A funny thing happened while packing my offseason bags for the long trip to Miseryville, Siberia. That goofy little ball actually bounced out of Drew Brees’ hand and wobbled around until 49ers’ all-Rocky rookie ILB Chris Borland appropriately scooped it up. One ugly looking Phil Dawson chip shot FG later, and the Niners somehow walked off the field in New Orleans with a most desperately needed victory.
And how eerie to see Brees, whom I envied watching all game long with his superb pocket composure and awareness, compared to Colin Kaepernick’s almost complete lack thereof, and yet it was Brees who committed the game ending fumble. Caused by the year long invisible man — Ahmad Brooks.
It was also fitting — and probably necessary — that the defense provided the win. They played an outstanding game. The offense, as has been usual all year, stopped performing with about five minutes left in the second quarter and produced their usual NADA from there on out. Except for one game ending 4th and ten fifty-one yard fairy tale bomb from Kaepernick to Michael Crabtree that allowed Dawson to kick a FG and send the game to overtime.
The defense also set up the Niners’ first TD of the game, when Antoine Bethea intercepted Brees, giving our boys a first down at the 13. Three straight Frank Gore runs did the rest.
Of course, the offensive second half futility isn’t helped much by a group of WRs who take turns dropping passes at a ridiculous rate. This game, it was the usually reliable Anquan Boldin with the butter fingers. Boldin managed a trifecta of drops on the final drive that preceded the 4th and ten miracle to Crabtree. Even that catch was dicey, as Crabtree floundered around under the pass and barely made the grab.
With the win, the 49ers stayed alive in the playoff race, and confounded a nation of experts that gave them no chance to beat New Orleans. Even this humble scribner said it would be near miraculous to come out with a victory. And lo and behold, a near miracle did indeed unfold.
Still, if the team is going to the postseason, it’s going to be with one ugly ass win after another paving the way. Ugly is better than dead, no doubt about it. But it doesn’t make for relaxed Sunday afternoon viewing.