Why do I keep doing this to myself? I had already given up on the 49ers this year and accepted that this season was a lost cause. I had accepted that we were a team that beat ourselves and didn't know how to win.
I didn't even get upset anymore when things didn't go our way, but then they gave us hope once again by trashing the Seahawks last week 40-21 on Thursday night. I found myself screaming at the television; I just couldn't stand this heartache once again.
I knew going into the game that the 49ers were heavy underdogs, but I had decided that maybe, just maybe, they had some magic left in them to go out and win a non-divisional road game, which they had failed to do in their last ten tries.
Sadly, I was wrong.
The Chargers started quickly with a 58-yard strike to Vincent Jackson. He outjumped Nate Clements and, with a little fortune, had the ball slide right into his arms to complete the touchdown strike. Just like that the rout was on.
The 49ers were very competitive in the first quarter and did an excellent job getting pressure on Rivers. The offensive and defensive lines did a great job in that quarter.
Too bad games are four quarters long.
The turning point of the game was in the second quarter. The 49ers were going on a long drive that ended with an Alex Smith touchdown run that was negated by a challenge. The Chargers stuffed the 49ers on fourth down, leaving them with no points on that drive.
Then the biggest play of the game occurred: Justin Smith got ejected.
I understand that a player should never touch an official, but in the heat of the moment you might not be able to control your emotions; unfortunately, this is what happened to Justin. In my opinion, the refs need to man up a little and take a little contact, it looked like Justin did not even know that it was the official holding him back. This was the turning point of the game.
With the 49ers losing 34-7, fingers can be pointed in a lot of directions, but let's get this straight: the 49ers lost as a team. Alex Smith did not lose this game. Alex Smith did not drop a pass, and he did not miss a block or a tackle. It was a complete team loss.
Alex Smith went 19-of-29 for 165 yards and threw one interception, but it was a fourth-and-long and with the 49ers losing 31-0, he was just trying to make a play. This was not a very good effort, but he was pressured all night long. He also missed on a couple of throws that should have been completed.
Credit has to be given to the Chargers; they took advantage of all the opportunities, and the 49ers did not. Ahmad Brooks missed a gift-wrapped interception, Moran Norris was called for a facemask penalty that negated a Ted Ginn kickoff return for a touchdown. Tarell Brown got called for a late-hit penalty that the Chargers turned into a touchdown. They also converted the Justin Smith ejection into points.
So now what? The 49ers are 5-9 and now hoping that the Chiefs take care of business against the Rams to help them out. The 49ers have to win out and hope Seattle and St. Louis lose, but is it worth it? Will 49er fans be content with a 7-9 playoff team? I am not so sure we are worthy of a playoff spot, but if it were to happen, I would certainly watch the games.
The 49ers disappointed everyone tonight. It was a crushing defeat, but was it a season-ending backbreaker?
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