49ers-Buccaneers live blog

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch, left, hugs cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (23) before an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. Lynch was a long time player with the Buccaneers. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

This is the live blog for the 49ers Week 12 road game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I will update this frequently with information and analysis from my living room.

9:48 Here are the 49ers inactives:

  1. WR Marquise Goodwin.
  2. WR Pierre Garcon.
  3. RB Alfred Morris.
  4. LB Reuben Foster.
  5. OG  Joshua Garnett.
  6. OT Shon Coleman.
  7. NT D.J. Jones.

10:01 The 49ers win the coin toss and defer. The Bucs will receive the opening kickoff.

10:05 Earl Mitchell tackles RB Peyton Barber for no gain on third and 1, and the Bucs go three and out.

10:08 Matt Breida runs for 33 yards on the first play of the drive. Then, Nick Mullens fumbles as he gets sacked. Mike McGlinchey recovers. Then, Mullens takes a big hit from an unblocked rusher while throwing an incomplete deep pass to Kendrick Bourne. Then, Mullens takes a vicious shot while throwing incomplete on third and 15. The 49ers punt. The passing offense does not seem prepared.

10:16 On third and eight, Mike Evans runs right by Richard Sherman and makes a 42-yard catch up the right sideline. Sherman looked like he was wearing boots and running in sand. Three plays later, Jaquiski Tartt gives up a six-yard touchdown catch to tight end Cameron Brate. The Bucs lead 7-0.

10:22 Dante Pettis runs a three-yard shallow cross on third-and-7, Mullens misses Pettis with a high throw and the 49ers go three and out. Mullens has not completed a pass.

10:26 Jimmie Ward is out for the rest of the game with a forearm injury.

10:27 DeForest Buckner sacks Jameis Winston for an eight-yard loss. Two plays later, the Bucs punt from their eight-yard line. But, the 49ers commit a holding penalty during the return, so they will start at their 30. Essentially a 19-yard penalty.

10:33 On second and 10, Mike McGlinchey whiffs a block, falls down and allows defensive end Carl Nassib to tackle Matt Breida for a six-yard loss. The 49ers punt two plays later. The Bucs will take over at their 13.

10:45 Bucs center Ryan Jensen hits a player after the play and gets a 15-yard personal foul. The Bucs are so undisciplined. They punt a few plays later.

10:58 Mullens throws a 13-yard touchdown pass to Pettis on second-and-10. Pettis lined up in the slot and beat cornerback Carlton Davis.

10:59 Robbie Gould misses the extra point. The 49ers trail 7-6.

11:11 Cario Santo makes a 40-yard field goal, and the Bucs lead 10-6.

11:22 Kyle Juszczyk commits a false start, the Mullens takes a sack, then Weston Richburg steps on Mullens’ foot and Mullens falls down and takes another sack. Every play is a battle for the 49ers offense. No crispness in the execution. Inexcusable coming off a bye week.

11:29 Santos makes a 39-yard field goal. The Bucs lead 13-6 at halftime.

12:02 The 49ers put together a beautiful drive to open the second half. They drive the ball all the way to the Bucs 1-yard line. On second and goal from the 1, Breida runs for no gain. On third and goal, Mullens sneaks for no gain. Kyle Shanahan challenges the play, but the ruling is upheld. On fourth and goal, George Kittle commits a false start. So the 49ers kick a field goal. They trail 13-9.

12:08 On second and five from the 49ers 36, Ahkello Witherspoon commits a 23-yard pass interference penalty against DeSean Jackson. Two plays later, Peyton Barber scores a two-yard rushing touchdown, and the Bucs lead 20-9.

12:10 Just think, the Niners had a bye week plus a regular week to get ready for this masterpiece theater presentation.

12:22 On third and 13 from the Bucs 40, Mullens throws an incomplete pass to Kittle running a deep out route. The 49ers punt. They have converted just one of seven third downs. Poor situational offense.

