Going in to games I usually have some sort of gut instinct about the outcome. Saturday arrived and I felt nothing one way or the other. I knew the Niners had the ability to win. I also knew Brees thrives in the 4th quarter. Our offense would have to show up.
At the time, I thought the first quarter was the most insane 15 minutes of football I had ever witnessed. With each turnover everyone in the section, and probably the stadium, turned to each other with a look of disbelief (while jumping up and down, throwing high fives and starting the screams that would lead to the voice strain). Is this really happening? We knew we could do it, but would it really go down like this, turning Brees record-breaking season in to a joke?
Of course not, he's Drew Brees. Duh. By the end of the 2nd quarter, I found myself filled with a hatred for him I didn't think possible. And I normally LOVE Brees, but what was going on with our offense? Why couldn't we score a touchdown (a normal gameday question)? Why couldn't our defense stop him like we did in the first quarter? Why did he have so long to throw on every play? No worries though, the Niners found a way around it. Justin Smith just used the offensive linemen to bring down Brees instead. Oh how I love our defense!
But there's someone I love even more and there's no way I would have believed you if you told me I'd feel this way before the last 4 minutes of the game. Alex Freaking Smith (you may be unfamiliar with his middle name if you live outside of Northern California), I am SO sorry for doubting you. I'm not just talking about the last 6 years of misery, but during the game too. The first time Brees punched me in the gut, I thought there was enough time to come back and the defense would stop him like they had most of the game. The 2nd time I had to sit down (we were standing for most of the game). It was like the wind was knocked out of me. I couldn't tell whether I wanted to cry or pass out from exhaustion. 1:30ish left to go 40 yards. Yes, in my mind I was thinking field goal to tie.
Harbaugh, the best coach in the league, had something else in mind, and it was a beauty! Smith threw a perfect pass and Davis ran a perfect route coupled with a perfect catch for the win. No Overtime, we were going to the NFC Championship game!!
|Love the Sea of Red!|
I look forward to someday hearing the announcers say "did they leave too much time on the clock for Smith." Year of the Quarterback? I'm not so sure. I am sure we have the most complete team left in the playoffs and when all the parts come together, with the heart they showed on Saturday, we are unbeatable. Keep calling us the underdogs though, we don't mind proving you wrong.
Bring on the Giants!!
My condolences to Cathy. In all honesty, I figured the Niners would be headed to Wisconsin. Part of why I love the NFL playoffs, but still.