It was a tough loss in week two for the San Francisco 49ers, who fell to the Dallas Cowboys 27-24 in overtime. The Cowboys rallied back from being down ten points to tie it as time expired in the fourth, then stopped San Francisco, who received, in overtime. A 70-yard reception to Jesse Holly later, and the 49ers saw their mostly-dominated game slip away. After two home games to open the season, they'll now hit the road to take on the 1-1 Cincinnati Bengals.
A lot of storylines still remain for San Francisco - starting with what they really need to improve after the Cowboys game. Many were of the opinion that the 49ers would actually do worse than they did, so there's a positive, but they would have walked out of Candlestick Park with a 2-0 record if their pass defense had been just a little bit better. Yardage came in chunks for Miles Austin and the Dallas receivers, and chunks are exactly what you don't want your yardage to come in.
And everybody in the secondary is accountable in that regard: Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown, Madieu Williams, Reggie Smith and Donte Whitner all had their slip-ups. The 49ers can only hope that someone like Dashon Goldson or Shawntae Spencer can come back from injury and make some sort of impact in the secondary. It wasn't all bad, but the Bengals are going to be looking to throw the ball when San Francisco comes to town.
Rookie Andy Dalton threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns against the Denver Broncos. The 49ers likely have a better secondary than Denver at the moment, but Dalton, along with fellow rookie A.J. Green, who had 124 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, will be looking to light them up regardless. Cincinatti's running backs aren't getting the job done either, so Dalton will really try and air it out.
For the 49ers on offense, they've got to figure out whether or not Braylon Edwards and Michael Crabtree are going to play, as they were definitely hurting for receivers against Dallas. We'll also find out if Vernon Davis and his complaints were heard by coach Jim Harbaugh. Davis noted that he didn't expect to stay in to block as much as he did against the Cowboys, and alluded to the fact that he needs the ball in his hands, as a playmaker, to help the team get that important win.
The offensive line will, once again, be a point of focus for the 49ers. After not allowing any sacks to the Seahawks in week one, the 49ers gave up six to DeMarcus Ware and the Cowboys in week two. The Bengals pass rush wasn't impressive against the Broncos, and it's part of the reason they lost the game. They did get two sacks though, and they'll test the 49ers one way or another in that regard.
So the mission statement is simple: execute at least as well offensively for the 49ers, hopefully with some better receivers starting, don't allow sacks and perhaps even defend a pass or two. Easier said than done, to be sure, but it's definitely not a daunting task in comparison to the Cowboys.