Due to the opening coin flip the 49ers received the kick to start the second half of the game. Down 10-3 after a Chiefs field goal to close the first half, it was an ideal situation for the 49ers to get some momentum going and turn things around. The 49ers converted a 3rd and 15 when Alex Smith hooked up with Dominique Zeigler on a beautiful sideline catch for 19 yards. On the next play, Frank Gore rushed for three yards, only to have it called back due to an unnecessary roughness penalty called against rookie right tackle Anthony Davis.
At first it seemed like just a silly penalty by a heated rookie. Inexcusable but not exactly surprising. Well, if Matt Maiocco's report is correct, the penalty is still inexcusable, but might be at least a little justified. According to Maiocco, Anthony Davis indicated that Chiefs defensive tackle Shaun Smith tried to grab him down below the belt:
"He tried to feel me," Davis said. "That's weird, right?"
We may have our early front-runner for quote of the year.
Later in MM's report there's mention that Alex Mack of the Browns accused Smith of a similar maneuver. I don't know how many stories I've read about the shenanigans that happen in the pile so this shouldn't exactly be shocking. Nonetheless, I'm willing to cut the rookie a little bit of slack on this one.
Speaking of the rookie right tackle, in reading through the comments during and after the game, I think the folks that are already throwing him under the bus need to calm down a little bit. The fact that he's had some success and followed that up with some failure (in today's case, a lot of failure) shouldn't exactly be surprising for a draft pick, even if he's a first round pick. Some players can come right in and blow things up, while others take a bit more time. While I might be getting impatient with certain aspects of this team, the development of Anthony Davis is not on that list at this point.