Poetic Justice.

That was the phrase being thrown around in the 49ers’ locker room after Ahmad Brooks stripped the ball from Drew Brees setting up Phil Dawson’s game-winning field goal.

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Just one year earlier, Books had a similar play on Brees on which he was called for roughing the quarterback, a simply horrible call that stole a victory from the 49ers.  Not today.

This wasn’t a pretty game from San Francisco’s perspective.  But in the face of desperation, beauty is only skin deep.  Too many dropped balls and an offense that scored 21 points in the first half, but just three the rest of the way doesn’t speak optimistically about the future.

There were, however, signs of progress.  Kaepernick’s sack total was cut in half, from eight to four. The 49ers committed just two penalties for 15 yards.  Greg Roman seemed to rediscover the offensive identity with Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde combing for 117 yards.

The disconcerting aspect of this 49er team is that is seems forced to rely on desperation mode.    In every game Colin Kaepernick can engineer an impressive 80-yard drive.  But the rest of the 54 minutes seem mired in inconsistency and broken-play genius.   In this case, a fourth-and-ten heave to Michael Crabtree who was left uncovered for a 51-yard gain to set up the game-tying field goal.

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In the aftermath, there is glowing recognition that “not many quarterbacks can make that throw.”  The problem is that Kaepernick has to make that throw in the first place.   A wing and a prayer looks great on the 11 o’clock news but it’s not a good game plan for a sustained post season run.   Aren’t their enough offensive tools on this team to create the consistency that is needed?

With a 5-4 record, the 49ers remain on the outside looking in.  Three games behind first-place Arizona and one game out of a wild card spot.   They won in a dome where teams rarely win.  They kept playoff hope alive and quieted the critics.  Sweet redemption, indeed.

Could we just work on the offense?

See you on TV.

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