One week ago, the Jock Blog stole this piece of cyberspace to proclaim faith and optimism in the 2021-22 49ers.
One week later, in this same slice of cyberspace: Gulp.
Sorry, but NFL Injury PTSD will do that to you.
When I wrote that I was high on the 49ers, three of the reasons were named Raheem Mostert, Jason Verrett and Dre Greenlaw.
You will see none of those players Sunday at Philadelphia. Mostert and Verrett you won’t see the rest of the year. Greenlaw, you *hope* to see midseason, and that’s only if surgery and rehab goes well.
So, here we go. Nothing easy, as I was just saying to my good friend Zaza Pachulia, who would have made a hell of an offensive tackle.
Another reason I was high on the 49ers: a favorable schedule, that included “tomato cans” Detroit and Philly to start the year.
One week later, Jalen Hurts, Miles Sanders and DeVonta Smith are strutting into their home opener, fresh off a 32-6 waxing of Atlanta that rejiggered early thoughts about the Birds. Hurts looked every bit the mobile monster who terrorized defenses when he played for Oklahoma and Alabama.
The tomato can Eagles want to be more Rocky Balboa than Spider Rico, it appears.
This is not meant to poison your Sunday morning of Kyle in the hat, Nick Bosa coming off the edge and Greg Papa and Tim Ryan filling your ears. Las Vegas still likes the 49ers as road favorites. Bart Scott on ESPN said he’d shave an eyebrow if the 49ers lost to the Eagles.
But I won’t lie: this game, which I thought would be part of a decorative 2-0 start, instead has me on the edge of my Jock Blog peanut gallery seat, where I’m sitting next to Mostert, Verrett and Greenlaw in civilian clothes.
Part of the agita comes from the NFC West looking a little better in Week One than I’d like, particularly Matty (The SoFi Cannon) Stafford in Rams blue-and-gold. I know everything can change in Week 2 — or Weeks 3-17, for that matter — but I’d have preferred a slower start than the Seahawks and Cardinals winning on the road, to be honest.
Now, for the strategy on Sunday for fans like me who are maybe overthinking this:
Time to put on the big boy gold pants. No whining.
The 49ers offense, led by a sharper Jimmy Garoppolo and an offensive line that won the line of scrimmage, was the star of the show in Detroit. After the forgettable Jimmy G/Alex Mack fumble to start the season, the 49ers O went TD-TD-TD-FG-miss FG-TD in six consecutive possessions, so that, you know, is pretty OK.
Elijah Mitchell is rather enjoyable. Dee Ford is still a 49er, and made impact plays. Nick Bosa, Nick Bosa and, in conclusion, Nick Bosa. Deebo Samuel got his Terrell Owens on Week 1, and is looking for more. Jimmy G is playing with an edge, as evidenced when he told us Fox’s Mark Sanchez is “not wrong” when Sanchez said giving Trey Lance post-TD hugs is probably hard to do.
It all adds up to an intriguing 49ers Sunday. Heck, most all of them are. We only get 16 — ERRR, 17 — a year.
What looked like a stress-free Sunday may be more stressful. It will be instructive. Can the 49ers shake the Injury Blues? Let’s find out.