Sunday, February 3, 2013
First-half thoughts as 49ers trail yet again
By Mike Sando
NEW ORLEANS -- The San Francisco 49ers had to overcome a 24-14 halftime deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game. They'll need to overcome a 21-6 deficit against the Baltimore Ravens to win Super Bowl XLVII.
Baltimore is playing a much cleaner, more efficient game than the 49ers are playing to this point.
The Ravens have one penalty and zero turnovers. The 49ers have committed three penalties and two turnovers. One of those penalties killed the 49ers' opening drive, wiping out a 20-yard reception. Another penalty gave the Ravens a second chance on third down, enabling a touchdown pass.
LaMichael James (lost fumble) and Colin Kaepernick (interception) committed the turnovers. The Ravens turned James' turnover into seven points. They now have 31 points off turnovers in 3.5 playoff games. No other team has more than 14 points off turnovers in the postseason.
The 49ers are not dead. They overcame a 17-0 deficit last week. Their previous four opponents also scored first, and the 49ers won three of those games. But the 49ers are kicking off to open the second half. They're in trouble.
Chris Culliver, in the news for the wrong reasons during Super Bowl week, appeared to blow the coverage on Joe Flacco's 56-yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones. Flacco has completed 3 of 5 attempts on passes traveling more than 20 yards past the line of scrimmage, according to John Parolin of ESPN Stats & Information. The Ravens have gained 106 yards on those passes. The 49ers have now allowed seven completions on those throws in two and a half postseason games.
Flacco has three touchdown passes in the first half, matching Matt Ryan's total through two quarters in the NFC Championship Game.