December 2 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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The offense never really got on track. Jeff Garcia started off with two interceptions, and never really got on track. Garcia was 16/29 for just 164 yards. Those are hardly the numbers of a winning quarterback. The offensive play calling wasn’t bad in the first half, the Hawks haven’t been able to stop the run all year, and the plan was to run. In the second half the team was typically conservative to ‘protect a lead’.
The offense was once again bailed out by some good play by the defense (and get this, the special teams) in order to win this game. Scoring 31 points sure looks nice, but the 49ers scoring drives were all resting on the shoulders of good play from another group on the team.
The offensive line had an average day. Garcia wasn’t pounded but he did have to elude pressure, and his first interception could be attributed to the play of the defensive line. Still they did a good job with the run, and gave the protection to convert often on third and fourth downs.
Garrison Hearst had a tremendous day carrying the load with Kevan Barlow out of the lineup. Hearst had 31 rushes for 124 yards. Fred Beasley playing very injured did a good job of blocking to get Hearst open.
Tai Streets shined as much of any of the receivers could on this day. Streets was 6/66, out doing Owens and Stokes who had just one reception. Tight end Eric Johnson was a non-factor in the passing game.