49ers Super Bowl

49ers lose in the Super Bowl – who’s to blame?

49ers Super Bowl Harbaugh Kaepernick Gore
I took this photo during the timeout before 3rd-and-5

They came so close, and that actually made this loss easier to take. In the first half it looked like the Niners were going to look like one of those AFC teams in the 1980s and lose 48-17 or something. At least they made it respectable. Now that we’ve gotten the whole “perspective” thing out of the way, let’s start ripping. There’s a long list.

LaMichael James: Don’t fumble. It’s pretty simple. Yeah, an extra yard or two sounds cool. But you aren’t playing Arizona State.

The secondary: Simply terrible tonight. Chris Culliver got screwed on the play before the ridiculous Jacoby Jones TD that ended the first half, when Torrey Smith should have been called for offensive pass interference. But that aforementioned ridiculous Jones TD was an embarrassment that Ed Donatell and Vic Fangio will probably never recover from. Also, there’s no way the Ravens should’ve been able to convert on 9-of-16 third downs. And Carlos Rogers gave a valiant effort, but Anquan Boldin killed the 49ers. AGAIN.

Randy Moss: Maybe there was no way he could’ve caught the pass that was intercepted by Ed Reed. But would it kill him to put his hand in the air, just to let the spectators gauge how uncatchable that pass was? It’s time for the 49ers to find some young receivers who aren’t afraid of contact that deserve to play alongside Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis, two guys who sold themselves out to win this game.

Brad Seely (49ers Special Teams Coach): It sure seemed like David Akers was TRYING to kick it as deep as he could, regardless of where Jones was. Um, how about kicking AWAY from the best kick returner in the world? Would teams kick it to Devin Hester five years ago? No. And how about telling LaMichael James to sit on it when he catches a kickoff eight yards deep? He isn’t Jacoby Jones!

#QuestForSix: Such a terrible hashtag. If you’re into hashtags, you probably believe in things like superstitions and not counting your chickens and all that. Dropping #QuestForSix every day almost makes it seem like we should’ve expected the 49ers to crush whoever the AFC put out there. While I still believe San Francisco had more talent on that field than Baltimore, that doesn’t always guarantee victory (thank you, Capt. Obvious).

Jim Harbaugh: When a head coach’s team starts out every playoff game terribly, that’s on him. And because I’m pretty sure he has the ultimate veto power over Greg Roman when it comes to offensive playcalling, I’m blaming this Harbaugh bro for ignoring Frank Gore after Gore brought them to the freaking 7-yard-line. Even if Colin Kaepernick threw a touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree (the idea they seemed to be stuck on), the Ravens would’ve had plenty of time and timeouts to come back and win on a field goal anyway. It’s not like the defense was super awesome.

The White Stripes: I can never listen to “Seven Nation Army” again. So many mouth-breathing Baltimore Ravens fans ruined that song all week by chanting “OH, OH OH OH OH OHHHH OH” every single day. Get a guitarist, assholes.

I can’t blame the Superdome, because that actually helped the 49ers. Lights out? Okay, things are getting weird, let’s do this. The 49ers almost won. Almost, almost, almost. But after the playcalling got weird late, I realized that I made one of the worst purchases in my life, with all due respect to Beyonce. The 49ers may recover from this loss, but history says Super Bowl losers often take a step back. Jim Harbaugh just lost to his brother, and now he faces his greatest test.

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Bay Area Sports Guy

BASG (Steve Berman) and his wife started Bay Area Sports Guy in 2008, and now it's the No. 1 independent website covering Bay Area sports. You can follow him @BASportsGuy and on Facebook.

52 comments
Rant Bot
Rant Bot

Aldon Smith sure did not have the game of his life, and was nowhere to be found for the last quarter of the season I also think Jim Harbaugh's histrionics served no helpful purpose, other than clouding thoughts about next plays, etc...

