Sunday, November 27, 2011


By Kalen Patrick

Well after riding an 8 game winning streak, the 49ers finally got beat by the Baltimore Ravens on Thanksgiving. The Ravens stuffed the 49ers to win it 16-6 . While there is no doubt that the Ravens were definitely the superior team on the night, the game was actually very very close fought and one or two questionable calls against the 49ers really hurt them. The 49ers on a very short week having to travel across the country were already at a disadvantage so if they were to lose any game, this was going to be the one.

The 2 calls I mentioned were the chopping block by Frank Gore/Chilo Rachal on Alex Smith's 75 yard TD pass to Ted Ginn, and the 50 yard Pass Interference call on Tarrell Brown's Interception which gift wrapped another 3 points to the Ravens. Both of these calls were very harsh and hurt the 49ers big time. However bad calls will always happen in games and you must overcome them, unfortunately the 49ers could not do that this time around.

One or two bad decisions hurt the 49ers even more, while in Field Goal range and the end of the half, Alex Smith attempted to hit Braylon Edwards in the endzone, which got picked off, and cost the 49ers 3 points when it was a 6-3 ballgame in favor of the Ravens. So while the Ravens did win, and it was somewhat of a convincing win for them, I have to look at the positives.

Short week, travel across the country, 2 big calls by the officials and one or two mistakes and the game could have a completely different outcome. Plus that Baltimore team was just firing on all cylinders, the defense played out of its mind. My hat goes off to the Ravens, they beat us and deserved to win.

49ers now have extra time to prepare for the Rams next Sunday in Candlestick Park. A win next Sunday would clinch the NFC West for the 49ers.

NFL Week 12 Pick 'Em

By Kalen Patrick

Minnesota @ Atlanta
Cleveland @ Cincinnati 
Tampa Bay @ Tennessee
Carolina @ Indianapolis
Arizona @ St. Louis
Buffalo @ New York Jets
Houston @ Jacksonville
Chicago @ Oakland
Washington @ Seattle
New England @ Philadelphia
Denver @ San Diego
Pittsburgh @ Kansas City
New York Giants @ New Orleans

I am at 2-1 this week having picked Green Bay, Dallas and San Francisco to win.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

HAR-BOWL Preview

By Kalen Patrick

So not only is tomorrow the day where America will consume hundreds of millions of pounds of Turkey, but we got some 49ers football to look forward to. This years Thanksgiving lineup has to be one of the better lineups in recent years. It kicks off with the Undefeated Green Bay Packers taking on the Detroit Lions who this year will actually put up a fight. Then the surging Miami Dolphins who have won 3 straight will take on the Cowboys in what should be another great game. Finally after dinner, we will be treated with the Har-Bowl. As my San Francisco 49ers take on the Baltimore Ravens, Jim Harbaugh vs John Harbaugh.


The 49ers, who have won 8 straight take on a legit Ravens team in Baltimore. Immediately I have to say that the Ravens have the advantage as the 49ers have to travel across country on a short week. That and home field advantage in general mean the Ravens should be slightly favored anyways, but I think the outcome may be totally different. I actually really like the 49ers chances in this game, the team is playing not only with confidence, but with a very business like approach. They will not be intimidated by the Ravens crowd and have already played and won 4 times in the Eastern Time Zone this year.

Why I like the 49ers chances? I have to bring it own to consistency, the Ravens while they have swept the Steelers, have lost to the likes of Seattle in recent weeks. Joe Flacco has not had a great year at all, in fact his 54% completion and 12 TD's to 8 INT's put him at a below average 74 QB rating, while Alex Smith has a rating of 94, with 64% completion and 13 TD's to only 4 INT's. Now I know that QB rating is not gospel but a 20 point difference is huge and even the numbers suggest just how much better Alex Smith has been. It's a good sign right there when your QB has been much better and consistent than an opponents QB.

As for defense, the Ravens are famous for it, however the 49ers have been just as good if not better this year, and the Ravens may be without Ray Lewis, or even if he does play he definitely won't be 100% or near it. The Ravens defense is still extremely stout, however, the 49ers defense may be one of if not THE best in the entire league. 49ers are great against the run, they lead the league in turnovers created and they have some solid pass rushers in Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks and Justin Smith, who all seem to be all over the opposing QB.

