The 49ers repeated as NFC West champs Sunday by whisking aside the crumbling Arizona Cardinals 27-13. Rather than celebrate, the team adjourned to the locker room and did what fans do — anxiously watched the TV end game between Green Bay and Minnesota. While we cheered for them, they cheered for Minnesota. Everybody went home happy.
Once in a while, it’s better to be lucky than good, and Sunday that fickle lady tossed a crumb to the staggering 49ers when the Vikings rose up and whipped Green Bay, returning the number two seed to the team after they had botched it away in Seattle last week. If ever a team needed a week off — and one less game to win — it would be the 2012 Niners. They now have an extra week to conduct a nation wide search to replace David Akers as our FG kicker.
The 49ers started the AZ game pretty much like they started the Seattle game, staggering ineptly through the first quarter. Instead of being down 14-0, though, they were only down 6-0, and that’s when Michael Crabtree took over the game. Patrick Peterson might be an all pro CB, but Crabtree owns his patootie. Yesterday’s 8 catch, 172 yard effort was the best of Crabtree’s career and a continuation of his rise to stardom this year. For the first time in ten years, the 49ers truly have a bona fide number one wide receiver.
It would be nice if they had a bona fide number two receiver, too. Vernon Davis used to be a pretty good second guy, but for some reason he’s been phased out of the passing game. Unfortunately, nobody has been phased in to replace him. Top draft pick AJ Jenkins took a stab at it Sunday, going out for a simple third down pass and muffing it. This feebele effort brought his total catches for the year to ZERO.
What would a game be without a Delanie Walker dropped pass? Walker did catch two passes for fifty yards, but he butter fingered one in the end zone, bringing his total for the year to 18 catches and 9 drops. If Lady Luck is really shining on us, why not have Delanie catch the winning pass in the Super Bowl? He could then sign with the Raiders this offseason and disappear from the NFL landscape forever.
As much as Niner fans were rooting for Minnesota Sunday, they should be switching allegiance next weekend when the two teams meet in Green Bay for a rematch. If the Packers win, they’ll come to Candlestick and provide a better match up for the 49ers than the winner of the Seattle vs Washington game. That’s assuming Justin Smith can’t possibly defy the snickering of the doctor types who say his injury takes three months to heal, not the mere one that he’ll have at game time in two weeks.
But Smith is a cowboy, so you never know. The other well known cowboys are more of the John Travolta type bronco busters, and we all got to laugh them off into another offseason as losers yesterday, with the familiar Tony Romo end game choke and GM Jerry Jones vowing to get the problem fixed that essentially is himself, the architect of sixteen years of mediocrity.
Have I mentioned the Giants didn’t make the playoffs? Hahaha. Eli the Elite wasn’t. Now he gets to grab some popcorn and see if his brother can get a second ring himself in Denver. Peyton Manning has the number one seed and a good defense. There can be no excuses if this guy doesn’t bring home the Lombardi this year. We all know Joe Montana would.
And so we bid adieu to the up and down 2012 regular season. It came, it head scratched, it oh welled. Here we are in the playoffs again, the number two seed again, and two games away from the NFL Holy Grail. Take a deep breath fellas and break out your Rosary beads!