The San Francisco Giants, fresh off a series-shifting win in Atlanta, have lived by the mantra "Giants baseball:torture" all season long. Our beloved Niners seem to have followed suit. The only problem is the Giants actually win a fair share of games; the Niners don't win any.
Another aggravating loss Sunday night against the Eagles that left the team an incomprehensible 0-5. The Niners started off the game with a touchdown drive, a slant pass from Alex Smith to Michael Crabtree. And the Niners looked good.
Then the Niners proceeded to do what they've been doing all season: find ways to lose football games. The Eagles responded on their first drive with a TD of their own, a scramble and fling by backup superstar Kevin Kolb to Brent Celek. Then Frank Gore fumbled the next drive. Then the Eagles kicked a field goal to go up 10-7. Then Smith threw an interception. Later on, the Eagles scored another TD on a LeSean McCoy 29-yard run. The Niners managed a measly field goal to go into halftime down 17-10.
The Niners started off the second half of the game on a good note though (insert sarcastic bitter voice here)- Gore fumbled for the second time in the game. Thankfully, nothing bad really happened though this quarter in terms of the deficit growing.
Then came the fourth quarter, hence the Niners new mantra: "Niners football: torture, followed by a loss, followed by grieving." Smith opened the quarter apparently trying to look as ridiculous as possible, attempting a throw with a defender in his armpit. The predictable result was a fumble returned for a touchdown by the Eagles. The next Niners drive they went four-and-out, two passes from Smith skipping across the field and one hitting Gore in the hands as he looked up in surprise. Boo birds came out in droves.
And this is where it got interesting. Coach Mike Singletary started chewing Smith out, reminiscent of the infamous Vernon Davis spanking last year. Smith was yelling back. Chants of "We want Carr!" filled the air. David Carr took off his jacket. Carr started to go on the field for the next Niners drive. Then Singletary pulled him back and Smith got one last chance.
He didn't disappoint-well, almost. On the next two drives, Smith led the team on two touchdown drives, regularly hooking up with Crabtree and Davis and looking as accurate as freakin' Drew Brees. Coupled with an Eagles field goal, the Niners found themselves only down 27-24 with 1:28 remaining after a defensive stand inside the two-minute mark. Then Smith threw an interception to end the game with the Niners about 15 yards from field goal range. Yep, that's torture alright.
Some notable stats:
Alex Smith: 25-for-39, 309 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs
Kevin Kolb: 21-for-31, 253 yards, TD
LeSean McCoy: 18 rushes, 92 yards, 5 receptions, 46 yards
Michael Crabtree: 9 receptions, 105 yards, TD
Vernon Davis: 5 receptions, 104 yards, TD
Frank Gore: 18 rushes, 52 yards, TD, two fumbles