The San Francisco 49ers squeaked by the Buffalo Bills Sunday, edging them 45-3. This was the most balanced offensive beat down in the history of the NFL. 310 yards passing and 311 yards rushing. That is some scary shit, folks — if you’re another team’s DC.
The game was close in the first half, though it shouldn’t have been. Three drives were killed by offensive penalties and one by a Colin Kaepernick fumble. But just when it looked like the team would go into the half with a dangerously thin 10-3 lead, the Bills dropped the ball and Alex Smith took the next snap and hit Michael Crabtree for a 38 yard TD and, essentially, game over.
The second half was just a torturous, brutal drubbing, as ugly a whipping as any team would ever not wish to receive. Although the Jets got one just last week themselves, so maybe there’s a worse pounding awaiting some other team on the Niner schedule. Next week’s game is against the Giants and they can’t possibly squash them, too — can they? Not bloody likely.
Still, with the way the offensive line is playing, you couldn’t bet against it. Alex Boone has quietly done an outstanding job solving the perennial right guard problem and the O-line is fast becoming the cohesive powerhouse their draft status says they should be. In Sunday’s game, Smith had more time to throw than I’ve ever seen him have. We’re talking the kind of time Tom Brady has had for ten plus years. With it, Smith just completely shredded the Bills’ secondary in a nearly perfect display of QBmanship.
Kaepernick has become more than an occasional gimmick, too. He’s now a standard part of the dizzying array of personnel packages Greg Roman throws out there each week, and his role in the offense is constantly expanding. No team has yet figured out how to stop his running. The howitzer to Randy Moss in the Jets game shows opponents that they had better watch the top of their defense when he’s in there, too.
Frank Gore had over a hundred yards, as did Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree. Smith and Kaepernick added 88 yards rushing themselves. The 621 yards of offense was the highest total in 49er franchise history. And the defense allowed only three points, after allowing none last week. Bloggers have clamored for Jim Harbaugh to put the pedal to the metal and stay away from these nerve-wracking end game cliff hangers, and the past two weeks they have gotten their wish.
With TD passes to Crabtree, Kyle Williams, and Mario Manningham, the offense has now become more than just the Smith & Vernon show. Which it was the last time the Giants played the Niners last January.
The game was not without its poignant moments, however. Long after the game ended, in a far corner of the Candlestick parking lot, the dwindling membership of the Smith Grumblers Club was seen hauling down this year’s anti-Smith banner: SMITH CAN’T THROW DEEP! Oh yes he can. Yes, indeed. With deadly accuracy. In fact, as dawn breaks over the horizon Monday morning, there atop the NFL passer ratings after five games is none other than our own QB, sporting a 108.7 QBR.
But Smith was not completely perfect Sunday, registering a 156.2 QBR out of a possible 158.3. So this week’s treasure hunt will send the eagle-eyed anti-Smithers off burning the DVR midnight oil searching for that missing 2.1 flaw in his game. Good luck, fellas!
In the meantime, either the AFC East has some truly dreadful teams, or this 49er team is fast becoming an offensive juggernaut. We’ll know more after next Sunday’s game against the Giants.