It's Back To the Drawing Board for Mike Singletary and the 49ers

Steven ResnickSenior Writer INovember 22, 2009

HOUSTON - OCTOBER 25:  Running back Steve Slaton #20 of the Houston Texans is tackled by linebacker Patrick Willis #52 and Mark Roman #26 of the San Francisco 49ers at Reliant Stadium on October 25, 2009 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers again did not show up in a game this time against the Green Bay Packers. While the 30-24 score represents a valiant effort in the second half by the 49ers, the question remains: What happened in the first half? 

In the first half, 49ers fans were treated to the same issues that have been plaguing the 49ers all season long. That is poor offensive line play, a lack of any rational play-calling, poor tackling, a soft secondary, and absolutely no pass rush.

With those issues, it's not hard to understand how the Packers scored 23 points in the first half. I will say the defense did a good job in holding the Packers to field goals after some big plays by the Packers offense.

Other then that though, there really wasn't anything positive going for the 49ers in the first half. Offensively the 49ers ran only 18 plays the entire half, while the Packers ran 48 plays.

It also didn't bode well for the 49ers that Frank Gore only had five carries in the first half and in total had only seven carries the entire game. There's something wrong with that picture when one of the best running backs in the NFL only gets seven carries.

What's sad about that is the fact that Gore started out on his first carry with a nice 42 yard run. He was then given the ball again picked up a yard, the 49ers ran a reverse with Josh Morgan which picked up eight yards and was pretty close to a first down.

The 49ers had basically a third and inches situation. Instead of giving the ball to Gore though, it was a fullback dive with Moran Norris who actually lost yardage on the play and the 49ers had to settle for a field goal.

Not getting the ball to Gore in that situation not a great idea. What I also have a hard time understanding is why Vernon Davis wasn't utilized in the passing game either in the first half, and the same can be said for Michael Crabtree.

When the two best receivers on the team can't get the ball the 49ers are not going to be winning very many games and it's not hard to see why the 49ers were trailing 23-3.

In the second half though the 49ers offense came alive, and throughout the half the 49ers had to throw the ball. It's not hard to see why the 49ers were able to come back to make the final score look respectable.

Alex Smith was able to find Davis, Crabtree, and Gore for touchdown passes. Unfortunately for the 49ers, they were not able to come up with one last big stop to get the ball back and see if Smith could complete the comeback.

Davis finished with five catches in the second half for 104 yards and Crabtree in the second half finished with three catches and 71 yards.

Smith seems to do well when the 49ers are behind and he has to make throws. The question is, why not call the type of plays that utilize Smith's abilities? He seems to have confidence in a more hurried situation, so why not do that?

Over on the defensive side the 49ers looked bad in the first half too. There was absolutely no pressure on Aaron Rodgers, which allowed for him to throw 31 times completing 22 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns.

At that time of the game it meant that the 49ers had allowed for 83 passes to be thrown in the last six quarters, and the defense had no sacks. In the second half the 49ers were able to sack Rodgers twice and held him to 72 yards passing.

But, that really had to do with the fact that the Packers were trying to run as much clock as possible. Ryan Grant, the Packers running back, sliced through the 49ers defense with 21 carries, 129 yards, and a touchdown.

What's frustrating is the fact that coming into the game the Packers offensive line had been bad, allowing the most sacks coming in to the game. Yet, the 49ers couldn't get to Rodgers until the game was pretty much out of reach.

So, after this performance by the 49ers, especially in the first half, fans should be worried about what's going to happen against Jacksonville. Jacksonville has one of the premiere running backs in the league in Maurice Jones-Drew, and in the passing game, Mike Sims-Walker has really made name for himself.

Does this mean the 49ers are looking at 4-7 after next week's game? Possibly. What will be interesting to see is the reaction of Mike Singletary after this loss to the Packers.

I think it's time for him to stop being so positive and it's time for him to get angry, especially with the offensive line and how pathetic it looked in the first half. There was absolutely no excuse for the play of the offensive line in the first half.

At the end of the season it just means that there's definitely going to be changes. I would say that first to go is Chris Foerster the 49ers offensive line coach. 

On the defensive side of the ball, Vance Joseph and Johnnie Lynn also need to be fired because so far the most inconsistent aspect to the 49ers defense has been the play of the secondary.

Jimmy Raye the offensive coordinator should be fired at the end of the season. He has been awful and it's hard to understand at this point in the season the justification of hiring Raye to begin with.

I would say that Greg Manusky should be on the hotseat at defensive coordinator. If the 49ers defense doesn't find a way to get more pressure on the quarterback, then Manusky should be fired.

Manusky has done a great job with the defense and stopping the run, but against the pass the 49ers have been one of the worst teams in the NFL, and today's game against the Packers didn't help their cause either.

Coming into the game, the 49ers ranked 29th in passing yards allowed and 29th in completions allowed. That's not getting it done against the pass.

If the season were to end today it's obvious that there are certain assistant coaches and coordinators who are just not getting the job done and should be let go by Singletary.