Nobody expected us to win. Deep down, I was hoping, but not expecting us to win either. In the opening sequence of plays, I was expecting our team to get shredded and blown out by like 2 TD's. Fumble on the very first play, losing Gore on the next, then going 3 and out. It brought back memories of the playoff game against Atlanta back in the 90's when we lost Garrison Hearst on the opening drive to a torn Achilles tendon.
But our team fought back, and stayed in the game. Hell, we went into the locker room with the lead on a great block and TD. We had the freaking lead at the half! We came out swinging, kept the Vikings down, held AP to 85 yards, which, if you subtract the two runs of 35 and 15, we did a really good job of containing him.
Vernon Davis...what can I say about him. He really showed the heart of a champion today. He looked good in training camp, and he finally made good on his talent. 96 yards and 2 TD's. Best game of his career. He made some really tough catches in traffic, got hit, and held onto the ball. His mental toughness has finally caught up to his physical abilities.
This game is going to light a fire in the hearts of our team. They will be consumed by this loss. A chip on the shoulder for the rest of...who knows how long? Players like Patrick Willis, Vernon, everyone will be driven by this loss. If we can stand toe to toe with the Minnesota Vikings, who are a favorite team for the Superbowl, we can compete with ANY team in the NFL. The last 2-0 starts followed by a loss felt very hollow. This loss feels like a victory because we made a statement to every team in the NFL. We stopped Adrian Peterson, and we were one play from winning the game.
For our players, the fact that they know they can compete with any team in the NFL means more than just a single victory. For our team's long term psyche, this is how playoff teams are built. They learn from tough losses. Even our best Superbowl-winning teams lost a game here and there.
This loss hurts like hell, but trust me...our team got a lot better today. With Vernon proving that he can step up and be a go-to receiver, that alone made the game for me. Coffee looked pretty good when he got the ball. Who knows, we could end up playing the Vikings again in the playoffs and get our revenge then. That scenario doesn't seem so far-fetched as it did before today's game. This is only game 3, we've got 13 more games to go. Better to lose early and learn, then win in the end. Have some faith. One thing's for sure, we are going to destroy the Rams next week.
[ Edited by Psinex on Sep 27, 2009 at 1:59 PM ]