The first half of play looked like what you might expect from a meeting between 1-3 and 0-4. Neither team showed a whole lot on either side of the ball. In fact, the most notable portions of the first half are embarrassing.
On the good side of the the half, Frank Gore passed Eric Dickerson for 7th all time on the rushing list.
On the bad side of the half, Brissett showed that he still can’t feel pressure off of the edge. The offensive play calling still showed a lack of creativity on 3rd and very long by dialing up a screen pass to Robert Turbin that only goes for a few yards.
Somebody on the 49ers coaching staff watched the tape on the Colts defense and decided to abuse the Colts weakness in the middle of the field in pass defense. Our inside linebackers are liabilities there and Shanahan went after them. Pierre Garcon was targeted early and often across the middle and up the seams.
After a nice punt by Rigoberto Sanchez pinned the 49ers deep in in their own territory, the Colts had an opportunity to take advantage of winning the field position battle with a punt that would leave them with a short field. Instead, Chuck Pagano and Tom McMahon did their level best to do something so stupid on special teams that we would all forget about the fake punt against the New England Patriots.
Quan Bray caught the punt and decided to throw a backward pass to Krishawn Hogan. The catch wasn’t made cleanly and Hogan lost yards and the football for a moment. This backed up a Colts offense that has already showed enough problems and can use all the field position it can get. It is truly embarrassing folks.
Once again, one of the most underappreciated defensive groups in the NFL was responsible for holding the 49ers offense in check in the second quarter and allowed the offense the benefit of good field position for each of its drives. All the Colts got for that work is two field goals.
Then, on queue, our defense goes into prevent with 1 minute and no timeouts for the 49ers. The result is as you might expect. San Francisco chewed up tons of yards, Pagano tried to ice the kicker, and the 49ers tied it up.
The second half of the football game started in much the same way as the first half. A lot of ugly football from teams who did their very best to play consistent with their records.
Once the Colts started to get Marlon Mack involved in the second half they were able to put together some big plays, including a nice touchdown run that looked an awful lot like the one he ran against the Rams in week 1.
Still, the Colts defense deserves a great deal of credit for keeping the game close. Until, of course, the prevent defense took the first with a two touchdown lead and San Francisco put together a touchdown drive. Answer me this, why was Matthias Farley responsible for shading Marquise Goodwin — the only deep threat the 49ers have on their roster — when rookie first round safety Malik Hooker is faster and known for him ability in deep protection?
Also, answer me this, why is it that the Colts can get smoked by TE George Kittle for an entire drive and yet no one on the defensive coaching staff makes an adjustment to take that away from the 49ers?
Mercifully, after a what felt like the longest and most inept fourth quarter and over time I can remember, Marlon Mack gets another big play and puts the Colts in deep field goal position. Even though the Colts telegraphed two runs up the middle and Jacoby Brissett tried to throw another interception down the right sideline, Vinatieri showed he still has the leg and is fully prepared to hit a game winner. A 51-yard field goal pushed the Colts to 2-3 — which is tied with Tennessee for “third ” in the AFC South behind the 3-2 Jacksonville Jaguars and 2-2 Houston Texans.
Colts win 26-23