They punked the Rams 35-0 yesterday. It's one of those wins that the good teams show up for against inferior competition. Before this season, we had no idea how good the 49ers would be. Many experts predicted a 7-9 or thereabouts kind of season. The Rams were probably a 4 or 5 win team. So an early "upset" at the Cardinals and then consecutive NFC west wins over the Seahawks and now the Rams puts the 49ers at a 3-0 record in the division with high hopes of their first playoff appearance in 8 years.
I personally think last week's last second heartbreaker vs Favre's Vikings will be a blessing in disguise. Had the 49ers won that game, we'd be 4-0 now and hyped nationally as one of the contenders, etc. With expectations that high, it would have been difficult to meet them especially since the team is young and inexperienced in nearly all aspects. Coach Singletary is still in his first full season and Shaun Hill hasn't started a full season either (impressively 10-3 as a starter). It is essentially in its first year of true progress and rarely are Superbowls won during the first rebuilding year. But hopefully next season or the following year will be our time.
Vernon Davis may have emerged in the last 2 weeks as the go-to-player the 49ers drafted 6th overall in 2006. Though he was sent to the showers by Coach Singletary last season after a stupid personal foul and then memorably lambasted to the media in Singletary's "nope, can't do it" speech, he has discovered a new work ethic and even earned a team captain title this year.
Patrick Willis (pictured above), whose 3rd quarter INT for a TD against the Rams was the game-over moment, however, may be the team's best player. Singletary has said that Willis has the potential to be one of the game's elite LBs in history. National writers are calling the 49ers' leading tackler and defensive leader a young Ray Lewis. For us fans, he's the on-field representation for Singletary's rejuvenation of a once proud franchise badly in need of jump start. Hopefully a playoff appearance will do just that.