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Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
For the third week in a row the 49ers played heavily penalized football. The stats are startling. 

vs. Cowboys 11 penalties for 78 yards

vs. Bears 16 for 118 yards

vs. Cardinals 9 for 107 yards

Luckily in week one, the offense was able to out-play the penalties, and/or the Dallas defense was that bad. Losses in the last two weeks, however, are already trying the nerves of the players and coaches and the resulting tension is boiling over on the field. 

At the risk of sounding cliche, I do believe that players need to play at a level where bad calls cannot determine the results of the game. Unfortunately, it's becoming nearly impossible to do that. Although I believe that some of the calls have been legitimate, many have been superfluous and unnecessary and the flow of the game is being interrupted.

Leaning on the side of safety, there have been more calls for late hits and targeting, which is understandable, but under review, even Mike Pereira has admitted to some blown calls. The problem with this is that the path of the game is being altered without the chance for a review or correction. If the NFL is so determined to get it right and keep players safe, why not get it completely right and make those calls reviewable?


Deep in the 3rd quarter, Patrick Willis came up the middle as the pocket was closing on Drew Stanton, he put his head to the side of Stanton's chest as he wrapped his arms around him and took to the ground, clean tackle. Flags were thrown for roughing the passer, resulting in a first down.

After the game Willis said that the team needed to watch film and see where they can do better. He also included, "
I never go out there with any bad intent. I'm just going to play football the way I know how. I'm just going to go out there and be physical and tough."

 
 
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blog.sfgate.com
Not only did the 49ers go into Dallas and get a very important first win of 2014, they celebrated a milestone for one of the veterans of the offense, Frank Gore. Gore only needed 33 yards to reach the 10,000 yard milestone and finished the day with 16 carries for 66 yards and became the 29th RB to hit the impressive landmark. At some point during the game Gore approached CSN reporter Mindi Bach and they had this exchange: 

http://instagram.com/p/sqabLgmQph/

"Tough a** yards" is definitely correct, and Gore has had his challenges. After being named Big East Freshman Of The Year by Sporting News when attending the University of Miami, he tore his left ACL during spring practice. After rehabbing, he tore his right ACL the next season. He was known as one of the Three Amigos, a RB trio that included Gore, Clinton Portis and Willis McGahee, both of which who were drafted much higher than him albeit in different years. Portis was a 2nd round pick in 2002 and McGahee was a 1st round pick in 2003.

Gore was drafted in the 3rd round as the 65th overall pick by the 49ers surrounded by skepticism that his injuries would hold him back in the NFL. It was that criticism that drove him to work harder. In the post game presser he actually said, "I wanted to prove everybody wrong." The always humble Gore also took the time to say, "It's a blessing. Thanks to the organization and thanks to the O Line. It's special." 


Gore who is 31, has had a new role this past off season: as mentor to rookie RB Carlos Hyde who is likely to transition as the feature back. They have a similar downhill running style. Hyde who had his first NFL touchdown vs. Dallas, was met by a jubilant Gore on the sidelines. Don't retire Gore just yet though, he's as powerful as ever between the tackles.