A Game for the Ages

What a game. This one reminded me of the good old days, when the Niners would go up against the supposed monsters of the East and butt heads with the ‘superior’ New York Giants, and beat them down. Well, these aren’t the finesse 49ers, and the Giants aren’t quite the Phil Simms/Bill Parcells teams of the 80s, but it was still an exciting, well-played taut, and crucial game fro the 49ers. They now can claim that they are a legit #2 seed in the NFC, and could very well get to the #1 if GB staggers. Unfrickingreal. Alex Smith had what looks to be his finest game as a 49er. He’s had a few of those this season, but this one especially was left to him to move the ball. The Giants came out determined to stop Gore at all costs, so naturally, the 49ers came out throwing. Halfway through the 2nd quarter, Smith had already connected with 7 different receivers (8 total), and if not for Ginn’s giveaway to close the 1st half, the game would have been a little farther out of reach, and Smith would have had another pick-free game.

Eli was pretty damn good himself, and the Niners didn’t get as much pressure as they usually do, but the Giants are a good team. Manning hit Manningham on some perfect passes, yet in the end, couldn’t overcome the Niners 2 4th quarter TDs sandwiched around Carols Rogers’ 2nd pick of the game.  Chalk up another 4th quarter comeback for Alex. Chalk up another excellent game plan devised by Harbaugh, Roman, and Fangio. Chalk up another tough win against a top contender in the NFL.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the 49ers get the #1 nod in the power rankings. Even with a GB win over lowly Minnesota.

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About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers and SF Giants fan
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49 Responses to A Game for the Ages

  1. unca_chuck says:

    From Kevin on the previous thread:

    ESPN writer giving the Niners some respect

    http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcwest/post/_/id/51345/getting-tough-to-discount-alex-smith-49ers

    • snarkk says:

      Belated, begrduginly-given love from ESPN is not a badge of respect or worthiness. The 2010 Giants got the same treatment. It’s as if their WS win was an affront to ESPN’s sensibilities (and sponsors). Stealing from the Treasure of Sierra Madre: “ESPN? We don’t need no stinking ESPN!!”…

    • phil fan says:

      Sando at ESPN Blog following the NFC West is no talking head like some of their TV crew. He’s been appraising the Niners fairly for a while now and respecting them more and more this year. He lives in Seattle but doesn’t go overboard on the ‘Hawks either. None of that dumb East coast bias crap from him. But let ’em keep it up maybe Fred P Soft will take up residence back East.

  2. winder says:

    I always disliked the term finesse. Even with the touch Montana had when dropping in a pass we always had a pretty good and tough defense. There was nothing finesse about Lott, Hacksaw, Board, and the list goes on forever. This years Niners team is full of bruisers, both our defensive and offensive lines are bonafied maulers, they can play with anybody. Our linebackers might just be the best in the business and our DB’s have been putting on the licks with regularity. What we do have now is a QB that has finally got some good coaching. Coaching that actually works. Green Bay better just hope that we don’t continue to progress like we have or they just might be in some trouble.

    • phil fan says:

      winder good call on your pre-game analysis. The game plan pretty much followed your script. No wonder you cleaned my sorry clock in FF play! And, sly dog, you were claiming earlier that you are the FF whipping boy? Move over pal, there’s a new chump in town!

      • winder says:

        Lol. You haven’t seen my Yahoo league team where I am the whipping dog. Actually, yesterday was a pretty bad day for most in the FF arena. I had one team with Gore,Julio Jones, McGahee(sp), and Vincent Jackson, I got a whole 2 points for them all put together. I just hope Gore’s knee will be ok we are gonna really need him.

      • phil fan says:

        Yep the running game could be a concern. Gore is an old man in RB years…

  3. twinfan1 says:

    Well, saying “ESPN” said this or that is a bit misleading. There ARE reporters there who have respected the Niners from the get go. It’s hardly as if ESPN is one voice. Sometimes we go overboard with what comes off as whining ablout “East Coast Bias” when many of the local media are as ignorant or more so about our teams. Most sports talking heads are idiots, ESPN has no corner on that.

    • phil fan says:

      The guy that wrote the article linked above for the ESPN NFC WEST Blog, Mike Sando is actually very good and covers the NFC West quite well. I’ve learned a lot from him about the Rams, Cards and ‘Hawks

      • winder says:

        Yeah, I read that too and he is pretty good. I like the fact that
        AZ, STL, and the Seachickens won yesterday, and agaist some pretty good opponents. Maybe our division will get a little more respect.

  4. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah, this time around, GB is the finesse team. If we get there, that should be another great game.

