Ninjames' Note From The Future: It's Monday, September 20th and I'm sitting in the parking lot at Candlestick Park, pecking away this recap amid drunken celebration, conga dancing and what I believe is a bonfire in the distance. I'm enjoying cold tailgating fare from before the game, generously slathered in some form of delicious sauce and partaking in a deliciously... delicious Newcastle. I keep having to backspace due to many typos. The typos come from a lack of depth perception on my part, my left eye is out of commission after taking a football straight to the face off a rogue pass from Nate Davis. The kid really does have an arm... I was up in the cheap seats. What follows is a 100% accurate account of what went down just under an hour ago when the New Orleans Saints came to San Francisco on Monday Night Football.
The Saints came in rather edgy. They were just coming off a 65-3 loss against the Minnesota Vikings in which Brett Favre showcased his newly healed ankle, throwing for 600 yards and adding another 130 yards rushing. They come in scared, hoping for a win that they know they're destined not to get.
You could tell just how insecure they were when they celebrated winning the coin toss by dumping a bucket of gatorade on head coach Sean Payton, who could be seen leaping into the air in celebration after this astounding moral victory. It was the first bright spot in a night that, while did include a few other such spots, was largely disappointing for the previous Super Bowl champions. Make the jump for mooooar.
The Saints elected to receive, and Joe Nedney put the ball right in the hands of... Taylor Mays! Mays outran the kick, made it to the back of the endzone where he caught the kickoff to put the 49ers up (after an extra point) 7-0 with no time actually elapsed on the clock. The 49ers celebrated by dumping a second bucket of gatorade over Saints coach Sean Payton. The 49ers received a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct with the move, but Payton declined the penalty when he saw the Niners' players lifting up a bucket of hot coffee on the sidelines.
It's a very true statement that Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints offense is something to take note of, to include in your gameplan, but they weren't of any consequence as they didn't have the ball for any longer than a couple plays in the first half. The ball was picked off by Patrick Willis, with fumbles forced by Takeo Spikes and Ahmad Brooks. Brooks actually picked up Reggie Bush and shotputted him five yards back behind the line of scrimmage, after politely taking the ball out of his hands.
The Saints offense wasn't completely inept, they did score on one play in which the 49ers were penalized for only having three men on the field after Patrick Willis (who accounts for three whole players) told the rest of the defense they could take the series off. Willis was actually called for pass interference on three wide receivers on a single play. Want to know something awesome about that? It was a hail mary play.
Still, Willis made up for it in the 4th quarter when he actually returned a fumble and an interception for two touchdowns on one play. How is this physically possible you might ask? Patrick Willis. The answer to your question (and basically every question ever asked) is: Patrick Willis.
Rookie offensive tackle Anthony Davis showcased his stuff - but not in the way you'd expect. He actually leaped right over Saints defensive lineman Sedrick Ellis to completely maul the left and middle linebackers, whom were reportedly "looking at him crossways." Ellis was so surprised he actually locked up with nobody and was eventually pulled to the ground by nothing. The referee called a holding penalty on nobody, but the display from Davis was impressive nonetheless.
Vernon Davis had a strong day, catching three touchdown passes in the first half but had no catches in the second. This is because the 49ers began punting on first down every play in the second half, as every time a player on the Saints side caught a punt from Andy Lee, they were immediately placed on injured reserve. By the fourth quarter they just allowed every punt to be downed at the one yard line by Jason Hill.
Overall, it was nothing but domination. Alex Smith cruised to a perfect quarterback rating, delivering touchdown strikes to Vernon Davis, Brit Miller, Michael Crabtree and Dominique Zeigler - while Frank Gore picked up two touchdowns rushing, following directly behind Mike Iupati, who actually blocked a linebacker all the way up-field, pushing the guy ahead of Gore for 77 yards on the longest score from scrimmage of the night. The 49ers defense still was the most impressive unit, everybody having a strong showing, including, as 49ers fans should love to know, Kentwan Balmer, who had two sacks on the night after Isaac Sopoaga pulled a groin muscle getting up after being put on his back for the 18th time in the first quarter.
The 49ers won 70-10, but it's worth noting that they stopped keeping track of the Niners' scores after an Andy Lee punt broke the scoreboard... both of them.