Saturday, January 14, 2012
The Catch III
Well, that was the best damn contest I have seen in a long time. In case you missed it, the 49ers just defeated the Saints 36-32. The game winning play was loaded with types and shadows of playoff victories past for the 49ers.
With 9 seconds left on the clock and the 49ers trailing 32-30, Alex Smith took a quick drop and nailed Vernon Davis over the middle, at the goal-line. Davis was hit immediately, but held onto the football, falling forward into the endzone for the game-winning touchdown.
It looked almost exactly like the play Steve Young & Terrel Owens executed to defeat Brett Favre and the Packers once upon a time in the playoffs. Vernon Davis came off the field crying, almost exactly as Terrel Owens did. They called Young & Owns play "The Catch II". This was named after the famous Joe Montana to Dwight Clark play that won the 1981/82 NFC Championship game for the 49ers.
If that is the case, then this Smith to Davis play should become known as "The Catch III".
By simply taking you through the winning play, I have short-changed the drama of the game. 34 points scored in the 4th quarter. Four lead changes in the final four minutes. Multiple 2-minute drives executed well by both QBs. It was a struggle all the way. This was one hell of a battle. I am sure we will be seeing it on the NFL Network this Monday night. It's already a classic; an instant classic. The fans are currently ranking this game a 96 on scale of 1 to 100. That score may go up.
So the 49ers go on to the NFC Championship Game, presumably in Green Bay, but we better not count our chickens before they're hatched. This game, in itself, was a shocking upset. Most of us did not believe the 49ers could score enough to win. A very similar doubt hangs over the Giants. They may prove us wrong also. If so, these 49ers will host the NFC Championship game at Candlestick next week.
For me the most amazing moment came before the 49ers first 2-minute drive. My buddy Colin was sweating bullets, saying "I wish we had Tebow." I told him, "Maybe it's better that you don't. With four minutes to grind down, you need to run this drive slow."
The 49ers did not run slow. The 49ers went down the field based on two big plays. Alex Smith nailed Vernon Davis on the bomb. Then, showing shades of the Zone-Read Spread-Option he and Tebow both ran in college, Alex Smith ran the QB Sweep to his left out an empty-backfield shotgun formation. He went 28 yards for the touchdown.
What was that about Tim Tebow? Let's remember, Alex Smith was doing the ZRSO thing before Tebow was.
What is this world coming too? QB's running the football out of the spread for playoff winning scores in the NFL. Dogs and cats living together in sin! It must be the end of the world. The Maya were right, weren't they?