My Niner Nation

My Niner Nation

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Clash of the Titans

                More often than not the offense is credited with a teams’ success before the defense. Not to say defenses do not go unnoticed. I think Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant Jr. said it best "Offense sells tickets; Defense wins championships". It is true, so true if you think about it. People want to see a passing clinic with big plays, yet what is it worth if you can’t stop the big plays or the run for that matter.

The San Francisco 49ers defense is number 1 against run with 73.9 allowed per game and the Baltimore Ravens defense is number 5 with allowing 93.2 yards per game. Through ten games the Ravens have also tallied up 11 interceptions to the 49ers 15 interceptions, which are tied for 2nd most in the league, and both teams have a pick six. The Ravens also have 29 sacks which is the second most behind the Vikings, Giants, and Redskins holding down the 1 spot with 31 sacks each. The 49ers have 25 sacks which is good enough to put them in a tie for the sixth most sacks.

I realize two things when I comparing the Ravens and Niners defenses. 1.)  The 49ers beat both the Giants and the Redskins, and Alex plays well against the blitz, so let the Raves blitz. I look forward to it. 2.) The Ravens will be without Ray Lewis and even if he plays he won’t be 100% that being said I feel the 49ers front 7 is better. The 49ers should win the ground game. John’s Harbaugh will not make the mistake and take Alex Smith for likely, therefore giving room to work with in the box to the 49ers line and tight ends.

It seems almost epic that these two brothers meet on a Thursday night in Baltimore, not only where their parents live but most of their family. Jim Harbaugh played for the Colts team that moved to Baltimore to become the Ravens, and was a Raven.

 During that time John was an assistant with the Jets.

Jack and Jackie’s Harbaugh wedding anniversary is tomorrow I wonder how that will play out between the brothers.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Who Has it Better Than Us

    In the now infamous words of Jack Harbaugh "Who has it better than us! ", to the slightly alternated Jim Harbaughs' version "Who gots' it better than us!" It is testimony to family and to father and son. Just watch this clip I pulled from the NFL Network.

Frank Gore 2.0

                It is just a little obvious when Frank is not 100% as I was watching the game against the Giants I noticed he was having a hard time getting vertical. There was just no push and too much hesitation.

“Hitting the ground, I hyper-extended my leg and it kind of shut down my leg, and I couldn't really push off like I wanted to. I wanted to be smart, and Rathman wanted me to be smart, knowing we've got a long season ahead and we can be successful, and I want to be there." – Frank Gore

 Let’s not also forget that the Giants had to stack 9 to 10 players in the box to pull off such feat, holding Gore to 0 yards on 6 carries, totally underestimating Alex Smith “game management” skills.

"The Giants took an extreme measure, a measure rarely seen in the NFL. It was a nice adjustment by them” said Greg Roman “You have to go to some high school fields to see that loaded of a box.”

I mean the guy is a work horse. Let’s not over use him before we get a playoff berth. Give Kendall Hunter a little more touches to spell Gore. I know Gore’s love for the game is what keeps him going, but his skill set will be needed later in the post season. (God willing)

"Whatever the coaches want to do, I'll be fine with it, but I want to be out there. I want to be out there bad." - Gore

They will be no need to worry. Frank will be back in action come Sunday against the Cardinals.

“Things happen for a reason, I'm back, and I'll be ready to play against them Sunday." -Gore

At this point in the season at 8-1, I feel now Harbaugh is going to sand bag his opponents more so than he has been, and just take it one game at time. No need to get ahead of ourselves. I wouldn’t be surprised if Harbaugh started to play more rookies, and backups. That is to say, if we win the NFC West.

Harbaugh is like the ultimate chess player, seeing every move 5 moves before it happens. So be ready for anything down the stretch.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

True Grit

What is True Grit, and no I am not talking about the movie or book? I am talking about the people in real life situations who can actually keep an unshaken fortitude. By definition to be True is to be loyal and steadfast. And to possess Grit is to possess a firmness of mind or spirit : unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger. Aside the many war stories I hear and read about. The only person I have ever seen in my lifetime putting his fortitude to the test is the unyielding Alexander Douglas Smith.
“It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up.”- Lombardi

Alex Smith has been the punching bag of not only NFL analyst, but my friends and family as well, for the past six years. To hear people say he is/was a bust year in and year out was very hard yet I could never give up the faith, that is just not how I am built, I don't give up or give in. I played the quarterback position before as well as linebacker and secondary even a little receiver. And I played in Texas under the Friday night lights. My father being a coach at my school, the expectations people had for myself was more than I could imagine.

Now if you multiply that by a hundred that is probably closer to the hardship that Alex has put up with in the bay area.

There is a reason every Head coached believed in Alex Smith. There is a reason why the “Mad Scientist” believes him, and it is that same reason that this 2011 team believes in him. Alex Smith is TRUE GRIT. That is right I said it. Alex has been put under the microscope, has be torn down by the NFL and fans alike. He has be given up on and cast aside. The man has been booed at Monster Park by his own home fans and still he keeps tact and poise. {Vince Young got booed and had a hard time getting back on the horse. It is going to take a change of scenery to get back on top for Young. (Eagles)… again stole that from my brother.} Yet with Alex he didn’t change his scenery because of his love for this team and his loyalty, and because of his unyielding courage in the face of the booing fans should be enough of a testament to all you haters. I mean the guy even took a pay cut to stay with the team and didn't flinch when he was benched. You can't get more humbled than that.

Year after year I have always said wait till he gets a coach who is quarterback oriented and watch him grow. Well Harbaugh is that coach, as with supporting co-star in Greg Roman, Alex will just keep getting better.

You don’t wake up one day and say I am going to be a great quarterback. You just rise to the occasion when needed to prove to the world that you are what you were meant to be. I know Alex will keep winning, not just because of the awesome coaching this year but because Alex Smith is made up of True Grit.