1st and Ten - The Weekly Tendown January 8-14 2012 (Who's Got it Better Than Us?)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dear Internet:

NFL Playoffs: San Francisco 49ers versus New Orleans Saints Jan. 14, 2012

It's Tendown 110.  109 is here.

1. We're Going to the What Now?
With Sunday's games still to be played, I'm 5-1 against the spread in the NFL playoffs so far (you can also find my Golden Globe predictions by clicking that link)

Of course, I picked the Saints to win the whole thing - the Saints will not win the whole thing.

I don't think we're going to beat the Packers, but the team that played yesterday could win the Super Bowl.

How ridiculous is that?

In my preseason picks piece, I wrote this:

You give me that choice right now, I can either have the top pick, meaning I go 2-14, or go 12-4 and get beat in the conference title, and I want the pick and it isn't close.  Anything short of a Super Bowl appearance is not worth Andrew Luck.

I still maintain that position, but it's an understandably lonely one among Niner fans this morning, I'd guess.

I've redone my rankings of every 49er team ever by regular season quality, the current group is the 13th best regular season Niner team since we joined the NFL.  Here's the top 20. 

1.     1987 – 13.5 Lost in playoffs to Vikings, Montana, Craig, Rathman, Rice, Lott, McKyer, Haley, Griffin
-Our last 3 regular season games in '87:  
Niners 41 Bears 0
Niners 35 Falcons 7
Niners 48 Rams 0

2.     1984 – 12.7 World Champions beat Dolphins, Montana, Tyler, Craig, Solomon, Clark, Francis, Lott, Board
-We lost to the Steelers in week 7, 20-17; after that, including the playoffs, here was the combined score of all of our remaining games:
Niners 377
Opponents 131

3. 1992 – 11.8 Lost NFC Title to Cowboys, Young, Watters, Rice, Taylor, Jones, Davis, Griffin, Romanowski
-The first game in NFL history without a punt was our week 2 loss in Buffalo.

4. 1995 – 11.8 Lost in playoffs to Packers, Young, Rice, Jones, Taylor, Norton, McDonald, Jackson, Plummer
-The Packers rushed only 3 men, dropping 8 into coverage, but we couldn't run the ball and they beat us; might be a lesson for next week if we go into Green Bay.

5.  1994 – 11.6 World Champions beat Chargers, Young, Watters, Floyd, Rice, Taylor, Jones, Norton, Deion
-I gave 17 in the Super Bowl.  This is too many points to give, don't ever do it (we won by 23)

6. 1991 – 10.9 Young, Rice, Haley, Hanks, Rathman, Griffin, Holt, Barton, Foster, McIntyre, Taylor
-We didn't make the playoffs; this was the Bono season - Joe went down, Young went down, we were 4-6 and then won our last 6 games of the season, finishing off 52-14 against the Bears. 

7. 1989 – 10.7 coach-Seifert, World Champions beat Broncos, Montana, Craig, Rice, Taylor, Haley, Lott
-If you've never had the experience of rooting for a team that was so good that there literally was never a second during the postseason that you doubted you were going to win the whole ain't bad.  Here was the Niner playoff run:

Niners 41 Vikings 13
Niners 30 Rams 3
Niners 55 Broncos 10

8. 1953 – 10.7 Tittle, Perry, McElhenny, Nomellini, Wilson, St Clair
-We joined the NFL in 1950, so the first 4 Niner teams aren't included in this list; in terms of these old groups, the '49 Frankie Albert team that lost to the Browns in the AAFC title game was probably better than this group and the '48 team may have been one of the 5 best Niner teams of all time.

9. 1998 – 10.6 Lost in playoffs to Falcons, Young, Hearst, Owens, Rice, Norton, McDonald, BY, Doleman
-TO made a last second catch in traffic to beat the Packers in the playoffs and sobbed on the sideline.  I'm guessing you'll see some clips of that play at some point this week.  

10.  1993– 9.7 Lost NFC Title to Cowboys, Young, Watters, Rice, Taylor, Jones, McDonald, Stubblefield
-Goddamn Cowboys.

11. 1985 – 8.8 Lost in playoffs to Giants, Montana, Craig, Tyler, Solomon, Clark, Francis, Lott, Board, Hicks

12. 1983 – 8.7 Lost NFC Title to Redskins, Montana, Craig, Tyler, Clark, Solomon, Francis, Lott, Board, Dean

13. 2011 – 8.3 Smith, Gore, Staley, Crabtree, JSmith, Willis, Bowman, Rogers, Akers, Lee, Davis

14. 1996 – 8 Lost in playoffs to Packers, Young, Rice, Owens, Jones, Norton, McDonald, BY, Doleman,

15. 1965 – 7.1 Brodie, Willard, Crow, Johnson, Hazeltine, Wilcox

16. 1986 – 7 Lost in playoffs to Giants, Montana, Craig, Rathman, Rice, Clark, Francis, Griffin, Lott, Haley

17. 2001 – 6.8 Lost in playoffs to Packers, Garcia, Hearst, Owens, Plummer, Peterson, Carter, BY

18. 1970 – 6.5 Lost NFC Title to Cowboys, Brodie, Willard, Washington, Johnson, Wilcox

19. 1972 – 6.4 Lost in playoffs to Cowboys, Spurrier, Washington, Johnson, Wilcox

20. 1971 – 6.3 Lost NFC Title to Cowboys, Brodie, Willard, Washington, Johnson

2. Would You Like to See the Last Drive for the 1981 NFC Championship Game?

3. How About A Highlight Package of the 1989 NFC Championship Game?

4. And the Celebration After the 1994 NFC Championship Game?

5. It Won't Surprise You That I Think This Girl in Rhode Island is a Hero

That's the mural that was displayed at her public school.  It violates the Establishment Clause.  Jessica Ahlquist sued and won.

Here's a question - when's the last time you read about a bunch of atheists threatening to kill Christian teenage girls?  It is just so hard to be a Christian in America.

6. 43%

In unrelated news:

T. Tebow9/261365.200
And a lost fumble.  Which, since he led the league in fumbles (not lost, but total fumbles) is not a surprise.  

Tim Tebow's completion percentage was below 50% and he led the league in fumbles.  

And he's America's favorite athlete.  It's just so hard to be a Christian in America.

7. Do You Know About This?

They're called Bronies.  Adult men who love My Little Pony.

8. My Favorite Thing Rush Limbaugh Said This Week.

9. Welcome, Comrades.

Newt Gingrich attacked Mitt Romney this week...from the left.  

The Romney/Obama matchup has not interested me much, but now I see the value in Romney as the candidate of the 1%.  Income Inequality is the primary narrative that I'd like to see continue, really as long as possible, and Romney (did you see him say we should only talk about inequality in quiet rooms?) is exactly the wrong face to put on the opposition party in 2012.  Obama's going to be re-elected.  

10. 3 Catches

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time.  If there is a next time...

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