The elegant tank is alive and well. After the San Francisco 49ers made the Oakland Raiders look like a team Alabama could beat, they returned to their ways by blowing a lead and letting the New York Giants, who only had a single win before Monday night, win the game.
It stings. It’s horrible. I said if the 49ers let Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. wake up that they would feel the effects. I certainly wasn’t wrong. The Giants offense found a way to stay on the field play after play, allowing time for Eli Manning to forget he’s Eli Manning.
The 49ers would have won if...
The defense could finish a game. I guess this goes with if the refs could keep their penalty flags in their pockets too, but I’ll get to that. Back to the defense, it found a way time and time again to keep the Giants offense on the field. If they could simply close a drive and let the offense run out the clock, they would have had this. Instead, stupid coverages like letting Ahkello Witherspoon go up against OBJ by himself (what the hell was that about?) and the once again awful pass rush showed the defense can’t close when it matters.
The 49ers lost because...
The officiating was trash. That’s no excuse for a game, blaming the officials, but there was some awful calls. Flopping is now in the NFL thanks to that George Kittle PI, OBJ held Sherman’s arm yet Sherman gets the flag, I can’t say I’m surprised by any of this. The final drive of the Giants was the worst with third and longs getting converted due to flags because of the 49ers either being knuckleheads or the NFL wanting to display its officiating.
But the more pathetic thing is how many times the 49ers let themselves get into those situations. Flag for a first down? Third and long, only to get another flag to start all over—and this process was how the Giants scored. It was ridiculous and less on the officiating. It wasn’t one key call, it was several. You aren’t going to win when you keep committing mistakes, no matter how trivial they may be.
Beyond the officiating, the 49ers lost because the offense couldn’t execute in key moments. Marquise Goodwin (I hope he’s ok after those vicious head shots) had a ball he should have caught (I don’t care if it’s a late throw, that’s a ball you catch) that could have led to sustaining a drive. That said, Nick Mullens didn’t look awful, he had some mistakes but I’d venture to say he has a better skill set to run this offense than C.J. Beathard. Still, this game is not near as much on the offense as it is on the defense.