1) Miller: Its hard to believe that this guy was rushing the QB at this time last year. He seems to have the body type, the speed, and the ball skills to be a natural FB. He still has things to learn, but thats a pretty impressive find for Harbaugh/Baalke.
2) Alex: Its kinda funny. This has happened a few times this season. I think he's not playing all that well (not badly, just not a great game) and then I look up and he has a 109 rating. To everyone who says tho that he is being "protected", look at John Beck. Wash is TRYING to protect him as well. Prior to the garbage time stuff, he looked like a High School QB.
3) Goldson: I freely admit that I am not a big fan of his. I've always though he was a big hitter, but too often was caught out of place in coverage. I'll admit tho that he is having a very good year. He's blowing people up more than ever (and getting flagged on BS calls) but is still playing well in coverage.
4) Refs: This isn't a "they hate us" kinda complaint. This is just saying that the officials better get on board here. The Niners shift. ALOT. They are ALLOWED to do so. There have been several occasions this year where they have been flagged for a LEGAL shift. The NFL needs to get with those refs and teach them the freakin' rules. Is it unconventional? Yes...but thats not excuse for screwing it up.
5) Willis/Bowman: I hate to quote Matt Millen, but in this case he's right. They are the best LB tandem in the NFL.
6) Crabtree/Edwards: Bit by bit, little by little....this thing is really coming together. They struggle at times. Sometimes everyone isn't where they are supposed to be. This is still a work in progress. Ya know what tho? This division is all but wrapped up and they have 8 more games to figure this thing out before they start playing in January. More on that later...
7) Culliver: This guy is starting to really play well. I think he may be a force in the future. Next year (assuming Rogers is extended), Rogers and Culliver may be your Game 1 starters.
8) Brooks: I really like this guy. Ya know what I like most? He makes a great play and then he just walks back to the huddle. He doesn't celebrate. He just does his job and moves on to the next play. Several weeks ago he hit Andy Dalton so hard his helmet popped off. He got up, rebuttoned his chinstrap, and got ready for the next play. Love it.
9) O-Line: Still playing well. Allowed two sacks....one each to their outside linebackers....but not bad. The first hit on Smith was as much Smiths fault as it was Davis' fault. Alex never saw the guy coming.
10) Team Progression: Something kinda struck me this weekend. Everyone has hammered Alex Smith for several years over his poor play. In many cases, it was justified. One of the most frustrating things tho as fans was that this team would tease us. They would suck badly early, then come on late and give us hope that NEXT year would be different. Alot of that can be explained by the fact that a New OC would be there every single year and by the time Alex and the rest of the team started to really get it down, they had too many losses to actually contend.
This year is different. The O is still struggling because they are still learning....but the team is winning anyway. This team is winning and that late season surge isn't here yet. I completely understand what Braylon Edwards is saying....this team is winning and they haven't really scratched the surface of what they can do.
I don't know if they will get it all figured out or not. If they are true to form tho and get it figured out late in the year, watch out in January.
[ Edited by Marvin49 on Nov 7, 2011 at 10:24 AM ]