San Francisco 49ers

‘Upsetting’ red zone woes continue to haunt 49ers

San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore, left, celebrates with teammate Alex Boone, right, after Gore scored a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, in Seattle.
San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore, left, celebrates with teammate Alex Boone, right, after Gore scored a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, in Seattle. AP

SANTA CLARA -- One of the problems the 49ers have seemed to bring with them from the Jim Harbaugh era: difficulty scoring touchdowns when inside the red zone. They had four such opportunities Sunday in Pittsburgh and came away with just one touchdown and a field goal.

Alex Boone said it was "really upsetting" to come that close and not come away with six points each time.

"Now would those three (missed) touchdowns have helped us win? I don't know," Boone said. "But at the end of the day if you get inside the red zone -- especially inside the ten, inside the five -- you've got to put the ball in the end zone."

Last year the 49ers finished in the end zone on 43.18 percent of their trips to the red zone. Only four teams had a lower percentage.

This year the 49ers have had nine opportunities inside the red zone and have three touchdowns, 33.33 percent. They've settled for field goals three times, turned the ball over on downs twice and had a field goal blocked.

"I don't care who you are," Boone said. "You start not being able to do that and teams won't respect you. They won't fear you, and then you're in for a long day."

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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