Can 49ers Beat Good Teams?
October 21, 2002
by James Parrott
Deep into the second half the San Francisco 49ers had a 24-13 lead over the Saints in New Orleans. By games end they had lost 35-27.
For the second time this season the 49ers played what most league observers would call a good team.
In week two the Denver Broncos defeated the 49ers somewhat convincingly. Then it was attributed to early season rust.
If any excuses are to be given for this one, it’s that they had a short week, have some key defensive injuries and had to play all the way across country.
Alas, those are not enough and if San Francisco is to be successful over the full course of this season then it will have to beat some of the leagues top teams.
Before December is upon us the 49ers play Arizona, Kansas City and Philadelphia at Candlestick and travel across the Bay to Oakland and down to San Diego.
In particular, the Oakland and Kansas City games will challenge a pass defense that has looked beatable and will be minus Zack Bronson. On top of that the Niners D will have to stop Charlie Garner, Priest Holmes and LaDanian Tomlinson.
In their two defeats thus far the defense has given up around 400 yards rushing.
Also, the offense will need to score often to keep up with Oakland and Kansas City, keep the scoreboard ticking over against tough defensive units in San Diego and Philadelphia and put points up on a talent deficient unit against Arizona.
This is still a young team that doesn’t have a great deal of big game experience.
It will need to step up to meet the forthcoming challenges if San Francisco is to resume it’s true place amongst the league’s elite.
As wrestling fossil Ric Flair was fond of saying, “To be The Man you have to beat The Man”.
We’ll see if this San Francisco 49ers team has what it takes to be The Man in the NFL.
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