Well, that was fun. In one of the biggest victories in the past 6 years, the 49ers outlasted the New Orleans Saints in the hostile environs of the Louisiana Superdome. George (taste the rainbow) (S)Kittle(s) stamped his mark on the game with a defender-dragging facemask-pulling romp and stomp down the left sideline for 39 yards + the 15 yard facemask penalty to set up the game-winning FG with 0:02 seconds left. In a Bavaro-like performance (yes, we all remember that) Kittle dragged 2 defenders 20 yard downfield while safety Marcus Williams tried to unscrew Kittle’s head using his helmet. No matter the outcome of this season, this game, much like the slug-fest last week against the Ravens, is an instant classic. And it feels MUCH better to be on the winning side of one of those.
Crazy thing is, the 49ers are now must-watch TV for the entire NFL. If these last 2 games were in prime-time, like the Green Bay games was shifted to, the praise would be heaped even higher on them.
So, in the toughest stretch of games ever attempted by any NFL team at any time, 4 division leaders and 4 teams with 10+ wins in the last 6 games, the 49ers are 2-1 so far. They have the Seahawks to play, in Seattle, so you have to hope Seattle trips over their dick like they did last night in LA. I would love for that game not to matter. I’d much rather see them at home in the NFC Championship game, or not at all.
Richard Sherman’s comment after the game were classic. He said:
“Boy, in the 1st half they really got us. But in the 2nd half . . . . . they got us again!”
The magnitude of the game wasn’t lost on him, and the defensive effort was akin to running underwater with a ball and chain on each ankle, but Sherman gets it. The Saints are an elite offense with a Hall of Fame quarterback. The defense missed some plays, they missed some tackles, and Witherspoon dropped what would have been a game-sealing interception, but this team has had what could have been devastating injuries to Kwon Alexander, Dee Ford, Westie Richburg, among many many others, yet still kept coming back. The biggest play of the game was very well the forced fumble by DJ Jones on Alvin Kamara. The Saints had taken the lead when the Saints intercepted a pass that skipped off Emmanuel Sanders’ hands to start the 3rd quarter, and the defense stood tall and forced a field goal.
Even with the pick, this was a shining example of a game that was won by Jimmy G and a very imaginative Kyle Shanahan offense. I wasn’t a big fan of some of the trick plays early (no more biplane sweep with Kittle), but the TD from Sanders to Mostert was executed to perfection. As was the option pitch from Juice to Mostert for 31 yards. Juice got blasted on the play, and he had less than a second to take the handoff and pitch it, but it got us a 1st down and continued a late 1st half TD drive that gave us the lead for the first time all day.
All in all, this was the most satisfying win in a looong time.