It's been an eventful week for the 49ers and its fan base. Firstly, ties, by their nature and rarity, are a shocking occurrence. Secondly...tying the Rams at home after a bye week?!?! Baffling stuff, really. I said before the game last week that it's a can't lose game for the 49ers. We didn't lose, but we definitely didn't win. Luckily, it's all about the loss column in the NFL, and we stayed two games ahead of Seattle in that respect. But this tie felt like a loss. One of the worst offenses in the league had their way with are top-ranked defense. It was a shock.
I had the pleasure of following the game on my smartphone at work. And, remember, it's Monday morning for me in Australia. I can only check it once every 20 minutes or so. There were some moments of shock. When I noticed the game was already underway, checked on it and saw the 49ers were down 14-0 I nearly spat out my coffee. Then to find out that Alex Smith was hurt was like turd icing on a crap cake. But wait a minute, Colin Kaepernick gets us 14 points in a few seconds and we take a fourth quarter lead. We don't surrender fourth quarter leads. At this point I pay closer attention and begin feigning trips to the toilet. What? The Rams have marched 81 yards against us to take the lead with a minute left! Then CK7 gets us down the field to tie it as time runs out. ARGH!!!! The stress!!! Next time I checked my phone it was with David Akers lining up to kick the game-winning 41-yard field goal. Slam Dunk! Oh.....you all know what happened. See what I have to deal with living on this Mad Max-fueled desert wasteland, where crocodiles walk the streets and Thunderdome passes as conflict resolution.
Week 10: 49ers 24, Rams 24
Well, that's my gameday experience. How was it for you guys watching the game live? I would have been a ball of nerves, pulling what remains of my hair out. I can stomach a loss to a good team, but ties to bad teams (though the Rams are clearly improving and turning things around under new coach Jeff Fisher) are really hard to swallow. I'll get to the links, taking you back in time to a different era. I'll set the stage. The year was 2012, Rihanna or Nicki Minaj was rocking the charts. The city of San Francisco was still basking in the glow of the Giants World Series victory. I'll let Niners Nation take it from here...
We'll lead off with Fooch's notes and quotes from the game. There's some good info in there, people. Michael Crabtree, for example, has caught three of his four touchdown's on third down this season. We all know that third downs are crucial and were an achilles heel for us last season. So was red zone play. It's nice to see that Crabs has taken it on board to solve both of those problems at the same time. Very economical. | 49ers vs Rams: Post-game notes and transcripts. (Fooch)
We follow that up with some player reactions from the tie. Multiple players stated that they didn't know a game could end in a tie. It baffles me that you could play the game and not know one of the three possible outcomes to it is even an option. But, I just sit here and write about it on the internet. They work out and stuff like that. You guys keep staying in shape and let me and Coach Harbaugh worry about the outcome. | 49ers-Rams tie: Players reactions provide plenty of confusion. (Fooch)
Stalemate is a word I usually associate with chess. I like to play chess and stalemates only seem to happen when the side that should win screws something up. That's how I feel about David Akers' 41-yard field goal miss. Anthony Ly uses the word in the title of his post. It's hard to tell which team made the slip up (in reality it was both teams at different points of the game) that resulted in the stalemate, but with us being the heavy favorite, we screwed up more. | The booth review: "Candlestick stalemate". (Ly)
One thing that was apparent after the tie was that our special teams unit let us down. They did cause the fumble that led to our final touchdown, which would have been the turning point of the game had we held on to win. But. alas, we drew, and David Akers' missed field goal ended up as the most obvious mistake of the game. We also got beat on not one, but two, fake punts. | Two Rams fake punts, Akers missed field goal remove the special from special teams. (Fooch)
Week 11: Bears at 49ers
With the game on Monday night, there isn't too much written on the preview front this far out from the game. That'll come. What we do know is that Jay Cutler is out. Jason Cambell, familiar to Bay Area sports fans as the guy who the Raiders traded one hundred first round picks for a past-his-prime malcontent to replace him, will make the start. I think the 49ers defense gets a kick in the pants from the staff and comes out and finally forces some turnovers. | Jay Cutler ruled-out, Jason Campbell to start. (Tre9er)
Who has more to prove this coming Monday night? We definitely need to show that last week's tie was a fluke and have our real defense on the field against the Bears. But they, coming off a loss at home to the Texans, need to show they can beat elite teams. We've already proven that. Oh, and did I mention that the winner will be second in the NFC after the game? Tie-breakers are out the window with the Niners at this point, but win-loss records still matter and we like wins. | 49ers not the unproven team on Monday, that would be the Bears. (Brady)
