A mixed bag, but an optimistically mixed one.
Our D-line. Notice I say good, not great. They are not "garbage", contrary to the opinion of certain MSM
hacks knowledgeable experts. McBean in particular impressed me for the pressure he applied to the QB, and Fields did not stand out-- which is ultimately what a nose tackle should do 90% of the time. Incredibly impressed with Chris Baker (so far I'm 2 for 2 on the CFAs I picked for autogs!); he really pushes the line back.
Our Running Backs. Moreno looked shifty and always fell forward. Just what we thought. I DO NOT like the decision to play him, however. Not when we've got the Rumblin' Redneck, who destroyed the 49ers. Darius Walker was not impressive; neither was Buckhalter. I was surprised Jordan got in the game, and I expect him to be more of a goal-line threat and an on-field coach than a true threat to the Moreno/Hillis tandem. Seriously: imagine what that duo can do.
Our O-line. No sacks. Not even with the backups, and several of them not playing well (Gorin, McChesney). Our line will rule.
Our Special Teams. There were some plays that stood out as especially good (like Colquitt dropping a punt in the 4th quarter just outside the 5-yard line), but honestly I'm just so darn happy to see a solid unit that didn't give up a big return all game. After three years of watching that happen every single game, and giving up 2 TDs to Devin Hester last year, I call this a win.
Our WRs. Eddie Royal is a stud and a matchup nightmare. BMarsh, take note: this is what a real man does in the NFL. I was ready to pound McKinley when he let the easy 3rd-down catch (for a first down) slip through his hands in the 4th quarter. Then he came right back and burned the CB for a long TD. Speaks a lot to him and the trust Sims has in him. Stokley was per usual; Swift had some great catches too. I am really pulling for Lloyd to make it; he's a guy no one should have on their fantasy team but we need on our real-life team.
Our linebackers. Spencer Larsen hits like a brick freight train. Doom was sacking it up a la 2007. Ayers was a presence without really being a standout. That will change as he absorbs more of his responsibilities. His attitude has blown me away so far. Moss got some good tackles and Woodyard got some good tips/breakups. Mario Haggan impressed me with a solid performance, showing he's more than just a default start. He's on my radar now. While I am glad we didn't let hardly any long runs go by, there were a few unforgiveable lapses in the running game. We WILL get beat on the edge. Our guys are simply not fast enough in the scheme we have. If a RB runs into the middle of a clogged line (a la Sheets), we CANNOT let him through. Finally, the 49ers got 4.5 YPC as a team. That needs to go down.
Simms. Let's not anoint him the starter just yet, or claim a QB controversy. He played a vanilla scheme well, but he still has a superb supporting cast in our 2nd team. The playing field was NOT even. He showed that he has his strength back (he threw some real bullets there), he has great poise, and he will not disappoint if he is called up. That's it.
Our Pass Defense. Major props to the little guy who won't make it in the NFL for his get beat/recover/stumble/recover/breakup series. Dukes, Clayton, et. al: be a man and at least acknowledge the Phonz. It's not time to eat crow yet, but it's coming soon. Man up and get ready. The rest of them, however, were subpar. Dawkins will help-- a lot. Level 2 passes are to be expected in our aggressive scheme, and it's great that we (usually) tackled them right away, but a lot of those will kill us fast. Jack Williams has his MF status revoked until he earns it back after that missed tackle from feet away with the RB standing still. Josh Bell was VERY underwhelming, as was Vernon Fox (i.e., not breaking up that jump ball with Bear Pascoe). Bailey was ignored as usual. We've got to get the intermediate passes under control, though.
Orton. I'll take his performance overall in this section. He showed in his start that he has what it takes. He just has to bring it out and keep it there. Let's not kid ourselves, Bronco fans: even considering all the caveats (and haters, remember: there are many, and they are valid), tonight's performance was bad. Whether or not Orton was set up to "fail" (i.e., dunked in head-first into a complex playbook), tonight was bad. I have thought this about Orton for a while, and think it has been confirmed now in this outing-- Orton can be very good, but he will probably never be consistent. I've seen him make superb deep throws and great touch throws in practice and with the Bears. He has the arm (I'm looking at you, McGeorge). His problem is his feet (an issue I noticed in the practice I watched) and his mindset going in. If he has his head in the game, he succeeds. It's that simple. It's up to McDaniels now to make that happen.
Orton. For the three picks. Yeesh.
What's VERY good news, and definitive refutation of the MSM, is that there isn't more in this section.
I think this is a fair assessment of our performance; what do you think?