Three of the Next Five Games are Winnable

December is the soft part of the 49ers 2015 schedule as they face the Bears, Jets and Rams in the coming weeks.  Those three teams are as weak as the 49ers and in some cases maybe weaker.  All three head coaches are on the hot seat and likely will be fired baring some kind of miracle.

But that doesn’t mean the 49ers will win any of those games it just means there is a chance.  With any luck the 49ers will win one or two of those games.  But it seems especially important to beat the Bears this Sunday as thy seem the weakest of the three with many key players hurt.

Will can strong finish for the 49ers enhance the chances of Trent Baalke or others in the organization from not getting fired?  Under the best scenario a 4-12 finish will not be viewed by the media or fans as a turning point.  But on the other hand Jed York may be reluctant to drain the swamp in Santa Clara because he himself does not know what to do and lacks confidence to undertake the process necessary to rebuild the organization.

Unfortunately the only thing a 4-12 or 3-13 will accomplish is move the Niners down in the draft order which may be perceived internally as alright as it takes some pressure off the GM, who ever that is, in the draft.

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Packers Have Life; Barely

The Packers beat the Eagles 27-13 playing their best game of the season.  This moves their record to 5-6 and keeps their playoff hopes on life support.  What they must do now is is run the table which isn’t out of the question given that 3 out of their last 5 games are at home.  Its also fortunate that they play their closest rivals the Vikings (home) and Lions (road) one more time.  The also play at Lambeau a Seahawks that has been struggling on the road which helps the Packers chances.

Against the Eagles Aaron Rodgers threw for over 300 yards in part due to some excellent pass blocking and receiving.  Rodgers helped his cause by often getting rid of the ball quickly.  Devante Adams and Jordie Nelson had superb games with Adams catching two TD passes.

The defense gave up a lot of yards however the D had some key stops and their best pass rush of the year.

The one negative for the Packers is their inability to run the ball effectively.  James Starks was back but was held to 41 yards on 12 carries.  This forced Aaron Rodgers to carry the offense which he did last night.

Although not out of the playoff hunt the road is rough going forward.  The Packers almost certainly must win their division in order to get to the playoffs which will likely require five straight wins on their part and for the Lions and Vikings to both lose three or four games down the stretch.

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Not My Sports Year

Well 2016 has been a disaster year sport-wise for me as all my teams have not done well.  The San Francisco Giants may be the most successful of the failures.  The Giants had a winning record, finished second in the NL West and even made the playoffs.  Unfortunately after knocking off the Mets in a one game playoff they lost the NLDS to the Cubs in a 5 game series.  What made this so hard was they were leading at home in the 9th of game 4 when the bullpen, the team’s Achilles heal, blew the lead and lost the game.

All my football teams are having bad to very bad seasons.  Cal, Norte Dame and the Packers all have losing records.

Norte Dame is now being punished by the NCAA for adedemic infractions.  This goes along with multiple criminal incidents prior to the start of the 2016 season. Midway in to the season Brian Kelly fired the defensive coordinator to no avail and is now himself on the hot seat.

The Packers after a fairly decent start, meaning they won some games, have spiraled down to a 4-6 record with a hospital ward of injuries on both sides of the ball. Aaron Rodgers is having an uneven season however he has no running game to help balance the offense.  Mike McCarthy is under the gun in the media every week and one wonders if he’ll be back next season.  In all likelyhood GM Ted Thompson will be shown the door as the roster seems to be getting weaker each year due to the fact that his draft choices not living up to their promise.

What can I say about the 49ers; a team record 9 game losing streak with no playmakers on either side of the ball. The Niners problems run throughout the organization from the owner, GM, coaching staff and roster.  This may be the worst Niners situation since the Joe Thomas days and maybe worse because the current owner, the York family, seem clueless as to what to do to turn around the mess. It is so bad in Santa Clara that Niner fans have basically stayed away in droves from the games.  Levi on any given Sunday is 20-40% empty and at least 40% of the fans that show up are rooting for the opponent.

What is nice about sports in their is always next year to renew once hopes.

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Irish Punished by NCAA

The NCAA has made a recommendation to punish the Notre Dame football program due to violations regarding academic violations by a former junior member of their staff.  The NCAA found that a former student athletic trainer provided academic benefits to several football players during her employment.  Wow what a shock football players seeking help with their homework.

Come on lets be real many college football and basketball players go to a major sports college only to play their sport and get ready for a professional athletic career.  Going to class is just a requirement for them to stay eligible. In fact many of the so-called student-athletes would not otherwise qualify to attend such universities but for their extraordinary athletic ability.

