Sunday, September 25, 2011

Jim Harbaugh Learning As the San Francisco 49ers Get Ugly Win Over Cincinnati Bengals

It wasn't pretty, and it may have been one of the worst games on the Week 3 schedule, but the San Francisco 49ers managed to ugly the Bengals to death on Sunday in Cincinnati.

The 49ers are now 2-1 and atop the NFC West by themselves.

No sharing.

The game, as difficult as it was to watch, showed just how much Jim Harbaugh is learning in his first three weeks as an NFL head coach.

He showed how much he learned in a 13-8 win?

In a way, yes.

Player of the Game

Hard to say whether it was the man catching the ball or the man throwing the ball, but you cannot go wrong with picking either Alex Smith or Vernon Davis as the Player of the Game in Week 3.

Before the season, did you think that Smith would even be talked about as a Player of the Game for any of the 16 games this season?

Smith went an efficient 20 of 30 for 201 yards and no interceptions yet again this week. Eight of those completions went to Davis, who went for 114 yards.


More impressive than Alex Smith without a turnover this week was Jim Harbaugh's capability to adapt and learn throughout this season.

He noticed that Davis was not getting the ball as much as a machine-created physical specimen should, and he centered his game plan around him.

Davis did not disappoint, and Harbaugh is looking like a better coach for it.


Frank Gore looked tired and uninterested in Sunday's win over the Bengals. In fact, the 49ers won despite Gore's lack of production. He rushed for 42 yards on 17 carries.

Luckily for him, Kendall Hunter may be the next big thing in the 49ers' backfield. Hunter made his first notable appearance as an NFL running back, rushing nine times for 26 yards and a clutch touchdown.

Even more noteworthy, Harbaugh looked to Hunter in the most critical situations of the game on Sunday.

Gore has competition in the San Francisco backfield.

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