When the season started, my hope was a 1-1 start. I figured the Niners would play well but not quite win in Green bay, and they would take care of business in week 2. Well, here we are after 2 tough games, and they are 2-0. No mean feat against 2 tough teams. Again, Smith targeted the WRs for 10 receptions and 150 yards. VD added 5 catches for 73. The running game clicked again, for 148 yards (Gore had 89 of them). So, the recipe I brought up last week came to pass. Somewhere around 25o passing and 150 rushing will win games. The Niners came out on fire, and quickly scored a TD on their first drive, and held Deetroit to 2 FGs. Another TD put the Niners up 14-6 at the half. After trading 2 FGs each, the game was coming down to crunch time. Detroit’s FG closed the gap to one score (20-12), and the Niners get the ball with 9:16 left. To me this is one of the best drives Smth has put together. 3 times, Smith converted long 3rd downs. 3 times Smith went to the much maligned (by me anyway) Michael Crabtree. They converted a 3rd and 7, a 3rd and 14, and a 3rd and 9. The 3rd and 14 was especially great as it was a 6 yard pass, and Crabs got sprung by an awesome downfield block by Frank Gore. Later in the drive, Smith floated a nice pass to VD on the chip-and-go route. He cleared the underneath coverage, and juked the safeties for the decisive TD. Smith also made a nice 22 yard run, and nearly got his head taken off by Wendling for the effort. Forearm to the helmet? No call. Walker was called for holding however.
Detroit scored themselves later, converting on a 3rd and 17 of their own. Really the only terrible play by the Niner defense as Bell got about 55 yards after the catch. Later in the drive, the refs missed another terrible call as Terell Brown was picked by a WR and Pettigrew scored on the pass over the middle. Then, it just came down to a very curious onsides formation by the Niners as they didn’t drop anyone deep, and K Williams had to chase down the ball on the 25 yard line as Detroit’s special teams was chasing him. In a little bit of redemption for himself, he covered it with no problem. 2-0. The future is looking bright.
The feeling going forward is that these next two games should be pretty easy. The Vikes are a soft 1-1, and we all remember the last time the Niners went to Minnesota. So, at least for me, payback should be fun. A good stomping would be nice. Then we get the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets. They absolutely crushed the supposedly tough defensive Buffalo team, and put up a 48 spot on them. However, they were grounded by the real defensive juggernaut in Pittsburgh. Another soft 1-1 team that on paper the Niners should win.
In other interesting news, the rest of the NFC West won some tough games in their own right. AZ beat NE in NE, The Seahawks spanked the Cowboys, and the Rams (who could very well be 2-0 themselves) beat the Redskins, aided by a stupid penalty by Josh Morgan.
And again, the NFL was rife with horrendous calls. The Ravens were burned on a non-existent PI call that cost them a score, there were two 2-minute warnings in an early game, Alex Smith nearly got his nose broken on a forearm shot directly at his head, and the Lions ran a pick play that was blatantly obvious and wasn’t called. There were also a couple of PI calls that were imaginary as well.