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Faithful Vote: Best Touchdown of 2009

Posted by Taylor Price on January 11, 2010 – 11:57 AM

January 19, 2010 Update:
With 40% of the vote, Frank Gore’s touchdown(s) against the Seattle Seahawks were the runaway winner of the 49ers best touchdown of the 2009 season.

Last Friday we posted a video containing every 49ers touchdown of 2009 (which can be seen here). It featured a number of great plays from all 16 games this past season.

But which one was the best?

It’s up to you – the 49ers Faithful – to decide! Watch this video to find out our nominees for the best touchdown of 2009 and vote in our fan poll on the bottom left corner of the 49ers.com home page.

Let’s take a further look at each of the nominees by breaking down the best touchdowns of 2009.

Our first hopeful is Frank Gore, who had two touchdowns in one game that were so good, we couldn’t pick just one.

The Pro Bowl alternate’s Week 2 performance against the Seattle Seahawks saw the running back score touchdowns of 79 and 80 yards! Gore’s performance even earned him NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. But because his long runs were so impressive, it’s hard to single one out. His touchdowns are a package deal.

With the 49ers in a personnel package consisting of two running backs (Gore, and fullback Moran Norris), two wide receivers (Isaac Bruce, Josh Morgan) and a tight end (Vernon Davis), Gore scored on nearly identical plays. His 79-yarder in the first half all started, when left guard David Baas pulled around to kick out the defensive end to his right. Center Eric Heitmann and right guard Chilo Rachal blocked down on the Seahawks interior lineman and Norris entered the hole first. Norris hit the first linebacker he saw, which enabled Gore to burst through the second level. All Gore had to do from there was sidestep an official, read Morgan’s downfield block and then outrun two Seattle defensive backs the rest of the way.

It was almost déjà vu to open the second half, almost.

This time around, Baas didn’t pull, but there was still a major vacancy in the middle of the line. Perhaps the design of the play was to go to the right as Norris fired out that way, but Gore instinctively ran behind left guard, where Baas had blocked down on the defensive tackle. Left tackle Joe Staley’s block on the Seahawks inside backer left defensive end Patrick Kearney untouched. Kearney was slow to come down the line and before he knew it, Gore was already on the second level and off to the races behind two tremendous blocks from Morgan and Bruce. Gore outran another pair of Seattle defensive backs for an 80-yard touchdown making him the first running back to have touchdowns over 75 yards in the same game since Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders.

Gore set a career-high with 246 yards from scrimmage that day (207 rushing, 39 receiving). Because both plays were virtually the same, and were equally impressive, Gore should be a popular vote.

Our second nominee is Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis, who scored one of two 49ers defensive touchdowns this past season.

It was Willis’ second consecutive season with a pick-6, as he silenced the St. Louis Rams with a 23-yard interception return for a touchdown.

With the Rams facing a third-and-eight from their 20, Willis ended any hope for a Rams comeback with an amazing defensive play which showcased all of his physical tools. St. Louis came out in a shotgun formation with four receivers, but ultimately Boller found a receiver from the wrong team.

Pressure from outside linebacker Manny Lawson combined with great downfield coverage caused Boller to roll to his right and then errantly throw back across his body towards the middle of the field. Boller’s pass was intended for wide receiver Keenan Burton, but it found its way in Willis’ arms, who reached to his right and plucked the ball out of the air.

Willis slightly bobbled the interception initially, but his focus allowed him to take the ball untouched for the 49ers first defensive touchdown of the season. It also put an exclamation mark on the defense’s only shutout of 2009.

Our third choice is rookie wide receiver Michael Crabtree’s first NFL touchdown, a 38-yard catch against the Green Bay Packers.Crabtree’s first touchdown in the pros was quite memorable.

With the 49ers trailing the Packers 23-3 in the second half, needing 20 yards to pick up a first down, quarterback Alex Smith showed the ultimate trust in his rookie wideout by putting the ball up in the air down the left sideline for Crabtree to go up and get.

The No. 10 overall pick in last year’s draft came through, by out-jumping veteran cornerback Al Harris to haul in the touchdown. The play brought the 49ers back into the game, and brought Crabtree’s playmaking ability out in the open for the world to see.

Even more impressive than the catch was Crabtree’s ability to maintain possession while crashing down on the hard Lambeau Field turf.

Our fourth and final nominee happens to be one of the most meaningful touchdowns of the season, Vernon Davis’ 73-yarder in the season finale against St. Louis.

The beautifully thrown deep ball from Smith to Davis was not just a great play, but it tied Davis for the most touchdowns (13) by a tight end in a single season.

With the 49ers leading 7-6 with 7:37 left in the fourth quarter, Davis was on the line in what looked like a run formation. Despite having only one receiver on the field, Smith dropped back from center and threw his longest touchdown of his career to Davis, who had gotten behind Rams safety James Butler. Davis caught the pass in stride at the 37-yard line and then outran Butler and St. Louis cornerback Ron Bartell for the touchdown.

