Overtime Gets Best Of 49ers
August 12 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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Last season the 49ers were at home in overtime. The team played in four regular-season over-time games winning three of them. No team really wants to cut it that close, that often, but the 49ers seemed to be able to handle the close games extremely effectively.
The 49ers over-time loss to the Chiefs does not really concern me in terms of the 49ers ability to win close games. The defense came through a multitude of times later in the game, and itís not like Jeff Garcia was in the game to march the team down the field for the win. The interception thrown by Brandon Doman was obviously a costly mistake, but one he can learn from.
As good as the 49ers were in pre-season last year Steve Mariucci would rather the 49ers not have as many close games this season. Of course, Mariucci is looking to have teams put away long before the clock ticks down to 00:00.
In order for Mariucci and the 49ers to avoid having as many close games as last season, the 49ers will try and score early and often, something they failed to do with any consistency last season. In the first quarter last season, the 49ers scored an astonishing low six touchdowns and one field goal. That amounts to only 45 points, an amount that would be reachable in one very good game, instead it took 16 quarters, or four times as long to score those points.
Mariucci has different plans for this season. Ideally the team would like to see way more points scored in the first quarter of the game, and to do that, Mariucci will try and get the ball into Terrell Owensí hands earlier in the game. A coach and star receiver, finally on the same page? Could be, as Owens clearly demonstrated on Saturday, itís the quickest way for the 49ers to put points on the board.