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October 9, 2011 @ 8:40 pm
Current rating: 3.00 Stars/1 Votes

Goldrush For 49ers As They Trounce Bucs, 48-3

Written by Eric
Eric Horchy


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The Buccaneers got manhandled by the 49ers in a clash of 3-1 teams, losing at San Francisco, 48-3. The loss is the worst for Tampa Bay since its 45-0 defeat in Oakland in 1999. Bucs QB Josh Freeman threw two interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown.

Following its first Monday Night Football win in eight years and riding on the high of a three-game winning streak, Tampa Bay’s spirits were abruptly yanked back down to earth by a lopsided 48-3 loss in San Francisco.

The 49ers utterly dominated Sunday afternoon’s Week 5 matchup, scoring quickly on their first drive to go up 7-0 and then never looking back. Tampa Bay responded with a 24-yard field goal on its ensuing possession to make it 7-3, but that was as close as the Buccaneers would get.

The 45-point loss represented the worst margin of defeat Tampa Bay has suffered since a 45-0 beating by the Jon Gruden-led Oakland Raiders in 1999. It was also the third time the Bucs lost to San Francisco in the past five meetings and the 49ers now lead the all-time regular-season series, 16-4.

Monday’s game was played in sunny, cool conditions on a 62-degree day and the official paid attendance at Candlestick Park was reported as 69,732.

Starting on defense for Tampa Bay was: LE Michael Bennett, DT Gerald McCoy, DT Brian Price, RE Adrian Clayborn, WLB Geno Hayes, MLB Mason Foster, SLB Dekoda Watson, LCB Aqib Talib, RCB Ronde Barber, SS Sean Jones, FS Corey Lynch.

The Bucs lined up offensively with: WR Mike Williams, LT Donald Penn, LG Jeremy Zuttah, C Jeff Faine, RG Davin Joseph, RT Jeremy Trueblood, TE Kellen Winslow, WR Arrelious Benn, RB LeGarrette Blount, FB Erik Lorig and QB Josh Freeman.

Seven Buccaneers were listed as inactive. They were S Devin Holland, WR Sammie Stroughter, LB Zac Diles, LB Quincy Black, OT James Lee, OT Derek Hardman and OT James Lee.

San Francisco outgained Tampa Bay in terms of total yardage 418-272 and the 49ers scored on seven of nine offensive possessions, not including two drives that came at the end of both halves. San Francisco was forced to punt only once, compared to Tampa Bay’s six.

The Bucs defense was picked apart by San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith [11 of 19 for 170 yards and a career-high three touchdowns] and repeatedly gashed by running back Frank Gore [20 carries for 125 yards and one touchdown]. The Tampa Bay pass rush failed to register a sack for the first time since the Bucs’ Week 1 loss to Detroit.

Staying true to its league-leaguing plus-eight turnover margin, the 49ers won that battle 3-1 on Sunday. San Francisco converted all three of its takeaways into touchdowns. Tampa Bay’s lone forced turnover came on the Niners’ second drive of the game when linebacker Mason Foster’s recovered fumble gave the Bucs possession at their own 11. Tampa Bay could have at least narrowed that turnover margin on two occasions during the same third-quarter 49er drive. Cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Elbert Mack dropped interception opportunities before San Francisco eventually converted a 27-yard field goal.

Tampa Bay needed only two plays to squander its forced turnover opportunity in a big way. On the first play of the second quarter, quarterback Josh Freeman threw the first of his two interceptions and San Francisco cornerback Carlos Rogers returned it 31-yards for a touchdown. The play-action pass was intended for tight end Kellen Winslow and Rogers easily cut in front for the pick to make it 14-3 49ers. It was the third consecutive game Rogers recorded an interception.

Freeman struggled from the start, completing only 17 of his 33 passes for 187 yards and the two interceptions. He finished with a season-low 43.4 passer rating, was sacked two times and had eight of his passes broken up by 49ers defenders. Freeman nearly had two other passes nabbed, including a first-quarter deep ball to receiver Arrelious Benn in the end zone.

Seven offensive plays after the pick-six, San Francisco was ball hawking once again. Cornerback Chris Culliver reached in front of Bucs receiver Michael Spurlock and wrestled away Freeman’s pass, returning the interception 23 yards to the San Francisco 43.

The 49ers covered 57 yards in just five plays spanning 2 minutes and 35 seconds after the turnover and capped the drive with Gore’s 2-yard touchdown run. Helping set up the scoring run was a 24-yard pass interference penalty called against Bucs linebacker Dekoda Watson when he failed to look back for the ball while defending tight end Vernon Davis.

