Sunday, January 15, 2012

Impressions from the 49ers victory

When all that had to happen on the field was done happening, when Alex Smith connected with Vernon Davis with 9 seconds left in what will be penned in football lore as "The Grab," when the 49ers defense finally failed and the 49ers offense had enough for 1 final drive, — when all the drama had ended and a victor emerged  the world had just witnessed the most amazing game in the history of football. The game featured everything: hard hitting defenses, prolific offenses, big plays, dramatic turnovers, an array of emotions, a 4th quarter that can never be forgotten. There was something about that game that cannot be expressed or quantified that simply captivated the heart of every football fan across the nation.

It was one of the hardest hitting games that I've seen. Donte Whitner singlehandedly knocked out Pierre Thomas to stall the Saints first drive just yards from the goal line, gain control of the ball, and set the tone for the rest of the game. The 49ers defense did not let the Saints run the ball at all and the Saints only rushed for 37 yards.

The 49ers did not fall into the trap of trying to match the Saints offense stride for stride. Rather, they took advantage of their strengths: defense, special teams, and a knack for grabbing turnovers. They forced five turnovers against the Saints, five, and only gave up one when Alex Smith lost the ball on a sack. When a team snatches five turnovers, they usually win the game.

The 49ers are not your typical team though. They do not possess a prolific high scoring offense like the Saints or Packers. Their offense is more gritty and methodical. They are a run first team that prides themselves on the up-the-gut running and superior blocking. The commentators repeatedly stated how the 49ers did the "little stuff" well. If Alex Smith pump fakes, he puts his heart into the pump fake. If Frank Gore tries to block a blitzing safety, he does so with all his heart. No detail goes unnoticed when you are Jim Harbaugh's team. Yes, the 49ers are not your typical team, but they win games by perfecting the details and they proved to us that defense can still win a ballgame.

Going back to the game. That was one of the most memorable games I have ever watched. The 49ers showed they can compete and beat teams with high profile offenses like the Saints. The Packers are very much like the Saints; they have a great offense and a poor defense. The Packers' pass defense is ranked last in the league. If the Packers beat the Giants — and I expect that they will — I believe the 49ers can pull off the upset and make it to the Super Bowl. If the Giants win, it presents more of a challenge, because the 49ers weakness, offense, will be directly challenged by the Giants defense, which is one of the Giants' strengths. But, as we saw in the regular season, the 49ers can beat the Giants as well. After beating the Saints and therefore knocking out the most difficult opponent, I think the 49ers will make it all the way to the Super Bowl.

Who's got it better than us? 


No comments:

Post a Comment