Giants' head coach Tom Coughlin and his team rolled into San Francisco on Sunday and reminded the 49ers why the most recent Lombardi Trophy is in New York by winning the NFC Championship rematch with a lopsided score of 26-3.
Why It Happened
Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw churned out 116 yards on the ground against a defense that had not allowed a back to rush over the 100-yard mark in 23 straight home games.
The Giants' defense held the 49ers' vaunted rushing attack to 80 yards. The 49ers were averaging close to 200 yards per game before Sunday.
If the 49ers are not able to run the football, they seem to lose their way and the burden then falls on quarterback Alex Smith. Does anyone think that having Smith carry the team on offense is a good thing?
You can call the 49ers meltdown on Sunday a one-game sample size if you want and say it's just one bad outing, but the Giants showed us the blueprint on how to beat the 49ers.
If the aforementioned reasons are not a good enough answer as to why the 49ers fell flat on Sunday, don't worry, the 49ers' leader seemed a little confused on why things went the way they did.
"Why didn't you run it? Why didn't you do this? Why didn't you do that? Don’t have all those answers for you right now. The ‘should’ve, would’ve,’ is undefeated. Go back and say, ‘Why didn't you?’ ‘Should have done that.’ That’s an undefeated way of looking at things. So, we’ll see if we can’t bounce back real fast and get ready for this ball game Thursday night," said 49ers' head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Oh, and by the way, it's not just one bad outing. Did everyone forget about the egg they laid in Minnesota against the Vikings?
Not Picking on You
This is not a hit piece on the 49ers; however, let's not forget the fact that after Week 1 and a big win over the Green Bay Packers, a lot of experts, analysts and fans had them at the top of most best teams in the league lists.
Well, things have changed.
Harbaugh's team now sits at 4-2 with a short week and an NFC West showdown with the suddenly real deal Seattle Seahawks.
If Coach Harbaugh is wondering "Who's got it better than us?", let me lend a hand with that as I give you my first installment of the teams that I think have it better than the 49ers after Week 6.
Starting today and continuing until the Thursday night game, I will give you the teams that are better than San Francisco at this point in the season.
The Chicago Bears are a solid ball club with a very stout defense that is well-coached.
An aging Brian Urlacher still runs this defense, and guys like Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije, along with a very good secondary that features Charles Tilman and Major Wright, all have his back.
Don't worry, I didn't forget Lance Briggs and Tim Jennings. They're very good as well, as they lead their team in tackles and interceptions respectively.
The Bears are very stingy against the run, as they rank first in rushing yards allowed at 65.8 yards per game.
At 4-1 and in first place in the NFC North with the Minnesota Vikings trailing the Bears in the loss column at two, they still have not come together on the offensive side of the ball.
The offense is starting to gel though; Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler are starting to get on the same page and this could be be a very bad thing for opposing secondaries. Matt Forte has not been himself so far this season, but the addition of Michael Bush has helped the Bears average 123.6 yards per game until Forte gets right.
Injuries have hampered Forte's season thus far, but the Bears will need him at full power down the stretch if they want to make a deep postseason run. His running and pass-catching ability make him very dangerous when he is at full strength.
There you have it—the first team on the "Who's got it better than us?" list.
If 49er fans disagree, I can be proven wrong on November 19 in a Monday night showdown that has the Bears coming to San Francisco for what could be a huge game with top playoff seeding at risk.
All quotes were taking from the San Francisco 49ers' official game notes and transcripts.
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