Rise of the Empire: 8 Notes from the 2018 Schedule

By Niner Faithful


After months of anticipation and “leaks”, the Niners 2018 schedule came out Thursday night. The Niners will have 5 primetime games. 2 Monday night games Week 6 @ Green Bay and Week 10 against the New York Giants. 2 Sunday night games Week 13 @ Seattle and Week 7 against the Yams. And the last one the home game I’m looking forward to the most week 9 Thursday night against the Raiders. This week I thought I’d go over something’s that is interesting about our schedule.


  1. Each of our 4 Biggest Free Agents play their former team.


Jerick McKinnon, Weston Richburgh, Richard Shermen, Jermah Attaochu and Korey Toomer all play their former teams this year. The first to do it is Jerick McKinnon in week 1 against the Vikings. Then Jermah Attaochu and Korey Toomer play the Chargers in week 4.Weston Richburg plays the Giants at Levis in week 10. And the last to do it is Richard Shermen when we play the Seacocks in weeks 13 and 15. Kyle Shanahan likes to make players who have connections to a city a team captain for that week. So look for these players to be captains for those games.


  1. The Niners leave the west coast only once after week 6

One of the benefits of having a road-heavy schedule the first 6 games of the season (4 of our first 6 games are on the road). After our Monday Night Football game at Lambeau Field, the only time the Niners leave the west coast is to play the Bucs in Tampa Bay in week 12. 6 of our last 10 games are at home and 2 of the 4 remaining road games are in LA. The Niners only leave California twice after week 8 (Tampa Bay and Seattle). And we don’t leave Pacific Time zone after Tampa Bay. The last time the Niners didn’t leave the Pacific time zone in the month of December was 2014. Since we play a lot of home games in December this would be the perfect year to start winning at Levis.


  1. The Niners open the season on the road for the first time since 2014


The Niners open the 2018 season at US Bank Stadium in Minnesota. It’s the first time the Niners have opened on the road since 2014 when we beat the Cry Girls 28-17 (it was P Wills last game 😦 )The Niners play 3 of our first 4 games on the road for the first time since 2012.


  1. The Niners have 2 bye weeks…..Sort of


For the second year in a row, the Niners will have their bye week in week 11. We play the Raiders Thursday, November 1st at Levis and don’t play again till we play the Giants Monday Night November 12th at Levis.  Add that to our week 11 bye and we got 11 days between the Raiders and Giants game and 13 days between the Giants game and the Bucs game. The schedule makers didn’t do the Niners any favors in the early part of the season but, it does make the latter part of the year less of a grind.


  1. Niners are the only team with 5 prime time games with a losing record


For the first time since 2014, the Niners will have 5 prime time games on the schedule and 3 prime time games at Levis. Monday night at Green Bay week 6, Sunday Night vs. the Yams week 7, Thursday Night vs. the Raiders week 9, Monday Night vs. the Giants week 10, and the last one of the year is Sunday Night at Seattle week 13. The Niners have an 8 game winning streak on Monday Night Football a franchise record.


  1. The Niners are the only team with 5 prime time games with a losing record


The Niners and 9 other teams (Cowboys, Packers, Chiefs, Rams, Patriots, Saints, Eagles, Steelers, Seahawks) were given the 5 game maximum allowed at the time of the schedule release (this is because the NFL can flex games into prime time and some teams may have more than 5). Out of all ten teams, the Niners are the only ones that had a losing record in 2017. Think that has to do with Jimmy G Cool much?


  1. Detroit and Oakland will be making their first trips to Levis


Denver will play its first regular-season game at Levis this year but they played the first-ever preseason game at Levis ever in 2014. The Lions and Raiders come to Levis for the first (and for the Raiders only) time this year. After this season the only teams left that have not played a regular season game at Levis are all from the AFC Miami, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Houston (although they have been to Levis for a preseason game) and Indianapolis. Unless we play these teams in the preseason we’ll play Pittsburgh and Cleveland in 2019. Miami and Buffalo in 2020 and Houston and Indianapolis in 2021.


  1. The Niners only play 3 playoff teams


Another break that the Niners will benefit from is the way the NFL schedule is set up. You play a Non-Conference Division, a Division in your conference and 2 teams that finish in the same place as you in your Division. Besides the normal 6 games within your division. Because of this the Niners only have 4 games against playoff teams this year. Week 1 in Minnesota, Week 3 in Kansas City, and Week 7 vs. the Yams and Week 17 in LA. Also, the Niners play 6 games against teams with sub .500 records last year (Denver, Oakland, New York, Green Bay, Chicago, and Tampa Bay). Little things like this can sometimes be the difference between finishing 6-10 and 12-4. 


