NFL Kick-Off – I Been Kaep-tured
Sunday, August 25, 2013
My life has been very busy and somewhat stressful for the better part of this year.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not the crazed football fanatic I’ve always been. It simply means my time has been taken up with the more important matters of life.
We are a mere two weeks away from the start of the 2013 NFL regular season.
I am sooo ready for some football.
The pre-season has never meant much to me. It may give players and coaches a chance to gauge their players, but it isn’t compelling football for most fans.
I am perfectly content to wait until the regular season kick-off on September 5 to see real football action.
The last two seasons (2011-2012) have been special for me as a San Francisco 49ers fan and season ticket holder. The hiring of Jim Harbaugh signalled the rebirth of the Forty Niners. The turn-around has been stunning.
Jim Harbaugh has taken a talented but underachieving team and moved them from the ranks of the league’s mediocre to the ranks of the league’s elite.
The 49ers are considered 6-1 favorites to win the Super Bowl in 2014.
I am not going to make that prediction. I see too many things that can go wrong and other teams in the NFC and the NFC West who will be out to derail those Super Bowl predictions.
But I do see the Niners having another great season with a record of 11-5 and making the playoffs. I stand by my prediction that the 49ers will win Super Bowl 50 in 2016 when the SB is played in Santa Clara, making them the first team to win the SB in their home stadium.
This season the NFC West will be a tough challenge for the defending NFC champions.
The Seahawks are a young and talented team. I watched them play a pre-season game against the Packers and my impression was, Seahawks are fast, Packers are not. I believe the Seahawks will be the greatest challenge to the 49ers this season. For the Seahawks much depends on the play of Russell Wilson. Can defenses disrupt him in the pocket? He is a speedy guy and throws a rocket of a pass, but he isn’t, yet, Drew Brees, and his size can be used against him. But I expect the Seahawks to have a 10-6 record.
We can’t overlook the Rams. Jeff Fisher is a very good coach. He will have the Rams competing in every game. If Sam Bradford can play well this season they will be trouble, season record 8-8.
The Cardinals are still trying to put all the pieces together. Nothing has been right with them since Kurt Warner retired. Their coach, Bruce Arians is a tough coach who will demand effort from his team. Carson Palmer can still throw but he needs an offensive line to protect him. Season record 6-10.
The NFC West’s top two teams, Niners and Seahawks, have mobile quarterbacks, physical running games and superior defenses. There is a building, nasty, rivalry.
The games they play will be highly anticipated by everyone who loves football.
The Forty Niners have found a franchise quarterback in Colin Kaepernick. The excitement and hope he has brought to the fans of this team is unbelievable.
It has been a very long time since Forty Niner fans had a player like Kaep to celebrate. He has become a media darling and his jersey is the top seller in the league! I doubt that even Joe “Cool” Montana held that distinction.
I was impressed the moment I watched Kaep take over for Alex and destroy the Bears at the Stick. From that moment I knew he was our QB of the future. I just didn’t realize that the future was evolving before my eyes.
We all know that this season teams and defenses will be prepared to counter Kaep’s skills. All the defenses in the league have spent time this off-season devising schemes to counter the likes of RGIII, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick.
The 49ers must find a way to keep Kaep safe and use his bountiful talents without sacrificing his body.
The Forty Niners have depth throughout the roster. Although, as of this writing, the back-up QB position is still in flux. According to the news this morning, Colt McCoy’s revival tour with the 49ers will end. They are reported to be trying to trade him.
Neither McCoy or Tolzien has looked very good in the pre-season. The Niners should have looked for a QB that fit the mobile mold of Kaep this off season. Tolzien is a pocket passer. Rookie BJ Daniels, is raw, but has mobility. The 49ers have now signed veteran Seneca Wallace, who has some of the skills needed to fill in for Kaep.
All in all, the 49ers have some iffy tools in their QB tool box.
The 49ers were 5 yards away from winning their sixth Super Bowl, you can be sure that painful loss will be motivation. Will Harbaugh tweak his “Who’s Got It Better Than Us?” to “Who Got Closer Than Us?”
With all that said, I am eager to immerse myself in football. It is a respite from real life.