Final Score: Chargers 38 – 35 49ers
The American Red Cross Association will be holding a “Walk for 49ers Awareness” in San Francisco this Tuesday afternoon. Everyone who wishes to support the organization and their barely intact blood vessel of a head coach should attend. Jim Harbaugh’s funeral will be held shortly after.
So back to the post title, Philip Rivers seamlessly threw three interceptions and almost immediately forgot about them. He was out there acting like he was 2006 Philip Rivers immediately after the current iteration of the former hero threw a horrendous pick six in the second quarter to put the Bolts down 21-0. Rivers and squad answered with a touchdown the following drive, with Rivers hitting Eddie Royal for a 15-yard score.
But still, the 49ers led 28-7 and half. You know what that means, right? That means the Chargers defense let up seven points the entire second half. Those seven points came on what turned out to be one of the most meaningless plays of Colin Kaepernick’s career. It was a 90-yard touchdown run. I guess it was a pretty good play. I’ve seen better. I’ve seen worse. But it was the only thing the 49ers did all second half, besides let the Chargers offense storm back into this game.
Something Colin Kaepernick didn’t do was hold on to the ball. The ensuing drive after Rivers hit Antonio Gates for a 1-yard touchdown, Kaepernick was sacked, and had the ball batted out of his hand before Corey Liuget recovered it for a touchdown to bring the Chargers to within seven.
Then, on third down with about three and a half minutes left, the 49ers called a quarterback sweep. I’m going to say it again, a quarterback sweep. Really? They clearly weren’t planning on getting the first down, so they could’ve just handed it off to Frank Gore, who had long touchdown in the first half. Instead, Kaepernick takes it all the way to the sideline, and runs out of bounds. He didn’t even wrap the game up and put a ribbon on it before he handed it to the Chargers. How rude of him.
What happened next was a methodical 80-yard touchdown drive in which the Chargers converted two 4th down plays. It was capped off by an 11 yard touchdown pass from Rivers to Malcom Floyd.
With 29 seconds left for a drive, the 49ers were able to push the ball close enough to attempt a 60-yard field goal as time expired, but it was too long for Phil Dawson, who may have broken his hip as father-time continues to bear down on him.
Next comes OT. Tied at 35-a-piece, the 49ers received the ball. The ball was then received by the Chargers, after Quenton Patton executed an end-around to 50% perfection. The 50% comes from the fact that he followed his blocks, and ran for 20 yards. However, he was running on the left side of the field with the ball in his right hand. That’s a big no-no for ball carriers. He then fumbled the ball following a big hit from Eric Weddle. Had the ball been in his left hand, the ball would’ve gone out-of-bounds. Instead, it was recovered by Sean Lassemore and the Chargers kicked a field goal and won the game.
The Chargers earned this win. They recovered from a sloppy first half to score 31 points in the second half and overtime, while their defense held the 49ers to just seven points after halftime. Philip Rivers forgot about the hole he dug his team in the first half, and took the sand and built a fine sculpture out of it in the second. And that’s also why this team deserves to be in the playoffs. All they need is a win against the Chiefs next week to clinch a playoff berth.
As for the 49ers, they’re already eliminated. They’ve found ways to lose games this whole season, and they invented a new method this week. There is a 0% chance Jim Harbaugh is with this team next year, as this is clearly the most underachieving team in the NFL at 7-8.
Side note: Getting traded as a coach has to be the most humiliating thing ever. Hasn’t happened since the Jets traded Herm Edwards to the Chiefs in 2006 for a fourth round pick (so basically nothing). Before that, the Raiders traded Jon Gruden to the Bucs, who named him Head Coach. They then proceeded to win the super bowl. Watch yourself, 49ers.
Side note 2: Take the Michigan job, Jim.
Side note 3: The 49ers would’ve beat the Ravens if Alex Smith was their starter. Try to tell me why not.