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 opinions 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



49ers' George Kittle expected to play vs. Seahawks; Elijah Mitchell out

By David Bonilla
Oct 3

"I mean, I'm going to do everything I can to be on the field on Sunday," George Kittle told reporters on Friday. "And then, if my body says I can go, I'll be out there." It sounds like we can expect the San Francisco 49ers star tight end to be out there for the team's first divisional matchup of the season. Despite being listed as "questionable" for the game, per multiple reports, Kittle is expected to be on the field at Levi's Stadium this afternoon when the Niners host the Seattle Seahawks. "While officially a game-time decision, SF has optimism that Kittle will be correct," notes Ian Rapoport of NFL



49ers-Seahawks: Elijah Mitchell, Josh Norman among 5 inactives for Niners

By David Bonilla
Oct 3

The San Francisco 49ers have released the list of inactive players for their Week 4 matchup at home against the Seattle Seahawks. These players will not suit up for Sunday's game. Inactives: OL Aaron Banks DL Zach Kerr RB Elijah Mitchell CB Josh Norman CB K'Waun Williams The only roster move the 49ers made on Saturday was activating defensive tackle Maurice Hurst from injured reserve. He is active. The team did not activate running back Kerryon Johnson, or any other player, from the practice squad. With Mitchell ruled out due to a shoulder injury, the team will proceed with Trey Sermon, Jacques



NFL Week 4: Seahawks vs 49ers live updates

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Oct 3

4th Quarter GAME ALERT: The Seahawks defeat the 49ers 28-21 after a slow start to reach 2-2 on the season, moving to 3rd in the NFC West, as the 49ers now drop to 2-2. Freddie Swain recovers the onside kick and essentially guarantees a Seattle victory, as the Seahawks just have to kneel multiple times to win this one. TOUCHDOWN ALERT: Trey Lance finds Deebo Samuel for an eight-yard score and rushes up the middle for the two-point conversion to make the score 28-21. The 49ers need an onside kick to have a chance to tie. On 4th & 10 after an almost-touchdown to George Kittle, Trey Lance maneuvers in the pocket and rushes through the middle for 13 yards to the SEA 8 for another redzone



49ers-Seahawks Injury Updates: Trey Lance starts second half after Jimmy Garoppolo injury

By David Bonilla
Oct 3

The San Francisco 49ers entered Week 4's matchup against the Seattle Seahawks without cornerback Josh Norman and running back Elijah Mitchell. Both are inactive due to injuries. Slot corner K'Waun Williams is expected to miss several weeks with a calf injury. Below are the 49ers-Seahawks in-game injury updates. K Robbie Gould According to the FOX broadcast, Gould was unable to play after suffering a groin injury during pre-game warmups. Punter Mitch Wishnowsky handled field-goal attempts, missing his first attempt of 41 yards. Wishnowsky is typically the holder. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk handled those duties in Gould's absence. QB Jimmy Garoppolo Rookie quarterback Trey Lance started the second half of the


Featured

More by Andre Tameta

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone