Do the 49ers Lack the Competitive Courage, Heart, and Dog Mentality?

The San Francisco 49ers once again lose in embarrassing fashion to the Tampa Bay Bucks 34 to 17. And adding insult to injury by allowing 561 yards on the ground the past two weeks

 

It’s time to address the real underlining issue at hand and ask the tough question that continues to elude and baffle the 49ers fan base and the sports world in general.

What’s that you say?

Do the 49ers lack the competitive courage, heart, and that dog mentality to win in the NFL? What, you don’t like the question? Then you might want to turn back now because the cold reality of the truth might be too real for you to handle.

The San Francisco 49ers got ran over and pushed around for the sixth time in a row as they have consistently given up over a 100 plus yard rusher for the sixth consecutive game. And this time it was 5’6″ Jacquizz Rodgers, all 206 lbs of him, as he continued to punish the 49ers up the middle with his physical style of running, repeatedly defying the odds on every run while inflicting and dishing out pain to whoever wanted to test the short stout and huge calf running back as his 5.9 yards per rush average was evident enough for you to connect the dots and draw the same conclusion.

Are the 49ers the softest team in the NFL? Have they drafted or acquired a team of choir boys and nice guys in the wake of the Aldon Smith trials and tribulations saga? Do you see guys getting mad on the field? Do you see guys getting mad on the sidelines in teammates’ faces when someone makes a mistake or playing poorly? You see that with the Seattle Seahawks; in fact, everyone on defense got in Richard Sherman’s face when he gave up some big plays last week to the Atlanta Falcon’s wide receiver Julio Jones, including a touchdown.

The 49ers have no identity on offense, defense, or special teams. You can say the 49ers are lacking talent, but in the end, the 49ers lack the competitive spirit, heart, toughness, and that dog mentality mindset it takes to win in this league of rough and rugged players, teams like the Buffalo Bills, the BucksCowboys, SeaHawks, and the Arizona’s of the world.

 How did the 49ers fare against the Tampa Bay Bucks?

Well, not good at all. In fact, the 49ers’ defense gave up 513 total yards, which 249 came on the ground and running back Rodgers accounted for 154 of those yards.  Bucks quarterback Jameis Winston completed 21 of 30 for 269 yards at 9.0 yards per pass play with three TDs to one interception deflected and intercepted by 49ers’ middle linebacker Gerald Hodges.

How did 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick perform? The 49ers initially looked like this game was theirs to be had up early 14-0. However, it was short-lived and unsustainable like most of the past six games, and that would hold true with the inconsistent play of Kaepernick, who completed 16 of 34 for just 143 yards and a touchdown against an interception while leading the 49ers in rushing with 84 yards.

Interesting stat: Once you calculate Kaep’s net numbers, it’s actually 118 passing yards he ended up with as he was sacked four times, losing 30 yards, to go with a passer rating of 56.4. I’m sure Kaep wants some of those throws back, and he has acknowledged he has to play better.

In the end, the 49ers’ offense accounted for 273 yards of total offense, going 6 for 15 on third down, 2 for 3 in the red zone. And like the new norm, it seems to be through the last seven weeks now, the 49ers only scored three points or non-relevant points in the second half after the opposing team made their adjustments (hint-hint and cough-cough).

The 49ers deployed a three running back by committee approach starting Mike Davis, who scored a touchdown but only had 21 yards on seven carries for a 3.0-yard average. DuJuan Harris had his moments, but in the end, he accounted for 39 yards on 11 carries for a 3.5 average and running back Shaun Draughn accounted for five catches on seven targets for 37 yards at 7.4 yards a catch with one touchdown.

The defense? Really?

The defensive unit under defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil continued its troubles of stopping the run and stopping opposing receiver, who stands 6′ 4″ and up, in this case 6′ 5″ Mike Evans took the secondary to school as he continued to dominate with his physical presence all over the field, accounting for eight catches on 13 targets for 96 yards and two touchdowns.

Important to note: Prior to playing the Bucks, the 49ers ranked dead last in all-purpose yards (1,757), passing yards (1,017), and average yards per play (4.6). The run defense has now allowed 561 rushing yards in their last two games.

All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus,49ers.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com unless otherwise indicated.