Never discount desire, cohesiveness and improvement as factors in victories over heavily favored opponents.
NFL rankings and power polls can never account for the unlikely upsets that occur on any given season. As much as the media will point out the strengths of Philadelphia, they still have a 1-2 record and are facing a team that is on the upswing and has a different attitude a desire to prove that they can win against anybody.
As highlighted during the Dallas game, and briefly eclipsed during a very ugly Cincinnati game (by the way, are there ever any pretty games in Cincinnati?), the 49ers have the grit to win.
With Vernon Davis being very vocal about wanting to be involved, and a secondary that wants to prove everyone wrong, we can and should stand behind this attitude that could slowly begin making itself evident in on the field.
Jim Harbaugh has brought a different team mentality than years past. A much more cohesive unit that will only get better and stronger as the season progresses, and that hopefully will extend and help Alex Smith finally attain a successful NFL season.
Time and again, Smith has beaten out contenders for the starting job in San Francisco. This could very well be his last year in the Bay Area, and it's in his best interest, if he has any hopes of landing any jobs after this one, that he performs better than he has in the past.
Like many of you, I have ripped my hair out many times during the summer when inevitably I get word that Smith has once again won the starting job. Despite very strong feelings towards management's inability to improve the most important position, and one which is stark contrast with what made the 49ers brand great, I have to recognize and eventually come to terms with the fact that Smith is still there for a reason.
With Harbaugh at the helm, a quarterback's coach as it were, Smith seems to be displaying more poise in the pocket and better decision making. While it is true that many have seen this as Harbaugh merely allowing Smith manage the game, it's only a matter of time before he has to let him loose.
With more trust in his coach, his team, himself and a necessity to prove himself yet again, I'm optimistic that Smith will come through for the 49ers and this could very well be the game where his services will be needed.
I know these are somewhat abstract factors as to why San Francisco may win this weekend, but they're very real reasons to believe in the likely.