Well, the rioting from blogdom seeking Jim Harbaugh’s head on a pike a la Game of Thrones died down a little as the 49ers fought, scrapped, and ultimately flopped their way to a much-needed victory over the New Orleans Saints. They of the 19 game home winning streak dating back to late 2010.
The offense came out firing on all cylinders after an early pick by Antoine (Donte who?) Bethea, and some nice red zone running. Imagine my surprise that the 49ers ran out of 2-3 wideout formations. The defense played very well all game, and saved Colin Kaepernick’s bacon, as he once again tried too hard to make something out of nothing. Kappy was strip-sacked near the end of a stellar first half, but Chris Culliver picked off a real dumb pass by Drew Brees in the end zone to preserve the 49ers 21-10 lead.
The 2nd half? *Gulp* Well, the 49ers continue their maddening practice of shutting down in the 2nd halfs of games. Given the opportunity to close out the game, the 49ers seem intent on making the defense play mistake free football while they put together drives of 15 yards, -5 yards, 5 yards, and 26 yards, before the near-miraculous 51 yard pass to Michael Crabtree on 4th and 10 from the 22 set up the game-tying field goal.
Even through all that, the Niners nearly lost on N’Awlins version of the Hail Mary Santeria?), which they completed to Jimmy-hat Graham, but he was called for pushing off on Perrish Cox, and thus preserving the tie.
Overall, this game was called much better offensively than the Ram game (they just seem to find stupid-ass ways to beat us), and the offense, at least in the 1st half, was moving pretty well. Kaepernick was on-target, and if not for 7 drops (5 [!] by Boldin [including a sure TD] and one each by Crabs and VD [par for the course from these guys]), Kappy’s numbers would be much batter, and the game would have been a bit easier to win.
Defensively, what can you say about Chris Borland? After his 18-tackle debut vs the Rams, he follows that up with a 17-tackle performance yesterday, and he was the guy to recover the forced fumble by Ahmad (redemption) Brooks on Drew Brees, and thus set the stage for the game winning (ugly-ass) FG by Phil (Family Feud) Dawson.