Right up front, let me say that Mike Singletary is a wonderful motivator. His, "We run on teams when we want," has instilled a sense of mental toughness into our team. And his, "Are we our brother's keeper? Yes we are!" has produced a team solidarity not seen during the Nolan years. Just look at the transformation of Vernon Davis from a me-me player to a team captain. All good.
But those last two series, at around 5 and 2 minutes, in which we ran the ball 6 times without getting a first down, allowed Favre, a future HOF gun-slinger QB to win the game.
Obviously, the tactic should have been to keep the ball out of Favre's hands. The notion that we could run on the Vikings, when they expected us to run were best illustrated by Coffee getting -2 and -5 yards on the last two attempts.
Shame on you Jimmy Raye and Mike Singletary for making it easy for the viking D by taking away the pass as an option. Your D played a tremendous game, holding All Day Peterson to 85 yds on 19 carries. Your offense scored all their TDs on passes, with Coffee averaging about 2 yds/carry on the ground. Yet you ran 6 times in a row without getting one first down.
Basically, Raye and Singletary had a collective brain fart. Learn from this that no matter how tough you are, if you simplify the game for the opposing D by telegraphy your intention to run, you just make it harder to execute your offense.