Article Title: Proud to be a 49er.
It was at Ford Field in Detroit Michigan that we saw adversity turn into triumph right before our eyes. The anticipation that was extended by sports broadcasting and the drama leading up to playing against one of the league’s best undefeated teams was more then just intriguing to 49er fans. Detroit Lion fans in the thousands well over sixty two thousand attempted to disrupt any sort of rhythm our offense thought capable of.
In essence they became the twelfth man on the field in the form of a boom box so extenuating that it caused our offense to move four times into false start penalties that fell like celebratory confetti on one’s wedding day. The Detroit Lions succeeded in establishing so much chaos that at the end of the first quarter of play they led 10-0 and had no intention of letting up. Alex Smith made references to the crowd moving into frenzy at such a pace that with each penalty called against the 49ers their success amplified higher in the form of screaming to the outer reaches of one’s lungs. With each penalty Smith indicated it was like the crowd throwing gasoline on a fire for more yellow flags to fall. Even Kid Rock and Alice Cooper showed up on the scoreboard encouraging the loud melee to continue.
Alex Smith’s fumble having the ball knocked out of his hands as he stepped back and was blindsided by an oncoming Kyle Vanden Bosch ignited instant fear that this game was over before it had even started. However the dramatic stand by our defense captured all our senses as they limited the damage to just a field goal. From here the penalty flags flew to the tune of eleven for 99 total yards lost against us.
It literally seemed like the entire gates of the underworld had been unleashed upon us right there in Detroit as we not only played against an unbeaten team but an official crew that witnessed our every flaw to the tune of lost yardage and enhancing the Lions chances of taking complete control of this game. Alex Smith and Frank Gore drew first blood though in the second quarter and the defense added a safety and Akers a field goal to take the lead at halftime.
The offensive drive that ended with a Frank Gore run of 47-total yards to put the ball at the Detroit one-yard line was so electrifying it silenced the crowd almost to a standstill. One could hear themselves all of a sudden like clarity had been suddenly restored. This drive signaled a determination on our players to try and turn the rising tide around and against their fearsome threesome in battling the Lions themselves, the crowd and the officials as well.
The seven-year veteran San Francisco 49er quarterback Alex Smith admitted he had never ever been a part of something as special as this right now. His performance on this day defined again that he has the ability build upon and come from behind to pull out a victory. This was the third such victory he could claim having done so on the road exclusively against Cincinnati, Philadelphia and now the Detroit lions.
Alex again wasn’t overly impressive in that he only completed 17-of-32 total passes for 125 total yards but hit Delanie Walker with two minutes to go in the game for a touchdown and ended with a quarterback rating of just 60. His ability to still play a complete game and be consistent remains a work in progress at this rate with him wanting some of the throws he made in this game back because they were overthrown many a time. Smith’s interception in the late third quarter was also an indication of his continued trend to press too much and to make sound decisions with the ball.
Defensively we rocked Detroit like the rock band Kiss would have to the tally of five total sacks on Lion quarterback Matt Stafford and a safety on top of that. Rookie 49er and first round draft pick Aldon Smith recorded two of those sacks and proved that he has the physical and mental talent to read and attack as an up and coming sack master. Everything we drafted him for was validated in his execution of play on the field this day.
Without the Kiss makeup the San Francisco 49er defense held a talented Detroit Lion running game to just 66 total yards and held super star wide receiver Calvin Johnson to seven receptions for 113 total yards as well. Tying up the Lions from a productive standpoint the 49er defense performed against all odds and helped make possible a dramatic comeback that culminated with a Smith to Walker touchdown that we are all still beaming about. The penalties in this game some of which I was angered over for unsportsmanlike conduct I felt was illegitimate and the tally being fifteen of them for 120 total yards was a staggering amount to pull out a victory on with all of this as consideration.
It is by far a proud day and proud season to be a San Francisco 49er fan though as the team believes like never before that they can do this with Jim Harbaugh and his staff of talented coaches providing the leadership and incredible scheme they bring to the table with each passing week in this season. The man from Stanford is in the house and he is bringing the Bill Walsh hype back to where it belongs as it was never really lost in the hearts and minds of the entire 49er faithful.
Sources of Information: Mercury News.com, SF Gate.com, Inside Bay Area.com, NFL.com and my own personal analysis and opinion.