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View Full Version : 2006 SF 49ers the worst 7-9 team in NFL history?


Geo
06-22-2007, 03:20 PM
Pro Football Reference (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/) is a superb site not just for the statistics it houses, but for also the blog and the statistical analysis (Football Outsiders is another fantastic source in this area) it features. I'd recommend giving both a read every so often.

PFR takes a look at the 2006 San Francisco 49ers, first in terms of point differential (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/wordpress/?p=322), and then inputing 2006 data into their simple rating system (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/wordpress/?p=324) (which isn't hard to understand).

The data brought up against the 49ers, whose offense I've termed Frank Gore and Ten Other Guys (and that was with Norv Turner as the offensive coordinator) on more than one occassion, speaks for itself really.

PFR has also raised the topic of wanting either a great offense/bad defense, bad offense/great defense, mediocre offense/mediocre defense (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/wordpress/?p=317), among other recent topics.

It's a good read, and discuss.

MasterShake
06-22-2007, 03:41 PM
Certainly possible.

They were also possibly the least talented roster EVER in the history of the NFL in 2005 and Nolan coached them to a 4-12 record with 5 teams picking before them in the draft.

Nolan really must be a spectacular coach.

Space Ghost
06-22-2007, 03:59 PM
Certainly possible.

They were also possibly the least talented roster EVER in the history of the NFL in 2005 and Nolan coached them to a 4-12 record with 5 teams picking before them in the draft.

Nolan really must be a spectacular coach.

You also have to consider the division they play in though and every team gets a few lucky bounces throughout the season and a few games where a couple guys play out of their normal capacity and can decide games for their teams. Nolan is an excellent coach though, but to go 0-16 not only takes a terrible team, but also receiving no luck at all throughout the season.

SchizophrenicBatman
06-22-2007, 04:02 PM
They're still going to be on the lower end of talent this year but I can see them managing another 7-9, 6-10, 8-8 type season out of it. It'll be harder for sure without Norv Turner, though

cunningham06
06-22-2007, 04:12 PM
Certainly possible.

They were also possibly the least talented roster EVER in the history of the NFL in 2005 and Nolan coached them to a 4-12 record with 5 teams picking before them in the draft.

Nolan really must be a spectacular coach.

The 1976 Buccaneers take offense at you trying to give away their dubious distinction. They were by far a worse team than the 2005 49ers.

Space Ghost
06-22-2007, 04:16 PM
The 1976 Buccaneers take offense at you trying to give away their dubious distinction. They were by far a worse team than the 2005 49ers.

Was 1976 their first year in the league by any chance?

The Unseen
06-22-2007, 04:56 PM
Jaguars best 8-8 team ever does not surprise me at all. Football Outsiders also had the Jaguars as one of the top teams last year. That's what happens when you beat (most of the time, blow-out) good teams but lose to the bad ones.

Geo
06-22-2007, 05:03 PM
Their best 9-7 team, the 2005 San Diego Chargers, isn't surprising either.

nfrillman
06-22-2007, 05:13 PM
Thank you Geo for finding this. In various threads I have been trying to tell 49er fans that they are getting a little ahead of themselves with all the winning the division talk. I keep telling them that the higher the expectations the bigger the disappointment. I have already brought up the points differential issue, but I'm glad to see that someone actually put some heavy research into this. The bottomline is that the 2006 49ers had a better record than they should have and they played well beyond their means. Even with the additions they made in the offseason, they will finish the season with a similar record as last year. 5-11 to 7-9.

Space Ghost
06-22-2007, 05:47 PM
Best at losing 4 consecutive super bowls: Buffalo Bills. Thats right. Bills own!!!!

MasterShake
06-22-2007, 05:56 PM
Thank you Geo for finding this. In various threads I have been trying to tell 49er fans that they are getting a little ahead of themselves with all the winning the division talk. I keep telling them that the higher the expectations the bigger the disappointment. I have already brought up the points differential issue, but I'm glad to see that someone actually put some heavy research into this. The bottomline is that the 2006 49ers had a better record than they should have and they played well beyond their means. Even with the additions they made in the offseason, they will finish the season with a similar record as last year. 5-11 to 7-9.

It's true they have over-achieved for 2 years in a row, the question is....can Nolan continue to get his team to play above their talent level?

And well it all really hinges on Alex Smith of course, if he takes the next step....the team won't need to over-achieve.

Stay tuned folks! It's gunna be an interesting season...