12:33 On second and 12 from the 49ers 28, Winston rolls to his right and throws back to his left to Adam Humphries, who is wide open. He makes the catch and outruns the 49ers defense to the end zone. The Bucs lead 27-9.

12:40 Bucs rookie nose tackle Vita Vea runs through Joe Staley and sacks Mullens on second and 20. The 49ers go three and out. Embarrassing offensive performance against one of the worst defenses in the NFL.

12:46 On third and 7, Winston hits DeSean Jackson in the feet with an incomplete pass. Those two have zero chemistry. The Bucs punt.

12:51 On first and 10 from the Bucs 26, Mullens throws into double coverage and gets intercepted in the end zone. His passer rating is 66.9.

1:01 The Bucs kill five minutes off the clock and punt the ball to the 49ers with 3:12 left.

1:08 Mullens throws a pass behind Kittle and gets intercepted. Bad game from Mullens and the entire team. The Bucs win 27-9. Stay tuned for my grades and postgame Periscope report.

This article has 193 Comments

  1. This game should be about the three K’s. Kittle, Kittle and Kittle. Let’s handle our business today, boys. Go Niners!

    1. We still cannot find a tall, strong fast WR. Like Evans. We gave TO away years ago and got nothing for him. We have not seen his likes again.

  2. 2017 Draft has become a real lesson in how not to rebuild a team:

    #3 Solomon Thomas: over drafted. Should have been a 2nd possibly even 3rd round pick
    #31 Rebuen Foster: Off the team in his 2nd year, possibly out of the league.
    #66 Ahkello Witherspoon: Not showing a lot of promise in his 2nd season.
    #104 CJ Beathard: over drafted. Should have been a 6th rounder at the highest.
    #121 Joe Williams: out of the league
    #146 George Kittle: At least they got one right
    #177 Trent Taylor: Healthy game day scratch. Heading towards bustville

  3. Hoping for the best while expecting the worst… Can Saleh and the D preserve a lead for only the second time this season or will this be the game that finally does Saleh in…. Oh and Glass Foster, you’re an idiot.

  4. Appropriate in more ways than one that Lynch is seen above sporting a Cal Fire hat because his organization is going up in flames with too many of his draft picks being unproductive for a variety of reasons.

    49er desperately need a “senior advisor” or “senior consultant” to aid in grooming and directing Lynch and Little Shanny.

  5. Someone will have to step up besides Kittle. He’ll be double and tripled all game. I say Breida is going to have a career best game. Juz will be a big factor. Run it down their friggin throats!

  6. Lol whine. He might be. Has there ever been a team with such a lousy wide receiver corps? Jeesh! You can’t win just throwing to your tight end every pass! Lack of pass rush is staggering. Getting close isn’t good enough in the NFL.

    1. You have zero idea. You think every substitution and every formation should just be perfect.
      Maybe the defense had the play recognized.
      You would know that if you played the game. Remember DA you get 3 a half!
      Add the fact you have a rookie QB

        1. On the road, crowd noise, rookie QB maybe you could see through your righteousness attitude?
          Stick to making dumplings Seb!

      1. Lousy play calling on the goal line stand. Why kick it on 4th..go for it. Kyle’s season ended weeks ago..what does he have to lose?

  7. Is there a record for how many passes targeted to a single tight end in one game? They might “almost” achieve that one the way this is going.

  8. I’m sure the Niners had two words for Coach Grant’s “I, I, I, I” article and it wasn’t “Happy Birthday”!

  9. This team cannot defend the pass. Teams make a big mistake trying to run at all. If they know a pass is coming they actually seem to get worse defending it.

  10. Pinion could win his second special teams player of the week award for most punts in a game without a hip replacement. .

  11. I’m still waiting for the Kittle fake trip and fall down at the line of scrimmage, get up and run a long bomb play. They need to go “Bold”.

  12. LOL Dust Mite! Best line of the day. You either have to laugh or cry watching this. I’ll take the former! That was funny!!

    1. I think they figured that since he was running stride for stride and keeping up with the receiver he must be holding on because he is usually a few steps behind the player and Ingersoll to catch up, or looking for safety help.

