I’m not going to give myself an award this week, but I would like to note that I have a legitimate reason for posting my recap three days late. I watched Niners-Chiefs on Sunday afternoon lying on my mom’s couch, nursing a pretty solid Hardly Strictly Bluegrass hangover. Then I got straight on a red-eye flight from Oakland to New York, went to work Monday morning, and spent the next couple of nights drinking heavily and watching the San Francisco Giants advance to the NLCS.
Enough excuses. On to the awards for the Niners’ 22-17 victory over the Chiefs.
The Joe Montana Award (Coolest Player on the Field): Phil Dawson
Once again, the Niners offense left tons of points on the field because they couldn’t cash in with touchdowns in Chiefs territory. They got away with it because Phil Dawson went five-for-five on field goals, including two from beyond 50 yards. For the record, this is the second time in his two years with the Niners that Dawson has won From A Brooklyn Basement’s most prestigious football award.
The Patrick Willis Award (Player Who Most Resembles Patrick Willis for his Ability to Kill Motherfuckers): Patrick Willis
P-Willy led the team in tackles with eight on Sunday. That’s not an overwhelming number by his All-Pro standards, but by the eye test, he was all over the field, and he absolutely destroyed Jamaal Charles with a stick that had me cackling with glee. I can’t find the highlight, but here’s a reasonable reenactment.
Kill that motherfucker, Patrick Willis.
The Dwight Clark Award (Player Who Makes an Insanely Athletic, Clutch Catch): Brandon Lloyd
Of all the weapons the Niners added to their offense this season, Brandon Lloyd was the one I was least sanguine about. He’s had a few good season, but has been inconsistent throughout his career, was out of football last year, and is less than a month younger than me (note: I am old). Even at his best, Lloyd was never a speed burner, but he always had the ability to pull off crazy catches, and he turned in a couple of beauties in this game. The prettiest, and clutchest, came early in the fourth quarter, just three plays after the Niners converted a fake punt. On third and 10, Colin Kaepernick threw deep down the left sideline, and Lloyd leaped up in front of KC cornerback Sean Smith and made an insane, Lynn Swann–esque catch for 29 yards and a first down. A couple of minutes later, a Dawson field goal gave the Niners a lead they would not relinquish.
Incredible. But you know what? There was a San Francisco player who made a ridiculous catch this week that was even more clutch than Lloyd’s…
The Dwight Clark/Willie Mays Award (Player Who Makes an Insanely Athletic, Clutch Catch): Hunter Pence
HUNTER PENCE HATES WALGREENS
The Kyle Williams Award (Player Most Responsible for Defeat): Andy Reid and Alex Smith
Thanks to Andy Reid for your usual shitty clock management and for only giving Jamaal Charles, far and away your best player and a guy who absolutely murdered the Patriots on Monday night, only 15 carries, especially when he was averaging more than 5 yards a pop. And thanks to Alex Smith for sailing your final throw high for a classic Alex Smith game-sealing interception. Thanks for the memories, buddy!
The Al Davis Award (dysfunctional football team): The Santa Clara Raiders
There wasn’t too much Santa Clara Raiders stuff in this game. The Niners had just two penalties for 10 yards, and the fake punt was a gutsy call that was arguably the biggest play in the game. Settling for field goals instead of cashing in for touchdowns is the big problem, but since we’ve been dealing with that for four years, I don’t feel like talking about it right now. One guy I will pick on: My least favorite Niner ever, Chris Culliver, who not only sucks at playing cornerback, but on the Chiefs’ third quarter touchdown hit De’Anthony Thomas as he crossed the goal line and then stood over him talking shit. Hey, Cully: Thomas scored a touchdown. He did his job. You’re supposed to stop him. You failed at your job. Fucking idiot.
Overall Rating For This Game (On a scale of Zero to Twelve Anchors, in honor of San Francisco’s favorite beverage): 4 Anchors
Pretty much every one of my buddies said the same thing after that game: “We suck, but at least we won.” That’s about the same reaction I had last week, so this gets the same rating: four Anchors.
For the record, the Giants’ win over the Nationals would have gotten nine Anchors, but it’s downgraded to four because Madison Bumgarner traded five of them for Budweisers.
Go Giants. Go Niners.