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In a rain drenched atmosphere at Candlestick Park in San Francisco California, the San Francisco 49ers in front of their home crowd failed to convert a desperate bid by the 49er offense on fourth and seven with 22 seconds left to tight end Eric Johnson.
The play, which was an act of futility in the end, marked the dominance that Green Bay has imposed upon us for so long. This game going in had enormous implications for us in the post-season picture; it was a chance to solidify a first-round playoff bye with a solid victory.
Although we still sit pretty upon the top of our division with no one biting at our heels for most of the season, the only semblance of that accomplishment is a first round playoff game to be played at Candlestick.
The facts speak for themselves that against teams with winning records the 49ers are just 2-5 against them. And against the Green Bay Packers led by legendary Brett Favre we are 1-9 against them.
It is hard to accept that we are the curtain rods for the Packers and that they pulled the curtains across those rods is even harder to swallow as truth stares you in the face. We all wanted this victory, we all wanted to grate some cheese-heads on this Sunday I know that I did as I was surrounded by various groups of football fans.
The Green Bay Packers had a masterful plan against us and they applied it here on our home soil. The weather and all its fury of various elements was not an ally for us but a reminder of what Lambeau is for the Packers.
It simply reminded the Packers that all sorts of climatic changes are just a routine walk in the woods for them.
The Packers effectively took away Terrell Owens with double-coverage throughout the game and they used excellent bump and run against J.J. Stokes and Tai Streets whom both were taken completely out of this game.
Neither Stokes nor Streets made any kind of positive impact upon this game, which spells to all opposing teams that the key to success again lies in blanketing Owens.
Can the San Francisco 49ers honestly say that they are a top tier team in the NFL? Or do they say that they are fortunate to be where they are because of injuries and inconsistent execution on both sides of the ball?
These are the questions that need to be answered down the stretch to the playoffs. I am convinced we are a little of both in some ways but I also know that we are very fortunate to have had back-up’s that have stepped up and kept us in games we came so close to losing.
“We didn’t need to come out here and prove to ourselves we’re a good football team,” Garcia told a room full of skeptics who thought the exact opposite. “We already know we’re good. Today at the sound of the final game we were not the better team. But we didn’t get blown out of the water. It was a difference of a couple of plays.”
What was also supposed to be a key weapon for the 49ers was imploring the run game against the fourth worst run defense in the NFL. Between Garrison Hearst and Kevan Barlow both only obtained a combined 75 total yards.
Jeff Garcia was the second best running back, as he had to run in order to make things happen five such occasions for 32 total yards.
Jeff was not very accurate either as he struggled to connect with targets all day. Targets were almost invisible other than Terrell Owens and tight end Eric Johnson. The pass defense of the Green Bay Packers was stifling, as was their falsely accused run defense as well.
It led to utter frustration for the 49er offense that contributed to leaving the battered 49er defense out on the field like an island waiting for life giving cargo to sustain itself.
I must say I am proud of the defense for staying in this game as long as it did and playing effectively.
Green Bay and San Francisco stayed locked in a battle for the first half as it became a battle of the kickers in which Jeff Chandler really defined himself with field goals of 47 and 42 total yards.
What were apparent in the first half though were the increasing differences in third down completions and time of possession. This translated right into the second half where the Packers exploded on an exhausted 49er defense.
Green Bay’s first score came on a 79 total yard drive after nine plays in which Packer running back Ahman Green capped a nine-yard touchdown run. The second score and the straw that really broke the camel’s back was set up by an interception and returned from the Packers defensive unit.
Jeff Garcia hit Matt Willig’s back and bounced into the arms of defensive end Vonnie Holliday. Holliday then tossed the ball to Naill Diggs who returned it to scoring position on the 49er 29-yard line.
It was shortly after this that Packer wide receiver Donald Driver clearly beat 49er corner Mike Rumph for a five-yard touchdown reception. Ahmed Plummer the wily veteran and responsible for shutting down one side of the 49er field was absent from this game because of a pulled groin injury. Once again the rookie was burned for a score that really put the game away for the Packers.
