After the San Francisco 49ers were completely dominated by the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday Night Football, it was a very somber post game press conference session and locker room. There were many questions about the 49ers punting twice on 4th and short in the 4th quarter, and if it was a sign of giving up. Head Coach Jim Tomsula said that was not the case.
I was trying to get the field position changed.
Some would construe punting as giving up. Do you feel like it was a give up?
No, I didn't feel like that was a give-up. No.
If the media has that question in their mind, do the players as well? Where was the fight? Where was the fire? Were the 49ers afraid to take the chance that the scoreboard could have read 27-3 instead of 20-3? Would that have mattered? Why not leave it all on the field, no matter the risk of the scoreboard? Why not take a chance?
Tomsula not only appeared completely defeated in his press conference but the game plan in the second half seemed to offer little hope that he wasn't already accepting this loss. To open up the second half, the 49ers defense got a stop after the Seahawks were only able to move the ball 12 yards on 6 plays. The 49ers got the ball back and dialed up three run plays in a row, with a running back dealing with a stress fracture in his foot, all to the right, and punted on a 4th and 5. Is this a lack of confidence in what the quarterback can do by the coaching staff? Or were those really the best three plays to start the second half?
We will never know whether or not the players feel like the play calling/game planning adds to the frustration of a loss, but I do know that the mood in the locker room was very similar to what it was like after the loss to Green Bay: defeated, demoralized and frustrated. So frustrated that several players got ready fast enough to avoid any contact with the media. Alex Boone, who wasn't quite fast enough to avoid reporters, offered this statement when asked to comment on the loss:
Postgame... Hey, Alex Boone, can I ask you a couple questions? "No" How come? "I don't feel like fucking talking." #49ers #LosingWithDignity— Phil Barber (@Skinny_Post) October 23, 2015
There was also this tweet from Torrey Smith:
Unacceptable....that was sorry— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) October 23, 2015
The coaching staff needs to not only have a better game plan in store for another tough defense in St. Louis but they need to figure out a way to instill some confidence and fight in their players. Punting twice on 4th and short at the end of the game might not be the best way to do that.