4 Keys to victory: Niners VS Seahawks Round 2

By Niner Faithful

After having their bye week last week the Niners are playing the Seattle Seahawks for the last time this year. The Niners last played in Seattle Week 2 of this year losing 12-9 on a heat braking 4th quarter TD pass by Russell Wilson. This will be the 39th meeting between the two teams with Seattle holding a 23-15 advantage in the series (and has won every game at Levis Stadium). Here are 4 keys that will go a long way in reversing that trend and will be the first time we won back to back games since 2014


  1. Take down Russell Wilson

The Niners sacked Wilson 3 times in week 2. The Niners pass rush is going to get Tank Carradine (who last played vs Seattle and had a sack) and Solomon Thomas back but we all know pressure isn’t enough when you’re playing Wilson. He has the ability to extend plays with legs till a receiver gets open or if no one is open to take off and run (see any Niners Seahawks games since 2012). Seattle’s O line is considered to be the weakest position group on the team so we should be able to get to Wilson. It’s just going to be a matter of bring him down and not letting him extend plays.


  1. Keep CJ Beathard clean

Two weeks ago against The Niners allowed no sacks and Beathard was hit just twice the result was 288 yards passing and 3 TDs by Beathard (one rushing). Seattle’s secondary is devastated by injuries they are without out Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor. If the Niners want to take advantage of this they must protect C.J.


  1. Run the Football

3 of Carlos Hyde’s 4 100 yard rushing games are against Seattle. In week 2 he had 124 yards on only 15 carries and Matt Breida added 35 yards on only 4 carries. The Niners must keep the game close so we can wear down Seattle and keep their offense off the field. After gaining 186 yards on the ground against the Giants you can bet this week’s game plan is going to feature a lot of # 28 and # 22

  1. No turnovers

The Niners have turned the ball over at least two times in each of the past 4 games. Two of them have been defensive scores (that’s not including the 2 that Goodwin has stopped). Sunday’s game is likely to be close. In close games a lot of the time the deciding factor can be a late turnover. And I would hate for us to play our hearts out and lose on something stupid like that.


I will be going to the game on Sunday and I’m ready for the Niners to avenge the Thanksgiving game in 2014. That was my first game at Levis and the first time I went to a game and we lost. I hate Seattle almost as much as any other team. So here’s to the Niners snapping our losing streak to them at 8


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Building a Champion: Are we going in the right direction

By Niner Faithful

We are 10 games into the 2017 season that means 6 more games remain. We have the same record that we had at this point last year although the vibe this year is a lot different. At this point last year we had just been defeated at home 30-17 by the Patriots and were in a tailspin and would lose another 4 games before winning another game. It was the day that Eddie was recognized at halftime for being inducted in to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame. As our 5 Lombardi’s were being paraded around a half empty stadium you realized how far we had fallen. And to think that wasn’t the low point of the season (that came 3 weeks later when we blew a 14 point lead to the Jets). With planes flying over Levis and the Niners losing game after game it was clear that changes had to be made not just to the roster but the front office and coaching staff as well. Enter John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan. Building the Niners back into the standard-bearer in all sports isn’t going to be an overnight job we all know that. But that’s not to say that there shouldn’t be improvement in year one. Which makes one ask are we seeing reasons to believe that the building blocks are being put into place right now, not just the team but the coaching staff and front office?

John Lynch is in his first year as the Niners GM but has not been afraid to bring in people with more experience than him or give other people credit for their roles in getting things done (just look at how he went out of his way to give Paraag Marathe the credit for the draft day trade with the Bears). That’s a big difference from Baalke’s paranoia and unhealthy need to control and get credit for everything. One thing has been clear with the Niners new GM is he is not scared of embracing our storied past. He has said on many occasions he wants to bring back any alumni and has backed it up bring Jerry and Steve to practice this year (even letting Jerry run some routes). He has also shown he is a man of action who’s not scared to make changes. Not just with the roster turnover in the offseason but also with the moves he has made in season. We still have to see if he has the ability to pick players its way too early to see if he can. But you can start to see players signed this year show that they can play some football. Your starting to see some players drafted this year start to grow. That’s why I feel safe in saying he’s a defiantly an upgrade from Trent Baalke.

