverse or a flea flicker. Maybe even a fake FG.

  7. Bill O’Brien really has to go for the Texans. He is just good enough to make the playoffs and get beat early. The O Line is absolutely God awful and they’ve done nothing to address it. O’Brien is the Mark Richt of NFL head coaches. At least I took the Under on the Texans game. Now I need the Cowboys v Seahawks to go Over 44.

  8. Chargers will win a close game . Bears will win a not so close game.

    Luck does a lot with limited WR talent. Best qb in the league hands down.

  9. While watching the Texan-Colts game, the name of the Houston CB Shareece Wright rang a bell. A quick search produced this clip of the absolutely monster hit by Luck that wiped out Wright after the latter’s fumble recovery back in their college days.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RF9PFJI_t5I
    I’ll bet Luck apologized to Wright after the hit :)

  10. Hey Sebbie… Along the lines of a ‘boatload of picks’…..

    If Foles has a decent post season, will Foles be in greater demand than Mullens? If so, the Mullens boatload might be a bit thin by comparison..

    1. Eagles cannot count on Wentz. Second straight year he has been injured. They need Foles, but if they lose badly, he might be blamed, and they might move on from him.
      .
      However, if Foles falters, he might only garner a second round pick. Bears defense might chew him up and spit him out.

      1. They are going to move on from Foles no matter what. No way are they going to pay two starters salaries. Can you say UFA Foles = Cousins 2.0?

              1. Yup, his 2019 option as a reward for winning the SB. But that’s my point, they are not going to pay starters money to 2 QBs. That’s how we got JG, no. Foles is hitting the UFA market.

  11. Seb, don’t forget to mention that you also picked the Seahawks and their great running game. If your going to brag about picking a game right, as in the Colts game, then, well, finish the story. ;-)
    Todays games are about defense. At least that’s where my bets are going. Weather for both games is perfect for football. The first game is a tough one. Baltimore is 6-2 at home. Chargers are 7-1 on the road. Baltimore has won 3 of the last 5 meetings. The Chargers defense is underrated. They’ll stifle the young QB enough. I’m taking the Chargers +3 and the over (41 1/2) in a close one, LAC 23 BAL 21

    In the afternoon game, defense will rule the day in a bruising game. Foles magic will end, and Trubisky will do just enough to win, though Chicago’s defense will be the ultimate decider. Another close game.
    I’m taking the Eagles +6 1/2 and the under (41 1/2)
    CHI 22 PHI 17

    Enjoy the games all. It’s the playoffs!!!! Woooo Hoooo!!

    1. Juan, I do not need to admit I am wrong, you point it out for me. ;p
      .
      Actually, I did mention that the Seahawks could not run the ball, and that the Cowboy defense is legit. Just scroll up.
      .
      I will disagree with your prediction, so one of us will be right, but I will also mention the defense. I think Baltimore has a better defense, and they are at home. The emergence of Jackson adds a new element to their offese, and JH is smart enough to utilize him correctly. Ravens 24-23.
      .
      Hmmm, will wonders never cease. I agree with your assessment on the Eagles- Bears game. Mack will soften up Foles’ ribs, and the ball hawking DBs will get a pick. However, I do not think it will be as close as you believe, although I also think it will be a defensive struggle, and like your under. Bears 24-16.
      .
      Yes it is the playoffs, but sure wish the Niners were in it. The thrill is gone. However, I hope you win mucho moolah for your wife !

  12. Thanks Cassie. RIP Bryce Turner. As a Cal family (My wife is an Alumni) it always hits home when something like this happens. Our prayers are with his family and friends in this time of unthinkable sadness. :(

    1. We all think of football players as being superb physical specimens and almost indestructible. So sad. :(.
      .
      RIP Bryce Turner.

  13. Love how the media and nfl propped up Lamar Jackson as the next big thing. Look, I’m no Kap apologist but Kap didn’t go 2-8 with 2 fumbles and missing wide open guys in his first playoff half. Harbs is going to get a lot of heat if he doesn’t make a switch to Flacco in half 2.

    1. Rookie jitters. Still, the Chargers are not running up the score. Ravens are still in it, but JH needs to make adjustments. Maybe Flacco, but that would seem desperate.

          1. You lose. Running QB’s are containable. He was contained all day.
            Garbage time points, too little too late.
            Pocket passers last in the NFL.

            1. Garbage time points? They had the ball and could win the game.
              .
              Jackson was stripped of the ball in the pocket. He should have rolled out and made yards with his legs before running out of bounds to stop the clock.

