Another week, another loss. The result of last week's poll showed that you guys thought the offensive 3 and out after London Fletcher's INT was the point in the game you knew we had lost. Alarmingly, Kevin's suggestion of the pre-game warm ups came second... do we have that little faith in the team!
Anyway, onto this week. I liked the voting idea for last week, so I'll do it again this week. The first option is this penalty by Trent Williams.
I'm all for Trent defending his teammates and being a leader on that Oline. But this was just stupid. It was 3rd and 8, we were just starting to get some offensive momentum. We were on track to get our 3rd 1st down of the drive. There was a defensive offside at the snap and we managed to get a first down anyway. Trent then comes in and shoves Justin Smith in the back and gets a personal foul penalty. That not only negates the first down or the offsides penalty, but overrules it. We lose 15 yards making it 3rd and 23. We can't convert and are forced to punt. We were only 3-0 down at that point. Who knows how differently the game might have turned out had we got that first down.
The second option is Terrence Austin's fumble. This happened in the 4th quarter and killed off any hopes we had of saving the game. The defense had just done a tremendous job of stopping the 49ers again and first play Austin goes and does this.
First thing I'd sat is that he has the ball in the wrong hand. You can't show a guy like Patrick Willis the ball, he's much too good.
Willis hits Austin's hand that is covering the ball, forcing it loose.
As you can see there, the ball is on its way out. Some of you may say that Austin was right to hold the ball in his strong hand. This could be true, but if he does that he has to bring the other arm over the ball to help protect it. As you can see here, his off-hand is nowhere near the ball.
The 49ers recover the ball and the defense is forced back onto the field yet again. What do you think, is this where the game was lost or was it done way before this point?
The final option this week is Roy Helu's fumble. It came when there was only 1:09 left in the 1st half and we were only 6-0 down at that point. The 49ers scored the very next play with a 30 yard TD pass by Alex Smith.
Much like the Austin fumble, Helu doesn't bring his off-hand up to protect the ball. Willis gets a shot at the ball.
The strength of the hit on Helu's hand by Willis pulls his hand down and forces the ball loose. If Helu had his off-hand covering the ball, this wouldn't have happened.
Then, the very next play...
Smith makes the easy pass and Miller takes it in. Now that's a game changing fumble if ever I saw one.
So what was the moment you felt the game was lost?