13-3! Oh doesn’t it feel great to be a San Francisco Forty Niner fan again! What a storybook season 2011 was, going into the season, I couldn’t have pictured it any more perfect. Trying to think about how misreable it was last season, again, underachieving, again, missing the playoffs. Again, firing our head coach, starting over.
And then it began, and none of us knew it. It started with the hiring of Trent Baalke as the full time General Manager of the team. Who knew a year later we’d be close to crowning this guy the NFLs Executive of the Year. Nobody. Then Jim Harbaugh came along. Everybody, and I mean everybody wanted this guy. His alma matter, John Elway and the Denver Broncos, the rich Miami Dolphins, even Andrew Luck stuck around for him. But he came to us, the 49ers.
Niner land couldn’t have been a happier place. For a little while, then the tension soared as the team failed to sign a big name free agent while letting a bunch of its own walk. Then the team drafted Aldon Smith, and everybody questioned, wtf are the Niners doing?
But then it happened! After losing it’s first game of the season in an OT thriller against the Dallas Cowboys week 2 the 9ers went on an eight game winning streak. Whether they were crushing Tampa Bay 48-3, coming back in Philly down 20, or beating the undefeated Lions at “shake gate” the 49ers established a winning identity.
Playing lights out defense, the 49ers sport the leagues #1 scoring and red zone D that also led the league in turnovers. Protect the football, don’t make the big mistake, pick your spots coaching has turned Alex Smith into a winner. Running the football, utilizing the tight ends, controlling the field position and nailing an NFL record amount of field goals has proven the perfect formula for SF.
The 49ers are sending a league high eight players to the pro bowl, with another ten alternates. Justin Smith is a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year. Aldon Smith is a candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Alex Smith should be a lock for Comeback Player of the Year. And Jim Harbaugh is an absolute lock for Coach of the Year.
Man it feels good to be a Niner!