This team is actually very similar to each other, both teams tend to rely more on defense and rushing rather than an explosive pass game. The Ravens rely more on deep passes to speedsters like Torrey Smith and Lee Evans, while the 49ers tend to focus more on short/intermediate routes to Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis.

This game is going to be close, it is going to be a dogfight, it is going to show you what the 49ers are really made of. CAN'T WAIT!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

San Francisco 49ers Week 11

By Kalen Patrick

I'm running out of ideas how to open up my weekly recap without repeating myself too often, however, yet again, the 49ers Win! Another very strong convincing performance by the San Francisco 49ers as they dismantled the visiting Arizona Cardinals 23-7.

As usual the 49ers defense didn't allow the opposition to do much of anything, the Cardinals only had 2 first downs and less than 60 yards in the entire first half. Meanwhile the 49ers failed to capitalize on opportunities yet still had a 9-0 lead at the half. In the 3rd quarter is where it all went wrong for Arizona. The 49ers opened the 2nd half with a very very long drive that ended in an Alex Smith TD pass to the emerging Kyle Williams. Just on cue the 49ers (Donte Whitner) then picked off John Skelton, which then led to another Alex Smith TD pass but this time to TE Vernon Davis. Davis has now passed Brent Jones on the franchise list for most TD's by a TE for the 49ers.

That put the game at 23-0 entering the 4th quarter and it was pedestrian from there on out. The 49ers got conservative and ate up the clock. The Cardinals did have a TD, but proved to be nothing more than a consolation prize.

Alex Smith had himself another very solid game going 20/38 for 267 Yards with 2 TD's and 1 INT. By QB Rating it was Smith's worst game of the year, but it was more than enough to beat the very weak Arizona Cardinals. Michael Crabtree had a breakout game with 7 Catches for 120 yards. Credit needs to go to the Offensive Line, no Sacks given up and they paved the way for over 160 rushing yards.

As for the defense? Well what can you say? Dominating performace, only giving up a meaningless garbage time TD. 2 Sacks, 3 INT's. What more is there to say? Aldon Smith is continuing his impressive rookie year adding another sack, to make his total 7.5 on the year. Willis had another great game, led the team in tackles and had 3 passes defensed and an INT.

Looking forward the 49ers have a short week, traveling to Baltimore to take on the Ravens on Thanksgiving which will be labeled the 'Harbowl', as brothers Jim Harbaugh and John Harbaugh will face off. The 49ers have already had great success on the road, especially on the East Coast. This match up will truly be an exciting one. Honestly have no idea which way it will go. In the words of Bart Scott, "CAN'T WAIT"

49ers Stats
Alex Smith - 1976 YDS, 13 TD's, 4 INT's, QB Rating 93.9
Frank Gore - 870 YDS, 4.6 AVG, 5 TD's
Vernon Davis - 39 REC, 446 YDS, 5 TD's

Navorro Bowman - 95 Tackles
Carlos Rogers - 5 INT's
Aldon Smith - 7.5 Sacks

NFL Week 11 Pick 'Em

By Kalen Patrick

OK so I have been pretty crappy at keeping up with this. 2 weeks ago (week 9) I went 8-5. Lets see how I do this week. Winners in BOLD

Jaguars @ Browns
Panthers @ Lions
Bucs @ Packers
Bills @ Dolphins
Raiders @ Vikings
Cowboys @ Redskins
Bengals @ Ravens
Seahawks @ Rams
Cardinals @ 49ers
Titans @ Falcons
Chargers @ Bears
Eagles @ Giants
Chiefs @ Patriots

Saturday, November 19, 2011

San Francisco 49ers Week 10 + Week 11 Preview

By Kalen Patrick

So I have been MIA for a while, but back doing what I love (talking about my 49ers). Gonna do a recap of the game last Sunday against the New York Giants, and then preview this week's action against divisional opponent the Arizona Cardinals. Lets do this.

The 49ers added to their win streak with a 27-20 win over the visiting New York Giants. There were some big turning points in this game. The 49ers decision in the 2nd quarter to go for an onside kick which was successful, and then in the 4th quarter, scoring a TD, followed by an interception off Eli Manning which lead to another quick score.

