Missed Opportunities - a.k.a The woulda-coulda-shoulda team

This game summed up my feelings of the last month or so.  This is a team that if a few breaks go there way should be 9-6.  In all honesty, we can call this team the Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda 49ers because they blew too many chances today and in the previous 3 losses.  They practically handed the Cardinals this game on a silver platter, and the loss hurts a littl extra because Seattle lost, as well as all the wildcard teams directly ahead of them.

At my previous site I would go through the good, the bad and the future (dealing with the next week's opponent).  We'll go with that this week and next and go from there next season.

The Good

  • When Frank Gore actually managed to rush the ball he did quite well at a 4.6 per carry clip.
  • Maurice Hicks had a couple solid kick returns that would have been more valuable, had the offense not then turned it over.
  • Vernon Davis made a few big plays, with my personal favorite being when he held onto the 29-yard pass as Robert Griffith unloaded on him.
  • Alex Smith made a few solid passes, particular the one where he scrambled up in the pocket and to his left, squared his shoulders and connected with Vernon Davis on a 44-yard completion.

The Bad

  • Frank Gore only had 11 rushes.  This is in part due to the fact that the team was playing catchup most of the game.  The fallacy in that argument is that the team had very few big passing plays, so they might as well try and get a big Gore run.
  • Vernon "Hands of Stone" Davis had waaaaay too many drops.  While he did make 4 nice catches, he dropped too many passes in key situations.  Hopefully he'll improve on that going forward.
  • Alex Smith couldn't get enough time to make plays at times as the offensive line definitely appeared to struggle without Heitmann.

The Future

  • The Broncos are all that's left on the 2006 horizon.  And while 49ers fans might not think there's anything to play for, I must disagree.  If the Chiefs beat Jacksonville and the 49ers beat Denver, the Broncos are O-U-T!  A loss would guarantee the 49ers a draft selection no worse than 10th, but personally, I'd rather see the team bounce back and end someone else's playoff run.
So anyways, Happy Holidays to everyone. I'll try and get a post up tomorrow afternoon or evening, but at the very least I'll stick up a game thread for those might wanna discuss the games tomorrow. I'm not sure if I'll have enough time in the morning to post links, so if I don't get them up anybody else is more than welcome to post a links diary.
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