(By Daisy Barringer)
The thing about the bars in Tahoe is that they’re all family-friendly. And not just that, but families actually take advantage of it. By, like, going to them. With kids. So before I go any further, I’d like to apologize to the many families who heard me scream the F-word multiple times yesterday and also, sorry about that whole "I will murder you" thing I was saying to the refs. Oh, and to the guy who happened to be standing near me when Tampa Bay fumbled the ball during the kick return allowing Kendall Hunter to grab it and fly into the end zone? Sorry I clutched your shoulders and shook your entire body while shouting with glee. If it makes you feel any better, it was done out of love and happiness?
All that really matters, though, is the 49ers defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 33-14. We’re 10-4 and although we haven’t clinched a playoff spot yet, we are in the No. 6 spot and if we beat Atlanta, we’ll move up to the No. 5 spot. I don’t understand why the Giants couldn’t just beat Seattle and make my Sunday the best Sunday ever, but at this point it looks like Seattle is going to win the NFC West and the Niners will play a wild card game.
And with the way Kaepernick played yesterday, I definitely feel confident we can go into the playoffs and get Ws. Yes, Kap is inconsistent. Yes, he’s had some pretty terrible games this season. But on Sunday we got to see why Harbaugh dumped Alex Smith. Kap completed 19 of 29 passes for 203 yards, two TDs and zero INTs. He also ran seven times for 39 yards and threw a 52 yard bomb to Davis who caught it for a touchdown. Those stats, however, don’t even do Kap justice. He was making great passes on the run. He was finding guys open even if his first option wasn’t available. He was scrambling when he had to and making the plays. Getting first downs. Eating up the clock. It was impressive and for the first time in a while, our defense didn’t have to do all of the heavy lifting.
Sure, he threw a couple of bombs downfield that were incomplete — one that frustrated Crabtree so much that he hurled the ball and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. Ultimately, Crabtree finished the game with 5 catches for 45 yards and even better: a touchdown. That means that there are now THREE guys on the team who’ve caught TDs this season.
There was definitely a moment, though, when I thought we might lose the game. We went from 17-0 to 17-7 at the end of the half. The Tampa Bay TD was probably going to be a field goal, but a b.s. call on Donte Whitner for unnecessary roughness gave them the first down and, well, that might have been when I told the ref I was going to murder him. Not really murder him, of course. Just send him a strongly worded letter encouraging him to do his job better. Then, Tampa Bay had another good drive at the start of the fourth and suddenly we were only up by six.
Luckily, after a crazy 10+ minute drive (that only resulted in a field goal), Tampa Bay tried to get fancy with a reverse on the kick return and, well the rest is history.
Other notable moments: Justin Smith’s sack — the day after I dropped him from my fantasy team, of course. Eric Reid’s interception that he did NOT run back for a TD in order to let the Niners keep possession and run the clock down. Frank Gore who ran for 86 yards and surpassed 1000 rushing yards for the seventh time in his career. (Tough game for Frank, by the way. Lots of calls for runs straight up the middle.)
I found myself frustrated with Greg Roman for much of the game, but ultimately one forgets that kind of thing when you end up getting the big win. It will be very interesting to see if he keeps his job next year. No matter what, I just can’t get over his play calling at the end of the Super Bowl last year. FIVE YARDS, Greg Roman. JUST GIVE THE BALL TO GORE. So now any time he is conservative, I flash back to that and get mad all over again.
Anyway, yay! We won! And we’re totally going to beat Atlanta next Monday night at the last-ever game at Candlestick. It’s going to be emotional. I wish we weren’t moving. But since I’m in a good mood because of the win, I’ll spare you my complaints. (SERIOUSLY NO PARKING? SERIOUSLY?)
Anway, as always, go Niners!