Roman gets high marks for 49ers' record-setting offensive display

October 8, 2012, 1:32 am
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Right tackle Anthony Davis, who was singled up on the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL most of Sunday, looked to his right and saw an important figure walking through the 49ers' victorious locker room."It's that guy," Davis said, gesturing toward 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman. "He was dialing them up."The 49ers, who've made a habit of putting together strong defensive showings, found the connection Sunday for a record-setting performance against the Buffalo Bills on offense.An organization steeped in offensive history, rolled up 621 total yards in a 45-3 victory over the Bills at Candlestick Park. It set the franchise record for most yards in a game. The 49ers began play in 1946 and joined the NFL in 1950."We're talking about legends who played here," tight end Vernon Davis said, "Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice. To be able to perform at this level and do it better than what they did, that's a huge honor, a huge honor."
Moreover, the 49ers became the first team in NFL history to roll up 300 rushing yards (311) and 300 passing yards (310) in the same game.The 49ers defeated the New York Jets 34-0 a week earlier. After losing to the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 23, the 49ers have outscored the opposition 79-3.That could serve as momentum heading into Sunday's showdown at Candlestick against the New York Giants, who defeated the 49ers in overtime to win the NFC championship game and go onto a Super Bowl title."This is what can happen when everyone's executing on the same page," 49ers left tackle Joe Staley said. "Everybody was just very crisp."Quarterback Alex Smith completed 18 of 24 passes for 303 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. His quarterback rating was a career-high and near-perfect 156.2 (perfection is 158.3).Michael Crabtree had six catches for 113 yards and a touchdown, and Vernon Davis added five catches for 106 yards. Kyle Williams caught a 46-yard touchdown pass, and Mario Manningham added a 10-yard scoring grab from Smith.Moreover, running back Frank Gore carried 14 times for 106 yards and a touchdown."We're the same team," Crabtree said. "It's just putting it together. . . We've got athletes. We've got playmakers. We just have to use them. We've got to create that identity."The identity of the 49ers has been a team that is driven by the defense. The offense has not been prolific for a long time. But the offense took a step back to a time in which there were stars at each of the skill positions on offense.The 49ers broke the record of 598 total yards, which was set -- coincidentally -- against the Bills in 1992 during an epic Steve Young vs. Jim Kelly shootout in which neither team punted. The Bills won that day, 34-31, sending the 49ers to one of their two losses on the season."Very cool . . . a lot of offenses and great offenses," Smith said. "When you think of the 49ers, you think of great offenses, so this is quite an honor. It's great to be with those guys."Smith sustained a sprain to the middle finger on his throwing hand with about 10 minutes remaining in the game. X-rays were negative. Everything else was quite positive for the team on Sunday.For the first time in his career, Smith threw for 300 yards in a 49ers victory. He also rushed for a career-high 49 yards.The 49ers' offensive line had another strong showing going up against a strong Buffalo defensive front. Anthony Davis, showing another sign of his dramatic improvement, held defensive end Mario Williams to two tackles and two quarterback hurries. Williams is in his first season with the Bills after signing a six-year, 100 million contract with 50 million guaranteed.The 49ers pride themselves on a varied offensive approach. And never was that as obvious on Sunday. Smith hit some deep passes, and the running game showed a few new wrinkles with the insertion of Colin Kaepernick lining up wide and running plays as a decoy. Kaepernick also took several snaps at quarterback, adding 39 rushing yards including a 16-yard scoring run with 10 minutes remaining."He's got playmaking ability," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "In a game where the playmakers really shone brightly, there were some shining stars out there today."The offensive players believe one of the brightest stars is situated in the coaching booth during the game. That's the location from which Roman calls plays and directs the symphony."That's gold," Gore said. "I think everything started going great for us because our passing game was on early. Coach G-Ro (Roman) did a great job of putting us in great situations. The O-line did a hell of a job. I've got to give all the credit to them. I just ran the ball. They did everything."We had them off-balance. You've got to give it to the coordinator -- give it to Coach G-Ro."Smith said he felt connected with every play call that came through."When the play call comes in, I know exactly what he's thinking, what we're trying to do, and what we're trying to accomplish," Smith said. "I think the whole offense is constantly putting us in good situations, him especially. Really, thinking through things all week and putting us in good situations. I don't think there's any play that comes that we don't feel has the potential to be a great play."In a rare moment, the 49ers produced an assistant coach to take the podium after the game. Roman stood in front of reporters with his right eye colored a dark red. He said it's a result of sleepless nights and thinking too much."I believe it," right guard Alex Boone said. "He's an evil genius, and I love it."Last week, Smith was removed for a handful of snaps with Kaepernick inserted to take snaps at quarterback. On Sunday, Kaepernick and Smith were both on the field for several plays."I think it's a great thing," Smith said. "I mean, it's another thing that defenses are going to have to prepare for. You only have so many reps during the week to get ready, so the more they have to think about, the better."Roman, who served on the Carolina Panthers coaching staff in the late-1990s under George Seifert, knows all about the history of the 49ers. Last summer during the lockout, he made a habit of watching hours upon hours of Bill Walsh installation videos.Now, he can lay claim to the honor of being the offensive coordinator who called the record-setting game."I think it's just a credit to the players and I think it's a credit to what we can accomplish as we move forward," Roman said. "I'm not a big statistical guy -- don't get caught up in it. But, at the same time, just in the normal course of events being able to put up that kind of production, obviously, we're doing something right."

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