After one half of football, fans may start demanding their money back as the 49ers and Buccaneers have put together some pretty rough football. The teams have mostly exchanged punts, although the Bucs offense did manage to put together a strong first quarter drive and take a 7-0 lead.
The 49ers offense has seemed intent on forcing the running game against a struggling Bucs rush defense. However, the Bucs have come to play and Frank Gore has been held to 13 yards on 9 carries in his worst performance of the season. Troy Smith has had his struggles but seemed to be turning things around on the 49ers last drive of the half. However, after completing a succession of passes, the 49ers ran an inside draw on 3rd and 4 that saw Gore get stopped at the line of scrimmage. After the 49ers punted, Josh Freeman ran three straight shotgun draws to run out the half.
The 49ers defense has stepped up today and held Freeman to 31 passing yards. The 49ers offense will get the ball to start the second half and really needs to figure out a way to find some consistency. The passing game was starting to open up as Smith started looking for his playmakers a bit more. We’ll see if the 49ers pick that up in the second half.
Today represents a huge opportunity for the 49ers. The Cardinals lost this morning at Kansas City, the Rams are currently down 6 to Atlanta, and the Seahawks are down 15 at New Orleans. A 49ers victory combined with those three losses would get the 49ers to within a game of the Seahawks, tied with the Rams, and a full game ahead of Arizona. They simply can NOT waste this chance.