“I think their game plan was to fool us,” Plummer said. “We did expect them to come out throwing more in the first half. That seemed like the logical plan because of our injuries. But they decided to wait and attack in the second half.”
One of the hard truths in the league today is that somewhere along the road you will have rookies that just have to play starting positions. This concept is not new to us as we did just that back in 1999-2000.
But it is constantly a reminder that more often than not they will get burned and burned often in their learning process. Mike Rumph happens to be the scapegoat of the 49er secondary and all opposing teams target him in that fashion to make yardage.
Looking back on happier times back to Dallas the critical play that capped that game was in the fourth quarter when on a third-and-one Chad Hutchinson handed the ball to running back Emmitt Smith from their 28-yard line.
All of a sudden Smith witnesses the whites of Dana Stubblefield’s eyes as he shoots through the gap and drags Smith down short of the first down. “We knew it was a huge play for us,” Stubblefield said.
That is where the 49ers used up their final timeout to halt the clock at 2:21 to play, and that presented Dallas with some options.
Dallas could have gone for it on fourth down and there was an option of losing the ball to the 49ers with great field advantage, and the other was to make the first down and chew the clock.
Instead they opted to kick the field goal from 47 total yards and Billy Cundiff botched that allowing the 49ers back into the game at their own 37-yard line. Jeff Garcia made resounding fourth quarter comeback on a 13-play drive where he completed three passes to Eric Johnson, had two third down quarterback sneaks vintage Garcia to get first downs.
Then he got an eight-yard run from Paul Smith and connected with him again for 11 more yards. The last two plays were 11 total yards to Owens and then an eight yard touchdown pass to Owens in the back of the end zone with just 12 seconds left.
“Terrell Owens just (sneaked) across the back of the end zone and it opened up for us like it did on the first touchdown,” Garcia said. “We’re happy and excited, but not content. We realize there is still work to do. But everyone stepped up and made a play when we needed it.”
Coming full circle to this contest with the Packers the 49ers tried to pull off a last minute miracle again and failed this time as the Packers were the wiser from this play just a week ago.
The 49ers have made a definite statement that short of Terrell Owens in the end zone that there is very little for weapons to identify themselves. This game more so than others really quarantined the passing threats that was evident in Owens, Stokes and Streets.
You can chalk this one up to excellent pass protection from a Green Bay secondary that effectively took the passing game from the 49ers.
To be limited to only 156 passing yards is an accomplishment that the Packer defense can hang their hats on, it points out the glaring need for San Francisco to find some means in it’s receiving arsenal other than Terrell Owens.
Another great honor was bestowed upon probably the most courageous player of the season being strong safety Tony Parrish. He suffered a dislocated elbow and ligament damage in the December 1st, victory over the Seattle Seahawks. There were real concerns that he would not play again with such a devastating injury.
Tony however would have nothing of it and set out to prove to himself and his teammates that it would not bar him from the field. He displayed that incredible toughness in the victory over the Dallas Cowboys as he knew that he was the last line of defense left in a battered and hurting secondary for the defense.
He came out like a true leader that he is and played the game anyways, leading a bruised and bleeding secondary to victory.
Parrish played with a bulky, cumbersome brace on his right arm, but he had two interceptions and also knocked down two passes in the 49ers win over Seattle 31-27.
Parrish since then continues to play through the pain as his ligaments attempt to heal whenever they have time to do so. He is turning in his oversize brace though for one that is a bit more reasonable.
“Actually, I’m getting another brace made that will be smaller than the little midget I dragged around last week is,” Parrish said. “It will help. But I’m not a great judger of pain. I mean, it’s there, but I have other things on my mind. I can put pain on the back burner.”
Tony Parrish has been a savior since signing with the team back in April shortly after the team could not come to terms with then present strong safety Lance Schulters. He signed a four-year $12.025 million dollar contract and then had to have a benign testicular tumor removed shortly after joining the team.
