The 49ers Are For Real

I've been telling you all.

Jim Rome
November 25, 2019 - 11:54 am
Kyle Shanahan

USA Today


San Francisco 37
Green Bay 8

I’m still picking my jaw up off the ground. That wasn’t a football game that was a nationally televised statement. And that statement is one that San Francisco has been making all season: the 49ers are for real.

And as good as you think they are, they’re even better. I said a few weeks back there isn’t a good team that gets less respect than the 49ers but after last night that has all changed. Because after last night, what can a critic, skeptic or outright hater say about the Niners now? There are no “yeah but’s” as it relates to these guys. 

San Francisco went into last night and the entire country was expecting them to slide. To regress to the mean. They’d been too hot and now it was time to cool off. Especially against a Packers team that had a week to rest and has played its best football against its best opponents.

And then came Green Bay’s fifth play from scrimmage, and an Aaron Rodgers fumble.

That was the pass rush that San Francisco is now legendary for. They get after you and absolutely maul you up front. And then usually come away with the ball.

And the 49ers punched it in one play later. As DeForest Buckner said: “oh, it was a big tone setter. We came out guns blazing. That’s the kind of energy you want us to start off with, especially with a team like that. For the offense to capitalize off of it, it was just a great start to the game.”

And the rest of the game was that on a loop. Aaron Rodgers drops back, the Niners secondary doesn’t let anyone free, and Rodgers gets hit.

5 sacks, 1 third down conversion, an average of less than 3 yards per play.

And it wasn’t just the pass rush, it was that Niners secondary. They were hitting. Green Bay had a number of drops early in the game, especially on third down, and I don’t blame if they were hearing footsteps. Because that secondary lays serious lumber. They arrive with bad intentions. If they aren’t breaking up the pass, there’s a chance they’ll break your face. And that gets flagged now, they’ll just break in two. 

If you had questions about that defense and about how they handle their business against a hall of fame quarterback that was answered. Because Rodgers was wearing a Niner defensive lineman just about all night.

And of course, it didn’t help that Green Bay lost Bryan Bulaga early, but they needed about ten Bulaga’s out there to slow down Nick Bosa, DeForst Buckner, Arik Armstead, and the rest of that crew.

You better start remembering those names. And add Fred Warner to that list. And Jimmie Ward as well. You know what? Just print off the Niners defensive depth chart and commit it to memory, because they are all that good. 

And here’s the other thing about the 49ers and that win – they’re not healthy.

They were so banged up, Kyle Shanahan was talking about how the extra few hours of rest that come with playing in primetime might help them recover. And it did.

And I still don’t understand how it did. I still don’t understand how George Kittle did this.


That’s a guy playing on a busted ankle and a bad knee. And doing that. 6 receptions, 129 yards, and that touchdown all on an ankle that had a bone chip that Shanahan compared to bark coming off a tree.

And on a knee with something called a “popped capsule.” I have no idea what either of those things are and I don’t want to know. If there’s bark peeling off my ankle, I’m lying in bed, not outrunning secondaries.

But Kittle is that kind of monster. And this 49ers team is that kind of monster. And if you didn't know that before, you should now. 

As Shanahan said after the game: “we got a lot of wins early, which I think a lot of people didn’t expect. And when that happens, you always worry if it’s going to change people, but our guys haven’t changed at all. I think they’ve got even more locked in, even more focused. Our guys aren’t just in there pumped about where they’re at, they’re pumped about the possibilities of where we can go and that’s what excites them the most. Hopefully, we can keep working and make that happen.”

And if you're still stuck on this team not being real because of what they were like last year, forget that. They forced seven turnovers all last season. They have 23 this year. So these 49ers are not those 49ers.

And if you can't shake that idea, here’s safety Jaquiski Tartt to help you: “maaaan, bleep last year. As far as this year, we’re getting the ball out. We got that kind of energy. We’re always thinking ball, we’re always trying to get the ball.  That’s how it’s going for us. Just being relentless. That’s just our mindset. Be relentless every play. That’s just how our defense rolls.”

I know they have a brutal schedule coming up. And that last night was the start of a run that includes at Baltimore, at New Orleans, home against Atlanta and the Rams, and then at Seattle.

That is a horrifying last five games of a season, but if you can do to Packers what the Niners just did to the Packers, you can beat anyone. I’m not saying they’re going to beat everyone, but they are that good. And they are for real. Look the hell out.

And a quick shout out to the lobster’s kid: you know that was a big one, because lobster senior actually left cabo to attend the game, which reminds me of when we used to have a house in the same development. So I want to say Mike Shanahan and I got our houses at around the same time: he might have gotten there a moment or two before we did. And I was talking to the sales rep that sold us our house and Shanahan’s name came up, and I said, damn, ya’ll will let anyone buy into this development. The rep said, that’s funny Jim, he said the exact same thing about you!! Well sold, the Lobster outlasted me: and in the meantime, he grew a genius: Kyle Shanahan is a damn wizard. This dude truly is brilliant, and now, instead of everyone looking for the next Sean McVay, the entire league wants the next Kyle Shanahan. I want to make that clear, because while the defense is getting all that run, and rightfully so, Shanny Jr. Is a damn rocket scientist. And I’ll tell you another guy is smart as hell: smart as hell. John Lynch, who is also kicking the world’s ass, same as he ever was.