Today, October 22, 2017, was Dwight Clark Day at Levi’s Stadium. It was a day to honor the former 49er great, who made “The Catch” that started a dynasty. The great wide receiver who is suffering from ALS.
And it was a fitting day to honor Clark, as the Dallas Cowboys were in town. Unfortunately, the current 49ers team did not perform, and that’s putting it mildly, and they were routed by the Cowboys 40-10 to fall to 0-7.
Let’s start with the Dwight Clark part of the day.
Dwight Clark Day
More than 30 49ers’ alumni came to Levi’s today to honor Clark, including Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and former team president Carmen Policy.
An emotional Montana introduced Clark at halftime before Clark spoke to the fans. Clark thanked the Faithful, the York family, and, of course, Eddie DeBartolo. DeBartolo was also very emotional, as it was a wonderful but difficult tribute.
“It’s amazingly special, but at the same time, it is amazingly bittersweet,” said Policy before the game. “It’s a reminder of how blessed all of us were that we’re connected to the 49ers when you see the concept of family. Not only out there in full display, but very meaningfully involved in helping Dwight, and helping all of us really, though this situation. It’s a celebration of sorts…We are celebrating, so to speak, Dwight’s life, Dwight’s accomplishments, and our connection to each other.
See the video below for most of the halftime event, as taken from my Facebook Live.
To be honest, it seems silly to talk about a football game after talking about a man battling for his life, but that is what we do.
The game was awful. There’s no other way to put it. It was a mess in every possible way.
“I felt there was a time there late in the fourth quarter, I think when things were going real bad, guys were close,” said head coach Kyle Shanahan. “I thought a few guys pulled the guys together and I thought they finished. But based on the result on the field, I’m not going to question effort, but we definitely didn’t play well.”
C.J. Beathard’s first start was marred by five sacks. He was 22-of-38 for 235 yards and no touchdowns, though he did rush for the 49ers one and only of the day. Oh, and he fumbled twice. Frankly, it’s hard to see what the Niners have in Beathard when the offensive line plays so poorly and he has very little protection. To make things worse, Trent Brown left the game with a concussion.
“There’s only one way to go, and that’s up,” said Beathard. “I think we’ve got a lot of season left ahead of us to get better and really turn the season around and make something out of it, just do our best. I think that’s what we’ll do. We’ll go back to work tomorrow, watch the film, improve. Really, you got to put this one behind us like we’ve done with the six other games and look forward.”
Even with linebacker Reuben Foster’s return, the 49er defense missed Arik Armstead, as it gave up 265 yards on the ground, with 147 of those going to Ezekiel Elliott.
“Zeke is a phenomenal player,” said Foster. You have to watch out for which gaps that he goes to. He is all around, he can go to the A gap, B gap or C gap, it doesn’t matter what type of schemes that you run. He is just a freakish player about finding gaps and really playing good football.”
He is not wrong about that.
Quarterback Dak Prescott finished the day 16-of-25 for 234 yards and three touchdowns, one of which was a thing of beauty to tight end Jason Witten.
The game started with promise when DeForest Buckner batted down two Prescott passes on the opening drive, and the Cowboys ended up punting. Then Trent Taylor fumbled on the return, and the 49ers could never recover.
“Every single team in the league, there’s a very fine line between being in a game, winning a game and getting your butt kicked,” said Shanahan. “It’s not as big of a distance between all three of those as sometimes it seems. Thought we came out pretty strong and I thought we had a chance early in that game. I thought our defense did a great job on the first three-and-out. Sent a punt, we fumbled the punt on the return and they went in and scored, 7-0. I know they held us in our first series and the next one I thought we stopped them. I think we stopped them. Ended up getting a defensive PI call, which kept them going…So, I know it doesn’t look good, but it’s a very fine line between all that stuff. When you turn the ball over like that and you miss opportunities, whether you have a young team, a rookie quarterback, a rookie, regardless when you turn the ball over like that and you miss those opportunities, that is the result in the NFL.”
Adding injury to insult, Foster has a rib injury, the severity of which is unknown at this time.
0-7 Faithful. It’s rough, but as I’ve said before, it’s a rebuild and patience is a virtue. Off to Philly. Go Niners![NFL-49ers-footer]