YAYareaRB
06-22-2007, 06:15 PM
I think it's pretty safe to say that the 49ers overachieved this past season, I'll admit. Interesting is right!

benchod
06-22-2007, 06:37 PM
9-7 for them this year. Their drafting and moves in FA put the team at a pretty decent talent level, though it still hinges on Alex Smith.

Borat
06-22-2007, 07:50 PM
Thank you Geo for finding this. In various threads I have been trying to tell 49er fans that they are getting a little ahead of themselves with all the winning the division talk. I keep telling them that the higher the expectations the bigger the disappointment. I have already brought up the points differential issue, but I'm glad to see that someone actually put some heavy research into this. The bottomline is that the 2006 49ers had a better record than they should have and they played well beyond their means. Even with the additions they made in the offseason, they will finish the season with a similar record as last year. 5-11 to 7-9.

You're right. 49ers fans shouldn't talk about winning the division. That's impossible. The Rams are the best team in the NFC. Coming up 1 game short of the NFC West crown last year with "the worst 7-9 team ever" should definitely mean that SF fans should expect to finish 4th this year. You SF fans are out of your minds. Beating the NFC West division winner TWICE definitely means you have no chance this year. Adding much needed talent to the least talented team of all time means you should be taking steps backwards next year. Come on SF fans. You shouldn't have high hopes going into next season. No fans should ever have high hopes in the offseason. That is dumb.

YAYareaRB
06-22-2007, 08:41 PM
You're right. 49ers fans shouldn't talk about winning the division. That's impossible. The Rams are the best team in the NFC. Coming up 1 game short of the NFC West crown last year with "the worst 7-9 team ever" should definitely mean that SF fans should expect to finish 4th this year. You SF fans are out of your minds. Beating the NFC West division winner TWICE definitely means you have no chance this year. Adding much needed talent to the least talented team of all time means you should be taking steps backwards next year. Come on SF fans. You shouldn't have high hopes going into next season. No fans should ever have high hopes in the offseason. That is dumb.

Noooo.. No fans except for Rams fans of course because they're the best team in the NFL.. Because they made the playoffs last year and 49ers didn't. Because they swept the 49ers. No no, only the Rams can improve their team in the off season, everyone else just has to accept the fact that their teams don't improve unless they are fans of the ALMIGHTY RAMS!

Borat
06-22-2007, 09:01 PM
HAHAHA. Yeah.

Only Rams fans can be optimistic going into next season. Their 2006 season was soooooooo impressive, a Super Bowl run is expected and a NFC West Championship is all but guaranteed. OJ Atogwe takes great angles. They can't be stopped.

doingthisinsteadofwork
06-22-2007, 09:33 PM
Thank you Geo for finding this. In various threads I have been trying to tell 49er fans that they are getting a little ahead of themselves with all the winning the division talk. I keep telling them that the higher the expectations the bigger the disappointment. I have already brought up the points differential issue, but I'm glad to see that someone actually put some heavy research into this. The bottomline is that the 2006 49ers had a better record than they should have and they played well beyond their means. Even with the additions they made in the offseason, they will finish the season with a similar record as last year. 5-11 to 7-9.
until anyobody can stop Frank Gore they have a good shot.

stl9erfan
06-22-2007, 09:36 PM
Hey, I'm okay with Rams/Seahawks/Cards fans believing whatever they want at this point. Whether the Niners win the division as a favorite or instead as a shocking underdog, I could care less.

Statistically speaking, I think you'll find that those stats were skewed by 3 very awful blowouts (against the Chiefs, Chargers, and Bears) early in the season. Nolan responded by taking a more hands-on approach with the defense (hence Billy Davis' postseason firing) and shaking up the personnel (Brandon Moore, Keith Lewis, and Ronnie Fields all saw significantly more playing time).

The question, I guess, is which team you believe is the real Niners-- the one before the personnel shifts, or after them. We SF fans are anticipating the improvement we saw in the second half of the season to continue in 07, and that's the reason for our optimism. If some of you would rather just measure the season on the whole instead, that's fair I guess, but it seems shortsighted to me when you're dealing with a team as young as SF, where you can literally see guys make big improvements as one week leads into the next in an NFL season.

I will say that the 2005 version of the 49ers was, indeed, horrendously bad. Especially on offense. How Nolan managed to win 4 games with that mess is truly remarkable. A coach will never get credit for a 4-12 season, but if your average guy (or worse, Dennis Erickson) had been in charge that year, 1-15 or even 0-16 would have been a VERY real possibility.

YAYareaRB
06-23-2007, 12:58 AM
Hey, I'm okay with Rams/Seahawks/Cards fans believing whatever they want at this point. Whether the Niners win the division as a favorite or instead as a shocking underdog, I could care less.