I cannot think of a better player than Tony for this award this season, I believe all the players on the 49er roster were absolutely correct in granting this honor on him.
He has been a voice and a player that makes big plays when he is called upon to do so. Chicago’s loss of a playmaker thought replaceable became our net gain in more ways than one.
“We voted as a team for the most courageous player who has overcome certain obstacles and injuries and setbacks and that sort of thing,” 49ers coach Steve Mariucci said. “Tony’s had a couple of surgeries that you’re aware of, and now most recently his elbow. He’s been so good for us in the locker room and on the field.”
What is so pleasant about Tony is his selflessness and his commitment to the team. He believes in putting the team always first way above his own personal needs. He is flattered that his fellow teammates have honored him with such a prestigious award in San Francisco.
He became the winner of the Ed Block Award. It is an award, given annually to those NFL players who exemplify commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage.
“When the people around you elect you to receive an award such as that and all that it entails it means a lot,” Parrish said. “It’s one of those things where respect from your peers; especially an award that comes from the vote of so many from the organization; means more than a lot of the other accolades you can receive.”
My hat goes off to Tony Parrish whom I believe has filled the vacant spot on this roster better than ever can be imagined. I am aware that he is a positive image for this team and represents this team as best as he can on a daily basis. He is a routine player that does whatever it takes to better his community and is a humanitarian in a class all by itself.
In light of the injuries following the Dallas Cowboy game the 49ers signed another free agent defensive back in Duane Hawthorne to a contract. Hawthorne is a four-year veteran in the league that was released just recently from the Dallas Cowboys. He has 15 career starts to his credit, including a total of five this season before being released.
He came to Dallas and made their roster as a rookie free agent in 1999, after a college career at Northern Illinois. He has 50 career games where he has tackled 105 times and has 24 passes defended and six interceptions. His best season was in 2001 as a Cowboy when he recorded 63 tackles and had 10 passes defended and recorded two interceptions.
His coming to the franchise seems to be a good fit and Brett Maxie has been working closely with him to get him up to speed on where the San Francisco defense is presently.
On one more note on Hawthorne he stands 5-10, and weighs 175-pounds and has even spent time in NFL Europe with the Scottish Claymores. He is an athlete that gives us a bit more bite than a rookie could ever give at this present state of time.
Game #15 (Loss) Green Bay Packers over the San Francisco 49ers 20-14
“I feel like I did when we lost to Green Bay last year,” 49ers tight end Eric Johnson said. “I feel like we just lost a playoff game. Fortunately, it wasn’t and we’ll have another shot when the playoffs do come.”
“It came down to four plays at the end that we didn’t execute very well,” Garcia said. “They did what they had to do and we didn’t do enough of what we had to do.” “I don’t think a lot of guy’s area down about this game,” Owens said. “I think we know where we are. We are in the playoffs. If we have to go on the road, that’s what we have to do.”
San Francisco wins the toss and receives Green Bay Packers kicker Ryan Longwell kicks 56 total yards to Jamal Robertson who returns it seven total yards. But an offensive holding penalty falls on Rashad Holman and backs them up from the 21-yard line to the 49er 11-yard line.
On the first play Garrison Hearst is stuffed for minus one yard at the left end and Jeff Garcia finds Eric Johnson for five more yards. With a third down Jeff hits Johnson again for seven total yards and makes the first down but fails to connect with J.J. Stokes on the next play. On second down Hearst tries the middle for one total yard and then Jeff runs to the right for five more yards.
Facing a fourth down San Francisco punts 55 total yards to J. Moses who returns it four total yards to the Green Bay 21-yard line, where Brett Favre sets up camp.
On the first play for the Packers in the inclement weather he hits ever reliable wide receiver Donald Driver for 13 total yards and Ahman Green runs up the middle for three more yards.
