Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Post Game Analysis From Week 2

Week 2 proved to be a disaster for the San Francisco 49ers from all three facets of the game. It took me awhile to digest the loss and think about how to professionally critique them instead of completely trashing on them. 

They started off the game great with the blocked punt but couldn't capitalize on it. Russell Wilson threw many signs of foreshadowing In the first half. He explicitly kept handing the ball off to Marshawn to take attention off of himself to see if the defense would fall asleep on him. Ahmad Brooks made a great tackle on him but after that no other attempt at the QB really stood out at me when he became vulnerable as a runner. But that really burned us in the second half as Russell Wilson decided to keep the ball on the option and gained big yards. 

Colin Kaepernick struggled proving to be his career worst start (both career lows are at Seattle). He never caught his stride during the game and the defense did a great job breaking his rhythm. He had one interception that was out of his control which was a tipped ball but the other two were solid pro football interceptions. The Seahawks, likewise the Packers, stuffed our run game which is something that needs to be established for this offense to be successful. 

My bold prediction was no where close to becoming a reality. Although, I was impressed my his tackling this game which improved from week 1. 

Seattle really showcased their secondary this game by completely shutting down the 13 reception 200 yard receiver in Anquan Boldin. He didn't catch his first pass until 50 minutes into the game. Richard Sherman also added to the hurt by having an exceptional pick leaping up to grab it. 

The 49ers also had some key injuries that game. One that must be attended to quickly is the broken ankle of Ian Williams who will now miss the remainder of the season. Hopefully Dorsey is ready to suit up and go for our fierce run stopping defense. Vernon Davis also left the game with a strained hamstring and he is still listed as day to day. Eric Reid, one of the key pieces in the defense with two picks already and some hits for the highlight real left the game with a concussion. These are three key injuries that need to be resolved ASAP. 

Other than that the 49ers have nothing to worry about. It's still early in the year and this week we are back home facing Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. We must get back into full gear in order to beat this solid team. They are definitely not a team we are going to just roll over. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Keys to Beating the Seahawks

Last week showed to be an impressive win for the San Francisco 49ers. But there were some areas of the game that needed some improvement. With that being said. Here are some keys to capturing a win in Seattle:

1. Don't let crowd noise be a factor:

Let's not forget that the "12th Man" up in Seattle are trying to set a Guiness Book of World Record by having the loudest crowd noise at a sporting event.the 49ers almost got caught a few times for delay of game. Kaepernick has to be loud with his pre snap calls and get ready to snap the ball quick. 

2. Keep Russell Wilson in the pocket:

Wilson is a dangerous passer when he rolls outside of the pocket and it's even worse when the defense is gambling on whether or not he's going to run or pass the ball. So the 49er defensive ends will have to make smart choices on when to pursue on the QB. 

3. Throw off the Seahawks Secondary:

The Seahawks have a fierce group of safeties and DBs. It's going to be tough for Anquan Boldin to have a repeat from last week's performance. This means that other 49er receivers must step up to fluster the Seahawks defense. 

4. Finish Through Tackles:

Last week was a rough week for one person, Nnamdi Asomugha. He had a rough week covering the slot receiver and finishing his tackles. He didnt look comfortable at all and was outshines by the rookie, Eric Reid. This week I challenge Nnamdi to show the Niner Faithful he's not going to be a busy this year by having a breakout performance in a big time game. 

5. Don't let Marshawn Loose:

Last week Marshawn Lynch struggled by only rushing for 50 yards. Don't think this will be a weekly output by this explosive back. The 49ers can't afford to take this guy lightly as he can erupt in any minute. The last thing the 49ers need is to have the forecast as raining skittles. 

6. Colin Kaepernick has to Stay Hot:

Colin Kaepernick opened a lot of viewers' eyes last week by showcasing more of his arm. When the option and the run game weren't so effective he was able to bail out the offense by throwing for 400+ yards. He did an excellent job by looking off the defenders and pump faking to slow them down as well. He has to keep this up if he wants to avenge his week 16 loss from a year ago. This will be one of the toughest defenses he will be facing all season long so he has to be geared up and ready to go to get a victory this week. 

My Bold Prediction:

Nnamdi Asomugha has a huge game and has 11 tackles, 1 interception, and 1 forced fumble. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Keys to winning game 1

The 49ers are poised for another big year and here are some points to key on in order to beat the Cheeseheads in week 1:

1. Stop Aaron Rodgers':
Aaron Rodgers knows he has something to prove after last years Playoff defeat. By stopping Aaron Rodgers doesn't necessarily mean we need to pick him off 6 times. All it means is to get in his head. Our front 4 need to get through the O-Line and fluster the QB. Hurry the QB and knock him around and it will definitely play in our favor today. 