Statistically speaking, I think you'll find that those stats were skewed by 3 very awful blowouts (against the Chiefs, Chargers, and Bears) early in the season. Nolan responded by taking a more hands-on approach with the defense (hence Billy Davis' postseason firing) and shaking up the personnel (Brandon Moore, Keith Lewis, and Ronnie Fields all saw significantly more playing time).

The question, I guess, is which team you believe is the real Niners-- the one before the personnel shifts, or after them. We SF fans are anticipating the improvement we saw in the second half of the season to continue in 07, and that's the reason for our optimism. If some of you would rather just measure the season on the whole instead, that's fair I guess, but it seems shortsighted to me when you're dealing with a team as young as SF, where you can literally see guys make big improvements as one week leads into the next in an NFL season.

I will say that the 2005 version of the 49ers was, indeed, horrendously bad. Especially on offense. How Nolan managed to win 4 games with that mess is truly remarkable. A coach will never get credit for a 4-12 season, but if your average guy (or worse, Dennis Erickson) had been in charge that year, 1-15 or even 0-16 would have been a VERY real possibility.

This man speaks the truth! Not only because I'm a 49er Homer for life.. But it all seems logical.

Ewing
06-23-2007, 03:03 AM
Thank you Geo for finding this. In various threads I have been trying to tell 49er fans that they are getting a little ahead of themselves with all the winning the division talk. I keep telling them that the higher the expectations the bigger the disappointment. I have already brought up the points differential issue, but I'm glad to see that someone actually put some heavy research into this. The bottomline is that the 2006 49ers had a better record than they should have and they played well beyond their means. Even with the additions they made in the offseason, they will finish the season with a similar record as last year. 5-11 to 7-9.

I really hope the Niners win the division just to smite you.

papa burgundy
06-23-2007, 04:32 AM
Thank you Geo for finding this. In various threads I have been trying to tell 49er fans that they are getting a little ahead of themselves with all the winning the division talk. I keep telling them that the higher the expectations the bigger the disappointment. I have already brought up the points differential issue, but I'm glad to see that someone actually put some heavy research into this. The bottomline is that the 2006 49ers had a better record than they should have and they played well beyond their means. Even with the additions they made in the offseason, they will finish the season with a similar record as last year. 5-11 to 7-9.

Wow, if the 06 overachieving Niners that had no business being 7-9 took 1 of 2 from the Rams with the Rams having to luck out on a missed call fumble recovery touchdown and a last minute TD drive pulled out their ass in the 2nd game.. then I can't imagine what the Rams record should have been last year. Or what they will be next year. I'll be COMPLETELY unbiased and say they go 3-13.

High Roller
06-23-2007, 09:17 AM
Talent wise they aren't 7-9 but they played well as a team so that's why they went 7-9. Now with more talent and a similar playbook, they can be poised for playoffs.

nfrillman
06-23-2007, 04:51 PM
I really hope the Niners win the division just to smite you.

Well you can go ahead and keep hoping that because it isn't going to happen. I'm not trying to be hateful or disrespectful to the 49ers, I'm just being realistic. Ask anyone that isn't a Niners fan if they were really as good as their record last year and they'll say no.

And as for the guy talking about how good the Rams must have been if they lost once to the Niners. First off I didn't say the Rams were good last year, but again, ask anyone thats not a Niners fan and they'll tell you that they were better than the Niners. And lets not bring up points about how this team was lucky to beat us and all that, because the Rams lost twice on 52 and 53 yard last second FG's to the Seahawks, but you don't see me arguing that because of that the Rams should have been better. They lost, bottomline, and the Niners lost that game to the Rams, bottomline.

Six months from now I hope all the people that are talking up the 49ers remember how wrong they were, because I'm not one to say I told you so, wait, yes I am. I'll just leave you with this, last year everyone was talking up the Bucs and Redskins and I chose those 2 teams as my two teams that everyone else thinks will be good but will actually suck. It's safe to say I nailed those picks. The 49ers are one of my picks this year.

Borat
06-23-2007, 06:44 PM
I'll just leave you with this, last year everyone was talking up the Bucs and Redskins and I chose those 2 teams as my two teams that everyone else thinks will be good but will actually suck. It's safe to say I nailed those picks. The 49ers are one of my picks this year.

http://dazilgroup.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2006/03/broken%20clock-1-tm.jpg

Here is a picture of a broken clock. It is correct twice a day.