You can vote as many times as you’d like all week long. The winner will be announced next Monday, along with a new “Faithful Vote” for 49ers fans to debate on.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 24 Comments »

24 Responses to “Faithful Vote: Best Touchdown of 2009”

  1. By paulo on Jan 11, 2010 | Reply

    crabtree 1st td is the most memorable moment, he’s a future pro bowler for sure.

  2. By Kevin on Jan 11, 2010 | Reply

    These were all great touchdowns for sure, I also thought Crabtree’s TD vs the Cardinals was pretty BA!

  3. By Kevin on Jan 11, 2010 | Reply

    These are all awesome TD’s by the best team in the NFL! Boo yeah! I also thought that Crabtree’s TD in the Arizona game was pretty BA with his stiff arm and RAC, it was awesome.

  4. By tito on Jan 11, 2010 | Reply

    i tihink vernies last td cuse it tied gates record but crabtrees should b a memorable td

  5. By Justin on Jan 11, 2010 | Reply

    I think Crabtree’s first NFL touchdown was the best because it came against Al Harris.

  6. By Luis Angulo on Jan 11, 2010 | Reply

    Cabtree was the best TD in the regular season for the 49ers!!

  7. By Ramos on Jan 11, 2010 | Reply

    I think it has to be Crabtree’s TD vs the Cardinals, MNF, big lead, and a crazy stiff arm, plus the dance he did in the end zone made me laugh!

  8. By Dave on Jan 11, 2010 | Reply

    I personally liked Gore’s two 80 yarders.

  9. By CMx49er on Jan 11, 2010 | Reply

    crabtrees first td should win it

  10. By Smuman on Jan 11, 2010 | Reply

    Gore’s two 80 yarders for sure.

  11. By Smuman on Jan 11, 2010 | Reply

    Then there’s the one that was like a mini version of “The Catch” with Smith to Gore as Smith rolled right and Gore caught it in the end zone on the tips of his toes.

  12. By faithfuldave on Jan 11, 2010 | Reply

    Davis’s TD is my favorite. It’s a precursor of the future.

  13. By andrew on Jan 11, 2010 | Reply

    Davis’ Last TD, because he ran right past a defensive back as a TE, and noone touched him till the end of the run, on top of achieving a tie for the td record for TE’s. (And it wadn’t a half bad pass by Alex Smith neither)

  14. By hanzell on Jan 11, 2010 | Reply

    did everyone forget when vernon got hit by 2 defenders, stayed on his feet and crossed the goalline. That was the BEST

  15. By Vahan on Jan 11, 2010 | Reply

    i remember going wild over gore’s two runs shouting HE DID IT AGAIN! as he burst through the hole…im gonna go with gore here cuz they stood out the most to me

  16. By DOSIA510 on Jan 11, 2010 | Reply

    usually every year i have a standout favorite TD because the last few years we havent had many huge ones or any that were record breaking or game changers. but this year is different. i am at a 3 way tie between gores 2 80 yarders, crabbys TD on MNF, and VDs record tieing 70+ yarder. i dunno fellas!!! its hard to decide but i love how the things are changing around here. i am so happy that we are no longer with the cellar dwellars of the league. GO NINERS!!!

  17. By Perry on Jan 11, 2010 | Reply

    I would have to go with what the team thought was important to them and that was the FB Morris first ever touchdown infront of Frank Gore, who requested that Morris come back to the 49ers and be his lead block.

    So Morris TD from the last game, most touching to me in the spirit of football, brotherhood and friendship.

  18. By go9ers on Jan 11, 2010 | Reply

    the best was td v by the go line

  19. By go9ers on Jan 11, 2010 | Reply

    mr td vermon tha whos he best he had the chance to brake the yied record.chance was notgiven to hem.he will be the best tend the play ths game..

  20. By London_9er on Jan 12, 2010 | Reply


    This will be always shown,remembered,even when they decide if Crabtree belongs in the NFL,Hall Of Fame,10 years after his retirement in 25-30 years time!!

  21. By The49erfan1 on Jan 12, 2010 | Reply

    best touchdown was gores pair of 80 yarders. its hard to get one touchdown from any length and he did it twice and had to outrun all the defensive backs from 80 yards.

  22. By Ken_Rob on Jan 12, 2010 | Reply

    All of these were awesome TD’s Vernon”s record tying. The incredible young future pro bowl wide outs first of many, but my man Gore two of the greatest runs in franchise history against a division opponent back to back by the guy who before this year was all we had on offense.

  23. By Kamikaze on Jan 12, 2010 | Reply

    Have to go with Vernon who was a game changer for us this year!

  24. By jabujabu on Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

    how about the one gore ran against the colts were he slips through a hole gets hit on both sides stays up and takes it to the house

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