Down 23-3 to the so-called “Dream Team” in the third quarter, the familiar feeling of defeat that Niner fans know so well began to set-in.
However, something was different this time. No one was yelling at each other on the sideline. The infamous quarterback Alex Smith didn’t look flustered. In fact, everyone seemed cool and calm.
Then it began.
The 49ers would go on to score 21 unanswered points.
Smith had the best half of his career and finished at 21 for 33, passing for 291 yards and two touchdowns. Vernon Davis and Joshua Morgan both caught touchdown passes, while Frank Gore ran in another to put the 49ers on top by a score of 24-23.
With just over two minutes left in the game, with Philly marching down the field, Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin caught a short pass from Michael Vick and headed for the end zone. That's when Pro Bowler Justin Smith (a 285 lbs defensive end) chased the receiver from behind and knocked the ball out. San Francisco safety Dashon Goldson jumped on the fumble and sealed the victory.
It was described by Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area as among the best defensive plays he has ever seen.
Sunday’s game was truly a monumental moment for the 49ers and new head coach Jim Harbaugh. They still have a long way to go before they reach the euphoric days-of-old, but the tide has definitely shifted in the bay.
After the game, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis said: “I started to scratch my head as I entered the locker room. We never had a game like this where we could pull through. This is the first time we came all the way from behind. It’s just an amazing feeling right now.”
This Sunday, the 49ers will take on another tough opponent in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by standout quarterback Josh Freeman. If they can pull-off another victory this week, they will be 4-1. The last time the 49ers started 4-1 was in 2002, when they last went to the playoffs.
The 49ers are back.
This article was originally published in the Benicia Herald.
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