What happened: This wasn’t a particularly good display by either team, but the Niners have proven they are legitimate time after time by winning games even when things are not clicking. Alex Smith was pressured throughout much of the first half but once again was effective at managing the game.
I can’t say it enough; Harbaugh deserves coach of the year honors for what he has done with Smith in particular. He has built a scheme around Smith’s strengths instead of what he would like to see Smith do. Smith has responded with a career year, and the Niners as a whole are playing smart, fundamental football. Frank Gore has carried the load most of the way, and finished with 107 hard earned yards in this one.
The Niners will face their second toughest challenge this year next week when they face off against the Giants. Regardless, they have all but secured this division but can take the match up as a litmus test of what they will need to focus on come playoff time – Adrian Mojia
Next: 7-1 San Francisco 49ers vs. 6-2 New York Giants, Sunday November 13, 1:15 PT.