Kevin Huber's punt early in the third quarter and Ted Ginn Jr's subsequent return pushed the 49ers to their own 47-yard line. An eight-yard short pass to Michael Crabtree led to a 39-yard Vernon Davis reception to the Bengals six-yard line with Reggie Nelson covering -- and not bothering to look behind him for the pass in the air. This is big.
After a timeout with 6:59 left in the third quarter, the San Francisco 49ers prepare for a great (terrible really) opportunity to put points on the board. On first down, Smith takes the snap and drops back. Frostee Rucker ran up the football field and dropped Smith for a quarterback sack that lost four yards. On second down Alex Smith rolled out left and find Michael Crabtree in the endzone, but he stepped out of bounds and was the first to touch the football; he was flagged for an illegal touch and a five-yard penalty.
With 15 yards on second down, Alex Smith flings an underneath pass for Bruce Miller, picking up five yards. However, an unnecessary roughness (for piling on) on Rey Maualuga gave San Francisco a new set of downs at Cincinnati's five-yard line. But then Crabtree false started, pushing the 49ers back to the Bengals 10-yard line.
Follow me so far?
Alex Smith dumps off a second-down pass from their own six-yard line for Bruce Miller, whose route was severely disrupted by defensive end Carlos Dunlap. Therefore Miller was forced to stretch out his route in a more flat line towards the sidelines (therefore not going forward in his route), Miller was eventually dropped by Nate Clements after receiving the football for a limited gain. On the following play, Alex Smith looks over the middle on third down and after a momentary scan of the field, takes off the endzone. Geno Atkins dove at Smith's legs and tackled the quarterback after a one-yard gain that could have resulted in a touchdown.
Bengals defense bends on a big passing play, but doesn't break. However the San Francisco 49ers tie the game at three.