In the end, it is easy to say that 95 yards of offense in the second half does not a great team make. But it was enough.
The discerning fan can point to a critical facemask penalty against Cleveland linebacker D’Qwell Jackson on Frank Gore that enabled San Francisco to keep its late drive in the fourth quarter alive, a drive that ended with a short but game-clinching field goal by David Akers for the final outcome of 20-10.
As avid fans, we see every play, and thus, we see every mistake. It seems to be human nature, or the pessimistic nature of all NFL fans, to discount early successes in light of late mishaps and failures. And the followers of the 49ers can certainly point to several issues in Sunday’s game as signs that the team remains lacking in key components to be considered an elite team.
That said, here are five things we learned in San Francisco’s 20-10 over the Cleveland Browns.