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Jed York Deserves credit where credit is due

Jed York has received his fair share if criticism since the decision to fire Jim Harbaugh hire Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly but for mostly for the his loyalty to Trent Baalke after it was clear that he was not getting the job done. We all know about the planes that flew over Levis, the websites that were stared to get him fired and all of that. Now let me be clear I was just as hard on Jed as anyone but I knew Denise York wasn’t going to fire her baby boy. I said he needed to put his ego aside and hire someone to make football diction’s and then get the hell out of the way and do what he does best sign the checks. Then last off-season Jed did two things no one thought he could do. He kept the Niners interviewing John Lynch a secret and most importantly made the right decisions in hiring the Niners new GM and Head Coach. Not everything was perfect in year one of the Lynchahan era (yes I really just said Lynchahan). The Niners started off 0-9 the worst start in 71 years of football, but as we all know everything changed Oct 30th 2017 when Bill Belichick texted Kyle Shanahan to see if the Niners were interested in trading our 2nd round pick for Jimmy G Cool. As I have said many times Trent Balkke doesn’t make that trade. There is no 5 game winning streak and who knows who our QB would be. Now John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan will get all the credit for turning around this proud franchise and rightfully so. Now I am not saying Jed is perfect. I’m not saying he’s no longer a spoiled brat. I know he’ll still make mistakes as all but Jesus have. But the faithful need to stand up and give a round of applause to Jed for finally doing what needed to be done not just in hiring Lynchahan but in firing (albeit 3 seasons too late) Balkke and basically saying I messed up but I’m going to fix this.

Jimmy G Cool: Signed, Sealed, Delivered

By Niner Faithful

Jimmy G Cool is a Niner for the next 5 years!!!!! He’s not being traded, he’s not going back to New England or any other of the nonsense we have heard since basically he was traded here. And all parties involved deserve all the credit in the world for getting this not only done but done so fast. This could have gotten ugly, especially since Jimmy held all the cards. He could have made the Niners use the franchise tag and waited until the last minute to sign just to squeeze every last penny out of the Niners, but he didn’t. The Niners could have listened to all the outside noise on how he only started 7 games or my personal favorite we should trade him and sign Kirk Cousins, but they didn’t. So how did this deal get done so fast? The answer is quite simple; both sides wanted this deal to happen. John Lynch said on many occasions it was the Niners intent to make Jimmy “A Niner for a long long time”. Now while I personally never heard Jimmy say “I want to be a Niner for a long long time” However, he did talk to John Lynch right before he left to start the offseason and according to John Lynch, he felt comfortable where Jimmy stood. At the press conference he did finally something pretty close “this is where I want to be honestly” but you can expect someone who just became a millionaire to say that. Now I do believe that Jimmy did want to be here for many reasons “It is 75 here it’s not a snow storm like Chicago” and as I stated in one of my previous blogs Kyle Shanahan. Now, of course, Jimmy made this decision on more than great weather and his head coach. He talked about how since the day he arrived at 4949 Centennial Blvd. everyone has been welcoming to him. He talked about how at the end of the Titans game Levis was electric and although he won’t really talk about it I know he has to see the fever that has swept over the bay since he took over as the Niners starter in week 13. But he will soon come to realize the expiations that come from playing QB for this franchise if he doesn’t already. He will lose a game, he will get put on his ass, hell he might even get booed. I believe the Niners has found our quarterback for the next 10+ years I believe he will take us to the promise land but then again I could be wrong only time will tell.

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The Real G.O.A.T.: Why 4-0 will always be better than 5-3

By Niner Faithful

On Sunday, Tom Brady lost his third Super Bowl in 8 appearances. Now for some reason, some people think that a 5-3 record makes him the greatest of all time. Now we Faithful know that just isn’t true, we all know that # 16 is the real G.O.A.T.  When it came to the Big Game no one was better than Joe Cool. He was 4-0 and was MVP 3 out of 4 of the Super Bowls he played in (some might say he should have been MVP of SB 23 as well) that’s all that needs to be said to me to prove it, but since that’s not enough for all people here are 4 other reasons why #16 is still the G.O.A.T.


1. Joe never threw a pick in any Super Bowl.
Although, many people will bring up the fact that he almost through one in SB 23. To which I would say that age-old saying “almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades”. On the other hand, Tom Brady has thrown 5. Two of them could have cost the Pats the game and one of them did cost them the game.



2. Joe didn’t just beat teams he destroyed them
If you take the margin of victory in all 4 of Joe’s Super Bowl Victory’s it averages out to 18 points. Now some might say that when you destroyed a team 55-10 that brings your avenge up. And that is a true statement. But compared to Brady’s average margin of victory of 3.166666666 in 5 Super Bowl victories and anyone with a brain can see whose better. By the way, if you take away Super Bowl 24 away Joe’s average margin of victory is 9 let that sink in.



