Tuesday, September 11, 2007

MNF...live from Candlestick!

Yesterday, I went to my first live Monday Night Football game. It happened to be the 49ers home opener, and they were playing against the Arizona Cardinals; division rivals to whom they had lost four consecutive games, so it was certainly an exciting setup.

We left Mountain View at 4:45pm for a 7:15pm kickoff, and still got into the stadium late, due to horrendous traffic on 101, parking issues, and extra-tight security inspections. Luckily, the women's security line was short, so I was able to get to my seat just before Harris' interception and Gore's touchdown.

The rest of the evening was a mixed bag. The improved Niner defense looked really good; the Nate Clements-led secondary pretty much shut down Fitzgerald and Boldin, and rookie linebacker Patrick Willis was all over the field.

The offense looked horrible, for the first 57 minutes of the game. I lost track of the number of three-and-outs, pass protection wasn't great, play-calling was uninspired, Alex Smith wasn't all that accurate, and his receivers weren't giving him any help, either. Frank Gore looked decent early on, but as soon as the Cardinals defense figured out the Niners couldn't pass, they just focused on the run, which made it hard for Gore to get his yards.

The last three minutes were pretty thrilling, and it's great to start the season with a win, but I'm more than a little bit worried. It's going to be a lot harder next week in St. Louis; the Rams will be looking to prove themselves after getting thrashed by the Panthers.

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