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Old 01-09-2012, 03:33 PM   #1
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This is not about the Saints vs. the 49ers.

This is not about the Saints vs. the 49ers.

It is about something much more important than that.

In this past year, we saw three quarterbacks break 5,000 yards. A record that had stood for 27 years was broken by two sure Hall of Famers, Drew Brees and Tom Brady. A rookie threw for 4,000 yards. Receiving numbers exploded around the league, as fear of being subjected to a bone-rattling hit while catching a pass subsided. Tight ends officially entered their golden era, with the incomparable talents of Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski roaring their way through defenses, nigh untouchable. As the season continued on, it became more and more apparent that this was a new NFL era.

How much, exactly, does it have to do with the new rules? Well, this is hard to say. It does seem safe to say that we would not have seen three 5,000 yard passers. Would the old rules have held Brees from the record? I don't believe they would have - using his near-accomplishment of that feat a few seasons ago. But would he have broken it by almost 400 yards? Absolutely not.

So what is the future of this rule? Do we accept this new era of pass-happiness as the norm? Do we accept the idea that football is a game epitomized, defined, encapsulated by small fast guys playing on turf in domes? Do we accept that football is offense, and that the role of defense is now about providing a speed bump rather than a brick wall?

Do we add a rule giving the defenses of the NFL some much-needed help, thus perhaps putting a blot on all the records broken this season?

The prideful, disciplined, effective NFL defense is a dying art. But while teams around the NFL focused their tunnel vision on offense, something was happening in the birthplace of the modern offense.

I needn't tell Saints fans about the great 49ers offenses they went to war against while the teams played together in the same division. But I needn't tell you, either, of the great defenses fielded in San Francisco in those days. With greats like Ronnie Lott, Charles Haley, Tim McDonald, Fred Dean, and Merton Hanks prowling on the defensive side of the ball, there was never any mistaking those 49ers for a one-sided team. While most widely recognized the innovative offenses ringing up points, Bill Walsh and George Seifert's 49ers never failed to field an impressive and prideful defense.

These 49ers are not those 49ers. No, to look back and find comparisons to this team, you think of older teams. The teams your daddy told you about - those Steelers, those Rams, those Vikings of the 1970's. These are no 2009 Colts, a ragtag bunch of undrafted small guys making it work to complement the offense. These are big, talented, angry men.

This defense will hit you hard, they will hit you clean, and they will hit you constantly. They are the real deal, in a way stats will never fully convey. There is no statistic for being clobbered on a crossing route by the Patrick Willis in the first quarter and feeling your head swim for the next three. There is no statistic for a left tackle and a left guard feebly grabbing at the Justin Smith all day long and still letting him hit your QB again and again. There is no statistic for the feeling of looking across the line of scrimmage and understanding why all season long, teams have walked away from 49ers games hurting for weeks.

This defense is not an icon. Not a symbol. Not the way Baltimore and Pittsburgh have put forth in the last decade. But it is coming. Believe it.

And in an era where quarterbacks, receivers, and tight ends are the darlings of the league, believe that Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, NaVorro Bowman, Aldon Smith, and the rest do not care about that glory. Because they know that they are just as good as the fast strike offenses.

And they know that they represent the way it used to be. The way football is meant to be.

So when you sit down to watch the game on Saturday, understand that this is not about the Saints vs. the 49ers. This is about the very integrity of the game.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:40 PM   #2
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Here to hoping we send Brees out on a stretcher early.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:41 PM   #3
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That little man sproles won't see what hit him, our LB's will pummel him like they were playing whack a mole, or better yet whack a sprole.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:46 PM   #4
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That little man sproles won't see what hit him, our LB's will pummel him like they were playing whack a mole, or better yet whack a sprole.
"Who dat inside my gapehole? Oh noes it's Patrick Willis!"
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:49 PM   #5
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Saints over fairyniners 83-3
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:49 PM   #6
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Here to hoping we send Brees out on a stretcher early.
Yeah, if that's your only chance at winning.
This way of thinking is why you're having shootouts in the parking lot during games. It's just a game, don't act like a "low rent".
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:50 PM   #7
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Saints over fairyniners 83-3
Glad you got my point - you guys turned the NFL into college ball and ruined football for everybody.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:50 PM   #8
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It's kinda funny seeing these types of posts after how classy the Lions fans were.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:52 PM   #9
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Glad you got my point - you guys turned the NFL into college ball and ruined football for everybody.
Just ruining it for the teams we play.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:52 PM   #10
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Yeah, if that's your only chance at winning.
This way of thinking is why you're having shootouts in the parking lot during games. It's just a game, don't act like a "low rent".
Lol coming from the city that went all midieval on one another when having to take shelter in their stadium.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:56 PM   #11
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Lol coming from the city that went all midieval on one another when having to take shelter in their stadium.
It's called surviving in the souf.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:57 PM   #12
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Lol coming from the city that went all midieval on one another when having to take shelter in their stadium.
I know you guys are on our smack board, but I'll tell you right now, that stuff doesn't usually fly here. You're heading for a banning.
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:00 PM   #13
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Lol coming from the city that went all midieval on one another when having to take shelter in their stadium.
Hey now, this is MY thread, we will keep all our insults underhanded and veiled in mountains of text.
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:01 PM   #14
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Hey now, this is MY thread, we will keep all our insults underhanded and veiled in mountains of text.
Wouldn't have gone there if not provoked by the shooting comment.
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