The San Francisco 49ers looked flat during the first half of their Week 12 bout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But after a slow start, quarterback Nick Mullens managed to get the Niners back in the game before falling flat again, trailing 13-6.

After a turbulent string of events, including linebacker Reuben Foster's Saturday night arrest and subsequent pending release, the San Francisco 49ers looked flat and somewhat disjointed early during their Week 12 road contest against the 3-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

This, after the Niners had an extra week of rest and preparation after their bye week.

Quarterback Nick Mullens also looked shaky, missing on numerous first-quarter throws while dealing with a Bucs team not afraid to send blitzes with wide receivers Marquise Goodwin (personal) and Pierre Garçon (knee) out for the contest.

After falling behind 7-0 in the first quarter, Mullens and Co. managed to bounce back in the second quarter, as the second-year quarterback hit wide receiver Dante Pettis for a 13-yard touchdown at the 8:37 mark. But kicker Robbie Gould missed the extra point, keeping the Niners' deficit 7-6.

Just before the touchdown, center Weston Richburg appeared to pull Mullens aside in an attempt to calm the young quarterback down. Perhaps it worked.

Mullens finished 4-of-10 for 45 yards and the touchdown after scuffling again under center on the Niners' final drive of the second quarter, during which he took two sacks on back-to-back plays -- two of the three taken on the day so far.

The Bucs managed to tack on two field goals in the second quarter to increase their lead to 13-6.

Starting safety Jimmie Ward also exited the game with a forearm injury and was ruled OUT shortly thereafter. In a contract year, this doesn't bode well for the future of San Francisco's former first-round pick with the franchise. He was replaced by rookie defensive back D.J. Reed, who was then replaced by Antone Exum.

Linebacker Fred Warner also exited with an injury but managed to return.

San Francisco will start on offense when the third quarter resumes.
  • Peter Panacy
  • Written by:
    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.

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