No “I want winners” (You Tube video) or “I want to thank them for beating us” speeches from Mike Singletary this time.
As the Falcons’ Matt Bryant game-winning FG was kicked and called good by the refs, a reflective and dejected Mike Singletary kneeled on the sideline.
Bryant’s attempt would not have likely happened if cornerback Nate Clements ran out of bounds or took a knee after intercepting Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan with less than two minutes to go in the game.
Victory was in Clements and the 49ers hands and then All-Pro wide receiver and opportunist Roddy White came from behind for a second consecutive year and stripped an unsuspecting 49ers defender of the football.
Last year, it was Dre Bly in a 45-10 loss to the Falcons, and this year it’s Clements.
“And I’m going to keep getting ’em,” White said. “Because they don’t know better.”
Clements left the locker room without talking to reporters.
San Francisco’s defensive leader Patrick Wills spoke out.
“We are our own worst enemy,” linebacker Patrick Willis said, after the team fell to 0-4 for the first time since 2004. “The day we can find out how to overcome ourselves will be the day we turn this around.”
Singletary talked very little about Clements’ mental mistake.
Words can’t describe a game in which the 49ers played their heart out-especially on defense-to lose by two points, 16-14.
The Falcons (3-1, 2-0 NFC South) have been more lucky than good as Matt Ryan has thrown two late interceptions in consecutive weeks-last week to New Orleans in an overtime road win and this week to San Francisco-and live to tell the tale.
However, the 49ers Singletary must reflect on how to move forward as his team drops to 0 and 4.
Playoff hopes are almost extinguished, and the only way to likely get a playoff berth is to win their division.
St. Louis, Seattle and Arizona are all 2 and 2, and the 49ers are two games back at 0 and 4. There is still time for Singletary and his team, but its getting late.
And what to do with current starting quarterback Alex Smith?
Smith completed 21 of 32 passes for 188 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis, but was missing in action after the first offensive series of the game.
Smith stalled offensive drives with his own mental mistakes via two costly interceptons that contributed to six points for the victorious Falcons.
“Those drives are directly because of me,” Smith said.
Smith has been around for awhile, and when will Singletary go with someone else besides the six-year quarterback who still makes rookie mistakes.