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Nov 01

Just a quick one on the Niners vs. Browns…

The 49ers won another game handily over an opponent that they were supposed to beat.  They did not show me anything special in this game.  To me, they were somewhat reckless.  The two passes to Left Tackle Joe Staley and Nose Tackle Isaac Sapoaga were not necessary.  Those two players are very valuable in their regular positions.  Seriously, they are the best of the Niners offensive and defensive line men.  Why get them down field, asking them to do something that athletically is very far from their normal job?  I believe that puts them in a position to get hurt.  Yes I know these are 300 pound men I am talking about.  That is the problem.  How easy would it be for them to make a move that twists a knee or an ankle?  These men are not receivers, they are not used to running in open space, they are not used to being left vulnerable to blindside hits that receivers must be prepared for.

I was very happy to see Braylon Edwards return to the action since being sidelined with a knee injury since week 2 against Dallas.  Alex Smith and Edwards hooked up for 4 receptions for 42 yards on 7 targets.  That is a very nice return.  The only player in the game to catch more passes for the Niners was Michael Crabtree.  Crabtree has become the go – to guy for QB Smith.  He caught 5 catches for 54 yards and a touchdown on 9 targets.  Vernon Davis was third on the Niners with 3 catches for 27 yards on only 3 targets.  I don’t know why Smith has not been finding Davis lately,  but in the last two weeks, they have had little going.  Alex Smith was 15/24 for 177yards and 1 TD with no turnovers and a 98.8 passer rating for the game.  Niners ran the ball 39 times for 174 yards.

QB Smith continues to be a bright spot on the team…  However, he is being used very carefully by Coach Jim Harbaugh.  Alex only threw the ball 38% of the time this game.  Most NFL teams will throw on more than half the plays.  Coach Harbaugh has used a very intelligent game plan with Smith.  Rather then have him throw the ball all over the field, Smith is giving the ball to Frank Gore (31rushes for 134 yards and 1TD) and rookie Kendall Hunter (3 rushes for 26 yards).  The way the offensive line has jelled, running the ball has become a very solid week in week out option for the Niners.  Gore has carried the load admirably.  He has 4 games straight with 125 yards or more and a touchdown.  This combination of QB and RB play is likely something that will work versus any opponent.

Frank Gore is becoming one of the great 49ers in history.  This game, he surpassed the great Roger Craig as the Niners second all time in rushing yards.  Joe ‘the jet’ Perry is the only one in front of Gore, and only 255 yards separates the two.

No, I don’t like everything the Niners are doing right now, but their overall recipe for success is very repeatable.

Upcoming for the Niners are the Redskins in Washington DC, then the New York Giants and the Baltimore Ravens on Thanksgiving Day.

I have a feeling we will have much to be thankful for Niners fans…

The Fraz

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