San Francisco Football
Proud Member of San Francisco Fan Site Directory
San Francisco Football Schedule, News, Photos, and Links
Schedule | Players | News | Links | Photos

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Backs Against the Wall

      The 49ers are built to do a few things very well- on defense the goal is to shut down the run and force the offense to beat them through the air. Then to pressure the QB enough to force mistakes, turnovers, and help out the secondary. And on offense pound the ball with the run game and use it to tire out the defense and set up play action. Sounds simple enough, right?
      Well this Sundays game in Green Bay will be a huge test for the Niners seeing how the Packers don't run the ball very well or at all really and with the teams leading rusher(and overall leading offensive player) Frank Gore out with a fractured right hip. Aaron Rogers is very effective at moving the ball with his selection of outstanding wide outs, tight ends, and backs. Dispite all the injurys Green Bay has had to deal with having a league high 15 players out on IR they have managed to stay in the top 5 of the NFL in offense. This could pose a HUGE problem for the Niners if they can't get a good amount of pressure on Rogers disrupt the timing of the Packers deadly offense. The Niners who have to put lightly "struggled" all year at defending the pass ranking at the bottom of the NFL in pass defense will have there hands full going up again one of the leagues top passing offenses dispite having virtually no threat of a running game. Nate Clements Shawntea Spencer and the rest of the Niners very young secondary are gonna have to rely heavily on the play of Patrick Willis, Takeo Spikes, and the rest of the front seven to get to Rogers consistanly. Which compared to last year might not be the easiest thing to do seeing how Rogers was one of last years most sacked QBs to this year where pass protection has been a major improvement for the Packers.
      Knowing the Packers are explosive on offense and are very capable of putting up points the Niners are gonna have to pull out as many stops as possible in attempts to get points on the board just to keep pace. With Gore out Brian Westbrook and Anthony Dixon will get the running duties for the rest of the year. Not easy shoes to fill even for two people. Even though Westbrook is coming off a impressive performance last week in Arizona Singletary still feels that the 23 carries he got might be too much too fast at this point do to his very limited play time this year. Which might mean more play time for rookie Anthony Dixon then anyone woulda ever expected. Even though Dixon played well in pre-season he hasn't played much during regular season. Even with both Dixon and Westbrook coming out the backfield Troy Smith i feel like will still need to make some plays down the field to keep the Niners in the game. No easy task either. The Packers are no bums on defense having the leagues leading sacker Clay Matthews and a secondary that ranks at the top of the league. Troy and shown a smooth confidence and leadership about him though, now 3-1 as the Niners starting QB. His ability to extend the play and keep his eyes downfield has helped the young O line who is banged up and struggled to keep a clean pocket for any QB all year. Plus the way he manages the game and keep the team in the game by making very few mistakes has gotten most Niner fans the most excited about our QB play then we have been in a long time.
      All that being said sounds like its not gonna be pretty for the Niners who are fighting with everything they have to keep pace in the weak NFC West. But maybe not. Recently the Niners have really shown up against the NFLs power house teams. Took a lucky desparation pass by Favre and a very late game drive by the Colts last year to get past the Niners. And this year the defending superbowl champ Saints needed a last second field goal to get a win and we had the W in Nate Clements hands against the Falcons. Lost a few tough games by 3 points or less this year. A lil more determination and luck maybe everyones talking about the Niners in a completely different light right now. If we play hard and keep it close and try not to shoot ourselves in the foot with stupid penalties and turnovers then I feel the Niners have a very strong chance at not only beating this Green Bay Packer team but any team in the NFL.

Lets get this W for Frank guys!!!!! Go Niners!!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Right Smith?

      At the end of last season I was pretty excited with how well Alex Smith had been playing and was interested in seeing if he could keep up the steady play this year. I was very disapointed that he did not. While I will admit Alex showed me a few bright spots here and there not enough for me to feel comfortable having him as the starter. I feel like with his rocky start to his career and under the strict coaching of Singletary he plays way to gun-shy. Which is kinda a bummer because hes a very smart guy and a good football player just seems to play scared. Scared of getting hit, scared of making a mistake, and just scared to lose the game for the team. I do like that he tries his best to keep from turning the ball over and managing the game well but playing scared is not gonna get it done in the NFL. Way to late on most of his reads and holds the ball too long at times forcing him to check the ball down has earned him the nickname Captain Check Down in my book hahaha.

      Alex played.... ok at best. Didnt get a ton of help from his team early on though either with a lot of dropped balls and tipped passes ending in easy picks for the other team. While he did win one game for us against the Raiders the season didnt truely turn around until Alex went down with a separated left shoulder against the Carolina Panthers. After a piss poor pathetic performance by David Carr to finish out that game Mike Singletary decided to go with the unproven Troy Smith the next week. Troy exploded out of the gates against the Denver Broncos going 12 of 19 for 196 yards and a TD and leading the team to their second win. Then followed it up with an even more impressive win over our division rival St. Louis Rams where Troy went 17 of 28 for 365 yards and a TD. Back to back weeks boasting a QB rating of over 100. Something a Niner QB hasnt done for a while. Slight mistep against the solid and underrated D of the Tampa Bay Bucs where he looked very lost and confused in the pocket and couldnt get anything going. But righted the ship nicely last night playin very solid and doing what he had to do as the running game pretty much took over and took the ball out of his hands most the night.

