Sunday!!!

FOOTBALL IS HERE!  FOOTBALL IS HERE!!!

HEY, EVERYONE… FOOTBALL IS HERE!

Yes, I know, technically the season started on Thursday, but Sundays are what it is all about with the NFL.  Even though my team is starting the season with lower expectations than they’ve had since I was in high school and doesn’t play until Monday night, 1PM can’t come soon enough.

FOOTBALL IS HERE!!!

What’s everyone most excited about?  I think this appears to be the most wide open season in a while.  I’m not sure there is a clear cut favorite.  I know lots of people are on the Denver bandwagon, but I have questions about their defense and they are one Manning neck cramp away from irrelevancy.  The 49ers have no one for Kaepernick to throw the ball to and as fantastic as he was last year, he still has only started 10 NFL games.  Green Bay and New England have question marks, especially on the defensive side of the ball.  Baltimore was not a particularly great team last season and lost a ton of key players from last year’s championship team.  Seattle, the darling in many people’s eyes… I think we still need to see if Wilson is the real deal and they might get zero value from their 1st round pick (who knows when Harvin comes back and did no one think about putting a guy with migraine issues in the loudest stadium in the league?).  Indy?  Meh, lucky last year.  Cinci looks good, but I’m not sure they are a dominant team.  The Chiefs?  They’ll be better, but have Andy Reid and Alex Smith… not exactly a recipe for 12-4.  The NFC East is a clusterfuck.  The Falcons, I think, have been overrated for a number of years now and I think their luck runs out. The return of Sean Payton should make the Saints better, but I’m not sure he can improve the worst defense in league history.  So, all in all, I think this is a wide open season with lots of things to watch for.

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19 thoughts on “Sunday!!!

      • Davis was good for 900 yards two years ago. He was MIA last year after Kaepernick took over, but if the two of them can establish the same rapport David had with Smith, I expect great things.

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      • Good questions. My impression is that Kaepernick developed that same kind of rapport with Crabtree, which was part of the reason for his breakout season. With Crabtree out, K. will have to start finding Vernon.

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      • It often seems to be the case that young QBs zero in on one WR. Going through a full progression is hard when you have an NFL rush bearing down on you. And when you have the ability and talent to pull it down and run, well, who would blame you for not checking your 3rd and 4th options? Given that Davis can be more of a vertical and outside threat than your typical TE, it wouldn’t shock me if his workload increases.

        I should also note that I think the world of Kaepernick. I just think there is still a lot of growth he needs to make, as is typical for a QB with his level of experience. Fortunately, he’s got a bit of a QB guru as a HC.

        I almost wrote a post on some ESPN talking head’s (Clayton, maybe?) where he ranked the QBs and had Schaub in his top 10 (#10) and all the young guys in the mid-teens. It almost broke my brain. And I think shows the reflexive presumption that traditional pocket passers are inherently superior. I think this current crop of dudes will challenge that because they all seem to have the pocket passer skill set in addition to the other stuff. RGIII led the league in completion percentage, if I remember (an overrated stat as I understand it, but valued by a certain set of folks). Wilson showed incredible poise in the pocket. And Kaepernick strikes me as above average in all aspects, exceedingly so in some.

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      • Well, it is quite possible I need to eat crow on Mr. Boldin. His lack of top end speed (or even medium end speed) always made me think he paled as a true number one. This was confirmed by the downgrade in his numbers upon arriving in Baltimore and losing an elite WR across from him.

        Well, at the risk of overstating one game, it is possible that Boldin’s issue in Baltimore was less to do with him and more to do with Mr. Flacco. I fear Baltimore will soon rue the deal they gave Captain Eyebrows.

        Kap looked great. He even missed a couple of throws (the deep ball to Williams* that he underthrew stands out in particular) that would have made it more stellar, but those things happen. I liked his postgame presser as well… “Get a better plan.” Damn. Kid has balls. You should be in for a good year.

        * Williams strikes me as Desean Jackson-esque in that it is hard to overthrew him, so don’t hold back. If/when Kap and he find the rhythm and range on the deep ball, look out. Blowing the top of the defense will open up the middle and underneath stuff for Boldin and Davis and create more running lanes for Kap. Yikes.

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      • “And I think shows the reflexive presumption that traditional pocket passers are inherently superior.”

        To be fair, this has some grounding based on the performance of QBs like Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick, who were going to do some Grantland Rice stuff to defenses but never quite managed to get there.

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      • Oh yes, I agree with you there.

        And I should temper, or at least clarify, my criticism. I actually think Reid and Smith are a good match. Reid is a west coast coach and Smith is a west coast QB. It is somewhat ironic that Smith ended up in SF when they were not running a west coast offense. It would not shock me if the Chiefs broke .500 or even made the playoffs (their weak division and schedule help that). But I don’t think they’re a dominant team and despite all the love they’re getting, they should be no one’s favorite for the SB.

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  1. I’m still torn about the Manning thing.

    I don’t know whether to cheer or what. Sadly, I don’t think chanting “Tebow” at him is really a viable option.

    Well… at least I can still hate the Patriots.

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  2. I do have to say that this 49ers team is really good when they are on.

    Two years ago, when they lost to the Giants in the NFC Championship, that was the first game I had really watched them through and through. I remember thinking, “Why does their defense look like that? It’s so weird.” Then I realized I was thinking of the Eagles and (less so) the Giants. I had forgotten what good linebacker play looks like.

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