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Lowell Cohn: Extra week to plan, nothing to show

  • Coach Jim Harbaugh and Colin Kaepernick try to figure it out. (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)

SAN FRANCISCO -- Pathetic.

Keep that word in mind because it will reappear shortly.

So will “inept.”

San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers


But first think about the 49ers' last drive of Sunday's game, a 10-9 loss to the Carolina Panthers. But you already know the score.

OK, the final drive. It's a drive that defines a great team, shows why said team is a legit Super Bowl contender. The 49ers got the ball at their own 20-yard line with 1:02 remaining. They trailed 10-9, a mere pittance, and they needed to drive a ways downfield — not all the way — because a field goal could and almost certainly would win the game.

You just knew they'd get the field goal. These were the San Francisco 49ers, after all. This is a team made for drama, made for dramatic endings and dramatic wins. This team drips with drama.

So, how did the 49ers do in the drama department?

On the first play, quarterback Colin Kaepernick got sacked for a loss of 6 yards. Not so good for the sake of drama. By the time the 49ers got to the line of scrimmage, just over 30 seconds remained. But remember these were the drama boys. And winning with time almost expiring would be the stuff of legends.

And then Kaepernick threw a pick as in a game-ending, game-killing, brain-rattling interception.

Sunday was the day the drama died in the old ballpark by the Bay. And that means the 49ers lost by one point, one measly point. Now we do some wordplay: Pathetic. Inept.

What was pathetic and inept about the 49ers?

Their offense was pathetic and inept.

Why was their offense pathetic and inept?

Because the 49ers had two weeks — count them — to prepare for the Panthers. Two weeks is double the usual prep time. The Panthers didn't have two weeks to prepare. You'd think the Niners would have spent their extra time wisely. But their main offensive planner — offensive coordinator Greg Roman — is inept, has been inept, will be inept.

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