Archive for September, 2011

25
Sep
11

Familiar Faces in New Place

The similarities between the San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals are masked only by different uniforms.  Both teams have many ties between players.  This list includes Justin Smith, Manny Lawson, Taylor Mays, Nate Clements, and Donte Whitner.

The 49ers and Bengals have ties between players that date from the 2010 NFL draft.  Where Taylor Mays, an athletic freak, was pursued by the Bengals last year as seen in this link, to only be shut down by the 49ers who swooped in to draft him ahead of the Bengals.  After a down season last year and a new coaching staff, the 49ers had decided to trade him.  ‘Shockingly’ the Cinccinati Bengals pursued a trade with the Niners and aquired him this offseason.

However, Mays is not the only defensive player acquired from the Bengals this offseason that was on the Niner’s roster last year.  In the 2011 NFL Draft, the 49ers acquired Aldon Smith, a projected outside linebacker for their 3-4 defense.  Immediately after this acquisition, it was made obvious that they had no desire to retain previous linebacker, Manny Lawson who was forecasted to test Free Agency.

Manny Lawson, was an outside linebacker, drafted #22 in the 2006 NFL draft by the San francisco 49ers, in a trade between New England and them.  High expectations were put in place for him to become the next Demarcus Ware or Terrell Suggs.  However, expectations were never met, as he only recieved 14.5 sacks over a 5 year period.  His highest sack total reached 5 in 2009 and had another down year in 2010.  This summer, Cincinnati, needing a pass rusher picked up Manny Lawson for a bargain of a deal.

Lastly, Nate Clements, The 49ers blockbuster deal cornerback, acquired in free agency in 2007 from the Buffalo Bills, is the third defensive player from the 49ers defense last year to be on Cincinnati’s roster this year.  Nate Clements signed an eight year 80 million dollar deal with the niners back in 2007, and was seen as their potential all-star secondary player.  However, like the rest of the players in this blog, he never reached expectations, often getting beat by elite Wr’s.  Rather then pay out his mega deal for an average preformance, the 49ers decided to release him this offseason.

The Bengals had lost their Pro bowl Cb to free agency and was missing a hole in the secondary.  Quickly after his release, he signed with the Bengals and is now starting for them.

Roy Williams, a Strong Safety for the Bengals last year, never met up to his expectations this previous year.  He was released back a month ago in August.  The Bengals were close on finishing a deal with up and coming star Donte Withner, who was testing Free Agency to cash in on a mega-deal.  However, last minute, although everyone including Whitner thought he’d be on the bengals, his Agent and the 49ers made a back-room deal and signed him.

As for the Offensive side of the ball, the 49ers drafted Colin Kaeprnick one spot after the Bengals drafted Andy Dalton.  Rumors have been flaring the past week saying that the 49ers actually wanted to draft Dalton but the Bengals swooped in to steal him from them.  Dalton is starting this Sunday, while Kaeprnick is backing up Alex Smith.

Here is the Preview for the Game on Sunday here—http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/09000d5d822795c2/Week-3-49ers-vs-Bengals-Preview

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18
Sep
11

49ers Win 33-17 on 9/11/2011

In a weak offensive game, the 49ers pull through to be crowned the victor.  On the 10th year anniversary of 9/11, the NFL opened its season with a classic 49ers vs. Seahawk matchup.  The rivalry grows stronger this year with 1rst year head coach Jim Harbaugh playing a head to head game vs. Seattle’s head coach Pete Carrol.  These to have had a sore attitude towards each other since there days coaching.

Although most fans were focused on seeing the Harbaugh/Carroll feud play out and to see how Qb Alex Smith in his shaky return to the 49ers, the players were actually more focused on the Offensive Linemen.  Left tackle Joe Staley explains in this link, if the Linemen go through the game with unnoticed, then they have done their job correctly.  With shaky preseason performance that gave up 12 sacks and countless of Qb hits, these front 5 players preformed exceptionally well.  In the match-up on Sunday, the 49ers gave up 0 sacks and only 1 Qb hit inside the pocket.  However, the offensive line lacked a sufficient run block throughout the game giving pro bowler Frank Gore limited rushing lanes to break free for a few yards.  Getting to their blocks at the second level was an issue for 2nd year players Mike Iupati and Anthony Davis.  Overall though, there skills at pass protection outweighed their lack of production run blocking.

The real all-star of this game has to be Ted Ginn jr.  “Teddy” Ginn returned a booming kickoff from within his endzone.  With defenders blazing down field, Ginn used their poor lane control to his advantage.  He swooped behind the first defender, broke a tackle, spun free and had a clear open lane to sprint down.  The only man to beat was the Seahawks’s kicker, which was no problem for the star kick returner and he finished with a touchdown; right after the Seahawks had just scored making the game from 19-17 to 26-17.  However Teddy was not done with his breakout plays.  The Seahawks punted on their next possession following the kick return touchdown by Ted Ginn jr.  On the punt, Ted had efficient blocking by his teammates that allowed him to break free and bring the ball back for his second return touchdown of the game.  At this point the 49ers led 33-17 giving the 49ers a much needed cushion from the Seahawks.  These two return touchdowns has now become a franchise record as well as being game clinching scores.

In Jim Harbauch’s first game as head coach, his offense produced when needed, although lacked sufficient statistics.  The defense played strong.  But the special teams were stellar.  This win was extremely important for the team’s moral with their first year head coach.  Alex Smith showed his maturity and confidence leading the offense to 5 offensive scores (4 field goals and 1 rushing touchdown).  At the end of the game, Pete Carroll and Jim Harbauch shook hands professionally and kept their conversation brief.

09
Sep
11

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