49ers Game Ball: Where Everybody Gets A Participation Ribbon

If you have a second,  Matt Maiocco has put together his player-by-player review of the offense, with the defense likely coming later this afternoon. As I reassess how the 49ers performed on both sides of the ball, it is not a simple task trying to assign a "game ball" for the game. There are some strong arguments for a few players and that is most definitely a good thing given the team performance it would indicate.

After the jump, I've got a rundown of guys I think could be worthy of a game ball. Consider it game balls for all of them. I guess it's sort of like participation ribbons we received as kids for taking part even if we didn't win. We're ALL WINNERS!

Frank Gore: Probably the favorite in my book given his monstrous performance. Gore finished with 127 yards and the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. It was his best performance since the London game and beyond just the stats, he seemed to have back some of that physicality that has allowed him to dominate in the past. It remains to be seen how it will carry over, but he was instrumental in the 49ers win over Philly.

Michael Crabtree: He made some big catches in the game including a 38-yarder in which he juked Nnamdi Asomugha about as bad as he possibly could. Throw in his ability to haul in some of the higher passes from Alex Smith (Crabtree's got some seriously long arms) and it was a very strong performance. Maybe not a lot of "game-breaking" plays, but he made some big catches.

Alex Smith: The fumble in the second quarter hurt, but he bounced back in a big way in the second half. In the third quarter alone he was 9/9 for 179 yards and two touchdowns. That's a perfect performance right there. Also, did you know that since a two-interception performance against Philly last October 10, Alex Smith has thrown two interceptions in the ensuing ten games? This season while he is not throwing for a ton of yards every single week, he is being put into a position to succeed. Maybe it won't last, maybe it will. Either way it has me just a little excited to see what exactly will happen.

Aldon Smith: The rookie had a sack and a half against the wily Eagles QB who escaped from at least three other sacks in the first half. The 49ers had all sorts of trouble bringing down Vick in the first half, but they finally figured out a way to modestly contain him. Aldon Smith's use of a variety of moves against a strong Eagles line was instrumental in that.

Justin Smith: Prior to the final Eagles offensive play of the game, Justin Smith went about his business as usual. He only had three tackles, but he remained a presence. However, his inclusion here is due more to the one final play in which he stripped Jeremy Maclin of the ball to end the Eagles final scoring opportunity. Consider it sort of like the closer nailing down the save in the bottom of the ninth.

Dashon Goldson: Although Goldson could get some game-ball love simply for jumping on the game-winning fumble just before it fell out of bounds, he had a bigger day than just that. He led the team with ten tackles and was all over the field making plays. He is not a perfect player by any stretch, but when Goldson is on he can be a disruptive force at the safety position.

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