Gore averaged 7.2 yards per carry but rushed just ten times in a close game. That's inexcusable. Clearly Harbaugh and his staff were trying to rest him, but that was the wrong decision because they couldn't afford to do that today. If it weren't for Gore, the Niners entire offense would have been David Akers. Harabugh was trying to be too cute, trying to win without his best offensive player. If he tries that against Seattle in two weeks, the Niners will lose that one, too.
The offense struggled to pick up the blitz again today. Can Harbaugh and his staff correct that problem this season? If they haven't already, the answer is probably no. The Cardinals blitzed all day and the Niners tried to run into it, which didn't work, and they tried long-developing play action plays, which really didn't work. Roman called one halfback screen to Hunter and it picked up ten yards. He should have called five of those.
In the red zone his play calling was just as bad. He had Smith throw one-read, designed fades to Edwards and Ginn Jr., both of whom failed to catch the ball, of course. I understand Smith couldn't throw to Crabtree or Davis in the red zone because the Cardinals were doubling them. But the coaches needed to put Kyle Williams in the game and have Alex Smith throw those fades to him. Williams made the best fade catch of the year back in Week 2 against Dallas. He's proven he should start and yet he doesn't. Williams had six targets in the game – he should have had 12.
This is Greg Roman and Jim Harbaugh's fault. They need to figure out something to fix their offense quickly because they're running out of time.