On the next play Favre hits Javon Walker for six total yards and then in an apparent pitchout attempt by Favre the ball was fumbled. Ahman Green creating a second down and 15 recovered the ball though.
Out of the shotgun Brett Favre hit Terry Glenn for eight total yards and then failed to find Driver out of the same formation. A penalty fell on San Francisco’s Andre Carter for defensive encroachment.
With a third down Brett finding no one open took off to the left for three total yards but failed to generate a first down. Josh Bidwell punted 39 total yards that went into the end zone for a touchback for the 49ers.
San Francisco with the ball again fails to connect with Tai Streets but a penalty falls on Green Bay for defensive holding and still a first down. Jeff then fails to find Terrell Owens and Kevan Barlow manages only one total yard up the middle.
On third and long Jeff then fails to find J.J. Stokes forcing a punt of only 20 total yards from LaFleur that goes out of bounds at the San Francisco 46-yard line. This was a pathetic punt and even more of a pathetic effort by Tai Streets and Stokes to find separation.
Brett Favre takes over in splendid field position and hits tight end Bubba Franks for seven total yards and then fails to connect with running back William Henderson. On third and short he converts with Running back Tony Fisher catching a pass for five total yards and then Ahman Green hits the left side for four more yards.
Now with a second down and at the 49er 30-yard line Favre employs the shotgun formation and finding no one runs up the middle for one total yard then hits Driver for nine more yards and a first down.
Another third down conversion that baffles the 49er defense Ahman Green then is stuffed for minus four total yards up the middle and Favre then fails to connect with Walker on the next play.
Now in a third-and-14 situation Favre goes back to the shotgun and tries to find Tony Fisher and catches it but he is stuffed for minus six total yards. The 49er defense holds them from the end zone and they attempt a field goal of 48 total yards and it’s good.
So after 10-plays and 16 total yards Green Bay takes the lead 3-0 in the first quarter, Ryan Longwell then kicks 51 total yards to Paul Smith who returns it for eight total yards to the 49er 27-yard line.
San Francisco under Jeff Garcia hit Eric Johnson for eight total yards and then Hearst hit the middle for two more yards and a first down. On the next play Jeff looked for Owens but failed to connect and Hearst was then taken down from the left end for minus four total yards.
This is where the Green Bay defense was really creating an identity for itself with San Francisco; Jeff Garcia was becoming increasingly frustrated at the coverage that he was witnessing.
On third and long Jeff hit Hearst for six total yards but a penalty fell on Jeremy Newberry for offensive holding that was declined and a timeout by Green Bay was called. Faced with a fourth down the 49ers punted 55 total yards to J. Moses who muffed the catch but was recovered by Green Bay at their one yard line deep in their own territory. Here is where we had a chance to really stick them, with the start of the second quarter.
Brett Favre started the Packers at their one-yard line and on the first play Ahman Green ran to the left for four total yards and to the right again for two more yards. With a third-and-four Favre went to the shotgun and hit tight end Bubba Franks for six total yards and a first down that was critical so deep in their own territory they now had breathing room.
Ahman Green received the next two carries and acquired only three total yards back in the shotgun Favre tried to get to Terry Glenn but it fell incomplete. Josh Bidwell had to punt and did so for 36 total yards to a fair catch by Cedric Wilson at the 49er 48-yard line with excellent field position in our favor.
This was the best opportunity up until this point for San Francisco to score and Jeff Garcia set out to do just that. On the first play Kevan Barlow broke a big run to the right guard for 15 total yards and a penalty came down on Green Bay for encroachment on top of that.
Jeff then tried to connect with Owens for a big play but failed and Barlow hit the middle for three more yards. On third and short Jeff passed to Tai Streets but it fell incomplete and the 49ers were faced with a field goal attempt of 47 total yards. Many at this point even players and coaches on the sideline were skeptical that he could make this one.
The snap was taken and Chandler nailed it for a score after five plays and 23 total yards with the help of a penalty the 49ers tied the Packers 3-3. Chandler then kicked the ball 67 total yards to J. Moses who returned it 15 total yards to the Packer 18-yard line.