The game was very back and forth for the first half, trading field goals all the way through the first half, leaving the score at 9-6. Then came the TD's. In the 4th quarter the 49ers held a comfortable 27-13 lead, then Eli led a very impressive drive in a short time to make it 27-20 with time left. The Giants had one more drive, it was 4th down inside the 49ers 20 yard line, Eli was looking in the direction of Mario Manningham and Victor Cruz, when Justin Smith batted down the pass to secure the game for the 49ers and put them at 8-1, for the first time in 14 years.

The quality performers and MVP's of the game are as follows:
Offense: Alex Smith
Defense: Justin Smith/Carlos Rogers/Patrick Willis

The 49ers essentially put the offensive game on the shoulders of Alex Smith. The 49ers came out passing, and even when we ran Gore/Hunter never managed to get a consistent run game going. Alex Smith however was accurate and efficient enough to be more than capable of moving the football himself. Hitting receivers in stride  and being confident and standing in the pocket played a big part. Alex moved around the pocket well, and was able to escape pressure and pick up some rushing yards when needed. Considering he had zero help from the run game, I would say this was one of Alex Smith's more impressive games I have ever seen. He did end with 250 yards 1 TD and 1 INT(not Alex's fault, thanks Ted Ginn), but it was more the way he played.

On defense it is very difficult to pick an MVP, Justin Smith played an all round great game and had the game ending batted ball. Carlos Rogers had 2 INT's but did give up some big plays and then Willis was everywhere and had that big tackle when Eli went scrambling and forced a Giants punt. Honestly, going with any of these guys would be a right answer.


What I like most about this win was that the 49ers beat a very capable team in the New York Giants, and they didn't even play their best game. The run game was ineffective, the defense was good but we all know it can play better. On Special Teams I do have to give a big shout out to Kicker David Akers. He has been money all year, what a great pickup by Trent Baalke. He quietly may have had one of the best offseasons of any GM.

Now lets take a look forward to Week 11, the 49ers will host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday 1:15PM Pacific Time. The Cardinals will be coming in with some confidence in this game having won back to back games (Rams and then Eagles). John Skelton will be the QB this Sunday and he has done a very solid job. Of course the big question is how to stop Larry Fitzgerald from killing you. I expect to see the bigger physical Chris Culliver matched up on Fitz with a lot of help from Dashon Goldson.

Division games are never ever a given considering how well the teams know each other. You cannot expect an easy win ever in the NFL much less against someone in your division, I do however expect the 49ers to win this game. I feel the defense is capable of stopping the Cards enough, Patrick Peterson is dangerous in returns but the 49ers special teams have been outstanding so far this year and I like our chances at moving the ball on this defense.

Let's speak hypothetically right now, IF the 49ers beat the Arizona Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams beat the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday, then the 49ers would have a 6 game lead with 6 games left in the regular season and have the division essentially wrapped up. Not bad that's a distinct possibility before Thanksgiving.

49ers Stats
Alex Smith - 1709 YD's, 11 TD's, 3 INT's. 95.8 QB Rating
Frank Gore - 782 YD's, 5 YD's, 4.7 AVG
Vernon Davis - 379 YD's, 34 REC, 4 TD's

Navorro Bowman - 92 TCK
Carlos Rogers - 5 INT
Aldon Smith - 6.5 SACK

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Which Draft had the Best QB Class? (2005-2010)

By Kalen Patrick

So I was just browsing over the previous few seasons drafts, and noticed quite a lot of big names in the 1st round. What I thought was interesting was maybe comparing each year and see which one looks the best. I left out the rookies this year, while guys like Andy Dalton and Cam Newton have been very impressive, 8 games just isn't enough of a sample size in my opinion. So here are the candidates?

2005 - Aaron Rodgers, Alex Smith, Jason Campbell
2006 - Jay Cutler, Vince Young, Matt Leinart
2007 - Jamarcus Russell, Brady Quinn
2008 - Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco
2009 - Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez, Josh Freeman
2010 - Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow

What year to you jumps out to be the best of that whole bunch? Between all those QB's only 1 has a Superbowl Victory (Aaron Rodgers). In my opinion immediately you gotta wipe out 2007. Jamarcus Russell was a colossal bust and Brady Quinn will be a #3 QB at best.

