:: Sigh. ::
49ers 33 – Bucs 14
I’m working pretty much on inertia at this point, as we stumble along toward the end of another disappointing season.
The Bucs entered today’s contest with a 4-9 record, looking forward to nothing except perhaps playing the role of spoiler against teams battling for positioning in the still coalescing post-season picture. The San Francisco 49ers came into the game needing a win along with an Arizona Cardinals loss and some other loss or tie action on the part of Dallas and Philadelphia in order to claim a playoff spot today. Arizona won while both the Cowboys and Eagles lost, so the Niners aren’t yet cemented in the wild card slot, but they’re definitely in better shape now than when the day started.
Beating the Bucs certainly helped.
Despite the score, it wasn’t looking like a blowout for most of the game. Indeed, Tampa managed to pull within six when quarterback Mike Glennon connected with Tim Davis for a TD pass early in the fourth quarter, making the score 20-14 Niners. However, San Francisco launched a time and ground-eating 21-play scoring drive which, amazingly, only resulted in a field goal. Kudos to the Tampa defense, who managed to find a foothold on their own 3-yard line to force the kick. All that work was for naught, though as on the ensuing kick-off, when Bucs kick returner caught the ball and then attempted to hand the ball to fellow returner Russell Shepard, who promptly fumbled it. The ball was picked up by Niners defender Kendall Hunter, who ran it in for the touchdown.
It’s enough to make a grown pirate cry.
Dropping to 4-10, Tampa will play their final two games of the year on the road, starting with a trip to St. Louis next week to take on the moderately less mediocre Rams. Something tells me that if I wanted to drive across the state to take in the game, there’d be tickets available.
I’ll be going to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra, instead.