Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Finally off the schneid

It wasn't pretty.  No, the fact is it was just about as ugly as a win can be.  It took 6 weeks, but the 49ers are finally off the schneid.  Final score: 17-9.

That it was the woeful Raiders, at home, and we trailed for the first 44 minutes and change of the game is an indicator of just how ugly it was.

This was, however, the first game in which the 49ers had zero turnovers this year.  Yes, you read that right.

Alex Smith threw for two touchdowns in the second half after a woeful 2 of 11 start.  Frank Gore got back on track, rushing for 149 years, including a spectacular 64 yard run to set up the second touchdown.  Even Michael Crabtree contributed, making an easy catch look difficult in snagging Alex Smith's pass for the first 49ers touchdown.  Jerry Rice would have made that catch in his sleep and made it look easy as can be.  But Terrell Owens would have dropped it, so at least Crabtree has the fact he caught it to fall back on. 

The one negative of the game (besides Alex Smith playing like ass for the first 25 minutes of the game) was the officiating.  More on that follows.

I look at the remainder of the 49ers schedule and can't help but think: there's no one on tap who scares me.  San Diego?  Child please!  They lost to the Raiders and the Rams in back-to-back weeks.  Speaking of the Rams, we have them twice, plus our bitch, the Cardinals, twice.  (Bill Bidwell owns the Cardinals 363 days per year.  The 49ers own them the other two). 

We have the Seahawks again...but they're quite a bit less threatening away from their Stadium of Doom.  There's Denver in London.  But beyond that?  Nobody scary. 

Jed York could be right...we might just win the division after all.  I might just have to start drinking that Kool Aid again after all...

Officiating has been quite consistent this year...consistently dreadful. It's not just the 49ers getting jobbed. I sat and watched the Saints commit holding on at least a dozen plays against the Buccaneers on Sunday with nary a flag in sight. I saw a Saints tackler dive into the knees of a receiver, injuring the guy. No flag for unnecessary roughness. It's atrocious.

In the past two games, 49ers opponents have not been called for holding. Not once. Never mind that I've seen defensive lineman change directions, in ways not humanly possible without being held, at least a dozen times. Not one flag.

Okay, I can see the Eagles, a team with a reputation for playing clean, getting some slack from the zebras. But the Raiders? The effing RAIDERS?!?!?!?!? The most penalized team in the history of pro football? Child, please!

I haven't figured out why this is happening. Is it the new positioning of the Umpire in the offensive backfield instead of behind the linebackers? Maybe the Umpire -- usually the official who watches for and calls holding -- just can't see what's going on in there from that position.

Or maybe the referees just suck this year. Yeah, I think that's the answer.

How else can you explain the intentional grounding penalty called the play prior to the 49ers first touchdown?  The rule, as I understand it, is that it's grounding if the quarterback throws the ball away in an effort to avoid a sack and there is no eligible receiver in the vicinity of where the ball was thrown.  So how does Alex Smith get called for grounding when (a) there was no threat of a sack, and (b) there WAS a receiver in the vicinity?  Granted, he would have had to be 13 feet tall to have caught it, but he WAS in the vicinity! 

I may have set a world's record for dropping F bombs in the aftermath of that play.  I'm still salty about it two days later.  Talk about incompetence!

I can't believe the way this season has played out. Teams that were supposed to be awesome (49ers, Chargers) suck. Teams that were supposed to be dreadful (Bucs, Chiefs) are in the mix. The more I watch NFL football, the more I realize that I haven't a clue.