Almost every facet of San Francisco’s offense came up short against a mediocre Steelers defense. On top of that, the defense held the 49ers scoreless on six plays from the 3, including four from the 2. The real test came against Roethlisberger & Co., and the 49ers failed miserably.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) makes a catch past San Francisco 49ers free safety Eric Reid (35) in the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, September 20, 2015 in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Steelers took a look at it, ripped it up and set it on fire.
“I thought they fought through the game”, Tomsula, the first-year coach, said of his players.
This is another positive emanating from San Francisco’s efforts. The speedy linebacker was all over the field, making life miserable for 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick and running back Carlos Hyde. Unless the coaching staff can address the matter in-season, San Francisco’s offense could struggle all year.
“This game is played above the shoulders”, Jones said. The scoring passes covered 14 yards to wide receiver Anquan Boldin and 71 yards to wideout Torrey Smith.
One week after having his team perform at a high level, head coach Jim Tomsula and his staff laid an egg in this one. The defense gave up 453 yards in 23 minutes.
PASSING OFFENSE: A – Ben Roethlisberger had a near-perfect passer rating of 155.8 as he completed 21 of 27 for 369 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
“I’m not going to shy away from that play where he scored a touchdown”, said Roethlisberger, who convinced coordinator Todd Haley to run a play designed for Heyward-Bey.
“We wanted to run the ball even more effectively”, tackle Kelvin Beachum said. His performance was especially important because the 49ers were crowding the line of scrimmage and doing a good job of stuffing the run. It’s a 16-game season. “How we respond is going to be the great challenge for us”. “We’re not going to overreact when there is a loss”.
Colin Kaepernick only threw for 61 yards on 15 attempts in the first half; he ended up with 335 total passing yards in the game.
The touchdown reception was a career long for Smith, who had six catches for 120 yards. He did not look comfortable in the pocket the entire game, as he spent most of it avoiding the rush.
Plodding while the Steelers were sprinting, San Francisco couldn’t keep pace. “We didn’t do that today”. The two sat out a second straight game for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, though Bell will return next week when Pittsburgh visits St. Louis.
The 49ers are evaluating a lot of things after a stark reversal from their 20-3 season-opening win against Minnesota, but Tomsula didn’t duck the obvious.
With nine catches for 195 yards and a touchdown, Antonio Brown extended his streak of consecutive games with seven or more receptions to 13. Phil Dawson’s 47-yard field goal was overshadowed by the fact that 17-play drive didn’t end in a touchdown. The offense stayed on the field following a pair of early scores, opting for two-point conversions rather than an extra point at the new distance of 33 yards.
Another focus for Smith and the offense will be to finish drives and take advantage of opportunities in the red zone.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback relishes in calling the offensive plays, which he did in Sunday’s 43-18 blowout victory against the 49ers.