49ers Vs Cardinals: Niners Are Red Zone Challenged

WTF! It was frustrating watching the San Francisco 49ers lose to the Arizona Cardinals this past Sunday. It was even more frustrating watching it in person. For the most part it was great watching the Niners play In the University of Phoenix Stadium and it felt like a home game. It literally felt like there were more Niner fans in the stadium than Cardinal fans. There was plenty of smack talking between the fans and the atmosphere was awesome. Not so awesome was the Niners red zone offense. One touchdown in the red zone could have been the difference in the game. You would think the coaching staff would address this problem and do something to fix. Niners had the same problem last week against the St. Louis Rams, scoring their only two touchdowns outside the red zone. Against teams such as the Green Bay Packer and New Orleans Saints, field goals will not cut it.

Two possessions that really stood out for me; the first was when WR Ted Ginn Jr. returned a punt to the Arizona four yard line. The Niners offense would end up going three and out and would have to settle for a cheap shot field goal. What really upset me was that the Niners were going away from the run. I thought just four yards away from a touchdown that the Niners would pound it in, instead they decided to pass and failed getting a touchdown.

The second possession was when there was less than two minutes left in the half and FS Dashon Goldson came up with an interception to give the Niners great field position. It has been said that the great teams know how to close out a half with a touchdown and the Niners had a great opportunity to do just that. They would eventually get to the seven yard line, but with a few seconds left in the half they had two shots for the end zone. But once again they would have to settle for a field goal and at the same time made my hair go gray.

Another issue the Niners have had is their protection. This really puzzles me because for most of the season the offense line had been playing great. The last three games have been atrocious for the O-line’s pass protection. In those three games QB Alex Smith has been sacked an astonishing 18 times, including a league high nine versus the Baltimore Ravens. With the Pittsburg Steelers coming into town for Monday Night Football, the O-line will have to step it up if the Niners want to win the game.

Lastly I am not one to put blame on the officials, but they had a couple of questionable calls. Beginning with the whistle that blew a play dead after the Niners executed a fake punt for a big gain. The play did not stand because Cardinals Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt threw the challenge flag well after the play had started. It was BS.

There was another play in the fourth quarter where Alex Smith was on the verge of being sacked, but he fought through the tackle and completed a third down pass for a first down. The play would not stand because the officials blew the play dead because Alex’s forward progress was stopped and the sack stood. F**k! It was the kind of play that Pittsburg QB Ben Roethlisberger accomplishes in every game. It was a costly call because the Niners were down 21-19 and they would be forced to punt. It had me booing until my throat went sore.

Keep your heads up Niner fans. We have three more games to fix our issues that we are currently having. Let’s stay positive. Go Niners!!!!!!!!!!

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Tags: Alex Smith Ben Roethlisberger Dashon Goldson Ken Whisenhunt Ted Ginn Jr

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