That was exhausting, and made even more so seeing as we hosted a “Christmas Eve-Eve” party last night that went into the early hours and featured bad sweaters, copious amounts of Christmas cheer and a karaoke session that probably would’ve led our downstairs neighbor to call the police if he wasn’t out of town. Singstar really needs to make the rap scoring easier so I feel better about myself after my renditions of “Bust a Move.”
Anyway, I’m off to a more traditional Christmas Eve party with the family, so a few notes on the 49ers’ 19-17 win over the Seahawks (the score I predicted exactly a couple days ago, a beacon of light in an otherwise lackluster set of NFL picks).
– Alex Smith sure knows how to put together a solid second half in Seattle, doesn’t he?
– David Akers set the all-time record for field goals in a single season, as his 4(!) field goals gave him 42 on the season, 2 ahead of the mark Neil Rackers set in 2005. Rackers’ Cardinals went 5-11 that year, which isn’t all that surprising since settling for field goals usually isn’t a good recipe for success. But the ’05 Cardinals didn’t have a defense like the 2011 San Francisco 49ers…
– The Niners gave up their first rushing TD of the season, an unfortunate occurrence not just because it gave up the lead, but because a rare special teams gaffe (a blocked punt) gave Seattle the ball on the 4.
– The Seahawks — much like the Cardinals when they came to Candlestick — seemed like they were focused on injuring the NFC West champs. Michael Robinson took out his bitterness at getting released by the Niners with a helmet-to-helmet hit on a seated Kyle Williams, who seemed like he got concussed on the play.
– Delanie Walker definitely suffered a concussion, but that wasn’t a dirty play. Hopefully Walker can shake off the “cobwebs” soon, but he better not play next week.
– As Marshawn Lynch ran through some tackles, I quietly pined for Patrick Willis. Then Larry Grant came up with the play of the game when he stripped Tarvaris Jackson and the 49ers recovered. Shades of the Eagles game when Justin Smith stripped Jeremy Maclin.
– Strange pass interference stuff was going on in the second half. Ben Obomanu threw Tarell Brown down by his helmet before an uncatchable pass soared past both of them, and Brown was called for PI. Then Richard Sherman mugged Michael Crabtree (I think, maybe it was Williams) and it went uncalled. Whatever.
– Williams better get well soon, because Braylon Edwards isn’t even a “replacement-level” receiver, to steal a commonly used baseball term.
– Kendall Hunter had a great game. Along with Williams, it’s almost shocking to see so much speed from the 49ers’ skill position guys.
– Someone who quietly had a solid game: Michael Crabtree.
– Aldon Smith had another sack, giving him 14 on the season. He seemed to play more downs than usual, and he was double-teamed fairly often.
– NaVorro Bowman had his best game in weeks, which is pretty wild since he’s been fantastic all season.
– Vernon Davis must have hit the smelling salts hard at halftime, because he was a different guy in the last two quarters. In the first two quarters it seemed like he was wearing mittens.
– Pete Carroll looked like a total rube, jumping around after the Seahawks blocked that punt. Especially because he obviously thinks he’s VERY cool.
– Why didn’t Carroll go for it on 4th-and-1 in the second quarter? It seemed like the Seahawks were pretty close to ending the 49ers’ rushing touchdowns allowed streak there.
– Jim Harbaugh would never admit it, but after sweeping Carroll in his first season with the 49ers he’s going to have a smile on his face as he falls asleep tonight.
– The New Orleans Saints were surely watching today’s game, and now all that stands between the 49ers and the No. 2 seed are the St. Louis Rams, who lost 27-0 to the Charlie Batch-led Pittsburgh Steelers. Wouldn’t be surprising to see the Saints suffer a rare letdown on Monday night against the Falcons.
– Close game, but this was a win to be proud of. Seattle is a very tough place to play, the Seahawks were chirping this week (well, Scot McCloughan anyway) and played with anger all game long, and the 49ers survived in a game where they handed the Seahawks a TD. Forget the defensive streak, which was getting a little distracting anyway. The Niners have 12 wins, which is pretty damn ridiculous, and a great shot at a 13-3 season.