COMMENTARY | The San Francisco 49ers' 24-3 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on the road had a little something to satisfy every 49ers fan. The team answered the call for those that wanted to see if the defense was for real and if they could build on a strong Week 7 performance vs. the Seattle Seahawks against another bitter division rival.
The reigning NFC West champions dominated the Cardinals' offense and gave quarterback John Skelton fits throughout the night, sacking him four times and picking him off once. Arizona was forced to abandon the run, which wasn't working anyway, after gaining just seven yards on the ground.
For fans that were wondering what happened to Randy Moss, the 35-year-old veteran had a beautiful catch and run that resulted in a 47-yard touchdown and added to his Monday Night Football legend. Moss now has 18 touchdowns in 19 appearances in the primetime broadcast.
No, he's not 'back', nor was he ever gone in that sense as he has a very specific and minimized role carved out within the Niners' offense. But he's doing his job expertly with a quiet, workman-like attitude. On Monday, he threw a hellacious block on a Michael Crabtree reception that demonstrated his commitment to doing the little things, and that's a welcome sign.
Speaking of Crabtree, it appears as if the fourth-year man from Texas Tech is ready to breakout and become the No. 1 receiver the team drafted him to be. He made a big statement with a two-touchdown, 72-yard performance on five catches, four of which came in the first half.
And then there's Alex Smith, who was written off so many times in his career. All he did Monday was set an NFL record for most passes completed with only one incompletion. He looked sharp, made great decisions and led a balanced attack. He'd finish the contest with an impressive stat line of 18-of-19 passes completed for 232 yards and three touchdowns.
Yes, it's only one game, but it's a strong statement on a national stage against a motivated division foe that says the 49ers are among the NFL's elite teams. They put together a masterpiece of a game and answered a lot of questions about whether or not they're good enough to make another deep run in the postseason.
Michael C. Jones is a Yahoo! Featured Contributor in Sports and covers the San Francisco 49ers and the NFL as a Southern California-based sports journalist, editor, and blogger. You can read him on SB Nation and Examiner.com. He is also the Editor and Founder of Sports Out West.
Comments, rants and everything in between can be directed to him on Twitter @MikeJonesTweets
- American Football
- Sports & Recreation
- San Francisco 49ers
- Arizona Cardinals
- Seattle Seahawks
- Michael Crabtree
- Randy Moss