Originally posted by MadDog49er:
This article may be amongst the most stupid pieces of journalism ever printed. I hardly know which direction to begin first, as Grant Cohn clearly does not understand football very well.
Let's start with the score. Could the Niners win 30-3? Sure. However, the team is travelling across the country, playing a night game, against a solid home team, that is 5-0 at home. Why would he even get the slightest idea that the Niners would win by 27 points on the road against a good team? It is insanity.
That is amongst the least of the silliness written here. About coverage on defense, he states, "That means the secondary can double team both wide receivers, Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith". Ok, while not a math genius, unless the Niners plan on starting 13 players, this is ridiculous. If a defense double teams both wide receivers, and rushes the typical number of defenders, four, this leaves 3 defenders to cover the rest of the field. If an offense runs 5 OL, that leaves 5 potential receivers (WR's, TE's, and RB's). If four defenders are covering two WR's, that would leave a one-on-one matchup, three versus three against the other Ravens receivers. That is a loss for any defense across the league, and it is not even close. If the Niners deploy this defense, they would surrender 40 points at a minimum. Anyone who knows football has to absolutely laugh at the notion that four players are going to double two WR's all day long.
In addition, Cohn forgets to note that Ray Rice has 51 receptions for the year (much more than Frank Gore), and that the Ravens' TE's, Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta, both have more receptions than the starter and reserve for the Niners, Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker. To state that the only passing weapons the Ravens possess are the two WR's is erroneous at best. Just really dumb.
He further states that the Ravens only have three great defensive players. Well, the Niners only have two or three great defensive starters as well. And, as much as I like Goldson, J. Smith and Brooks, I'd take Reed, Suggs and Ngata if a choice was made. I think he underestimates the Ravens defense, which is third in points, fourth in yards, seventh in passing yards, and fifth in rushing defense.
Finally, the greatest of silliness, Cohn states that since Reed will cover Davis, that "all the other 49ers receivers will have big games – Michael Crabtree, Delanie Walker, Kyle Williams, maybe even Braylon Edwards". Let's play conservative and say that a "big game" equals five receptions for 75 yards.Throw in some yards for the other receivers, Davis and Gore, and what do you have? 300-350 passing yards for Alex Smith. Against a top ten pass defense on the road? I just he think is comical at this point. The Niners average 188 passing yards per game, which is 27th in the league.
Are the Niners a better team than the Ravens? Possibly. They have been more consistent this season. And, could they win? Absolutely. But this article shows a complete lack of football intelligence. I advocate loving your team, but to check your brain in at the door makes you a brainless homer, and someone that should not be a journalist for a major football team. If the Ravens beat writers, coaches, announcers, or anyone connected to football read this, they would laugh their a$$ off.
Thanks for the comedy, Grant.
P.S. I apologize if your writing "tongue in cheek", Grant, to play on the homers.
Lol, this is an awesome post. But let's be honest, any "game prediction" article that spends 75% of its space describing the psychological makeup of the coaches is not a serious analysis. Yeah, I'm sure that if the 49ers win it'll because "for [Jim's] whole life, he's been trying to surpass his brother." Grant watches way too many Disney sports movies.