Fitz's Future Unemployment Check
Fitz's Future Unemployment Check

Fangio played WAAAY too much cover 2. The DBs went for picks and knockdowns at times when they should have tackled. Special teams, what were they thinking kicking it straight to a dangerous returner? Kaep didn't have his best game for sure. That no call at the end pissed me off a bit, I get the whole 'they were letting them play' on both sides, which was largely true. Except they did call our guy once, so how about giving us one too? The no call that really pissed me off was on the safety when their guys were blatantly holding to keep the play alive as long as possible. Blah.

sn0wnsk8
sn0wnsk8

So should we be interested in who the head linesman Steven Stelljes bookie is??? He was the ref that was pushed by Cory Williams and did not throw a flag and was the ref closest to Crabtree on the helmet to helmet hit, and the holding/ PI call in the endzone.

Stan
Stan

And lets not forget the bad mo-jo of Culliver and Alex Smith( I want to leave,but I'M NOT the one who said it),and Moss. That all sucked momentum out of the team,and I said that pre game. I think it loosened wheels enough. You saw the game.

SpartanSportsGuy
SpartanSportsGuy

I just can't believe that the same guys who dialed up "Alex Sweep" and "Vernon Post" last year spent their final four downs of the Super Bowl trying to force it to Crabtree after handing it once to the backup rb that already fumbled.

Stan
Stan

Ist and goal at the eight and and just die there? Like a really bad sports movie ending. You would ask for your money back at the theater.

Beaver
Beaver

Among other things, four trips inside the Toyota Red Zone yielded only 9 points.

erik
erik

I blame Brandon Jacobs.

InquisitaB
InquisitaB

If anybody has the ability to make an animated GIF of Bruce Miller being wrapped up by TWO Ravens on Jacoby Jones' return that would be a perfect indictment of the refs last night. At 1:29 of this video ( http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap2000000135279/Can-t-Miss-Play-Jacoby-Jones-sets-record-with-kickoff-return ) there's a perfect shot of Miller "not being held" at all. In the end however, Roman and Harbaugh lost the game with the terrible play calling with 1st and goal at the 7 yard line.

Stan
Stan

You covered it nearly all. I

Jeff
Jeff

Ray Lewis didn't kill the lights but he was there when it happened!

erik
erik

2 thoughts: #1 Game wasn't fixed and the blackout shows that maybe the US need stop worrying about guns and worry more about its Power needs. #2 Ted Robinson was horrible doing play by play on the radio last night.

Slam
Slam

The blackout was hilarious and there will be conspiracy theories about it for the next 50 years. I have about 20 reasons why it was and wasn't part of a gambling fix. But I don't think the NFL or "Vegas" fixes the games, and I've been known to make a wager or two New Orleans has a rich tradition of promoting tourism, promoting drinking and sex, and letting buildings crumble into disrepair ... the Superdome is a monument to all those things. The electricity probably comes from an expension cord coming off a street light. The SB should never be there until they get a new stadium

Scott
Scott

Man this sucks...living about 30 minutes north of Baltimore this is an absolute killer for me. All the Ravens fans did between 2000-2010 was talk shit to me about how bad the 9ers were. I thought this would finally be my chance but the saga continues for me....this week is going to be one of the hardest, as 90% of my buddies are Ravens fans. Reality is that it flat out sucks. Although I do think once Lewis is gone the Ravens will bottom out on defense....but that's a discussion for next fall. Anyway, I agree with many of you. Our secondary blew big time, Fangio not so much to blame as Goldson/Whitner for our safeties being too aggressive. Kaep a little shaky to start but settled in and lit it up late. He will be good for years to come....The play calling is perplexing at best in the first half and on that last drive. I agree Gore needs to get that ball on any of those downs ahead of throwing four passes. Stupid. I thought the refs didn't a pretty good job. Yes, I do think Crab was held on the 4th down pass but with less than 2 mins to go in the 4th quarter, it's VERY difficult to throw a flag. Niners didn't deserve to score with Roman's idiotic calls. Lastly, would just like to throw this out there. I had 5 friends text me when the game finished (Eagles, Raiders, Lions, and Jets fans in case you were wondering) and told me they thought the game was fixed for the Ravens to send Ray out on top. I don't want to believe it, but if 5 of my friends texted me saying the same thing, could these really be a conspiracy theory? I don't know...but the Denver safety made the worst play of his life and Brady was horrible. Could that really be? The NFL setting the script by turning the lights out and the Niners rallying for an epic comeback, only to get stopped by Ray's defense on the 5yd line? And then make it interesting by taking the safety and punting it for the last play? I don't know....I still don't want to believe it, but there are some out there who do believe it.

