The term “The 49ers will win the [NFC] West” sparks me.
That’s what I disagree with. And I guess I’ll argue it even if it does mean I’ll have to argue this tomorrow with a different person who believes the 49ers will overtake the Seahawks and Rams. What makes the 49ers so intriguing? Well here’s one — they signed Nate Clements, a CB, plastering his ass with an $80M contract. While he’s a great CB, he can’t make up the whole 49ers defensive backs core. Neither can Walt Harris. It takes more than that to win.
The past couple of seasons, people have been riding high on Arizona; they still are. Just not as much. The last four seasons, we know who has finished 1st and 2nd in the NFC West. Why will it change now because of San Fransisco? Wow, they added Nate Clements and Tully Banta-Cain. Whoop-de-doo-shit-little. They still can’t hold a candle light to Seattle or St. Louis.
So they swept Seattle last year. Good for them. They still finished 3rd. If they are going to continue to sweep Seattle, they need to do it consistently each year. They did it last year, but had their own personal struggles in doing so. Coverage problems, mainly. Adding Nate Clements? Sure will help, but not enough to win the division. I’ll continue to explain why.
They defeated my Rams 1 out of 2 times this year. They defeated them in the 2nd week of the season by 10, I believe, and there was a big deal made out of the whole thing. But the problem was that our new (at the time) Head Coach, Scott Linehan, was calling plays. Our offense didn’t get to fully clicking until late in the season. We had a whole new coaching staff so it’s an obvious and valid reason we stunk it up last year. When any team signs up a whole new coaching staff they are in trouble; the Rams shown it. We won our last 3 games of the season with Greg Olson (our offense coordinator) calling the shots on offense, and we will continue to stay up on the right upside of the hill. The second game against the 49ers, we were in the midst of our slump, but Marc Bulger led the Rams on a final drive to the endzone as they defeated SF 20-17. Surprise, surprise? No!
So Alex Smith had what I believe 1 touchdown pass in his rookie campaign in 2005. In 2006, he had 16. Again, whoop-de-doo-shit-little. Bulger, who missed 5-7 (or so) games in 2005 tossed 14 passes. In 2006, he had 24, actually being healthy, and while leading the league in sacks (67) because of having a line that was inexperienced and dumbed down due to injury, he only had 8 interceptions. And actually, he didn’t get picked off until Week 6 against Seattle. That’s 5 consecutive games without throwing an INT, and suffered a costly mistake in Week 6 to end that streak.
From what I keep reading, people are overrating Alex Smith. All of a sudden people forget that he’s still a young quarterback and still learning. Following his Rookie Campaign in 2005, the Niners added Norv Turner to their staff. He had a brilliant mind in terms of coaching QBs. Look what happened to Sir Alex. Now he’s going to be coaching the Chargers at lead man. Alex Smith, again, is without a guy like him. Could he struggle? You know what, I don’t think so because the Niners offense is pretty good; just not as good as the Rams, the Seahawks, or the Cardinals. He’s a good quaterback who’s developing poise. But he still has a lot of work to learn and he’s not a leader. It takes a driven-out leader to win this division and he’s not the guy to do it just yet. He still needs to learn how to play consistently. This could be the season he does it, but the Niners need more defense to do it.
How do expect the 49ers to stop the Seahawks offense? They received Darrell Jackson in a trade back in the draft, and that could prove to hurt Seattle. But the fact of the matter is, the Seahawks have Deion Branch, Nate Burleson, Bobby Engram, and a good slot receiver in D.J. Hackett. While the Niners have Ashley Lelie, newly-acquired Darrell Jackson (as just mentioned), and.. Arnaz Battle. (Who?) Yeah, we all know the Seahawks win that match up; but neither team can compare to the Rams’ Torry Holt (could-be-HOF’er), Isaac Bruce (future HOF’er), 6’5″ Drew Bennett, or Dante Hall. (who we’ll rarely use at WR anyway.) We also have two tight ends who can catch with 6’5″ Joe Klopfenstein and newly acquired Randy McMichael.
Some people like to go out and question the Rams age. It’s funny. What’s so old about them? Isaac Bruce is 33, Torry Holt is 31. Yet both of those guys got over 1000 yards last year; and Holt had a pretty terrible year due to this new system. But they still got their due and Bruce shown he can still play. With them getting use to the coaching staff and the plays, don’t expect a slowdown since in the final weeks of the last season shown that they are going to continue to play well barring injuries.
Now I’ve completely ignored Arizona. I don’t want to get into their situation because they are still going to finish in the mid pack of the NFC West, and aren’t making the playoffs. I’m tired of typing, and I’m damn-sure tired of proving to people why they are going to miss the playoffs again and once more disappoint people. I type and run myself to death 24/7 when people type in things I disagree with. I love writing, and I’ll keep writing/typing until my point comes across. But I’m not getting into them right now. You wrote “SF will win the NFC West” and I’m going to be the devil’s advocate here (as I’ve not been enough.) I’m getting sick of the crazy predictions. 1-2 of the West will be the Rams and the Seahawks. I’ll further my reasonings with the Rams vs. Seahawks vs. 49ers.
