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Bad Beats: Mike Singletary Burns Bettors!
by Ben Burns - 09/28/2010
Mike Singletary is not an NFL-caliber coach.
He’s a coordinator or maybe a college coach at best. He proved that again Sunday, and his childish antics cost smart bettors who took the under in the 49ers-Chiefs game an easy winner.
The total opened at 36, but rose steadily and ended up going off at 38. In a matchup of two below-average offenses with shaky quarterbacks against improving defenses, the under was the sharp side.
The Chiefs dominated from the get-go. They sold out to stop the run and paid strict attention to the 49ers’ screen game. Singletary failed to make any adjustments. His team managed eight first downs and trailed 24-3 heading into the fourth quarter.
Kansas City ran the ball eight straight times and made it 31-3 on a Thomas Jones touchdown run with just over three minutes to play.
The 49ers went three-and-out on their ensuing drive and punted the ball back to Kansas City. Normally, down 28 with 2:30 to play, NFL coaches allow the game to end respectfully. They accept defeat and, rather than risk any injuries, allow their opponent to run out the clock.
But not Singletary. He, of course, had to have a teaching moment with his 0-3 Niners. He began calling timeout after each running play by the Chiefs’ second-string offense. It was something you might see in a college or high school game. It had to be embarrassing for his players.
Nevertheless, San Francisco forced the Chiefs to punt and took over on its own 29 with 1:30 to go. With their starters in the game, the 49ers moved down the field against K.C.’s backups. On a 4th-and-9 with 20 seconds to play, quarterback Alex Smith dumped off a pass to Frank Gore, who broke free all the way down to the Chiefs’ 12. With less than five seconds and the clock running, coaches and players started to make their way onto the field, figuring that was it.
But Singletary called his last timeout with three seconds to play. Smith then threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Josh Morgan on the final play of the game to push the total over. Morgan, the 49ers’ only wide receiver with at least 10 catches, was injured on the play.
This was just the latest example of Singletary’s unorthodox and unsuccessful coaching style. NFL coaches use preseason to work on things like the two-minute drill, not regular-season games that have been decided.
Don’t forget this is the same coaching staff that struggled mightily to even get the plays called in a Week 1 blowout loss to Seattle.
On Monday, the 49ers fired offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye. But the problem is still on the 49ers’ sideline, acting like a buffoon, embarrassing his players and handing out bad beats.