The next year that I would take out would be 2006. Leinart is barely in the league any more. While Vince Young has an impressive W-L ratio, it looks like personal issues and what not will keep him from ever being a consistent starting QB, as for one Jay Cutler? The guy has talent, serious talent, but he is way too erratic and is over confident in his abilities. So now we have 2 down.

Before this season I would have gone with 2005 (will explain later), but now I will go with 2010. Tebow doesn't look like an NFL QB, still has a super slow wind up, he can make throws, they certainly are not pretty. He reminds me of Shaun Hill a lot, Hill had some solid games for the 49ers and Lions. Unfortunately Tim Tebow is such a big name, it will be hard for him to fly under the radar as a backup QB. As for Sam Bradford? Yeah the dude has talent, but overall it's hard to come away too impressed after 22 games. He has a 75.3 QB rating and in his last 11 games he has only thrown 4 TD's to 9 INT's. I don't know whether this is sophomore(ish) slump, or the NFL figuring him out or what. But those numbers are concerning.

Now I will have to go with 2009 (yes! shock! horror!) but hear me out. Mark Sanchez has average at best numbers. Luckily he has played for teams with awesome defenses and running games. He hasn't been asked to do much and even with that he can't display good numbers (like Alex Smith this year). Josh Freeman was looking to be a future stud, but this year has been nothing short of a disaster for him. His incredibly inconsistent play has held the Bucs back this year. I will admit Matthew Stafford is playing stud like this year, but Stafford alone is not enough to carry this group.

Next comes 2005. Now this group includes the QB's of the 2 teams with the top records in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are 8-0, and Alex Smith and the 49ers are 7-1. Aaron Rodgers is the best QB in the NFL right now and Alex Smith is now playing at a level never thought possible for him. He has 10 TD's with only 2 INT's. He has been very efficient (64.1% Completion) with a very respectable 97.3 QB rating. Then finally we have Jason Campbell, Mr. Mediocre. Well  I think we can all see what the loss of Campbell is doing to the Raiders now, essentially since he has gone down, the Raiders have been humiliated in back to back games against division rivals Kansas City and Denver. You have Jason Campbell in those games, and I bet they win one if not both.
So that leaves 2008 as the winner and lets face it, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco have had nothing but success since coming in to the NFL. Leading their respective teams to impressive records, multiple playoff appearances and many more to come. Both of these guys, while they can be shaky at times, in general are very capable and going to be good for a long time. I think it's only a matter of when not if one of these guys is hoisting a Lombardi trophy. And there we have it, so let's sum up the rankings:

1 - 2008
2 - 2005
3 - 2009
4 - 2010
5 - 2006
6 - 2007

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Indianapolis Colts - Lucking in to another Franchise QB

By Kalen Patrick

Just how 'Lucky' (OK that will be the last Luck Pun) are the Indianapolis Colts? I would almost say they were Irish. In 1998 they drafted one of the best QB's of this generation in Peyton Manning. He only goes to countless Pro-Bowls, wins a Superbowl and had the Colts win 10 or more games for how many straight seasons? Yeah, then during the lockout and once training camp opened, rumblings of Peyton needing a neck surgery circulate. Then we all get the news. Peyton Manning out for the year. Of course this sucks for Colts fans.

Lets however look at the positive side. You'd had 10+ great great years, you have 1 down year (and you knew it was gonna be a down year, sure it's worse than originally thought but still) and then not only are you getting Peyton back, but you are also gonna draft Andrew Luck, who is probably uhmm the next Peyton Manning? So then it's likely the Colts have Peyton for maybe 2 more years (he will then be 38 and with a surgically repaired neck) and then you get 10-15 years of Andrew Luck. Ask any fan this question, would you take Peyton Manning for 12 years, have one awful year, then have Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck for the next 15+ years?

Yeah any fan would take that and run to the bank with it. Think of the who's who at QB that a team like Miami has had since Marino retired? Colts fans, you will get no pity from me this season I'm afraid, as a 49er fan I have put up with bad bad football for 8 straight years. You have to suffer through 1 and you have it gravy for 10+ years before and after that one crappy one.

It's good to see them suck at least once, I can't remember the last time the Colts were this bad, all we need now are the Patriots to suck, Brady to get injured and Belichek to retire (not wishing any ill will towards Brady).

