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San Francisco 49ers 2010 Season In Review: Week 11, VS Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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The 49ers went into their week eleven matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a high note. San Francisco had won two consecutive games , and despite being 3-6 were in the midst of a playoff race in the NFC West. Tampa Bay, on the other hand, had already won twice as many games, six, than they had won in 2009.

It was gut check time for the 49ers. Were they going to continue the momentum? Or would they once again fall flat?

Tampa Bay won the toss and elected to receiver. After the opening kickoff the Bucs started at their own 23. A couple plays later, on 3rd and 3, Josh Freeman carried the ball to the right side for five yards and a 1st down. However, on the next 3rd down attempt Patrick Willis broke through the line and sacked Freeman forcing a Bucs punt.

The 49ers would end up driving the ball to just outside the Bucs 40 yard line on their initial drive, however, Frank Gore would put the ball on the ground and Barrett Ruud for recover it. The 49ers drive ended, and any momentum was gone.

Both teams ended up going three and out on their next couple of possessions before Tampa Bay took over at their own 20 with just over 1:30 remaining in the quarter. The first quarter would come to an end with Tampa Bay in the midst of a nice drive   (0-0 End of First Quarter)


Freeman got on a bit of a roll with completions of 13 yards to Mike Williams and 7 to Kellen Winslow Jr. Rookie RB LaGarrette Blount would get in a roll as well carry the ball for 15 yards on two plays. After a few plays the Buccaneers faced 3rd and 1 from the 49ers 7. Freeman would take the QB sneak for a yard and another 1st down. Two plays later Carnell Williams ran it in from 6 yards out for the TD.  (7-0 Tampa Bay)


As what would be a continuing theme the 49ers relied heavily on Frank Gore, but to no avail. Gore would carry 8 yards on the first two plays, but find himself in a bad situation with a horrible Troy Smith pass on 3rd down. Barrett Ruud destroyed Gore on the play, and the pass fell incomplete.

Neither team did much of anything on the remaining drives. The first half seemed to be a bit of a boor as both teams were incredibly flat. (7-0 Tampa Bay, Halftime)


The 49ers started the 2nd half on a high note; Troy Smith hit Josh Morgan for 17 yards near mid-field. Two plays later David Baas was called for a phantom holding penalty, which pushed the 49ers back. The next play Troy Smith hit Delanie Walker for 14 yards to bring up a 3rd and short. Luckily for the 49ers, Shawn White was off-side, and gave the 49ers a 1st down. However, the 49ers decided to punt a few plays later on 4th and 4 from just outside the Bucs 30. To Singletary's benefit the wind was swirling and it wasn't a normal 47 yard FG; however, the 49ers could easily have gone for it.

Tampa Bay began their next drive at their own 6 yard line, and they started a time consuming drive immediately. Freeman hit Winslow for 17 yards, Blount gained five on a rush behind Davin Joseph and Freeman once again hit Winslow, this time for 10 yards. Two plays later, on 3rd and 4, Freeman hit Sammie Slaughter in the slot for 7 yards and a first down. Tampa Bay did not see another third down opportunity until they were inside the 49ers 30 yard line. Freeman hit Winslow for 6 yards, but Dashon Goldson came up with a huge play preventing a 1st down. Connor Barth missed a 41 yard FG attempt, bailing the 49ers out.

Par for the course, the 49ers went three and out on their next drive; they were really slumping on offense.

Tampa Bay started their next drive at their own 33. Josh Freeman hit rookie standout Mike Williams for 33 yards. Williams took a 7 yard slant and took it up field another 26 yards, horrible tackling and lanes taken by 49er defensive backs allowed the play to be extended. A couple plays later, on 3rd and 1, Freeman hit Mike Williams for 8 yards and a TD (14-0 Tampa Bay, End of 3rd Quarter)


Note: I am not going to get into too much detail in regards to the 4th quarter because it just wasn't good for our 49ers. I truly believe that it makes no sense to torture Niners Nation readers with sentences about three and outs etc... You can thank me in the comment section.


The 49ers actually had an extended drive, if you want to call it that, on their next drive. They got a first down, ran 7 plays, but only gained 19 yards. After the 49ers defense stepped up and forced a Tampa Bay three and out, Troy Smith would give it right back. He decided to stare down Josh Morgan, and Rhonde Barber being the savvy vet he is picked the ball off and returned it inside the 49ers 10.

On the Bucs next drive, Freeman would hit Donald Penn for a 1 yard TD pass, pretty much putting the game away (21-0 Tampa Bay)


The game would pretty much end without anything of substance happening and the 49ers were shut out at home for the first time in 30 years.


Quotes from Niners Community


Not blaming Troy

But if you look at early in the game he had time. He was looking deep. Then he had to scramble which led t sacks. He has to take partial blame when Gore is open short but he's only focused on the deep routes. (Spurredon, 11/21/10)


Stop and think about something useful to say about the performance. Just yelling and screaming about the team is kinda pointless. And if you want to yell and scream and swear, that's why we have other threads.  (Fooch, 11/21/10) FYI: I absolutely love this quote from Fooch, one of the reasons I avoid NN game posts!!!