So why the charade?  It all goes back to money!  By maintaining that college sports is secondary to getting an education the universities and the NCAA can rake in the billions of dollars while mearly offering the football and basketball players a scholarship and a small amount of spending money as compensation for their participation.

Unfortunately the athletes (especially the football player) have no real leverage in this matter so the charade continues.  At least basketball players can enter the NBA draft after one year which the football players must wait 3 years before entering the NFL draft.

In the mean time Notre Dame will be punished and the head coach and athletic administration will adamantly maintain that didn’t have a clue that the trainer was doing the homework for the football players.  And the charade goes on college sports.

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Is Tomsula a Better NFL Coach Than Chip Kelly?

Chip Kelly’s 49ers have now lost 9 straight games sinking the team to a 1-9 record.  Jim Tomsula’s record last year was 5-11 with arguably a weaker roster especially on the offensive side of the ball.  It is hard to see what add value Chip has added to the Niners other than a faster paced offense which in turn may be contributing to defense fatigue.

The 9 game losing streak is a 49er franchise record stretching back to 1946!  As the Niners sink further down the comparisons between Kelly and Tomsula are natural because Jed York essentially fired Tomsula because of his failure to win games and make the playoffs.  Now Kelly is losing at a record pace; what will Jed do now?  There are a lot of fingers pointing at GM Trent Baalke but what about the head coach.  Ten games into the season and its hard to demonstrate any meaningful progress.

Today both Kaepernick (2 TD passes) and Hyde (86 yards rushing) showed flashes but overall there is a lot of inconsistency.  One noticeable inconsistency was Kaepernick’s accuracy (16/30).  At time he looked sharp then other times he couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn.  In addition the defense got flagged for  number of offsides which is more a lack of concentration than anything else.

The next month will be a test for the coaches and players because at this point is would easy to give up and start thinking they have a future on the 49ers.

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Niners: It’s Not Getting Better

The Niners have fallen to 1-8 and things aren’t getting easier any time soon.  The powerful New England Patriots come to town and expectations are low.  The silver lining so far is the improved play of Colin Kaepernick albeit he continues to expouse political opinions that don’t endear him to many of the fans.  But otherwise the Niners have not played well on a consistent basis.

Poor play has lead to fans deserting the team by either selling their tickets or just not showing up.  There are some rumblings that Trent Baalke may get the ax at the end of the season.  The most likely replacement is in-house staff member Tom Gamble.  That move seems more of bandaid rather than a significant fix.

Jed York will feel increasing heat over the next several months given the team’s poor record, lack of talent, unspent cap money and the head coach situation. Speaking of head coach ,Chip Kelly continues to be a source of criticism due his lack of success in the NFL and his seemingly college style offense.  The word around the league is Chip offense is not NFL caliber.  Moreover his coaching staff isn’t exactly a “coaching tree” ala Bill Walsh.

 

 

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49er Faithful Staying Home

The local media is reporting that Levi is only half full of Niners fans on Sunday game days. Earlier this month it seemed like there were more Cowboy fans than Niner fans in the Levi stands when Dallas  came a calling.  In fact last Sunday’s revenue was down both in the parking lots and by extension at the stadium concessions.  Not only is this effecting the Niners organization but its hurting Santa Clara which gets a cut of the revenue as well as a piece of the sales tax on items and services sold.

Given the situation that Niners fans are staying home whether or not they sell their tickets at a steep discount.  In addition it is feared that some number of fans will not renew their tickets next and thus walk away from their SBL payment which is now worth zero.  This potential outcome should be worrying the York family although they haven’t said anything yet and have refused to meet with the local press to discuss the situation.

Speak up Jed you said at the end of last season that you were accountable!  Accountability hurts.  Since you made that statement you hired a retread coach who many NFL insiders are saying isn’t NFL material, you let a failed GM continue to stock the poorest roster in the NFL via the draft and free agency, you started the season with two quarterbacks  with a history of inefficiency and failure, and lastly you didn’t spend the $40 million of cap money to acquire a few playmakers on offense or defense.

But the capper, so to speak, was giving one of your failed quarterbacks a platform to make social protests both on the field and in locker room thereby creating  firestorm of controversy among your fans as well as in the media.  Kaepernick’s social protests and symbols, including wearing a tee shits with the Black Panthers logo, have embarrassed many fans such that they are  no longer wearing 49ers gear in public.  Also first responders around the country, police and firefighters, feel that the 49ers management is unappreciative of the difficult and dangerous jobs they undertake to protect the community from violence and destruction.

The 49ers are the laughing stock of the NFL and the 49er Faithful are staying home rather than supporting a failed organization on and off the field.

 

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