AJ Bolino's Latest Articles

  • By AJ Bolino
    Sep 10, 2014 at 9:41 PM 8 comments
    Well, that went much better than expected, didn't it? In a game that wasn't nearly as close as the score, the 49ers punched the Cowboys in the mouth early and refused to relent late. The 49ers overcame injuries, missing starters and a few very interesting calls to put the game away. Final score: 49ers 28, Cowboys 17. This week, we'll be looking back at the highs and lows of Week 1, forward to the 49ers home opener and picks against the spread for Week 2. Frank the Tank and Mr. Hyde The 49ers didn't have an overly prolific day on the ground (as they seemed bound and determined to air it out), but the ground game produced two truly amazing achievements: Frank Gore topped 10,000 yards rushing and rookie Carlos Hyde averaged 7.1 yards per carry, scoring his...
  • By AJ Bolino
    Sep 3, 2014 at 7:39 PM 4 comments
    When the 49ers take the field this Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, the beleaguered 49er faithful will finally be able to put behind them a preseason that featured far more bad than good, and almost as much ugly as bad. The product on the field has been less than stellar, save for a few bright spots...and the product off the field has spent entirely too much time in the news...almost always for the wrong reasons. This week, we'll be looking back at the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of the preseason...and forward at the 49ers pending showdown with the Dallas Cowboys, along with picks against the spread for Week 1. The Good Carlos Hyde: He can run. And catch. And block. Well. Really well. When Hyde fell to the 49ers in the 2nd round, he was...
  • By AJ Bolino
    Jan 22, 2014 at 4:31 PM 38 comments
    Before we go any further, I want to make something plain: the Seahawks won the NFC Championship Game fair and square. They deserve to advance to the Super Bowl. That fact, however disconcerting it may be, is undeniable. Let's avoid getting that twisted. Another difficult fact to reconcile...Richard Sherman is the best corner in the NFL right now. He's fast. He's got great instincts. A great work ethic. An impressive (if relatively short) football resume. He is the leader of a defensive backfield that is known by the moniker "Legion of Boom." He is also an insufferable douchebag. Diaperstain. Blowhard. Putz. Assclown. Pick your descriptor. The guy has the personality of a professional wrestling heel and the mouth of a coked up circus barker with ADD...and that is...
  • By AJ Bolino and Diego Del Barco
    Jan 18, 2014 at 6:58 AM 7 comments
    To me, NFL games are a collection of snapshots. Moments. Some good, some bad, but all worth watching. The 2013 San Francisco 49ers have created their share of snapshots this season...but the best set thus far came last week in Charlotte, North Carolina. From the get-go, Carolina came out swinging. And jawing. And pushing. And shoving. And at the end of the day, it didn't mean a damn thing. For all of their bluster, the Panthers were thoroughly outclassed...and one play in particular showcased it. Early in the 2nd quarter, the Panthers had driven the ball to the 49er 1 yard line. On 4th and goal from the 1, the Panthers elected to go for it. At the snap, Tony Jerrod-Eddie got immediate penetration, and as Cam Newton tried to sneak in over right guard...he ran right into Ahmad...
  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Jan 10, 2014 at 4:05 PM 6 comments
    It is difficult to determine when it happened, exactly. The point at which it became obvious (to AJ anyway) the 49ers were going to win last Sunday, to be precise. Looking back, it likely happened about eight minutes into the 2nd quarter. Colin Kaepernick dropped back to pass, and set his sights on Vernon Davis. The play call was perfect...but Tramon Williams left his man (Anquan Boldin, who was running a lazy clearing route) to undercut Davis and pick off the ball. It wasn't the pick that created assurance that the 49ers were going to win...but rather what happened afterward. As Williams began to weave his way up the sideline, Kaepernick squared him up and dropped the hammer...then sprang to his feet, furious. He got in Williams' face...and stayed there, jawing. Suffice to...
  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Dec 18, 2013 at 11:52 PM 2 comments
    If that was a trap game, here's hoping that the next two are trap games as well. San Francisco went into Raymond James Stadium facing a team that had won four of their last five games and took care of them in dominant fashion, initially with their defense, followed by a few sparks on offense, with the special teams unit putting on the finishing touches ... albeit unconventionally. When time had expired, the end result was a 33-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Once again the 49ers dispatched an inferior opponent, and have put themselves on the cusp of clinching a third consecutive playoff berth. Jim Harbaugh's team now comes back to San Francisco for what could be the last football game ever played at the 'Stick ... in what promises to be a memorable Monday night, both on...