Coming off a 14-penalty game Monday night against Indianapolis, Tampa Bay’s play again garnered plenty of attention from the refereeing crew. The Bucs picked up nine for 96 yards in San Francisco.

Making matters worse for Tampa Bay, the Bucs also took hits on the injury report Sunday. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy had to be helped off the field during San Francisco’s first-quarter drive that ended in Foster’s fumble recovery. Running back LeGarrette Blount left the game in the third quarter after taking a hit to his left leg by safety Dashon Goldson at the end of a 29-yard catch-and-run. Neither player returned to the field of play.

Blount [10 carries for 34 yards] and the Tampa Bay running game was a nonfactor Sunday, especially after falling behind by multiple scores. The Bucs rushed for a total of 86 yards on 23 attempts.

San Francisco, on the other hand, was running at will all day. Mixing in a number of three-tight-end sets throughout the afternoon, the 49ers controlled the line of scrimmage and picked up 5.9 yards per touch for a total of 213 yards on 36 attempts.

The 49ers won the opening coin toss and deferred to Tampa Bay, giving San Francisco the ball to start the second half with a 21-3 advantage. Not much changed after halftime adjustments and San Francisco marched 80 yards in seven plays to go up 28-3. Smith hit Vernon Davis on an intermediate route over the middle – a soft spot all day for the Tampa Bay

defense – and the Pro Bowl tight end took care of the rest, breaking the tackle attempts of cornerback Ronde Barber and safety Sean Jones for a 23-yard touchdown.

Tampa Bay’s all-around frustration began to show on its next possession. Freeman hit Winslow [5 catches for 54 yards] for a 12-yard gain and a first down, but Bucs head coach Raheem Morris was tagged with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that pushed Tampa Bay back to its own 17. The Bucs moved into San Francisco territory, thanks in large part to the 29-yard reception Blount was hurt on, but failed to get any deeper than the 33. Tampa Bay elected to go for it on fourth-and-2, but Freeman’s deep ball down the left side to receiver Mike Williams sailed long.

Following a David Akers 27-yard field goal on San Francisco’s next possession, Tampa Bay committed its third and final turnover when Goldson rocked Williams to jar loose a fumble and erase what would have been an eight-yard pickup.

Linebacker Patrick Willis [game-high 12 tackles] jumped on the fumble and gave Smith the ball at Tampa Bay’s 36. The Bucs appeared to keep the Niners out of the end zone this time and limit them to a 46-yard Akers field goal. But in lockstep with their overall performance, Watson was penalized on a leverage call – trying to elevate himself off another player while attempting to block the kick – and San Francisco was given new life at the Tampa Bay 14. Smith quickly hit Davis for their second hookup of the day; this time a 14 yarder to the back left of the end zone after Davis beat Barber.

Now ahead 41-3, the touchdown from Smith was the last pass attempt of his day. Backup Colin Kaepernick relieved him of duty with 9:57 remaining and successfully led a touchdown drive of his own. It was also backup running back Kendall Hunter’s turn to slash through the Bucs’ shoddy run defense, breaking off a 44 yarder and totaling 54 yards on four touches during an 11-play, 90-yard scoring drive. Running back Anthony Dixon iced it with his 1-yard touchdown rush up the middle.

With 3:48 still remaining, Freeman gave way to backup Josh Johnson for Tampa Bay’s 11th and final drive. Johnson moved the Bucs’ reserves 14 yards to the San Francisco 45 before punter Michael Koenen returned possession and Kaepernick could get the 49ers into the victory formation for two more snaps.

The loss drops Tampa Bay to 3-2 on the season and behind first-place New Orleans (4-1). The Bucs host the Saints next Sunday at 4:15.

Last modified on Wednesday, 19 October 2011 10:55

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  • avatar

    Ok, it was a game for us to see where the bucs stand ... We have seen ! There was no game. As all posters said with different manner, it was a game played between men and boys. But for me, what make me scratch my head, is that the players quit ... in the 2nd quarter. It was obvious as nobody shows up. This is the real difference between now and the last 2 years. Raheem always found a way to make his players play all the game. Not this one. A new trend ? I can't understand why Free force his throw, why receivers can't get any separation this year. And by the way, for all the GMC haters, did you see how our defensive line felt apart when GMC was hurt ??? He's the anchor of this line now. But hopefully, the bucs will learn from this loss. But not with the tape. Burn it in front of the players. You can not learn anything from it. there was no game. Just say to players that it's the NFL, a game for men. You have to be fired up and show it on the field. And by the way, tell them to respect the fans, don't quit playing in the 2nd quarter !!! It amazed me that posters use the "YUCS" word to describe their own team. leave that to the others team's fans and media or leave the ship ... GO BUCS, GET BETTER, and PLAY !!!
  • avatar