Eric
Eric

The game could be broken down into 3 components, which could be termed the good, the bad and the ugly. The good: Kaepernick. He showed poise after a rugged first half, and a power outage that would have rattled most rookies, and led the Niners on a tear, almost pulling out a miracle comeback. QB for the next 10 years. The bad: The defense. That unit is over rated. Period. Elite defenses do not give up 30 plus points a week, week after week. After Justin Smith's injury during the season, the defense was erratic, showing signs of lock down ability, combined with giving up huge blocks of points. There may be a reason Fangio didn't interview for coaching jobs. No one wanted to hear it, but that unit simply gives up way too much, never gets enough pressure on the quarterback, and lacks creativity when they need it. They had Baltimore on the ropes, then a cold Flacco led the Ravens on two scoring drives. Game over. The ugly: Chris Culliver. Awful on and off the field, repeatedly torched, and talking trash the whole game. Needed to read the room before opening his mouth, and needed to read the routes before getting smoked. Would it have killed him to touch Jones when he was on the ground!? The weak link in what should be a solid defense.

Jenna
Jenna

I'm not even a 49ers fan but the calls the crap officials made were definitely going to the ravens

Tony (Elko,Nevada)
Tony (Elko,Nevada)

Well it was TRULY SORRY to see The 49ers lose Superbowl cause they had the Formula to Win But the 49res that showed up to Play was Colin Kaenpernick and Crabtree and the Front Linemans. Too Blame! JAMES & DAVIS??????? You should give half your MONEY BACK to the club cause you didn't EARN IT LAST NIGHT and you let me down as a ( 49ers Fan in Nevada)

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

As far as who is to blame, you can blame a number of different people. In a sense, you kind of have to blame the defense. They just couldn't stop the Ravens offense, and the Ravens did get lucky on a couple of plays on offense, but the 49ers defense really didn't look like themselves.

dj
dj

blame? how about DC Vic Fangio. His defensive unit gave up huge numbers 2 weeks ago and tonight but the media wanted to blame everyone else except Fangio.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

Man, very tough 49ers loss in the Super Bowl tonight. Yes, you got to give the Ravens credit, they're a good team and congratulations to them but, the 49ers had this. It's unbelievable they didn't score on that last drive in the 4th quarter, and I agree that they were jobbed by the refs in this game. Hopefully the 49ers learn from this game, and will be stronger next season. The future is very bright for this team for real, with all the draft picks they have, and trade pieces like Alex Smith. I guess the positive aspect that I can take out of this is, last year, the 49ers lost in the NFC Championship Game. This year they lost in the Super Bowl, so hopefully they win the Super Bowl next year, even though it's hard to make the Super Bowl in back to back seasons. But yes, the 49ers have a bright future, and it will be interesting to see where the 49ers go from here. But yeah, very tough loss. I agree with the sentiment that it's going to take a while to get over this. Man. I'm still a little bummed, but I will be ok.

