As the 49ers were mounting their biggest margin of victory in a regular season game since 1987, the Buccaneers were suffering through the worse loss in the history of their franchise. All at the hands of a 49ers team that is still, somehow, under the radar.
Before the game, when informed about statistics surrounding the 49ers defense last week, Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman said, “stats are for losers.” Well Mr.Freeman, the “Bucs” must all be a bunch of statistics majors, because the “Niners” absolutely devastated your team, 48-3.
The win over Tampa Bay marks the first time that the 49ers have started 4-1 since they last went to the playoffs in 2002, a good sign for the “Niner Nation."
Aside from an overtime loss to the Cowboys, the 49ers would be 5-0 right now, which brings me to my next point,apologies are in order.
As a 49ers fan, and someone who ripped quarterback Alex Smith all offseason, I feel like I need to admit an error made on my part.
On Sunday, Alex Smith tossed 3 TDs and registered a QB rating of 127.2. He has a QB rating of 104.1 on the season, which is 3rd in the NFL. After five games of this, I must admit, I was wrong.
An offensive minded head coach, particularly one like Jim Harbaugh, can and did make a huge difference for Smith. I honestly did not think it was possible, but Harbaugh and Smith are proving me wrong weekly, and I love every minute of it.
Moving forward, as good as all this has been for the 49ers and their fans, we must remember that the hardest battles lie ahead. This week the 49ers fly to Detroit to take on an undefeated Lions team that looks almost unstoppable.
The Lions feature Calvin Johnson, the best wide receiver in the game right now. Plus, a great pass rushing defensive line that would intimidate Mike Tyson as quarterback. But if any team can pull-it-off, statistically, the 4-1 49ers with the top ranked defense have a good chance.
This is a ginormous game for the 49ers. A win would catapult them back up into the national spotlight and the Super Bowl chat can begin. A loss, and the premature celebrations will at least be postponed. Either way, the 49ers will still be in the lead for a NFC West title, and that is something all 49ers fans should be happy about.
This is shaping up to be an exciting year for the 49ers. Stay tuned.
This article was originally published in the Benicia Herald.
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