The good news ouf of 49er head quarters (and from Gore himself) is that his knee problem was just a bruise, and RB coach Tom Rathman kept him out of the game as a precautionary measure. He and the team say he’s good to go for the AZ game this Sunday. Othet than that, there were no significant injuries to the team last Sunday. A hard fought (and hard hitting affair) that left more than a few Giants limping off the field. Finesse that, mofos. Frankly, I’d like to see Frank take a break, or, at the most, get 1 or 2 series, and then the rest of the day off. This is the dreaded trap game against AZ (‘inferior’ opponent at home, big nationally televised game against your older brother in 4 days), and the Niners would be well-served to give Frank some time off. No need to oversue him at this point in the season. Keep him fresh for the later games, and playoff push. I suspect he gets a reduced number of carries going forward. Both Hunter and Dixon did well in his place last week. They should get the bulk of the work this weekend.
I really don’t buy into the trap stuff, as this is a division game, and the 49ers are now the team our division is gunning for. Harbaugh is always there (I’m sure) to earhole players that start feeling a little too big for their britches. Skelton had a fairly decent game against the Iggles, and brought them back for yet another 4th quarter collapse by the Dream team. My hope is the Niners can get the pass rush going again. Our DBs have been burned a little more than I like due to the fact that the pass rush isn’t quite as solid against the better teams in the league. Even the Washington game saw Buffalo get 10 sacks, and the Niners only one. Goldson came on a blitz from about 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage last weekend, and Manning easily read that for the TD down the sideline to Nicks in the 4th quarter. The coverage WAS generally very good, but Manning was very accurate, and fit the ball in to a lot of small windows all game. The thing about the pass rush is, a lot of teams are throwing the ball quick to minimize our penetration. Therefore, safety blitzes don’t work very well. Fangio needs to dial up some corner blitzes to get instant disruption.
What I really liked about last game was the fact that Smith hit a ton of different passes. Deep middle, mid-range lasers down the middle, slants, dump-offs, and a couple deep sideline routes were all right on the money, and the yards-after-catch numbers were off the charts. Smith really showed his stuff with a game plan that was built around his passing the ball, and he passed with flying colors. The only blemish was the Ginn pick. If Ginn catches that ball, Smith is 20-30, 254 yards, and something like 18 points higher in his QBR. But, as Smith said, the only numbers he really cares about are wins and losses.