Before you rain down boos, taunts and photos of petulant Lion cubs, hear me out.
I came over to say that you guys had a helluva season. If not for an unlucky bounce hitting Williams' knee and a highly questionable forward progress call, your team would likely have gone from 6-10 last year to Superbowl-bound this year. That is an incredible turnaround.
Things that impressed me:
1. Alex Smith did more this year than most anyone except his diehard defenders thought he would
2. That front seven is un-freaking-believable. Young, hungry, killer instinct. I expect the group to be best in the league for years to come. You know they are special when Warren Sapp and Michael Strahan are in awe.
3. Special teams provided huge advantages all year. I hate to see any team, even a rival, have a gaffe overshadow a big strength. I'd just rather see a game decided by some amazing play rather than a fluky play.
4. Coach Harbaugh...begrudging respect from me. His guys seem to love playing for him, and the results speak volumes. Doesn't mean I like the attitude he projects outside the locker room, but he should be COY. Getting wins in that crazy travel stretch mid-season was huge.
Things I expect to see next season, after the jump:
2. a big play for an established #1 wide receiver, through free agency or trade. (I'm thinking Marques Colston or Reggie Wayne). That can only help Smith.
3. another trip to the playoffs, though a first-round bye will be tough because your division looks to be improving
4. a Sunday Night Football rematch with the Lions that will live up to all the hype. Do you think there will be any cameras following the coaches when the game is over? You know the Lions coaches and players will circle that one on their calendar to be fired up about. Let's hope the refs let them play, as that one will get physical. Oh, and no freebie 5 yard spots either...yep, that still burns.
5. a playoff game in SF against those same Lions. (Though I hope it will be in our house, that is a tall order in the NFC North)
Much as our fans will continue to trash-talk the Niners, beneath it all lies an acknowledgement that you have a proud history of great teams. I saw a FanPost from someone named "Ninersfansince1950"...damn, that is commitment!
We know teams like the Niners are the ones the Lions will have to surpass to win the NFC. Good to see both teams overcome their postseason droughts. Congratulations on a great season, and screw all of you.