Well, statistically speaking, about 25 teams. What I thought was a mere blip on the road to the playoffs last week in Seattle turns out to be something a little bit more foreboding. The 49ers pretty much followed the same script of doing little on offense, and leaning on the defense all day to keep the score close. The D did it’s job until, much like Seattle, eventually wore down as the offense couldn’t do anything until garbage time.
When the 3rd quarter started, the Niners were down 10-7. The Niners gained 19 yards on 3 runs, a pass, and a sack, and punted. That drive took 2:58. Indy got the ball and drove 53 yards, burned 5:03, and kicked a FG. At this point, the Niners were still one score from taking the lead, 13-7. They had a promising drive going when Kappy took a 5 yard loss on a read option that was completely blown up by Freeman of the Colts. A short run and short pass later, we punt. Indy then burns ~6 minutes to miss a FG. Still within reach. The next drive is a beaut. Incomplete pass. 4 yard pass. Sack. The Niners give the defense a whopping 1:19 to rest.
At this point, the Colts have been on offense for roughly 12 minutes to the 49ers 6. Indy then burns ~8 minutes to ice the game with a TD to go up 20-7 with 4:27 left. Of course then next drive was a fumble on the 8 that Indy recovered. Set up by another inexplicable return by Kendall Hunter. Between Hunter returning kickoffs to the 12 and KW fair catching balls inside the 10, the Niners had shitty field position all day. And when they didn’t they still blew their opportunities.
Still and all, a galling effort by the offense. The D isn’t generating much of a pass rush these days, but they did their job as well as they could given the ineptitude of the offense. The run D, a usual strength, has been gashed for a lot of 8-12 yard runs. Justin Smith does not command the double teams he used to, and the LBs aren’t nearly as clean as they used to be in pursuit. This leads to play action freezing the LBs and loosening the coverage downfield. Offensively, the WRs re never able to get open, while the line, our supposed strength, has done an awful job of pass protection. Mainly at the center position. Goodwin has been beaten regularly, and Kappy is forced to run. Usually to the left, as Staley is holding up better than Davis. This makes is near impossible to throw on the run. Speaking of run, the run game had been abandoned too quickly in my mind as well. All this leads to an anemic offensive attack that is making Jimmy-Hat look like Air Coryell.
The great news is we have a roadie in St Louis Thursday night. A loss there would put the 49ers 0-2 in the division, and possibly 3 games behind the Seahawks. They have a roadie of their own in Houston. Seattle is fair to middling on the road, but they certainly look about 80% better than we do at this point.