3. Joe was his best when the odds were against him
It’s Super Bowl 23 the Niners are on our own 8-yard line with 3:10 left in the game. Most people who find themselves in this situation would piss themselves. What Does Joe Cool do? He picks out John Candy sitting in the stands eating popcorn. Then takes the Niners 92 yards in 11 plays to win this 3rd Super Bowl in just 8 seasons. Besides last year’s Super Bowl can anyone name a time Brady took his team on a game-winning drive to win a championship?



4. Joe didn’t need help to win
Now before people jump down my throat about how it’s a team game and Joe had some of the great players ever on his team let me explain what I mean. Two of Brady’s Super Bowls came because of the foot of Adam Vinatieri, not to mention that if Dan Quinn and or Pete Carroll don’t make some of the dumbest coaching dictions ever made Brady only has 3 Super Bowls. And I didn’t even talk about how Joe faced better competition. Or how he won his 4 Super Bowls in just 9 seasons where it took Brady 15 seasons to win his 4 Super Bowls. To me, the G.O.A.T. means who got the Job done in the biggest games and when you have someone who had the most championships and was undefeated that makes any other point mute.



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Patience is a virtue: Will Jimmy G Cool sign long-term

By Niner Faithful
Patience is a virtue that’s a saying I am sure we have all heard before. It’s something that is hard for all of us, we want things done right here right now. It’s especially hard when we have no control of the situation. When it comes to Jimmy G Cool and whether or not he will sign a long-term contract with the Niners patience is something we must have. John Lynch has said on multiple occasions that the Niners want Jimmy to be a Niner for a long time and asked us for our patients. John Lynch also said talks between the Niners and Jimmy G cool’s agents will remain private and will not be played out in the public, so don’t expect any new to be leaked out. But even if the Niners want Jimmy G Cool to be a Niner for a long time it takes two sides to tango and from all I’ve seen and heard is he is taking a we’ll see what happens approach. So does Jimmy G Cool want to be a Niner? What are our options? And if both sides want to get this done why it is taking so long? All of these questions are valid. Some of them are answered easier than the others. I believe Jimmy G Cool wants to be a Niner. Let me rephrase that I believe Jimmy G Cool wants to play for Kyle Shanahan. I think he sees the opportunity to work with the best offensive mind in football and wants to take full advantage of it. He sees a team that finally has its shit together because make no mistake if Trent Baalke was still our GM Jimmy G Cool is on the first flight out of SJC (and let’s not kid ourselves Baalke doesn’t even make the trade to bring Jimmy G Cool here in the first place). He knows that he can have a lot of impute on how the offensive side of the ball is put together, and let’s be real we would all love if we could have a big say on who we work with. Now to answer the question of why it’s taking so long to get the deal done? That is simple money, or better yet guaranteed money. If Jimmy G Cool plays on the franchise tag the next two years he will make around $51,821,000 guaranteed. That’s a lot of money. More money than I’ll ever make in any lifetime no matter how long I live. I don’t know much about Jimmy G Cool, but I know a lot about athletes and the one thing they all have in common is a belief in themselves. I’m sure Jimmy G Cool is no different. I’m sure he is more than willing to bet that he will continue to have success in the league and remain healthy in 2018. So how can we get him signed? Well on the surface it seems like an easy question to answer just blow him away with money in his contract. Ah if it was only that easy. Jimmy G Cool’s situation is different than most. How do you value him? He’s 7-0 as an NFL starter and 5-0 with us. While that is all great and we all loved going 5-0 and shocking the NFL week after week towards the end of the season. 7 starts is a very small sample size. How do you put a value on a player who clearly is THE GUY but still protect the franchise from the cap hell that can come from mismanaging our cap? That is the one question I don’t have an answer to. There is an option besides a long-term contract. We could use the franchise tag this year. That’s one year fully guaranteed contract that would cost $23,555,000. But that only kicks the can down the road and we all have seen how that tuned out for the Redskins and Kirk Cousins. And I believe that sends the wrong message to not only the team but free agents that we want to attract to come here. In the long run, I believe John Lynch will get it done. The contract will be the most expensive in franchise history but that’s doing business in the NFL in 2018. Now how long it will take to get pen to meet paper and we got our QB for the next 10 years? Well, no one knows. Patience is a virtue remember no one said this would be fun or easy but in the long term it will be worth it.
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A storied past: My top plays in Niner history over the last 29 years


By Niner Faithful

January 22nd, 1989, I was 2 almost 3 years old. It was Super Bowl 23 and the Niners had just defeated the Bangles to win our 3rd championship in 8 seasons. But in a game I don’t even remember, it’s what happened after the game that was important to me. I got up off my grandpa’s lap walked over to the TV pointed to Jerry Rice and said the 3 words that would forever change my life. “I Like him”. This Monday it will be 29 years since that fateful day in Almaden Valley. Over the years many things have changed but the love I feel for that same football team has not. To celebrate my 29th year anniversary as a Faithful I thought we’d go over my biggest plays in Niners History over the last 29 years.