              1. To the rest of the blog, good luck with this cancer.
                Checking out for awhile. See you all at draft time!
                ✌️

              2. LOL. Prime is a liar, like he is a welcher. Good riddance, but I suspect he will catfish with burner accounts.

    2. Lamar Jackson may be the most overrated QB I’ve seen since JaMarcus Russell. Jackson is obviously a dynamic athlete who can run like Mike Vick but his accuracy is exceptionally poor. He had poor accuracy for a college QB. I saw him miss wide open wide receivers by 15 yards in college. There were times when he would throw the ball and I would sit in amazement a college athlete could be that wildly inaccurate. When his mechanics are right he can hit the occasional pretty pass but his mechanics are poor more than they are right. Jackson was protected by the Ravens coaching staff with run heavy play calling. It was obvious to anyone watching he couldn’t make plays through the passing game to win in the playoffs against a good run defense. I did really well on the Moneyline on that game so it’s all good.

  14. Lol Coffee! Loved seeing Carroll choke on his gum. One of the only times in my life I’ve pulled for the Cowgirls but Seattle makes me sick. It was tough to root for either.
    Seb, I’m lobbying for a kegerator so wish me luck! ;-}
    My over is not looking good right now. They need to bring in Flacco. The kid is overwhelmed.

  15. It is desperate Seb. Lose and you go home. Long way to go in this one though. That receiver should have fell down after he caught the ball. ;)

  16. Do you think Harbaugh is on the hot seat which is why he continues with his current QB? In other words he has to win this game to stay in Baltimore?

    1. I was wondering if the reason he’s sticking with Jackson is because he wants to be fired – to easily pave the way to become HC of another NFL team.

      1. That’s seems to be what it’s looking like.
        Jackson looks awful. If you cannot throw from the pocket you won’t last long in this league.
        And their defense has set it up nicely for him.

  17. Ok bring in Flacco. I need a field goal from LA and two touchdowns and a field goal from BAL! :) The boo birds are out!

      1. Wow, there will be a lot of second guessing on that 4th and short. Should have gone for it, instead of failing to make a field goal.
        .
        Dang, if only Jackson had thrown another TD, the score could have been 24-23.

      1. If that was the San Diego theme song, I would have moved to LA myself.
        The Chargers are my SB dark horse. The Patriots run will come to an end next week and the Bolts will upset KC in the championship game.

        1. I mentioned previously, that the Chargers may be better than the Chiefs, because they have a stout defense. Chargers are balanced, while the Chiefs have given up a lot of points.
          .
          However, the Colts with that O line, may be too much for the Pats defense. It may be a Colts- Chargers AFCC Game, with the Colts making it to the SB.

  18. Philadelphia is not going down without a fight. I have them winning in a close game.
    If the stage is not to big for Trubiski (like it was for Lamar Jackson) the Bears may have a chance.

    1. Didn’t say he was a rookie. I will re-word, we’ll see if Trubiski can handle the big stage today.
      So far he looks settled and confident.

    1. Hmmm, I advocated for a trade back with the Jags. I thought the Cards would go for Bosa, so he would be out of reach. Jags would want their choice for QB, so they would leapfrog over the Giants.
      .
      Niner compensation would be the 7th pick, a second round pick, a 4th round pick, and a 2020 second round pick.
      .
      Oh, and they still would get Josh Allen.

      1. How does a trade like this work in practice? Would the Jags and 49ers have already worked out the details (prior to the draft)? Then executing the deal depends upon what Az does and I assume either the 49ers or Jags could nix the deal up to the point in time where the 49ers select on the first day.

        1. Both the Goff and Wentz draft trades went off before the draft. The Trubisky trade happened during the draft. Everything is flexible.

        2. Basic parameters and interest would likely be discussed prior to the draft, but the final details and trade itself wouldn’t happen until after the Cards pick or at least until it is known what the Cards will do with their pick.

          1. That’s what I figured. But would you also say that basic parameters and interest are less likely to be discussed in advance for later draft picks (I would guess that in general it would only happen for the first 5 to 10 picks). In other words, it’s unlikely that these details are worked out in advance for a third round pick (the highest pick being traded for).

            1. Ahead of the draft, no, trading up to picks after the first 10 to 15 would seem unlikely. Too many things can happen. But during the draft teams will be talking to each other all the time, and teams will also likely think through various scenarios ahead of time so they know what they may be willing to take/ give up when a team comes calling. And don’t forget there are two overnight breaks during the draft where teams and regroup and start making calls and discussing potential trades.

    2. Just a guy from a Jags fan site who desperately wants to replace Bortles. I can’t see Jax – or anyone for that matter – trading up while parting with that kind of compensation for one of the QB’s in this class but who knows? If the Niners ever did get an offer like that, they’d likely take it, but I’d hate passing on Bosa. He’s going to be a really good player in this league at a position of desperate need for the Niners.

