The 49ers continued their destruction of competitive balance in the NFC West Sunday by winning their sixth straight game and extending their division lead to five games. The magic number at the halfway point of the season is FOUR!
Putting this absurb dominance into perspective, if the 49ers go 3-5 in the second half of the season, Arizona or Seattle would have to go 8-0 to achieve a tie. I don’t mean to denigrate either of these two franchises, but neither appears capable of anything close to such an accomplishment.
For the second straight week, the team played an opponent with a good defense and a hamburger offense. When Alex Smith hit Bruce Miller for a 30 yard TD in the waning moments of the first half, it stretched the Niner lead to 13-0. Game over. Sit back and enjoy the day.
Also for the second straight week, the team came within inches of slaughtering it’s opponent, instead of just routinely beating them. A win is a win, especially since we weren’t getting many of them in the past eight years, but opponent slaughters are rip roaring fun and the team needs to improve on those missed inches.
Every team has a four minute offense. It’s designed to chew up the clock at the end of a game. The Niners have been working on a 30 minute offense the past two weeks. It was better this week than last, featuring two long field goal drives in the second half.
The sad, baffled coach’s face, which had a long, long run patroling the 49er sideline, is now working on the other team’s sideline. Washington coach Mike Shanahan looked so sad yesterday that his eyes did not bug out even once. I was tempted to feel sorry for him, but resisted the impulse.
Jim Harbaugh likes to get everybody involved in the game and Sunday was no exception. Smith completed passes to eight different receivers. Michael Crabtree again led the way with five catches. Vernon Davis was second with four and would have had five but for a dropped potential TD pass in the second half. If memory serves, Smith did not overthrow Crabtree even once Sunday, so maybe these two are finally getting synchronized.
This game was considered a trap game by many blogoviators, mostly because it’s nice to work that concept back into our vocabularies. Trap games only apply to good teams who overlook poor teams. There have been no trap games for eight years. The 49ers have been the trap game for others. A goodly chunk of guys on the current team were on those trapless teams of yore and it is difficult to imagine any of them not savoring each and every week that they can win a game. Maybe next year we’ll see some bona fide trap games. Not this year.
But Sunday’s game was indeed a punch the clock day. How’d it go at work today, honey? Fine. It’s next week that everyone is looking forward to. 49ers at home against the New York Giants, slayers of New England yesterday, in the Patriots own park, breaking Tom Brady’s 31 game home regular season victory streak. Now this will be a true GPS game for our red and gold boys. Is the team for real? Yes. Are they playoff real? Tune in next Sunday.