Gore a non-factor as 49ers lose a laugher


Gore a non-factor as 49ers lose a laugher

SEATTLE -- Within the losing 49ers locker room Sunday night, there was some muffled laughing and joking about, presumably, non-football matters.

But in Frank Gore's corner, he could not muster a smile -- only positive thoughts after the 49ers' 42-13 thumping at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks.

The 49ers came out with the intent of throwing the football, as evidenced by quarterback Colin Kaepernick's three consecutive incomplete passes to open the game. When the 49ers got the ball for a third possession, they were already down 14-0.

Gore was a non-factor throughout. He averaged 4.7 yards per rushing attempt, but he carried just six times in the entire game for 28 yards.

"The score got out of reach and we had to try to make quick hits and that's what it was," Gore said.

Not much went right for the 49ers. They converted just 3 of 11 third-down attempts, while the Seahawks had their way with a Justin Smith-less 49ers defense. The Seahawks were successful on 11 of 13 third downs, including a kneeldown when the team was running out the clock at the end of the game.

It was a laugher, all right. Some players privately joked in the locker room, which seemed a little out of place, considering what occurred on the field just minutes earlier. But many of the 49ers' leaders struck entirely serious tones.

Kaepernick was in a sour mood throughout his clipped 2-minute, 33-second session with reporters. Safety Donte Whitner and linebacker Patrick Willis were among the veterans who spoke eloquently about bouncing back from the biggest loss of the Harbaugh era.

And Gore remarked on how all of the 49ers' season goals remain intact.

"We're all right," Gore said. "We know what kind of team we got. We got a good team. We got to bounce back next weekend and go forward in the postseason.

"No game is easy, but we're going to stay together as one, like we always do and keep fighting, and go get the goal we want to get."

Gore is the 49ers' best offensive player, and it only goes to reason that if he is held to six touches, the 49ers will not win.

The 49ers (10-4-1) now need a victory over the Arizona Cardinals and a Green Bay loss at Minnesota to gain the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. With the third seed, the 49ers would host a playoff game in the opening weekend and, with a victory, travel to Green Bay in the divisional round. If the 49ers win and the Packers win, the 49ers would be NFC West winners and the No. 3 seed. If the 49ers lose to the Cardinals and Seattle wins against St. Louis, the 49ers would enter the playoffs as a wild-card entry, the No. 5 seed.

Gore said coach Jim Harbaugh was emotional when he spoke to the team after Sunday's game. The message: In the big picture, the embarrassing loss to the Seahawks is no big deal if the 49ers take care of business.

"He knows what type of team he has, and we're going to stay together as a team, try to win next week and if don't get the No. 2 spot, we got to go on the road," Gore said.

Cowboys expose 49ers' biggest weakness in bashing: Talent


Cowboys expose 49ers' biggest weakness in bashing: Talent

If there is such a thing as being “due” in sports (and there actually isn’t, so you can probably stop reading now), the San Francisco 49ers had Sunday coming to them.
After all, the anomaly of being the “best winless team in football” based on margin of defeat lasts only so long until the “winless” part trumps the “best” part, because even the Los Angeles Chargers – the previous “best bad team in football” – aren’t the Chargers all the time.
So it was that the Dallas Cowboys exposed every weakness the 49ers have with the simplest thing there is.
The Cowboys did everything they wanted, but only whenever they wanted it, in a 40-10 dope-slapping that could actually have been worse than it was. The 49er offense was properly stymied (again), gaining only 290 yards (4.5 yards per play) and the defense was thoroughly Elliotted (as in Ezekiel-ed, who averaged 8.1 yards in his 27 touches). San Francisco’s warts were rubbed until they glowed, and if not for the fact that head coach Kyle Shanahan already knew where they were, he’d have been shocked to see how visible they were.
And therein lies the takeaway from another day at Not-So-Great-America. It turns out that the 49ers weren’t very good at much of anything before Sunday except just how far away they are from what Shanahan and general manager John Lynch believe is their destiny. C.J.  Beathard remained the rookie quarterback he is, and Carlos Hyde's hard-won 68 rushing yards led to no scores. Indeed, San Francisco's only touchdown came on a four-yard improv sprint from Beathard, who is by no means a running quarterback except in abject flight.

Next week in Philadelphia figures to be no less grisly, if you’re waiting for that magic moment when “0” becomes “1.” That is, of course, unless Washington exposes the Eagles as less than what they seem, which is very often the case in the new parity-gripped NFL.

But there are subsequent get-well games at home against Arizona and then at New York against the Giants the week after, so whatever dreams you might have about them running the table backwards and getting the first overall pick in the draft are still light years from realization.
This is, however, another healthy reminder that the job to be done is at least two more years in the undoing before the doing can actually begin. Not that the players or coaches needed another lesson, mind you – they know.
But maybe you needed it, just to keep your delusions in check. Maybe the people who were “due” were all of you.
But that’s unfair, too. You didn’t undo this franchise. All you did was believe, and there’s nothing wrong with that – as long you know there will be more days like this before your team starts handing out the 40-10’s.
In the meantime, there is beer.

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 40-10 loss vs Cowboys


Three things you need to know from 49ers' 40-10 loss vs Cowboys

SANTA CLARA -- Three things you need to know about the 49ers’ 40-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7 on Sunday:

1. A major step backward
So much for the 49ers’ somewhat-impressive streak of close losses.

There was nothing encouraging about what transpired in the 49ers' worst loss at Levi’s Stadium. It was also the franchise's worst home loss since Mike Singletary's team absorbed a 45-10 thumping against the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 11, 2009.

Was there anything positive to take from this game?

“No, not right now,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “It was disappointing. I think all three phases, players and coaches, we’ve got to play better than that, a lot better to give ourselves a chance to win.”

The competitive nature of the 49ers’ past five games was one thing. But with a big home loss on such an emotional day, it is fair to say that the honeymoon is over for Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. The 49ers looked like a team devoid of any leadership, and brings more scrutiny onto the organization’s decision last week to release linebacker NaVorro Bowman.

Now, the 49ers face a crossroads. With another cross-country trip ahead, the 49ers have to regroup in a hurry in order to avoid another embarrassing blowout against the Philadelphia Eagles.

2. Beathard’s first start
Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard certainly was not the reason the 49ers got blown out. In his first NFL start, he showed a lot of toughness, which was to be expected. He was sacked five times. But most of those sacks could have been avoided. He has to get rid of the ball quicker, especially on three-step drops.

Beathard also showed some promise, too. He let the ball fly deep for Marquise Goodwin, who caught four passes for 80 yards. Beathard completed 22 of 38 passes for 235 yards.

Beathard accounted for the 49ers’ only touchdown with a 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. There seems to be little doubt it was in the best interest of the organization to begin evaluating what it has for the future with the permanent switch from Brian Hoyer to Beathard.

3. Dwight Clark’s Day
The 49ers, of course, did nothing to evoke any memories of the great teams on which Dwight Clark played. Well, they did look a lot like Clark’s first team with the 49ers.

The 49ers of 1979 lost their first seven games of the season. This year’s team matched that start for the worst beginning to a season in franchise history.

More than 35 of Clark’s teammates off the 1981 Super Bowl team were in attendance to honor a pay tribute to Clark, who is battling ALS. Now in a wheelchair and considerably lighter, Clark delivered some poignant remarks at halftime.

Clark, 60, told his old teammate, Keena Turner, who works as vice president of football affairs, that all he wanted was to see some of his old teammates.

“And the 49ers heard that and flew all these players in, so I could see them one more time,” Clark said.