The 49ers (5-8) are just one game back in the NFC West. The Chargers (7-6) are just one game back in the AFC West. With both teams needing a win to aid their postseason chances, Thursday night’s contest should be a good one.
If you’re unable to watch the game on television, check out NFL Network’s coverage online at NFL.com/live.
The inactives were just announced by our PR staff and it’s good news for 49ers fans as both Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes are active.
49ers – QB David Carr (3rd QB), K joe Nedney, CB Tramaine Brock, CB William James, S Chris Maragos, LB Thaddeus Gibson, T Joe Staley, T Alex Boone
Chargers - WR Patrick Crayton, S Darrell Stuckey, S Tyrone Carter, LB Larry English, Louis Vasquez, WR Malcom Floyd, TE Antonio Gates, DE/DT Travis Johnson
Before the game, I spoke with Ted Robinson for our Week 15 edition of Teddy Football. Robinson discussed the Chargers’ and 49ers’ injury situations and the impact they might have on tonight’s game.
Jeff Reed kicked off to Darren Sproles to start the game. Sproles returned it to the 26. On 2nd and 5, Rivers hit McMichael over the middle for a gain of 9 and a first down at the 40. Two plays later, Rivers tossed it deep for Vincent Jackson who fought off Nate Clements, broke the tackle and took it in for the 58-yard score. It was a 4 play, 75-yard drive.
Chargers 7 – 49ers 0
Ted Ginn returned the kickoff to the 25. Alex Smith rolled to the right, but couldn’t escape the pressure and was brought down for a loss of 2. Brian Westbrook made up for the early loss with a nice run to the left side on 2nd down to make it 3rd and 5. On 3rd down, Smith hit Crabtree on a quick out to the right. Crabtree was able to turn up field for 9 yards and a 1st down. On 1st down, Dixon got the carry up the middle and picked up 8. San Francisco called timeout after Dixon was stopped for no gain on 2nd down. On 3rd and 2, Smith tried to set up a TE screen to Walker, but the pass was a bit high and Walker couldn’t reel it in. Spillman dropped Cason on the punt right after he caught it at the 8.
Tolbert stumbled forward on 1st down for a gain of 5. On 3rd and 3, the 49ers brought the blitz, but it was picked up well to allow Rivers to hit Sproles for the first down. Tolbert had another good first down run, bouncing it out to the right side for a gain of 5. On 2nd down, Justin Smith pressure Rivers but he was able to get it away to Hester. Willis was right there to drop him for an eight-yard loss. On 3rd and 13, Rivers was hit by Justin Smith as he threw and the ball skipped low of his receiver. Ginn fielded the punt, but Adams was called for a block in the back.
After the penalty, the 49ers began their drive at the 24. Smith hit Walker in stride on 1st down. The ball was perfectly thrown, but dropped by Walker. On 3rd and 10, Smith got the ball away to Morgan, but only for a gain of 5. On 2nd down, the 49ers only rushed 3 and Rivers scrambled after not finding anyone down field. Sopoaga pursued and brought him down from behind for a loss of 7. On 3rd and 16, Rivers hit Sproles who was upended by Clements after a pickup of only 2. Ginn fielded the punt with a man right in his face. He made one man miss and sprinted up the right sideline. Ginn drilled Scifres at the end of the run.
On 1st down, Dixon moved the pile up the middle for a gain of 6. On 2nd down, Smith hit Morgan on a slant. Morgan made a great catch to pick up 13 down to the SD 39. On 1st down, Dixon had a hole to the right side and gave a stiff arm to break one tackle and get all the way down to the 22. The 49ers ran the ball on 1st and 2nd down and picked up just two yards total and that ended the first quarter.
Standout Stat: Philip Rivers has a quarterback rating of 151.4 in the first quarter.
Highlight Reel: Mike Tolbert lost his helmet on the Chargers’ first punt. Adams saw Tolbert and cracked back on him for a devastating block.
Put it in Perspective: Other than the first drive, the 49ers have defended the Chargers’ offense very well. They’ve come up with timely sacks and have kept the 49ers in the game. Walker and the 49ers can’t continue to drop passes if they want to get the win.
On 3rd and 8, Smith had Ginn wide open in the left side of the end zone, but didn’t see him and ended up throwing it away. Jeff Reed hit the 38-yard field goal, but San Diego was hit with a personal foul to give the 49ers a first down and new life. On 3rd and goal from the 7, Smith escaped the pocket and dove for the left pylon – TOUCHDOWN 49ERS! Norv Turner challenged the call and the call was overturned and the 49ers offense came back on the field. Dixon was stopped for a loss on the play – turnover on downs.
Hester gave the Chargers some working room with a gain of 6 on 1st down. On 3rd and 1, Hester got barely enough for a 1st down. After a delay of game made it 1st and 15, LaBoy stopped the runner for a loss, but Justin Smith was flagged for pushing the ref after the ref pushed him. Smith was tossed from the game – unbelievable! The referee pushed Justin first and Smith was just trying to get away from him and it’s a huge swing. On the next play, Rivers hit Sperry who got all the way to the SF 42. On the next play, Rivers hit Jackson on the right sideline for a gain of 15. On 2nd down, Rivers hit Sproles out of the backfield to the right side for a gain of 5. On 3rd down, Rivers hit Jackson who paid the price for the first down as he was drilled by Willis. Rivers hit Kelly Washington down to the 7 on second down. On 3rd and 2, Rivers hit Jackson crossing in the back of the end zone, but Jackson’s right foot was out of bounds as he came down. Kaeding hit the field goal to extend the Chargers’ lead.
