The worst thing about the pass is we’re going to have to watch it, not just for the rest of this season, but probably semi-regularly for at least the next 20 years. Thank God the 49ers didn’t just lose a playoff game to Brett Favre and the Vikings on that insane catch by Greg Lewis in the back of the end zone, or I’d never be able to watch NFL Films again.
The Mike Singletary lovefest hit a little speed-bump today, as mass-media recognition that Vernon Davis is now a member of the Elite Tight Ends Club, along with Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, Jason Witten and Dallas Clark (and by the end of this season, John Carlson). I was planning on referencing this passage from Michael Silver’s latest column about the relationship between Singletary and VD, and you know what? I’m going to use it anyway:
â€œSingletaryâ€™s like my best buddy,â€ Davis said when I interviewed him during the preseason. â€œHeâ€™s on my side, man. Heâ€™s really raising my game to the next level. Heâ€™s just being a coach, man â€¦ just talking to us like men. Sometimes itâ€™s hard to hear, but he canâ€™t help it if this is how he feels.â€
As Davis spoke on a bench outside the locker room, Singletary walked by, put his hand on the playerâ€™s shoulder and looked me in the eye. â€œOne day soon,â€ he said emphatically. â€œThe best.â€
The hype machine may bless both men by the end of this season, and the ascendancy of both men have been all anybody talked about this week had the Niners’ secondary simply been able to hold on for two seconds longer, even without any fourth quarter pass rush to speak of.
Mike Singletary allegedly isn’t “a moral victory kind of guy,” so it doesn’t feel right to obsess over the Niners’ performance after Frank Gore went down a badly sprained ankle in the first series. Whether it’s Gore, Glen Coffee or Dexter Carter carrying the rock, there’s no excuse for going 0-for-10 on third down.
A commitment to the run is in part what got the 49ers to the point where they were one play away from going 3-0, which would have resulted in Singletary and his team becoming the new darlings of the NFL. Still, a little bit of creativity is required when your Pro Bowl running back is on pain meds and you have the ball with 2 minutes left and the lead and your opponent has all three timeouts remaining.
Play action? Just once? Please? Or are we supposed to be satisfied with Jimmy Raye’s playcalling simply because Josh Morgan wasn’t ignored again?
Of course, the 49ers would have won despite their conservative playcalling on that possession had their defenders finished Favre when he was on the ropes. Until after the final play when he grinned like a maniac (and really, who could blame the antention-whoring bastard at that point), Favre’s facial expressions were ones of exasperation, exhaustion and pain for most of the game. They knocked him silly for three quarters, but not surprisingly were unable to stop Favre when it counted with a 3-man rush.
I could break down the technicalities of this game for a while (including today’s officials, who could use some training on what is and what isn’t a personal foul, or the undeniable fact that the Niners own Adrian Peterson). I feel nauseated after watching Favre and Jared Allen celebrate. Is there a team in football more hateful than the Vikings? If they replaced Brad Childress with Rex Ryan and Bernard Berrian with Terrell Owens I might have thrown my coffee mug through the TV today … so I guess there’s always a bright side. Right? Right?