Throughout last week, I continued to call the San Francisco 49ers matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles a "marker game" for this team. This meant that their performance would indicate exactly where this team stood a quarter of the way through the season.
Well, considering that this might have been the most dramatic victory for the 49ers since coming back from a 24-point deficit against the New York Giants in the 2002 playoffs, I would have to conclude San Francisco showed what they are all about.
This team showed a lot of moxie, confidence and strength in overcoming a 20-point deficit on the road against the self-anointed "dream team." As Harbaugh said, the 49ers didn't blink in the face of adversity. Instead, they picked up the pieces from a dreadful first half and came out firing on all cylinders when it counted the most.
Alex Smith was a perfect nine for nine in the third quarter, including two key touchdown passes. Michael Crabtree stepped up a great deal, the offensive line learned it could actually block, the defensive front seven held their ground and Frank Gore went off.
The victory is going to build confidence for this talented team. It is now the only team in the NFL with a two-game division lead and in a bad division. You can expect the 49ers to take the momentum from this improbable comeback and run with it.
So today, I am going to focus on five huge improvements the 49ers made in order to upset the heavily favored Philadelphia Eagles and what they mean moving forward.