San Francisco 49ers 14 @ Atlanta Falcons 16: Game Recap

That was certainly an ugly game. The team opened up the game with a great defensive series. The offense came on and followed up with a long drive where Alex Smith was perfect and ended with a TD pass to Vernon Davis. The following defensive series ended with a score by the 49ers special teams on a blocked punt where both Zeigler and Walker got a hand on the punt and Mays caught it and did a beautiful tap dancing job to stay inbounds. 

The first quarter ended with the 49ers up 14-0 on a Falcons team that many expected to dominate early. The second quarter was ugly, with an Alex Smith interception on a bone-headed play that killed a potential scoring drive and led to a FG by the Falcons. The third quarter was ugly for both sides, but the Falcons would score again to bring the game to within one point.

The fourth quarter opened up with the 49ers ahead 14-13. The 49ers had a long, time eating drive that failed to score. The Falcons opened up the last drive of the quarter inside their own 10 yard line and proceed to drive down the field with big throws to Roddy White and Brian Finneran

The Falcons were knocking on FG distance when Nate Clements intercepted the ball and started running back. Instead of falling down on it he tried to get a pick six and was stripped. Had he gone down the game would be over.

The first pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage and was uncatchable. The second had great pass protection and was incomplete. On 3rd and 10 the pass was complete to Harry Douglas for 11 yards and a first down. Here the Falcons called their first time out with 66 seconds left in the game. Pass complete to Roddy White who goes out of bounds to stop the clock. First down pass was a 4 yard completion to Finneran who managed to get out of bounds stopping the clock with 57 seconds left. The next pass was complete to Roddy White for 23 yards with 52 seconds left to get a first down. Pressure on the first down leads to an incomplete pass, leading to 2nd  and 10. On second down White gets an 8 yard pickup leading to 3rd and 2 and the Falcons call a time out with 43 seconds left. 

Next play is a Michael Turner run up the middle to set up for a FG, followed by another run for no gain. This leaves a 3rd and 9 with 7 seconds left when Matt Bryant comes on to try to kick the game winning FG. The kick is good, leaving the Falcons with the win and the first lead at 2 seconds left in the game. 

Of all the people you can put this loss on I put it squarely on Nate Clements. With his interception at 1:33 left in the game had he knelt down instead of running the game was over. I put this loss squarely on his shoulders. 

This was as heart-wrenching a loss as there is. I expected a blowout by the Falcons but to come up short with 2 seconds left is just unexecusable, especially when we should've won with that final INT.

Offense

Alex Smith
21/32 for 188 yards. 1 TD and 2 INTs

Frank Gore
21 carries for 77 yards
7 receptions for 60 yards

Michael Crabtree
5 receptions for 58 yards

Vernon Davis
4 receptions for 36 yards

 

Defense

Taylor Mays
9 tackles (2 assists)

Dashon Goldson
7 tackles (1 assist)

Nate Clements
1 tackle 1 INT

Shantae Spencer also had an INT

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