I'll save more in depth analysis for later, but suffice to say, how bout them Niners?!?!?! There are 3 games left to play, but if the pattern continues, I'd imagine there's no question that Mike Singletary is the guy to lead this team going forward. Maiocco mentioned earlier this week that just winning this game was not enough and it would depend more on his plan going forward. I agree that is an important issue, but I also think Singletary has turned things around to the point where he deserves to see it forward.
I'll do a rundown of the Singletary keys to victory tomorrow, but for now, let's just look at the guys who took care of business today.
Aubrayo Franklin - You rarely hear much from any nose tackle and when it comes the 49ers NT, it's usually not good. And yet he was an absolute monster in the middle today. When things were spilling to the edges he showed impressive speed to close on guys. He finished with 4 tackles and each one seemed to come at a huge moment in the game.
Isaac Bruce - Consistently performed today with some really big catches. He seemed to take a step back for much of this season but he's turned into a guy who continues to make important catches
Jason Hill - He finished with 4 receptions for 39 yards, but all four catches were big for the team. I'm really liking the chemistry between Hill and Hill
Dominique Zeigler - He only makes one or two catches in a game, but every catch he's made seems to get big yardage or convert a first down.
Offensive Line - Shaun Hill had a ton of time for the most part, which allowed him to progress through his reads and make plenty of plays. Throw in the use of quick pass plays and it was a solid day. The holding on Walker's TD reception was bad but was countered by Staley falling on the ball and proceeding to use the "jump spike" in the end zone.
Shaun Hill - The one dumb INT aside, how can you not love this guy? He finished 28/39 for 285 yards, a big 8 yard rush for a first down and a smart hard count to get a first down on fourth down. I'm more and more sold on the idea of drafting a young guy and letting him sit behind Shaun Hill for the next two seasons. I don't see how Hill isn't the guy to start in 2009.
Mike Martz - Just a brilliant game plan by the mad scientist. Early on he utilized almost exclusively short passes over the middle to move the ball. He moved it further down field later on but still kept mixing in the short stuff. Throw in two or three successful screen passes and it was a good for Martz. I mentioned it in the game thread but I kind of like the contrary personalities at work in Martz and Singletary.
Secondary - WIth Clements out of action, this is directed primarily at Walt Harris and Tarell Brown. I thought Strickland would be starting but it seemed like Brown was on Cotchery almost the entire game. Coles and Cotchery were held to 2 receptions for 15 yards. And Brett Favre overall? 20/31 for 137 yards and 1 INT. He made a few deep throws but none was close to a completion.
There's plenty more I could talk about, but I think I'm a little too excited right now. The 49ers defense looked like a real defense for the second straight week. The offense wasn't perfect, but was impressive enough in taking care of business. The two second half scoring drives were a combined 12+ minutes. Not too shabby.
So the 49ers will be looking to complete a 3-week sweep of the AFC East when they head out to Miami next week. Last week they become the first West Coast team to go to the Eastern time zone and get a W. Let's hope for a second won at Miami next Sunday!
And of course, thanks again to everybody who took part in a truly fun game thread. All performers after the jump.
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