On how much the loss is a setback to the progress this season:

"Well obviously a big setback, something that we expected to come out here today and play well. Did not. But we'll just have to get back and watch the film and look at the things that we need to do and correct and go forward." (Mike Singletary, 11/21/10)

On whether they were too conservative to open the game:

"I won't say that we were too conservative. I just think that it was hard to get in the rhythm early on. We didn't make many first downs so there was no - it wasn't like it was an ongoing thing. You had a chance to get a rhythm going, and I think that's one of the problems in this game." (Mike Singletary, 11/21/10)

On how disappointing this loss is:

"It's rough, it's rough, because you set out to win every game. You set out to put your team in a position to remain dominant and continue to win. When it doesn't go your way, it's a reality check. You have to go back to the drawing board just as if we would win. Hopefully the guys and everybody else is taking it the same way, because I understand Monday that we have to work and we can't harp on this game today. It happened, we have to move forward and let's continue to play." (Troy Smith, 11/21/10)





Now, was this one heck of a game by our 49ers? I mean, they played superior football didn't they? Of course I am joking. The frustration level that I had during this game was beyond anything I had felt up until week 11. The 49ers apparently decided not to show up, at all!!! It was beyond pathetic!! I don't know what else to say about this performance, but this was the game that I lost all confidence in our players and coaches; it was also the game that I knew Troy Smith would never be a viable NFL starting QB.

The Good

I guess I am going to have to look deep into my optimism in order to find anything positive. So here goes the Tony Robbins "crystal ball". Troy Smith did average 9 yards per rush, well when he wasn't being sacked. Seventy five percent of the passes (4), that were thrown to Delanie Walker were completed, I guess that is a good sign. Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes combined for a whopping 25 tackles, but that could have had to do with Tampa Bay having a +13 minute time of possession advantage. Also, not a single Tampa Bay player had more than 4 receptions; the 49er corners played pretty decent.

The Bad

Where to start? Well, the 49ers were -13 minutes in the time of possession battle, and the Buccaneers ran the ball a whopping 42 times for over 160 yards. Troy Smith was sacked 6 times, and hit 12 times total. Tampa Bay rookie offensive players combined for over 160 total yards of offense, and Blount had 82 yards rushing. Michael Crabtree had the ball thrown to him a total of 2 times, that is all the fault of Troy Smith; I noticed Crabtree open a few different times, but Smith became antsy in the pocket and wasn't able to see the field clearly. The 49ers offensive line regressed a great deal during this game, it was pretty sad. Not only did they allow six sacks, but Frank Gore averaged less than 2 yards per rush. The coaching bordered on horrible in this game as well, the 49ers never tried to do anything different on offense, they refused to adapt to the changing dynamics of the game.

Standout Performance(S)

Again, not much to see here! I wouldn't give a game ball to even the most beautiful of 49er cheerleaders in this game. However, if I have to locate something under the fungi in order to remain positive, it would have to be Patrick Willis. Willis had 13 tackles and 2 sacks, you couldn't ask for more from your best defensive player. Additionally, Takeo Spikes played a solid game, as did Nate Clements. The way the 49ers offense was going, Tampa Bay could have scored 40 in this game.

Game Changing Plays

The opening kick-off, pretty much when the game started. It is hard to have a game changing play when a team was beaten so badly.


Following this game I came to the conclusion that the 49ers didn't deserve to make the playoffs. It would be hard to actually find an NFL team that they could have beaten on this day. In fact, an intra-squad scrimmage may have resulted in a tie!



Troy Smith: 16/31- 148 Yards- 0 TD- INT- 6 Sacks (51.5 Rating)   5 Rushes- 45 Yards- 9.0 AVG

Frank Gore: 12 Rushes- 23 Yards- 1.9 AVG      5 Receptions- 37 Yards

Josh Morgan: 4 Receptions- 51 Yards

Josh Freeman: 13/20- 136 Yards- 2 TD- 0 INT- 2 Sacks (117.9 Rating)

LeGarrette Blount: 26 Rushes- 82 Yards- 3.2 AVG-

Mike Williams: 3 Receptions- 54 Yards- TD

Kellen Winslow: 4 Receptions- 34 Yards

Box Score

1st Downs 20 11
Passing 1st downs
9 5
Rushing 1st downs
10 3
1st downs from Penalties
1 3
3rd down efficiency
7-14 3-12
4th down efficiency
0-1 0-3
Total Plays 66 55
Total Yards 299 189
Passing 137 118
14-22 16-31
Yards per pass
6.2 3.8
Rushing 162 71
Rushing Attempts
42 18
Yards per rush
3.9 3.9
Red Zone (Made-Att) 3-3 0-0
Penalties 3-35 3-18
Turnovers 0 2
Fumbles lost
0 1
Interceptions thrown
0 1
Defensive / Special Teams TDs 0 0
Possession 36:24 23:36