Damn we got a good defense! The San Francisco 49ers had a huge win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Niners won the game 20-3; it was a dominating performance by the defense. The great aspect of the win was that it was done in the national spotlight on Monday Night Football. Football fans around the country had the chance to witness the best defensive in the NFL. The scary part about the Niners defense was not the three sacks and constant pressure on QB Ben Roethlisberger or the three interceptions caused by the Niners defensive backs, but the fact that they dominated one of the best teams in the NFL without their best player on defense; LB Patrick Willis. Let’s not forget the offensive side of the ball. QB Alex Smith had another efficient game passing for 187 yards with 1 touchdown and 0 interceptions. It was a great all around game for the Niners and a much needed win coming off a lost. Here are some other players and moments of the game that caught my eye.
LB Aldon Smith
This rookie is awesome to state the obvious. It is apparent that Aldon Smith has been getting better during the season and Niner fans could be happier. Aldon finish the game with 2.5 sacks and four tackles. But it feels as if he should have had 10 sacks the way he was pressuring Big Ben throughout the whole game. He now has 13 sacks for the season and should be on his way to not only a pro bowl selection but the award for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
LB Larry Grant
For the second straight game Larry Grant has done a fabulous job filling in for the injured Patrick Willis. Contributing with 4 tackles and doing a good job in coverage. Now there were some plays that Grant was not able to make that had me thinking, “If Willis was on the field, he would have made the play.” Let me not take anything away from Grants performance. He was matched up with TE Heath Miller for most of the night and the Steelers were looking to exploit the match up. Grant held his own and kept Miller in check for the majority of the game. Showing the Niner linebackers are not only the best in talent and hard work, but in depth as well.
49ers Offensive Line
Going into the game every analyst, writer, and blogger (including myself) were purposing the Niners offensive line would be the biggest key of the game. The struggles were well documented. The O-line had given up 18 sacks in their previous 3 games and seemingly the Niners weakness had been exposed. Thankfully the adjustments had finally been made. Again it only took three games. The O-line was fantastic given up 0 sacks to the Steel Curtain. That’s right a donut! Give some credit to Alex, he was doing a better job getting rid of the ball and making good decisions in the process. Hopefully the O-line woes are permanently fixed because it will only make us more dangerous come playoffs.
LB Lawrence Timmons
Lastly I have to point out a vital play of the game. The Niners were ready to kick another field goal in the red zone. Pittsburgh linebacker Lawrence Timmons was called for a leaping penalty on the field goal attempt, keeping the Niner drive alive. A few plays later RB Frank Gore would take it in for a 5 yard touchdown run and in the process sealing a Niner win. What people don’t know is that Franks touchdown run won my semi final fantasy football game earning me a spot in the championship game. So big thanks to Lawrence Timmons and Frank Gore for giving me that 2 point win. I know I’m sounding self-centered, but whatever.
What a great Monday night for all us Niner fans. Two more games remain in the season, let’s finish strong. GO NINERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!