Monday, December 11, 2006

Packer Game Day: Green Bay (4-8) at San Francisco (5-7)

We have a cast of thousands broadcasting the game today. Hopefully one or two of them will be good. Matt Vasgergian, JC Pearson and Tim Ryan in the booth. There is a scary blonde woman who occasionally comments from down on the field but I'm not certain if she's real or if I just dreamed that there was a monster on the sideline so I'll leave her out of the roll call. Also, sideline reporters are pointless unless it's Rachel Nichols and even then it's only because she's pretty.

Which team will show up today? The competitive group or the quitters? And, on a side note, there's been some discussion about whether this team quits when things don't go their way (see New England, Philly, NY Jets, etc). Mike III said they're not quitting. Which, conversely, means that they were trying. I don't know if that makes me feel any better. I don't care if they're quitters or just terrible football players, I want the losing to stop.

1st Quarter

Usually I have a pretty good feeling about a game before it's played. With this one I didn't until I realized that Mark Roman starts at safety. I see a win coming on real soon.

12:30 - The Packers start out with the ball and move efficiently down the field. A number of quick throws for 3-4 yards and solid running. Are they trying to get the SF corners to come up and then beat them deep? Is there actual strategery going on? And yes I said "strategery". It's a whole new way of talking.

10:38 - On third and 9 Greg Jennings gets free along the sideline for a pretty catch around the 49er 8 yard line. Only one issue, he didn't try to get both feet in bounds. I can't believe the ref didn't call that to begin with. This'll be reviewed and overturned and we'll be punting. Still, the offense showed some pluck.

9:37 - Frank Gore busts left on the second play of the drive for 72 yards. Marquand Manuel should have had him wrapped up but he's Marquand Manuel so he did not. This is what you get when you plead with the team to get anyone but Mark Roman. If Roman's the 32nd best starting safety then Marquand is number 31.

8:00 - Third and goal for the 49ers and Chuck Woodson knocks the pass away. This should be a good matchup for us. I know people have ripped him this year but I like Chuck and Al a lot more than the SF receivers. GREEN BAY 0 - SAN FRANCISCO 3.

5:55 - The Packers are moving the ball again. They run a beautiful playfake that has Favre all alone on half the field. He flips it 35 yards to a wide open Ruvell Martin in the end zone. It's nice to see we're not the only team capable of blowing a coverage or two. GREEN BAY 7 - SAN FRANCISCO 3.

4:19 - The Defense seems to have some fire today. I was going to rip the opponent but then I realized this would be the best team we've beaten all year so I can't. Anywho, KGB comes through unblocked to force a quick throw on third down. One of the 19 announcers just said that Mike III sat in on defensive meetings for the first time this week. Um, what? Punt coming.

3:00 - The 49ers line comes offsides and Favre has a free play. And even though he's stiff arming a defender he still tries to make a play. A shovel to Bubba for 3 yards or so. That was a pretty entertaining non-play. I'll give him that.

1:57 - Driver gets stuffed on an end around for the second time already today. Did the coaches see like 9 plays where an end around (or reverse if you want to get technical) works against these guys? Driver's got 2 carries for -6 yards. The Packers punt. And for once it doesn't go 7 yards into the end zone. Dendy stops it at the 1.

:30 - With the 49ers backed up they run two plays in a row. The first gets 2 yards. The second gives the ball away. Gore fumbles the exchange and Chuck Woodson recovers on the 49er 10 or so.

2nd Quarter

14:56 - No one bothers to pick up the blitz and Favre misses DD in the end zone. One of the 22 announcers said Favre held the ball too long. He caught the snap, took maybe a step and threw. But yeah, the unblocked blitzer wasn't the issue. GREEN BAY 10 - SAN FRANCISCO 3.

13:00 - Just bizarre. Remember how Jennings didn't bother to get both feet in on a catch inside the 10 a little bit ago? Taylor Jacobs just did the exact same thing. The announcers seem to be openly rooting for the niners at the moment and said that it wasn't Jacobs' fault but it Jennings should have known better.

12:00 - As Favre hits DD for a first down on third and 7 the announcers are now discussing how unhappy Favre seems. Can we just ask that the announcers no longer discuss what they think the player is feeling anymore? It's getting embarrassing. I don't know if they're right or wrong on Favre's mental state but I'm thinking their 1 hour conversation with him isn't going to reveal much. Call me crazy.

10:35 - DD makes another catch for 20 or so yards and is now over 1000 yards for the year. See what happens when talent and heart equal each other?

9:20 - On 2nd and 2 Favre takes a shot at the end zone. Unfortunately Jennings is double covered. The pass goes incomplete but that's one of those risks I'd rather not take. It's obvious they're trying to work Jennings into the game more, they need him, but that was just silly. Ahman Green picks up the 1st down on the next play to keep us alive.

7:15 - Back to back quick passes to Jennings brings us down to the 1. Jennings is slow getting up, hopefully it's nothing major. I think he's got 4 catches today and was the target on a couple deep throws.

