Two wonderful things happened this weekend. 1) I found out that JMFJ has Twitter (!!!!!!!!!) and 2) the 49ers beat the Giants and are now 8-1!!!!!! :D
As a result of #1, I think I will now know more about Michigan football than I ever cared to know... He just kills me. His first tweet is about Veteran's Day, his second one was a RT of @umichfootball and he retweeted this:
So either he is too dumb to realize the futility of retweeting something to your followers to uhh... let them know where to follow you, or he is so egotistic he's encouraging his followers to "show him some love". [ Edit: Also, I love that one of the hashtags is #jmfj ahahaha! ]
I think both of these possibilities are fantastic. :D
The 49ers came up with a down to the wire win over the Giants. I did in fact jump up, scream "Yes!" and pump my fist, which is probably what a lot of other 49ers fans watching the games did. They probably didn't get weepy about it though. :P
It was a tough, close game almost the entire way. The 49ers got a little separation when they went up 27-13 on Kendall Hunter's touchdown, but the Giants scored a touchdown fairly soon after that.
That ending drive by the Giants was crazy. Twice they went for it on 4th down, and twice they converted. And then at the end it was 4th and 2 in the red zone and there was a very real chance they were going to get the touchdown and Justin Smith bats down the pass to finish it.
I am so incredibly proud. The 49ers defense is legit, but I know what an offensive threat the Giants are and I figured they would get their points. It would be up to the offense to try and keep up with them in scoring. And they did it with Frank Gore, their offensive MVP, getting zero rushing yards.
The thing I was most impressed with was how the 49ers completely shut down the Giants' running game. But I was so incredibly happy with how successful Alex Smith was. He's like a tragic Patty Marleau for me, haha. I've supported him since he was drafted and I never cared about the record and the criticism, I always wanted him to succeed, and it's so satisfying, especially given all he's had to overcome.
Not getting any delusions of grandeur regarding Alex and the offense, the game was won with the 10 points off Giants turnovers and solid defense, and Akers' incredible leg helped out too. But man, this is a solid team and so much fun to watch, especially years after celebrating whenever the 49ers even made a first down (not a joke).
Alex Smith Keeps Winning
By Taylor Price
Posted 14 hours ago
Jim Harbaugh knows what’s been written and said about his quarterback. He’s familiarized himself with the criticism and skeptics of Alex Smith.
When people say “game manager” to describe Smith’s play, Harbaugh looks at it as a positive that his quarterback is always in control of the game.
“Once again, he just goes out and plays great football and just keeps proving it,” Harbaugh said on Sunday after Smith passed for 242 yards while improving his team to 8-1. “That’s what the guy’s about. I have a ton of respect for him as a player.”
Thanks to his latest winning effort, an impressive 27-20 win over the visiting New York Giants on Sunday, Smith is now 7-1 in his last eight starts with 14 touchdown passes and two interceptions at Candlestick Park.
All the talk of managing doesn’t really bother Smith.
“I honestly could care less,” he said. “I don’t care. We’re winning games.”
All Smith cares about is the respect of his teammates, who in turn, appreciate the toughness, leadership and smarts displayed weekly by their starting signal caller.
They don’t see him as a game manager; they see him as something else.
“He’s a play-maker,” said tight end Delanie Walker, who recovered a critical onside kick in the first half and led the 49ers with six catches for 69 yards. “He put us in the right plays, made the right audibles for us to get first downs.
“Alex’s been doing that all along, now it’s just coming out because we have a great playbook for him to win.”
Eight different receivers caught passes from Smith, including tight end Vernon Davis, who hauled in a 31-yard touchdown on a perfectly thrown Smith pass. All Davis had to do was out-run and out-leap multiple defenders on his way into the end zone, which he did.
“He’s just so fast,” Smith said of Davis’ catch, one of nine passes on the day that went for 14 yards or more. “Anytime they’re playing the zones and then trying to pass things off, he just has so much speed it’s trouble to pass off.”
Smith’s strong day of passing, however, began early as he came out throwing on the game’s initial series.
According to 49ers safety Donte Whitner, who played three seasons in Buffalo under New York defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, stopping the run was going to be the main focus for the Giants defense. Considering Frank Gore had five consecutive 100-yard rushing games entering Sunday, New York chose to stuff all running lanes with extra defensive players.
So instead of running the ball early, Smith was 5-of-8 for 67 yards on the 49ers’ opening drive which ended in a 36-yard field goal from David Akers, the first of his four makes on the day.
“All throughout the game they challenged (Alex) to beat them,” Whitner said. “I know Perry… and I know his mindset. He was going to stop the run and take the running backs out of the game and make Alex beat us. Alex made some big throws and we ultimately won the football game.”
Gore finished the game with six carries and zero yards, mostly because he didn’t play in the second half due to a knee injury he suffered in the game. Rookie Kendall Hunter rushed for 40 yards on six carries, including a 17-yard touchdown run that put the 49ers up 27-13 with 12:21 left in the game.
For the day, the 49ers averaged 3.9 yards per carry, and Smith even added 27 rushing yards himself when passing plays broke down and called for him to pick up yardage with his feet.
