Figuratively speaking, King Midas almost lost his touch today.
As the head manof the red and gold, Jim Harbaugh’s team played far from golden today.
It didn’t matter though. What mattered was the 49ers picked up a victory over a gritty Miami Dolphins team. They maintained their number two seed within the NFC, and they even gained a game on the NFC leading Atlanta Falcons.
In watching the game and analyzing the stat sheet, it’s tough to explain exactly how the 49ers won this one. The offense was once again lethargic for the most part.
There was a consistent, yet small dose of Frank Gore. He rushed 12 times for 63 yards and touchdown. LaMichael James made his debut. He did enough to open the door completely for Brandon Jacobs exit. He showed the kind of edge speed that compliments Frank Gore perfectly. Michael Crabtree showcased his sure hands and shifty style of play (9 catches 93 yards) that has made him one of the most reliable weapons in the NFL. But where was that sizzle today?
Where was that spark that Colin Kaepernick provided his first few games? The Dolphins obviously watched the St. Louis Ram defensive game plan. They took away the deep passing game. They forced the 49ers into playing a conservative game plan with the hope that Kaepernick would hand them the game. To Kapernick’s full credit, he didn’t do it. He completed of 18-23 passes for 185 yards with no interceptions. He dashed to a 50-yard game sealing touchdown late in the 4th quarter on a read option play that displayed his explosive speed. Excluding that one play, it was another ho hum offensive performance.
It appears that the 49ers have been playing at the level of their opponents. They thrive against top tier NFL teams and relax against mediocre teams. But if relaxing in the NFL still means victory, you can’t really complain.
But remember, Midas’ touch didn’t last forever. He eventually turned one too many things into gold and starved to death.
So, in Harbaugh the 49ers trust. They trust he’ll keep his team hungry enough to win the games like this one.
They trust he’ll lead his team to another gold trophy