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#Channel49 Cries Over Spilled Milk, Expects a Rebound Against the Cards

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The #Channel49 Mailbag post is a follow up to the Twitter Q&A session hosted by Trevor Woods and I. It takes place on Friday afternoon at 2pm PT. This week's session was lively following the loss to the Bears as we touched on the lack of pass rush, Jimmie Ward's lack of height and Goodell's lack of tact. Join us!

Probably the only time Lemonier's name was called.
Probably the only time Lemonier's name was called.
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Pass Rush, Where For Art Thou

I thought the biggest lesson we learned from the 2012 Super Bowl run was that we need to rotate our defensive linemen to keep them fresh. It seemed that the front office got the memo and began stockpiling talent along the defensive front. But we still are yet to see an actual rotation. Aside from running back and sub packages on defense, it still seems like the staff takes a best 22 on the field approach. And now, with a complete lack of pass rush, I'd love to see Tank Carradine get some more playing time. Why not have him in the interior on the four man lines we employ on passing downs?

Corey Lemonier has been absolutely awful in the first two games. He has yet to register a single pressure. Ahmad Brooks hasn't been much better. The one outside linebacker who's had any success at pressuring the quarterback is Aaron Lynch. He is a rookie and we have to assume he is behind the others at taking care of the little things like setting the edge on runs or dropping into pass protection.

We definitely can't afford to have another game like the one against the Bears and Jay Cutler in which the quarterbac has all day to pick us apart. It might not matter too much against career backup Drew Stanton this weekend, but we'll face some elite competition this year and have to figure out how to get a pass rush going until Aldon Smith returns. Definitely need to get Lynch on the field in obvious passing downs and why not get him some extra reps if we get a good lead (see above).

Why, Coach Why?

It will depend on where Larry Fitzgerald lines up. Aside from the 3 touchdowns scored on Jimmie Ward, he didn't play bad (I know, right?). But that was clearly a mismatch he was never going to win. Will the coaching staff do something about it? I sure hope so. One thing we could do is have Ward match up with the Cardinals No. 3 WR John Brown. Ward could 'pick on someone his own size'. Let Chris Cook, Dontae Johnson and Chris Culliver body up on Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, regardless of where they line up on offense.

I think it's more important that the coaching staff take that experience and build on it. It wasn't as though Ward had horrible coverage. Brandon Marshall is hard to defend if you're the same size as him. But he has 6" on Ward. There was really not going to be much Ward could do. And if you put zero pressure on the quarterback, you're really looking at trouble.

I mean, you don't see me guarding Kobe with Spud Webb!

How Do We Beat the Cardinals

The Cardinals have been very good so far this season agains the run. They did go up against two suspect running teams. It's very early in the season, but conventional wisdom thought that Arizona's run defense would be worse this season with Darnell Dockett out and them missing their starting inside linebackers from a year ago. I think the 49ers try to expose them, and do so in a major way. There's every reason to expect us to have success against the Cards on the ground.

An implosion like that in back to back weeks is the kind of run that destroys a season (I know we did it last year and still made the playoffs, but home-field against Seattle would've helped, right?). Our team is too well coached and well run to allow that to happen. I think we see the team dial back the offense a bit. Our defense has to be able to stifle Drew Stanton and the shambolic Cardinals backfield. If Carson Palmer were playing I'd give them more of a chance. Michael Crabtree has always had success against Patrick Peterson and the Cardinals. We could be missing our top two tight ends, but I think our ground game and the receivers should be enough to outscore what ought to be an inept offense.

Other Niners Tidbits

I was thinking Frank Gore looked a step slower, only because he's sharing time with Carlos Hyde who looks fast as greased lightning hitting the hole. But yes, I do think Frank is faster right now than the end of year Frank that we last remember. He definitely seemed to slow down toward the end of the season, in production and quickness. We'll hope that Hyde can continue to get a healthy share of the carries, keeping Gore's legs as fresh as possible for the home stretch.

Before the season started, I would have been inclined to say yes. But the fact is our line has had issues all across it. Daniel Kilgore may be the most consistent performer at this point and he might not have won the job at center had Marcus Martin not gone down injured. Jonathan Martin got beat badly when it counted most at right tackle, Mike Iupati has moments where he looks like he shouldn't be a starting guard, Alex Boone missed all of training camp and Joe Staley, our best player on the OL, has not been his usual All Pro-caliber self. Will getting Anthony Davis back fix all of that? I sure hope so!

Ian Williams, like the rest of the defensive front had issues against DeMarco Murray and the Cowboys but looked good in shutting down Matt Forte and the Bears. He'll be fine out there, but there are few interior lineman in the league that are an upgrade over Glenn Dorsey. Dorsey doesn't get the flash plays or the gaudy stats but he does his job and he does it well. Most of pundits who dig deeper really loved what Glenn Dorsey did for us last season and I can't wait for him to return.

Quinton Patton's lack of production worries me. I know, he's yet to get on the field for any significant playing time, but that in and of itself says something. They clearly didn't think he was ready to be the No. 4 WR this year and brought in Stevie Johnson, Brandon Lloyd and Bruce Ellington. Now he's No. 6 on the depth chart. Don't expect all of our receiving corps to come back next season and we may not get a good idea of what the front office thinks about him until next offseason. I'd still like to see what he's got, because I think he's talented.

Ask a random fan what they'd expect to happen to a 4th-round draft pick WR in his second year who's team went out and got three guys who have jumped him on the depth chart and he's yet to make an impact. Most people would say it sounds like he's on his way out.

The NFL Mess

Nope. The NFL has had much worse domestic violence incidents than this recent spate (Rae Carruth & Javon Belcher are the first that spring to mind). The majority of the public and, more importantly for the league, the advertisers, didn't put too much thought into domestic violence until the second Ray Rice tape emerged. I looked back at Sports Illustrated articles from the earlier days of the Greg Hardy incident (in my mind the most troubling) and there are almost no comments and none calling for the team to suspend him. It's great that people care about domestic violence right now but I challenge them to care when the headlines die down. That's when public outcry will actually be needed, not right now while the whole world is focused on it.

It does appear there was a bit of a cover up, at least from the Ravens front office. It is salacious and makes for big ratings and will probably see some people lose respect and employment. But we'll all still be watching…won't we?

He saved the owners billions of dollars when he broke the player's union so it will take something major for them to send him packing. Sponsors will have to start pulling out and it appears as though the first one has jumped ship. Still, I think the owners love him in general and I can't see him getting the boot.

Randomness

This is what you get when your Twitter Q&A shares it's name with an obscure television station.

Power Rankings are the most useless of the weekly NFL news cycle and generally only serve to generate page hits and comments. But I tell you what….I read every one I can and then get mad if the 49ers are ranked below where I think they should be. It's my secret shame. I even tweeted at Pete Prisco toward the end of last season because he had the Bengals ahead of the 49ers. What was I supposed to do, it was idiotic!

Prediction

Yes. I think we win but I think it's ugly. I'm predicting a 24-13 win. Our defense should be able to hold the Cardinals backup offense (which is basically what they're running) to a decent score. If we're unable to beat Arizona and Drew Stanton, we're going to be in for a very long year.