  19. Make that trade in a heartbeat. Yes you would be giving up tremendous value in that second pick, but would be getting better value for the entire draft class and in nest years draft. Do it!!!

  20. Guys, what’s our salary cap status? Would antonio brown be a viable trade option… or is he a cancerous player? Not really familiar with him other than his play. If he isn’t a cancer, can we lure him over by giving the steelers cap relief rather than draft picks?

  21. Not to be a wet blanket… Combine performances will shake a few things up. Too, some key assumptions will be turned inside out by mid-April. Imagine Bosa getting into a skirmish with a med tech at the Combine medical clinic and being sent home.

    Personally, I can’t wait for Grant’s prognostications as day one of the draft rolls up. And after the draft, we’ll deal with his grades and who he labels as ‘freaking’.

    1. Things will be shaken up even during the Senior Bowl, especially with KS coaching the prospects.
      .
      Then, everything will change during Free Agency, depending on who the Niners get.

  22. I was pulling for BAL and your 24-23 score Seb. That would have got me the win LA +3 and the over 41 1/2. I did pick the 23 for LAC right however and won the spread bet but lost the O/U. This game is going pretty much how I predicted with even less scoring than I thought. O/U should be a win but can Philly stay within 4? That would be a nice 3 out of 4. Stay tuned…….

      1. It’s a fair comment. Especially if you’ve followed what’s been said around here this year.

        Fangio’s defense had a lead with under 5 minutes to play and couldn’t hold on to it.

      2. Mike, he may yet. But 4 postseason shots, on teams laden with monster defensive players that ran up impressive regular season defensive stats, tell me how many championships you’ve observed.

      3. Correct, Mike. Most 49ers fans still can’t admit how good Fangio is, and tear him down while making excuses for Robert Saleh.

        1. Grant, my question to Mike I make to you. So good, his teams have won how many championships?

          You’ve lambasted Shannie for his end of game play calling, especially the SB. What about Fangios defense inability to hold a 4th quarter playoff lead? They let Foles march down the field and take the game. And this was not the first time.

          And no this has nothing to do with Saleh, so quit trying pull a stawman out of your behind.

            1. Is that your insinuation that it was execution, not play calling or coaching, that was to blame? Way to be consistent, Cohn.

              1. Then how about scheming up a plan, or adjustment, that didnt have Mack swallowed up by that Eagles monster of a tackle all game long? We heard Mack’s name called how many times last night?

                You’re the Coach/GM. What would you have done to prevent that end of game collapse?

              2. But the kicker they do have scored the majority of the points last night. Maybe it’s the line that’s the problem as that final kick was tipped. Just enough. Just enough for snap judgements.

          1. Fangio held the opponent to 15 points without Jackson, and you’re blaming the defense?🤦‍♂️Just so you know, Jackson plays man coverage against the TE(s) and will wonders never cease; Ertz and Goedert made key plays….

            1. His team had the lead with 5 minutes to play and his defense couldn’t hold up. Dealing with injuries are a part of life in the NFL.

              Go through comments on this blog from the 2018 season and you will see many just like that.

              1. Matt Nagy’s offense scored six points and you blame Fangio.

                Right. Hammer has had a hit on Godfather Fangio ever since he was first hired by the 49ers. Anytime you hold the opponent to 15 points, you should win the game….

              2. Grant, I’m not blaming Fangio. I couldn’t care less. I’m sarcastically acting like many 49ers fans from this season.

              3. I got you.

                Robert Saleh repeatedly allowed opposing offenses to match up their best WRs against his worst CB one on one in crunch time. Never utilized a cheat coverage to take away the obvious go-to guy.

                Fangio got beat on fourth and goal by the Eagles fourth option. The play call was good. Tate beat man coverage. Saleh probably would have called Cover 3 in that situation.

              4. « Anytime you hold the opponent to 15 points, you should win the game…. »

                If only Lord Fangio had been able to do that yesterday….

              5. 15 or 16, what difference at this point does it make? You’re telling me your offense can’t score 18 points? Get a kicker or the Godfather walks….

              6. « You’re telling me your offense can’t score 18 points? »

                I was wondering the same thing after week 8

              7. Wait, week 8? Maybe if Beathard could learn how to read a defensive blitz, he might of had a better result. It’s Shanny’s fault. I have faith he can self correct this year, and improve his red zone execution….

              8. « I have faith he can self correct this year, and improve his red zone execution…. »

                And the 4 minute offense….

            2. Grant,

              He might have. Doesn’t really matter though because Fangio still had a 5 point lead with under 5 minutes and his defense couldn’t hold it.