      So do we have the right Smith playing now? If you ask me yes!! Not only did Troy match Alex in wins in his first start in three years but passed him the next week with another win. Troy has shown that hes a gutsy player willing to do whatever it takes to win the game at hand. I love the way he moves in the pocket and keeps his eyes down field looking to pass and not just running from the defensive players. Has resulted in a few sacks but I dont mind if he keeps his eyes down field unlike Alex who was sacked just as much but seemed more willing to just give up on a play and go down. Troy is very accurate on the move which is essential behind the young line of the Niners who arnt the best a pass blocking yet. Another thing I'm really enjoying is the leadership he brings by playing with out fear and showing his team that they can be an explosive offense. While its not always advised he does not shy away from throwing into double coverage or deep down the field in attempts to stretch the defense. So far he has been accurate and has worked out well. Alex thinks too much and talks himself out of the deep ball or is just to afraid of making a mistake to really even attempt a high difficulty pass.

      All that is well and good and stats are fun but the only stat that truely matters are wins and losses. And as a starter Alex is 1-6 this season while Troy is 3-1. Thats all I really need to know for me to say keep Troy in there and lets see what he can do. If this is what hes doing after not playing in the NFL at all really just imagine whats to come... hopefully.

other stats for the stat heads lol
Season stats
Alex Smith- 143 of 242 for 1,554 yards. 9 TDs 9 Ints QB Rating- 75.0 after 7 starts
Troy Smith- 56 of 101 for 829 yards. 3 TDs 2 Ints QB Rating- 84.1 after only 4 starts

What yall think?

Bitter Sweet

      Last night was a huge win for the niners, helping us keep pace in the west with the rams and the seahawks. A big win like that didnt come without its own set backs though. Last nights dominating performance was great to watch dispite one thing, Frank Gores season ending injury. While the defense played lights out and we gained 200+ yards on the ground in  a comfortable win over the Arizona Cardinals Frank Gore was forced to watch from the sidelines after breaking his right hip on the opening series. Sadly Gore was placed on IR and his very productive season is over with him just 147 yards away from his 5th 1,000 yard season in a row. Gore had 52 yards on 5 carries on the opening drive alone and in my opinion with his skill set well on his way to breaking the single game yards rushing mark. The O line was on fire opening massive holes for him to jet threw. But the unfortunate injury hampered any hopes of Gore returning to the game. The bright spots though, if you can really call them that with a huge blow like this, was Brian Westbrook stepping up after limited PT this season and having a great game proving to everyone he still got some left in the tank and should fill in for Gore nicely. But on the same note Westbrook isnt the youngest player and has had an injury problem of his own in the recent past and only having the talented but unexperienced rookie Anthony Dixon backing him up the niners decided to promote RB DeShawn Wynn from the practice squad. The 7th round pick out of Florida by the Green Bay Packers four years ago is a hefty 5-11 232 lbs and can be used as a hammer to wear down the defense between the tackles as Westbrook is a smaller quicker back best used on the edge and in space.

      In other injury news WR Dominique Zeigler suffered a torn left ACL and was also placed on IR. And kicker Shane Andrus was waived today after a shaky at best performance last night. With a few spots open after moving these players around the Niners promoted safety Chris Maragos from the practice squad in attempts to bulster our lackluster secondary before going up against the Green Bay Packers who rank at the top of the league in passing offense.

Monday Night Football!!!

       Well if your a big niner fan I sure hope you watched last nights game! Was definatly the best they have looked all season lol. I'll admit after last week I was a lil low on the niners and didnt really know what to expect this week on the road against the lowly cardinals. I was kinda hoping for the best but expecting the worst. But as soon as we started off running so well I changed my feelings. The beast Frank Gore ripping off two monster runs right out the gates gaining 52 yards before going down with a hip injury. And an early fumble and quick lead made me very excited. Finding out Gore was gonna be out the rest of the game (soon to find out the whole season) kinda made me worry. Especially with how well he was playing and the fact Troy Smith had gotten off to a rocky start. But wow did the O line and Brian Westbrook step up!!! Westbrook who hadnt gotten much PT all season came through huge with 136 yards on the ground and a TD. Rookie RB Anthony Dixon also made his presents felt with 54 rushing yards and a TD.  And the O line looked more dominant then I have ever seen them play. They just man handled the beefy cards D line and moved them around with ease. I really hope they can keep that up so we can continue to run down hill on teams. Could do a lil better at pass pertection but they are still young and will get better. Besides when it really mattered they gave Smith plenty of time to find someone or at least throw it away. Troy played very solid in my opinion. Nothing flashy or big to talk about really besides that beauty of a pass he threw to Crabtree for our first TD. But managed the game very well. Converted a few important third downs on his feet and threw the air. Besides that pick, which I honestly put more on Crabtree the Smith, he played great in my book.

       But enough cant be said about the D. First play was a fumble recovery giving the ball back to the offense in great field position and ultimatly leading to our first points. Kept Beanie Wells in check holding the whole Arizona team to only 13 yards on the ground(A new all time record low for the cardinals organization). Derek Andersons night didnt go much better going 16 for 35 for 196 yards 1 int and 0 TDs. Patrick Willis and Spikes played lights out and the talented wide outs on Arizona found it almost impossible to get open. I still feel like our secondary needs some major talent improvement they got the job done last night and thats all that matters

       All around great game with exception to the injury to Gore and sloppy field goal kicking. I hope a speedy recovery to Frank Gore and Joe Nedney but right now ima enjoy this win a hope we can keep it rolling