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49ers 17 - Rams 16: It's better to be lucky than good

Is there any other way to describe this game?  Because for the most part, the 49ers were not good.  For almost three and a half quarters, the 49ers were awful.  It just seemed like they wanted to be anywhere but in St. Louis.  They slept-walked through the first half and everyone expected Singletary to light into them and inspire them in the second half.  However, the third quarter was not any better.  Fortunately for the 49ers, the defense stepped up when necessary, and of course, they were playing the St. Louis Rams.

The Good
Michael Lewis
- As soon as the game was over I knew Michael Lewis would lead off "The Good" no matter what the outcome.  Normally if a safety is leading your team in tackles, it's not a good thing.  However, a big part of Michael Lewis's role as the strong safety is making plays up close to the line.  Although Lewis struggles in pass coverage, he does an excellent job in run support.  Today he was all over the field, finishing the game with 13 tackles.  The safety position has been rather weak this season, so it's nice to see Lewis have such a big impact.

Isaac Bruce - Big time congratulations to Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce for reaching 1,000 receptions and passing Tim Brown in career receiving yards.  More importantly, once again Bruce was the guy making plays when things got desperate.  Over the last 5 weeks, Bruce has recorded 33 receptions, 394 yards and 3 touchdowns.  It's not a surprise the 49ers are 3-2 during that stretch.

4th quarter Shaun Hill - Hill was absolutely awful through 3+ quarters.  However, in the fourth quarter Shaun Hill looked like a Hall of Famer, going 10/15 for 128 yards and two touchdowns with a key 17-yard scramble on 3rd down.  While his faults were on display, the moxie in the fourth quarter after almost being benched is equally important, if not more, to remember.

Andy Lee - How does a 54.8 yard gross average sound?  Andy Lee was just booming some punts.  And as I mentioned, the one time he had a chance to flop for a penalty he didn't.  Maybe smarter to take the flop, but Andy Lee is a real man, unlike every other punter in the league!

Bryant Johnson - BJ quietly put together another solid day and made some important catches late in the game.  I'd love to re-sign him and see what kind of momentum he could carry over into next season.  He was looking sharp in training camp before an injury more or less ended his camp.  It took him a while to regain his stride and I think if healthy through camp next year, he could put up some really solid numbers.

The Bad
Rushing attack - There really was nothing there all day long.  If not for Shaun Hill's scrambling, the numbers would truly have reflected the effort.  Let's hope Frank Gore is healthy next week and gets a chance to crack 1,000 yards.

Defensive line - It was amazing how much they were hopping offsides in the first half.  I would have put their performance in the ugly if not for another big performance from Justin Smith, including some key QB pressure late.

The Ugly
Rest of the game Shaun Hill - Wow, Shaun Hill was atrocious for most of the game.  Fortunately he stepped up when the team needed him to, but we still have to acknowledge the Mr. Hyde to his 4th quarter Dr. Jekkyl.  He lacked accuracy, he lacked arm strength and he made some bad decisions.  It's hard to tell without closer video of it, but it seemed like some of those wobbly underthrows were due in part to poor grip.  The game-winning TD actually looked like a throw a real QB makes, while the earlier passes looked like something I would have done.

First three quarter 49ers - It was a great win, but it's amazing how poorly the team played into the fourth quarter.  I was originally going to put Mike Singletary in the bad, but I really don't know who should take the blame for the nonexistent effort through most of the game.  Is the 10am start really that much of a problem?  As bad as the 49ers have been at times over the past few years, this honestly might have been the worst performance I've ever seen.  Of course, that makes the 4th quarter turnaround that much more amazing.

Looking Forward
Next Sunday the 49ers host the Washington Redskins who were eliminated from playoff contention with the Atlanta win today.  Neither team is playing for anything besides pride and some momentum heading into the offseason.  The Redskins are still a quality team, as evidenced by their victory today, so any kind of win would be good.  The 49ers have already surpassed their 2007 win total, and a win next Sunday would equal their best record of the last six years.  Singletary has done enough in my mind (and most others) to secure the 2009 head coaching job, but a win next week would leave him above .500 for the season.  Certainly a nice feather in the cap, given how things could have gone.

Thanks again to everybody who joined in the game thread.  Foosball4949 led the way in comments.  A full breakdown after the jump.

Name # of Posts
foosball4949 93
Fooch 47
bondslegend 44
49erLou 43
Bob On The Coast 43
shlecko 39
drink409 28
renke81 24
JerseyNinerFan 23
baybruin415 20
Golden Boy 11
groug 10
jtoj 10
Florida Danny 8
RobbieS 8
fwoty oz 6
Rishi 6
SSreporters 5
Cruithear 5
Josh G and the Shaun Hill band wagon 4
Nosetackle Supreme 4
TripTheNinja 3
R Dizzle 1
gore51 1
nostocksjustbonds 1