Since it’s apparent that we are all going to be subject to another week of Mike Nolan on the sidelines for the 49ers I suppose it’s time to look at the upcoming game. I really see no discernable way for San Francisco to win this game not because it’s against the defending Super Bowl champs and is in New York to boot. No, the most glaring reason I see another loss this week is because once again Nolan will prove to everyone that it’s a miracle on some Jesus Christ turning water into wine level that he still on the team payroll. I would think that since Jesus is actually playing for the team (he might actually be Judas the way he has been playing this season) that he of all people would see the need to crucify the man, perhaps having Nolan take his place as bearer of our sins. Not likely to happen though, no matter how many times he shows the world that he has no place leading a football team.
I fail to see how this is as complicated as it is… there are literally maybe five people who think Nolan should continue as head coach of the 49ers and three of them are in the man’s immediate family. I say three because at leasthalf of the six members in his household have to feel the same way that thousands of others do. Maybe the oldest daughter can get on the horn to the York’s and speak her piece about why her father should be relieved of duty as soon as possible as she is growing weary of being ridiculed by her peers.
Nolan has done his worst to keep his job and while the effort has perhaps been there it’s simply not cutting the mustard. If that was the only factor in determining which NFL head coaches kept or lost their jobs over the years then men like Rich Kotite, Ray Rhodes and Art Shell would all still be gainfully employed as head coaches in this league. Getting a A for effort so to speak isn’t something that generally happens in the NFL and in fact I can’t recall to many head coaches who were allowed to retain their jobs after posting an 16-38 record after almost four seasons in charge. Even with this record, if a firing is going to happen it most likely will not be until after the teams bye week at the earliest or after the season ends at the latest. So let’s look at this week’s matchup.
New York is a team which is highly adept at the pass rush and is tied for sixth in the league with 15 sacks on the season. They might not be as fearsome as they were last year but they are still a formidable opponent and one which should be in the 49ers backfield all day long. The key to this game is Frank Gore. I know, what else is new? One would hope that the coaches would see the Giants ranking of 12th in run defense and that they are giving up an average of almost 95 yards per game on the ground. Gore had that many yards rushing through three quarters last week against the Eagles who boast the 10th ranked run defense. If the ground game is working this week, stay with it. It’s that simple, especially if they are somehow fortunate enough to hold a lead late in the game.
On defense the 49ers have looked suspect and unable to get off the field on third down, not much has changed it would seem. I have heard the comment that this season the situation has flip-flopped, meaning that last year it was offensive woes that crippled this team and the defense which shined. This is somewhat of a misnomer in that the defense ranked 25th overall last season, the fact is that the offense was so historically bad that it made the defense seem better then it really was. This can be attributed to personnel of course however the one glaring fact is that there is talent on this roster, they just need the right schemes and coaching to bring it all together.
I suppose after last Mondays thrashing at the hands of the Browns that anything is possible and the 49ers might have a chance at winning this game. Still though, whatever chance exists, it is in all likelihood extremely minute. Hostile crowd, good team on both sides of the ball and the fact that they actually play the game to win and not to lose probably means that San Francisco will be saddled with a 2-5 record come Monday morning.
Stranger things have happened though… we’ll see.