The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners

The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners
A review and commentary on the history & lastest events surrounding the 17 time NFC Western Division & 5 -Time World Champion San Francisco 49ers. From 1946 and the All America Football Conference to 2009 and the road to a 6th Super Bowl title - For true fans of the scarlet and gold! Enjoy!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

This Time, The Offensive Line Wasn't The Main Problem - Ravens Outlast Niners In "Barnburner", 9-7

John Crumpacker, Nancy Gay, San Francisco Chronicle

In contrast to a week ago, the 49ers' offensive line did not become a piñata for people to swat. The play of the unit went largely unnoticed as Joe Nedney's missed 54 yard field goal (below) with under 3 minutes to go was the difference. The game proved to be a defensive struggle in which Trent Dilfer for the most part had time to throw in Sunday's 9-7 loss to Baltimore. The 35-year-old quarterback was sacked three times (he was nailed five times against Seattle), one time when he revealed his age and tried to escape. The other sacks were by outside linebacker Jarret Johnson as he beat left tackle Adam Snyder and by nose tackle Kelly Gregg through the gap between center Eric Heitmann and right guard Justin Smiley. "Better than last week," coach Mike Nolan said when asked for his assessment. "That's all I can say right now." Snyder started at left tackle in place of Jonas Jennings, who is away from the team for what was described as a personal matter. Except for the sack by Johnson, Snyder held up well at the position. Smiley rebounded from a horrible game a week ago and played his way into anonymity for the most part. Left guard Larry Allen looked better run-blocking for Frank Gore in this game than he did a week ago.

Although Gore averaged 3.3 yards per carry (he finished 2006 at 5.4), he did have runs of 8 and 10 yards among his 16 carries. Modest as always: Tight end Vernon Davis, who missed his second game with a knee injury, said the game might have been different had he been able to play. "I think I would have made a big difference," he said. "I know they (the Ravens) would have been trying to key on me and stop Vernon. It would have opened up the offense." Asked about the offense he hasn't been a part of for two weeks, Davis said, "We got to change the offense. It sucks."

Puny output: The 49ers ran 41 offensive plays against the Ravens. That's the fewest total for the 49ers in any game since 2001. The Ravens, by contrast, ran off 76 plays. Voice of authority: When Mike Singletary speaks, people listen. The 49ers' assistant head coach, who works with the linebackers, had a few things to say in the locker room after the game. "I think we did a decent job, but we should have done a better job," he said, referring to the defense. "It comes down to doing whatever it takes to win. That should be our motto going forward. I know our offense is going to do the job. Right now, we just have to keep working. "It's not a matter of seven points or three points, it's finding a way to win."

Easy come, easy go: Cornerback Shanwtae Spencer (above) appeared to be a victim of a bad pass-interference call at the end of the first quarter when he was covering wide receiver Derrick Mason. The call ended up not hurting the 49ers as the Ravens punted at the end of the drive.
"You get some and you lose some," free safety Mark Roman said. "Eventually, it all evens out. That was just one play in the game. I think we ended up getting off the field anyway."

Injury report: The 49ers had two players on the postgame list. Safety Mark Roman strained his Achilles tendon and safety Keith Lewis strained his hamstring. Smith or Dilfer? Quarterback Alex Smith is slowly regaining range-of-motion in his separated right shoulder, but it's probably a stretch to imagine he could be ready to start when the 49ers resume play Oct. 21 against the New York Giants following their bye. "If Alex is not well, it will be Trent (Dilfer) again," Nolan said when asked who he anticipates will start the game at East Rutherford, N.J. "And I would be comfortable with that. I believe I have a lot of confidence in Trent because he's a very good leader, he's been there and he's done it. Dilfer said he would approach the bye week and the week leading up to the Giants' game as if he will start. Dilfer, Billick make nice: Dilfer's long-standing feud with Ravens coach Brian Billick was settled for good Sunday, when the 49ers' quarterback sought out his former head coach and made peace. Dilfer revealed in February that he still resented Billick benching him for quarterback Elvis Grbac following the Ravens' Super Bowl season in 2000, and that he had no interest in ever speaking to Billick again. Last week, Dilfer conceded he was wrong to hold such a grudge."I talked to (Billick) in the locker room (before the game), and once again after the game," Dilfer said Sunday, "and I told him just how sorry I was that I carried that bitterness for so long."Said Billick: "I really appreciate him reaching out that way."

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