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San Francisco 49ers Choke on Their Own Medicine Against Chiefs

Frank Gore and the 49ers were beyond beat by Kansas City.
Frank Gore and the 49ers were beyond beat by Kansas City.Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Joseph BurkeyAnalyst ISeptember 28, 2010

The Kansas City Chiefs beat the stuffing out of the San Francisco 49ers Sunday by being everything the Red and Gold wishes it was.

The 49ers should, could, and would be a power rushing attack that sets up over-the-top passes with check-down screens for balance. They are not.

Kansas City, in spite of not producing a 100-yard rusher, totaled 207 yards on the ground against a supposedly elite 49ers run defense. When SF sold out to stop the run, the Chiefs capitalized on short and medium passes.

Now, a defensive meltdown like this can be overcome—if the team has an offense capable of bailing them out. The 49ers have had nothing close to this in several years.

The defense that was supposed to limit San Francisco's opponents to less than 15 points per game has given up an average of 29 per contest. Unless there is an offense capable of overcoming such a deficit (which there is not), this is not a winning formula.

At 0-3, something had to give. Either Greg Manusky's defense needed some major surgery, or the offensive coaching hierarchy needed to be reconfigured. Giving up 29 points per game won't win much, but posting less than 13 points each time out (averaging eight per road game) is not a way to succeed in the NFL either.

Between Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel calling magical play after magical play, San Francisco was once again out-coached.

Out-coached—the souring cliché became far too real. Something had to give.

Manusky's seat was cooler than Jimmy Raye's, likely because the defensive coordinator brings a fiery intensity; Raye's nonchalant calmness was his weakest attribute.

Just like that, Jimmy Raye is gone from the 49ers coaching staff.

It's pouring rain in San Francisco right now, despite the heat wave. Two road blowouts, a heartbreaker at home, and a looming trip to Atlanta have the Faithful praying for a miracle.

As they sort out the mess, all eyes wonder if the season can be salvaged. It's only Week 4, but three weeks ago it was only Week 1. There's really no reason to expect anything but a coffin nail from Atlanta.

So far what they've received has been a lethal dose of reality, a painful booster shot of hope, and a big taste of what they wanted their own medicine to be.

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