      1. Of course you jest, but he played that just like any good CB would. He had his head turned around. Both players had their hands on each other, but that is very typical. But as you imply, Spoon’s rep precedes the call. He’ll have to have a number of good games before that rep dissipates.

        1. Cubus, it was a joke. I felt it was a ticky tack foul too. But the benefit of the doubt goes to the better player. This is why Kittle got the call drawn earlier too.

  13. In regards to Saleh, Res. How about the RZ offense? Third down conversion rate? Not sure what game everyone is watching…

      1. What about all the injuries and losses of players on the D?

        And that excuse would work except it’s been a problem for Kyle for awhile now.

        1. Who is missing that is key on defense? Both starting CBs are in; not sure if Ward is still out. Tarrt is back. Starting DL is all in. Who are you referring to that is so key to this pathetic defense?

        2. Hmm, except for Foster’s latest development and Ward’s usual game disappearance due to a hammy, that D is actually pretty healthy unless you consider AC a big loss. Could the redzone O improve? Certainly but I don’t expect much from the players currently out there on O (ya know, the side that’s truly decimated with injuries)….

          1. The defense needs consistency and they haven’t had that either. Look, Saleh and the defense deserve lots of criticism, but then, so does the offense. They are playing the Bucs for goodness sake!!

    1. What a great game this has been. I know the 49ers are losing, but we MAINTAIN our high pick. We could get a 1 now. Hopefully the Eagles lose again. Better hope the Seahawks are not mad if they lose that Carolina game.

  14. Wow, Earl Mitchell just got blasted off the line by 6 yards… DJ Jones should be playing in his spot but Saleh is too stuck on his vets to get it.

    1. ” I guess the Niners would rather lose with Mullens than win with Kaep”

      Yep, a QB with a 4-16 record over his last 20 games is the answer we’re waiting for.

    2. Juan, you are very perceptive.
      Kaep is still being blackballed, but we just saw how a mobile QB can help a team win. Winston rolled out multiple times, bought time, and sliced and diced the Niners. A mobile QB like JW will only incur a sack or two, but immobile QBs chained in the pocket, gets sacked 4 times and have a 61.2 QBR.
      Lamar Jackson, another mobile QB, eviscerated the Raiders. He had 11 rushes for 71 yards, and kept the sticks moving.
      Mullens is regressing, so CJB might be a better starter, although both will find a daunting challenge up in Seattle.
      Since every player is competing for a job, KS should make it competitive. He should flip a coin, and let the winner start. That QB should be allowed to start until they have to punt or fail to score. Then let the other QB to start, until he fails to score. It would reward success, and neither QB is dominant.
      Maybe the Niners should go bold, and bring in Kaep for a tryout. Great idea to talk about Kaep, Juan. I was just going to advocate for CJB, but your brilliance just makes so much sense. ;p

  15. Kyle lost game…

    All he had to do was call a qb sneak at 3rd and goal….instead mr genius call a freaking shotgun on a 3rd with less than an inch to goal…….why put your players at a disadvantage before the play starts……..what if instead of a false start, it was bad high snap…….why are you freaking stupid…..

        1. East,

          IMO, Mullens’ shoulder broke the plane, but it was close. I thought the Breida one was obvious.


          Agreed on another QB sneak.

          1. « Mullens’ shoulder broke the plane »

            That was a stupid challenge. There was no way to see where the ball was.

            1. If you watch the sideline ref as he runs in, and the position of Mullens forward progress it was, at least to me, obvious he didn’t make it. The challenge was a dumb one.

            2. “That was a stupid challenge. There was no way to see where the ball was.”

              Agree on that even though I thought he scored. Don’t we have a guy that tells Kyle if a play is worth challenging?

  16. I am very happy to see the 49ers LOOOOOOSING again. I am happy. Winston owned you last time, 49ers. When will you fire Saleh already? Kittle, Breida got to go. Get some picks for them.