Chargers 10 – 49ers 0
Ginn returned the kick to the 25. Smith rolled left and hit Morgan down the left sideline to midfield. Morgan bobbled the ball as he went out of bounds, but it was ruled that the Chargers defender was out of bounds when he recovered it. On 2nd down, Westbrook got the carry to the right side to set up a 3rd and 3. On 3rd down, Antonio Garay got good pressure as he totally pushed pack the 49ers offensive line and dropped Smith for a sack. He beat Chilo Rachal on the play. The Chargers will take over at their own 13 after the fair catch.
On 2nd down, Rivers pass fluttered to Ahamad Brooks, who couldn’t make the easy grab. On 3rd and 10, Rivers hit Washington who had tons of room to run down the right sideline and the missed opportunity on the pick hurt the 49ers dearly. Brown was called for a late hit out of bounds to give San Diego a first down at the 36. Matthews had a nice run on first down, taking it to the left and avoiding Spencer for a gain of 14. On 2nd down, Rivers hit McMichael who juggled the ball but still managed to get a first down at the 11. On the next play, Jackson was wide open for the score.
Chargers 17 – 49ers 0
Ted Ginn hesitated on the return and only got back to the 17. On 2nd down, Castillo sacked Smith as Anthony Davis finished the play on his back. On 3rd and 13, Smith found Morgan at the original line of scrimmage for a gain of only 3. The 49ers let the clock run down to 13 seconds and called timeout before the punt. Cason returned the kick just past midfield.
With 2 seconds left, Rivers looked deep, but had pressure from Lawson and threw it away.
Standout Stat: The 49ers defense didn’t do any better against Rivers in the second quarter as Rivers finished the half with a quarterback rating of 144.4.
Highlight Reel: It wasn’t a highlight play, but it will definitely make the postgame wrapup shows. Justin Smith pushed the official out of the way and paid the price as he was ejected from the game. It not only gave the Chargers a big first down, but it hurt the 49ers as they lost one of their biggest leaders.
Put it in Perspective: The 49ers have an uphill battle in the second half, trailing 17-0. They played the Chargers tough in the first quarter and nearly tied it up at 7-7 on the Alex Smith run. He was ruled short and Dixon was stopped for a loss on 4th and goal from about an inch out. The 49ers will get the ball to start the half and they have to come out and get points early in order to get back in the game.
Ginn returned the kick all the way, but it was called back. On 3rd down, Smith was hit as he threw. He had a man open, but the pressure forced a bad throw. Cason returned it to the 42.
On 2nd down, Rivers hit Sproles out of the backfield for a first down. on the next play, Tolbert bulldozed his way up the middle for 11. Two plays later, Rivers hit McMichael over the middle between the coverage of Spikes and Willis for another first down. Rivers flicked the ball to McMichael on 3rd and 10 and still picked up another first down. On 3rd and 1 from the 3, Tolbert was stopped for no gain. The Chargers went for it on 4th and Tolbert dove forward for a gain of 2. Two plays later, Tolbert punches it in to make it 24-0.
Chargers 24 – 49ers 0
Ginn returned the kickoff to the 22. Shaun Phillips sacked Smith on 2nd down as he continues to not have very much time to throw. Smith hit crabtree on 3rd down, but they only picked up 7. Cason returned the punt to the 31.
Ryan Matthews picked up a first down for the Chargers, getting just enough on 2nd and 2. Rivers hit Sproles on the next play, getting down to the SF 45 along the left sideline.
Standout Stat: The 49ers have just 5 first downs.
Highlight Reel: Tolbert punched it in from one yard out to make it a 24 point lead.
Put it in Perspective: The 49ers had chances, but everything they’ve had several miscues that have been costly. They’ve been outplayed in all three phases of the game.
Vincent Jackson scored his third touchdown of the game, virtually ending any hopes of a comeback.
Chargers 31 – 49ers 0
Ginn returned the kick to the 28. On 1st down, Smith hit Ginn on a comeback down the right sideline for a gain of 9. On the next play, Smith hit Morgan on a skinny post down to the SD 44. On 2nd down, Smith hit Ginn as San Diego brought the blitz and they were able to pick up 5. Barnes beat Sims off the line of scrimmage on 3rd down and dropped Smith for the sack. On 4th down, Smith had to force it and it was picked off by Steve Gregory.
Matthews picked up 14 after the Chargers pulled Rivers. Matthews was stopped on 3rd down. Kaeding hit a 39-yard field goal to extend the lead.
Chargers 34 – 49ers 0
Ginn returned the kick out to the 30. On the first play of the drive, Smith hit Morgan who was able to break some tackles down the left sideline for 36 yards. A face mask penalty against San Diego tacked on 15 more yards. On 3rd and 1, Dixon rushed up the middle for a first down. On 2nd and goal, Westbrook rushed up the middle for the 3-yard score.
Chargers 34 – 49ers 7
We have to run down to the field, but we’ll have coverage on 49ers.com following the game.
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