Sometimes after a great season, teams take it easy and don’t push hard in free agency. Not the 49’ers, they went for it all and made out like the NFC West Champs they are. On offense, they sign Giants bull-dozing Running-back Brandon Jacobs. Guess who is getting the ball on every second or third and short. That alone will keep Frank Gore healthy. The passing game gets so much better as 49’ers bring in Giants Receiver Mario Manningham. His over the shoulder 38 yard reception in the Giants game winning Super Bowl drive against the Patriots will be talked about forever. And they get a guy named Randy Moss who is pretty good as well. Are you kidding me? Moss at age 35 is still better than half the receivers in the league. He says he feels rejuvenated after taking a year off from the game. Scary. Camp reports say he looks great. If that’s the case, pencil him in for a thousand yards and ten touchdowns easy. That’s if, Alex Smith doesn’t revert back to his old form. I applaud the 49’ers for going for it.
So offensively, the 49’ers are stacked. Jim Harbaugh’s team was ranked 26th in that category, 29th in passing, that will change dramatically this year. Quarterback Alex Smith had a breakout season completing 61 percent of his passes with 17 touchdowns and only five interceptions. Now, he has Moss and Manningham to throw to along with Michael Crabtree, Ted Ginn Jr, Kyle Williams and first round pick A.J. Jenkins out of Illinois. Lets’ not forget about Tightend Vernon Davis, who tortured the Saints in the playoffs. The 49’ers ground attack was one of the best in the league ranked eighth putting up 2044 yards. Workhorse Frank Gore led the way with 1,211 yards and eight touchdowns. He broke down at the end of last year, but that won’t happen this year, because back-up Kendall Hunter returns. He averaged over four yards a carry. Did I mention the 49’ers signed the freight train Brandon Jacobs?
So imagine if you’re part of a tired defense facing the 49’ers in the second half. All of sudden, they bring in tailback LaMichael James who breaks off a 30-yarder to ice the game. Some people ripped the 49’ers drafting James in the second round. I love it. James was a stud at Oregon and could be the back-up at the end of the season. You better believe the 49’ers eighth ranked rushing will run into the top five. The Offensive Line is strong across the board led by Pro Bowl Tackle Joe Staley. This group is big and physical and usually imposes its will on the opposition. Quarterback Alex Smith has the weapons he needs and is playing in the same system he knows. I feel confident Smith will take another step toward becoming a real good Quarterback. The 49’ers offense from top to bottom is the best in the NFC West, they’ll be hard to stop.
I’m giddy over the offense and the defense is outstanding ranked forth last year. They play fast and physical. San Francisco was ranked number one in the league against the run allowing only 77 yards a game. The 49’ers Linebackers are devastating. The team hit such a home run drafting Linebacker Aldon Smith out of Missouri. In his first year, he put up 14 sacks. Smith led a defense ranked eighth in the league with 42 Sacks. He could be terrorizing Quarterbacks for years. When it comes to game changers the 49’ers have one of the best in Patrick Willis. When he hits someone you can feel it. Another great player is third year Linebacker NaVorro Bowman who led the team with a 143 tackles, 111 solo. The great Linebackers keep coming with Ahmad Brooks who racked up seven sacks with 50 tackles.
The D-Line is big and talented led by Pro Bowl Defensive Tackle Justin Smith, who had 7.5 sacks last year. If the defense has any cracks it might lie in the secondary as the 49’ers were ranked 16th in pass defense. But you would never know by the way they handled the Saints and Giants in the playoffs. Pro Bowl Cornerback Carlos Rogers anchors one island and Pro Bowl Free Safety Dashon Goldson makes plays all over the field. Tarell Brown or Chris Culliver will secure the other starting Corner position and could be pushed by talented Perrish Cox. He was a starter in Denver until he was accused of Sexual Assault along with Broncos teammate Demaryius Thomas back in 2010. If the 49’ers have any weaknesses it might only when they go to nickel situations. But, once again, this defense can play and shut down anyone.
If the 49’ers have to play a field position game, their Special Teams are stacked with Kicker Joe Nedney and Punter Andy Lee. Both made the Pro Bowl last year. From top to bottom the 49ers are loaded and play fast and ferocious. Coach Jim Harbaugh is very impressive; he knows the game and how to win. That won’t change in his second year. The 49ers go 11 and 5 and win the division for the second year in a row. Joe Pequeno over and out!