There is no doubt that when the Niners hired Kyle Shanahan they were hiring the best offensive minded coach in the game. He comes for a football family and has grown up around the game his whole life. The Falcons offense was ranked number 1 in almost every offensive category last year and set NFL records on their way to the Super Bowl (although we all know how that turned out). There were some questions on whether or not Kyle could handle being both head coach and offensive coordinator. For the record I am of the belief that Shanahan was hired because of he’s ability to call plays and set up a game plan. I feel that if he took himself out of that role he would be taking away one of his best skill sets. All you have to do is watch a Niners game and see that Shanahan hasn’t lost the ability to scheme an offense. Players are open a lot. If you take that and Shanahan’s track record into account there is no reason to think his isn’t an upgrade over the last two coaches of the Red and Gold.

The priority this offseason was to fix our historically bad run defense and for the most part it’s been job well done. You can say that Lynch and Shanahan miscalculated one thing how bad this offense was going to be. I think they over estimated Shanahan’s ability to scheme up the offense and that got us into the mess we have gone through this years. But one thing you can say about the men in charge of bring us back they will not wait to fix issues. I have full confidence that this coming up offseason we will address the needs on the offence and then the fun will really began. By no means are we there yet we still have some work to be done but for the first time in a long time we can finally say the Niners are heading in the right direction.
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4 Keys to victory: Niners VS Giants

By Niner Faithful

This week the Niners face off against long time playoff rival the New York Giants at Levis Stadium. Since 1982 the Niners and Giants have faced off more times in the playoffs than any other team in that time span. The Giants lead the regular season series 20-19 but in the playoffs the series is tied 4-4. Over the years some of the most memorable games in Niners history have been against the Giants. Who could forget The Comeback in 02, Ricky Watters running for an NFL playoff record 5 touchdowns in 93, the heartbreak in 2011 or Roger Craig’s fumble in 91 to end our shot at a 3 peat. Although both teams are in the middle of disappointing seasons Niners Giants games are for the most part always entertaining. With that being said here is this weeks 4 key to victory.

  1. Run the Football

The Niners are 24th in the league in rushing yards and 29th in rush attempts. Last week they only ran the ball 21 times despite having a young QB in C.J. Beathard and a patchwork offensive line that was without Joe Staley. The Giants are tied for 28th in the league in rush defense giving up 125.9 yards a game. This maybe the Niners best shot so far this year at getting the running game going. I expect to see a lot of Carlos Hyde and Matt Breida.


  1. Protect C.J.

Just last week alone Beathard was hit 16 times and sacked 5 times. That just cannot continue if the Niners want to keep him healthy and give Jimmy Garoppolo the time he needs to learn the playbook. No one will ever question Beathard toughness but there is only some much punishment the human body can take before it breaks down.


  1. Stay healthy

The Niners have 21 players on season ending IR after placing safety Jaquiski Tartt, Tight End Cole Hikutini and O linemen Gary Gilliam on IR this week. The Niners are also going to be without Tight End Gorge Kittle, Tackle Joe Staley and Trent Taylor this week. Just from a pure numbers stand point the Niners can’t afford to lose any more players. The good news is the bye week is coming up so some of the players that are hurt but not on IR should come back after the bye.

  1. Cut out negative plays

To many times this year we have seen the Niners seem to have some momentum only to have it killed by a stupid penalty, a dropped pass a running play that loses yards or a turnover. The Niners don’t have the talent to overcome self-inflicted  wounds like this. If the Niners want to win this or any other game this year we must stop this trend on both offense and defense.

The Giants are 1-7 and have packed it in for the year. They have to fly across country after destroyed last week by the Rams. I feel that this maybe our best chance all year to get our first win. GO NINERS!!!!!