Ahman Green the Packer workhorse hit the middle for three total yards and Tony Fisher caught a pass from Favre for four more yards. On third and short Favre found Green for three total yards and a first down and then Green ran to the right for three more yards.
Out of the shotgun Favre targeted Green for three total yards and Tony Fisher hit the middle for eight more yards. With a new first down and a conversion again the Packers went to Donald Driver who ran to the left side for two total yards and then failed to find Robert Ferguson. Faced with another third down Favre went to the shotgun and hit Green but he was stuffed for five minus yards with Dana Stubblefield.
The Packers had to punt and Bidwell punted for 29 total yards where it went out of bounds at the 49er 32-yard line. San Francisco resumed here with a Hearst run up the middle for two total yards and a pass to Johnson for five more yards.
On third and short Jeff handed off to Hearst who broke a big run for 11 total yards and then hit the middle for three more yards. At the end of this play the two-minute warning sounded and then Jeff finally hit Owens for two total yards. On third-and-five Jeff hit Owens again for five total yards and a San Francisco timeout was called.
With 57 seconds left in the first half Jeff ran to the right end for three total yards and hit Owens for five more yards. Another San Francisco timeout was called with 40 seconds remaining, Jeff then resumed with a pass to Owens for two total yards and a first down.
On the next play he failed to find Owens due to coverage but then hit him with 29 seconds for a total of six yards, San Francisco took their final timeout with 15 seconds remaining.
On third-and-four Jeff Garcia went to Eric Johnson but it fell incomplete forcing the 49ers to settle for a field goal attempt of 42 total yards in which Jeff Chandler hit.
So after 13 plays and 44 total yards the Packer defense held the 49ers to a field goal and the 49ers took the lead 6-3 with three seconds left in the half. Chandler then kicked the ball 38 total yards to K. McKenzie who returned it for seven total yards but time expired.
Looking at the first half of play we were able to hang with Packers but we were losing the time of possession battle with 17:58 for the Packers and 12:02 for the 49ers. This was a clear indication that their offense was managing the clock very well with short to intermediate gains via the run and the pass.
They had established a rhythm that we could not sidetrack as they also had a third down completion rate of 60% compared to ours at 44%. Net rushing and passing was nearly identical but the real winner here despite the score seemed to be with the Packers in their ability to manage the game in their favor.
Their defense was playing very physical and effectively took away Terrell Owens and the rest of our receiving tandem whom we never even heard a peep from. Johnson at tight end seemed to be the only viable receiving option throughout the half making us one-dimensional.
Green Bay elected to receive in the start of the third quarter and Chandler kicked for 67 total yards to J. Moses who returned it for 18 total yards to the Packer 21-yard line.
Here Favre tried to connect with Javon Walker and failed and Green hit the middle for a gain of one total yard. On third down Brett went to the shotgun and hit Driver for a big gain of 15 total yards and then failed to find Franks.
Undeterred Brett Favre then hit Tyrone Davis for a big gain of 23 total yards and Ahman Green then ran to the right where he was stuffed for minus two total yards. On the 49er 42-yard line Favre went to Terry Glenn for a gain of 22 total yards and to Davis again for 11 more yards.
Now on the 49er nine-yard line Favre gave it to Green who ran right up the middle for a nine-yard touchdown. The Packers came right out under Favre and marched uninhibited right down the field from their 21-yard line, shredding our pass defense all along the way like a paper machine on tax day.
Longwell’s extra point was good so after nine plays and 79 total yards the Green Bay Packers took the lead in the third quarter 10-6. Longwell’s kick of 61 total yards went to Robertson who returned it 21 total yards the 49er 30-yard line where Jeff took over.
On first down Garrison Hearst broke a big one to the right for 15 total yards and Jeff hit Terrell Owens for six more yards. On second down Garrison Hearst ran up the middle for 14 total yards and then Jeff dropped back and threw a pass that was intercepted by Vonnie Holliday who tossed it to Nail Diggs who returned it 33 total yards to the San Francisco 29-yard line.
