SF 49ers Having Tons of Fun, and Winning

by on February 11th, 2011
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For anyone that has ever set foot in any type of competitive battle knows exactly how much fun winning can be. Don’t tell that to Jim Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers though, because winning doesn’t seem to be enough for them. They want more fun. Coach Jim Harbaugh was happy to oblige, and he did so early in the first quarter. They lined up again in their “Power” formation with left tackle Joe Staley lined up as eligible. Then again late they pulled out the trickery on another pass in the flat, but this time to nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga.

This game will be remembered for so many more things than just a simple victory. True, the Niners ran their season record to 6-1. They now have a 4 game lead in the NFC west. Alex Smith is playing quarterback better than at any time in his career. Frank Gore is an absolute beast and running better than ever. The defense is playing, in my opinion, the best of any team in the league. What I will take from this game however is the amount of fun these guys are having playing the game.

“My shimmy dance too!” shouted Staley standing next to locker neighbor guard Adam Snyder. “Yeah, the little dance. Classic.” Snyder responded. That wasn’t all the shimmying that was to be done on this day. Later in the 4th quarter, with the Niners holding tight to a 17-10 lead, on 3rd and 3 went with a pass to the flat. What they found in the flat was the “Refrigerator-like” nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga. The 290 lb. defenseman took the pass in stride and sucked up yardage in each step to the tune of an 18 yard gainer. He didn’t feed into the “shimmy” craze, but he and the rest of the team were enjoying the exploits.

The real hero of the game was, and for this team usually is, Frank Gore. Gore, who went out in the 2nd half with an ankle tweak, came back in to finish off his 31 carry day. He totaled 134 yards on those carries, but 135 would have been the sweetest. Gore had a few chances to bang it home from the 1 yard line early in the game but was rebuffed. They ended up taking the field goal, and that was the closest they came all day to having adversity.

Alex Smith, who before this year, was labeled a draft bust, and had Niner fans everywhere wishing for what could have been in Aaron Rodgers. Jim Harbaugh stated from the beginning that they could win with Alex, and he might have been the only one to believe it. Smith didn’t have a monster day, but as is becoming his specialty, he had an OK passing day with 177 yards and a touchdown and NO interceptions. The term “Game Manager” is often thrown around the league, and no doubt it has a negative connotation to it. Being 6-1 and on the fringe of your first playoff party, I think Alex would easily accept the title right about now.

There are only 9 games left in the regular season, and the Niners have only three tough games left to manage. Two weeks from now they get the NY Giants at home, then two weeks after that is a road contest against the Baltimore Ravens, and the last battle will be against Pittsburgh on Dec. 19th. With that kind of remaining schedule it would seem as if the Niners can finish with a record of at least 12-4. They have played tough in every game so far this year, and even the game that they lost, you could argue that they should have won that one also. It’s a great time to be a 49er fan again folks, and as the bandwagon fills back up, it should be fully loaded and ready to rock come playoff time.

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