The 49ers are the only ones to tame the Lions

Chew on this: The San Francisco 49ers are second place in the entire NFL (5-1), behind only my Green Bay Packers (6-0), and even ahead of my New Orleans Saints (4-2) after their loss this weekend.

After walking into Ford Field in Detroit, and doing what the Chicago Bears could not, the 49ers are now no longer under the radar in the NFL. They are the threat that no one took seriously for the past month, and the team that the bay area has been looking to re-find for the past decade.

I was watching the game yesterday and couldn’t help but cringe at the offside calls, due to the loud crowd noise and dangerous defensive linemen that the Lions employ. I saw why Jay Cutler was sacked so many times, but the offensive linemen for the 49ers got it done in the end. They held the quarterback sack and hit counts to a minimum, and opened up holes for Frank Gore (15 carries, 141 yards, 1 touchdown – his best game of the year and second straight 100+ yard week). 

It seems as if Alex Smith was the real benefactor from Camp Alex this preseason. He’s not throwing up any big numbers, but he’s leading the team to a possible first-round playoff bye, matching up against the Packers in the playoffs. Smith was chased by a marauding Lions front and didn’t have a great day, but he still exited Ford Field as the league’s eighth-rated quarterback, and after six games has thrown just two interceptions. This kind of move-the-pocket, move-the-sticks passing game is the closest he’s felt to his days at Utah. The Niners admittedly reached to make him the top overall pick in 2005, and there is no quarterback who has had more lives with his current team than Smith. But maybe, just maybe, he’s found the right offensive match in his fifth offensive scheme.

Patrick Willis, NaVarro Bowman, Aldon Smith playing not only coverage, but 5-sacks and a safety pass rushing was a key factor.

Holding Calvin Johnson aka Megatron to no touchdown for the first time all season was important. No danger from Ndamukong Suh and the other defensive stars besides an early game sack/fumble. Just some great comeback football and some drama brawl between head coaches Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz in the end.

I’ve got to give a warm #jschwartzfistpump to everyone who made that a trending twitter line yesterday. Way to go, counting those eggs before your precious Detroit team can nail its victory. But hey, this was a great homecoming for Harbaugh, who went to college in Michigan. And to top that off, Harbaugh played for Baltimore in 1998, when Schwartz was a Ravens assistant. Good ‘ole reunions, they make me teary! *sniffles*

I’m sure you want to watch the video of what went down. I found this on YouTube but cannot guarantee it will stay for long, what with all the copyrighting that’s around these days. Let me know if it disappears!

 

Author: Jason Zajdel

Learning as I go along. It’s an awesome ride. =-)