Apparently the San Francisco 49ers are pretty great team when they’re not being emasculated by the critics and pundits for an entire season.
Feeling fresh and rejuvenated after their week off, the 49ers showed no sign of letting up as the pounded the Cleveland Browns 20-10 to go to 6-1 on the year and earn their fifth straight victory.
Smith continued to do exactly what has been asked from him all year long as he guided the offense smoothly and comfortably, avoiding turning the ball over at all costs. He finished the day with 177 yards on 15-of-24 passing, a touchdown and no picks. Running back Frank Gore had another big game as he rushed 31 times en route to 134 yards and one touchdown.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for San Francisco, though. After going into halftime holding a 17-3 lead and in theory having the game all wrapped up, the players seemingly found themselves caught off guard when Cleveland fought back in the fourth quarter. The Browns would get as close as seven points on a 45-yard touchdown reception by Joshua Cribbs with about six minutes remaining in the game – but the run would end there.
Thanks to an efficient effort by the offense that saw them eat up most of the clock before giving kicker David Akers the opportunity to kick a 26-yarder with a tick under two minutes remaining in the outing, the 49ers were able to lock up the win for good.
It was a memorable game for all involved.
Gore, as Opposing Views reported he likely would, was able to get the yards necessary to surpass Roger Craig for 2nd on the team’s all-time rushing list via a short run in the third quarter. He has scored a touchdown in each of San Francisco’s last four showings.
Wide Receiver Michael Crabtree earned his first touchdown reception of the year on a soft pass from Smith that ultimately gave the 49ers a 17-0 lead with less than two minutes remaining in the second quarter. It was the cherry atop a 12-play, 64-yard drive.
The most important highlight of the day, though, was that the victory gave the 49ers their first 6-1 record since 1998. The team also went undefeated in the month of October this year, something that hadn’t been done since way back when ex-head coach Steve Mariuicci did in 1997.