  17. I’m just shocked that Reuben Foster is gone. I was so sure they would’ve kept him. Now they’re going to lose a lot of money by dumping him. I hope Lynch knows what he’s doing for his butt is on a sling along with Kyle. I hope AFC North, NFC South, Division, North, and East own the 49ers next year. We need a new coach.

  18. Julian Taylor played well today in limited reps but just gets in on the action today…. Thomas is still playing a majority of his time at DE even though he excels at DT…. Earl Mitchell gets destroyed at the LOS often yet DJ Jones gets benched. All the more reason Saleh coaching this D is laughable. Only Saleh can make QBs like Rosen and Winston look like HOF’ers….

  19. Its looking more and more like the Niners are going to get the number one pick in the draft. This upcoming draft is going to be very important to get it right!!

  20. Can we play the Raiders again?

    Seriously. Mullens is no better than Beathard.

    Offensively this game reminded me of the first Seahawks game last year. A few explosive runs, but really nothing else.

    Solomon Thomas is a bust. When they tried him inside in Nickle he was consistently stoned at the line of scrimmage.

    Sherman looked exactly like what we saw in training camp on the deep ball to Evans.

    Worst team in the league with a disaster of a draft in 2017 and 2018 will prove to be not much better. At least they got a decent right tackle out of it.

    Pebble by Pebble

    1. Mullens is better than Beathard……yes both are limited in the type of passes thrown…..Mullens throwin the middle is much better…….and he brings that Steve Young energy……..he just needs time to grow in the NFL……work on his passes to the outside…..

      1. The problem is he is very limited. He lacks the ability to drive the ball… so defenders can ignore out routes and sit on the inside. He is mentally better than CJ and has a better pocket presence but he limits the offense.

    2. “Seriously. Mullens is no better than Beathard.”


      “Solomon Thomas is a bust. When they tried him inside in Nickle he was consistently stoned at the line of scrimmage.”

      I don’t like the bust word, but yeah, he did nothing today as a pass rusher despite playing in his “favoured” position. He slows down every time he tries to use his hands, which completely negates his first step. And without using his hands he has nothing other than a quick first step.

      “Worst team in the league with a disaster of a draft in 2017 and 2018 will prove to be not much better. At least they got a decent right tackle out of it.”

      If not the worst then pretty close to it. Obviously not having JG contributes a bit to that, but still a bad team no matter which way you slice it. And yeah, the 2017 draft is looking pretty darn awful bar Kittle.

      So Shanny said they were going to use the final six weeks to see which players were going to be moving forward with them. Based on today’s game, I’d suggest not many are interested in boarding that train.

      1. Let’s not forget Breida even though he was a UDFA. Great pickup and when he runs he brings an excitement to this offense, imo. Just needs to stay healthy.

          1. Mostly semantics. To me it’s an extension of the draft, so it counts. Why shouldn’t it count on the positive side of the ledger.

            Actually all the better in that they were able to pick him up without using a draft pick. Not that they’ve been great with their draft picks…..

            1. It doesn’t count because after the draft the players can decide where they go. We have no idea how many team put offers in for Breida. All we know is he accepted the 49ers offer. Good on the 49ers for identifying him as a UDFA pickup, bad on the 49ers for selecting Joe Williams ahead of him.

              1. Yes I know. But they succeeded in getting Breida to sign probably in large part due to guaranteed money that Mood mentions below. The draft isn’t the only way that players are acquired. Signing good UDFAs and getting the Patriots to trade Jimmy for only a second are just as important methods for acquiring good players. It’s a multifaceted approach.

                It’s about building a team as a whole, not just being able to stand on a hill with a flag that says “we won the draft” (although it certainly is helpful).

              2. « The draft isn’t the only way that players are acquired. »

                Nobody said it was.

                « Signing good UDFAs and getting the Patriots to trade Jimmy for only a second are just as important methods for acquiring good players. It’s a multifaceted approach. »

                Yes it is. Breida was a nice pick up. Garoppolo was a nice gift.

                Just like a team needing to be good in all three phases to win, the same goes for the front office.