              The fact that his defense played good the rest of the game doesn’t matter, the fact that his defense got 2 takeaways doesn’t matter. All that matters is that they choked on the last drive.

    1. It’s also another example of why you don’t pay defensive players like QB’s. The 24 million man was held in check most of the night and was a complete non factor on Philly’s winning drive. Trubisky deserves a lot of credit for how he took them down there for a what should have been the winning FG though. Philly magic continues for another week.

        1. Call it whatever you want but it’s the truth. You have to spread the money around on defense; not give one guy QB money. Mack is a great player but as I said when the trade and signing happened, you don’t get the return on the investment.

          1. In today’s NFL, you need pressure inside and out, and from both sides. Only way to do that is to spread the wealth or have a quarterback on a rookie contract….

    2. Ribico, I think the notion that defenses wins championships is a bit dated in 2018/19. We just saw the league’s top rated defense lose to a team who’s back end of their defense consisted of nothing but inexperienced backups. Chicago lost because their “franchise” QB couldn’t take advantage of the Eagles injury riddled secondary, which ended the regular season ranked 30th against the pass.

      Grant feels like ShanaLynch lost last year’s first round trade with the Bears, who ended up trading up 1 spot in order to land a promising-but-raw QB in the Tarheels’ Mitchell Trubisky. A move that actually stunned many prominent, heavy hitting NFL executives, along with a number of high profile NFL analysts, ex-coaches, and journalists. In return for simply swapping their 2nd and 3rd overall picks of the 2018 NFL draft, the Bears also gave ShanaLynch an additional 2017 3rd round pick (67th overall, which the 49ers traded to the Saints), 4th round pick (111th overall, which they traded to the Seahawks) in the 2017 draft plus a third-round pick in the 2018 draft in which they landed the ultra-athletic Safety turned CB Tarvarius Moore, who looks like he has put himself into a position to win a starting job next season.

      I dissagree with Grant. Even if we were to judge this trade based only on each team’s first round selections (though we really can’t because the 49ers ended up with more than Solomon Thomas, for simply moving back one spot in the draft) … Trubisky going to the Bears, and Thomas going to the 49ers, and forget about all of the other draft capitol the 49ers gained from the trade, I don’t think it’s a clear cut win for the Bears at this point, and here’s why: While the Bears have gotten better “value” out of Trubisky up to this point, compared to what the 49ers have gotten from Thomas (a pick I was adamantly against, BTW), the 49ers ended up with more than Thomas through this trade. But perhaps more importantly, it appears to me that the effects of the Trubisky selection could haunt the Bears for years to come, and here’s why:

      Mitchell Trubisky is a one read QB who’s efficiency and passer rating fall off DRAMATICALLY once Mitchell is forced to move of of his first read (often the “hot” read) and rarely gets to his 2nd, 3rd, or god forbid his 4th progressive option, and more often than not Mitchell will simply tuck the football if his first read is covered, and look to run. We’ve seen this movie before. Doesn’t this sound familiar to 49ers fans … and bring back memories of a certain #7 many fans would be happy to forget? Trubisky is athletic, and a very good runner of the football, but he’s certainly a notch below that certain #7, when it comes to running the football. Sticking to this comparison, Trubisky is the more efficient passer to be sure, but the vast majority of his completions come on short drops, and short routes, meaning it takes many more plays to work his way team downfield, limiting his teams possessions, and forcing his team to avoid turnovers at all costs.

      All-in-all Mitchell Trubisky is a decent NFL QB to be sure. He’s mobile, and developed into a fairly efficient passer, mostly on bang bang, short routes with a fast paced rhythmic style. He’s a professional starting QB at the NFL level, and he does some things well, but what he doesn’t do consistently is elevate his players around him, unlike say … a guy like Garoppolo, who shown the ability to put his team on his shoulders, and constantly elevates the guys around him.

      But perhaps the biggest problem with a guy like Trubisky is that he reminds me of Andy Dalton. They are very different QB’s in terms of style, and they have different strengths and weaknesses, but they are both high round picks at the quarterback position who are just good enough to get there teams to the playoffs, but not good enough to take take advantage when they get their teams into the playoffs, meaning they can regular season games (especially when their team is dominant on the other side of the ball), but can’t get further, forcing their teams into that brutal perpetual loop of not good enough to get to the Super Bowl, but too good to secure his team valuable high picks in the draft.

      On the other hand, Solomon Thomas isn’t a QB, so he doesn’t play the same kind of high profile position. It’s much easier to move on from a lower profile 3rd overall pick who plays on the interior of the defensive line. And that means it’s much less likely that Thomas will do anywhere near the same kind of long term damage to the 49ers if he plays well enough but never lives up to his draft status.

