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Unable To Rally
December 18 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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Needing a touchdown with just over four minutes to go in the game, the 49ers were unable to put the ball in the endzone. Poor clock management, coupled by worse execution in scoring position kept the 49ers from winning what could have been a pivotal game in their history.

There were close, very close, with Tai Streets just brushing the sidelines on a pass to the goal line. But we all know that close only counts in a few things, and football games is certainly not one of them.

As I sat back and watched Jeff Garcia not throw to Terrell Owens. Watched as passes hit the ground, as running backs were smothered after three yard losses, and the quarterback not taking advantage of rushing lanes, I couldn’t help but wonder… what if it was Steve back there.

Of course I didn’t really need to wonder. The Packers admitted after the game, that they used the same defense against the 49ers on the final drive that was used against the team when Owens made, what is known so un-cleverly as “The Catch II”. Steve forced that ball, and Owens made the big play.

I certainly recognize Jeff Garcia is only in his third year as a full time starter in the NFL. I’ve always supported him, but it hurts to know that had it been Steve back there, the 49ers could still be contending for a playoff bye week.

Early this season, Jeff Garcia was forcing the ball to Terrell Owens on nearly every attempt. It was an ugly offense if I ever did see one. But now, he is to shy to throw to the best player on the field, and that’s a shame, because there has to be a happy medium in there somewhere.

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