The fast start of the 49ers season which seemed to have them on course for a playoff spot has yet again faded into another cold winters night. Sunday in Philadelphia, the team had their shots, but after falling behind 20-3 it was just too much as they fell 27-13 to end any shot at the postseason.
“Obviously it was not our best performance,” 49ers coach Mike Singletary said. “We came out here to play a different game and do all the things we had to do to get it done and we didn’t get it done.”
The loss for San Fran and the Cardinals win in Detroit clinches the NFC West for the Cardinals. All the 49ers clinched is a seventh straight nonwinning season. At 6-8, they need to finish by defeating Detroit and St. Louis in order to concomitantly avoid a seventh straight losing season.
This after the team started the year 2-0, and were one play away from a win in Minnesota to go 3-0. They were 3-1 at one point, but it all faded away as the club lost four straight and five of six to turn that fast start into yet another frustrating season.
“It’s very frustrating. Very frustrating,” said linebacker Takeo Spikes. “We put so much time into it. Having to walk away saying the only thing to play for now is pride, that’s the tough part.”
Down 20-3 at halftime, the 49ers scored 10 quick points to get close. Josh Morgan returned the second-half kickoff 52 yards, but the offense couldn’t capitalize and Joe Nedney kicked a 25-yard field goal.
It was too little too late, as the Eagles later drove 89 yards and went ahead 27-13 on LeSean McCoy’s run early in the fourth period. Donovan McNabb’s 59-yard pass to DeSean Jackson on third-and-2 kept the drive going.
It was a tough day for Niners QB Alex Smith, who went 20-for-33 with 177 yards and three first half interceptions. He was not able to get going and the mistakes were huge as the Eagles were able to take advantage of them.
“Alex did not have his best performance,” Singletary said. “I thought that Alex played poorly. He knows that. He’s capable of playing better than that. Sometimes you try to make things happen and you force it. As a quarterback, you’ve got to learn you can’t force it.”
Frank Gore ran for 107 yards but the team overall played like the weather – frozen. “Can’t win,” Gore said. “It’s the NFL. You can’t win … games giving up the ball. I feel we beat ourselves. You can’t do that. You can’t give up four turnovers and expect to win.”
San Fran will be at home vs the Lions next week.