In case you were wondering, yes, the San Francisco 49ers stink right now. Plenty of blame falls on losing Jimmy Garoppolo to a torn ACL, but regardless, right now, this team stinks. They added to the misery in Week 12, losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a final score of 27-9. The loss dropped San Francisco to 2-9 on the season.
The day opened with Reuben Foster getting released after his Saturday evening arrest for suspicion of domestic violence. Once actual football got started, things went south pretty quickly. Jameis Winston found Cameron Brate for a touchdown in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead. The 49ers scored their own touchdown, but a missed extra point prevented them from tying the score. That was as close as things got for them.
The 49ers looked like they might tie it up in the third quarter. Trailing 13-6, Jeff Wilson took a handoff on 1st and goal from the 9. He seemed to hit the pylon as he dived for the end zone, but he was ruled just short. Matt Breida was then stopped at the goal line, as was Nick Mullens on a sneak. The 49ers were set to go for it on fourth and goal, but a false start pushed them back five yards and they kicked a field goal to cut the lead to 13-9.
The Bucs went on to add two touchdowns to their lead as the 49ers offense could get little of anything going. It was a fitting close that Mullens threw an interception in the fourth quarter. It was the Bucs second interception of the season, and their first takeaway in eight weeks. They added a second interception on a deflection in the closing minutes. The moveable object beat out the resistible force.
It was a disaster of a performance for Mullens against an atrocious Bucs defense. He completed 18 of 32 passes for 221 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He was sacked four times and avoided a fifth when he just barely got rid of a pass. The offensive line struggled, but Mullens regularly missed his receivers.
The defense couldn’t get much of anything going. DeForest Buckner got a sack when Jameis Winston tripped, but otherwise the 49ers could not close the deal. Winston regularly seemed to escape and find open receivers, and it killed the 49ers defense. The secondary had some issues, but once plays break down after not getting a sack, all bets are off. Add in a zone look that was bending with some regularity in the middle of the game, and it was not a pretty day.
If you’re looking for positives, draft position improved, and there were some positives on offense.
- Matt Breida grew up two counties away from Hillsborough County (Tampa), and he had a heck of a homecoming. Breida finished the game with 140 total yards, including 106 rushing yards at a 7.6 per carry clip.
- Dante Pettis got the start in place of an inactive Marquise Goodwin (personal reasons), and made something of it. He had four receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown.
- Jeff Wilson made his debut and had 33 yards on seven carries, and an almost touchdown. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him these final five weeks.
Up next: @ Seattle Seahawks
Things might be set to get rather ugly for the 49ers. It was a mess against the Bucs, but now they hit a rough close to the schedule. They travel to Seattle, then host Denver, Seattle, and Chicago, and finally close at the Rams. Aside from LA maybe resting their starters, 2-14 is entirely in the picture at this point.