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4 Key To Victory: Niners VS Cardinals Round 2

By Niner Faithful
This week the Niners kick off the second half of the season at home vs The Arizona Cardinals for second time this year. The Niners suffered a heart breaking loss early this year in Arizona falling 18-15 on a walk off TD by Larry Fitzgerald in overtime. Although the Niners have lost 5 straight to Arizona since 2015, we do lead the all-time series 29-23. A lot has changed for both teams since their week 4 meeting. The Niners made a blockbuster trade this week for Jimmy Garoppolo and although he will not start he is going to be active on Sunday so is only one hit away from taking snaps. Drew Stanton is staring for the Cardinals after Carson Palmer broke his arm 2 weeks ago. This should be a good game Drew Stanton came to Levis last year and beat us in the “we want Kap game”. The Niners have their own injury problems with Jimmy Ward going on IR and are going to be without Joe Staley. With all that said I believe this should be a good game here are this weeks 4 Keys to victory.
1. Keep Larry Fitzgerald in check
Larry Fitzgerald was held in check in the week 4 meeting until overtime. And as the great ones always seem to do he came through when it matters most. The Niners number 1 priority this week is to keep #11 out of the end zone no matter when it is.

2. Get off the field on 3rd down
The Niners Defense has been dreadful on 3rd down all season long. They rank dead last in the league in getting off the field on third down. Some off the issues should be taken care of by trading Rashard Robinson for a 5th round pick. We have played second most snaps on defense in the league most of that is because we can’t get off the field. It’s simple if we get off the field on 3rd we will be fresher to make the plays at the end of the game.

3. More Pressure
The Niners harassed Carson Palmer all game long earlier this season. And did a good job last week getting 3 sacks. Although Drew Stanton is more mobile than Carson Palmer and we will be without Salome Thomas this week we must find a way to continue to get after the QB.

4. Protect C.J.
The Niners got hit hard with the injury but last week but the hardest hit was the o line. After starting the game without starting right tackle Trent Brown we lost Joe Staley in the second quarter. We were one snap away from having to put a tight end as our tackle. Jimmy Garoppolo is not ready to play so protecting C.J. Beathard is important for not only winning the game but also to avoid having to put Jimmy G out there with a subject O line and before he’s ready.

This game is far from a sure thing but after being so close in our first meeting I find it hard to believe there is no way we can get our first W of the year at home. GO NINERS!!!!!
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Trade for Jimmy Garoppolo sends clear message to the Empire

By Niner Faithful

Kyle Shanahan had just ended his Monday afternoon press conference when Adam Schefter broke the news – The Niners traded their 2nd round pick in 2018 to New England for backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo – With the move, the Niners did more than upgrade their roster at the most important position, they sent a clear message to not only the Niner Empire but to the rest of the NFL we are not going to accept losing! The trade apparently only took a few hours to go down (although John Lynch said that they had attempted talks with New England before the draft this year but were immediately shot down), but its impact may be felt for years to come. John Lynch is definitely not Trent Baalke. This move took guts but let’s not pretend that there is no risk to this trade. Garoppolo has only appeared in 17 games with 2 starts over four years and the pick is going to be a high 2nd, most likely top 5 of the round, and Garoppolo is a pending free agent next year, but the move had to be made. It shows that the new regime will not stand pat while we are 0-8. The last 8 games have proven that the answer at QB is not on the roster, so instead of doing the Trent Baalke thing and waiting till the draft, John Lynch was presented with an opportunity to upgrade the roster and took it. Changing the culture has been the buzz words thrown around by different people in the organization but this time I think it’s really happening. Not just this trade but the trade of Rashard Robinson to the Jets for what is rumored to be a 5th rounder. Robinson was a penalty machine this year and after getting benched and still getting two penalties on special teams it was clear the team was ready to move on and is using him as an example. If you don’t play up to the standards set by this staff you are expendable. So now here we are half way through year 1 of Shanahan and Lynch and the team is starting to take shape, however, there is much more work to be done. In the introductory press conference of Jimmy Garoppolo Shanahan came out and said the Niners believe that Jimmy is the QB of the future they didn’t say what the plan is for a new long term contract but they didn’t rule out using the franchise tag next year. There is time for all of that later the main goal is to see what we got in our new QB. The thought is that he should start in week 12 at home against the Seahawks. That would give him six games to show what he’s got. It’s not the best amount to evaluate him but enough time to see if we have something. It may be nothing and  this could blow up in our faces but one thing is clear this isn’t Trent Baalke’s Niners they are doing anything and everything to turn this around and that alone is enough to give us hope.