1. The Catch II

I can remember it like it was yesterday. It looked like the Whackers were going to break my heart for the fourth year in a row when Steve Young hit TO with the game-winning touchdown with 3 seconds left. It might not have been THE CATCH but it was to me. It was my first great Niner moment that I can remember. The Moment I learned that no matter what the odds are always believe in the Red and Gold.

2. The Comeback

This one isn’t a play but its still one of the greatest feelings I have ever felt in my life. Down 38-14 to the New York Giants, Jeff Garcia leads the Niners on the greatest comeback in Niners history. I remember wearing my Steve Young jersey and running and jumping around screaming we’ll see you in Tampa when Jeff hit Tai Streets for the winning touchdown. I’ll never forget the look on all the hater’s faces when I told them IDGAF we’re coming back, and then the look on their faces when I was proven right.

3. The Catch III or The Vernon Post

2011 ended in heartbreak for anyone who bleeds Red and Gold. But that doesn’t mean that it did have its great moment. This game was great. It was the back and forth heart-stopping game that made me fall in love with not only this team but all sports. I can still hear Ted Robinson’s call on KNBR when i close my eyes. It wasn’t just the fact that we won the game. It was the feeling after, the feeling of what we all thought was going to began another dynasty.

4. The Pick at the Stick

“ It is second down Ryan takes the snap throws the slant to the left side It’s wrestled INTERCEPTED THE 49ERS PICK IT AND NAVORRO BOWMAN IS REDEMPTION, ” I think Ted Robinson’s call sums it up perfectly. It was the last game at The Stick. As we all know Bo had a chance to recover an onside kick to seal a Niners win but he didn’t. As the Falcons marched down the field you just knew somehow the Niners were not going to allow The Stick to go out like that. Not the Stick, not the place where we had won 5 championships. Where so many Niner greats had played. And in very Candlestick fashion, Bo made sure it didn’t. I still to this day shed tears anytime I watch that play.

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Building a contender: Team needs for 2018

By Niner Faithful

2017 couldn’t have accomplished much more than it did. We found our franchise QB in Jimmy G Cool and the heart of our defense in Reuben Foster. As well as established we made the right hires in John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan. Now its up to John Lynch and co. to build on our success in 2017. The Niners still have holes on the roster that was apparent to anyone who watched Niners football in 2017. With a league-leading, $102,365,529 in cap room and 9 picks in this years draft the Niners to have plenty of ammo to fill said holes. This week I have decided to go over the team needs and a little breakdown of why I feel they are needs. So here they are in no particular order.

  1. Edge Rusher

The  Niners ranked 26th in the NFL in sacks in 2017 with 30. The team leader in sacks was 33-year-old Elvis Dumervil with 6.5. No other Niner had more than 3. That’s simply not going to get the job done. Add on top of that the team’s issues in the secondary and fixing this becomes priority number one in the offseason. They say the best friend to a secondary is a pass rush so by fixing this the Niners could help out our secondary as well.

  1. Cornerback

Lucky for the Niners Dontae Johnson is a free agent because he was god awful last year. Even when he would make a play and you thought he might have turned the corner, he would get burned or commit a stupid penalty. Now he wasn’t the only issue in the secondary. Rookie  Ahkello Witherspoon had his rookie moments but showed a lot more promise the more he played. The Niners ranked 22nd in the league allowing 3,943 passing yards. As stated above I believe that a better pass rush will help in 2018. They say the NFL is a rush and cover league so the Niners would still benefit from adding a solid corner opposite Witherspoon.

  1. Guard/ Center

I know that the Oline played better as the season went along and Brandon Fusco played with a partially torn bicep all season. But if I have to watch Daniel Kilgore get overpowered one more time I will grow my hair back out just so I can pull it out (although I do like him as a backup and the leadership he brings). With Fusco and  Kilgore being pending free agents and the uncertainty around Joshua Garnett it is key that the Niners get O linemen either in free agency, the draft or both.

  1. Wide Receiver

Although I like our Receiving core. I still feel we need a red zone threat on the outside. Someone with the body type that can win 50/50 balls. Niner receivers only had 7 touchdowns all year and no receiver had more than 2. Marquise Goodwin was our leading receiver in catches with 56 and was tied for the lead for touchdowns with 2. We all know Pierre Garcon is coming back but he will be turning 32 in August so who knows how much he has left in the tank. The Niners haven’t drafted a great receiver since T.O. in 1996. It’s time to find a young receiver that will be here for a long time.

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