  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Dec 12, 2013 at 12:32 PM 4 comments
    Since December of last year it almost seemed as if the Seattle Seahawks had put some sort of hex on the San Francisco 49ers. No matter what happened, no matter what they tried, no matter how hard they played things just seems to break badly for the 49ers when these two teams would square off. It was ugly. It was disheartening. Worst of all...it was fuel for a war of words (to be fair, "war" might be an overstatement, considering that it was Richard Sherman who did most of the talking) that seemed to escalate week over week since the 49ers lost at Seattle in Week 2. To match the barbs that were flying between players, fans pitched in, too. A group of Seattle fans purchased a "12th Man" banner, which was pulled by a plane over Candlestick Park before Sunday's kickoff. A...
  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Dec 5, 2013 at 2:09 PM 3 comments
    If Michael Crabtree's 60-yard catch and run towards the end of the third quarter in last week's game against the St. Louis Rams didn't put a big fat smile on your face, then it's time to start questioning whether you're a real 49ers fan. Crabtree's first game of the season helped San Francisco put together one of their best offensive performances of the season, which coupled with yet another dominant performance from the defense resulted in a comfortable 23-13 win that not only helped the 49ers retain the NFC's last playoff spot for the moment, but it also helped keep the hope of winning the division alive. Not that the concept of San Francisco winning the NFC West is anywhere close to realistic after this week's opponent, the Seattle Seahawks, dismantled Drew Brees and the...
  • By AJ Bolino and Diego Del Barco
    Nov 28, 2013 at 7:41 AM 8 comments
    To say that this is what the 49ers needed would be euphemistic. After underperforming for two weeks in a row, they needed a statement win. A beatdown. On Monday night in Landover, that is exactly what they got. It wasn't always pretty. The run game was less than stellar. There were a few instances where pass protection fell apart. Colin Kaepernick was forced to burn a time out because he couldn't get a play called in time. At the beginning of the game, the 49er offense just didn't seem to be clicking. But the 49ers won. Convincingly. This week, we'll be taking a look at what went right, what needs work, and what to expect when the Rams come to town this Sunday. What Went Right Though the 1st quarter was less than...
  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Nov 21, 2013 at 7:53 AM 10 comments
    Ouch. Literally...that is the only thought that a two game losing streak brings to mind. Ouch. For the second week in a row, the 49ers came up one play short against a very good team...and now seem destined for the 6th seed in the NFC playoff picture...provided that they can reverse their fortunes over the season's last 6 weeks, that is. This week, Diego and AJ will be delving into the most ridiculous roughing the passer penalty of the 2013 season (and certainly a candidate for the all-time list, if one exists), taking a closer look at the "why" behind the struggles of Colin Kaepernick and chiming in on which 49er assistant coach, if any, should be sent packing. Any way you slice it, this should be an entertaining installment of UFR...provided that we can avoid any incidental...
  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Nov 17, 2013 at 4:59 PM 35 comments
    The 49ers just lost a tough game in New Orleans to the Saints. AJ and Diego certainly have a lot on their minds right now, but we imagine that so do our readers, so we will be taking your questions in the comments section and will try to respond most of your concerns/comments/suggestions in our upcoming post later this week. Looking forward to your questions/comments...
  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Nov 14, 2013 at 1:47 PM 13 comments
    Damn...that sucked, didn't it? For the second time this season, the 49ers were handed an unsightly defeat at home. More importantly, for the first time in the Harbaugh Era, the 49ers were beaten coming out of a bye week. Passes were dropped, uncharacteristic turnovers were committed and though the defense was sound, the 49er offense seemed completely out of its depth at times. Some have called out Colin Kaepernick, some have called out Greg Roman and Jim Harbaugh, and others have pointed to the 49er offensive line. But amid the screams of "the sky is falling!", "Kap is remedial!", "Roman is a dummy!" and "Harbaugh is losing it", something has been lost. That something is the truth of what actually went down at Candlestick on Sunday and how it can be remedied. This week,...
  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Nov 7, 2013 at 2:44 PM 1 comment
    After compiling a 6-2 record in the first half of their season, the San Francisco 49ers will look to push their current winning streak to six games when they host the Carolina Panthers (5-3) this coming Sunday, who are riding a four-game winning streak themselves. Something's got to give. This matchup features two teams who so far look very similar to each other. On offense they are both bottom-10 in passing (CAR - 25th, SF - 32nd) while ranking top-10 in rushing (CAR - 8th, SF - 1st). On defense they both give up an average of 221 passing yards per game while San Francisco's run defense (12th) has not been as stout as Carolina's (2nd). This week AJ welcomes back Diego to discuss whether Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, and the 49ers defense match up against the surprisingly...
  • By AJ Bolino and Diego Del Barco
    Oct 31, 2013 at 5:13 AM 2 comments
    Well kids, week 9 is upon us, and the 49ers are 6-2, getting healthier and headed into their bye week with more positive momentum than any 49er team in the last 15 years. While last Sunday's blowout was against a team that might not win a game this season, it should be noted that the 49ers did what they were supposed to: lay the wood on an inferior opponent. With the second half behind them, the 49ers will soon witness the return of a few key playmakers...which puts the team in the unique position of getting healthier and stronger as the season progresses. This week, we'll be looking into who'll be let go to make room for the 49ers pending activations, asking a very serious question about the legacy of Frank Gore, and delve into Colin Kaepernick's performance this...
