The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners

The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners
A review and commentary on the history & lastest events surrounding the 17 time NFC Western Division & 5 -Time World Champion San Francisco 49ers. From 1946 and the All America Football Conference to 2009 and the road to a 6th Super Bowl title - For true fans of the scarlet and gold! Enjoy!

Monday, August 27, 2007

10 Things Not To Be Surprised About This Year - Part 2

Here's Part 2 of my reference list of 10 things you will see by season's end this year in the NFL. Five items pertaining to the league in general, and five that are specifically predictions to do with the Niners. These are in no particular order.

League (3.) Carson Palmer will be the NFL MVP in 2007

The last couple of years have been up and down for the Bengals, on one hand with off-field player issues, and on the other with growing pains associated with getting used to winning. One thing that has been a constant has been the continued growth and success by the Bengals offense and in particular, Carson Palmer. The 2003 first overall pick has not disappointed since taking over the reigns and has put to rest the Bengals former futility at drafting a franchise QB. Palmer has the aid of a first tier running back in Rudi Johnson and one of the better receiving duos in the league in T.J. "Whosyourmama" and Chad Johnson. While the last 3 years have seen a steady growth for Palmer as he refines his craft, 2007 should prove to be a breakthrough year for the Bengals, and for Palmer, and that attention on the improved record will put awards attention squarely on Palmer.

Niners (3.) Frank Gore will challenge for 2,000 yards

With a new contract in his back pocket and the same drive and determination as before to prove his worth, Gore will take aim on the 2,000 yard mark. He has stated publicly that Eric Dickerson's 2,105 mark in 1984 is a personal goal and now running behind an improved "o" line, he may just have a chance. Gore managed to crank out nearly 1,700 yards behind a piecemeal line, so the improved blocking can only help. Coach Nolan has stated that he doesn't want to see Gore's total touches rise over last year, however when Alex Smith and the passing game starts to struggle (and we all know it will!), it will be hard not to hand the ball to number 21. Provided he stays healthy, Gore should be in the hunt for 2,000 at season's end, or at least the rushing title. He has to be, because if he's not, the Niners will have no shot at the playoffs.

League (4.) Vikings will be drafting first overall next year

I'm still scratching my head as to why the Vikings would draft Adrian Peterson. I'm not saying they didn't get a potentially great player, but the point is, they didn't need a running back. In free-agency before last year they went out and got Jamal Lewis' Baltimore back-up, Chester Taylor, who came in and all he did was rush for 1,200 yards. Then, letting veteran/potential mentor Brad Johnson walk in the off-season, they decided that young Tavaras Jackson was the future. Ok... but how about making that call after you see the kid start more than 2 games. With the 7th pick in the draft, they passed on several potentially promising QB prospects in Kevin Kolb, Trent Edwards, John Beck and of course, Brady Quinn. They must really see something in Jackson and that's great, however, to not hedge your bets at least with a veteran to back him up is stupid. Brooks Bollinger and Drew Henson are not alternatives, no matter what they think. Minnesota can't say there weren't veterans QBs out there. Just look at Tampa Bay. If Jackson falters, and the running game can't bail him out, that defense can't hold them in all 16 games by themselves. Expect the Vikings to be on the clock come April.

Niners (4.) Trent Dilfer will see significant playing time this year

With the improvements the 49ers have made on both sides of the ball, the number of reasons for why Alex Smith better get the job done or else is growing. Coming into this season, there was parts missing, for sure. He needed receivers - they went out and got him 4. He needed line help - they traded up to get a first round tackle. The defense didn't help keep them in games - they went out and acquired 5 new starters on "D". All of this points to one thing. If Smith doesn't improve and is the short coming on a team that should be competitive and at least in every game, I expect Mike Nolan's patience to be about as short as his job security will be if the Niners don't take another decent step forward this year. Smith needs to win a couple games by himself this year , (as he has done only once really - in Seattle last December) ,to affirm the confidence of Nolan, and fans who are still not sure what to make of this kid. If Smith proves to be the reason for Niner losses, at least after the first 3 or 4 games, I expect Nolan to turn to the ultimate "game manager" , Super Bowl xxxv winning QB Trent Dilfer, who has looked relatively sharp and effective in preseason.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is only one way that Alex Smith would give way to Trent Dilfer this year and that is to perform as he did in year one of his career. There is no way Smith will have any less impact than he did last year. You are definitely not very optimistic but I guess that keeps people reading your blogs.

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