Duh, duh, duh, duh. Duh, duh duh. That's the theme music for This Week in Niners Nation that I composed last week in lieu of writing TWiNN. OK, seriously, there was no TWiNN last week because the game was on Thursday. The purpose of TWiNN is to highlight work that has been done throughout the week and plug it in at a time slot that would be otherwise unused, Friday evening. But with a Thursday game....WOW....there's a lot of content going up, so we took the week off. Did anybody miss me?
A lot has happened since the last edition of TWiNN. We, of course, lost in week 6 at home to the defending champion New York Giants. We were on a bit of a roll going into the game and they handled us with ease. Not a good showing for the 49ers, a team with Super Bowl aspirations. So we come back in week 7 and play a game that would have made the 2011 49ers proud. The 13-6 victory over the Seattle Seahawks at home was just the kind of game that rights a ship. Alex Smith didn't play great, but we rode Frank Gore, defense and special teams to triumph. What I'll do with this edition of TWiNN is go back as far as the Thursday night game, I don't think any of us want to rehash the Giants loss. I sure don't.
Week 7: 49ers 13, Seahawks 6
I don't like the Seahawks. I used to not mind them when they were in the AFC West. They used to stick it to the LA Traitors every so often and they had Steve Largent, who led the NFL in career receptions until Mississippi Valley State unleashed the GOAT. Sure, he's a politician now, but remember the hit he laid on Denver's Mike Harden? They were the loveable, funny-outfitted team from the Northwest. But now, with Pete Carroll, one of the biggest turds in coaching, and a blueprint for success in place, which appears to be working so far, it's time to hate them. You know what else I don't like...typing the word Seahawks. It's one of the most unnatural things to do with your pinky and ring finger on your left hand. If you don't believe me....try it. Don't forget to capitalize the 'S'. See what I mean! I told you they were bad news.
It gave me great pleasure to watch the 49ers beat them. Frank Gore and the offensive line blew Seattle out off of the line. I'll lift some stats from my Bay Area SB Nation article, which were lifted from Pro Football Focus. On 6 different runs, Frank Gore picked up at least 5 yards before first contact was made. That's amazing. On a run play, that means you are in the secondary. It's easy to see how Gore picked up 131 yards on 16 carries for an average of 8.2 yards per carry. When the defense holds the opponents to two field goals, our recipe is followed, and victory ensues.
Some content for you to enjoy. First up we have Fooch's recap singling out the running game, the coaching staff for their half time adjustments and Ted Ginn Jr. for his punt returning. He shifted field position in our favor and we all know how important that is in a 13-6 game. Second up is Anthony Ly and his Booth Review. For those diehard Alex Smith backers, you may want to avert your eyes. He hasn't been playing great the last two weeks and Anthony has some good twitter quips about his poor play to go along with his usual good work. Tre9er brings the 49ers' play-calling into question. He's not the only one to have done it recently. Vernon Davis had zero catches in this game and I believe I read somewhere that he was targeted zero times. Next, Fooch, batting cleanup (a nod to the SF Giants amazing run) goes into a bit further detail about the special teams play during the game. Both Andy Lee and Ted Ginn deserve credit for winning the field position battle in a close, low-scoring game. Dylan DeSimone then breaks down how Alex Smith nearly lost us the game. His interception in the red zone was a shocker on many levels. Not only was the read and throw atrocious but the timing couldn't have been worse. Some of the stats given as evidence actually made me sad. Finally we have the game highlights for you to relive the joy.
Game highlights: 49ers 13 - Seahawks 6. (49ers.com)
Week 8: 49ers at Cardinals
This week's game is another NFC West matchup against a tough, defensive-minded foe. Luckily for us, the Cardinals are trending down at the moment. Their QB situation is quite possibly the least envious in the league, with neither a present starter nor a future starter. Their offensive line has been the worst in the league so far, giving up a league-leading 35 sacks. How bad is that, you ask? The next closest team, Green Bay has given up 26. The 49ers come in fourth with 20 allowed. How much that affects the play of Kevin Kolb and John Skelton is obvious. Both have battled injuries this year and the main culprit is the sieve-like play of the O-line. We haven't generated a lot of pressure this year and there's been no need to panic, but if we fail to generate some sacks against the Cardinals front, I would be searching for the red button under the desk if I were Vic Fangio.
In analyzing the upcoming game, one looks for strengths and weaknesses and pits one against the other and, well, you've all read about football before. Dylan has done just that, tackling the aforementioned mismatch. With the game on Monday, there's still more preview material to come. So enjoy this solitary offering for now.
A wise man once said, "what one lacks in week 8 preview material, one makes up in hot topics." That's probably the first and last time I'll be referred to as wise, plus it's self-referrential. Don't know if that counts. What does count is that we've got some good stuff for you to go over here.
The first two articles have to do with a special person. We can even refer to him as TWiNN VIP of the week or something along those line. Most of you will be familiar with him and his name is Frank Gore. Words can not express what he means to this team. To illustrate this point, there are two articles containing thousands of words. Wes Hanson has the first one and it details why the run is so important. Not just the run, but the play-action. Without the run, we can't pass. Heck, sometimes we can't pass with the run. Remember when I called Gore our VIP? Dylan's gone a step further and called him our MVP (I'm always getting one-upped around here). He's used stats to back it up, both from this season and his career. Did you know he has the most 100-yard games in the league since 2005?
Three more articles round out this section, with Dylan, who was a busy man this week, leading off. He asks who you would like to see more of on offense and gives you a list of MIAs (another acronym!). I'm thinking that it can't hurt to get the rookies on the field at some point. Can they really slow down the offense? Next is Fooch, a busy man every week, discussing a very scary topic: coaching turnover. How long can we hold on to Vic Fangio, Greg Roman, and Brad Seely? Coach Jim Harbaugh is and will be the face of the team from a coaching standpoint, but coordinators are so crucial and, having brought Fangio and Roman with him from Stanford, and having no previous NFL coaching experience, where does Coach look to replace them? Pulling up the caboose of the TWiNN train is Tre9er with his cleverly-titled article on the right side of the offensive line. Who's game is making the other guy better? Anthony Davis is playing better than ever before and Alex Boone is, well, playing for the first time ever. One thing is certain, they are both playing great.
Now to everyone's favorite portion of TWiNN, the FanPosts. There's three today. The winner is ak4niner for the most rec'd post. He tackles a subject that seems to be rearing it's ugly head more and more in and around Candlestick. One that has seemingly decreased as the fortunes of the team has risen, and that's class. Every week there's a new complaint from and, in the worst cases, violent attacks on opposing fans. Time for it to stop and here's a good post detailing why. Next is rondoman78, gaining accolades for his comment-generating barnburner of a post criticizing Greg Roman and the play calling. When we had 621 yards against the Bills he was known as the "Mad Scientist" and when Alex Smith throws three interceptions he becomes a bumbling idiot? I'm sure it's somewhere in between, but most people are concerned about the offense and he leads it, so he has to catch a lot of the flak. Finally is Little Bobby Tables and his prognostication on what our options would look like if we wanted to go with a new quarterback in 2013. It's pretty hard to get franchise quarterbacks by hook or by crook and he's done a heckuva job here illustrating that.
Being a Sheep
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