What does a tie mean in the standings? I mentioned above that the loss column is what matters most and we didn't add a tally mark under the letter 'L', so that's good. But it does mean that all the tie-breaker stuff, such as the loss to the Giants and the victory over the Packers are pretty much rendered irrelevant. Here's an update on the playoff situation in the wake of that sister-kisser of a game. | NFL playoff picture: What does tie mean for 49ers playoff standings? (Fooch)
I wasn't sure whether to put this article under the Rams' game section or the hot topics. It probably belongs above, but this section needs more material. That settles it. How bad was the defense in the game against the Rams. A St Louis offensive line that's played fairly poorly all year was able to dominate what most consider to be the most formidable front seven in football. That's all that needs to be said. Luckily, as Dylan DeSimone points out, the 49ers defense hasn't come out flat in consecutive games this season, so we can expect them to bring their 'A' game on Monday night against Chicago. | Where in the world is San Francisco's top-tier defense? (DeSimone)
Where does Colin Kaepernick stand in the grand scheme of things? It's hard to say. He started out slowly against the Rams. After finding his groove, he played great in the fourth quarter and deserved to walk off the field a winner. He did what was required of him for the team to win the game. How would he fair with a full week of first-team practice reps and a gameplan designed around him, looks like we'll have to wait for the chance to find out. | Defining Colin Kaepernick's role. (Hanson)
So, the 49ers' defense is trending in the wrong direction. They're no longer the most dominant run defense in the league, ranking 7th overall. Before we panic, let's note that they still lead the league in points surrendered, which in this league, is truly all that matters, right? | 49ers defense leads NFL in most important statistic. (Tre9er)
Has anyone seen Vernon Davis? I mean, we've seen him lining up, but have you seen him in with the ball in his hands? It's a bit of a worrying trend that he's been pretty well held in check since the Buffalo game, and let's face it, everyone jumped off the stat sheet against the Bills. I mean, I think I had 5 catches for 83 yards in that game, though I wouldn't double check that if I were you. | Examining the recent cold streak of Vernon Davis. (DeSimone)
I'd put this up at the top if it weren't for the chronological by category format that I employ in TWiNN, but this is one of the weird things that contributed to this odd seven days we've just had. Coach Harbaugh went in for a minor procedure as a result of an irregular heartbeat. First Alex, now Coach! And in breaking news, Sourdough Sam drowned in a creek while panning for gold near Sonora. | Jim Harbaugh undergoes 'minor' procedure for irregular heartbeat. (DeSimone)
Many folks thought Randy Moss would blow up at some point this season but he hasn't. He's playing, though. You know who isn't? Yeah, you do. Brandon Jacobs seems to be inching a step closer to the edge with every tweet. | Will Brandon Jacobs pull a Costanza any time soon? (Fooch)
This is another post that has ties to the Rams game but will be filed under Hot Topics because I'm in charge. Colin Kaepernick. What are your thoughts? He's still learning but his athleticism is undeniably special. If anyone can harness all that speed and power and arm strength it'll be Coach Harbaugh. Liberty_Jac will be doing some front page posting for the rest of the year (see what happens when you do your FanPost homework!) and took the opportunity to analyze CK7 in more depth. | The All-22 on Colin Kaepernick. (liberty_JAC)
There are three FanPosts for your enjoyment today. First up, and the winner as the most rec'd post is mighty.joe for his post-Rams game post. He puts a positive spin on it, or I should say, he wants to add some positivity to an otherwise negative atmosphere and that is to be commended. | Tired of all the post Rams negativity? (mighty.joe)
Oh, complicated questions take complicated answers. The salary cap is complicated, isn't it? What are we gonna do with NaVorro Bowman when his contract runs out? How are we going to pay him and Patrick Willis? Can a team afford to pay the best players at the same position the money they deserve? Nickbradley has a post on the idea of trading him. There's some good discussion in the comments as well. What are your thoughts? I personally wouldn't trade a bowman for anything less than two trebuchets and a regiment of pikemen. But that's me. I'm such a nerd sometimes. | Would it be crazy to trade NaVorro Bowman? (nickbradley)
As would be expected following such a bewildering game, a lot of what was written this week was about the feelings we have in its aftermath. Disappointment? Sorrow? Excitement at getting to finally see what Kaepernick can do? How did you feel. I felt like I was at work when the game was over. | Random thoughts following the draw with the Rams. (49ersFanSince1950)
That's it, people. Until next week.....
Being a Sheep
If you're new here, you can register for a free account to participate in the discussion and create your own fanposts here at Niners Nation and across our entire network of 300+ sports blogs.