    Yesterday’s truly was a team victory. ST had great punt and KR coverage, Ackers was his usual solid (another 50+ FG, plus 3 more) self, the defense was stout most of the time. They created 2 turnovers, and stuffed NY’s run game. But it all came down to Alex Smith. He drove the team to 2 4th quarter TDs (his 4th 4th quarter comeback), and won the game with his passing. Hunter had a solid game after the Giants had stuffed Gore for 0 yards on 6 carries. The TEs were huge. Walker and Davis combined for 9/109/1 TD. Even the 2 point conversion had Crabs lined up in the backfield to take the swing pass for the conversion.

    • snarkk says:

      That play to Crabs for the 2-point looked a lot like the play Walsh used to use to get a TD with Jerry back in the glory days. Put him in motion to an overloaded side, then he just motors over the goal line and cuts to towards the corner flag…

  5. Kevin says:

    yes, I loved the 2 point conversion. I hope Harbaugh uses that a little more.

    • twinfan1 says:

      That’s dictated by the score, by going for it Giants could only tie with a TD and extra point instead of going ahead. It’s totally determined by circumstances, nothing more.

      • Kevin says:

        yes and that is unfortunate. I think if teams practiced it more and used it, would force other teams to get good at it.

      • twinfan1 says:

        Kevin, your’re inviting more Mike Smith-like decisions. Let’s say the Niners are down by 7. You seem to be suggesting that going for two should be encouraged. If you’re really saying that the kicked extra point is a bore, sure it is. But just going for two for the helluvit is not sound. But doing away with the kicked extra point altogether is something I could totally get behind. Leave the point as just one but make everyone run a play for it.

  6. twinfan1 says:

    What’s their record with:
    McNabb 4-4
    Kolb 3-5
    Kappy 2-6
    Hasselback 7-2
    Orton 3-5

    Along with the rookie Kappy, as I recall these were the most often cited names to replace Alex (from the rabble). My guess is next to the names. I’m discounting injury.

  7. twinfan1 says:

    “Hasselbeck”…

  8. phil fan says:

    The design on the 2 pointer was great. Did Walsh use this as a short yardage scoring play someone said?

    Another question: What about our pass defense? We came 2 dropped passes from losing this game (Manningham, Cruz). Carlos Rogers seems to think we’ll be okay so maybe, huh?

    From Grant: http://49ers.pressdemocrat.com/2011/11/inside-the-49ers/carlos-rogers-on-his-hands-i-didnt-have-surgery-done-to-them/#comment-119270

    Sando again: ” Ballhawking defense: Cornerback Carlos Rogers collected two more interceptions, both on passes traveling at least 15 yards past the line of scrimmage. The 49ers now have 10 interceptions on those throws, up from four all last season, according to ESPN Stats & Information. This was the eighth time in nine games the 49ers forced at least two turnovers.”

  9. twinfan1 says:

    The secondary has been their weakest piece of the defense. Last couple games they’re not getting the pressure they were so the DBs atre getting exposed. Didn’t hurt them much until they faced a top QB in Manning. They’ll need to step up the pressure again.

  10. unca_chuck says:

    The bigger concern to me was the lack of a pass rush. This was the 1st game in a while where we didn’t get too much pressure on the other QB. Eli is a damn good QB, and he read our defensive adjustments far better than anyone else has this year, and did well for the most part. Manningham totally gave up on the route that Rogers picked him off in the 4th quarter.

    Culliver 2x didn’t get his hands up on those fade routes to the back corner of the end zone. A little troubling to me. He almost got a pick early, though. That’s a coachable moment. Get your hands up and turn your head.

    Phil, the Niners also gave away 7 to close the 1st half on Ginn’s gift-pick. It could veryeasily been 16-6 to open the 2nd half. Woulda coulda shoulda’s are hard to quantify. The Niners could have gotten a pick 6 after Manningham’s drop on the sideline pass. Just like if Coughlin punted instead of going for it on 4th down with 3:33 left would have changed everything after it. Maybe we fumble in our end, and NY scores. Maybe we run the clock out. No way to know.

  11. unca_chuck says:

    Didn’t see yers, TF, before I threw mine up . . .

  12. twinfan1 says:

    Chuck, the lack of a pass rush is what was referring to with “Last couple games they’re not getting the pressure they were so the DBs are getting exposed.”. Mabe I wasn’t clear enough, I thought it would be understood what not getting pressure meant.
    And they daidn’t get much on Beck either, a guy who had been sacked 10 times in a game earlier this year.

    • unca_chuck says:

      Well duh. Hence my post lamenting the pass rush. The 2 go hand in hand.

      Matt Schaub out for the year with the Texans. Broken foot. Hot Tub Matt gets his shot with Houston.

      TJ Yates replaces Leinart when he flames out . . .

  13. twinfan1 says:

    Oh well. We both mean well.

