The San Francisco 49ers came up short against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, and you could tell from the players after the game they were frustrated. How couldn’t you be? It’s not that the 49ers lost to a four-win team, it’s that they came out flat. What I continue to appreciate about the Niners is their accountability. To a man, they know they dropped the ball Sunday. To a man, they also understand that the season will be defined by what happens from here on out. Here are some of the player quotes from the locker room.
DL DeForest Buckner said, “Thank God it’s a short week,” because you guys just get back on the field. Is that your feeling and the feeling in the locker room?
“Yeah, any loss is frustrating. This one, just how it happened and everything that went along with it, but yeah, having a short week this week will be good for us. Kind of turn the page and move on.”
I assume this does not feel like you just clinched a playoff berth?
“Yeah, I heard that in the locker room. Yeah, mixed emotions right now. It’s always good to get into the playoffs and everything, but just how it happened, it’s tough.”
In the locker room after this, everyone’s talking ownership of different little things that they could do better. What does that say about what you’ve got in there?
“Yeah, I think it speaks to our team, the mindset that we have. I think, starting with myself, I need to be better. I think a lot of guys in the locker room have that mindset. When we watch the film tomorrow, we’ll all see the same thing. I think if we all have that mindset, it’ll help us get better quickly.”
Both head coach Kyle Shanahan and LB Fred Warner said that the team came out maybe not with the energy that they should’ve. Do you believe that they could’ve come out with a little bit more energy?
“Yeah, definitely. I think we could’ve had more juice in the beginning, but we really can’t rely on just having so much energy. We have to go execute at the end of the day. When your number gets called, whatever it is, you have to execute your job, and I think it’s just the little details like that. Obviously, having the energy and all that comes along with it, but we’ve got to just execute better.”
“It’s one game. We’re going to bounce back. We’re going to get better from this. We left too many points on the field on offense. That game shouldn’t have gotten to the point where it was.
“Football is football. It’s always a little bit of everything. It’s a penalty here and there. It’s a drop or a sack, or whatever it was today. I think we were on our side of the 50 quite a bit, and it didn’t turn into points, and it has to. We have to be better than that. We had every opportunity to close that game out, and we just didn’t.”
It’s definitely the small stuff. I don’t think anything in the last few weeks has anything to do with today. This team is filled with professionals, and I don’t think the last few weeks has anything to do with today. Atlanta came in and played really really hard, and they made plays down the stretch that they needed, and they won the game. Offensively, we have to close that game out, and we will next time.
“I think everybody to a man will tell you they should have played better and can play better. This isn’t going to define our season. It’s going to be something we’re going to learn from. We have two games left. If we take care of business, we’ll be happy.”
“We didn’t play with the intensity we’ve been playing with all year. I hope our team learns if we don’t bring intensity, it will be a quick season-ender. I wish I could play right now. It’s a sour taste, and I’d love to get it out of my mouth right now. Give it 24 hours, flush it, and get back to work.
“I know I let all of (my teammates) down ... I didn’t win my rushes. I did the wrong things on a couple plays. I just need to be more of an impact player.”
You can tell Bosa isn’t used to losing. When he speaks after a loss, he is incredibly tough on himself. A lot of players will say that and are just saying it to say it, but in Bosa’s case, you can see in his eyes he really feels like he cost his team the game. We all know that’s not the case; it’s just a different attitude. A championship attitude, really.