Monday, September 26, 2011

San Francisco 49ers Week 3

By Kalen Patrick

In week 3 of the NFL Season, the San Francisco 49ers traveled to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals. Going in to this game, the 49ers had notable problems playing on the road at 10am PT. The 49ers lost a heart breaker to their long term rivals the Dallas Cowboys last week in overtime. This was the 49ers chance to rebound, and this game was also very important with a tough trio of games coming up in weeks 4-6 (@Philly, Tampa Bay and @Detroit).

This game started out extremely slow, by slow I mean the scoring was nowhere to be found. The teams traded field goals back and forth, up until the 4th quarter which is when the 49ers had the one big drive to seal the game. The drive ended with a 7 yard run by rookie RB Kendall Hunter. 49ers went up 13-6 at that point with a matter of minutes left. A Carlos Rogers INT then essentially sealed the game. The 49ers took an intentional safety with no time left to end the game 13-8. This now places the 49ers solely atop the NFC West with a 2-1 record. The NFC West Standings as of week 3 look like:

San Francisco 49ers  2-1
Arizona Cardinals      1-2
Seattle Seahawks      1-2
St. Louis Rams          0-3

What to Improve Upon
The 49ers still have many problems that need attention, and it's all on the offensive side. The run game has been a disaster the first 3 games. Frank Gore has been a huge disappointment so far. All those previous injuries may be slowing him down. He doesn't run with the same drive, speed, confidence and determination as years before. However, I cannot put all the blame on Gore. The offensive line has yet to really gel together and provides little to no gaps for Gore to run through. This is something that the 49ers really need to work on fixing. When your passing game is never gonna be dominant, you gotta be able to run the ball with some level of productivity.

As for the passing game, overall I have been very impressed with Alex Smith. He looks more confident than ever before and he is doing an excellent job with his reads and decision making. His pass to Vernon Davis over the top of the Bengals CB, was very impressive. He finished 20/30 over 200 yards with no TD's and most importantly 0 INT's. Alex Smith is who he is, he will never be the constant 300 yard passer. But he can make some plays if given the chance. I think we have yet to see the best of Alex Smith this season. New system which everyone is still trying to learn, offensive line play will improve over time and most importantly he has been missing either Michael Crabtree or Braylon Edwards or both for games.

Once you can have Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree, Braylon Edwards and Frank Gore on the field consistently, then I believe we will start seeing some much improved offense output. For now, the 49ers gotta keep playing great defense, great special teams and make enough plays on offense to win games and minimize mistakes.

The 49ers will stay on the road this week and take on the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Its questionable whether Michael Vick will be playing for the Eagles after sustaining a hand injury against the Giants. If Vick is out I like the 49ers chances of keeping it close and possibly pulling out the W. With the tough schedule ahead, the 49ers need to take 1 of their next 3. To go 3-3 in to the bye week, have a tough portion of the season over with and be able to work on weaknesses, its possible we could see the 49ers make a playoff appearance. But I cannot get too ahead of myself. We are only just finishing week 3. Lots and lots of football yet to play.

49ers Stats Leaders
Alex Smith - 504 Yards 68.9% COMP  TD's INT. 91.3 QB Rating.
Frank Gore - 148 Yards 2.5 AVG 1 TD
Vernon Davis - 15 Catches 179 Yards
Navarro Bowman - 30 Tackles

Off Topic: Met Rajon Rondo

By Kalen Patrick

On Saturday September 24th, Rajon Rondo was the 'Host' or 'Star' player who attended the Basketball Competition on Alcatraz Island just off San Francisco, the Tournament was dubbed "King of the Rock". Many many players from all over the world were involved and it was essentially a fun filled yet extremely competitive day for everyone involved.


The previous day while at work, the star of the show Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics himself came in to my store. He ended up buying a few shoes and caps, was really nice and down to Earth and best of all took the time to pose for a picture with me. While I'm not necessarily a Celtics fan, I am a big Rajon Rondo fan and after meeting him in person I can say that he has now become one of my favorite NBA players if not Athletes in general.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

San Francisco 49ers Week 2

By Kalen Patrick

After opening up the season with a nice win against the Seahawks, the 49ers fall to the Dallas Cowboys in overtime to the score of 27-24. This I feel will be one of those games that if the 49ers end up being a game out of the playoffs, they will look to this game as their biggest regret. 49ers opened up a 14-0 lead in the 2nd quarter, and ended up giving up a TD before halftime. The 49ers then had a 24-14 lead in the 4th quarter, only to blow that lead too.

This was a real headache kind of game, where the 49ers just kept giving the Cowboys opportunities to get back in the game. Unfortunately the Cowboys are talented enough to capitalize on those chances and walked away with the W. The 49ers biggest problems were being just way too conservative. And when the 49ers make a big play (Donte Whitner's INT) they follow it 3 plays later with an Alex Smith INT of his own.

