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The Cleveland Browns had lost seven games in a row. That ended on Sunday. The San Francisco 49ers were mathematically still in the playoff hunt – with astronomical odds. That ended on Sunday. The loss in Cleveland officially eliminated them from postseason contention for the second season in a row. The 49ers dropped their ninth game of the season and their fifth in their last seven games falling to 4-9 on the season – making it official that they would finish with a worse record than last year.
All of this was against a Cleveland team that came into the game with a 2-10 record.
This is kind of game 49ers brass certainly did not want to see at this stage. One would think it might make them re-think some things.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) December 13, 2015
While the 49ers looked competitive in their last two games, they did not on Sunday. It was the type of regression that might make team management rethink their reported interest in retaining head coach Jim Tomsula for 2016. It was the type of loss, against what many figured to be an inferior opponent, that might make the 49ers rethink a lot of things.
The Browns had 481 yards of total offense, more than double the total for the 49ers (221). San Francisco QB Blaine Gabbert completed 18 of his 28 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown. His counterpart, Cleveland QB Johnny Manziel, was 21 of 31 for 270 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Entering the game, the Browns had the worst rushing offense in the NFL, averaging just 73.9 yards per game. They had 230 against the 49ers defense. Browns RB Isaiah Crowell had a career-high 145 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Entering the game, the Browns had the 31st ranked rushing defense in the NFL, allowing an average of 136.3 yards per game. The 49ers were only able to manage 71 with RB Shaun Draughn leading the team with 43 yards rushing.
Gabbert was sacked nine times, which tied an all-time high for the 49ers. The last time it occurred was during a Thanksgiving night matchup against the Baltimore Ravens in 2011. Prior to their game against the 49ers, the Browns defense had only 17 sacks on the season, which ranked last in the NFL.
Browns Johnny Manziel not close on INT
Rookie 49ers SS Jaquiski Tartt had his first career interception when he picked off Manziel just prior to the end of the first half.
Tomsula stated after the game that he still believes that the team is improving, but said, "I think we all took a step backwards today. We played poorly. Not a man in this locker room doesn't own part of this, starting with me."
Jim Tomsula Reacts to Week 14 Loss
The 49ers' next opponent is the Cincinnati Bengals at Levi's Stadium on December 20. Bengals QB Andy Dalton confirmed on Sunday that there is a fracture in his hand and that he would see a hand specialist on Monday. Kickoff is at 1:25 PM.
LG Alex Boone suffered a knee injury during the third quarter of play and did not return. C Marcus Martin replaced him. He will get an MRI on Monday.
DB Jimmie Ward left the game in the fourth quarter with an elbow injury. He also did not return.
RB Kendall Gaskins, who plays on special teams, left the game with a concussion.
WR Torrey Smith left the game with back problems.
"We won last week because everybody played hard." – LB Ahmad Brooks
"I've played in 100 games and today it felt like we weren't ready to play." – T Joe Staley
"It was a piss-poor effort ... Especially when it's a team you know you can beat, and to have a performance like that, it sucks." – WR Anquan Boldin
"I didn't overlook the Browns. Johnny was coming back and u knew the team was going to rally around him." – LB NaVorro Bowman