Just when we had an offensive rhythm going it was quickly erased with this quick deflection off Matt Willig’s body. Willig was flagged for illegal touch but of course it was declined.
This was a turning point in this game as Green Bay took control of the third quarter with the ball deep in 49er territory. Ahman Green hit the middle for two total yards and then Favre hit Henderson for eight more yards and a first down. Favre then went to his familiar shotgun and hit Henderson again for two total yards and Franks for nine more yards.
With a first down at the San Francisco eight-yard line Green ran to the right for three total yards and then Brett Favre found Donald Driver in the end zone off Mike Rumph for a five-yard touchdown connection.
Ryan Longwell’s extra point was good after six plays and 29 total yards with the assistance of an interception the Green Bay Packers increased their lead 17-6 over the 49ers. This was a definite belly buster for the 49ers as any kind of turnover is cash in the pot for the Green Bay Packers under veteran leader Brett Favre.
Ryan Longwell then kicked the ball 58 total yards to Robertson who returned it 15 total yards to the San Francisco 27-yard line. Here Barlow started by getting stuffed on the left end for minus a total yard and Jeff Garcia failed to connect with Owens.
Faced with a third-and-11 Jeff found Eric Johnson for 12 total yards and Fred Beasley for eight more yards. Barlow then hit the right side for one total yard and Jeff made a run for five more yards to the right side and a first down. A penalty came down on Derrick Deese for a false start.
Undeterred and located at the Packer 47-yard line Jeff hit Johnson for eight total yards and then hit Owens for a touchdown reception of 45 total yards that was spectacular and nerves soothing.
A two point conversion was the made with Jeff Garcia running up the middle for the score. The 49ers moved closer after scoring to make it 17-14 Packers after eight plays and 73 total yards.
It was the best drive of the game so far by San Francisco and came at a time where we really felt like we were on the ropes and slumping. It was this drive that I prayed would generate an awakening in the offense to take this game over. Chandler then kicked the ball 70 total yards to J. Moses who returned it 27 total yards to the Packer 27-yard line.
Brett Favre came out firing hitting Franks for 15 total yards and then from the shotgun hit Green for nine more yards. On second down Green then ran to the right for a total of ten yards and then hit Henderson for seven more yards.
On second down Green hit the left side for two total yards and then Favre took his first sack of the afternoon by Andre Carter for minus three total yards. Faced with a fourth-and-four Favre went for it from the shotgun trying to hit Ferguson but failed but a defensive pass interference penalty fell on 49er safety Jason Moore giving the Packers new life.
Green the ran to the right for five total yards and then up the middle for no gain. Faced with a third down Fisher ran to the left for just one total yard forcing the Packers to try a 42-yard field goal that failed by going wide right. It lifted up a great hope for San Francisco and made this game a much closer one that the Packers wanted.
The 49ers under Jeff took over at their 32-yard line and Jeff tried to hit Beasley to no avail and then Hearst hit a brick wall running up the middle. On third down Jeff tried to find Johnson but failed and just like that in and out we were forced to punt 31 total yards to the Packer 37-yard line were it went out of bounds.
The exhausted San Francisco defense was forced to take the field yet again, as Brett Favre came out with Green catching a pass for two total yards and then hit Glenn from the shotgun for a total of 16 more yards.
Sensing the exhaustion by the 49er defense Green ran to the right for 13 total yards and Fisher to the left for one more yard. On second down Favre continued to carve up our secondary by hitting Henderson for six total yards and from the shotgun hit him again for 10 more yards.
With a first down the 49er defense had now been on the field for like eternity, certainly the Packers were back in control of the clock and the game itself. Green ran to the left for five total yards and then Favre missed Glenn and a timeout by Green Bay was called.
