49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

November 10, 2008
Confusion, devastation in the desert

The Cardinals are who we thought they were ... and we let 'em off the hook! That phrase keeps ringing in my head as I try to make sense of what has to be one of the most demoralizing 49ers losses in the last decade. Just like the Cardinals' Monday night debacle against the Bears two years ago, the 49ers had what everyone thought was a superior Cardinals team on the ropes before self-destructing in the second half. Mike Singletary pulled J.T O'Sullivan in favor of Shaun Hill because of O'Sullivan's penchant for second-half disasters. Well, Hill had three disastrous plays in the second half - a flubbed snap and two INTS - while a third INT for a touchdown luckily was called back on a penalty.

You're all wondering about the curious fullback draw play that ended the game. Anyone who was watching knew that confusion reigned supreme Monday night. The officials were as discombobulated as anyone. (There were 20 penalties with several flags that were picked up.) One of the theories in the press box was that a draw to Robinson was meant to catch the Cardinals off balance. That is, the intent was to snap the ball quickly, hand it to Michael Robinson and overwhelm the Cardinals with a fast-developing play. Bang, bang. The officials may have muddied that plan by hovering over the ball and starting the clock on their signal. It gave the Cardinals an extra moment or two to set themselves.

As defensive end Antonio Smith said after the game, he and his defensive mates were expecting a run, though probably by Frank Gore, not Robinson: "We knew they had to run the ball. We weren't respecting the pass, especially with the extra tight end in the game. We all just hunkered down, lowered our shoulders, and drove into them."

Said Mike Singletary of the closing seconds: "I think we could have done a heck of a lot better job. I talked to the referees on a couple of those (penalties). For whatever reason, we weren't quite set. It looked like Shaun was taking all day but we have to get our guys aligned right or it's a penalty. So we had to wait on the guys to come before he could spike it. ... We lost about 10 to 12 seconds, which was a little ridiculous, but it happened." Funny, it seemed like more than 20 seconds were lost ...

As for Hill, Singletary said, "I love Shaun" and called him a "blue-collar guy." Singletary is trying to mold (re-mold?) the 49ers into a blue-collar team and it's clear he wants Hill to guide them.

Vernon Davis, of course, made perhaps his best catch as a pro - an 18-yarder in which he was sandwiched between two Cardinals safeties. Still, Davis managed to upstage himself with a silly illegal celebration penalty for taking off his helmet. Davis had a similar penalty in a prime time game against Seattle two years ago. The penalty didn't have any devastating consequences, but it's more evidence that Vernon Davis' worst enemy is Vernon Davis. Said Singletary: "I just told him, 'Great catch, and let's remember to be smart.'"

-- Matt Barrows

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments
blog comments powered by Disqus


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]


May 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Monthly Archives

Ask a question

Please use the form below to submit your question. Because there is a 100-word limit for questions, a word counter is located directly beneath the box where you enter the your question.


49ers Question:

Your letter contains of 100 words allowed.  Count words

Your IP Address has been recorded as and will be included with this submission.