Not surprisingly, the 49ers were quite pleased with the win, but recognize the need to close out games a little more consistently. Of course, when you're up 35-3 it's easy to let up on the gas. I just got the post-game notes quotes and thought I'd throw some of them up. We'll hear from Coach Singletary, Shaun Hill, Walt Harris, and Takeo Spikes, with the first two before the jump and the latter two after the jump.
Some intriguing notes from the game first:
- The 49ers 35 first half points are the most they have scored in the first half since the 49ers scored 42 points vs. Atlanta (10-18-92), which is the most points they ever scored in a half.
- Hill became the first 49ers starting QB to post a perfect passer rating of 158.3 in the first half. The previous best was Steve Young’s 156.5 rating vs. New Orleans (9-14-97).
- Gore entered the game with 728 yards rushing and added 106 for a season total of 834 rushing yards. He is on pace for 1,334 yards. He needs 166 more rushing yards to become the first 49ers player ever to have three consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
- Gore now has 4,239 yards rushing as a member of the 49ers and needs 50 yards to move past Hall of Fame RB Hugh McElheny into sixth place on the 49ers all-time rushing list.
- LB Patrick Willis entered the game with a team-leading 108 total tackles and added eight to give him 116 for the year. He is on pace to finish with 186 total tackles.
- KR Allen Rossum is averaging 27.9 yards per kickoff return. He is on pace to finish with a career year. His best average of 25.8 during his third NFL season in 2000 with Green Bay.
- Rossum is averaging 16.9 yards per punt return. He is on pace for best his best season in that category as well. His best season so far was a 14.0 average in 2003 with Atlanta.
49ers Head Coach Mike Singletary
RE: Is that the kind of effort you are looking for in the first half?
“The first half: I thought we did a decent job in the first half. We talked about coming out and starting fast, executing, doing the things we need to do in order to win the game. So we were very excited about what happened in the first half. We came in at halftime and we talked about going out and finishing what we started in that first half.”
RE: What does that mean: finishing?
“Finishing meant that at some point in time the offensive line, when we’re backed up, that we could put it in their hands and they drive it out. Finishing means that we don’t jump offside two, three, four times in a row. Finishing means that we don’t walk off the field. We jog off the field. Finishing means that however we started the game, we need to end the game stronger than we started. That’s finishing.”
RE: You mentioned a bunch of things you guys didn’t do. Are you displeased?
“No, I wouldn’t use the word displeased. I told the guys before one of the things I didn’t do when I played was focus on what we didn’t do well. So I wanted to make sure that I told them that I was very, very proud of the fact that they played hard and we won the game. But here’s some things we need to work on going forward if we’re going to be a great team. So, no, I was not displeased. I just pointed those things out that we have to correct.”
RE: The defense in the first half, especially with the turnovers, how important was that?
“It was really important going into the game that we really handled their vertical game well. Of course they got some runs early which shocked me a bit. I talked to Greg [Manusky] about it and we weren’t getting moved quick enough. We would slant one way and they’d adjust and we would not. And guys were getting caught in the slide and getting cut off, and it caused us to get gashed so that made sense, and we corrected that going into the second half. But there were a lot of good things that happened in this game. A lot of positives to come out with and continue to work on, work forward with.”
RE: It might not be Mike Singletary’s team but this is Mike Singletary’s first win as a head coach. How does it feel standing up there?
“I’m very humbled by it. My mom and my dad passed away in the last four years. Dad last year. Mom about four years ago. And I just thought about them and if they could see that. But I’m very thankful and very proud of that, more so for the guys than for myself because they deserve it. They’ve been working their tails off. I’m telling you they’ve been working their tails off and doing a lot of things right. I’m really excited about them. But going forward it has to be all of us. It has to be the coordinators. It has to be the position coaches. It has to be the quarterback. It has to be the defensive line. It has to be every one of us in order to get out of this thing what we want to get out of it.”
QB Shaun Hill
RE: Was today’s offensive output a surprise?
“No, it’s not really a surprise. The one thing Coach Singletary talks about is ‘don’t blink.’ You can’t be surprised about something like that. It was the power of the offense and the defense did a heck of a job out there and gave us a lot of opportunities. They gave us great field position and we were able to capitalize with offensive touchdowns.”
RE: What is your reaction to your first half perfect passer rating?
“I didn’t realize that I had a perfect passer rating in the first half. The funny thing about that rating is it might say that somebody is perfect, but I promise you there were some mistakes in there about myself. So, I wasn’t perfect. We have to enjoy this win. It’s been a long time since we’ve had this feeling. But we cannot approach tomorrow any differently than if we had lost. We still have to learn from this game. There were mistakes out there today, myself included.”
After the jump, we'll hear from Walt Harris and Takeo Spikes...
CB Walt Harris
RE: What was the motivating factor for the defense playing so well, especially the secondary?
“I think that we gelled for the most part. It was definitely a collective effort with everybody, with guys up front and on the back end. We handled our job and our responsibility for the most part. We really did take care of our job. Obviously they picked up some chunk yardage here and there but those things happen with this type of game and where it was by halftime.”
RE: What was St. Louis presenting to you offensively for you to get an edge on them?
“I don’t know if it was anything that we were seeing. I think we just really came out with the mindset that we were going to come in and attack and just play confident ball. Coach Singletary has been talking all week about starting fast and finishing and we definitely did that.”
RE: How do you go focusing on Dallas?
“We just have to build on what we started from last week. Obviously we didn’t get that win with Arizona but that’s what we’re building on, and we want to come in and just keep building on the momentum that we have and everybody playing as one, playing as a team. Hopefully that definitely carries over to another win for us.”
RE: Can you discuss the second half breakdowns?
“It’s definitely something that we’ve got to improve on. Obviously we’ve got to get used to success. We haven’t had much of that so there are things that we definitely have to go back and look at. We definitely have to be a poised team, a very disciplined team and those are some things that we’re still trying to hammer out right now, but we definitely have not got a grip on it just yet.”
LB Takeo Spikes
RE: Were all three phases on top of their game today?
“It was a total team win, with special teams, offense and defense. When something good happened on one side of the ball, it was a direct reflection of something else. Everybody played well off of each other. But, we didn’t finish the way that we wanted to. I think that was obvious. But, we’ll take it for what it’s worth. We know what we have to work on. We have a big game next week against Dallas.”
RE: Was this the type of performance you expected from the defense all season?
“Yes, it is. I think once we made some adjustments going into the bye week, we were able to self-scout ourselves to see what needed to be done. It’s paying off already.”
RE: What do you think this team can do for the rest of the season?
“It is what it is. We’ll enjoy the win today, and we’ll have to come back and get to work for Dallas next week.”