The San Francisco 49ers lost to the Dallas Cowboys, which is about the worst thing that can happen in pro football as far as I'm concerned. But even worse than that, the 49ers lost linebacker NaVorro Bowman for the season due to an injury. That actually breaks my heart.
But we've got to move on, and before doing that, we're going to look at some good stuff ... and some bad stuff from Sunday's game between the two.
As usual, I plan on doing a breakdown of the sacks, both allowed and earned by the 49ers. Against the Cowboys, the 49ers allowed one sack of Gabbert (and it was a very bad one), and managed to sack Dak Prescott twice. Of course, one of those sacks came from Bowman and that makes his injury even more frustrating.
Let's just get to those sacks, shall we? We'll start with Bowman's sack, which came first in the game.
4:53 in 1st Quarter: 3rd and 4 from DAL 45: Prescott sacked at DAL 37 for -8 yards (NaVorro Bowman)
It sure is sobering to take a look at a gif featuring NaVorro Bowman doing great things. Bowman sustained an Achilles injury and was placed on injured reserve. It's incredibly disappointing and saddening given the passion that Bowman puts into his game. How body is letting him down in his prime and its frustrating.
But as for the play above, the 49ers get some good pressure on Prescott from a couple different areas. DeForest Buckner comes flying around the outside and would have caused pressure if the line wasn't completely wide open for a Bowman blitz. Not much to say here other than how excellent Bowman's recognition and closing speed is.
8:56 in 2nd QUarter: 1st and 10 from SF 17: Gabbert sacked at SF 10 for -7 yards (Tyrone Crawford)
This is definitely the worst play of Trent Brown's career. I don't know if he's expecting help from the guard, but it sure seems like it. Whatever the case, at the end of the day, Brown is responsible for that guy with nobody else coming around the outside and it just looks bad. He plants his feet and reaches instead of trying to rotate his hips. He just guides the guy right into Gabbert.
4:50 in 2nd Quarter: 3rd and 6 from DAL 49: Prescott sacked at DAL 46 for -3 yards (Chris Davis, Ronald Blair)
There was a penalty called on this play -- unnecessary roughness on safety Jaquiski Tartt. But we'll look at that below. For now, let's take a look at the actual sack which was eventually split between defensive back Chris Davis and defensive lineman Ronald Blair.
What happens before then is a whole bunch of chaos. The important thing to note on the play is that the 49ers are generally containing the play well. The only open player is well short of the first down and this was, of course, a crucial third-down play. The offensive line breaks down immediately, but it just kind of happens in several different places.
Nobody got immediate, strong pressure. Nobody looked particularly amazing off the line, but not a single person in the above play stopped pursuing the ball and that's encouraging to see.
Here's the supposed penalty. They argued that the whistle was blown but I think that's nebulous at best. Prescott is trying to run. He's a bigger dude. It was a clean hit, no helmet contact. The play isn't definitely dead.
Pretty poor call, at least in my opinion.