      1. I think the notion that defenses wins championships is a bit dated in 2018/19.

        Wrong…..

        …The chargers spending nearly the entire game in a seven-defensive back package against the Ravens confirms again defenses win the big games.

        They held the Ravens to 229 total yards, 90 on the ground. In the seven games since Jackson took over for an injured Joe Flacco, they were averaging nearly 230 rushing yards per game.

        1. Except the Ravens had the higher rated defense Rib, right? How does that support your argument?

          That game was more about the Charges offense, being able to move the ball against the AFC’s #1 defense, on the road no less, then it was about the Chargers defense, which was going up against a rookie QB, and still nearly collapsed in the 4th QTR!

          Yes, the Chargers defense is good, but most experts (as well as statistically) believe the Ravens defense is better, and they had home field advantage, so your argument doesn’t hold up bro.

          1. Obviously, the best teams have both good offenses, and good defenses. However, the old adage that “defense wins championships”, or in other words as long as you have the best defense, you’ve got the best chance to win a championship, is at least a half of a decade obsolete. It’s a QB driven league these days. Just watch and learn while the Rams’ offense outscores the Cowboys, despite the Cowboys’ vaunted defense.

    3. When it comes to the playoffs, balanced squads do best. They should be both top 10 in offense and defense. Situations like the 01 Ravens or the 85 Bears are anomalies.
      .
      Fangio should get no blame for his team’s loss. They held the SB champs to 16 points.
      .
      Blame the kicker.

        1. But, but, Schwartz allowed Trubisky to march down field for that game winning try at a FG. Why not blame him, too?
          .
          Because the kicker hit both the upright and cross bar.

      1. The Eagles DB’s are a bunch of scrubs. It was Trubisky’s inability to take advantage of a subpar defensive backfield that ultimately cost the Bears the game, IMO. The Bears #1 ranked defense did it’s job. The problem is that Trubisky’s simplified, one-read then tuck-it-and-run style, will likely never win a championship. He couldn’t even beat a banged up defense, despite getting away with a number of horrific passes that bounced off of the opposing DB’s chests, while at home, with the league’s number one defense behind him!

        More like TurdBisky!

          1. Did he though Grant? The Eagles have more injuries on the backend of their defense than any team in the NFL, AND the Bears OL actually held up well during passing downs. Trubisky threw 2 of the easiest passes to intercept that you will ever see, but the Eagles somehow dropped both, one was a sure INT in the end zone, Trubisky somehow never saw the defender. The Bears on Sunday were at home, +2 in turnovers, and playing a team that has feilded 13 DB’s this season, more than any other team in the league. And they still couldn’t score enough points to avoid putting the game on their shaky kicker’s shoulder.

            Watson had a bad game to be sure. Trubisky on the other hand, had a very typical Trubisky game. He’s accurate, and he’s mobile, but he is strictly a one read QB. Take away his first read and his numbers fall off a cliff at a higher rate than any other QB in the league. Trubisky is a handicap, and the scary thing is that he was drafted #2 overall, and just good enough to make it hard to replace, but not good enough to win in the postseason, even when he is supported by arguably the best defense in the league. That’s why, unlike Watson, Trubisky remains very unpopular amonghis team’s fan base.

          1. Actually Seb, the Eagles passing defense was ranked 30th in yards per game during the regular season. They even had more injuries on the backend of their defense than the 49ers. In fact, their entire defense was ravaged by injuries. The reason they squeaked into the postseason is that they are deep in talent, they played in arguably the weakest division, and unlike the 49ers, they remained relatively healthy on offense this season, at least until they lost Wentz late in the year.

            The Eagle’s had no business being in last night’s game late in the 4th QTR. Foles was more or less awful for most of the game. The Bears were playing at home. In fact, prior to last night, home teams have gone 112-4 in the playoffs over the past 40 years when winning the turnover battle by +2. Mitchell Trubisky may have been lucky enough to get away with multiple passes that could have, and really should have been intercepted, to end up with a passer rating of 89.6 (another black eye for the laughably oversimplified passer rating evaluation) against an injury riddled Eagles secondary last night, but his Total QBR was a woefully unacceptable 49.5, compared to Nick Foles’ 76.8 Total QBR.

    4. Defense does win championships, but teams need a complementary offense to win. It’s fairly clear the Bears do not have that complementary offense.

      1. You can win some games by playing great defense and running the ball. The problem is you have to play an almost perfect game to win that way when you get to the playoffs. The past two SB’s have been high scoring affairs and that isn’t likely to change. It’s an offense first league now.

      2. IDK MWD, they were top 10 in points scored this year. How much better do you have be than that when you have the #1 defense?