Quarterbacks: So you have Marc Bulger, Matt Hasselbeck, and Alex Smith. Bulger, entering his 7th year in the league, proved he could stay healthy this past season. He tossed the pigskin for over 4300+ yards last season as this team was even more balanced than before by running the ball. He led the league in sacks due to an injured and banged up offensive line that was forced to use Rookies. He threw 24 touchdown passes, and only 8 interceptions. Hasselbeck, who was nagged with injuries last season, is still one of the best in the league. I don’t care what you say. I’m a Rams fan and I’m saying this. (I’m a realist.) He’s underrated, and gets the job done. Last year, being bothered by injuries, wasn’t his best season. He’s shown accuracy, and could have been even better in the past if it wasn’t for receivers dropping balls (04-05 NFL season; if you remember), or going out and saying “We’re going to take the ball, and we’re gonna score” boneheaded things. Let that be a lesson to the man I’m talking about next. Alex Smith came right out of Utah in 2005 becoming the first pick in the NFL Draft that year. His first year was a bit of disappointment, and so was the 49ers team. He only threw 1 TD pass (like I mentioned) in his first season, and had 11 INT. But he came off at the end of the season completing more passes. He threw 16 in 2006, but also matched that total with 16 interceptions. He needs to work on his accuracy and leadership ability if he wants to lead the 49ers to an NFC West division title. He doesn’t have that yet, and will only improve this year.
Runningbacks: Now there’s Steven Jackson, Shaun Alexander, and Frank Gore. I’m not going to bust the door down and tell everyone to put their hands behind their head and reassure to them that they have the right to remain silent with statistics over the past couple of seasons. But look here, if you watched more than 3 Rams games last season, you would understand the following: Steven Jackson. He’s a beast. But before I get to that, I want to ramble on and make you continue to read this garbage I’m writing because I’m still trying to prove a point that you still will probably ignore just like the rest of the people on this site will probably ignore. Shaun Alexander won the MVP a couple of seasons ago. In 2005-2006 to be exact; the Seahawks Super Bowl appearance season. He even broke the single season TD record. I guess that comes off as a surprise to many who forgot since LaDainian Tomlinson broke it this past season. However, Alexander suffered what is called the “Madden curse.” Wait, let me re-phrase that to something for the old folks reading this to what I’m writing to you. Alexander suffered an injury to his leg, I believe? I’m no medical student so I’m not going to reiterate what the hell happened to him exactly. When he got back, he pulled a Trent Green and played passive. He shown signs and flashes of greatness, but still failed to live up to the 2005-2006 Shaun Alexander. He was slowed down from the injury, and never rehabilitated himself to what he was the season before. However, he will be back this season if he can avoid that hard hit. Onto Frank Gore, he will be entering his third season in the league. He’s one hell of a runner; he’s quick and hard to tackle. Defenders have to hate this guy. He can not only run, but receiver the ball. However, he’s no Steven Jackson. And getting on to the point, Jackson learned from one of the best ever — Marshall Faulk. Steven Jackson is one of the most powerful runners in the league. He can go at defenders quick and knock the shit out of them, or he can use his “dancing moves” and shake them off. Last season, against the Wasington Redskins, he completely OWNED Sean Taylor. And I mean, owned. He scored on a 64 yard TD reception early on in the game. And again, in overtime, on the game winning, he stiff-armed the shit out of Taylor right on the way to the endzone. He left ST21 shivering from that play, and no doubt about it. Defenders are scared of Jackson in every way possible. When they see that #39 guy running right at them with his visor, his hair flying in the air, full force, they are scared. Very scared. And rightfully so. A couple of years ago, a former 49ers player, Mike Rumph (who the Rams just signed to their practice squad), tried to tackle Steven Jackson with one arm high, and another low. Jackson pushed him off and completely broke the guy’s arm. That was Larry Csonska (sp?) style. And to think, Steven “Action” Jackson is still underrated. While the Rams had a banged up line, and with defenders coming at Jackson left and right with the limited blocking that was given up front for him, he carried defenders on his back for yards and shown the beast he is. Face it, he’s the 2nd best running back in the league at this moment depending on what Shaun Alexander and Larry Johnson can do this upcoming season. Frank Gore? Eh, he’s the better pure runner than Jackson, but not the better football player in complete standards. Now the Rams have Brian Leonard; this could be a deadly combo in split backs this upcoming year. Watch out.
Receivers: I’ve already mentioned this. So this paragraph won’t be as long as the previous two. I don’t see how the Rams couldn’t win out on this one. I’m not talking just Wide Outs, I’m talking Tight Ends. We’ll include them in the mix as you compare these 3 team’s best receivers. Rams: Holt, Bruce, Bennett, Hall, McMichael, Klopfenstein, and Jackson (who caught 90 passes last season). Seahawks: Branch, Engram, Burleson, Hackett, and Pollard. 49ers: Lelie, Jackson, Battle, Davis, and Gore? Rams win out the overall situation here. There’s no way they wouldn’t. I’m not going to elaborate. It’s obvious, the Rams are wannabes of their own creation here. Wannabes of the 1999-2001; 2004 Greatest Show on Turf St. Louis Rams. But they aren’t. No team will ever match up enough. But the Rams do win out the receivers.
