Last week prior to game, i posted that all i wanted was to see us play well: for the OL to block, the QB to perform well, the D to play well, stopping runs and knocking down passes. i did not comment on W or L, because i thot we were overmatched against the best qb in football. As things turned out, we were ahead until late in game, and peyton was prevented from throwing a TD for the first time in memory. Like the Vikes game, we were in it to the end.
The one thing that has broken my heart and been depressing, was for the last 4-5 yrs, every game, somebody on the opposition had a career game against us. During that time frame, we gave up most points, scored fewest points, gave up most sacks, had worst rated D & O in football, (or next to), and invariably, every team that came to town set new personal bests or team bests against us. I had half way decided to finally give up on the 9ers, and support the Oakland Bombers ladies roller derby league. Supporting the 49ers became predictable: new team, new personal best or team bests, and they always occured against us.
Notice how that hasn't happened this yr (ok, maybe a couple of cases---but not much, and certainly not like last yr.) Yes Favre once again killed us, but until last play of game, we had them beat. Same against Peyton. Last yr, those 2 guys would both have had career best games against us.
so, as i always hope before a game, just allow the 9ers to play well, make the game close, and keep it interesting and entertaining. Yes we lost last week, and also to favre, but the point is we are getting better. How is that is possible w/ no O line is amazing, yet, they managed to keep alex from career ending injury, altho there were many blown blocks. On D, the aggressiveness, (also known as blitzing), has made the 9ers more competitive, altho bigmike and manusky twice have gone conservative late in the game, trying to protect a lead, only to lose. Screw that! Best D in last 2 mins is to attack, full blast, and if we lose, well, at least we were trying our best.
The record may not be sterling, but half our losses are to the 2 best teams on the planet right now, and we lost just at the very end in both. THAT is progress. That is what a long time fan can take and still be proud of his team. And that is what has to continue to improve. If so, and we end up 7-9 or 9-7, i will still be happy with our team because they were always in it(except one game), and we could have won 2 of those game with any luck at all. So despite glaring deficencies--OL---we have a competitive team. Can you imagine how good alex might be with a real OL in front of him?
Our future looks bright but our GM is going to have to come thru this next yr and finally, finally, plug the holes...exactly the same ones we had this & last yr. If he does that, we can compete with anyone. If he cannot do that, then we revert to being painful to watch...and he should leave. STill 9 games to go, most way easier than 1st 7, but OL has to be fixed with quick hot passes, and use passing game to set up running game. Our OL isn't good enough now to block well. Jimmyrae has to come thru for us also, which is the only way a poor blocking team has a chance against better talent across the lines.