It's a win win once this season is over Colts fans, so don't give up those season tickets. You will have Peyton for 2 more years, then some team which is desperate and thinks it's only a QB away from winning the Superbowl will give you a Kings Ransom for him, while you have one Andrew Luck waiting in the wings. It's just not fair dammit (hey wait the 49ers are 7-1, so I don't care).

Monday, November 7, 2011

San Francisco 49ers Week 9

By Kalen Patrick

Say hello to your 7-1 San Francisco 49ers? Really before the season who would have thought we would ever be saying that any time soon? Crazy huh? I predicted a 7-9 season at best! The 49ers emerged victorious again this Sunday with a 19-11 win over the Redskins (weird score I know).

This game reminded me of the Cleveland Browns game a lot. The 49ers were in control of the game the whole way, but failed to put the team away and made the game a little more interesting at the end. This was a game that the 49ers struggled to convert 3rd downs, and thus had to settle for FG's a lot. Alex Smith did have a key 30 yard TD pass to FB Bruce Miller, and at that point the game was essentially sealed. Like the Browns game, the 49ers relied on an effective run attack, Smith being efficient and not turning the ball over, and solid Special Teams play.

The defense put up another amazing performance (bar the redskins TD drive when they went prevent). The only points the Redskins scored were a record setting 59 yard FG. Thats it! The star of the defense on Sunday was absolutely Patrick Willis. He led the team in tackles and he forced two fumbles which were just amazing heads up plays by Willis. Of course Justin Smith was awesome, Brooks created pressure and Safeties Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner both had great games too. Carlos Rogers was solid on his return to Washington too.


Overall I was very happy with the performance, and going across country to the Eastern Time Zone definitely makes it more difficult. I just really wanna see Alex Smith show me a little more, I mean don't get me wrong, the guy is having a great season. He just needs another game to shut everyone up, another Philly game. I would like to see them attack down field more, but that will be going against the philosophy. The 49ers strategy is simple, play great defense and special teams, run the ball well and let Alex Smith not make mistakes and do just enough to win the game. Simple strategy and its been working. Essentially, Jim Harbaugh is getting the 49ers to do what Mike Singletary wanted, difference is Harbaugh knows how to you know coach?

So lets take a look forward to Week 10. The 49ers will host the New York Giants in Candlestick Park. This my friends, is gonna be an awesome game. Eli Manning is having a great season and the Giants are the leaders in the NFC East. But the 49ers won't make things easy for him, and expect another heavy attack with Gore and Hunter, maybe even expect a little more Alex Smith this week. This will be a good one.

I went 8-5 in my pick 'em last week (totally forgot to pick the MNF game)

NFC West Standings
San Francisco 49ers - 7-1
Seattle Seahawks -     2-6
Arizona Cardinals -     2-6
St. Louis Rams -         1-7

San Francisco 49ers Stats Leaders
Alex Smith - 1467 YDS, 10 TD's 2 INT's, 97.3 QB Rating
Frank Gore - 782 YDS, 5 TD's, 4.9 YPC
Vernon Davis - 339 YDS, 3 TD's

Navarro Bowman - 61 tackles
Aldon Smith - 6.5 Sacks
Carlos Rogers - 3 INT's

Sunday, November 6, 2011

College Football Recap and NFL Week 9 Preview

By Kalen Patrick

Well what a day in College Football! One of the all time great defensive battles between LSU and Alabama, while Kansas State and Oklahoma State were involved in a shootout. Not only this but we had some big upsets with Northwestern topping Nebraska, Iowa beating Michigan and also UCLA taking it to ASU.

While LSU were victorious over Alabama, the Crimson Tide squandered many opportunities to walk away with the W. Missing 4 FG's including 1 in OT killed any chance of winning a game like this. Defensive struggles tend to be a rarity in College Football, but this one I feel may go down as one of the all time classic SEC games. This is one game I'm sure Les Miles will never forget. Now we go from that game to KSU and OSU where there were 11 Offensive TD's in this game. Wide Receiver Justin Blackmon ruled the day with 13 catches, over 200 yards and 2 TD's. OSU's QB had a monster day with Brandon Weeden throwing 4 TD's and for over 500 yards.
The biggest shocker of the day was definitely Northwestern beating the #10 ranked Cornhuskers IN Nebraska. Not an easy task for any team. Northwestern did it through the air and on the ground and came away with what will no doubt be their biggest win of the season. Denard Robinson could not do enough to lift Michigan over Iowa as the Wolverines are headed towards another somewhat disappointing for such a prestigious program.

