My thoughts on the 49ers game

I won’t try to super-analyze every detail of the game. It was a loss, and its the beginning of a new regime so what we saw on Sunday isn’t necessarily what we will get later.

  • #35 has no business as our kick returner. I’m not sure who’s error that is, but its an error. The Lions need to call me if they can’t find a better return man than that. It was so obvious that I wanted to be sure to open with it as my first observation.

  • NFL rules are weird. It turns out that if you are IN an NFL stadium they actually limit the amount of NFL content you can pull up on your phone. Imagine me sitting in BofA Stadium in downtown Charlotte trying to pull up games and seeing “blacked out” on every channel. WTF? I say that to say I only saw the score and commentary on the game…not the actual game. As far out of reach as that game should have been we actually had a chance to right every wrong and make a few plays at the end and win. I didn’t get that vibe before watching the game. Short of a win that is almost the perfect “kneecap” style opening game for us. For a reminder, the kneecap speech wasn’t about coming in and dominating opponents while devouring body parts. The context of what Dan was conveying seems to have been lost…mainly by those who are not a part of the special Detriot circle. The speech was about getting knocked down and getting back up. But when you get back up, you don’t just get back up. You get back up with a vengeance and take a hunk of flesh. Even with the HUGE lead this team fought back. There are 2 kinds of “prevent” defense. One is “we don’t give a shit what you do” defense. The other is “oh shit we just need to prevent a score the best we can here” prevent defense. A team that was down 8 million points made the 49ers have to play both kinds of defense. WE…GOT…BACK…UP.

  • The real J-Will (not that fake one in Denver) looked like a completely different person. Not just from preseason, but from his Green Bay days. He is a character but it looks like he has taken this rebirth seriously. I love that for him. And I’m sure I’m not the only one.

  • At the beginning of games you get the coaches gameplan. As things progress the cream rises to the top and gameplans are thrown out for actual on-field shit that’s going on. The emergence of Bo-Cephus in the latter parts of the game make me think he’s a real player who might win over some people if he keeps progressing. We all know receivers who get more opportunity than ability. With Cephus we might be seeing more ability than opportunity.

  • Defense: If you were expecting a detailed breakdown on defense its not coming. I usually watch the defense frame by frame to see why a play worked or didn’t work. Then I go back and replay it frame by frame focusing in on individual players and taking notes on exactly what they did that worked or didn’t work. I blew this one off and moved on. I will go back to detailed study later on those guys. Initial impressions were not good.

  • Jared Goff is a pretty good QB. I realize we just had a better QB. A QB that was so much better the other team literally traded two 1st round picks and a 3rd just to trade places with us. But Goff looks legit and might be built for the kneecap biter squad. He is one of those strange individuals who has a chip on his shoulder while also being “cool as a cucumber.” Outside of absolute results with Goff vs Stafford I think it will be important to evaluate Goff vs other options. I liked watching Sam Darnold execute with the Panthers on Sunday but I couldn’t help but think Goff is better…but without the upside of Zach Wilson.

  • HOCK is legit. It seemed so obvious I almost didn’t bother posting it. I HATE the idea of taking a TE that early because its not a good way to build a roster. But as I’ve said before, if you do it he better damn well be HOCK. He is. As much as I don’t like taking TE’s early I also have another saying. Take good players and move on to other business. TJ is a good player and it was time to move on to other business after taking him.

  • Power. Power changes everything. Power is the first thing I’m looking for in every single defensive lineman I ever evaluate. If you don’t have power you don’t have shit. If you want speed without power send a frickin DB on the blitz. When I evaluate defensive lineman I look for power but “unusual” power stands out. Penei Sewell has unusuall power. There were interactions with defensive players that seemed relatively “normal” but the defender fell to the ground or lurched back against Penei. His power immediately translated to the NFL without a few years of development. Anyone who loves Sewell loves his feet. So if his power translates to the NFL there is an entire can of worms that just got opened up for the kid.


Its possible we nailed this draft if Sewell keeps playing well at LT so that was very exciting. I was very surprised that Levi Onwuzurike was inactive. I thought he was impressive in preseason. And Julian Okwara as well, to a lesser degree.

I was shocked at how bad our D played. I expected some hiccups in the secondary, but I really thought they’d hold up better v the run.

The silver lining is we officially have a running game. At some points we were just lining up until they stopped us.

