Monday, October 26, 2009

Week 7 - the almost comeback

As Maxwell Smart would say, "Missed it by that much!" What else can you say when you come from three touchdowns behind, only to lose by 3 lousy points? Such was Sunday's 49ers loss to the Texans yesterday, by a 24-21 score.

It was certainly a tale of two halfs. The first half was all Texans. The Texans scored all three of their touchdowns in the first half. One was set up on a muffed punt by the usually sure-handed Arnaz Battle. The other scores were just a case of the Niners being outmatched by a seemingly superior team.

Shaun Hill struggled for the second consecutive week; yes, the offensive line is, well, offensive, but he seemed to make things worse by panicking when the heat was on.

Mike Singletary, true to his nature, decided to shake things up for the second half. Alex Smith trotted on the field for the Niners first possession, and all momentum swung from the Texans to the 49ers from that point forward. Smith was AMAZING! He looked the part of an NFL quarterback for the first time in his 5 year career. He had that same look that Joe Montana used to get when he was about to do something miraculous. And he brought it - big time. 15-22, 206 yards, and 3 touchdowns, all to Vernon Davis. His one pick was a desperation 4th down throw with time winding down.

The offensive heroes were Smith, Davis, and *ahem* Michael Crabtree, who appears to be, one game into his NFL career, the real deal. I may yet end up eating the words I wrote on draft day regarding the drafting of a wide receiver with the number one pick. For now, Crabtree remains "on my list".

The defensive heroes were Patrick Willis (same as every week) and Justin Smith, who had a MONSTER game. Playing as a 3-4 defensive end (which is pretty much like playing as a tackle), Smith had 10 tackles (that's a LINEBACKER number, folks!), 2 for a loss.

Dre Bly and that overpaid turd Nate Clemons remain "on my list"; Clemons for tackling like a girl on the second Texans touchdown, and Bly on general principle.

One question remains to be answered this week as the team prepares to get sacrificed to the Colts (this just in: the Colts are GOOD). The question is: who's the quarterback? Shaun Hill is my boy, but let's face it, his last two games have been putrid. And Alex Smith was positively amazing yesterday. I've never been one of the Smith naysayers; I thought back in '07 that he had a chance to be a decent quarterback. We'll see.

In the mean time, the Cardinals have defied my preseason prediction that they would return to playing losing football in the Cardinal tradition. The Niners slipped to second place in the Division with yesterday's loss and the Cardinal victory over the suddenly vulnerable Giants.

I still think the 49ers can go 9-7 and push the Cardinals for the Division. But it got a whole lot harder yesterday. A WHOLE lot harder.


It's official - Coach Singletary named Alex Smith as starter for Sunday's game at Indy.