The offensive line allowed two sacks on the day against a Giants team that came into Sunday leading the league in the defensive statistic. Although it wasn’t a perfect performance, the linemen came away feeling good about their efforts against a strong opponent.
They also left with even more respect for Smith.
“People don’t really know,” right tackle Anthony Davis said, “Alex is the man.
“He’s one of the toughest people I’ve ever been around. His composure… he’s the same dude every day. He’s a competitor and is probably one of the smartest guys I know.”
Smith is even smart when it comes to dropping a quality postgame sound bite.
“It feels good to be 8-1. I managed myself into a victory, that’s all I care about.”
I loved that he joked about managing himself into a victory. And most guys of course they'll say they don't care about the criticisms, but I believe it about him at this point. Anything that could be said about him has been said by this point and he's still here and he's not crumbling. Ahh, tearing up again
49ers discover they can win with -- not in spite of -- Smith
By Steve Wyche NFL.com
Published: Nov. 13, 2011 at 10:02 p.m. Updated: Nov. 14, 2011 at 09:50 a.m.
SAN FRANCISCO -- 49ers tight end Vernon Davis told me last week that San Francisco's coaches saw some things in the Giants' defense that left the 49ers with some matchup advantages in the passing game. So, based on quarterback Alex Smith's history, you'd assume there were three or four plays up coach Jim Harbaugh's sleeve that he'd unveil to win some individual battles.
Those matchup advantages turned out to be the fundamental game plan. Smith came out slinging and never stopped. And the 49ers beat the Giants to improve to 8-1 -- the second-best record in the league. The victory over a high-quality team didn't hinge completely on Smith's solid performance but San Francisco proved it no longer has to win -- or try to -- in spite of Smith.
They'd played it close with Smith leading into this game between two of the better teams in the league. His attempts (206 coming in) were the fewest in the NFL by a quarterback that has consistently started from Week 1.
Sure, San Francisco has enough of a cushion in the NFC West to float a trial balloon, but this wasn't about that. This was having the faith in Smith to lead them to victory and they turned him loose. He threw the ball 30 times, completing 19 passes for 242 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He's thrown more times in a few games this season but never did so much of the game plan hinge on his arm and never had he looked so smooth.
The first-overall pick of the 2005 draft really looked like he belonged trading throw-for-throw with red-hot Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
The offense ran through Smith. Running back Frank Gore was ineffective before a knee injury (that he doesn't think will keep him out of action next week against Arizona), sidelined him for the second half. Gore said he could play but the staff knows it will need him later. And although the game was a toss-up when Gore went down, there were clearly was a feeling that Smith had this.
"Alex knew he's at his last straw," Davis said of the maligned quarterback, who was re-signed as a free agent this offseason to be more of a bridge to rookie Colin Kaepernick. "He knew he needed to take off."
Smith wasn't gloating after Sunday's performance. However, he did get his day to wipe his feet on Giants defensive end Justin Tuck, who said this week that Smith was a game manager, at best, a not-so-unique critique but still a tad jarring coming from such a pro like Tuck.
"I just saw the one where I got called a game manager or whatever and this and that," Smith said. "I could really care less, honestly. That is the honest truth. It feels good to be 8-1. I managed myself into a victory. That's all I care about."
What happened Sunday was about Smith but then again, it wasn't. The 49ers learned they can win with their quarterback. They learned that they can win without their running back. They also learned that Davis no longer has to be the point man of their receiving attack. San Francisco beat a good team by showing some finesse to go with the brute muscle it flexed on seven victims prior to Sunday.
That's the type of psychological edge a young team that's been used to losing needs to persevere.
San Francisco also won because its offensive line kept Smith upright; backup running back Kendall Hunter was more than adequate in stepping in for Gore; cornerback Carlos Rodgers had two interceptions and defensive end Justin Smith batted down Eli Manning's fourth-down pass in the waning seconds with New York knocking on the door to tie.
"That is a good team," Giants guard David Diehl said, not in the being professional, politically correct kind of way.
Beating the Giants will, in the eyes of some, be a signature win for the 49ers. They've beaten other good teams like Cincinnati, Detroit, Tampa Bay and Philadelphia, but those teams got taken down a peg this weekend. San Francisco, meanwhile, went toe-to-toe with a team that's on top of the NFC East, has rallied in big games and is among the NFC's best.
The 49ers also capped a huge day in which the entire NFC West, which is insurmountably behind San Francisco, won. Those types of days for the rest of the division won't last much longer. Besides tough games against AFC North bullies Baltimore and Pittsburgh, the 49ers' remaining games are within the lackluster division that so many of us thought St. Louis would win because it had the best quarterback.
It still might but it doesn't have an overall team comparable to the 49ers. Few teams do. This team isn't a hoax. It's not Buffalo or Philadelphia or even San Diego. San Francisco will be hosting a playoff game because it is a team to be reckoned with -- in part because its quarterback is an asset.
*gasp* People writing positive opinion pieces about the 49ers! An interesting thing I just heard on talk radio was that Alex only attempted 4 more passes than his season average of 26, so it's not like he took over the game, but he was good enough to make up for the loss of rushing yards from Frank Gore. I don't know, I feel like he's been solid and confident all season and not made any bad decisions. If that makes him a game manager that's a compliment. :)