In the NFL, divisions are so small, and interdivision games make up such a large part of the schedule, that the term "rivalry" is rather inadequate. The three other teams of the NFC West are our mortal enemies, and everything we hope and dream for the 2007 Seattle Seahawks to accomplish starts with kicking a cleat hole into the Niners, Rams and Cards.
San Francisco 49ers
The story around Niners camp begins with the solid performance by Alex Smith against the Broncos. Does going 5-6 in a preseason game mean anything? No, of course not. Six isolated passes don't mean anything at almost any time, preaseason, regular season or postseason. Looking over the play-by-play those two drives also included a sack and a fumble, but who's keeping track?
After watching Norv Turner's special brand of designed rollouts and dink and dunk garbage in San Diego, I found myself wondering how does Turner's ultraconservative playcalling affect a quarterback's completion percentage?
Turner has had four stints as a team's offensive coordinator and two runs as a head coach, with the help of Pro Football Reference I decided to quickly compare each team's quarterback's completion percentage in Turner's tenure with their overall completion percentage.
T. Aikman Career: 61.5%
T. Aikman 91-93 66.0%
G. Frerotte Career: 54.1%
G. Frerotte 94-98 52.3%
Brad Johnson Career: 61.8%
Brad Johnson 99-00: 61.5%
J. Fiedler Career: 58.7%
J. Fiedler 02-03: 59.1%...
At this point, and after looking over Kerry Collins stats, I decided this wasn't going anywhere. Norv Turner's offense, to me, is the most boring offense I've ever seen. Sort of the anti-Martz attack, but it doesn't seem to be artificially inflating the completion percentages of its QBs.
Also noteworthy: The Broncos recorded 11 rushing first downs and, without a single rush of more than 20 yards, a 5.2 YPC average. At the same time, the Niners scored one sack. Welcome to running the 3-4 without the right personnel, the Houston Texans can give you a quick recap.