  23. After watching the heavy rain all day, I wonder if the field at Levi’s will be dry enough so the players can play safely.
    .
    If the players are slipping and sliding, maybe they should consider synthetic turf in the future.

    1. Was this before your cop ‘o Joe, or afterward?

      Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain
      Telling Seb just what a ______ he’s been…

  24. http://walterfootball.com/nflhotpress/article/Teams-Don't-See-Burns-as-Top-10-Pick

    “WalterFootball.com surveyed a handful of team sources who have graded Burns, and none of those teams has Burns as a high first-round pick. In fact, they all had graded Burns on the second day of the 2019 NFL Draft.”

    “The most optimistic view came from a national scout who said that they could perhaps see Burns sneaking into the very end of the first round. Here is what they texted about Burns, “Great athlete. No chance at the top 10. Possible late first-round pick, but much closer to Day 2.”

      1. Interesting that in this blog the only player they liked as a fit for the Niners is Clelin Ferril edge rusher,Clemson. Could be possible if a trade happens with the jags. I think I prefer Bosa, then the dt from Alabama, then the Kentucky lb, or the ot from Alabama, all four seem all pro class or better at this point. I want a frahise player with this pick.

        1. I feel as though we need more athleticism on the edge than Ferrell. I have a strong feeling he’ll test poorly at the combine, and players like Allen and Polite should test extremely well….

  25. if anything was revealed this weekend it is games are won by the o line.you pass protect and any average qb can beat you

      1. We added talent to last year’s roster but we played worse…and the coaching staff is just fine. Something doesn’t add up for me. Oh yeah, it’s all Jimmy G. and our strength and conditioning coach. We’ll see about that.

  26. Ribico, Jack Hammer and others critical of Fangio – the Bears defense yielded only 300 yards to the Eagles in their 11 drives, for an average of 75 yards per quarter or 27.3 yards per drive; had 2 INTs; 1 sack; gave up 1.8 yards per rush; 6.3 yards per pass and held Foles to a 77.7 QB rating – all without Jackson, one of the top 2 interceptors in the league.

    Also, criticism of some of those passes completed which were RPOs (run/pass options) is difficult because the offense is targeting a specific conflicted defensive player who is key in the run scheme and if he steps up to honor his run read the QB throws the ball into the area where he has pass coverage responsibility. Virtually impossible to defend if you are in zone coverage if the offense can execute the throw and catch.

      1. It’s the usual guys who first define the agenda they want to support and then cherry pick data to support that position, rather than the other way around. Fangio will get the interviews for HC and receives universal praise for his defense from NFL personnel (i.e. people who would truly know). Saleh, not so much.

        1. Amazing how you miss the sarcasm. What happened at the end of the game yesterday is the same thing that happened at the end of the game in GB, Arizona and against the Giants.

          Is Saleh in Fangio’s category? Hell no.

          Those who have a hard on for ripping Saleh don’t care that in each of those games there were things outside of the defense that led to the losses.

            1. Do they even have any sarcasm classes? I’d be interested in one if they did, providing it wasn’t cost prohibitive….

              1. Whenever I try to be sarcastic, I start with a ‘Hmmm’, or end with a ‘ ;p ‘.
                .
                I know I know, somehow, that goes right over poster’s heads.
                .
                But, but, you could be like Razor and put up and emoji. ;p
                .
                Juan just rolls his eyes.

          1. “What happened at the end of the game yesterday is the same thing that happened at the end of the game in GB, Arizona and against the Giants.”

            Not the same thing. There were lots of differences, but you know that.

            I agree Saleh wasn’t solely responsible for any of the 49ers losses. He took too much blame because some can’t criticize Shanahan at all.

            1. Saleh took appropriate blame because sometimes, the opposing receivers were uncovered.
              .
              While Saleh did improve the defense, I long for those Fangio defenses. They were fundamentally sound.
              .
              However, KS does deserve blame for a 4-12 record, yet gets a pass.

            2. Grant-

              and thats pretty much all you do, is criticize Shanahan-whether he’s an OC at Atlanta or a HC here. Same with Sebs……….tho, with Seb, a lot of that is the hate he feels for Shanny because he didn’t give kap a 15 yr K.

              1. Saw, I do not hate KS at all. Sure think he has made mistakes, and that he can improve. Thankfully, KS himself admits he could have won 3 more games last season.
                .
                I do not hate some one by rooting for him to win games and succeed.