BlindSite
06-23-2007, 07:10 PM
The biggest obstacle they face is that Alex Smith is now on his third coordinator in as many years.

stl9erfan
06-23-2007, 10:23 PM
The biggest obstacle they face is that Alex Smith is now on his third coordinator in as many years.

True, but at least this coordinator he has some familiarity with (Hostler was his QB coach for his first two years in the league) and won't be running a new offense (Norv Turner's scheme will remain in place with only a few tweaks).

And historically, Norv has had a big impact on young QBs despite not necessarily being around them for very long. He really helped the development of Aikman in 2 years and Brees in just 1 season. So there is some reason to hope that perhaps his impact on Alex Smith will be as permanent.

One thing that is certain is that Alex should have more help in the offense around him than he's ever had before in his pro career. Vernon Davis, Frank Gore, Darrell Jackson, the reliable if unspectacular Arnaz Battle, and plenty of possible sleeper candidates at WR and at TE in Delanie Walker. (And finally, with the addition of Joe Staley, Kwame might not be protecting him at OT, something Niner fans have been waiting for a long time.)

So we'll see, I guess. Obviously having three offensive coordinators in your first three years isn't ideal, but I can't really blame anyone for it. Nolan has gone out and hired the best guys he could get, and unfortunately other teams have seen head coaching potential in the guys he's picked. Ultimately, Alex will have to sink or swim on his own at QB.

YAYareaRB
06-23-2007, 11:45 PM
Well you can go ahead and keep hoping that because it isn't going to happen. I'm not trying to be hateful or disrespectful to the 49ers, I'm just being realistic. Ask anyone that isn't a Niners fan if they were really as good as their record last year and they'll say no.

And as for the guy talking about how good the Rams must have been if they lost once to the Niners. First off I didn't say the Rams were good last year, but again, ask anyone thats not a Niners fan and they'll tell you that they were better than the Niners. And lets not bring up points about how this team was lucky to beat us and all that, because the Rams lost twice on 52 and 53 yard last second FG's to the Seahawks, but you don't see me arguing that because of that the Rams should have been better. They lost, bottomline, and the Niners lost that game to the Rams, bottomline.

Six months from now I hope all the people that are talking up the 49ers remember how wrong they were, because I'm not one to say I told you so, wait, yes I am. I'll just leave you with this, last year everyone was talking up the Bucs and Redskins and I chose those 2 teams as my two teams that everyone else thinks will be good but will actually suck. It's safe to say I nailed those picks. The 49ers are one of my picks this year.

There's no way in hell we'll go any worse than 7-9 this year for a couple of reasons..

1. Have you seen our schedule? Not exactly the strongest schedule we've had in recent years.
2. We have improved since last year a whole lot. Our Defense has improved and our Offense is well, our same ol' offense minus Norv Turner. Hostler may not be a Norv Turner, but he's not changing any schemes from last year.
3. Alex Smith is obviously improving as he goes on. He's the youngest starting QB and he's developing rather nicely. His mediocre season last year probably brought his confidence up a little because there was no getting worse.

Think about it, is winning the division really that far off? Mike Nolan has his boys believing they could do it. There's nothing more dangerous than a bunch of guys believing they could do it. ESPECIALLY TO THEM DAMN RAMS! ;)

Chief49er
06-24-2007, 12:49 PM
lol, you all are crazy and jealous.

BrianGO
06-25-2007, 07:34 AM
My God, this thread makes me crazy for the season to start.

People who don't understand sports, use statistics as the baseline for their analysis.
And say things like, "hmm, whs da betzt bassbal sloogaa im hitory?, Dahhh hmmm gee uuhh, I gus it da one ooo gat da mot humruns!!! Deafor itt mut b ank Enron!!!." While obviously, determining the best baseball slugger requires a multitude of factors.

The fundamental problem on the defense was that we were playing a 4-3 with only 3-4 players. We had NO true DE's on our entire team! Our pass rush mostly came from Brandon Moore, who is supposed to be a middle linebacker, but due to injuries and lack of experience he had to be used as a rush backer.

Almost all of our offensive problems came from protection problems, because of the worst starting player in the league at RT. Also Norv is the most overrated human being associated with the NFL it is not even funny. I was critical of him while he was with us on the webzones boards. Our offense was the most predictable in the league. Frank Gore was able to overcome it because he is amazing. Smith only threw the ball because we were behind or when it was a predictable 3rd and long. Norv has a lot well designed plays, but he does not mix it up at all. My friend, a long time Cowboys fan completely agrees with the Norv assessment. The Cowboys got away with it because they had the most dominant O-line in history (not to mention the others). So it really did not matter how predictable they were.

