Let's just say fans of NFC West teams located outside the San Francisco Bay Area had a little fun at the 49ers' expense during the latest NFC West chat.
All they needed was a little prompting.
"Before Seattle and Arizona fans gets carried away, I want to remind them that they have not won an away game this season that doesn't include the Rams," a 49ers fan going by 4949Centennial wrote. "Still better than the 49ers, but just pointing it out."
Derrick from Tacoma replied quickly.
"Before 49ers fans get carried away with telling others to not get carried away," Derrick wrote, "I want to remind them that they have not won any games this season that include the 49ers. Just pointing it out."
It was all in good fun and 4949Centennial rolled with it.
"Ouch. That hurts!!!!" was the reply.
Greg from Bellingham, north of Seattle, dug up Roger Craig's quote about the 49ers having a team to "annihilate" the NFC West.
"Weren't you in the same boat?" Greg asked me.
Not exactly. Same ocean, though. I thought the 49ers should be favored to win the division based on talent and I stand by that. It's not my fault they're failing to meet reasonable expectations.
With that, let's dive into the chat highlights (full transcript here):
Gabe (Bay Area): I feel that the 49ers should have gone with Mike Solari as O.C. because he has done the job before. With that said, what are your feelings about Mike Johnson and do you think he can revive this putrid 49er offense.
Mike Sando: Mike Singletary makes a valid point about the new coordinator needing to have a good feel for and rapport with Alex Smith. That made Michael Johnson the easy choice. Mike Solari is too valuable as the line coach. They have two rookies starting up front and Solari's efforts are best spent teaching them.
Mike Sando: I thought so before the season. Seattle has protected Matt Hasselbeck better than I envisioned, so the Seahawks have a better chance to win that game. Seattle has won by forcing turnovers. I think turnovers are tough to rely upon. The Rams will be easier to beat with a diminished Steven Jackson, though. And Seattle's running game will probably have some success. I give Seattle a slight edge but think the Rams have a good chance.
John (Tucson): Mike! The Cardinals are looking to go into San Diego quite disadvantaged. But watching the Chargers play in their first 3 games, I didn't see much that screams blowout. We have a decided special teams advantage, and while our offense is running at about 40% their offense hasn't exactly been firing on all cylinders. Is this looking to be a defensive showdown, and if so, can Arizona hang in there?
Mike Sando: The Chargers' secondary appeared quite opportunistic against Jacksonville in San Diego's last home game. That's the story to me. How well does Derek Anderson protect the football? In the end, I think the Chargers are so much better at quarterback and in the passing game overall. Advantage, San Diego.
Aaron (Camp Patriot, Kuwait): Hello Mike. Thank you for your dedication to your blog. It keeps me informed very well. I have a question regarding Matt Hasselbeck. How much do you think his apparent struggles (i.e 5 interceptions in 3 games, inability to move the offense in the second half of the San Diego game) are related to his somewhat new receivers, a new offense, and/or just age creeping up on him? Is it possible, like last year, he is still trying too hard?
Mike Sando: Thanks. Hasselbeck has always needed to be comfortable -- with the offense, with his receivers, with his protection. I don't see age as a huge factor right now. He's pretty healthy and moving well. He's not playing as freely as you might want him to play. Some of that is because Pete Carroll would rather have Hasselbeck throw away the ball than take a chance on a bigger play. Some of that is on Hasselbeck, too. He has made some bad throws. I think there have also been times when he wasn't in sync with receivers -- some new, and some (John Carlson) who have been around a while.
This was a fun chat. Thanks to those who kept it rolling.