2. Watch out for the 2nd dimension:

The Green Bay organization went all in when they drafted former crimson tide running back Eddie Lacy. They did this for a reason, by trying to add that dynamic back they've been looking for for the past few years. Key in on that today as Eddie Lacy is poised for a big game as Green Bay's sleeper. 

3. Big game from the group of unknowns:

Our wide receiver core has been battered up and is not at it's full potential yet. Kyle Williams is just like Eddie Lacy as the 49ers' wild card. He knows what happened two years ago and today is his day to somewhat heal the hearts of the Niner Faithful. 

4. Don't forget that the game is 4 quarters:

The 49ers are known for holding back when they have a big lead. Today if we are up we have to keep stepping on their throats. Don't let the out foots off the gas pedal and the defense can't play off and be soft. 

5. Convert red zone chances:

We must improve our red zone percentage if we want to have another big season. We can't settle for field goals  because are offense is too lethal to leave points on the board. 

6. Stop the plethora of receivers:

The secondary will be challenged today as they must keep Jordy Nelson, Jermighael Finley, James Jones, and the rising star, Randall Cobb. Of course they'll have their receptions, but we can't have those turn into big plays. 

If the 49ers execute these 6 keys then there shouldn't be a reason for failure today. Lets Rock the Stick for the last season opener at Candlestick Park. 

My Bold Prediction:
Kyle Williams has a huge game and finishes with 8 receptions, 108 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. 


Saturday, August 10, 2013

TOUCH

The title of my blog relates to Daft Punk's song called Touch from their latest album, Random Access Memories (try listening to the song before if you can). Touch can bring you to a new place. To me after spending some time with IT, made me value the sense of touch more. It could help you relive a certain memory or highlight of your life. It can also make you think about all the struggles you've gone through to make you who you are today. Ot it can let your mind drift off as if it was in outer space almost like how the song begins. But for me, it all happened on a bright, sunny day on August 3, 2013, I knelt down on the bench and met IT and suddenly my mind wandered off.

I swing my arm around on the table gently resting my hand on IT. Suddenly I hear the roar of the Giants fans as we make it to the playoffs on the last day of the regular season. My ear catches the sound of Cody Ross' bat hitting home runs against the pirates. It also caught Edgar Renteria teeing off on the Rangers in the Fall Classic. I see the closer, Brian Wilson striking out Nelson Cruz to seal the deal in Texas en route to ending the 52 year drought. These band of misfits gave us a taste of what torture really meant only to foreshadow it for the coming future.

I swung my other arm gingerly across the other table laying my palm on IT. I drown in the battle cry coming from Hunter Pence in Game 3 of the NLDS that propelled us through the series and onto the next one. I see the ball take an awkward curve in midair after it comes off of Pence's bat twice in the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals. Were we back again? Everyone was counting us out in this next series. "There's no way that San Francisco gets past this all-star rotation and the Triple Crown winner in Miguel Cabrera," said most of the analysts on the FOX pre game. Could we pull it off again? Ask Sergio Romo after he struck out that so called Triple Crown Winner to get the final out to seal the sweep in Detroit and bring IT where IT belongs. 

"Next!" yelled the person telling me to let go of IT. Snapping me out of limbo of being with IT. This is what made me cherish Touch more. As the song goes, "I'll always remember touch.""Pictures came with touch, a painter in my mind," is how I'll remember touch. This is why there lies a place in me, a passion for sports. 

Still wondering what IT is?
Here is me and IT


Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Not So Usual Suspects

     This year's USA Basketball Camp was filled with a bunch of new faces. Of the group of 28 that participated at this camp, only 1 had Olympic experience, big man Anthony Davis. This year's camp was to examine a field of 28 players to select to compete at next year's Inaugural FIBA World Cup of Basketball. The big names that represented this group was Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, and the rising star Paul George. The Bay Area added some hometown flavor with Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes representing the Warriors. Tonight was the traditional Blue vs White game where the field of 28 was split into two teams. Team Blue was coached by Chicago Bulls' Head Coach Tom Thibodeau while the White squad was being coached by Monty Williams.
     This year's camp was to build for the future. Jerry Colangelo and Coach Mike Krzyzewski know that the superstars in the NBA today are aging and they need to start developing a new nucleus to represent our country. There was never a better place to start than tonight. Team White and Blue put on an electrifying performance. This makes me excited for the future brand of USA Basketball. The players that Colangelo picked for the camp fit the FIBA system perfectly. Those who aren't very familiar, in FIBA play, the ball can still be touched if it is making contact with the rim. Whereas in the NBA that would be considered goaltending or offensive interference. Also, the three point line is only 19 feet from the bucket, while the NBA three point line is 22 feet. That three feet difference can play a very large advantage to the Americans as that's an average jump shot for most NBA shooters.
     With all that being said, tonight showed the fans that we have nothing to worry about. We've got young electrifying big men to replace Tyson Chandler, consisting of DeAndre Jordan, Kenneth Fareid, and Anthony Davis. Greg Monroe impressed me tonight as well making smart plays on Defense. There's the lock-in guards of Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard to get to the bucket at will. But FIBA is also about spreading the floor rather than driving to the hoop. We've got perfect fits for that with Klay Thompson, Ryan Anderson, Chandler Parsons, and Paul George. There are also a bunch of role players to choose from as well. Among them are Demarcus Cousins, Harrison Barnes, Dion Waiters, John Wall, and Ty Lawson.
     Of course there will be players from the 2012 Olympic Team that will join in for the FIBA World Cup next summer. There have already been two former Olympians committing to the team for next summer in Kevin Love and Kevin Durant. There's also news of Russell Westbrook and James Harden wanting back in as well. Colangelo said we should expect to see about six players from the 2012 team back for next year's tournament. Leaving only six spots to fill for the roster. So this means everything is still up in the air to who will make the final roster. But one thing is for sure, the future is looking bright for the men in Stars and Stripes.

