Welcome to another edition of Hamm’s Pigskins of the Week! The San Francisco 49ers are now 2-0 and sit atop everyone’s NFL power rankings. With an impressive win against the Detroit Lions following a statement win in Green Bay against the Packers, this is a team we can all be proud of. Before we start to look ahead to Minnesota, let’s take one final look back at the Lions game and hand out some hardware. It’s time to name the Hamm’s 49ers Pigskins of the Week!
Offense: Alex Smith and Michael Crabtree: Normally, only one lucky 49er takes home a Hamm’s Pigskin award from each unit. Not this week, I just couldn’t deprive either of these men of the prestige of a Hamm Pigskin after their clutch performances against Detroit. Alex was once again flawless, most of his incomplete passes were drops and he engineered a Pro-Bowl esq. drive at the end of the game to ensure this team both ate up clock time and put more points on the board. Alex was decisive, accurate and flat out awesome. The audible he called on the first drive before throwing a perfect TD pass to TE Vernon Davis was Peyton Manning like, it’s time everyone shuts up and stops calling this man a “game manager” this is a QB. Colin Kaepernick may have to settle for being the teams wildcat guy for the duration of his 49er career if this type of play continues.
Crabtree is coming into his own and it’s obvious being comfortable in the offense, having a real preseason and playing with other weapons in the passing game has helped him spread his wings. He had three big catches on third down during that final drive that required him to run after the catch and make the play in order to secure the first down, and he came up big on every occasion. He didn’t get the TDs that Vernon got in this game, but he was the best receiver on the field all day long.
Defense: This was a tough one, both inside linebackers Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman had great games. Justin Smith and Ray McDonald played great up front, Aldon Smith had a very good game and the corners played great football shutting down Megatron and the Lions dangerous receiving group. But the guy who made the most plays was Dashon Goldson. Playing 15 or more yards off the line of scrimmage, Goldson raced up to the LOS on many occassions and stopped the run dead in its tracks. The hits he laid were brutal, each time he laid into a ball carrier, they went backwards, Goldson is playing like a guy who really wants a long term deal in San Francisco.
Special Teams: Kyle Williams, that’s right, Kyle Williams. I have to admit, I absolutely hated Williams after his performance in the NFCCG cost us a trip to the Superbowl. After an injury to Ted Ginn Jr, I was downright afraid of the possibility of him returning punts this season. In the biggest moment of the game the coaching staff failed to put anyone back deep and the Lions called their bluff. Instead of a traditional on-side kick, Detroit booted it downfield where no 49er was waiting on the football, it was a foot race. Williams made an excellent sliding recovery to put seal the game for the 49ers. Ironically, it was on the exact spot where he fumbled the ball and lost us the game against the Giants. Talk about putting the past behind you.