Catch up with former 49ers cornerback Eric Davis each week as he recaps Sunday's game. In this latest column, Davis shares his very blunt perspective about what's going wrong for the 49ers. **
I am shocked personally that after seven games the 49ers find themselves in exactly the same spot as the '07 squad. They are 2-5 and finding good in their overall game is like looking for Jimmy Hoffa. This team has underachieved in every area imaginable so far this season. The 49ers have the talent to have a better record, but not the focus. Talent does not make you good - consistency does. Against the New York Giants, we witnessed AGAIN the failure of three phases of the team "getting it done."
To have any chance going into this game the defense had to show up big. I have to say, the defense stepped up and had a decent game. Brandon Jacobs did run untouched for 26-yard touchdown. However, adjustments were made and the defense handled the adversity of the turnovers and having to defend a short field. They made the Giants kick field goals and kept the game close. The 49ers defense tackled big Brandon Jacobs and had one of its better days in the secondary. A key part of the defense's success was the play of Nate Clements. Nate was matched up one-on-one against Giants' receiver Plaxico Burress for much of the game. Even though he was beaten for a short touchdown by Burress on a play that I believe was more scheme than Nate,(You never play outside/in man coverage in the red zone - Football 101!) his good down field coverage effectively took the deep ball out of the Giants offense.
The 49ers special teams needed to make a positive impact on the game. Manny Lawson returned to the field and contributed in a big way on special teams. For the second week in a row the 49ers blocked a field goal attempt. Obviously, number 99 decided that something had to be done to change the momentum of the game and took it upon himself to make a GREAT play. Manny showed unbelievable athletic ability for a man his size when he hurdled the Giants' lineman to block the kick. As amazing as the play was, it is the type of play Manny should make. He has that type of talent.
Speaking of talent, it is all over the offensive side of the football for the 49ers. But, they ALL need to perform.
Let me start by saying that I believe JTO at quarterback gives the 49ers the best chance to win. After seven starts it is obvious that he can make the big throws and fit the ball into tight spots beautifully. But, if he does not stop making some of the worst decisions EVER with the football, the 49ers cannot win. JT O'Sullivan threw two of the worst interceptions I have seen in a long time against the Giants. The question about JTO is no longer- "Can he move the offense?" But rather, "When will he make the big mistake?" It has become a trend with him that he has to stop.
Josh Morgan had some nice plays in the game. He was able to make some key grabs and scored his first NFL touchdown. He has shown great promise since the preseason and will only get better. However, the fourth quarter drop of the JT O'Sullivan perfectly thrown deep ball was a killer.
Vernon Davis is a great blocking tight end. Note to Vernon - Catch the ones that come to you. Stop worrying about the ones that don't.
The offensive line stayed true to its form of playing well every other week by giving up 6 sacks after a stellar performance the week before against the Eagles. At least we know that they will have a good game against Seattle.
Frank Gore is not being used enough - PERIOD.
The 49ers are a 2-5 team because of the little things - not the big ones. Most of the problems they are experiencing can be fixed with technique and focus. Every player and coach on the 49ers will say that it is technique and not talent to blame for the losses. What I know for certain is that when two highly trained NFL players compete against each other, the player with the best TECHNIQUE, not the most talent, usually wins. There is such a slight difference in good and bad technique that most fans would never notice. But, let me explain it this way. The only difference between boiling water and hot water is one degree. Steam can move a locomotive, but one degree less and all you have is hot water. Right now, the 49ers are all in hot water.