49ers Show Heart on Both Sides of the Ball

Andre Tameta
Sep 11, 2007 at 5:05 PM


In prime time, Mike Nolan's Niners exhibited a collective heart that showed how much of a team they truly are.

All night long, the defenses of the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals were the stars. Each side made play after play as the offenses struggled all night. When it was all said and done, we saw Alex Smith grow up and perform in the clutch despite all the mistakes that were made. A 20-17 comeback victory over the Cardinals on Monday Night Football was no doubt what the city of San Francisco wanted after years of inept football from the once proud franchise.

All night long, the 49er offense was tentative and highly conservative. Jim Hostler's play calling was unimaginative for most of the night until the final game winning drive when the play book was finally opened up.

Despite not generating much offense for most of the game, the 49er defense really shined in those familiar throwback crimson and gold uniforms from 1981.

The cornerback duo of Nate Clements and Walt Harris completely shut down Cardinal receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin and rookie middle linebacker Patrick Willis was in on almost every play.

The Niner front seven contained Edgerrin James and generated a decent pass rush whenever Matt Leinart went back to pass. However, I expected more from Tully Banta-Cain since he was touted to be the best pass rusher on the team.

A young and fast defense was the hallmark of the 1981 Super Bowl team that was in its third year under Bill Walsh and it appears that in Nolan's third year, the defense will be the unit to carry the 49ers to the next level. Clutch quarterback play from the two different eras could potentially be another similarity.

No way can we compare Smith to a young Joe Montana, but leading his team 86 yards for the game winning touchdown is a good way to continue the legacy of the 49er quarterback.

Smith stayed cool under pressure and was able to finally get the ball down field in those final minutes of the game. He exhibited poise and confidence with each successful play that got the Niners the positive yardage they lacked to earn all night.. The game should have been over when Smith launched a deep pass to Darrell Jackson that slipped right through the middle of his arms. Arnaz Battle's almost costly fumble right at the endzone really tested the mettle of the Niners.

Despite the dropped touchdown pass and the fumble at the one year line, the Niners persevered and scored the winning touchdown on an end around by Battle.

That kind of toughness in the clutch is a testament of the leadership at the top. Mike Nolan has brought a sense of accountability and an emphasis of teamwork. Bill Walsh always preached that his team is only an extension of each other.

I saw that within Nolan's Niners.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



Bryant Young says Nick Bosa brings 'energy and fire' to defense, expects 49ers to pick up where they left off

By David Bonilla
Jun 29, 2020

The next inductee into the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame sat down with Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area for the latest episode of the 49ers Insider Podcast. Young wore No. 97 during his time with San Francisco, the only team he played for during his 14-year career. Another player wears that number now — defensive end Nick Bosa. What does Young, who spent some time coaching through the college and pro ranks after his NFL career, think about the talented second-year player? "Nick does a good job just in terms of one, being a very knowledgable player," Young told Maiocco. "He sees the game. You can tell he's been surrounded by good coaching. And then just his family history. His dad played, his brother played, and so

Read the Full Article


Stephen A. Smith says 49ers are champions right now if Aaron Rodgers, not Jimmy Garoppolo, were the QB

By David Bonilla
Jun 29, 2020

The Aaron Rodgers to San Francisco 49ers talk is starting early. Maybe nearly a year early. First, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk explored the idea of the future Hall of Famer joining his hometown team and the organization that passed him up in 2005 for Alex Smith. Now, ESPN's First Take is joining the discussion. Rodgers' days in Green Bay may be numbered after the team selected Jordan Love in the first round of April's draft. After enduring over a month of discussion earlier this offseason surrounding Tom Brady potentially replacing Jimmy Garoppolo in San Francisco, it seems like fans might have to put up with talk about the next possible Garoppolo replacement. That's what analyst Domonique Foxworth, along with ESPN personality Stephen

Read the Full Article


'Colin in Black & White' series based on ex-49ers QB Kaepernick headed to Netflix

By David Bonilla
Jun 29, 2020

A new scripted series based on the high school life of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is headed to streaming giant Netflix, according to Vanity Fair. Titled Colin in Black & White, the six-episode series is being created by Kaepernick and Oscar-nominated director Ava DuVernay. It will explore the "foundation of Kaepernick's budding activism," reports Vanity Fair. That, of course, led to the controversy in 2016 when Kaepernick started peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem before NFL games. "Too often we see race and Black stories portrayed through a white lens," Kaepernick said in

Read the Full Article

Featured

More Featured Stories

More by Andre Tameta

All Articles by Andre Tameta

More Articles

All Articles
Share 49erswebzone