Monday, October 3, 2011

Signature game for Harbaugh and Alex Smith

In a crazy game at Philadelphia where the Niners found themselves down 20-3 in the 3rd quarter, Alex Smith led 3 unanswered touchdown drives (2 passing TDs - Josh Morgan, Vernon Davis), including Frank Gore's manly 12 yard TD run, to win the game by 1.

It must be noted that the Eagles also missed two 4th quarter FGs (39 yds, 33 yds) and fumbled away the ball in game-winning FG position in the closing minutes.  (You also can't forget Ronnie Brown's insane backwards pass at the goalline which the Niners recovered in the 2nd quarter).  If they convert on any of those chances, SF loses the game.

Back in the preseason, with basically no offseason to install his offense or his philosophy, I thought this would be a tough inaugural year for Harbaugh.  I still believed that he had the makings of a very good NFL coach, but I didn't think the 49ers would be able to compete immediately with the up-and-coming Rams or the Cardinals, both of which seemingly have a bonafide NFL QB.

After 4 games, the Niners are just one lousy quarter away from being 4-0 and they're 2 games on top of the NFC West.  The Rams are winless and the Seahawks are hapless.  However, the Cardinals are one horribly ruled non-fumble away from being 2-2.

So what have we learned?

1) Alex Smith is a capable game managing QB in the NFL.  You're not going to see him going off on a 400 yard, 4 TDs, 2 rushing TDs kind of game, which Rodgers dropped on the league yesterday serving to remind 49er fans of what we missed, even on Alex Smith's signature day.  But after a miserable first half, Alex showed enough poise to bring us back.

2) We will not be getting Andrew Luck.  We can't even tank in this pathetic NFC West division bad enough to get him.  I guess Harbaugh is too good of a coach.  Perhaps we should've kept Singletary one more year, haha.  I'm still convinced you can't win a SB these days without a superstar QB, which we don't have.

3) Our first playoff appearance since 2002 is a real possibility.  The two vital games vs the Cardinals will probably determine that.  If we're not gonna get Luck, we better make the playoffs.

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