San Francisco 49ers 26
Fortunately for the Eagles, unfortunately for the 49ers, NFL games are four quarters in length. The 49ers won yesterday for three quarters of the game but decided to not play in the fourth quarter. I guess to them three quarters of effective football was enough. The 49ers went into the fourth with a 26-17 lead scoring 20 unanswered points after being down 17-6. As the whole team seemed comfortable with the lead, the Eagles stormed back scoring 23 unanswered points in the fourth quarter limiting the 49ers offense to just -2 yards. Yes, the minus sign is not a typo, the 49ers managed only two NEGATIVE yards in the most important quarter in football.
After a week of me calling out Vernon Davis for missing in action, Mike Martz involved him heavily in the game plan. But forget that he caught 6 passes for 75 yards almost doubling his season totals and forget that he caught a pass for 57 yards showing his open field running ability and why the 49ers picked him in the first round. Forget that Frank Gore rushed for 101 yards with a rushing touchdown. Forget that J.T. O’ Sullivan passed for 187 yards and had no turnovers through three quarters. Forget that Donald Strickland returned a blocked field goal for a 41-yard TD giving the 49ers the lead and momentum. Forget all of this because it all happened in the first three quarters!
The Fourth Quarter:
Davis’ only catch was a seven yard loss.
Gore touched the ball only TWICE negating anything positive he had done in the game. The 49ers rushed Gore only once when they had the lead at 26-24 in the fourth. Now I know Mike Nolan is conservative and we want to less of that but to ignore Gore in the final quarter when he had been so effective and to put the pressure on an inexperienced and out of his league quarterback was not the right decision. So was challenging a reception by DeSean Jackson that was clearly caught and not to challenge a Hank Baskett reception that looked to be dropped earlier in the game. Is anyone in the coaches box paying attention to the game below? And then he challenges a made field goal! Again, is anyone paying attention. Grant it I thought David Ackers had missed the field goal but No Brain Nolan throw the red flag first and then asked if the play can be challenged only to be told by the refs it does not matter you already threw the flag. A precious timeout gone. This is not a sign of an NFL coach.
O’ Sullivan threw two interceptions and had one fumble in the quarter. The last INT was the most decisive with the 49ers down 33-26 and within reach of coming back driving to midfield before Juqua Parker return it 55 yards for a touchdown. O’ Sullivan clearly showed he cannot hold a lead and cannot lead the offense on a game tying, possibly game winning drive.
Strickland and the rest of the 49ers D decided to stop playing defense and allowed the Eagles to score 16 of their 23 points in the fourth on offense.
The 49ers did not play well in any aspect of the game. The offense was there for three quarters, the defense there for, well, at least they showed up. With Brian Westbrook and Reggie Brown out with injury you would think this might be an easier task for the D. But the Saints and Patriots both had key offensive weapons out and the 49ers D still played horrendously. Doing his best Westbrook impression running back Correll Buckhalter gained 93 yards rushing and caught 85 receiving yards. All told the 49ers D gave up 383 total yards. The defense is the complete opposite of what it was last year with virtually the same line up only supposedly “improved.”
@ New York Giants…*SIGH*…wake me when the season is over and the 49ers have a top ten pick.