When Fred Warner broke down the 49ers’ huddle this week, he said, “This second-half run starts right now.” On today’s Gold Standard podcast, Levin Black said this week’s game against the Chargers is a barometer for the rest of the season.
“I’m pretty confident [this week] but I do think this is the game where I decide whether or not I continue to believe in them or not. Like we just mentioned for the last ten minutes, everything is in the 49ers’ favor. Vegas, last time I saw, favors the 49ers by seven which is a pretty dang heavy spread.
There’s no excuse. You’re coming off a bye. You lose this game and you’re the same team we’ve been seeing all year - highly inconsistent. You lay an egg and then you play like a Super Bowl contender. I don’t believe you’re gonna put it together. You’re not going to reel off some five game streak all of a sudden.
If they win this game? Especially if they win it convincingly and take care of business? Okay then maybe they did finally click. Maybe Christian McCaffrey is the difference and they found something in that Rams game right before the bye. Maybe they’re going to start pushing now and go for the division title.”
We’ve seen both sides of Levin’s argument play out in front of our eyes. This team has used a victory over the Rams as a springboard to success in the past. Just last year, the Niners rode a win over the Rams in Week 10 all the way to a 6-2 run to end the regular season and the sixth seed in the NFC.
We’ve also seen the Rams games serve as a mirage that tricks people into thinking this team is better than it actually is. In Kyle Shanahan’s tenure, the team is 9-3 against the Rams and 34-43 against everyone else. Even if you chalk up Shanahan’s first two years to rebuilding and completely ignore them (as many fans like to do), the team is 8-0 against the Rams and just 25-24 against everyone else.
The answer to the question of how good this year’s team really is begins on Sunday. Leave us a comment below about whether you think this is the start of something big or just another ride on the roller coaster of inconsistency we’ve been on since 2017.
Other topics on today’s show
- Why aren’t people getting hyped for the Chargers game? (1:17)
- Deebo Samuel joins the show (5:05)
- Is the team about to make a run in the second half of the year? (7:57)
- Is Christian McCaffrey part of the YAC Bros.? (8:38)
- What would his recruiting pitch be to Odell Beckham Jr.? (8:53)
- Would Deebo ever get into coaching? (12:37)
- Our reaction to the Deebo interview (13:26)
- Why Levin doesn’t think Beckham matters that much (15:29)
- Where do you LEAST want OBJ to land? (19:46)
- The Chargers can’t stop the run (23:00)
- The 49ers can slow Austin Ekeler down (24:30)
- The Chargers will Charger late in a close game (27:30)
- Is a run coming in the second half of the season? (29:57)
- Random detour: What video games are we playing right now? (32:35)
- Final score predictions (37:52)