Following the Raiders 34-3 trouncing in the Battle of the Bay Thursday night, an unnamed 49ers player was quoted as saying “They quit early.” There are plenty of indications that was the case. None more so than the 52-yard run by Raheem Mostert in the third quarter which turned an already out out of reach game completely out of hand.
Gruden isn’t about to admit there was an effort problem. Because that would suggest he has lost this team. He pointed at just about everything else you can think of though.
“I didn’t have any problem at all with the effort,” said Gruden. “I think what I had a big problem with was we had two guys in the same gap. We got outflanked immediately and they’re back was faster than I think we anticipated. But that was my big problem with the long run.”
It looked to be Tahir Whitehead and Erik Harris in the same gap on the play, but a whole lot more went wrong on that one. Frostee Rucker was held a bit and then tried to sell it instead of giving chase. And all the linebackers were caught in the wash because the 49ers blockers all got to the second level. It was a clusterf—k of the first order.
Let’s be honest though. This game was over well before that play. It was 24-3 when that run happened. This game was a debacle from the first defensive snap to the last. As Gruden noted, 240 of the 49ers yards came on six plays, adding “that cannot happen.” He simply threw out the kitchen sink in trying to explain it.
“Sometimes we miss a tackle. Sometimes we miss two tackles. Sometimes we have a man out of his gap. Sometimes we gotta coach perhaps better. It all comes back to me,” Gruden said, careful not to put this on defensive coordinator Paul Guenther.
“We just got to do a better job collectively. Sometimes guys do a little too much, they see too much. But in this league, if you make a mistake, good teams and good players will hurt you real bad and that’s been the case.”
I think we can include not so good teams in that, Jon.