Bauce
Bauce

Whatever.....who do we blame for that power outage? That was a blowout people. 3rd and 13 and so magical way an outside source causes those select lights to go out. Spare me this expert analysis of how this can happen. Pure mob stuff. 49ers were on their way to being embarrassed. Face the truth. That coin toss you could see which team had the savages. The Niners do have a very tough team but Ravens were bigger and meaner. SF was cooked from the start. Young dudes were nervous as hell. Look at that pregame huddle when Ray Lewis talked and the whole Raven team including staff stood at attention taking in his orders like he was a General in the army. They 49ers never had a chance once Bmore won I hate the niners and know they will be a problem for next decade with Kaepernick....but you know what Niner fans....I'm juiced you lost. The jokes and BS from exactly ten years ago when the Raiders lost to Tampa in that fixed a** game is now on you. Feel what its like to lose on Super Bowl sunday. How does it feel? So many Niner fans thought they were gonna roll Ray Lewis and the Ravens...that was crazy. The sports radio in the Bay Area was ridiculous from SF. Predicting blows when in reality you got blown out. Very cocky against an always tough Bmore This is pro sports....if you dont win the title.....YOU ARE IN LAST PLACE......so you just like the Raiders didnt do s--- this season lol

Paperback Writer
Paperback Writer

As I wrote in some posts several weeks ago: Special teams Lack of depth at receiver JUstin Smiths injury and the ripple effect on the whole D Weird play calling Game Management - this is on coaching and a little on Kaps inexperience, but otherwise he was very very good KARMA: Moss-Jacobs-Jenkins-Manningham were all brought in - literally for THIS game and all,we're missing in action - I'm looking at you, All Time Greatest Moss!!! Draft 22 receivers this spring, during play-offs all three teams vastly towered in talent over us at wide,receiver.

dj
dj

teams have figured him out , now it is up to him to adjust or come up with new tricks.

dj
dj

Flacco was hit out of bound, but the ref did not call. Does it help the 49ers or Ravens? They lost because the defense sucked. Giving up 28 points in a flash. The blackout saved them All year long, I said the DBs were not good but some fans refuse to ack it. Rodgers and Brooks and others were crappy . DBs were exposed when teams figured out ways to slow down their pass rush.

Slam
Slam

You have the best running QB in the world, you roll out with a bunch of crossing routes, and that way if he sees daylight he can run it in

Stan
Stan

My finger hit something wrong..Now for what I was going to write... Once again,49 receivers failed to jump or dive for a ball. I'm not the only one to notice that this year. If it not in their hands,49er receivers wont risk being stuck with a dropped pass is all I can figure. Moss? He sure made it obvious why he isn't greatest. At least put your arms up to block the line of sight to the defense. Not Moss. Not ever. Akers cost three points too. Would have been six without the second chance. But BASG got all the rest just right.

T
T

the 49er defense gave up 30+ points just once during the season. It was the Patriots game. However, the defense gave up 30+ points in 2 of the 3 playoff games. It was likely a combo of bad defensive playcalling, fatigue, and inability to force turnovers. Aldon smith really slowed down during December and January.

East Bay Fan
East Bay Fan

Yes, thank you! Shouldn't the officiating at the Super Bowl be the best it can be? It was damn near the worst yesterday.

dj
dj

have anyone seen Vic Fangio ? he seems to have escaped all blame.

T
T

i really don't think Fangio was telling his guys to miss tackles, don't put pressure on flacco, and them control the clock.

Slam
Slam

I'm a Raider fan but I don't derive any pleasure in the Niners loss. It was a great game and if I had to boil it down to ONE THING, I'd have to say the Ravens D really distinguished themselves when it counted most. And I HATE Ray Lewis but you gotta respect what he did in his last game. When you're down 28-6, there's a 90% chance you will lost the game and the Niners unfortunately did just that. But what a great season. But if I could make one snide remark to Niners fans it's this: don't spend the next 7 months crying about that last pass the Crabtree. The refs were allowing contact the whole game, and to call PI there woulda been BS. Great game, great season by the 49ers.

Don L.
Don L.

