OFF THE TOP: Niners’ victory on Monday night a blast from the past

Josh Weaver

Great to watch the San Francisco 49ers get their best win of the season in prime time on Monday Night Football. The 20-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, in my mind, was the most impressive all-around performance thus far this year – and a perfect remedy for last week’s ugly loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

The defense forced four ‘Big’ Ben Roethlisberger turnovers, Alex Smith took care of the football and the Niners’ red zone offense showed signs of life with two touchdowns. Oh, and 11-3 fits just fine next to the 49ers in the box score.

San Francisco had a few quality wins already heading into Monday night against the Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants. But more recently, a disappointing loss to the Balitimore Ravens on Thanksgiving raised a few questions about the Niners’ offensive line and so forth. But versus a similar hard-nosed defense, San Francisco looked much more poised than they did one month ago – promising signs as the postseason encroaches.

More and more each week, the Niners look like a complete team – an extremely physical turnover savvy defense, a ball-control offense and a special teams juggernaut with place kicker David Akers and punter Andy Lee.

It feels like the 49ers of the late 1980s and early 90s. I have chills.

• Need a dose of prep basketball before Christmas? Gilroy High is the place to be Wednesday night for nonleague boys basketball between the Mustangs and Christopher High. Both teams have had struggles in the early going this season. Conversely, each has shown plenty of potential. Most improtant, neither wants to lose the crosstown clash, which will undoubtedly elevate the players.

• Apparently some readers are having a hard time navigating the new website. On our end, there are a few wrinkles that still need to be ironed out. However, when looking around the site, take a deep breath, odds are what you’re looking for is right where it should be – on the homepage, in the sports section or underneath one of the tabs.