We have some very good divsional match-ups coming tomorrow. First off we have the Baltimore Ravens traveling to Pittsburgh, with the Steelers looking to take revenge for that embarrassing week 1 humiliation in Baltimore, when the Ravens won 35-7. Another interesting match-up will be the New York Jets vs the Buffalo Bills. Believe it or not, but the Bills are actually leading the AFC East. The Jets RB LaDainian Tomlinson has claimed this game to be the do or die game of the season for the Jets. While I don't know if that's true, it will make it very difficult to get to the playoffs should the Jets fall to the Bills.
Some other big games include; the Giants vs the Patriots, 2007 SuperBowl Revenge game perhaps? Anyone remember when the Patriots have lost back to back games? But don't count out the Giants either, Eli Manning is quietly having an amazing season (102.1 QB rating, with only Brady and Rodgers higher than him). There will also be a big game in the NFC South with the Bucs going up against the Saints in New Orleans. Can the Saints rebound after a huge upset against the Rams last week?

Other games that are sure to be good are Bengals at Tennessee, San Francisco at Washington, and on Monday Night Football, Chicago takes on Philly.

OK so I'm obviously late to start this BUT I am gonna start doing a Pick 'Em every week now. I figure I will give it a shot now and get it going fully next season. The team I pick to win will be in bold

Miami @ Kansas City
Atlanta @ Indianapolis
Tampa Bay @ New Orleans
NY Jets @ Buffalo
Seattle @ Dallas
Cleveland @ Houston
San Francisco @ Washington
Cincinnati @ Tennessee
Denver @ Oakland
NY Giants @ New England
St. Louis @ Arizona
Green Bay @ San Diego
Baltimore @ Pittsburgh

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Are You Watching College Football?

By Kalen Patrick

Not that in this day in age we Sports Fans are ever at a loss for entertainment, but for any NFL fan out there, I certainly hope you're watching College Football too. Today is gonna be a good one.

For you fans like me out on the West Coast, the fun will kick off at 12:30 with Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinals taking on Oregon State. There are 2 big reasons to watch this game, first you will get to see Andrew Luck in action, a guy who is maybe the most sought after and coveted College QB since who? Peyton Manning? Elway? Not only that, but while the matchup may not seem too intriguing, the 2nd reason to watch this game is that Oregon State being a Pac-12 team now, knows this Stanford team pretty darn well. I'm not necessarily predicting an upset, but don't be shocked if the score is closer than you think.


The Prime Time College Football will start at 4:15, when you have #9 South Carolina traveling to #7 Arkansas. This is soon followed by #14 Kansas State taking on #3 Oklahoma State at 5:00. Also at this time will be the premier game, the game that everyone is waiting for, when #1 LSU will be matched up against #2 Alabama. This one is sure to be a Titanic clash, think of this game as, the unstoppable force meets the immovable object and this game will reveal what will happen.

The other 2 games offer up some interesting match ups, between some very well recognized College Football Coaches (Steve Spurrier at South Carolina and Bobby Petrino at Arkansas). Flicking back and forth between these 3 games, while having a main focus on the LSU-Alabama game is the best way to go. For any NFL Fan who questions whether College Football is for them. Today could be the day you find out.

NFL Power Rankings

By Kalen Patrick

These are my first set of Power Rankings for the Season. I am going to try to make this a weekly or at least bi-weekly topic. I'm anxious to see what you guys will think. Here goes.

1. Green Bay Packers  7-0
2. Pittsburgh Steelers 6-2
3. San Francisco 49ers 6-1
4. New England Patriots  5-2
5. Baltimore Ravens 5-2

All of these teams are at this moment, superbowl contenders. Green Bay seems unbeatable, the Steelers after their win over New England earn a spot above the red hot and surprising 49ers. The Patriots and Ravens respectfully round out the top 5.

6. Buffalo Bills 5-2
7. Detroit Lions 6-2
8. New Orleans Saints 5-3
9. New York Giants 5-2
10. Cincinnati Bengals 5-2

The Bills, Lions and Saints will all be in the playoffs. Besides for the Saints hiccup at St. Louis, all these teams have played well consistently. Giants and Bengals have more question marks but you can't argue with their record.

