So there you have it. The San Francisco 49ers are 6-4 after falling to the New Orleans Saints in a weird, weird game on Sunday. I have a few issues with the game, mostly due to the Ahmad Brooks call that was totally wrong in every way. That hit was not in any way illegal, but you can hardly say the referees gave the Saints the game.
Sure, that play directly led to the Saints winning said game, but there were 50 minutes played before that point in which the 49ers did their best to give the Saints the game as well. The defense played about as well as we could expect (save for the total lack of pass rush .. honestly it's kind of amazing how good San Francisco's secondary has been with the total lack of pressure on opposing quarterbacks) and the offense was terrible.
The play-calling was abysmal. It's like the 49ers forgot that Frank Gore existed -- and don't give me the "they stacked the box" routine, because that's never stopped Gore before. No, instead they insisted on running LaMichael James up the middle on a 3rd and 2. Yeesh. I had better stop ranting before this runs too long. Let's just get to your links on the day, folks.
Controversial penalty erases defining moment for 49ers' defense (Maiocco)
Brown, Iupati carted off with injuries, Reid emerges healthy; Aldon Smith plays through illness (Inman)
Iupati's injury could end offensive line's streak (Branch)
Wildcard bound? 49ers' road to the Super Bowl now the same as John Harbaugh's 2012 Ravens (BA Sports Guy)
Late-game magic seems missing (Barrows)
Problems in running game prove costly once again (Killion)
49ers RB Anthony Dixon complains about role on Twitter (BA Sports Guy)
Miscues plague 49ers in last-second loss to Saints (Maiocco)
Crying foul: Big play turns into big blow for 49ers (Barrows)
Offensive blunders plentiful, especially in fourth-quarter crunch time (Inman)
Grounded: 49ers have season-low rushing total in loss (Branch)
49ers notes: Harbaugh praises Kaepernick; Iupati, Brown injured (Barrows)
Report cart: Second straight loss features team-wide mistakes (Inman)
Close losses mount, but playoffs in sight (Williamson)
Rapid Reaction: San Francisco 49ers (Williamson)
Eric Wright's Debut Not According to Plan (49ers)