Coaches always say losses are never as bad as they seem when examined on film the next day. The opposite can be said of wins. When a team wins 35-11, as the 49ers did Thursday in St. Louis, you expect it to be a near-flawless, dominant performance. The 49ers still have plenty of room for improvement.
Some clunkiness remains on offense, which racked up 370 yards - 219 of it on the ground - but still called on Andy Lee to punt seven times. Colin Kaepernick definitely is emerging from the offensive funk that gripped the team in the preceding two weeks but still was off line on some throws, especially when he was scrambling. Frank Gore fumbled and Kaepernick and Kendall Hunter flubbed a handoff that resulted in another fumble.
There also were 10 more penalties, which is close to their average. With two teams yet to play in Week 4, the 49ers rank second in the league with 39 penalties for 339 yards (!). All of which is to say, the score may indicate the 49ers are back to their 2011-12 form, but the on-field play can get better.
One area that looked up to snuff - run blocking. It was excellent throughout the night. Everyone deserves credit, starting with the offensive line right on down to the tight ends and Anquan Boldin, who delivered several crushing blocks. But fullback Bruce Miller had key blocks on nearly all of the big runs of the game and had, by far, his best game of the season. With Delanie Walker in Tennessee now, Miller has taken on a bigger role in the offense and delivered in St. Louis. He also had three catches for 22 yards.