San Francisco – It is hard to believe, but Sunday's 35-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was only the second worst loss in this season to forget in the "City by the Bay".
In week three of the season the 49ers were shutout by the Seahawks 34-0, ending the 49er's NFL record for not being shut out at 420 regular season games. While the Niners weren't shutout by the Bucs they were completely manhandled all day at Raymond James Stadium.
Head coach Dennis Erickson singled out one unit as being responsible for the Niners not being competitive.
"It's pretty self explanatory," Erickson said. "When you have a performance like that offensively ... you do not have any chance to win."
The 49ers were held to 197 yards of total offense with QB Tim Rattay being sacked five times and turning the ball over twice.
"They stopped everything we did," RB Kevan Barlow said. "Are we getting accustomed to losing? Maybe we are. ... There's got to be a turning point where we've got to say: `Hey, we're going to go out here and win some games."
On the injury front, news has not been good on the neck of CB Ahmed Plummer. Plummer, who has missed the last four games, is expected to miss at least another two or three weeks and could miss the rest of the season if he doesn't heal quickly.
Next Game: vs. Miami, November 28th
St. Louis – The Rams had the chance to keep their lead in the division but came out flat on the road in Buffalo and lost to the Bills 37-17.
After dominating Seattle's defense all game, gaining 372 yards of offense, the Rams were held to only 270 yards (only 35 on the ground). St. Louis got off to a quick start again, surging to a 10-0 first quarter lead, only to collapse after that.
Head coach Mike Martz was incredulous over his team's effort following the loss.
"We let things get away in the third quarter," Martz said. "Special teams were just pitiful. I'm not very happy. I really don't know what to do at this point."
Bills CB Nate Clements returned a punt 86 yards for one touchdown and Rams DE Erik Flowers muffed a short kickoff to set up a Bills field goal shortly thereafter. At one point in the third quarter the Bills scored 17 points in 5:42.
"It's frustrating because we had a good week of practice and we prepared well and we come out here and lay an egg on special teams," said S Rich Coady.
On the injury front the Rams have to be concerned with their offensive line. Backup guard Chris Dishman is out four to six weeks with a torn knee ligament and backup guard Scott Tercero has been placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. This unit is paper-thin and they can ill afford any more attrition along the line.
Next Game: @ Green Bay, November 29th
Arizona – After winning three of their last four games and getting healthy, people started to take notice in the improvements of the team in the desert. But with success comes higher expectations and the young Cardinals still aren't a good team…yet. That was proven on Sunday when the previously 2 and 7 Carolina Panthers ran roughshod over the Cardinals all day long, beating Arizona 35-10 in Charlotte.
"You can't walk in and get it," Head Coach Dennis Green stated. "I think their team wanted to be 3-7 and played better than we played as a team who could be 5-5. They've been missing a lot, but today they had a lot."
"They got us," said linebacker James Darling. "We have to eliminate the big plays and we have to shore that up. They played good, they played like a team that went to the Super Bowl last year and wants to go back. They played with a lot of heart and a lot of pride."
With new starting quarterback Shaun King at the helm, the Cards offense struggled in the first half. King fumbled the ball three times, all were recovered by the Cards, threw two interceptions, and was sacked twice as the Cards finished the half scoreless. King finished the game 28 of 52 for 343 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.
"Anytime the offense would get a good play, it would get called back," said King. "I'm not making any excuses but it is tough to tread water like that."
"We still feel like we are in it," said WR Anquan Boldin. "We've worked too hard to give up and quit. 10-6 teams can go to the playoffs so we win out, we are there. So, we still have something to fight for."
One very bright spot for the Cardinals is the play of rookie outside linebacker Karlos Dansby. Dansby missed most of training camp with groin and hamstring injuries, but recovered in time to show some things in the early part of his rookie season. Dansby is tied for second on the team with four sacks and his speed adds another dimension into defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast's defensive scheme.
Next Game: vs. New York Jets, November 28th
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