Around the NFC West: Crabtree wavering?

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says Deion Sanders suggested first-round choice Michael Crabtree could be signing with the 49ers soon. Barrows: "After noting how well the 49ers defense played against the Rams, he said, 'And Crabtree may be on his way. I'm just saying. I'm just saying.' " Crabtree? That name sounds familiar, but I just can't place it. Oh, yes, the receiver. Now I remember. Perhaps he could be the second wideout in the 49ers' one-receiver personnel grouping.

Also from Barrows: The Rams are the perfect cure for the 49ers following a tough road defeat, same as last season.

More from Barrows: The 49ers' 35-0 victory over the Rams did not feel quite like a 35-0 victory, particularly in the 49ers' locker room.

More yet from Barrows: This Patrick Willis guy is pretty good.

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says even the 49ers' offense managed to score against the Rams, although the defense and special teams scored more.

Also from Brown: 49ers coach Mike Singletary says "hands like rocks" prevented him from picking off passes and scoring touchdowns the way Willis did Sunday.

Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News says 49ers defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga was relieved to hear from family members affected by the tsunami in American Samoa. Sopoaga: "They're good. The water stopped, like, 15 yards from their house. It hit one building where my cousins worked, but they escaped. The water didn't touch them."

Monte Poole of Bay Area News Group isn't missing the Mike Nolan era. Poole: "Gone is the artificial swagger of the Mike Nolan era, wherein the new coach inherited a team that went 2-14 in 2004 and immediately barked about winning the NFC West in 2005. He dared to put this palaver into print on a banner at team headquarters. Depending on your perspective, you either laughed out loud or rolled your eyes or felt a flash of shame. The 49ers had just hired a coach who dreamed big, baseless dreams perfectly suited for ridicule."

Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle books the 49ers for the playoffs after seeing what they're up against in the NFC West. I think we'll know more in a week. If the 49ers lose to the Falcons and the Cardinals beat the Texans, one team is 3-2 and the other is 2-2. Ratto: "The division stinks on ice. Dreadful on ghastly, with a side of cornea-searing hideous. And if that cheapens your enjoyment of what looks more and more like a divisional title, well, that's between you and that bottle of Jagermeister on your end table."

Also from Ratto, with John Crumpacker: a 49ers notebook noting Ray McDonald's contributions.

Also from Crumpacker: The 49ers did not get carried away with themselves following their 35-0 victory. After all, seven 49ers drives ended with punts.

Kevin Lynch of Niner Insider says the 49ers think Willis is only "scratching the surface" of his abilities.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat takes a player-by-player look at the 49ers against the Rams, noting that Shaun Hill is 7-0 as a starter at home. On Jason Hill: "Suited up for the first time this season. Saw action as gunner on punt team ... Unsung hero on the 49ers' special-teams touchdown as he hustled down field knocked Danny Amendola into Quincy Butler, preventing both players from recovering ball in end zone. Scott McKillop recovered it for the touchdown. ... Did not see action on offense."

Also from Maiocco: The 49ers did not seem satisfied after their offense managed only 14 points.

More from Maiocco: It's tough to dismiss a 35-0 victory over anyone. Singletary: "The most important thing for us right now is to win the division. But as we go forward, we want to be one of the best teams in the NFL. That’s where we want to go. Obviously, we’ve got a lot of work to do, but that’s where our sights are."

More yet from Maiocco: The 49ers' defensive line gets an "A" grade, with special commendation for Aubrayo Franklin.

Maiocco again: The 49ers' offensive line isn't playing very well. Singletary: "When it’s all said and done, our offensive line will be one of the best lines in the league. I think sometimes we just cheat ourselves out of what we can be. We just have to take it to the next level and I know they will."

Lowell Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers must improve on offense. Cohn: "This is the offense that, once upon a time, was run by Joe Montana, Steve Young and Jeff Garcia, and had Roger Craig and Jerry Rice. Now, the 49er offense consists of runs into the line and a million short passes -- on Sunday the offense scored only two touchdowns, sufficient against the bums from St. Louis, but not so sufficient against a real team."