6:45 - Green dives left for the TD. Nice drive right there. Professional. GREEN BAY 17 - SAN FRANCISCO 3.

3:05 - With the 49ers driving Chuck knocks a pass away in the end zone. He then promptly lands with his entire body weight on his left shoulder and leaves the game. Hopefully they're just running him for x-rays before the second half starts.

2:20 - On the 35 or so of Green Bay Corey Williams and KGB stuff Gore for a loss on third down. They just blew up the middle there. It's nice that we get some solid pressure up the middle from the tackles. They've done a solid job today.

2:00 - 4th and three. Gore catches a pass over the middle for the 1st down. Dang. A stop here and a drive would have sealed the deal on this game.

1:05 - Vern Davis drops the ball in the end zone. He was well covered but he had a chance if he dove. Which he did not. GREEN BAY 17 - SAN FRANCISCO 6.

:00 - Favre gets sacked on the 35 or so of Green Bay with 11 seconds left. He fumbled. The 49ers recovered. The refs are totally asleep today and they called Favre down and didn't review the film. Hmm. I'll take it but that was a bad call. 49ers should have had the ball with 11 seconds left on our 35.

3rd Quarter

8:58 - The 49ers have put together a long drive here to start the second half. Gore dives into the end zone for the TD. They looked really good right there. Hopefully we can answer right back. GREEN BAY 17 - SAN FRANCISCO 13.

7:21 - Ugly three and out for the Packers. First time today we've gone three and out. Way to answer back!

6:20 - Man, the D is plucky today! They force a three and out after having their worst series of the game 30 seconds ago.

5:27 - Another fug three and out from the Pack. C'mon fellas. Wells managed to hit himself and couldn't get the snap to Favre. Do other teams have this many problems with the snap?

3:54 - Third and 2 for the 49ers on the Green Bay 40. Alex Smith (who looks panicky and skittish all the time. I wonder if he does this all the time. Does he order a delicious buster bar from DQ and then hide behind the bushes waiting for it to come?) rolls right and throws an awful pass that Nick Collins intercepts. The 32 announcers are going on and on about Vern Davis being wide open on the play. He was, sorta. But he doesn't run good routes and he doesn't get the passing game so he didn't give his QB much of an option.

3:37 - Now the O answers back. DD makes a catch after 12 pump fakes from Favre. He then breaks a couple tackles and takes it to the house. Which is really the end zone, not a house at all. 68 yards in total, half through the air, half on the ground, all awesome. GREEN BAY 24 - SAN FRANCISCO 13.

4th Quarter

14:05 - The D has played solid and forced another three and out. The O moves down the field for a Rayner figgie. By the way, I never say "D" or "O" in actual conversation, I just get tired typing this thing. The temptation to call san francisco something like "frisco" is tearing me apart, but I'm just too much of a pro. The sacrifices people! You don't even know! Plus I know everyone out there in SF hates pretty much every abbreviation you can think of. Wait, I may have just talked myself out of using the whole name. GREEN BAY 27 - SAN FRANSISCO 13.

12:44 - Another three and out from the niners. Alex Smith might just be terrible. That has to be considered.

12:29 - Chuck Woodson returns the punt 41 yards to the Frisco 10 or so. This is my first comment all year on the punt return game I think. Which should tell you how notable it's been so far.

8:48 - The Packers can't score the touchdown even though they had 1st and goal. But a figgie here makes it a three score game so no need to get all cavalier with the football at this stage. GREEN BAY 30 - SAN FRANCISCO 13.

7:31 - After another long kick return (I swear they're at the 50 every time) the niners go to work. Alex Smith thinks he has Vern open in the end zone. He doesn't, he's got three guys on him actually. True the safeties for this team are whatever the opposite of "ballhawk" is but that doesn't matter. AJ Hawk makes a pretty pick and returns it to the 20.

5:15 - With the Packers in a prevent-type defense Vern catches a pass on a drag route, breaks one tackle and scores a TD. One of the 46 announcers immediately crowns him the king of Santa Clara county for this performance. I don't get it. It was a nice play but um, where was he when the game was on the line? GREEN BAY 30 - SAN FRANCISCO 19

The Packers run out the clock. Our own Vern, Morency, has a pretty 38 yard burst (with Favre throwing a diving block just for kicks) to seal the deal. I like Vernand. The way he runs seems like he's constantly shifting direction. And he's all sorts of fast. He's quick fast, fast fast, sneaky fast, all of it.


This was a solid win against a team with playoff hopes (albeit dim ones). Favre looked sharp (2 tds, no picks), Jennings was involved and Driver was at his best. The D showed up and Hawk outplayed Vern Davis (even with his garbage time TD). The announcers proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they don't actually do any research and once again added nothing to the Favre conversation. Just stop talking people. It's diminishing to all of us. Also, Fox Sports apparently couldn't afford the yellow line today because of the extra guy in the booth or something. I'd take total silence and the yellow line any day. Other than that it was a nice outing.

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