(By Daisy Barringer)
It was another gorgeous day at Candlestick, t-shirt weather for those of us on the visitor's side, sun shining, beer flowing: a perfect day for some standout 49ers football and a decisive win against an NFC West division rival. With the 23-13 win against the Rams, the Niners are now 8-4, and though we are still in the sixth and final spot in the NFC Playoff race, with the Arizona loss against the Eagles, we're looking pretty good. Sure, we have to play the Seahawks next Sunday, but before we worry about that, let's bask in yesterday's victory.
Michael Crabtree was back. Though he only caught two passes, he played 38 of the 49ers 62 offensive snaps, which forced defenders to cover him leaving Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis more chances to get open. Oh, and one of those two receptions? It was for 60 yards, tying his career-long. The best part? He was mad he didn't run it in for the touchdown. Dude comes back after being out all season with an injury, makes a huge play, and is bummed it wasn't bigger. Crabtree is an enormous part of the heart and soul of this team and having him back for these final games of the season is going to be huge. Yay!
It was Anquan Boldin's first game ever with Crab and he's got to be as happy as the rest of us seeing as how there's another noteworthy WR on the field with him because it allowed him to catch nine passes for 98 yards. Boldin looked so confident and so at-ease yesterday. I'm just really enjoying watching him play. Plus, I kind of love how he runs his mouth and draws penalties. Fun.
Of course, the award for the best performance has to go to Vernon Davis (four catches for 82 yards) who scored his 50th career touchdown by leaping over the Rams cornerback at the goal line. Apparently he's been practicing hurdles because earlier in the game he also threw his entire body above a defender during a 20-yard-gain. The play we'll all likely remember, though? The one during the third quarter when Rams safe T.J. McDonald tackled Davis (who doesn't wear a cup) by his penis.
I guess he should just be happy Davis' penis is big enough for a defender to use it to bring him down? I don't know. I'm not really sure how penises work anymore.
Speaking of penises. Let's talk about Kaepernick who, well, no longer is one! Seriously though, whatever was going on with Kap during the Saints and Carolina games seems to have disappeared as Kap had a 111.5 passer rating, completing 19 of 28 passes for 275 and a TD.
The one thing I was totally wrong about in my preview last Friday was the run game. I fully expected to see Frank Gore shine in this game, but he only had 15 carries for 42 yards. He did, however, score on a three-yard run. Of course, part of that might be that LT Joe Staley left the game early with a sprained MCL. Not good. Alex Boone took over and did a decent job, but I know everyone is hoping the injury isn't too serious. Google tells me a sprained MCL can keep someone out from one week to four months, so we'll just have to wait to hear his prognosis later today. He did walk off of the field on his own though, so hopefully that's a good sign. Fingers crossed.
Overall, though, it's great to see the offense really stepping up and taking some pressure off of the defense. A defense that, as usual, was stupendous. They were so stupendous that they caused the Rams offense to fall apart, more or less, drawing stupid penalties and consistently sucking. Although, if you had the pleasure of listening to the boisterous Rams fan who I was so lucky to be sitting next to for the duration of the game, the Niners were destined to win only to test my patience. Seriously, this guy was so obnoxious (commentating the entire game with incorrect play-calling and opinions) that I'm almost convinced someone planted him there as a test to my "good fan" pledge.
The first flag of the game was on the 49ers and he yelled seventeen times in a row, “Where I'm from, we call that cheating!” And I'm not going to lie I might have made him pay in a way he never knew was possible for ever daring to utter that phrase. Because after every Rams flag for the rest of the game, well you get it. (What? Where I come from, we call that cheating!)
Luckily, he quieted down a little bit once he realized that the Rams weren't going anywhere against the Niners D. In the first 48 minutes, the Rams only managed seven first downs, 118 yards, and two field goals. Sure, they got a TD in garbage time, but the game was well in hand at that point.
The Niners had three sacks (Ray McDonald, NaVorrow Bowman, and Patrick Willis) and a Carlos Rogers 4th quarter interception. Donte Whitner (9 tackles) had an impressive third quarter play that left two Rams players (Zac Stacy and Jake Long) hurting on the field. Long ended up exiting the game with a head injury.
This game was a full team effort though and special teams may have had the best moment of the game with Anthony Dixon stopping a fake punt attempt and giving the Niners the ball on St. Louis' 17-yard line.
Overall an amazing game even with that crazy Rams fan jabbering non-stop nonsense in my ear the entire time. I swear every time there was a scuffle after the play, he'd yell, “They're pushing! They're pushing!” Thank god for my trusty transistor radio.
Oh, and lest I forget—my Candlestick security update! As usually, a complete joke. I walked in—AGAIN—without having anyone run the metal detector wand over my body. I swear to go all you have to do is chit chat with the security people and they get so distracted they completely forget to do their job. Now, I'm not sneaking knives and guns into the game, but if the NFL is going to make me carry a hideous plastic bag under the guise of “safety,” the least they could do is actually keep me safe. End of rant.
Take today to bask in the win because up next: The Seattle Seahawks. The 49ers are 2 ½ games back, so first thing first: root for the Saints to destroy Seattle tonight. The Niners aren't likely to win the division, but we still need to beat Seattle in order to keep up our effort to secure a spot in the playoffs. Plus, We just need to beat them to shut those stupid bandwagon Seahawks fans up. They're so annoying. Anyway! More on that later in the week. Today? We celebrate. And we watch MNF like our lives depend on it.