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!

Monday, December 7, 2009

49ers lose 20-17 at Seattle

The 49ers blew it Sunday and didn’t bother trying to say otherwise. They dropped passes, fumbled a key possession and made questionable strategic decisions. More than the ball went through the 49ers’ hands: Their playoff hopes probably slipped away, too. When Olindo Mare hit a field goal as time expired to give the Seattle Seahawks a 20-17 victory, it felt like a kick to the gut. The defeat torpedoes what was supposed to be a pivotal NFC matchup against Arizona next week. There is no way the 49ers (5-7) can catch the Cardinals on Monday and it grows increasingly unlikely that they can catch them at all.

What was the game? Pick just about anything from the 49ers’ scrapheap of errors.

On their first drive of the fourth quarter, for example, running back Frank Gore’s fumble swung the tide. The 49ers were barreling down field toward a go-ahead score, having moved 73 yards in just five plays, before safety Jordan Babineaux knocked the ball from Gore’s arms with a solid right hook. Josh Wilson recovered the ball at the Seattle 26 and ran it back 43 yards. That set up Mare’s field goal that gave Seattle a 17-14 lead. The 49ers had 5:30 left to turn things around.
Smith did his part. He moved the team quickly into field goal range as part of his first-career 300-yard passing day. (Smith finished 27 of 45 for 310 yards). But the drive conked out at the Seattle 16, even though Smith twice hit receivers with potential touchdown passes.

Tight end Vernon Davis dropped the first one, failing to make a leaping grab between two defenders in the end zone. “I couldn’t see it until the last minute,’’ said Davis, who had 111 receiving yards and a touchdown. Michael Crabtree dropped the second one, a pass into tight coverage at the goal line. Smith and Crabtree each said the play was rushed because of pressure on the quarterback. It was designed to be a throw to the back of the end zone. Still, the drive got the 49ers close enough to tie the score 17-17 when Joe Nedney nailed a 34-yard field goal with 2:57 to play.

All that served only to set the stage for the 49ers’ final heartbreak. After a defensive stop, the 49ers’ got the ball at their 11 with 51 seconds to play. Rather than play it safe and take their chances in overtime, the 49ers concluded there was enough time to score. Even on third-and-3, the 49ers were in a gambling mood. They took deep shot downfield to receiver Josh Morgan. But instead of hitting it big, they went bust: an incomplete stopped the clock and forced the 49ers to punt.

Seattle got the ball back at about midfield with 21 seconds to play and two timeouts left. That proved plenty of time for quarterback Matt Hasselbeck to spot a receiver racing down the right sideline. Butler, a rookie from Penn State, caught the ball in stride for just his eight reception this season.

The 49ers should be so lucky. They did not do their jobs on every play, and now they might spend a seventh consecutive offseason watching the playoffs on TV and wondering where things went wrong.

Two 49ers players reached milestones Sunday. Not that either of them cared. Vernon Davis broke the franchise single-season record for tight ends by catching his 10th touchdown pass of the season. His milestone 33-yard crab came on a fourth-and-1 with 6:16 to play in the first quarter. It broke the mark Davis shared with Ted Kwalick (1972) and Brent Jones (1994). Davis set a new career-high with 111 yards receiving. This marks his third 100-yard game, tying him with the Chargers’ Antonio Gates for most by an NFL tight end this season.

Alex Smith, like Davis, had an understated reaction to a personal milestone. He had the first 300-yard passing game of his career. Smith’s previous career high was 293 yards against Philadelphia on Sept. 24, 2006. Against the Seahawks, Smith completed 27 of 45 passes for 310 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Far from a wanted milestone, Frank Gore lost a fumble for the first time since Nov. 30, 2008 at Buffalo. It was a bad time. The 49ers were poised for a go-ahead score in the fourth quarter when safety Jordan Babineaux knocked the ball loose from behind. Gore, who rushed for 207 yards in his last meeting against Seattle, had just nine carries for 25 yards.

In retrospect, however, it all might be a moot point as Arizona took care of business Sunday night against the Vikings, meaning next week's Monday Nighter wouldn't have been for the division lead even if the 49ers had pulled it out. They aren't dead yet, but the hole in the ground is dug and the coffin in open, just waiting on shovels...

1 comment:

rakeback said...

As talented as Frank Gore is, its surprising that the 49ers run the ball so little. Teams usually play to their strengths and the running game has been their staple the last 3 years, with Frank getting 1000 yards each season. Alex Smith has come a long way, but I still think hes in the bottom tier of quarterbacks.

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