San Francisco 49ers: Struggles Continue With Costly Penalties

By Michael Pidgeon

With the Seattle Seahawks running away with the NFC West, the San Francisco 49ers needed to defeat the New Orleans Saints in order to stay as close to Seattle as possible. With just over two minutes left in the game, it looked like San Francisco was going to do just that, but that wasn’t the case and the 49ers lost not only their head, but the game too.

Ahmad Brooks nailed Drew Brees and caused him to fumble. When the 49ers recovered the ball, many thought the game would have been over and San Francisco was going to walk out of New Orleans with a hard fought victory. However, a yellow flag on the turf would tell a different story. Brooks was called for roughing the passer and that allowed Brees and company to maintain possession of the ball. Although Brees was penalized shortly after for intentional grounding, the Saints were still able to tie the game up at 20-20 off the foot of Garrett Hartley.

When the 49ers got the ball back, they weren’t able to do anything with it and had to punt it back to New Orleans. This was the final nail in the coffin for the 49ers on this Sunday. Veteran special teams member Kassim Osgood was called for catch interference after he nailed Darren Sproles following a fair-catch signal. Brees was able to get the Saints into field goal range and once again Hartley was called upon and he kicked New Orleans to victory.

There is no chance the 49ers can win the NFC West now, but getting a wild card is now in question. Fellow division member, the Arizona Cardinals share the same 6-4 record with San Francisco. If the 49ers don’t right the ship immediately, they may be on the outside looking in come playoff time.

Michael Pidgeon is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for Rant “Like” him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter @1AndOnlyPidgeon, add him to your network on Google or e-mail him at

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