Here’s how good the 49ers looked today: I’m just rarin’ to go, ready to pour a little pinot gris, eat some aged brie and complain about everything in Ninerland that isn’t going perfectly. I never acted this way during the Mike Nolan era. No, simply a game where the team didn’t puke all over themselves was good enough to pacify us Niner fans, once the most spoiled sports-connoisseurs in America.
The 49ers are 2-0, both on the season and in their division, and it’s time to start nit-picking. C’mon, it’s a Niner tradition! They won by 13, but they could have won by 33! Hey, it sounds ridiculous, but expecting perfection from these guys made sense when they were winning Super Bowls, and in today’s NFL where teams’ fortunes cut on a dime like Jahvid Best, the 49ers have as much of a chance as anybody, don’t they?
First off, no complaints about these areas:
2. Special Teams
3. Running Backs
4. Tight Ends
These groups look as good as they have in years. No worries here. And since that’s a good percentage of the team, the 49ers seem to be in pretty good shape. Still, winning in Minnesota is a mere pipe dream if they miss as many tackles on Adrian Peterson next week as they did today when Justin Forsett had the ball, or if they can’t find another wide receiver to throw to besides Isaac Bruce.
Ah, whatever. There’s no point in going into full white-wine-sipper mode until the 49ers start 4-0 (which they used to do pretty much every year — a couple decades ago). There’s no use complaining after the first 2-0 start since … well … two years ago (but, as everyone knows, the 2007 Niners were bullshit). After all, we all need something to forget the Rockies juggernaut (uggh). Fire up the credit card, kids, it’s time for BASG to buy a new Patrick Willis jersey!
Get ready for Singletary Mania
— I wish I had the ability to hire somebody to work for me, sort of like an intern for The Soup. The first task would be to comb through every sports show from now until December 31, 2009, 11:59 pm, and see who gets more camera time: Steve Sarkisian or Mike Singletary.
— For anyone who didn’t see the UW/USC game yesterday, Sarkisian led the team in one of those “Everyone gets together real close and hops up and down as if House of Pain’s “Jump” is playing” in the middle of the fourth quarter (losing his headset in the process). At that very moment, Sarkisian was so popular Seattle Police probably would have allowed him to take a speed boat across Lake Washington and take ownership of Bill Gates’ house by brute force. A house coup, if you will.
— If Isaac Bruce didn’t come back this year, would Shaun Hill just aim every single pass he threw this season at the hands of oncoming defensive linemen?
— Why did Nolan get rid of Moran Norris? Cause he wasn’t an above-average wedge guy on special teams? Now I know why Tom Rathman allows Norris to keep wearing his number. It’s really unbelievable that this team really thought it was a good idea to entrust a dreadlocked white dude from Princeton with Norris’ job last year. Norris was an absolute beast today, taking out two guys on Gore’s first touchdown and digging the 49ers out of a horrible situation near their own goalline with a Rathmanesque catch and run down the right sideline.
— The only running back I saw give more punishment today than Norris on that play was the Raiders’ Michael Bush. In the next three years, the “Who’s the better RB duo, Gore/Coffee or McFadden/Bush” debate is going to be very interesting.
— This stat is straight from Fox, but did you have any idea Gore is second to LaDainian Tomlinson in rushing yards since 2006, and Thomas Jones is No. 3?
— So, is Gore the best 3rd round pick the Niners have ever made besides Joe Montana? With that stat in mind, I say yes.
— Gore looked tremendous today, but the time it was clear the Seahawks didn’t have an answer wasn’t on either the 79-yard or 80-yard runs, but both times Hill tossed that pitch out to the left so Gore could break to the outside. Everything the beat writers said about Gore’s improved physique and speed looked dead-on today. Wow.
— Some people my girlfriend is friends with on Facebook offered up their 45-yard-line tickets to the Niners game today at noon. I declined the offer, since we’d have to drive to their place to get the tickets and wouldn’t make it into the stadium until midway through the second quarter (when I go to an NFL game and pay $30 for parking, I like to get their early…hey, if I’m going to have to wait 2 hours before I can even think of driving out of the parking lot, I might as well make a day of it). Then I found out they were going to charge us $98 — for each ticket. Face value. An hour before the game. And we’ve drank with these people on numerous occasions. No big deal since I didn’t want to go anyway, but shouldn’t there be a law against offering tickets to an NFL game an hour before kickoff on a social networking site without listing a price, then pulling a Lucy on Charlie Brown and trying to make your money back?
— Reason No. 5,819 why you shouldn’t pay attention to preseason: today’s performance by Nate Clements. That guy’s timing was unbelievable today, even with that pass interference call.
— Joe Nedney will probably be the 49ers’ kicker until he’s 45. And I’m very OK with this.
— Does anybody else think 2009 is going to be the most satisfying NFL season in recent memory? The 49ers are ascending, the Raiders look like they’ll be fun, the Patriots are the finesse team that the 49ers were charged with being in the 1980’s (who thought the Patriots’ downfall would be in large part attributable to the end of the Corey Dillon era?) and Drew Brees might make people stop talking about Brady, Mannings, Big Ben or Romo for 15 minutes. Add that to much less Tiki Barber on NBC and the fact that the NFC East is nowhere near as good as the mainstream media thought/hoped, and I can’t wait to spend every Sunday on the couch until February.
— I’d like to thank Dashon Goldson and Michael Huff today for reminding 49ers and Raiders fans that safeties actually CAN intercept passes.
— Greatest moments in today’s Niner game that weren’t breakaway touchdowns by Gore: Vernon Davis’ catch where he juked two guys and turned a 7-yard gain to a 17-yard gain in the first quarter; Patrick Willis making Matt Hasselbeck pay for stupidly diving forward near the goalline and breaking his ribs (sorry, that was dumb; he’s been injury-prone for the last three years and he’s throwing himself around like Steve Young in 1992?); anytime the ball was in Norris’ hands or not in Forsett’s hands; Eddie DeBartolo getting inducted into the Niners’ Hall of Fame; Ray McDonald using the “I’m going to hit the offensive lineman in front of me in the face repeatedly” method of pressure to rush up the middle and pick up a sack in the first quarter.
— With pretty much every football field in the world going to FieldTurf, isn’t it awesome to watch a game played at Candlestick Park? FieldTurf’s fine, but I really hope that wherever the 49ers play, they don’t go with the plastic grass and tire shavings.
— I’m excited about this season, and the amount of Mike Singletary montages we’ll view along the way. I’d complain about Josh Morgan NOT GETTING ONE LOOK FROM SHAUN HILL, NOT ONE MEASLY LOOK, but I can hardly muster up the anger. All I keep seeing is visions of Gore racing up the gut and away from the secondary. No complaints here, and definitely no white wine.