How Tennessee missed out on that team name escapes logic. I think it won the naming poll by over 40%. 2 huge things in its favor. Everyone like penguins, and Don (Maxwell Smart) Adams was the voice of Tennessee.
Anyhow, The Niners played a very solid game yesterday. Well, until the end when they went super conservative and let the tit’ns back into it a little. They were up 24-0 entering the 4th quarter, and they let a big play happen off an innocuous screen play that may or may not have been illegally blocked. Still and all, though, a game that was never in doubt as the defense kept Chris Johnson and Jake Locker from doing any serious damage until late in the game. Standouts were Anquan Boldin and his two spectacular catches among the 5 for 74, VD and his solid effort of 4 for 62, Frank Gore had 70 on the ground, and 34 in the air, including (gasp!) a screen play that went for 29! VM even made a great catch on a tipped pas at the 1 ayard line to set up the 2nd TD. Kappy ended up a very efficient 13-21 for 199 yards + 68 on the ground, including a 20 yard scamper for a TD on 3rd and 7 to close out the 1st half. A definite knife in the heart of Tenn. Especially when the Niners took the 2nd half kickoff on a 14 play, 79 yard drive that ate 7:35 of the 3rd quarter to put the Niners up 24-0.
The defense had a lot of big plays, including Tremaine Brock’s pick on a deep pass by locker, 2 sacks by Justin Smith (and 1 by Ahmad Brooks), and constant harassment of Locker in the pocket. Out of Tenn’s first 8 drives, 6 ended with punts, one was an INT, and one FG. Tenn got yards, but no points. Til garbage time. One of the biggest plays however turned out to be a beautiful hit by hitherto unknown special teamer Darryl Morris on Darius Reynaud that he fumbled and was recovered bay Kareen Osgood in the end zone for a huge ST touchdown. Morris was all over the place on punts and KO returns, one KO he pinned Tenn on the 9 yard line.
All in all one of the Niners most consistent efforts. Albeit, I didn’t like the way they turtled in the 4th quarter. Still and all, a good road win, especially when you look at how Seattle struggled with these guys at home the week before. The offense is hitting bigger plays with a little more consistency, and the run game is still keeping defenses honest. As a proponent of ditching the read-option early in the season, I think they’ve struck a good balance with it. Using it instead as a surprise rather than an every-possession (or even every set of downs) play. I’ll admit to be wrong about that, even though I was right. Right?