San Francisco, 4:15 p.m.]
Number of miles the 49ers will travel this season (including the preseason), the most in the NFL.
Consecutive games in which the 49ers have scored, an NFL record. They last were shut out in the 1977 season opener, by the Steelers. Does anyone else find it strange that Atlanta didn't employ the West Coast offense until it was removed from the NFC West?
But anyway, the West Coast offense it is for the Falcons. Quarterback Michael Vick hasn't had the smoothest of times with it in preseason, and offensive coordinator Greg Knapp said it's "a two- to three-year process for a quarterback to feel real comfortable in this offense." But all Vick has to do is run, run, run, and everything will be all right, at least until he suffers a season-ending injury in Week 4.
Meanwhile, the 49ers have become the NFL's punching bag for sportswriters. "Call them the $4.99ers," Sports Illustrated said of their cost-cutting ways. "On offense, the 49ers are little better than an expansion team after throwing away starters at quarterback, running back, tight end, left tackle and both wide receiver spots," wrote Ira Miller of the San Francisco Chronicle. Marcos Breton of the Sacramento Bee called the coaching staff "a collection of retreads assembled by Dennis Erickson [below]."
On the positive side, I hear Napa is beautiful this time of year.