In a game that looked sickeningly familiar to the early games of last year, the 49ers hung around a decent team, had a lead, lost a lead, got the lead back, lost it again, and in the end shot themselves in the feet enough to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
CJ the Beater took a mighty pounding and kept bouncing back for more as he dove and pummeled himself into near death as he tried to shoulder the team to victory. But the usual drops turned a possible TD into an 85 yard scamper the other way, and as the Niners were trying to drive late, a tipped pass at the line, or a fumble, was intercepted to seal the loss.
The Dawgs tried to keep us in the game by giving us an early pick 6, and their FG kicker did his best Wade Richey impersonation as he missed two extra points and a FG. After the 49ers defense came roaring out with the pick 6 and some nice pressure on the first couple series, they settled back into their previously ineffective ways by missing tackles, forgetting to cover backs coming out of the backfield, and giving up big chunks of yards to Philip Rivers and co. with no pass rush to speak of.
Yes, they played with heart, they cut down on the penalties, and they were in this one till the end, but it is much the same as last year. Woulda coulda shoulda. Loss.
How we can consistently miss a back out of the backfield time and time and time and again is baffling to me. Most of the time, the RB has 10-12 yards to run before even getting hit by someone. To break down so many times is beyond awful. Sure, we play zone a lot, but you have to account for everyone. Either no one (Foster?) is stepping up into the short flat to cover the back, or we just can’t scheme a proper defense. And it isn’t like this is simply to the weak side, screens go to the left and the right, and in neither case can we cover them.