Ah...been waiting over a year to say this...
"Same ol' sorry a$$ Rams". Kinda sad tho that the originator of that line saw his kid break his leg last night.
1) Kap: CAREER regular season statline as a starter - 11 starts, 188 comp, 309 att, 60.84 comp%, 2456 yards, 7.94 YPA, 15 TDs, 7 INTs, 92.64 QB Rating. I know one of you said it was time to stop doing the career rating as a starter and just concentrate on this year...but I'm gonna do it anyway. I just want to do this until we get to 16 regular season starts. Not a perfect game for Kap, but not bad at all. 42 yard pass to Boldin was pretty...perfect throw. The Boldin TD was a nice throw but an even better effort by Boldin. TD to Vernon was a nice read and a nice pass. Very solid game on a short week and on the road.
2) Injuries: Man, I thought Staley was done for the year. You could hear him wailing on the field. The way he was sounding I half expected to see his knee bend backwards or something. REALLY happy to hear that it appears to be minor. This was really a HUGE win for the Niners. I know, the Rams are clearly not a good team. Short week on the road tho with Aldon gone, Willis hurt, and Vernon less than 100%...this was a really good win. It gets the ship back on course AND has the added benefit of a long week afterward to get healthy and the next two games are at home. In a few weeks Manningham, Carradine, and Dial will all be eligible to return. So will Crab but we all know he's most likely still a few months out. If we can get through Houston next weekend, we may be in pretty good shape with a 3-2 record through that opening 5 game crucible to start the season. Whats more is that even tho losing to Seattle hurt, losing to Indy doesn't hurt as much as a loss to GB or the Rams would have because they are an out of conference team. If you had to CHOOSE which games you would lose in that opening 5 weeks, Indy and Houston would be the best ones to lose.
3) Gore/Hunter: OK...I have to fess up to something now. Last week in this webspace I made a comment about how I though Gore was starting to look old and that Hunter should get more carries. I was rightly called out by several of you on that one. On some level, I did and still do believe that...but I had an ulterior motive. Two years ago I wrote something very similar to what I wrote here last week. Early in 2011 I wrote that Gore had lost a step and that I thought it was time to get someone else involved. At that time I really believed that and he proved me wrong in a big way. That was on my mind when I wrote what I wrote last week. Obviously, what I write here has ZERO effect on what actually happens out there....except in my superstitious mind. I don't want to get it all twisted tho...I do still really like Hunter and I'd like to see him get his carries...but I didn't think Gore was as finished as I'd let on. Once again....Gore proved me wrong...and I'm happy. If Gore starts slow again next year, keep this in mind if I start making odd statements about how it's time to replace him. Moving forward tho, it does concern me that 2 of the most indispesable pieces of the team (Gore and Justin) are in their 30s and approaching the twilight of their careers. That is a conversation for another day...tho I am looking forward to seeing Marcus Lattimore next year.
4) Bowman: Wow. He was on fire last night. I think alot of that was because they were blitzing him like crazy to create pressure...but WOW...those Ram RBs must have had nightmares last night featuring a big red monster and a number 53 emblazoned on his chest. He was everywhere. Unstoppable. This is now the second time in his career that he's had to play without Pat...and in both cases his play has IMPROVED, not regressed. So many people have said that he benefits greatly from having Pat next to him...which is partially true. He proved AGAIN tho last night that he is a GREAT player in his own right.
5) Whitner: I'm not his biggest fan. I've said many times that I love his aggressievness and I love his run support, but his pass defense? Not so much. I felt bad for the guy last night tho. He got himself in position to make an INT and just had the ball bounce off his hands and caught by the receiver. You couldn't do that again if you tried. The pick that he got off the deflection was karma. Those plays tho aren't the reason I'm including him here in my post tho. It was the hit in the endzone. What the hell was he SUPPOSED to do in that situation? He led with his shoulder. The receiver is a moving target. If Whitner is targeting his chest, it's almost impossible to hit because the receiver is falling to the ground. Whitner did everything in his power to both play good defense (knock loose the ball) AND play within the rules by leading with his shoulder. The only other thing he could have done was simply let the receiver catch the ball. Even in that case, he made the right call. The choices were a TD or 1st and goal at the 5. This is two weeks now that he's gotten a penalty for a hit. Last year I was annoyed with Goldson because he continued to make the same mistake over and over. On this one tho...Whitner made the right call on both hits he's been penalized for. If the NFL wants these rule changes to work, then they have to stop penalizing clean plays.
6) Roman: Can we get off the gameplan now? He gave most of you what you wanted...in spades. Back to basics. Back to an offense very similar to what Alex ran. I suspect we'll see alot of this type of offense until they can get some guys back...ESPECIALLY if they can get Crab back. If they can get Crab, Boldin, AND Manningham back as their top 3 in addition to Vernon...teams will be forced to pay for playing man coverage. For now tho...its all about keep it simple, grind it out, and get through the schedule until the horses come back.
7) Defense: Look at that. The offense sustained some drives (until the end when they were trying to run out the clock), the D was able to stay fresh, and they DOMINATED. It isn't lost on me that the Rams O sucks pretty bad, but my point is that when the D isn't on the field for 36-37 minutes, they are still pretty damn good. ALL of the Rams points were on a short field. The field goal came after the 49ers had missed a field goal so the Rams got the ball at the 49er 43 and drove only 23 yards. The TD...well we all know that they got there on a turnover and the penalty was BS.
8) O-Line: Again...it's clear that the Rams have issues stopping the run, but DAMN did the line maul them up front. On the road no less. Impressive.
9) WRs: This is still a concern until Crab and Manningham get back. They are still not really getting open without a ton of assistance from the scheme. Boldin played very well, but it's clear that he's the only WR out there that Kap has any trust in. Baldwin had a few good catches, but he's never going to get a ton of separation either. Getting Vernon back was HUGE tho. Just having him running around out there with a limp was enough to scare the defense and create space. DAMN I want Crab back. LOL. I personally thought Crabtree would be a guy they might let walk away when his contract expired. You can't keep everyone as they say. If this early season experience has taught us anything it's that Crabtree needs to be in the long term future of this team.
10) NFC West: Wow. I'm starting to think this division isn't as good as we thought. LOL. Seattle is 3-0 but they've played 2 games at home and outside of the sound thrashing they put on us they had a close game in Carolina and then they beat the Jags. It'll be interesting to see how they do here in back to back road games vs the Texans and Colts. Kinda happy that the Jags was one of their home games because its kinda a waste of that homefield advantage. LOL. We get them as a road game...in London. The Rams are far worse than we thought and the only win THEY have is over Arizona. Last night the Niners kinda exercised the demon of those fluky Rams games from last year. I've been on other team boards and they laughed when I called those games fluky, but anyone who watched those games would see that they were exactly that. One game featered game winning filed goal misses and a QB switch in the middle of the game. The only TD scored by the Rams in the other game was a really bad pitch by Kap and a horrible effort by Ginn to recover it. I never had any fear of the Rams because as I've said all offseason, they lost the only 2 guys that worried me...Jackson and Amendola. I think they are starting to realize just how big a piece of the puzzle Jackson was. Unfortunately...we'll see him again when Atlanta comes to town.
[ Edited by Marvin49 on Sep 27, 2013 at 10:45 AM ]