Ok, last time I started with "all nonsense aside," and we did well the next week. Yep, its that time of the season - gotta do whatever you can do for good luck. So..
Alright, well, skipping the nonsense, here goes.
That was actually kind of a bad game. To start, we had 3 turnovers. Thats pretty bad by any standards, and really bad considering turnovers are so key to our success. None of them were terrible, bonehead plays, but you just can't have 3 turnovers and expect to win.
Secondly, there was the red-zone failures. Once again, those will kill a team. It was odd, considering how good we are on offense, and I'm hoping it was just because we were playing a good Ravens D.
And finally, there was the bad, or perhaps just wrong type, of pressure. Against the Broncos it seemed like we were closing the pocket around the QB, forcing him to go either forwards or backwards. This time, it seemed like pressure came from one side, all-to-often forcing Flacco to the other (open) side instead of into a sack. I'd say this was more of a bad game-plan then bad execution. Or, maybe it was just because everyone was so focused on Tebow's scramble. If thats it, play every game like its a Tebow game, please.
As for things we did well, one important thing comes to mind: Big plays. The Spikes interception was big. The forced drop in the endzone decided the game. The sack back around the 40 to push them out of FG range was big. Sadly, all these plays were on defense - our O played average at best.
Which is, perhaps, the best thing of all. We played somewhere between terrible and average, and yet, we won. We had 3 turnovers, and won - do you really think we're going to have 3 or more turnovers again in the next game? I certainly hope not. Do you think we'll be 2/5 in the red-zone when we've had two weeks to prepare? Once again, that would be very uncharacteristic.
Just a few final notes:
Gronk is a monster. He had a quiet game, but he came back after that hit. That was big. I remember thinking he might be out, hoping that he hadn't seriously injured his leg and wouldn't be out for the season or more. I was sure he was out for what was left of this game, and feared the offense would collapse without him.
But he came back. Your pass catchers these days are perhaps the most important on players on the team - this is why its essential that they not be small and fragile like Polian preferred drafting.
Which brings me to Hernandez. Some people seem to always fear he'll fumble. I, on the other hand, am always worried hes going to get hurt. Every time he runs or catches a short pass it seems like he gets drilled, and I don't think of him as being as durable as Gronk.
And finally, I'm not sure what to think. I predicted we would lose this game, but, having gotten the playoff monkey off our back, win the SB next year. TB12=2012=Year of Tom Brady so 2012 season was supposed to be lucky, but maybe its the 2012 SB. But what does that mean for the 2012 season? If we win the SB, no team that has won the SB has gone on to so much as win a playoff game the next year. Except for when we did it in 2002 - are we immune to the curse? I am left confused. Happy, but confused.
And who do you wanna play? On the one hand I see the 49ers as being another Ravens - better defense, roughly equal offense. If we could beat the Ravens in a game where tons of stuff went wrong, does that mean we want to play the 49ers?
Or, theres the Giants. They scare me more, and if Eli beats Brady twice we'll NEVER hear the end of it. On the other hand, revenge is sweet. So, who do you want?
I'm going to try to really make a note to not be cocky in the coming days. As I said, I didn't think we'd win this game. Since we did, now we've gotta win the SB. I don't wanna do anything to jinx us.
On the subject of cocky, Harbaugh said he was winning the game. I'm glad he didn't use the word guarantee, but this is why you don't overhype yourself.
BB's reaction at the end of the game was kind of funny. He just stood there, looking exactly the same before the kick as after the kick.
More notes later, maybe.