The San Francisco 49ers won their third straight game after a 32-20 victory at home against the Arizona Cardinals. Colin Kaepernick finished the game going 16 of 29 for 252 yards and two touchdowns both of which came on long throws to Vernon Davis (61 and 35 yards). Although Kaepernick played much better than he had in any of the previous three weeks, the 49ers once again relied on their running game to take control of the game.
“Grinding the meat” is how Jim Harbaugh described an 18-play, 83-yard drive that took nearly 10 minutes off the clock and ended with a six-yard touchdown run by Kendall Hunter. Of those 18 plays, 12 were running plays and Frank Gore accounted for 39 yards himself. It’s not Peyton Manning throwing for 500 yards, or Adrian Peterson running over people in the open field, but it gets the job done.
A lot is made of how success is supposed to look. Floyd Mayweather gets criticized for being a “boring” fighter when in fact he is so good that he makes the best fighters in the worlds look like amateurs. The San Antonio Spurs have been accused of not being charismatic enough to be the face of the NBA but still they have gone about their business and have become on of the best franchises in NBA history.
Coming into this season, the 49ers were getting a lot of attention because of their young star, Colin Kaepernick. He and the team struggled at first of course and with that, the media attention went away. Now, San Francisco has gone back to their winning ways and have gone back to playing smash mouth football. No trick plays, no spread formation or read-option, just physical football. From Bruce Miller giving a crushing lead block to an opposing linebacker to Frank Gore picking up a blitz, this team has adopted this type of football on both offense and defense.
Defenses have often times stacked the box against the 49er offense but it doesn’t matter, they line up guys on the strong side and that’s exactly where they run the football. That’s 49er football, the type of football that dares the defense to put eight guys in the box and the type of football that tells the defense on which side they’re running it.
When it comes down to it, the Niners don’t think you can stop it. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.
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