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In the week one overtime victory against the Falcons the 49er wide receivers stepped up and made the plays that put the team in the position to win the game. Terrell Owens, JJ Stokes and Tai Streets all made big plays that were instrumental in the victory.
Terrell Owens finished with 7 catches for 93 yards, including a 40 yarder that set up a field goal.
JJ Stokes finished with 5 catches for 93 yards, including a 47 yarder and a 16-yard touchdown.
Tai Streets finished with 3 catches for 81 yards, including a spectacular 52-yard run and catch that set up the winning field goal in overtime.
After struggling through the first 3 quarters the entire offense stepped up in the 4th quarter and overtime. Jeff Garcia had a good day throwing for 335 yards and a touchdown. The running game was mostly ineffective. The defense had a fantastic game limiting the Falcons to 241 total yards.
The big surprise of the game was the 49ers new kicker, Jose Cortez, who kicked 3 field goals including a game tying one at the end of regulation and the winning one in overtime.
In the loss to the Rams, it was the wide receivers that did not play up to their potential. With several key dropped passes the 49ers were not able to keep up with the high-powered Rams. Both Terrell Owens and JJ Stokes dropped passes on several third down situations ending drives.
Jeff Garcia was doing everything he could to help the 49ers, but in the end it was the dropped passes that cost the 49ers a victory over the Rams. Garcia ran for 45 yards and threw a touchdown pass.
Although late in the game it appeared the 49er defense was not playing well, they actually had a great game. If you ignore the stats and the last drive, the defense forced several key turnovers as well as keeping the 49ers in the game with a chance to win.
Free agent Derek Smith once again led the team in tackles, proving his value. Ahmed Plummer made several big plays including a big interception. John Engelberger had a sack and forced a fumble. Andre Carter played the run very well stopping Marshall Faulk short of the line of scrimmage several times.
On offense rookie Keavon Barlow was used much more and showed some power up the middle. Also Terry Jackson came in and made some big plays including catching a touchdown on a 4th down play.
After watching the 49ers in their first two games there are several things that we can be proud of. The defense has played much better than expected and Jeff Garcia seems to be playing just as well as he did last season.
There is definitely room for improvement on both sides of the ball. The 49ers have been very conservative in their play calling in the early part of games. They have been running straight up the middle and throwing very short passes. I would like to see them open up the offense a bit more as they did late in the Atlanta game.
The defense has done a fantastic job so far but needs to put more pressure on the opposing Quarterbacks and tackle better. Isaac Bruce made the defense look very bad on his touchdown catch and run leaving several 49er players lying on the field.
I look forward to watching the 49ers improve each game. I believe if the defense keeps improving and if they open up the offense more and establish the running game the 49ers will be very competitive the rest of the season. The return of Julian Peterson will surely help the defense. Look for Barlow to get more carries and for the 49ers to work Terry Jackson into the game more.
The 49ers look much better in the early part of the season than they did last year.