What it means: The 49ers emerged from Week 9 with a 7-1 record and a five-game lead in the NFC West. They have gone 4-0 in games kicking off at 10 a.m. PT, one of many ways this team differs from its recent predecessors. The 49ers now have three of their next four games at home. They have a shot at clinching the division title in Week 11.
What I liked: The 49ers controlled yet another game with defense, special teams, the running game and selective strikes through the air. They again showed the offensive creativity that has made the game more fun for players. This included a few more unusual formations and personnel groupings. Their ability to free fullback Bruce Miller for a 30-yard touchdown reception also stood out. Frank Gore became the first player in 49ers history to reach 100 yards rushing in five consecutive games. Free safety Dashon Goldson made a terrific play in undercutting tight end Fred Davis for an interception.
What I didn't like: The 49ers' run defense was a little too forgiving early, allowing a 16-yard run on the Redskins' first possession. Coach Jim Harbaugh wasn't happy with game officials for their administration of a couple of penalties, but whatever the problem, San Francisco nonetheless incurred potentially costly penalties for delay of game and a false start. Tight end Vernon Davis could not control a potential touchdown reception. Davis also fumbled. Gore suffered his fourth dropped pass of the season, matching his total for 2010. Quarterback Alex Smith held the ball too long, inviting a crushing hit from the Redskins' Ryan Kerrigan. The 49ers collected just one sack from a Redskins team that allowed 10 last week.
What's next: The 49ers are home against the New York Giants in Week 10.
Update: The 49ers did not score a rushing touchdown, ending their streak of seven games with at least one and none for the opposition.