Bauce, How about some class here? As a fan, I wasn't expecting a blowout and I don't think the majority of fans thought that. This game is now an instant classic and Ravens fans can enjoy the fruits of victory. Even Jed York (via Twitter) congratulated the Ravens organization on the win. I'm sure you can do the same.

Paperback Writer
Paperback Writer

......and memories are short, sure Kap was spectacular most of the season, but if you average in the great with the Seattle and Rams games, it's still very positive - but the flaws from the season were still somewhat evident - and the opposition was too strong to glide by. ......anybody here remember....A Screen Pass? Would have worked wonders. ........the 49ers began the game badly and began the 2nd half pre-blackout part) worse ... Do they need Hunter Pence in the locker room for,the Final Word before going,on the field? LOL

JoeC
JoeC

I suspect that his shoulder injury was worse than we were led to believe. The fact that he was limited in practice for 2 weeks before the Super Bowl shows you how hurt he was. I will be surprised if he doesn't have some kind of surgery in the offseason. I'll have to re-watch the game, but I didn't hear Brooks name once during the broadcast. He played well in that last drive against Atlanta, but seems to disappear for large stretches of time.

JoeC
JoeC

You're uneducated. Carlos Rodgers had a fair game. They could certainly be stronger at corner and safety though. Culliver and Whitner were terrible. Culliver, at least, is young and can improve. Whitner, he's old and slow... I doubt he can up his game anymore than he has. He's great in run support, but a huge liability in pass defense. Need to upgrade there most of all, I think. The D gave up 21 points in the first half, 6 in the second. In today's NFL, that should be a good enough performance to get a win. The difference was the kickoff return for the TD. Can't blame that on the defense or Fangio.

BlueAndGold
BlueAndGold

Akers didn't cost the Niners any points. They scored on both his FG attempts. His miss was on a play that was nullified because of penalty so it didn't count.

Eric
Eric

5 of their last 6 games they gave up 28 points or more, including 40+ to Seattle. That is not an elite defense. Everyone was healthy, except the Smiths. There should be no fatigue, look at the Ravens, that defense is beat up, and they were better down the stretch. The secondary for the Niners is a problem...not in talent maybe, but in scheme. They need to work harder next year, and not bend during tough moments.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

Yeah, no one has blamed Fangio, but the defense just wasn't there. I don't know if it's because they were still gassed from being on the field for a lot of the game against the Patriots back in December and that they are just fatigued from the wear and tear of the season, or if they were just outplayed. But like I said, they just didn't look like themselves. It was kind of strange to see that. The 49ers defense is better than what they displayed in this game. It would be kind of unfair to blame Fangio for this though.

dj
dj

well, Fangio took/received the credit when they played well so he must be blamed whey they sucked. in consecutive weeks, the could not stop nobody

Jeff
Jeff

I hate Ray Lewis. And I don't respect what he did during the game, which was nothing.

paperback writer
paperback writer

,,,,,,and had they had La Michael James on the roster since Game 1, the reps/experience may have prevented him from that fumble. Also, had Kap had more reps in 2011, LAST YEAR, he would be more seasoned out there with situations-game calling and clock-game management, see these stats from last year. 2011 SF 3 3 5 60.0 35 11.7 7.0 0 0 0 2 -2 -.7 -1.0 0 Thats 5 pass attempts, and 2 runs. Period.

dj
dj

he sucked before the injury.

InquisitaB
InquisitaB

Brooks had a few big plays from what I can remember.

dj
dj

Rodgers gad a career year last year . he came back to earth this year. He sucked this year

JoeC
JoeC

Yeah, terrible first half. But they did only give up 6 points in the second half. You can blame the defense, but it was a team loss. The offense didn't do much in the first half either. And then the special teams as the second half opened. Gashed. This game was very much like the Atlanta game, with the difference that when we got in the red zone in the first half, we scored field goals instead of touchdowns. And the kickoff return. Ugh. That still bothers me most of all. Cannot have that. Cannot win with that. We have a lot of picks in the draft. We need to draft some guys specifically for our coverage units.

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