Overall Defense: The Rams shouldn’t even be included here. We are terrible. Flat out. If we had at least a decent defense, we would have done something last year. Re-phrasing my sentence better, if we had a defense that could have stopped the Seahawks on those last drives last year, we would have made the playoffs with a 10-6 record. But we didn’t, and we lost to the Seahawks two times in the same 2-point-loss scenario. I get it now. The Seahawks have the best defense in the NFC West. They lost Hamlin. So what? Their linebackers core isn’t one to fuck with, with Leroy Hill, Julian Peterson, and of course the beast that is Lofa Tatupu. They added Patrick Kerney last year so their defensive line is even more improved now from what it was. Their secondary isn’t great (just like the 49ers. There, I don’t have to mention that in my Niners segment so pay close attention to this) but Michael Boulware sure does add a little spice to the cajun salad they got going on. And Marcus Trufant is a tough guy. He plays with aggression and with fire. Stop putting the Rams and Seahawks under the bus! The 49ers defense is better than the Rams, but not better than the Seahawks. Nate Clements and Walt Harris at their top corners. That’s great. Fine and dandy. That’s damn good. Yeah, keep going. Wait, I can’t. How are they alone going to stop the Rams passing attack, or their rushing attack. How is that even going to stop the Cardinals (Sorry, I had to mention them) or even the Seahawks? It’s not going to do it. Keith Lewis is their starting Free Safety. Who in the Aaron-Brooks-hell is that?! Some guy from Oregon, 6th round, 30-something pick of the 2004 NFL Draft. Get out of here. I don’t even need to mention the Rams. We couldn’t tackle anyone last season. And I even bet John Madden could have at least racked up 80 yards on the ground against us. Our pass defense was alright. We had holes. Namely Jerametrius Butler and Travis Fisher. Our top two liabilities. We got rid of both of them as well. Butler came back from an injury and was never the same as he use to be. Fisher was never ever that good and never knew when to fly and accelerate to receivers to make plays. He was slow at turning the corner and couldn’t jump and defender. Can you say “over the top”?
Anyway, I’m done. I’m done ranting. I’m done ranting. I’m done ranting. And I’m done ranting. I just rushed this and smacked it together like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This isn’t meant to be an article for my blog but I’m posting it up anyway. I’m tired of reading from people that they think the Niners are going to win the NFC West even though they haven’t even shown the pieces to the puzzle yet. “But they haven’t gotten a chance!” Of course they have, they had their chance to do it last season but screwed up. They added Nate Clements and Tully Banta-Cain over the season. The Rams added much more to that, and didn’t fuck up by giving someone $80 million. I’m sure you didn’t watch too many Rams games last season, and I’m not surprised. I watched all 16 regular season games, so I know my team. I watched a lot of games on Sundays this past season studied many teams. Don’t get your hopes up. Change now. The 49ers will not win the NFC West. The Rams and the Seahawks still own the NFC West. It doesn’t matter who the 49ers brought in, again I’m saying this. The Rams have brought in more, and if the Seahawks can stay healthy, they could win the division AGAIN. My money is on my Rams to win the division. I’ve carefully explained why. No, again, I’m changing my mind. I haven’t carefully explained why. I’ve just wrote a long ass post proving to why the Niners aren’t going to do jack shit in terms of winning the division crown, and I’m tired of typing. Have a nice day, and if it took you a long time to read this, then good. Take a moment and soak it all in. And remember, the 49ers are not going to win the NFC West. And remember, the 49ers still have problems. And remember, this post was written pretty poorly, probably. And remember, I didn’t have a lot of time. But most importantly, sit back and soothe in this — I’m bored so I wrote this post. I’m a Rams fan so I defend them consistently and excessively. I can’t help but do it. Every time I see a statement where someone is belittling the Rams, I get angry. When someone belittles them but adds credit in some form, I can accept because they’re doing it in a way that’s reasonable to me. In a way that’s saying “Hey, their defense was bad, but they added piece to the puzzle in the off-season.”
The Rams are the dark horse in the NFC West. No one is looking at them, nor giving them credit. I’m probably one of the only people who watched more than 1 game (Monday Night Football) of the Rams this past season. They aren’t a great team, not even a good team yet. There’s a still a season to come and let this be a lesson to many that being under the radar is a good way to start a season and a way to end it. The hype only hurts a team and it will hurt the 49ers. Again saying, if the 49ers WIN the NFC West, and only if they win it, you can come back and find this post, and trash me as bad as you want. I’m welcoming you to it. I want lose any respect for any of you doing so because I’ve shown a glide of hospitality in welcoming you to process the action. Don’t feel like you’ve offended me, because really you won’t be going to. Because why? The 49ers aren’t winning the NFC West this season! Case closed. I’m ending this rant by continuing to type. Have a nice day.