Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Moral victory? Still, it's 0-2

Whoever said there are no moral victories in the NFL must have had last night's game in mind.  Following a cringe-inducing loss to Seattle last week, I gave the 49ers zero chance of posting even a respectable showing against the defending world champion Saints.  Then the Niners go and post a showing that was WAY beyond respectable: they tied the defending champs at 22-22 with 1:19 to go, only to lose on the last play of the game, 25-22.

I really don't understand the NFL.  At all.  How the deuce could the 49ers look so cover-your-eyes gawd-awful against the mediocre Seahawks (who were trounced on Sunday by the equally mediocre Broncos) and look so damn good against a Saints team that wiped the floor with the Niners last year?

Oh sure, there's a LOT of room for improvement.  The Niners went down 9-0 right away because David Baas thinks Alex Smith is 7'9".  Honestly, that snap over Smith's head was the absolute worst I've ever seen.  But then, seemly having gotten the jitters out of their system, the 49ers turned around and played near flawless football for the rest of the game.

Let me amend that.  Near flawless except for the four turnovers.  Four.  You just can't do that.  The offense moved at will, but a pair of tipped balls ended up intercepted.  Dulaney Walker, fast becoming one of my favorite players, made a costly fumble inside the 10 yard line with the team driving for the go-ahead score.  Phillip Adams muffed a punt inside the 15 yard line.

The defense played very well.  Patrick Willis put on a show, including a crushing sack of Drew Brees and a tackle of Reggie Bush that had Bush's head whipping around like a bobble head doll.  Twice the defense held the Saints to a field goal after they advanced the ball into the red zone.

Even the "turd twins", Michael Crabtree and Nate Clemons, made plays.

Frank Gore was amazing.  Alex Smith played the game of his career.

And yet.  Yet.  It still shows up in the 'L' column.

Damn it.