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Normally this is a late week post, but due to the early game this week I'm bumping it up. Yesterday's game featured quite the bonanza of red zone opportunities for both teams. Each team finished 3/5 in the red zone, with three touchdowns and two field goals apiece. The most heart-breaking Titans red zone touchdown came on Chris Johnson's touchdown run with 3:44 left in the fourth quarter. We all saw Parys Haralson forcing him outside, but somehow Chris Johnson fought Haralson off and scampered in for a touchdown. I predicted 80 or so yards from Johnson and can certainly man up to admit I was impressed by what he did. I still think the 49ers have a quality run defense, but every once in a while you're going to let a quality rusher have success.
During the game thread we were discussing turning the red zone into the Vernon Zone. After yesterday, maybe Jason Hill wants to claim ownership of the red zone. The team had made a change to start the game, going with Josh Morgan and Michael Crabtree as the starters, an moving Isaac Bruce to the #3 receiver spot. However, Bruce continued to struggle and was subsequently benched in favor of Jason Hill. Hill had appeared to be in Coach Singletary's doghouse much of this season, but stepped up yesterday, finishing with 50 receiving yards and a pair of red zone touchdowns.
I still contend that Vernon Davis is the biggest red zone threat on this team, but having Jason Hill potentially back in the fold is a very intriguing proposition. Coach Singletary will have his 11:45am press conference today (we'll have a link to it), and hopefully he'll address the status of Jason Hill going forward. I know some folks aren't big Hill fans, but I have to say I'm kind of excited to see a Crabtree, Morgan, Hill trio out there on Thursday night. Throw in Vernon Davis and suddenly you've got quite the mix of weapons.
Obviously the Alex Smith issues remain out there, but Smith definitely has some intriguing weapons at his disposal.