Episodes
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, it’s time to put a bow on a forgettable 2020 season by taking a look back at what we thought would happen before it all started. Which players lived up to the hype? Did the defense manage to stave off regression? And did we learn anything about Jimmy Garoppolo in his limited action this season? All that, plus quick thoughts on the Seattle game, an ode to Robert Saleh, and cedar fever.
Published 01/06/21
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, the 49ers find a way to end 2020 with a win. How did the Cardinals defense get choked out by the 49ers’ ground attack? Are the 49ers really that bad at containing QB scrambles? And, as we look ahead to the offseason, is there a path to a good QB in 2021? All that, plus Verrett vs. Hopkins, the Class of 2017 comes through, and getting our faces twisted off. Submit your Blue Wire Hustle application here: http://bwhustle.com/join
Published 12/29/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, the 49ers playoff hopes are officially dead. What ultimately killed the 49ers’ changes against the Cowboys? After getting a close-up look at CeeDee Lamb, how are we feeling about Brandon Aiyuk? And, as we start to turn our attention toward the offseason, which pending free agents do we have our eyes on? All that, plus looking back at players the 49ers have traded up to get, we have some Pro Bowlers, and the return of The Gauntlet.
Published 12/23/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, the 49ers lose to a team with no name. Is the 49ers’ offensive line actually bad? Why does Nick Mullens struggle so much under pressure? And what stood out from a defensive effort that was good enough to win? All that, plus pouring some out for the homies, Shanahan’s fourth down decision, and thoughts on a better matchup against the Cowboys.
Published 12/16/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, Josh Allen and the Bills stomp both the 49ers’ playoff chances and our hearts. What on earth happened to San Francisco’s pass coverage? Does Sherman have anything left in the tank? And why wasn’t Nick Mullens & Co. able to keep pace? All that, plus a surprisingly good game from San Francisco’s barnacle, poor Tevin Coleman, and what to expect against the Football Team.
Published 12/10/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, a win over the Rams has the 49ers taking a whiff of that playoff air! How did the secondary help fuel an unexpected win? Has anyone managed to tackle Deebo yet? And what happened to that whole holding down Aaron Donald thing? All that, plus Mullens gonna Mullens, the 49ers viability for a playoff spot, and quick thoughts on the Bills.
Published 12/03/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, we take a look inward and do some self-scouting with the 49ers on bye. What should the 49ers do with Jimmy G after this season? Is Shanahan actually being too conservative on 4th down? And will the coming reinforcements be enough to help the 49ers push for a playoff spot? All that, plus defensive tendencies, quick thoughts on the Rams, and Jolly Jumpers.
Published 11/25/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, the 49ers nearly followed the underdog game plan to an upset win in New Orleans but couldn’t hold on. What is the underdog game plan? Where did things start to fall apart? And what are the questions we’re starting to think about for 2021? All that, plus an over-performing defense, Jordan Willis wasn’t terrible, and breaking down the Sicilian defense.
Published 11/18/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, a depleted 49ers roster gets run out of the building by Aaron Rodgers & Co. How did Rodgers and the Green Bay passing attack pick apart San Francisco’s defense? How did the team’s tinkering along the offensive line play out? And where do things stand with Kyle Shanahan and Robert Saleh as we begin to look ahead to 2021? All that, plus Richie James as Brandon Aiyuk’s stunt double, Ahkello Witherspoon going full Pettis, and Kevin White...
Published 11/08/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, it might be November but it’s time to dawn those Elegant Tanks. What did we learn from an absolute beatdown at the hands of the Seahawks? What happened to the 49ers’ offense and why weren’t they able to keep pace? And are the 49ers already starting to look ahead to 2021? All that, plus Brandon Aiyuk as one of the lone bright spots, moving on from Kwon Alexander, and quick thoughts on Thursday’s matchup with the Packers.
Published 11/04/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, the 49ers dominate the Patriots in a much needed win to keep their season on track. How did Shanahan attack New England’s defense with another excellent gameplan? Why wasn’t Cam Newton able to take advantage of a 49ers’ defense that has struggled against QB runs? And how did San Francisco’s makeshift secondary hold up in coverage? All that, plus Fred Warner for DPOY, checking in on the playoff picture, and what we’ll be looking for against...
Published 10/28/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, the 49ers keep their season alive with a win over the Rams. How did an excellent game plan from Kyle Shanahan get the 49ers out to a fast start? Was Jimmy G actually back? And where did the Rams miss some opportunities that could’ve made this a much different game? All that, plus it’s nice having multiple competent CBs, expectations for Jordan Willis, and a pulse check on the 49ers’ season entering this week’s game against the Patriots.
