Before losing to the Saints, people said the 49ers had a one-dimensional offense. They could run the ball but they couldn't throw the ball. Now we have additional knowledge. The 49ers currently are a no-dimensional offense. They can't run and they can't throw. I'm sure you'll agree that running and throwing are important dimensions in Dimensionville.
After the game, quarterback Colin Kaepernick said the 49ers' four losses are regrettable but no big deal in the larger scheme of things. "We can still finish this season 12-4."
Don't bet on it, Colin.
Let's talk specifics. We are talking about the 49ers' football sins. Believe me they sinned plenty against the Saints.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Niners clung to a 20-17 lead against New Orleans. They clung like an exhausted man hanging by his fingertips from a mountain peak, the pebbles and sand cascading past his weary hands to the floor thousands of feet below. The 49ers clung. They were lucky even to be in the game but the Saints had gifted the 49ers with three colossal mistakes that led to 49ers scores.
The mistakes were: A Niners punt which the Saints botched and the botch led to a San Francisco TD.
A pick by the Saints which the picker fumbled through the end zone for a touchback. No seven points for the Saints. The 49ers got back the ball and scored a field goal.
An interception by Ahmad Brooks which led to a San Francisco touchdown.
You get the picture. Lots of gifts by the generous Saints.
So we come to San Francisco's football sins. They were leading by a meager three points in the fourth when Brooks sacked Drew Brees and took the ball away from him. Hallelujah! It's just that the officials blew the whistle and called Brooks for unnecessary roughness and the Saints got back the ball and scored the tying field goal.
Totally sinful on Brooks' part.
Afterward, Brooks swore on a stack of bibles he didn't unnecessarily rough anyone. He didn't actually have a stack of bibles, really. I threw them in as a scene enhancer.
"It was B.S.," Brooks said at his locker, sweat pouring down his chest. "It was a B.S. call to me. I didn't hit him with my helmet. I didn't hit him with my hand. I simply hit him with my chest and caused a fumble and NaVorro (Bowman) recovered it. That was the game, basically."
I am not here to say Brooks is wrong. At his locker, he seemed like an honest man. And he believed what he said. It's just that calls go against teams all the time. Brooks had to be careful not to rough up Brees of all people in New Orleans of all places. If you don't like the phrase "rough up," try "muss up," alarm," "cause to feel dismay."
Anyway, it was a sin. The Saints kept the ball and scored the tying field goal. If you think the 49ers got jobbed, remember this. They already had three gifts and still couldn't win. How many gifts did they need? It's clear they had run out of gifts.
The next 49ers' sin is actually a series of sins you can pin on the offense and the offensive play callers.