Late in the 3rd quarter, the 49ers were clinging to a 22-20 lead, when Patrick Willis stripped the ball from Larry Fitzgerald at the SF 11, Eric Reid recovered, and this looked like a game the team was going to somehow find a way to lose. But, with 1:07 left in the quarter, the team put together an 18 play, 89 yard TD drive that took 9:32 off the game clock and effectively closed out the Cardinals. It was the most time consuming drive in the NFL this year and it ended with 8 straight Power 94 runs up the middle, covering the last 30 yards of the drive. As Jim Harbaugh succinctly termed it, “We grinded some meat out there.”
It was the third straight victory for the 49ers, and all three have been keyed by the defense. The offense consists of long stretches of ineptitude, punctuated by long, sudden TD bombs to Vernon Davis. Vernon rang up 180 yards against Arizona.
The defense is in trouble, though. NT Glenn Dorsey left the game with a hammy, leaving 3rd string D-lineman Tony Jerod-Eddie plugging the middle. There’s only four healthy bodies left on the D-line and next week the team travels to Tennessee to take on Chris Johnson and the Titans, who gave Seattle all they could handle Sunday.
The ugliest part of the game came when the fans started doing the Wave while AZ DE Calais Campbell was being carted off on a stretcher. Doing the Wave at all is an embarrassment, let alone when some guy on the field is flirting with paralysis. It took Joe Staley and his linemates imploring the crowd to finally put the Wave to bed. Who are these mindless dolts? Are they in the majority? Are they running the country? Does this EXPLAIN EVERYTHING?
Aldon Smith’s replacement, rookie Corey Lemonier, got his first NFL sack against AZ, and a safety to boot. The kid’s doing a pretty good job out there, but he ain’t Aldon. We spent twenty years trying to find a pass rushing dude and when we finally have one, he self-destructs in two plus years. Sigh.
One more grind it out game and then the Jaguars, a BYE, and some reinforcements coming aboard to hopefully help the team to a late season bit of dominant football. If the team beats Tennessee, they can still contend for the division title. If not, they’re probably looking at a wild card spot.