    The Yuccaneers.. What a pathetic excuse for a football team.
  • avatar

    49er's looked to of had the play book. D backs were running the routes better than the recievers.
  • avatar

    Very true ... it was amazing.
  • avatar

    The Bucs played a mans game with a bunch of boys plain and simple.
  • avatar

    This was due. It exposed our mediocre talent and lack of depth and inferior coaching. That includes Raheem, as it is painfully and increasingly clear is out of his depth every time things go wrong. He's no more capable assembling an offense than the most overrated coach in football, aka Tony 'friend of felons' Dungy, was. Dungy would have gone down as a career disappointment if not for Manning running the O for him, and Rah might already be on his way out if not for Free's scrambling ability repeatedly bailing the Bucs out. This, as I've repeatedly pointed out, is an unfinished product. We need a chef not a short order cook. And Mark, while you are throwing stones at the old regime, take a stab at how many free agents were brought in the yr of our Super Bowl run? You must not know or you'd have stopped parroting the 'Dungy's team' BS. we weren't even the #1 defense until after Saint Dungy left. Give credit where due -it was Monte's D and it got better when Dungy was out of the way. True, Allen can't evaluate college talent so with no checkbook to work with the roster decay set the stage for collapse. And here we sit, one of the youngest (read: cheapest teams in football. I'll stick w/my forecast of 8-8 +/- 1 game, and for 2 yrs of mediocrity and then another regime change. BTW, when you start flaming me, realize I have season tix now despite being >1000 miles away so I'm as loyal a fan S they come, I just hate seeing us waste 4-5 yrs before pulling the inevitable plug. Go Bucs
  • avatar

    completely agree. the lack of free agent spending this year was a direct indication of the path the new front office is choosing to go; we will build a solid core of players and not rely that much on outside help. problem is that is what won us a title. simeon rice and keyshawn for example. They are placing so much emphasis on their inner circle of coaches that they are leaving no room for error. When coaches dont live up to expectations, the product is what you saw on the field today. This is literally one of the worst losses I have ever seen in my 13 years as a Buccaneers fan. The fact they fail to get things moving game in and game out in the first hald is a direct implication something needs to change fast. This next stretch of games is going to make or break our season, and I am leaning more toward the latter. Greg Olsen needs to go, Does anyone have Bill Cowhers phone number?
  • avatar

    Scott Reynolds, Josh Freeman did not play horribly worse than most of the games so far. He just did it against a good team this time. He has not been the Josh of last year. Every one starting with Raheem Morris looked lethargic and brain dead. On the other hand Harbaugh and staff had us gamed. Biggest loss would be Gerald McCoy - not the game. Mark 2001. Since Tony Dungy did not draft Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp or John Lynch, how was it Dungy's defense? He should say a prayer of thanks to Sam Wyche every night! By the way, love Josh, Tony Dungy and John Gruden.
  • avatar

    Brace yourself for the next 4 or 5 games, could be a bumpy ride. And just a reminder - you can no longer count Carolina as 2 sure wins!
  • avatar

    well the silver lining is hopefully greg olsen will not be there at the end of the streak. He simply can not do his job, and its getting pathetic
  • avatar

    Absolutely the worst game I have ever seen as a Bucs fan. Greg Olsen needs to go. Period. The offense is Anemic, they have been all year, and hes just not carrying the load anymore. I have no idea what he is thinking when he calls plays in the first half, and its getting painful to watch as a Bucs fan. There is a complete disconnect between what he calls and Josh Freeman's abilities. He could have literally stayed in Tampa and the outcome would have been the same. How many games have do the Bucs have to go into the half losing before the front office brass realize a change needs to be made. This was atrocious and personally embarrassing as a fan. I do not know any easier way to put it. He needs to go and Tampa needs to spend some of that money they are saving to resign their so called "talent", and sign a competent O-Coordinator who understands what hes doing.I NEVER feel the urge to come on and rant about the game, but I felt obligated to because GREG OLSEN CAN NOT LAST THE ENTIRE SEASON IF TAMPA HOPES TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS. We will be picking in the top 10 of the draft if he stays. Bottom Line
  • avatar

    It was a universal failure. Our receivers are not getting separation this season. Freeman reverted to staring down receivers today (he'd been making an effort to "look off" the defense, explaining some of the accuracy issues). The D-Line took a step backwards as well. The coordinators had nothing on either side of the ball. And, we'll learn shortly about the status of Blount and McCoy.... I'm with Pinkstob, we've just got to move on. Short-term memory. If I didn't already have heartburn I'd consider killing the memory with beer. Or SCOTCH.
  • avatar

    excellent even keeled temperment scubog, it is only one loss, and I agree it doesn't matter if it's 1 or 45 points. My concern is opposing teams seem to be figuring out what the Bucs are trying to do and seem to be able to stop the Bucs offense rather easily, and on the defensive side, seems the Buc defenders are trying to strip the ball more than make sure of the tackle.
  • avatar

