Instead of stewing about Sunday’s 31-6 frustrating road loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the 49ers are attacking Week 2 with an even greater sense of urgency.
What’s done is done. Now it’s time for the 49ers to play up to their potential.
As Patrick Willis pointed out, there’s no better opportunity to do that by putting together a solid performance in the team’s home opener Sept. 20 on “Monday Night Football.”
The 49ers welcome the defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints, and as Willis said, the game offers a new challenge to the 49ers.
It’s one that if successful, could make Sunday’s performance in Seattle forgotten faster than Willis’ 40-time.
“You’re not always going to play the way you envisioned before the game or the week of. Adversity is going to happen,” said the Pro Bowl linebacker who totaled a game-high 10 tackles against the Seahawks. “It’s not what happens, but how you overcome it. We have a big game coming up, today’s the day we’re going to watch film, correct our mistakes, put this game behind us and get ready for a big game Monday night against a very good football team.”
The locker room echoed the sentiment of the defensive captain.
“We’re going to bounce back,” cornerback Tarell Brown said. “At the end of the day it’s just one game. We have to digest it. We have to learn from it and get better.”
The 49ers goal – winning the NFC West – hasn’t changed, and the team is quite familiar with how things can evolve after Week 1. Last season, they traveled to Arizona and pulled off a 20-16 win in the season opener. It didn’t guarantee a division title by any means.
With 15 games left on the schedule the 49ers know there’s still plenty of time to make their mark in the division.
“We have a lot more great football ahead of us,” Brown continued. “All we have to do is stick together and play as one. The rest of it will take care of itself. We know Seattle beat us. We have no excuses, but at the end of the day, we know we can definitely play a lot better football.”
Mike Singletary described the loss as the perfect medicine, players like Brown agreed.
The humbling loss might be a lesson in disguise.
“Adversity, you have to experience it, and the good in this is that we experienced it early,” Brown said. “Let’s knock it out of the way now, learn from it now, so we don’t have to digest this pill again.”
Notes and Quotes
Singletary called for a team meeting once the team plane touched down in the Bay Area Sunday night. The gathering was important to Singletary because it allowed him to reiterate some of the messages he shared with the team after the game. “I wanted to make sure that guys understood exactly what I meant of the things that I said after the game and to make sure that one of the most important things is that we stay together, as coaches and players.”
Tackle Anthony Davis and guard Mike Iupati were the first pair of rookie linemen to start for the 49ers since 1958, and the fourth rookie duo to do so. Singletary said he was pleased with the initial performance. “I think they held their own pretty well… It will serve them very well going forward.”
Alex Smith’s difficulties in getting play calls relayed to him might result in offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye leaving the press box to call plays from the sideline. On Sunday, just as the case was in all preseason games, Raye sent the plays to quarterback coach Mike Johnson on the 49ers sideline, who then relayed the plays to Smith via walkie-talkie. Taking Johnson out of the communication path might be an option. “Jimmy is going to remain the play caller,” Singletary said. “That’s what he’s here for. But whether or not he is in the booth or on the field, we’re going to figure it out. But the fact that he could be on the field, that’s a real possibility.”
Smith said he was frustrated with the team’s performance on Sunday. What made it more perplexing was how it seemed to happen after the 49ers picked up seven first downs in the first quarter alone. “We got away from our game plan, didn’t execute and didn’t seem to do much of anything in the second half. At least in the first we moved the ball – that was the frustrating part for me.”
Smith felt the 32-yard interception return for a touchdown by Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant on the 49ers first second half possession was the biggest game-changer of all. “Third-and-six, we were running some underneath routes, they were playing a cover-2 and I really thought we were going to make the completion,” Smith said. “I was trying to hit (Michael Crabtree) before he got out to the corner, his head wasn’t around and the ball got up on me. At that point it was very much a game, it went to 21-6 and it was absolutely a game-changer.”
Asked if his team is losing confidence, Singletary said flat-out, “No.”
“When you talk about confidence, I don’t think all of the sudden, oh man, we’re not any good… I feel we’re going to be a very good football team.”
Tags: Alex Smith, Anthony Davis, Mike Iupati, Patrick Willis, Tarell Brown
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