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San Francisco 49ers 20 - Arizona Cardinals 16: Disconcerting Signals FTW!!!!

Good lord.  I really can't handle too many games like this.  YOUR San Francisco 49ers went in to Glendale, Arizona and pulled out the 20-16 victory thanks in large part to some really sloppy play by the Cardinals.  How sloppy?  How about 12 penalties for 82 yards.  The 49ers defense was as impressive as they've been since pre-Erickson, but the Cardinals definitely did not help themselves.

The Good
Pass Rush: You want a pass rush?  I'll give you a pass rush.  The 49ers defense was dominant in the pass rush today.  They were getting to Warner all day, even when they weren't getting the sacks.  Parys Haralson took a big step towards showing 2008 was not a fluke.  Manny Lawson didn't get any sacks but was flying all over the field, particularly in the first half.  It's only one game, but we have to be pleased with Lawson's performance thus far.

Oh yea, and then there was Justin Smith.  Justin Smith's stats rarely show big numbers, even though he clearly is a beast for that defense.  At this point, the box score at shows 1 tackle, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble.  We know that is not the case.  Justin Smith has been a beast from the day the 49ers signed him and continued that today.  He's a leader for the defense and a beast on the line.

Defense as a whole: Tim Hightower tore the 49ers defense up in the second half, but I think the 49ers did an excellent job containing the Cardinals.  In the first half they were very solid and in the second half, they went to a bend but don't break style and were successful.  They shut down Anquan Boldin (who might still be hobbled) and while Larry Fitzgerald did score and get 71 yards, he was not all that much of a factor.  Shawntae Spencer and Nate Clements both stepped up when they were asked to cover Fitzgerald.

Patrick Willis: He still occasionally gets out of position due to overpursuit, but Bamm Bamm remains a rock for that defense.  My favorite play was when he had a guy draped on him and he still reached out to bring down Tim Hightower down for a short loss.  He never gives up on a play, even when he seems out of reach.

Week 1 Divisional Road Victories: I'll have plenty to say about the bad and the ugly from today, but in the end, a win is a win is a win.  They don't come any bigger than road divisional wins.  Especially in the NFC West.  It's that simple.

Niners Nation commentors: Just a huge day here at the site for the threads.  With comments still rolling in, we're at 2,400 comments for today's game over 4 threads.  Just spectacular.  At the end of this recap I'll post the stats on # of comments by individuals.

After the jump, we look at the bad and the ugly, and then take a quick look ahead to Week 2...

The Bad
The Playcalling: We'll get to the offensive line in a minute.  For now though, let's talk about 3 plays and a cloud of dust.  The 49ers were about as unoriginal as we could expect on first and second down.  Not only was the play-calling  run, run, pass on 3rd and long, but the runs were the same everytime.  #21 dive left, #21 dive right.  Wouldn't a sweep left or right have helped?  Or, when Hill was getting killed and Gore couldn't find holes, wouldn't a screen pass have been a good thing?

The Referees: If this hadn't been the head ref's first game I would have included this in the ugly.  But they definitely struggled early on before settling down.  As the title of this thread will tell you, I'm wildly amused by the Disconcerting Signals penalty.  I realize what it is now, but it is still the most bizarre penalty I've heard of to date.

The Ugly
Offensive Line: Just atrocious.  Shaun Hill was to blame for not getting rid of the ball at times, but often he wasn't exactly given a ton of time.  And on the running plays it seemed like there wasn't a single hole open most of the game.  I remain willing to give them a little more time seeing as they didn't get a chance to play together all that much in the preseason.  Nonetheless, they need to show some improvement very soon.

Next Week
vs. Seattle - The 49ers simply have to win this game.  If they can jump to 2-0 in the division, they're putting themselves in an excellent position for success.  The Seahawks rolled the hapless Rams, so we can't quite make many judgments on them yet.  However, divisional games tend to be battles so it'll be tough no matter what.  PLENTY more to come on this matchup in the coming days.

We'll have plenty of coverage of this afternoon's victory, including a look tomorrow morning (8am pacific) at Singletary's 5 keys to victory.  For now, enjoy 1-0!

Roll Call: Bob On The Coast, 49er16, bignerd, Fooch, crevis1987, FaStRmAn, rlott#42, dylanj, Ninjames, shlecko, foosball4949, okonomiyaki, Persiflage, cassusriff, wjackalope, ProfessorBigelow, jtoj, Fearless Frog, Eastbayjim, Kestrel76, LondonNiner, TripTheNinja, DiegoAsFan, Nosetackle Supreme, renke81, chikmagnet_565, jmanlopez, smileyman, Yoyo, SpurredOn, sam23, bayboy, drummer, whitemike1644, LADubbz45, 49erLou, pwarren85, kaaazzzz, beat_la415, connie mack, bondslegend, Florida Danny, Karlifornia, jviet, warriorfan4life, TedRamey, ninermike, TimLaser and MattyC, Muy Macho, jponry, ManBearPig21, baybruin415, SanFranSoldier, Jagersan, TexanNiner, Juan Primo, Poundtherock, Vertigo, Giant among Angels, mikev, these3words, glazier_25, BIG LOS, MontanaPass, Steve Young, R Dizzle, Beatclash, OTTOMATIC, sprdelfin, jpgarfunkle, Powers of pain, Love_the _49ers, Badly Browned, sfoakbay, ringleader3, warriorsalltheway, TimLincecumIsGod, ninjastar, russak, ZonaBacks10, grantmp, RobbieS, Sloan, chriscream, i wish we were good, groug
Total Users: 86
Total Posts: 2411
Total Threads: 4

Name # of Posts
bondslegend 291
bignerd 170
Bob On The Coast 138
shlecko 96
Fooch 89
49erLou 81
49er16 78
Persiflage 71
jtoj 71
Karlifornia 67
smileyman 66
wjackalope 65
Nosetackle Supreme 61
warriorfan4life 59
kaaazzzz 55
jponry 54
Yoyo 50
renke81 50
rlott#42 47
sam23 45
baybruin415 44
foosball4949 40
cassusriff 40
SpurredOn 39
Fearless Frog 39
okonomiyaki 33
TimLaser and MattyC 27
TripTheNinja 27
dylanj 27
Beatclash 24
whitemike1644 24
drummer 23
bayboy 21
ProfessorBigelow 20
Ninjames 19
Steve Young 19
jviet 17
Florida Danny 16
mikev 16
ManBearPig21 12
jpgarfunkle 12
DiegoAsFan 12
these3words 10
SanFranSoldier 9
sfoakbay 8
Juan Primo 7
Jagersan 6
chikmagnet_565 6
TexanNiner 5
ninermike 5
LondonNiner 5
connie mack 4
beat_la415 4
MontanaPass 4
FaStRmAn 4
ZonaBacks10 4
sprdelfin 4
Poundtherock 3
pwarren85 3
Giant among Angels 2
Powers of pain 2
ringleader3 2
LADubbz45 2
chriscream 2
Sloan 2
crevis1987 2
Badly Browned 2
Muy Macho 2
jmanlopez 2
Eastbayjim 2
glazier_25 2
grantmp 1
groug 1
RobbieS 1
i wish we were good 1
Vertigo 1
russak 1
TimLincecumIsGod 1
TedRamey 1
Love_the _49ers 1
R Dizzle 1
Kestrel76 1
warriorsalltheway 1
ninjastar 1