Here we go again with another week of TWiNN. They've been good weeks to recap as of late. It was a bit hard to muster up the energy to write about all the concern and consternation after the week 3 loss to the Vikings. Now, after back to back blowouts over the Jets and Bills, games in which we won by a combined score of 79-3, it's easy. All the joy of the Nation comes through in the posts and fanposts and I get to smile while I compile. If there's one team that could make that smile disappear, despite our recent display of domination, might it be the New York Giants? I'm not worried. We're better than we were last year and we're definitely the better team here, playing at home, and on a roll. This will be a test of the mental fortitude of the team and should play out like a playoff game. We might not end up with the best record in the league (or maybe we will) due to strength of schedule, tough division, etc. but games like this will have us battle-tested come January.
A big announcement came out this week. The 49ers have been tabbed by the league to play in London in 2013 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. We played in London in 2010, and while it helps the team with international exposure, as well as national exposure (the game against the Jaguars would otherwise go unnoticed), I can't help but think that the FO hates this. They didn't want to be on HBO this year, they don't like added scrutiny or meddling or outsiders or anything outside of victory, Santa Clara, and, once a year, Youngstown OH. Being made to be the league's ambassadors while incurring such a massive amount of travel from the West Coast could throw a major wrench in the works. I don't see the benefits for the 49ers here, but maybe I'm wrong. Why not make East Coast teams travel across the 'pond'? Do we need to increase our exposure? How does everyone else feel about this?
Week 5: 49ers 45, Bills 3
What a game it was, people. I wasn't able to watch it, unfortunately, as the 1pm start time is actually 7am on Monday morning here in Australia. I did catch the highlights and the stats. The numbers jump right off of your computer screen and smack you in the face. 311 yards rushing and 310 yards passing for a total of 621 total yards, a new 49er record. There were 12 teams in week 5 that failed to get 311 yards of total offense! We became the first team in NFL history to have 300+ yards on the ground and in the air. Another neat fact that I found on Pro Football Focus was that had Alex Smith allowed Mario Williams to sack him on his last play instead of throw for an incomplete pass, he would have had a perfect passer rating of 158.3! Congratulations Alex on taking the league lead in passer rating, and congratulation to the entire offensive line for demolishing the Bills, and congratulations to Frank Gore and Michael Crabtree and.....
First up, we have some notes about the offensive display we put on against the hapless Bills, some milestones and records and personal bests for you to enjoy. Anthony Ly's Booth Review is up second. He singles out Alex Smith's near-perfect performance for praise while putting the special teams unit on the hot seat. The article that follows also questions the special teams' play so far this season. We have the 24th ranked special teams unit in the league. Last year, special teams was a strength, and this year it's a bordering on being a liability. Last but not least are the game highlights.
Game Highlights: 49ers 45 - Bills 3. (49ers.com)
Week 6: Giants at 49ers
The Giants are visiting town this weekend. There's a bit of a bad-taste in the mouths of some of the 49ers players stemming from last season's NFC Championship Game loss. Kyle Williams has been vocal about wanting to get back at them, and you would expect he has something to prove, after he gift-wrapped the game with two fumbles on punt returns. We've been having miscues on special teams, as the posts above brought up. The Giants haven't been at their best this year. Their three wins are against teams with a combined 2-12 record. They've played two potential playoff teams, the Eagles and Cowboys and have lost to both. If there's one player in the league that you can never count out, however, it's Eli Manning. He's going to bring his A game, and I think the game will be close. It feels like a 24-20 game were they have the ball at the end and we make a stop. Those games make me nervous. Luckily, I won't be able to watch it live.
The first post talks about what the game means to the 49ers. We can exorcise a lot of demons with a victory on Sunday. If I was playing, I'd be ridiculously over-passionate, to where it would affect my play. Good thing we have Coach to settle everyone down and keep them focused. Next, Dylan DeSimone looks at how dominant our linebackers have been this season. They match up against the Giants running backs who have averaged 120 yards per game with Ahmad Bradshaw having returned from injury with a massive 200-yard game. Who will get the upper hand? Tre9er makes his case for why this game is the biggest game yet of the 2012 season. Hard to beat the opener at Green Bay, but then again...revenge! And finally, there's Eli Manning. Remember before last season when Eli Manning stated that he thought he was elite? Then he won his second Super Bowl. Never count him out....never.
Midweek, there were reports that Brandon Jacobs was unhappy. His words may have been taken out of context. Someone asked him if he was happy with his role and he answered honestly. He has zero carries to date. I'd be unhappy, too. It now appears to be settled, after a conversation with Coach Harbaugh. Other topics up for discussion are Michael Crabtree's emergence as a bona fide No. 1 receiver. There's still a lot of room to grow on that front, in my opinion. But as long as we're rushing for 311 yards a game, we don't need gaudy statistics from him. We simply need him to produce when we need it most, like on third down against the Lions. How about that 49ers' secondary? Last year they appeared to be trying not to get exposed. This year they're a force in their own right, no longer playing second-fiddle to the run defense. The last bit is on the waiving of Eric Bakhtiari to make room for Clark Haggans, who has served his three-game suspension and returns to the team this week.
We've got three fanposts for your enjoyment this week. Not surprisingly, after the way in which Alex Smith played against the Bills, two out of the three posts are about him. He is the quarterback, and he was great on the weekend. Without further ado, the winner of the much fought over, much sought after fanpost of the week is liberty_JAC with the most recs. Next up is Lok, asking the question we all have swimming around our heads. The last post brings up a good question so I included it, and it comes courtesy of zacksf. We've been playing a lot of nickel all year long. The only game that we remained in base defense for the majority of was the loss to the Vikings. Coincidence? You decide!
Being a Sheep
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