Facts: Niners win divisional game and are now a game out of first-place in the NFC West.
Quotable: “We’ll take this win, for what it’s worth.”- Takeo Spikes
The Stat: Brian Westbrook with 136 yards on 23 rushes along with a TD in Gore’s absence.
Turning Point: Takeo Spikes intercepting Cardinals QB Derek Anderson in the 3rd Quarter. If the Cards had any hopes of a comeback, all of it went out the window.
Quotable II: “We control our destiny…if we win out; we’ll be right where we want to be.”-Troy Smith
Hot: Troy Smith. The guy is now 3-1 as the starting QB. The more freedom he has in running the offense, the more productive the team will be.
Not: Shane Andrus missing 2 of his 4 FGs. The field goals he missed were from 47 and 37 yards out. The first one went wide right, second field goal was blocked. He somewhat made up for it, hitting his next two field goals.
Fantasy Spotlight: Smith and Crabtree have had a great rapport with each other so far in Smith’s stint as a starting QB. Crabtree has now caught a TD pass in 3 of the 4 games that Smith has played in.
Good Move: Ted Ginn returning kicks. Ginn was spectacular last night, giving the 49ers great field position on kick and punt returns. I expect him to go the distance sometime in the coming weeks.
Bad Move: Losing Frank Gore for the rest of the season. He had a great first drive running 5 times for 52 yards before his hip injury sidelined him the rest of the way. Hope he has a speedy recovery.
Rookie Watch: RB Anthony Dixon. It’s been confirmed that Gore will be out for the remainder of the season. With that said, it would be unrealistic to expect Westbrook to carry the rushing attack all by himself the rest of the way. The spotlight will be on Anthony Dixon and I am anxious to see how well he plays down the stretch.
Notable: While the Niners’ game-plan worked against the Arizona Cardinals, one has to believe that the Niners have more in store. What they did last night was appreciated, but if they want to make some noise down the road, they have to show a lot more.
Up Next: At Lambeau Field against the 7-4 Green Bay Packers who would not make the playoffs if it started today.