Last week the New York Jets couldn't get out of their own way and were shutout 34-0. This week it was Chan Gailey's Buffalo Bills who couldn't move the ball on one of the best defenses the NFL has to offer.
San Francisco has outscored its last two opponents 79-3. Through that two-game span the 49ers defense only allowed 349 yards and 19 first downs. Not to mention the fact that they forced six turnovers. This defense had a rude awakening in its Week 3 loss to Minnesota, so it's safe to say that that setback has fueled its defensive explosion.
Linebacker Patrick Willis and the 49er secondary have taken this defense to new heights. Willis has been an absolute terror, registering 17 tackles and an interception over the last two games. The coverage from both Willis and NaVorro Bowman has completely shut down opposing teams from throwing over the middle. When you couple that with the fact the secondary is shutting down receivers on the outside, how does an offense game plan?
Surprisingly, San Francisco's defense hasn't even been the biggest bright spot this season. Before the season started we all knew what we were getting with this unit: a tough, hard-nosed group that beat offense's into submission.
No one could have imagined that their offense would use the same recipe for success.
Alex Smith and the 49ers plethora of weapons have taken this offense to an all new level in the past two games. Through the first three games, Greg Roman's unit tallied 1,006 yards of total offense. In Week's 4 and 5 they churned out a combined 1,000 yards—video game-type numbers that every offensive coordinator dreams of.
Today's 621-yard output was the most impressive performance—statistically—in 49ers history. Smith threw for 303 yards on just 24 attempts and had arguably his best game as a pro. His quarterback rating was a near perfect 156.2, and for the sixth time in his career he threw three touchdown passes in one game. He also set a career high for rushing yards in a single game.
As a team San Francisco rushed its way into the record book, as well. They rushed for 311 yards on 38 carries. Seven different 49ers saw carries in today's game. Frank Gore led the way with 106 yards and Kendall Hunter followed suit by grinding out 81 yards of his own.
San Francisco became the first team in NFL history to throw for 300 yards and rush for 300 yards in the same game.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com asked No. 11 how he felt about being a part of such an incredible record:
"Very cool . . . a lot of offenses and great offenses," Smith said. "When you think of the 49ers, you think of great offenses, so this is quite an honor. It's great to be with those guys."
Backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick was also involved heavily in the offense for the second week in a row. Coach Harbaugh loves getting him involved because of the second-year quarterback's unique talents: "He's got playmaking ability," the 49ers coach said. "In a game where the playmakers really shone brightly, there were some shining stars out there today." (via CSNBayArea.com)
San Francisco will need all their stars to continue shining as the 3-2 New York Giants come to town next week. Despite their record, the Giants always play the 49ers tough, and I have a feeling the Niners have some unfinished business from 2011.