                They’ve had 8 picks in the first 3 rounds the last 2 seasons, 5 of those were spent on defense and we are talking about them needing to go after guys in the same spots again.

                In free agency they picked up a LB who isn’t better than who they picked off another teams practice squad, and an old CB who gets beat when teams decide to challenge him.

                They hit on Kittle and Breida, YAY! That puts them below the Mendoza line.

              3. “The draft isn’t the only way that players are acquired.”

                No, its not. I didn’t say it was. FA is another way players are acquired. That is how Breida was acquired. Not the draft.

                Good on the team for signing a good UDFA.

              4. Finding a decent RB as an UDFA or in the later rounds will soon be the new normal for the NFL as the position continues to be devalued.

                Let’s not get carried away. Breida is a serviceable running back. Nothing more.

            2. I think it counts. The draft picks, including UDFAs, have to be seen a whole. UDFAs havea choice but many go to teams which indicate their preference with more guaranteed money, for example.

              Regarding drafts, since draft itself is a crap-shoot as pointed out by several analyses, picking and choosing which specific draft pick and which failed is just silly in my mind. What’s sillier? Passing a judgement on a draft before at least 3 seasons later. Fans tend to overlook how many successful teams “fail” on the draft year after year. They still succeed because they have a few key pieces in place.

              1. UDFAs are not draft picks. They are FAs. I’m not arguing that building a roster is done in multiple ways. One of those is the draft. So far, that 2017 draft does not look like it is going well aside from Kittle.

                They got a good UDFA and that is very good. It helps cover up a mistake in the draft. Overall they have had a pretty mixed bag with acquiring talent via FA. Some good, some meh and bad.

              2. @Scooter
                I differentiated UDFAs and draft picks in my comment. However, UDFA’s are far closer to draft picks than FAs. Just like picks and unlike FAs, they are completely unproven and reflect FO’s ability (or inability) to project potential into production.

              3. “UDFAs are not draft picks.” Technically, that is correct based on the term UDFA. But what blurs this technical definition is that these players come from the pool of available draft picks who are amateurs. Each one of these guys was hoping to be drafted.

                The use of the term “free agent” to me implies that they were professionals at some point. Yes they are “free” to choose, but the word agent implies a professional relationship as opposed to amateur.

              4. Scooter what FA picks you see as good so far. Not disputing that there have been some good FA picks (anymore than I am disputing some Draft picks as good). It just seems to me with as many people as they have brought in, it seems like slim pickings.

                For me the following were good FA acquisitions:

                Mullens- who although very limited is still decent back up and may be decent trade bait
                Richburg is just ok
                Tomlinson same
                Juszczyk is very good but under used and therefore mostly wasted
                Person – meh
                Sherman – good acquisition but may be a year only that it is worthwhile
                Garçon – see above – his worth has expired
                Goodwin- see above. Needs to be available. Isn’t.
                Dumervil- way better than anyone else and much better than Marsh who is a scrub

                The rest, Ottachu, Marsh, Smith, Barkley, Hoyer, Hightower, Gilliam, Fusco, etc. , are largely big misses.

  21. Agree Cassie. Maybe if Coach G put out a little more pedigree he wouldn’t get an eye roll, middle finger, and two words not “Thank you” from the team. Maybe talk about how he overcame being short and skinny and flourished on the DLS frosh soph soccer team, or later in life maybe volunteered at the local elementary school as the assistant four square coach. Anything to garner an ounce of mutual respect. Anything.

  22. Mullens’ arm makes CJ’s arm look like a cannon.
    Breida still getting it done.
    Pettis had his best game.
    Spoon was better than Sherm today, bs PI call on a play where Spoon got his head turned around. Spoon also had an early PBU.
    Pass protection was spotty at best.
    With today’s sack, Buck has a career high with 7.

  23. I’ve been a big supporter of Lynch. Although inexperienced, he did seem to surround himself with professionals (Mayhew and Peters). But he hasn’t done enough. He should get an opportunity this next draft and FA to markedly improve the team. If he can’t do it, the team needs to move on and bring in a more seasoned professional with a new team to evaluate college players and NFL free agents.