11. Houston Texans 5-3
12. Atlanta Falcons 4-3
13. Chicago Bears 4-3
14. New York Jets 4-3
15. San Diego Chargers 4-3

These teams (for now) are either likely to round out the playoff teams or else come very very close. Texans and Chargers lead their respective divisions, while the others remain in closely fought wild card battles.

16. Philadelphia Eagles 3-4
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-3
18. Kansas City Chiefs 4-3
19. Dallas Cowboys 3-4
20. Oakland Raiders 4-3
21. Tennessee Titans 4-3

These are the teams that are still quite competitive, will have to improve in order to make the playoffs but definitely possible. Interesting teams here are the rebounding Eagles, the Raiders with Carson Palmer and the always newsworthy Dallas Cowboys.

22. Washington Redskins 3-4
23. Cleveland Browns 3-4
24. Carolina Panthers 2-6
25. Minnesota Vikings 2-6
26. Seattle Seahawks 2-5

These are the teams that are stuck, they are not bad enough for top 5 pick status (which is now worth a lot with the new rookie pay scale) and none of these teams should be thinking playoffs. Panthers have a bright future ahead with Cam Newton, Ponder has shown flashes in Minnesota, and the Redskins are collapsing after a strong start.

27. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-6
28. Denver Broncos 2-5
29. St. Louis Rams 1-6
30. Arizona Cardinals 1-6
31. Indianapolis Colts 0-8
32. Miami Dolphins 0-7

All of these teams are in the competition for #1 overall pick. The teams here that would actually pick Andrew Luck are the Broncos, Cardinals, Colts and Dolphins. The Rams have Sam Bradford, Jags just got Blaine Gabbert. A distinct possibility Luck takes his talents to south beach.

And there we have it, let me know what you think. Will hopefully get around to this again next week.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

San Francisco 49ers Week 8

By Kalen Patrick

Well the 49ers were able to avoid the trap game that was the Cleveland Browns and won the game 20-10. The 49ers absolutely dominated the Browns the entire 1st half and it is mind boggling the score was only 10-0 at the half. The 2nd half was mostly sloppy play on both sides, the Browns at one point did pull within 17-10, but a late David Akers FG sealed the game for the 49ers, who won for the 5th consecutive game. It's been 13 years since the 49ers have been 6-1.

The respective stars of the game were Frank Gore on offense and Navarro Bowman on defense. Frank Gore essentially had his way with the Browns defense rushing for over 130 yards (and passing Roger Craig for 2nd on the 49ers all-time rushing list). The 49ers had a solid pass attack, with some very clever trick plays thrown in (passes to LT Joe Staley and NT Isaac Sopoaga).

The defense lead by Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman was stout yet again. Not until the 4th quarter did the Browns ever really get anything going. The defensive line had another great game and the 49ers got great pass rush from Ahmad Brooks, Aldon Smith and Justin Smith.

The one key area for the 49ers to really improve upon is becoming more consistent in the passing game. Almost the entire 2nd half Alex Smith seemed out of sync with the offense and never really looked like much of a threat. Thanks in big part to the effective running of Frank Gore, that Smith didn't need to light up the stats sheet in order to get the win. I'm looking forward to seeing the 49ers open up the passing game more. However, the running game is working so well, it's very hard to go away from that. Ultimately, if it ain't broke then don't fix it. I'm liking the connection Alex Smith and Michael Crabtree have shown and look forward to more Braylon Edwards.

The 49ers will travel back to the East Coast to take on the struggling 3-3 Washington Redskins this Sunday. It's never easy to go West to East, and while I like the 49ers chances, especially against Grossman/Beck, anything can happen come Sunday. The 49ers do have a shot at wrapping up the division ridiculously early. Not sure whether thats a good thing or bad thing.

49ers Stats Leaders
Alex Smith - 1267 YARD's, 9 TD's, 2 INT's, 95.7 QB RATING
Frank Gore - 675 YARDS, 5 TD's
Vernon Davis - 297 YARDS, 3 TD's

Navarro Bowman - 68 TACKLES
Aldon Smith - 6.5 SACKS