On Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers handled the Detroit Lions to improve to 2-0 on the season, sealing a weekend in which the NFC West went 4-0, with teams like the New England Patriots and Washington Redskins felled. We're going to gloss over the Dallas Cowboys losing to the Seattle Seahawks because Tony Romo. That sentence didn't end prematurely, in case you were wondering.
We've already had a couple recaps on the matter, but I decided to edit my notes that I was taking during the game and go ahead and post them here. It's hardly a full picture of what happened, but rather isolated things that I found noteworthy as the game was going on. You'll often find many complaints in notes like these, because it's very important to touch on the negative talking points, especially when you're a winning team.
All-in-all, San Francisco should be happy about their victory. They were in control from the start and had nothing to worry about, despite what the final score had to say. Let's get to it, shall we?
- Kendall Hunter did not have a good game on offense or special teams. He had a fumble on a kickoff return and was dancing around behind the line of scrimmage. Twice he was supposed to take a draw up the middle, and instead took it around the outside, which was a big issue. It's nice that he wants to make a play, but sometimes the best thing to do is pick up a couple yards.
- San Francisco's multiple personnel sets are awesome, and the variety of plays they run is staggering. Let's call that shovel pass play at the end of the first half a failed experiment and cross that one out of the playbook though, shall we?
- We're seeing Alex Smith turn into a big-time quarterback right before our eyes. He made some big time throws, but unfortunately, Vernon Davis and the rest of the offense also made some big time drops.
- Ahmad Brooks has been showing better and better presence in pass coverage, but it's no mystery as to why Detroit was able to convert a first down when NaVorro Bowman was rushing and Brooks was covering Johnson, and why Detroit failed to convert a first down when Bowman was covering Johnson while Brooks was rushing.
- Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner are terrifying to any receiver going over the middle. Absolutely terrifying.
- He played well, but Alex Boone lacks a lot of mobility that San Francisco has had recently out of the right guard position. On a screen to Hunter, he sort of jogged into his block and couldn't move at all. That's an area that needs improvement.
- A play from Frank Gore to wrap up the third quarter is exactly the issue with Hunter. Gore had eight yards, could have turned outside and maybe turned it into something big, but instead he turned inside and turned it into a first down.
- The drops got really bad in the fourth quarter, when Smith had three dropped passes on a single drive. One, a pass to Mario Manningham on third down, was amazing, but it was dropped. That still turned into a David Akers field goal, though.
- David Akers.
- Manningham does need the ball more, though. He's explosive once he has the ball in his hands, and is pretty much the definition of a west coast offensive wide receiver.
- You always remember the game where the quarterback is bleeding. You always do. Shame the referees missed the call on that - you're not supposed to follow a sliding quarterback down, as he's surrendering himself on the play.
- San Francisco's defense really started to fall apart really late in the game, but they were playing pretty far back, so it's understandable.