The 49ers couldn't have looked much better than they did on Sunday vs. the St. Louis Rams. In fact, I believe this Niner defense is the strongest unit they've had since the new millennium.
Even without their most important offensive player and the guy they game plan for, Frank Gore, the 49ers still managed to put a 35-0 whopping on the Rams, and it was because of that defense that keeps getting better by the week. The Niners defense/special teams actually outscored their offense on Sunday, as rookie linebacker Scott Mckillop took fumbled punt return to the house in the second quarter, followed by a Patrick Willis interception return and capped by a Ray McDonald sack and fumble recovery for a TD late at the start of the fourth quarter. If you had the 49ers defense playing for your fantasy team on Sunday (as I did with both of my squads) you likely are walking out of this weekend a winner. Besides their 3 touchdowns, they also collected 5 sacks on Kyle Boller and had him under pretty consistent pressure throughout the afternoon. The Niners were also able to limit Steven Jackson to just 79 yards on 23 carries. It was the 49ers first shutout since January 2002, a span of 116 games without holding a team scoreless and it now makes them the second ranked defense (points wise) in all the NFL after 4 weeks.
The Offense didn't need to do too much, but when they were on the field, they impressed as well. Shaun Hill had another typical Shaun Hill game, going 14-24 for 152 yards and 2 scores. One of those scores was a 13 yard connection to Vernon Davis for his third touchdown in 2 weeks. Davis ended the day with 3 catches for 43 yards which led all Niners' receivers, but again, they didn't need to really throw the ball much in the second half, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that they didn't total a bunch of yards on offense. The one area on offense which didn't impress too much was the running game, featuring rookie Glen Coffee. With Gore out for next weeks contest vs. the Falcons, the 49ers are going to need more out of Coffee than the 3.1 yards per carry he averaged on Sunday. Part of the low average was because of the 'Niners offensive line failing to open up a bunch of room for him, and that's another area that I'm sure Coach Singletary will want to work on this week in practice. The O-line also let the Rams get to Hill for 4 sacks, so the pass protection wasn't the best either. All in all though, it's really hard to complain about San Francisco at all after watching Sunday's game. They certainly are on the right track and Mike Singletary was very much the right man for this job.
Raiders recap: In Houston, the Raiders were once again dominated by the Texans to the tune of 29-6, as they dropped 1-3 on the season. Oakland totaled just 165 yards of total offense, and turned the ball over a few times and they only mustered two field goals the entire afternoon vs. the Texans. I was actually surprised the Raiders weren't shut out with the way they played. JaMarcus Russel went just 12-33 through the air, and although there were an abundance of drops in by Raiders' receivers, the problem for them really starts with Russel's struggles. With him unable to get any kind of consistency to his targets, it allows opposing defenses to load the box and shut down the run and Houston did just that on Sunday, holding the Raiders to just 45 yards total rushing. Until the Raiders can get their quarterback, whether it be Russel or someone else, to have a completion percentage of at least 50, then it's going to be tough to get any kind of offense going... Also, check out our friends over at Docs Sports for all sports needs including Sportsbook Bonus Codes!