  • By AJ Bolino and Diego Del Barco
    Oct 24, 2013 at 10:48 AM 5 comments
    Another week, another win...that's something many 49er fans hadn't thought possible four weeks ago. Last Sunday, the 49ers did what they were expected to in beating the Titans. The defense was stifling until the game was well out of reach, the offense chewed up the clock when it had to, and for all intents and purposes, this game was over by halftime...but that isn't to say that everything broke the 49ers' way. This game was far from perfect, and if one thing is certain, it's that the 49ers still have a way to go before they achieve their full potential. A Tale of Two Halves In the first half of last Sunday's game, the Titans gained 102 yards on 26 plays...an average of 3.92 yards per play. The Titans' first five drives ended like this: punt, punt,...
  • By AJ Bolino
    Oct 17, 2013 at 7:06 AM 5 comments
    This week, AJ Bolino will be flying solo again (Diego has instructed me to let you know that he still loves you guys, but that family stuff supersedes football on occasion). Last Sunday, the 49ers beat the Cardinals, which we all expected...but not quite in the way we all expected. All told the game featured some good, some bad and some seriously head scratching moments. The 49ers are 4-2, heading into what looks to be a very manageable portion of their schedule, and in complete control of their destiny...but this team still has some issues the work through. Must. Run. More. In Sunday's showdown with the Cardinals, the 49ers didn't manage to get a first down until their fifth possession. Dude. While I am sure that no one will dispute that this team has...
  • By Diego Del Barco and AJ Bolino
    Oct 10, 2013 at 2:16 PM 6 comments
    Don't look now, but the San Francisco 49ers are on a winning streak. What on paper was supposed to be a tough match-up against a Super Bowl contender on primetime TV turned out to be a laugher that left the Houston Texans wondering whether they have the right guy at quarterback. With the Seattle Seahawks losing their undefeated status, San Francisco is right back in the hunt for the lead in the NFC West, and they will host division opponent Arizona Cardinals this coming Sunday. This week, AJ is joined once again by Diego for some Buy-or-Sell on a couple of hot topics and their expectations of the 49ers defense from now until their bye week. Buy or Sell: The 49ers should make a trade for Josh Gordon. Diego: 6'3", 225-pound wide receiver who averages a...
  • By AJ Bolino and Diego Del Barco
    Oct 3, 2013 at 5:51 AM 2 comments
    After two weeks of waiting for the offense to show up, the beleaguered residents of 49erland were rewarded for their patience last Thursday night...but not right away. It took a quarter and a half, but once things got going, it was a sight to behold. Though any win on the road during a short week is sweet, the 49ers have some work to do before they become the team I think they can be...but we'll get to that later. This week, we'll be looking back at how the 49ers were able to throttle the Rams, the highlights and lowlights through the first quarter of the 2013 season, and what we can expect to see against the Texans on Sunday night. River City Runway Last week, I wrote that if the 49ers wanted to get back on track, that they would need to...
  • By AJ Bolino
    Sep 26, 2013 at 2:48 AM 5 comments
    Well...that was ugly, wasn't it? In what might have been the most uninspired effort of the Harbaugh era, the 49ers napped through most of last week's showdown with the Colts...and it showed. For the first time in two seasons, the 49ers have lost back to back games and the bandwagon is beginning to empty. This week, we'll be focusing on what the f%#k went wrong, why it went wrong, and what to expect from the resident heroes of 49erland going forward. It's Deja Vu, All Over Again Last week's game was eerily similar to the 49ers implosion against Seattle. The 49er offense looked like it was stuck in neutral, Colin Kaepernick looked frazzled, receivers could not get open and ultimately, the defense buckled after being asked to stay on the field...
  • By AJ Bolino and Diego Del Barco
    Sep 19, 2013 at 6:14 AM 10 comments
    Before we begin the post-mortem on last Sunday's 49er implosion, a logistical note: because he's earned the break, Diego del Barco will be on a three week hiatus from UFR...so it looks like you are stuck with AJ Bolino...until week 5, anyway. This week, we'll be focusing on the meat of the one question that seems to be on everyone's mind (as it pertains to the 49ers, anyway): what went wrong? So...What the F$#% Happened? Heading into Week 2 of this very young NFL season, the 49ers had been all but crowned champions...some had gone so far as to say that Colin Kaepernick had the "stuff" to be the best quarterback in the history of forever. Then, Sunday night happened. Damn...what a difference a game makes. Now,...
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