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!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Defense Must Look Better Against The Bears

From what we have seen of the defense- the supposedly much improved defense, it's hard to judge if they will be better than the squad that gave up a league worst 412 points last year.

There hasn't been much time to check out the starters - mostly thanks to opposing teams' offenses being pulled after jobs well done - but the little amount they have played has been disappointing. Walt Harris (right, with ball), Patrick Willis, Nate Clements and the rest of the "improved on paper" defenders need to show what they are really capable of.

After Jay Cutler & Co. marched down the field for an easy score when Denver visited San Francisco, fans probably weren't too worried. It was the first series of the opening preseason game and the guys just needed to wake up and smell the pigskin. On Saturday, however, the lowly Oakland Raiders were at Bill Walsh Field and the 49ers' defense still couldn't hold it together. The unit came out solid, holding the Raiders to a total of 3 net yards on their first three drives, but that was with struggling young quarterback Andrew Walter at the helm.

Excuses that the 49ers' starting defensive line was out are valid, but that is already a position of weakness, with or without the first-stringers. The media and fans like to talk about the depth at linebacker, but in the second quarter they bit hard on the play action and couldn't chase down Culpepper despite his bum knee. The secondary just played too soft, which made for easy completions. The defense made Walter and Culpepper look like tremendous. Why all the fuss over JaMarcus Russell? Lane Kiffin can just go with his world-beating tandem and head to the playoffs. At least that's how the 49ers made it appear.

The big test will be this Saturday against the defending NFC champion Bears at Soldier Field. This will be the true barometer for the Niners on both sides of the ball, including on offense which will have Alex Smith leading the troops against Brian Urlacher and the superb Bears "D". But the defense will have to look better against the Bears offense, which may not be the best in the league, but hey, it was good enough to get them to the Super Bowl last year.

If Rex Grossman looks like Jim McMahon in Chicago next week, it's time for 49er fans to worry. The preseason doesn't matter, but the starters have to show they can stop guys for more than a quarter.
Walter, Culpepper and Grossman are hardly a Murderers' Row of QBs. Think of the names that the 49ers will face in the NFC west alone: Marc Bulger, Matt Hasselbeck and Matt Leinart. Those guys are scary. It is only preseason and things might turn around in a hurry, but if Mike Nolan's defense does not start showing it can simply hold its own, all the heralded offseason moves will not translate into wins.

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