A Very Unspecial Sunday

December 6

A running commentary on the Seattle-Slain 49ers …

Alex Smith had a great rhythm going until two things beyond his control happened : 1) a horrendous officiating oversight, when an obvious pass interference call on Delanie Walker was missed in the end zone. Should the 49ers have gone for it one 4th and goal at the 1 so early? A valid question, but I like the call and it should have paid off. 2) a horrendous play call on a 49ers punt return. Brandon Jones on a reverse? That led to a fumble and a Seattle touchdown that changed the momentum of the game.

The 49ers can barely return a punt, much less get fancy. That was one of the worst play calls of the year. And you’re getting fancy with … Brandon Jones?

Allen Rossum was no game-breaker, but he was at least reliable. He has since injured his hamstring and was cut by the Cowboys after returning just one kick, so the 49ers look like Nostradamus for letting him go at the age of 33. However, Rossum would at least know when to fair catch or stay away from a punt.

Now, Arnaz Battle is returning punts. He actually returns one 30 yards. Oops, nix that. Illegal block in the back.

Playoff teams don’t make the kinds of mistakes the 49ers are making today. Playoff teams don’t … oh, damn, a Gore fumble and Josh Wilson return. Nice job by Alex Smith to stop him, and good job by 49ers defense in limiting the Seahawks to a go-ahead field goal. Can’t blame Gore for the effort play.

Back to the officials : not even good enough for the Pac 10. 4th quarter push-off on Brandon Jones? He barely touched his defender, yet they don’t call the PI on Delanie Walker. Finally they call a PI on Truffant against Crabtree, late, but the flag didn’t come the official who should have made the call.

Alex Smith has his first 300-yard passing game. He made a perfect throw to Vernon Davis on what should have been a go-ahead TD, but Davis let the ball go through his hands. That ruined a good game for Davis, and was a season-defining play. Smith did nothing wrong on that drive, and he is looking more and more like a keeper.

Another season defining play : on the final Niner possession Smith inexplicably threw a deep ball on 3 and 3 at their own 18 with :39 left when a first down would have at least ended regulation. Is that on the quarterback for not checking down, or on the play-caller? Very strange.

That opened it up for Seattle to win. The latest in several close road losses. This game is on the coaches for that poor clock management, for using three time outs in the first quarter, and a twilight-zone play call on the first half punt return.

It’s also on a horrible officiating crew. A crew that should not be in the NFL next year, much less the postseason. The 49ers? Goodbye playoffs, Not Ready For Prime Time, but they’re getting closer.

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3 Responses to “A Very Unspecial Sunday”

  1. Marty Says:

    Ray,

    The 49ers have shown some signs of improvement over previous seasons. They need to upgrade their talent on both lines to become a playoff contender. They cannot afford to draft players like Kentwan Balmer in the first round. They have two first round draft picks this year, and they need to draft well.

    Alex Smith has been a nice surprise this season. However, do not overlook the fact that the 49ers were 1-13 on third down today. Many are raving about Smith’s 300 passing yards. I look at his execution on 3rd down, and it isn’t good.

    Many blame the coaches for this loss. The coaches did not fumble as the team was driving for the go-ahead score. The coaches did not fail on 3rd down 12 times. The 49ers will be better when they get better players.

  2. raywood Says:

    The 49ers are one of the worst teams in the NFL on third down. Yet if they had converted on the final third down they might have won the game in OT. That came down to play-calling, but I agree with a little better personnel and experience, they can improve on that.

  3. DJ Says:

    Thanks Ray. I couldn’t see the game, but after your blog, I feel like I did…

    49ers are just a couple moves away from being a playoff team. I like the road they’re on. The coaching errors will have to be addressed, but I think Mike and his staff are still learning and growing with the team.

    I am excited for this team for the 1st time in years! Yes it would have been nice to get to the post season this year, but they would have been a lamb waiting for the slaughter.

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