La Russa Would Be Proud.

After the Bears were embarassed by the 49ers on MNF, I gave you my feelings on the Niners. Summary, you know the defense is punishingly excellent, but the offensive personnel is underrated.

Yep, I’m a believer that if you have two in any relationship, quarterbacks, girlfriends, your success will be short lived. Even two dogs can be a hassle at times. Ask my mom.

There. Are. Exceptions. Jim Harbaugh, who is quite similar in personality and orneriness to Jim Schwartz (ahh, the fine line between Ws & Ls, and genius & unemployed), is dating two quarterbacks right now. It’s obvious why it’s working -and why it should continue to work – isn’t it? It goes back to my thought above. They don’t have Brady, Brees or a Manning (or other), but their other 21 are superior to yours.

Ehh, I’ve gotta do it again, but more briefly now. Line is nearly inpenetrable. Gore is healthy. Recievers are competent, and a strength if you include Vernon Davis. Front 7 has four of the very best in Justin, Aldon, Willis and Bowman. The secondary will break you into a million pieces. And maybe now with Kyle Williams and Kendall Hunter done, they’ll finally unleash LaMichael James.

When your 21 are that substantial, does it matter who the QB is? Nope. Harbaugh just has to manage the situation now. Not necessarily on the field as much as psychologically between Smith and Kaepernick. Moreso with Smith though. Who potentially becomes a very high draft pick for the Niners when QB needy teams – and there are many – come calling in the offseason.

There’s my opinion on how Harbaugh is manipulating the most critical position in sports like he’s Tony La Russa in the 8th inning of a 2 run game in October, while facing a lineup that goes L, R, L, R, S. Or, like he’s an indecisive toddler trying to pick which toy to play with.

This is Bill Barnwell’s opinion and further examination of what we’ve never seen before in the NFL.

Using a closer quarterback would have other advantages, too. It would keep Kaepernick out of the game in run-focused situations in the fourth quarter (unless he’s wanted as a running threat on a particular play), which is a way for him to stay as healthy as possible for more meaningful situations. Since the 49ers win most of the time, it would be a good way to keep Smith fit and fresh for a late-season or playoff scenario in which Kaepernick gets hurt or needs to be benched.

On another note, I’ve never felt better about my preseason Super Bowl pick. I kept picking the Saints till I got them right in 2010, but I feel GREAT about Niners/Pats thanks to the math from FootballOutsiders.

Team Conf App Conf Win SB Win 16-0 15-1
NE 54.9% 33.1% 19.8%
SF 53.0% 33.8% 18.9%
DEN 46.3% 24.9% 14.4%
HOU 54.6% 24.9% 10.5% 4.4%
CHI 30.1% 15.6% 7.9%
BAL 33.3% 14.0% 5.9%
GB 24.8% 12.1% 5.8%
ATL 44.9% 17.2% 5.4% 2.5%



Matchup Chance
Randy Moss Reunion Special (NE-SF) 11.3%
Super Bowl XXIV rematch (DEN-SF) 8.2%
Super Bowl XX rematch (NE-CHI) 5.1%
Harbaugh Bowl (BAL-SF) 4.7%

The Lions are NOT mathematically eliminated from the postseason.  

NFC North

Team Rec WEI DVOA Mean Wins #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 DIV BYE WC TOT CHANGE
CHI 8-3 25.1% 10.8 11.3% 14.9% 14.3% 5.0% 32.2% 12.9% 45.4% 26.1% 45.1% 90.6% 14.0%
GB 7-4 21.6% 10.5 4.7% 12.8% 22.2% 12.8% 33.4% 4.3% 52.5% 17.5% 37.6% 90.1% -2.7%
MIN 6-5 -3.2% 7.7 0.0% 0.1% 0.6% 1.3% 1.6% 3.7% 2.0% 0.1% 5.3% 7.4% -2.5%
DET 4-7 5.0% 6.6 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.6% 0.0% 0.0% 0.6% 0.6% -0.3%

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