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Shutdown Corner

49ers had two weeks to prepare, and start Super Bowl by lining up wrong

Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

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(USA Today Sports Images)

San Francisco had a good play designed for the first snap of Super Bowl XLVII and tight end Vernon Davis got free for a 20-yard gain.

The only problem was that the 49ers apparently hadn't practiced how to line up for that first play.

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The 20-yard gain was called back because of an illegal formation penalty on the 49ers. That kind of penalty is tough for a team to swallow because it's a mental error, especially for a team as well prepared as Jim Harbaugh's team. To do so after two weeks of practice and preparation, it's really inexcusable.

The rest of the 49ers' first drive was disjointed, with a Pistol formation play running amok because of an apparent miscommunication, as Colin Kaepernick turned one way and Frank Gore ran the other before Kaepernick threw the ball incomplete. The 49ers punted and the Ravens scored on their first possession.

That isn't the way San Francisco drew it up when it formulated its Super Bowl gameplan.

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