The Campaign for Brazil

     It was less than a year ago that MLS soccer fans were pessimistic about Landon Donovan returning to the LA Galaxy. Many doubted him because of his age (30 at the time) and questioned whether or not Father Time has finally caught up to him. Jurgen Klinsmann even made the decision of leaving him off the World Cup Qualifying squad earlier this year. This was a bold move as Landon was arguably a face of U.S. Soccer after his performance at the World Cup in 2010. But Jurgen told Landon that the only way to be on his squad, He'd have to give Coach Klinsmann the BEST Landon Donovan. Earlier this year he just wasn't meeting expectations. 
     All this criticism that Landon faced for the past year was fuel added to a small fire. This fire has finally bursted and shined in this year's CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament. Many speculators will say that Donovan is only getting lucky because most squads are using their 'B' squads or because the Confederation consists of teams below par when it comes to the international level. But Landon Donovan is finally proving he's coming back into form that we were accustomed to seeing. Simply look at his stat-line in the tournament, 3 goals and 6 assists. This means he's pretty much accounted for 9 goals for the U.S. in just this tournament. Talk about an outright MVP of this year's Gold Cup. 
     He's making a statement by his play this summer. It's not an accident or a fluke that he's playing this way. He is finally telling Jurgen Klinsmann that he has accepted his challenge to give him 'the best Landon Donovan ever.' Like Grant Wahl said in his Sports Illustrated article, "When you don't set a ceiling on what you ask for, there's no limit to what you can do." This was Coach Jurgen's strategy the whole time to get the best of what Donovan has left. This only sets up for a very much anticipated final against Panama. How will Landon Donovan close out this summer's tournament? 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

This One's For You......KLAY

     My readers, friends, and family would know that I'm not the BIGGEST fan of the Golden State Warriors shooting guard, Klay Thompson. Before last nights game, he never seemed to impress me with his play. I thought all along that all he had was a 3-point shot. I was even hoping that the trade got done to send him to New Orleans for Eric Gordon before the trade deadline. I'm not saying after last night's performance I'm going to become his #1 fan, but i think I owe him some props after his historic night. I support Mark Jackson when he said, "Klay had one of the best first halves in the history of the NBA." It's not everyday we see someone score 29 points and shoot 7/8 from the 3-point line, especially on the road in hostile playoff territory in a place where we haven't won in 16 years. But Klay did just that. On top of his stellar shooting, he's starting to show DubNation how good of a defender he really is. Throughout this whole season, Coach Jackson has gave him the duty to guard the opponent's best player. It stretched from guarding guys like Tony Parker and Kobe Bryant, to Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony. He's not the best defender in the world like Bruce Bowen once was (although that's all Bowen really did), but he does enough to slow the other team's superstar down or get them out of their rhythm at least. What exactly is "good enough" defending? Gary St. Jean explained it perfectly on the post game show, he said Klay does what the best defenders do, really well. Those things are closing out on the shooter, knowing how to fight through screens, and moving your feet quickly to stay in front of the ball handler. This is exactly what he's been doing this whole playoff series so far against Tony Parker. He's been making him work for his buckets whenever he is faced up against him. In Klay's post game interview, he said that he listened to his biggest critic, his dad. His father told him after the game 1 loss that he's got to stay out of foul trouble. In game 2 he only had 3 fouls which was far different than game 1. To wrap it all up, I'm not praising Klay Thompson just yet because it's all about what you do in the next game. Are you gonna show people it was just a fluke and go back to the inconsistent Klay? Or are you going to build off of your strong performance and show us you could shoot like that on a nightly basis? I'm not saying put up another 34 or shoot 8/9 from three again. Just show us you could be a consistent player Steph could rely on for help so people could stop doubting you. Now the ball is in your hands, game 3, Friday, it's your turn to show Dubnation what your made of, again.