Love this… and right in line with what I thought, specifically:

  1. JWill looked great, he’s our #1 back I think

  2. Cephus looked good and may work himself into one of our top receivers

  3. your take on Goff is awesome

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Goff is inaccurate on deeper balls. I don’t know if that’s always been a problem, or if its why he always takes the checkdown. Maybe its rust.

I didn’t think he was that great. He was okay. Nice touch in the short game.

I could see what’s Cephus about?

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Cephus needs to start. TWill did not impress me and I want to say he alligator armed a pass in the first or second quarter…

Cephus got plugged in and all of a sudden we more consistently started completing passes to a WR…

I think he showed enough to get more looks moving forward. All I saw from him was catching whatever was thrown his way

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Good Take Wesley.

I don’t think the Lions D is as bad as everyone thinks. Another game or two will tell us a ton.

Raven game is probably the most important because with their limited firepower right now, it’s all about containing Jackson.


I think the “knock” is that he isn’t always willing to throw the deep ball… not that he lacks accuracy.

He certainly looked pretty good on this throw.

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LOL - thank you for this, bro. Made me laugh. He looked better than I thought he would, for sure.

Really enjoyed your input, man. Thanks.

Yeah, if Igwebuike was getting advice from above on some of those return decisions, he might want to upgrade/change his spiritual internet service or get his ears checked. I don’t like seeing kick-offs consistently falling short of or shallow in the end zone, either. Actually, my favorite moment of the game was a special teams twofer; Gould falling on his keister & then missing the field goal.

Lucy Charlie Brown Football GIFs | Tenor

I fully agree on the lesson to take from the late rally. The Bears, otoh, lay down like female dogs after Nagy’s bizarre & disastrous decision to go for it on 4th & 15 (!) with 10 mins to play & a 13 point deficit. Goff can & will play better than that; looked like rust & timing issues, some sloppy routes & motions as well, but you certainly saw that there is absolutely no quit in the kid.

I will say this ; I’ve watched every snap of JG’s career in the NFL ; like you, often many times over to figure out what was really going on, good or bad. I’ve never seen Goff throw a TD pass like the one he threw to Cephus. A true alley-oop-I-trust-my-guy-to-go-up-and-get-this type throw, esp not in the EZ. You guys have seen a gazillion of them from Stafford so it probably didn’t register. Been awhile since I’ve seen him throw a back shoulder deep out like the throw to Raymond late in the 4th, too. Stuff to build on while he gets the short/medium stuff dialed in like he had it with The Rams so the YAC will start to pile up & create more deep opportunities.

Trinity Benson had been with the team for, what ?, a week & should have had a TD. Some better routes/timing with Goff & he’d have had a ton more catches & yards Who would have thunk he’d be more involved than St Brown ?

Vaitai had a better game than I expected. Lost in the much-deserved Sewell love. Jackson nearly ended Goff’s year on the very first pass set. Who shoots out at a defender’s knees like that on pass play ? The pocket/pass pro isn’t where it will be pdq,imo, but it’s also that Goff doesn’t trust it yet. He could have stepped up on that interception play but he let Nelson get bullrushed back into him. Two years of mediocre interior OL play have left their mark.

If they make Will Harris watch his tape, they’d better put him on suicide watch afterwards. Melifonwu flashed, Alim got significantly held on a couple of key plays he could have positively impacted, the TD run that was so close, for eg. I thought they actually did a decent job on Kittle most of the day. Did Aiyuk even play ?

Very interesting to see Goff play so much more out of shotgun w/ far less play action as well. Stafford made the big plays early, but he didn’t really run the McVay offense. Dunno if that will work vs better opponents.


People were calling AP our number one back after last year’s first game…

Way too early

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I did notice that. The Rams offense on Sunday looked strikingly similar to what the Lions have been running since Lombardi was fired in 2015 (which is what Stafford does his best at).