Now on the 49er 10-yard line Favre tried to hit Green but failed forcing them to attempt a field goal of 28 total yards that Longwell hit. So after 11 plays and 53 total yards the Packers extended their lead 20-14 with just over four minutes left to play in regulation.
After this score by Green Bay I still held on to hope that we were still only a touchdown away from a win. My concern though was in how the offense had been manhandled out on the field all day, we were not executing plays and we were not establishing control at the line of scrimmage.
Longwell the kicked the ball 57 total yards to Robertson who who returned it 15 total yards but a penalty on the Packers for off-sides forced them to re-kick the ball 70 total yards to Cedric Wilson who returned it 21 total yards to the 49er 26-yard line. Jeff began the series by hitting Johnson for seven total yards and Barlow gaining five more yards up the middle.
With a first down in their grasp Jeff then ran to the right for six total yards and Hearst the same for five more yards. On another first down Jeff hit little known Tai Streets for a total of just one-yard and then a timeout by the 49ers was called. Following the timeout Jeff then ran to the left for 13 total yards and the two-minute warning sounded.
On a new first down Jeff then hit Owens for four total yards and then hit Johnson for 14 more yards. On the next first down with but 44 seconds left in the game Jeff failed to find Tai Streets and Hearst then ran up the middle for three more yards.
The 49ers used their timeout and on third-and-seven Jeff had to throw it away. On fourth-and-seven with 26 seconds left Jeff dropped back to find Johnson but the pass hit the turf for an incompletion, in the end zone Owens and others were blanketed.
The game was over, the Green Bay sideline roared with excitement, Brett Favre kneeled on the last play to make it official that the Packers still own the 49ers and all their rights to the National Football Conference.
The loss was devastating as it eliminated our first round bye into the playoffs. Being the last seed as a division leader spells wild card weekend for us and all through the playoffs on the road thereafter.
The San Francisco 49ers had been beaten by another championship caliber franchise, we failed to take control of this game and the time of possession spelled a difference of 36:03 to 23:57 for 49ers. In total net yards the Packers defeated us 302 to 263 and in third down efficiency as the Packers registered 56% to 46% for the 49ers.
Jeff Garcia was 19 of 34 for just 156 total yards and one touchdown and one interception. He had a quarterback rating of just 65.3% compared to Brett Favre’s of 100.7% and going 25 of 33 on completions. In receiving we did nothing spectacular as no one ever stepped up to take pressure off from Terrell Owens.
Owens had eight receptions for 75 total yards and a touchdown and Eric Johnson had eight receptions for 66 total yards. Both Tai Streets and J.J. Stokes never even existed in this game and never played to the point where we could get a break on Terrell when we sorely needed it most.
On the running end Hearst had 12 carries for 51 total yards and Jeff five for 32 total yards, the Packers thought to have a poor run defense showed up for this game limiting the 49ers to 107 total yards on the ground. And of course in the air they limited us to 156 total yards hardly enough to break open your piggy bank on.
Consequences come with losses, and here at home we paid the price for falling to a familiar enemy that showed us the exit sign last season. You wonder what we could have done differently and there are some scenarios where I wondered why Jeff never used the shotgun as much as Brett Favre did? It might have made a difference in the time element in finding an open target.
It was also apparent that we generated no offensive rhythm and didn’t win the battle in the trenches for our running game to succeed with two quality running backs that could have gotten the job done. Not winning control of the clock kept our defense out on the field for over-extended amounts of time, therefore the Packers were able to execute on a consistent basis.
But now we need to move on and just be thankful we live to fight another day, but this time we are again going to the playoffs regardless of where our seed lies we will fight again.
This time we need to advance though and learn from our sins and transgressions that kept us out and what may still keep us out of the hunt. We need to win our next remaining games regardless of their importance and rest our wounded all at the same time.
We are still champions at heart and carry that banner high above our heads, live it and breath it 49er fans. We are still in this war for recognition, we will not be recognized though until we beat a big time player and that’s just the way it really is.