Tuesday, December 20, 2011

49ers Hand it to Steelers at Candlestick

I could go on and on about this game, from some of the blocks that were made for Frank Gore at key times, to some big, third down stops by the defense, but I since this was such a big game and there's so much being talked/written about, I just wanted to stick to the points (bullet style) that I stuck out to me!

  • Aldon Smith is a monster, simple as that. The dude is the best pass-rusher I've seen in a 49ers uniform in my 27 odd years on this planet, and he makes it look so effortlessly. He sacked Roethlisberger 2 1/2 times and knocked him down at least five more times. He was so good that I forgot Pat Willis wasn't even playing Monday Night. The 49ers defense caused 4 turnovers, Smith played a big role in most all of them!
  • Alex Smith had his typical '11 Smith game, tossing for 187 yards and a score without a turnover. He missed a few receivers who were wide open (Michael Crabtree), but made up for it with a beautiful cross-back pass to Vernon Davis that led to another creative play call for a Davis TD. Alex played with confidence and you could see it in his face!
  • Frank Gore quietly plugged away at the Steelers, but didn't go crazy, collecting 64 yards, but did break free for a nice 5-yard game-sealing TD run.
  • Niners O-Line did a very, very good job against the violent Steeler pass-rush, granted they were without their ace rusher, James Harrison. Still though, even without Harrison, the Steelers have a vaunted defense that is a top-5 NFL D.

  • Just another couple of things before I get outta here for the day, I wanted to point out the emergence of Kyle Williams. The dude's been a PC player for years here and never had much of a chance, but injuries to Braylon and Josh Morgan have paved the way for him. I think he should be the clear-cut #2 WR from here on out with Ginn moving into the slot.
  • I also don't think it would be a bad idea for the 49ers to maybe look into free agency for another wideout as insurance. The guy I'm thinking of is Chris Chambers, who played just last January and basically had 20 catches 200 yards for the Chiefs in 6 games at the end of the season. T.O. would be awesome for this offense (what Braylon hasn't been) if he didn't come with such baggage!
  • Wanted to give out kudos to the special teams, who've done a real bang up job this year in all. Andy Lee (4 punts inside 20) and David Akers (among league leaders in scoring) are sure Pro-Bowlers and showed why yesterday. Shout out to C.J. Spillman too!
  • The defense as a whole, besides Aldon who we gushed about at the top of the post. Carlos Rogers has been re-born as a 49er and they need to extend him another year right now. He grabbed his 6th pick of the year, and deflected 2 key passes.
  • Goldson was again his active self (6 tackles, int), still can't believe the 49ers almost let him get away! He missed two hole games and still has 66 tackles/6 ints.
  • Lastly, Tarell Brown is developing into a pro-bowl caliber cover man as well, but still sometimes gets beat, needs to get more consistent! Brown, Goldson and Rogers have been the reason why the Niners secondary isn't getting burned like they did pre-2011. (Still waiting for Whitner to really breakout)

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