I don’t know, and I don’t get it. Besides a shoulder shrug, that’s all I can muster right now. After a loss to the St. Louis Rams, that in reality aren’t very good at all, the San Francisc0 49ers fell to an even .500 record. The only certainty I do know is that Sunday’s game was painful to watch. Let’s recap with some things I think I know.
Time to play the blame game.
It’s natural when it comes to losing. Fingers start to get pointed everywhere. But, just where does the fault blame? Offensively, it lies at everyone. Personally, I’ve worn a hole in my head with persistent scratching. What exactly was the game plan here? If it was to run deep passing routes on a consistent basis playing right into the hands of a consistent blitz……it worked. The game plan stunk, but the execution was even worse. Colin Kaepernick was sacked eight times and pressured even more. The offensive line was dreadful. Colin Kaepernick was the epitome of a deer in headlights as a result. He abandoned his natural instincts to run when need be and as a result, looked lost. It was downright pathetic.
Even more pathetic is Greg Roman’s inability to commit to the running game. It’s no mystery that running the ball is the strength of the offensive line and the strength of the team as a whole. But, eight games into the season and a full dedication to the running game still hasn’t occurred.
Has the season’s story been written?
Once again, I don’t know. But, I’d have to lean towards yes. This was the game to reset the season’s tone. The team health was back towards its peak. The 49ers came off a bye week after an embarrassing loss to the Denver Broncos. Their opponent, the Rams, just got drilled by the Kansas City Chiefs. And of course, it was a home game. None of it seemed to matter. The 49ers played listless football. Yup, any given Sunday any team can win.
The 49ers didn’t deserve to win.
But, they still should have won. Head official, Jerome Boger, the same man that officiated Super Bowl 47, was as atrocious as the 49ers offense. He missed calls that hampered both teams, but he blew three calls that withheld points from the 49ers. Three times he went under the hood to review plays, and all three times the 49ers didn’t benefit from his final result. Phil Dawson attempted a 55 yard field goal to end the first half. The ball landed short. Tavon Austin received the kick and attempted to return the ball from the back of the end zone. He crossed the goal line into the field of play. In attempt to avoid the 49ers Derek Carrier, he reverted back into the end zone where he was tackled. A safety that was and should have been, wasn’t awarded by Boger. A half time score that should have been 12-10 in favor of the Niners stayed at 10 all.
Things didn’t get better to end the second half for Boger either. Somehow, someway the 49ers were in a position to win the game. With under a minute to play, Colin Kaepernick fired a pass to Michael Crabtree. Admittedly, it was a bad pass, but it was one that Michael Crabtree made a diving catch at the goal line. Crabtree showed possession of the ball at the goal line and rolled out of bounds. The ball was marked at the one yard line with a continued running clock. Upon further review, the ruling stood as called. Wrong again Boger. That was a touchdown. At the very least, stop the clock!
The final questionable play was the most difficult, in my opinion. Inside 10 seconds and the game on the line, Kaepernick ran a quarteback sneak. He bobbled the snap, regathered and appeared to cross the goal line. Upon crossing, he lost the ball again. The play was reviewed. Truthfully, there were no definitive angles shown on replay. Although, there was a replay shown with Kap in possession of the ball, facemask grabbed, and he was “probably” across the goal line. It was a call the officials should have gotten right as it happened, and it should have been six points for the Niners. Boger and crew botched another one.
Once again, Jerome Boger was also the head official for Super Bowl 47. Wink wink….
Chris Borland, Antoine Bethea, and the 49ers defense played stout.
As agonizing as the offense was to watch, the 49ers defense played impressive football. Chris Borland recorded 18 tackles in his second career start and played very well. Antoine Bethea has been everything and more in replacement of Donte Whitner. Without NaVarro Bowman, Patrick Willis, and Aldon Smith, the Niners defense performed as an outstanding unit. If only, they themselves, could have put some points on the board.