The 49ers failed to rain on Peyton Manning’s parade on Sunday and lost in another overtime stunner. The team fought hard to tie the game after being down 23-9, but they just could not put the game away when given the chance.
After three quarters and only 6 points, the 49ers looked like they were going to walk away with a disappointing loss at the hands of a Jacoby Brissett-led Colts team. However, a 17-point explosion in the fourth quarter gave the 49ers hope that they could squeeze out an overtime victory. This explosion culminated in late game heroics from rookie tight end George Kittle, who had 3 receptions for 43 yards and a touchdown on the final drive of regulation alone.
The defense struggled in preventing big plays but was very effective in the red zone. The Colts only scored one touchdown in four trips inside the 49ers’ 20-yard line, but had six plays resulting in 20+ yards. This type of “bend but don’t break” defense was successful in keeping the game manageable, no matter if the offense could get back into it.
The play that will haunt the 49ers is the holding penalty on Laken Tomlinson on 2nd and 10 at midfield after Ray-Ray Armstrong’s interception of Jacoby Brissett on the first possession of overtime. The 49ers were in good position to move into field goal range and potentially come away with the victory, but the penalty killed all their momentum. The 49ers failed to even make it back to the original line of scrimmage and were forced to punt, which led to the Colts’ game-winning drive.
George Kittle had an incredible game, and seems to have firmly established himself as the 49ers primary receiving tight end. After failing to make a tough grab in the endzone, Kittle bounced back by tying his season total in yards (83) and scoring his first career touchdown, the one that tied the game. The future looks bright for the fifth-round pick out of Iowa, and hopefully this game is just the beginning.
I could probably just put the whole run defense on here because it was terrible, especially whenever Marlon Mack touched the ball. But, I’m going to single out Jimmie Ward because he struggled to make tackles and allowed runners to gain extra yardage, like on the Mack 17-yard TD run that was reversed and Mack’s 22-yard actual TD. Ward was also beat deep on TY Hilton’s 63-yard reception that help set up a 3-yard TD run by Brissett.
Play of the game
Kittle’s 19-yard reception on 4th and 1 saved the game for the 49ers and helped set up Kittle’s game-tying 5-yard TD reception. The ball placement from Hoyer (on a jump pass!) was impeccable and Kittle showed great body control and completing the catch process while falling down.
The 49ers conclude their 3 game road trip next Sunday against possible future 49er Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins. The Redskins are at an advantage, not just because they’re the home team, but because this was their bye week, meaning that will have 13 days of rest and preparation heading into next week’s showdown. The 49ers have won the last 4 meetings between these two teams dating back to 2005, and would sure love to keep the winning streak alive and get Kyle Shanahan his first win, against his former employer no less.
And as the case for the last two weeks, the 49ers hope to have starters Eric Reid (FS) and Reuben Foster (LB) back next week, something Shanahan mentioned as a possibility on Friday.