THE SANTA CLARA
October 2, 2014
This past Sunday marked something worth celebrating here in Santa Clara. The San Francisco 49ers earned their first win in the shiny new Levi’s Stadium — and a much-needed win at that.
As they stepped onto the grass on Sunday afternoon, the Niners knew that this was not just any Sunday.
After going 1-2 in their first three games, this match at home was a make-or-break one for their momentum. Approaching their next three games — during the first of which they face the Kansas City Chiefs, and the next two against challenging conference opponents Denver Broncos and St. Louis Rams — San Francisco knew they needed something to re-energize their play.
The first half proved to be a bit of a struggle, with the Niners trailing 21- 13 at the break. The Eagles appeared on the road to a solid victory — scoring on an interception return, blocked punt recovery and a punt return — errors the Niners knew could be disastrous.
Many of the fans in scarlet and gold began to leave as they saw what they thought was a repeat of the last two weeks.
According to ESPN, San Francisco had been outscored 52-3 after half- time in their first three games.
If you ask me, the apprehension from fans to sit through another losing second half was understandable, but not entirely warranted.
It is true; the Niners have not been looking like themselves lately. A normally explosive offensive has been held relatively at bay. Although they have been putting up decent numbers, their attack has been negated by an unstable defense. San Francisco lost both their second and third games by margins of only 8 and 9 points, respectively.
But I don’t believe margins like that will be daunting for much longer. At the end of four quarters, San Francisco held the vaunted Eagles’ offense to 0 points and came away with the “W,” with a score of 26 to 21.
Though the early exiting fans may have had some method to their madness, I don’t think early departure on Sundays is something we will continue to see. For the fans that stayed, Sunday’s win showed resilience, aggressiveness and an attitude much like the 49ers we are used to.
They handed a previously undefeated Eagles team their first loss of the season, and Frank Gore made a decisive impact on the game. He touted 119 rushing yards and a 55- yard cross-field reception from Colin Kaepernick that led to a touchdown.
Phil Dawson was also key, making four field goals and contributing almost half of the Niners’ points.
With their losing streak officially broken, the 49ers can look forward to the next couple weeks, hopefully building on the momentum that was ignited in Santa Clara on Sunday.
Contact Alli Kleppe at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.