BreakingNFC West News: Jaguars trade CB Jalen Ramsey to the Rams
  • By Michael Wolk
    Jan 22, 2012 at 9:46 PM 18 comments
    As the ball fell from the grasps of Kyle Williams' hands, so too did my heart. This was the greatest season of 49ers football that I have ever been so lucky enough to witness. Albeit I'm still in my late teens and this was the first true taste of 49er glory that I experienced. Since watching the 49ers, all I ever knew was losing. Growing up as a young San Francisco 49ers fan in the "early Alex Smith era" was rough. With each season the coaching carousel continued to revolve, uncertainty occupied the minds of 49er supporters, and there looked to be no imminent end to the perpetual losing. Yet something about this great franchise resonated within me, even through the years of bottom-feeding, I felt a deep burning love for the red and gold. Reflecting back upon the...
  • By Michael Wolk
    Jan 19, 2012 at 5:06 PM 1 comment
    Offensive units are often given the lion's share of credit for their team's overall success. The days when play calls consisted of running the ball often and throwing only when necessary, are long gone. Offenses have evolved; the passing game has become the integral part in a team's success, and has been utilized to an extent not previously seen. This season 20 quarterbacks passed for over 3,000 yards, and three passed for over 5,000. Those numbers are astonishing in comparison to quarterback statistics of 20 years ago. In 1991, there were only eleven quarterbacks who grossed 3,000+ yards passing, and only one cracked the 4,000 yard mark. The style of play has changed dramatically over the past two decades, and it's clear that the league's transition to a pass-first is complete. Football...
  • By Michael Wolk
    Jan 14, 2012 at 7:05 PM 14 comments
    When it mattered most, he delivered. The man, nearly run out of town prior to the year's start, is now much to thank for the 49ers first playoff victory in a near decade. A level of confidence in the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers has been instilled in fans for the first time since Alex Smith's arrival in 2005, as Smith came through in the direst of situations. Down three points with a mere minute and change remaining on the play clock, and with only one timeout remaining, the door seemed to be closing on the 49ers' 13-3 season. With eighty-five yards to travel, a 49ers win could only be delivered by Alex Smith; he would have to manufacture a seamless drive if the 49ers were to emerge victorious. What happened next debatably redeemed Alex Smith's image and his...
  • By Michael Wolk
    Jan 9, 2012 at 4:19 PM 3 comments
    Leaving the playing field of Candlestick Park on September 20th 2010, the San Francisco 49ers were a defeated group. They came tantalizingly close to knocking off the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football, a feat which would have undoubtedly instilled confidence into the 2010 49ers. San Francisco 49ers players and fans alike had their hearts ripped out as they helplessly gazed at a Garrett Hartley kick fluttering through the up-rights, ending the game, and handing the 49ers their second loss in as many games. A sour taste deeply embedded in the mouths of 49ers fans, as what appeared to be the team's first win of the season was abruptly stripped away. Never truly recovering from a string of early defeats, the 49ers finished the 2010 campaign with an...
  • By Michael Wolk
    Jan 3, 2012 at 7:18 PM 1 comment
    The falling of the axe, the handing out of pink slips, call it what you may, this is the time of the year when head football coaches are shown the door. Head coaches who have failed to deliver a level of success that would justify them retaining their jobs, are relieved of their duties, as everything boils down to wins. This annual occurrence, which is usually quick to follow after week 17, is a cruel reminder that the NFL is a business. Owners divvy out millions of their own funds in hopes of shaping together a perennial contender, and in many cases they receive a poor return on their investment in the form of a sub .500 season. In such situations, the blame is usually placed squarely on the shoulders of the man whose responsibility it is to prepare the players, the head coach. And to...
  • By Michael Wolk
    Dec 28, 2011 at 4:56 PM 3 comments
    Blossoming into a marquee NFL event, the draft held annually at Radio City Music Hall has been pegged as "Christmas morning" for football fans. The less-sexy latter rounds of the draft is a time when the average-Joe fan has long since lost interest, and television ratings are significantly down from the 'primetime' rounds. Teams are rummaging through what remains in the pool of young football talent. Not whole-heartedly expecting to hit big on a selection in the 6th of 7th rounds, NFL teams are rather looking to draft solid depth and special teams players. General Manager Trent Baalke and Head Coach Jim Harbaugh who are both in their first year under their respective titles, collectively made a total of 10 selections in the 2011 NFL Draft. With much of training...
  • By Michael Wolk
    Dec 20, 2011 at 12:09 PM 11 comments
    First round selections rarely come without big expectations, from both the front office and fans. Drafted 7th overall by the San Francisco 49ers this past April was DE/OLB Aldon Smith, a selection which initially caused some dissension among the fans. With big named players still on the board, especially at the position of quarterback (which appeared to be the most glaring weakness on the 49ers squad leading into the 2011 season), the Aldon Smith selection was questioned by fans and analysts alike. Many fans squawked over this selection, arguing that selecting Aldon Smith at #7 was a "reach" and that better talent was left on the board when GM Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh made Smith the newest member of the 49ers. Critics have been silenced, especially...
  • By Michael Wolk
    Dec 15, 2011 at 4:23 PM 9 comments
    Jon Gruden, Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski are Bay Area bound preparing for the latest chapter of Monday Night Football to unfold, heavyweight-tilt between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers. The game is a vast improvement from last week's line-up featuring the bottom-feeding Rams and the Seattle Seahawks. Both 10-win teams, the 49ers and Steelers promise to put on an entertaining showing in front of the national audience. The entertainment level promises to be high, but the implications of the game and how it plays out may be the deciding factor in how the 49ers 2011 season unfolds. The 49ers are out of contention for the #1 seed in the NFC playoff picture, as the Green Bay Packers continue to roll over any team that crosses their path. Presently San...
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