A lot will be said about a whole host of things in the 49ers wild 28-24 win over the Atlanta Falcons. One thing that might get overlooked a bit is their patience as they remained calm after the horrific start. The 49ers fell behind 17-0 and nothing seemed to be going right. Julio Jones was dominating the 49ers defense, and the 49ers offense seemed stuck in neutral.
Fortunately, Greg Roman & Co. did not press the panic button. After falling behind 17-0 on Jones' second touchdown of the game, the 49ers came out and handed the ball to Frank Gore four straight times, gaining 20 yards and two first downs. Kaepernick then completed five straight passes and the drive was capped off by a LaMichael James' 15-yard run.
The passing was obviously huge on the drive, but the 49ers willingness to stick with the run then, and on subsequent drives, allowed the 49ers to climb back into the game. The Falcons run defense was questionable coming into the game, and the 49ers took advantage of it. Add in the ability to set up some play action, and it was essential to stick with the run.
Frank Gore was the star of the rushing attack, but it was another all-around effort that propelled this unit forward. LaMichael James had five carries for 34 yards, and while Colin Kaepernick only rushed a couple times, the threat he presented helped open spots for Gore and James. Gore and James did great work, but with the threat of Kaepernick and another road-grading effort by the 49ers offensive line, it was another huge performance on the ground, averaging 5.1 yards per carry.
When the 49ers have struggled this season and fallen behind, it seems like the run is quick to go. The 49ers fell behind in this one, and yet they did not abandon the run. Hmmmm, maybe there's a lesson to be had there?
Speaking of the running game, how about a little Dirty Bird from Frank the Tank?