Harbaugh Bowl: Donte Whitner Needs To Rise To The Challenge
In the biggest game of his life, San Francisco 49ers strong safety Donte Whitner looks as though the moment is too big for him. It is the worst possible time for him to struggle to play his position, but so far, the Baltimore Ravens have been able to have their way against the 7th year pro.
Baltimore’s first score of the Harbaugh Bowl came at the expense of Whitner who had cheated towards the line and allowed Anquan Boldin to beat the coverage to the end zone. Later he was beaten by Boldin again on a play where everyone except Joe Flacco and Boldin thought the play was a bust. Whitner was unable to stay with his man and the Ravens were able to keep a long drive alive.
These are just two examples of his struggles so far, but there have been several others and he needs to get it together. His team is counting on him to do his job and at this moment he is falling short. At this point in the game, there is plenty of time for Whitner to get back on track, but he needs to do it quickly.
All of the blame cannot go squarely on the shoulders of Whitner. Joe Flacco is looking as cool as the other side of the pillow, and Boldin is doing his best to make Baltimore look stupid for thinking of releasing him this offseason. There has been very little pressure on Flacco and with that type of time it would be tough for anyone to stay with their man.
Whitner will have to gather his wits about him during the half time break, but if he continues to let the moment be too big for him, the 49ers are going to be in for a long day.
Jeff Everette is a Featured Columnist for RantSports.com, covering the NFL and NBA. Follow Jeff on twitter @jeverettesports, like his page on FaceBook, or add his Google + to your circles for all of his latest articles, thoughts, and rants.