  14. twinfan1 says:

    I’ll presume Chuck is saying what I’m saying: lack of pressure on the QB has exposed the DBs more than they’d like.. Didn’t hurt as much against Beck, but it’s a concern.

  15. Kevin says:

    And that is why I as a coach would practice it so much that I could pull it off anytime I wanted. It is used so few times, why did the NFL even adopted such a rule?? And you are right it would be better to have a team have to run a play to get the extra point, with the fact that kickers seem to be getting better at it move the ball back to say a 40 or 45 yard extra point. I would go along with that also

  16. twinfan1 says:

    Kevin, it’s used so few times because it only makes sense those few times. Would you, as coach, feel justified, for example, in going for two when failing meant losing the game vs, kicking the point got you into OT.

  17. unca_chuck says:

    The overriding truth is, for most teams, points are at a premium. The risk of going for 2 is outweighed by the relative ease of the extrta point. You RARELY see teams do it early in games because losing one point is far worse than gaining 2. You WILL see it late in games when a TD puts you up by 5, and the extra point wouldn’t make much of a difference (like the Niners yesterday), or if team is down by 16 towards the end of a game and they score a TD.

    Just like you rarely see teams go for 4th and inches on your side of the 50. If even then. Mike (duh) Smith notwithstanding.

  18. unca_chuck says:

    Just to confirm what I posted yesterday when it happened (from the Chron):

    “On the Giants’ final drive Sunday, Eli Manning completed an 18-yard, fourth-down pass to Mario Manningham along the left sideline for a first down at the Niners’ 47 with just over three minutes left. It appeared obvious that Manningham caught the ball inbounds and retained possession. A clear catch. Still, Jim Harbaugh threw his red challenge flag on the field.

    Today, Harbaugh was asked why he challenged the play. He responded that his primary motivation was to give his defense a rest in the latter stages of a game in which New York controlled the ball for 34:37 and ran 70 offensive plays. After losing the challenge, San Francisco still had one timeout left and Harbaugh didn’t think he would need multiple timeouts in the final minutes.

    “Our guys were starting to get tired I thought and needed a little bit of a blow,” Harbaugh said. “Another thing was just take a shot at it being incomplete. It was on the boundary. He went to the ground. You never know if the ball might have moved.” Harbaugh was asked if he also might have been attempting to disrupt the Giants’ offensive flow by challenging the play. Manning opened the drive by completing 3 of 3 passes for 30 yards. “Oh, don’t give me too much credit now,” Harbaugh said. “Let’s not go too far with that.”

    • phil fan says:

      Good answer by Jimbo which is what you (and I kinda) said to Flavor when he wondered why the TO at that point. I rambled on about Giants momentum but he’s not having it here, lol

  19. twinfan1 says:

    You always said you were a genius, Chuckles.. seriously, that was one of your better observations..and hey, if they drop their last 7, you nail their season record 😉

  20. phil fan says:

    Now that’s a good example of damning with faint praise! Or of giving with one hand and taking away with the other…the Chuckster can’t win!

  21. unca_chuck says:

    More numbers:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/48380/qbr-ranks-alex-smith-and-ginns-drop

    These QBR/total QB rating things ain’t all that, but I guess you have to do some math to figure who’s doing what and how.

    Smith’s take is fine with me. When asked how good this team is he said, “We’re 8-1. You’re as good as your record.”

  22. twinfan1 says:

    Rodgers one week was 26 for 39 for 396 yards and 2 TD. His Total QBR was 82.1
    Tebow was 4 for 10 for 79 yards and a TD He ran 6 times for 38 yards and a TD. His total QBR was 83.2
    I think I’ll wait a bit before taking Total QBR seriously
    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/10/10/espns-qbr-stat-puts-tebow-ahead-of-rodgers/

    And the Packers won, Denver lost

  23. Flavor says:

    Well, Tebow was 2 of 8 for like 60 yards and had a QB rating of over 100 this week. WTF?

  24. unca_chuck says:

    So, I guess Tebow’s 2 for 8, 79 yards with a TD was worth 97.5?

  25. twinfan1 says:

    Well, I guess Tebow sucks dick for both ratings services.

  26. unca_chuck says:

    Holy shit. I was kidding, but Tebow’s rating was 102.6. Fucking joke.

  27. twinfan1 says:

    The piece I linked to was from Mike Florio. I’ll be honest, I’ve never even thought about Tebow’s total QBR or regular QRB until I saw that. I incorrectly assumed his rating sucked for both…

  28. twinfan1 says:

    His QBR for the year is 81.7, which would be 17th among regulars if he had enough passing attempts to qualify, 29th among all who have played QB.

  29. robd says:

    i think we’ll beat baltimore

  30. unca_chuck says:

    NEW POST new post NEW POST
    new post NEW POST new post
    NEW POST new post NEW POST

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