          2. The overall point is, or at least should be, that a DC is really only as good as the players he has on the field and that holds true for Coaches of any position. The only guy who has been able to play defense consistently with a pretty average group of players is Belichick and even his defenses haven’t played that well in recent years. The easy thing to do for some fans and blog writers is to just blame Coaching when things don’t go the way they are supposed to, but it’s lazy and overlooks some key elements of achieving success in the game of football. Obviously there are bad Coaching decisions that can affect the outcome of a game, we saw it yesterday when Harbaugh stubbornly stuck with Jackson instead of going to Flacco, but games are almost always won by talent and execution and the team that makes the fewest mistakes which are all a player driven metric. Fangio didn’t lose that game yesterday, in fact the Bears defense performed quite well overall. The Eagles just made a couple more plays than they did and lucked out on a missed FG. That’s football.

            1. The reasons I don’t like Saleh are:

              1) Poor tackling that persisted well into the season. Belichick says that the first three regular season games are essentially preseason games, which I agree with given the current regulations regarding practice. However, poor tackling persisted for far too long on this team.

              2) The continual confusion in the secondary. Baldinger used the the term “keystone cops”.

              1. Cubus,

                I agree that poor tackling is frustrating but it is a league wide issue; not just a 49ers issue. Teams don’t run live tackling drills anymore for the most part due to fears of injury and you can see it manifest in the games. Is it Saleh’s fault players missed tackles? Imo no, because tackling is not just about technique, it’s about want to.

                The confusion in the secondary can be easily explained by the revolving door of players who played in it. Football is a game of repetition and cohesion. You can’t achieve it if the players aren’t on the field together for a period of time.

                I am by no means absolving Saleh of any responsibility here. Obviously he bears some of the blame when things break down, but it seems like too many people feel the situation can be corrected by firing the Coordinator and that runs counter to how you actually get better in this game. You need stability in scheme and players to get better; not constant upheaval. I’ve said this many times now, but there has to be a level of patience and realistic expectations involved when looking at this team. You can’t improve if you don’t have the players on the field. That is the case here with the injuries to key players and a lack of depth due to being early in the rebuild. If we are sitting here a year from now with no improvement, then it will be time to worry, but there are obvious reasons for why this team is where it is right now.

              2. Sherman was a constant on the practice field and in most of the games. He’s considered to be one of the best and certainly smartest CBs in the league. I know he has absolved Saleh as well, but I have to wonder why his presence and “coaching” didn’t result in a better outcome in the secondary, regardless of the “revolving door”. I mentioned this months ago, but I wonder if there is a disconnect between Sherman’s coaching and Hafley’s coaching.

              3. Hafley is leaving so you will get your wish on at least one position Coach. We have no way of knowing because we aren’t there on a day to day basis, but rightly or wrongly Shanahan is going to stick with the Coaches he has, and my guess is that is because he believes the problems lie with the inability to keep the same group on the field more than the Coaching they are getting.

              4. After the Chargers game this article was published “Back-to-basics practices do little to solve 49ers’ tackling woes”.

                http://www.espn.com/blog/nfcwest/post/_/id/130785/back-to-basics-practices-do-little-to-solve-49ers-tackling-woes

                While you might want to blame inept players or revolving doors, the mere fact that we are talking about basics and fundamentals that every NFL player should know, casts doubt on the coaching staff. If not them, then the draft team needs to confirm that every player drafted has a history of good tackling (and all that it entails).

              5. Hafley is leaving so you will get your wish on at least one position Coach.

                BEST. FREAKING. NEWS.

        1. So you favor making decisions by polling this board? I might be the only one who thinks Shanahan needs a more experienced guy rather that a strict schematic coach that is willing to either wait until he has the players who fit his scheme or he learns to tailor his scheme to his players. So what if I’m the only who thinks he should go because I might be right. It’s foolish to argue the issue. Time will tell and if I have to eat my words, it won’t be the first time. Shanny had a proven record of accomplishment (although not as a head coach). Saleh was hired because, Oh gee, we waited too long to even think about the issue and had to settle for a guy with very little experience in years and who had never coached beyond linebackers. Seriously, if you guys want to dig in and hope that we just lucked out when fate brought him here you go for it. Me, I think that running an organization requires a little more science and a little less of just plain hoping. BTW, another explanation for why our defense plays so well at home is that the turf is as bad as some say it is and we’re used to it.

          1. WC, good post.
            .
            Sean McVay has Phillips, Lynn has Bradley, Pederson has Schwartz. They are all in the playoffs and will play next weekend. Having a veteran DC is good. Having a LB coach as DC leads to 4 win seasons.