Published 10/22/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, things sure aren’t feeling great after the 49ers were embarrassed by the Dolphins. Where did things fall apart defensively against Fitzmagic & Co.? Why was the offensive performance even more concerning? And is there any hope that they’ll be able to turn things around and get back into the playoff hunt? All that, plus offensive line issues, Robert Saleh’s share of the blame, and a fantasy football update that no one cares about.
Published 10/15/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, it’s an especially whompy Whomp Whomp Wednesday. Just how bad was Nick Mullens against the Eagles? Does CJ Beathard offer any semblance of hope? And how did Philly’s defensive line tilt the game in their favor? All that, plus George Kittle’s wasted performance, looking ahead to a brutal schedule, and Milkshake IPAs.
Published 10/08/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, the 49ers were undermanned but not overmatched as they roll in New York for a second straight week. Should there be a QB controversy after MOFO Mullens’ performance? How did San Francisco’s reinforcements hold up on defense? And what can the 49ers do to slow down the QB runs that have been giving them so much trouble? All that, plus Fred Warner continues to be excellent, Saleh tries to manufacture pressure, and quick thoughts on Carson...
Published 10/01/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, the 49ers trounced the Jets and yet it still felt like a loss. What changed with Jimmy G during his much improved first-half performance? What’s going on with Mike McGlinchey? And how do the 49ers move forward after suffering a number of key injuries? All that, plus Robert Saleh mixing up coverages, the best player left on San Francisco’s defense, and someone please play The Happy Song for Nick Mullens.
Published 09/24/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, it’s the first whomp whomp Wednesday of the 2020 season as we dive deep into the issues that plagued the 49ers in their loss to the Cardinals. Where did Jimmy Garoppolo fall short in the season opener? What led to the 49ers’ struggles on third and fourth down? And why was DeAndre Hopkins able to find so much success against San Francisco’s pass coverage? All that, plus our panic level, impressive debuts from Javon Kinlaw and Trent Williams,...
Published 09/17/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, football is here! It’s time to preview the 2020 season and figure out where we expect the 49ers to land. How much regression will we see from a defense that made a worst-to-first leap last season? Will the offense be able to offset any drop in performance from the other side of the ball? And where will Jimmy Garoppolo need to improve to show that he can be a great (and not just good) QB? All that, plus thoughts on the much larger practice...
Published 09/10/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, real football is sneaking up on us and it’s (somehow) time to preview the NFC West. Will the Seahawks manage to continue 2019’s success in one-score games? Will Kyler Murray take a leap in his second season and raise the Cardinals to playoff contention? And is there anything the Rams can do to help set Jared Goff up for success? All that, plus manufactured crowd noise, injury updates, and Isaiah Simmons shade.
Published 09/03/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, IT’S TIME TO GET HYPE! Camp is full of hype and hope, but who should you really be buying into? Which rookie are we all in on? And will any of the players returning from injury manage to regain their pre-injury form? All that, plus Earl Thomas isn’t in the 49ers’ plans, center is a complete disaster, and no one cares about Oscar’s fantasy team. https://www.theragun.com/bluewire
Published 08/27/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, Scheme Month comes to a close with a look at Shanahan’s run game. What really drove the success of the 49ers’ run game last season? How can the 49ers adjust their base outside zone scheme to account for any potential defense they might face? And what was different about their run game in 2019? All that, plus George Kittle’s new contract, why the lack of depth at center is concerning, and John Lynch’s margaritas.
Published 08/20/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, Scheme Month continues with a look at some Shanahan favorites in a few key, specialized situations. Which staple concept shows up often in the red zone? How does Shanahan exploit one-on-one matchups in the two-minute drill? And what’s one concept he looks to when needing to push the ball downfield if the 49ers find themselves trailing in the fourth quarter? All that, plus a George Kittle non-update update, Tavon Austin gets a workout, and...
Published 08/13/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, we reach the moment Scheme Month has been training for: Shanahan’s favorite pass concepts. What concept provides the foundation for Shanahan’s play action attack on first down? Which West Coast classic does he go to on third-and-short? And how does he look to attack defenses on those critical third-and-longs? All that, plus players are reporting, John Lynch gets extended, and the 49ers have a new tight end.
Published 08/07/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, Scheme Month is matriculating the ball down the field with a look at how offenses attack different coverages. What are the weaknesses of each coverage type? What tricks does the offense have up its sleeve to attack man coverage? And what are the different ways they’ll look to stretch zone coverages? All that, plus geometry, banjoes, and pre-game Viagra.
Published 07/30/20
On this week’s episode of the Better Rivals podcast, it’s officially time for Scheme Month! Kicking things off, we’re digging into the basics of how coverages work. What are the three basic types of coverage? How do teams divide up the field into zones? And what are players ultimately responsible for in those zones? All that, plus how to identify a defender’s role in coverage, the 49ers are opening up training camp, and an update on Raheem Mostert.
Published 07/23/20