Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekend wrapup: channeling Daryl Lamonica

The 49ers won yesterday, 23-30.  The game was every bit as close as the score would indicate.  The referees were abysmal.  And Troy Smith channeled Daryl Lamonica.

Think I'm kidding?  Smith completed his first two passes...for 97 yards.  That's 48.5 yards per toss.  That's Daryl Lamonica numbers, baby!

Smith ended up having an other-worldly day, completing 17-28 for 356 yards and 1 TD that counted.  Why do I say "that counted"?  Because 3 (THREE!) were wiped out by penalties, including two in the 4th quarter prior the the one that put the 49ers ahead with just under 3 minutes to play.

I said that the refs were abysmal, but I'll give them this: they called a holding penalty against a 49er opponent for the first time in 6 games.  Yes, children, that is correct: in the previous 5 games no 49er opponent was called for holding.  Not even the Raiders!

Of course, the refs more than made up for that table scrap by calling FOUR holding penalties on the 49ers, including two that killed 4th quarter touchdowns that would have put the 49ers in the lead.

That cloud over Frederick just before 7 PM yesterday?  That was caused by the swarm of f-bombs I was dropping as the refs forced my blood pressure into the stratosphere.

The game was tied at 20-20 at the end of regulation, thanks to a quality drive by rookie quarterback Sam Bradford, who appears to be on the verge of becoming the next great NFL quarterback.

When the Rams got the ball first in OT, I feared the worst.  However, the Rams were unable to move the ball and punted.  This is when the abysmal refereeing struck again.  This time, however, the 49ers were the beneficiaries.  Troy Smith was under pressure in the pocket and threw up a prayer in the general direction of Delaney Walker.  It was thrown about two yards behind Walker, who spun around and tried to get back to the ball.  In doing so, he ran square into a Rams safety, which drew a highly questionable pass interference penalty.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the pass supposed to be CATCHABLE in order for pass interference to be called?  Even if the Rams safety wasn't in the way, it would have been virtually impossible for Walker to reach the pass.

The PI penalty and 2 Frank Gore runs set up the winning field goal by an ailing Joe Nedney.

26 penalties (12 against the Rams, 14 against the 49ers) for 240 yards (105 against the Rams, 135 against the 49ers). Way to go, Ed Hochuli Hercules!

If we didn't have a QB controversy before this week, we certainly have one now.  Troy Smith was mega clutch down the stretch in the 4th quarter.  Moreover, he refused to let the BS penalties that negated the two 4th quarter touchdowns impact him.  He continued to press forward and push his team to victory.  The key plays of the 4th quarter happened after the second touchdown-negating holding call created a 3rd-and-32 situation at midfield.  Credit offensive coordinator Mike Johnson certainly, both on these plays as well as for the game as a whole.  But give Troy Smith HUGE props for turning 3rd-and-32 into a more manageable 4th-and-18, and then converting that 4th down with a nice pass to and run by Frank Gore.  The go-ahead touchdown was scored on the very next play.

Did I mention Frank Gore?  He was huge, with 87 yards rushing, 67 yards receiving, and a touchdown.

You'd think with 356 yards passing that there would be a 100 yard receiver...and you'd be wrong.  Johnson in game-planning and Smith in execution were masterful in spreading the ball around the field.

The defense played well at times.  Patrick Willis was excellent as always (11 tackles, 1 sack).  Justin Smith had 5 tackles and an important sack in overtime.

The 49ers are 2 games out of first place.  They are on a 2 game winning streak.  It's not gonna be enough, even in a putrid West Division.

Damn it.