Re: Congrats To A Stellar Steeler Team!
Thanks for a friendly congrats! I really like watching the 49ers and your rivals in Arizona. Hopefully you'll destroy the Seahawks this year : )
I wouldn't sweat it too hard. A loss is a hard thing to swallow, but San Fran is a young team with what will be an elite, game-winning quarterback, an already top 5 rb, and a guts-and-glory receiver in Arnaz Battle (I don't know a ton about your receiver set, but that guy fights for his gains!). The biggest thing that seems to be holding the niners back is the Red Zone offense, which hopefully starts clicking by week five or six, at latest.
As far as Alex Smith, I honestly thought he looked pretty good today, though I WAS watching it on SopCast ; ) He didn't make mistakes really, and the pick-for-six he did throw was because they were down at that point due to the lack of an established run game and a blip on ST that I doubt San Fran knew we were capable of (I know it caught me by surprise). The only thing I saw him do that looked bad was throw on the move a few times. The thing a lot of niners fans seem to be forgetting is Smith was up against THE Zone Blitzing Wizard, which rushes passers out of the pocket and forces throws into what is assumed to be man coverage. That's a lot to take in for a young QB. It looks like a lot of niners fan are trashing Smith for not keeping his cool. Expecting a Brady-esque performance from a 23 year old QB against a very solid defense is a bit much. Alex Smith is the guy to lead this team, especially with Trent Dilfer whispering in his ear.
Frank Gore got shut down, but so did the last 26 teams we've played, so ; ) He's a damn fine powerhouse halfback. I was watching a very low-definiton broadcast, so I couldn't see much in the backfield, and stats can be misleading when it comes to halfbacks so I don't really have any comment on Frank Gore from this game.
I wouldn't sweat it too much. A loss is never good, but if you're going to lose, at least it's an AFC team. I'm not one for "if" statements, but if you take off that KO return for a TD, I don't think Smith would've been rushed into a pick, which probably would've held the defense in the game a bit more and stopped Najeh from breaking lose.
All that said, the Steelers were the better team, but I wouldn't look at it like something insurmountable. 49ers did a lot of things right, and what they did wrong can be fixed.
But being a football fan, I can't finish without gloating ; ) w00t w00t FWP! #1 yardage in the league baby! Take care, and good luck against the Seattle Seatards!