Heck, look at these 2 box scores:

Detroit Passing

Matthew Stafford 27/42 402 9.6 3 1 2-2 81.1 109.4
TEAM 27/42 400 9.6 3 1 2-2 109.4

Detroit Rushing

Adrian Peterson 16 57 3.6 2 15
Kerryon Johnson 3 3 1.0 0 2
Matthew Stafford 2 0 0.0 0 1
Jamal Agnew 1 0 0.0 0 0
TEAM 22 60 2.7 2 15

Detroit Receiving

Marvin Jones Jr. 8 116 14.5 1 25 12
T.J. Hockenson 7 84 12.0 0 24 9
Quintez Cephus 2 63 31.5 1 49 4
Danny Amendola 3 62 20.7 0 23 5
Mohamed Sanu Sr. 2 36 18.0 0 21 2
Jamal Agnew 2 24 12.0 0 19 2
Jesse James 1 9 9.0 1 9 3
Kerryon Johnson 2 8 4.0 0 5 3
Adrian Peterson 0 0 0.0 0 0 1
TEAM 27 402 14.9 3 49 41

Compared to

Los Angeles Passing

Matthew Stafford 20/26 321 12.3 3 0 1-9 89.9 156.1
TEAM 20/26 312 12.3 3 0 1-9 156.1

Los Angeles Rushing

Darrell Henderson Jr. 16 70 4.4 1 15
Robert Woods 1 7 7.0 0 7
Sony Michel 1 2 2.0 0 2
Matthew Stafford 5 -5 -1.0 0 1
TEAM 23 74 3.2 1 15

Los Angeles Receiving

Cooper Kupp 7 108 15.4 1 56 10
Van Jefferson 2 80 40.0 1 67 3
Tyler Higbee 5 68 13.6 0 37 6
Robert Woods 3 27 9.0 1 19 4
DeSean Jackson 2 21 10.5 0 18 2
Darrell Henderson Jr. 1 17 17.0 0 17 1
TEAM 20 321 16.1 3 67 26

Stafford was more efficient with the Rams but the offensive execution is strikingly similar.

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Yup, definitely a gameplan tailored to Stafford’s strengths. Unfortunately, it limits the effectiveness of an already iffy run game & will put much more pressure on the OL vs better pass rush.

I have reviewed both of those box scores myself.

LIONS vs. Bears … 12/6/2020.
Rams vs. Bears … week 1

Lots to compare on the offensive stats.

One key difference.

12/6/20… Kyle Fuller played 68 snaps at CB (100%).

9/12/21… Kindle Vildor played 52 snaps (100%)… and Marqui Christian played 39 snaps (75%).

Christian would be the guy that dropped his coverage of Kupp on the 56 yard TD pass.

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These two opening games proved who got the better deal in this trade of quarterbacks. The Rams will be successful with Stafford because he was not the problem for the Lions. Our achillies is the ownership who have zero capacity to assemble a winning team. We have had some of the best coaches from around the league coach this team and still we are not competitive. Now you see what happens when you place Stafford in a system with one of the best defenses in the NFL and by the way we passed up the best defensive player on that team in Aaron Donald in the 2014 draft! So it doesn’t matter who the quarterback is we don’t have the makings of a winning team. We can’t protect the quarterback and our defense can’t stop anyone. And the harsh reality is that the owners don’t have any interest in assembling a winning team. This team has been nothing more than a tax write off for them for years and tax payers continue to subsidize their rich asses by building a new stadium and selling out season after losing season. They should be ashamed of themselves for pretending to be an NFL team. We are the joke of the league. Always have been, always will be. But I guess as long as they can fill seats that’s all that matters. Congrats to Mathew Stafford for landing with a team that has the potential to get to the Super Bowl!

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feel free to check out my post in another thread and offer some insights…

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With how much I hated MP and the lions overall last year, I caught quite a few Packers games. J Will did all the same things he did well last year. Caught balls. Found holes. Blocked well. Same flamboyant personality.

Not sure what’s changed about him really :man_shrugging:t3:.

He’ll always need a Swift or Jones to compliment him, but he’s a talented back.

When Swift gets hurt again I expect him to struggle.

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My favorite Goff pass was. 67 yard long TD strike that hit Sammy Watkins in stride 2017 in NY in a freezing rain (it was actually coming down pretty good at that moment) vs the Giants

I wish I knew how to link it here


I didn’t get to watch the game live either, but read posts here… mostly of the hand-wringing variety… SOL…

When I did get to watch the game, I was pleasantly surprised with the running game, Sewell, Goff, and even parts of the Defense. I was thrilled with the attitude of the team… Never give up never surrender. There are also plenty of things that weren’t even close to being perfect, or what I expect to see from this team as the year wears on. There certainly was plenty of room for improvement, but I think that this team under the tutelage of its coaching staff will indeed continue to make improvements as the season goes on. The 49ers are no slouch team, it was a good first test… let’s go Lions!