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1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
SF 0 6 3 0 9
TB 7 6 7 7 27

The San Francisco 49ers looked totally flat, offensively, during their Week 12 road contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who whittled down the Niners' suspect defense en route to a 27-9 win over the red and gold.


The San Francisco 49ers certainly didn't enjoy their Week 12 trip to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Despite coming off their Week 11 bye, the Niners' road contest against a previously 3-7 Bucs team was marked more by the news linebacker Reuben Foster was arrested Saturday night, following alleged charges of domestic violence against the same person who was involved in his February arrest earlier this year.

This time, however, the 49ers elected to part ways with their former first-round NFL Draft pick.

Still, there was a game to be played. And despite the added time off, San Francisco came out flat, offensively, and looked completely out of sync moving against a Buccaneers defense that had allowed more passing yards than any other team in the league entering this contest.

Tampa Bay got on the board first, a 6-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jameis Winston to tight end Cameron Brate. This was set up by a 42-yard reception by wide receiver Mike Evans, who was being covered by cornerback Richard Sherman. Despite quarterback Nick Mullens managing a touchdown drive that culminated in a 13-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter (a missed extra-point attempt by kicker Robbie Gould), the Buccaneers were still able to add two more field goals to take a 13-6 first-half lead.

The 49ers were in position to tie things up early in the third quarter, having three consecutive snaps on Tampa Bay's 1-yard line. But a false start on tight end George Kittle resulted in a field goal to cut the deficit 13-9.

Kittle was mostly a non-factor for much of the game, finishing with six catches for 48 yards, most of which came in garbage time. Running back Matt Breida, however, was one of the Niners' few bright spots. He rushed for 106 yards on 14 carries, averaging 7.6 yards per attempt. So was wide receiver Dante Pettis, who caught Mullens' first-half touchdown pass and finished with 77 yards on four receptions -- his best game as a pro thus far:


But the majority of focus, however, was on Mullens. He looked nothing like the confident and decisive signal-caller seen back in Week 9 versus the Oakland Raiders and, to a lesser extent, against the New York Giants back in Week 10. Mullens was prone to holding onto the ball for too long, not setting his feet and finishing with a 18-of-32 mark for 221 yards, the touchdown and two fourth-quarter interceptions, taking four sacks in the process after not being sacked at all his previous two starts.

The Buccaneers increased their second-half lead after the 49ers' failed red-zone touchdown attempts, punching it in from two yards out with running back Peyton Barber to go up 20-9. Earlier on that drive, cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon was flagged for pass interference, which cost the Niners 23 penalty yards.

You be the judge if this was worthy of a flag:


Witherspoon and the Niners defense started to fall apart late in the third quarter and early in the fourth, marked by the inability to get off the field on third downs. The Buccaneers were 7-of-13 on third-down tries, which wasn't helped by the Niners' own 1-of-8 mark in this category. And this led to the 28-yard touchdown to the Bucs' Adam Humphries to put the game almost completely out of reach for San Francisco.

Winston's ability to extend plays and avoid the Niners' contain efforts were on display all afternoon.

The 49ers also lost defensive back Jimmie Ward to a forearm injury and rookie defensive back D.J. Reed to a heel injury.

Now falling to 2-9, at least the Niners can look forward to a stronger likelihood of the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft but won't look forward to another road contest in Week 13 against the Seattle Seahawks.

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 @PeterPanacy on Twitter.


SF Team Stats TB
23 First Downs 25
342 Total Yards 412
194 Pass Yards 304
148 Rush Yards 108
8 (68) Penalties (Yds) 9 (70)
2 Turnovers 0
6 (42) Punts (Avg) 5 (45)
25:51 Time of Pos. 34:09

49ers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
N. Mullens 18/32 221 1 2
Rushing Att Yds TDs Lg
M. Breida 14 106 0 33
J. Wilson 7 33 0 18
G. Kittle 1 10 0 10
N. Mullens 2 -1 0 0
Receiving Rec Yds TDs Lg
G. Kittle 6 48 0 12
D. Pettis 4 77 1 25
M. Breida 3 34 0 24
K. Bourne 2 27 0 17
R. James 2 27 0 19
J. Wilson 1 8 0 8
Fumbles Fum Lost Rec Yds
N. Mullens 1 0 1 0
Kicking FG Lg XP Pts
R. Gould 1/1 23 0/1 3
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
B. Pinion 6 43.3 3 56
Kickoff Returns No Avg TDs Lg
R. James 3 14 0 26
Punt Returns No Avg TDs Lg
R. James 2 3 0 6
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
F. Warner 6-1 0 0 0
E. Lee 6-1 0 0 0
J. Tartt 3-3 0 0 0
D. Buckner 5-0 1 0 0
A. Exum 4-0 0 0 0
A. Witherspoon 4-0 0 0 0
C. Marsh 3-0 0 0 0
R. Sherman 3-0 0 0 0
K. Williams 3-0 0 0 0
M. Smith 2-1 0 0 0
D. Reed 2-0 0 0 0
S. Thomas 2-0 0 0 0
T. Moore 2-0 0 0 0
S. Day 2-0 0 0 0
J. Taylor 1-1 0 0 0
M. Nzeocha 0-2 0 0 0
A. Armstead 1-0 0 0 0
E. Mitchell 1-0 0 0 0
J. Ward 1-0 0 0 0
R. Blair 1-0 0 0 0
M. Harris 1-0 0 0 0

Buccaneers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
J. Winston 29/38 312 2 0
Rushing Att Yds TDs Lg
P. Barber 18 47 1 14
J. Rodgers 5 31 0 20
J. Winston 7 24 0 15
D. Jackson 1 6 0 6
Receiving Rec Yds TDs Lg
M. Evans 6 116 0 42
A. Humphries 6 54 1 28
C. Godwin 4 42 0 15
J. Rodgers 4 31 0 9
C. Brate 3 26 1 11
D. Jackson 3 19 0 14
P. Barber 2 16 0 9
A. Auclair 1 8 0 8
Kicking FG Lg XP Pts
C. Santos 2/2 41 3/3 9
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
B. Anger 5 46 2 56
Punt Returns No Avg TDs Lg
A. Humphries 1 6 0 6
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
J. Whitehead 10-1 0 0 0
I. Johnson 6-0 0 1 0
V. Vea 4-0 1 0 0
D. Bond 4-0 0 0 0
J. Pierre-Paul 3-0 1 0 0
B. Grimes 3-0 0 0 0
V. Curry 2-1 0 0 0
R. Bullough 2-1 0 0 0
C. Nassib 2-0 1 0 1
G. McCoy 2-0 1 0 0
B. Allen 2-0 0 0 0
A. Adams 0-2 0 0 0
A. Taylor 1-0 0 0 0
C. Davis III 1-0 0 0 0
N. Spence 1-0 0 0 0
R. Smith 0-0 0 1 0


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