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Golden Nuggets 10/4/08

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We're a day away from yet another big game for the 49ers.  The team is 2-2 and as with any early .500 team, there is cause of optimism and cause for pessimism.  I remain optimistic, although the offensive line is not giving me a lot of reason to.

Heading into tomorrow's game I'm not sure how to describe my expectations.  The Patriots were annihilated by the Dolphins but they're still coached by Bill Belichick and the hooded one had two weeks to prepare for the 49ers.  I do not expect the 49ers to roll out a 38-13 victory, that's for sure.

We're only a quarter of the way through, but it's already been a loooooong season for Tully Banta-Cain.  While nothing's guaranteed, I think it's safe to say he'll be active tomorrow given Manny Lawson's injury.

Speaking of injuries, nothing surprising in the injury report for this week.  Lawson is listed as doubtful and all three Patriots mentioned Thursday (LB Eric Alexander, CB Lewis Sanders adn WR Kelley Washington) are all doubtful.

Last week Mike Nolan said he used a challenge because he wanted to call a timeout anyways and figured why not try and get a reversal.  Mike Sando put together a breakdown of the use of challenges by Nolan and Belichick.

Adalius Thomas and Mike Nolan know each other pretty well from their time in Baltimore together.  Probably why they tried to sign him last year (that and the fact that he's really good).

49ers offensive line a major concern: Thank you Captain Obvious.

Patriots scout.com site on 5 reasons the Patriots would lose tomorrow.

Brent Jones will be an honorary captain for tomorrow's game.

Jamie Martin didn't think there were any juicy theories about Mike Martz and SpyGate.

Coming off an ugly game against the Dolphins, the Patriots rush defense will have it all it can handle in Frank Gore.

This is good timing with Steve Young getting his jersey retired tomorrow.

A general look at the 49ers by a Massachusetts newspaper that thinks we're a team making progress.

Kentwan Balmer is one of nine 2008 first round draft picks not to make a start this season.  Although he did get 20 snaps last Sunday and is slowly seeing his role expand.

Brief discussion about halfway down about potential trick plays by the 49ers.  If they do decide to run some direct snaps like the Dolphins did, I really hope they use Michael Robinson or Arnaz Battle for them.  Although apparently Frank Gore thinks he can throw the ball pretty well.