Score one for the barcalounger and couch coaches everywhere. We sat here at various stages of novice over the past few weeks, questioning why the 49ers offense wasn’t handing the ball to Frank Gore. Over his career, Frank Gore has been good, really good, when the 49ers were bad. With a struggling 49ers offense, it simply just made sense.
Frank Gore is way passed his prime in running back years. According to the NFL history of running backs, Gore should have been put out to pasture at least two years ago. But here he was on a short week, against a divisional rival, on the road, and he was willing to carry the San Francisco 49ers on his back. Simply put, it was a masterful performance my an ageless running back. He read offensive line keys and fullback keys that one would expect out of the best running back in 49ers history. He displayed his patented patience in the running game that allowed the skilled offensive line to dominate a Rams front four that had been gaining some notoriety.
Excluding the success of the running game, a decent night in the passing game, and the overall success of the defense, this game needs to be kept in a limited context. Usually, you’ll find me as the guy preaching “a win is a win” in the NFL. You have to take them anyway that you can get them. And I still firmly believe that. But this St. Louis Rams team is complete garbage right now. Records aside right now, they are clearly in a two way battle with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the worst team in the league.
Where does an onlooker begin? Their quarterback (Sam Bradford) is downright pedestrian. The Rams running game couldn’t find a hole if they were all toting GPS. The collective whole of the offensive line couldn’t block Rudy Ruettiger let alone The Cowboy, Ray Mcdonald and Co. The entire defense is as soft as Charmin toilet paper, and strong legged, highly touted field goal kicker banked his only field goal of the night in for 3 points.
Sure their flaws were amplified by playing a talented team like the 49ers. The same team that was limited on both sides of the ball by injuries, but I have to call this one like I see it. The St. Louis Rams just plain suck.
As a fan of the 49ers for 30 plus years, I’m thankful for that too. It’s exactly what the proverbial doctor ordered. The 49ers needed a victory to soften any self doubt they carried as a team. It’s victories like this against teams like this that can reroute a team towards the success they believe is still achieveable. With 50% of last years playoff teams starting their seasons at 2-2, success is still out there for the 2013 49ers. So let’s all take a deep breathe together and take a few steps back from that notorious NFL fandom cliff. We’re going to be just fine.