Tuesday, October 4, 2011

49ers Deliver Upset of 2011

I have to admit, I didn't think the 49ers had a glimmer of hope in this game vs. the Eagles. Philly was coming off a rough 2-game losing streak, and Michael Vick appeared to be as determined as ever coming into this contest after getting knocked around a bit in week's 2 and 3.

Michael Vick showed up and delivered his most prolific passing day as a pro, but the 49ers came up with a key turnover, and Alex Smith actually took charge of a game rather than just trying to manage it and get by making the least mistakes possible. It was almost as if the 49ers were such underdogs, that he played with a sense of ease. Smith has always looked good when games have been out of reach, but I don't recall him ever taking charge of a game so close, against such a good team, like he did on Sunday. Smith was sharp, throwing for 291 yards, completing 21 of 33 completions and two TD's with no picks and took command of the game late. Vick countered with a whopping 416 yards through the air, two touchdowns and a pick and even added 85 yards rushing, but couldn't push the Eagles over the top. Frank Gore also stood out in this game, as he answered all the skeptics coming into the week saying he was finished or hurt, by going for a season high 127 yards and a score on just 15 carries. Michael Crabtree also contributed for the first time all season, hauling in 5 passes for 68 yards while Vernon Davis and Josh Morgan each had TD receptions. The offense was very well rounded, and effecient, while the defense did just enough to hold on for the 24-23 victory. The 49ers took the lead with only 3 minutes left in the game, but their defense held strong and kept Philly's high-powered attach off the board in those final minutes to seal the victory.

The win has put the 49ers into a position they haven't been in nearly 10 years. Through 4 weeks, this team looks like it's getting better and better, and in a weak NFC West, the 49ers may very well be the most well-rounded team. The Rams were the favorite coming into the year, but injuries have killed them early on, and Sam Bradford has looked very mediocre. The Cardinals have a potent offense, but Kevin Kolb hasn't been the 2nd coming of Kurt Warner like AZ hoped, and their defense is one of the worst in the league. Seattle, who won the division last year despite a 7-9 record, could be in worst shape of all. Their offesne showed some life last week vs. the Falcons, but like many NFL insiders have reported, Seattle is basically a glorified expansion team with all the turnover they had on their roster this summer. Tavaris Jackson hasn't really panned out, the O-line has been a mess, and Marshawn Lynch barely has 100 rushing yards on the season. Right now, things are looking very positive for San Francisco, and they're taking full advantage of their divisional foes' early season struggles. That's the one things I'm seeing that's been very different with this team under Harbough. They're still finding their offensive identity, but Harbough's team takes advantage of what teams give them. You take away jsut one Tony Romo-Miles Austin TD connection from week 2, and this team is 4-0. Opportunistic football is a perfect way to describe the 49ers play through the quarter point.

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