Today's game was definitely not the prettiest win for the 49ers, but at we've finally won a close game. Today we didn't have to see a field goal partially blocked through the uprights on Monday night, a game ending interception fumbled and recovered by the offense, a ferocious comeback on Sunday night football that falls just short, or a game ending interception thrown by a former number 1 pick. FINALLY the ball falls our way when Spencer grabs the game ending INT.
Having said that, here are some thoughts from today's win:
- All week everyone was wondering what we would see from Troy Smith. Some people argued that Carr should be the starter, others were calling for Nate Davis to get pulled up. At the end of the day, I think that Mike Singletary has *finally* shown something. Say what you will about Singletary, but for at least today his decision to start Troy Smith over David Carr was a good one and may silence some fans (at least for now).
- Frank Gore looked great. At times, the 49ers rushing attach can be *really* frustrating to watch. One minute they are ripping off 7-8 yard gains, the next minute they are stalling out in key situations. Today, I was really impressed by Frank Gore's touchdown run. It looks like he's stopped at the 3 yard line, and then he slips his way into the end zone. I love how he never stops moving his feet. I have no idea what Mike Johnson was thinking with that Moran Norris run moments before that touchdown. The less Moran Norris gets the ball, the better.
- I'm not sure why we don't use Brian Westbrook more. I know Frank Gore refuses to get off the field, but I really think we need to work it to Westbrook more than Dixon. Dixon showed us that he can play this pre-season, but Westbrook is a proven running-back. Has he really lost that much from 2-3 years ago?
- The 49ers seem to play soft in coverage at the end of every close game. We have a 14 point lead and we let the Broncos march down the field and make it an 8 point game (should have been 7 if it weren't for a botched extra point). I was thinking for sure that we were going to let them come back and tie the game with our soft coverage. I feel like we need to be more aggressive on defense at the end of these close games, it feels like we are always conceding critical yards.
- I keep waiting for Ted Ginn Jr. to become a major factor in the return game. He looks like he's on the verge of busting out a huge gain before it stalls out. I do recall one good return from today, but I'm still waiting for him to take it to the house.
- That hit on Orton today by Manny Lawson was brutal. In my opinion, the more blitzes from our linebackers, the better. I'd like to see Willis on more blitzes, too. He's been having a relatively quiet year (by his standards), but when he blitzes up the middle, it's usually panic mode for the QB. The blitzes are by no means non-existent, but I'd still like to see that more often out of Manusky.
- Delanie Walker has shown flashes of being a real threat on offense. If the injury suffered by Vernon Davis is serious, we will need Walker to expand on his role more. Say what you will about that 30+ pass by Troy Smith being complete luck, he still pulled it down between two defenders and it was by no means an easy catch. He seemed to be a good option for Troy Smith, and I'm excited to see if they can continue their success after the bye in St. Louis.
- At some point we have to figure out how to score some points in the middle of games. It seems like we always score first and then stall until later in the game when it's too little too late. We have to figure out how to score and move the ball on a consistent basis.
Anyways, those are my thoughts on today's game. It's always great to see the 49ers win, even if this season may or may not be lost at this point. Before the season started, I predicted that the 49ers would be 10-6. Of course, I'm not 100% certain that my prediction will fail, but at this point it doesn't look good. I'll keep my fingers crossed that we will come off this bye week with Troy Smith leading us to another win at home vs. St Louis to keep my prediction alive.