Don't look know NFL, but the 49ers have reverted back to their pre-2000 days! No, we probably can't go that far yet, but after another upset, and another road victory, they've certainly gotten the NFL's attention.
The 49ers ran for over 200 yards Sunday vs. Detroit, with Frank Gore collecting 141 of them on 15 carries. Alex Smith wasn't great, as he turned the ball over 2 times and threw for just 125 yards. On top of all of that, they were facing the undefeated powerhouse Detroit Lions in their own backyard, and they still managed to pull this one out, 25-19. Matt Stafford got his, throwing for 280 yards and 2 scores, but the 49ers were able to get in his face enough to disrupt him at key points in the game, one big one for a safety and another clincher late in the game when Detroit was making their final push. The defensive front was the subject of the day in Detroit for San Fran, as they were in Stafford's face constantly, sacking him 5 times for a net of 49 yards. Rookie Aldon Smith continues to show everyone why the 49ers chose him over a higher ranked QB, or CB, as he collected 2 big sacks and know has 6 on season which puts him right up with the leagues premiere pass rushers. The usual suspects, Justin Smith, Ahmad Brooks and Ray McDonald, all got credit for sacks as well, as the 49ers front 7 played near flawless football. Their secondary played pretty well overall, considering they were going against the prolific Lion attack. They kept Calvin Johnson out of the endzone, and although they didn't pick Stafford off, they knocked down 9 of his passes.
This win obviously puts the 49ers on the map as not only the team to beat in the NFC West, but arguably one of the best squads in the whole NFC. Right now, the only teams I see playing clearly better than SF in the league are Green Bay and New Orleans, and the only team to beat them this year, Dallas. Those teams scare me because of their premiere passing attacks, which may tempt the 49ers even more to test the waters as far as potential trade targets at cornerback with just 48 hours before Tuesday's trade deadline. Chris Culliver stepped up very nicely as he was matched up with Calvin Johnson quite a bit. He and Smith are making huge impacts as rookies early in 2011 already. Carlos Rogers also played another nice game as he's turned out to be one of the best FA signing for the 49ers so far if you ask me. Fellow corner, rookie Chris Culliver had a standout game as well, matching up with Calvin Johnson on a lot of plays and holding his own quite well. Despite Culliver's emergence, I still would really like to see the 49ers pursue another cover-man before Tuesday's trade deadline, though I don't see it happening. The 49ers have a decent team that is very well coached, but still don't have the talent offensively, especially with the injuries at wideout, to keep score with teams like New Orleans and Dallas.
The 49ers are heading into bye week, which I'm sure they wish would have came a few weeks later with the way they've been playing, and although we'll still discuss them plenty over the next two weeks, we'll be focusing more on the MLB playoffs and the Raiders, who are currently up on Cleveland at half.