I'll admit the first half of the 49er victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers was painful to watch and very confusing. While the defense dominated the Steelers' offense, the offense looked like it had overslept. In fact, the new long snapper had enough and retired after the game. It was obvious that the 49ers were struck by nervousness. Here they were with an opportunity to move into a lofty first-place tie at 3-0, but the entire offense looked like a deer in the headlights.

Dante Pettis and Matt Breida dropped passes that resulted in interceptions; Jimmy G fumbled a snap which may or may not have been caused by poor timing on the snap; Raheem Mostert took his eyes off the ball on a pitchout, but miraculously recovered it away from two Steelers while losing 18 yards on the play. Then, after an excellent run into the red zone, recorded his first lost fumble of the season. The offense looked like it was playing in a fog with four first-half turnovers.

The second half was an entirely different story as Breida and Mostert overcame their earlier jitters and ran all over the Steelers with the offense running up 436 yards (168 rushing and 268 passing) for the game. Jimmy G withstood a solid beating from the Steeler defense and spread the ball around completing at least one pass to each of his receivers, and both Breida and Mostert are now on a pace to record over 1,000 yards rushing, EACH! Dante Pettis overcame his earlier drop with the game-winning reception. Incredibly, the 49ers won a game they would not have won in the recent past. At no time did I feel nervous that they might blow this game. It was apparent that the 49ers were easily the better team despite their Keystone Cops first-half display.

A visit to online forums revealed a confused Niner fanbase. Profanity-laced comments show a fanbase that knows NOTHING about winning. Trade Jimmy G! Cut Mostert! Armstead is a bum! Hatred for Bosa because he likes Trump! Lynch and Shanahan should both be dumped! At the same time, others are saying we will go 15-1 or 16-0 easily. Who are these fans??? Having been a 49er Faithful since seeing the team practice in the Polo Field in GG Park in 1946, and attending my first game at Kezar in 1947, I am used to the members of the Niner Faithful who were LOYAL to the core. The sad thing about today's fans is they know little to nothing about the team's incredible history.

Case in point: One guy said this win with five turnovers was UNACCEPTABLE and that no great team puts itself in such jeopardy! My mind flashed back to January 10, 1982. The most famous game in 49er history ended with Dwight Clark's legendary catch and a 28-27 victory. Few people realize that Joe Montana was sacked three times in that game. He also threw three interceptions, and the 49ers lost three fumbles. Add to that seven penalties for 106 yards along with six turnovers and three sacks in the greatest victory ever and the depth of what a miracle this victory was becomes even more apparent. However, few people remember or even know that it took a shoestring tackle by Eric Wright to preserve the victory. Had Eric not saved the day with that tackle, Dwight's amazing catch would have just faded into history.

Wins never come easy and seldom without great defense. Great teams make mistakes, plenty of them, but the greatest overcome them. I asked the fan if the greatest victory in team history was UNACCEPTABLE. No response, other than initial disbelief.

That performance against the Steelers showed a team with a lot of heart. It also showed a team with a tremendous defense, especially the new linebacker combination of Fred Warner and Kwon Alexander, which reminds one of Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman.

I suggest that Niner fans chill. I realize winning is new to them, but having seen every 49er team in history, it's easy for me to distinguish the good ones from the bad ones. This team is on the verge of greatness. Enjoy it. Jerry Rice said this team is capable of winning the Super Bowl, and after this guts and glory performance over the Steelers, I wouldn't bet against it.
  • Gary Mialocq
  • Written by:
    Native of SF. Attended Washington HIgh, CCSF and SF State University. Investor & Startup Business Consultant, Former Juvenile Detention Counselor, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Self-employment Specialist, Real Estate Investor, Genealogist. Senior Pro Golfer.