    1. I’m sure you realize that this front office makes decisions as a team (with Warriors as a model). So while Lynch is the justifiable scapegoat because of his title, the personnel decision shortcomings are a team effort with significant input from Kyle on the offensive side. In any case, despite the fan’s gnashing of teeth, this team is going nowhere for another two-three years at the earliest. Our resident GMs meanwhile will just have to wait and burnish their resumes by proving how much better their fantasy FA and draft picks have been faring (and will fare over the next few seasons) :)

      Personally, I was not very high on the Lynch hire because of his inexperience. But I like the fact that he is a smart guy who knows his limitations and takes input from several others. I expect him to assimilate the lessons he’s learning now on the job and not repeat them, unlike Baalke and many other failed GMs.

      1. Yes, I do realize that. But someone’s head must roll. We fans must have satisfaction!

        Okay, I’m willing to compromise. Get rid of Saleh and Lynch can stay :)

      2. “Personally, I was not very high on the Lynch hire because of his inexperience. But I like the fact that he is a smart guy who knows his limitations and takes input from several others. I expect him to assimilate the lessons he’s learning now on the job and not repeat them, unlike Baalke and many other failed GMs.”

        These are the reasons I liked Lynch as well. Plus charisma. Never underestimate the power of charisma in a startup (or, in sports, a team rebuild). But, Lynch can’t repeat these mistakes in the next draft, imo. But as you point out, even if he does make mistakes again, it might take two full years to realize that. So, if he does, a total of four years would be it, imo.

        1. Cubus,

          Since we are treading dangerous waters here being reasonable, let’s just continue to do so.

          First, a 2-9 record for a young rebuilding team who lost its franchise QB and #1 RB and is top-quartile in other injuries, IMO, does not necessarily reflect incompetence of its FO.

          Second, what in your opinion have been the main failings of this Niners FO in the past two drafts specifically (as opposed to some general complaint about “not drafting enough edge rushers”)?

          1. Mood: Today’s release of Foster is a black eye for the organization’s ability to evaluate talent in a complete way(physical, mental, emotional; maybe you have a better way of expressing this).

            1. Cubus, chalk it up to a mistake. Don’t buy into the doom and gloom take.
              At the end of the day this year was a write off anyway.
              I think releasing Rueben Foster actually makes the 49ers look smart in terms of being able to move on now and setting a precedent.
              It’s not like they’re losing an impact player because he never was one.

              They missed and missed badly in that draft but this organization is not that far off as some people think they are.

            2. Cubus,
              So Foster is your sole issue with the past two drafts? Yes, Foster was a bust for the Niners, and a poor judgement by the FO. We will have plenty of time to discuss the past two drafts in the off season.

              1. No. Foster is not my sole issue. His release, the Niner’s loss and the Seahawk’s win are the reasons I’m a bit irritable. Thomas was overdrafted.

  24. Agree Cubus. Your right on the money. JL gets another year, but he’s gotta prove he can evaluate talent. So far not so good. Kyle on the other hand should be secure and be here for the long haul. They aren’t and shouldn’t be a package deal. Look at what Kyle is trying to win with. The list is long and frightful. He has no pass rusher, the most important player in the pass happy NFL these days. He has an old semi crippled corner on one side and an under achieving mistake prone corner on the other. He’s down to his third string FS. He’s starting two third string QB’s, his wide receivers would have to try out for the North Bay Rattlers, his left tackle needs a walker, his tight end is good but he’s no Gronk. His kicker suddenly can’t make an extra point. They’re not going to the Super Bowl with Breida as the running back? Come on. He’s nifty, but really? Have the standards dropped that far? What else? The team has as little talent as any team in the league other than the Raiders, and that’s a toss up.

  25. Just when you thought there couldn’t be an uglier less productive draft then 2013, the class of 2017!!

    Lynch is making Baalke look like Ron Wolf.

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