October 17, 2019
Levi 5 - 0 - Won
They say that your dreams can tell a lot about a person. But I have a feeling that a lot of you have had the same exact dream as me this week, the one where our team coming off a bye week which going into we had looked incredibly off kilter on offence to say the least and were asked to play the most hyped team in the NFL and then last years Super Bowl team and divisional rivals in just under a week, and not only did we win those games in the dream, we won them convincingly. But that’s the thing about dreams anything can happen, but when you wake up and the realisation sets in over that first sip of coffee, reality has a habit of kicking you up the backside.
However, I woke up, I had that sip of coffee and the crazy reality became clear, the San Francisco 49ers are 5-0 for the first time in just over 30 years , the Cleveland Browns with the hardest working man in TV advertising playing QB for them and the Los Angeles Rams with the apparent brightest young coach in the league, have been vanquished, and dispatched with relative unknown ease to the extent that it wasn’t comfortable and surely the wheels would fall off any moment now in suspicious circumstance, but no such freakish events would occur. The wins were not without sacrifice to the football gods though, already missing LT Joe Staley, let’s take away RT Mike McGlinchy and FB Kyle Juszczyk, from the offence and put them up against Aaron Donald and the fierce Rams DL that will stop them and restore balance surely? Almost worked too, The Rams held the Niners rushing attack which had racked up over 800 yards in their first four games to just under 100 yards on the day, but at the cost of letting George Kittle have a big day.
From the moment the 49ers answered the Rams opening scoring drive, this game was virtually over, in fact you could almost pinpoint a specific moment, on a 3rd and 8 the Niners failed to make the required yardage only for the Rams to pick up a holding penalty. 3rd and 8 became 3rd and 3 instead, the next play saw the first down picked up and the Niners would march down and score. The Rams would come close to swinging momentum back their way when they got to the shadow of the 49ers goal-line but as was the case on every 3rd and 4th down on the day the 49ers defence would win the play.
The media have raved about Nick Bosa against the Browns, but with the caveat that it was the Browns O-Line, but in the Rams game we would see reality, Andrew Whitworth the anchor of the Super Bowl line, would be up against Bosa and that would put the rookie back in his box, but alas that was wrong too, Bosa pushed Whitworth around all day and treated him like a raggedy doll at times, the Niners defence was so dominant that at two scores up midway through the third quarter, Kyle Shanahan was content to play 4 min offence. Run the ball three times, snapping it on 1 or 2 seconds on the shot clock then punt it back down to the Rams 20 yard line and let the defence go get them, several time the Rams feared offence admittedly without Gurley went backwards rather than forwards and then the cycle would start again.
Big shout out to the Niners fans who went to the game, there was an awful lot of Red in the stadium, and they could celebrate opening a three-game lead over the Rams in the divisional race, in the Rams own back yard.
As well as Bosa has done, and lets remember he is not yet 100% as he has returned from injury that cost him a lot of pre-season, he is not alone on that DL, and all of them are making plays, Dee Ford on the opposite side of Bosa causes havoc and we are starting to see plays now with Ford and Bosa lined up side by side, whilst DeForest Buckner remains a top level inside lineman and gets after the QB and the improvement in Arik Armstead this season has been very noticeable. The defence overall going from NFL history worst in takeaways last season, now a league leading unit in 2019. A second season under the same co-ordinator helps the impact of Joe Woods being felt in the defensive backfield coaching role as well maybe?
Going forward, the injuries are a problem, and with so many being reported as four to six weeks some social media channels currently calling the Niners the San Francisco four to six weekers instead, we may need to see improvements in this area though, the two backup tackles are playing well when you consider what a backup tackle should do, but are a drop-off from the starters for a reason, and Juszczyk gives so many options to disguise a running or pass play from very similar formations and personnel groups that having him out will hurt.
Also I would like to see just a little more ball security from Jimmy Garoppolo, for a team that run the ball so often, there is still that avoidable INT from him each week and at the moment the quality of the Niners defence in getting the ball back is bailing him out, but Jimmy is tough as the Steelers game showed and I trust that he will get this under control, he is also a winner as his 11-2 starting record shows. Whilst backing up Tom Brady, Jimmy G was in an offence with a bunch of underrated receivers, a dominant Tight End and an emerging running game, how times have changed now he is in San Francisco...
Ironically enough for that comparison to really hold water, the Patriots are the only other undefeated team in the league, maybe things haven’t changed much for Jimmy G after all, just a better tan now. The Niners move on to play the Washington franchise with their interim head coach and a desire to give the ball to Adrian Peterson, Kyle Shanahan a former coach in Washington of course and I am sure he is dreaming up ways to beat his former employers.
Now it must be time for another dream, where was I, oh yes! 6 and 0 sounds very nice for starters.