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Murph: I feel good about the 49ers’ chances in the NFC Championship Game…too good


© Stan Szeto | 2019 Nov 24


Surely, all Americans are aware of the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, and his signature tune, “I Feel Good”.

Go ahead. You can sing a bar or two.

I feel good/I knew that I would now/I feel good/I knew that I would now/So good, so good/I got you … yow!

You’re welcome for that vocal getting in your head.

My question is: Are 49ers fans about to re-record the classic tune before Sunday’s NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers and re-name it, “I Feel TOO Good”?

Because that’s where I’m at right now, sports fans.

When it comes to analyzing the 49ers’ chances of advancing to Super Bowl 54, I feel too good.

Home game? Check.

Full health on the roster? Check.

No mobile quarterback on the other roster? Check.

Running game revving at a high level? Pass rush revving at an extremely high level? A combination of playoff experience (Richard Sherman, Emmanuel Sanders, Joe Staley) mixed with the fresh legs and attitude of youth (Nick Bosa, George Kittle, Fred Warner)?

Check, check, check.

There’s a reason why Las Vegas has installed the 49ers as 7.5 point favorites. Moreover, Green Bay’s future Hall of Fame QB, Aaron Rodgers, has never won a game when more than a 7-point underdog.

So that’s why I’m here. To speak into existence that I — and probably you, too — feel too good about this. And by speaking it into existence, this will dispel any notion that winning this game, the 49ers’ record-tying 16th conference championship appearance, is a foregone conclusion.

It isn’t. And by saying that, by addressing the boogie-man, by staring overconfidence in the face and wishing it away, maybe everything can proceed as it should.

As my good pal Marshawn Lynch might say: You feel me, dawg?

(He also might advise you about chicken and mentals, and you’d be wise to listen to the man.)

Here are the things we need to address to finalize this deal:

— Acknowledge that while the 37-8 49ers romp over the Packers on the Sunday Night in November showed some of the matchup favorability, it also involved things the 49ers can’t count on again, like a Packers fumble on their own 8-yard line to open the game, a couple of key penalties early to stymie Green Bay momentum, and Rodgers’ career-worst yards per attempt. These things won’t happen again.

— Acknowledge that 20 other times in the Super Bowl era, a team which beat another team by 29-plus points also faced that same team in the playoffs — and six times, the losing team came back to win. It happened as recently as 2010, when the Jets lost by 42 to the Patriots, then stunned them in the playoffs.

(Of course, that’s the only time that’s happened in the 21st century. The others were in 1993, 1990, 1987, 1977 and 1976.)

— Acknowledge that while the romp felt fantastic that Sunday Night, in front of Al and Cris and everyone — the 49ers offense still had its issues in that game. In the first quarter, the 49ers enjoyed a 2-yard scoring drive for a TD set up by a fumble, and then added a field goal only because Green Bay was penalized on a third down incompletion. The 49ers took a 10-0 lead without doing essentially anything on offense.

So, we’ve now laid ourselves bare before the football gods, and admitted that a ton of things went right the first time around. We’ve laid ourselves bare and admitted that history shows a team can get blown out in the regular season, then come back and win a playoff game.

In essence, we’ve admitted that in feeling TOO good about this game, we can come face-to-face with the dark side that could exist.

It’s like going to therapy. Only cheaper.

With that off our chest, we can all enjoy 3:40 pm on Sunday. Because the 49ers are the better team, all the way around. Green Bay’s weaponry is not enough against this 49ers defense. The 49ers’ pass rush is historically great. The 49ers run the ball and control clock against almost every team they play. Kyle Shanahan is one of the NFL’s elite coaches.

And the 49ers are going to the Super Bowl.

You can say it. It feels good. Yow!

 

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