    Disagree Scubog. This would be just another loss if we were playing well and doing what we usually do in all of our other games. This game showed we are fortunate to be 3-2 and are not playing good football. There was no fight in the dog. When you are a young team if the players dont get it going the coaches have to. What adjustments did you see? Did we ever stop the running game we spent all week preparing for? Did we find a way to get the ball downfield without the dink and dunk? We havent played well since end of last season. Maybe 4-5 quarters of Buc ball but hitting the next 5 games with more of the same will lead us to 5 more lopsided losses.
  • avatar

    The team couldn't have performed worse from the head coach down to the long snapper, who skipped a snap to Koenen off the ground before it got to him. You don't review game film like that on Monday, you burn it in a bonfire in front of the team and move on to the next opponent. I've never moved on from a loss so quickly, but it was so bad that's what I've done. The Bucs vs. 49ers game is dead to me. Now you guys can spend the next 48 hours kicking a dead horse in the balls, but I'm not in the mood. I'll see you guys on Wednesday when the team is preparing for the Saints.
  • avatar

    Can't wait to see how Freeman is on the "hot" list again. Everyone had to see a good ol fashion trip to the woodshed coming. The Bucs barely beat two bad teams and almost let a dazed and confused Falcon team come back on them.
  • avatar

    Agreed mark2001, 49ers seemed to know every tendancy on both sides of the ball and exploited it to the fullest. We arent going to surprise anyone anymore. We have to out coach and out execute and so far we havent done it this year. Fortunately we are 3-2 but with NO, Chicago, NO, Houston and, GB our next 5 games we could easily be 4-6 and in the dumps.
  • avatar

    Freeman better learn real fast how to find a receiver to throw to without looking his way the whole time he is in the pocket! He telegraphed everyone of his passes so no surprise that the 49'ers knew where all his passes were going to. Amazing how the 49'ers linebackers were in our backfield all game long making plays and ours were usually down field trying to make tackles. Oh, I forgot, they are better players. What an embarassing display of football all around!
  • avatar

    Mark2001: Gruden coached the Raiders who defeated the Dungy coached Bucs by the 45-0 score. The Bucs bounced back. They will this time too. Remember the butt whipping the Patriots put on the Jets? The Jets won the next game. Today's game just got out of hand and snowballed. 1 point or 45 points it only counts as 1 loss. McCoy and Blount being hurt are the biggest concerns.
  • avatar

    Absolutely EMBARRASSING Bucs!!!!!!!! I don't even know where to begin. NOBODY showed up today!!!!!!!! Defense was atrocious and at 5 games into the season it is obvious that the Bucs DO NOT have one Elite WR. I like Williams and he has good hands but he is not an Elite WR. Elite WR can get separation and take over games. This team gave up bye the end of the 1st Half!
  • avatar

    I thought 14 points, or maybe it's 21 points was a trouncing. This was pure unadulterated rape. I think the last time it was this bad was when Genghis Khan and his mongol horde invaded Europe!!
  • avatar

    Gruden did a good job coaching somewhere? Scott, come on. Everyone knows that we won the SB because it was Tony's team and not because of Grudens coaching. Honestly, I'm quite concerned. Other than the Atlanta win, the team has been less than impressive this year and if SF laid out the "print" for the rest of the league, it could be a very rough "three quarters".
  • avatar

    The "YUCS" were back, hopefully just for one game.
  • avatar

    Worst game I have seen in awhile. No one showed up, especially the coaches. The inability to properly game plan and get the team going early finally caught up to us. The dink and dunk was taken away and we never adjusted and had two bad INTs and a few others that should have been picked. No plays to get our guys going deep or create space with misdirection. Too many 3 and outs. The amount of penalties and turnovers each week is also very alarming, total lack of discipline. Def couldnt stop anyone anywhere. And why does Talib get beat by everyone each week? Maybe not a smart idea to give a 10 yd cushion on key plays. OLB were nowhere on run support or TE coverage. And our safety play continues to be atrocious, Lynch and Jones constantly missed tackles and way too late getting over in coverage. Where was the fire and heart when things got tough? How can backup RB just waltz around the edge for 30+ yds? How can backup QB hit a back shoulder fade on 4th and 2 when the game was virtually finished? Not one person stepped up. On verge of total meltdown honestly with the toughest part of schedule coming up....
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