Will Troy Smith get to fight another day after his throwing for just 148 yards and finishing with a 51.5 passer rating? Mike Singletary - as has been his habit recently - was non-committal, saying he'd had to look at the film. In fact, Singletary broke out the look-at-the-film line in some variation
eight nine times during his after-the-game press conference.
Tight end Vernon Davis gave a more direct answer. "I don't think we attacked them the way we should have," said Davis, who was held to one catch for three yards. "I think we should have thrown more balls down field. ... But there were a lot of things we should have done differently." After attacking the Rams down field last week, the 49ers this week seemed mostly content to throw screens and swing passes early in the game.
They also punted from the opponent's 33 yard line. "Obviously I guess we felt we wanted to pin them back," Singletary said. "And maybe having a new kicker (Shane Andrus), the thought process was, how about we just go ahead and try to put it on the defense."
Davis left the game with an ankle injury and did not return. He was walking around without a limp and declared his ankle "fine." Davis, of course, wasn't blameless. He was on the receiving end of a deep fourth-down pass attempt late in the game but did not appear to look up as the ball zipped by his head. Davis said on those plays, he's instructed to look up for the ball as soon as he gets beyond his defender. He said that Smith had to rush his throw.
The 49ers failed to score a single point, the first time they had been shut out at Candlestick Park since Scott Bull and Jim Plunkett combined for 60 passing yards in a 7-0 loss to the Falcons on Oct. 9, 1977. The 49ers' total yards that day: 188. Their total Sunday: 189.
Every team in the NFC West lost Sunday, so the 49ers did not lose any ground in a division that, as pathetic as it sounds, is still winnable. "We're still in it," Singletary said after the game. "I think we just have to continue to fight it and work through where we are."
Davis and Dashon Goldson, who suffered an ankle sprain and a leg contusion, did not return to the game. Josh Morgan had a shoulder sprain but did return. ... Reggie Smith started the game at safety ahead of Taylor Mays, and unlike last week, he did not platoon with Mays. Singletary said that Smith got into a rhythm and was playing well, so coaches decided to leave him in.
-- Matt Barrows