To me, it’s an irritant when it’s professed “defense wins championships.” There’s no possible way defense solely wins championships! It’s part of the formula that undoubtedly leads to championships though. As always, it’s a combination of offense, defense, special teams and coaching that WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS!
I would suppose it would be even more obvious to state that no one player makes a team. If a team as good as the 49ers is a TRUE team, than any one player should be replaceable. But, Justin Smith does everything in his power to disprove such a theory.
The talk after this 49ers vs. Packers game is going to lean heavily towards the brilliance of Colin Kaepernick. It’s rightfully so. He was beyond phenomenal. He made the entire Green Bay defense look lethargic and incompetent. His legs and play fake ability fooled the opposing defense, baffled the opposition’s fan base, and challenged the wide angle lens of the Fox camera crew. His passing ability, save for a few throws, was equally impressive. On top of that, offense sells tickets. It’s what the media loves to talk about.
But Justin Smith redefines toughness. With an arm injury (tricep tear) that makes one cringe when thought about, Justin Smith revitalized a San Francisco defense that had become passe’. They were thrown overboard, left for dead, and stuck by a fork. This defense was burned by New England without Justin. It was scorched by the Seahawks. Even afterthought Brian Hoyer of the Arizona Cardinals put reputable numbers against a defense missing Justin Smith.
Then, Justin Smith showed up. He slapped on that left arm brace and went to work against the high octane Packer offense. As standard with Justin, he routinely swallowed two and three blockers. In containing those lineman, it allowed Vic Fangio to uncharacteristically run numerous blitzes that kept Aaron Rodgers completely off balance. Green Bay never found that rhythm that makes them so dangerous offensively, and that disruption falls squarely on Justin Smith’s shoulders!
If you’ve ever read anything about Justin Smith or seen a TV piece on him, you’ll know he doesn’t want the attention. He wants the focus to be on the team and the other individuals that make that team. He we wants to be a cog in the machine that leads to victories. But there’s no doubt about it 49ers fans….Justin Smith is the team MVP. His grit and toughness hold this entire team together. He’s the guy that will lead this team on it’s Quest for Six!