Staley is already practicing with the first team to unseat Harris and is making few mistakes. If Staley can play at an average level his first year (and not get hurt) we will win the division because:

1) We will mix up the short and long pass with our new coordinator, who has worked closest with Smith the last 3 years. Smith said with Norv all we did was throw long or run, and in his first year all we did was throw short; now we do both. Smith is smart enough to know that mixing it up is the only way to consistently beat a defense. Finally he has a chance to work with the same terminology for two years in a row, and even add to the scheme. Laugh at Alex Smith, I can't wait to see your disgust when he has a good year this year, and All-Pro next year.

2) Jackson knows how to get open, Lelie has speed and can win some jump balls, they complement each other well. Battle is our third wr and we have Hill and Williams (who looks night and day different in camp) and Maxwell who has dominated NFL Europe and learned to be a pro.

3) Gore is young and second only to LT. Micheal Robinson was a QB in college and he is much farther along at this point. He has shown the ability to run with the ball in NON short yardage situations.

4) Our line is back, with Kwame on the way out. Kwame is like having a negative Frank Gore on our offense. We have a lot of depth at most positions, except for maybe RT. Estes, the LT project has been developing the last two years and now has the weight 310 to play LT (he still has his TE quickness). Allen is back, Jennings might play most of the season (lol). Snyder is the best, most versatile o-lineman in football who no body knows about. Smiley will be here next year, Heitman is playing his best football now, Baas will make an impact sooner rather than later, Wragg can play. But most important, Kwame is on the way out. BTW in 3 months Staley has put on 15 lbs.

5) Vernon Davis is not spending time worrying where to line up. I love how other teams fans try to criticize him. They do this because deep down they are jealous he is on our team. He is a sleeping giant who has already shown what he is capable of doing. He can block and he is catching the ball 100% better in camp so far. Watch out.

6) Suffice to say our defense will finally play a 3-4, and teams will be wondering where the hell our new pass rush is coming from. Manny has more size and experience, and instead of playing 4-3 outside coverage backer, he will finally be used as a 3-4 rush backer. Cain can rush, Haralson is healthy and will surprise people, Moore was twice NFC defensive player of the week and now he can finally stay at his true position on the inside, Willis will make plays. Smith had surgery on his "lazy eye" and has a chance to play like he used to. Ulbrich has a lot to prove.

7) Clements, Harris are a pro-bowl tandem, with the excellent (when healthy) coverage corner Spencer competing with Harris. The Lewis's can tackle, and Roman is a filler at FS.

We have a 1,000,000 more improvements than any team in our division. The Seahawks can still make the best case, because they have the talent AND experience, but hey, we can play with them any day.

Those who write the 49ers off simply don't understand the talent we have had lurking in "the shadows" i.e., young players, injured players, talented projects, players in the wrong scheme etc. They see all these new acquisitions and think, "Well, so? A couple of players do not make a team." They have NO IDEA what is about to hit them, NONE.

nfrillman
06-25-2007, 04:41 PM
BrianGO, first off, if you or anyone else responds to this, you should respond in the NFC West thread because that is basically what this has became and our NFC West thread is slipping down the page.

Now, first off, Babe Ruth is the best slugger of all time.

But moving on, I am not a Norv Turner fan because there isn't really a reason to be, but did you ever think that maybe the Niners ran ALL the time because he could not trust Alex Smith with the game. IE- Steelers with Roethlisberger in Superbowl year. I do think Smith will develop into a good pro, but I think people are expecting too much from a guy that was 22nd in QB rating.

Secondly, you say Gore is second only to LT like that is a widely known fact. There a couple guys named Larry Johnson and Steven Jackson that would beg to differ. Larry Johnson had a ton of carries, didn't wear down, and was playing in THE most predictable offense last year..........I get Chiefs games, I know. Steven Jackson was playing behind an offensive line that was in shambles for most the season, losing Pace, Timmerman, and McCullom to season ending injuries, Incognito and Steussie changing positions multiple times during the season, and the Rams offense clearly did not start clicking with the new coaching staff until about the midpoint of the season and he still led the league in total yards.

Thirdly, both the Rams and Cardinals made some important offseason additions. The Seahawks got a little worse in the offseason from my perspective, but they have won the division for 3 years.

And lastly, every team thinks that they have lurking undiscovered talent waiting to emerge. Example- Rams- OG's Richie Incognito and Mark Setterstrom, C- Brett Romberg, DT- Claude Wroten, CB- Fahkir Brown, FS- Oshiomogho Atogwe

PS- I think we should consolidate our NFC West talk into the NFC West thread, so if you respond please go to that thread.