Overall I see the 49ers run game struggling mightily, Frank Gore isn't looking like Frank Gore and that is a big concern. The 49ers need to learn to control the ball for longer and avoid bad 3rd down situations. I am also very concerned with the 49ers pass defense. Reggie Smith and Whitner have been exposed in pass situations. I think getting Spencer and Goldson back at full speed will be extremely helpful.

Next week at Cincy will be huge for the 49ers. With a very tough schedule coming up (@Philly, vs Tampa Bay and @Detroit) this is close to a must win. If we can take Cincy and one of those 3 games, the 49ers would be 3-3 with some favorable division games coming up.

Friday, September 16, 2011

San Francisco 49ers Week 1

By Kalen Patrick

The 49ers opened up the Jim Harbaugh era with a 33 - 17 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. While the victory was far from pretty, a win is a win at the end of the day and I feel that the 49ers executed their gameplan well. I believe it was Jim Harbaugh's plan to minimize using Alex Smith and to not take risks and put his faith in the defense, special teams and run game. 2 out of 3 of these were very successful. While the defense only had 1 notably bad play (Baldwin 55 yard TD), for the rest of the game they were lights out. I think we all know how amazing the Special Teams and Ted Ginn were.

First things first. Lets focus on the positives and then I will take a look at what the 49ers will need to do to be successful going forward.

Ted Ginn - Not a shock here at all, returning a kickoff and punt for TD's back to back to me won the 49ers this game. The Seahawks had all the momentum when they scored to make the score 19-17 to the 49ers with plenty of time left. Then comes Ted Ginn and suddenly its a 26-17 game and the pressure is back on Seattle. Then Ted Ginn gets another chance and puts the game away making it 33-17 with only a few minutes left. The 49ers cannot rely on this production throughout the year but Ted Ginn was easily Player of the Game for me.

Ray McDonald - I questioned making McDonald a starter on the D-Line, I thought he was more suited to being a role player. If last Sunday was anything to go by, then I will gladly admit how wrong I was. McDonald was excellent in defending both the pass and run game. Pressuring the QB, stopping the run at or behind the line of scrimmage. Very impressive, he also had a sack and deserved about 3.


Justin Smith - You gotta love Justin Smith, always goes 100% whether its the first play of the game or the 4th quarter. He had 2 sacks and similar to McDonald, he was relentless in chasing Tarvaris Jackson, and was excellent against the run. I like this D-Line a lot.

Parys Haralson/Aldon Smith - Haralson looked much much better than I have ever seen him before, he was applying pressure and being disruptive, also Aldon Smith did a great job for his 1st ever game, tipped a ball and always did well against his blocker. Throw in Brooks, and the d-line and I think this defense will pile up the sack numbers.

Vernon Davis - Despite the 49ers shying away from the passing game, Vernon not only led the team in yards but also came up with the big plays when they needed them most. Expect another big year from him, can;t wait until Harbaugh opens up the playbook more and to see what he really plans to do with Vernon.

The 49ers offensive game plan for week 1 was very conservative, I believe they did this knowing they could contain the Seattle offense, however, this Sunday against Dallas is a whole other story. Romo will pile up the yards and they will run the ball better than Seattle. In order for the 49ers to keep up, they will have to put the ball in Alex Smiths hands more. They have some very well respected weapons with Vernon Davis, Braylon Edwards and Michael Crabtree. Gore and Hunter are also good receiver out of the backfield.


Doing this should also allow Gore to have a better day running the ball. I suspect Dallas will stack the box to stop the run, expect some play action early in the game, to catch the weak Dallas secondary off guard. As positive as I can be, I can only expect so much from the 49ers and I think we won't be able to hold up to Dallas quite yet. I expect a score along the lines of 27-17. Unless the defense can have another HUGE day and maybe get lucky with Ted Ginn again. I do expect a loss, but it will be competitive. After the Dallas game I really like the 49ers chances against the Bengals in week 3.

Can't wait to see how it all turns out!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Off Topic: Latest Tattoo - US Soldier

By Kalen Patrick

For as long as I can remember I have always been the biggest World War 2 and Vietnam fanatic that you would probably ever come across. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what or why it fascinates me so much. I guess you could say everything about it makes it so interesting and compelling. Movies like Platoon and Saving Private Ryan will always be among my favorites, and you can bet that when ever I come across a Documentary regarding any of the mentioned Wars, that I am hooked. 


To commemorate this, my deep appreciation for everyone who has served and for many many other reasons. I recently got this tattoo. It is a tattoo of a World War 2 US Soldier, European Front, with straight clip Tommy Gun. Take a look