          2. whine,

            You have a tendency to make straw man comments and this is another example. Show me a post where anyone has stated Saleh is the greatest? I can save you time: it’s never happened. What has happened are posts in which people will point out that blaming Saleh for everything is completely ignoring all the factors involved in why the defense has struggled at times and ignores the fact they improved once some of the young players got accustomed to playing regularly. The jury is still out on Saleh as far as I’m concerned, but blaming him for bad tackling and giving up points when the Offense is turning the ball over deep in their own end is simply trying to find a scapegoat with no interest in trying to fix the real problems. Many people on here want somebody to be sacrificed because they are frustrated with the results. Thankfully the guys who get paid to make these decisions don’t base decisions on emotion or at least not to the level the fans would like.

            It’s fine to say Shanahan needs a more experienced guy but a quick look at the defensive rankings for the year reveals a lot of experienced DC’s with defenses ranked in the bottom 3rd of the league. Every Coach has to start somewhere and the recipe for success is usually the same: talent and turnovers. You have that and you have a chance to be a good DC no matter how much experience you have. Maybe Saleh isn’t cut out for it and maybe he is, but how about we see what he can do with a healthy group of players and some of the gaping holes being dealt with before drawing a conclusion?

              1. Stawman, absolutely. A discussion about Fangio has f-all to do with Saleh. Is that so hard to understand?

          3. Whine, a discussion about Saleh is different from a discussion about Saleh. Why Grant insisted making the comparisons, other than finding ways to slime current Niners staff, is beyond me.

    1. Mike, good stats. Just like they rolled up the stats in the regular season. And that helped them how in crunch time?

      Maybe it’s just Foles. The guy has been touched or something.

      1. Fangio was stabbed in the back, just like JH. He would not not touch Jed with a 10 foot pole, even with Baalke gone, because Paraag is still here.
        .
        Oh, and no sarcasm intended.

        1. Yeah, for playoff games and certainly the superbowl. But I doubt this becomes standard practice because the DBs will never make it through a season taking that kind of punishment.

    1. I think you’re onto something. Translated your observation into Khmer and back to English…

      Complaining about other groups, losing means more meaning than arguing about meaningless triumphs.

      Or into Latin and back…

      Arguing about the other teams so much more meaningful than a meaningful loss of our reasoning about is the team’s wins empty.

      Like playing a Beatles Sgt Pepper’s song backwards.

      1. I did just that once, and distinctly heard………”freddie is a devil”.

        Now, who is Freddie?

        Sebs? a little help, pls??

    2. The Bears defense wilted when it counted the most.
      The Bears offense didn’t help at all when needed.
      The Bears special teams not so special.

      Did the Bears take lessons from the Niners?

        1. Levi’s Terrible Turf hurts ‘Bama more than Clemson – Or if you’re a Clemson fan, their defense plays better at Levi’s just like the 49ers. Clemson wins in an upset.

      1. That’s OK, we have Jimmy Freakin’ G.
        .
        Tua will go to the worst team in the NFL and struggle. Cowboys will not need him.

              1. Please scroll up. I started with a-‘No, no’, and ended with a ‘:P’.
                .
                Just trying to inject a little levity, and even conceded that Saban likes to destroy freshmen QBs.

              2. Don’t worry Mid. Seb has trouble with other parts of the English language too. Sarcasm wouldn’t be the first.

    1. I knew it was bad, but dead last…..

      I fully expect the team to go after Thomas. On Rotoworld:

      Coach Pete Carroll admitted Monday he has not spoken to impending free agent Earl Thomas (broken leg) recently.

      Despite breaking his leg last Week 4, Thomas is on track to become one of the highest-paid safeties in league history when he reaches the open market. Carroll called Thomas a “great player,” but was noncommittal on the Seahawks’ chances of re-signing him. We fully expect Thomas to make it to free agency.

  27. Check out Ferrel tonight. Could very well be the next Niner great.
    Wouldn’t upset me a bit of they picked him at two when Bosa is gone

    1. Ferrell versus J. Williams is definitely the matchup to watch tonight, with Ferrell being the main part of the matchup that I will be watching.

    2. It’s possible but I don’t think Ferrel will be in the top 5 discussion. Quinnen Williams will be the option to watch for the Niners in this game imo. There’s a chance they could trade down and then maybe Ferrel becomes an option or even Deionte Thompson for that matter who is another one to watch in this game.

  28. Somebody probably posted this already, but, just in case:

    “An impressive rookie season from Mike McGlinchey (73.2 overall grade) and the ageless Joe Staley (82.2) did a great job of masking some liabilities on the interior. Mike Person and Laken Tomlinson combined to give up as many pressures (65) as their tackle duo while Weston Richburg gave up the third-most pressures of any center (33).”

    https://www.profootballfocus.com/news/pro-2018-nfl-offensive-line-rankings-all-32-teams-units-after-week-17

  29. Yep missed that one! Surprised at how easily Clemson shaped ‘Bama! :) Lawrence is going to command some green some day!

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